“By 2020, one does not need to ‘survive’ in nature. You can simply be in nature just to have fun and enjoy being outside!” - Beatrice, Happie Camp
Camping season is here, and we love seeing more and more ladies taking on the Nordic nature. We also know many people out there are ‘beginners’, and therefore search for places to discover and re-connect, even with zero outdoor gear or experience. Last week, we found a real gem in the Swedish midlands named Happie Camp - A modern way of camping, located in the mysterious woods of Värmland. As usual, we got curious and hunted down one of the partners of the company, Beatrice Sandberg - and asked her some questions...
When did you guys start ‘Happie Camp’ and what was the idea behind it?
It was founded in the summer of 2019, by Staffan Sventesson, who had been fantasizing about starting a thing like Happie Camp for a long time. His father ran a traditional camp back in the day, where Staffan worked a couple of summers. He liked the idea of renting a little space in nature - but not that you had to squeeze yourself into such a small area, next to so many others. What happens if we turn the whole concept upside down? He thought. Instead of pushing as many people as possible into small squares - we give them enough space to be able to really experience what it would be like living in nature. If there’s something Sweden has plenty of, it’s big beautiful landscapes, forests, and lakes.
Happie Camp is located in Värmland, the same place where I and Staffan are born and raised. We used to live in Stockholm for many years, and that’s when we realized it can be quite a hassle for people living in the city to get out into the wild. Questions like ‘what to bring, what to wear, what to cook, where to stay, and where to go’ - are common. It sure takes some knowledge and gear, to be able to escape into an isolated place in nature by you’re own, and maybe that’s what stops many people from going.
At Happie Camp, you’ll find a big tent already set up in a fantastic location facing the sunset, together with premium products from for e.g Primus, Kockum, and Sjö & Hav. The only thing you have to bring yourself is your own choice of clothing, food, and drinks.
What’s the best experience you get from staying with Happie Camp?
The best part is definitely the amazing nature. At this point, we have two locations you can stay at, in Hagfors (northern Värmland) and at Arnön (in the archipelago of Vänern).
In Hagfors, the tents are located by a small lake in a magical pine forest, with moss-covered stones alongside wild-growing chickweeds and linen flowers. The atmosphere is very calm and quiet, and you can simply rest to the sound of small movements in the water, or birds chirping in the trees above you. There’s also a canoe by the tent you can use if you want to go for a quiet evening trip.
At Arnön, our second location, you’ll find a completely different scenery. It lies by the largest lake in Europe and has a magnificent view with steep cliffs, heather, white moss, and dwarf pines. The weather over there is coastal and often brings strong winds and waves. At Arnön, it's never really quiet - the wind, waves, and the birds invite you to a nonstop natural concert.
Everything in the tent is included in the price - beds, fully equipped outdoor kitchen, patio, and toilet. As mentioned above, Hagfors also includes a canoe. Then we have several voluntary supplements such as renting extra sheets and ordering Happie Camp's plant-based food box for one or two nights. We also have various activities you can book, like a private yoga teacher or a forest bath guide who comes to the tent for a class, just for you. In Hagfors we can also organize a SUP yoga class in the forest lake. At Arnön we rent kayaks from Melker of Sweden.
Do you have any camping-tips for beginners?
As the vast majority of our guests are in fact camping beginners, my best tip would be to try staying at a camp like ours before you buy your own tent or outdoor gear. It’s always nice to see if you like it, before investing in expensive equipment of your own. If you don’t know what to cook outdoors, we have a food box with recipes adapted for gas kitchens. Everything to make the stay as comfortable and easy as possible, so that you can focus on enjoying the environment.
You mentioned earlier that you have a strong focus on women, can you tell us a little bit more about that?
Natural tourism has always been very masculine. It's been all about hunting down or finding food for dinner, building your own raft, making a fire with flint… and so on. This is not for everyone. By 2020, one does not need to ‘survive’ in nature. You can simply be in nature just to have fun and enjoy being outdoors! A very large part of our guests are women, and usually, they bring a friend or a partner. With us, time in nature is filled with good food and drink, recreation, time to sit down and talk and to calmly and quietly absorb the energy the forest provides.
What’s the best thing staying in nature brings, according to you?
The feeling of waking up after a good night's sleep in a tent is amazing. Your shoulders start to relax, your mind is slowing down and your body starts to follow nature's pace. You come home more energized, strengthened, relaxed, and happy after time spent in nature. We recommend staying at least two nights outdoors. Partly because when you wake up on the first morning, you don’t want stress about packing and leaving again. We think everyone should try camping, and if you are unsure and think it’s difficult or scary - then Happie Camp is the perfect way to get the comfort and the positive effects of staying in nature.
Thank you so much for the chat, Beatrice! Make sure to check out their camps if you’re planning a nature staycation this summer. ♡