Luxury camping in Lapland, Sweden. It does not get wilder than this
Luxury camping in Lapland? Yes “it is a thing”. Call it glamping or camping in the wilderness. The experience is the same and overshadows everything most people have experienced.
The light fades quickly in winter in the northern Sapmi region of Sweden (see map below) when the sun rises but only a few degrees above the horizon before then going to bed again. Here in the winter in Lapland, light is a gift you quickly learn to appreciate.
North of Jokkmokk, which is north for the most part, above the Arctic Circle, is Sapmi Nature Camp on the banks of the Lule River, a site with six tents, each a tipi-like structure called a lavvu in Sami, beautifully covered with soft and warm reindeer skins, and the place is further heated by a simple but efficient wood-burning stove. Comfort is under control.
The experience of no electricity, clean air and water, and silence
It may not be luxury in the traditional sense, as there is neither running water nor electricity, but rustic and exquisite camps like this promise and provide a refuge from everyday life in the detached house or apartment, for those who dream of simpler and literally more natural surroundings.
Are those reindeer skins that cheap?
Is it so cheap to sleep on reindeer fur. No, not really, but I would argue that you get more for your money out in the fresh air than at most hotels. This trip puts a good place in the soul and requires an incredible amount of preparation by the organizers, not by you you just have to show up and enjoy. And that camp is somewhere else next time. A moving feast, as Ernest Hemingway wrote, that if anyone was in search of the great nature.
Also with the establishment of concepts for “moving wilderness camping”, the tour operator Black Tomato in London created a solution to set up tailor-made nature camps a kind of pop-up tourism, wherever guests may wish, with a price tag that reflects the cost of operating in remote areas. As with Sapmi Nature, what travelers pay for is the rare access, the logistics and the built-in preparedness as well as the specialist guidance.
Imagine this: You strap on some oversized snowshoes and “trudge” down the deep snow-covered hills, a little clumsy maybe all the beginning is difficult, but then your guide sees what you have taken and takes you out on the frozen Lule river, which stretches from the Scandinavian mountain range on the border with Norway to the Gulf of Bothnia and looks across the water to Finland. Then we are in the “wow” corner of experiences.
Facts: Lule älv is a river in the northern part of Norrland in Sweden. It is an incredible 461 km long and has a catchment area of 25,240 km².
Then there is a sauna for everyone
A few hours later you are probably ready for the scorching sauna. After 20 minutes of sweat, you probably ran out into the night air and threw yourself naked into the deep powder snow. The endorphins knock voluptuously in the body. It beats winter bathing in dk.
Local and authentic food
It is probably authentic that it is traceable and local. This is how it is. While our guide is cooking, you can get the story of each ingredient, such as how he caught the mountain trout by a lake on the border with Norway, where he learned to fish with his father. During another meal – elk with palt, a rich mixture of potatoes and flour.
The guide tells quite safely about his child of the heart, namely more about the original Sami culture, which was his motivation for creating the camp. He grew up in a local reindeer herding family and told me how he wants to “create awareness of [his] people”. This is the real reason to come here: for learning about the Sami way of life. He taught me about deforestation going on in Sweden, even now; how the Sami practice of having reindeer was threatened; but also about a recent historic ruling in the Swedish Supreme Court, which had granted the Sami hunting and fishing rights back.
Lapland, the last wilderness of Europe. Camping in Lapland, Sweden is perhaps one of the most rewarding experiences of overwhelming nature, you will ever have. You are 200 km North of the Polar Circle in Sweden, a huge country with only ca. 12 mill people.