Trekking close to Copenhagen - Skåneleden
I was recently on a trekking trip with my dad. We had decided that we wanted to do a trip together where we would bring all we needed with us on the trip. A kind of survival trip but we were also realists, so it should not be too advanced. So on such a trip we would bring; sleeping bags, tent, trangia, food, water, clothes, camping gear.
But If you live in Denmark, you are pretty used to that everything is mostly flat and with whooping 62% (2017) of Denmark being farmed, also used to either it is cities, highways or fields, not a lot of forest unfortunately. So Denmark does not invite to this kind of survival trip where you feel like you are in the forest, in natures element.
However, such a thing exists just 2 hours of train ride away from Copenhagen!
Skåneleden is a collection of really amazing trekking routes, multiple really long ones around the whole Skåne. They are all marked routes, meaning that there is an orange square on trees or an orange arrow guiding you along the route and they are there just enough so you do not get lost (only a couple of times) but not so much that you will get tired of seeing them.
First time trekking on Skåneleden
I have walked on it now twice, the first time with my back then girlfriend (now wife, guess why 😅) in 2019 in our summer vacation. Sofie had given me a popup tent as a Christmas present and hence now the promised adventure. We had travelled in South America, but this time wanted something a little closer and had found SKåneleden by just searching around. Walking with all gear was then not new but we did not know exactly what to expect.
In Sweden the term "Allemannsretten", or freedom to roam, means that you are allowed to take shelter on public land for a short period, something that is not common in or even allowed in all countries, so our plan was to find places along the route to stay whenever we were tired or found a good spot.
However, the first surprise was there were remarkably few places where one wanted to setup shelter for the night. All places are simply either forest with uneven roots covered bottom or bushes/trees, very few places are just places with middle-long movielike perfect grass.
Important water posts
All the trekking routes have water posts along it, which is immensely important. Trekking more than one day in the "wild", knowing where the next time you can get water becomes the defining matter. Carrying water is also important if you do not want to sleep directly at a water post. You could potentially drink water from the lakes, but it can be very brown water and then filtering or boiling the water becomes a big task. On both trips we carried at least 5 liters together when filled up, sometimes more. But to sum, Skåneleden has well thought of placed water posts along their water posts.
Bland camping sites
Our plans was to sleep in the wild, but during our first skåneleden trip we stayed on three camping sites out of the 8 nights we slept outside in total. It was really nice getting a shower, proper toilets, electronics charged and a camping ground that is completely flat. However the three times we slept on proper camping sites was the three nights that we would remember the least about of trip. The places were nice, but they had nothing compared to the nights we slept on the route.
We stayed at Osby Camping (can recommend), Vitsjø camping (very bland), Torekov Camping (nice, but giant and expensive).
Second time trekking on Skåneleden
My first trip on Skåneleden was amazing, and wanting to try it out again I asked my dad to go with me on another trip again. The premise was, "just a extended weekend, walk all that we can, get back again".
The trip started with taking the trip from the Copenhagen Central station early Saturday morning 6 o'clock, one train to Sweden, a quick switch in Hassleholm and we were standing in Solvesborg at 9am. It could not be quicker and we were ready to start the trip. This is the amazing part, that the start of the trip is only a short 2 hours away from Copenhagen costing only 250 SEK per person.
We had chosen the trip SL1, Skåneleden website details here. The full route is 370 km, containing 29 sections. Our plan was to see how far we could get in four days and get back.
Being just two hours from Copenhagen, during our 4 days we saw fewer than 20 people along the route, people we said "Hi" to. The route is such planned that you do not go through any of the small cities along the route. It would have been easy for the planners to just lead the route through the cities and then easily place a water post inside the city, however in those four days we did not see any places where you could buy anything! We were literally on our own, it felt like that, but the amazing thing is that if we had an accident (sprain ankle or such), we would not be far away from help.
This meant also that we brought along all the food that we ate. I had bought 4 vacuum sealed meals for each, 4 cans of mackerel in tomato sauce, bread, 5 candy bars, a pack of oreo cookies, a bag of sweets, some cheese for breakfast second day, freezedried coffee powder, the trip started with homemade packed lunch and that was it! It does not cover the energy used being on your legs walking that much each day, but carrying food is no small task!
We could have made a small detour on the route and bought some food, but the cool thing is that we did not have to, but in our minds we knew we had the possibility, so it gave us a relaxing but safe trip!
The route is marked but do not make that get you fooled, the trail can be very challenging and narrow, so much that you have to look at every step you take to ensure that you do not fall over because of the heavy bag you carry. Knowing the season is important and having hiked a lot of oneday trip does not prepare you fully for a trip that spans multiple days, the fact that you do not get to go indoors into the heat makes it a challenging thing.
Shoes are important because of the difficult trail. The trail will be wet because of the vegetation and thus you will easily get wet feet, and wet feet and heavy backpack is a guarantee for blisters under your feet. If you get that then suddenly your trip turns into something not so nice as the pain will quickly put a damper on everything.
If you live in Copenhagen or in Denmark for that fact, Skåneleden is an amazing place to start trekking and getting more challenged. The two trips have definitely made me want to do it again, but the difficulty has been just perfect and what I have been looking for. Knowing that if something goes wrong we are close to help, but getting the feeling and experience of being into the wild makes me recommend everyone to take a look at Skåneleden for their next adventure!