WILDERNESS ACTIVITY. Sweden’s Nest 7 were out in nature for a canoeing and camping trip on the weekend of 17-18 July.
The weekend began with canoeing early on Saturday morning, with the comrades boarding their canoes and paddling to the other side of a lake. The goal for the day was to paddle across three different lakes and make camp at the last of them. In order to travel between the lakes, the group had to paddle through thick weeds and along narrow rivers.
After the comrades travelled across the first lake, they paddled straight into the reeds in order to keep moving onwards. They fought through the thicket, surrounded by mosquitoes and other pests, and finally came out to a river.
The journey up the river was hampered by many different obstacles. Large rocks meant the comrades often had to carefully plan how to position their canoes to get past. Furthermore, there were logs lying across the river that the canoeists had to pass under, or, in the worst case, over.
Later, the group stopped at a rune stone that stood beside the river. The stone had been raised by a man named Tolir to his brother Osniken, whose name means generous. An informational sign next to the stone reads:
Generosity was a very important characteristic in ancient times. It demonstrated both wealth and the estimation of one’s fellow man, as well as binding society and creating solidarity.
The group took this as proof that people from Småland [the main region in Nest 7] are not all as miserly as some people would like to pretend, and then cheerfully continued with the difficult journey up the river. When they came out onto the second lake, everyone could take a breath and rest for a while during the relatively easy trip over the open water. But the break didn’t last long, as it was soon time to resume the battle against the blood-sucking parasites as the group headed through the reeds towards the third and final lake.
Once the comrades arrived, tired and worn out after a whole day of hard paddling, they made camp by the side of the lake and ate food. However, the day’s activities were not over yet. The last item on the schedule before sleep was to practise life-saving techniques in the water. The group learned various ways to swim safely while holding an unconscious person above water, and also practised CPR.
At dusk, everyone sat and chatted around an open fire before they went to bed one by one. The next day, they packed up and paddled a slightly shorter route back to the starting place and concluded the activity.