WILDERNESS ACTIVITY. For four days in August, Sweden’s Nest 2 conducted possibly one of the toughest hikes ever organised by the Resistance Movement.
This year, Nest 2 have held a series of hikes along the Bohusleden trail. On 20-23 August, everything we had learned and practised was put to the test.
We gathered at 8 a.m. on Friday on the outskirts of Uddevalla. Before us lay a long hike of 120 kilometres. Excited and ready for the coming adventure, we unpacked our gear from the cars, checked all our packs for the last time, and then set off into the forest.
At the starting point, most of our backpacks weighed 15-20kg each, and they would come to be strongly disliked after a couple of dozen kilometres into the march. I myself discovered afterwards that I had packed far more food than I needed and was carrying just over a kilo of excess weight, which is more than it sounds in these conditions.
The first kilometres of the hike were very easy, possibly because we had already mentally prepared ourselves for the final goal and even completed the challenge in our heads. The whole first day continued in the same vein. It was only after about 20 kilometres that we began to feel tired or experience some form of exhaustion. We stopped after 30 kilometres by a fireplace, where we decided to camp and spend the first night.
As expected, Day 2 was by far the hardest day of the whole hike. Not only because our bodies were not completely used to walking so far on successive days, but also because 17km of the 25km trail was classified as “challenging” – something that proved to be very accurate thanks to the tough terrain.
That evening, the comrades had to build an improvised camp in complete darkness. This was achieved by digging a pit in the ground where a fire could be made, then laying down fir branches as protection against the damp earth.
With our collective gaze fixed on the goal, we all fought on despite stiffness and pains, and continued step by step, kilometre by kilometre. The whole march was feasible in large part thanks to all the good conversations, laughter and ideas that flourished between the comrades.
During the last five kilometres of Sunday’s hike, a small training exercise was also performed. It consisted of one comrade leading another through the forest in the dark with the help of only one torch per pair. This demanded good communication and quick descriptions of all the obstacles found along the path.
No fire was lit for the evening, and everyone went to sleep almost immediately after going to bed.
The last day was probably the one that took the most energy, especially mentally. Everyone knew it would soon be over and that there were “only” 30 kilometres left. However, this felt like an eternity. Recurring thoughts came to mind like “Have we walked 3km now?” when in reality we had only walked one kilometre since the last break. We all had a great urge to reach the final destination. When we eventually did, the happiness and feelings of personal pride were hard to describe!
In total, 85 hours were spent in Bohuslän’s beautiful countryside, of which nearly 50 hours consisted of constant walking.
The thing I will personally take with me from this experience is the incredibly strong mentality and the unwavering character possessed by members of the Nordic Resistance Movement. At no point did anyone suggest they should give up or suspend their participation. To the comrades who accomplished this with me, you are true fighters!