Alone in a Remote Cabin in Northern Sweden (No Road Access)

Alone in a Remote Cabin in Northern Sweden (No Road Access)

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- What would it be really like to spend the night at an off-grid, hiking only cabin in northern Sweden? I got so freaked out. I brought the ax into the bedroom. So I've just made it to the Arctic Circle and found out that there's a cabin nearby I could call my own for a night. A few more minutes of that, and this thing could have caught on fire. Today, I set off - just me, my dog, and a very heavy sled into the frozen wilderness of one of the coldest places in Europe.

Oh, my God. I'm so tired. Is it going to be romantic and cozy? It's much longer away than I expected. Or maybe just brutal? No. (chuckles) I mean, huh.

This is ridiculous. Damn it, I can't do it. I think I can't do it. Definitely makes me worry a little bit about my ultra coming up in just two weeks. I don't know, am I strong enough? The first thing I need to do before setting off is pack.

It's not a long trip, but I wanna pack extra stuff to make my sled extra heavy. Counterintuitive, maybe, but I suppose it's good for training. (light music) So I'm treating all of this as preparation for my upcoming race, where I'll be pulling this very sled with all this stuff for over 100 miles in the course of four days.

So I think I need the practice. Although right now, I'm like, I have so much stuff. How am I gonna pull this? This feels really heavy.

The owner of the mountain cabin told me it lies two Swedish miles away, which is basically 10 actual miles or 17 kilometers. To get there, I have to follow snowmobile tracks through hills and forests and across frozen lakes and plateaus. I had to wonder if this was a good idea, so I asked Frans, the owner. - Oh, it's just that you're walking in the winter, it's harder. I run that on the summer. We have a race there, but I don't know, six hours? - Six hours. - Yeah, yeah, I would.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. But that's just wild guessing. - Wild guess, says the man who has been going to the cabin all his life. Apparently, I'm the first person to walk there in winter. Promising. Let's see.

Okay, okay. Vilk. Wait. Whee! (laughs) (Vilk barking) Oh, my God, Vilk is so excited. I swear, he's a husky.

He must be half husky. You know, I could have gone on a snowmobile. Would've been much faster, much easier. I don't know. What's wrong with me? (soft gentle music) (Vilk barking) Being here with Vilk honestly feels a bit like a dream.

When I first imagined what life with a dog might look like, this was it. I wanted to have this exact thing, for my best friend to join me on hikes and road trips and adventures. I wanted him to love all of this as much as I did. It took us a little while to get here, through all the ups and downs, struggles and triumphs you can imagine of living with a high drive independent dog.

But after a year and a half, I think we're getting there. This is what I've always wanted, or maybe not just this specific thing, but you get it. (soft gentle music) Oh, no.

You know, when you're pulling a sled, even the smallest hill becomes a huge chore. It doesn't help if the sled just flips over on its side. And it doesn't help if the snow is really deep and soft.

So you just keep sinking. Oh God, it's pulling me. It's pulling me downhill. No. I'm so close to the top. It's right there.

Today, we say no to gravity and we say yes to getting up this tiny little sea hill. Come on. Oh, nice. On it's side again.

Oh, my God. I keep sinking. The sled keeps sliding down. What is my life? Why am I here now? Nooo. (chuckles) Vilk is digging.

I mean, this is ridiculous. Damn it, I can't do it. I don't think I can do it, especially now that we've got all these huge holes around here. I don't think this guy has gotta pull through, but let's just give it one more try.

Come on. (grunts) Damn it. So freaking close, come on.

I'm gonna crawl if I have to. (Eva grunting) Come on, get through, come on. Don't flip.

Don't flip, don't flip. Don't flip, don't flip, don't flip. Yes. Still crawling. Out of the trenches.

(soft gentle music) Boy. (soft gentle music) Before I set off, I asked Frans about the weather here. It's been a very cold couple of days.

- When it's cold, it's under maybe minus 30, 28, 30. And it's really cold. It's minus 45 or something.

- I know this place looks cold, but this exact spot here is where they recorded the coldest ever temperature in Europe. Some 60 years ago, it was minus 52 degrees Celsius, or minus 62 Fahrenheit. Okay, quick stop. It's much longer away than I expected. It's definitely more than 10 miles.

Hey, buddy. Yes, here. And it's just started snowing.

So the sun is gone, unfortunately. And I think I still have like another two and a half hours to go, which I've been going for three and a half hours. So a little bit tired.

The sled is heavy. Heavy. Whoa. This is the infamous Vilky ambush. (Eva screaming, laughing) Yes, you scared me so much.

I did not see it coming. Well done. Well done, yes. Vilk is in very high spirits. He's very, very excited to be here out in the cold.

Go figure. Some of you might relate to this, and some of you might think it morbid, but I find a lot of comfort in this vast landscape around me. I love this feeling of being tiny, insignificant almost, in the grand scheme of things. I know that this wild place is completely indifferent to whatever thoughts or struggles I might be having. It was here long before I came, and it will be long after I'm gone. I find that it makes for easier living to know that the world will always go on without you.

And so whatever time you do get to spend here is momentary and fleeting. And if that isn't the perfect excuse to live life to the fullest, then I don't know what is. (gentle music) You know, it's just been a constant uphill for the last four hours. Like a gentle but constant uphill, which normally would be fine, but with a sled, it's just so tiring, so exhausting.

(exhales) Definitely makes me worry a little bit about my ultra coming up in just two weeks. I don't know, am I strong enough if I'm finding this difficult? In case you missed it, in a couple of weeks, I'm taking part in an ultramarathon here in Sweden. It's 115 miles or 185 kilometers over the course of four days. If I'm lucky, the surface will be icy and easy to walk and run on.

If I'm unlucky, it'll be like this, soft snow, where every step feels like walking on sand. But imagine you're also pulling a sled with all of your food gear and shelter. A marathon of this every day for four days sounds rough.

Okay, I can see it. Ah, you see? It's right that tiny little hut. Oh, my god, hey buddy. We made it, we made it.

Yes. Oh, this was definitely, oh wait, no, there's two huts. Which one's my hut? There's a hut there, and there's a hut in the trees over there. I kind of hope it's the one that's closer. Okay, buddy, let's go. (chuckling) Vilk, wait.

Wait, wait, wait. Easy, easy, easy, easy, easy. Going uphill on the sled is pretty tough, but going downhill is also tough 'cause the sled just kind of runs into me, and I'm not sure how to stop it. I'm sure there's a way, but I don't know that way just yet.

I'm gonna Google it when I get back. There's no cell signal here. None. Hang on, hang on. It's so quiet.

My God, it's so quiet. (soft gentle music) Huh, okay, so this is it, a tiny little snow-covered hut. Let's go inside. Let's check it out. You ready, buddy? I am so ready.

Cup of hot tea. Ugh. Hmm, hello. Oh. Ooh.

Okay. Nice. I'm gonna get a fire started stat, but first, I need to drag my sled inside. It should be fun. Also, I just realized, I left my poles somewhere, my hiking poles. I have no idea where they are.

I guess I'll probably find 'em on the way back tomorrow, but it will be a shame to lose them. All right, how do we do this? (grunts) This bag must weigh like, I don't know, 25kg, 30kg? That's like 60 pounds. Ugh.

(Eva grunting) Yes, yes. (soft gentle music) Okay, first, I think you could use some water. This water's a little bit warm, so I'm gonna grab some snow, add to the bowl. And we should be good.

Oh, I'm sorry, it's not food. Oh my God, you're so disappointed. Here, water, water. Gotta wait a little bit longer for that.

(soft gentle music) No. (gentle music continues) Oh, my god, so delicious and dry. (soft gentle music) It's gonna take a little while before the cabin gets warm. So I'm just gonna light up these candles and grab some water. Well, grab snow and then melt it into water.

It's cold. I just wanna show you this. This is my thermometer, and this is what it says. It says, right now, inside, it is minus six degrees Celsius. That's about 20 Fahrenheit.

It's cold. It's a bucket full of snow. Oh, there we go. The problem with melting snow for water is that you have to use up a whole lot of snow to get just a tiny bit of water.

So this is gonna take forever. So before it gets completely pitch black, which will be very soon, I also wanna show you the bedroom. So this is where I'll be sleeping with Vilk. This is the little cute bunk bed bedroom with nice cutlery and all this stuff. And it has another stove.

Ah, and that's amazing news, because that means it's gonna be warm in here at night. So I'm gonna get to work lighting this fire as well. (soft gentle music) I know exactly what you're gonna say now. No wonder your sled was so heavy and you struggled so much if you brought an entire jar of bee pollen and an entire jar of honey. But you know, that was on purpose.

I wanted to make the sled as heavy as I possibly could, because I wanted to see what that struggle would look like. And the struggle was real. But now, at least I get to enjoy a lovely beverage of honey and bee pollen.

(soft gentle music) So that is the classic tomato sauce and pasta, in that order. And for starters, I've got a potato salad. Mm-hmm.

Okay, both fires are going, and it's actually warm enough for me to just sit here in this jacket. Took off my big puffy jacket, and I am so ready for this. Mm, I am super tired, and I feel like I'm the last person on earth. (chuckles) Seriously. Don't really feel like I'm the last person on earth.

Maybe I am. Maybe the world went berserk in the six hours that I was out here and gone. And now, I'm the last person on earth. Could be.

(soft gentle music) Ooh, this could have ended really badly. So you can probably still see there's a whole bunch of smoke here, and it's got this like really nasty aftertaste. Like it's not like the kind of smoke that you get from a fire.

So I've been sitting in it for the last five minutes or so, and I was like, "Hang on, this is weird. Where is this coming from?" Surely, the fireplaces are solid. And then I saw this bed, this kind of like foldout bed, was right here next to the fireplace. It was right here. That's where it was standing.

And then I kind of went up to the fireplace and I looked at it, I looked around and I saw this. Holy, I can't believe it. And it started smoking up and burning up. A few more minutes of that, and this thing could have caught on fire and burnt this whole place down.

I mean, is there even a fire extinguisher? I'm sure there is somewhere, but imagine, geez. Why is this here? I need to get this as far away from any source of heat as possible. This is really scary.

Oh, yep, and it's hot. That whole metal frame is hot, hot, hot. Well, the lesson from that is, if you feel that something's off, go and check it. You know, as much as I love this trip being a solo trip, and as much as I love camping in my truck on my own, it's like my sacred space, at the same time, I feel like this trip to this mountain hut would've been so much better with people.

It's nice and relaxing, and I get to decompress a little bit. I get to like shut my brain for a night, which is really nice, 'cause there's no internet, nothing to worry about. I can't check up on my videos. I can't post anything on Instagram. So it's great in that sense. But it would be nice to share this with someone or with people.

Well, maybe next time. It wasn't the best sleep, I have to admit. I woke up a whole bunch of times because Vilk was just barking unexpectedly at something outside, and his guardian instincts were kicking in.

So at first, I kind of freaked out. I was like, "Oh my God, like is there someone outside? Is there something outside?" And then I realized he was just barking at the wind then at the fireplace. And it's the first time that's actually happened. So anyways, at one point, I eventually had to take him outside in the middle of the night, had to get dressed, take him outside to show him that there was nothing there.

And then he chilled out. Oh yeah, funnily enough, when he was barking in the middle of the night, I got so freaked out, I brought the ax into the bedroom. It's like, you know, 'cause this scenario is like the easiest horror film scenario.

Girl goes hiking to a remote cabin with her dog. There is no power or electricity or phone signal there. She goes there to relax, and in the middle of the night, gets attacked by a roaming local weirdo who chases her around the cabin. And eventually, I don't know, she escapes, the dog escapes.

The dog has to survive. (soft gentle music) I'm gonna grab this box and replenish some of the firewood that I used last night. So I'll show you the wood shed, and I'll also show you the outhouse. Oh, it's so nice out. It's all white.

White and black, and all the shades in between of gray. (soft gentle music) I guess the only difference between this outhouse and most other outhouses is that this one has weathered quite a few snow storms. (soft gentle music) (gentle music continues) Whee, Vilk. (gentle music) Look what Vilk has found. Ha-ha, my poles.

I was just starting to get worried that I left them somewhere under the snow or something. Vilk. Oh, shit. Did you lose your sock? Oh, no, now we have to go back and get your sock.

Found the poles, lost the sock. I just hope he didn't lose it like a long way away. Yesterday, I had to backtrack like five entire minutes to find a missing sock.

Yeah, let's go. Yeah, come on, bring it. Well done.

Okay, can you sit? Yes, we found it. Okay, sit. I think I can safely say that I'm falling in love with Northern Sweden.

There is something so perfectly serene and wild about it, and I already know I'll come back one day. Oh, my God, I'm so tired. Almost there.

This is an ambush. (Eva screams) As you can see, Vilk is full of energy. After two very long days of hiking, and I am about 20 minutes away from my final destination.

So look at the cabins of Vuoggatjålme. The hotel is just somewhere there. I'm so tired.

I can't even point. My hairstyle's pretty on point. Whew. Okay. We made it.

It took me about six hours to walk back what was in fact 11 miles or 19K in the soft snow. It was cold and tough and my hair froze up. But that dopamine hit from just being outside and moving your body, wow, it is such a powerful feeling. (soft gentle music)

2024-03-04 10:04

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