Spring winter – the fifth season

May 3, 2021/ Posted by Marmot Mountain Europe GmbH

Up north in Sweden we have a word for the season in between winter and spring. This season is the most appreciated throughout the year; the weather is sunny and warm enough to be outside in lighter clothes but there is still snow on the ground and perfect conditions for skiing, ice fishing or snowmobiling. After months of extremely low temperatures and dark hours, it’s finally time to enjoy time outside with open fires, barbeques and skiing in only your baselayers or even your t-shirt. The word is “vårvinter” – spring winter – and we describe it as the fifth season.

On the very last day of March we decided it was time to go winter camping. We packed our Fortress UL 3P tent and Paiju sleeping bags , as well as good food for the evening. The weather was typical of April: sunny at first but quickly changed to heavy snowfall and total whiteout and then back to a warm sunshine again.

We packed our snowmobiles with everything we needed and then rode up the mountains, past mountain birches and tracks from reindeers and rabbits. There were no other tracks before us and we had the vast mountain landscape to choose our perfect camping spot from.

We picked a spot just below a little plateau to protect us from the wind. Then we set base camp and shovelled snow around the tent to furthermore protect from the wind. We made use of the guyline and attached it to the shovel which worked perfect instead of winter peg.

Another trick for winter camping – or camping in general – is to be sure you are warm before getting into your sleeping bag. If you feel cold, do 10 jump squats and then quickly get in to your bag. It’s much easier to stay warm than to get warm!

I have camped in -20 degrees Celsius and I have slept in only a sleeping bag under the stars on a mountain. I love the feeling of freedom and although I love a really comfy bed I also need the contrasts in life. Tent nights and hotel nights are a perfect combination and there are many kinds of adventures in life.

Experiencing mother nature – sleeping in a tent

Last summer we spent camped in a storm and didn’t leave the tent for 12 hours. I slept for most of this time and woke up just in time for the storm to calm down so we could go fishing. Sleeping in a tent is soothing and when I have busy weeks at work I always long to go camping and find time to read books and just winding down.

I slept well this time too. In the early morning I woke up by the sound of a grouse and a few hours later the morning sun lit up the tent. Mornings in the mountains are always amazing. The light! The noise of nothing! The freshness of the day! In the summertime the sun never sets at all – this is what we call the midnight sun which occurs north of the arctic circle.

To go camping in the wild is always an adventure. There are so many things you cannot control and that’s what I love about it. It’s unpredictable and beautiful and it makes me humble and very aware how small I am in nature. It’s beautiful!

Text & Photos:
Roxanne Vogel

Sara Rönne
May, 2021
The Send