Once upon a time in the south-east of Sweden, in Värmland to be precise, father and son took off from the westside of the mighty Klarälven River with a steady three-layered raft. This ‘self-made’ raft was constructed under the supervision of a great Swede and an occasional expat (who wouldn’t like to be an expat in the vast Swedish wilderness?!) both working for a company named Vildmark i Värmland. After hauling with logs and ropes for several hours, we succeeded in fixing together two heavily roped squared platforms which were supposed to do the rafting job. A simple shelter of poles and tarpaulin on one of the squares would be our temporary shelter against the Swedish elements. Our floating experience was ready to start!
Setting off was a great feeling. The timber raft floated peacefully, and it would be our means of transport for the next watery 100 km. The coming days and nights, we were expected to build unforgettable experiences. We did! I will never disregard the thirsty bloodsuckers roaming the grassy shores of the Klarälven River simply known as mosquitoes. Thanks to the attractive Allmansrätten (Swedish Right of Public Access) you can camp everywhere you would like to in the Swedish outdoors. If your destination is farmland in this part of the world, be sure the zipper of your tent is perfectly closing. Ours was not! And, for this trip, I overlooked the ducktape… They came in their thousands! It was a zooming orchestra! Relieving yourself in the outdoors during night time turned into a blood donation event at expedition level. A few words of advice for the outdoor enthusiasts: ask the proprietor for permission of the land you want to use, use a shut tent, and don’t invite the neighbouring mosquitoes.
Apart from a few skinny bites, we really appreciated the calm flow of the raft and therefore of life! We could neither steer nor accelerate. Bumping into the shores slows you down and made the raft turning clockwise or the other way depending on which shore you touch! We just went with the tides! A very peaceful meandering through the farmland of the county Varmland!
If you would like an ample river adventure with a very decent raft, please contact Vildmark i Värmland. I’m sure they will make the river flow for you!