The season starts only in mid-May in Sweden, and finding a place to sleep in the deserted villages of rural Sweden is merely impossible. Last night, this led to my first experience with the Swedish Allemansrätten: anyone has the right to enjoy outdoor activities respectful of the environment, including camping on any land (but for a few exceptions). Finding a beautiful isolated beach, I had my first outdoor camping adventure in Sweden that it turned out to be a fantastic experience with a magnificent sunset and a bonfire on the beach!
Still, I am a bit sceptical today, when I hear that we are driving towards the Höga Kusten (High Coast) to hike a part of this famous trail and find a stuga (cabin) to sleep tonight… A stuga is a shelter in the wild in which one can spend the night, and its degree of comfort is usually rather basic, but often includes a very welcomed fireplace.
We start hiking after parking by the trail head, not too sure of what we will come across as stugas are based on a first come, first serve basis. We hike the 800 metres up the strenuous trail with our 15-kilogram backpacks containing the gear for the night, and a delicious piece of salmon bought at a local fisherman’s on the road. Eventually, we see a Swedish flag floating on the horizon: the stuga is in sight! No smoke out of the chimney: this is a good sign. Barely looking at the fantastic view from the summit, we run in to check if it is free or not: the stuga is ours for the night!
Getting in, we discover a very cute chalet with a stove, a nice wooden bench with a table and chairs, candles, firewood and even small details like a pair of binoculars, bottle openers, axes, board games, and more. The three windows overlook the Baltic Sea offering fantastic views on its winding coast and islands covered in pine trees. This spot is magical!
After chopping some more wood, we build a nice fire and enjoy our warm evening, writing by the stove, taking in a beautiful sunset and eating our delicious smoked pepper salmon.
After this first experience in a stuga, I am looking forward to exploring more of them along the High Coast trail. These chalets built for hikers to use them for free showcase an attention to details that goes way beyond mountain safety. Hikers respect them, letting them clean, taking their trash with them, and often leaving a sweet or funny note for the next visitors.
Thanks Sweden for my first stuga experience!
Marcella & Claire
- The comfort of stugas can vary greatly, and this one is one of the cutest and most picturesque we have encountered on the High Coast trail.
- For a comprehensive list of stugas in the High Coast trail area, including GPS coordinates and commodities, refer to Stuga hopping in the Höga Kusten area.
- Check out this interactive map (short tutorial) for the specific details to help you plan your trip and more articles and photos (zoom out) about the area!