By Tine Ewé Jensen
Overall evaluation of the hike: A beautiful hike, with some amazing wilderness. It is just 1 1/5 hour away from Copenhagen which makes it a perfect weekend hike. The hike is for all and it is also possible to drive to the shelters if someone can’t hike all the way.
Raslången-Halen is also called Swedens last wilderness. The hike is great for a short getaway in the wilderness. It is an easy hike, so you can bring the whole family for the adventure.
Before the hike
How to plan the hike? We were four girls on the hike. We met up a week before departure and planned the trip. Being four people meant that we could delegate the food and equipment for the trip. We knew that the hike could be a bit crowded so we decided to bring a tarpaulin just in case if the shelters were full (which they turned out to be – great choice!). We bought a map over the hike (bought in Nordisk korthandel in Copenhagen) and marked where there were shelters on the hike. The hike is 42 kilometers and based on the location of the shelters, we planned the hike like this:
Day #1: 15-17 kilometers
Day #2: 17-20 kilometers:
Day #3: 10 kilometers
Day #1 – Rainy hike and homemade shelters
We started the hike by Olufström Camping, where the first kilometer was on the road. We had decided to hike anticlockwise the lakes, which turned out to be a great decision (more on this later). Even though Yr.no had only promised 6mm, it rained a lot on the first day. So we were glad that we had packed our waterproofs, but this also meant that the coffee breaks and lunch were a wet experience. Luckily the hike was mostly in the forest, so the trees where shadowing and at the end of the day, we did see a bit of blue sky. The trails on the hike, are easy and for all hikers (even kids) and the first hike is only evaluating a bit, which mean that it is very easy to hike.
What made this hike especially amazing, was that the landscape was changing all the time. So we started in the mossy forest then hiked among the blossom birch trees, to hike just a few meters from the lake with a view over Halen.
The hike is marked with an orange color, which is easy to follow, but we had to look at the map a couple of times to make sure that we were on the right track. We camped at the shelter place just before Bökestad. Be aware that cars can drive straight to the shelter, which means that they are pretty busy. When we arrived at our shelter, there were already three groups and all shelters were full. Luckily we brought the tarpaulin and had a great outdoor gal with us, so we made our own shelter – actually on a better location than the established ones, only 3 meters from the lake, with a fireplace just in front and great morning view by the lake.
There were also toilets and free wood at the shelter, so we could make a nice bonfire to dry our clothes on. We had dinner, read stories and told really bad knock-knock jokes (which made me laugh in the middle of the night).
We had read that we might have to filter the water from the lake, but we decided that this wasn’t necessary. If you want to filter it, you can always use a coffee filter, but again – we didn’t do it and we didn’t get sick.
Day #2 – Sore feet, sunshine, and shelter
The night in our homemade shelter went really well, despite the rain during the night. The sun was raising while we cooked breakfast (Dina’s oatmeal – it’s the best way to start the day!). The sun was shining and the hike was a bit more hilly than the day before. We chose a route, where we hiked on the famous Skåneleden for a while. We left Skåneleden at Filkesboda and went east for the border between Skåne and Blekinge. Because we hiked during spring, there were some really wet areas, and we had to take a detour for two kilometers (see the route on the map below).
We crossed an area that was a bit overgrown, and ended up at a lot and had to ask the owners for direction. We hiked on the road for 2 kilometers and walked by some small lakes where many of the locals were fly-fishing.
After hiking in really bad hiking shoes last year, I’ve got myself a pair of Danner boots. Unfortunately, I hadn’t had time to walk them in, so I suffered from blisters and sore feet on the whole trip. The second day was the worst – feet vice – so I was a bit bumped out. But luckily I’ve got some great hiking friends, who put on music and helped keep my head up. I had to hike the last 10 minutes in flipflops though.
We found a beautiful spot for our camp, with no other hikes and enjoyed a cup of coffee in the sun, just by the late. The spot was just near Bommaretorpet (see map) and the place was quiet and had an amazing view of the late. There were three shelters and a lot of space for tents. Two guys came later and sat up tents, but we still had a lot of space just for us. For dinner one of the girls made a delicious asperges soup with tortellini and pita with different spices. We roasted marshmallow and read stories for each other.
DAY 3 – Flipflops as hiking boots
This morning was the most magical morning on the hike. We woke up, just as the sun came up. We had breakfast a few meters from the lake while we watched the sunset. The lake looked smooth as a mirror and it was truly magical to sit there with your coffee and just be for a moment.
Because of the hiking boot problem, I decided to hike in flip flops for the last hike (Shout out to H2O for saving my feet!). The last hike was only for 10 kilometers, so it went alright. The hike was pretty, with some elevations along the hike. The last 2-3 kilometers wasn’t that impressive, because the trail ended on the asphalt road which isn’t that funny to hike on. The hike ends up in Olufström where you walk through the small city to reach the camping.
What did we learn?
Even though I’ve been on many different hikes, I always learn something new when I’m on adventure. Some of you might think “This is not new info”, but I decided to share what I’ve learned after this hike.
Plastic boxes for the food & coffee – Actually, I really want to limit my use of plastic on the hike, but until I’ve found something smarter (and just as light) I will start to use small plastic boxes for the food. We packed in plastic bags, which was a mess when it started to rain. So that’s my first ‘note to self’.
Always bring a tarpaulin – Luckily for me, one of my hiking girls is pretty skilled when it comes to hiking trips and she had brought one. With her great outdoor skills, we could set up a homemade shelter.
Bring flipflops or other sandals – This is actually something I knew before getting on this hike (luckily) so I had something to change into when my feet were too sore. But after a long day of hiking, there’s nothing better than changing into sandals or flipflops.
And of cause… (this is really a note for me): Always use some time before the hike to walk with your new hiking boots.