Tipi Camping In The Forests Of Dalsland

Dalsland Camping

Tipi Camping in Sweden

Steneby Prästgård, Sweden

Thor happily munches away as I stroke his large velvety antlers. I’ve always wanted to pet a moose. Sweden has over 300,000 of them living in the wild.

Thor is no longer a wild moose though. He’s one of seven now living at Dalslands Aktiviteter outdoor park in West Sweden.

Pontus, the owner, adopted Thor 10 years ago after his mother was killed. These days the moose park has grown, allowing visitors to learn more about these big goofy animals up close.

I was driving through the Dalsland wilderness with Katie (the reader who won my blog contest) as part of our West Sweden road trip with Volvo.

We’d stopped for a fun day of outdoor adventures, Swedish style.

Dalsland Moose Park

Meet Thor the Moose

Dalsland Zipline

Katie Rocking the Zipline

Zipline Adventure

Dalsland is known for its dense old-growth forests and countless crystal clear lakes. The area is an outdoor lover’s paradise — a perfect landscape for enjoying activities like hiking, fishing, camping, mountain biking, canoeing, and more.

After hanging out with Thor and his moose friends, we strapped on harnesses and went for a short hike into the woods. Our destination? A 600 meter long zipline over the trees.

I’ve experience many ziplines during my travels. They are becoming a popular tourist attraction all over the world. Yet because Katie had never tried one, I was more excited to watch her give it a go!

Zipline’s are pretty scary the first time. Placing your trust in equipment is sometimes easier said than done. Flying through the air hundreds of feet from the ground will make anyone nervous.

But once you take that leap, the adrenaline rush kicks in, and you’re hooked.

Dalsland Camping Food

Dinner is Served!

Camping In Sweden

We drove down the road to a lake where we’d be spending the night camping. But it wasn’t your typical camping experience… we’d be sleeping in a tipi tent!

Why a tipi? Well the Native Americans weren’t the only people to use them. An indigenous group in Scandinavia called the Sámi have their own version called a Lavvu.

Our tipi camping adventure was part rustic, part luxurious.

The beds were made of pine branches covered with soft reindeer hides, and to keep bugs away we lit a fire inside the tent. Smoke billows up through a hole in the top.

A wood-fired hot tub on the edge of the water was perfect for unwinding at the end of the day. For dinner, grilled pork with potatoes & salad.

Dalsland Camping

Tipi Camping in Sweden

Crafted By The Journey

To me, travel is more about the journey than the destination. It’s the little unexpected moments that happen along the way that make a trip particularly special. For example, a scenic road trip with a new friend.

Or attempting to sleep outside in a land with 20 hours of daylight. Jumping into cold lake water followed by a scalding hot tub. Petting a giant moose. Hanging a hammock under the trees and napping to the sound of birds singing.

These are the things I’ll remember most about Sweden with a smile. ★

More Information

Location: Steneby Prästgård, Sweden [Map]
Company: Dalslands Aktiviteter
Useful Notes: They offer all sorts of different outdoor activities as well as tipi camping. Others include horseback riding, a ropes course, archery, and riflery. There’s even a restaurant that serves, you guessed it, moose burgers! Don’t worry, meat doesn’t come from the moose park.

READ NEXT: River Surfing In Montreal

What About You?
Do you like to go camping? Ever been in a tipi before? I would LOVE to hear…

Disclaimer: #WestSweden #InAVolvo is made possible in partnership with Volvo and the West Sweden Tourist Board. However all content & opinions are entirely my own.

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Thor happily munches away as I stroke his large velvety antlers. I've always wanted to pet a moose. Sweden has over 300,000 of them living in the wild. Click through to read more about Tipi camping in the forest of Dalsland, Sweden.

This is a post from The Expert Vagabond adventure blog.

Whitewater Kayaking Down The Pemi River

Whitewater Kayaking the Pemi

Whitewater Kayaking the Pemi

New Hampshire, United States

Charging forward through a wall of spray, I make a quick S-turn ducking my head away from a boulder as the drop approaches. Powerful whitewater churns 10 feet below.

Just seconds from powering through my very first Class 5 whitewater rapid, and I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t nervous. It’s a steep waterfall chute known to local kayakers as Thank You Ma’am.

The rapids are part of the upper Pemigewasset River in New Hampshire.

“You’re kayaking down THAT?!”

A 10 year old boy stares at me, eyes wide, as I peel off a popular hiking trail lugging my boat down into the forest. He’s not the only one watching. A small crowd has gathered along the covered wood footbridge above the falls.

They weren’t planning on witnessing some nutjob go over it in a kayak.

Kayaking the Pemi

The Pemigewasset River

Cayman Jack

Cayman Jack Margaritas

Whitewater Kayaking

Paddling through swift-moving whitewater in a little kayak is one of my favorite adventure sports. Rafting is fun too, but with whitewater kayaking, you’re calling all the shots yourself. It’s you against the turbulent water.

Running rivers in a kayak is like riding a wild rollercoaster.

You get tossed side-to-side by waves and pushed around by strong currents, all while attempting to maneuver past boulders and avoiding dangerous river obstacles like sieves and strainers.

Testing your skills & endurance against the awesome power of nature.

Kayaking Rivers in New Hampshire

Over the Falls!

Kayaking Rivers in New Hampshire

Liquid Rollercoaster

The Pemigewasset River

Located in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the Native American named Pemigewasset River runs 70 miles south from Franconia Notch where it meets up with another river, the Winnipesaukee.

It’s long been a favorite area for fishing, canoeing, and kayaking. While a majority of the rapids are rated Class II, there are a few decent Class III, IV, and even V sections.

I actually grew up nearby in the Campton/Plymouth area, and worked a summer job that included dropping off and picking up kayakers along The Pemi (the river’s nickname).

Anytime I’m back in the area visiting family, I’ll check water levels on American Whitewater, looking forward to rain like a skier prays for snow.

Kayaking in New Hampshire

Whitewater Kayaking the Pemi

Kayaking New Hampshire

Cheers To Adventure!

Crafted By The Journey

I was in New Hampshire for my sister’s wedding (congratulations Lindsay!) and decided to run the river a few times. Mostly on my own, as friends & family have normal jobs that don’t allow them to go kayaking during the middle of the week!

However I did drag my sister along on the weekend to kayak a new section of the Pemi I hadn’t explored before, and we packed a few Cayman Jack Margaritas for the trip.

It rained a couple days earlier, so the river was flowing strong at over 700 CFS (cubic feet per second).

We had a wonderful day playing in the fast water under blue skies.

To celebrate our successful river run, we finished the afternoon with a few cans of that refreshing Cayman Jack margarita made with organic limes and proposed a toast… cheers to adventure! ★

Watch Video: Whitewater Kayaking New Hampshire

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel for new Adventure Travel Videos!

(Click to watch Whitewater Kayaking – New Hampshire on YouTube)

READ NEXT: River Surfing In Montreal

Have you ever been whitewater kayaking or rafting before?


Cayman Jack

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Charging forward through a wall of spray, I make a quick S-turn ducking away from a boulder as the drop approaches. Powerful whitewater churns 10 feet below. Click through to read more...

This is a post from The Expert Vagabond adventure blog.

River Surfing In Montreal: Not Your Typical Surf Trip

Montreal Surfing

Surfing in Montreal

Montreal, Canada

When you think of Canada, does surfing come to mind? In the city of Montreal it’s possible to surf perpetual waves on the mighty Saint Lawrence River.

Known for its strong currents and whitewater rapids, Montreal’s Saint Lawrence River is a favorite spot for kayaking and rafting trips. But local surfers also take advantage of the unique conditions here.

Every day you’ll find a handful of surfers riding river waves.

Wanting to try it for myself, I filled a cooler with refreshing Cayman Jack Margaritas and drove up to Montreal for a few days of river surfing on the outskirts of the city.

I knew that after spending a few days in the sun, cooling off with the taste of Cayman Jack – blue agave nectar, organic limes and real cane sugar – would be exactly what I’d need.

Montreal Surfing

Not Your Typical Surf Spot

Cayman Jack

Stocked with Refreshments

River Surfing

Only a handful of rivers around the world boast standing waves large enough to ride using a surfboard. River waves are created by high volumes of water flowing over rocks, producing a large wave in the process.

Surfers are able to float into this wave and ride the water flow for as long as they want without actually moving anywhere — unlike with ocean waves.

Even experienced ocean surfers have trouble adapting to river waves.

Instead of a nice gradual slope, a river wave resembles more of a half-pipe shape. This unfortunately makes it easier to catch your surfboard nose in the water — resulting in a wipeout.

Montreal Surfing

Surfing a River!

Montreal Surfing

Hiking to the Lineup

Habitat 67 Surf Spot

There are a few different waves you can surf on the Saint Lawrence River. The one most people learn on is called “Bunny Wave” near the Lachine Rapids area. Once you master that, you can move up to Habitat 67.

Habitat 67 is a much larger & faster wave located behind a famous building with the same name. Surfers park by the tennis courts and walk down a dirt path in back.

Everyone was polite (it’s Canada!) and rode the wave for only a few minutes before waving the next person over. While waiting for my turn, I passed the time sharing surf stories and tasty Cayman Jack Margaritas with others in the lineup.

They appreciated a refreshing margarita before tackling another wave. Inspired by my partnership with Cayman Jack, I thought about how important it is to craft your own journey when you travel.

This means embracing everything that comes along with a new adventure. The planning, the anticipation, the challenges, the people you meet — the little pieces that produce a complete journey.

Montreal Surfing

Crafted by the Journey

Montreal Surfing

The Wave that Never Ends

How To Surf A River

River surfing can be challenging. The general process is to start upriver, paddle out, and carefully maneuver into position before turning backwards at the last second letting the current drag you into the sweet spot with the most whitewater.

Once you drop into this liquid half-pipe, paddle hard as you get sucked backwards. If you don’t put in enough effort, the river’s powerful surge will drag you over the top and down through the rapids.

Ride the surfboard on your stomach for a while first to get a feel for the wave.

Once you’re comfortable, pop up and maintain your balance. Because it’s a perpetual wave, you can theoretically ride it for as long as you want!

Montreal Surfing

Habitat 67 Building

Montreal Surfing

Making New Friends

More Difficult Than It Looks

Once you get pulled over the wave into the rapids (and you will), it’s important to keep ahold of your board and relax. Attempting to paddle against the current is a losing battle that will just make you exhausted.

As the rapids dissipate you swim over to the shore, hiking back to the starting point to try it all over again.

It took me at least 6 attempts to get the hang of it, and I have some surfing experience. Learning to surf a river isn’t easy — be patient!

Now you’d think that Montreal river water would be ice cold — but it actually wasn’t that bad. The water temperature can vary between the 60’s and 70’s (fahrenheit). A wetsuit is recommended if you’ll be there for a while.

Next time you’re in Montreal, rent a board or take a lesson and check it out! River surfing is a pretty unique adventure. ★

Watch Video: River Surfing Montreal


Subscribe to my YouTube Channel for new Adventure Travel Videos!

(Click to watch River Surfing – Montreal, Canada on YouTube)

More Information

Location: Montreal, Canada
Company: KSF Surfing
Total Cost: $20 USD (3 hour rental)
Useful Notes: If you want to learn how to surf a river wave, KSF offers classes. It’s not the same as ocean surfing. If you already know how to surf, you can also rent a board from them and try on your own.

READ NEXT: How To Find Cheap Flights

Have you ever heard of river surfing before? Would you try it?


Cayman Jack

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When you think of Canada, does surfing come to mind? In the city of Montreal it's possible to surf perpetual waves on the mighty Saint Lawrence River.

This is a post from The Expert Vagabond adventure blog.

Learning How To Sail Around Key West

Key West

Sailing Captain Matt

Key West, Florida

Slicing through emerald water under the sun, we speed into the backcountry with full sails & wide smiles. Dolphins play off the port bow. It’s a beautiful day in the Florida Keys.

There’s something magical about cruising the ocean powered only by the wind. I think it’s the silence that makes this ancient form of transportation so special. No engine sounds, no exhaust.

Creaking wood and flapping canvas is all you can hear.

Just you and the wind, free to travel in any direction you please.

Key West

Exploring Islands

Key West

Learning to Sail

Sailing Key West

I’d just driven down from Miami with Stephanie Be and her friend Lauren. A road trip to Key West with new friends. Our mission in the Conch Republic?

Stuff ourselves with key lime pie, drink margaritas, and learn to sail!

Captain Seth & Captain Kala from Sunset Sail Key West offered to show us the ropes on board their 33’ foot long, green-hulled Glander Sloop named “High Tide”. A sturdy, small ship with the ability to navigate shallow waters.

To fuel our ocean adventure, the sailboat was stocked with fresh fruit, hummus, and a few bottles of ice-cold Cayman Jack Margaritas.

Key West

Enjoying the Ocean

Wind Powered Transportation

During our 13 mile voyage, Seth & Kala explained the mechanics of sailing — moving at an angle with the wind, always slightly left or right of your intended destination.

The art of tacking requires sailing in a zig-zag direction to reach your goal, flipping the sail from one side to the other — without knocking someone overboard as the boom swings across the boat.

You must use all 5 senses to find the most efficient course.

Listening for a fluttering sail that’s not completely full. Watching ripples on the water to prepare for gusts. The sensation of wind blowing the back of your ear…

Key West

Sailing Around Key West

Key West

Cheers to Adventure!

Snorkeling With Lobsters

A steady 10-15 knot breeze sent us gliding over nutrient rich, emerald green water. Maneuvering through a particularly shallow section of reef, carefully threading our craft between two buoys marking a narrow channel.

Get it wrong, and we’d run-aground. With a motor this isn’t a problem, but trying to zig-zag your way to the correct spot on a wind-powered sailboat is more challenging.

Once through, we dropped anchor and leaped head-first into the bathtub-warm water for a bit of snorkeling! Swimming around a large patch of live sponges — the perfect hiding place for Spiny Lobsters in the Florida Keys.

Key West

Snorkeling with Lobsters

Key West

Famous Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie

After snorkeling, we sailed back to port enjoying our cool hand-crafted Cayman Jack margaritas in the hot sun. Celebrating a successful ocean adventure with new friends!

But then hunger began to set in…

Luckily this is Key West! Famous for their tasty Key Lime Pie.

We stopped into the Key Lime Pie Co. and ordered a round. Of pies. Which happened to pair perfectly with our refreshing Cayman Jack margaritas, also made with organic key limes.

There is no such thing as too much key lime in Key West. ★

Watch Video: Key West Road Trip

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel for new Adventure Travel Videos!

(Click to watch Road Trip – Key West, Florida on YouTube)

More Information

Location: Key West, Florida
Company: Sunset Sail Key West
Accommodation: Key West Marriott Beachside
Useful Notes: Captain Seth offers daytime sailboat charters along with sunset trips and overnight excursions. Split it with other travelers for the best value. Snacks and water are provided, however you’ll have to pack the margaritas yourself!

READ NEXT: Surfing Siargao In The Philippines

Have you ever been sailing before? Would you like to learn how? Drop me a message in the comments below!


Cayman Jack

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Slicing through emerald water under the sun, we speed into the backcountry with full sails & wide smiles. Dolphins play off the port bow.

This is a post from The Expert Vagabond adventure blog.