Experiences in kayak
in Scandinavia

My philosophy for getting the most from natural experiences in the wilderness

Motorways get us places fast. Planes do it even faster. The faster the better is what usually counts if you want to get from A to B. However, if the aim of the trip is to discover a region of the world or a part of the countryside it is truer to say that the slower you go the more you experience.

 Travelling in a kayak means sitting in the water, and almost soundlessly pushing forward. It means being at one with nature, both in the calm of small lakes, and amid choppy waves out on the open sea. This mode of transport has been perfected through the ages by generations of hunters, and during the last 100 years new materials and solutions have adapted the kayak to modern man. When sitting in a kayak the five senses are wide open and there are no distractions. This gives a unique feeling of being in the here and now which often means the trip is experienced as more interesting than the destination.

Sweden is a fantastic country with a vivid and varied landscape, a different climate in each of the four seasons and an incomparable animal and plant life. If you set out from e.g. Stockholm with a car and a kayak you can get to the outer archipelago or find yourself beside a river in the wilderness in a few hours. If you only want to go for an evening tour there are watercourses almost everywhere. Since I live in Stockholm I often go paddling under the city bridges, I wave to the Turks who are fishing with casting nets, or I look for beavers. If you want more excitement you can go out at unusual times of the day or night. Just try experiencing half as much on a Day Cruiser. In the time it takes to get the thing ready in the spring you can paddle from Stockholm to Finland.

 OK, if you visit the Louvre it is stupid to begin by running to the other end of the museum to see the picture that is farthest away. If you were allowed to ride round and look at the pictures on a motor-bike the art experience would no doubt be reduced in proportion to the increase in speed. Great experiences are seldom about distance or speed. The most important thing is to open your senses and make yourself receptive to them.

Matte Westerberg

 Breeding osprey, 10 minutes away from the Paddle Club in Stockholm. To come across a sea-eagle you would have to paddle for about an hour