Swedish Outdoor Equipment and Clothing
With all the outdoor activities that I did and continue to do in Sweden, one of the key things to consider is that you are properly equipped to do them all, especially when you’re talking about clothing and winter activities. There’s the famous saying from Swedes that there is not bad weather, just bad clothing, and I think it’s one of the truest thing I’ve heard. I absolutely LOVE bad weather (if you have any doubt check this video out of me in a snow storm on the South Downs!) The key to enjoying some of these experiences is to get your hands on some Swedish outdoor equipment.
When I was up on the downs in this video I was clothed pretty much from head to toe in Swedish kit which I’d acquired over the years that I lived there and it’s served me well over the years. When I look through my cupboards and drawers now, I find innumerable items of quality cold weather clothing, which is the obvious thing that you’d expect to find, but also lots of high grade equipment covering other seasons and activities. All in all I’ve found Swedish equipment to be of the highest grade over the years and I can’t recommended it enough, whether it be Haglöfs, Hilleberg, or any of the many others.
The thing about the majority of this equipment is that it last you a lifetime! I’ve had my Hilleberg tent for over 15 years now and it’s still going strong. I’ve taken it to countries across the globe, camped in my back garden with my children, trekked across the arctic wildnerness of northern Sweden and it’s still pretty much exactly how it was the day I bought it, and I’m still amazed by the simplicity of the design and ease of erection. As you can see from the ads they’re not the cheapest tent by far, but after so many years of fantasic use I can only say they’re worth the investment.
There’s no doubt that some of the Swedish kit is on the expensive side like the Hilleberg tents, especially after you take into account exchange rate differences, but the other thing to remember is that since the outdoors is so ensconced in the Swedish lifestyle, there’s tons of opportunities to buy really top notch stuff at great prices from high street outlet stores. The main example of this, which I sometimes consider to be the best kept secret of Swedish shopping is the Stadium chain, which has a shop in just about every high street or shopping centre. They basically replicate all the kit of the main brands with their own brand clothing, but it’s just as good as about 1/4 of the price. You can’t buy so much of this stuff online, but you should definitely go there if you’re in the country. I’ve clothed my children for winter there many times, and I’ve had great ski jackets, skates, skis, kayak equipment, sleeping bags and tons of other stuff over the years at astonishing prices.
There’s a few links here of my favourite stuff, but the bottom line here is that you should really consider investing your money in some of this kit, whether you like my particular preferences or not, because it’ll be some of the best investments you’ll make. If you’re in the UK a great place to get some specialist Swedish outdoor kit is through the mail order side of Ray Mears’ website. They stock some very specialist hardcore stuff which you’ll only normally be able to get direct from Swedish stores.
Haglöfs equipment from Cotswold Outdoors (huge supply of Haglöfs outdoor equipment which remains my favourite Swedish brand – UK and EUR based site and delivery)
Haglöfs at Snow and Rock (another huge supply of top quality Swedish brand kit available in the UK and throughout Europe)
Naturkompaniet (Great site but all in Swedish and based in Sweden, will deliver internationally though, make sure you go to their shops if you’re in Stockholm)
Ray Mears (imports various high grade specialist items from Swedish suppliers, UK based)