Outdoor living Archives - Moz Sweden

Category: Outdoor living

Vitsippor – the white flowers of spring

Vitsippor – the white flowers of spring

A clear sign of warm spring is when forests are filled with white anemones. These lovely little flowers are called ”vitsippor” in Swedish, and picking them has been a loved outdoor activity for centuries.

When do anemones blossom?

The warm period of spring usually happens in April or May, depending on where you live in Sweden. A clear sign of the warm weather coming back is when ”vitsippor” are starting to appear everywhere in the forest. They usually blossom from the end of April and all through the month of May, making the ground beautifully white.

There are actually two types of anemones: white ones and blue ones. The white anemones are free to pick, and there are plenty during spring! The blue anemones, called ”blåsippor”, have a bluish-purple tone and must be left alone. They are protected by Swedish law, since there aren’t many of them left in nature. It’s such a well known fact that blue anemones are protected, that we even have songs about them wanting to be left alone.

Vårkänslor, Feeling of spring, Swedish sayings. Vårkänslor, Feeling of spring, Swedish sayings.

Why do Swedes pick vitsippor?

Picking white anemones has been a tradition for many, many years. Since they’ve become such an associated sign of spring, a small bouquet of anemones can be found on almost every dinner table. It’s a way to welcome spring into the house, and many kids pick the flowers to bring home to their parents.

Another part of the anemone-history is how kids back in the days would pick smack bouquets and sell them by the road. When people traveled with their horse and carriage, they could stop and buy a bouquet for a penny – or ”öre” as the small piece of coin is called in Swedish. It was an easy way for children to make some money and help out at home – and this tradition is even portrayed in Swedish movies, such as ”Glasblåsarens barn” or Astrid Lindgren’s classic story of Emil i Lönneberga!

Chanterelles – the gold of the forest

Chanterelles – the gold of the forest

Chanterelles are called ”kantareller” in Swedish, and are beloved amongst many Swedes. The peak-season is early autumn, when you can find almost every other Swede out in the forest looking for the gold.

Chanterelles are popular and easy to recognize

Chanterelles are one of the most popular mushrooms in Sweden. They are easy to spot in the forest since they are bright golden-yellow, and often pop up in groups on the same spots year after year. Their specific looks – the way they’re shaped and colored – are quite unique, which makes them hard to mix up with other mushrooms. In other words: it’s easy to head out and pick chanterelles!

Another thankful thing about the mushroom is their love of sunlight. They thrive in mixed and bright forests, and they often grow by the side of the forest path. So you don’t have to walk far into a dark, thick forest to find them – sometimes you can pick a whole basket full of them without having to deviate from the path.

Woman picking chanterelles.

What to bring on a chanterelle-hike?

If you’re going on a chanterelle-hike, you don’t need much to have a lovely time. Make sure the weather is nice, so you don’t have to walk in the rain, and that you’re heading out during the right season. Chanterelles grow between July to October, and the chances of finding them are bigger during late summer and the beginning of autumn.

So – what to pack? Well, you can pack whatever you want to a lovely mushroom-walk in the forest, but we recommend the following:

  • water to drink
  • kanelbulle or some other sweet snack
  • coffee, or a hot beverage of you liking
  • a separate basket for the mushrooms
  • a camera or your phone to take some nice pictures
  • a blanket or similar to sit on when taking a break
  • a friend for company
Man and woman with mushroom basket
Känn lugnet bland träden, feel the calmness among the trees Känn lugnet bland träden, feel the calmness among the trees

Best way to find chanterelles

Finding chanterelles doesn’t have to be a hard challenge – here’s what to look for to find plenty of them:

  • bright places in the forest
  • mixed forest (not a thick pine tree forest)
  • look closely to the path you’re walking on
  • if you’ve found chanterelles on one spot before, it’s likely to find them there again
  • golden yellow clusters of mushrooms!

And of course there are several delicious ways to cook chanterelles. The most classic – and easy – dish is butter-fried chanterelles on toast. Another is to make a warm side sauce on chanterelles, especially delicious together with meatballs and potatoes.

Last but not least: good luck on you chanterelle hunt!

Woman wonders in forrest, mushroom hunting.

Winter-picnic by the fire

Winter-picnic by the fire

Winter season, snow and cold air won’t stop Swedes from spending a lovely day outside – especially not if the sun is out. It’s the perfect season to enjoy a warm beverage by a crackling fire with friends.

A classic winter activity

The winter season is long in Sweden – especially if you live in the northern part of the country. Therefore it’s important to catch every bit of daylight when the sun is out, to get through these long, cold and dark months.

Having a picnic outside by a fire is a classic activity for many Swedes. It’s an easy way to enjoy winter, to keep warm and spend time outdoors. Plus it doesn’t take much: many camping sights and open places in public forests have fire-stations for people to use. They are built to be safe and attract people to be outside. So if you’re visiting Sweden in winter, you will find many Swedes out and about in the forest, even though there’s snow and freezing temperatures – it’s an easy way to stay mentally healthy, getting fresh air and spending time with others!

People enjoying picnic by fire

What to bring for a winter-picnic

If you’re curious about heading out for a winter picnic by a fire (you don’t have to make a fire – but it’s extra cozy), there are a few easy things to keep in mind:

  1. Always carry an extra sweater, just in case.
  2. Pack sunglasses – no joke! – if the sun is out and bright.
  3. You will never regret that blanket or seat cushion.
  4. Wet-wipes, in case you need to clean your hands or utensils.

But the most important thing is of course: the fika! Never, ever leave the house without something to eat and drink – preferably something savory and sweet. The most classic food to bring is sausages to heat in the open fire, bread buns and ketchup. Another one is grilled sandwiches: and a tip is to prepare the sandwiches before you head out, so you can grill them once you’ve arrived.

Family playing in the snow with their dog.

Must-have fika for a winter-picnic

The sweet things are just as important as the savory ones. There will be no winter-picnic without something sweet and preferably warm to drink. Here’s a list of options that many Swedes bring along in their backpacks, that are perfect for eating in front of the crackling fire:

  • One thermos of hot coffee
  • One thermos of hot chocolate (for kids or non-coffee-drinkers)
  • A small bottle of cold milk (most of the time for the coffee)
  • Cinnamon buns (and many!)
  • Sweet crackers – like oat crackers with chocolate
  • Napkins

If you’re heading out with kids, Swedish pancakes are an easy and popular choice to bring. Make the pancakes the day before (or in the morning), roll them up with some jam and put them in a box to bring. They’re easy to eat with just your hands, and make both kids and adults extra happy!

Woman having picnic out doors in winter

Cross country skiing

Cross country skiing

When the snow falls, a new season for outdoor living begins. Even though days are short, snow is thick and the cold is getting closer, Swedes don’t shy away from the winter landscapes – and there’s nothing like enjoying the crispy winter on a pair of cross country skis.

The classic to-do in winter

Country cross skiing – or ”turskidåkning” as it’s called in Swedish – is a lovely way to enjoy beautiful winter landscapes or frozen lakes packed with snow. They’re designed for long days of slow and enjoyable rides. No steep hills or fast and sweaty races – just silent tours in nature’s company.

Woman in knitted sweater stretches her arms to the sky

Take your time

The beauty of cross country skiing is the possibility to go at your own pace. Stop to enjoy the beautiful view, take a break and unpack some ’fika’ or spend the entire day capturing the sunlight. Alone or with friends. No pressure of performance – just some healing recreation and a grateful time.

Being outdoors, capturing both snow and light, has become the new way of socializing. Away from social media, TV’s and apps, we can get closer to each other and enjoy both the company and the winter season at the same time. And did you know: spending time together can reduce stress and increase your well-being? Add that to the pure joy of being outside, skiing across beautiful winter scenery and having a well deserved fika-break.

Woman skier relaxes with face turned to the sun.
Njutbara stunder, Enjoyable moments, Swedish sayings Njutbara stunder, Enjoyable moments, Swedish sayings

Fika – what to bring in your backpack

No day-long activities without something to eat or drink. That’s the beauty of fika! It includes both snacks and drinks – and it tastes extra delightful when out in nature. Actually, the fika-break is just as essential as the excursion. And no fika without something sweet. Some of the best and most classic things to bring are:

  • hot chocolate: and the best one is home made! We have a tasty and easy recipe for home made chocolate that’s guaranteed to warm the soul.
  • sandwich with Polarbröd: this type of Swedish bread is a round breadcake (polarkaka) made with yeast, milk, butter and flour of rye and wheat. Lovely and fluffy cakes, perfect with butter, ham and some veggies.
  • kanelbulle: the cinnamon bun is another classic fikabread, made with sweet, yeasted dough, butter, cinnamon and pearl sugar on top.
A basket of fika, coffee and cinnamon buns