Ice skaters at Kungsgårdsviken | Credit: Usisipho

Snowshoeing in Östersund

Last year I wrote a post about things I would miss about the Swedish winter. One of them was winter sports. Well, I had another go, this time in Österstund!

Östersund, Jämtland

Östersund is a town in Jämtland in the north of Sweden. The area is quite well-known in Sweden for winter sports, with the famous ski resort Åre being situated close by. The Study in Sweden digital ambassadors recently went on there for a meet-up, and we had some time to enjoy in the outdoors.

Forest views | Credit: Usisipho

Snowshoeing

One activity we did was snow shoeing! We had a local guide who was very knowledgeable about the area, its history, the animals, and the outdoors in general. He pointed out tracks of animals that had passed by, and shared nuggets of local knowledge along the way.

Michael, our guide for the morning | Credit: Usisipho
Snowshoes fitted and ready | Credit: Usisipho
In the forest | Credit: Usisipho

I thought the snowshoeing itself would be quite challenging, but most of us picked it up really quickly. Compared to ice skating, it is much, much easier! You have to change the way you walk slightly, for example take wider steps, since the shoes are quite wide.

The group! | Credit: Usisipho
Snowshoeing through a clearing in the forest | Credit: Usisipho

We walked for about two hours through the forest, crossing some frozen streams along the way. It was fun, and not as technical or tiring as I expected.

The frozen lake

Doug zooming around on the frozen lake | Credit: Usisipho

Later in the weekend, we spent the morning at Kungsgårdsviken shooting a video. While taking turns shooting various scenes, we enjoyed the views of the lake. We also spent a bit of time waddling across the ice like penguins, trying out best not to slip!

Ice skaters at Kungsgårdsviken | Credit: Usisipho

Some tips for being outdoors in winter

Want to try some outdoor fun in winter? Well, if you’re not prepared, being outdoors in winter can be cold! But as they say in Swedish: “det finns inget dåligt väder, bara dåliga kläder“, meaning “there is no bad weather, only bad clothing”. So here are a few tips:

  • Invest in a good jacket: I think this makes the biggest difference. The difference between a bad and good jacket makes a world of difference.
  • Wear thermal underwear: this includes thermal leggings and uppers. They help insulate you, trapping body heat.
  • Wear layers: a typical winter outfit consists of multiple layers. For example, thermals, a shirt, a jersey/sweater, and a jacket.
  • Wear a waterproof/windproof outer layer: this will help with windy and rainy days.
  • Wear a hat: it’s nice being able to feel your ears!
Hyunjin at the lake | Credit: Usisipho

What do you enjoy about winter? Have any questions? Leave a comment below!

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