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Dare to get lost

Why should we go out into nature? We asked the question to wilderness guide Urban. He tells of daring to get lost, how a bad memory can be of great help and why he went out to look at beavers.

The answer to why we should hike is in our body and in our brains. We live in a connected society, where everything spins incredibly fast. But the body and brain are old constructions that sometimes want to do things slowly. We feel good from being in motion as well, says Urban. 

By hiking, you get calm visual impressions, while the brain can rest and recover. You can hear the rustling of the autumn leaves, feel the crackling from the snow under your boots during the winter, and feel the taste of blueberries in the late-summer. To be in nature means that the body gets into a better balance, in a feel-good condition. So why don’t more start hiking? 

Is an hour enough?

– The answer lies only in yourself. In your thoughts. In your habits. Some think that they’ll go out later, when the grey sky clears up. Maybe it might start to rain? Or some don’t think that an hour is enough, sys Urban. 

But the best hiking doesn’t have to be magnificent. It doesn’t have to be a week in the mountains. An hour or two on a weekend or weekday evening is good enough. The body feels good from a short while in nature and the best opportunity to hike is always now. Never later. Not in a week, a month or more. Nature is five-star no matter when you get out. So don’t wait, go out now.

Don’t be afraid to get dirty.

Some also think that special equipment is a must. Gore-Tex, backpacks, expensive boots and flashy neon outfits. But for the everyday adventure, your wardrobe at home is enough. Take a pair of jeans, boots or leather shoes, a jacket and go out. Don’t be afraid to get dirty and wet, it just brightens up the day.

– Other tips to get out and hike are to begin with bird-watching or learn more about flora. Tips that I myself follow and still work very well for me. My bad memory has probably something to do my success, because I have to always start over again each year. I always forget what the birds or moss or lava are called, says Urban. 

A good opportunity to begin hiking is when you get visitors who don’t live in your city or place. Take them out to different places around the area. Perhaps light a fire at fireplace with a nice view, grill some meat or sausages and drink something nice. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can sleep out in a lean-to. It will definitely be something that both you and your visitors will appreciate.

Hiking is a habit for Urban. It is like a self-playing piano that simply plays by itself. But on occasion, the natural pattern has been broken, such as when he had a broken foot. Then, Urban felt that he was forced to go into the nature and look for beavers. So he got out and hopped around on crutches, only to later go to the hospital and re-cast his foot. Not once, but four times, when the cast loosened up.

Do you have one last tip to get going with hiking?

– My last tips are to be brave and dare to get lost. Dare to let go of old habits and routines. Dare to the a take left turn on the way home from work, or cycle another route. Dare to do something that you have been curious about but have not dared to up until now. For who knows what waits over there, concludes Urban. 

Urban Axelsson

Lundhags friend, wilderness guide, teacher/instructor.

Lives: Mörsil, Jämtland.
Days outdoors each year: Every day.  
Important to have out in the nature: Knife and Swarovski binoculars.