Into The Forest

Earlier in June I headed out to scout a new area in the deep forests of Jämtland – in Hotagens Nature Reserve. I had been wanting to go there for a long time so it was with great excitement that I packed my packraft, tent and wood stove to head deep into this vast and wild forest.

Old growth forest and lake during sunset in Hotagens Nature Reserve in Jämtland.
The light breaks through the clouds one late and cold summer evening in Hotagens Nature Reserve. June 2022.

Those of you that have followed my work for a while knows that I have been photographing in the mountains for quite some time. During the last couple of years I’ve been more and more interested in the forests too. It’s such a different landscape and requires a completely different approach as a photographer.

When going to a new area I try to not have any expectations of making photographs. Instead my goal is simply to get to know the place and the best way to do that is to spend time out there. Studying nature and living in tune with the land.

Bushcraft Essentials Bushbox wood stove and Trangia Kettle in Hotagens Nature Reserve.
On this adventure I used only a wood stove and it really enhanced the experience to rely completely on fire for cooking.

I used a packraft to travel over lakes, slept in a pyramid tent and used a wood stove for cooking. Trying to keep life as simple as possible out there.

Using a wood stove has some real advantages. It doesn’t need as much fuel as an open fire, it’s easier to get going with damp wood and it doesn’t scorch the ground.

The wood stove helps me to leave as little trace behind as possible. It’s our duty when traveling in nature.

Alpacka Raft Yukon Yak and Hyperlite Mountain Gear Ultamid 2 in Hotagens Nature Reserve in Jämtland.
My campsite among the pine trees. Tent: Hyperlite Mountain Gear Ultamid II. Packraft: Alpacka Yukon Yak.

During four days I curiously explored the forest with its spruce, pine and birch trees. I walked over marshlands and experienced the forest from the water using the packraft. There’s something really special about exploring an area for the first time and I deliberately kept my camera packed down most of the time.

I’m planning to get back to this area later this year – in the autumn. I hope to experience one of those magical mornings with mist rising from the lakes. I really look forward to continue my work capturing the soul of the forest.

Below is a short video from the adventure. The soundscape in the forest is just beautiful.

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