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Our PR-manager Torsten Gabrielsson usually sits behind his computer at the Tentipi headquarters in Sunne, Sweden, gathering stories from people travelling around the world. But in this episode we find him by the camp fire in a quite unusual place – only minutes away from one of Scandinavia’s busiest airports.


Reaching Out For The Nordic Tipi Lifestyle

Springtime. I´m on an early flight leaving Lapland, the Swedish north with its vast wilderness and endless forests under the golden midnight sun. Well, honestly the darn thing had caused me a really bad night’s sleep, shining through the curtains of the hostel room right down on my face. This time of the year (it was May), the sun had risen hours before me, and shone down brightly from a clear blue sky 5:45 a.m. as I entered the airplane. We took off and after about one hour the bright sun of the north had been replaced by a thick fog and rain, invisible beneath us was Arlanda, Stockholm airport in southern Sweden. We touched down, wet and still sleepy I walked over the tarmac to the terminal building, where i picked up my luggage and sat down for a coffee. I had been on a week-long business trip up north and was now on my way home. The plan was to make a short visit to Stockholm city for some shopping before catching the train home, but in this weather? Spending time at airports always seemed a bit romantic to me, people from all corners of the world, everyone with their own story to tell, so I decided to stay for another cup of coffee. After my third latte I had had it! Children crying, endless security messages on the intercom, noisy youth groups and their stressed up leaders. I had to get out.

Fortunately, a couple of days earlier I’d made contact with a woman living close to the airport – she had her own Tentipi tent standing in her backyard as some sort of refuge from the modern day lifestyle.  I called her up, maybe we could do an interview? Soon I found myself in her car.

Anne Israelsson works as a caretaker at a local church, a career she started by coincidence when she found a vacant job working with youth groups for a congregation in northern Sweden at the age of nineteen.

“I have always been fascinated by the North, maybe because I have my roots up there. Maybe because of the nature. And of course because of the reindeer, I love reindeer!” she tells me while she´s driving us away from the runways and busy motorways and into the forest.

Down in this part of the country there are no reindeer; the only animals we see are cows walking around, feasting on plants that have sprung up the last couple of weeks. Everything is intensely green and wet, a huge contrast to the still sleeping nature of Lapland that I left behind. Anne always preferred the stressed-down, down-to-earth mentality of the north, and moving back south again she wanted to preserve that in her life. She now has a house in the country side, surrounded by forests that protect her from the nearby cities. Actually, this is one of the most populated areas of the country, with the capital Stockholm and the country’s largest airport within twenty minutes of her house. But Anne doesn’t mind.This is her home and if things gets too stressed, she has her ways.

Tent in Annes backyard2
Home in the country.


We park the car in front of her house and she gives me a quick tour of the place. I’m trying to spot some airplanes while we talk. Anne doesn’t seem to bother too much with the Jumbo jets passing by.

“Their route is not exactly right above us, my neighbours a mile away gets most of the noise, here you hardly hear them.” she says.

Peter by the tent

She has plenty of animals, horses, dogs, a bird. We bring two of the dogs, Cliff and Eragon and walk away from the house and over the field where the horses usually hang out. Today they are hanging out in the forest, so we can walk freely through the field.

“I always dreamed of having a place where I can get away from all the modern life stuff!” Anne says as we reach the end of the field.

And she’s got it. There, at the edge of the field, surrounded by tall birch trees stands an Onyx 9 Light. Spending time in northern Sweden, Anne saw the crafts of the Sápmi culture, their traditional homes – lavvus, tipis. She dreamed of having one of her own and at first she planned to build one by herself. But then she found Tentipi.

“It´s part of my philosophy, after I recovered I try to live my dream – not dream it.”

Recuperation: In Touch With Nature Again

It was fall time 2006. She had been feeling down for a while. The doctors first thought she had the flu. After a few months she started to lose her motor skills, her speech was almost gone and she had a hard time keeping things in her memory.

“A friend of mine told me to test for Lyme disease, and it turned out I had it.”

She was treated and got better after a while, but her memory was still affected by the disease. Her eleven year old son Peter, who joins us by the tent after coming home from school, remembers the time as frightening.

“I had to help mom with a lot of stuff, like getting the groceries, cooking dinner.” he says.

After recovering she realized she only had one life to live, and it felt important to do the things she loved.

A Blending of Lifestyles

Inside the tent there are blankets to sit on, a basket with magazines and some snacks, and in the middle a fire is heating up a pot with coffee. Anne hangs out here in the tent at least twice a week. Sitting inside you can’t tell whether you are on the Siberian tundra or in somebody’s backyard. The only thing you hear is the cracking from the fireplace. I drink a cup, actually eleven-year-old drinks two. He’s always been into coffee, he tells me, especially when he’s camping. I agree, it definitely tastes better outdoors. We chat for a while. Peter’s really into computers and wants to become a programmer. He can play Smoke on the Water on guitar. Anne plays half a dozen instruments. She’s done small tours in Europe, playing churches. She is a nerd when it comes to history and architecture. Hours go by, I realize I have to go back to civilization. She drops me off at the train station just in time to catch my train.

I sit down with my computer, checking my mail.

Anne goes back to the tent, preparing tonight’s Friday dinner. Tenderloin with potatoes over open fire.

Anne and Peter by the Onyx light 9


Related blog posts

It was the first day of the trip, adventurer Mike Fuchs and his friend Eric Folz had just a couple of hours before been dropped off as far north as they could possibly come in Svalbard when they saw them. Two polar bears, one mother and its cub. A situation that could become deadly if the bears decided to have a closer look on their new visitors.

“I know how protective the mothers can be of their cubs. We had to set up our camp in a place that provided a good overview of the location so we could spend the night bear watching. It was both a scary feeling seeing them so early into our trip, but it was also very fascinating”, says Mike Fuchs.

Wouldn't it be exciting to spend the night right in the middle of a zoo? – That is exactly what you can do at Skånes Djurpark, a wildlife park in southern Sweden. At their campsite, Camp Oak, you stay in the park after it closes and will make yourself at home in a Nordic tipi from Tentipi. When the night comes you might just fall asleep to the wolves’ howls.

Skånes Djurpark is a Wildlife Park with a long history, it dates back to 1952. It focuses on animals from the Nordic area and has always lived by the ruling with “no animals in cages”. The animals live in large paddocks that recreates the animals’ natural environments.

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At Sapmi Nature camp you can experience real winter, see the northern lights, eat traditional Sami food, and have a cultural exchange in a genuine atmosphere. The scenic location has gained attraction from around the world. In 2017 it was listed by National Geographic as one of the top 21 places in the world to visit if you care about the planet.

Prepare before setting out for winter camping. Here are nine tips and tricks from Tentipi about what you need to think of before you go: the right tent for winter camping, how to pack the snow, comfort in snow, which tent pegs to use, where to pitch the tent, about snow weight, what heat sources can be combined with the tent, how to make a fire safely and other equipment.

Choose tents according to occasion, different tent types work differently at winter camping. When it’s icy, the tent needs to be more robust than a tent which is exclusively used in summer. The tent frame needs to withstand a certain amount of snow and functional ventilation is important. If you want to use a heat source, for example a fireplace or a stove, the tent needs to have ventilation openings both at ground level and at the top.  Without a heat source, a smaller tent is preferable, as it heats up faster when the air volume is smaller.

A tent from Tentipi is a Nordic tipi and the tent has eight or nine sides, if it is not the smallest that has six sides. In the smallest tent you can stand straight if you are less than 160 centimetres long and in the largest you can get together several thousand people. The tent is versatile in more ways. Continue to read to see why these tents are so flexible and adaptable. This blog post is about the smaller tents in Tentipi's range, tents used by adventurers, families, hikers and others who want to live close to nature for a shorter or longer period of time.

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