Please choose your country or region so we can show you the most relevant content.

It looks like you are in United States? Accept


For each holiday hike in late summer, it became harder and harder to the hiker Susanne to go home to everyday life. She wanted to stay out in nature with a backpack on her back and be able to pitch the tent where it suited the moment. Many small things over the years led to that in May 2020 she moved to an island in the river Indalsälven, in the neighbourhood of Åre, Sweden, to live there for a year.

There are several small things that have led to Susanne's year in a tent on the island. The question of the meaning of life and whether it should be like this has followed her for a long time.

Susanne Vandraren Susanne the Hiker bo i t lt Tentipi Safir 15Susanne Holmqvist, or @Susanne Vandraren (Susanne the Hiker) who is her profile name on various social media, has for many years made long walks during her holidays. She has sought refuge in the mountains and spent a few late summer weeks recovering. During the past year, Susanne has vlogged about her experiences and adventures.

– It's the feeling of living outside, carrying everything I need in my backpack. Being able to set up the tent and it is no more complicated than that to live, says Susanne when asked what is best about hiking.

– Remarkably little is actually needed, to really live.

When the hikes and the holiday were over, Susanne did not want to go home. She wanted to stay and get more of the outdoors and always longed for the next time she could stay out again. She tells about how she could to come home, after the work for the week, and have dinner with the family and then go out and set up her tent, sleep outside and look at the starry sky.

Part of the decision to live in a tent is that Susanne likes to challenge herself. She has made longer and tougher hikes to see if she would be able to do it, and there were more and more thoughts about the challenge of living outdoors as an everyday life.


Susanne took the chance to move to Åre to get close to the mountain world and be able to take her hikes more often. She had no one else to think about, her three children are adults, so the move was the first step towards an even more active outdoor life.When the idea of ​​living outside for a year came to Susanne to stay, she started looking for a place to pitch her tent more permanently. She contacted landowners to be able to borrow land and got a lot of help with tips on places, but she had to look for a long time.

– I got help from many people to find my place. The criteria were that there would be running water all year round, that it would be safe and secure to live there and that there would be a car road fairly close so that I would not have to walk several kilometres in the terrain to get home, Susanne tells.

– When I first came to the island, I felt that this was where I wanted to live, she states.

To see if the island would serve as a settlement, Susanne spent quite a few nights there during January and February, when it was windy and cold. She found the best place for the tent on a small hill next to a ridge that protects against the westerly winds that are common in the area.

– I watched the trees to see how the winds came in towards the island to decide where I would pitch the tent.

Residence boplats leva i t lt live in tent Susanne Vandraren Tentipi Safir 15 t lta Inifr n t ltet Susanne the hiker Susanne Vandraren Tentipi Safir 15 bo i t lt life in tent


Susanne wants to live without consuming more than she needs. She recycles and reuses as much as she can to keep costs down and to save the environment. The wood for the wooden deck, where the tent stands, comes from an old barn that was collapsing. It was on the mainland and all the timber was transported by Susanne across the river in her boat.

– I am not a carpenter and could not build a house, but it is so fun to be able to be creative with materials that do not cost a lot of money. It is allowed to fail and redo, to try to see how things work, Susanne states and adds that during the summer she has been so creative that she longs for the stillness and rest that automatically occurs when it gets colder and the days become shorter. In the winter to come, Susanne wants to learn to make woven bands to be more in a rest together with nature.

How come you chose a Nordic tipi from Tentipi?

Susanne answers that she searched online for different tent solutions and thought that a tent from Tentipi was the best choice. In Sandviken, in the middle of Sweden, where Susanne used to live, there were tents pitched all year round, for many years. They stood there and looked the same over time and Susanne felt it was a good measure of sustainability.

– I also thought that when you make tents in Moskosel in Lapland, these tents would be adapted to the weather and wind in northern Sweden and the choice wasn’t too difficult to make, Susanne tells.

She says that she found Kenneth Edin at Tentz in Stugun, a place nearby Åre, and has received help from him when she has had questions about the tent and what concerns life in a tent. (Kenneth Edin is a reseller for Tentipi and has rented tents in the middle part of Sweden for many years, editor's note.) The tent hut that Susanne lives in is a Safir 15 with a wooden pole set to get as much surface and stability as possible, and she has not one day regretted that she bought it and moved out into the wilderness.

– It is not possible to imagine in advance what it will be like to live like this. I have had to take it from day to day all the time and then it is good to have people nearby that you can ask for advice, Susanne says. But it's not as tough as I thought, living in a tent. I do not know why it feels like that, but it's easier somehow.

Safir 15 Susanne Vandraren Tentipi living in tent bo i t lt t ltainteriour SusanneVandraren tent Safir 15 t lta interi r

Autumn winds and shadows

During the spring and summer, Susanne did not have to use the storm cords, as it was not windy. When the autumn winds began to blow on the tent fabric, she anchored the storm cords in the ground. (The storm cords are attached and rolled up at the tent canvas when not in use, editor's note)

– It has worked very well. I'm never worried about the wind and I feel completely safe here in my tent, Susanne states.

The canvas and the shadows that come and go around it during the day, and at night, fascinate Susanne. She talks about the significant differences in light during spring, summer and autumn. The light of the full moon during late autumn against a clear, dark sky has given an additional light experience.

– There are such beautiful motifs against the canvas of all the shadows formed by the trees and the sunlight. I have seen how the full moon makes the image against the tent fabric completely different. It is a light with fewer contrasts than in sunshine. The same type of shadows but so different to them during the summer.

– I wonder what it will be like with the northern lights, if there will be any other colours that penetrate the canvas, Susanne thinks.

Protection and food

What are your top tips for what to bring when hiking?

– It naturally depends on when in the year you hike and in what environment, in the mountain world, for example, you do not have to carry water with you. But the most important thing is to have protection – tent and sleeping bag – so that you can keep warm and get away from the weather. Then there is the food – it is important to carry with you. And a knife.

Susanne thinks a bit and then says that it is really protection, warmth and food that are the most important wherever you live and whatever you do. Her challenge during the summer was to store the food so that it was not destroyed by heat. During the autumn when it can be frosty nights, it is instead to keep the food above freezing. As for protection and warmth, she has gradually learned how to do it, she says and returns to the fact that it is day by day that applies. She can't predict how it will be.

Safir 15 Susanne Vandraren t lta living in tent Tentipi

The future

What happens in the future?

Susanne states that she will never be able to live in a house or flat in the same way as before.

– I'll see how it goes this winter. It's not like I have to live in my tent in the winter at all costs. If it does not work as well as it has so far, I have to solve it somehow. But this is my home now. I go out and meet friends in the same way as if I had lived in a house. I am a little more controlled by making sure to keep the heat in the tent and sometimes I may have to choose to stay home to keep the fire burning.

Susanne tells that every week a group of her friends gets together and have lunch. That also gives her an opportunity to charge her power banks and send film clips to her daughter in New Zealand.It's the daughter who cuts the vlogs that Susanne publishes on YouTube.

– I have some adventures going on next year and I hope that I will be able to have the tent on the island as my home base and start from here even then. I plan to hike more again, this year a lot of time has been spent getting the place ready and learning how to live here with other conditions and close to nature, Susanne says.

In the time of writing, Susanne had been living in the wilderness for almost 200 days. She has learned many new things and thinks it is wonderful to be able to be inspired in nature.

– I have never earlier been interested in birds, but during the summer I learned bird sounds as a result of listening to Swedish radio. It will be really exciting to see and hear which birds will remain here during the winter, Susanne continues.

– If I stay here, there are a few things I want to fix… I probably want another room – make more decking and connect two tents so that there is a little more space for guests, for example, Susanne dreams on her island in river Indalsälven.


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.

Lennart Pittja is a Sámi entrepreneur with a mission: with his world-renowned eco-tourism company he wants to spread the knowledge about his people – the Sami, indigenous of northern Scandinavia and Russia. With over 20 years of experience as a wildlife guide and nature photographer in the arctic region he started Sápmi Nature Camp. Where his guests stay in Nordic tipis from Tentipi on his reindeer herding land outside of Gällivare, in northern Sweden.

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.

1 3 4 5

Subscribe to newsletter