I can´t be the only one to dream about living in secret log cabin´s in the wilderness, far from the reach of the internet, mobile phone´s and passing people.
Back in the summer of 2017 an opportunity presented itself for me to visit and stay in one such place in Northern Sweden, well above the Arctic Circle, located in the mountain divide between Norway and Sweden. The nearest road was some 18Km away, the nearest town was a tiny village with a dozen inhabitants on that road.
I got talking to a local person and found that we got along quite well, shared a lot of the same values and he told me about a secret log cabin that he had built and hat nobody else knew about and that I was welcome to visit and stay there if I could find it.
It was this local person who built the cabin, with only hand tools and fallen tree´s. He cut no live trees and used to power tools in order to maintain a respect for nature and not to attract any unwanted attention.
The snag was that there are no trails and no obvious land marks as not only is it ¨illegal¨ in that there is no way that it has planning permission and in this day and age, it has to remain hidden so is located in pure, untouched wilderness and there is very little chance of anyone stumbling across this place.
Armed with a rough position on a map and a compass, we set off in search of the cabin and found that the owners estimation of time and distance were drastically different to our own. When he says 4 hours walk he really means 8 hours etc…
Anyway, we found it, nestled into a flat spot under the peak of a wooded mountain. To reach it we had to traverse rivers, marshes, steep hills and wooded mountains. After this torturous ascent over some really hard terrain, I began to realise why nobody would ever find this place.
The old and accurate phrase that Animals and humans will always, by default, take the path of least resistance ensures that nobody would come this way, it was really hard going.
Just over a Cloudberry pass, here it is
While relaxing outside shortly after arriving, a wild Reindeer grazed around us, no at all used to human presence, it was startled to look up and and see two grinning idiots watching it.
It is pretty cosey inside, a bed and a couch, plus a desk with a small chair. The guy that built it likes to write and he comes up here in the winter to get some peace and quiet.
We put the wood stove on to get some heat and cook some food by my god it got hot in there fast. The stove took the heat up from about 10 degrees centigrade to 37 degrees in about 20 minutes.
Lore and mythology
There is, like most things in the north, a bit of lore and mystery surround this place. You see, this part of Sweden was and still is, the home of the Sami people, they are the indigenous, nomadic people who have lived up here, herding reindeer for a very long time, since pre-history at least. In common with many if not all hunter gatherer and nomadic societies, the prevalent spiritual belief system is one that can be catagorised as Animism, basically they believed that the animals and plants had a soul and that there were divine messages to be gleaned form the comings and goings of the animals and that general observations can be made my looking at different things in nature. I am not really doing it justice with that description as if you look into it, it is for the most part quite a sensible and realistic spiritual system when compared with the big religions out there.
So with animism comes the need for some specialist skills to interpret the messages from the land and to act as a sort of spiritual guide to help people connect. This is where the Shaman comes in. The Sami had and still do have Shaman and this is reputed to be one of the areas in which a particular Shamen in the area used to come and have ceremonies.
It certainly feels like a very still, silent and special place.