Here is something unrelated to gaming for a change. Or is it? Let's call it real-life open world. Or sandboxing maybe. In essence, I'm going hiking. And not just your around-the-corner-
neighbourhood-forest-hiking (in Sweden we have plenty of those) but a week long, set-up-your-own-damn-tent-and- kitchen, shit-in-a-hole-in-the-ground- like-you're-on-Survivor kind of hiking, in the Swedish Fjäll, aka northern mountain ranges. If you wonder what that looks like, it's a whole lot of nothing, which is really cool if you're into that. I'm not not into that, so it'll be interesting to experience.
I have, save once as a 8-9 year old, never even been to the Fjäll, nor done any significant kind of hiking. When I was around 9 I remember going there with my parents and then 5-year old brother, and I remember doing a lot of walking and liking it, but how much hiking can it really have been with two kids in tow? I don't recall us tenting for instance, I'm pretty sure we had rented a cabin and did day-excursions from there. So this is on a whole 'nother level and eventhough I love being in the forest I haven't tented since I was a teenager either (let's pretend that wasn't 15 years ago).
How did I get into this mess? Well, my mother loves hiking and seems to spend more time in her tent than at home, especially during her vacation. She loves it so much in fact she recently decided to become a Fjäll Hiking Leader with her SO, ie someone who leads other people into the wilderness (and hopefully also get them living out of there). They mentioned they were going to lead a group of people at the end of July and I sort of mentioned it would've been fun to be there. Mom obviously said I could come too. Well then! Why back down now? The fact that I have literally no experience? The fact that I have literally no gear? No, why let those pesky things be a problem, right? Right?!
I got really into the idea but at first it looked like we wouldn't have someone to babysit my son, as my SO was still working. Fortunately my dad and his SO came to the rescue and offered to be with him for the week I'm gone. Unfortunately they live 9 hours away by train. Fortunately it's on the way I am heading up north anyway (which is 18 hours away by train). Unfortunately that means spending 9 hours on a train with a 3-year old. Fortunately he's really into the Gameboy. I also actually swapped to a 22gb internet plan (from 3gb) for my phone just so I would have enough Youtube to entertain him with on the train.
Mom said I could borrow a lot of gear from her, so for instance tent and kitchen were sorted from the get-go. I still had to invest a couple of hundred euros into clothes and food but what the heck (apparently I'm made of money now) (I'm really not btw). Finding the right kind of clothes and food was a bit tricky, especially when you've never done it before. I felt very lucky to be able to phone my mom with every question I had, like "do I need to bring a bra?" (If you want), "Do I need to bring soap?" (No, just wet wipes will do), "are these the right kind pants/shoes I need?" (No, no, no). Finding the right pants took three tries and finding the right shoes took two tries. Thanks a lot to the outdoor-store for their patience with my fumbling.
So the plan at the moment is for me to take a 9 hour train ride up north to where my dad lives, mind you I'm going to deal with all the luggage I need for my trip and for my 3-year old, while also dealing with a 3-year old. Then leave my son there and continue up north on another 9 hour train ride up to someplace called Abisko, which is about as far north in Sweden as you can get. From there we're hiking down south over a week to a place called Nikkaluokta from which I will be able to get a car ride back to where my dad lives. We'll pass Swedens highest mountain Kebnekaise too, but I don't think we're going up there. I hope. Oh, and apparently the weather is particularly shitty this year with a lot of snow still lying around so I am picturing an Arctic Expedition basically. I know what happened to Robert Falcon Scott.
Add to this that not only have I never been on anything close to a week-long trip outdoors, I have also never been anywhere close to away from my son for that long. The longest we've been separated has been when I still had my 25-hour workshifts. Eventhough I think it'll be hard on me, I know I can tough it out knowing I will get to see him soon again. But I am of course worried how my son will handle it. With no prior experience there is no way of telling. Because we live 9 hours apart, he doesn't get to meet my dad and his SO very often (grandpa and grandma), but I know he likes them. They live in the countryside with forest and lake right next to the house, so there will be loads of fun things for him to do. I hope time will fly fast for him and that he will have a blast. I have no idea what reception is going to be like, but I guess very patchy, so I won't be able to keep much contact. I'm sure he'll be fine though.
Question is, will I?