- in the Halen Nature Reserve
Beautiful Blekinge has so many gems and places that deserve more attention. One such place is Halens Nature Reserve, outside Olofström. This urban nature reserve was formed in the early 1970s and has since then expanded its borders several times. Last, just a few years ago. It was actually created partly because it is so close to the city. Halen is also Blekinge's largest lake, and the reserve gives a real wilderness feeling with varied nature. There are several different hiking trails, opportunities for hiking, biking, canoeing and several windshields and fireplaces.
Not so long ago I went to Halen with a good friend to enjoy a short walk, focus on cooking delicious food and just hanging out. Getting to experience nature in this way is valuable to me. I unwind, and I really feel "here and now". We packed our electric car, a Tesla Model X, and drove from Karlskrona towards Olofström and Halen. We had looked into a parking lot at Blåsevik, just south of Halens Camping. We drove a short detour to get there, we prefer the small roads from Jämshög up to Halen. It's a great start to scroll around completely silently with the boxes down and catch the scents of the forest on the small gravel roads. It feels like you are slowly starting its subjective experience.
The food we had planned is a tasty mushroom stew on crostini biscuits and the main course a halloumi pasta with super fresh salsa and sunflower seeds. Many times I cook over an open fire, but sometimes it is difficult and immediately unsafe, for example, if it is dry in the ground. Many forest fires have started due to negligence with light. Using a storm kitchen or camping kitchen is a great option, but of course no guarantee. One advantage is that mankind can choose to stick to a refractory surface such as stone, stone hob or another well-controlled surface. Also, there is no risk of glow from the fire spreading with the wind and getting new life among some dry leaves. That is why we used their own kitchen for cooking today.
An ordinary, reputable liquor kitchen or Trangia kitchen, there is probably lying in many garages or storage rooms around Sweden. It is a reliable and straightforward design that is well tested and good. When we are out in our local area and enjoying it, it works as well as you can. There are a plethora of different models of storm kitchens, all depending on the type of activity you go for. If you go biking a full day and want something small and flexible, maybe a tiny gas kitchen with a mini gas stove is the top. If you are out in the cooler parts of the year and on longer trips may be one expedition storm kitchens with chemically clean gasoline are suitable. All of these storm kitchens have different pros and cons. I often recommend the honest Trangia liquor kitchen as a good beginner alternative. It's easy to use. It's quiet, and it works. The only thing I don't like is that it soaks on the underside of the saucepans. Tip! If you pour a few drops of water into the t-alcohol, you will not get much of the soot.
When we parked the car in Blåsevik, we took our backpacks and started walking along the green trail. It goes west, over the Fricka Bridge and turns north, around Halen and then down again, past the campsite and back to the parking lot. The entire route is well marked, and it is a beautiful path to walk. Along the way, we stop at a resting place with a table where we cook our food. Whether it was okay? Yes! Really good! Check out the recipe at the bottom of the page.
After dinner, we cooked a cup of coffee and went down to the water. We just sat down at the water's edge, looking for birds. Of course, I had a camera near me. There are probably osprey in Halen's nature reserve, and I don't want to miss a chance if it did appear. There were no bird pictures this time, but it doesn't. Then I have another reason to come back.
Thank you, Halen Nature Reserve for a beautiful day. See you again soon!
With friendly greetings,
Andreas & Kalle