Scandinavian Backpacking

Stockholm, Sweden

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Find new challenges in the Scandes Mountains. On this course, join a group of motivated adults and head north of the Arctic Circle to backpack in some of the most rugged landscapes in Europe. Climb high passes and walk along glacier-carved fjords in nearly 24-hour daylight. As you cross wide snow fields and alpine tundra, learn about the area’s natural history and the history of the indigenous Sami people. Your course will start with the basics of living in a mountain range known for quick-changing weather and views that will constantly surprise you. As you travel, you’ll progress to the more challenging skills of navigating off trail and cooking the perfect meal on a camp stove.In addition to outdoor skills, leadership will be a key part of this course. You’ll learn about group dynamics as you live in a small community in the mountains. You’ll practice communication and decision making as you find routes through high passes and lush valleys. Physical and mental challenges will teach you about tolerance for adversity. Each day you’ll fill a different leadership role, honing your personal leadership style. You’ll go home with outdoor skills, a network of adventure partners, and the leadership skills to positively impact your community.


Duration: 14 Days
Starts in: Abisko, Sweden
Ends in: Katterjåkk, Sweden
Group Size: 8-15
Difficulty: 3/5

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The leader in wilderness education since 1965. Learn more at

Additional Information

NOLS Prime: 

NOLS Prime Expeditions are immersive 1- to 3- week wilderness experiences designed exclusively for adults 23 and over. Our mission is to be educators, not guides. This means while learning how to climb, sail, backpack and more, you’re getting experience making decisions and mentorship from your instructors on managing risk with your group—with the goal that when your course is done you are ready to lead friends and family on your own wilderness trips! Vacations are great for a week or two away but wouldn’t you rather go beyond?

NOLS Scandinavia:

At NOLS Scandinavia, you’ll embrace the Scandinavian concept of wilderness: not as a place you visit, but as a place you live. You’ll start your backcountry adventure on the tundra of northern Sweden, 140 miles above the Arctic Circle. Our wilderness classrooms are rich with human history, from the Stone Age to the Vikings and Second World War. Many of the areas you’ll explore are still home to the Sami people, and you may have the opportunity to learn firsthand about their culture and traditions. Although you’ll enjoy nearly 24 hours of daylight in the summer, be prepared to face the weather of all four seasons in a single day. Backpacking courses travel across the tundra above the treeline in both Sweden and Norway as the border is open in the backcountry. In the Scandes Mountains, you’ll find a mixture of alpine peaks and valleys, marshland, and snowfields. You’ll spot reindeer near the coast as well as in the mountains. Sea kayaking courses explore the Norwegian fjords, a combination of open coastline, sheltered islands, sandy beaches, and spruce forests. NOLS Scandinavia students are often surprised by the abundance of waterfalls and lakes, the 2 a.m. sunlight, the variety and quality of traditional Scandinavian food—and how everyone seems to be headed off to go camping!

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