What is a shelter?
Shelters are simple types of structures for taking a rest or spending the night in nature, for example when hiking or biking. They are often, but not always, made up of three walls, a roof and a floor. Most of the time they are placed on or near hiking trails. In other words, shelters are a comfortable alternative to a tent when you want to camp wild. Shelters in Sweden are usually free to use for everyone, but some are for private use or are owned and maintained by an organisation which requires that you pay a fee to use them.
Shelters often have a place for making a fire in front of them, and in some cases there is a toilet, water, fire wood, etc.
How do you use a shelter?
Some shelters are suitable only for shorter stays, for example for having lunch or waiting out a rain storm in. Others are made for spending the night in and setting up a small camp in the wild.
The shelters that are suitable for spending the night often have a wooden floor, and you need to bring your own camping gear, i.e. mattress, sleeping bag and pillow.
Tips for sleeping in a shelter
In order to sleep comfortably in a shelter, you need at a minimum a mattress/sleeping pad, a sleeping bag and a pillow. In summer it's a good idea to also bring a mosquito net that you can hang from the ceiling and tuck under the mattress to keep mosquitoes out. A mosquito net can be used year round if you want to keep all kinds of insects away.
Tips for making a fire
Most importantly - safety first! Make sure that there is no fire ban or other restrictions where you are (you can do that in our app). It's always a good idea to have some water ready in case a spark flies out from the fire place.
Unless you are sure that there is fire wood at the shelter, you need to bring your own. Please note that in some areas it's forbidden to gather firewood from the ground, for example in most nature reserves and national parks.
Don't forget to bring something to start the fire with - some newspapers (not glossy magazines!) and a regular lighter will usually do. When starting a fire, you first start with very thin pieces of wood and work your way up in size as the fire gets going. Therefore, it's a good idea to bring a small hatchet in order to split some logs into thinner pieces.