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Thread: Timber Raft + canoe down the Klaralven Sweden

  1. #1
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    Default Timber Raft + canoe down the Klaralven Sweden

    Inspired by Glyns 2007 SOTP Blogg ( thanks Glyn) we waited a few years for all the younger members of the crew to learn to swim. By this August we were ready, we booked our trip with the efficient Nature Travels UK, driving to Sweden by way of Harwich-Esberg Ferry...... the adventure started.
    We met our local instructors from Vildemark and headed for the raft construction site the next morning.



    Seabeggars, enthusiastically busied themselves tying knots, rolling logs and and wading into the warmish waters of the Klaralven with expert guidance from an instructor.






    5 hours later , 150 3x3m logs and we had ourselves raft.





    Another hour and she was loaded, rigged and ready to sail. 100km of river & a 7 day voyage beckoned -





    We had a lot to learn about timber rafting , the first nights campsite was a bit steep. We cooked and ate on the raft
    & slept in tents on shore. The lads enjoyed sleeping on the raft. Hammocking on shore would have been easy.




    The canoe was indispensable for reconnoitering campsites and mooring up.




    Mrs Seabeggar puts her feet up with a book and watches Sweden drift by




    Much of the time the raft made its own way, needing occasional punting or paddling to avoid sandbanks and overhanging trees




    There was time to laze around , fish and play board games....




    We needn't have worried that there would not be enough water in the river. Under the rafts tarp we kept warm & dry as lightening and thunder crashed around us





    There was wildlife to watch including beavers, moose and cranes





    Young Seabeggars enjoyed the freedom of heading off to explore on their own...





    Although not a wilderness trip mostly the banks were sparsely inhabited and the road only occasionally intruded






    Good wild campsites beckoned at the end of each day.....





    A great family adventure was drawing to a close... we had all fallen in Love with Sweden






    The Klaralven finally flows into Lake Vanern. The journey was only half done , but the holidays were over , maybe next year onwards by canoe.

    Last edited by seabeggar; 25th-September-2011 at 10:41 AM.

  2. #2
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    Now that's a bit different. Really enjoyed reading about your trip. Open ended tarp on the raft looks a bit vulnserable if the wind and weather got bad. Any problems? Like the idea of using the raft as a mother ship.
    Regards,
    Stravaiger.
    Everyone must believe in something. I believe I will go Canoeing. H. D. Thoreau.


    "Waste of time reasoning with the morally demented"

  3. #3
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    Hi Seabeggar,

    That looks fantastic and a great adventure. Did you have a guide or were you just left to your own devices?

    Cheers

    CLB

  4. #4
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    That's a real Mark Twain adventure, looks great, my kids would love that. How was it for in August?

  5. #5
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    Incredible trip, great pics, thanks for sharing

    Roy.

  6. #6
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    Luving that! well done

  7. #7
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    brilliant .I'd love a crack at that with the family.[Swedish family robinson] Thanks for sharing.

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    Looks like a great trip. As Duncan notes, very Huck Finn.

  9. #9
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    Now that looks like a proper family adventure!

    Nice one.
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  10. #10
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    Stunning, what a great idea! Yet another location added to my "to do" list.

    Thanks for posting this
    Keltoi and associates - The sick and the wrong!

  11. #11
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    Default A few answers to questions.....

    During bad weather we closed the ends of the main tarp "A" frames with smaller tarps.

    You don't need a guide. If you get into difficulties you can phone the company for help. After launching we hardly saw anyone on the river, 2 other rafts and a canoe in 7 days.

    Went prepared for lots of bugs, but not a big problem end of August, just some evening mosquito's. They are supposed to be more of problem mid June to mid August.

  12. #12
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    Lovely to see something different! Seems a great place for a paddle ! Someone let Crow know about rafts, he's got similar crafts already

    "Pedal five hundred miles on a bicycle and you remain basically a bourgeois; paddle a hundred in a canoe and you are already a child of nature" - Pierre Trudeau

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sundowner View Post
    Someone let Crow know about rafts, he's got similar crafts already
    Doh! Now you are starting something

    Wait for it....
    Keltoi and associates - The sick and the wrong!

  14. #14
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    That looks like great fun. I would love to do that.

    Great blog.


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  15. #15
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    We've seen people build rafts out of forest wood. We've seen people build them out of wood salvaged from construction. In the 19th century, along the Mississippi watershed, flatboats were made from local forests and used to carry stuff downstream. Here is one of the larger examples. (None survive today.)




    If one of these rafts reached New Orleans, clearly it was not going back upstream. It was broken up, and one way the wood was often used was to build houses, barge board houses, using an unusual framing approach. The following paragraphs are tacked together from a few sources I found on Google.

    "In the early 1800s, flatboats were the vessel of choice for taking crops to market from the Midwest, and the farmers often walked back from New Orleans. They must have been relieved when trains and steamboats made the return trip much easier. The peak period of the flatboat was around 1840, but steamboats eventually took control of the waterways."

    "You didn't describe your house, but if it's a Creole cottage ( and there are many of them in Bywater ) most are built of barge boards, and most were built between 1790 and 1880."


    "Instead of stud walls they would basically build a 4x4 frame using 4x4s on the vertical and the horizontal," Wilkerson explained. "Then they would skin that with the barge board on an upright basis. This would never pass any sort of inspection in a million years, but then again these houses are 120 years old, so they did just fine."

    "Barge boards are mostly white pine, fir and poplar; northern woods that were floated down the river. Wilkerson has recovered barge boards from houses built as far back as 1849, including two in Pointe a la Hache, La. They were demolished after Hurricane Katrina, when they fell off of their foundations."

    My daughter and son-in-law bought and rehabilitated a barge board house in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans, near the Mississippi levee. When there were some old barge boards left over, they had a craftsman make them a large dining room table. My son-in-law is from England, from Plymouth, but has been in the States about 17 years.

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    What a great adventure the Seabeggars, well done.

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    The pic of your son approaching through the mist is surely a candidate for the SoTP photo competition. Great blog, cheers.

  18. #18
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    Excellent blog with photos to match.

    TGB
    May the gentleness of morning, greet your silent passage through endless waters...

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  19. #19
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    Hi. I just wanted to say (as Director) thank you for travelling with Nature Travels and for your kind comments (a little late, I'm afraid - this post has only just come to our attention) and for posting an excellent photo-blog from your timber rafting trip. There are some wonderful photos and we particularly like the shots of you all proudly showing off the finished raft!

  20. #20
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    What a fantastic adventure!
    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

  21. #21
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    Excellent Bloog, what fun......what happen to the raft after the journey finished?
    '...you can led a horse to water but a pencil must be lead...' Stan Laurel

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    Brilliant, and thx for sharing - not a playstation or xbox in sight!.

  23. #23
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    Moder day Huckleberry Finn adventure. Looks great

    Wilf
    Bacon sarnie anyone ?

  24. #24
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    I did the same trip in July 2010 with my girlfriend and have to say that it was great fun. The raft itself throws up all kinds of challenges that have to be overcome, from getting stuck in a monsterous eddy to having to unload all our belongings into the canoe to lift the raft off a sand bank. A great holiday.

    Alex

  25. #25

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    Just found this thread. We have booked this for next year and I was wondering if you could give some advice on what to bring what not to bring. We will be driving there so we can take a fair bit. We will be taking our frontier stove was firewood easy to collect?

    Did you hire the kitchen equipment? How warm was the water was it bareable for swimming and how easy was the fishing?

    as much info would be great

  26. #26
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    Hi rydergrove

    Not sure if you're arranging your trip with us at Nature Travels (as seabeggar did), but if so you'll find a detailed packing list in the "info" file sent with your booking confirmation, as well as a list of FAQs which should answer many of the other practical questions you might have. If you would like to hire kitchen equipment (which includes stove and fuel), this is available as an optional extra - please see http://www.naturetravels.co.uk/water...en-vv58rs1.htm under "Dates and Prices" for details.

    Regarding swimming, this will depend on the time of year you go - timber rafting is possible from early June, and at that time the water's likely to be a bit chilly for more than a quick dip! But later in the summer when the water has had a chance to warm up, about 20 degrees or so in the water would be typical - lovely for swimming!

    About the fishing, simple fishing equipment is available to buy (not hire) or of course you can bring your own. Fishing licences are purchased at the start. There are plenty of fish in the Klaralven, but of course we can't guarantee your luck! Commonly caught species in the region include pike, perch, brown trout, roach and possibly burbot.

    Finally, note that since seabeggar did the tour, things have changed slightly such that one canoe per timber raft is now included as standard (this was previously an optional extra), as the canoe is so beneficial both when it comes to landing the raft and for general flexibility when on the water.

    Hope this helps!

  27. #27
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    I was there in early July and the water was just about warm enough for a swim. Later July/August should be quite warm.

    With regards to fishing, I would suggest that your best hopes involve using some light (or ultralight) spinning equipment (using small soft plastic grub jigs etc). I had plenty of luck catching small pike (1-5 pounds) and perch (to about 1/2 pound). I saw plenty of trout although they proved ellusive. My main tip would be that fishing from the raft when in the main current will produce limited results. The slower bends are better and my best results came when I moored up the raft in the evenings and explored some very interesting backwaters out of the main flow (you'll see them on the map) which are quite large.

    Tips for controlling the raft:

    1. You'll get a demo from the organisers and your quickly learn how the raft handles (i'ts a 2 tonne lump of wood so don't expect big things).

    2. The paddles are pretty ineffective, go with the flow and use the long punting pole to push yourself away from hazards/rocks/overhanging trees.

    3. when you want to stop and camp you have two optinons. If like me, you favor the nice beaches and flat areas for camping, you'll find that the raft naturally avoids them (the good areas are on the inside of bends, the raft follows the deep current on the outside of bends. Option 1 is the 'slingshott', fill the canoe with a long line of rope, paddle to the other side of the river, tie the rope to a tree and let the raft swing across to the shallow side. Option 2 would be just to park the raft on the outside of the bend (tied to a tree) fill the canoe with your tent/sleeping equipment and paddle to a suitable spot, then just paddle back in the morning.


    4. We saw people making an anchor (just a large stone tied to some rope), we coppied this idea and it turned out to be quite useful in slowing the raft and hanging out midstream.

    5. if you beach the raft, push back in the directing you came from, if that doesn't work unload some weight into the canoe.

    Other than that remember some deet for the evenings, in my experiance the mozzies were certainly no worse than in Scotland but i guess this could be seasonal.

    Have fun, its' a great trip.

    Alex

  28. #28

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    Sorry ive only just seen this reply. Thanks for the tips, it's what I was thinking of bringing some small spinning rods and lures. We are all booked and I am really looking forward to this trip. Although there is jow no ferry to esberj, so have to drive from Holland.

    nevermind

    thanks for the advice

    Quote Originally Posted by ADavis View Post
    I was there in early July and the water was just about warm enough for a swim. Later July/August should be quite warm.

    With regards to fishing, I would suggest that your best hopes involve using some light (or ultralight) spinning equipment (using small soft plastic grub jigs etc). I had plenty of luck catching small pike (1-5 pounds) and perch (to about 1/2 pound). I saw plenty of trout although they proved ellusive. My main tip would be that fishing from the raft when in the main current will produce limited results. The slower bends are better and my best results came when I moored up the raft in the evenings and explored some very interesting backwaters out of the main flow (you'll see them on the map) which are quite large.

    Tips for controlling the raft:

    1. You'll get a demo from the organisers and your quickly learn how the raft handles (i'ts a 2 tonne lump of wood so don't expect big things).

    2. The paddles are pretty ineffective, go with the flow and use the long punting pole to push yourself away from hazards/rocks/overhanging trees.

    3. when you want to stop and camp you have two optinons. If like me, you favor the nice beaches and flat areas for camping, you'll find that the raft naturally avoids them (the good areas are on the inside of bends, the raft follows the deep current on the outside of bends. Option 1 is the 'slingshott', fill the canoe with a long line of rope, paddle to the other side of the river, tie the rope to a tree and let the raft swing across to the shallow side. Option 2 would be just to park the raft on the outside of the bend (tied to a tree) fill the canoe with your tent/sleeping equipment and paddle to a suitable spot, then just paddle back in the morning.


    4. We saw people making an anchor (just a large stone tied to some rope), we coppied this idea and it turned out to be quite useful in slowing the raft and hanging out midstream.

    5. if you beach the raft, push back in the directing you came from, if that doesn't work unload some weight into the canoe.

    Other than that remember some deet for the evenings, in my experiance the mozzies were certainly no worse than in Scotland but i guess this could be seasonal.

    Have fun, its' a great trip.

    Alex

  29. #29
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    Hi Rydergrove,

    Thought you might like to know there seems to be a new ferry service from Harwich to Esbjerg starting at Easter:

    http://www.reginaline.dk/aboutreginaline.html

    Gavin

  30. #30

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    Thanks for that. If have found this before but it seems like a one man band pipe dream by looking at there Facebook page.

    A lot of people happy about the thought posting questions but no answer. Website doesn't look as professional as it should be for a ferry company. But thanks and I will hope.


    It means changing tickets etc but the thought of an hour drive or seven I know which one
    Quote Originally Posted by GMS View Post
    Hi Rydergrove,

    Thought you might like to know there seems to be a new ferry service from Harwich to Esbjerg starting at Easter:

    http://www.reginaline.dk/aboutreginaline.html

    Gavin

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