Couple ski touring in the sun

Nordic ski touring

Are you curious about what a mountain adventure in Sweden looks like in wintertime? Nordic ski touring is a delightful way to find out. It’s a wonderful nature experience and sense of freedom. Take a day-long trip, or set out for an excursion lasting several days, skiing between our mountain cabins. We offer many types of accommodations and activities during your tour in the Swedish mountains.

What is nordic ski touring?

With nordic touring skis on your feet, you can explore completely untouched mountain terrain. It differs from cross-country skiing, which usually requires groomed tracks and often takes place near resorts. The difference between nordic touring skis and cross-country skis is that a pair of nordic touring skis is more stable. They are slightly wider, thicker, and often have an edge that makes downhill skiing easier. You also wear a more stable and warmer boot. While cross-country skiing is a form of exercise, nordic ski touring is more about exploring. These adventures don’t have to be challenging – even young children can come along. However, if you’re a beginner, it’s wise to stick to marked winter trails on flat terrain.

The ski equipment is roughly the same for beginners as it is for professionals. Some of them are suitable for flat terrain with loose snow, but most resemble downhill skis, meaning they have an edge that provides better grip while traveling more diagonally in the terrain. You can get tips and rent equipment at several of the STF mountain stations.

The right of public access

Swedish mountains are open to all. If you want to reach the summit, the only obstacles are your energy and motivation. However, there are some things worth keeping in mind.

often requires slightly more consideration. In areas with reindeer husbandry, for example, you should keep dogs on a leash at all times of the year. At higher elevations with deep snow, it is possible to ski everywhere without any risk of damaging sensitive land. The only thing to remember is that you must not break off any branches or damage snow-free rock slabs.

The mountains are home to many national parks and nature reserves, where the right of public access is sometimes extended and sometimes restricted. This may mean, for example, that it is forbidden to light fires or take a dog with you. In some places, camping is forbidden, while in others, the allowed duration of a camping stay is longer than what is permitted outside of the national parks. STF hosts at our mountain stations will be happy to help you with information about the regulations that apply.

If you stop for a break, have a good look around before continuing to make sure that you haven’t left any rubbish.



What should I bring along?

If you’re new to nordic ski touring, there are some important considerations to keep in mind. Proper preparation is key for an enjoyable ski tour. Before you embark on your journey, make sure you have the right clothing and have packed appropriately. Mountain weather can change suddenly, so it’s advisable to check the weather forecast just before heading out.

  • Avoid wearing cotton garments next to your skin; instead, opt for undergarments and thermal layers made of wool or synthetic materials. This will help you stay warm and dry, even if you become wet or start to sweat. Wear thin wool or synthetic socks underneath thick, insulated ones. Ensure your boots have enough room for your feet to prevent them from getting cold.
  • Don’t wear to many layers. It’s better to feel slightly chilly before you begin skiing since you’ll generate heat once you’re on the move. A thin outer jacket with a hood will provide protection against both the sun and wind while allowing for free movement.
  • Remember that snow reflects sunlight, so apply high-factor sunscreen and wear sunglasses, even if the sun is obscured by clouds.
  • A 35-45 liter backpack is sufficient for a day-long trip. Pack only what is necessary to keep your backpack as light as possible. You may need to add an extra warm jacket or sweater when taking breaks or if the temperature drops. In windy conditions, having a windproof bag and a collapsible shovel for creating a snow pit can be invaluable.
  • For multi-day trips, bring a sleeping bag and a sleeping mat if you plan to camp or stay in mountain cabins. Keeping your feet dry during extended travel is essential, so consider waterproof covers to pull over your boots.
  • Carry a map and a compass, do not rely on digital tools only. Additionally, bring a first aid kit, safety rope, and a repair kit.
  • When tackling steep uphill terrain, consider equipping your skis with special climbing skins (“stighudar”). This will make ascending slopes much easier.

More information

The Mountain Safety Council of Sweden has a website with more useful practical advice about keeping safe in the mountains.

Good equipment makes the trip easier and more fun. Naturkompaniet (in Swedish) and other outdoor specialists have a broad range of goods and expert personnel.

For beginners to nordic ski touring, it can be a good idea to take a guided tour! STF offers several.

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