There are no adventures – just poor planning, says Dag Åsvärn, who runs one of Sweden’s smallest travel companies. As Commando Reserve Major he has the leadership qualities needed to get complex logistics in order and a thousand details to match. His being a biologist with a preference for edible plants does not lessen his capacity to arrange outdoor events for individuals and groups.
Apart from kayak arrangements in the Stockholm archipelago trips are arranged with kick-sleds (Swedish traditional vehicle for traveling on ice and snow), walking, skating (long distance on special Swedish skates) and cross-country skiing. But his trips are not only for the very fit. Dag is an engaged and modest person who lets the group’s least experienced kayaker set the pace. He prefers sea kayaks to roaring speedboats, telemark skis to snowmobiles and likes steamers and veteran cars. The outer archipelago has a special place in his heart, and he likes to convey the strong feeling of going towards the open horizon.
Dag has led tours in the Stockholm archipelago since the mid 80s. Most of the other guides have similar backgrounds, as they are Dag’s friends and colleagues, either from the military or from the biology sphere.
The service level and style of the trips is consistently high. Historic exposés are interfoliated with ethno-botany and reading aloud by the fireside. You can also be quite sure that the open air meals will be laid out on a red, chequered table-cloth. When the kayaking is over for the day and it is time for dinner, the food and the wine are also normally out of the ordinary.
Escapades has a solid co-operation with archipelago hotels, hostels and restaurants as well as with Nature Reserve Rangers and other archipelago inhabitants. The company is also a Friend of the Archipelago Foundation, which takes care of many archipelago nature reserves, and Escapades actively supports the natural and cultural values of the archipelago. Dag and the other guides help out in the hay harvest and by clearing brushwood on the island of Bullerö every year.
The labelling comittes statement
Labelling Committee´s motivation (21 May 2003)
An operator who lets the group’s least experienced kayaker set the pace of the trip. Arrangements built on solid knowledge of the myriad of islands in the Stockholm archipelago and careful security planning are spiced with ethno-botany and reading aloud by the fireside. Sea eagles and keeping the cultural landscape open are both favoured by the company’s active nature conservation and close co-operation with the Archipelago Foundation Rangers.