Swedish forest - Tiny Houses, fun, adventure and projects in Eksharad, Sweden

  • Favourited 366 times
  • Last activity: 1 Mar 2024



 Min stay requested: at least a week



  • Description


    Hi there, I'm Julian, I'm British but now living deep in the Swedish forest. This is one of the wildest parts of Sweden and we have bear, deer, elk, lynx, wolves and all kinds of wildlife around - it's a great place for tracking animals, fishing, playing and swimming in the clean rivers and lakes (lots of them!).

    At my place, we have all kinds of projects on the go - we've had brilliant volunteers here over the years and had great times, and always pleased to make new friends and share ideas, have fun and a laugh, get things done and experiment.

    I'm big into being eco-friendly and buying as little as possible from shops and services, but ready to compromise with the modern world. My main aim is to find, re-use, repurpose, grow and fix everything, and to generally be as self-sufficient as possible.

    The main project just now is building Tiny Houses - I have built a number of them already. And now more of them - each one has a different style and flavour - not least as we build them out of recycled materials and we have to use what we get, clean up and prepare the material and think ahead how best to do each one. if you want to learn to build a Tiny House for yourself then I can teach you loads and save you loads of time, money and mistakes for the future.

    The kind of people I'm looking for as volunteers are those really interested in building Tiny Houses, cabins and all kinds of construction and creative work that goes with self-sufficiency and skills in making things - from laying floors to making curtains, welding, fitting electrical wiring or building the roofs. I can teach you both standard building skills and workarounds - ways to get jobs done cheaply and effectively and how to re-use and make the best use of materials.

    What I ask is that you have basic skills with power tools such as a circular saw, cordless (battery) screwdriver, jigsaws etc and that know how to use your hands and have some practical skill before you come. Some people are really good at sewing or painting and that's fine - one skill leads to another.

    Of course, the best time here is in spring and summer when it's light all day long (- there's no darkness at all at midsummer!) Summers here are short so nature goes wild and makes full use of it - one can literally see plants growing by the hour up here, it is an amazing place. I have bicycles and kayaks and a big canoe which volunteers are welcome to borrow - I do try to make it a family atmosphere and fun for everyone.

    Me personally - I have travelled for many years and have backgrounds in running my own business in various countries, programming and running Humanitarian Aid projects. I've hitch-hiked to China and back (first one to do it, in the 90s, across Soviet Russia and Mongolia), driven across Siberia a few times, sailed the world over and lived in an old coach, travelled on my motorbike etc. - I've been around and I love people who love live, new ideas and exploring everything in our beautiful world. My philosophy is "Every great journey begins with a single step" and "we're all just helping each other home".

    My place is in 'the middle of nowhere' - there are no pubs and very few social events and forest people are shy up here: The exchange for that is glorious clean and unspoilt wild forests, fish you can eat straight from the lakes, mushrooms and berries one pick freely and eat and loads of space to roam and be free. By law in Sweden you are allowed to roam and camp anywhere and you can make cooking fires anywhere it is safe to do so, (as long as no temporary ban is in place because of forest fire risk - after very dry, hot weather).

    The nearest town Hagfors is 18km away for supermarkets, banks etc and the nearest city, Karlstad, is 100km. There are busses each way from nearby. Swedish public transport is very reliable, so getting here is easy enough - from Stockholm or Gothenburg take the train or bus to Karlstad. Some people have arrived by hitch hiking and others have brought their own camper vans.

    In winter there is no real daylight for more than a few hours and it gets very cold, so please plan your visit according to what you like. (Some people like the snow and the cold and have just come for the challenge of working outside down to minus 20 Celsius!)

    Accommodation is in the well insulated and cosy guest house with its own shower and toilet and washing machine, or in one of the Tiny Houses. We usually make meals together depending on how many people are here, etc. It does vary, but commonly you make your own breakfast from the guesthouse fridge, I provide sandwiches/salad for lunch, then we have a big barbeque or dinner together.

    When it comes to work hours that's actually a tough question - some people have come with such skill that in 4 hours they can do what most people take eight hours to do. Others want to put in a full eight hours to get things done and move onto the next steps so they learn as much as possible whilst they are here: In summer of course, that still leaves many hours of warm daylight for swimming in the lakes etc. I'd say 6-7 hours five days a week is a good rough guideline - we put good music on, have a laugh and try to find the jobs that people prefer to do most, then do something fun. Weekends are free time to explore and go camping, etc.

    Food - well we're big into adventure and new experiences so we eat what we harvest from the garden as well as roadkill, buying in-season harvest food from neighbours and getting as much out of the containers (dumpster diving) as possible, but I don't mind buying food the 'normal' way for people who find this a bit extreme (actually no one has yet, which really surprised me).

    Our internet works fine for streaming generally but it doesn't have a fast 'ping speed' so it wouldn't be great for people who need serious fast internet for computer projects involving frequent film uploads, or doing systems management, for example.

    I do like to pay people the respect of giving a quick reply to messages, if you don't get one fast, it's for a good reason - if I'm away travelling, for example.


  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Farmstay help
    General Maintenance
    Help with Computers/ Internet
  • UN sustainability goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainability goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    All about alternative living and building and repurposing, fixing and recycling - for people who want to enjoy a largely self-sufficient country life and learn so they can go on to build for themselves in future, in an eco-friendly way.

  • Help


    Welding, painting, gardening, carpentry, preparing materials, building work (heavy and light), maintenance

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    English: Fluent
    Norwegian: Fluent
    Swedish: Fluent
    Danish: Intermediate
    German: Intermediate
    French: Intermediate
    Russian: Intermediate

    This host offers a language exchange
    I'm interested in common words in languages and etymology as well as learning new languages for travelling.

  • Accommodation


    We have a light and fresh guesthouse with en suite bathroom and shower, and also tiny houses. Swedish summers here generally are hot daytime and cool nights, so a lot of life is outdoors wit barbeques or a fire in the evening to sit by.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    I do like a bit of shooting and archery and some boxing/martial arts. I like tracking animals (especially when hungry) and can hunt and prepare wild foods. All knowledge of wildlife and survival and/or rescue techniques interest me greatly (I was involved with the Cave Rescue Organisation in the UK and also in a few mountain rescues here and there in the world). I'm interested in traditional modes of living simply, without unnecessary technology, and finding simple solutions in life. I'd love to learn more first aid skills (sadly my certificates are well out of date). I was always a keen Scout (and later a leader) in the UK and I'm very keen to help youngsters to have a good foundation, skills and confidence in their lives.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    This host has indicated that they love having digital nomads stay.

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    any size really - we have plenty of space

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 7 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 538626139582

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