Actually it was Gunnika’s boyfriend who got her from talking to action. He was tired of hearing her moaning: “Oh, we should…” and finally said: “Why don’t you just get out on some shorter trips…?”
That first idea gave birth to a larger project: Gunnika Isaksson-Lutteman decided she would go for a small adventure every weekend, all year round. 52 adventures, altogether.
The first week in January she started with cross-country skiing in Funäsdalen, in the northwest of Sweden. After that she moved on to downhill skiing, skating, trekking. mountainbike, kayaking, a road trip through Norway, Via Ferrata, more trekking, sailing, parachuting and a string of other activities.
By the end of 2011 Gunnika Isaksson-Lutteman had not only fulfilled her goal – she had also made a homepage about her adventures. Recently she won a prize for her idea with weekend adventures.
“My aim wasn’t to walk the longest distance, climb the highest mountain, be the quickest paddler, dive to the deepest depths or ski the steepest slopes. I wasn’t even trying to be the first of doing anything,” she says.
“I just wanted to show that there are small adventures all around you. You can enjoy the outdoors without spending a lot of money and time to get out: go on a day trip around where you live, take a bus or train somewhere near and spend a night in a tent.”
Most of her trips were made together with her dog Diesel, but sometimes her boyfriend or friends joined in. A couple of times she was all alone.
“It’s special being out alone. It makes the whole experience more intense and you learn how to take care of yourself and make your own decisions.”
Apart from showing herself and the world that you can enjoy the outdoors on a shoe-string budget, Gunnika had some other objectives: to become a champ at lighting fires, learning to read maps, get physically fit and mentally relaxed – and spot a Lynx in the wild.
“I managed to reach my goals, except the Lynx,” she says.
And how much did the adventures cost you?
“Usually a few hundred crowns per trip, sometimes less, sometimes more.”
Normally, Gunnika Isaksson-Lutteman, 34, works a researcher at the University of Uppsala. After her adventurous 2011 she has become part-time outdoor expert. Soon she will be one of the speakers at this years’s large Wilderness Fair in Stockholm.
So, what’s next?
“This summer I’m planning to go by mountainbike from Uppsala to Älvkarleby, get into my kayak and paddle back along the coast to Lake Mälaren and then back to Uppsala through Fyrisån (a small river). By chance the trip is 52 Swedish Miles…”