Everything you need to know about hiking at trail Östgötaleden

with Vårdnås as a starting point

Vårdnäs is the perfect place for those who want to hike in beautiful and peaceful nature. Vårdnäs is connected to the part of the hiking trail Östgötaleden called "Rängen Runt". A stretch of about 45 kilometers that goes around the lake Stora Rängen, just south of Linköping in Östergötland. You choose whether you want to walk part of the trail or the entire trail and how many days you want to hike.

Click on one of the boxes below to access more information about hiking with Vårdnäs as a starting point:


If it's your first time hiking, it can feel like a challenge. Once you're up and running, you'll find that it's not nearly as difficult as you imagined, but there are things you can keep in mind to make your experience easier. Here are some simple tips for those who are new to hiking:

How far can you expect to make it in a day? How should you plan your trip so you don't get exhausted? In general, a pace of 3-4 kilometers per hour is considered a good hiking pace, it is a little lower than a normal walking pace because it takes into account walking with a pack, and it can last a whole day. Rather aim for a slower pace than one that is too fast. Remember that you also want time to pause, look around and discover the surroundings. A shorter loop can be a good first goal, with plenty of opportunities for rest.

What should you pack? How should you dress?

A pair of really good hiking boots is of course a must for those who intend to start hiking. Take plenty of time to try them out, feel free to ask for help to find a pair that suits your needs and the terrain you will be hiking in.

A good tip is to test the shoes on a short hike before you set off on a longer adventure.The clothes you have need to be adapted to withstand nature. There are plenty of materials that resist both wind and moisture, and still let air through so you don't get sweaty. Make sure to fit clothes you can move easily in, even if you're not hiking at a fast pace, you'll get warm quickly. A good tip is to make sure to bring a pair of change socks, so that wet and uncomfortable feet don't spoil your mood. And always carry a packet of chafing plasters – you don't want to have to turn around for a shoe chafing!

What equipment do you need?

If it's not in your interest, you don't need to prepare with a lot of equipment to explore nature. The only thing you really need is a good and lightly packed lunch bag, preferably rich in protein to keep your energy level up, a water bottle that you can easily fill up and, of course, a map and compass. If you are not used to reading maps, you need to practice a little before you go out, so that you feel completely safe that you will not get lost.

Hiking with children

It may not seem like hiking would be an activity suitable for children, but with the right mindset and a little planning, it can be a great way to create experiences for the whole family. Along the Östgötaleden there are plenty of stages that are suitable for family outings, such as swimming spots and exciting primeval forest environments.

When hiking with children, you need to plan for a different pace than if you hike alone. More rest stops may be needed, and plenty of time to stop and explore the surroundings. You can turn the hike into a journey of discovery by bringing a bird book or a magnifying glass to get to know nature up close. Of course, it's harder for children to keep up, so you need to make sure you can get back up quickly if needed. Around Vårdnäs there are plenty of exciting places, also within a short distance from the diocese.

Right of public access ("Allemansrätten")

The fact that hiking in Sweden is so popular is largely due to the fact that we have the Allemansrätten, which says that nature must be open for everyone to experience. When you hike, you therefore need to think about protecting nature and take your responsibility so that it is an experience for everyone. The basic rule "do not disturb, do not destroy" is a good watchword to always keep in mind. This means, among other things, that you must pick up your rubbish and that you must not disturb the animal and natural life around you. In most places you are allowed to make a fire if you do it safely and in a limited way, but keep in mind that there may be special rules about burning in reserves and the national park.