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Make Your Own Axe & Canoe Trip 1st-8th September 2019

5 out of 5 based on 2 customer ratings
(2 customer reviews)




September 1st-8th 2019
At Intrepid Expeditions we have been visiting Sweden in the winter and the summer months for many years and feel know we should travel there in the autumn too…. So now we are.

Sweden in the autumn is stunning, the nights are cooler the stars show themselves again in the evening, the sun sits lower on the horizon and frosts appear in the morning, the lingon berries are in bloom and the leaves turn rustic browns and everywhere starts to calm down and prepare itself for the oncoming winter months.

However just before all that starts to happen we take advantage of this stunning season.

Intrepid expeditions has a brand new adventure for you this autumn that is an absolute must for any wilderness-loving adventurer.

For years Gransfors Bruks have been making world renown axes and for the first time have allowed us into their factory for two days with the opportunity for you to make your own axe and be shown around. Think of it as an axe mans version of “Charlie and the chocolate factory”

The second part of the trip will be spent traveling to a remote island by canoe where will establish camp and put your new hand made axe to good use.  We hope you will carve yourself a paddle to paddle home with and will sit alongside your treasured hand made axe for years to come, and each time you look at it or go to use it for chopping firewood or being used in the forest you can say to yourself “I made that” it doesn’t get anymore real than that.

Additional Information

Date 1st 8th September 2019

Full price £1495.00 Deposit price £373.75


Deposit, Full Payment

2 reviews for Make Your Own Axe & Canoe Trip 1st-8th September 2019

  1. 5 out of 5


    This was a great experience. Nigel worls hard to ensure his guests are looked after and their wishes accomodated. Stay at Gransfors was very informative. Good food and hospitality. Canoe adventure was exciting and lodge accomodation stay at Follinge was a real taste of outdoor Sweden. Weather was a little wet for time of year but we were all well prepared and jad a lovely BBQ of moose meat and pork on last night at lodge before departure. Flights and transfers all good and well organised. A very satisfying and VFM trip. Great! Thanks Nigel.

  2. 5 out of 5


    I visited Gransfors during September 2018, and the weather was amazing !!

    I found this trip and whole experience to be fantastic. from start to finish. We were greeted with a friendly instructor, who answered any questions we had, and made us feel at ease with everything.

    The Gransfors experience simply HAS to be done. Even if you are only 20% considering it, GO THERE AND DO IT.
    It’s the birthplace of the world’s leading axe manufacturer and to say you’ve been there and MADE and FORGED and axe there, is simply out of this world.
    It certainly made me open my eyes to the world of a blacksmith of time gone by. Whilst the axes for sale are made by hand still, in machine press tools, we were actually at the “school” of Gransfors. We were hammering and heating our axe heads for 2 days whilst under the careful guided tuition of Fredrik, a very very experienced guy in his own field.
    At no point during the 2 days did I think I couldn’t cope with the production of the axe, esp having no prior experience in forging at all. We were given step by step instructions form our excellent teacher, who showed us one stage and then let us complete that. Once we all had done that, we were shown stage 2, and 3 etc etc. No rushing was involved at all, he had the patience of a saint.

    The food at mealtimes was great as well. We ate 3 meals a day and even in 20 plus degrees heat (which was cooling to us compared to the forge ), we noshed on a hot plate of food as we had all sweated our heads off in the forge and worked up a severe hunger. Moose and Pork stews went down a treat, as well as the super strong coffee.

    The people and family members at Gransfors were very welcoming, spoke excellent English and it was a pleasure to sit with them.

    The shop was great to browse around, picking up spare handles etc etc for back home was a must. Almost all of the axes for sale were irresistible, yet not possible to bring back many due to our weight limits and of course, and the cost of them. We were all drooling at them placed upon the wall ready for the customer browse.

    The tour of the production factory, assembling and dispatch was great too. Although Gransfors axes are not made by a single blacksmith beating the heads with a hammer, the machine presses used are so old and lovely. Still operated by hand, the heads are strategically placed in and out of the press tools, with precise motion and concentration the heads are formed and made ready for grinding and heat treatment. A skilled job in itself, which was great to watch.

    Nigel our Intrepid instructor was such a cool guy. Down to earth, patient, and would muck in and have a darn good laugh with us all. He drove hours on end safely and efficiently,getting us to and from places. He spent time with individuals on the island, where they practised fire by friction amongst other things.

    Camping was great fun, both on site at Gransfors and on the Island. we all sat down by a communal campfire every night, and would cook pretty much at the same time, enabling the best kind of team bonding and dinner time chats.
    At no point was anyone made to feel like they had to stay in a group, people often wandered off for a walk, a quick nap in their tent for a while, or just simply to have a few mins time messaging back home to loved ones.

    The team got on really well, and I think Nigel fed from this energy we all created. Bundles of laughs and good times was had by all.

    The lodge was a fantastic place. we had the choice of a sauna and hot tub outside too, but didn’t because it was warm enough anyways. IN the outside log burner, we heated water from the stream/pool to put into overhead shower bags, and hot water was greatly appreciated for a shower before the flight home.
    The fact that the lodge is not on mains water, or electric really does give you the feeling of isolation, which for me was just what I had wanted. And when it’s dark inside, it’s dark. Proper dark. But with snow shoes hung on the wall, animal skins flung out as throws, a log burner inside if we wanted it and old time black and white pictures of people of years gone by, it was a real cosy place.

    As we drove down the rough old track toward to turning for the lodge, a huge number of wooded high seats are plonked on the side of the track for the Moose hunters. we arrived about one week into moose hunting season, and were lucky enough to have sampled this in a stew ( delicious too).

    The canoe phase was super enjoyable. For me, it was enough canoeing to experience a taste of it, without it purely being about a canoe trip. Having no prior experience with canoeing, I stayed afloat and managed just fine. We even went out in pairs and fished from the canoes.
    Nigel gave us a safety talk before we entered into any water, and didn’t waste time with unnecessary info, but gave us the required info. Nobody was left behind or made to feel like they were not doing a good enough job or anything like that. Nigel was patient, always kept an eye out for other canoes during the paddling, and gave instructions as we were approaching the landing spots. Take some waterproof bags/sacks for valuable items as a precaution.
    A very enjoyable time in the water. Like I said, for me it was enough to sample the canoeing, without it overtaking the trip.

    I myself was very happy to sit on the island and chill out, whilst carving a spoon, or finding tinder etc for fires.
    We saw an Osprey as well, which came from it’s nest and decided to plunge into the lake for some chance of a fish. Unfortunately he was unlucky on that attempt, but such a wonderful sight to see, esp in the wild.

    The view from the island of the sunsets were stunning. even ultra wide angle lenses could not pick up the more than 180 degrees of water and sky we had visible at sunset.

    With a fire crackling in the background, and the sun going down, it made for a beautiful place to stay.
    The night skies were stunning also, spotting the milky way was such an easy task, with very little light pollution.

    I decided not to use my hammock and tarp for this trip ( i usually favour that set up in England) but the ants were pretty much everywhere.
    A zipped up tent was the way to go, and was a wise choice and recommendation.

    About £20 GBP will buy you enough food from the local but small supermarket from Follinge, for the 2 days on the island. I opted for a large can of chilli (about £3.50 though !), and cooked packet rice I had took with me.
    Mushrooms, fresh tomatoes and a box of eggs for omelettes and brekkie. A few snacks like nuts, some crisps and a couple of bread rolls was all you pretty much needed for the island. It is actually surprising just how little you actually need.
    Oh, and be careful, if buying bottled water, as some others ended up with fizzy rather than still. It’s pot luck over there, haha. But fun.

    Overall, this trip was such a good time. The communications from Nigel over emails leading up to the trip to me was responsive, to the point, and friendly.
    It was very well priced in my opinion. 4 flights, hours of driving/fuel, food supplied except 2 days, airport transfers, 2 days at Gransfors “school” forge. Add all that up, and someone still needs to make a living, I’d say that was well worth the money.
    Once you have been on an Intrepid expedition, you will almost certainly be browsing through their other trips when you get back home. Its like an addiction that’s calling you.

    I cannot recommend Intrepid and it’s instructor Nigel enough. Great professional team and outfit. Would always recommend them.

    Thanks for a superb trip Nigel, and all the lads who made up our team.
    The screamers of 2018…………….Rock on Gransfors !!

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DAY 1:

Depart Heathrow from the new terminal 2 to Stockholm with Scandinavian Airlines to Stockholm then another forwarding flight to Ostersund,. Upon arrival you will be met by transport waiting to drive you to a the Gransfors Bruks Factory. Once we arrive there we will set up camp in Granfors very own woodland (tents and hammocks) and get familiar with our new surroundings.

DAY 2:

After breakfast we will have a tour around the Gransfors factory, learning their traditional steeped history into axe making and get started on making our own axes.
The evening will be spent in the woodland with an open fire.

DAY 3:

This is when we complete our axes and take the time to relax and admire your own handy work.

DAY 4:

Today is the last morning at Gransfors,

After breakfast we will be transported to our cabin where we spend our time running winter courses. So a warm bed for the night and a sauna for those who are feeling in the Scandinavian ways now.

Please note the cabin is basic and has no electricity or running water, although we do bring fresh water in.

DAY 5:

After breakfast we will take a short drive to meet the our fleet of canoes and after a safety brief and all equipment is issued we head off acros the lake to a remote island. Please note no previous canoe experience is needed for this trip. We’ll then make camp before heading out to cut and collect the materials needed for making canoe paddles – using the axes we’ve made earlier in the week.
The night will be spent again back in hammocks or tents with a campfire for cooking and warmth.

DAY 6:

This is the roughing out day. We’ll cut the timber for our paddles so that they at least resemble paddles and then work them until they are usable.
This is done at your own leisure and pleasure, no rushing around just you and your axe and nature.

DAY 7:

So paddle carved and just needs a quick spruce up and smooth off any rough edges and start to sand them down….now here comes your moment to test your paddle as early evening we will Paddle back across the lake using our new paddles to meet up with the transport to take us back to the cabin for the last evening where we will be able to sit back relax by the fire and as always Intrepid Expeditions will lay on a feast of a `BBQ.

DAY 8:

All good things come to an end so after breakfast back onto the bus and travel to the airport to start your journey back to the UK

All members of the expedition must arrange and have their own travel insurance to cover themselves whilst on the expedition and also a current European Health Insurance Card.
It is also wise to have cancellation insurance incase of political instability in the region or other unforeseen problems which may affect the running of the expedition.

All flights.
Canoes and Canoeing equipment
Food at Gransfors


Personal Expenditure (everything can be bought using a credit/debit card so there is no real need for cash)
Personal Travel Insurance
Chef or cleaner.
Rations for the Bushcraft and canoeing paddle phase) (You should buy what you need for 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 4 evening meals – please ask for advice)

You will need a current 10 year passport and a current European Health Insurance Card.

DATES: 9th October – 15th October 2017
PRICE: £1295 all inclusive.

This venture is run in conformity and in accordance with British Standard 8848.
Licensing and Bonding

This trip is fully bonded and licensed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for your financial protection. All relevant customer monies are secured by Bank Guarantees and/or Insurance. An Air Travel Organisers’ Licence (ATOL) granted by the CAA is held for this trip. Our ATOL number is 9576.