1999 – Biebrza Swamps

Rafal Krol reiste til Biebrza nasjonal park, Europas største nasjonalpark som ligger nord- øst i Polen. Se bilder og les hvordan Helsport teltet klarte forholdene i det svært fuktige klimaet.

Rafal Krol reiste til Biebrza nasjonal park, Europas største nasjonalpark som ligger nord- øst i Polen.

Han forteller:

The expedition

We left for the expedition on the Biebrza swamp in june. I also tried to make trawers of every peaks in Monte Rosa massif in Alps from Breithorn to Jagerhorn. Unfortunately we got very bad weather all the time. Practically ever night we got storm with very powerful wind and thunderbolts, and it was impossible to climb over 3500m.

The main aim of the expedition was to cross Czerwone Bagno and South Basin of Biebrza river and test any equipment helpful in such conditions.



Survival experts appreciate that some parts of Biebrza swamps are more difficult to explore than jungle. Temperature at the day was between 20-35°C, and at the night 5-10°C with 100% humidity. At the end of trip we couldn’t rid the moisture. Also clothes got moisture and we had skin problems like ulcers and scalds. Daily distances were varied from 10-15km on big fields of grass where water deep is 10-15cm and only hazard is to wrench an ankle to 3-5 km where swamp is very dangerous with deep 50-250 cm and in every moment you can sink under the water. Also bushes were in some parts was a very big obstacle and we had to cut bushes to get through. Another hazard was vipers, leech and mosquitoes. Big problem was sweet water. Water from swamp is poisonous because of microbes. When you drink (which is easy when you draw in swamp) after an hour there is high fever, bad stomach and diarrhoea and finally dysentery. Water in the swamp was cold (still below 10°C) and after a few hours trial waist-deep we got contraction of muscles and were exhausted.


It was very difficult to find a dry place big enough to pitch a tent. In some places we had to cut the reeds and make with it some dry place to pitch the tent. The ventilation system on the Helsport tents is very good. Nets against moskitos were very helpful, and it was very good defence against insects and became the only place we could rest and cook.

In my opinion the Helsport tents are very good and I recommend them for any kind of survival activity. The tents are very light, spacious, excellent designed and infallible.


Biebrza Swamps 

Biebrza National Park is the largest national park in Europe and lies in the north -east of Poland, extending between latitudes 52° 21′ and 53° 41 ‘N and longitudes 22° 28′ and 23°32’ E. It covers an area of 59233 ha, and includes the 2569 ha Czerwone Bagno (Red Mire) Strict Reserve founded as a refuge for moose. There is also a protective buffer zone around the Park covering 66 824 ha. The Biebrza Marshes are outstandingly rich from the faunal point of view. As well as being the country’s most important refuge for moose, the marshes also support an avifauna unique on the European or even world scale, 262 species of bird have been recorded, with some 178 species breeding, and the area is also a vital resting place for birds on spring and autumn migrations. The invertebrate fauna is an unusually rich one, while the ichthyofauna of the area’s rivers and lakes extends to 36 species from 11 families.