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well I’m back from what can only be described as a total failure for my part. While it was not possible for me to participate in the entire thru-hike I did plan on making it to Växjö. Which is about 120 kilometers from the starting point in Kalmar, Sweden. For anybody who doesn’t know Coast 2 Coast Sweden is a 400 kilometer thru-hike from Kalmar, Sweden to Varberg in the west of Sweden. Basically from the east coast to the west coast strait through Sweden. This is an event dreamed up and organised by Jörgen Johansson at fjaderlatt.se and Jonas Hållén.

All I can say is that it was very enjoyable and it’s hard not to love the hike! definitely something I recommend to anybody both getting into ultralight hiking and thru-hiking or seasoned veterans.

In any case I had my total pack ready, even bought a new Platypus 2L bottle with straw to prepare myself. I had spent months planing and organising my gear. I had trained for hours and hours, walking over 150 kilometers in a month just to prepare my body for the longer walk (and because I love walking). I was in other words more than prepared for this little journey. Which in all honesty a 5 day hike in my case with 10 kilos of gear shouldn’t have been a problem at all. I’ve covered much further distances with heavier gear. In any case I learned one major lesson this year that has taken me roughly 2 weeks to recover from:

Don’t wear Nike mess shoes with no sole inserts.

you see, it started like this. These nike shoes I absolutely love and have been using them for all my training and walking leading up to the thru-hike and didn’t notice any problems at all. Even the first day of hiking which was a total of 25 kilometers went perfectly well, until the last 2 kilometers when I just couldn’t stand anymore. I’ve had many blisters, calluses, foot aches and so on in my life – But I’ve never had my feet completely give up on me. Where even putting slight pressure on them was an impossibility. I’m still not completely sure what happened but my guess is this:

These shoes are not made for hiking in pouring rain with a total weight of 107 kilos. Basically the support gave out and flattened out my feet; which hurt like hell. Anyway, I figured a days rest and new shoes would solve the problem – I was wrong. It took my feet two weeks to recover and I’m still walking with a slight limp. So lessoned learned.

Anyway, all was not lost – I did make one full day of hiking, took a few pictures and camped out for three days before losing hope that I would be able to continue. So what continues are a few observations of what worked, what didn’t work and a few pictures to go along.

The adventure starts here in Kalmar:

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The excitement unbearable, everyone is ready. People from all over the  world Germany and Sweden are ready to go 🙂

As I said before, the first days hike was very enjoyable and I sincerely regret not being able to continued. Anyway here are some more pictures of the thru-hike.

In my next post I will talk about what gear worked and didn’t work. Obviously the shoes didn’t work…..

Posted by Kenneth Shaw

Blogger, photographer and backpacker. If you like my writing or my site don't be afraid to follow me, like or share my posts here on the site. Thanks and enjoy!

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