It’s not often I get the urge to do a group event like this. In fact besides Coast 2 Coast Sweden it’s never happened before. I am starting to enjoy the company of other like minded hikers. Or atleast hikers that like being out and enjoying the beautiful landscape – that is after all the most important factor of being outdoors. With that said, I stuck out like a sore thumb on this event. Not too many people who understand the idea of trekking with lighter gear. It’s funny how not wanting to carry 30 kilos on my back makes me the weird one 🙂 In anycase I understand rather quickly why I stood out – during the “courses” the guide suggested we carry more weight as it creates “strength”. (No I am not joking – heavy equipment is the same a good equipment)

I guess there is some kind of logic there – forget about what you have in your pack, just make sure it’s heavy and you will be fine. Of course I have all the respect in the world for the organisers and the structure and everything else, I just find it fun to question the logic. In anycase the trip was a ton of fun and I met a lot of nice people whom I’m sure I will have a lot of contact with in the future.

When I first read about this trip being “only” 30-40 kilometers, and in some cases if your feeling lazy 20 – I couldn’t understand how or why it would be a three day event. One and a half should do. Basically that is what it is a 2 day trip as there are courses and an after hiking party. I can say this much: Don’t be fooled by the distance, these are some serious inclines that take a lot of energy. In other words it was a pain in the ass at times and it really kicked my ass in certain sections. With that said my hiking buddy was carrying closer to 30 kilos on his back (I was carrying the tent and had a lot more clothes on.. more on that later) He made it, with a lot of breaks – but he made it.

You can see from my gear list down below that I wasn’t too focused on ultralight – I simply don’t do enough winter hikes to make the extra investments, at least not this season. My puffy pants for example weigh 550grams, my puffy jacket weighs closer to 500grams and so on. All in all I am very pleased with my equipment and was very warm and felt very safe besides the temperature dropping to around -9 on the first night.

As for my hiking buddy Michael: Not so much. He brought closer to 30 kilos in his bag and I thought it was insane. I told him to leave his tent in my car and we can share my MLD Supermid, which worked out fantastically well. His gear list looked something like this:

Fjällräven Kajka backpack 3,5kilos (great bag for treks to the arctic?)
Older Marmot synthetic sleeping bag 2,1kilos
Sleeping mat self inflating – 1 kilo
Jetboil Sumo – 453grams (granted he did cook a lot of water even for me)
fjällräven parka – 2 kilos maybe 3

Thats just what I remember now a couple weeks later. In anycase what can be said is that he didn’t have a lot with him, in fact I had a lot more clothing and luxories with me… His stuff was just a hell of a lot heavier.

To clear things up, I am not totally against having a heavy pack – I just don’t see the point. To each his own. But What i have realised during my years of hiking is that most people don’t realise there are alternatives to what you can get at your typical outdoor gear shop. What is usually missing is knowledge – and the certainty that lighter gear can mean safer, funner and smarter backpacking. By the way, I do love fjällräven gear – I just wouldn’t use it backpacking.

Now unfortunately because I didn’t take too many notes during the trip I really can’t write too much now so I will just include my gear list to kid you into thinking this post has “substance” and a few pictures 🙂

Total weight excluding consumables and worn clothing including Camera and lenses: 9.55 kilos – 21.05lbs ( keep in mind I was carrying a tent for the both of us 🙂

For more pictures you can check out my flikr page.

Gear List:

Item Ounces Grams
Packing
Zpacks Arc Blast 19.8 560
Stuff Sack 2l 0.8 24
Stuff Sack 2l 0.8 24
Stuff Sack 4l 1.2 33
22.6 641
Shelter
Mld Supermid 26.3 746
Msr Blizzard Stake 0.9 25
Msr Blizzard Stake 0.9 25
Msr Blizzard Stake 0.9 25
Msr Blizzard Stake 0.9 25
Msr Blizzard Stake 0.9 25
Msr Blizzard Stake 0.9 25
Exped Snow Anchor 0.5 15
Exped Snow Anchor 0.5 15
Exped Snow Anchor 0.5 15
Zpacks Poncho Groundsheet 6.2 176
39.4 1117
Sleep
Thermarest Xtherm Large 22.9 650
Ul Sleep Pad 5.1 145
Thermarest Mini Pump 2 58
Mont-bell Comfort Pillow 2.8 80
Enlightened 20f Quilt 23.4 663
56.2 1596
Cooking
Lighter Allstar 0.6 17
Fire Steel 1.8 51
Sea To Summit Alu Spoon 0.4 12
Nalgene Wide Mouth W Tape 6.8 194
Jetboil Ti 8.7 246
Plastic Fold Cup 0.8 24
Klean Canteen 9.6 272
28.7 816
Clothing
Woolpower Thick Socks 2.3 65
Patagonia Puffy Hoody Jacket 16.1 457
Wm Puffy Booty P 4.1 115
New Line Wind Jacket 3.4 96
Woolpower Thick Shirt Layer 1 7.9 223
Puffy Pants Syntet 18.9 535
As Tucas Mössa 1.7 48
Ultralight Gaiters 3.3 93
Woolpower Thick Pants 6.2 175
North Face Thermoball Vest 9.2 260
73.1 2067
Other
Msr Towel 1.4 39
Black Diamnond Head Lamp 3.5 100
Xtherm Repair Kit 0.4 11
Candle Lantern 6.3 179
Lithium 4400 Battery Charger 4.1 116
Usb Cables 2.2 61
Lifesystems First Aid 2.7 77
Amazon Kindle 7.3 208
Necessities – Toothbrush 8 228
Snow Claw 6 170
A7 Battery 2 57
Gorillapod Tripod 6.8 193
Sony A7r W 24-70 35.5 1005
Camera Case 10.6 300
96.8 2744
Worn
Suunto Ambit Watch 2.8 79
Tierra Beenie 1.1 31
Fällkniven 6.9 195
Iphone 5 4 112
Icebreaker Wool Undies 2.1 60
Easton Walking Sticks Pair 18.5 524
Haglöfs Boots 65.1 1845
Lill-sport Handskar 3.7 104
As Tucas Pants 2.2 63
Ray Ban Sun Glasses 0.8 22
107.2 3035
Consumables
Matches 0.4 11
Instant Coffee 1.7 47
Green Te 0.1 2
Green Te 0.1 2
Green Te 0.1 2
Toilet Papper 0.7 20
Hot Chocolate 1.1 31
Hot Chocolate 1.1 31
Hot Chocolate 1.1 31
Butane Cannister 7 198
13.4 375
total pack ex worn and consume 316.8 8981
Total ink worn 437.4 12391

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!

4 Comments

  1. […] in march 2015 I took a three day hike through Skuleberget with Fjällräven during their Winter classic. These photos were all taken with my Sony A7R and 24-70mm zeiss lens. Pictures turned out decent […]

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  2. Hi,
    What´s your name actually? I couldn´t find one on your website or fb? (Didn´t search intensively.)
    Why do you think, the MLD Supermid is the perfect shelter for such a winter trip? It´s light and it seems, there is a lot of room, but isn´t it a bit drafty and cold for winter nights in Sweden?
    Cheers,
    Valentin
    (I was for a long time a the-heavier-the-better-guy, who put´s out his feelers to the other side now. 🙂 )

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    1. Hi, My name is ken.. I actually love the pyramid design even for winter camping, though admittedly I probably wouldn’t bring it on an Antarctic expedition. But then I’m pretty well seasoned when it comes to winter camping.

      I like to dig out small holes underneath the pyramid tents as they are floorless. More like small dig outs for my body and gear… on top of that if you look at the pictures around the expedition style tents in camp most people built up massive wind shields and so on with snow. I just put a little bit of snow around the perimeter and I’m good to go. (keeps the drafts out).

      A lot of people are sceptical to pyramid tarps for winter use – but see it like this: Skill determines outcome, there is definitely a bit of comfort gained in a large two person tent when you are uncertain about conditions or abilities. But on something like the Winter classic which is fairly mild (under the arctic circle), a pyramid tent is sufficient.

      Hope this helps 🙂

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      1. Thanks Ken, it helps! 🙂

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