Don’t be fooled by the Tavelsjöleden signs and brochures.. this hike is not 39 kilometers.. maybe if you flew it would be, but according to my GPS if you do this hike with Vännäsforsleden your looking at at least 60 kilometers. I stopped at around 55 kilometers as my irritation over the terrible signs got to me.

Imagine walking 30 kilometers in one day and seeing a sign that says you are just 10 kilometers away from your goal.. would you quit or continue on? I continued on.. now imagine you pump out 12 more kilometers and the next sign says you are only 9 kilometers from you goal.. after the last one said 10 and you just walked 12 kilometers. That is Tavelsjöleden in a nut shell. I think they put a GPS on bird and figured it would be close enough.

This is normally not a problem as I am prepared for just about anything, but it did get to me this time as I had walked only 20 kilometers the first day because of heavy rain and all round shit weather. I figured 20 would be enough and I could make up the last 25-30 on the second day.. this of course not knowing that the last day would be closer to 40 kilometers instead of the 25 as the signs said.

546270_orig (1)

nyway, now that my irritation about the trail is out lets get to the fun parts! Is this trail fun? yes! it’s a great 2 to 3 day trail. If you are carrrying a heavy pack weight you will probably want to split this up in 3 days – lighter could do it in two. Running in one. I started the journey in Selet where the trail “ends” and made my way towards Umeå instead of the other way around. Which means I got arguably the most beautiful part of the trip first in Vännäsfors leden. 3031401_orig

After a quick 10 minute break to let my feet dry and get back to somewhat normal shape I put my soaking socks on my dry feet and put my now soaking feet into my soaking shoes and made my way to Tavelsjöberget. Not much to say here other than that its a forest trail and now it was a well marked trail and well taken care of so trekking was pretty smooth from here on out – the rain started to soften a bit as well. Eventually I made my way to Tavelsjöberget and got some really nice pictures from here than continued on..

3769067_origAgain the terribly measured distances got to me in a few occasions as certain check points were only suppose to be 5 kilometers away and instead I walked almost always twice the distance before reaching the check point. As I found my way to Stor tavelsjö I finally sat down and decided I would camp there for the night. I didn’t trust the signs anymore and was thinking about walking another 5 kilometers to the next check point – hemberget – glad I didn’t as it was getting late and as my GPS showed me the next day that 5 kilometers to hemberget was closer to 13 kilometers and there was almost no water along the way.

6531460_orig

Well, I don’t want to ramble to much – the truth is you’ve walked one forest trail you’ve walked them all.. I will say that it’s a nice forest trail that takes you through some pretty nice areas and gives some really nice views from the different mountain tops. For me walking long distance is a kind of meditation – it empties my mind and rejuvenates my body and this trail allowed me to do just that – It put my mind and body to the test and really broke me down without crushing me. The trail is not tough, there are no really steep inclines or hard trenches – and if your like me and enjoy the brutal aspects of walking 35 kilometers in day then this trail is awesome.  Just be prepared to walk a lot further than the signs suggest and bring mosquito repellent and nets

My gear:
Total weight base (tent, sleep system and backpack) 2.9kg
total weight food and consumables 5.9kg

A quick rundown of whats good and not:

Good: 
MLD Duomid was a great tent for this trip – It let my get out of the rain and gave me plenty of room to dry off in. My duomid also has a sewed in netting which is great for Sweden where bugs are all the rage.

Zpacks poncho ground floor – great rain poncho and even better ground floor. No complaints here as it worked great the whole trip.

Viewranger GPS – great iphone app and gps tracking

Aklima trekking hoody – This is a great trekking shirt in all wool and sewn in hoody and neck-warmer – excellent way to keep sweat out of eyes and mosquitos off my neck.

Ascics gt 2160 running shoes – my feet barely hurt after 2 days of trekking in heavy rain and backpack on – terrible for rain though as they don’t keep rain out but definitely keep rain in. took two days to dry out

Black Diamond distance carbon fiber flz walking sticks – great, lightweight sticks that I bought at addnature.com. Excellent sticks – I couldn’t ask for better.

Another sidenote on Addnature.com – I love the fact that they are starting to supply ultralight equipment now with the weight in the store. I normally don’t buy from these kinds of shops because they never sell anything lightweight, but addnature are really stepping up the game. Same goes for Haglöfs and their LIM series. Great lightweight equipment!

Bad:

Tavelsjöleden brochure – they really need to look over the kilometers here.. There isn’t a single sign along the way that has proper distance measurements. It really is atrocious.

Keywords: tavelsjöleden, umeå, ultralight hiking, ultralight, sweden, backpacking light, backpacking, zpacks, arc blast, enlightened equipment, quilt, thermarest xtherm, caldera cone, snow peak, mld duomid, mountain laurel designs

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
Shelter
Ti Tent Peg 8st 3.3 94
Zpacks Poncho Groundsheet 6.2 176
Mld Duomid Stuff Sack 25.2 713
Sleep
Enlightened 20f Quilt 23.4 663
Thermarest Mini Pump 2 58
Mont-bell Comfort Pillow 2.8 80
Thermarest Xtherm Large 22.9 650
Cooking
Sawyer Mini 0.2 6
Sawyer Bag 16 0.9 25
Snow Peak 900ml Ti 3.7 104
Sea To Summit Alu Spoon 0.4 12
Caldera Cone Only 2.4 67
Clothing
Msr Pack Towel 1.4 39
Allstar Puffy 11.4 324
Woolpower Thick Socks 2.3 65
Adidas Shorts 6.1 172
Woolpower Thick Pants 6.2 175
Houdini T Shirt 4.9 139
Other
Black Diamnond Head Lamp 3.5 100
Micropur Filter Pills 0.4 12
Lifesystems First Aid 2.7 77
Necessities – Toothbrush 8 228
Amazon Kindle 7.3 208
Usb Cables 2.2 61
Maps 1.8 50
Powermonkey Battery Pack 8.8 250
Powermonkey Solar Charger 7.6 216
Worn
Suunto Ambit Watch 2.8 79
Fällkniven 6.9 195
Seger Trekking Socks 1.4 41
Icebreaker Wool Undies 2.1 60
Ray Ban Sun Glasses 0.8 22
Merrell Shoes Ul 16 453
Ray Ban Sun Glasses 0.8 22
As Tucas Pants 2.2 63
Aklima Woll Hoody 13.4 381
Iphone 5 W Lifeproof 5.3 151
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
Alcohol 4 Days 20ml Per Boil 14.1 400
total weight ex worn and consum 190.6 5405

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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