Category: backpacking

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TGO Challenge 2018 part 1 video and pics

Scotland, what a beautiful nation and what an incredible hike Scotland has to offer. Truly incredible experience and one I thoroughly enjoyed. The TGO Challenge is a hiking adventure that is organized once a year since 1980. You have a few different starting points, and a few ending, and you make your own route through the country. Our route started in Lochailort and ended at Dunnottar castle of the coast of Stonehaven – A total hike of about 340km with some of the detours and other site we sent of towards. We did this is 12 days of hiking.

you can either read all of this, or just click on the video and watch all of it..

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The full route as seen on Viewranger

I flew into Edinburgh, took the direct bus to Glasgow, in Glasgow I sent two packages to myself at the post office that is located right outside the bus stop. I had my resuplies sent to the Inverlochy villas in Fort william where I was staying for the night and Braemar youth hostel. This cost about 3pounds per package.

From Glasgow I met up with Niels blok who has ultralightpedestrian.com, and we took the train up to Lochailort where we arrived at around 23.00 in the evening. Tired, and no place to sleep we pitched the Ultamid 2 in the parking lot right outside the train station. This worked just fine as we arrived on the last train, and the first train wouldn’t start until around 7.30 in the morning.. plenty of time to get sleep.

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We woke up, packed our shit and after a nice long and healthy fight with the Lochailort inn employees, we were able to get breakfast and check in for the TGO Challenge. Though we were one step away from having to grovel on our hands and knees to get that damn breakfast.

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From there we made our way into the mountains via the Prince charlies cave, which we didn’t see, along the Loch beoraid where we stopped and ate breakfast at or around the Kinlochbeoraid bothy

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From there we pushed through the Gleann Donn, a wild trail, or rather no trail, just bogs and rocks to climb up a ravine and down into Glen Finnan where all ambition to climb another ravine was lost and we set up camp at the bothy there.

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After a nice evening at the camp we decided that the ravine wasn’t for us, so we made a detour around the ravine as you can see in the pic below.

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That worked out just fine for us and we continued on our journey.

IMG_2876.jpgDay two started with that detour taking us around Beinn an Tuim, though, next time I will probably opt to climb up and over as I don’t care for road walking too much either.

Once we caught up with our route we then made our way along the Leann Fionnlighe which was rather spectacular at times, felt like we were heading into true scandinavien mountains. Large rolling hills, wet bogs, bugs and some waterfalls along the way.

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After what turned out to be the worst campsite of the trail, a small little tick infested hell by the water (though the water and view was nice).. We trekked our way into Fort william, ate a burger, drank a beer and changed out my Ultamid 2 for a Terra nova laser 1 competition. Several reasons for that really, 1. I wanted to try a new tent that I had plans on importing and selling 2. I wanted a tent with a smaller footprint and 3. I wanted a little better protection from ticks. My hiking mate Niels had been talking about his horrific experience with Lime disease, and just the whole, spending a week in a hospital nearly dead stuff kind of scared me into submission.. inner tent it would be then.

 

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A night in paradise: video and gear list

Hammock glamping.. that’s right, glamping maxed out, and no shame at all. The first real day of spring has arrived in Stockholm so I did what any highly motived government employee would do: I ditch work early, packed my backpack and headed to the lake.. This particular area is called “Paradiset” – The paradise. I agree. I love this little area and it’s only about a 15 minute drive from my house in Farsta.

No long walk, no ultralight, no dehydrated fodder – just glamping. I made an awesome little lentils, carrots and broccoli casserole in a thick and heavy Trangia kitchen set along with freshly grinded coffee beans in a snow peak coffee press. I slept like a king in the REI quarter dome hammock system (assuming kings sleep well of course). All in all it was just a great night out and one that was sorely needed after the long and depressing winter.

Testing different editing options, I edited this video completely on the Ipad mini using Lumafusion. Not a perfect edit but good enough.

Full gear list:

https://lighterpack.com/r/8nul9i

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Fjällräven classic 2018 – A gear guide and list

I recently posted a videon on my youtube channel of the different gear I would probably bring with me on the Fjällräven classic this year if I were to do it. (I am not.. I’m doing the TGOChallenge, A couple of winter hikes, Zambia, and Jämtlandsfjäll).. This would however be some of the gear I would pack for the trip – granted i would use the HMG Windrider 4400 and not the ULA Circuit, also A few other changes I would make. This was kind of a budget run-down of gear selections that most people could make.

Reasoning behind the gear choices: 

Northern Sweden is a tricky area to plan “super ultralight” for, and honestly I don’t do Super ultralight. I do ultralight and comfortable (Notice the Helinox chair? yes, the 500grams are worth it for me). The reason for Northern Sweden being a little heavier and warmer is because it could be rain for days, followed by snow, then to sunshine. You could place your tent on snow and ice – which I have done during the classic, and the winds could just blow ice cold wind down from the mountains. With that, I usually try to plan for most of what I will encounter. I have done that trail several times with and without bug nets, with and without any real rain gear, with and without a proper sleeping pad, bag or tent. I suggest aiming for warmth and comfort at the lightest weight possible.

Here is another issue to think about – all my gear is heavier than yours even if we have the exact same gear. This is because I have to buy large and wide for everything 🙂

Also, keep in mind there are a few major ascents and descents – so don’t pack more than 8-10 kilos in your bag and bring walking sticks. I have seen countless heavy-miserables (the hikers with 20+ kilos) with broken feet, legs and bodies after three or four days along the classic) You will be given food in two day intervals and you don’t need to carry water as it’s everywhere.

Use lightweight mesh trail shoes with Superfeet insoles. Boots will kill you on this trail as there are quite a few water crossing and wading. Once your boots get wet, your trip is ruined. Trail shoes love water – and dry quickly.

Hope this little guide and packing list help you in your Fjällräven classic planning!

Most of this gear can be purchased in Europe at Http://www.backpackinglight.dk or in sweden http://www.backpackinglight.se

Item Ounces Grams
Packing  
Packing Pod L 1.6 45
Packing Pod S 1.3 37
Hmg Stuff Sack Pillow 1.4 40
Ula Circuilt 34.6 980
Shelter
Ti Tent Pegs 3.5 98
Tarptent Stratospire 1 W/ Solid 37 1050
Helinix Zero Chair 17.3 490
Sleep
As Tucas Sestrals Poncho 26.1 740
Xtherm 20.5 580
Cooking
Sea To Summit Long Spoon Ti 0.4 12
Sea To Summit Sink 4.6 130
Soto Amicus 2.8 79
Toaks 700ml W Lid And Case 3.5 99
Zefa Water Bottle 3.5 98
Clothing
Mld Waterproof Gloves 1.6 46
Wp 200g Pants 6.1 174
Wp 200g Shirt 8.1 229
Headnet 0.9 26
Haglofs Green Wind Jacket 2.3 65
Patagonia Alpine Rain Shell 6.4 181
Soft Shell Rain Pants 6.7 190
Haglifs Lim Puffy Jacket 6.7 191
Other
Murla Knife 0.7 20
Ul Teeth Care 3.1 89
Iphone 6s Plus Ink Case 9.9 282
Thermarest Repair Kit 0.5 14
First Aid Kit 3.1 89
Usb Cables 0.8 24
Globalstar 8.5 240
20100 Anker Battery Pack 16.2 460
Amazon Kindle 7.4 209
Gopro Hero 5 W/3-way 9.7 275
Sony Rx100 IV 8.2 232
Consumables
Butane Cannister Small 7.1 202
Toilet Papper 5.3 150
Coffee 3.5 100
Total 280.9 7966
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A reflection on backpacking

Some of my earliest memories in life are that of me and my family out camping – car camping of course as I was raised in the USA. I remember us driving around, setting up a tent, breaking out the coleman camping stove, grilling hot dogs, even remember the times our tarp was flooded out in Hawaii, or our car broken into in Utah while we slept in our tents. As I got older and in my teens, my camping trips started going towards shorter walks with tents, weed, beer and big ass bon fires. In my early twenties I moved to Sweden and my love for backpacking grew exponentially.

I bought my first tent in Sweden, my own personal tent when I was about 20. Before that I had just been borrowing tents. Me and my then girlfriend had this fantasy that we would travel around and sleep in a tent and explore Sweden. This worked for one time and the fantasy became mine alone and the misses stayed home. I soon realized that I didn’t have any hiking friends like I did in the USA, and out of necessity my love for solo hiking was discovered.

Throughout the years I have solo hiked thousands of miles, slept countless nights outdoors from Far above the arctic circle to deep in the Australian outback and everywhere in between. I have always loved solo hiking, I loved the deep contemplative beauty of it, the mental games of always questioning my own ability, or discovering a new idea. Solo backpacking is truly something I think everyone has to experience, I have grown as a person because of my solo hiking.

About 3 years ago I started to notice a change however, I started to find that I missed the comradery of hiking a trail together with a friend. Or discovering new friends along the trail. My solo adventures started to feel lonely and isolated. It wasn’t that I had nothing left to discover within myself, it was just that I wanted to discover other people and their loves or struggles. On my trek through Iceland in 2015, I felt a kind of loneliness that I hadn’t felt before, and it really took away from the total experience of hiking such an amazing landscape.

Maybe it was the birth of my son and the changes in the family dynamic after that, that made these other changes in me. Since my son was born, life seems so “solid” – love feels real, and my closeness to my wife has deepened in a way that is hard to explain. But on the flip side, my deeper meaning discussions with my wife have have been replaced by two word dialogs interrupted by a lovely boy that wants attention in one way or another. Perhaps his finger stinks because he picked his but and he wants us to smell, or maybe a meatball fell to the ground, or some other world shaking catastrophes that interrupts what little time my wife and I have for each other. So now we content ourselves with our little corners in the sofa with an ipad or iphone in hand and a TV on as background noise.

In other words, the isolation I so desired by hiking solo, has been filled by a 5 year old boy and an Ipad. So now, more than anything, I desire a grown up conversation about nothing, that is not interrupted in two word intervals. My love for isolation is now being or has been replaced, by a need to meet friends and new people. I’m not sure if there is anything better than just talking about nothing with a friend around a campfire. Last summer I made a pointed effort to meet somebody along the trail in Sarek and just hike with them. Ended up being one of the better trips I’ve had in a long time, and with that I made a new friend that I still meet up with from time to time here in Stockholm.

I keep trying to force myself to just go out and rekindle my love of sleeping in the outdoors by myself. I still go out 3-4 nights a month, and some of those nights are lovely, and others are less than optimal. But the best times are always with a friend or with my family. So instead of running away from this realization, it’s time to embrace it. Maybe I should start organizing little get together around Stockholm and around Sweden and everywhere else I happen to be travelling. Maybe little weekend groups here in Stockholm – I don’t know how this will take place, but I feel like it’s time to try something new. To embrace this new phase and need in my life, and I think it would be awesome to share that with new people!

 

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Soto Muka stove review – a video

I’m back! again.. with yet another gear review.. again. Out in the wilds, again.. It’s what I do! This time around I was out sleeping in tyresta again here in Stockholm, Sweden. Middle of winter so temperatures got down to around -10 celcius, which means it’s time for me to drag out my Soto muka multifuel stove. Yes, yes I know that a true “ultralighter” brings a gas canister and sleeps with it to keep it warm, what can I say? I cheat – I like to keep things simple, so white gas it is. No need to keep the fuel warm, no need to think about different insulations for the gas canisters.. just pump, light up and boil.

 

What is the Soto muka multifuel stove

The Muka Stove has revolutionized common understanding of a gasoline stove’s characteristics such as becoming dirty with soot, cumbersome preheating, and maintenance before and after use. This gas stove combines a reliable, powerful output and ease of care. Muka is not a simple gasoline stove but the next generation of stove. Includes hose, pump, maintenance tool and a carrying case. Wide mouth Fuel Bottle sold separately.

Weight:

160 g without pump 320 g including pump

Specs:

  • Vikt: 160 gram (320 gram inklusive pump)
  • Mått: 8,0 x 6,5 x 8,0 cm (13,5 x 13,5 x 8,0 cm utfälld)
  • Brinntid: ca 56 min med 480 ml bilbränsle
  • Effekt: 4000 kcal/h / 4650w / 15800 BTU

Now just take a look again here at the BTU – yes 15800 BTU! that is insane. For reference a Jetboil has a 4500BTU, the Svea 123 has 2800BTU. This, this monster has 15800 BTU! this is melt your TI pot kind of heat.. so be careful. Now there is a good explanation for that kind of heat – the Soto Muka is a non-soot producing stove, even when burning unleaded gasoline. The heat needs to be high inorder burn gasoline cleanly, in other words, the high BTU output is the reason there is no soot.

A quick rundown: 

Out of all the available multifuel stoves available, nothing quite compares to the Muka Stove. The lightest of the bunch, non-priming and extremely high output. If you need a multi-fuel stove, this is the one to buy.

The old Svea 123 is a gas stove that I have used for years – and love it. It doesn’t require much other than a bit of priming; which is the process of pouring a little white gas on the primer plate under the burner, on top of the brass gas tank. The fire balls are awesome on the Svea 123, the thrill and excitement of wondering if this was the last moments of my life every time I light it. The Soto in comparison requires pumping, and while there is still a fireball, it doesn’t seem as life threatening – so the that’s a bonus, I guess. The weight is about the same as the all brass Svea 123, complete weight with fuel bottle is about 530grams. Heavy, but still one of the lightest mutifuel stoves on the market.

Watch the video for full review!

 

The stove can be purchased here: https://backpackinglight.dk/stoves-and-kitchen/multi-fuel-stoves/soto-muka-multifuel-stove

 

Eller i sverige: https://backpackinglight.se/friluftskok/multifuelkok/soto-muka-bensin-kok

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Nemo Apollo 3 – really a 3 man tent?

I this video I setup and show off the Nemo Apollo 3 – advertised as a 3 man tent.. but is it really?

 

What is the Apollo 3:

The Nemo Apollo 3 is advertised as a three man, lightweight backpacking shelter. It is in fact a more or less pyramid tent that is complete with tent pegs and center pole. A great value for money, but is it any good?

Weight:

595grams without center pole, 704grams with.

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Nemo Hornet 2 – gear demonstration

Okej, very excited here as a finally got home the Nemo hornet 2 as well as the Apollo 3. Two ultralight tents. To be honest, I was mainly looking forward to the nemo hornet 2 as I have been longing for an easy to setup tent with a large net innertent – that can easily be used separately from the fly. In this video I demo the Hornet 2, set it up, play in it and show it’s size the best I can.

 

About the Nemo hornet 2:

The Hornet is Nemos lightweight tent series designed for trails like the APT or CDT in the Usa. Basically long walks in varying climates. The tent can easily be setup semi-free standing. You can make it work with rocks if needed.

Weight:

The Nemo Hornet 2 weighs just 910 grams complete with tent pegs, seam sealed and tent pole. In otherwise, a fairly light tent for one person, and superlight for two.

Use: 

I would use this for just about any trip I would like to go on. I will debate bringing it along on the TGO Challenge. It’s large for one person, big vestibules, double entry and exits as well as removable fly make this an excellent choice.

 

Don’t forget to subscribe to my youtube channel

 

This tent can be bought in europe: at https://backpackinglight.dk/tents/2-person-tents/nemo-hornet-2p-ultralight-backpacking-tent

Or in Sweden: https://backpackinglight.se/talt/2-personstalt/nemo-hornet-2p-ultralight-backpacking-tent

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Sarek national park 2017 part 3

The journey continues! I setup camp in Snavvavagge and in this video I make the trek down into Rapadalen and end the night near Aktse cottage after an incredible walk along Rapadalen and ride a boat in Rapadalen with the incredible beauty of Nammatj beckoning adventurers into the vastness that is Sarek.

I look at these videos, and I can’t help but be inspired, certainly not by the videos, but by the journey itself, the memories of it all.

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Sarek national park in Video part 1

So I finally got around to editing some of my Sarek video from july, I’m not really sure the direction I want to take the films.. should they be long, with long melodic segments of nature and so on, or do I cut it down like I did here to show what I want to show then move on? It’s one of those issues I have with video really.. What is it I want to show? Do I talk, do I not talk? Let me know what you think and I will keep it in mind for the next videos.