Category: blog

backpackingblogGearVideo

Working hard on video…

I know it seems that I am rather unengaged with ultralight and comfortable as of late.. as far as writing goes I am, too many projects at the moment 🙂 I am however very engaged at backpackinglight.dk where I even send out a newsletter now and than. I also have been working tirelessly on video as of late as I like the format for reviews and showing off gear. It’s funner to play with gear, test it and show it off on video than taking pictures and writing reviews.

With that said I have put up about 40 videos in the last couple of weeks all gear related. Still finding my style and quality in the videos, but I think the project is heading in the right direction. Let me know what you think! Also if there is any gear you would like me to do a demonstration of, let me know as well!

https://www.youtube.com/ultralightandcomfortable

A demo video as well:

blogLiving simplymindfulness

Uncopyright all my work

Uncopyright

This entire blog, and all my ebooks, are now uncopyrighted (as of Nov 4 2017).

That means I’ve put them in the public domain, and released my copyright on all these works.

There is no need to email me for permission — use my content however you want! Email it, share it, reprint it with or without credit. Change it around, put in a bunch of swear words and attribute them to me. It’s OK.

Attribution is appreciated but not required.

I’d prefer people buy my ebooks, but if they want to share with friends, they have every right to do so.

Why I’m releasing copyright

I’m not a big fan of copyright laws, especially as they’re being applied by corporations, used to crack down on the little guys so they can continue their large profits.

Copyrights are often said to protect the artist, but in most cases the artist gets very little while the corporations make most of the money.

I think, in most cases, the protectionism that is touted by “anti-piracy” campaigns and lawsuits and lobbying actually hurts the artist. Limiting distribution to protect profits isn’t a good thing.

The lack of copyright, and blatant copying by other artists and even businesses, never hurt Leonardo da Vinci when it comes to images such as the Mona Lisa, the Last Supper, or the Vitruvian Man. It’s never hurt Shakespeare. I doubt that it’s ever really hurt any artist (although I might just be ignorant here).

And while I’m certainly not da Vinci or Shakespeare, copyright hasn’t helped me, and uncopyright probably won’t hurt me. If someone feels like sharing my content on their blog, or in any other form for that matter, that’s a good thing for me. If someone wanted to share my ebook with 100 friends, I don’t see how that hurts me. My work is being spread to many more people than I could do myself. That’s something to celebrate, as I see it.

And if someone wants to take my work and improve upon it, as artists have been doing for centuries, I think that’s a wonderful thing. If they can take my favorite posts and make something funny or inspiring or thought-provoking or even sad … I say more power to them. The creative community only benefits from derivations and inspirations.

This isn’t a new concept, of course, and I’m freely ripping ideas off here. Which is kinda the point.

Counter arguments

There are a number of objects that will likely be brought up to this idea, and here are a few of my responses:

1. Google rank will go down. My understanding is that Google penalizes pages that have exact duplicates on other sites, when it comes to PageRank. But in 4+ years of uncopyright, Zen habits has had no loss in PageRank. Anyway, SEO isn’t important to me.

2. You’ll lose ebook revenues. If people buy my ebook and then distribute it to 20 people, and each of those distributes it to 20 more, and those to 20 more … I’ve lost $76,000 in ebook revenues. Perhaps. That’s if you agree with the assumption that all those people would have bought the ebook if it hadn’t been freely distributed. I don’t buy that. In this example, thousands of people are reading my work (and learning about Zen Habits) who wouldn’t have otherwise. That’s good for any content creator.

3. Who knows what people will do with your work? Someone could take my work, turn it into a piece of crap, and put my name on it. They could translate it with all kinds of errors. They could … well, they could do just about anything. But that kind of thinking stems from a mind that wants to control content … while I am of the opinion that you can’t control it, and even if you can, it’s not a good thing. What if someone takes my work and turns it into something brilliant, and becomes the next James Joyce? Or more likely, what if they take the work and extend the concepts and make it even more useful, to even more people? Release control, and see what happens. People are wonderful, creative creatures. Let’s see what they can do.

4. What if someone publishes a book with all your content and makes a million dollars off it? I hope they at least give me credit. And my deepest desire is that they give some of that money to a good cause.

5. But … they’re stealing from you! You can’t steal what is given freely. I call this sharing, not piracy.

 

This post in fact is stolen from Leo over at Zen Habits – And why not? It’s a great post that I simply change to match my own needs with small changes.

blog

An honest reflection: Ultralight and comfortable book

I have this habit of being brutally honest, with my friends, family and colleagues. Though, I am hardest on myself. I have found that it’s best to just tell the truth and move on: That way I don’t have to keep track in mind what lies I’ve told and to whom, I have tried to make exceptions and tell white lies, but I find even those I don’t really have any justification for. In any-case, I want to talk about my book, and give my honest opinion on it, what could be better, and most importantly, how I look upon it now, 4 years removed from writing it.

I got the idea for writing this post when I read a comment on a forum, trek-lite I think is what the forum is called. Basically the author of the comment wrote: “I hope he can run the store better than he can write a book”, my first reaction was not sadness, or angry or anything else, I simply smiled to myself and thought, me too. Don’t get me wrong, some chapters in my book I think are pure genius, and still some of the funniest writing to be found in a hiking book. And this was kind of my goal with the book, to just have fun and take a piss on everything. It was a great laugh when I wrote it, and as I’ve said, some chapters are brilliant. However, there are other chapters that are mediocre, and a few that are complete garbage. My guess, is that with a proper editor for the book, more than half of the book would have been sent back for re-edit, not just in context but in style.

Of course I knew this at the time, and it’s also why the book is as cheap as it is, because I knew it was a good laugh, but perhaps not a complete guide on anything and everything ultralight hiking. I have over the last couple of months been working on a re-write of the book, as I think some chapters could use a bit more filling, and proper information. Such as tent selection, trip planning, trekking poles and so on. Other chapters I have decided to just delete altogether. Also, as with most things we grow and advance – I’m not the same hiker or person when I started writing the book four years ago, and if I’m honest, if I had to choose just one thing for people to remember me by, it wouldn’t be my book.

So I’m at an impasse, do I re-edit my book completely, or do I delete it and start over? Maybe write a new book and give Ultralight and comfortable away as an ebook on my site? How has the book aged just 4 years on?

blogPurpose

A side hustle – key to happiness?

I recently listened to a podcast that Rich Roll put up, if you haven’t discovered Rich Roll yet, I can highly recommend his podcasts and books. Along with Sam Harris, I absolutely love the Rich Roll series, in fact, in my world these two podcasts are must listens. With that said, Rich roll recently did a podcast with Chris Guillebeau called “everyone needs a side hustle, even if you love your job”. I never heard of Chris Guillebeau before this episode, but apparently he has a few side hustles that are going good for him, and in a way the entire podcast was about the need to have  a side hustle. A side income of some kind, it’s nothing you have to live off of, but just an extra income.

I can’t really go into detail about the podcast, as I’ve already forgotten most of it and I’m currently writing this at a kids playhouse while my son is running around being a kid.. Anyway, it got me thinking that for almost my entire life I have had a side income or hustle of some kind. When I was in grade school I was recycling bottles and putting that money into government bonds. Those government bonds eventually I cashed in for DJ equipment when I turned 14. Along with DJing in High School I was cleaning carpets, buying and selling on Ebay when it first broke through, trading stocks, writing books so on and so forth and today I run Backpackinglight.dk and .se. A site dedicated to lightweight backpacking gear – and I absolutely love it.

To say that I was raised with an entrepreneurial spirit is to downplay the things I’ve done. My family was and is very much a hard working middle class family. For the entirety of my adolescence I was a military brat. Not until I moved to Sweden did I actually experience life outside the military “socialist” bubble. I call it a socialist bubble, because that’s exactly what being in the military is: From school, to work, to shopping.. Everything is a self contained socialist bubble. Real life didn’t start for me until I left the states.

Anyway, I don’t know if I was raised in the manner that I must always have a side income, it was more just something I really enjoyed, and I find that I am happiest when I have something going on in my life outside the normal 9 to 5 job. To me, it’s not about the money, it’s about the joy of dedicating my life to something, for myself. With a job, I dedicate my life to my employers, to a middle class lifestyle that I don’t particularly care for, to my wife and child and their safety and economic security. Most of my life is spent in dedication to others, dedicated to everything outside myself and my own interest. A side hustle on the other hand, is something that I dedicate to myself. Instead of spending my time and money on things that mean or lead to nothing (video games, TV and so on) – A side hustle is a dedication to my passion. It engrosses me fully.

Some of my side hustles have been a great source of income, and even led to being my only income for many years – such as being a DJ and producer. It was a great life while it lasted, but I always knew I didn’t want to be the 40 year old dj, half drunk and playing golden oldies at geezer parties. So I moved on. Other side hustles have barely pulled in any income at all, but were enjoyable no less.

It’s easy to confuse a side hustle with a hobby. Running is a hobby. Playing video games is a hobby, even hiking is a hobby. A side hustle is when you run and maybe do training sessions for paying clients, or write books on running. Hiking, just for the sake of hiking, is a hobby, a damn fun one, but it’s not a side hustle – a side hustle might be designing and sewing your own backpacks to sell.

Another misconception with starting a business is that you have to give up everything and take out a loan on your house and life, all or nothing approach. I think that’s fine if you’re 20 and have maybe a cat as your biggest dependent. But later on in life, it’s time to grow up and be realistic – often times a side hustle doesn’t have to cost anything at all. The chances of being able to drop everything, start a business tomorrow and be able to live off of it within days is simply a fantasy for 99.9999% of the world’s population. But often that’s exactly how many people think and it’s not completely unusual for people to take out massive loans where most of the money goes to their own living expenses.  It takes time, dedication and intelligence. You have to put in the ground work, and yes, you will probably have to continue living life at a job you hate, or love, until the side income gets moving.

When I started this blog, it didn’t have any income, it still doesn’t, more or less. Though it has led to other sources of income such as Books and Backpackinglight.dk. I still work at a 9-5 job as a manager over 20+ employees, I love my job, but I don’t want it to be the only dedication I have in life. And to be completely honest, my dream is to live off of my hiking hobby. My dream is to work hard 3 weeks a month and run my business, write in my blog and have contact with potential customers at backpackinglight – I absolutely love this, and spend a week out hiking. This is my dream that I have been working towards for the past 4 years. Maybe I will succeed with my dream, maybe not, but atleast I am trying and it makes me extremely happy. Fulfilled I guess is the proper word for it.

Maybe you like writing – what would that cost? Don’t know how to properly write or how to sew a backpack? Youtube is an awesome source of inspiration and knowledge. There is no limit to what you can achieve if you’re willing to put in the time and effort.

To sum it up:

  • Get your side hustle moving today! You are your only road block.
  • Think small and scale up! Don’t quit your job today and expect to live off your fantasy tomorrow.
  • Willful ignorance is your friend! My secret to getting things done is to start! I usually say to people who ask that I see the goal (where I want to end up) and I see the first steps. Everything else I ignore – and I do this because if I always know how difficult something would be, I would never start.
  • Do something you love – Obviously.
blogGearGear reviews

Gear review: Hyperlite mountain gear Windrider 4400 backpack

I bought this pack about a year or so ago with the intention of replacing my Zpacks arc-blast. I wanted a larger backpack capable of carrying heavier loads, yet still light enough to use on my shorter trips. There are a few backpacks that meet this criteria, but none quite fit the bill as well as the Windrider did. The arc-blast is a 55 liter backpack, and while this worked for me on a lot of my trips – I found the liter and carrying capabilities limiting for winter hikes, hikes longer than 5-7 days, family hikes and so on. I am an avid believer in Cuben textiles for backpacks because it’s waterproof, or atleast doesn’t absorb water, lighter than traditional materials and a heck of a lot stronger.

DSC06882The Hyperlite mountain gear Windrider 4400 is absolutely beautiful in it’s simplicity.

With that said, I bought my Windrider form the states, and even with the winter discount HMG was running, I ended up paying about 500usd to get the pack to Sweden after import fees and shipping. Though the initial price tag was appealing! Now of course I would just buy from one of the many European retailers such as backpackinglight.dk (my own webshop).

I have been using the Windrider for all my trips since I got it last year. This includes 10 days across the wilds of Sarek national park in northern Sweden, a winter trip through Jämtland mountains, a few smaller week trips along Sörmlandsleden and many weekend trips with the family. So it’s been put through it’s paces for it’s intended purpose (or the purpose I intended to use it in)

Who is Hyperlite Mountain Gear?

HYPERLITE MOUNTAIN GEAR IS NOT ABOUT BELLS AND WHISTLES. NONESSENTIAL FEATURES. OR THE LATEST TRENDING COLORS. WHAT WE’RE ABOUT IS STRIPPED DOWN, HIGH PERFORMANCE GEAR THAT’S BEEN DIALED IN TO MEET, IN AS MINIMALIST A MANNER AS POSSIBLE, THE EXACTING REQUIREMENTS OF THE PEOPLE WHO USE IT.

Hyperlite mountain gear produce all their own gear in Maine, USA.

What is the Windrider 4400

The 4400 is a 70 liter backpack made from Dyneema (fd cuben fibre) material. The material itself is 100% waterproof, while the backpacks are not 100% waterproof, they are certainly much closer to that watermark than anything else on the market. The Windrider much like Hyperlite mountain gears other backpacks is a stripped down, essentials only backpack. I love and prefer a roll top on my bags, no zippers or anything else that will undoubtedly breakdown over time. As it goes, I also like mesh pockets on the outside, though the Southwest 4400’s solid pockets, certainly keep things aesthetically cleaner. I prefer the mesh pockets though as I like to see what I have in those pockets.

The Windrider also uses aluminum backpack stays, which are removable, and foam padding to increase the overall comfort of the packs. On top of this the packs are seam sealed, have hydro ports, ice axe loops and so on.

Another key point here is that the hip belt is not removable, I actually prefer the simplicity of this. They have just four sizes to choose from and the hip belts are meant to fit all sizes: Small, Medium, Large and Tall. Sometimes when buying gear the choice can get fairly ridiculous. Small hip belt, with medium large backpack, nano size hip belt pockets, sternum or no sternum straps so on and so forth. So points for simplicity here.

DSC06837

Weight:

My windrider 4400 white pack weighs 988 grams. Not the lightest on the market, but light enough for most uses and most applications.

Who’s it for?

As it’s a 70Liter pack, the Windrider 4400 is probably best for trekkers who carry either a lot of gear, winter gear, longer unsupported trips or family gear. For me it has become my all in one pack that I can use on everything from my two days hikes to several weeks. It’s my go to bag for just about any trip I make, anywhere I plan to go. It’s certainly large at 70Liters, but it can easily be compressed down with the roll top and side compression straps.

Here in Sweden the HMG windrider is actually starting to be used by most “professional” hikers, lightweight or otherwise. At least when they get to choose. The HMG packs have also made a big mark on the Packraft and kayakers gear lists, as they are lightweight, waterproof and can carry a lot of weight.

If most of your hikes are summer time hikes of under a week or so, then this bag is probably a bit much, and I would suggest looking at their smaller bags such as the 3400 and 2400 which are 55Liter and 45 Liter packs.

Will it hold?

Dyneema is the strongest, lightest material being produced right now, and the HMG series backpacks are built to last. You’re probably not going to find a more robust backpack on the market – anywhere by any producer. In all seriousness, this pack will probably last as long as you do.

Ventilation

I’m not going to do a side by side comparison to other backpacks here with regards to ventilation on my back. When the aluminum stays are in the HMG and I stand with proper posture, the backpack doesn’t press at all against my back – regardless of how much weight I have in it. This of course allows for good ventilation and except for my shoulder blades and lower back, no part of my body is being touched by the backpack. Just how I like it.

My own experience

On my trip through Sarek it rained constantly for about 2 days as well as waist high wading daily – I don’t use rain covers or anything like that so I have to trust my backpack that it will do it’s just in keeping things dry. Now of course you’re thinking “what an idiot”. You’d be right in thinking so. In actuality I pack everything in watertight stuff sacks, I prefer the Pack pods from HMG and the Stuff sack pillow, and I use a giant trash bag as a pack liner on the inside to keep as much water as possible out. I find this combination of watertight-ish backpack with only one entry point (the roll top), a giant trash bag liner, and everything packed in watertight stuff sacks, keeps everything perfectly dry no matter the rain or wading, and this proved the case even in Sarek on the wettest of terrain, my gear was kept perfectly dry.

I also find that for my longer trips the HMG windrider holds up without any problems, at most I have had around 17 kilos in my pack and while the pack can certainly handle the wait, my body can’t. So it’s hard for me to say anything about carrying capabilities in the 17+kilo range as I think it sucks no matter what backpack I have on.

DSC06368Me in northern Sweden with the windrider 4400. This was packed for a 9 day hike and around 13 kilos. 

Some people have reservations about mesh pockets on the outside of a pack – they can “tip the balance”, they can easily tear in forestry and so on. Personally I don’t really have this problem. The mesh pockets I use mainly for my tenkara fishing rod, a water bottle and trash. Balance is not an issue. As far as the mesh pockets tearing, this as it were, has not shown itself to be an issue either, and I have certainly trounced through a lot of unkept forestry.

Conclusion:

Lets face it, plunking out 500USD for a backpack is expensive. (In the USA the packs cost 375usd). Though, they are not the most expensive packs by a long shot. Many of the “big brands” have 4-500USD packs that come nowhere near the quality or robustness of the HMG backpacks. If you need one backpack for most everything, you can’t go wrong with a Hyperlite mountain gear Windrider 4400, or any of the 4400 packs. While it’s not the only bag I use, it’s certainly the one I prefer over anything else I have.

Plus:

  • Big 70L pack
  • Simple, effective design.
  • Lightweight
  • Great carrying capabilities
  • 95% watertight
  • Robust, durable fabric and mesh
  • Compressible
  • Removable stays
  • Excellent construction and quality
  • No zippers or do-dads. Just what is needed
  • Small, Medium, Large and Tall. That’s what you get to choose from. Perfect. I hate too many choices as I’m always afraid of getting it wrong.

Minus:

  • Small hip belt pockets
  • Hydropocket not easily removed – razor blade needed
  • Not the lightest 70 liter pack on the market

 

Where to buy:

In The usa: Hyperlite mountain gear

In Europe: Backpackinglight store

Direct link to the Windrider 4400

backpackingblog

A part of life

I thought I would send out a quick mail about what I’ve been up to lately! I have had my hands full to say the least! Anyway, here is a copy of my first newsletter from backpackinglight.dk plus some extras..

Hi Everyone!

It has been a journey to start backpackinglight.dk. This idea of starting a webshop for lightweight gear popped into my head sometime in the spring when me and my wife had just sent in our papers for starting an adoption process. I got the idea because I wanted to offer excellent, lightweight backpacking gear in Sweden and Europe. Why I got the idea to do it in conjunction with the adoption process is because we plan on adopting from a nation that requires us to be abroad for 6 months. So my idea was that my wife and I could potentially have atleast a small side income while living abroad, and at the sametime I could bring a lot of cool gear with me to try out in the wilds of Africa! win win win.

R0290482Too much gear to test, too little time! The Sierra designs Flex capacitor 60 after 3 days on the trail.

Anyway, I was hesitant on starting the shop because I saw the competition from Denmark (backpackinglight.dk) and from Germany (Trekking-light-store) as two great shops that are already established and I didn’t really want to compete is such a small nisch marketplace, on top of this the major outdoor companies such as Addnature and Outnorth could easily kill off anything I wanted to do if it so pleased them. I will never be able to compete on price with these monsters or any of the major european outdoor shops – which is also why I won’t carry many of the same products as they do.

However, being the gear nerd that I am and realising that Sweden really is behind the times in lightweight gear, I decided to give a go anyway, and at the same time I had a bit of luck as Niels from backpackinglight.dk wanted to move on and do other things. So, my little idea was closer to reality and I just said to “hell with it, let’s do it!” So I finalised the deal in late July as I was sitting in a bus far above the artic circle on my way to Sarek national park for 10 days out in the wilds. (I know a few of you tried to get a hold of me during this period, unfortunately I was away where internet doesn’t exist)

R0290457The excellent Hyperlite mountain gear Ultamid 2. A little bigger than the MLD Duomid and in my opinion a proper two man tent.

So now you have a bit of background about why and how I started backpackinglight.dk, I don’t need to waste your time anymore explaining all the details!

What I really wanted to say is how grateful I am to the instant success that the site has been! So many people already on the mailing list, a lot of orders from great people all around europe. I couldn’t have asked for a better start. With that said, the success has also emptied my inventory a bit, but some of the more popular products are back in stock such as the Tarptent Stratospire 1 (probably the best made tent on the market right now), the Six moon designs Lunar Duo and Lunar Solo as well as the Hyperlite mountain gear Porter pack and Windriders 4400. I have also finally moved everything over to a Logistics center that will help me with the packing and shipping. – They can do it cheaper, faster and better than I can. So packages within sweden should reach their destination within a day or two.

DSC06837.jpg
Me chilling after a 7 day hike through Sarek national park, checking to make sure the deal to take over Backpackinglight.dk had gone through. This was the only place along the trail that internet actually worked.. 1200 meters above sea level looking out over Rapadalen.

If you haven’t read it yet, Jörgen Johansson from http://www.fjaderlatt.se wrote an excellent article for backpackinglight.se on how to choose a backpack that you can find here.

If there is anything that you would like me to stock, let me know and I will see what I can do!

fönster1

Happy Hiking!

Kenneth Shaw
Backpackinglight.se

blogLandscape photographyPhotographysarek

Sarek i Bilder (in pictures) – Part 1

My schedule is filled at the moment while trying to get Backpackinglight.se up and running. So instead of a long trail report, I will post some pictures! More pictures coming soon.

DSC06408
Mukka Stugan is a small little emergency cottage that while offers a nice place to eat lunch while it’s raining, has unfortuantely become a trash can for hikers who can’t be bothered to bring their trash with them.

DSC06344

The Trailstar by the glacier river.

DSC06368
13 kilos for a 9 day trip – fully safe and secure with a fishing pole and satellite phone to boot. My packing is watertight, I’m set for far below zero temperatures if needed.

DSC06267DSC06388DSC06411DSC06541

Dinner!

DSC06478
Taking a coffee and candy break while drying out my shoes.

DSC06492
It looks like hell, but believe me, this is some of the best aspects of wearing trailshoes in the wild. When my feet get hot I can just go trudging through some cold water. No blisters, no pain, no problems! Trailshoes are a luxury few have yet discovered.

DSC06515

Down by Rapadalen – Amazing

DSC06546
If only Ron would let me sell his MLD gear! The yellow trailstar is probably the single most beautiful tent build today. An incredibly light and well performing piece of kit.

DSC06882
My Fizan poles and HMG windrider 4400 after a week in Sarek. Both performed incredibly well – so good in fact that I will be supplying both at backpackinglight.se. These are simply the best products available for their intended purpose.

blog

New (old) webshop on the way..

logobackpackinglight

Hi everyone, it’s been a while since I’ve last updated this site.. I had some plans about putting up pictures and trip report for my Sarek trip, but got distracted by a different project. I have been in the works now for a few months of building my own gear shop here in Sweden and europe and/or producing my own gear in Sweden. Well an oppurtunity presented itself and I bought out the well known danish shop Backpackinglight.dk in early August and have been working non-stop on getting everything together for an early september re-launch.

Backpackinglight.dk has been one of europes first and best webshops to offer ultralight gear and is Denmarks only online site for UL gear and now backpackinglight.se will be Swedens premier shop for lightweight equipment. There will be two domains:

backpackinglight.dk for danish and european customers and

Backpackinglight.se for swedish customers

So far many of the old suppliers such as Tarptent, Cumulus, HMG, Gossamer gear and ULA equipment are on board with a few new suppliers on the way such as As Tucas, My trail co, Evernew, Toaks, Six moon designs, Fizan and a few more surprises along the way 🙂

The site is currently being revamped and moved as well as all the inventory being cataloged and ready for shipment! I am also working on an affiliate program for bloggers and will be setting up a few “live” conventions to show off the gear.

I am really looking forward to this new venture and so far it’s been a blast putting it altogether!

Happy Hiking,

Kenneth Shaw

 

 

backpackingblogRunningsarekvegan

How running has changed my backpacking

Last year I made a 7 day trip through Iceland, north to south through some incredible countryside and even meeting up and joining the Laugavegur trail for 5 days. It was a lovely trip and I had about 10 kilos of gear and food with me for the excursion. The hike at times was tough, or atleast one or two days of the journey was tough, all in all, on a scale of 1-10 for difficulty I would rank it around a 5. A great trail for anyone who is properly prepared. There are however two major inclines (major..) on day one while leaving Landmannalaugar and day 5 between Porsmark and Skogar. These two inclines kicked my ass in every possible way. The last day I was so tired on the incline between porsmark and skogar that I thought I would die. If memory serves me the total incline was around 900-1000 meters. I thought at the time, that considering the circumstances (climbing a 1000meter cliff with backpack on), that I did quite well. It wasn’t until I did my recent trip through Sarek national park in Northern Sweden, that I realized the truth behind my Iceland trip.

DSC06548.jpg

Let me paint a little picture here. Hard wind, rain, knee high swamp for hours on end, daily 500-1000 meter inclines and declines, waist high wading and to top it all off – no trails. Complete wild and a 13kilo backpack. That was my most recent trip to the Sarek national park in Northern sweden, a few hundred kilometers north of the arctic circle. This trip was demanding in every possible sense of the word. On my gear, physique and psychology. But I didn’t feel it. My body was such a well oiled machine for this trip that I literally felt as if I could turn around and do it again without any problems. I didn’t have any of the normal knee, back or lung issues. And on the last day I was afraid to tell my traveling companion just how damn good I felt (after a 1300 meter incline with my backpack on) because I didn’t want him to think I was doing the “manly” thing of bragging about how cool I am I could carry my backpack up a hill. (like many of the heavy miserables that like to brag about how much weight they can carry)

DSC06368.jpg

My body was functioning better than it ever has on a backpacking trip, this was on minimal sleep and a deprivation diet. Honestly, no matter how much food I pack and eat I still run a deficit on these kinds of trips. The changes this year compared to last year, and the relatively easier Laugavegur trail? My running and diet changes I made late last year. Since going full vegan and running I have lost around 22 lbs (10 kilos) off my body, that’s 10 kilos my legs don’t have to carry when backpacking and the insane amount of carbs I eat on the diet fuels me like nothing else. My running has improved my cardio exponentially, when last year I could barely make the last incline on the Laugavegur trail, this year I did that same 0-1000 meter climb on several occasions and felt damn good.

 

While my backpacking trip wasn’t full vegan, in fact I snuck in some powdered milk to my breakfast and cheese on the last day at the hotel.. Oh and I did make the mistake of eating a sausage, it had always been the mainstay of my backpacking trips – the reward at the end of the day kind of thing. Only to realize my taste buds have changed, and what once tasted like gods hands massaging my tongue, now tasted like salted dead pig and had the effects you would expect on my daily shitting habits. With that said, I don’t beat myself up about it, I am always working towards long term health goals and benefits, and I can’t kill myself everytime I make a slip up. Beside, being a bitch to other people about their habits is probably the worst thing to do to get converts.

DSC06344

Anyway, last year after laugavegur I was satisfied, ready to hang up my boots for a while a relax. Much like a traditional hiker who normally takes a year off between longer hikes, I felt much the same. Now, the only thing I want to do is get out again. My body, feet and soul feel perfect after my last trip and I can only credit my diet and training habits.

 

DSC06840-Pano

 

backpackingblogDestinationsGear list

Full packing list and route Sarek 2017

It’s finally here.. my summer journey through Sarek national park in Northern Sweden. I will be leaving from my apartment here in Umeå at 06.30 in the morning by train, and arrive at the gates to Sarek at 17.30 in Ritsem. My journey through sarek if I hussle shoudn’t take more than 5-6 days, however since I plan och doing a lot of day trips, climb several of the higher peaks and do some fishing along the outskirts of the park (fishing is illegal in the park). I plan on pushing my journey to around 10 days. Basically just living life and enjoying my time in some of the more secluded parts of europe. There are no trails, stores or cottages in Sarek, so everything I need on the trail I will have with me in my backpack.

I have made some changes to my gear since making my last post, that have increased the total weight of my packing by about 600 grams. I can live with the extra weight as it is justified by the added warmth and security along a wet and cold trail. The trail this year is much colder and wetter than usual, which means I have to be better prepared for these kinds of conditions, hence the extra weight in rain gear and warmth.

Some of the changes I have made:

I traded out my thermarest xlite small and ul sleeping pad total weight 350grams for the warmer and larger thermarest xtherm weighing 580 grams. There is still a lot of snow along the trail and I don’t want to have to compensate a cold nights sleep by bringing more sweaters and jackets and so on.

I also traded out my Ricoh GR for my Sony rx 100. Same weight, same usb charging, only rx100 gives me the flexibilty of good video and zoom.

Tenkara rod and flies – I added this because, why not! 130 grams for a complete fishing kit. Seems like a small sacrifice to have in some of the worlds best fishing waters.

I’ve opted for the MLD Trailstar and Innertent instead of the Hilleberg enan. I just prefer the room and comfort of the Trailstar to that of the Hilleberg Enan. Weight is about the same as the Enan, and living space is more than twice as large. (well 100 grams lighter but whos counting..)

Packed and ready to go! 13,5 kilos (food weighs less than 5 kilos and not the 6,5 as according to my list) The advantage of the HMG Windrider and the reason I bought it, is the fact that for unsupported trips over a week it’s hard to stuff everything in a 50 liter bag. (when travelling to regions of the world like Alaska and northern sweden)

  All the food being prepared for it’s stuff sack, a 13 liter sea to summit bag.

 

 

Complete gear list:

Item Ounces Grams
Packing
Hmg Sidewinder 4400 34.2 970
Red 2l Pack Bag 0.7 21
Red 4l Pack Bag 0.9 25
Red 4l Pack Bag 0.9 25
Thermarest Pillow Sheet 1.9 54
Shelter
Ti Tent Pegs 3.5 98
Mld Trailstar 18.7 531
Trailstar Inner 14 397
Sleep
Eye Mask 0.5 15
Enlightened Equipment Quilt 22.9 650
Xtherm 20.5 580
Cooking
Sea To Summit Long Spoon Ti 0.4 12
Zefa Water Bottle 3.5 98
Ti Tri Fusion 3.2 90
Snowpeak Ti 900 W/lid 4 114
Cozy 1.2 33
Clothing
Mld Waterproof Gloves 1.6 46
Wp 200g Pants 6.1 174
Haglofs Green Wind Jacket 2.3 65
Headnet 0.9 26
As Tucas Red Beanie 1.8 52
Grey Patagontia Shirt 4.8 137
Haglifs Lim Puffy Jacket 6.7 191
Wp Thick Socks 2.9 81
Alpine Rain Jacket 6.4 181
Soft Shell Rain Pants 6.7 190
Overshoes 0 0
Other
Murla Knife 0.7 20
Superfeet 4.2 119
Ul Teeth Care 3.1 89
Iphone 6s Plus Ink Case 9.9 282
Msr Towel 1.2 35
Thermarest Repair Kit 0.5 14
First Aid Kit 3.1 89
Usb Cables 0.8 24
Globalstar satphone 8.5 240
Sony RX100 8.6 245
Dji Spark Kit 17.7 501
20100 Anker Battery Pack 16.2 460
13000 battery Pack 12.3 349
4400 Battery Pack 4.1 116
Amazon Kindle 7.4 209
Gopro Hero 5 W/3-way 9.7 275
Dji Spark Remote 9.7 275
Worn
Aklima Hoody Wool 13.3 377
Haglofs Grey Zip Hiking Pants 10.8 307
Merrell Allout Terra Trail Shoes Pair 23.5 665
Black Beenie 1.2 35
Suunto Ambit 2.8 78
Craft Underwear 2 57
Fizan Sticks 12.5 354
Consumables
Toilet Papper 5.3 150
Coffee 3.5 100
Alcohol 14.1 400
Food For A Day 25 600
Food For A Day 25 600
Food For A Day 25 600
Food For A Day 25 600
Food For A Day 25 600
Food For A Day 25 600
Food For A Day 25 600
Food For A Day 25 600
Everything ex worn 511.8 13648
Everything ex cosumeables 288.9 8198

My route has not changed since the last time:I will be starting in Ritsem and finishing in Kvikkjokk. Should be a great little trip! This is the straight trip to kvikkjokk, but as I’ve said, I plan on making a lot of daytrips and sideroads along the way.