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My camera gear for Sarek 2017

I find that I absolutely love video diaries of backpacking.. I have been following and watching them for years on YouTube, but I never really got around to doing it myself. I’ve tried a few times on a smaller scale, but never any real effort. My YouTube channel I don’t even bother marketing and in general I’m not very active on there. I’m not sure why this is to be honest, i guess I just couldn’t figure out how to make it work in practice while holding onto my ultralight philosophy. As well as being stuck on just doing gear reviews, which honestly, is a chore. On top of that I’m not really a computer guy – I don’t like editing video or photography and making an interesting video out of hours and hours of footage is no easy task.

With that said, because I love the format of video documentaries, I am going to start working on it more and more. I am changing up my camera gear for my upcoming trips along the High coast trail in northern Sweden and my two weeks through Sarek journey. My strategy is simple: Record everything! I found out the hard way that it’s damn difficult to make an interesting movie with limited footage. I have been editing my Iceland video now and realize that I hardly recorded anything at all, so as an embarrassment to myself and to the suffrage of everyone watching my videos, I do a 2 minute intro where I’m just describing what was happening… In any case, it kind of works, but would have been better to show instead of tell.

A link to the video: Alone in Iceland part 1.

This means that my Fujifilm x-t2 camera and lenses have been sold to make room for video gear and after my Iceland trip, I’m convinced a pocket camera works wonders for what I do. So some of the gear that my Fujifilm x-t2 has financed so far are as follows:

Gopro hero 3 black edition with accessories – used cost about 150USD (200 grams)
Ricoh GR – An excellent digital compact camera that I absolutely love 200USD (245 grams)

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I used the Sony RX100 in Iceland, however I find the Ricoh GR to be a completely different beast altogether with regards to picture quality

DJI Spark drone and controller with two extra batteries 1000USD (550 grams complete)

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The DJI Spark is a tiny drone with serious power

To top it all off I have two 20100mhv battery packs to keep everything charged along the way.

I’ve sold all my Fuji gear for around 2400USD

Total weight for my new photography and video gear = 1095grams
Total weight of Fujifilm x-t2 with lenses and batteries = 1114grams

Weight of battery packs 490grams each (added one for the drone)

Total weight increase for new system: 300grams

Total money savings: around 1000usd

I can live with a total weight increase of 300grams for so much more flexibility and control. The Ricoh GR works fantastic for me as almost all my photography in the wild is at 28mm, no matter what lenses and cameras I have with me – my shots are always wide. and now I have true video capabilities.

Concerns about drones: I got some feedback with regards to bringing a drone with me or drones in general. It seems to be a very hot topic in the USA and something I hadn’t thought about before as drones have never bothered me personally. I will call it the “road rage syndrome”, there are people who have an incredible amount of pent up rage and are looking for something to go bezerk over and I have to take this into consideration when flying the spark.

To the advantage of the spark it is tiny, unobtrusive and quiet. With that said I think drones should fall somewhere between loud music in camp and deficating on the trail.  Neither of these should be practiced, and with proper fore thought and consideration for others, can easily be avoided.

My strategy for succeeding with video:
Record everything! Better to record days and days of video and edit down to a highly interesting 30 minute clip, than to take minimal video and try and stretch it out.

I also need to work on my editing skills. I don’t like working on computers that much, so I will have to find presets and styles that I like so I can get my editing done quickly. I also know what kind of footage I like – So I will try to emulate this.

Where it could possibly fail:
I like to keep things simple, sometimes it’s a hassle to record. To always have to think about the shot. To pull out a drone and start recording takes me out of the moment. hopefully I can overcome this, as I find I really love the video format, and I love watching my old videos of all the hikes I’ve done. (sadly I have barely edited any of them… so nothing is on youtube yet)

 

 

 

 

 

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A little secret

I’m going to fill you in on a little secret, something that has been in progress for sometime and only now am I starting to accept it. It all started about 6 months ago and was cemented into place around 3 months ago. Since around 2014 I have been sick constantly, in fact somewhere around 2-3 times a month from anywhere between two days to weeks at a time; to say that is has been difficult to keep to a training regime is an understatement. I figured I wasn’t getting enough sleep, or my child was making me sick, or I became allergic to something. In any-case I figured it would go over soon enough so I never bothered with going to the doctors.

On top of always being sick I have had very little energy over the last couple of years. I figured it was part of getting older! However after finally getting sick of always being sick I decided it was time for a change. I was sick of being sick and tired!

Before I go any further let me roll back my timeline another two years about the first time I tried to get into running, it was after I read the phenomenal book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. It was this book that inspired me to start running, and with that I also learned that I couldn’t keep any routine as I kept getting sick all the time. I also figured that losing some weight and running more is probably a good idea considering my “adventurous” lifestyle.. or backpacking.

I kept giving it a shot, and whenever I needed some extra motivation I would go back to reading Born to run. Well, getting sick and being tired has a bad habit of sapping what little motivation I had to move and at the same time I started to get more fat than usual around my stomach and chest. Man boobs started to form and where I once had a slight visible muscle definition was now replaced with fat and mushyness. My thin muscular face has been replaced by a somewhat gooey one. To say I was aging bad, in my opinion was an understatement.

I had always followed the Paleo diet or carb free diet for most of my adult life, not religiously but it had definitely become my lifestyle. I preferred a steak a plate full of broccoli and sweat potatoes to a pizza. I believe that this kept me from getting overly fat, as the diet does work as a diet. I never thought that it was my diet that was leading to my sickness and getting fat. Then I watched a documentary called Forks over knifes a while ago, more like a year or so ago, and it stuck with me. So I decided to watch it again as well as read a few books on the subject of a whole foods plant based diet. To my amazement these are some of the absolute best researched books i’ve ever read of diet and nutrition such as the China Study and Whole by Colin t. Campbell. How not to die by Michael Greger and a few others. I also read Rich Rolls book on his similar journey from half dead to making a change; Finding Ultra.

After reading these books I realized that there was a very real possibility that it was my diet that was killing me and not some unknown infliction that came up from hell and has decided to plague me personally. So I figured that I could at-least give the idea of the whole food plant based diet a try for a short while and see if there is any difference. What is a whole food plant based diet? (WFPB diet = VEGAN) Or sort of, in reality vegan could be chips and coke cola, WFPB is a healthier alternative.

At about the same-time I started to make my progress over to a WFPB diet, I finally made my way to a doctor to get my blood work and so on done. The test results came back negative on finding any reason on why I am sick, but came back positive on that I will probably die a young and horrible death due to heart disease as my cholesterol levels where much higher than normal for my age. What did my doctor prescribe? Pills and lots of them or change my diet and start exercising more (this is Sweden, doctors are allowed to prescribe diet and exercise as their not yet completely owned corporate subsidies of the drug industry). I decided I would try diet instead.

My process has been slow, it has taken me several months to replace my typical meat recipes with WFPB alternatives, to empty my shelves of my meat and dairy recipe books, and to restock my fridge and cabinets with vegan goods.  When I got the test results from the doctor, my WFPB transition was more or less complete, with the test results pushing me over completely.

Disclaimer: I hate the term Vegan, when I think of the word vegan all sorts of strange shit pops into my head, the PETA people throwing paint on fur wearers, the hippy dread lock guys refusing to shower or wear shoes, or the creepy vegan gangs standing outside McDonalds terrorizing bystanders. With that said, I certainly think animals should be able to live their own lives, but It simply doesn’t sell me on being a vegan, I love bbq chicken wings and a lovely juicy cow on my plate.

No, my motivation for a WFPB diet is this: I don’t want to die a horrible slow death. I don’t want cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s or any other number of afflictions that can be attributed to the typical western diet. I would love to write a lot about the research done and used in the books I listed above, but I won’t. It’s just too much and I prefer everyone to do their own research before listening to me. There are studies of patients, hundreds of patient on their death beds with heart disease and diabetes who went over to a WFPB diet and within months their health improved so much that they didn’t need pills anymore. Many of them in the control groups lived an extra 20 years or more while the subject who continued their traditional diets and moved over to pills and operations died within the first year or two of the studies. I could go on and on, but I will leave that to you. You will know when the time is right, you will feel it in your bones and when you feel it, you will read these books and make the changes.

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Stopping to drink some cocunut water and eat a banana on a 70k bike ride

So what are the results so far? Since I converted over to a WFPB diet I have not been sick, not even close to being sick. My energy levels have increased ten fold – I feel like I’m 18 years old again. I have so much energy that in-order to not go crazy I have to get out the house and run! How much do I run? Hundreds of kilometers every month on top of several hundreds kilometers biking. I don’t get tired, I just keep moving. My muscles and bones are completely recovered from one day to the next. I’m sleeping better, I don’t get tired after eating and I’m losing a lot of weight. My energy levels increased so dramatically that I quit drinking coffee altogether – from a liter or so of coffee a day to nothing. To say that the side effects of eating a WFPB diet are far beyond my expectations is again and understatement. The new me is so addicting that the idea of ever going back to a traditional western diet with dairy and meat is simply not a possibility. Another plus side is that most restaurants only have one or two vegan dishes, AWESOME! I don’t have to spend time debating on which of the 20 different meals to choose from.

Left: Just finished the Stockholm tunnelrun 8k
Right: About to run my third competition for the year. 10k which I came in at 56 minutes.

I have no idea what my test results will show the next time around, but honestly, I’m not too worried about it. There is no doubt in my mind that my cholesterol will be radically reduced and my heart will be thumbing at full blast without interference for many years to come.

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My mousli banana crunch. A vegan breakfast that taste amazing

So heres to the new me, and my own continued progression, I am even thinking of making a simple VLOG to document my journey. I am also in the process of converting all my backpacking recipes to vegan alternatives and so on. With all this said I hope that you two will do the research and find the motivation to change. It will change your life and make you wonder what the fuck you where doing all these years killing yourself slowly, when you could have been living life to the fullest. Focused, energized and on fire.

Some tips for your own transition:

  1. Watch the documentaries Fork of knives, Food matters and the newest What the health
  2. Read some books The china study, Whole, How not to die
  3. Buy some new recipe books. Fork over knifes has a great app as well as recipe book. The plant power way is a good book. Green kitchen has a great book and App.
  4. Replace your favourite recipes with vegan alternatives. Experiment! you can’t be afraid to try new dishes when making the transition.
  5. Be patient and realistic, the transition is not going to happen overnight. Give it a month or so to take the first steps, then go all in! The feeling of being unstoppable and awesome is addicting.
  6. Remember: on a pure health basis if you want to avoid cancer and all the other diseases and sicknesses attributed to the western diet meat and dairy should not exceed 5% of your total consumption. So in other words, it’s perfectly ok to eat a little cheese now and then if you get the urge!
  7. You don’t need dread locks and wear hemp clothing just because your diet changes. But if you feel like it go for it!
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Snowy arctic paradise and gear failure hell

I felt the warmth on my face as the afternoon sun crept through the mountain ridges, my body hot from from the layers of winter clothing and the gore-tex jacket and pants keeping all the moisture in. My winter backpack weighing in at 11 kilos and well prepared for anything the cold winter night could throw my way. I had been longing for this moment for over 4 months, planning, preparing and daydreaming about this very scene, the skis under my feet, backpack on my back and the magnificent mountainous regions stretching as far as my eyes could see.

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I had planned everything in the minutest of details, nothing left to chance, this far out in the Swedish wilds in the middle of winter is nothing to take lightly. -20 degrees and fridged wind blowing through the valley, even the slightest mistake could lead to serious problems.

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My skis, a pair of Madshus Glittertind backcountry skis are made for this kind of backcountry touring, my poles and my trusty ski boots all fitted and working in unison, propelling me across the harsh arctic landscape. A smile is stuck on my face, and sheer joy has taken over my consciousness. Then, from out of nowhere I hear a snap, suddenly my ski is off to the side of me, I lose my balance and fall, somewhat reluctantly, headfirst into a deep snow drift. Smile gone, joy replaced with pain, the pain of freezing wind blowing down onto my wet, cold face. ”Shit” I said, as I looked down, realizing the sole on my ski boot had separated from the boot itself.

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Sitting there, hands frozen, ears and toes starting to go numb, and tears dripping from my eyes because of the cold harsh wind, I knew I had a problem. 10 kilometers away from the nearest cottage, and now no skis to ride on. As I looked up, not too far away I spotted a small emergency wind shelter, strategically placed for just these kinds of incidents. I picked myself up and made my way to the shelter. I took off my ski boot and assessed the damage – the sole had almost completely come off from the rest of my boot. Not sure how to fix it, I did the only thing I could do, I wiped my boot clean, pulled out my duck tape and got to work.

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The patch job might not have been the best, but for fucks sake, it’s duck tape and I’m desperate. As the saying goes ”if you can’t fix it with duck tape, your not using enough”. After fixing my ski boot I had a decision to make: Stay here at the wind shelter for the night, or jump on my skis and hope I can make it back to my starting point and to safety before night fall. I sat in the shelter for a while longer, freezing, I decided it would be best to jump on my skis and make a go for it.

I learned some very important lessons this day: 1. Duck tape doesn’t hold in freezing cold and 2. If one boot breaks, there is a high possibility the other will follow suit.

After less than two kilometers into my 10 kilometer journey both the silver tape and my only working boot broke. 8 kilometers back to safety, night fall in an hour and I was starting to prefer the warmth of a house and bed to my current predicament.

Now balancing on two cross country skis I made my way painstakingly slow and wet (I fell, a lot). I couldn’t help but see myself in an episode of some Bear Grylls survival show, fantasizing about how I might have to eat tree bark and drink my own piss to survive. Or perhaps I would be like one of those Vietnam blokes that during the war sought refuge in the jungles only to come out 40 years later to a whole new world. Yes, these are the fantasies that kept my mind occupied during this cold journey back to safety. Finally, after deep in fantasy about how king Gustav Vasa must have felt this way when he skied 90 kilometers on one ski in the 1600s to get away from an invading army, finally, I crossed the marker I had been waiting for, and not too soon either. The 2 kilometer marker.

Now both my soles have come completely off, there was simply no possibility for me to even balance on my skis anymore. So I took my skis off, strapped them on my HMG sidewinder, took my ski boots off and hiked the remaining distance in knee high snow. It was cold, but exhilarating, my adrenaline pumping hard kept my feet and body warm.

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This is the story of my 4 day trip in the frozen backcountry of Jämtland in northern Sweden. The 4 day trip that ended up being just one day because of one fateful decision I made the week prior: Namely, the choice not to buy new ski boots when I knew the ones I had were starting to get worse of the wear. I knew I probably should have, I knew it in advance, I had even looked at a few but opted to wait until next season, thinking I could get one more out of the boots I had. To say this story could have ended much much worse is an understatement. No cell communications, no GPS phone with me, and the particular route I chose was the complete opposite of the one I had left with my wife – for really spontaneous reasons.

With that said, I had a great time, I learned a lot and I can laugh about it now. So heres my suggestion – when it comes to winter camping, don’t be stupid.

My gear for the trip:

Item Ounces Grams
Packing
Thermarest Pillow Sheet 1.9 54
Black Pillow Case Holder 1.5 43
Red 2l Pack Bag 0.7 21
Hmg Sidewinder 4400 34.2 970
Shelter
Msr Winter Stake 0.8 22
Msr Winter Stake 0.8 22
Msr Winter Stake 0.8 22
Msr Winter Stake 0.8 22
Hilleberg Enan 38.8 1100
Sleep
Montbell Ul Pillow 2.6 73
Enlightened Equipment Quilt 22.9 650
Pee Bottle 0.5 15
Xtherm 20.5 580
Ee 30 Syntheic 28.1 798
Cooking
Sea To Summit Long Spoon Ti 0.4 12
Zefa Water Bottle 3.5 98
Marches 0.4 11
Feet Warmer Water Bottle 0.4 10
Feet Warmer Water Bottle 0.4 10
Evernew Flatpot W Lid 4.8 136
Clothing
Western Mountaineering Booties 4 114
Wp 200g Pants 6.1 174
Haglofs Green Wind Jacket 2.3 65
Kristal Ul Gator 3.2 92
As Tucas Red Beanie 1.8 52
Montbell Puffy Pants 16.8 475
Haglofs Black Layer 2 Sweater 14.3 405
Wp Thick Socks 2.9 81
Hestra Mittens 8 226
Wm Flight Jacket Xl 13 368
Haglifs Lim Puffy Jacket 6.7 191
Other
Murla Knife 0.7 20
Candle Lantern 6 170
Ul Teeth Care 3.1 89
Bd Headlamp 3.6 101
Iphone 6s Plus Ink Case 9.9 282
Msr Towel 1.2 35
First Aid Kit 3.1 89
Usb Cables 0.8 24
Snowclaw 5.9 168
Fuji X-t1 Body 16.1 456
Fuji Samyang 12mm 10.4 294
Fuji 18-55 11 311
Fuji Battery 1.6 46
Fuji Battery 1.6 46
13000 Battery Pack 12.3 348
Worn
Black Beenie 1.2 35
Aklima Hoody Wool 13.3 377
Black Shell Pants 25.3 717
Salomon Goretex Orange Shell 870 31 879
Puma Winter Running Tights 9.4 267
Fleece Mittens Bula 2.5 70
As Lucas Ul Pants 2.3 64
Consumables
Butane Cannister Small 7.1 202
Food For A Day 26.5 750
Food For A Day 26.5 750
Food For A Day 26.5 750
Toilet Papper 5.3 150
Total 423.1 11993
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Trip report: The Laugavegur trail day 4

Emstrur (Botnar) to Þórsmörk

— 15 km, estimated walking time 6-7 hrs, 300m net descent —

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Again, I was left breathless by the amazing hike. Glaciers, desert, rivers, mountains and forest all within a 15 kilometer hike. This day starts off in the canyon of Syðri – Emstruá. Here there is a steep path that leads a bridge that runs over the glacier river.

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There is something epic about a raging river being fed with a glacier.. simply amazing. I sat here for sometime and ate my breakfast and just enjoyed the incredible view, engrossing my soul completely in the moment.

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I learned along this trail that it was time to replace my beloved Haglöfs LIM trail shoes. I decided from this moment on that I would wear trail shoes that had toe protection and better grip. On top of that I realized that I’m not really into video production.. I shot hours and hours of video along this trail and so far haven’t edited anything.. I prefer working with photography.

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After this long trek along the sandy, volcanic ash desert everything changes to a kind of mini forest.

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This little house just seemed lost in the wilderness – It was the first house I’d seen for days.

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The house from a little further out.

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After a long walk came this amazing water crossing along the Þröngá river. As always the water is freezing cold, but barely knee high throughout so wading is no problem.

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The little village at the bottom of the valley is Porsmork, while I will be staying in Bazar, I wanted to make the little 8 kilometer detour to Porsmork to drink beer and eat peanuts. It was worth the walk. You can even take the bus back to Reykjavik from Porsmork.

 

From Porsmork I made my way on to Bazar where I would be sleeping for the night.

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While this was not Bazar, it was nice nonetheless.. Not really sure what this place was called, but it was nessled between Porsmork and Bazar.

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After a quick walk over this glacier river, I soon arrived in Bazar where I would throw up my tent and make camp for the night

Once my tent was setup I made my way to the river, laid down and chilled out for a few hours before heading off to bed. Once again, the Laugavegur trail delivered on it’s incredible views and serene enviroment.

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Trail report: the Laugavegur trail day 1
Trail report: the Laugavegur trail day 2
Trail report: the Laugavegur trail day 3
Trail report: the Laugavegur trail day 4
Trail report: the Laugavegur trail day 5

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Trip report: The Laugavegur trail day 3

Alftavatn to Emstrur (Botnar)

15 km, estimated walking time 6-7 hrs, 40 m net descent

I was in no rush to leave Alftavatn, the views were simply incredible and it was nice to just hang out for a while. I knew that walking through this valley would be an amazing adventure, and with that, I laced up my trail runners and made my way towards Emstrur.

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From the very start on the way to Emstrur, this incredible view is what I was met with. The hike from Alftavatn to Emstrur is by far the most picturesque of all the sections. From this kinds of green rolling landscapes, into long deserts of volcanic ash and a massive glacier looming in the distance like a constant reminder of the true wild that you are in.
This hike felt long, maybe it was the deep ash or the several large river crossings.. who knows, the hike is easy, but feels much longer than the 15km that it actually is.

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The first real water crossing is about 3-4 kilometers from Alftavatn. Here I passed a whole group of heavy-miserables while they stopped to take of their boots and socks 🙂 I just trugded through, admittedly the water was cold but I warmed up quickly.

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Here the trail takes us over the low ridge Brattháls into Hvanngil. If your looking to book a room in advance in Alftavatn and it’s fully booked (not unlikely). Check out Hvanngil, as it’s not always a known campground.

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The first real river crossing is made on this part of the trail. It’s wide and irratic, you will have to walk around a while along the river Blafjallakvisl until you find a very wide part, and there crossing shouldn’t be a problem. You will notice however I stopped on a little sandbank in the river. I didn’t actually stop here to take a pic, to be honest I stopped here because my feet felt frozen solid from the ice cold water..

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To say that the views along this part of the trail are amazing is an understatement. While I always find nature to be awe-inspiring, this particular part of the trail was something altogether different. I had the feeling of walking along the art gallery of god – his best pieces of art all laid out along a 15 mile trek. I took my time here, stopped often and forgot about everything else in the world, nothing mattered, I was lost in the moment and it was one of the greatest moments of my life.

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After a while we come along the river Nyrðri Emstruá, which thankfully is bridged.. From here it’s only a few kilometers left before reaching the campground at Botnar.

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After an incredible walk we come in towards Botnar which resides in the Markarfljótsgljúfur canyon with the glacier in the background.

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The campground in Botnar is well protected from the heavy winds blowing down from the glacier. The views are incredible here and there is even a little shop here if you need some resuplies. 3G works perfectly fine along all the campgrounds throughout the Laugavegur trail – so calling home wont be a problem.

 

Trip report: laugavegur trail day 1
Trip report: laugavegur trail day 2
Trip report: laugavegur trail day 3
Trip report: laugavegur trail day 4
Trip report: laugavegur trail day 5

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The Laugavegur trail day 1

Sometimes it takes me a while to finally get around to doing a trip report. I am working on this as an ebook instead as I can really get the pictures and album to flow better, but I will post the separate days here nonetheless.

This will be a full trip report and information guide for anybody wanting to do the trip themselves. This trip report is divided into 5 days simply because of the diversity and vassness of this trail I simply couldn’t fit it all into one post.

The Adventure begins

I had booked my flight a few months in advance to Reykjavik from Stockholm. The total flight cost around $350 round trip and the light takes about 3 hours. So, in other words Iceland is an obvious choice for most Swedes. I Arrived at Reykjavik international airport and immidiately outside the little airport I found my bus to Reykjavik city center.

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Once at the city center I took a little walk into Reykjavik center ate a burger, bought a map and some gas for my laugavegur trail hike. There is a gas station about 100 meters away from the bus station where all these supplies can be bought. My bus would be leaving at 13.00 so I had a few hours to spare before heading off to the trail start.

I arrived in Reykjavik at around 10.00 a.m. Finding my way around the airport was a rather straight forward process as there really is only two busses to chose from. I bought my ticket at the BSI desk to the BSI terminal in Reykjavik. After about a 40 minute ride I found myself at the main buss terminal. From here it was just a simple manner of purchasing the “hikers pass” which would get me to either the start in the north at Landmannalaugar or in the south at Porsmork or Skogar and back to Reykjavik.

I decided I really wanted to start north and head south, seemed like a fun way to go to end my journey at the ocean. I’m glad I did as I found the first days along Landamannalaugar and Hrafntinnusker to be rather bleak with the rain and snow.

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The Bus ride from Reykjavik takes about 3 and a half hours and I would definitely not recommend trying to hitch hike to the start as there it is literally out in the middle of nowhere. Nobody drives that trail unless they are hiking – and that is mainly just the buses. When I arrived in Landmannalaugar it was rainy and cold. Everyone was bunched into the toilets trying to figure out what they want to do.. Walk or pitch their tents. I also had a difficult time deciding as it was raining like crazy and it was by this time 4 p.m in the afternoon. However, as I had been sitting since my flight left Stockholm, my ass and back were hurting so I opted to walk.

The Hike from Landmannalaugar to Hrafntinnusker is about 12km and takes around 4-5 hours to walk. While it was late, I really just needed to walk. This part of the trail was marked by snow, rain and steaming volcanic hills. Landmannalaugar is the only part along the trail where you can swim in the hot springs. I probably should have stayed, but I couldn’t be bothered to sit still any longer.

And so, I made my way to look over the hotsprings, looked at all the hikers huddled in the toilets, waved and made my way.

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Landmannalaugar to Hrafntinnusker

12 kilometers – takes about 4-5 hours to walk

This part of the trail from Landmannalaugar to Hrafntinnusker was cold and wet the whole way. I was happy for it to be done. When I do this trail again it will be in August and not June, the trial in June is very wet, snowy and sometimes this means we just want to get through it all instead of taking time to enjoy every second.

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The first day was wet, cold and rainy with dashes of snow. With that said, the beauty was there.

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There was quite a few people stopping me along this part of the trail asking “how far is camp..” I seemed to be the only one heading south!

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The warmth of the volcano underneath kept the ground nice and toasty.

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By the end of this first day I had reached my limits. A long night before when I didn’t get any sleep, a flight, a long bus ride, never ending rain and cold. I was so tired that I didn’t bother taking pictures from that first camp at Hrafntinnusker. In my opinion the campsite wasn’t the best as it was surrounded by snow and no wind protection. I really wanted a warm bed in the cabin, but alas it was fully booked.

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Trip report: The Laugavegur trail day 1
Trip report: The Laugavegur trail day 2
Trip report: The Laugavegur trail day 3
Trip report: The Laugavegur trail day 4
Trip report: The Laugavegur trail day 5

 

 

blogLiving simplyminimalismsimplicity

Our delusional lives

To say that humans, much like oil, peanuts and gold is simply a commodity, is true in todays ”market” driven economy. To be used and discarded when the commodity is no longer profitable, is the way the new economy is built and works. At-least that is the impression given when most companies refuse to give a living wage in the USA, and if injured, most employees lose their jobs. (If non-professional). What am I getting at? Personally I think the market economy is wrong, I think we have gone too far in this utopian fantasy, our personalities have been replaced by marketing campaigns.

We all have the little movie playing in our heads, where we are the stars, were we are the ones playing in the leading roll in the Hollywood movie, or the professional boxer who just beat the best fighters in the world, or we just walked down the runway at a Victoria secret event. Whatever the fantasy, isn’t it strange that many of us live by these dreams? Often replacing our own realities with these far fetched fantasies? I have met many people who live in constant depression because they haven’t reached the dream status of the movie playing in their heads. This utopian vision of being complete only when we have the newest gear, or the newest and best car or grill. Our souls have been purposely erased and reprogrammed since birth by a highly motivated and successful marketing campaign. Read More

blogminimalismsimplicity

The future is bright

Winter is here in Sweden and as usual my focus starts turning from backpacking to other projects. Mainly writing. Living as a minimalist has had so many benefits for me that it’s hard to count them all. Not only is my bank account fatter than ever (from not spending money and selling most everything I own) by my mental stress is gone, I sleep better, I’m by far more productive than ever with my writing and since I’m not throwing away my money on time and useless garbage, I have a lot more time for backpacking and travel. (As of this writing I’m currently in Teneriffa in the canary islands enjoy some time with the family under the sun)

For those of you who haven’t been kept up to date on my other projects other than this site, I will do a quick rundown here:

I am currently writing a Recipe book with a friend. Hopefully we can get that done by years end and published by April. This book will first be published in paperback form in Sweden, but hopefully we will have an English variant available not to long after that can be purchased on this site as well as in your local gear shops.

I have another book on backpacking I’m working on that’s about 60% finished right now. The focus on this book is on general backpacking and different ways of thinking for different people. We don’t all have to be ultralight to have a good time. This book moves in phases of backpacking – phasing out from heavy miserable to lighter and lighter depending on needs. I should be finished with this book by April-may sometime.

A book on Climate change: Granted this book is still on planning basis and I only have about 5 chapters written. The outline is however finished now it’s the research that matters. I started this out as a small article that I wanted to write to my son who is now 3 years old. I wanted to write a letter to him about why me and my generation didn’t do more when we knew without a doubt that we are wrecking the planet. Anyway, on one sit down I wrote 8000 words in about 5 hours and realized that I needed to write more, and I needed to know all the facts myself. I don’t have a release date on this one as I really want to do it right. But hopefully within a year will be my timeframe.

Then to finally get myself more active in the world around me, I started a website call www.afterdemocracy.org. (Also to spare my backpacking friends in the world from reading my political thoughts on this site) While the main focus is on the political landscape in the USA and Sweden, I even write about other topics such as climate change. The blog helps me sharpen my focus and writing style. Instead of just talking about things I am able to compile them, research and back up my thoughts with verifiable facts. Making it much easier for me to write books later on.

I have a few other projects in the works as well, but I will save those for a later post as I want to get these projects completed first.

As it stands I still have a few articles lined up for this site and will continue to actively publish here. So don’t worry, I will just be working more along the lines of quality over quantity.

Did I mention I’m still a full time dad, husband and Boss?