Category: sarek

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The Trailstar by the glacier river.

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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.

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Dinner!

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

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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.

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Down by Rapadalen – Amazing

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

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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.

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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.

 

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Planning for a walk across Sarek

It’s time for me to start committing to this years (2017!?!) trips.. While I have a couple of smaller 4-5 day trips coming up, winter adventure and a week in the USA. The big trip coming up for me this year is a trek across, perhaps zig zagging through Sarek here in northern Sweden above the arctic circle. Often called Europes last wilderness area… Don’t know if that is true but in any case I really love hiking these northern regions of Sweden.

I like to buy my tickets early to wherever I plan on hiking. In this case I plan on buying my tickets during the week. By doing this I am mentally committing to a trip. Most the time if somebody wants to join along, its no problem to buy tickets for them later on. It also gives me something to look forward to.

 

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When

I am looking at making this trek towards the end of July and through the beginning of August. I will be leaving Stockholm on the 27th of July and ending around the 7th or 8th of august. I am choosing these dates more for logistical reasons than anything else – I have a wedding to attend in Umeå (northern Sweden) on August 12th and I suspect my wife would prefer I joined her for that wedding. Coming late July also has the added benefit of being a littler drier… hopefully. This area is known for being wet, cold and it’s not usual to be snowing even in August.

Getting there:

I will be starting by Stora Sjöfallet – the northern section of Sarek national park. I was originally planning on starting in Ritsem but decided to save that for another trip. So my planning is a little ”spartan” at the moment as the official timetable isn’t released yet. But it’s all good, I’m fairly confident in my knowledge of Sweden and getting around. I will be flying into Gällivare with Nextjet.se from Stockholm and arrive at around 11.45. The bus line 93 to Stora Sjöfallet goes once a day at 8.55 in the morning. That means a night in Gällivare which gives me time to walk into town and buy Gas or Alcohol for my stove depending on which I bring. No matter if I decide to change my start to Ritsem or not, it’s the same plans and bus so I can still buy my plane ticket to Gällivare and book my hotel for the night.

How far:

I am looking at being away 9-13 days, I want to keep flexibility as an option as I don’t really feel like walking 40 kilometers a day. This trip I plan to keep my mileage rather small, somewhere between 10-20 a day as I want to make time to zig zag, climb mountains, take photos and cook nice meals. A slow, lovely walk through Europes last wild land. Total I am looking at moving about 100 -130 kilometers during this trip. It really depends on where I decide to start.

Where to start:

I want to walk north to south. No real reason for this, but I guess it’s a psychological thing. In either case I will start in either Stora sjöfallet or Ritsem. The bus line is the same 93 from Gällivare. I either hop of the bus at Stora sjöfallet at 11.00 or at Ritsem 13.05. It’s really a case of how long I want to sit on a bus and what I want to see. The important part is making all the preparations around.

Bus line 93 from Gällivare timetable http://www.ltnbd.se/tidtabeller/31/0/

The Trek:

While still unclear exactly where I want to start, I do know where I want to finish. Kvikkjokk in the southern part of Sarek national park. I also know that the bus from Kvikkjokk leaves once a day at 9.00 in the morning. But perhaps this will change as we start getting closer.

In any case my preliminary trek looks something like this starting in Stora sjöfallet (on the right) or Ritsem on the left.

Here with a start in Store sjöfallet

And ending in Kvikkjokk

This particular trek is about 110 kilometers. If I start in Ritsem and cross over my trek will be about 130 kilometers. While this could easily be done in just a few days, I really have no rush here.

Getting home

To be honest I don’t stress too much about getting home. With my trek ending in Kvikkjokk I know there is one bus that leaves everyday at 9.00 in the morning from the kvikkjokk church. Though this could change and maybe there will be another bus later in the day during the high season.

The actual timetable http://www.ltnbd.se/timetables/61/0/ – bus line 47 to Jokkmokk or 94 to Murjek train station and from there I will be taking the train to Umeå.

5.20 for bus 47 to Jokkmokk or 9.00 to Murjek…

Gear and supplies

10 days of food and gas/alcohol. I like to eat three times a day and have snacks in between. I don’t mind cold breakfast but I will still boil water for coffee. My food usually averages 650-750 grams a day for everything. One small gas canister should be adequate, but I will bring two as I plan on doing some proper meal cooking for a book project I’m working on.

Full preliminary 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
Green Pack Sack 4l 1.1 30
Shelter
Hilleberg Enan 38  1100
Ti Tent Pegs 3.5 98
Sleep
Thermarest Pump 2.6 73
Montbell Ul Pillow 2.6 73
Enlightened Equipment Quilt 22.9 650
Xlite Thermarest 15.6 443
Cooking
Sea To Summit Long Spoon Ti 0.4 12
Sawyer Water Filter W/ Bag 3.4 96
Jetboil Ti Sol 8.6 245
Clothing
Mld Waterproof Gloves 1.6 46
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 200g Pants 6.1 174
Ula Silnylon Rain Skirt 3.1 87
Patagonia Alpine Rain Shell 6.4 181
Other
Murla Knife 0.7 20
Ul Teeth Care 3.1 89
Iphone 6s Plus Ink Case 9.9 282
13000 Battery Pack 12.3 348
First Aid Kit 3.1 89
Usb Cables 0.8 24
Ul Tripod 3.1 88
Thermarest Repair Kit 0.5 14
Msr Towel 1.2 35
Delorme Inreach (rent) 7.1 200
Fuji X-t1 Body 16.1 456
Fuji 18-55 11 311
Fuji Samyang 12mm 10.4 294
Fuji Battery 1.6 46
Fuji Battery 1.6 46
Fuji Battery 1.6 46
Worn
Aklima Hoody Wool 13.3 377
As Lucas Ul Pants 2.3 64
Haglofs Grey Zip Hiking Pants 10.8 307
Bd Distance Carbon Sticks Pair 12.8 363
Merrell Allout Terra Trail Shoes Pair 23.5 665
Suunto Ambit 2.8 78
Fleece Mittens Bula 2.5 70
Consumables
Food For A Day 26.5 750
Food For A Day 26.5 750
Food For A Day 26.5 750
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
Coffee 3.5 100
Food For A Day 26.5 750
Food For A Day 26.5 750
Food For A Day 26.5 750
Butane Cannister Small 7.1 202
Butane Cannister Small 7.1 202
Total ex consumables 253.1 7183
Total 514.6 14587

As you can see it’s a bit heavier than my normal trips. There are different reasons for this – one is a heavier camera. Two, a heavier backpack as I plan to use the HMG Sidewinder 4400 and a lot more food. Also a different tent. But in all honesty, the weight difference on the whole is minimal.

An example of this is my MLD Duomid. If we look past the size and comfort ratio we can compare the actual weight gained and or saved

MLD Duomid with stuff sack 753grams
Tyveks Groundsheet 130grams

No innertent. Total weight savings comes out to about 200 grams if I bring my Duomid instead of Enan.

Where I lose the most weight in on my backpack, going with full rain gear instead of just a poncho/groundsheet and bringing my full camera gear instead of the sony RX100. I could of course change my mind on any of these choices by the time I take off…

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Want to join me?

Drop me a line – you see the plans, times and dates here and if your coming from outside of Sweden I can help with a bit of the planning as well. I always love backpacking with like minded adventurers. I will be carrying a little heavier gear as I am working on a few book projects, so I won’t be crushing 40 kilometers a day and instead around 15-20 with a few day treks to mountain tops to take photographs.