Tag: hiking

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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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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.

backpacking recipe

Making Ghee

There are different reasons why one should want to make ghee. For me I use it both at home and on the trail. It holds alot better than butter does and I just like the taste.

Tools needed:
Casserole
Spoon
Strainer

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter (depending on how much you want)

Preparation:
Place the butter in a casserole and heat up

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Once the butter is completely melted you will start to see the milk protein bubbling up to the surface.

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Just scoop the milk protein out with a strainer

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Continue to do this until all the milk protien is out.. this takes about 5-10 minutes total

 

dscf3085Once all the protein is filtered out the ghee has a nice yellow look to it. You can then pour this liquid into a jar directly or run it through the filter once more.

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Once the ghee is done place it in a jar at give it some time to settle. Usually takes about a day to completely settle.

backpackingblogDestinationsLandscape photographylaugavegur

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

Going Lighterminimalismsimplicity

Simplify your backpacking

In my going lighter series I have a constant reference point that I write a lot about: Simplify your backpacking and make your journey an enjoyable process.

I write a lot about this, but I found that I never really clarify it. What do I mean by simplify and simplicity? In life this would be the equivalence to the Minimalism movement, in backpacking I will just call it simplicity.

In essens I will sum it up as follows:

Simplicity in backpacking does not mean selling everything you own and backpack with just a tarp and toothbrush.

Simplicity is about bringing what you need with the comfort you enjoy. Read More

DestinationsLandscape photographyPhotographyTravel PhotographyTrip report

Along the Laugavegur trail – Iceland pictures part 2

Here is part two of my pictures along the Laugavegur trail – gallery of Iceland. All pictures where taken with the Sony RX 100 I, edited in lightroom. If you steal my pictures atleast leave a link to my site and let me know where they will be seen. Thanks!

The first part of this series you can find here

For information about the trail – how to get there, map and general good to new info click here

For information with regards to my gear that I brought along the trail click here

Read More

Going Lighter

Hiking boots or Running Shoes?

This is actually a rather fun subject for me – and in my book Ultralight and Comfortable the politically incorrect guide to backpacking, I really play on this subject a lot. Here is an excerpt from the book:

Ever hike 20 miles with boots on? Backpack or not, boots are a bitch on any feet. They say you need to break in the boots first; the truth is you have to break in your feet and body to the boots. You have to get used to the idea of your feet cooking, wringing out your socks from sweat, avoiding water at all possible costs. You have to start loving and accepting blisters, double socks, tape and god knows what else. The first time I went on a long hike with boots on, I thought the bastard who invented boots was a masochist. I wanted to murder that fucker.

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Geartrip planningTrip report

Planning for Iceland part 2 – the gear

Ok, so the first part of this planning process was the actual trip, I find no new info here that is worth adding to the trip planning, (well except that this trip is now a solo trek as my hiking buddy is rather sick). Instead I will focus on what gear I will be bringing and why. Basically I have same setup but I made a few changes this time around. I will start with the complete gear list first: Read More

DestinationsTrip report

Planning for The Laugavegur trail iceland – part 1

In two weeks a friend and I will be heading out to Iceland to hike along the 75 kilometer Laugavegur trail. While the trail is not known for being overly difficult I will be planning to take the full amount of food with me as there are no places to eat along the way. On top of that as we will be there in June there could be some risk for colder nights and still some snow left on the trail. (Though I think the risk is minimal here I will still pack accordingly)

Update: trail now complete and I will update this post with more up to date info for anyone wanting to make the trip themselves.

We plan on stretching the trip out over 5-6 days and spend two nights, if possible, in some of the huts along the way. Sometimes it’s pretty nice to have a hut and warm shower if the possibility presents itself. Read More

Gear

Ultralight camping with kids

To be blunt – traditional hiking gear with kids has got to be the worst idea ever. Or maybe not kids but toddlers and under. I have learned one big truth when hiking with kids: No matter the distance, long or far, no matter how light I pack, in the end I will be hoisting my son on my shoulders and trekking with him as well as all the gear. So I am positive that if my gear alone weighed 20 kilos /40 lbs – I would never bother going out in the wild, as my son weighs an additional 20 kilos. 40 kilos or 80 lbs just wouldn’t be happening.

As it is, I am an ultralight hiker – imagine that. So carrying a 5 kilo pack and a 20 kilo kid isn’t the worst thing on the planet to suffer through. Though, the kid does weigh alot considering that he doesn’t exactly fasten onto my hips like a backpack (lord knows I try to fasten his legs around my hips). In any case I’m not going to lie and say I walk miles and hike for days when backpacking with my little one. Not at all, usually just a short 1-2 mile hike and an overnighter by a lake followed with a camp fire and hotdogs. It’s enough.

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