I would guess that over 95% of all online equipment reviews come from men. At Backpackinglight, we will be providing more opportunities for women to test and contribute here throughout the year. We would love to have more female reviews on items you have purchased from us. Please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or use #backpackinglightse and let’s help each other find the right gear. Here is the outdoor enthusiast Linn review of the Altra Olympus Hike Mid GTX:
About a month ago, @backpackinglight.se posted a message seeking a female test pilot to evaluate Altras @altrarunning new Olympus Hike Mid GTX for women.
I usually never express interest through similar posts because I always approach them with the wonderfully positive attitude that “they will choose someone else anyway” or “I never win anything anyway.” But then a DM from @backpackinglight.se arrived, and my initial feeling was overwhelming joy. Then, it turned into “damn it, they will never work for my knee” (for those who don’t know, I have dislocated my right knee numerous times and had even more surgeries). I had convinced myself that the only thing that works for my knee, when it comes to hiking with a backpack, is heavy boots like my Meindl Island.
But I was wrong. Altras Olympus Hike Mid GTXis simply incredibly comfortable, whether I hike without a backpack or with one (a ten-mile hike with a 20 kg backpack was no problem). They are really stable with excellent grip despite their low weight, and it feels like walking in a pair of sneakers with cloud-like cushioning rather than boots. This is probably due to the Vibram sole design and the comfortably wide toe box.
Altras Olympus Hike Mid GTX is simply incredibly comfortable, whether I hike without a backpack or with one (a ten-mile hike with a 20 kg backpack was no problem). They are really stable with excellent grip despite their low weight, and it feels like walking in a pair of sneakers with cloud-like cushioning rather than boots. This is probably due to the Vibram sole design and the comfortably wide toe box.
I have hiked over 50 km in my Olympus since I received them, and they have performed exceptionally well on any surface. During my trip to the Ovik Mountains with my sister, we walked through soaking wet bogs, and I can confirm that the boots are waterproof since my feet (unlike my sister’s 🥲😂) remained dry throughout the hike.
They don’t replace my Meindls because I prefer higher shafts for extremely wet hikes like the one in the Ovik Mountains (as I mentioned, they kept me dry, but I wouldn’t have needed to worry about where I stepped if I had worn my Meindls), and I still find a sense of (probably unfounded) security in the stiffness of my Meindls. However, my Olympus will be my go-to footwear for the majority of my trips; I love them. And I wear them casually too—fashion is not my thing.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to test this fantastic boot, @backpackinglight.se 🥾💚
The Raido is a lightweight, adjustable frame backpack designed and built by the Swedish brand Klattermusen. First released in 2020 to little fanfare (with the exception being me who absolutely loved the backpack), it has now been updated to be a few hundred grams lighter while still having the same feel and quality of the original.
Klattermusen is a brand that I genuinely like. They easily make some of the best outdoor gear on the market, while being some of the worst at marketing and profiling themselves. What happens is they make fantastic outdoor gear, high quality, great production value, and usually expensive out the gate. In my opinion its one of the few brands that I think genuinely deserve a higher premium. However, where they screw things up is in their marketing. If you look at their product photos and marketing videos you would think they are trying to sell their gear to SoHo elites whose idea of a hike is walking from Gucci to the Rolex shop on Drottningsgatan central Stockholm.
I can only assume that like Fjallraven they are hoping that Klattermusen will become the city hikers gear of choice. Which is all fine I guess if you’re not actually making incredible outdoor gear and spending massive sums of money on actual product development. With that said, this uncoupling of klattermusens products from their marketing department usually means great deals for us the buyers, as nobody is buying their gear which means its almost always on sell, almost directly once it reaches the market.
While this is great for me the buyer, its awful for me the shop retailer. I pretty much use everything Klattermusen makes as its proper outdoor gear, though, usually I am put off by the marketing, almost to the point of not wanting to be seen with their gear on me. But I can’t deny they make incredible gear. I use the hiking shirts, the Gere pants, Mithril pants, misty pants, the Ymer backpack for heavier loads, A nasty (in a good way) waterproof winter jacket and finally I use and love the Raido.
I have been using the Raido 38 and 55 liter packs for roughly two years now. The raido 38 that I had used the most originally weighed 1300grams, which was 200 grams more than originally promised, I think this besides the usual shit marketing, is the reason the Raido has not been a big seller for us here at Backpackinglight.
Then, taking notes, Klattermusen finally released the Raido at its promised weight of 1100grams. Which is perfectly acceptable for such a high quality pack with adjustable back panel. Also, because Klattermusen marketing sucks, this incredible pack is usually highly discounted everywhere its sold.
Functions of the Raido
The raido is a properly large pack: The 38 liter backpack I use, usually fits more stuff in it than many other 55L packs that I use. I don’t know why. The Raido has a large main pack that is my guess larger than the stated Liters, then it has to big side pockets, and one of the side pockets has a large outer pockets on that. This pocket is where I keep my poop gear.
There is also a very nice fitting hipbelt with two decent pockets. Granted not the greatest pockets, but with the daisy chains along the hip belt and all along the pack itself, finding pockets to mount on the backpack is no issue at all.
The Raido will also work with most people as its highly adjustable from large back like mine )190cm tall= to smaller people as well. This is accomplished using an outer frame and adjustable shoulder straps. You can even adjust where the load lifters are placed.
Comfort and feeling
I can easily say that the Raido is a joy to use. It fits like a glove, easily being one of the most comfortable packs I’ve used. No matter how much weight I have in my Raido, it seems to just flow with my body. Also with a lot of space between my back and the Backpack itself, I never get that sweaty back feeling like I do with most other packs. I still sweat of course, but my back gets aired out.
The pack, like most everything else Klattermusen makes, just feels like a quality product. Its just something I want to fill up with outdoor gear and go on mountain walks with. Which is unfortunate again, as the marketing suggest that I should fill it with Gucci bags and walk the runway. A disconnect. But if you can keep your eyes away from the marketing, what you will find is genuinely great backpack that will last for decades of hard outdoor use.
My only real complaints about the Raido is the chest strap, which is a little hook that easily pops out. Especially when fishing with the pack on. And I don’t care for the hip belt buckle. This seems to be a system that Klattermusen loves, but personally I would prefer a simple buckle to these metal clips and hooks.
Rugged and robust + will last decades
Because of awful marketing, can usually find at good discount
Vi träffar Sarekkännaren och författaren Karl Johan Piehl som skrivit boken Sarek, vandring, löpning och klättring med lättviktspackning
För drygt 15 år sedan gjorde Karl Johan sin första fjällvandring i Jotunheimen och gjorde alla tänkbara fel med planering och utrustning, Karl Johan beskriver:
–Vi lånade ett tält som var av samma typ du köper i matbutiken för 300kr. Det regnade rakt igenom och med lite vind liknade tältet en vacumpåse. För att hålla hög hygien hade jag bland annat packat ett rent set kallingar, t-shirts och strumpor i bomull för var dag. Vandringen gick över Besseggen, Glittertind och Galdöpiggen och avslutades med magsjuka efter att ha druckit av vattnet nedan fjällstationen i Spiterstulen. Trots nybörjarmissarna blev turen fantastisk och fjällen gjorde verkligen intryck. Efter denna tur påbörjades evolutionen till hur jag idag gör mina fjällturer. Från 35kg på ryggen till så lite som sju kilo för att korsa Sarek.
Sedan dess har Karl Johan lagt stora delar av fritiden i bergen, som vandrare, löpare och framförallt klättrare.
–Åren innan jag fick barn så åkte jag nästan varje helg både sommar och vinter till olika klätterdestinationer, ofta Norge eller Bohuslän, och semestern spenderades i Alperna och/eller i Sarek. Nu är jag oftast hemma med barnen på helgerna, men som tur är gillar de också fjällen och vi spenderar flera veckor per år i fjällen.
Karl-Johan är fortfarande aktiv i Sarek, och har efter att han skrev sin första Sarekguidebok besökt fler områden och ytterligare cirka 30 toppar som finns med i hans nya bok: “Sarek, vandring, löpning och klättring med lättviktspackning”:
–Från början var det min dåvarande partner som föreslog att vi skulle skriva var sin bok. Även andra personer har föreslagit att jag skulle skriva om Sarek eftersom de vet att jag har god kännedom om terrängen i området. Jag har gjort ett stort antal turer i Sarek varav ett flertal i områden jag inte kunnat läsa om tidigare och ansåg jag mig ha material till en guidebok som bidrar med nåt nytt och som sänker tröskeln för att uppleva Sarek – för alla. Jag ville göra en guidebok som är enhetlig och endast baserar sig på förstahandsinformation. Framförallt toppturer och topptraverser i Sarek har jag själv upplevt att det är svårt att hitta detaljerad information om. Kanske är det för att många av de bergstraverser som jag, och andra, gör idag inte var möjliga för andra än elitidrottare förr, då alla bar på traditionell vandringsutrustning. Idag är läget helt annat och det finns otroligt spektakulära bergsturer att göra i Sarek som kan passa de flesta som gör rätt förberedelser, även nybörjare i friluftslivet. Sarek är välbesökt i dalgångarna, men uppe i bergen finns de mest spektakulära turerna där du inte träffar någon. Trots att en stor andel av alla fjällvandrare har möjlighet att göra bergsturer så ligger stora delar av Sareks massiv nästintill orört. Jag tror inte på tyst kunskap och har haft som mål att förmedla hur man går tillväga för att uppleva detta unika på ett smart sätt.
När Karl Johan beskriver responsen från boken så har det uteslutande varit positiv sådan:
–Det är jätteskoj, Jag tvekade länge för att ge ut en bok eftersom det var läskigt att bli offentlig på det viset. Det är flera personer som berättat att boken gett nya insikter och ändrat hela deras grundsyn på hur man kan röra sig i fjällen. Det känns jättekul eftersom jag själv känner att jag har fått många bitar på plats som möjliggjort ganska krävande fjällturer – för en vanlig medelålders gubbe som mig. Och detta har jag försökt förmedla i boken, utöver ruttbeskrivningarna.
I sin bok om att uppleva Sarek lyfter Karl Johan fram packlistor och ger förslag på flera fina fina rutter med magnifika vyer. Nedan visar visas ett smakprov från hans bok, en vacker vandringsrutt mellan Gasskatjåhkkå och Skarjatjåhkkå:
När vi frågar Johan om tre generella tips så kommer svaren snabbt:
-Gå med lättviktspackning. Detaljerna i packningen bildar helheten.
-Fysisk träning inför fjällturen.
-Bra matplanering, ta med rätt mängd.
–Ovanstående tips är mina viktigaste för en givande fjälltur, och de tre tipsen utmynnar i samma mål: att fjällfärden känns enkel – du får access till att uppleva max utifrån dina personliga förutsättningar. Energin kan brännas på att uppleva fjället snarare än att transportera utrustning, säger Karl Johan.
Vill du inspireras mer av Karl Johans turer, få förslag på packning, mat och mycket mer så finns boken att köpa på Backpackinglinght.se. Beställ boken här
If you want a english version of the book Sarek check here
-I’m 26 and grew up in the concrete jungle of New York City. Having a Swedish mom, being a Swedish citizen and speaking the language got me to move here 6 years ago for college. Always loved nature but wasn’t great at camping/hiking, signed up to Fjäll & Vildmarksledarlinjen at Malungs Folkhögskola not even knowing what a Fjäll was. After 2 years there I worked 4 season at STF Ritsem where I got my equipment dialed in I grew my skills and got used to being alone in the mountains. Came for school, stayed for the Fjäll!
You completed the White Ribbon 2021. How did you come up with that?
–I fell in love with Nordic Ski Touring on my first ever winter trip in 2016 and knew this is what I wanted to focus my outdoors career on. Met a lot of people doing Vita and Gröna bandet in Ritsem over the years including best trip-mate Paul Loss. Vita Bandet always seemed like a safe starting point for getting experience for real expeditions, I’d like to ski to the South Pole some day and every bit of experience with equipment and my own body I can get before then will help.
Photo: Paolo Peralta
Tell us about the The White Ribbon. How was the adventure?
What an AWFUL winter 2021 was, barely even counts as winter. Weather is always a huge factor, but even more so last year. After 2 weeks of cold I had rain, sleet and temperatures rarely below -5C for the next 6 weeks which made for wet clothes, slow progress, low morale and negated many of my equipment choices.
I had a day where I fought for 8 hours and only gained 8km because the snow was so bad, stuck to the sled and skis like cement, needed to be scraped off every 500m. And my boots were full of water that day to top it off, I had sunk to the thighs in slush while crossing a marsh, took 4 days to dry out the boot liners which is why I carry a spare set of liners now.
But it wasn’t always awful, with the warm temperatures and being a person who runs very hot I think I hold the record for most time spent shirtless on Vita Bandet. The highpoint of the the 89 days my Vita Band lasted was when I had 5 days from Kvikkjokk to Ritsem on an abbreviated Padjelantaled. Didn’t see a single cloud or feel a gust of wind the whole time, it was mid April with long days and I skied in my underwear until I ran out of sunscreen. And I didn’t use a tent for those 5 days, slept in the open every night, would just take off my boots, crawl into my sleeping bag and eat dinner looking at the evening sky fade into stars
Any gear you want to put a spotlight on?
One thing that worked amazingly was my kitchen set up, I have 0 complaints about it and the only changes I’m making to it are swapping out the plywood I used for a base with a sheet of carbon fiber for weight savings and changing the aluminum windscreen to .2mm titanium foil for durability. Also, my down booties, will never go on a winter trip without them again.
On a long trip like this an Arctic bedding bag is a game changer, you save 20-30 minutes a day and it’s wonderful not having to fiddle with straps, stuffing a sleeping bag into a stuff sack and inflating/deflating pads. But commercially available ones are not waterproof and not even wet snow proof. I had a nightmare of a time when the rain was at its worst, sleeping in a damp down bag for 3 days isn’t fun at all. I’m hoping to have finished some prototypes of an improved bedding bag that will keep out a modern Scandinavian winter out for testing next winter.
Hands: I used 3 gloves this trip: Thick Hestra mittens for -15C or colder, GWS fleece gloves for -10C to +10C and synthetic liner gloves for when I was in camp and needed to handle small items. But this system didn’t work well for the slushy snow and rain. Since then I have started using Showa 282 gloves for wet weather and they are fantastic. Carrying 4 pairs of gloves might seem like overkill, depending on the weather changing daily over the course of a few months, it might actually not be variety enough.
If you where about to skii the White Ribbon again, what would you do different?
Beeline through Jämtland until Hotagsfjällen. Helags was great but going via Storlien cost me 2 weeks of struggling through forests with deep snow and seldom a snow mobile track to ease the going.
I’d want to make things more interesting, start on New Years Day at Treriksröset or something like that, get to see some more aurora, enjoy the cold and dark hopefully.
And bring a frying pan for January/February, there’s so much time spent in the tent then that you might as well spend it cooking real food; pancakes, hashbrowns, quesadillas and meatballs would have been a treat.
Pablos tips fore future White Ribbonears?
You don’t need as much fuel as you think.
You don’t need as much food as you think but you can never have enough diversity in snacks. Bring the comfort items along at the start, you’ll have lots of tent time and will enjoy the chair/book/kindle and you can always send them home when they days grow long and you spend less time awake in camp.
Other than extra socks don’t bring more clothes than you can wear all at once.
Good prescription glacier glasses are worth the money, lived in my Julbo sunglasses the last month of the trip except when going indoors. Invest in a dehydrator, make your own meals and try them all before you head out.
While weight isn’t as critical as in summer, you will feel the difference between 20kg and 40kg when going uphill, try to save weight where you can.
Ease of access to stuff you know you’ll need during the day is huge, make it so you don’t have to dig through your sled to find stuff you use every day.
Att ta sig an Gröna bandet, 130 mil genom den Nordiska fjällkedjan kräver en mix av noga planering, bra utrustning och pannben utöver det vanliga. Men hur ska man tänka och framförallt packa när man ska ta med sin fyrfotade vän på ett sådant massivt äventyr? Under våren 2021 fick jag och min vapendragare Ken äran att hjälpa det trevliga paret Elisabeth och Per Erik med att sondera fram lättare utrustning för det stundande äventyret. Det känns därför extra kul att nu får dela deras upplevelse och erfarenheter.
Berätta, vilka är ni?
Vi är två ganska vanliga 50+ som gillar att träna och vara ute i naturen. Per-Erik har egen golvfirma och kan styra över sin tid och kunde därför ta sig ledigt över sommaren och jag, Elisabeth är fysioterapeut och hade många sparade semesterdagar som jag passade på att ta ut. Black är en mycket vänlig och sällskaplig fågeltokig treårig Engelsk setter med italienskt påbrå.
Hur kom ni på tanken att vandra Gröna bandet?
Efter flera kortare fjällvandringar och sedan Kungsledenvandringen 2020 då vi insåg hur mycket behagligare det är att vandra under en längre tid blev vi sugna att prova att uppleva fjällen och vandra ännu lite längre. Under vandringen 2020 träffade vi även gröna bandarna Peter Bergström på fjället men kanske framförallt inspirerade Signe Johansson oss, som vi träffade i Jäkkvik och som ung tjej då valt att gå Gröna Bandet ensam.
-Ni vandrade med hund, hur fungerade det?
Det fungerar utmärkt att vandra med hund, man har alltid ett glatt sällskap med sig. Hundsällskapet styr förstås vägvalet eftersom man inte får gå i varken Sarek eller Padjelanta med hund utan är tvungen att ta Kungsleden den biten. Vi hade inga problem med några djupare vad eller besvärliga broar men annars är förstås något som man måste ta med vid planering av vägval. En hund som vandrar 10-12 timmar kräver mycket mer energi än i vanliga fall. Black åt nästan tre gånger så mycket kalorier än han brukar så man måste säkerställa att man har tillräckligt med energirik hundmat under vandringen och depålådor med bra hundmat är därför ett måste. Likväl måste man se till att hunden är rabiesvaccinerad och avmaskad för att komma in i både Norge och Finland vilket kräver sina förberedelser.
Har ni några tips till framtida bandare som vill ta med sin hund?
-Vi har ju ett Tarptent Stratosphire Li och hade fått tips om en sidecar till just det tältet, dvs ett separat innertält i mesh till ena absiden som Black fick husera i. Där kunde han lugnt ligga utan att vare sig bli störd eller riskera att trampa sönder våra uppblåsbara liggunderlag eller vara i vägen vid matlagning etc. Han kastade sig in i sitt eget lilla innertält så fort tältet var riggat och somnade som en stock så fort han ätit upp sin middagsmat. Sidecaren är dessutom så stor att vi fick plats med en del av övrig packning där med. -Självklart måste man hålla koll på tassarna för att se så det inte blir nån oönskad nötning när man går så många timmar varje dag. Är det riktigt varmt och soligt kan asfalt ibland bli brännhet, då får man helt enkelt gå vid sidan av vägen. Träna hunden på att gå långt, se till att eventuella klövjeväskor sitter bra och inte ger skav – vi valde till slut att skicka hem väskorna i första hand p g a värmen. Vi hade hundvänligt myggmedel med oss men använde mest ett myggnät över huvet på Black vid raster – det funkade toppen.
-Ha en plan för vad man gör om nåt händer hunden, om nån kan hämta, ta över om olyckan är framme. Det hade inte vi – men vi hade tur och fixade det ändå!
–Hur var upplevelsen?
-Det är en speciell känsla att vara ute så länge och vandra, man kommer in i en behaglig nästan meditativ lunk som tycks passa oss.
-Vi hade båda trott att Gröna bandet vandringen skulle vara tuffare mentalt än den var, kanske underlättade det att vi var tre (ja hunden gör stor skillnad när det känns lite tungt) och vi hade ju gått Kungsledens 42 mil året innan och visste lite vad vi givit oss in på redan.
-Vandringen är fylld av möten med andra vandrare, lokalbefolkning, stugvärdar, alla lika vänliga och hjälpsamma. På instagram är det möjligt att ha kontakt med andra vandrare, få tips om sevärdheter eller möjligen sträckor man borde undvika.
-Väldigt många långvandrare lovprisar trailskor nu och lämnar sina tunga kängor hemma. Vi ville förstås testa detsamma, allt för att få en lättare vandring. Per-Erik var mycket nöjd med det valet i kombination med Rockysockar i gore tex vid blötväder. Jag, däremot trampade mycket tidigt i vandringen snett och sedan om och om igen som det lätt blir. Till sin stora lycka fick jag dock återse sina förhållandevis lätta Lundhagskängor i Åre och kunde därefter fortsätta vandringen norrut utan ytterligare snedtramp. Således – alla fixar inte att gå i trailskor hur gärna man än vill!
-Det största missödet under vandringen blev även nästan det största guldkornet. Plötsligt från ingenstans blev Black halt när vi kom till Hemavan. Vi hade gått hela dagen utan problem men när vi efter inkvartering på vandrarhemmet skulle ta en sväng ut igen vägrade han gå på en framtass. Vi klämde och kände på tassen men noterade inget konstigt med den och morgonen efter tycktes han vara återställd. Vi vilade en halvdag och kom iväg sent på eftermiddagen utan missöden men halvvägs till Viterstugan ville Black plötsligt inte gå längre. Vad gör man? Vi ville inte gå längre från civilisationen förstås utan valde att vända åter i sakta mak. Klockan var ganska mycket på söndagskvällen, Per-Erik chansade och ringde till Trolltunet nere i Hemavan där man var vänliga nog att ta emot oss sent på kvällen. Dagen efter blev det bilhyra och veterinärbesök, ingen allvarlig skada, lite piller till hunden och ordinerad vila helst en vecka… Hur skulle vi gör nu? Avbryta alla tre, eller skulle Per-Erik gå ensam vidare? Kunde någon komma och hämta Black, ta hem honom till Övik? Vi hade ju flera veckor kvar att vandra!
Black blev snabbt pigg igen men skulle vi våga oss iväg igen med risk att han skulle bli halt igen inne i fjällvärlden? Det kändes absolut inte som vi ville riskera hans hälsa. Då erbjöd sig Malin som jobbar på Trolltunet att ta hand om Black så länge vi behövde, hela vår resterande vandring om det skulle behövas, så vi tvåbenta kunde efter tre dagar på Trolltunet fortsätta vår vandring utan Black. Malin tog hand om Black som om han vore en kunglighet, han fick fin mat, sova på soffan, åka gondol, vara på svamputflykter på fjället och mysa med sin nya familj medan Malin hade stenkoll efter ev. hälta. Black var pigg som en mört efter en veckas vila och efter ett samtal till ArcticAir i Hemavan fick han själv flyga helikopter till Ammarnäs där vi kunde återförenas alla tre och vandringen kunde fortsätta. Vilken lycka för oss alla och vilken fantastisk vänlighet av Malin på Trolltunet som spontant erbjöd sin ovärdeliga hjälp!
-vill ni lyfta fram utrustning som motsvarade era förväntningar? Och även om det är något som inte motsvarade dina förväntningar.
Vi är sena in i lättviktsvärlden men insåg då vi vandrade Kungsleden med 22-25kg på ryggen att andra vandrade samma sträcka med mycket lättare packning och som dessutom fungerade alldeles utmärkt. Kommer man från Övik är det lätt att tro att det enda som funkar är rejäla grejer med en liten räv på… Vi började söka oss fram på nätet men vill egentligen handla lokalt och hittade Backpackinglight.se som med norrländska mått finns i närheten (10 mil till Umeå) där vi fick personlig och kunnig service och kunde klämma och känna lite på grejerna innan vi bestämde oss. Vi bytte raskt ut vårt tält, ryggsäckar, liggunderlag och sovsäck och har nästan halverat vår vikt på ryggen.
Vi har varit mycket nöjda med tältlösningen inklusive hundens sidecar och likaså våra sovsäckar från Sierra Design.
Det är lätt att tänka att man borde ha med sig reservutrustning men vill man vandra lätt måste man se över packningen speciellt när man är två, inte ha dubbel utrustning och man kan faktiskt komplettera på vägen om man skulle sakna något.
Om ni skulle vandra Gröna bandet igen, är det något som ni önskar komplettera då?
Per-Erik planerar en repris av vandringen i år och nu utan hund och med större frihet att välja väg. Försöker nu förfina packningen ytterligare, byter ut successivt till lite lättare alternativ och självklart ett enmanstält denna gång, ett Sarek the Mid. Får vi det att fungera så går vi sista sträckan från Abisko till Treriksröset tillsammans alla tre.
Hur mycket mat hade ni med er, fyllde ni på längs vägen?
Vi hade mat för tre dagar enligt vår packlista på Lighterpack (se längre ned), en dag extra för hunden dock och sedan hade vi skickat depåer med jämna mellanrum (för 3-6 beräknade vandringsdagar). I depålådorna hade vi förutom mat till oss och hunden även toapapper, aktuella kartor, ulltvättmedel, lite specialgodis, en skvätt whisky mm.
Hur håller man en bra hygien under resan. Ni har med er ganska lite kläder likt många andra lättviktare. Går det bra attt tvätta/torka ?
Vi tvättade oss så gott vi kunde i vattendrag och sjöar, tvättade kläderna när vi kom till campingar och mer civiliserade boenden och däremellan blev det handtvätt av underkläder och strumpor. Vi upplevde aldrig något problem med detta, man måste ju bara vänja sig med det lite mer primitiva och med ullkläder på kroppen håller man sig ju rätt fräsch ändå!
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In previous articles you have got acquainted with former White/Green Ribbon participants and everyone seems to have different stories and unique experiences from their tours. One man who possesses a truckload of experience from longer hikes is Peter Bergström who walked the Green Ribbon in 2021. When Peter arrived at Treriksröset (where many others usually celebrate their finish), he decided to walk the same way back, a hike of almost 260O km!? Peter is also the record holder with most (five) completed Green Ribbons.
First of all, tell us about you?
-I am simply a lucky retiree! I have a healthy body and have the opportunity to retire early (at 62). I was also “lucky” to be laid off from my job, which meant that I got 2 years’ salary as a “plaster on the wounds”. This has meant that I have had the time and the financial opportunity to walk a lot. I have two grown-up children, and my son has also been on PCT.
You have a record in the VG Ribbon, tell me about it? Was it decided beforehand that you would turn around and go back?
It wasn’t 100% decided from the beginning, but I planned for it. For example, the depot package (my only one, which was sent to Abisko) was prepared with new shoes, new Rocky socks, warmer clothes, etc. But somewhere along the way north, the idea matured and in the end, it felt obvious that would turn around and go back. As a true yoyo, I chose to go almost the same way back (which was part of the challenge).
You walk alone for a very long time, how Is that?
I enjoy walking alone, especially In Sweden where it is relatively easy to hike. I can decide my own habits. When I’m going to get up, take a break or if I want to hike crazy far one day. The longest trail I walked was 72 km in one day. But I appreciate meetings with other hikers, cabin hosts and people I simply meet on the tour. I’ll take the time to stay and hang out. I simply don’t feel stressed (as many people think). Meeting people is almost the greatest benefit of a hike. For example, heading south, there was strong wind for 3 days up at Helags. Then I went to Lina Hallebratt instead and had a great time there.
Do you have any more exciting tours going on?
-The Appalchian Trail is exciting. I hope to start this trail in February 2022. Of course I’m going to go all the way!
Your best tips to future VG-ribboneers?
-Trying hard to get the base weight down pays off. The hike will be more pleasant and easier. The load on the body is less. You don’t have to “chase grams.” If you can get the base weight down to 7-8 kg, you have come a long way. You don’t have to buy expensive “stuff”. It is enough that you simply do not include so much. Clothes are something that many people bring too much of.
-Looking at comfort temperature can fool you a lot. If you walk far, are wet and tired (and the sleeping bag may be damp!) that combo temperature is often completely inadequate. Autumn and spring are the perfect time to test outdoors how much you freeze. It is enough to sleep on the balcony or in the garden. Have a thermometer with you so you know how cold it is. The chosen sleeping solution should work so you sleep well at minus 5. Which sleeping solution you choose is extremely individual.
-Problems with feet are a painful and common cause to break. In 2021, it was a clear trend that more people chose to hike with trailrunners, something I really recommend. A lot of energy should be put into finding suitable shoes (in the right size). Many appreciate Altra’s shoes, the Altra Lone peak 5 seems to have significantly better durability than other Lone peak. Then you have to go, the more and longer, the better. Sometimes so far that it’s over one’s “comfort distance.” After 20-25 km, things can happen to your feet that you never experience during shorter training rounds. During the Green Ribbon hike, you should be extremely careful and take care of the smallest blow, immediately (even if it is only 1 km left to the tent site / accommodation). And wet feet! Nothing to be afraid of. Rocky goretex socks solve that problem. Highly recommended!
-Many people are afraid that food will not be enough. And bring way too much. I shopped in regular supermarkets afterwards and didn’t have to donate (or send food home). If you choose to send depot boxes, do not send all the food. Only things that are expensive and hard to buy along the way, like freeze-dried. Drying yourself and packing depot boxes is time consuming, so start on time. Or shopping along the way, works great. You can buy exactly what you want, right now. Super tip: Billy’s Pan pizza (eaten cold as a sandwich).
-Any things in your equipment that you are extra satisfied with or equipment that you will replace or supplement with for the next tour?
-I am extremely pleased with my equipment. But it has taken time and many miles of hiking to choose the one that suits me. The only miss I made was not to send warmer mittens up in the pit box to Abisko. It was a heat wave when I got up and warm goa mittens weren’t really what I was thinking about… My DCF backpack from Superior Wildernes designs was great, needed neither rain cover nor liner, everything was dry no matter how much it rained. And the total volume of about 43 L was quite sufficient. The tent, Plexamide from Zpack I was very pleased with (apart from the zipper opening). Going forward will get a poncho (probably in DCF). To use in heavy, prolonged rain. Whatever you choose for rainwear, they don’t stay dry.
Katrin and Elva Petersson, mother and daughter (14 years old) performed the Green Ribbon (1300 km) together in the summer of -21.
Tell me a little bit about you?
-We, mother and daughter, Katrin and Elva Petersson (14 years old) are very fond of enjoying adventures together, especially in the mountains. There have been a couple of long hikes last summer holidays where we have been out for several weeks at a time, most recently for 11 weeks. It’s something special to be out for a long time, hard to find words for it but it does very good on the inside, empowering and so we have so much fun together out there.
You made the green ribbon together for the first time in the summer of -21. How was it?
-It was absolutely the funniest thing we’ve ever done together, me and my daughter. It was insanely challenging with the heatwave day and night for at least a week and then the blizzard on what lasted at least as long where everything was basically wet. For several hours we walked our way through knee-deep marshes and we chose a lot of unedited trails where it was horribly exciting at times when we found bear poos, absolutely amazingly strengthening in every way, just everything!
How did you prepare?
-We walk a lot in everyday life as both me and my daughter grew up without a car. Just before the Green Ribbon we walked for 1 1/2 years, 2 hours was weekday morning to school & work in all weathers. On weekends we often took a trip in the forest at home on a trail that is 10 km. A couple of weeks before the start, we stepped up and walked with the gasket/ weight. both on the weekend tours and on the everyday walks. For example, I came to work every morning with my backpack filled with 6-8 L of water.
-The mental preparation and the challenge it will be I was confident with, from our previous long trips and certainly also that out there our routines, day rhythm and small chores fall into place quite quickly.
Do you have any more exciting tours ahead?
-At the time of writing, it is exactly 1 month since we got to the finish line on our Green Ribbon, out there on our day no 65 and it has not been a single day since we came home without sharing lovely memories and challenging strengthening memories here at home which has contributed to us now having thoughts of going the Green Ribbon again. The next Band will then start from the north, (we started from the south this year) and we plan to explore new hiking trails along the band and visit favorite places again such as Skierfe in Sarek that we have climbed now 3 years in a row. The most beautiful place I know! Would also like to explore the Norwegian mountains a little more, as well as cross Sarek National Park and visit the caves of little Vadvetjåkka National Park.
What if you were to give any advice to future Ribbon mountaineers?
-If you are already a hiker and have been to the mountains before, you really just have to put one foot in front of the other and welcome the weather you are offered. A hefty dose of stubbornness and purposefulness is a great advantage while being able to enjoy right here and now in everything you are offered. It’s out there between the start and the finish that all the nice things are created. Before the band, the best tip is to go as much as you can everyday. I strongly believe in a good basic condition and walking in all environments, forest, asphalt etc. it is so much more than hiking trails out there. Get your shoes in properly, really properly! (We recommend light trail shoes) practice with the packing as well, several miles and pack with you absolutely ONLY the most necessary! It is the food that is heaviest so send up depots that you pick up along the trail. You’ll also pass a couple of grocery stores.
Highlight equipment that you recommend?
-I am very happy with the equipment we have, like to stay warm while the backpack is light. I am very fond of equipment that can be used in several different ways, for example we set up our tent with the Fizan trekking poles, use hair clips as washing clips for the laundry that get to dry at the back of the backpack etc. when we hike. All to make the gasket as small and light as possible. I myself am small and light in the body and then it is extra important that the packing is easy, not only to make it as enjoyable as possible, but simply for a long walk to be possible. Some absolute favorites in the equipment are: Altra Lone Peak trail shoes, love them, both me and the daughter have had these on all our hikes and have Altra even everyday. Are also very fond of our backpacks, Hyperlite Mountaingear, 45 L, holds all the little you need and is very comfortable to carry.
Any things there that you want to replace for the next tour? I’m very happy with everything, but for the next long hike we might invest in a new tent. Our current tent Tarptent stratosphire 1 with solid inner tent, (a one-man tent that we slept really well in together in weather and wind on all previous mountain tours) but which now after 135 mountain nights has been worn in the zippers. The daughter has also become bigger since our first mountain tour so we may invest in something bigger and even lighter in weight.
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In 1997, The swedish newsmagazine Expressen noticed a rather unusual achievement. An achievement that later founded the idea for which became Fjällfararna’s White & Green Ribbon. During the expedition “Sweden Around -97”, Torkel and Annica Ideström made their own way around the country’s borders. The tour started at Treriksröset, with skis to Grövelsjön, and then switched to cycling to Svinesundsbron for the start of the Blue ribbon of the Sea paddles (HBB). In Haparanda, the mode of travel was again changed to bicycle to close the circle at Treriksröset. Since HBB has been an accepted challenge for many years, Torkel and Annika felt natural to manifest an equivalent challange for the mountain range. Then with two different variants, one each for winter and summer respectively. The White and Green Robbon was founded.
Today, the Ideström couple live in a house in the small mountain village Östra Vålådalen in Jämtland. From here they now run the White and Green Ribbon and annually inspire more and more people to go on long expeditions. It feels natural to start our series of articles about the White and Green Ribbon here, meeting the adventurer behind the adventure; Torkel Ideström:
What’s the White and Green Ribbon (WGR)?
-The idea behind the ribbons is that you can make your own way from Grövelsjön in the south to Treriksröset in the north, or vice versa, a distance of about 1300 km through our Scandinavian mountain chain. The journey shall be carried out without a long stop and without outside assistance. The tour can be carried out all year round. The color of the bands indicates the season in which the tour was conducted. We try to draw attention to the fact that all hikers should respect and consider the environment, nature and culture they travel through. It’s an approach when you’re going to execute the band.
Are there any rules?
It is important to point out that WGR is not a competition. There are no times that you have to keep as long as the tour is carried out in a succession, without breaks. In order to avoid excessively strict rules, there are no restrictions on modes of travel, except that you should pass west of a number of places (see map below) and that you are not allowed to travel motorized. The use of dogs, kite, is allowed but will be registered as such variant. This is so that certain comparisons can be made and that it is also easier to draw experience from a particular mode of travel.
Can anyone do it?
-The challenge requires both physical and mental strength, as well as a healthy “public conscience” and safety mindset. At the same time, it is up to each mountaineer to complete the tour entirely based on their own circumstances, which means that those who complete the tour get a fantastic experience for the rest of their lives. Our youngest participant who has passed the band is 11 years old and the oldest is 73 years old. However, the severity should not be underestimated.
Tell us about the 2021 season?
-It has been a fantastic year, when many people chose to stay in Sweden because of the pandemic. Provided the perfect opportunity to complete a real adventure and a great experience at home. Admittedly a bit messy with accommodation in cottages and crossings across borders on, but which most people still took with peace. An adaptation on our VGB’s part was to approve Abisko as a start or finish place, as the possibility of reaching Treriksröset was considered too tough as you could not enter either Finland or Norway. For 2022, however, order has been restored. The Treriksröset is and remains our outpost to the north.
What does the future look like?
-One of the goals has been to establish The Ribbons as a real outdoor classic, which it has really become. Interest in long-distance tours looks to be growing steadily and is just right in time for a sustainable transition. The great adventure is on our own home mountains. Long all-inclusive flights don’t have to be our biggest dream. In order to further facilitate the Bands and strengthen the local, Svante Sundelin at VGB’s assignment has made a large compilation of so-called ” verified pit stops” that will be posted on the Banden website shortly. We have also headhunted Sara Wänseth, former CEO of SOG (Swedish Outdoor Group). First and foremost, she will now be project manager for FJÄLLTRÄFFEN in Grövelsjön this spring. More information will be provided about the ;). Sara’s going to “just” ski her White Band this winter, too. We have been telling you for some time that we are going to introduce the possibility of making the Bands in STAGES. The idea now is also that it will be in RELAY form. Well, it might be a little while. The technical challenge, and therefore the economic challenge of putting this into a functional platform, is not small. So work is underway to find funding and as soon as we solve it, the initiative starts.
Do you have any tips for those who are going to walk the green ribbon?
– Do your homework! This is an expedition, so prepare by finding out the facts, gaining experience and training. Then the mental preparation also comes along, which is crucial if you are to succeed.
· Think about the importance of weight! The tour is about. 1,300 km and approx. 20,000 meters in height. Weight makes a difference. Do what you can with the budget you have. Since this year we have a collaboration with Backpackinglight.se that fits as a hand in the glove. Relevant lightweight equipment and professional know-how needed to implement in a fun, safe and responsible manner.
· Have air in the schedule for spontaneous whims. A meeting might be well worth spending extra time on. Many have made a friend for life or met their love during their turn.
· Thoughtful depots are good, but not always necessary. It is possible to shop along the way and thus support local shops. This also opens up to change your luck in the meantime, as you are not locked to certain depots.
· Let the body get used to it. Add shorter day lengths at the beginning. Most people who break do it in the first part. Healing out an overwork during the tour rarely succeeds. The body’s hardness increases over time, as does the ability to absorb food.
· A couple of bonus tips – dishcloth to condensation in the tent and a “quick” (light, sound-dried) towel is great!
And to those who are going to take turns the white ribbon?
-(The above, the tips for the Green Ribbon, of course also apply to the White Ribbon)
-Bring a retaining wax. Do not only trust your skins, in case of strong cold they can let go. A green cold wax can also keep the clatter away from the skis when nothing else helps.
Moisture barrier in the boots. Thin wool or synthetic stocking closest to the foot, then (ordinary) freezer bag, over it a warmer wool sock. Most often it is the moisture from the inside that soaks down the boots – and wet, icy boots in the morning are no hit. Alternatively, boots with loose lining e.g. Lundhags Guide Expedition, where you can change.
-Thin hooded windbreaker. Then the shell jacket can mostly be in the sled. Protection of the face. Find a good system of goggles and face mask that doesn’t leave the nose or cheekbones alone. In addition to the obvious danger of ostracized, when this works well you become less stressed.
Fun Facts about the WGR
RECORD YEAR 2021 In the current year 2021, the following “Band record” has been broken:
Number of notifications GR: 93 pcs (approx. 60 pcs 2020)
Number of GR completed: 71 pcs (40 pcs 2020)
Fastest on foot: Simon Österlin La Mont, 22 days (21 days 7 hours and 38 minutes. 6.5 hours faster than previous record) Gröv-Treriksröset.
Youngest: Karl Nordborg, 11 years old (with his father), 65 days, Grövelsjön-Treriksröset
Farthest: Peter Bergström 63 years, 76 days, Gröv-Trer-Gröv. 1,500 miles. – “yo-yo hike”
Most GR: Peter Bergström, total – with this summer’s “yo-yo” – 5 times Gröna Band.
Most Bands: Lina Hallebratt, 7 times (6 Vita, 1 Green, of which 2 pcs in winter 2021’s yo-yo expedition). Lina has twice been named ADVENTURER OF THE YEAR for her tours of the White and Green Ribbon.
Number of nationalities of approved “Bandare”: Germany, Finland, Denmark, Switzerland, England, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Greenland, USA, Austria, France, Sweden.
Completely a total of 265 approved Green Bands have now been implemented (in 2011-2021), of which 38% were women and 62% men, aged 11 to approx. 73 years old. For the White Ribbon the corresponding statistics are 81 approved bands (2010-2021), of which 32% are women and 68% are men. Of the notifications received to Green Ribbon is estimated approx. 65-70% complete the tour in its entirety and the mountainfarer has received his diploma. The corresponding figure for the White Ribbon is slightly lower and is about 60–65%.
At Backpackinglight.se you ca read more about recommended lightweight and robust gear that will hold through out the long hike. What has been used before and so on. Also, all future participants on WGR get a rebate code if they need to upgrade some gear. Have a look here
Fall and winter is the best time of year for photography on the trail. From all the autumn colors to the northern lights shining bright in the cloudless sky. I love Autumn for photography, and I would guess that the majority of my best pictures come from this time of year. My biggest problem with hiking ultralight, is bringing a camera – do I bring a full-frame? Perhaps a little compact camera? or more recently, maybe just my Iphone. However, in the autumn I am less concerned about ultralight, and more concerned with getting the best colors in my photos. I can’t stand sitting in front of a computer and spend hours editing photos, so I bring my full-frame in the autumn and focus on quality.
Of course bringing a full-frame camera also has its own issues: How do I keep it dry? how do I carry it comfortably and so on. On my recent hiking trip to Borgafjäll here in northern Sweden, my Canon eos-r took a bath and got forever ruined. An expensive mistake. The lesson? Protect your camera, even if it has weather sealing.
If your more of a hard-core photographer, take a look at F-stop gear. These bags are proper hiking backpacks with solid frame and hip-belts, but also built specifically for bringing tons of camera gear. Hooks, pockets for filters, ICU (internal camera unit) and back panel entry, make these backpacks sublime for photography orientated hikers.
If your like me and think the F-stop bags might be a bit heavy for most use, use an ICU (internal case unit) inside your ultralight backpack. When I hiked Padjelanta trail last year with my Mamiya 7ii and a couple of lenses, I had an F-stop ICU inside my HMG windrider 4400. Worked great, not as easily accessible as using a F-stop backpacks, but certainly a good solution none-theless
An important factor in photography is to have your camera close. On the Sarek Ilforsen I designed this with photography in mind. I put two big d-rings in the shoulder straps – this was specifically to be able to hang a front pouch with a camera in, or to hang a camera directly. But strapping my camera on the front of my shoulder straps, I have the camera close to my eyes, and it has the added effect of balancing my entire pack for a better overall feel.
Another tip here, not necessarily coupled with carrying your camera, but with being able to keep your lens clean. Bring a proper lens cloth! This happens to me from time to time that I forget to bring a small micro-cloth that can clean my lens. After a day of rain I have spots and smudge marks all over my lenses.
Get out there! When I hiked Borgafjäll in September, I had no idea what the weather would be like. I didn’t care. I figured if I had clothes to keep me warm and dry, than I’d be good to go. As luck would have it the sun was shining and the clouds were clear – to my amazement, I woke up in the middle of the night, crawled out of my tent and was shocked by the incredible northern lights display that engulfed my entire field of view at the top of the mountain. I felt alone in the universe, in awe of the sights all around me. My point: Get out there if you want to get inspired. Sitting on your sofa dreaming of the perfect shot is not the way to get “the perfect shot”.
What are your best tips for bringing proper Full-frame camera gear with you on a hike? let me know!
The Osprey Levity is one of the lightest 60 liter backpacks on the market. At just 900 grams, it really does push some boundaries on lightness. There are of course lighter packs, but I would argue as far as overall comfort is concerned, the Osprey Levity is top class. Atleast up to about 10 kilos. I also wouldn’t consider it the most robust or highest quality pack, but certainly, weight to comfort it’s a great pack. It has a nice aluminum frame that, much like many of the Osprey packs, creates a nice distance between one’s back and the pack itself. Which means a less sweaty back. It also sits really nice when walking and the balance of the pack is fantastic. It sits really, really nicely.
On our scales the Osprey Levity 60 Liter pack Large weighs just under 900 grams. Which, is certainly light for a 60 liter, aluminum frame pack. Osprey was able to achieve such a lightweight by using a lighter pack material, a much lighter aluminum frame and removed hipbelt pockets and so on.
While the Osprey Levity feels like it will fall apart after a few miles, the truth is that it’s a rather robust backpack. I have been using mine for many hikes over the last couple of years, as I like to abuse my equipment as a right of passage. I can say that the Osprey levity has so far held up just fine to all kinds of natural and unnatural abuse.
Unlike many of the Osprey packs, the back panel can’t be adjusted, so it’s important to buy a proper size pack from the start. These packs come in small/medium/Large and hipbelt should fit just about anybody. I won’t give a size guide here, as you can find that further down on this page, but it’s just something to think about. While the back panel can’t be adjusted it does have load lifters that allows for a bit more adjustability of the pack.
There is not a whole lot that I don’t like with this pack, but I can name two. 1. I don’t really like the hipbelt – with heavier weight, anything above 10kg the belt starts to dig deep into my hips. Causing bruising and overall discomfort. This is a rather normal problem for me with a lot of packs that I use, but that doesn’t mean I like it. I would like to see a thicker, fatter hipbelt with removable hipbelt pockets. 2. Osprey doesn’t seem to like packs that can stand on their own. So you will always have to find something to balance the Levity on when it’s not on your back.
Very light 60 Liter pack (70 with external pockets)