My long absence from the blog

It’s been a long time since my last post, and I’ve hardly even thought about the blog for a while.

There’s been some reorganization at work, and theses last two months have been crazy. I’ve been more stressed out than in a long time, and have been to tired to think about the blog and write about the outdoors. A coworker compared our situation to the Greek mythology about Sisyphus punishment in the Underworld, where he for all eternity has to push a bolder up a mountain side and when he almost reach the top it keep rolling down again.

It’s in times like these that it’s more important to actually get outside to recharge and de-stress, but I haven’t had the time.

I had plans to get out this weekend, but other engagements came up, and I have to postpone it even further.

I don’t think my next trip will be a canoe trip since temperatures keeps dropping below freezing, but probably a camping trip pretty close to the car, with lots of food and a camp fire. It’s getting dark early this time of year, which means more time in camp.

When it comes to gear I bought a Tentipi Olivin earlier this fall, and I really came to like it. It’s heavier than my HMG Ultamid 2, but I actually liked it better, and it felt a lot cozier. I can shed weight by using trekking poles instead of the dedicated center pole.

Tentipi doesn’t make a floor for it, but I found a floor on AliExpress for a 3F UL Gear Cangyang 3 that has the same dimensions. It only cost me ~25€.

As for the canoe, one of the fiberglass seats, that already had a crack in it when I bought it, broke on my last trip. I made two wooden seats instead and used them instead of the fiberglass seats. The canoe is too heavy for me to use alone, and I would need the space in my basement for other things, so I’ve been saving up for a new canoe. I’ll sell this one and probably buy a Bergans Ally foldable canoe. It only weighs 18kg, and can be stored in its pack without taking up that much space.

When it comes to trips I’ve been planning next years trips, and I’ll do a 4-day trip at Halen-Raslången-Immeln in Blekinge and Scania in the early spring. It’ll be sort of a test run for longer canoe trips.

In summer I plan to go to Femundsmarka national park and do a weeklong canoe trip. I had planned to go to Greenland this summer, but I might postpone it again. I was away from my kids for two weeks this summer and I missed them too much.

Here’s my canoe camping pack list.

It’s a lot heavier than my regular UL pack list. Partly because of my heavier tent, but also because I bring more gear for cooking and an axe for campfires. Weight isn’t that much of an issue when canoe camping. But I still like to keep it down as much as possible without cutting down on comfort.

I hope I’ll get out on another trip soon. I can’t wait for the snow to fall, and I want to do a snowshoe hiking trip, but I’m also looking forward to spring and to be able to do longer canoe camping trips.

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New confessions from a gear junkie

Hi, my name is A. and I’m a gearoholic.

So I did it again. I ordered another piece of gear that I didn’t really need, but still wanted to get. A Tentipi Olivin.

My Hyperlite Mountain Gear Ultamid 2 is a really great UL-tent for lightweight hiking trips where I hike all day and just sleep in the tent (ok, it’s big and comfortable to hang out in on a rainy trail day too) My Helsport Nordmarka 6 Lavvu is a great family tent for car camping trips.

But lately I’ve been looking into hot tent camping, especially during the colder seasons, and that’s where the Tentipi Olivin comes in. It’s a two-person tipi with a diameter of 280cm and a height of 170cm. The fabric is polyamide coated with silicone on both sides, it’s flame retardant, and unlike sil-nylon it doesn’t stretch or sag when it’s wet. I could have settled with the Nordmarka, but a 6 person Lavvu at ~5,7kg is both too big and too heavy for hiking solo. The Olivin weighs 1,8kg, so it’s far from lightweight. But that’s still 4kg lighter than the Nordmarka, and it has a more suitable size for solo trips.

You can have a small open fire inside, but I plan to buy a wood stove, like a Solo stove or a Toaks wood stove, that I can use inside the tent. If I like this tent it’ll probably be my go-to tent for solo canoe trips, bushcraft trips (as much as that can be done within the boundaries of Right of public access) and shorter cold weather trips.

I’ll post some pictures of it once I’ve received it and got it out in the woods.

The dream of a canoe

For a while now I’ve been looking for a canoe. Well, not actively looking since I have to cut down expenses while my wife (and later me) is home with our youngest daughter. But I’ve been all over the Internet drooling over different kinds of canoes. I enjoy paddling a lot, even though I rarely do it. But I like the possibility to get to remote islands without people, and to be able to enjoy the scenery even when there aren’t any trails near the lakes. It also allows me to pack heavier and have more food with me.

I’ve watched canoe-journeys from the YouTube-channel Burley Outdoors a while ago, and got introduced to Swift Canoes from the videos. They make really lightweight canoes, kayaks and packboats. They’re made of either Carbon fusion (the lightest option), Kevlar fusion or Expedition Kevlar (the heaviest and most durable option). I first had my eyes set on an Adirondack Pack 13.6. These canoes are way over my price range, but i did drool over it as the light weight really appealed to me.

However I found another canoe that I immediately fell in love with. The Swedish made Esker Wood Ki Chi Saga 13 made out of Canadian Red Cedar.

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The Esker Wood Ki Chi Saga 13, a really beautiful canoe

I think that it is one of the most beautiful canoes I’ve seen. At 22 kg it’s heavier than a Swift Canoe, 9 kg heavier than the heaviest version of Adirondack Pack 13.6. But for me it was an instant love. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to prioritize buying this canoe any time soon. I’m putting away money for a trip next summer to the Arctic Circle Trail in Greenland and I don’t think I’ll be able to get a canoe next year. But one can dream, and hopefully I’ll be able to get my hands on one in the near future.

Jotunheimen, Monday

Day one.

As I wrote in my pre-hike post I had started to get a cold the week before the trip. I had used everything I could find to make the effects of the cold as mild as possible. By Monday I was starting to feel a lot better.

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It was cloudy, but gradually the skies cleared up a bit

We woke up to better weather than the day before. I was really happy to be up in the mountains. Especially since last years failed trip (more of that in some future post). I was worried that the trip would be canceled or postponed considering my new job and the cold just before the trip. There is something special about the mountains that’s hard to explain in words. But I feel kind of like Bilbo when he says to Gandalf that he needs to see mountains.

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Fredrik packing up before we leave the campsite

We started to hike towards Glitterheim, and soon reached the bridge we had set as a goal the day earlier.

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The bridge over the rapid

The bridge consisted of two steel wires with a net on which wooden boards laid loosely. The boards weren’t fastened to the sides of the rapid, but the bridge hanged loosely over it. It was somewhat scary to walk across it as it wobbled a lot.

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View over the lake Russvatnet

After the bridge the trail turned up and we gained altitude. After a while most of the vegetation disappeared and only scattered patches of grass remained. The whole area, including the trail, was covered in boulders. The higher up we got, the more boulders there were. It was strenuous on the feet to keep balancing on boulders. I had set a goal to reach the ridge before we had lunch and had really underestimated how long it would take for us to walk up there. Fredrik was silent, but I could see that he wished we would have had the lunch earlier. I asked him several times but he said that if the goal was the ridge we would wait until we reached it.

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View near the ridge
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The boulders got worse the higher up we got

We finally got to the ridge and had a nice view over the valley beneath Glittertind. We had a short lunch break. At this altitude it was both windy and cold. We packed up again and started our decent towards Glitterheim.

We filled up water in a stream that had its source near the trail and then continued down the mountain.

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Glittertind, with the top covered in clouds. If you look closely you’ll see Glitterheim

We sat down and had a coffee break before we reached Glitterheim. While sitting there we met a German who was going the same way as we did. He stopped and we chatted for a while. He had planned to go to Slovenia, but ended up taking his VW Campervan to Norway instead. In Norway it had broken down and he then hiked between the cabins.

Fredrik is by no means a lightweight backpacker. Nothing wrong with that, since we all hike the way it suits us. But the German guy saw our packs and said that he thought it was unfair that Fredrik had to carry all the load. He thought we had shared gear, but we explained that we had separate gear but I just liked to keep it light and small. He wasn’t the only one to comment on it though.

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A picture taken the day before, showing our packs

We hiked with him to Glitterheim where we stayed for a short break. He would sleep there, and we would continue towards Spiterstulen. We said good bye and then continued. We hike for while longer and when we found a good spot near a stream we decided to make camp there.

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Another campsite with great views

The weather was really nice, but windy. The campsite was by no means sheltered and the wind blew hard. It was exiting though to set up the tent in windy conditions. I did want to test the tent and see how it did under these circumstances. We made dinner and then went inside our tents. I finished reading Mitt år som nomad and started to read Wild by Cheryl Strayed. I’ve read it before, but I liked it, and I like to read books about hiking while hiking.

I listened to music when I read and I felt really at peace. Hiking is the best way I know to recharge my batteries and relieve myself of stress.

Posts about Tuesday to Thursday will be up shortly.

First post

This here will be the first post on this blog. So who am I, and what will I write about?

I’m a 30:ish guy living in the south of Sweden with the Mrs and my kids. I love the outdoors, something that is not always shared by my family with the same passion. The future posts will be about my hikingtrips, gearreviews, hiking with kids and maybe a focus on lightweight hiking. My goal for 2016 is that I’ll do at least one overnight-trip per month. Something I basically completed so far.

Welcome, and I hope you’ll enjoy your stay.