Planning – Iceland

Met up with Jon today for a coffee in town to do some pre-planning of this summers hiking trip to Iceland.

We’ve now jotted down the main route and put in some things that we really want to see along the way and now have a good guesstimate of how much time we’ll need to complete it.

Photo tips and tricks

For those of you who are not photographers per say these small tips and tricks might come in handy to improve you’re (outdoor) pictures. Simple things that makes every picture a little better.

Robert Capa is known for redefining wartime photojournalism. His work came from the trenches as opposed to the more arms-length perspective that was the precedent. He was famed for saying,

“If your photographs aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.”

Save the Artic fox

“We want to see more arctic foxes in the Scandinavian mountains

The arctic fox, or Vulpes lagopus as it is called in Latin, is one of Scandinavia’s original inhabitants – it has been found here since the inland ice first began to recede. The arctic fox is unfortunately under severe threat of extinction in Scandinavia and Finland due to overhunting for its beautiful fur coat at the beginning of last century. Despite the arctic fox becoming a protected species in 1928 in Sweden and 1930 in Norway, the population has had a difficult time recovering. The primary reasons for this include insufficient access to food and competition from the red fox which is pushing the arctic fox away from its natural habitat. Climate change, with its shorter and milder winters, also affects living conditions.”

The application period starts on March 16th at Fjällrävens website.

New backpack

Got my new Fjällräven backpack today, the Foldsack No.1 in autumn leaf. As the No.1 points to it’s part of their Numbers series which means that all materials and details have been carefully selected to minimize environmental impact. They’re also constructed so that it is easy to repair and replace exposed details which may wear out before the backpack does as a whole. Great thinking! As with all Fjällräven gear they’re made to last but that also reflects on the price tag which sometimes makes a lasting hole in your wallet 🙂

Foldsack No. 1 in autumn leaf.

Foldsack No. 1 in autumn leaf.

I’ll use this backpack as a everyday carry bag and for small adventures, no overnighters, well maybe in the summer if it’s warm. One thing that’s great with it is that it has got an integrated laptop sleeve that I’ve been needing for some time. It’ll take a 15″ laptop.

The bag is at 16L so it’s not too big. I think it would be great as a backpack for school or going to the office.

You can read more about it here at Fjällrävens product page.

Fjällräven Keb Loft Jacket

Fjällräven Keb Loft Jacket appeared on the market in August 2014 and looks to have hade some nice feedback since then. It’s a good looking jacket but the color choices are slim as it only comes in autumn leaf (below), black, tarmac and the classic, uncle blue.

According to Fjällräven this is a light and convienient reinforcement jacket with warm synthetic padding. It has got a two-way zipper, hand pockets and mesh pockets inside.

Material

  • Fabrics: 100% polyester ,G-1000.
  • Lite: 65% polyester, 35% cotton
  • Lining: 100% polyester
  • Fill: 100% polyester
  • Weight: 350 g in size M

Features

  • Lightweight insulation jacket, perfectly worn under a shell or by itself.
  • Filled with 60 g/sqm G-LOFT Supreme.
  • Reinforcement details in G-1000. Lite.
  • Two-way front zip with buttoned placket.
  • Two interior storage pockets.
  • Adjustable at bottom hem with draw cord.
  • Elastic binding at sleeve cuffs.
  • Regular fit.
  • Leather details on the zipper pulls.

If I compare this jacket to my Patagonia Nano Puff jacket I’d say that they’re very similar in both functionality and specs. My Nano Puff weighs in at about 345 grams in size small so the Fjällräven jacket should be a little lighter than the Nano Puff as the weight in the specifications above is for a size medium.

I’m not really looking to replace my Nano Puff even though I’ve had it since 2011 and used it on a daily basis and for many trips it looks very good and has held up really well. I’ve only gotten a rip or two in it, one happened when I accidentally managed to get the fabric stuck in my front zipper and pulled on it, which was a bit odd. But if I were to replace it in the future I guess this jacket from Fjällräven would be a good option. Fjällräven garments are really good and made out of supreme materials to keep them lasting for many, many years.

So if you’re in the market for a lightweight non-down-jacket this might be a good option for you.

G-Loft Supreme is Fjällräven’s new synthetic padding which should perform very good even in wet conditions. The material was developed exclusively for Fjällräven.

I’m not sponsored in any way by Fjällräven nor have I gotten a compensation to put this on my blog.

New photo-friend

Some might say that I’ve got too many cameras (can you ever have that? :)) so when I post this now a few of my friends might just say, “another one?”. Yeah, another one!

But this wasn’t really another one but rather a replacement of my DSLR. I bought my Canon 5D Mark II about two years ago and I haven’t really been using it as much as I would have liked. It’s in no way a bad camera, it produces really good pictures but it’s bulky. It’s a DSLR so of course it’ll be heavier than your normal point-and-shoot.

In my new camera I was looking for something compact enough not to be cumbersome and not weigh a lot more than my current backpacking camera the Panasonic DMC-LX7. I try to bring one of my cameras with me everyday to work as you never know what’ll show up. I’m often out driving some hours every week visiting customers and when I do this you stumble upon photo opportunity every now and then and it’s nice to have a good camera with you when that happens. Sure, I got my iPhone but that’ll never produce a good picture enough to print or to post it somewhere. The Canon 5D is a little too big to fit in any of my computer bags and too big to hide in my car if I’m going for a short stop and can’t bring it with me inside.

Parallell to the size matter I’ve also been looking for a camera with better image quality than LX7 and that has got some built in protection from the elements, withstand rain and dust. The Sony A7 supposedly have this protection – it says so on their homepage and in every review I’ve read but I’ve also read about Sony not backing this up if you manage to break your camera due to water ingress which is kind of contradictory… I’ve been looking at a few different cameras and after reading everything that I could find online and watched almost every YouTube video out there I decided to go with the Sony A7.

The Sony A7 is a full frame mirrorless camera with interchangeable-lens-system which performs better than my old 5D Mark II, that I sold to get the A7. As it’s a full frame camera it’ll give me some great shots in low light situations and also with the high resolution the opportunity to blow up any picture to a nice big canvas to hang on my wall if I want to. The image stabilization is also really good.

I’ve only had the A7 for about a week but I’m already overwhelmed with the great quality this little fellow produces. Compared to my LX7 the Sony A7 with the Zeiss 35mm lens mounted it’s only about 300 grams heavier and that’s something that I can live with when I’m out backpacking given that I’ll get better quality photos with me back home to show friends and family. In my everyday life the weight issue isn’t really that big but it is still really light compared to other DSLR setups. For instance my Canon 5D Mark II with the Canon 35mm f/2.0 lens weighed in at about 1,3kg! That’s 700g heavier for the same setup and the A7 produces better images and also has more built in features like Wi-Fi etc.

I encourage everyone with a DSLR-setup to take a look at the Sony cameras as they’re lightweight and have more bang for the buck so to speak. It’ll also take other lenses than the Sony ones with an adaptor so you can run your current autofocus lenses or manual focus for that matter from say Leica, Nikon, Canon etc. You can also mount any flash you want to the camera without any adaptors or complicated in-camera settings. Those are two a nice bonuses! Go check out the Sony A7! I’m very happy with my choice to drop the “old DSLR”.

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Sony A7 with Sony FE 35mm F2.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Sonnar T*

I’m not sponsored in any way by Sony nor have I gotten a compensation to put this on my blog.

Iceland – 2002

Back in 2002 I visited Iceland with my classmates. It was an awesome trip as I remember it. We’d booked an off-road bus and traveled Iceland and slept in tents in different places.

So why do I post this now? Is it because the last post had pictures from there or is there something else that I’m not telling you?

Here are some pictures from 2002 shot with a cheap analog camera and some Kodak ISO 400 film.

Our travel itinerary was something like this. Landed on Iceland and went to Reykjavik to buy some food and snacks. After that we headed out to our first stop at Tingvalla, Thing Fields. On the second day we’re off to Gullfoss, Golden Falls and in that general area looking at geysers and other cool things. Drove around in our bus to other awesome spots like the Blue lagoon etc, etc, and then back to Reykjavik for some whale spotting and recreation.

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Gullfoss – Golden Falls

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Gullfoss, up close and personal. Me to the left.

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Gjáin

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Gjáin area

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Háifoss – High Falls

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Háifoss neighbor Glanni.

This was one of my favorites places on this trip. The picture below might even be the best one I took during my time on Iceland in my opinion.

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The river floating away from Háifoss and Glanni.

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Skogáfoss area

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Skógafoss – Forest Falls

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I’m standing under the rainbow infront of Skógafoss.

Here we are down by the Atlantic looking at the Puffins nesting there. You know the black and white birds with colorful beaks.

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Walking on glaciers.

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Me in the center.

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Looking down a deep crevasse. Scary!

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Eyjafjallajökull

These are the tents that we slept in. At this particular place we had a nasty storm coming in during the night and rain and wind struck our tents hard. In the morning only two tents were still standing upright if I’m not misstaken! And when I woke up it was like being in a swimming pool… In this picture I’m in the foreground and I think I’m doing some dinner preparations.

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Back in Reykjavik again and we’re about to go whale spotting. Skärmavbild 2014-10-25 kl. 13.18.31 Skärmavbild 2014-10-25 kl. 13.18.43Ah, the memories 🙂

Saturday’s hike

Karta20140913 This is the hike that me and Jon took yesterday. We met up at my office and then went to Bunn a few miles north of Jönköping. From there we proceeded south towards Skärstad and lake Ramsjön. Fun walk with different terrain features. The only not so fun part was that there was quite a lot of deer flies in the area. Nasty things! A fun part was also that we even managed to get lost for a few minutes, haha! But with a compass and some help from an iPhone we managed to get back on track quite fast. If you look at the map above I’m quite sure that you can figure out where we were lost 🙂 I forgot to turn off the tracking after we got back to the car so that’s why there’s a stretch from the start-marker to the stop-marker. You can click the map to get to the Suunto page and look at our trip in detail.

Maps of the area are found here. Part one & part two.

New Gossamer Gear packs

I might be a bit slow on this one but Gossamer Gear has a new line-up of backpacks ready for shipping.

The two most interesting ones I found was the new Gorilla Ultralight Backpack (46 l.)and the Mariposa Ultralight Backpack (69.5 l.).

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img_1639_1You’ll find all the info about the packs on their website.