Jotunheimen post-gear-talk

Now that I’m back in my normal life with a house, kids and stuff I’ll had some time to think about what things that performed good and didn’t on our latest five day trip to Jotunheimen, Norway.

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My rain jacket is missing in the picture and some of the stuff came with me to the car but then got left behind (on purpose) before we left for the trails.

I’ll just make a list here and put some comments after each item. Some of them will get more attention that others. If you looked at my spreadsheet in one of my earlier posts you’ll find all the items there with weight and everything.

Clothes carried

INOV-8 Trailroc 245 – performed very well, were pretty new prior to the trip. I only had some pre-wear and tear on the toe protection so I glued that before I left. It did come loose but wasn’t a problem. The Trailroc’s are basically a jack of all trades kind of shoe (master of none). The general grip is good and I had only a few times where I didn’t feel fully secure walking down steep and wet rocks. Compared to my Hanwag Tatra GTX boots they perform equally good in my opinion. Now after the trip I have some heavy wear on the front “teeth”. Have walked approximately 180km in them.

Here’s a comparison from when they were new and now. (Click for larger images – goes for the whole post)

Smartwool socks (ankle high) – Nothing much to say other that they were comfortable. Didn’t wear a liner sock and had no real problem with blisters. They look quite worn now though so I guess their lifespan is about 150km. I don’t really tighten my shoes that much so they slide a little inside the shoe. I like to just have the opportunity to pull one shoe off without loosening any laces, works like a charm.

Dirty feet

Dirty feet

RAB Shortie Event Gaiters – Didn’t use.

Arc’Teryx Palisade – Great pants! Light and fast drying. Easy to role up and wear as shorts.

Icebreaker Anatomica Boxers – Worked great, the only pair I wore for five days. One thing that I can’t get my head around and this applies to almost every manufacturer of underwear… Why the heck do they have to put a seam and a logo at the very back? That  will only cause chafing. Pure evil if you ask me 🙂

Icebreaker Bodyfit 200 – Good all-around shirt. Great with a zipper for easy ventilation and the arms roles nicely up to your elbows and doesn’t get too wide in the cuffs afterwards.

Galdhøpiggen, Keilhaus topp

Buff – One of my favorite items, have been using these for years as bandana, hat, sweatband etc.

Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket – Have had this for many years now and it still performs as it should. Keeps you warm even when wet.

Patagonia Torrentshell Jacket – Nothing much to say, does what it’s supposed to. Did however get discolored on the inside after a ride in the washer. Had a white inside but it’s now yellowish. Performance is not compromised.

Should be all white inside.

Should be all white inside just like the seams.

Patagonia R1 Pullover – Great fleece pullover. Keeps you warm even when wet.

Patagonia Houdini Jacket – Awesome windjacket! Used this a lot and I’m more than happy with it.

Climbing Besseggen

Climbing Besseggen

Sealskinz Thin Mid Sock – Perfect for walking around camp in wet shoes or just standalone if you keep an watchful eye out for sharp items that could damage them. Fast drying.

Helly Hansen thick socks (Sleeping) – Made my feet come back to life after long days in wet shoes/socks.

Outdoor Research Flurry Gloves – Used only a few times but they were warm. I have had problems with finding good gloves as I tend to freeze my hands off when I’m outside but these did the job well. A little heavy but well worth it for me. (80g)

Oakley Holbrook 9102 – Expensive but keeps the sun out of your eyes and they are Polarized.

Suunto Ambit – Great watch, love the fact that it has a built in GPS so you can track your every move. It’s nice to look at the trails you when you get back home.

Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork – Awesome trekking poles. After about 4 hours I cut of the wrist bands and threw them in the trash. I couldn’t stand them. And after doing that the poles were much lighter and more comfortable. It was also easier to attach them together when pitching my UltaMid tent.

Backpack

Granite Gear A.C Blaze 6 with a (1) Granite Gear Hip belt pocket attached – Good pack, very comfortable. My maximum weight carried with 1l water was just shy of 10kg. Had one thing with the pack and that was that one of the plastic buckles on the hip belt dug in to my hip and caused a bruise. I typically have this issue with all packs I carry so it might not be an issue for you.

The belt pocket was a nice add-on and kept my camera and mobile safe from light rain and bumps. Though it would have been better if they were integrated into the hip belt itself.

One thing that I’d like to have are larger mesh pockets at the back of the pack. I found my self ramming stuff in there all the time and because it’s so tight against the main body of the pack it’s a bit of a hustle to get stuff out from the bottom of the pocket.

Also a few straps could have been removed like the ones on the side where the side mesh pockets are. The roll top is nice and the pack sheds water nicely. It’s not waterproof but it’ll keep some hard rain out and your stuff inside dry. I also think that the double strap solution that secures the top of the roll top could be a single strap, Y-strap, that would also save some weight.

Russvatnet, Gloptinden (v), Besshøe (h)

In the near future I think that I’ll most likely go for a lighter pack. I still want a frame and a big mesh pocket. I like the ZPacks Arc Blast pack, it looks nice. Might even get some custom work done on it. HMG Windrider packs are nice too but then I won’t save any weight as they are pretty much the same weight as the Crown V.C 60 that I’ve got now. But some things are better with the HMG over the ZPack in my opinion so I haven’t really decided on anything yet.

Shelter/Sleeping

Hyperlite Mountain Gear (HMG) UltaMid 2 – AWESOME! Nothing more to say.

Spiterstulen

Visdalen, Store Urdadalstinden

A room with a view

Spiterstulen

Known as the “Tower of Doom” because of the smell, haha.

Marmot Never Winter – Too warm for this trip and a little on the heavy side – will swap this for a lighter alternative in the near future. Might even go for a quilt. I also need a waterproof pack sack because my tent sits right on top of my sleeping bag with the result that I slept in a wet/moist sleeping bag through out the whole trip.

Therm-a-rest X-Lite – Great sleeping pad, was like sleeping in my own bed 🙂

Zpacks Pertex Quantum Bivy – Not really sure what I think of this. Had some big issues with condensation. Will get wet really fast and dries a little too slow for me. Did however perform quite good at times but my old US army issued goretex bivy that I’ve used for many years performs much, much better but that one is too heavy to bring… The Pertex material is really flimsy and breaks easily. I got some tears in the fabric but the ripstop held it together.

Memurubu

Sleeping through a rainy night. Hiding from dripping condensation is the plan here.

Cooking

Trail Designs Sidewinder + Inferno Cone w. Evernew Titanium Ultra Light .9L Pot – Performed very well. We knew this beforehand but it’s still nice to see that it worked in a not so controlled environment like on shorter trips. We brought alcohol with us but rarely used it. Damp wood and stuff worked but we had to put some effort into it when making our fires.

Trail Designs bottle – A bottle for holding your stove alcohol. Lightweight and all that but it leaked. Good for us that we put it in a plastic bag before we started hiking.

Sea to Summit Alpha Spoon Long – Good spoon, reaches nicely into your ziplock bags without you having food all over your fingers.

JO Sport mug small – Foldable cup, nothing much to say, it’s cheap and can take a beating.

Food – Our homemade freeze dried meals worked well. Some of the vegetables didn’t really rehydrate as fast as the package said but it wasn’t really an issue. From here on I’ll remove all the carrots from the freeze dried packages 🙂

Adding some luxurious items after the hell-walk up Galdhøpiggen

Adding some luxurious items (beer) after the hell-walk up Galdhøpiggen

Essentials

Platypus Platy Plus Bottle 1.0L Push Pull Cap – I’ll never use a push pull cap again, it sucks and gets dirty. The Platypus bottles are however great otherwise.

Platypus 2L Water Bottle – Bigger bottle with a normal cap.

Sunblock repackaged – It’s sunblock?

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 – Great camera, performs great and shots RAW and Full HD video.

Lip stuff – Yeah.

Biltema mosquito head net – Didn’t have to use it.

Jotunheimen map – Good to have, used all the time, wasn’t too sensitive to water, had it out in my mesh pocket and was always exposed to the elements.

Visdalen

Enjoying the view of Visdalen. The map sticks out of the back mesh pocket, light drizzle.

IFAK – Improved first aid kit, had everything I needed. Could have had one more Compeed plaster but that’s it. I brought two and cut them in to smaller pieces.

Kyrkja, Visdalen

This is what happens when you fiddle with electronics (watch) while walking! It was really deep and left a few nasty scars. 

Repair kit with cuben fiber tape, small wire saw, shoe lazes etc. – Didn’t have to use it.

Sea to Summit towel size S – Light but doesn’t take up as much water as you’d expect. I’ll replace this one.

GoPro Hero3+ w. accessories – Great camera. The movie in my previous post was shot with it. Shot in Protune, RAW.

Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter – Small and lightweight water filter, works like a charm.

Half roll of TP – If you’ve got to go you better have this.

Toothbrush, cut in half – Teeth were clean.

Liquid soap repackaged – Will have to find some other brand than Sea to Summit that’s a little heavier on the dirt.

Silva compass – Didn’t use it, we were on the trails basically all the time.

Granite Gear Air Pocket Small – Held my car keys and money, nothing to say really.

Leatherman Style CS multitool – Stuffed down in my first aid kit. Great piece of gear with scissors, knife and small tweezers etc.

BIC lighter – On-site buy, expensive, but we had to have two. Two is one, one is none…

Black Diamond Spot Titanium – Didn’t use it… Should have check one more time when the sun came up and went down.

Nokia 101 – Cheap phone with good standby time. Can take dual SIM-cards.

Snow baskets for my trekking poles – Didn’t use them as we skipped one of the peaks where we should have needed them.

Djungle oil – Didn’t use, mosquitos weren’t that bad.

Biltema sitting pad – Great little foam pad for sitting or having under your knees when building a fire or similar. Weighs in at only 15g and is small enough to fit in your cargo pocket.

Conclusion

At the end of it all I used almost everything that I brought with me so packing-wise I had what I needed and a few extras. I don’t think I would have done this trip in another way with the stuff that I currently have.

At Besseggen. Gjende to the left and Bessvatnet to the right. Love how both the lakes are in different color.

At Besseggen. Gjende to the left and Bessvatnet to the right. Love how both the lakes are in different color.

Video from Jotunheimen

This is our trip to Jotunheimen in 7 minutes of your time. Well worth it I think 😉

Make sure to watch in fullscreen, 1080p/720p, and have good audio available!

Pictures and trip report will come. I’ll also do a short “review” of each item that I brought along with me. Not really a review but rather a few words about the individual items…

Russvatnet

Russvatnet

Stay tuned!

Jotunheimen gear lists

Here comes mine and Jon’s gear lists. This is what we have packed for our 5 day trip in Jotunheimen. Below every picture you’ll find a link to our gear lists (Excel files). If you have any improvements or comments please drop them below. I don’t think we have time to make large adjustments but it’s always nice to get feedback.

As you’ll find in the spreadsheets we’ve shared some gear between each other like the sleeping- and cooking system. My list will be complete with all the stuff I use if I were to go on a solo trip.

The real interesting thing is that last year on our longest trip, 4 days, we carried packs that weighed in at 22-24kg each including water… As you can see below, things have changed my friends!

My list – 8.9kg

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Click for larger picture! (rain jacket is missing in the picture)

  • Granite Gear Crown V.C 60
  • HMG Ultamid 2 cuben fiber tent
  • Patagonia jackets and sweaters
  • Arc’Teryx Palisade pants
  • Inov-8 TrailRoc 245 shoes

Link to spreadsheet.

Jon’s list – 7.4kg

IMG_3830

Click for larger picture!

  • Gossamer Gear Kumo
  • 2x Zpacks Pertex Quantum Bivy
  • Trail Designs Sidewinder + Inferno Cone, Ti Tri, w. Evernew 0.9l pot
  • Houdini Motion Light pants
  • Salomon Fellraiser shoes

Link to spreadsheet.

Bonus picture

Bonus picture

Out hiking Friday to Saturday

This Wednesday I started wanted to go on a short hike this weekend and I asked Jon if he was interested. At the time he didn’t know if he could make it or not but on Thursday evening we decided it was a go.

I was browsing a few folders that I had laying around the house for some time that I’d taken home with me from different information stands around town. About a year or so ago I made an x-mark next to all the different trails that I was interested in and this particular one was more interesting than all others.

As we were short on time because we had to go as soon as I came off work I wanted something close to home. We moved about 6 months ago and when I’ve been out running I’ve seen different trail markings but not given that much thought to it as I’ve never ever seen anyone come down one of them before. But now it was prefect, we could simply just walk out of my backyard and on to that trail!

The trail, Södra Vätterleden, stretches pretty far and we opted for the non-city route, stage two to stage one. Map links are here below in the order we walked. We started down south of marker 15 by the lake.

Stage Two, part two
Stage Two, part one
Stage One

As usual I did’t think I needed to print more than the stage two parts because I thought we wouldn’t get that far in the short amount of time we had… But, we tend to walk much farther than expected every time we’re out and about so I guess I’ll have to get used to that 🙂

On the trail

On the trail

We started walking around 5.30pm and didn’t stop until 11.30pm and at that point we’d covered roughly 25km and found a really good camp site too. We made camp due north-east of marker 2, stage two, part one map. When we arrived it was almost pitch black so without our headlamps on we wouldn’t have been able to pitch the tent in such a good spot as we did. And luckily enough we pitched it right before the rain came down on us. I slept like a baby the whole night but Jon said it rained so heavily that he was worried that we would have water flowing in under the tent and get wet as we didn’t have a bathtub floor.

Coffee break in the woods. It was really warm weather, rain was expected but we only got a few drops under 5 minutes.

Coffee break in the woods. It was really warm. Rain was expected but we only got a few drops during 5 minutes.

Day two started just as good as when we started the day before. We woke up around 7 and broke camp around 8.

Lake Stråken where we camped.

Lake Stråken where we camped.

We had a deadline for our pickup and that was around noon. We started walking and covered some ground quite fast even though our legs were sore from yesterday. Jon had new shoes on, his Salomon Fellraisers and that was his curse with blisters and all. Even though I have walked quite a bit in my Inov-8 Roclite 295’s I’d never walked this far in them before so I guess that was what got me. Also the higher pace due to the fact that we both used trekking poles surely made an impact on our muscles and feet.

Lunch break by marker 14.

Lunch break by marker 14, stage one map. Mashed potatoes with soy-stuff in taco mix was on the menu. The freeze bag recipes are coming together quite nicely!

Backpacks, Granite Gear Crown V.C 60 and Üla Circuit.

Backpacks – Granite Gear Crown V.C 60 and ULA Circuit. We could most definitely go with smaller packs as we have downsized our gear so much. Jon packs his Z-lite pad inside the pack and still got a lot of room left. I had to put my Z-lite pad on top of the pack to have the internal frame covered.

This was the first time I had the opportunity to try out my new Crown V.C 60 backpack and the HMG Ultamid 2 tent and I liked them a lot! Also my new Patagonia Houdini jacket was really good keeping me warm when the wind was blowing. One thing that will be changed are my pants. My Fjällräven Vidda Pro’s will be put in storage for those moments when bush-wacking is a must. They will be replace by a pair of Arc’Teryx Palisade lightweight pants. Also the sleeping pad will be swapped out and replaced with another Therm-a-Rest pad, the X-Lite. I think that both the Z- and X-Lite will do very good as a combo for really cold winter nights. I hope to get both of these things before next weekend and maybe even the new innernet as bug season is around the corner.

All in all during this hike we covered about 38km. We didn’t have time to complete the last bit of the stage as we ran out of time. We ended the hike at marker 11 where a narrow bridge crosses Stråken. I guesstimate that we had roughly and hour to go from where we stopped to reach Mullsjö, the starting point of stage one. But that part was mostly asphalt anyways so I don’t really think we missed anything 🙂

HMG Ultamid 2 – First Pitch

Great weather outside this whole weekend and now that I finally had received everything to make the first pitch it was time to do it. I waited for Jon to come home from his grandpa’s as he needs to know how to pitch the tent as much as I do.

Here are some pictures with the tent setup in our yard. Unfortunately we mowed the lawn afterwards 🙂

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Pitched infront of our house.

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Me and my daughter Alma enjoying the new tent. Granite Gear Crown V.C 60 in the foreground and Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork trekking poles holding everything up in place.

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Jon holds the door open.

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Looks like a dog sits behind the tent but it’s actually Jon with his cap on leaning forward making adjustments on the guylines.

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Jon taking a quick nap with his Fellraisers on.

New backpack and trekking poles!

Wehuuu! My new backpack is finally here!! And my trekking poles! It’s like x-mas all over again 🙂

Crown60_2014-04-29_17-45-49_P1020605As you might know I ordered a Granite Gear pack but that one ended up being on backorder. But I waited and waited, and then waited some more before finally shooting an e-mail to the company asking about where it was. They said that it was not the entire truth about the date when it was supposed to arrive so I canceled my order with them.

The pack I ordered was a Blaze A.C 60. After thinking about the size of the pack and the weight based on some other stuff I’ve changed during my waiting time, it seamed stupid to buy such a “heavy” pack when I could go with something lighter.

I still liked the designs that Granite Gear offered so I knew I wanted a pack from them and I decided on a Crown V.C 60 – and now it’s here! I also got some tent stakes in titanium from Vargo and some extra shoe laces for my Inov-8 Roclite 295’s.

Specifications

Weight: .96 kg | 2lbs 2oz
Capacity: 60 liters | 3660 cubic inches
Suspension: Vapor Current (V.C.) Internal Frame
Load Capacity: 35lbs | 16kg

Materials

100D Ripstop
210D Nylon Cordura
Stretch Mesh Fabric

Features

  • interchangeable belts
  • Lineloc compression
  • tool loops
  • hydration ports & internal hydration sleeve
  • large stretch side & front pockets
  • extended overflow crossover straps
  • padded rolling stay
  • Vapor current suspension
  • CORDURA® fabrics

I went to Jons place today after work and picked up my new trekking poles that we ordered a while back. I didn’t really know what I was getting at the time besides that they were supposed to be among the best trekking poles around. They sure look good and feels nice in my hands. Love the cork handles and the flick lock system. It’s much better than the twist/pull-thinge that are on my cheap ones.

BlackDiamondAlpineCork_2014-04-30_21-47-39_P1020613

The trekking poles we got are the Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork. Not the cheapest ones around but they feel great and all the reviews that we’ve read or viewed on YouTube says nothing else. I hope we made the right decision! 🙂

I’m really looking forward to test all the new stuff out! Everything from my new pack to my new tent. Haven’t been able to pitch it until now when I received the poles and tent stakes…