Mini adventure – out canoeing

Sometimes it’s not important to go on long pre-planned trips but to get out at all. Mini adventures can change your everyday life in to something exiting and give you an energy boost to survive the next week.

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This weekend we had one of these mini adventures. By my house I have a lake and it’s connected with two smaller lakes, great for canoeing. We left around midday and quite soon after we reched the middle of “Sörsjön” the sky darkened far away and big lightening struck the sky. But as it was north of us and not that close we paddled on.

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After we reached or final destination where our plan was to stop and have a cup of coffee the bad weather had moved closer to us and the rumbling was telling us it was time to head back. With the wind at our backs we paddled on with ease and we were soon back on Sörsjön. But this time we kept close to the shore, you don’t want to be out on the middle of the lake when a thunder storm passes by…

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We jumped a shore and the weather started to act up with high winds but no rain. Fortunately it all passed by to the west of us. We pulled out or backpacks from the canoe and started to boil some water and unpacked some Swedish “fika”.

After our break it was time to have some fun and pitch Jons one man shelter, Six Moon Designs Gatewood Cape with their Serenity NetTent.

Here’s a short video of Jon pitching the tent.

After all this it was time to head back to home base, filled with energy. Now everything was calm after the storm and the water was almost like a mirror.

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Around Bjärehalvön

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Last weekend we went for a two-day tour in Skåne. We wanted to have the opportunity to test the gear we intend to use for our Iceland trip this summer. As we already have walked most of the shorter trails around our hometown we looked for a suitable trail in the southern parts of Sweden.

After some research we decided to hike the coastal walk around Bjärehalvön. This tour fitted us good as it was a circle walk giving us the possibility to start and end at the same spot without needing to backtrack any part of the hike. It is 52 km long, making it ideal for a two-day trip as we know that we usually walk at least 25 km per day.

The hike is split into four parts, each 10 to 18 km long so we decided to walk two parts per day. We opted to start from Båstad on the northern part of Hallandsåsen and walk the trail clockwise. So the order for each part would be 20, 17, 16 and finally 15 back to Båstad.

Båstad to Ängelsbäcksstrand

We started of from the city centre around 11 o clock on Saturday. We headed southwards out-of-town and quickly the trail started going upwards onto Hallandsåsen. The temperature was around 10 to 12 °C and the clouds looked like we could get some light rain.

We were soon on top of the hill and could enjoy quite view over the landscape consisting of rolling hills dotted with forest groves and small farms. Unfortunately much of the track followed asphalt roads that we hade to share with motorized traffic.

Midway we took a short stop in a small beech wood and rested our legs. Walking on hard ground is not the best option. After this the path went down towards the southern shores of Bjärehalvön. We still had to walk on roads but the views made the walk worth it.

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Jon overlooking the Eskers outside of Grevie.

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No, this is Skåne, not a Windows wallpaper!

Closer to the shore we crossed a beautiful small nature reserve stretching over a Esker giving us a pause from the roads. Not long after this we finally arrived at the sea and Ängelbäcksstrand. By now the Sun began to show and the views around us were stunning. It had been a fairly ok walk down the countryside but now things started to look very promising!

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If our calculations were right we thought that we would have time to walk to Torekov before it was time to make camp. So we started walking north along the beach after a short pause.

The trail along the beach showed to be nothing less than fantastic! All the way up to Torekov we walked in pastures along the coast line. There were hardly any buildings except for the old bunkers built during WW2, now left closed for future generations.

We kept a good pace during the whole walk up to Torekov. The fields held plenty of livestock; both cows, horses and sheep and we had som close encounters with all three. Luckily the beasts were satisfied with their herbivore diet and didn’t show any interest for Cuben or Pertex.

Later in the afternoon we arrived at Torekov, a picturesque tourist town at the western end of the peninsula. After a days walking we couldn’t resist and stopped for ice cream in the small marina.

View over the Torekov marina.

View over the Torekov marina.

After the break we went looking for a place to pitch our tent but this would show to be harder than we first thought. The main reason for this is that more or less all coastal area on Bjärehalvön consists of natural reserve areas, which means that camping is not allowed there. This is a general exemption to Allemansrätten and can be good to know if you are hiking in similar areas in Sweden.

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A couple of horses grazing by the seafront.

Because of this we were left to try and find a campsite outside of the reserve. As much of the land close the reserve for obvious reasons is occupied by summer houses there was not very much space left for a tent close to the beach.

It took us several kilometers until we found a decent spot for the night, a small parking lot with a clear view over the sea. We had now walked over 33 kilometers and were both hungry and a bit tired.

Our spot for the night, overlooking the coast line of Bjärehalvön.

Our spot for the night. Andrés Ultamid overlooking the coast line of Bjärehalvön.

This was the first time we pitched the Ultamid with the inner net. A Bear Pawwd net that André purchased last summer for our Jotunheimen trip. Back then we made a last-minute decision to ditch the inner in favor of our bivy bags, so the tent had stayed unused in Andrés storage until now.

The inner net luckily showed to be a perfect fit for the Ultamid and we had no trouble at all fitting in both our sleeping mats and rest of our gear inside the tent. After this we made a quick meal and went to bed after a long days walk.

Sunset over Kattegatt.

Sunset over Kattegatt.

Back to Båstad

Next morning we woke up early and started our journey towards Båstad. We soon passed a small harbour with colourful fishing huts. Next to the huts there was something looking like an old torpedo, probably also a remain from the war. We found an old water pump but to our disappointment we couldn’t get any water our of it.

After this the trail led us up on higher ground and above Hovs Hallar. Actually the trail did not go through the area but stayed on the cliffs above. There were several paths leading down to the shore but we decided to stay on the high route and enjoy the view from above.

Above Hovs Hallar.

Above Hovs Hallar.

The trail then took us inland through the woods and all the way up to the view-point at Knösen 152 meter above sea level. There we met two Danish hikers who just had packed their camp together and where heading for Torekov.

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View from Knösen.

From here the path led us downwards, through similar landscapes; beech wood, fields and farms. On our way we passed a number of couple of small creeks. By lunch we hade arrived at the sea side on Bjärehalvöns northern side, the rest of the walk was along a small gravel road frequented by walkers and cyclists. It took us about an hour to reach Båstad, by then we hade walked around 17 kilometers and we got in to the car and went for a quick-lunch before starting the journey home.

All in all this was a surprisingly good trip, the trail showed to be nice with magnificent views along the walk. If you have the time we can really recommend a walk around Bjärehalvön!

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Selfie time during a short break, sheltered from the wind by an old bunker.

Bankerydsleden revisited

Jon and I went on a short hike today, May 1st, nice to have the day of from work and spend some of it in the woods. This was my second time walking this trail but last time it was winter and really cold and snowy so it was nice to see it in color. Rain was on the forecast but we managed to get back before it started. We walked about 20km, starting at 09.00 and finished around 13.45 with an hours break for lunch.

Got to field test some new gear too. Jon had his Montbell wind jacket and I had my Fjällräven Fold Sack.

Map of the area.

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It was really foggy when we got there, only +2 degrees Celsius.

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Walking into the unknown… Not really 🙂

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Power lines

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Got to meet some Canadians on the trail – we also saw a really beautiful fox but I couldn’t get my camera up in time before it was too far away.

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Mystery-box, what can be inside? Stay tuned!

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.

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.

Back from a family camping trip

Went to an island here in Sweden called Öland for some quality time with my family. Not the regular trips that I do but the closest I’ll ever get with Emelie on-board haha!

We borrowed her fathers caravan an headed for the coast and then Öland for a few days of fun. Unfortunately we had a lot of rain but that gave me the opportunity to try my rain gear before I’m going to Jotunheimen, Norway, in a few weeks.

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My car, borrowed caravan, me and our daughter, making a run for it…

I’m a happy camper!

I’m published!

Got the word in the middle of May that I’m getting published in a photo book called “Mitt Småland”. I sent one of my pictures in into the competition and I had almost forgotten about it when I received the e-mail saying that the book was now being printed and that my picture was in it.

Well that was great news! I didn’t know how big my picture was going to be in the book or where it was. I found out that my picture was one of few out of 1681 that had made it out of the selection process, 176 pictures was published in the book.

About a month later in the middle of June I got an invitation to a  vernissage that was being held in three different cities and one of them being here where I live. I happily accepted the invitation and went today. There was food, drinks and a lot of mingling going on amongst big prints and such. I walked around the restaurant where it was held looking at different pictures and then eventually I grabbed one of the photo books and started browsing. I opened it some where like just past the middle towards the end and started going backwards. I didn’t find my picture… What? Well then I went from the really end of the book and a few pages in I found it! It wasn’t just a small picture, it wasn’t just on one of the pages but rather in duplex – two damn sides where covered with my picture! Must say that I got a tingly feeling in my stomach at that precise moment 🙂

My better half made this photo collage.

My better half made this photo collage.

This book is part of a big advertising campaign to get more people to visit Småland (the county where I live) and it will be sold at different places all around Sweden.

Canoeing

Today was the maiden voyage for my “new” canoe, at least for me. It’s old but solid 🙂

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The first stop of the day.

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Jon tipping the canoe over to get rid of some water.

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Coffee water in the making. The Sidewinder with the inferno insert performed even better with some additional wind blowing through it – surprised? No? 🙂

Waiting for the water to boil.

Waiting for the water to boil.

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Enjoying the weather and some coffee.

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Isaberg Mountain Resort

This weekend we had an overnighter planned but we couldn’t make that so it had to be a shorter trip. I browsed the web for nice places to go and felt that Isaberg Mountain Resort would be a good choice. I drive past Isaberg almost once a month in work errands so the place is well know to me and it sits very beautiful in the hearth of Småland, Sweden. Just a fun fact for you guys that are not Swedish but know the brand Hestra Gloves. They’re made not very far from there 🙂

Isabergmap

Click the picture to get a high-resolution downloadable map.

We parked my car close to the golf course in the east and started walking towards the t-junktion in the middle of the map where Hestraspåret and Bjärsvedsleden connects. Through out the day we walked Järnbärarleden, Bjärsvedsleden (our main goal) and Sjöstigen. This sums up at about 20km in total. Unfortunately it didn’t occur to me that I could track and trace our routes via my Sunnto Ambit watch so I started recording after we’ve done the smaller tracks. Down below you can see some info about where we went and so on. 

Today it was the maiden voyage for some new stuff too. I had my new Arc’Teryx Palisade pants and they were light and not too warm. They were also pretty easy to role up and wear as shorts. We had great weather throughout the whole day with temperatures around 18C and blue skies.

The most interesting piece of equipment for the day was the Trail Designs Sidewinder Ti Tri. I got it with both the 12-10 stove and the Inferno insert. I bought it sized for the Evernew 1.3L Titanium pot.

Trail Designs Sidewinder Ti Tri with Inferno insert made for the Evernew 1.3 Titanium pot.

Trail Designs Sidewinder Ti Tri with Inferno insert made for the Evernew 1.3 Titanium pot.

This amazing piece of gear is ultra lightweight and weighs in at only 267g with all the stuff listed above! That gives us the possibilities to run it both on alcohol and wood. Cooking times are great. We didn’t time the 12-10 stove but with the Inferno insert and wood we had about a liter of water boiling in 5 minutes from when the wood started burning. That is not too bad, not bad at all to be honest. The Inferno insert is an great addition to the Sidewinder itself. What happens is that it works like an jet engine igniting the fumes/gas making it burn more intense. This also helps with the “leave no trace” mantra. Because the wood burns so hot and with a great airflow it doesn’t give you any thick branches or charcoals unburnt when you’re done. It’s not really as good as the manufacturer makes you think but it’s a lot better than many other wood-burners out there or even an open fire.

You'll still have some ashes left but they blew away in the wind because it was so fine. You can see in the upper right corner that the ground got burnt through the titanium floor because the heat was so intense.

You’ll have some ashes left but they just blew away in the wind because it was so fine. You can see in the upper right corner that the ground got burnt through the titanium floor because the heat was so intense.

Enough about the nerdy gear talk already! Here are some pictures from Isaberg!

Jons new Gossamer Gear Kumo pack and my Granite Gear Crown V.C 60.

Jon’s new Gossamer Gear Kumo pack and my Granite Gear Crown V.C 60.

Kumo is a frameless pack so he puts his Therm-a-Rest X-lite pad as a frame.

The Kumo is a frameless pack so he puts his Therm-a-Rest X-lite pad as a frame.

Isaberg is a ski resort but in the summer the lifts are asleep

Isaberg Mountain Resort is a ski resort among other things but in the summer the lifts are asleep.

The view from Bjärsveds Klint, 250m.

The view from Bjärsveds Klint, 250m.

A short break on the hill where the picture above was taken.

A short break on the hill where the picture above was taken.

An old hanging bridge. We had to get our sea-legs on when crossing it because it was moving quite a bit.

An old hanging bridge. We had to get our sea legs on when crossing it because it was moving quite a bit.

Jon on the bridge.

Jon on the bridge.

Me

Me

The non-optional posing picture :)

The non-optional posing 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 🙂