John Bauer Trail

Coming full circle on this trail or rather where we ended a trip 4 years ago down from Omberg to Gränna. Click this for the old reports, check the ones posted 2013. Them backpacks back then, pew, 25-ish kilos! I could wear about three backpacks now to get to that weight 🙂

It was a good trip with superb weather, 26-28 degrees Celsius and a light breeze. But from a scenic point of view only the first 5-8km from the start (south section) is worth while and the last section (north section) is good for the most part, especially the last bit when you get the view of lake Vättern.

 

Ticks loves this trail, or me, I had 19 of them but only two attached. Jon got away with two… Lucky.

Advertisements

Is Fjällräven feeling the lightweight competition?

In the latest number of Fjällrävens spring and summer edition the first pages are seriously pointing out that lightweight materials and lightweight gear isn’t a must to have a great time in the outdoors.

“Lightweight” isn’t lightweight anymore…

“To chase experiences and not grams”

DSC00424 1

Even though there’s some truth to this I can’t instantly start thinking that Fjällräven and simliar “heavy weight” material brand are starting to feel some pressure of the lightweight community. All this boils down to that they want to point out that their gear is super durable but still “lightweight enough” to not make you feel cumbersome on your trip. Sustainability is their leading word. I don’t blame them at all. I love that Fjällräven are one of the leading companies towards environmental sustainability just like Patagonia. That is one big factor for me when buying new gear. They must be durable enough to last for years but yet lightweight. On that last point Fjällräven fails but not according to them.

“But lightweight isn’t everything”

DSC00425

On the next text filled page in the latest number they’re pointing out that it’s well know for Fjällrävens items to be passed along from generation to generation. I still feel that many of my lighter weight items would still be able to do just that.

Fredrik Hyltén-Cavallius, product developer,”For us lightweight isn’t everything, really, and we think that the products of the future will separate on this point. Our focus has always been on simple light and functional tents.”

DSC00426

Well yeah. I can’t argue with that but that’s just saying that, all of our stuff will outlive everyone and everything. Sustainability again. I dig that stuff but lighter items be it a tent, a pair of pants or a jacket will still last for a very long time if you care about it. A “heavy duty item” will surely suffer the effect of time if not properly cared for.

I personally own two Fjällräven jackets, a heavy duty sweater, pants, a backpack, duffle and have previously owned a tent (my kids have a small Kånken each) and I can still say that my Patagonia items and similar brand feels just as durable as the Fjällrävens ones even though they’re much lighter and more often have smarter features. Right now, writing this, I even wear my Fjällräven Sörmland Roundneck Sweater, but I would never bring it on a backpacking trip.

What I’m going for with this is that you can be outdoors with both traditional, heavier, items or more lightweight stuff. But from my personal experience I prefer the lightweight option as I feel more comfortable and get to experience more with it as it’s less cumbersome. I do hope that these traditional brand takes a serious look at the cottage manufactures and changes their direction towards lighter but still durable items. I’d love a super lightweight Fjällräven jacket/pant on one of my future trips. But right now I can’t see that happening.

So, I chase the experience with grams. Even though it takes me some more time preparing before going on a trip rather than just visit the local outdoor shop and buy everything they have on the shelf to feel safe and secure.

wild

Lightweight isn’t less durable, if you’re not setting of to go to war with those items which I guess is not the case for most.

 

 

All the quotes in this article are freely translated. 

 

Why Cuben Fiber?

It’s white, it’s crinkly, it’s waterproof and it feels like it weighs about as much as a tissue paper. But what exactly is Cuben Fiber, and why use it?

When I first delved into the world of ultralight backpacking, I combed the Internet trying to find a technologically advanced material that would change my backcountry experience. The fabrics used at the time had major limitations. For example, Silnylon, the primary lightweight fabric used, absorbed moisture and swelled and sagged, requiring constant re-tensioning. The slippery material also forced people to put liquid glues on the floors of their tents to keep their pads in place. Worst of all, silnylon is made when both sides of a thin, woven nylon fabric are saturated with liquid silicone, and there were no standards for these silicone coatings. So basically every batch was different. So when I discovered a small cottage industry outdoor company using Cuben Fiber I did some more research.

Read more at Hyperlite Mountain Gears blog.

Cuben Fiber is the best fabric for ultralight shelters and backpacks, no doubt.

Skaneleden_2015-05-23_20-25-56_IMG_1593Visdalen, Store Urdadalstinden

Skaneleden_2015-05-23_14-19-07_IMG_1559

Gjendesheim

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.

Island2002 (0)

Gullfoss – Golden Falls

Island2002 (5)

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

Island2002 (2)

Island2002 (4)

Gjáin

Island2002 (3)

Gjáin area

Island2002 (7)

Háifoss – High Falls

Island2002 (8)

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.

Island2002 (6)

The river floating away from Háifoss and Glanni.

Island2002 (13)

Skogáfoss area

Island2002 (11)

Skógafoss – Forest Falls

Island2002 (12)

Island2002 (10)

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.

Island2002 (9)

Walking on glaciers.

Island2002 (14)

Me in the center.

Island2002 (15)

Looking down a deep crevasse. Scary!

Island2002 (16)

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.

Skärmavbild 2014-10-25 kl. 13.16.20

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 🙂

New tent manufacturer in the UK – Trekkertent

Go and check out Trekkertent. They’ve just started their production of different shelters and so far so good in my opinion.

They have some really nice looking products that are not too pricy! I personally like the Drift 1. It weighs in at 0.94kg and it basically looks like the Zpacks Hexamid Solplex tent but in silnylon rather than cuben fiber, which makes it a cheaper alternative. The Stealth looks really nice too at only 590g.

DriftDrift

My guesses are that they will start making those models for two person too in the future.