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.

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Iceland tickets booked

Reality is coming, we’re actually going to Iceland this summer! Booked the plane tickets today so now we’re underway, no looking back.

There are still things to do before everything is set, but as far as equipment goes there aren’t really any major things that need to be bought or changed. Our travel plans are quite good, still need some more details in the hiking schedule I think, just so we don’t miss anything that you really must see along the trail.

Our hiking schedule looks something like this (per day)

  1. Arriving at Keflavik Airport 07.30 – transport to Landmannalaguar
  2. Hiking starts – Landmannalaugar to Alftavatn
  3. Alftavatn to Þórsmörk
  4. See Þórsmörk – different excursions
  5. Þórsmörk to Skógar – transport back to Reykjavik

It’s gonna be a blast but not even close as long as our trip to Jotunheimen last summer if we look at the distance. But that’ll give us time to explore and do excursions along the way which I find attractive. Especially as the nature in Iceland is fantastic, can’t wait to go back. It was the first thing I said to my parents when I came home from Iceland in 2002 – I must go back there! And now I’m doing it, 13 years later.

Island2002

A picture that I took back in 2002.

New backpack Osprey Manta 20

I listed my TAD Gear FAST Pack Litespeed backpack a few days ago on eBay and it sold nicely as expected. Before I did this I was looking at a bunch of different packs not really knowing what to get but at every online store I visited I clicked every interesting pack into a new tab and after I went through the whole backpack section I looked at the tabs I had opened. Every single time I had a bunch of Osprey packs in the different tabs so with that background I started to go on YouTube and watching different reviews and I really liked what I heard and saw. So, I got myself a Osprey Manta 20! And so far I’m not regretting selling my TAD Gear pack, at all…

Click for larger picture

Click for larger picture
Osprey Manta 20
Arc’Teryx Drac jacket
TAD Gear Force 10 pants
TAD Gear Preatorian Hoodie
Mechanix gloves and Mystery Ranch merino beanie

The most compact of the Manta series, this pack has an added zip front pocket with mesh organizer and works best for day long adventures.

Manta 20 Features

  • Built-in Raincover
  • Dual Side Compression Straps
  • ErgoPull™ Hipbelt
  • Front Pocket
  • Helmet Attachment
  • Hydration System
  • Panel Load
  • Stow-on-the-Go™
  • Top Slash Pocket

The reason I sold the Litespeed was because I wanted a sturdier internal frame, this one wasn’t too good, folding over itself especially if you had something heavy in the bottom of the pack. I had some issues with the waist belt coming of while walking, really annoying! I contacted TAD Gear about this and the had never heard about that one before… It didn’t matter if I had a little or a bunch of extra webbing coming out of the loop rings attaching it
ospreyreservoirtowards the back of the pack. I’d also liked a different and better organizational pocket on the outside and a lot less straps!

The price here in Sweden for a Manta 20 is about 900 SEK and the European and Asian versions comes with out the (awesome) Osprey Hydraulic Reservoir so I’ll need to get that too. It’s about 300 SEK extra but well worth it because it integrates with the pack.

So with this the pack, complete, the price would be about 1200 SEK which is close to what it’s bigger cousin the Kestrel 38 costs.

505611-stowonthegoThe feature list is just as on anything else you buy, cramped with stuff. But the thing worth mentioning are the Stow-on-the-Go system which gives you the possibility to carry trekking poles on the side of the pack. It attaches on the left side of the pack.

One thing that I would like to be different is on the hip belt. There are two great pockets there, one on each side that are big enough to carry a larger point-and-shoot camera, GPS, snacks or basically whatever in that size. But, they could have added some thin foam on the inside for some extra comfort. If you have something with a not so nice pointy edge or like a GPS antenna that could build a pressure point over time if you’re running with this pack. Also a warning about the hip belt. If you’re a very skinny dude you could run in to some problems not being able to set it as tight as you want to. I’m 180, 68kg and if I were a little skinnier I could get som problems with this, especially in the summer time when you don’t wear thick sweaters and jackets (in the first picture I haven’t tighten everything properly).

IMG_1534One of the best features of the pack is the frame, Airspeed. It gives a lot of ventilation and is ergonomically made so it sits really nice on your back.

Here are a picture when I had a coffee break when I was out walking today and also a picture of what I had in my pack at that time.

IMG_0462 IMG_1527With this stuff the pack was quite full but I could put some extra things in there if I wanted to but that would have had the fabric really stretched.

To sum things up – I’m really pleased with the pack so far, lightweight and feels very sturdy. I hope it’ll give me some good years of service!

If you want more info about this backpack or any other of their packs just go on YouTube and you’ll find tons of reviews and unboxing-type videos. Good Luck! 🙂

 

 

Suunto Ambit HR

The Suunto Ambit HR will soon arrive in my mailbox!

All this because my Casio G-Shock doesn’t have a HR-strap and that I broke the light button… The plastic went into two pieces and is sometimes hard to operate. There are also a few things I don’t like with the G-Shock that I hope that’ll be resolved with the Ambit. I might just have to do a short review of the G-Shock…

Review from ITS Tactical

Photo, DC Rainmaker

Here’s also an great in-depth review from DC Rainmaker on the Ambit HR. If you’re interested in the Ambit2 and Ambit 2S he was also made similar reviews of them too.