Winter sunday

The first real snow of winter and ten below keeping it draped on the trees. Time for a first ski trip, a fire and coffee in the old pot.

By Jörgen Johansson

Walk with us for 330 kilometers

Fellow hiker at Fjällräven Classic, Jonas Hållén, and I have started a Facebook group called Coast to Coast Sweden. In May 2013 we plan to walk from Kalmar to Varberg. You are hereby invited to tag along for the whole or parts of the distance.

The way we see it this can be many different things for many different people: A way of testing a really long walk, a way of testing really light gear in a 'safe' environment,  simply exercising, meditating or just rambling like a rover through a beautiful spring countryside, free as the wind. 

By Jörgen Johansson


Water-proof mitts: Easiest MYOG?

Many people tell me that they wish they coulds sew and make their own gear as I sometimes do. One thing this proves is that they have never seen anything I have sewn. Cause I am not very good at it. But for me function has a higher priority than looks. However, if you cannot sew you can always use tape. And make your own water-propf ultralight mitts from Cuben fiber. Here is how.

By Jörgen Johansson

Fjallraven Classic 2012 - 110 kilometers of sunshine

Fjallraven Classic is a mountain "race" organized by Swedish gear manufacturer Fjallraven. Running for its 8 year it takes 2000 participants through some of the most scenic parts of Swedish Lapland. On an assignment for Outside Magazine I was forced to do the hike a bit too fast for my taste.

By Jörgen Johansson


Gear news from Friedrichshafen 2012 (part 2)

In the second serving of tidbits from the upcoming Outdoor 2012 fair in Friedrichshafen we have some lightweight stuff from Haglöfs, Montane, Vaude, Mountain Hardwear and Toray

By Martin Nordesjö

Vaude Power Lizard 2-3P, 1,4 kg

Borderline - the tent

Worked a lot with sewing and planning this last weekend. I am happy to say that the revamped version of my 'JJ Cuben Tent' is now ready to launch. Some reader might remember its 166 gram predecessor from my Virihaure trip two summer ago. It worked reasonably well but broke in crucial places. Time to rebound.

By Jörgen Johansson


Gear news from Friedrichshafen 2012

This year's European Outdoor show in Friedrichshafen is getting closer, and here are some lightweight teasers to warm you up before the reports start coming from the actual exhibition.
Edit: weight on the Komperdell Pole

By Martin Nordesjö

Optimus Vega stove
Optimus Vega, 178 g
Optimus Vega - remote canister stove
The Vega stove is maybe the most interesting product from Optimus since Katadyn took over the company. It's a gas spider stove with a remote canister. It has a pre-heading loop so that it can handle liquid gas when the temperature or canister pressure is low.

Borderline - the map

My planned trip will go more less west from the Kebnekaise area and then follow the border to Riksgränsen for resupply. I will then follow the border due east until it switches north again. Going north will take me to where the three borders meet, from where I will go west down to Storfjord and the sea.

By Jörgen Johansson

Borderline - the plan

After spending about a week in the Kebnekaise area with my wife and son I will wave goodbye to them and take off on my own for a couple of weeks. I will head more or less west from Keb until I hit the Norwegian border and then follow it cross-country going north on the Swedish side until it meets the border of Finland way up north at Treriksröset (the Three Country Cairn). From there I will head west towards the setting sun and hope to dip my toe in the salty Atlantic ocean at Storfjord, not far from fabled Troms.

By Jörgen Johansson

Summer plans are overdue

Serious planning for the summer hikes have been seriously delayed. Last night I sat down and got down to business. A week with wife and son #3 with the aim of bagging Kebnekaise, Sweden's highest peak, will start it off. Then I plan to continue for another couple of weeks on my own, up along the border to Norway and out to the Atlantic at Troms.

By Jörgen Johansson



Cuben Haven: 700 g for a double walled 2 person tent

Lightweight tents for more than one person are still quite unusual. That's why I'm really happy that Six Moon Designs have just started the production of the Cuben Fiber version of their Haven tarp. I think it's on top of my wishlist.

By Martin Nordesjö


Green Cuben fiber is cool. But I wonder how transparent it is.
Haven is a shaped tarp designed to be matched with the Haven net-tent to form a double-walled two person tent. If you don't count the pegs and poles the combined weight is below 700 g (you know the maths: add the weight of your preferred pegs and poles).

Applying 343 - the three big ones should not weigh more than three kilos

Here is a film with some examples of light gear that I have used and that all contribute a lot to achieving "3 for 3". Probably the most fundamental step anyone can take on the trail to a really light pack.

By Jörgen Johansson


Topographic maps for my smartphone

20 years ago I frowned at anxious brats using mobile phones in the outdoors. But today a smartphone is a handy way to have a camera, an emergency phone, a note book and a GPS all packed into one, especially now that I have found an adequate app for topographic maps, called Map Overlay Tracer.

By Martin Nordesjö

Helags, according to Google
There is a lot of problems with smartphones and topographic maps. Ordinary map services like Google Maps are rubbish the second you leave the roads because they only show the roads, and because they need to be online to load the maps.

Say hello to Laufbursche!

It's not that often we get to see the birth of a new European outdoor manufacturer. And even less often one that specialises in innovative lightweight backpacking gear. After two years of buzzing in the lightweight community, the shop at Laufbursche.de is now online.

By Martin Nordesjö


Cool couple in cold climate

For the last ten years Annika Bergren and Håkan Hjort has featured in all of the outdoor magazines in Sweden as well as some abroad. They’ve come to live the dream of many, having their hobby as their work. I did some hiking with them last year, as illustration for an upcoming article of theirs on the pros and cons of lightweight gear. Since they live in an old vicarage in northern Sweden, in the shade of the Arctic Circle, I thought their ideas on light gear in deep cold would be of interest, so I have asked them a number of questions on this:

By Jörgen Johansson

Meet me in Stockholm

If you're ever in Stockholm. And particularly on Saturday March 10 at 1600 hours at the Swedish Wilderness Fair, please drop by and say ´'hello'. I will be talking about lightweight gear, of course, for both summer and winter trips. I guess it is the 6th year in a row that I have been a speaker there, so I must be getting close to wearing everyone out. Ah, well, some people do not know when they've had enough. Or when to quit...
More info on the fair here:
http://www.vildmarksmassan.se/


Since it will be a predominantly Swedish audience I will be speaking in Swedish. For the rest of you here is some measure of consolation:


By Jörgen Johansson 

South of Katterjaure

I was spread-eagled in the rotten snow of late May. One of my feet was painfully twisted in the binding, both of my skis solidly stuck in the snow. My hands, still strapped to my ski poles, had been stretched out before me to soften the impact as I fell. My face was buried in the the wet and crumbling snow, large crystals soaking my skin. My pack rested solidly and heavily on the back of my neck, having tumbled forward as I fell without the constriction of a waist belt. My hands found no purchase whatsoever in the crumbling slush.
I was 20 years old.

By Jörgen Johansson



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