Day 8 – August 4th 2017

07:30 STF Fjällstation Ritsem

Woke up early enough to make the 07:45 boat and still decided against it. No wind tonight led to a lot of moisture in the tent and I want to let it air out decently. At the same time it’s good to have extra time to reorganize the gear, I need to get some food out from the bottom of the pack. It feels encouraging to observe my consumption, though the backpack is still too heavy for my taste.

Grateful how the body adjusts to the load and handles it better day by day.

 I feel a little taxed by the long hike yesterday, especially the more monotonous 10km on the gravel road. Also I actually woke up hungry for the first time in a while, guess I used up more energy than I noticed yesterday.
Found some egg powder in the left-over-box here in the kitchen and I’m making an omelette with that and some cream powder from my pack.
Hopefully I can get everything except the tent and the Crocs to fit into the backpack now, which makes it easier to distribute the load and carry it more comfortable.
Looking to take the boat to Änonjalme and start walking the Padjelanta trail southbound. No real plan where to stop for camp, just want to get out of the birch forest and away from the higher concentration of mosquitoes!
20:45 Camp at bridge over Tsiekkimjågåsj
I spent a nice and slow morning at the fjällstation, got everything dried out and packed and chatted with several nice people. Partly the Norwegians that I shared trail with for some days now, and partly a party of five I first met last night and who just came out from a two week tour through Sarek. Especially one guy, who’s been in Sarek a lot, gave me some very useful tips for my tour through there. Still not sure I’m doing that, though, it all depends on the knee. Which today worked really well, by the way!

Just before 11:00 i left for the boat and got on board early. At the dock was a family of three with a dog who were visiting relatives in Änonjalmme and had a lot of luggage and boxes. I helped them get their stuff on board and we had a nice chat for the duration of the boat trip. After helping them get their stuff on shore in Änonjalmme, I started my hike at 12:15 aiming for Gisuris to start with.
The 15km hike went fast and easy with moderate intensity, I’d almost forgotten how much I love the soft and friendly trails of the Padjelanta national park. Only stopping for a 20min water break, at which I also got some writing done, I arrived at 16:00 and spent almost 30min chatting to the cabin host. He was about to bring his family back down to Änonjalmme for them to go home and still took thag time to meet with a stranger. I really appreciate this attitude up here!
As I experienced some technical issues getting the Ketonix connected with my iPhone I spent some time restarting both devices and didn’t have my PF coffee until almost an hour after I stopped.
I ended up spending a full two hours there and left filled with renewed energy.
Already back at Gisuris the mosquitoes were rather active and on the hike from there it got worse and worse as the sun started to go down and the wind disappeared. Once I found the camp site I immediately started getting the tent set up and connected the extra abside at once. Without it I would not have been able to cook for having all of those insects in my face… I really look forward moving to higher ground again tomorrow, hopefully there are a few less of them there!
On the other hand the heat just reached the area very recently and the mosquitoes hatched after that so actually this is their high season this year. Nothing to do but accept the fact and be grateful that they don’t bother me mentally as they used to do years ago. I seem to just ignore them most of the time nowadays and the good news are that their stings don’t really itch on me neither.

Anyway, it’s already past 21:00 and I didn’t get as much sleep as I’d liked last night so I aim for a swift close up of the evening. Just need to prepare tomorrow’s dinner and get myself ready for the sleeping bag!

The journey continues, please leave a comment to tell me what You think and share this with friends and loved ones who might benefit or be interested!

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Peace // Claes

Day 7 – August 3rd 2017

07:50 Hukejaure cabin

Woke up before 07:00 which gives me just short of nine hours sleep again, I really feel rested waking up here in the mountains. Even if I don’t sleep through entirely but wake up several times during the night, this seems to fit my personal rhythm rather well!

Yesterday I noticed my left knee being slightly swollen and thick, this improved during the night yet still I’m grateful for a few rather easy hiking days in front of me.
I have no idea what happened yesterday to cause the swelling, at some point I must have twisted or over bent it.
Anyway, so far this is nothing that keeps me from hiking and hopefully it remains that way and gets better day by day. I just have to watch my steps a little better!

Today is a 20km moderate hike down to Sitasjaure cabin and from there I can hopefully catch a ride to Ritsem. Really would appreciate not having to walk a gravel road for another 20km…
We’ll see!

20:00 STF Fjällstation Ritsem

After a small breakfast and packing up everything dry again (had to hang the tent inside for a short while) I started today’s hike at 10:15.
First part is still Norwegishly wild and rocky with two new bridges at the first larger river crossing. It would have been doable without them, yet it’s so nice to use a bridge for a change!
After a short uphill slope of a few km the scenery opens up to a beautiful high plateau stretching for quite a while. Really easy to hike the soft trail and with no changes in elevation for quite some km that part is also rather fast.
Around halfway towards Sitasjaure there’s another short uphill climb followed by a downhill slope and then another huge plateau. Here the Sami have a village and they are doing some work with the reindeer herds this time of the year so the tracks from their 4×4’s and cross motorcycles are present everywhere.
They have been considerate, though, leaving the hiking trail widely intact. Part of the trails overlap, though, and I’m quite happy they aren’t out driving today!
At one water crossing I actually use the 4×4 trail as the stream is easier to get through dry there than at the hiking trail where it’s narrow and much deeper.

Arriving at Sitasjaure cabin after just over five hours (I stopped briefly to eat some Mac nuts about 2/3 into the hike, else I only stopped to drink some water) the host tells me he doesn’t know about any transport to Ritsem and so i start walking. In two hours not a car passed by in my direction, then I stopped for a short water break and three cars drive by just after each other. Two of the just pass without even slowing down, the third on graciously stopped and the man gives me a lift to my destination.
Unfortunately I missed the boat transport I was aiming for and got to spend the night here in Ritsem.
Upside of that is a warm shower and all the devices I need for keeping track of ketons are fully charged again.
Talking about ketosis I just need to mention that I hiked 30km total in just over 7 hours on a breakfast consisting of coffee, 30g FhatFibre, 4 Brazil nuts, a little jerky and 2 spoons of ghee. Followed by a snack of 50g Mac nuts.

Fully energized all the time, never feeling hungry or fatigued – I find this super cool!
Yet needless to say I enjoyed my well deserved dinner once I was out of the shower!

Looking back at a rather tough and super rewarding hiking day full of beautiful scenery once again I expect to sleep well tonight!

The journey continues, please leave a comment to tell me what You think and share this with friends and loved ones who might benefit or be interested!

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Peace // Claes

Day 5 – August 1st 2017

07:00 Camp near the peak of Smallerienpass
Turned out the weather forecast was right, which only makes me even more grateful for the fabulous evening I enjoyed in this place. Shorty after I slipped into my sleeping bag I heard drops starting to fall on the tent, continuing on and off all night I slept rather irregularly due to the rain and wind. Also I’ve start to dream – a lot – though I don’t remember any details, I wake up with the feeling of good dreams. My impression is that my subconscious works through issues my conscious mind doesn’t need to be involved in any more.
Anyway I got 9 hours in the sleeping bag, and though interrupted it should be sufficient for today’s adventures!
Yesterday I did PhatFibre in my coffe first, then measured ketones, followed with coconut oil and another measurement. Today I switch and see if there is any difference in how my keton production is affected. I naturally expect the PF to drive ketones up faster.
I’m confident that there will be a pause in the rain allowing me to get the tent down relatively dry after packing up all the other stuff!
20:30 Camp just south of the bridge northwest corner of Vuolip Coarvejavri
Thankfully the rain did stop shortly after 09:00 and after wiping it of I went back in and packed up everything else. In the meantime the wind had finished the work and both inner and outer tent was pretty much dry – always good to pack up dry equipment!
The first part down to the saddle was really easy, I used a large snowfield to get down with minimum effort. Walking on snow, especially downhill, is so much easier on the joints than rocks and blocks of stone.

I originally aimed for the southern side of the lake going into Dolbotvaggi, crossing the river was not doable, though and I turned back north and followed the northern shore.

Here were also lots of snowfields to  utilize and, as the hike was level most of
the time it didn’t take much to get to the other side of the lake (it has no name on the map, only marked with its elevation above sea level: 1091) which is still covered in snow and ice for the most part.

The rest of Dolbotvaggi was more challenging with lots of blocks and shifts in elevation yet still lots of snow to walk on, just a little more treacherous. Weather was unstable and I got several showers breaking up the steady, very light rain.
Almost at the southeast end of the valley I got a glimpse of Gautelifjellet before the clouds lowered down and covered the valley leaving almost no visiblility and, at the same time, the rain picked up heavily.

The decent was largely on instinct coupled with the sound of the river on the right, not until halfway down I could see the far northern part of Gautelisvatnet and, once again, once again had something to aim for.
Soon I came down in the trail leading from the dam to Gautelishytta, just far more west than I originally planned for. One just can’t beat the weather conditions, the only thing to do is adjust an motor on.

The just under 6km to the cabin took a while and I’ve made a mental note never to hike there again when it rains or has recently rained heavily. There are seven major creeks or rivers to cross and last time I went this way none of them presented even a slight problem. Today all of them were tricky and four out of seven would actually have required a change to wading shoes. I trusted my balance and the high shafts of my boots (which I love even more after today) and got over everyone without any incident, yet finding a possible place to cross and planning the move took a lot of time. I got really cold from standing still a lot and move slowly through the rivers and finally smelling smoke from a wood fire when I was about a km from the Gautelishytta was incredible welcome!
Ove there I met four friendly guys from Norway and Switzerland hiking together. They just arrived half an hour earlier yet already had the fire going and welcomed me in to warm up and dry some stuff as good as possible.
I also had a small snack, which was actually my first real meal for the day, in the morning I only had fat coffee and the weather conditions didn’t invite to any kind of longer break. 14km in slightly over 6h through rough terrain and in all but pleasant weather conditions with only a few spoons of fat in the morning for fuel. I guess the ketohiker has become reality and I want to give a great shout out in support of the PhatFibre from NourishBalanceThrive. That stuff really kicks my keton production into high gear according to the Ketonix.

Anyway, after two hours in the cabin, meeting Traude and Eckhard as well as my visitors from last night again and really enjoying the warmth, I decided to move on to my chosen camp. Tomorrow I reach Hukejaure early in the day and plan to camp near the cabin to take care of equipment, wash up some stuff, get into the sauna and clean myself up etc, and I just couldn’t stand the thought of spending two nights in a row outside a cabin.
Besides, I’ve camped here before and it’s just a beautiful place!

Taking it easy the 4km took me about 90min, including finally having to take of my shoes for the last river crossing, just 50m from my intended campsite. I just walk the last part in my crocs, continuing straight into the lake for a quick wash after leaving my gear at camp.

Soon the tent was up and dinner prepared, a good thing with this way of food planning and preparing is that it literally takes just minutes to have a meal cooked and ready. Pretty neat when dinner gets rather late like this day!

The journey continues, please leave a comment to tell me what You think and share this with friends and loved ones who might benefit or be interested!

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Peace // Claes

Keto Hiker is becoming a reality!

Just under three weeks from now I start a hike that´s developed into a “N=1 scientific experiment”, meaning we do a study of just one subject, me!

I go into the north Swedish mountains for 4 weeks carrying all my provisions from start to be able to control nutrition and consume only ketogenic food. In collaboration with an endocrinologist in Stockholm we do extended blood work before and after.
During the entire tour I’ll be measuring with a Ketonix meter, Michel Lundell has been kind enough to sponsor the project with his latest model and Christofer Kelly from Nourish Balance Thrive is contributing their MCT powder and a couple of DUTCH tests as well as supporting with knowledge.
The basic idea is to take a rather over averagely healthy 46 year old male (that´s me) and put him in a more or less hunter/gatherer situation (except I carry my food instead of killing it along the way) for just over four weeks.
No planned social interactions, no connectivity (that´s no FB, email, cell phone connection… not even snail mail) – just moving through beautiful nature and following the natural rhythm of the body.
Eat when hungry, sleep when tired, move daily, rest as much as needed. Detached from civilization and connecting back with our origin, in a safe and relaxed way using a familiar environment to really remove any stressors as much as humanly possible.
We naturally expect any not so good markers to be reversed and the good ones turning out even better!

So, needless to say I´m stoked and looking forward to see the results of this adventure, stay tuned, check out the short video and, please share with people You know who might be interested or benefit!

Again, please leave a comment to tell me what You think and share this with friends and loved ones who might benefit or be interested!

By leaving Your name and email in the box below You get notification of futures posts and news!

Peace // Claes

 

 

Off the Grid Hiker Live, and a Pilot Trip that´s double deadly!

Let me be up front with You…

No videos here – nope, not even one…

No pics either…

Just probably the most lovely information so far if You´d like to try out the Swedish Mountains in style 😀

As You might already guessed typing isn´t my favorite way to communicate so rest assure I think this post important due to all the text!

 

Now, let me adress the “double deadly” part of the head line, it´s not only there to get Your attention…
I use this phrase for a few things in life, Lappert´s Ice Cream on Kauai being one of them, and it just means that what I refer to is:

  1. Worth killing for
  2. Worth dying for

So, basically it´s something really cool, enjoyable, fun, extraordinary, unforgettable, magical, formidable, wonderful, fantastic, majestic, marvelous, etc (enter any superlative that comes to mind).

Just to get clear – there is nothing dangerous out there in these mountains, ok?  😀

For years people have asked me when I would start bringing people with me on tours as I´ve been in the mountains so many times and done so many trails up there.

It is a question that has been taking up more and more space in my thoughts since I got the idea for this blog and I started planning for doing the first group trip in August 2018.
To be able to serve people with different levels of experience, physical and mental performance and ability for time commitment I decided on building three different tours:

  1. Beginner – Little or no experience of hiking
  2. Intermediates – Done some hiking and camping and/or been on a beginners tour
  3. Advanced – Done the intermediate tour with me and want to get into wilder areas

So, what does this mean and what are the requirements?

First thing first – all three tours are planned to go for a week, usually noon Sunday – noon Saturday, which allows for an extra night out if needed before I go on the next tour.
The plan is to be back Saturday, we just need to plan for the plan not working out 100%  😉

Why a whole week? Well, that´s an easy one…
No matter how prepared we think ourselves to be, this is a new experience for the body every single time. It takes a few days to adjust to carrying a back pack and move over uneven ground where no step resembles the one before.
So, if we only go hiking for 2-3 days You never get into the flow where You really get to enjoy the surroundings and the experience of nature I want You to have.

We hike in small groups, I put the cap at 10 people/group (and if You´re the 10th person Your spouse can come also, that´s it though) to make sure everyone gets some personal attention and one-on-one time with me.
This has the potential of being the hiking experience of a life time, if I can enhance Your journey, just let me know along the way!

In my experience the month of August provides the best conditions, usually the nicest weather in the season, mosquitos start to disappear and the ground has dried out from the melted snow.
That´s why I do all three tours back to back – I wanna give You all the best possible circumstances to enjoy the hike!

We always start from one of the larger Swedish Tourist Stations were You can get a cooked meal (yes, with adult beverages if You like), sauna or shower and a room (if You,re tired of Your tent) upon return from the tour:
I highly recommend to stay a day or two extra at the station when back from the mountain as there are beautiful day tours to be had and just chilling for a day isn´t that bad either!

Please observe that we carry everything we need with us, detailed equipment lists are provided once Your application is accepted, there are some cabins where You can by additional provision yet I don´t recommend counting on them.
We´re in the wilderness and weather conditions, blisters (they are preventable and I´ll tell You what to do), physical exhaustion (shouldn´t happen if we are all honest with each other) might force a change of plans.

BTW – Your cell phone does not work once were out of sight from civilization, put them in flight mode to save the battery and use the camera function only!
This is part of being Off the Grid and a highly therapeutic experience!!!
Now let´s get to the differences between the groups!

Beginners: 
You always wanted to go on a hike, just never got to it due to a million reasons, or maybe You used to hike years ago and want to get back into it again. Whatever reason You have to join You want a relaxed and safe experience away from the main tourist trails and enjoy the company of a few like minded people.

Requirements:

  • You have Your own personal gear: clothes, boots, rain gear, back pack, sleeping bag, mattress, stove, cutlery, etc
    A detailed list is provided open admission and I kindly ask You not to get anything before You know what to buy, ok?
  • You carry Your own provisions (food), detailed instructions on what to bring and how to prepare it are provided.
  • You are prepared to leave any extras behind at the station if I consider that necessary to keep the weight of Your pack down
  • You can carry 20kg (44lbs) for up to 20km (12.5 miles) in a day (this is the maximun, most days are shorter), this is important for the safety of the group.
    Please talk to me if You´re not sure, ok?
  • If You don´t have (or can borrow) a tent that is fit for mountain use (if Your not sure about it, talk to me), You must let me know upon admission for me to provide a solution!
    I can get some extra and am happy to help out if I just know it´s needed.
    Failing to do this results in having to rent a tent from the tourist station at Your own expense.

What You get:

  • A one week specially designed tour through some of the most beautiful valleys and ridges of northern Sweden (and maybe Norway)
  • One day tour climb to see the view from a mountain peak, this is provided that the weather conditions allow for it to happen in a safe way
    Should You prefer to have a rest day instead, You have the option to stay in the camp or take a short walk around the area
  • Detailed instructions what to bring/not to bring
  • Six week email course on preparation of equipment and provision
  • 3 group calls with Q&A on preparation
  • Personalized suggestions for physical preparedness (if needed)
  • 1 personal call to answer individual questions not adressed on group calls
  • Learn to use the map and the compass for navigation in mountain areas
  • Every two participants are provided a map and a compass to use for the duration of the tour
  • A short routine to warm up muscles and joints to get ready for the day and prevent injuries
  • Learn how to light and maintain a camp fire in a safe way, provided that the weather conditions allow for it to happen in a safe way
  • Personal attention and one-on-one time to get Your questions answered and help You make the most out of the experience

What´s the deal?

  1. Admission is on a first come, first serve basis – payment secures Your space in the group
  2. Be upfront with any physical or mental challenges, most of them can be solved
  3. Safety comes first, my decision is final on that point. Even if it means someone has to abort the tour early due to challenges
  4. Make sure You comply with passport and visa requirements, this is of no concern to anyone living in the EU, I can´t do anything if You get stopped at the border control
  5. Every participant is responsible for having insurance coverage, please check with Your provider that they cover physical activity (while traveling)
  6. No refunds, You can always transfer Your spot to another person if You can´t come, as long as he/she can be admitted
  7. I can´t do anything about the weather yet in every other area I promise to over deliver on my promises. You´ll have a blast when going through the experience as instructed!

Intermediates:
You either did the beginners tour with me or have some experience with hiking in the past and consider Yourself a somewhat advanced hiker (in any case we do a personal interview to make sure we have a fit). You want to see some more remote areas of the mountains in north Sweden and Norway and are willing to sacrifice some comfort and sweat equity for the experience. You know that Your physical and mental fitness carries You through the week even if weather gets rough or the hike is rather strenuous for a day or two.

Requirements:

  • You have Your own personal gear: clothes, boots, rain gear, back pack, sleeping bag, mattress, tent, stove, cutlery, etc
    A detailed list is provided open admission and I kindly ask You not to get anything before You know what to buy, ok?
  • You carry Your own provisions (food), detailed instructions on what to bring and how to prepare it are provided.
  • You have Your own compass and map of the area and know the basics of navigation
  • You are prepared to leave any extras behind at the station if I consider that necessary to keep the weight of Your pack down
  • You can carry 20kg (44lbs) for 15-30km (9.32-18.64 miles) in a day (this is the maximun, most days are shorter), this is important for the safety of the group.

What You get:

  • A one week specially designed tour through some of the most beautiful valleys, passes and ridges of northern Sweden and/or Norway
    Several opportunities to climb peaks, this is provided that the weather conditions allow for it to happen in a safe way
  • Detailed instructions what to bring/not to bring
  • Six week email course on preparation of equipment and provision
  • 3 group calls with Q&A on preparation
  • Personalized suggestions for physical preparedness (if needed)
  • 1 personal call to answer individual questions not adressed on group calls
  • Advanced use of the map and the compass for navigation in mountain areas, preparing You for navigation in all weather conditions
  • A short routine to warm up muscles and joints to get ready for the day and prevent injuries
  • Mountain safety, do’s and don´t’s when hiking in these areas
  • Personal attention and one-on-one time to get Your questions answered and help You make the most out of the experience

What´s the deal?

  1. Admission is on a first come, first serve basis – payment secures Your space in the group
  2. Be upfront at the interview – I use it to maximize the experience of the whole group
  3. Safety comes first, my decision is final on that point. Even if it means someone has to abort the tour early due to challenges
  4. Every participant is responsible for having insurance coverage, please check with Your provider that they cover physical activity (while traveling)
  5. No refunds, You can always transfer Your spot to another person if You can´t come, as long as he/she can be admitted
  6. I can´t do anything about the weather yet in every other area I promise to over deliver on my promises. You´ll have a blast when going through the experience as instructed!

Advanced: 
You have done the intermediate tour with me and want to take it one step further. We always do a personal interview to asess preparedness and any challenges needed to be solved up front.
No exceptions, for safety reasons I need to know You and what You´re capable of!
This is a partly very strenuous tour with tough climbs and potentially long days.

Requirements:

  • You have Your own personal gear, know what to bring and how to use it. You agree to 100% personal responsibility here
  • You carry Your own provisions (food), You know what you need and how much and the right preparation
  • You are responsible for the contains of Your pack, don´t pack what You don´t wanna carry
  • You can carry 20kg+ (44lbs+) for 15-30km (9.32-18.64 miles) in a day (this is the maximun, most days are shorter) in rough country with steep parts, this is important for the safety of the group
  • You are prepared that some days might drag out to 12 hours or more with no other stops than short snack & water breaks, depending on conditions

What You get:

  • Basically the coolest tour possible accounting for weather conditions, snow depth, ground conditions etc.
  • 7-8 days in company with like minded people enjoying nature pure with as little as possible contact with civilization
  • You learn to asess the mountain side before the climb, chose the path on rocky ground and the most efficient way of moving on rocks
  • Join me for the real favorite tours few people ever get to hike
  • An incomparable adventure that´s challenging physically, mentally and emotionally, leaving You with an unsurmountable feeling of power and joy upon completing

What´s the deal?

  1. Admission is on a first come, first serve basis – payment secures Your space in the group
  2. Be upfront at the interview – the safety of the group, and Your own, depends on this
  3. Safety comes first, my decision is final on that point. Even if it means someone has to abort the tour early due to challenges
  4. Make sure You comply with passport and visa requirements, this is of no concern to anyone living in the EU, I can´t do anything if You get stopped at the border control
  5. Every participant is responsible for having insurance coverage, please check with Your provider that they cover physical activity (while traveling)
  6. No refunds, You can always transfer Your spot to another person if You can´t come, as long as he/she can be admitted
  7. I can´t do anything about the weather yet in every other area I promise to over deliver on my promises. You´ll have a blast when going through the experience as instructed!

Costs involved:

  • The costs for personal equipment vary and depend on what You need to get new and what You could possibly borrow.
  • Provision and snacks – depends on what You get and where You get it, I usually end up with approximately $100-150/week (SEK 900-1400:-) when shopping locally and preparing most of my food at home
  • Air fare or train ticket to Kiruna – depends on where You travel from
  • Local transportation – no more than $100:- (SEK 900:-)
  • Sauna at the mountain cabins – approximately $12:-/person (SEK 100:-)

My fees:
Origin of participant determents currency, prices in US$ and € may be adjusted with exchange rate fluctuation.

  • Beginner: $497:- / €455:- / SEK 4500:-
  • Intermediate $297:- /€275:- / SEK 2700:-
  • Advanced $197:- / €185:- / SEK 1800:-


The “double deadly” Pilot Trip

Which brings us to the best part (I told You to read on, remember?) – July 30th I attended a very nice dinner in Kapaa, Kauai, HI with some good friends. Walking one of them, Andrei Jablokow, over to his car on the parking lot we talked about my project with Off the Grid Hiker and the live events I planned for 2018. Long story short he spent some effort influencing me to do a pilot trip in 2017 to get some testimonials and I agreed reluctantly. Not really sure back then if I´d have the time for all the planning and preparation.

Anyway, the decision was made and now it´s time to make it happen!

Here´s the deal for 2017:

Remember the Intermediate tour mentioned above? I know You do!
And You can always check the details above.

The Pilot Tour takes place July 30th through August 5th 2017 (Sunday-Saturday) with August 6th as back up day if needed.
I arrive in Abisko on Friday July 28th and stay near the station to help You out upon arrival, Sunday August 6th I go back into the mountains yet I recommend You to stay in the area a couple of days, it´s beautiful, serene and peaceful!

This is the one time opportunity to get in on that tour (with some add ons You find out about later) at the price of the Advanced tour. That´s a $100:- You can spend on other cool stuff like a couple of extra nights in Abisko or something like that.

More important is that I want Your honest testimonial to rave about the experience so I make this one a little special:

  • We hike through one of the most beautiful and famous valleys in the area, Cuonjavaggi (Lapporten), and camp at a beautiful water fall (Day 1)
  • Continue through Bessivagge before crossing Aliseatnu and follow Vierrojohka toward the mountains pass of Mårma (Day 2)
  • After crossing the pass (one of my favorite passes in this region) I leave You the choice of camping on a soft and comfy meadow at a beautiful lake or continue down to Vistas cabin for an evening sauna (Day 3)
  • Depending on the weather we follow Vistasvagge or Unna Vistasvagge on our way back towards Abisko (Day 4)
  • Staying east of the lakes and crossing over north of Radujavri adds some spice with a really marvelous river crossing most people never experience (Day 5)
  • After passing Bieggalouppal we turn northwards and follow Alip Hongganjivra which leads us into Ballinvagge (Day 6)
  • A nice and easy hike down to Abisko completes the tour (Day 7)

I know that these names don´t mean anything to most of You yet still think it´s nice to have the opportunity to look them up if You like.
This is not a tour I´d recommend anyone to go on by oneself as a first time exposure to these mountains, knowing what we´re doing it´s just a wonderful experience You remember forever!

That´s it for now, please share this with people who might be interested, I can always cut my vacation a week short and take on another group back to back with the first one. Price is gonna be the normal for Intermediate then, though, the tour is the same beautiful one!

Let me know if You want in, I expect this one to fill up and the rule is first come, first serve!
Mahalo, I appreciate You!

Peace // Claes

 

Fruits

Bring Fruit for Energy & Taste

For me there are two reasons to bring some dried fruit on a hike, energy and taste. The first is pretty obvious as sometimes we have to do some energy intense parts and need the more fast paced sugar fuel. And fruit is also a treat than can be vitally important, even if I think you agree with me that almost any food tastes great after a day of hiking, you’ll probably also agree that every now and then we need something sweet and tasty to raise our mood. It matters little if the reason is lousy weather for days and days or a particularly strenuous day on the trail, pampering the taste buds can save the day or even the relationship with our company!

I normally advise against buying dried fruit as most brands are soaked in sugar solution and often contain preservatives that are all but healthy, the all natural brands, on the other hand are mostly ridiculously pricey. If budget is no issue they are a convenient alternative, though, as most fruit takes time to dry and leaves the grid rather sticky and more difficult to clean.
Organic prunes and apricots without added sugar or sulfur are less pricey, though they add quite a bit of weight to the backpack.
As with meat and veggies, for me it’s part of the experience to dehydrate the fruit at home and as I personally don’t bring that much, the time investment is seldom an issue.

I like having a variety of different fruits both for taste and nutrition, my favourites are:

Dried_Fruits

My Favourites

  • Pineapple
  • Orange
  • Figs
  • Banana
  • Grape fruit
  • Apple
Avoid more moist varieties like melons, grapes and pears as they dry very slowly and actually risk spoiling before the process is completed.
On shorter hikes up to a week, when the extra weight doesn’t matter that much, some commercial dried dates without added sugar are an easy and tasty variety.
Good luck, have fun and love the experience!!!

Veggies

Bring Vegetables for Nutrition & Variety

Dehydrating veggies is easiest using a dehydrator, most just don’t do well with the heat in the oven. Some ovens can be set at low enough temperature while most can’t and therefore will burn the more delicate veggies. This can actually be a good thing when drying onions as they get a nice roasted taste from slightly browning in the oven, other veggies don’t, though.

I recommend to bring a variety of vegetables, partly to increase nutritional value, partly to enjoy more variation. Out door cooking doesn’t have to be dull or boring, you can eat very good and tasty meals far away from your kitchen with just some preparation!

Using a dehydrator minimizes the need for checking on the drying veggies, just load the thing, go do your stuff (or have a good nights sleep) and about 8 hours later it’s time to remove the batch, replacing it with the next.

The trick is to cut everything into thin slices to shorten the time of the process, most vegetables can be processed raw while crusiforous varieties like broccoli, cauliflower and brusselsprouts need just a few minutes boiling.

WHAT I USUALLY DO

Veggies

I usually do:
  • Onions, red and yellow
  • Spring onions
  • Leek
  • Bell peppers
  • Zucchini
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
Next to try are:
  • Brusselsprouts
  • Spinach
  • Kale
Good luck, have fun and love the experience!!!

Beef Jerky

Hey, what could possibly be more genuine provision on a hike than this classic? Dried meat has been used for thousands of years to provide sustenance to our hunter-gatherer ancestors and, together with dried fruit, berries and nuts actually prevented utter starvation during the lean months of winter when game was rare and hunting made difficult by the season.

The ability to preserve food through the process of dehydration made it possible for early humans to inhabit regions with harsher climate and has played a crucial role in humans conquering virtually every corner of the earth.
While we will address the dehydration and preparation of a wide variety of food on these pages, for me this is the natural place to start and I personally use jerky as a staple of my diet when on a hike that’s longer than just a few days. Going on a two or three day hike you could chose almost any food as neither the weight nor the risk of it getting spoiled (just avoid the most delicate food items that spoil extremely fast) needs to be considered for such a short hike.
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So, keeping first things first, most important is to chose was kind of meat to use and, as the nutritional value of the foods we eat is what fuels our hike, it’s a no-brainer to chose the high quality stuff. Now, this has less to do with the cut and everything with the animal. Frankly you can use almost any cut, as long as it’s reasonably lean. Fat doesn’t get dehydrated and so choosing fattier cuts increases the weight and shortens the life span of the jerky, fat gets rancid which renders it inedible while lean cuts of meat gives you a jerky you can still use after a year or more of storage.
Still, of course, it’s recommended to use freshly made beef jerky and left overs  a hike is a delicious and nutrient rich snack!
The fact that almost any lean cut can be used is a huge advantage when it comes to buying organic grass fed beef or game meat as the finer parts can be ridiculously pricy. Go for the parts around the thighs of the animal that we usually would cook roasts from and trim away any excess fat (if You want to go really hardcore here just melt that fat down and make tallow, You can even ask the butcher for more fat. That´s usually very inexpensive).
2016-05-24 15.35.24Then cut the meat in thin slices (3-5mm or 1/10-1/5 inch) and flavor them to Your preference. You can use virtually any kind of marinade or rub You normally use for barbecue, just make sure that You´re on top of the ingredients. There are more fun situations in the wild than getting a stomach upset from too much chili powder 😉
Now, if You use a marinade the meat needs some extra time absorbing the fluid and also longer to dehydrate. Using a rub lets us get on with the process immediately and also saves time drying.
Usually we have two methods to chose from to dry our meat:
1) using a dehydrator – here, as always, it pays long term to go for quality. There are numerous different devices on the market and they differ between countries so you have to do your own homework here. Begin by determining the right size for your needs and do your due diligence. Once you purchased one, follow the instructions that come with it.
A word of caution here – many dehydrators are designed merely for mushrooms, veggies and some fruits and run on too low a temperature for drying meat. If in doubt always check again with the manufacturer before closing the deal.
2) using the oven – use a grate that fits the with of the oven and hang your slices of meat over the bars, rub the bars with some olive or coconut oil to prevent the meat from sticking and make cleaning the grate easier. Turn on the oven at low temperature, we want around 50 Celsius (120 Farenheit) to get the meat dehydrated and not cooked. Finally leave the oven door ajar about 10cm (4 inches) for the air to circulate and let the moisture out.
Despite some rumors that you can’t make jerky in a gas oven I’ve been doing that for years and it works just as well. I use the minimum heat and that level at about the right temperature.
The time needed for the process to complete itself depends on the amount of meat, the thickness of the slices and if you marinated or rubbed the meat. Ventilation and temperature also play in and I can only give you a very estimated time frame. In my experience it should be thoroughly dehydrated in 7-12 hours and usually it works fine to just leave it over night.
That leaves us with another two methods that require some special equipment or circumstances:
1) Drying the meat along the stovepipe or at the opening for the camp fire smoke (actually this is more a combination of smoking and drying that´s can be seductively tasty) of a cabin, tent, Native American tipi, Mongolian jurta or Sami kåta. Of course providing You having access to one of the above.
If not I highly recommend that You try the finished product if and when You get the opportunity. Smoked and/or dried reindeer meat is a delicacy in northern Sweden and I´m sure it´s equally good anywhere else You can get it!
2) Making the jerky utilizing the sun and wind might be the most ancient and traditional way of preserving meat. Naturally this only works in certain climates and I just started a promising looking experiment here on Cyprus. More about this in a later post though I can only encourage You to give it a go if You live where it might be possible. I just love the feeling of using original methods!
Good luck, have fun and love the experience!!!