Hiking the Sleeping Giant near Thunder Bay, Ontario

September 19th 2018
Camp at Lehtinen’s Bay
After getting off to a rather late start this morning, I stopped at the ‘Bay Village’ coffee shop to pick up some gear they offered to lend me. Naturally, I stayed for a nice ‘Bulletproof’ – and didn’t get on the road until after 11 am.
Luckily I just made it to the parking permit office 5min before they closed for lunch, got my paperwork in order and continued to the parking lot at the trailhead!
Around 12:15 I started on the trail towards ‘Sawyer Bay’, planning to climb the head of the giant on the first day.
‘Sawyer Bay Trail’ does frankly resemble a quad track more than a hiking trail, it’s also very easy to walk and should be ideal for groups as two or three people can walk beside each other and chat comfortably.
Where the trail reached ‘Sawyer Bay’ there are several, really nice campsites and fireplaces. Beautifully arranged right at the shore!
The trail continues as a clearly visible, and easy to follow, footpath, soon reaching the fork where the ‘Head Trail’ takes of up the hillside.
I followed it up to the top, and the view is totally worth the effort of climbing the trail. And, yes, partly it is more a climb than a hike, just take it slow and You’ll be good!
Once back at the fork I continued the ‘Kabeyun Trail’ along the shore of ‘Lake Superior. The trail is very easy to find and follow, mostly close to the water and with very few changes in elevation.
After leaving the western shoreline and starting the climb over the giant’s feet, the ground gets clearly rougher. First, just an uphill slope, later steeply downhill on the east side. Closer to ‘Lehtinen’s Bay’ the trail climbs over large rocks and progress slows down immensely!
Just a short way past the rocky area I found this beautiful camp between the trail and the shore, the view over the lake is truly amazing and I look forward to falling asleep to the sound of the waves hitting shore!

On the next morning, I got started around 9 am and headed for the Talus trail to get to the crossing that would take me to the top of the giant. This was a much more mellow hike than to the head, still partly steep, yet with beautiful steps built into the trail, making the steep parts so much easier.

I found it a little weird when finding the sign for the ‘top’ pretty much in the woods and not even near the highest point in the area.

Continuing further up the trail got me to the western cliffs and opened up a beautiful scenery!

The sky, that had been overcast already, grew darker the longer the day went towards noon and, also considering the fact that I didn´t find any water in the streams, I decided to head back to the car. Finally leaving the park just after 1 pm for the hour-long drive back to town!

I really enjoyed hiking the area and am rather happy to have left the ‘chest’ for a later occation, giving me an excuse to come back!

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

Hiking while fasting!

In March of 2018 I conducted a short experiment with going on a hike while fasting, the hike itself is described Here:
In this article I want to clarify what led up to the decision to hike fasted and how I prepared for the experiment.
So, if You been following my stuff for any amount of time, You already know that I’m a proponent of low carb nutrition and fuel my own activities primarily with fat. I noticed a considerable shift in my metabolism after the 30 day hike in nutritional ketosis I did in the summer of 2017, after which I no longer need a few days adaptation when choosing to up the carbs for a day or a few. My thoughts are that the prolonged activity during ketosis restored my bodies natural metabolic flexibility and increased my ability to fuel with free fatty acids directly.
I have felt inclined to try an extended fast for quite some time, just didn’t seem to get to it, and now I thought the time was right and the decision was made on pretty short notice.
Just a couple of days before the start of the hike on Friday, March 23rd 2018, I caught myself falling into a pattern of spontaneous OMAD (one meal a day). I had my usual fat coffee in the morning and just wasn’t hungry more than once a day.
Probably this can be explained by stress levels being a lot lower than back in Stockholm and the abundance of sunlight I enjoy here on the island.
Anyway, I was clearly in fat burning mode when I skipped my fat coffee on Friday morning, leaving dinner at 18:00 (6PM) Thursday as my last meal before going out into the hills 13:30 (1:30PM) Friday.
Totalling just short of 80km (50 miles) I ended the hike on Sunday 16:00 and did only take in water and pink Himalayan salt (contains lots of electrolytes besides the sodium) during this time. Admittedly I consumed a lot of water and added about 0.5 tsp salt to each 1.5l bottle.
Timing proved to be perfect and on Sunday night my body told me to end the fast, dinner at 20:00 (8PM) left me with a 74 hour fasting period, maybe it had felt good to go longer if I had not been hiking. For now and under the circumstances, this was exactly right for me.
Now, I can’t stretch enough the importance of being properly fat and keto adapted if You want to copy the experience. Though it is true that fasting is one of the fastest ways of entering nutritional ketosis, doing that while being this physically active can only be a very unpleasant experience.
So, will I do this again?
Well, on the fasting side – definitely! I felt really good the whole weekend, good energy levels most of the time and really no feelings of fatigue or even serious hunger. The plan for now is to incorporate 24-36 hours fasts on a more or less weekly basis with an extended fast every now and then when it fits into my life situation.
At some point, when life’s slow and rather stress free, I´d like to go for a longer fast, maybe 7-10 days, to really reap the health benefits. For now the natural intermittent fasting I do on an almost daily basis will suffice!
That’s all for now, thanks for checking out the post and I hope you found it valuable.
Please share if you did!
Peace // Claes

Day 3 – March 25th 2018

Wow, I slept so much better than last night having solved the pillow issue. I just folded up my pants and put them in the tent cover and this worked remarkably well.
Feeling really rested I still had a slow and easy morning before departing just before 8:30. Knowing I did 6km more than planned yesterday I was I no rush at all. Just stopping briefly at the monastery to refill water, I was soon well on my way.

Ketonix reading in the morning was very much lower than last night, yet I could feel I was definitely in fat and keto burning mode. Hike was really easy and the biggest challenge was the slippery gravel on the downhill slopes.
Once more I stopped in Lythrodontas to fill water, this time I got help from a friendly young woman working at a hospital for the elderly.
The paved road leading away from the village was a steady uphill slope for about 3km before I reached the next stretch of gravel and got away from the asphalt.
Soon I came to the fork where the alternate trail left the mail E4 and I decided to take on the extra elevation and go for the lookout on top of the hill. Amazing view, totally worth the effort!
Going down on the other side the trail becomes very faint and at times I was probably following goat tracks as the trail disappeared entirely. Here I also took my only fall this tour, got a scratch on the palm of my left hand and that was it.
Hitting the main trail again all became easy going and I started seeing that I would rather easily make it back to the car already this day.
Besides sore feet and thigh muscles, my body works exceptionally well and I had no doubts I would have the energy and stamina to pull this off. I just did not at all look forward to the stretch of paved road around Delikipos and I made decision to hitch a ride if possible.
Interesting enough there came a car from the right direction after I walked just a couple of 100 meters on the road and seeing my sign the driver pulled over immediately. There are two young men in the car, and no backseat so they invite me to ride in the trunk. Turns out they live in Kornos and I get a ride all the way to that village, saving me a total of 7km asphalt and rather boring gravel road. Actually they offered to drive me to my car, yet that wasn’t the way I wanted to end this tour and I choose to walk on from Kornos.
Those last 7-8km were pretty swift and easy, again I got hit by some raindrops, yet nothing serious. Turning around I could see the dark clouds coming up from behind, though, and increased my speed to get back to the car before getting soaked.

That’s all for now, thanks for checking out the post and I hope you found it valuable.
Please share if you did!
Peace // Claes

Day 2 – March 24th 2018

Midday break after about 4.5 hours hike with just some water breaks. Close to the villages I’ve seen a few cars and people working on the farms and in the fields, yet I met no one on the trail and haven’t spoke to anyone either.
The night was ok, I spent almost 10 hours in my sleeping bag, yet sleep quality was far below par or even average.
Woke up just before 6AM, took it very easy and had everything packed up ready to leave at 7:45.
After a slightly rough start, I felt lightheaded and weak the first 1.5-2 hours or so, I’ve been motoring along amazingly well.
Mostly comfortable dirt roads so far, with the exception of some pavement closer to the villages.
It’s been mostly uphill so far today and I freely admit not aiming for any speed records.
My iPhone App still tells me I’ve done 16km (10 miles) and that feels pretty accurate, though it’s virtually impossible to check on the maps I have access to here.
Anyway, I feel great, feet and legs are a little sore, not unexpected as I’ve not done any longer hikes in quite some time now.
Ketonix measurements started climbing yesterday (20.7 last night) and this morning (32.5) only to go through the roof at my measuring right now (74.8).
I’m intrigued to see how this continues!
Continued after just a short break at the side of the road and soon I reached the Profitis Ilias Monestery with a very nice picnic area where I spent around 30min, refilling water, resting and, without any success, trying to get my solar charger to work. No idea what’s wrong with that thing, it just doesn’t do what it’s supposed to despite Cyprus sun in the middle of the day…

Heading for Klonia I found myself on the most beautiful nature trail, about 7km all together it was without a shadow of a doubt the most fun hiking this weekend. I frankly enjoyed every step, and reaching Klonia without finding any suitable camp site, I didn’t mind at all to double back to a site I spotted on the way up, just about 1km from the monastery.

This also subtracts some k’s from tomorrow’s hike, which will be mostly descending and challenging for knees and core!
Checked my Ketonix measurement when arriving here at the campsite, around 48 hours into the fast, and I hit 89.9.
It’s super clear that I’m burning fat, or I would never have made it this far, the rate indicated by the measurement, though, is just flabbergasting!

That’s all for now, thanks for checking out the post and I hope you found it valuable.
Please share if you did!
Peace // Claes


So, lets talk some about the “home away from home” – choosing the right tent is worth some thought, evaluation and due diligence as most people don’t want to acquire a bunch of different tents for different purposes. A good tent is quite and investment for most of us!

As we´re all about hiking on this blog I’m just presuming that weight matters to You as well, there’s not much fun carrying more than necessary (unless You feel the need to punish Yourself for something…). On the other hand there´s an inverse relationship between weight and price and, just as with other gear, the real light weight stuff can be ridiculously pricy.
One more thing to consider is the comfort of having a slightly larger, and therefore heavier, tent – especially on longer tours when it can be expected to get wet some of the days.
Personally I don’t mind using a 1-person tent for shorter tours while I definitely prefer a larger tent on my longer hikes, and even willingly carry an extra gear shed, that can be hooked on to my tent, when going out for two weeks or more. The comfort of never having to worry about wet gear inside the tent is totally worth the extra 900g (2lbs) in my pack.
Besides size, weight and price we have two basic models to consider:
  • Dome tents
  • Tunnel tents
Which to choose is basically up to Your preferences, though there are a few advantages to both models that might influence which one suits Your needs best.
Dome tents are self supporting, making them ideal for camping on surfaces where tent pegs are hard to use, like cliffs, very hard soil or sand. On the other hand they are mostly a little heavier than a tunnel tent of the same size and You can only sit upright close to the center. Most dome tents have two apses, providing the comfort of keeping backpacks on one side and using the other as entrance. They’re also ridiculously easy to pitch as You only need to insert the poles into the marked channels and fasten them, which all is rather self evident.
A tunnel tent need a little more ”getting used to” and I definitely recommend raising it a few times at home to make sure You know what goes where, I remember one year hiking with a friend who just bought a new tent and pitched it for the first time that first evening of the hike. I had my tent pitched, a pot of tea ready and was quite amused watching the struggle he went through getting all the lines in place and tightened.
Once You know what You’re doing, though, its all smooth sailing and the lower weight is an advantage on longer hikes (on weekend trips the weight doesn’t really matter that much as the pack is rather light anyway).
Please don’t expect me to recommend any particular brand here, as not all are available everywhere, and there are a ton of great tent manufacturers out there. Just let me say that if You want to be serious about You hiking and get really of the grid in regions where weather might get rough, You should definitely stay away from the lower end of the spectrum. There are some tents out there that are considerably less price than the high end stuff, and they might work excellently in the back yard or even in woodlands, yet there is a reason for the lower price and I would not risk saving on this important piece of gear if You wanna go into the mountains anywhere in the world.
I hope this article is helpful to you in choosing your equipment, please leave a comment and let me know, ok?

Thank You so much for checking out my blog, please share this with friends and loved ones who might benefit or be interested!

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Peace // Claes


Oh yeah, this seems like an easy one, right? Just something to lie on, nothing special at all…
Well, there still are some decisions to make…
Mattresses basically come in two varieties, static and inflatable.

Remember the greyish roll of styropor mattress from the 80:s? They haven’t developed that much since, upside is they definitely kept there sturdiness. You just can’t break them by normal use, only remember to keep them out of the fire…
Downside: not very (or, to be frank, the least) comfortable

So, God bless Thermarest, giving us one of the first mainstream “self inflating”
mattresses some 20 years ago. Of course there’s nothing like a truly self inflating mattress, the foam filling somehow remembered its former volume and sucked some air into the device making the final filling with air so much easier.
Thankfully we’ve had quite some development here and today you can chose from a variety of different producers and models.
That mentioned you could probably find a pretty decent used car for the price of a high end mattress, filled with down, almost 4 inches thick and inflated by a built in pump, providing a level of comfort that is unchallenged by your bed at home. At the same time weighting down your backpack with 2kg (a good 4 lbs) or more. While at the other hand getting away from that bed at home might kinda be one reason for this whole hiking adventure.

In the case you intend to go hiking in polar conditions, or are extremely sensitive to cold climates, I’d definitely recommend a down filled mattress 7cm (roughly 2/5 inch) or thicker. For a summer hike while camping on soft ground a traditional static camping mat might be sufficient, leaving you huge budget space for other extravagances.

It all boils down to the same old questions to ask ourselves:
Where, when and how is the equipment to be used?

And then we chose the most appropriate option!

Please leave a comment below to let me know if this was helpful or if you have questions!

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

Good luck, have fun and love the experience!!!

Peace // Claes


Meals and hot drinks are always highlights of any tour and we need a stove to prepare them.
There are countless different stoves available in the market, yet the wood fired ones are really only workable in forest areas and often too large and heavy to carry on a hike.
Therefore I limit this article to the three types of stoves normally used for hiking:
  1. Spirit
  2. Gas (picture shows my gas stove from Primus)
  3. Multifuel
 Let me give You some details:
  1. Spirit stoves are fueled almost 100% pure, denatured spirit. The advantages are that spirit is easily available and affordable in most places and burns well even in colder conditions. The downsides are mainly pretty low heat and therefore quite time consuming cooking. Some spirits leave a lot of soot on the bottom of the pot which then easily stains other equipment unless properly cleaned and stored separately. There’s also a risk of spilling fuel into the meal, just one drop ruins everything… And putting out the flame can be an adventurous endeavor. I used a few different ones for many years and they are very reliable when operated correctly.
  2. Gas stoves are easy, clean, safe and fast to use and modern stoves often utilizes special heat absorbing and concentration designs to cut the cooking time considerably. Personally I moved over to the use of gas quite a few years ago and never looked back except with winter hikes. When temperatures hit close to 0 centigrade (lower 30’s F) the pressure in the cartridge decreases to a point where the cooking time is painfully prolonged. As long as were operating in non frozen environments in regions where the cartridges can be easily obtained I definitely recommend gas stoves.
  3.  Multifuel stoves use different exchangeable valves to enable the use of several fuel sources. The most common one is chemical grade gasoline, yet they can be fueled with gasoline from any filling station, strong enough alcohol, kerosene etc. Slightly more complicated to use than a gas stove and clearly less potentially messy than spirit burners they are a great choice for colder climates and all year use in moderate ones!
Good luck, have fun and love the experience!!!
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

Sleeping Bags

Next to food this might be the most important item for a pleasant hiking tour and you should really invest some thought and money into your sleeping bag.
For my part I own three of them for use at different temperature ranges, most people neither want nor need to invest in several sleeping bags, just make sure you think it through thoroughly when and how you want to use it and chose a bag that is sufficient for a lower temperature than you plan to use it for. There are few things worse than being cold when trying to sleep after a days hike, while at the same time we can take on a lot of challenges during the day as long as we know we are dry and warm when going to sleep at night.
That said lets get into some details. Though there´s a myriad of different producers of sleeping bags and even more different models it all basically boils down to two main versions when it comes to filling material:
  • down – that is lighter, warmer and more easy to compress to a smaller size but at the same time considerably pricier and looses its benefits substantially when wet
  • synthetic fiber – to match the temperature range of a down bag it takes more space and weights more while at the same time being more affordable and keeps warmer when moist or wet
I personally prefer down because in my experience the upsides are immense due to my preference for longer hikes. If You primarily are looking for 2-5 day hikes when size and weight matter less, a good synthetic bag will definitely serve You just as well. Especially if You hike in moister regions in which case You might even consider a water resistant bag even considering the increased weight.
Just remember that the quotient between price and quality is very much at work here and I really recommend to hit a sale or outlet to find better quality at a lower price, if You can afford to wait with Your purchase. As previously mentioned the more high end sleeping bags can be almost ridiculously pricy so finding them at a bargain is worth quite a lot for any budget.
Make sure, though, that You find a bag that really fits You body size as both too short a bag as one that leaves a lot of room at the feet will impact Your comfort and temperature negatively.
Good luck, have fun and love the experience!!!

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

Boots & Shoes

Probably the most important choice for a successful and pleasant hike is which shoes to wear. As much as taste and personal preference plays in there are a few things to consider.

We will here discuss different types of shoes and when to use which.
  1. Shoes v/s Boots – naturally boots are the best choice in wet and muddy conditions, when we face an abundance of shallow streams we need to cross and in rocky terrain where the extra support for feet and ancles is needed. Other than that we can roll by the rule of thumb that “the lighter the shoe, the faster the hike”. It just seems to be so much easier to move in light shoes than heavy boots!
  2. Leather v/s membranes – here we find ourselves completely in the realm of personal preference, some people swear on GoreTex while other swear at it. Basically the membrane shoe takes less work to keep you dry initially yet doesn’t even come close to the durability of a well maintained leather boot. The membrane tends to get clogged after some time leaving us with a shoe that doesn’t breath at all any more. On the other hand the repeated wear and tear of folding at the same spot every step we take tends to make it break and now the shoe has a leak. Plain leather shoes need more work greasing and waxing to keep them water resistant, on the other hand they can last for years to come if they’re properly taken care of. I’ve tried both and finally went back to plain leather after 8 years of membrane trouble. So, if you’re willing to put some work into your footwear and carry a small can of wax and/or grease I’d clearly recommend to ditch the membranes, they’re just not worth the downsides.
  3. Stability – as mentioned above the nature of the activity demand different sturdiness of boots. The soft shoes used for easy conditions left aside there are four different categories of hiking boots – A,B,C and D, A being most lightweight and soft, D very stable and used more or less exclusively with crampons and other special equipment. To cover most hiking areas I’d recommend a pair in the B/C category, enabling the use of crampons while still smooth enough for comfortable hiking under easier conditions and serving as winter boots in moderate climates.
Now, if you’ve been following me for some time you probably know about my love fore minimalistic barefoot shoes and, frankly, I’m using these as often as I can in my everyday life and on hikes. Just recently I found a pair of VivoBarefoot boots and tried them on for a weekend hike. They totally exceeded my expectations and I can not recommend them enough for easier trails and moderate packs.
For a full review of the shoe, click here!
Well, that’s about it – remember there’s no shoe that fits everyone and make sure that you really try your new ones out thoroughly. Being out in the wild and finding out that you have a bad fit and end up with blisters is a bad idea!
Good luck, have fun and love the experience!!!