Author: Hike Mike

Te Araroa Resupply

Te Araroa Resupply This is a complete resupply guide for hiking the Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand. The guide includes everything from small take away food stores and large supermarkets to places that sell hiking gear and gas canister. It also details which Post Offices will receive Bounce Boxes with their address and open […]

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te araroa resupply

Te Araroa Resupply This is a complete resupply guide for hiking the Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand. The guide includes everything from small take away food stores and large supermarkets to places that sell hiking gear and gas canister. It also details which Post Offices will receive Bounce Boxes with their address and open […]

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Lightweight Sleeping Bags and Quilts

Top 10 Lightweight Sleeping Bags and Quilts for 2019 Top 5 Lightweight Sleeping Quilts 2019 Feathered Friends Flicker UL 20 Quilt – 20F / -7 – 26oz / 748g Sea to Summit Ember EB3 Quilt – 14F – 25F / -10C/-4C – 25.5oz / 725g Enlightened Equipment Revelation – 20F / -7C – 22.5oz / […]

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Lightweight Sleeping bag quilt review

Top 10 Lightweight Sleeping Bags and Quilts for 2019 Top 5 Lightweight Sleeping Quilts 2019 Feathered Friends Flicker UL 20 Quilt – 20F / -7 – 26oz / 748g Sea to Summit Ember EB3 Quilt – 14F – 25F / -10C/-4C – 25.5oz / 725g Enlightened Equipment Revelation – 20F / -7C – 22.5oz / […]

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Lightweight Sleeping Pads

Lightweight Sleeping Pads are getting better every year and 2019 is an exciting year with many top brands stepping up their game. The quality of the lightweight sleeping mats in this review are a huge leap forward from only a couple of years ago. What is the best lightweight sleeping mat? Best Lightweight Sleeping Pads […]

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Lightweight Sleeping pads review

Lightweight Sleeping Pads are getting better every year and 2019 is an exciting year with many top brands stepping up their game. The quality of the lightweight sleeping mats in this review are a huge leap forward from only a couple of years ago. What is the best lightweight sleeping mat? Best Lightweight Sleeping Pads […]

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Reflections on the IWA OutdoorClassics 2019

What does an ultralight backpacker, skier and climber do at the IWA OutdoorClassics fair? Blending in, obviously =)

Disclosure: I’m a co-founder of the Outdoor Blogger Network and we were a cooperation partner of the Nürnberg Messe for the 2019 IWA Outdoor Classics. However, I haven’t been paid to write this article, and I maintain full editorial control of the content published on this site. Read the Transparency Disclaimer for more information on transparency.

If you’re interested exclusively in outdoor gear and don’t carry a knife in the outdoors, better read this article. If knives, warm boots, and toned-down garments are something you are interested in – dive in!

This Opinel N°08 Black Oak was my favourite piece of hardware on the show. It’s lightweight (45 g) and simply beautiful. It felt great in my hand and I think I want to pick one up.

Also the other goods from Opinel were top notch and especially the two sets for kids were amazing, as a father of a seven year old boy I r..

What does an ultralight backpacker, skier and climber do at the IWA OutdoorClassics fair? Blending in, obviously =)

Ken at the IWA 2019

Disclosure: I’m a co-founder of the Outdoor Blogger Network and we were a cooperation partner of the Nürnberg Messe for the 2019 IWA Outdoor Classics. However, I haven’t been paid to write this article, and I maintain full editorial control of the content published on this site. Read the Transparency Disclaimer for more information on transparency.

If you’re interested exclusively in outdoor gear and don’t carry a knife in the outdoors, better read this article. If knives, warm boots, and toned-down garments are something you are interested in – dive in!

All Black Opinel | IWA 2019 Impressions

This Opinel N°08 Black Oak was my favourite piece of hardware on the show. It’s lightweight (45 g) and simply beautiful. It felt great in my hand and I think I want to pick one up.

Colourful Opinel Knives #8 | IWA 2019 Impressions

Colourful Opinel Knives #7 | IWA 2019 Impressions

Opinel Kitchen Knives for Kids! | IWA 2019 Impressions

Opinel for Kids! | IWA 2019 Impressions

Also the other goods from Opinel were top notch and especially the two sets for kids were amazing, as a father of a seven year old boy I really loved the wood carving set which lets the child build a small sail boat. Similarly, the kitchen knife set allows the kids to help safely in the kitchen – and cooking together is a lot of fun!

Marttiini Damast Puukko | IWA 2019 Impressions

Also this Marttiini Damast Steel puukko was a work of art, Made in Finland. The birch handle is waxed and felt really good in my hand, and damast steel with it’s intriguing patterns is always an eye-catcher.

Swiza Knives | IWA 2019 Impressions

Apparently All Black is a trend in the knife industry, also also the Swiss Brand Swiza had an All Black pocket knife. This one felt lightweight and could be a good knife for weight-conscious backpackers.

Swiss Army Knives | IWA 2019 Impressions

Victorinox Folder | IWA 2019 Impressions

Victorinox Pocket Knives | IWA 2019 Impressions

At Victorinox a person was showing some visitors how to carve with the knife in the middle, and it was interesting to watch. This Swiss Brand had a wide array of different knives, and it seems even some collectors editions.

Leatherman | IWA 2019 Impressions

Mora Kniv Hook Knife | IWA 2019 Impressions

Mora Kniv Hook Knife | IWA 2019 Impressions

And at Morakniv they were very proud of their new hook knife for carving, and it’s a great – and SHARP – knife for sure. This knife now finally comes with it’s own leather pouch which protects it during transport, which is a good thing. Also I learned that Mora produces some insane amount of knives each day – 20.000 to be exact!

Silky Saw | IWA 2019 Impressions

As I have around my house a large pine hedge which I cut once a year, a good saw is mandatory in our house. I checked out the Silky Saws booth and these Japanese saws looked amazing, I feel when my Fiskars saw is at the end of it’s life cycle I might replace it with a Silky one.

Damast Hultafors Axe

Hultafors Axes

Hultafors from Sweden makes Axes since a loooong time, and their Hultån, Åby and Ågelsjön hatchets felt amazing in hand. Sadly they didn’t have any wood for splitting along, but I am pretty sure these axes are up to the task! Oh, and that Damast Axe – it’s a unique piece which is unlikely to see mass production, and with a price tag of around 2.000€ it’s also more likely an Axe which you’ll hang on your wall than using it in the forest.

FixPlus Straps

FixPlus

I met the guys from FixPlus which make lightweight straps with which you can connect your gear to all kinds of stuff – from closing your cook kit securely to attaching your skis to your bike, these are multiple use and lightweight – and unlike the classic Voilé straps more durable and UV resistant.

Conscious Hunting

IWA 2019 Impressions

IWA 2019 Impressions

Fjällräven

Fjällräven was with their sister companies at the fair and their new hunting trousers looked amazing – both very comfortable and made for a good time in the outdoors, in any weather. I liked the pattern, too, and imagine that we will see many people wear these for normal backpacking and hiking.

Savotta Chimney | IWA 2019 Impressions

The Hawu Roll Chimney from Finnish brand Savotta was amazing if you’re into hot camping in winter, a really great chimney that’s easy to set up and pack down, and also works with UL wood stoves. At 1 kg it might be heavier than the Titanium foil UL options, but the Hawu was so easy to use that I wouldn’t bother with any other chimney.

Polyver Boots | IWA 2019 Impressions

And finally, as we’re still in the midst of winter here in Finland and Scandinavia, warm boots! Polyver Boots are Made in Sweden, not far away from Åre, and are fairly lightweight – around 700 g for a Size 42 Premium Low boot, but hold on before you start to write “That’s not….” – these are made for cold weather activities. Like, -25°C cold. Activities like ice fishing. And that’s where they will keep your toes toasty and dry, because waterproof they are too.

Härkilä

Take Aways

As I have said for years in my wrap-ups of the OutDoor Friedrichshafen and ISPO shows, these happenings are less about the gear for me and more about the people. And I met great people at the IWA, which care for nature and enjoy their time in the fjells and forests. I too really enjoyed my first IWA show and seeing all the new gear which I never see at one of the usual shows I attend, and best of all I had ZERO meetings which meant I was free to stroll around the fair and look at the stuff I am interested in. And so I came home with new impressions of a new fair and outdoor market, and got to know some interesting new equipment. Let me know in the comments on Facebook or via Twitter if you found this article interesting, and if you saw some interesting kit! I’ll leave you with some more impressions from the show and wish you a happy outdoor weekend!

Good boi!

Good boi

Nikon Binoculars | IWA 2019 Impressions

Gore-Tex Booth at the IWA 2019

Kelty Tent | IWA 2019 Impressions

IWA 2019 Impressions

Living Room Atmosphere

Landrover

Fenix | IWA 2019 Impressions

Stanley | IWA 2019 Impressions

HAD Balaclava | IWA 2019 Impressions

Enjoyed this article? Support me on Patreon and get some useful rewards (like hanging out on Discord with me, where you can pick my brains!) or buy me a coffee – I work Full-Time on Hiking in Finland to bring you inspiring trip reports, in-depth gear reviews and the latest news from the outdoors. You also could subscribe to the rarer-than-ever Newsletter and follow along on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Youtube for more outdoorsy updates!

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Is Backpacking a Sustainable Hobby?

Being outdoors, sleeping in nature, hiking through the forest, paddling on rivers and cycling on beautiful single trails – being outdoors seems on a first look to be a very sustainable hobby. But is it really?

This article is part of the Bergfreunde Series of “Sustainable Outdoors” and several bloggers write about this topic – you can find a list with the other articles at the end. We are not paid to write these articles and have full editorial control.

Going outdoors feels like a sustainable hobby – especially if you compare it to sports and hobbies which need large buildings or areas to be played & practiced. But is it really sustainable to drive in a big car to a trail head, being dressed in garments made from oil-based materials and hiking in sensitive areas which contributes to land erosion and degradation? That is a question which I am pondering in this article, so read along to find out what in my opinion are our biggest “sins” as backpackers.

Getting there

Only very few of ..

Being outdoors, sleeping in nature, hiking through the forest, paddling on rivers and cycling on beautiful single trails – being outdoors seems on a first look to be a very sustainable hobby. But is it really?

Storådörren Valley from the other side n better weather

This article is part of the Bergfreunde Series of “Sustainable Outdoors” and several bloggers write about this topic – you can find a list with the other articles at the end. We are not paid to write these articles and have full editorial control.

Going outdoors feels like a sustainable hobby – especially if you compare it to sports and hobbies which need large buildings or areas to be played & practiced. But is it really sustainable to drive in a big car to a trail head, being dressed in garments made from oil-based materials and hiking in sensitive areas which contributes to land erosion and degradation? That is a question which I am pondering in this article, so read along to find out what in my opinion are our biggest “sins” as backpackers.

Getting there

Only very few of us life in nature and can start hiking or skiing from their doorstep – most of us life in towns and villages and need to travel to the start of a trail or to the hills. Those who read me since a while know that I neither have a driving license and our family also does not own a car. If I go backpacking somewhere it is always by public transportation, most usually a combination of train and bus when in Finland, or by ferry, plane and then bus or train when abroad. As I have been travelling like this since 20 years this is normal for me, but for those who have grown up with a car in front of their house this might seem strange. Yes, I am dependent on schedules and trains and busses to get somewhere, but I have learned to life with that and it usually works out nicely. My waiting time I use for reading and studying the map, or stocking up on calories!

Bikepacking Season is upon us!

Getting to a local trail here in Pohjanmaa means either jumping on a bike or taking a bus or train and possibly a Taxi. Sometimes I make the bike ride part of the journey and just call it a Bikepacking and Hiking Adventure as cool and catchy names are important =) I really love to ride my bike and it’s my favourite way to get around when in town or if I’m travelling, it just feels great. Going by train or bus is fine, though – I can charge my phone and listen to music or chat on Discord and the speed is good and if going by bus I usually also can get off quite close to a trailhead and just hike the last bit.

Golden Hour

When going abroad flying is something I hate. I hate the noise, the people and the emissions I accumulate while travelling by plane, but for long distances in a short time there’s no alternative for me right now. I am cutting down on my flights and assignments abroad drastically, though, and each trip I can realize by taking the ferry, train, bus and Taxi are a win in my book. Plus going by plane also often means I have to add a night in an AirBnB or Hotel at the beginning or end, depending on the connections at the destination to get where I want to go which adds to the costs and length of a trip. But some trips are just too good to miss out on, like my Causeway Coast Way thru-hike or backpacking on the Via Dinarica in Bosnia Herzegovina. These were amazing hikes and totally worth getting into a plane for, and also the John Muir Trail is high on my list, as well as several other trails abroad.

My take-away for getting there is probably to try to enjoy your local outdoors as much as possible. I know I am guilty of dreaming and hiking on distant trails, while I have a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site on my doorstep which would be great for packrafting, cycling and hiking. But the benefits of hiking locally are so many: You can hike more – have a free afternoon and day ahead? Just go to a local trail for a night out! Take the bike instead of the car if you feel like it, and for longer trips why not explore more of your own country?! If you fly somewhere for your yearly long backpacking trip – and you can! – offset your emissions by supporting reforestation measures or similar.

Umeå C

The Gear

Another topic which we have to ponder is how sustainable our outdoor gear is. Unless you use exclusively natural materials like cotton, hemp, flax, wood or Merino wool chances are you have something that’s made from oil => plastic in any form or shape (it can be called Dyneema, XPac, Cuben fibre, Polyester, Nylon, Cordura or or or). The good thing is that most of our outdoor gear is so well made that it can last us a life-time with some proper care, so the environmental footprint of a tent which gets used several times per year is relatively small after 15 years of use.

HMG UltaMid in a wet forest

Also, most new outdoor equipment is made from recycled or recyclable materials which is an amazing step forward. I remember my first OutDoor where the sustainability topic was still in it’s baby shoes and I had more the feel of “Greenwashing” here and there. But now, five years later, it’s front and centre for many companies, and one of their most important messages. From Patagonia who doesn’t want you to buy their jackets to Houdini which lets you rent their garments instead of buying them, many companies wake up and realize we need to do something to keep our outdoors healthy.

100%

But what’s even better is that many of our outdoor gear also can find it’s way into our everyday life. Don’t be dumb and only use your Hydroflask on the trail – take it with you when you go to work or walking the dog! Get a good mug for your coffee on the go, and also your lunch can be packed in a Light My Fire meal box. I also wear my outdoor clothes all the time – my hiking pants are my every day pants as well, when I pick up my kids I wear my Alpine Start Hoody or a shell jacket and I don’t really use any other shoes than my trailrunning and hiking shoes. If you’re working at a office where a suit is mandatory you might not get away with wearing your outdoor garments all the time, but if your employer is relaxed about the dress code there’s no good reason why you can’t wear your flannel shirt and hiking trousers to the office.

Time for some Coffee!

Finally, instead of buying a new piece of kit once an old one is broken might not be necessary – many pieces of equipment can be fixed, from stoves to garments. If a rain jacket doesn’t keep the rain out anymore it often just needs a wash with a good detergent to re-activate its waterproof properties, and if a tear is too big you can have it often much more cheaply fixed than buying a new one.

Unscrew everything!

Land degradation

Land degradation and erosion is especially a problem at very popular trails and areas – from the Karhunkierros in Finland to certain trails in the Lake District and elsewhere, where a lot of people hike or ski the earth under our feet gets eroded and with rain and wind popular trails quickly can look like deep scars in the landscape. Well built and maintained trails minimize this problem, and also we can – by choosing to hike on “less popular” trails. Now less popular does not equal less beautiful, and as many of us go into nature to escape busy cities it’s a smart thing to search out these less popular trails and enjoy them on your own.

Clearing up

If a trail gets really popular then trail erosion is often the smallest problem – often rubbish which is left behind, from 💩 to plastic bottles and tissues – are a much bigger issue. What we as knowledgable outdoors men and women can do is to educate our fellow hikers when we catch them in the act, or collect the trash and carry it out. Carrying a small Ziplock bag for these situations is common for me, because I really hate it to see rubbish left in nature.

The Old Man of Coniston

Bottomline & What you can do

My conclusion is that being outdoors, be it hiking, backpacking, biketouring, packrafting or ski-touring is inherently a sustainable activity. By spending time outdoors in nature we learn to care more about our planet, and in the long run we will adapt many of the things I have suggested throughout this article, though if you’re at the start of your hiking career and just started with backpacking you can now of course skip ahead and pick up these good behaviours and ideas!

To sum them up, these would be my three take-aways:

  1. Adventure more locally and take the bike, train and bus to get to the trailhead!
  2. Use your gear until the end! Resist the urge to buy new gear, repair what you have and consider renting or buying used gear.
  3. Search out less popular trails, keep Leave No Trace principles in mind and pick up other people’s trash if you encounter it outdoors.

I also want to encourage you to not geo-tag your images online and generally share & spend less time on un-social networks like Instagram and Facebook which both promote Fear Of Missing Out and other negative feelings. Finally, #FridaysForFuture are not just for kids – also responsible Adults who are not happy about how those in our governments misuse their loaned power can take to the streets and demonstrate for politics which ensure our planet, including all these amazing National Parks, hiking trails and mountains remain for future generations. Take the ext Friday off and go demonstrate!

Bodensee

Further Reading

The Bergfreunde write about sustainable winter holidays, Stefanie ponders the topic of travelling and sustainability, Heiko shares 11 sustainable tips for home & outdoors, Björn reports about the DAV Day Sustainable on Ski Tour, the Climbing Plus guys show how climbing has changed over the years, Ulrich writes about Sustainable Tourism on Iceland and Dennis ponders about sustainability when hiking and backpacking.

Enjoyed this article? Support me on Patreon and get some useful rewards (like hanging out on Discord with me, where you can pick my brains!) or buy me a coffee – I work Full-Time on Hiking in Finland to bring you inspiring trip reports, in-depth gear reviews and the latest news from the outdoors. You also could subscribe to the rarer-than-ever Newsletter and follow along on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Youtube for more outdoorsy updates!

The clouds are moving in

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No Car, No Problem: Urban Family Transportation

Riding bikes is fun and healthy. Too bad too many people drive cars in our cities. Cars don’t belong in cities is a thought which we share in our family. Cars have their place, but for both humans and the environment, and also the aesthetics of our towns, it would be best if most of us would cycle to the grocery store, work and the cinema. That that is possible I want to show you in this article.

Disclosure: Some of the products in this article have been provided to us by the manufacturers. As you know: I’m keepin’ it real and tell you how it is – I maintain full editorial control of the content published on Hiking in Finland. Read the Transparency Disclaimer for more information on affiliate links & blogger transparency.

The Problem

I admit that #FuckCarsRideBikes is probably the best Hashtag I have invented. I dislike cars as they illustrate what is wrong with our cities & towns: Everywhere we have multi-lane streets so that thousands of people who sit alone in their car can drive..

Riding bikes is fun and healthy. Too bad too many people drive cars in our cities. Cars don’t belong in cities is a thought which we share in our family. Cars have their place, but for both humans and the environment, and also the aesthetics of our towns, it would be best if most of us would cycle to the grocery store, work and the cinema. That that is possible I want to show you in this article.

Family cycling

Disclosure: Some of the products in this article have been provided to us by the manufacturers. As you know: I’m keepin’ it real and tell you how it is – I maintain full editorial control of the content published on Hiking in Finland. Read the Transparency Disclaimer for more information on affiliate links & blogger transparency.

The Problem

I admit that #FuckCarsRideBikes is probably the best Hashtag I have invented. I dislike cars as they illustrate what is wrong with our cities & towns: Everywhere we have multi-lane streets so that thousands of people who sit alone in their car can drive from A to B. What’s wrong about this is that the distances these people drive ALONE in their cars is statistically less than 5 km, or the distance which most of the readers of this blog hike in an hour in the hills or would be able to ride on a bike in 20 to 30 minutes. Add in that nowadays seemingly every other car driver is distracted while checking his or her phone, our ageing societies mean that there are more people who are physically less able to drive safely, and the emissions from cars which are bad for our health and you start to realize that we need to get rid of the majority of cars in cities and towns. That that is possible and that one can thrive without a car and get everything done is what I want to show today, and hopefully encourage you to ride more on your bike and drive less in your car.

Jkl Uni

How to get from A to B

The kids have hobbies, need to be brought to school and kindergarden, there’s the occasional thing to pick up at the post office and groceries for cooking at home also need to be bought and brought home. Add in a visit to the cinema, going for lunch with colleagues, playing games with friends, swimming at the beach and oh, yeah, showing up at the office for work is also smart. Can one REALLY do all that by bike? Well, yes 😊

Statistically most people use their cars for journeys of three to five kilometre in length, which if you think about it, is insane. I ride with my kids, with the trailer behind me and my son on his own bike, in 15 minutes to the centre of Vaasa, which is about three kilometre away from our house. Pretty much all of it is on cycling lanes, and in the centre there’s dozens of parking places for bikes so one never needs to ponder “Where do I park?”. It’s also free! If the weather is poor hardshells come on – living in a coastal town (= lots of wind, 🌬💨 all the time) means we are used to wearing a wind jacket when we go outside – and when you arrive at the Café, Restaurant or school you take it off. No problem!

Parking for bikes

This is not some kind of magic that only we can achieve. Most people have very short commutes and can do all of it by riding a bike, and did I mention that being on a bike is healthy and fun? I at least always feel very happy when I can ride my bike. I think the biggest hurdle to those who drive with a car everywhere is that they think that they can not cycle. The truth is – if you have learned to ride a bike, and own a bike, then you can bicycle. No one is expecting you to win the Transcontinental Race or going Downhill mountain biking but you likely just want go to the Café or to the beach. You also don’t need to sell your car and go all in, but gradually try what you all can do by bike. Cycle to work two days a week, instead of taking the car to the gym take the bike to go grocery shopping, and if you want to go out and meet friends why not go cycle to that lovely Café instead of taking the car? If you slowly phase out the use of a car you’ll see that going by bike everywhere is easy – and not just for adults, also kids love to ride their bike. The smile my 3 year old daughter gives me when we cycle together is amazing, and while this obviously only are short distances like going to the Kindergarden, the playground and the library bus, it still allows her to get used to cycling. For longer distances she sits in the Thule Chariot, which is also great to transport stuff. And if it doesn’t fit on the bike or in the trailer I take the bus or use a Taxi. By not owning a car we save a minimum of 400€ per month on car-related expenses, and that are even in Finland quite a few Taxi rides.

Happy Cycler

The Bikes

Now I have been talking so much about our bikes – time to take a look at them! I have written before about my Pelago Stavanger which I am now riding since five years. I bought for my wife some years ago a Pelago Airisto which she loves, and with both of these bikes we can pull the Thule Chariot 2 where our daughter sits and rides with us. The Airisto is a fantastic bike and I got my wife the front basket as it makes transporting things so much easier. The Airisto also performs well for bike tours – we cycled for a week on Åland with these bikes and had a lot of fun.

Dusk

Pelago Airisto + Thule Chariot 2

Our son is on his fourth bike, and since about a year he is riding the woom 4 children’s bike which has been his best bike to date. It’s not just light and grew with him, it also has 8 gears which made cycling up hills and in winter a lot easier. The bike handles very well (especially if compared to his older bikes) and it’s a pleasure to see him ride his bike proudly and having fun. A good bike which is the right size and easy to use makes all the difference in getting a child being willing to ride a bike year-around, from spring till winter, and the woom 4 certainly has made it easier for us parents to go cycling together – because the bike works flawlessly. We also have cycled some longer rides around Vaasa with him, and thanks to his woom bike he’s able to cycle up to 20 km without a problem.

Our son is wearing the woom Helmet which is good, though it’s not really made for the cold weather of Finland and the width adjustment knob broke in the middle of winter – we have been using the Helmet now in the max. size, which is either way what we needed. It’s a light and well-ventilated helmet and stands up to daily use. Similarly the woom bike lights had a battery which had problems coping with the Finnish winter, it only worked on a charge for a day or two max and then needed recharging, though I imagine this is not a problem in warmer climates. And we also got the easy to use woom chain lock. You can put in your own code (and can change it easily, too) so that way the bike can always be securely locked when at school or in town.

woom 4

Summer cycling in Vaasa

woom 4 + woom Helmet

The Thule Chariot 2 is an amazing trailer and honestly the most important piece of cycling gear for a family with small kids which wants to rely less on the car. The Chariot 2 has allowed us to transport both kids at the same time when they were younger, we can use it to transport large packages and it makes grocery shopping a breeze as you can fit a child and the groceries for a week in it with room to spare. We also have travelled with the bikes and the trailer on Åland which was an amazing trip which combined the bikes, train and ferry for a lovely week of cycling in the Archipelago. The Thule Chariot also has flown with us when the kids were smaller, as it can be converted into a pram in one minute (or a sled if there’s enough snow!). This really is an amazing piece of equipment which is integral to our family not having a car, and I can foresee that even when our 3-year old daughter is old enough to cycle herself that we might keep the trailer for a while as it is so damn easy to transport large things with it.

Thule Chariot 2 Transporter

Pelago Airisto + Thule Chariot 2

Family cycling in Vaasa

Cycle Touring on Åland

Thule Chariot 2 in the rain

Speaking of transporting, my Trek 920 Disc has been an amazing bike for both transporting, urban commutes, fun rides and adventures. I can transport an unreasonable amount of stuff on it thanks to the two racks, and especially the front rack is one of the best things on a bike, ever (Seriously, if there’s one thing you should get for your bike it is a front rack!). I love this bike and even more after I made it tubeless two years ago. If it would allow me to pull the Thule Chariot I probably would own only this one bike.

Trek 920 All loaded up

Cockpit view

As we are a family and we have to transport kids, groceries and parcels every now and then, I think you understand why we are dreaming of a Cargobike. There’s just too many options and they’re also all a bit pricey, but maybe in the future we will change from the Thule Chariot to a Cargobike for transporting…

SBlocs Cargo Bike

And then there’s the kick bike which our kids used when they were small. We had a Puky kick bike for both kids, and our daughter has been riding it since she was 1,5 years old. It’s something she really enjoys a lot and she is pretty good at it, and when we go to the playground, for a walk or to the library bus she takes the kick bike as that way the longer distances are no problem for her.

Loving to bike

Learning to bike

Come Rain, come Sunshine, we Ride

Riding our bikes in any weather – from damn slippery roads to the rain and hot 30°C days – needs a little planning garment-wise, though as you’re likely a backpacker or skier you have everything you need to ride in any climate. We just use our hiking garments for cycling, the most important thing is that they have a good freedom of movement. A wind or rain jacket and a rain pants are needed in foul weather, while in the summer we cycle in shorts and T-shirts. My wife and kids use a Helmet while I only use one on long bike rides – because it’s OK to not wear a helmet, as bicycle lanes make cycling safe and not a helmet. Windproof gloves make sure your hands don’t freeze solid (they’re also recommended in windy summers as warm hands make cycling a lot more fun).

Rocking the Puky Kickbike

That’s really it what ones need to transporting oneself from A to B by bicycle – yes there’s lots of fancy things one can add to the bike but a basic bike, some gloves, maybe a helmet and depending on the weather a wind or rain jacket are all that is needed. In the future I’ll write more about useful accessories for cycling, but that’s not the focus of this post!

Cycling to go skiing

Pelago Stavanger Cockpit

Can’t do without car?

If you can not be without a car – because you actually life far away from civilization – I would encourage you to at least not drive alone. Share a car with a neighbour or two, drive together, make less trips and if your car is old get a car which is fuel-efficient or is an electric car. Generally, sharing the car and driving together makes the use of a motorized vehicle more acceptable. Alternatively you could try a e-Bike as these allow you to go a bit faster and further without too much of your own muscle power, or have a look at something like the Arcimoto if it needs to be a vehicle.

Cabo da Roca

Go Ride Your Bike!

I hope you see it is easy, fun and healthy to not drive everywhere in a car and that using the bike for transportation in an urban environment makes a lot of sense. There’s no searching for a parking spot, you don’t need to go to the gym, you’re outside at the fresh air and are having fun. Having good bikes for the kids and getting them used from an early age to cycling helps to instil a happiness to bicycle everywhere in them, and also makes them more independent as you as a parent don’t need to drive them everywhere. So in conclusion I hope that you now, with the beginning of spring, try to cycle more! After all – it’s fun, healthy and allows you to be more outside, and isn’t that what we all enjoy the most?!

Spring Races

Enjoyed this article? Support me on Patreon and get some useful rewards (like hanging out on Discord with me, where you can pick my brains!) or buy me a coffee – I work Full-Time on Hiking in Finland to bring you inspiring trip reports, in-depth gear reviews and the latest news from the outdoors. You also could subscribe to the rarer-than-ever Newsletter and follow along on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Youtube for more outdoorsy updates!

Åland scenary

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Spring Skiing in Ruka

The skiing season 2019 isn’t over just yet – there’s still great snow to be shredded in the far North of Finland, as I experienced last weekend in Ruka.

Disclosure: This journey was supported by the local tourism bureau and partners, but I did not get paid to write about this trip. As you know: I’m keepin’ it real and tell you how it is – I maintain full editorial control of the content published on Hiking in Finland. Read the Transparency Disclaimer for more information on blogger transparency and affiliate links.

As part of me trying to minimize my environmental footprint but unwilling to not ski I travelled last weekend by train and bus to Ruka-Kuusamo, some 500 kilometres from Vaasa away. Even with short stop-overs between switching from the train to the Bus it’s almost a 10 hour journey to get to Ruka, though as you can walk around in the train, there’s good internet and you can work there’s nothing to worry about. Though I was happy that I was able to get out on the hills once ..

The skiing season 2019 isn’t over just yet – there’s still great snow to be shredded in the far North of Finland, as I experienced last weekend in Ruka.

Spring Powder

Disclosure: This journey was supported by the local tourism bureau and partners, but I did not get paid to write about this trip. As you know: I’m keepin’ it real and tell you how it is – I maintain full editorial control of the content published on Hiking in Finland. Read the Transparency Disclaimer for more information on blogger transparency and affiliate links.

As part of me trying to minimize my environmental footprint but unwilling to not ski I travelled last weekend by train and bus to Ruka-Kuusamo, some 500 kilometres from Vaasa away. Even with short stop-overs between switching from the train to the Bus it’s almost a 10 hour journey to get to Ruka, though as you can walk around in the train, there’s good internet and you can work there’s nothing to worry about. Though I was happy that I was able to get out on the hills once I arrived in Ruka, and with the lifts being open till 19 o’clock I got in a few hours of skiing on the slopes after a full day of travelling – not a bad start! And to make it even better, it had been snowing the whole Thursday and would continue throughout the night.

Thursday Evening Skiing

After the skiing I went to have Dinner at RUOK Burger which is just next door from my apartment in the Ruka Village Ski-Inn. Their Portobello Burger was the only vegetarian option and super-tasty, and I accompanied it with a local Craft Beer from Rovaniemi, a nice Amber Lager. After that I retired to my cozy apartment, heated up the Sauna and watched how it was snowing outside. Being on ski holidays it is always great to watch it snow ❄️ as that means fresh powder the next day when you’re outside on the hills!

RUOK Burger

RUOK Burger

Super-Tasty Portobello Burger at RUOK Burger

LOCAL BEER!

The next morning a bright blue sky woke me up, and all signs were on an amazing day on and off the slopes. There’s just something great about hitting the slopes and being one of the first ones there. I love painting my curves into the still un-shredded corduroy, and then Veera and me went into the side-country to look for some powder. And powder we found.

Fresh Corduroy

Untouched snow

Chair lifts galore

It really feels amazing to surf through the fluffy snow and throw up big swoops of the white gold. Veera and me both had big smiles on our faces after cruising through the powder-filled forests, so once it was noon we went to Hanki Baari for lunch, where I ate a tasty vegan Mie Goreng. Hanki Baari is either way an amazing place to chill after a day on the slopes, listening to music and drinking some fancy beers, though right now we just needed some good nutrition before hitting the slopes again.

Vegan Mie Goreng Lunch at Hanki Baari

Ski Pride Ruka Weekend

So, after a coffee ☕️ it was time to go ride some more. After all, the sun was shining, the slopes were in prime condition and the lifts would be running till 23 o’clock (Fridays the Ruka Ski Resort’s lifts run so late because those who journey after work to Ruka still can hit the illuminated slopes!). However, we wouldn’t ski that long, as we had another plan.

Disembark

Them views

In the Shadows

We went on a little powder hunt with friends of Veera, which resulted in a short but exhausting climb through hip-deep snow back to the slopes from the lake 🤣 After that I went for a few more laps on the slopes before calling it a day. A quick shower later I was sitting in the Pizzeria Ruka which is probably the best Pizza you can get in Ruka. It’s a five minute stroll from the centre of the village to the Pizzeria, and their wood-fired oven served me in no time a delicious Tartufo Pizza. That’s exactly what I needed after almost six hours of skiing, and gave me enough energy for the hike we had planned for the evening.

Pizza

Tasty Slices at Pizzeria Ruka

As a photographer I hate it to spend a gorgeous sunset inside, so I was happy that Veera and her dog were up for a sunset mission to Konttainen, a hill some 10 minutes away from Ruka. A steep 11 minute climb later we were on the top of Konttainen, and strolled towards the best spot in the house while the show was just starting. It’s soooooo much better to be outside in nature when the sun sets than sitting inside, and this definitely was an evening well spent. After the sun disappeared from view we gazed for a while onto the illuminated slopes of Ruka, and for a moment I was tempted to jump back into my ski boots and go for some night skiing. But then I remembered my warm Sauna and the cold beer which were waiting for me, so I skipped the night skiing and relaxed in my apartment before calling it a night.

Sunset Show just staring

Getting better

Excitement is rising

Almost there

And almost down

Ruka's Slopes illuminated

The next morning white clouds hung over the mountain and gave the slopes and village a sci-fi feel. I’s the kind of weather where you ponder if you should just stay inside and chill-lax, but as I wanted to get my skis on that didn’t happen and early on Saturday morning Veera and me where again on the slopes, searching for some untracked pockets of powder.

Misty Mornings

Coming from the future

First lines

Dystopian Future

And slowly but surely the sun was burning through the clouds and as the day progressed the views came out again, and we also were lucky by finding some fine lines of untouched powder not far from the hustle and bustle of the slopes.

Views again

POW POW

Maasto

After all that off-piste skiing it was time to join the Ruka Ski Pride Parade. I really ❤️ that Ruka has this event which celebrates equal rites and diversity on the slopes, and the vibe was so positive and fun – I really enjoyed to be part of it 🌈 Besides this parade there were inclusive events the whole weekend, with concerts and DJs, and of course some good skiing!

Ski Pride 2019

Ruka Ski Pride Parade 2019

Ruka Ski Pride Parade 2019

And then the day was almost over again. But not before I skied one final time from the East to the West, and from the North to the South across the whole resort. I love to ski fast and go from one end of a resort to the other one, shredding down the slopes and throwing up clouds of slushy spring snow, and at the end of this Saturday my trusty Suunto Spartan Ultra told me I had skied almost 50 km of distance this day, and I could tell by how my legs felt.

Ruka Tuntori

SUPER PIPE

The Ruka Gondola

Towards the sun

Views for days

After some relaxing I met Mats for Dinner at Villisika from where you have the best view over the slopes, so while we were eating we could see how the snow groomers got the hill ready for the next day. Sadly, the next sunny day I wouldn’t be shredding the groomers, as I was sitting in the train and bus back south. But I have a feeling that I will travel North once more for more skiing before the winter truly ends ❄️

Tasty Dinner at Villisika

Blueberry Dessert at Villisika

As always, there’s more photos in the Photo Album.

Spring Skiing in Ruka

As you can see above, winter isn’t over just yet in Finnish Lapland, even if it may feel like it here in the south where most of the snow is already gone. Until early May there’s plenty of great skiing to be had in Northern Finland, and if you’re like me and can not get enough of skiing and winter then you too should steal away for a weekend to Ruka for some spring skiing. The slopes in Ruka are open till early May, and between now and the closing of the slopes there’s every weekend a weekend of fun to be had: Next weekend, from the 11.4. – 14.4.2019 is the legendary Ruka Spring Break which will enlighten those who like to Party between hitting the groomers. The Easter Weekend has winter activities for the whole family on offer, and the first of May is the traditional Wappulounas, a get-together of the international snowboard community on the slopes of Ruka. So don’t ponder longer – go and get some of that spring snow!

Higher

Where to Stay

I stayed at the Ski Inn and liked my apartment in the centre of the village. It was a two minute stroll to the Gondola and lift, a one minute walk to the supermarket, and Hanki Baari was even in the same building so I didn’t had to go far for a beer! There’s plenty more places to stay in Ruka for any budget, and if you’re pondering where to eat: Just follow my recommendations above or try any of the other restaurants in the village and it’s surroundings.

Ruka Village Ski-Inn

My apartment at the Ski-Inn

Getting to Ruka

The most convenient way is to take the train and bus to Ruka, or if you come from abroad you can fly to the Kuusamo Airport and take the Ski Bus to Ruka. On the train you can sleep, work and walk around, and during the bus trip you can enjoy the beautiful Finnish landscape while listening to your favourite tunes.

Enjoyed this article? Support me on Patreon and get some useful rewards (like hanging out on a Discord Chat with me, where you can pick my brains!) or buy me a coffee – I work Full-Time on Hiking in Finland to bring you inspiring trip reports, in-depth gear reviews and the latest news from the outdoors. You also could subscribe to the rarer-than-ever Newsletter and follow along on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Youtube for more outdoorsy updates!

Ski Pride Ruka

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The Week in Review 292

Spring is coming 🌱

I am now on Patreon. If you feel that you get value out of The Week In Review, my articles and videos – become a Patron for as low as a cup of coffee!

Outdoor News

Finally people are waking up to the climate crisis, something which I have been writing for since 10 years and longer! Read about how today’s children face lives with tiny carbon footprints and start to minimize your own!

Renewed Apparel sounds like a smart way to not have garments end up in a landfill.

The Decaying Alps: Climate change and glacial retreat in the Playground of Europe.

If you want to make the people around you aware of what is happening to the Earth, why not go for a Climate Cycle like Peter and friends?

I am wondering if backpacking is a sustainable Hobby?

US American friends should watch Part 1 of Saving Our Public Lands.

And Chris writes about what is happening with Outdoor Gear and the Environment.

And because there’s too much negativity on the internet: All of us can break th..

Spring is coming 🌱

Slowly

I am now on Patreon. If you feel that you get value out of The Week In Review, my articles and videos – become a Patron for as low as a cup of coffee!

Outdoor News

Finally people are waking up to the climate crisis, something which I have been writing for since 10 years and longer! Read about how today’s children face lives with tiny carbon footprints and start to minimize your own!

Renewed Apparel sounds like a smart way to not have garments end up in a landfill.

The Decaying Alps: Climate change and glacial retreat in the Playground of Europe.

If you want to make the people around you aware of what is happening to the Earth, why not go for a Climate Cycle like Peter and friends?

I am wondering if backpacking is a sustainable Hobby?

US American friends should watch Part 1 of Saving Our Public Lands.

And Chris writes about what is happening with Outdoor Gear and the Environment.

And because there’s too much negativity on the internet: All of us can break the cycle of hatred.

Carsten shows the error in reasoning of Anti-UL backpackers. [German]

14 Signs you are carrying too much Stuff in your Backpack.

The Therm-A-Rest NeoAir UberLite is now available at Amazon.com, Bergzeit, Backcountry.com, Campsaver and the trekking-lite-store.com. Get yours now at the start of the hiking season!

Luc discuss Self-Rescue.

Emily’s Failure Resume.

Read about Polar Expeditions and writing with Ash Routen.

When time gets tough – get outdoors. Because being outdoors is good for your mental health.

Trailcooking has a new website.

Alpinetrek.co.uk has the newest 2019 trailrunning shoes in stock – pick up a pair for your trailruns and hikes!

Save big at Backcountry’s 5 Days 4 Brands Event with 30% off on their biggest brands.

Bergzeit_Fotocontest_Robens_Facebook

Take part in the Bergzeit Photo Contest to win a 500€ Outdoor Set from Robens.

Bergzeit_Frischluft_Kick_Hagloefs_Facebook

Win together with Haglöfs and Bergzeit an amazing weekend to Saalfelden Leogang!

Bergzeit_Gewinnspiel_Sweet_Protection_Facebook

Bikepacking season is upon us – and here’s your chance to win a Sweet Protection Mountainbike Outfit!

Bergzeit_5_Gipfel_Gewinnspiel_Dynafit_Facebook

Run to the summit of the Großglockner with Bergzeit and Dynafit!

Trip Reports

Just last weekend I was skiing in Ruka and it was amazing.

Agnieszka and friends skied in Lemmenjoki National Park. [Polish]

Paulina is backpacking on the Milford Track in New Zealand.

Iñaki is preparing for a Continental Divide Trail thru-hike.

Gerald takes us along on a hike from Banff to the Sasketchwan River. [German]

Liz takes us along on a picture perfect getaway to Waitomo.

Powder Dreams in the Swiss Rätikon. [German]

Alex writes about his Cape Wrath Trail(ish) experience in winter(ish) conditions.

Day 8 on the Arizona Trail with Christy.

Cam was hiking across Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni.

Al went for an evening stroll up Farleton Knott.

Cass cycles the Chama Charmer in New Mexico.

One Peter has started the kayaking season, another Peter had a fine camp in the hills.

Mike paddles on the Paria River.

Nine Days on the Cape Wrath Trail.

Christine shares her conclusion about the Greater Patagonian Trail.

Carey is taking on California’s High Sierra Trail.

Max has a frozen beard and catches some fat fish.

Tiny NeoAirUberLite

Gear Reviews

Uli reviews the Snowline Chainsen Pro, [German]

The Farfarer Trailer looks great for cycling and transporting kids and stuff!

Petzl Gully v Petzl Ride.

Knut takes a look at the Aclima Warmhool Hooded Sweater. [Danish]

The 10 Best Hiking and Backpacking Gear Items for Dogs.

Jen helps you getting started with Fastpacking.

Enjoyed this article? Support me on Patreon and get some useful rewards (like hanging out on Discord with me, where you can pick my brains!) or buy me a coffee – I work Full-Time on Hiking in Finland to bring you inspiring trip reports, in-depth gear reviews and the latest news from the outdoors. You also could subscribe to the rarer-than-ever Newsletter and follow along on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Youtube for more outdoorsy updates!

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One Stop Shop 2019

Do you remember the One Stop Shop Series from 2014 where Carsten and me reached out to a bunch of Shops and asked if they’d like to participate in creating a complete ultralight kit list from their assortment? Yes? Great! Then you’d be delighted to know that the series is back this year and we look forward to share some exciting lists with you!

Five years have passed since Carsten and me did our One Stop Shop Series, and much has changed since then. Ultralight gear has become mainstream and pretty much every manufacturer offers now lightweight and ultralight alternatives of their equipment. This is great for consumers – where previously you needed to buy your quilt here, the sleeping mat there, and the backpack elsewhere nowadays you can even walk into a brick & mortar store and find the lightweight gear you are searching for. This has the benefit that with some critical items like backpacks and garments you’re able to try them on before buying them, which makes returns much less like..

Do you remember the One Stop Shop Series from 2014 where Carsten and me reached out to a bunch of Shops and asked if they’d like to participate in creating a complete ultralight kit list from their assortment? Yes? Great! Then you’d be delighted to know that the series is back this year and we look forward to share some exciting lists with you!

One Stop Shop 2019

Five years have passed since Carsten and me did our One Stop Shop Series, and much has changed since then. Ultralight gear has become mainstream and pretty much every manufacturer offers now lightweight and ultralight alternatives of their equipment. This is great for consumers – where previously you needed to buy your quilt here, the sleeping mat there, and the backpack elsewhere nowadays you can even walk into a brick & mortar store and find the lightweight gear you are searching for. This has the benefit that with some critical items like backpacks and garments you’re able to try them on before buying them, which makes returns much less likely.

But also the ultralight cottages haven’t been sleeping and resting on their UL Laurels – they have realized that people like to purchase their gear from a few sources instead of a dozen or more shops, and so especially we Europeans are quite lucky to have a handful of Shops which sell ultralight cottage gear all under one roof. It are these, but also more broad shops with more widely known brands, which we will showcase in this series, and I at least am very curious to see which new items will be on these lists, and which classic items we will meet again.

The reason for trying to purchase from one shop instead of six or more different ones is simple: You minimize shipping costs and the possibility for things to go wrong, like lost packages, long waiting times and different currencies + paying methods are all adding up to frustration when you want to buy ultralight gear in one go. Imagine you’d be able to buy all of the lightweight trekking gear you want from just one shop – actually, don’t imagine it – just read our articles to see that it is possible! What we do in this series is to challenge a dozen or so outdoor stores (online, brick & mortar and online shops with a brick & mortar shop) to send us their ideal and functional UL gear list of lightweight & ultralight gear, which one can buy normally (no special orders) in their store. To make these lists easy to compare with each other and that they stay within the same boundaries, these are our Guidelines:

  1. Creat a 3-Season gear list (Day temperature of 10 to 20°C, Night temperature of 0 to 5°C)
  2. Rain is possible every day and night
  3. Mosquitos and other insects are not an issue
  4. Tours are 5 to 7 days long

These are the outlines of many classic 3-season backpacking trips, and with this one list you should be able to go hiking from spring till autumn, in Scotland, Scandinavia, China, Colorado or elsewhere. The resulting list should give you the possibility to go backpacking in warmer or colder regions with just a few little adaptations, and we are asking for suggestions for the following items:

The Big 3

  • Backpack
  • Sleeping bag or quilt
  • Mattress
  • Shelter

The Ultralight Kitchen

  • Stove
  • Pot (if not included with Stove)
  • Cutlery
  • Knife
  • Cup
  • Waterfilter

Getting Dressed

  • Baselayer T-Shirt
  • Longsleeve
  • Trekking pants
  • Fleece jacket
  • Insulation jacket
  • Wind jacket
  • Rain pants
  • Rain jacket
  • Shoes

Accessories

  • (Head-) Lamp
  • Trekking poles
  • Navigation/ Electronics

The first four items are the big three (sleep system, backpack and shelter) which weigh the most and where one can save the most weight when lightening up. The kitchen is something many of us like to thinker with and everyone has their preference – the speed and efficiency of a gas stove, the super ultra light weight of an alcohol stove, or the relaxing fire of a woodstove. As most of us do not hike naked it’s good to get dressed, and finally we also need some accessories for our trips. The first article goes online tomorrow, and then we will publish them as be get them throughout the following weeks. Make sure to Like and follow along on Twitter and Facebook to not miss updates from this series, and check out Carsten’s article in German!

Chilling at Sunset

Disclosure: The One Stop Shop Series was Carsten’s idea back in the day. The 2019 Series we have created together in order to bring you this series, and you can read his take on the different lists in German on his blog, and you can read my take over here in English. Furthermore, we have been remunerated for our time by the individual shops, though as you know – that had no influence on the articles as I maintain full editorial control of the content published on Hiking in Finland. Read the Transparency Disclaimer for more information on blogger transparency and affiliate links. *

Enjoyed this article? Support me on Patreon and get some useful rewards (like hanging out on Discord with me, where you can pick my brains!) or buy me a coffee – I work Full-Time on Hiking in Finland to bring you inspiring trip reports, in-depth gear reviews and the latest news from the outdoors. You also could subscribe to the rarer-than-ever Newsletter and follow along on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Youtube for more outdoorsy updates!

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One Stop Shop: Alpinetrek.co.uk

The One Stop Shop Series kicks off with a list from Alpinetrek.co.uk!

Disclosure: This article has been supported financially from Bergfreunde. As you know: I’m keepin’ it real and tell you how it is – I maintain full editorial control of the content published on Hiking in Finland. Read the Transparency Disclaimer for more information on affiliate links & blogger transparency.

Alpinetrek.co.uk is the British site of the well-established German online shop Bergfreunde. I have been working together since many years with Alpinetrek and was very happy that they agreed to come on board for this series. Alpinetrek carries a wide assortment of brands, from Houdini to Patagonia, Salomon, Ortovox and Rab and also smaller brands which aren’t that well known yet. Their benefit definitely is that wide assortment, and while you won’t find many cottage brands in their shop, you still can put together a solid ultralight list. Another of their benefits is in my opinion that they carry such a large r..

The One Stop Shop Series kicks off with a list from Alpinetrek.co.uk!

One Stop Shop 2019

Disclosure: This article has been supported financially from Bergfreunde. As you know: I’m keepin’ it real and tell you how it is – I maintain full editorial control of the content published on Hiking in Finland. Read the Transparency Disclaimer for more information on affiliate links & blogger transparency.

Alpinetrek.co.uk is the British site of the well-established German online shop Bergfreunde. I have been working together since many years with Alpinetrek and was very happy that they agreed to come on board for this series. Alpinetrek carries a wide assortment of brands, from Houdini to Patagonia, Salomon, Ortovox and Rab and also smaller brands which aren’t that well known yet. Their benefit definitely is that wide assortment, and while you won’t find many cottage brands in their shop, you still can put together a solid ultralight list. Another of their benefits is in my opinion that they carry such a large range of garments – this is great and allows you to get your hiking socks and boxershorts at the same time that you are ordering your shelter and sleeping bag! But without much further ado, here is the list which they sent us:

Item Name Weight Price
Backpack Osprey Levity 60 850 g £237.95
Sleeping bag Rab Neutrino 400 Sleeping Bag 795 g £331.95
Mattress Therm-A-Rest NeoAir Uberlite Regular 227 g £179.95
Shelter Nordisk Voss PU Tarp Green 850 g £63.95
Stove Esbit CS985 Set 417 g £40.95
Pot
Cutlery Sea To Summit Alpha Light Cutlery Long Spork 12 g £6.95
Knife Morakniv Eldris 177 g £29.50
Cup Kupilka 21 80 g £15.95
Waterfilter Katadyn BeFree 1l 63 g £43.95
T-Shirt Patagonia Cap Cool Trail Shirt 130 g £34.95
Longsleeve Ortovox 150 Cool Logo L/S 176 g £83.95
Trekking pants Arc’teryx Palisade Pants 310 g £113.95
Fleece Houdini Outright Houdi 291 g £142.95
Insulation Haglöfs L.I.M Essens Jacket 165 g £182.95
Wind jacket Rab Vital Windshell Hoody 160 g £49.95
Rain pants Montane Minimus Pants 150 g £98.95
Rain jacket Marmot PreCip Eco Plus Jacket 292 g £116.06
Shoes Inov-8 X-Talon 210 420 g £118.95
Lamp Petzl e+LITE Headlamp 25 g £21.56
Trekking Poles Swix Sonic Pro Trail Carbon 335 g £107.55
Navigation Suunto Spartan Ultra Black 77 g £414.71

Total Weight: 6.002 g

Total Price: £2.437,58 (in today’s exchange rate that’s 2.822,26 €)

Price per g: £0,40 (0,46 €)

One Stop Shop: Alpinetrek.co.uk

My thoughts on the list:

  • Very nice mix of brands for the Big 3. The Levity is a solid pack for beginners and experienced hikers alike, as is the sleeping setup (I expect we will see the Uberlite in a lot of lists this time around!). It’s nice to see the choice of a tarp for sleeping, it’s still one of my favourite ways to sleep outside. With a weight of 2.722 g for these four items the Big 3 are also well under 3 kg.

  • A very nice lightweight stove and kitchen Setup. The Esbit CS985 Set can use both solid fuel and alcohol to boil water, with the StS Long Spork you can eat directly from the bag, the Eldris is a solid knife which is good for all camp tasks and while the BeFree Waterfilter has some issues with the flask it’s a solid waterfilter which is really easy to use.

  • The whole clothing setup is 2.094 g, if you subtract the rain garments which are hopefully most of the time in your pack, and some of the insulation pieces you get a worn weight of 1.311 g including the shoes! That’s really good, and as I have used some of these garments myself I can tell you also that they are really durable!

  • The eLite is still a good choice for summer, though I personally would like something slightly heavier and with more Lumen for spring and autumn. The trekking poles are good and as I myself also use the Spartan Ultra I can not find a fault in having it in this list – except it really is quite pricey.

  • Overall a very good lightweight list with a nice choice of gear. Maybe a bit pricey because of the inclusion of the Spartan Ultra, but other than that I find that a very good list which gets you lightweight on the trail in one go!

Keep in mind that these lists are suggestions! If you for example rather spend a bit less and get a bit more heavy backpack like the Osprey Exos or Gregory Optic – then it is easy to get those packs at Alpinetrek. Similarly, if you feel that you are happy with your hiking shoes or headlamp – just leave these out. Read Carsten’s take on this list in German over on his blog!

At the end of the series I will compare all lists which each other, so definitely make sure you subscribe and follow along to not miss out.

Chilling at Sunset

Disclosure: The One Stop Shop Series was Carsten’s idea back in the day. The 2019 Series we have created together and you can read his take on the different lists in German on his blog, and you can read my take over here in English. Furthermore, we have been remunerated for our time by the individual shops.

Enjoyed this article? Support me on Patreon and get some useful rewards (like hanging out on Discord with me, where you can pick my brains!) or buy me a coffee – I work Full-Time on Hiking in Finland to bring you inspiring trip reports, in-depth gear reviews and the latest news from the outdoors. You also could subscribe to the rarer-than-ever Newsletter and follow along on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Youtube for more outdoorsy updates!

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