Some of the items used and my comments are listed below.
MLD Trailstar, a wonderfully roomy shelter that is easily pitched and when pitched tight will deflect winds from all directions.
Aarn Mountain Magic 55, a pack ideally suited for trips of 4 to 8 days in my view, carries well and the front pockets are a bonus. This trip I was very pleased to have the waterproof liners which kept everything dry in what was extended periods of heavy rain.
BPL 240 Quilt, this was the first trip for this quilt and I was pleased with it and at all times was I warm (a little too warm), temperatures were never below zero but I feel comfortable in taking this quilt as part of my sleep system into sub zero temperatures.
Katabatic Bristlecone Bivy, not really needed in the Trailstar however the bivy provides ideal protection from drafts in windy weather. I used the bivy on top of my Neo Air this time and was pleased with the minimal slip between the bivy and the mattress, I will experiment further with this approach.
Stoves, I took 2 stoves on this trip to compare fuel usage, the stoves were the Monatauk Gnat, and the Compact Caldera cone, both used with the Evernew 1 litre Past Pot. Both stoves performed well and were used, with care, inside the Trailstar. I only ever boil water and for a day I boil approximately 1.5 litres of water. The fuel consumption figures were interesting:
Monatauk Gnat: 22 gms of gas per 1 litre of water, reflecting similar figures when used in Vålådalen in May 2010.
Caldera Cone: 25 gms of alcohol per 1 litre of water.
In my view the conditions were the same for both stoves and a windshield was used with the gas stove.
Paramo Vista Jacket, for this trip I wore the new lighter weight Vista jacket, in XL it weighs 660 gms which is a 200 gram saving over the Third Element Jacket (which is to be discontinued). I was pleased with the jacket and partnered with a silkbody long sleeve shirt I never over heated and it repelled all the rain that it was subjected to.
Wednesday, 27 October 2010
Sunday, 24 October 2010
I attended a family christening (Barnedåb) before commencing my travels to Jutland. Interestingly Danish Railways (DSB) were offering a special on upgrades to first class and I decided to try it. Apart from an endless supply of coffee, fruit, biscuits and water, the peace allowed me to read Erin and Higs book The long trek home a wonderful book about the environment, conservation and the will to survive, a book I very much recommend. I alighted from the train at Tornby at 5:30 in the evening and with a 3 km walk to the campsite I quickly set off to make the most of the remaining daylight. Passing through the outskirts of Tornby I noted that there were several people out for a walk in the pleasant evening light. No doubt some of them wondered why there was a backpacker heading out of town at this hour of the evening. I soon entered the forest which was a mixture of pine and beech and arrived at the shelter place where I intended to camp, finding a nice spot in the lee of the trees I quickly set up my Trailstar and settled down to cook dinner and enjoy the moonlit evening. Soon I was in bed eagerly anticipating the coming days walk which would take me to the top of Jutland.
There was some rain during the night and the morning brought with it grey skies and with the prediction of rain late in the day I soon set off towards the coast and the Hirtshals.
The trail firstly took me towards the coast before heading inland through the forests of Tornby Klitplantage before returning to the coast at Tornby Strand. Following the trail along the coast I soon arrived at Hirtshals Fyr (lighthouse) which provides wonderful views of Hirtshals as well as bunkers from the second world war.
Descending into Hirtshals the rain began to fall as I passed by the port with its collection of fishing vessels as well as ferries bound for Norway.
I was happy to leave Hirtshals and continue my trek north through Lilleheden Klitplantage with its autumn colours and still waters.
The trail paid a brief return visit to the coast at Uggerby Strand with its broad firm sand providing easy walking along with access for motor vehicles.
I returned inland to follow the forested paths past the Uggerby Tårn (tower) before arriving at the campsite adjacent to Uggerby Å. The campsite consisted of space for 2 small tents a bench and a small fireplace, it was sheltered from the wind and it was soon evident that the trailstar would accumulate condensation. No sooner was camp set up, the rain started which persisted all night so the following morning after the rain had ceased I was left to pack a very wet shelter. It appeared that the weather may improve and the first views of Tannisby strand were further evidence of a good day.
The early morning sunshine provided interesting tones on the sand dunes providing a wonderful contrast of colours, light and shadows.
Thursday, 21 October 2010
Just back from a wonderful trip along the west coast of Jylland to Grenen, the top of Denmark. With magnificent beaches, beautiful autumnal forests and large migrating sand dunes, it was a very enjoyable trip. A report will follow in the coming days.
Sunday, 10 October 2010
The Nord Sydleden starts on the Kust to Kustleden at the top of Skånelån and continues south to the coast at Malmö, Ystad and Trelleborg. I chose to walk a short section from just north of Hässleholm to Vittsjö on the Kust to Kustleden, which gave me access to public transport. It was a grey and misty morning as I alighted from the bus at Hörlinge gård and with the rain beginning to fall I soon had my Montane Featherlite pants on and was glad to be wearing my Paramo Third Element jacket, though I soon found that the Ibex Merino Hoody was a little warm and swapped to a silkbody top which worked nicely with the jacket. Following a forestry road for about 2 kilomteres the trail then turned north through the forest and farm land, before crossing the main road and entering the Vedema strövområde (walking area) which is criss crossed by trails, streams as well as delightful lakes.
The rain had stopped by the time I reached Barsjön and with only the hint of a breeze it was a pleasant resting point.
Beyond the lake the trail continued through the forests before arriving at the immaculate camping and shelter area of Hågnarp with two shelters, camp sites tap water, I could just imagine how busy it would be in good weather, but today I was alone.
Leaving Hågnarp, the trail bordered farmland and the mist covered fields were quiet with no evidence of grazing animals.
The walk provides many historical interludes including stone walls, old bridges, former houses as well as what is described as " one of the best-preserved linbastorna (a house where flax was prepared) in northeast Scania" as described in the guide.
Soon after passing the linbastorna I arrived at Olastorp shelter, a nice shelter with a rapidly flowing stream nearby. I chose to set the Spinntwinn up above the shelter it provided wonderful view of the small valley below as well as the sunrise the following morning.
After a leisurely start I set off firstly along a minor road before heading along an old forestry trail I was just happy to wander along the trail, and whilst there was no outstanding views with the sunshine and changing colours it provided a pleasant walking experience.
As I wandered I was quite taken by the different colours of the ferns and the way the leaves glistened in the sunlight.
Along the way I greeted by an interesting figure suggesting which way I should go.
Finally I arrived at Vittsjö and awaited a bus that would take me home, reflecting on a pleasant walk in Skåne, I will return.
This was the third trip I have used the Salomon XT Wings 2, and I continue to be happy with them, there was a few spots where the grip was challenged but with many forestry trails and well used foot trails they were ideal. When I next return to the Skåne forests I will probably bring my Speedcross 2's.
It was my first trip with my Western Mountaineering Hooded Flash Jacket, thanks to Martin's informative review, I decided to give it a go as I was looking for a warm down jacket for 3 season use, I was not disappointed and will be using it on coming trips and may pair it with a BPL Cocoon hoody for winter use.
I used a Gossamer Gear Spinntwinn for this trip and was as expected very happy with its utility, though I did think that I would prefer a mid for some trips.
The star of the trip was hrXXLight bouillon, I mixed this with 3 minute noodles and it was a very tasty change from cheap flavoured noodle mixes, I am now exploring other dehydrated bouillon options.
So as one trip ends another is planned to the coasts of Jylland, stay tuned.