We start our epic expedition with a journey through Scandinavia in just a few short days! We start at the very northern tip, in North Cape (Norwegian: Nordkapp), and follow the Scandinavian mountain range south. Bouncing back and forth between Norway, Finland, and Sweden along the way and exiting onto continental Europe via Denmark. We plan to follow the E1 European Long Distance Path for this section, before jumping on the E9 path once we hit Germany.
Our expedition gear
On an expedition like this, one spanning several years, seasons and continents, gear will change depending on the circumstances along the way. This is what we are starting with on day one at North Cape. We will update some of it and also include winter gear before leaving Scandinavia later on this fall.
More on the gear in this post
Base weight: 9 kg.
brand size/info grams backpack: Osprey Aura AG 65 62L 1900g rain cover: Osprey Ultralight L 90g waterproof pack bags: Sea to Summit/ Osprey misc misc compression dry sack: Sea to Summit UltraSil eVent (sleeping bag) S 90g SLEEPING inflatable mat: Therm-a-Rest Neoair XTherm L max 652g (summer) sleeping bag: Western Mountaineering Alpinlite (-7C) mummy (wide) 880g (winter) sleeping bag: Marmot Lithium mummy 1176g pillow: Sea to Summit Aeros Ultralight 60g COOKING spork (titanium) 20g Wildo vikkåsa (folding cup) 0.6L 46g WATER Platypus Hoser bladder 3L 120g TOOLS & MISC trekking poles: Black Diamond Trail Pro 490g multi-tool: Leatherman Style CS 41g Therm-a-Rest Z-seat 42g headlamp: Petzl Bindi (200ln) 35g accessories toiletries valuables TECHNOLOGIES iPhone 8 148g Lifeproof (waterproof case) 42g Lexar lightning jumpdrive C25i 128gb 10g APPS Gaia GPS navigation DayOne Journal journalling iMovie movie editing Spotify music/podcasts Social media Weather/tidal apps Messenger calling/messaging home CLOTHES > Walking (1) Leather boots Lundhags Jaure mid LT 2 (2) Salomon SalomonQuest Prime GTX (3) Salomon Robson Mid GTX Sports bra Kari Traa Driva Merino t-shirt Icebreaker Windbreaker/midlayer Patagonia Houdini Air 102g Shorts Craft Windproof tights Kari Traa Merino socks Icebreaker (x2) Merino liner socks Smartwool (x2) > Reinforcement Weatherproof jacket Norrøna Trollveggen (Gore-Tex) Weatherproof Pants Marmot PreCip Merino hoodie Norrøna Puffy jacket Rab Microlight Alpine > Sleeping/ camp Merino thermal sweater Kari Traa Ulla half-zip Merino thermal pants Kari Traa Ulla Merino boxers Peak Performance Merino tank top Smartwool Merino socks Darn Tough > Accessories Buff SPF 50 (half) Sun visor Craft Merino beanie Arc'teryx Gloves The North Face Weatherproof shell glove Outdoor Research Alpine gaiters Rab Latok (eVent)
Base weight: 9 kg.
brand size/info grams backpack: Osprey Atmos AG 65 65L 2190g rain cover: Osprey Ultralight L 90g waterproof pack bags: Sea to Summit/ Osprey misc misc compression dry sack: Sea to Summit UltraSil eVent (sleeping bag) S 90g SLEEPING inflatable mat: Therm-a-Rest Neoair XTherm L max 652g (summer)sleeping bag: Western Mountaineering TerraLite (-4C) semi-rectangular 820g (winter)sleeping bag: Marmot Lithium mummy 1176g pillow: Sea to Summit Aeros Ultralight 60g COOKING spork (titanium) 20g Wildo vikkåsa (folding cup) 0.6L 46g CoffeeBrew coffee filter Sea to Summit WATER Platypus Hoser bladder 3L 120g Stainless bottle Kleen Kanteen TOOLS & MISC trekking poles: Black Diamond Trail Pro 490g knife: Leatherman Skeletool KB 37g Therm-a-Rest Z-seat 42g headlamp: Petzl Bindi (200ln) 35g accessories toiletries valuables TECHNOLOGIES iPhone 8 148g Lifeproof (waterproof case) 42g Lexar lightning jumpdrive C25i 128gb 10g APPS Gaia GPS navigation iOverlander route planning Couchsurfing logistics Spotify music/podcasts Social media Weather/tidal apps Messenger calling/messaging home CLOTHES > Walking (1) Leather boots Lundhags Jaure mid LT 2 (2) Salomon SalomonQuest Prime GTX (3) Salomon Robson mid GTX Merino t-shirt Icebreaker Windbreaker/mid layer Patagonia Houdini Air 116g Shorts Nike running (Dri Fit) Windproof tights Craft Merino socks Smartwool (x2) Merino liner socks Smartwool (x2) > Reinforcement Weatherproof jacket Norrøna Falketind (Gore-Tex) Weatherproof pants Marmot PreCip Puffy jacket Outdoor Research Pertex Quantum (down) > Sleeping/ camp Merino thermal t-shirt Aclima Merino thermal pants Smartwool Merino boxers Icebreaker Socks Coolmax > Accessories Merino buff Buff Beanie Patagonia Sun cap/ hat Arcteryx Gloves The North Face Weatherproof shell glove Outdoor Research
brand size/info grams SLEEPING (summer) tent: Hilleberg Rogen 2-pers, 3 season 2100g (winter) tent: Hilleberg Allak2 2-pers, all season 3300g COOKING MSR Whisperlite Universal Combo multi fuel cooker 276g MSR fuel bottle 591 ml 134g MSR Ceramic Solo Pot 1.3 L 210g WATER Sawyer Squeeze filter 77g Evernew/Sawyer (filter water sacks) 2L 42g TOOLS & MISC First aid kit The Deuce of Spades potty trowel 17g TECHNOLOGIES Ocean Signal rescueME PLB1 emergency beacon 116g Anker PowerCore 13000 mAh 240g Anker Dual USB Solar Charger 15W 354g
The route – following the E1 European long-distance path
The path stretches 2.105 km, and holds 60.000 waymarks on either cairns or tree stems all the way, except through Børgefjell National Park; regulations for Børgefjell National Park prohibits waymarkers. To leave the national park you need to catch a ferry The route between Nordkapp and Grövelsjön does in part go in very remote areas with very few shelters and very little service available. Parts of the path are unmarked so you need to find your own route.
The route of 1300 km consist mostly of narrow footpaths running through the forested hills of middle Sweden and avoids most population centers. There are not many shops along the route so it may be necessary to plan or go off-route for supplies. The paths are printed on the Swedish topographic maps so special maps or guidebooks are not necessary. Wild camping in Sweden is not only allowed, but it is also a tradition, but mind you, so is leave-no-trace. Look up the amazing “freedom to roam” law (Swedish: allemansrätten), or check out this quick video. The path starts at Grövelsjön (Lake Grövel), which lies near the Norwegian-Swedish border near Idre. It uses a series of connecting established paths down to the city of Varberg, on the coast south of Göteborg, from where the ferry to Grenaa in Denmark sails.
The total length of the route in Denmark is 325 km. Camping in the wild is not allowed in Denmark, there are however primitive campsites (Danish: lejrplads) along the route which commonly have room to pitch a few tents, water tap or pump and a simple toilet and are often free to use. The route takes the walker along easy going paths and quiet roads through the rolling Danish landscape. It often visits larger towns so other forms of accommodation are possible and supplies are no problem. You can also use one of the many shelters, which are placed along the route and found on waymarked trail maps.
For most of our expedition, except for a few exceptions in Scandinavia, we will live in our tent. We will take a much-needed zero-day in a family cabin in Sälen and stay with family for a couple of nights in Göteborg on our way south. In Norway, we might make use of the extensive cabin network maintained by the Norwegian Trekking Association (in short DNT). Out of the 500 cabins, about 450 of them are self-service or no-service cabins accessible with a DNT-key. Members of the Nordic tourist associations may borrow a key against a deposit of NOK 100, which is refunded upon return. We have borrowed a key but since we have a very limited budget we will only use it in the case of an emergency.
Scandinavia is probably one of the most logistically demanding resupply routes, at least in the first two years of this expedition. The distances and sheer remoteness of the trails make for long food carries and in some cases a need to send up resupply boxes to postoffices of mountain station en route.
Nordkapp to Hattir
– 102 km
– Supermarket in Russenes, Norway (8 km east off trail)
Hattir to Maze
– 182 km
– Maze post office – resupply box
Maze to Kautokeino
– 60 km
– Supermarket in Kautokeino
Kautokeino to Kilpisjarvi
– 192 km
– Supermarket in Kilpisjärvi, Finland
Kilpisjarvi to Abisko
– 183 km
– STF Abisko mountain station, Sweden – resupply box
Abisko to Vaisaluokta
– 202 km
– Ferry to STF Ritsem, Sweden – resupply box
Vaisaluokta to Sulitjelma
– 98 km
– Supermarket in Sulitjelma, Norway
Sulitjelma to Lenstua
– 90 km
– Supermarket in Rognan, Norway (hitch E6 north)
Lenstua to Umbukta
– 122 km
– Supermarket in Mo I Rana, Norway (hitch or bus E12 north)
Umbukta to Knausen
– 203 km
– Supermarket in Knausen, Norway
Knausen to Skjelbredtunet
– 86 km
– Post office in Nordli, Norway – resupply box (hitch east on 74)
Skjelbredtunet to Teveltunet
– 225 km
– Supermarket in Järpen, Sweden, (long hitch east on E14 to Järpen 70km)
– *Visit Lundhags Factory
Teveltunet to Roros
– 154 km
– Supermarket in Roros, Norway
Roros to Grövelsjön
– 102 km
– STF Grövelsjön mountain station, Sweden – resupply box
Grövelsjön to Sälen
– 172 km
– Supermarket in Sälen, Sweden
– *Rest day in Tandådalen
Sälen to Mora
– 107 km
– Supermarket in Mora
Mora to Mockfjärd
– 124 km
– Supermarket in Mockfjärd
Mockfjärd to Smedjebacken
– 70 km
– Supermarket in Smedjebacken
From here on down we are winging it as we pass supermarkets regularly.