Hiking - Equipment

My equipment and check list. Everything is not needed, it depends on the aim of the tour. I have more or less abandoned freeze-dried food, instead do I have tinned food. It is heavier, but not much and it tastes better. The first days do I try to have smoked fish or meat. The most important thing is to have good equipment. This list is a guideline only, but I have had use of everything, though I do not of course bring all of it. The details depends on the purpose of the hike.

It is difficult to give advice about equipment, especially to compare between manufacturers. I will not say much about manufacturers, but try to limit myself to some basic essential things, which I think most people agree about. Those I have talked with that said never again after a hike, surprisingly many, have all failed in one or more of the basics.

Your feets will hate you if you don't have good hiking shoes that they are used to. If it is rubber or leather boots is up to you. I use rubber boots since I find it more convenient when walking at places with many brooks and wet areas. But they are no so good at stony areas or on trails. I have in any case to carefully clean my feets every evening and put on skin cream, else I will get chaps.

A good rain suit for you and your rucksack is a must, it costs but it is worth it. As an extra precaution do I pack everything in plastic bags. One must be able to walk a whole day in rain without getting wet.

The tent is your home whatever the weather is. It must be designed to survive rain and storm, and have a mosquito net at one entrance. Make sure you are familiar with the tent in beforehand, it is very difficult to rise it in rain and/or storm if you have not done it before. I test the boots, rain suit and tent well in advance.

The bed, i.e. the sleeping bag, should keep you warm down to at least minus five centigrades. Else you will freeze during the cold summernights. Temperatures around zero are not that unusual during nights. Don't forget to have something that isolate towards the ground, foam or air (thermarest). The summer can be cold, bring with you warm sweater, underwear, gloves and cap.

I think a framed rucksack is better than without frame when walking in Sarek, this is my own view, others think different. Your back must take it as well, if you have not carried it before, go out and do it. I good training exercise as well. One do not need to be an athlete to walk in Sarek, a normal shape is enough. Though it helps if it is better. I keep my normal shape by cycling to the work, jog 5 km twice a week, and once a month take a 10 km walk in the forest where I live.

Time, plan your hike such that you do not need to be in a hurry the last day. Take into account that about twenty percent of time you do not walk because of bad weather, tired, lazy, a nice place. So an eight day trip will contain roughly six walking days, a comfortable first tour in Sarek. We walk about 15 km per day. We have found that 45 minutes of walking and then 15 min break, during which one eat some snack and drink a lot, suits us. One get very hungry, bring food that give energy. Chocolate give energy fast, but do not last for long. Good when one is tired, and need fast energy. We use a Trangia with a liquid burner as the kitchen, other prefer gas which give more uniform heat. The fuel may not be brought on the airplane. The liquid fuel, T-röd (methylated spirit), can be bought in most supply shops, but one must ask for it since it contain alcohol and some tries to drink it.

I drink the water directly from lakes or brooks. I avoid small ponds where there is no circulation of the water, and lakes/brooks where the water is muddy. There is no problem in finding water. It happens in very rare cases that people get sick, e.g. if there is a dead animal nearby in the water of it has urinated or... One can not protect oneself from everything. Everybody drink the water as is without fear, it tastes very good. I have a plastic bottle for 0.7 litre, which I fill with water for drinking while walking.