The fourth time in Denmark, Fjällräven Classic Denmark offers a hiking experience on one of Denmarks’ most beautiful nature sights, the South Funen Archipelago-trail (Sydfynske Øhav – Øhavsstien). The hike has its starting point by the harbor of Faldsled and had a distance of 75 km (although I covered 79 km on this hike), with the goal line at Valdemars Slot, on Tåsinge, near the town Svendborg.
My base weight for this hike was 4.7 kg.
A photo of my gear and some details on Instagram below and Flickr here.
Wednesday 28th June 2017 at 9am. There are approximately 800 participants this year, about 400 starting today and the rest tomorrow. There were a lot of participants from Germany this time. We set off in light rain from Faldsled harbour. I am in the first starting group. Once again this year people are looking at my light pack and wondering how I can survive the next three days without 25 kg on my back.
After about an hour the rain stops and the rest of the day we experience sunshine and no rain. At lunch time it is hot. This year the checkpoint, located at Østrup, has been moved 500 meters down the road. It is a lovely spot with a nice grass area and some tables and chairs. I take my trail shoes off and walk around on the grass. It was such lovely weather and a nice spot so we decide to take a long break chatting with people from all over the globe. I got talking with a guy from Taiwan. I camped next to him later that night.
At around the 20 km mark there is a shop. You can buy beer and other cold drinks there too or hot drinks for that matter. I settled for an old fashion soft ice-cream in a cone. I didn’t make these stops last year and raced through the trail. I decided that I would not do that this year as I wanted to enjoy the scenery and socialise with people from all over the globe.
At around the 26 km mark we arrive at camp one at Holstenshuus. The winds have really got up now and it is storming with gusts at around 18 m/s. It blows like this for the rest of the night. Although I put my ear plugs in and slept like a baby. However we are still lucky at this stage as the rain is keeping a distance with just some light precipitation. I managed to pack my shelter away dry on day two.
Thursday 29th June 2017
Today we make our way down to the coastline again. We start off in some light rain. There is some good tree coverage in the forest so rain protection is not needed at this stage. However, the situation would soon be changed in many ways.
Last year and the other years the trail followed the stoney beach up to Præstens Skov. This was not possible this year as the water level was too high. There was no beach and no stones to hike on. Therefore we traversed inland on bitumen roads until we reached the checkpoint and the lunch break. Then the skies opened up and this is how the weather would remain the rest of the hike.
I put on my rain skirt and my light rain jacket as the wind was blowing sideways too. Sitting under my trekking umbrella I managed to consume my lunch whilst being entertained with everyone else trying to do the same with traditional rain gear and ponchos.
After lunch the skies really opened up and we had a solid downpour of rain. I was actually really enjoying myself as I was quite comfortable under my trekking umbrella.
I guess I arrived at camp two at Egebjerg at around 2:30 pm. Being one of the first ones there I found a nice flat spot to pitch my shelter for the night. I was quite lucky as when I had to pitch the rain stopped and when I was all setup the skies opened up again. Then the rain didn’t really stop after that. I had a nice little nap for a couple of hours whilst waiting for the rest to make it to camp. They kept arriving until about 6:00 pm. Here is a little video of the rain pouring down on my Zpacks Duplex shelter with the door open on the sheltered side away from the winds.
Some guy also asked me if I was a little concerned about getting wet in my shelter as it was really going to rain tonight. I said to him that I didn’t really understand the question. He thought that because my shelter was so thin that the rain would eventually come through. I had to explain to him that it is actually watertight and that I have used the shelter all through winter and through storms too!
Friday 30th June 2017
I was lucky again today. The rains stopped enough for me to pack my camp down and when I had fastened the last straps on my pack and was ready to rock and roll, the skies opened up again. Once again it was a rain skirt and umbrella day. But no rain jacket was necessary as the winds had settled down and it was quite warm. I had a little chuckle looking around at everyone in rain pants and rain jackets and “hot” hiking boots. People were really suffering now with foot blisters too! Quite a few had also dropped out of the event. Some people asked me if I was concerned about my feet getting wet. I replied “water in, water out”.
I didn’t take anymore photos today as the rain simply didn’t stop all day. However at lunch time I sat in under the bridge at Svendborg and managed to keep dry. I finished at about 13:30 pm. No pics as it was pouring rain.
I had a lot of people inquire about my pack and setup again just like last year. I always seem to attract a fair bit of attention with my Hyperlite Mountain Gear Windrider 2400 pack and my Zpacks Duplex shelter just to name a few. Quite a few people are genuinely interested in hearing about the advantages of going lighter. I shared my experiences and knowledge of lightweight backpacking, giving tips on websites where they can purchase some lightweight gear etc.
I had one piece of gear that failed on me. However, I first noticed this when I arrived home. It was my Zpacks Dyneema Composite dry bag that I use for storing my quilt. It was still watertight, however the sewn seam was starting to open up. I repaired it with some Dyneema Composite repair tape and the seam is good to go again. No matter what they say, these dry bags just won’t last when you are compressing them in my experience. I think that I will start using my Zpacks Dyneema Composite pack liner again in the future. It is like a large dry bag for my pack (44 liters, 58 g).
Updated November 20th 2018
I have now been using HMG PODS for some time now. They are expensive but worth it in my opinion.
Some people laughed at me in my rain skirt and trekking umbrella asking what I had on under my kilt etc. But I also heard some comments behind me like “he’s the smart one you know, he’s not cooking/sweating under that umbrella like we are in these rain pants and rain jackets”. But at the end of the day, I was the one that was dry when we reached the finish line and my feet were ready for another 75 km.
Updated November 20th 2018