Kungsleden August 2018 – Gear discussion – what I didn’t use – what worked

I published my official packing list on August 5th 2018. In this article I’ll go down my list and omit the items where I don’t feel the need to discuss and I’ll talk about the ones that either were not used or worked well for me.

Skåneleden SL2 - Sections 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 & 21

  • Altra Lone Peak 3.5 shoes 632g
  • Injinji Trail Midweight Mini Crew Toe socks 55g

I love these two guys! I hiked from Abisko to Nikkaluokta in my Altra Lone Peak 3.5 trail shoes and my Injinji toe socks. I walked straight through all the water crossings that came my way. Water came in my shoes and water came out. My shoes & socks dried while I was walking. On trail both my socks and shoes were dry every morning. My feet were ready for another 114 km when I was done. I had no feet issues whatsoever. No blisters, no sores … nothing. I carried a total pack weight between of 10 – 11 kg with water, fuel and food for 5 days. This combination works for me and I have been wearing these shoes and socks on all my hikes since the beginning of 2018.

  • Montane 2017 Terra Pack Pants 282g

These are great hiking trousers. They are light and quick drying. My only two complaints are that they need a map pocket and the two side pockets are not deep enough. When it is too hot I just roll up the legs and I have a pair of shorts. The legs don’t fall down after you roll them up. I don’t use the little fastening straps located on the trousers’ legs. They are located too far down the leg to be of any use in my opinion.

SL2 Sections 4 & 5

  • Tread Lite Gear Chest Pack / Front Pouch Cuben Fiber including shoulder strap 69g

I used this piece of gear a lot. I had it with me constantly all the way up to Abisko on the trains. When I visited the mountain huts away from my camp it accompanied me. And on the flights home it was my carry on bag along with my trekking poles.

  • trekking poles: Black Diamond Trail 480g

I can definitely go lighter but the trekking poles work for me and I don’t carry them on my back in my pack. I carried my trekking poles on board as “carry on luggage”. This was permitted. I flew with Norwegian and I flew out of Kiruna. I asked before going through security at Kiruna Airport and they said it was fine. I really thought that they would not be allowed. I was sort of willing to leave them behind if I had to. I’ve had a lot of use out of them. I landed in Stockholm and I was there for about 4 hours. Then after the flight being late I flew to Copenhagen. Even though I didn’t go through security again in Stockholm, no one questioned me about my trekking poles. I used the little plastic bracket thingy that came with the original packaging, that held them together, and put the rubber caps on the tips as well so they were sort of held together as one unit and didn’t look threatening. I didn’t pack my poles inside my pack because they are too long even if I dismantled them into 6 sections. And then there was no room in my pack anyway because it was full with the rest of my gear.

The King's Trail (Kungsleden)

  • fuel storage soda bottle (500ml) 40g + 5g Speedster pouring top

I packed 500 ml fuel in a soda bottle. This was way too much. I only used approximately 200 ml. I disposed of the rest “environmentally correct” at the hotel’s recycle depot in Kiruna. I had put some drops of pink food dye into the fuel before I left home, but the sun faded the dye. I’ll have to remember to put more in next time, just to give it that “DON’T DRINK” look. The Speedster pouring top was not a success; it leaked. My idea of taking the soda bottle was that I knew that I couldn’t take it back with me on the flight and I didn’t want to leave my good Vargo or my TLD bottles behind. I’ll have to look for a smaller disposable bottle next time.

Stormin Stove Sytems

  • cooking pot from Stormin Stove Systems 197g

I think this this was a great solution for me for this hike. I didn’t have much room in my pack at the start of the hike because of all the food and this piece of gear didn’t take up much place. It worked for me. I wouldn’t say that this is my favorite kitchen. That would defiantly be my Evernew 900 ml pot and my Stormin cone and stove. I wrote a quick review about the soaking pot when I returned home here. Please keep in mind that I have only used it on this hike and a trial before I left home in July 2018.

  • mosquito head-net Sea to Summit 25g
  • DEET bug repellent to be purchased in Sweden if required. Not sure what it weighs but I have allocated 70g

I never used the head-net at all and I never used or ended up purchasing any DEET either. I hardly noticed any insects the whole time. It was only when I came through to tree-line after Kebnekaise that I noticed some insects, although they were not that annoying. The area around the boat jetty after Kebnekaise in particular is renowned for mosquitoes, so I must of been lucky.

  • rain mitts Montane Minimus Mitt Pertex Shield / Waterproof 53g
  • waterproof socks DexShell Ultra Thin Waterproof (my dry socks) 61g
  • gloves light spring/autum gloves with windbreak 66g
  • sunglasses Ray Ban prescription 37g
  • sunblock 30 SFP 45g

I didn’t use any of the 5 above items but I would still take them with me next time. Some items you just can’t go down on.

  • StickPic – The selfie stick adapter 11g
  • tripod GorillaPod with mobile holder 5,5″ 66g

I never used my SticPic or the tripod. I think that I’ll still take the tripod with me next time but leave the SticPic at home. I’m not a big fan of the SticPic.

  • power bank Anker PowerCore 10000 mAh 200g

The above power bank was all I used and all I needed for the 5 days on trail. When using the iPhone in flight mode you don’t use much battery. I also took all my photos and my video footage with the iPhone. I don’t have any other camera with me. I also used the iPhone Topo GPS App. It uses the phone’s GPS and I downloaded the section of the map that I needed to use before I lefte home. The App doesn’t use much battery and I have used this App for a couple of years now so I think know what I’m talking about here.

  • power bank Medion 5.200 mAh 148g

This was not needed and I will not pack it next time for a 5 day hike.

  • Katadyn BeFree water bottle and filter 0.6 ltr 59g

I don’t care what folks say. I always filter my water. This is a light and great piece of gear that worked for me.

  • Patagonia Strider Shorts 7″ Black 110g *

The above shorts were not used and not needed. When it is too hot I just roll up the legs on my Montane hiking pants and I have a pair of shorts. The legs don’t fall down after you roll them up. I wouldn’t take the Patagonia Strider shorts next time.

Kungsleden 2018 Packing List

  • Garmin GPSMAP 64st including 2 ea batteries in shoulder strap pocket 228g
  • GPS batteries extra batteries 8 ea for GPS 196g

I wanted to track my journey and also use my Garmin GPSMAP 64st for checking my position when necessary. However I navigated with my map, compass and the Topo GPS App on my iPhone instead. I hardly used the Garmin GPSMAP 64st and after the 2nd day it was not used. I could of saved the weight plus the extra batteries that I packed. This was also the advice I received before I my trip; I should’ve listened. Next time the Garmin GPSMAP 64st and the extra batteries will not be on my packing list on a hike such as Kungsleden.

I only turned on the inReach when I needed it. The batteries will run for at least 100 hours. When I returned home I think it was at 95%. Using my DeLorme inReach SE satellite communicator I communicated twice a day back home to my family and sharing on social media while hiking Kungsleden. I regretted not installing the Garmin iPhone App “Earthmate”. This App syncs the inReach to my iPhone. I wanted to send a couple of text messages home instead of the pre-typed free messages typed in on the website. But every time I only got a couple of words typed before I gave up and deleted the draft. Since returning home I have now installed the App and tested it and it is just like sending text messages like I do every day. Next time I’ll be more prepared.

 

IMG_3333

  • As Tucas Foratata Quilt / 450g 900 cuin down / custom collar / Regular / L / 690g

The quilt is a custom order that I had manufactured specifically for this adventure. This was my favorite piece of gear on this hike! It was brilliant; when it got cooler I could close it up a bit and when it was warmer I just opened it up. It feels great to the touch too. Every time I unpacked it, it lofted to the glorious form that it should be. You just can’t help touching it and feeling it. It’s a great piece of gear.

LIGHTING

  • Asivik H Mini headlamp including HMG small stuff sack 31g
  • 2 X 3V CR2032 button batteries 9g

I didn’t use my headlamp once. Next time I would still pack it but I would just install new batteries in it and leave the spares at home packing just 31 grams instead of 40 grams. I was just too lazy and thought 9 grams is nothing but it all adds up.

The King's Trail (Kungsleden)

  • duct tape
  • HMG Windrider 3400 Pack (55 ltr) 908g

Above, my HMG Windrider 3400 pack all wrapped up and ready for the flight home to Copenhagen from Kiruna, Sweden. I used all the duct tape that I had packed in the repair kit. This was also my plan and when I arrived at Kiruna airport there was a bench area there where I could wrap additional tape around “the package” and tie on some name tags. I packed a standard supermarket garbage bag and cheap travel bag strap only for the flight home to protect my pack from damage. These packs cost a fortune so I think that you should protect them as best as you can for minimal weight costs. These two items weighed 107 grams and were included in my total skin out weight of 12.5 kg. When I picked up my pack after the flight home it was in tact and no damage was done.

 

Thanks for reading
Disclosure
All other products, BUT not the above Stormin Stove System, discussed in this article were purchased by myself from a retailer or manufacturer. I do not accept compensation or donated product in exchange for guaranteed media placement or product review coverage without clearly denoting such coverage as an “ADVERTISEMENT” or “SPONSORED CONTENT.”

4 Comments

  1. Interesting to read that, Brian. I strive to be lightweight rather than ultralight, but it’s still always good to swap ideas, you never know what you might learn!
    Interested to see you use Injinji socks – hardly anyone else I know does, but I discovered them about 4 years ago and they’ve been almost life changing for me. I used to get blisters where my toes rub together, but not now. They’ve stopped all that, totally. I use the thin liner Injinjis under my Bridgedale hiking socks when out in the hills, but this year I’ve also bought some of the ‘ordinary’ weight ones and use them day to day. Wouldn’t be without them now!
    Your torch comment made me smile – I’ve never yet used a torch up there either! Like you though, I would still always take one.
    As regards mozzies, we had none when we were in that area, but on the two trips I’ve done to Sarek (all late August trips) the mozzies were manic. On my first trip there, the friend I went with had forgotten his repellent so had to share mine, but I didn’t really have enough for two people. I ended up with virtually no bites, but he had loads. So again, like you, I wouldn’t risk not taking any Mosiguard, it seems you can’t guarantee what they’ll be like.
    For various reasons here at home, we’re not planning on booking next year’s flights till around Christmas time, but as soon as we do I’ll be posting some route ideas that we’re thinking of!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, thanks for commenting. I thought that I was nearly alone with the toe socks. Like you I always got the little blisters between my toes but not anymore. I swear by these socks now. It’ll be interesting to follow your plans for next year.

      Liked by 1 person

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