Section hiking Skåneleden long distance sub-trail SL4 from Eljaröd bus stop to Ystad in the south
Saturday 29th September 2018
Eljaröd Bus Stop to Verkasjön to Heinge to Lövestads Åsar (Camp 1) 19.6 km total for day 1
I rode a train from Copenhagen central staion to Malmö and the another train to Ystad. From Ystad I travelled by bus about 65 km north to Eljaröd. It was a 5 km walk west from the bus stop to the trail junction where I continued the Skåneleden trail SL4.
I started out with my “hoody” hood up and with a wind jacket on. My hands were a little cold as the wind was quite chilly and I contemplated donning my thin gloves. By the time I reached the trail junction I had warmed a little and for the rest of the day on Saturday I pulled on and off my hood; it all depended on how much wind I was exposed to.
For most of the day I followed forest roads and wide trails. I didn’t see anyone else on trail at all. The forest was really showing signs of autumn now.
It is also the time of the year for toadstools. Amanita muscaria, commonly known as the fly agaric or fly amanita, is a basidiomycete mushroom, one of many in the genus Amanita. I witnessed a lot of these last year on trail too.
At 13:30 pm in the afternoon I came by Heinge shelter place.
I was quite impressed with it as there was a lot of room and many places to pitch a tent too. There was a pond close by and there was also a lot of ready to use firewood too. Quite often on the Skåneleden trail the firewood is stolen and when hikers come by there is nothing to use.
After Heinge shelter I continued through some open fields and then roads until I had to enter a field through a gate. I looked up ahead and to my disappointment I saw a herd of cows which tried to run me down just like they always try to do every time I have to enter a cow field. I’m apparently a cow magnet. I had to use my whistle this time too. When I blew my whistle they kept their distance. As soon as I stopped blowing they immediately converged on me. I’m also going to order a better whistle as the one that I use on my backpack strap tends to stop whistling at some stage as it seems to fill with my saliva. I kept close to the fence-line through the paddock and finally I made it to the other side. Luckily this was my only cow encounter for the entire three days.
At 15:30 pm I reached the shelter at Lövestads Åsar. After locating the shelter I followed the signs indicating a water source down to a local farm house where there was a faucet on the end of a building. This was very nice! I scouted around a little to see if there was somewhere else away from the shelter site to erect my tent. But the forest was very compact and there were no appropriate areas to pitch so I settled on an area at one end of the shelter site. There was no-one else there but I knew that could change within a few hours so the more distance I could get from the shelter the better. I opted for the other side of the fallen log below which was a considerable distance from the main shelter.
On this adventure I decided to blow some dust off my Tarptent Notch including a partial solid inner. I also had my AS Tucas 450 g down quilt packed. This is the one that I had custom made and I used on my recent Kungsleden hike. The temperatures actually did not come down low enough so the quilt was too warm and I could off saved some weight and packed my summer quilt instead. My Cumulus quilt 250 (2018 version with the zipped foot box) would off kept me nice and toasty.
After camp was organised it was time to soak my evening meal so the food could re-hydrate. Because it was so early I waited until now to do it. Otherwise it is best to soak either before arriving to camp or just on arrival. I was still testing my new cooking system which consisted of a Vargo BOT-700 ml and a Soto Windmaster gas stove. It is not my favourite system but I wanted to have a pot that I could use to soak food in and then use a gas stove to re-heat afterwards for future hikes.
I used this same method when I was on my Kungsleden hike but only with a Stormin Stove Systems aluminium pot, alcohol stove and windshield (see below). It was a prototype that I tested for Norman. I really liked the system and it was very compact. Great when you don’t have much room left in your pack after you have packed enough food for one week. You can see a review here.
But I don’t want to use an alcohol stove with a soaking pot on future hikes where I need to travel by air to get to location. I neither want to have the hassle with alcohol fuel which I thought it was on the Kungsleden hike. I just want to purchase a gas canister which should be easier to dispose of at the end of the hike than it was with the alcohol fuel. Disposing of the unused fuel canister environmentally responsible is also a top priority for me. When I stayed at the hotel in Kiruna I explained to the staff that I had the fuel and I wanted to make sure that they disposed of it properly; I trust that they did. More information here.
I can now announce that I have mastered using the Vargo BOT-700 with the Soto Windmaster and the system has now grown on me. I found that by just using a low flame instead of turning it up so high, like I did on the previous two hikes, that the food did not burn on the bottom. I had previously made the bottom way too hot by screwing the gas up too high. This new discovery pleased me as before this experience I was disappointed with the Vargo BOT-700 including the ridiculous high price that I paid for it. So now I am all set for the next hike where I need air travel to get there. I’m looking forward to using my Evernew 900 ml pot and my Stormin Stove and cone system again.
I decided to get the fire going as it would be nice and cozy, and I had nothing else to do anyway. Not long after that three Swedish hikers, and another one later on, turned up and announced that they would be occupying the shelter for the night. No worries I answered, I was only using the shelter to prepare my food in and they could just take it and the fire over.
We had a nice evening sitting around the fire and telling each other lies. They also had some beer with them of which they shared with me too. At 20:30 pm I announced that I needed to go to bed as I was tired; I had after all gotten out of bed at 05:00 am that morning to travel to the trail junction.
Edited and updated October 7th 2018
See my map on AllTrails here
TO BE CONTINUED ...