On 26 – 28 April 2019, Outsite arranged the Danish Outdoor Festival for the 7th consecutive year. One could experience a tent exhibition, hammock exhibition, competitions, workshops and lectures. I was invited to participate as a Blogger / YouTuber pushing the lightweight and ultralight backpacking theme.
This was the first time with an ultralight theme at the festival. People have been open and genuinely interested in what I had to say. I’m only happy to share what I’ve learnt over the years and what has made my hikes more enjoyable.
Info about the festival
Date: 26-28. April
Opening hours festival: Open 24 hours a day
Opening hours shops / exhibitors / workshops: Friday: 10: 00-19: 00, Saturday 10: 00-19: 00, Sunday 10: 00-16: 00
Place: Forest School KU, Nødebovej 77A, 3480 Fredensborg, Denmark
Price Festival: Free admission
Price Workshops: From kr. 0,- up (all according to the workshop)
I drove from my home in Copenhagen early on Friday April 26th 2019 and arrived at the festival site just before 08:00 am. I soon located the check-in area where I announced my arrival. After I was welcomed by the Outsite volunteers they showed me my site where I was to setup and make my home for the next three days.
I first had to clear the site as there were a lot of blown down tree branches etc. It was very hot and the sun was out so I had stripped down to a pair of shorts and T-shirt. Later and when I arrived home again three days later I learnt that I should of protected myself a little better as I found at least 30 ticks on my ankles, legs, arms, crotch and stomach. By 10:00 am I had finished setting up and then the visitors arrived in droves.
From 10:00 am until 19:00pm I worked non-stop answering questions and demonstrating for the very inquisitive public. I was really pleased to finally meet Niels Blok who presented himself to me around closing time. Niels owned Backpacking Light Denmark before he sold the web shop to Ken Shaw who now runs the business from Sweden. Niels announced that he would erect his Gossamer Gear “The One” shelter and stay the night heading home again the next morning. We drank a couple of beers over dinner and talked of coarse about lightweight gear and more. I had communicated with Niels for some four years or so but we had never met each other in person before. After dinner we closed camp down and walked around the festival until we ended up at Outsite’s base camp where we enjoyed another beer and chatted with other festival volunteers.
Saturday April 27th 2019 it started to rain just before 06:00 am and it didn’t really stop again until in the afternoon when the weather cleared. I was happy that I had erected a cheap tarp, which did the job splendidly to protect me from the heavy rain.
All day Saturday visitors came and went and I answered more questions and continued to demonstrate etc. By 19:00 pm I was ready for bed! I didn’t realise how much work and energy was involved in the task at hand. All three days I didn’t stop and never had time to make lunch so I made do with an oatmeal breakfast and my home-made dehydrated meals in the evenings, trying to snack during the days.
I made some dinner and was in bed at 20:40 pm. Not long after I went to bed some inquisitive Outsite volunteers, who didn’t realise that I had gone to bed, opened the zipper on my HMG Ultamid and started to enter until I suddenly interrupted them letting them know that I was there. I think that they had to change their pants after that as they were quite shocked to hear me announce my presence. 😂
Sunday April 28th 2019 I announced early that I would be packing up earlier today closing shop at 12:00 pm. The official closing time was 16:00 pm but I just had no energy left and decided that the festival guests that wanted to see me would of done so by now. Either way, I couldn’t continue.
The most common questions from the festival visitors and my answers:
Question: How can you keep warm in such a well ventilated tent? This tent can’t possibly keep you warm?
Answer: A tent is not to keep you warm. It is to keep the rain off you so you don’t get wet and freeze from hypothermia. You keep warm by firstly eating enough food before going to bed to fire up your own body’s inner heater and then retaining the warmth by insulating yourself with a correctly rated sleeping system.
Question: This Dyneema can’t possibly be any good. Look how thin it is. It is paper thin. How durable is it? How long will this tent last? Surely, they don’t last very long?
Answer: Well this fabric is the world’s strongest fibre. I just told you that I had used this tent for the last three years section hiking the Skåneleden Trail in Sweden for about 1200 km. And I used the same shelter, my Zpacks Duplex, on the Kungsleden Trail last August above the Polar Circle for a week long expedition. I experienced Polar windy conditions and storms on a couple of nights. Isn’t that proof enough for the durability? My shelter still looks new, don’t you think so too?
Question: What about the floors? Don’t you need to protect them? Surely they will get holes in them?
Answer: I never use footprints. The ones that I’m using on display are only for protection for this event with the many guests visiting the display. My view is that I’m purchasing an expensive bit of kit and therefore I expect it to last. I’m not going to baby it by using a footprint. You need to think responsibly when erecting a shelter. I mean that you need to clear the site for sticks and stones etc minimising the exposure for damage to the floor. Just look at my Tarptent Notch and my Zpacks Duplex for example. I have looked after them responsibly over the years. There are no holes anywhere in the floors. My shelters are good to go for many years to come.
Question: The rain must surely come through this paper thin canopy. Is it waterproof?
Answer: Dyneema is completely waterproof and and does not sag or absorb water like Silnylon does.
Question: What about condensation? If the tent is so watertight then condensation must be an issue?
Answer: Look at where the doors stop. The shelters are well ventilated and most nights I sleep with at least one of the doors open even in slight rain. The best way to avoid condensation is maximal ventilation and not erecting the shelter in condensation prone areas, like valleys and close to water sources. I find it best to find a spot where there is a slight breeze present and on a rise maybe and a good distance from sunken, wet sites. Sometimes you don’t have much choice but the more ventilation you can provide the better. Using these guidelines I have not had too many issues with condensation. The same for traditional heavier closed in tents.
I also had a lot of questions about my pack weight, water treatment, food options, kitchen choices which was quite popular BTW. I even gave some tips about saving fuel by making a DIY pot cozy and how to make your own. Shoe choices along with socks and so on were also discussed. My sleeping systems were also popular and I explained the difference between quilts, both down and synthetic, and sleeping bags. I was asked about what sleeping pads I use and sit pads too. My HMG Windrider 2400 was test fitted and there were many questions about comfort etc. I referred the visitors to my blog explaining that I have published articles answering all their questions and offering them to furthermore send me an e-mail if there was anything else that needed more explanation.
A big thanks to everyone who stopped by for a chat over the three days at the festival. A big shout out to CurlyCamper who also participated at this event. Maria, who setup in the stand next to mine, specializes in micro adventures and she makes some damn good snacks too of which I sampled. Tasted great! And her husband makes some great coffee BTW. Thank you for being so nice to me 😀.
This was the first time with an ultralight theme at the festival. People have been open and genuinely interested in what I had to say. I’m only happy to share what I’ve learnt over the years and what has made my hikes more enjoyable. I was also happy to meet some new friends and some old ones that I have never met in person before. Thank you to Outsite for the invitation.
Facebook photos here
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