Ise Fjord is the second largest fjord in Denmark located about a one hour drive from Copenhagen. By train it takes 1½ hours to get to Holbæk or Hundested. The length of Ise Fjord (Isefjord) is approximately 34 km long. The south part of the fjord is deeper than the outer northern end.
The Fjord Trail (Fjordstien) is a 275 km long circular trail. The trail follows an attractive route around two large inland Fjords, Roskilde Fjord and Ise Fjord. The trail is for cyclists (Regional Cycling Route 41) and hikers alike. The Ise Fjord Trail (Isefjordstien) is actually part of the Fjord Trail or Fjordstien. On this adventure I hike from Kongsøre Forest walking north up to Annebjerg Forest and then backtracking south again returning to my car. My flip-flop hike covers approximately 27 km.
Saturday April 18, 2020
I arrived at the Kongsøre Forest parking area at approximately 12:40 pm. The lot was occupied by several cars and too many for my liking in these COVID-19 times. Fortunately it turned out that most people were either day visitors, fishermen or car-campers that occupied sites close to the car park. After finding a safe spot for my car and a quick bite to eat for lunch I started out at 13:00 pm.
Heading north I followed the trail closest to the shoreline named Isefjordstien (Ise Fjord Trail). After passing the main recreational area directly in front of the parking allotment, which was quite full BTW, I came upon Tingstedet, which is in fact an ancient long barrow from the early Stone Age. The name in Danish Tingstedet, suggests that it was once thought that the old site was a “court room” meeting place. Part of the barrow has crashed down the slope and into the fjord.
It was a gorgeous, sunny Spring day with not much wind and temperatures around 12-14 °C. The views of the Ise Fjord from the trail appeared almost tropical, well that’s what it felt like for me anyway after being isolated for well over a month working from home trying to avoid the Coronavirus. Continuing on I didn’t see any signs with the “little blue men” indicating the trail Fjordstien. All I had to do was to head north anyway but I wanted to follow the official trail. Soon I came upon a fenced off military zone. I attempted to walk around the facility first ending up at the coastline again on the north side. Unfortunately it was not possible to continue along the point, so I had to double back around the military site and finally I found the trail again a little further inland. The military site is a navy SEAL or frogman corp training facility. I was not using any maps or a compass although I knew which directions were north, south, east and west. I also had a digital map on my smartphone if I needed to refer to it.
After two kilometers of paved tributary road along small fields and fences that reach down to the fjord, the trail then goes through Stokkebjerg Forest. I received a lot of strange looks from folks on trail. Most of the people I met were local dog walkers dressed in thick winter jackets. With the fantastic sunny Spring weather it was shorts and short sleeves for me. Without my photography equipment and bumbag my base weight was just over 3.9 kg.
Before continuing north out of the forest I veered west and down to the fjord until I reached Lommestenen (a large metamorphized rock). In the last ice age about 17.000 years ago the stone was moved here by glaciers. When the ice age was over and the ice melted the stone (3,5 x 2,5 x 3 m) was left behind. Denmark’s giant stone is plagued with troll stories. Legend has it that an angry troll threw Lommestenen at the Egebjerg Church in rage because of the sound of the church bells.
Most of the afternoon I continued walking north on a mixture of paved roads and through fields until I reached Annebjerg Forest. Wild camping is permitted in both Annebjerg and Stokkebjerg forests. The time was 16:00 pm when I reached the northern end of the forest. My original plan was to find some place here to camp for the night. However, I changed my mind and headed south again. I figured that I could be back at Kongsøre Forest around 18:30 pm or just a bit later.
On the way back I lost the trail twice due to missing signage. Luckily in both instances local people could guide me back to the trail again. In Stokkebjerg forest, in particular, there was no absolute way that anybody would know to turn to continue on the correct path. Some dog walkers noticed me backtracking and looking for the turnoff. I was almost certain that I needed to take the trail in that spot where I was, and the dog walkers could confirm that it indeed was the correct way agreeing with me that the sign was missing. They believe that it was once there although a long time ago.
At 18:40 pm and 6½ hours after I started out my flip-flop hike was complete. After checking that my car was still there and intact I headed north along the fjord trail again until I reached an area where camping was also permitted. When I checked from home there was no mention on the government website about wild camping here although in the Danish book that I used as a reference there was a camping symbol here at Kongsøre Skov. Before my site there were a lot of people doing all sorts of car camping. They had a lot of gear and there were some large groups too which did not conform to the suggested COVID-19 methods of social distancing.
I was lucky to find a site where I could be alone yet still be close to both the forest and the waters of the fjord. I managed to set up using some bushes as protection from the south if the wind decided to change direction through the night. On checking the weather forecast which suggested winds would be coming from the north at about 5-6 m/s I was happy with my pitch. It was fairly late by the time that I was done and could start to prepare dinner.
My tarp is a Borah Gear 7’x9′ and the bivy bag is from the same company. It is a long/wide version with a DCF floor and weighs 137 grams. The tarp including guy lines and line locks weighs 329 grams.
|bivy||Borah Gear Ultralight Cuben Bivy Sack Size: Large/wide 137 g||137|
|shelter||Borah Gear 7’x9′ Ultralight Tarp 329 g including guy lines & line locks||329|
I’m also still using the Tread Lite Gear MK2 rechargeable lantern which weighs 27 grams. It really impresses me actually; it is not only lightweight but can also throw a decent beam of light. The battery seems to last for a long time. It doesn’t take long to charge either.
Cooking system & food
Food consisted of a TentMeals dinner named Almond Jalfrezi which is a mild rice curry of almonds, onion, coconut and bell peppers, in a smooth, creamy coconut sauce. I was testing a Toaks titanium 700 ml pot, a Vargo titanium Triad alcohol stove and Hyperlite Mountain Gear repack cozy. For a windshield I used my Lixada titanium weighing 13 grams. Everything all worked out alright even though I thought it a little awkward compared to my Vargo BOT-700 and DIY pot cozy system. If you use purchased expedition meals then you can repack them into Ziplock bags so that they don’t use much space in your pack. This can be important if you are on a week long hike and every inch counts. Then you just use the HMG Repack cozy bag when rehydrating and simmering. My DIY cozy for the Vargo BOT-700 only weighs 33 grams but the BOT weighs 45 grams more that the Toaks 700 ml pot.
This is what I packed & tested:
|cone system / wind shield||Lixada Ultralight Titanium Wind Shield to use with remote stoves 13 g + 2 g stuff sack 15 g||15|
|pot||Toaks Light Titanium 700ml Pot 87 g||87|
|stove||Vargo Titanium Triad Alcohol stove 32 g||32|
|cozy||HMG Repack 40 g||40|
This is what I would normally pack:
|cone system / wind shield||Stormin Pothugger Windshield for Vargo BOT-700 including 2 support pins 26 g||26|
|pot||Vargo Bot-700 ml 132 g||132|
|stove||Stormin 20ml Screw UTD burner 7 g||7|
|cozy||DIY cozy for Vargo BOT – 700 / 33 g||33|
My normal cook system using the Vargo BOT-700 weighs 24 grams more than the one that I tested above. However, the Pothugger windshield and combined stove for the Vargo BOT-700 is a lot easier to use than the above cook system that I tested and it is much more fuel efficient too, a lot more actually. So the 24 grams more weight would easily be gained back on a week long adventure in fuel weight alone. I still think that it is a cool little system that doesn’t weigh much though. The Vargo Triad stove was also a little difficult to use. One of the pot supports collapsed while I was using it. I had to use my long handled spoon to correct it again. Pouring the excess fuel back into the fuel bottle was also clumsy and most of it spilt onto the ground. In practice it does not go just like in the YouTube how to do video. Perhaps, if I asked Norman to make me a Pothugger windshield for the Toaks 700 ml pot then it would be a sweet system that would most probably come under the 174 grams. The disadvantage would be a less flexible system than the Vargo BOT-700; the Toaks 700 ml pot system would not accommodate cold soaking practices like the Vargo BOT-700 does which has a screw-top lid.
One last mention about the Toaks 700 ml pot cooking system. I could drop the HMG Repack cozy and use my Valley and Peak insulated pouch for a cozy instead (2 uses). I’ll have it with me anyway especially if I’m on a week long trek in the mountains. Then the total weight would drop to 134 grams and even less with a Pothugger windshield or perhaps a cone. I’ll have to have a chat to Norman at Stormin Stove Systems I think 🤔.
After dinner followed by coffee and some chocolate I headed off to bed. I’m not sure what time it was but I awoke to the sound of howling winds. The north side of the tarp was being forced by the wind into me and I wondered how long it would be before it all lifted and flew away. Fortunately it all came and went, I’m not sure where it even came from, it certainly was not on the weather forecast that I read 🤔.
Sunday April 19, 2020
The temperature was 6 °C at 06:00 am and the sun was just starting to appear on the horizon. Winds were slight which was quite a contrast to the gale through the night. I really wanted to catch the sunset so I jumped out of bed.
I was not disappointed. The first local dog walkers appeared about 06:20 am while I was packing camp down. I didn’t have much gear to pack so it was a quick task. When I was ready I walked up the trail to a bench that I had eyed the night before. Here, I prepared my morning coffee and downed some oats for breakfast. The views of the fjord were magnificent. Soon a morning runner came by and we greeted one another.
There was only a short walk back to the car so I was in no rush to go anywhere. I took in the views and chatted for a bit to the camera for my YouTube channel. At 08:00 am I departed Kongsøre Skov and arrived home just after 09:15 am.
Product(s) 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.”