Telling stories with words is easy. Without them it’s a different language. This is about Nordkalottleden.
One of the issues with ultralight or lightweight hiking is overcoming the fear of being unprepared for the conditions. It’s something you learn with practice but that fear comes back when you face a new set of conditions. This is particularly true when you’re about to travel to an isolated place with potentially severe weather.
Nordkalottleden was a bit off the typical 3 season conditions of a temperate climate and I had to make a few adjustments to my gear list to reflect that. There was also quite a bit of uncertainty as I was not so sure about what to expect so it was a bit of a challenge to gather a gear list I could trust and was still reasonably lightweight.
As usual, gear and technique are one in this discussion. It’s not possible to understand one without the other so this will not be a fancy presentation of cool looking equipment but a hands-on essay on how my gear and me got together in the arctic fells.
Planning for this route wasn’t easy. There’s little information, either on the net or in print, and only little bits can be found in english. In the following lines, I’ll try to fill that gap from the (necessaryly limited) perspective of a one time hiker. Don’t expect a deep knowledge from the area. I’ll just try to provide all that info I couldn’t find easily, if at all, and I know now.
The northernmost tip of the route goes through the arctic tundra. Actually, I think it is not yet technically tundra as the terrain Nordkalottleden goes through is still forested and as far as I know the tundra is tree-less by definition but on this rolling hill landscape trees are small and the route often takes the high areas on the hills where trees are absent.