You cant travel, you must working from home…So what to do? I did take the decision to hike a new trail. I have not hike the Upplands trail.
So I take the car towards Skokloster castle. Just after 10 am. I started the hike. The trail was really nice. A bit hilly, and follows the water almost the whole time. The husky was satisfied. I really liked all the different type of terrain. Hilly, easy, and sometime open areas.
Being early means you can go almost alone. Later on the day small groups of 5-7 people meet me on the trail, and I almost got the feeling being in the alps. Meeting lot of people with trekking poles. The Corona have make new habits for people. And this in a good way…And at the end of this part of the trail a distinguished view. This was a really nice trail walk, I recommend it if you haven’t done it…
During the walk to day, i memory came up on my mind. In my youth I ve been hikin at Glaskogen in Varmland. That will be this weeks adventure suggestion for this summer. A fabulous area with nice trails and small lakes. Lots of birds and interesting plants. If you are lucky you might even can see the eagle here…
And now over to this weeks reviews:
This week I have starting the test of Fjallravens Keb jacket. It is a nice jacket, the price is 250 Euro. With that price I have high expectation for a hiking jacket without membrane. This jacket can be a favorite, i like it and it suits well. Two big pockets. It also got two big zippers for ventilation among the sides. But you have to take in consideration that you will need to bring a rain jacket as well in your packing (add that to the price of 250 Euro).
This week I also will review the book AMC guide to Outdoor leadership. A guide instruction book, so it will be interesting…
When it comes to outdoor-activities, the importance of having a mental strength will be crucial. Whatever you are a guide or a practitioner, you will need to have this strength. As I got the background from elite sports and from the service I now this is very important. I also know that this subject is very individually how to develop and strengthen up. So this will just be a suggestion of how you can build it up. Why is it so important then? Suppose you are cough in a eastern storm at the mountain, you must be able to calm you mind to take the right decisions. Or if you are on a cliff wall and must continue to a safe place, for being able to set up a belay etc. First of all, you have to work with a positive mind. This will help you to see the possibilities instead of the obstacles. This you can find at YouTube, or . This will be the base to star with. Having a strong mind, means you have to workout as much as you workout your body. The truth is that this two parts work together. This meaning you need to compete with your brain when it wants to quit. So how to do it?! Now we have come to the hard part. You have to work it out, sorry to say. The mental strength ”you have to earn it, every day”. So start with habits. If you want something bad you need to focus on it every day. Even when its tough. It can be push-ups, or study for an exam or what ever…Stay motivated, and it is your responsibility. Secure you come closer to your target step by step. Get yourself a quote that motivates you. Take command over your mind. This can be trained. During long runs, or canoeing or hiking, your body and mind will tell you to stop. Then you must have a tool to handle it. Find a mental comfort sight were you can place your mind. You also have to understand and define your own ”mental” weaknesses. Build a plan for develop your weak skills. And as I begun most of all, stay positive and laugh a lot, because this will help you. Hope I have help you to start your way to a better mental strength…
This week I will be testing a Soft-shell jacket from Mammut and a layer 2 jacket from Snickers.
The Mammut Aenergy Pro So Hooded jacket is a nice Soft Shell jacket. The weight of 460g is good. It got reinforcement at the right place and is perfect fit for climbing and alpine activities. The Finnish is also nice, but with a price over 250Euro I expect something more. Ventilation zipper under the arms for example. But I will test it and come back with grading.
Next up is the Snickers Hoodie fleece. This one is nice with lot of good pockets. It also got a good price as well. So this garment will be interesting to test. Grading will come.
And at last a really good book for us outdoor nerds. The ”International mountain trekking” book from Mountain training is real good. Here we got a lot of good information and knowledge..
So it Tuesday and I have promise a blog about gear. Today I will talk a bit about Soft-Shell. Soft shell is what the name tell us, a soft shell. There can be different types of solution for this apparel. For me it should be some kind of just ”shell”. So at least some kind of wind-stopper, or water repellent function should be included. So lets begin with the jackets. From my point of view a Soft-shell jacket over 140 Euro I expect it should have ventilation zippers. Also at least two big pockets and one small, and also a hood.
(This jacket from Mountain Equipment lives up to my expectation)
This jacket have wind-stopper membrane, three pockets and a hood. It also got a draw string in the waist. If the price will be over 190 Euro I certainly expect some kind of water proof membrane.
And now over to trousers. Soft-Shell should be able to be used in spring, summer and autumn. Therefore a trouser shall have reinforcement over knees, in the buttocks and also in the ankle this to avoid the crampons to make damage out of it. A trouser over 120 Euro I expect to have reinforcement and at least three big pockets. Over 140 Euro I also expect ventilation zippers. And over 175 Euro there should be some kind of membrane.( it do not need to be Gore-Tex, it can be some kind of hybrid)
(Lundhags Makke pant may not be a unique Soft shell pant, but this is a example of the area)
So if you are going to buy a soft shell apparel, check the small details. That will make sure you will be satisfied with a gear and that you can live with for at least a couple of years. (If you add a par of rain wear you will have the optimal hiking clothing for several of years.) The advantage of Soft-shell is its way of become breathable. You also have a choice of choosing alpine fit or normal/loose fit. I prefer to have alpine fit, especially in spring, summer and autumn. This for the layer one to transpire the moister to the layer 2/3.
And over to some test of some gear. Today I will present the Norrona Falketind. and a…Soft-shell trouser as per order:-). This one cost ~164 Euro, and I do have some expectation on this pant.
(Soft-Shell trouser Norrona Flex1 pant NNN)
This pant have some wind-stopper membrane but not the fully function. It got a lot of pockets and big zipper holder. So far so good. It is a light and flexible pant, so the name flex is correct. But this at expense of reinforcement and ventilation zippers. I also expect that a trouser in this price level shall have a Velcro at the ankle, it has a snap fastener. I want to have free choice of how much I want to tighten around the leg. So the grade will be NNN. Expensive with to few features made this. I still like it, but a bit cheaper had been better…
When it comes to harness we normally need to have some real well built up ones. Here I have tested one light and fast alpine harness. the Simond Edge. Normally I am against light and fast stuff, but when you need to have a harness that dont will take space or weight, this one is perfect for that type of use. Bring it with you everywhere and you can go alpine skiing or Via Ferrata in a easy way. I would not use this one for challenging climbing..With the price of 55 Euro you got a good Alpine harness. But it never could not get any higher grade than NNN, because it is not for tough uses. But for its purpose it is perfect.
(Simond Edge, produce at Chamonix Mont Blanc NNN)
And last a book for the mountaineer. ”Klattring i Kebnekaise” This book describes a lot of routes in the Kebnekaise area. And even bad weather suggestions while being in the area. This is a treasure for the Kebnekaise lover, a must have. So I will give it NNNNN. Real nice one..
So we have enter April, and tis should have been the real Winter mountain season. But now we all have to work from home…But this mean you can do a good planning and preparing for the next adventure/challenges.
When it comes to workout the upcoming 6 weeks cardio will be the focus. My experience from the fighting,is that you will develop the cardio as well as the strength. one example of the workout i will do ahead: 400m row or running. 100 pull-ups, and 400m row/running. Add some fighting and some gym workout and here we go. That one of the Days…
The Swedish adventure suggstion this week will be Hallandsasen and Kungsbugget. A adventure facility with zip-line. climbing, summer toboggan and bungy rocket. https://kungsbygget.com/ so this place can be a suggestion for the summer vacation…
Trailrunning is Always a good workout, when you develop your aerobic process, you will be better in all ways. You also increase your ablity to handle challanges and obstacles. So why dont try a trail-running competion this year?https://vimeo.com/367106952
See ya on Tuesday, then it will be about some new gear…
Now we all are affected of the Corona virus. This means we have to rethink. I have just cancelled a booking in the Swedish Mountains. So now we all have to Think how to hadle this. This meaning we probably can do the activities in Sweden. So lets start there. My first tips will be: Kullaberg. Here you can do activities such as; climbing, kayaking, hiking, mountain-bike, diving, bat safari and many more things.
There is no doubt abaut that everyone has been affeted of the Corona virus. The question will be how will this affect us in the long term. I Think and hope this will help us to choose the right way. With the globalisation in one hand and the effect on the enironment in the other. Now we can have the durability in our mind. -be Tourists in our own country. There is so much to explore in our near…
This morning I started with a long nice hike with my husky. With -8 in the air the morning was crisp.
After the walk it was time for breakfast. Sunday means luxury, Rye porridge, egg, fresh orange juice, coffee and a good book. What a start of the day. The energy boost made me to go to the climbing gym.
The spring season is on the run, and will soon be here. I am planning for the upcoming adventures, this year will be interesting and full of swedish challenges…The Via Ferrata season will soon take Place, and for this I have tested the Edelrid Via Ferrata belay II 15m.
This one is developed for secure clients that feel insecure or uncomfortable with parts of a route. It is easy to use, and perfect for a guide…
And if you want some inspiration listen to this podcast…
Sometimes you must secure that you keep up you knowledge. This weekend was one of this days.
So a long-weekend at Salen in Dalarna was the target for it. So how do you secure that you will keep up the knowledge from most of the activities… A good planning will be the start. So day one, with a perfect Winter day with sun and just a couple of minus degrees it was time for the snowmobile…
At the top of the Lindvallen
The second day it was time for sledge dog pull and free heel skiing(Telemark).
A happy husky and a happy handler, in a fantastic Winter landscape with sun…And the third day, the same. Cross country skiing and Telemark skiing. The guide is now updated:-) and ready for new events.
Nordic Light Adventure also can offer a new service: The Adventure PT. As you could read in the last blog, it is very important to rekognize your weak areas, as well at to be prepared for upcoming adventures. So what a about a taylored programing for you? You can soon read more about it under News and updates. That was all for this week.
From my point of view the mountain safety area contains three main parts. The first: skills and knowledge, second: equipment and third is the planning. The planning should be a result of sum of the two other parameters. Depending of your level of skills and knowledge and the ability and experience level of using the equipment. So, the challenge will be to understand your own level related to the three parameters. For example, if you haven’t been on a mountain trip at all you might start with day trip from a mountain station at summer time. But if you have grounded skills, how can you improve your skills then? Now it starts to become interesting. Here your ability to think out of the box will be a good start. One good example can be to choose a windy day and set up your tent and wind shelter. Also, cross country ski in a “low” area terrain. This for building up your skills and knowledge. So, step by step like this you can go from basic skills to grounded skills. A good thing to improve will also use a guide for take the next step. Explain your level of knowledge and skills and set up an event with the guide. So, for example if you just have been in the mountain area during summer, ask a guide to develop your skills for skiing. First a two-hour session about risks and equipment. And then maybe a day of ski technique. Now you are prepared for your first winter session…
A help to understand your level of knowledge, This tool might can help you: First you will try to defind your knowledge. Here it can be devided into Three steps. K1: Memory knowldege, K2: Understand and explain, K3: Solve problem. The same will be with the skills. S1: Can do with toutorial. S2: Can do without toutorial, S3: skilled. So the knowledge and the skills together builds up the capability. So now you can take a area and check your capability. Just because you got a new ice axe, you might not know how to use it. One of the real good thing with this analyze it that it will help you to discover your weak areas, and help you to become a better mountaineerer. And as I suggest eralier, use a guide for analyze and develope your skills.
The Swedish company Fjallraven invites their reseller to a winter mountain occasion. The program includes knowledge of the cold impact of the human body, and product knowledge. Mikael Anderson CEO of Fjallraven explains: We want to inspire, and to arouse interest for outdoor life in common, and in winter season. I Think there is to things here that matters. One, it is very good for retailers to know the Products. Two it is totally right, the first night in Winter tenting might be challenging. But after that, itis just nice…
When it comes to Equipment i will test the Peak Performance Helium hybrid hood jacket. With just a weight of 350g this is the perfect mid-layer jacket. With down for the torso and a water repellent layer it looks fine. This will be tested during the week. Opinion will be written next on next weeks blog…
Today I will continue about one of my favourite topic, decision making. What is it that make us to take the step, or not. After reading todays blog, you will find that you not normally make decisions out of logic…
In order to make the right decision, we need to understand how our brain works. What is driving our decision-making? We have a built-in reward structure (striatum) that responds to what is pleasant and also a primitive emotional structure (amygdala) that responds to what is unpleasant. So when we are facing a choice, we would rather choose the one that gives the most reward and least punishment / discomfort.
Is it then possible to distinguish between decisions that are influenced by emotions or logical thinking?
We can conclude that it is a myth that we are rational decision makers. We are more emotionally driven decision makers who can think rationally sometimes. Emotions form the basis of basically all our behavior and what is important to us. When you do not know something, it is not important either. What then makes us want to make decisions?
A simple explanation is that the alternatives are about as good, or as bad. Of course, if the results of a decision are made, it becomes easier. The strategy for making decisions easier where the difference is small is to gather information that either raises or lowers the value of one of the alternatives. Some want more than others, what is it? Can you change that behavior?
In fact, there are partly genetic explanations linked to the dopamine system that affect how adventurous we are, this also affects how willing we are to take risks. We all need different levels of dopamine to get the kick out. But if you challenge yourself, you can develop your ability to take risks, etc. So how do you make the right decision?
For example, if you choose a career path, you can always fall back to its original path. If you choose such a decision, you do not always receive the same support from the surroundings as if you choose a ”traditional” decision. Then it is important to know that you really want to do what you have decided. There are also situations when it can be good to listen to the fear, should I go down the off-piste hill when there is high avalanche risk? The consequence of choosing errors in such a situation can be more serious, and then it is important to listen to their emotional reaction. Basically, it’s about knowing yourself and understanding why you react the way you do. Does the fear warn you, or does it make you chick? Human is programmed to make illogical decisions.
Daniel Kahneman, a professor of psychology, has studied man’s tendency to constantly make illogical decisions since the early 1970s. His thesis is that man has two ways of making decisions. One is completely reflex-controlled, here you can’t even reflect. The second is slower, more reflective (which in psychology is called ”the self”).
We use systems as a rule, even when we need to use system 2. It is a kind of systematic thought error or preconceived notions.
But it is now that it gets exciting, this does not happen randomly, it has a form and structure that obscures our judgment. We think we make a logical and carefully thought-out decision, but we probably won’t. Impulse purchases, that we trust the wrong people, we can’t see things from another person’s perspective or have a hard time resisting temptation.
System two has a supporting role, which believes it has the lead role. Most of our brain is controlled automatically, and then in the first place by system one. You immediately get an opinion on something. If you then get asked why you think in a certain way, you will construct reasons. System two provides us with reasons, which are not always the real reasons behind the opinion.
The reason why this lies so deeply within us is that it is genetically conditioned. What is clear, however, is that we can reflect on our choices. System two has for the first time realized that there is a system one. It gives us the opportunity to influence how we think about the decisions we make.
The Utehelg will be the 22-24 of May this year, so if outdoor is your area -be there:-)
Todays blog will be a continuation of the blog from 13th of October and about the Dyatlev-expedition. During 2019 the Swedish Dyatlev expedition was provided. One of the members Richard Holmgren a archaeologist made me curious, so I decided to talk to him. This is the result:-) Richard has been working a lot in the Middle east.)
Hi Richard, what was the background of the Swedish Dyatlov expedition?
The ground reason was the fact that no one ever had been at the area at the same time of the year for skiing the route within the same preconditions as the Dyatlov expedition got at the accident. We were interested to understand how a group with 9 different highly skilled persons, in the cold with wet equipment and no sleeping bag could have experienced the tour. It has also always been a big question to understand what was really happen out there. How did you experience the environment in the area?
First of all, it is a very beautiful area. When we were there in January it was very cold. When we get started the thermometer showed minus 50 degrees. What struck me was that it was very nice skiing there, but the strongest feeling was the loneliness. You don’t see anybody else or even an animal nor even a single bird. The wood is consisting of sly and twigs. So, you must search for fuel to the fire, a bit higher up in the trees. What was the feeling of going the expeditions tracks?
Sometimes things fell in place, this was one of these moments. The 2019 was the year when the whole thing around this accident was in focus, and at that time we were there in the area. I can say that the skiing was really exhausting. It is a brutal environment. Here is the time to deny that the group should have been subjected to assault of a KGB team, because this team where in that shape they themselves could have been a KGB team. I was thinking that they have it a bit better circumstances than us, because they could use the local Mansi hunters track. We had to track it by ourselves.
What was the biggest impression of the expedition for you?
Well, one of the first things is that it looks like the picture from seventy years ago. The time stand still out here. Even if the area is empty and mystery during the Winter season, people hike here during the summer. You can see tracks out o that. You can see fireplaces and that people has taken bark out of the trees. The locals and the food also made impression to me. Very kindly people and the food salmon and potatoes tasted very good. I rather choose that before grilled goat in Syria:-). I also must mention the vodka, in this Environment with cold you eat fat food. Such as lard etc. with a glass of vodka it tastes even better… And the most interesting and important question, what was really happening out there?
It of course has been very interesting if Yeti or KGB has been the reason for the “accident” but it is very clear for me that it has been so called Katabatic winds. From my point of view, they tried to dig two snow shelters for survival of the winds. This area is known for hard weather condtions. Katabatic fall winds can occur when air cooled over a glacier or mountain range flows down the slopes. Since the cooled air has a higher density than the surrounding atmosphere, the fall winds can sometimes be accelerated to storm or hurricane strength. The strongest fall winds are found on slopes of powerful inland ice. At the Anaris accident katabatic winds were involved. Ok, but all the conspiracy history of the injuries of the body’s? The autopsy was not done so good. Also, the bodies were treated without caution and some of the injuries probably came out of that.
I dont Think we got the last Words about this history, -no it might be a documentary about it during this year…Interesting and what is your next adventure Richard? -Well, it will be a guiding tour in the alps. A trip in Hannibals tracks, would you like to enjoy?…
Note. There was also a question about the fact that some of the clothes was contminated with radioactive radiation. Well the clothes were this was measured, belonged to two of the participants that was working with a neclear research Project…
This weeks tour suggestion will be the Skackerfjallen in Jamtland. You might start at Kolasen, continue the trail towards Storvallen, and a peak attemt of the ”sockertoppen”. Here you also got a windshelter. Then you follow the track towards Anjan. You got a lot of nice peaks to climb Close to the track… This area is not crowded, and you will be by yourself up here…
When it comes to gear, ive been testing a compass from Brunton and a middle layer sweather from Garphyttan.
This is a hand bearing Compass with a build in LED-light for night navigation. With a ”ever North” Compass Nail it will not be affected of other magnetic fields. It is easy not use. For skiing or other special occasion you will like this one.
The Garphyttan Kraft fleece is a middle layer that is produced in 91% plyester and 9%Elastan. It is a well lavished sweather. You can also use it as a Shell layer in the spring and autumn. With its zipper it is easy to access pockets in layer one or for ventilation. With a price under 100Euro this is a real good investment. Design and finnish 5, usability and details 5, comparing it to others in the same segment, it is very good and thoughtful, so a 5. The price is in a class of its own so Another 5 totally 20 best in class!