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How to pack for the Nordic outdoors
With Haglöfs’ Rasmus Järvinen, Senior Product Manager, Hardware & Footware
BASE LAYER No matter if I’m going sailing, camping, kayaking, fishing, hiking, or just picking mushrooms with my son, I always start with a base layer in wool. It doesn’t matter if it’s winter or summer, I always go for an under shirt and long-johns in wool. The material breathes, and you can zip up the shirt in the neck, and roll up the long-johns during hot sum-mer days. When it starts to rain, or when the evening comes, they add warmth and protection. So; the base layer, then a t-shirt and a pair of shorts — that’s my basic outfit. I like my old and rugged shirt and long-johns, with holes and all. I try to abide by Haglöfs values and wear my garments until I’ve worn them out. The pair I’m wearing now is four years old, and it’s been used a lot!
OUTERWEAR In most cases, I manage with my base layer and my shorts, which carries my snacks and my compass. For the evenings, I always bring a thin waterproof shell jacket. It weighs 200 grams and is the size of two tennis balls. Dry socks is a must, so one extra pair is needed. For the mid-layer I go for a thin down jacket. With the base layer, the down, and the weatherproof shell, I have a good set with three technical layers. At least one of the items need to have a hood. If it’s going to rain, I might need a pair of water-resistant pants. Swimwear? I always swim in the nude.
SNACKS & WATER You need energy throughout the day. A mix of raisins and nuts is tasty and energizing – you get the salt and the sweet. Water weighs a lot, so you need to find out if you are going to pass streams or lakes with drinkable water. If you do, a small 800 ml flask will do just fine. But most of our back-packs have hydration systems with hose routers on the shoulder straps.
FOOD My stomach doesn’t always approve of freeze-dried food but it’s convenient so I usually bring some when I’m going out. Also, I always pack a flatbread sandwich with butter and cheese. A recurring dinner is canned chili con carne. It’s hard to put on weight when you are out hiking, you always burn more than you eat, so make sure you have enough to fill you up throughout the day. After dinner, I have instant coffee. And sweet liquorice. I am Finnish, after all.
GEAR I bring a small camping stove. There are fuel canisters in different sizes. The smallest barely take up any space and is good for heating seven litres of water. There is no better invention than my old Leatherman Multitool. The more you use it, the easier it gets to bring out the pliers... As for my smart phone, I leave it on Flight Mode when I’m out in the nature. I don’t do any social media. It feels like a good anti reaction these days. I only bring it for emergency calls. Speaking of which, I always bring a First Aid Kit. You never know what’s going to happen.
GO FOR THE HAMMOCK If you’re only going away for a couple of nights, go for the hammock instead of the tent. It’s a fun way of camping that’s big in Norway but hasn’t had a breakthrough in the rest of the Nordics yet. It saves a lot of weight to your packing. It’s like a chrysalis that enfolds around you. You do need a sleeping bag and sleeping mat, so you don’t get cold when laying against the thin canvas. There are also doubles, so you can sleep with your spouse or your children.
SIZE UP! The basic packing is the same, whether you are going for a two-day weekend trip, or a ten-day hike. For the day trip, a 20 or 30 litre backpack will suffice. If you are camping a couple of nights, go for a 40 litre back-pack. What you need when you are going for a longer trip is more food and more clothes. Be sure to check the weather before you go. If its colder or more rain, you quickly need thicker down, an extra base layer, waterproof pants, gloves, hat, socks.... and extra sets of everything. Depending on your need, you can size up to a 55 or 65 litre backpack.
FOR EXTREME HIKES If you are really going in the outback, there are some precautions to take. An extra phone charger. A bigger first aid kit. You also need a small tarpaulin for your base camp. An extra pair of shoes to use in the camp when your regular hiking shoes are drying — I call them camp shoes. More toilet paper, a small shovel, an ax. This quickly motivates a 110 litre backback. Good luck out there! •