Packing for a triple trip!

Soon it’s time to travel again!


In February I’ll be lucky enough to go on three trips: The first one to Bilbao in the Basque Country, the second one to Kiruna in Swedish Lapland and the last will be a roadtrip in Rondane and Jotunheimen Nationalparks in Norway, ending with Vasaloppet skiing race in Mora. So I’m looking forward to a lot of sunshine, waves, delishious food, snowy mountains and exciting adventures!
In the Basque Country we’re going to start off with some days of surfing, mostly around the wonderful city of San Sebastián and later a bit more west, close to Santander. Surfing is something I’m really looking forward to, alongside with some more sunlight and warmth. Self-explanatory you don’t get much of that in the swedish winter (if you’re not a hardcore surfer, who jumps into almost frozen water- which I’m clearly not).
After the surfing part were gonna head for the mountains, namely Picos de Europa in Cantabria and Asturias. weather conditions in these mountains are fast changing and fickle year round and I’m not sure what to expect now in winter. There might be anything between 20ºC and sun or a snowstorm. Therfore I make sure to be equipped for every possible scenario, being safe is an absolute priority, many hikers have disappeared in this area before.
It’ll be also important to have an eye on avalanche forecasts, possible fog coming up (the mountains are very close to the coast and moisture is high) and bringing enough water, cause you can’t find water sources pretty much anywhere.

Here’s what I’m bringing for the trip:

(I’m actually bringing some more clothes to look reasonable when I walk into a Spanish Tapas restaurant, they’re not in the picture since they’re not relevant in terms of  gear)
One of my favorite bits of gear in this picture, is the Exped lightning 60l backpack. It’s only about 1kg (2,2 lbs), which is very light for a pack with that capacity. I already tried it on some shorter trips, such as last weekend in Tresticklan Nationalpark and so far it feels very comfortable. I will test it further and find out if it can be the backpack to bring on my long summer trip.
As you can see I will also bring my snowshoes, which I have last used in June on Kungsleden, gaiters, hiking poles and even crampons. Not in the picture is my ice axe, but I’ll bring that one as well for the case of encountering some steeper, icy stretches.
Because of the lack of water in Picos de Europa, I’ll bring my water bladder, besides my normal water bottle of course. If it looks like it’s going to be freezing temperatures I’ll bring several more water bottles instead. Of course I also have a map of the area and a compass.
As for the surfing part I’ll bring a 4/3 wetsuit, a hooded vest to wear underneath and my good old surfboard, which is by now already 6 years old, but still my favorite.

Second trip – Kiruna

The second trip to Kiruna will be a rather short one and involve some family business. So the layout of my equipment is not that interesting. The only outdoors activity that is planned, besides some backcountry skiing, is a dogsled tour. I’ll make sure to bring some really warm clothes, goggles, a face mask and thick boots.
I’m not much of a dog person but I still think it’ll be fun. A sled dragged by cats is unfortunately not really a thing.


A pic from last winter. That’s what I’m looking forward to see going with a dog sled. Sälka huts.

Third Trip – Norway and Vasaloppet!

The third trip will, unlike the first two ones, bring me to several places I haven’t yet been to. We’ll start by driving north to Dalarna, where we’ll do at least one skiing tour to a hut in the mountains. Afterwards we’ll drive into Norway and stay two days on the foot of the Rondane Nationalpark, which offers more options to ski, eat good food and relax in a sauna. We’ll continue to Jotunheimen, an incredible national park, which hosts all of Norway’s highest mountains. There we’ll stay for five days and join an organized tour.
After that it’s time for the exciting last part of the month: Participating in the skiing race Vasaloppet, a traditional swedish competition. Since I’m a beginner on skis and don’t feel like I can manage to ski 90km in a couple of hours, I’ll do the short version, which is only 30km long. Here’s a short video that shows you the incredible dimension of this race.
Even though I’m a poor skier, I’m absolutely excited about participating and of course I hope I can complete the race, cross the finish line somewhere amongst 10.000 other participants and receive my participant’s medal.

Here’s some equipment I’ll bring on the road trip

Mostly skis and skiing accessoires, some safety and cooking equipment, maps and ice fishing equipment. A lot of the functional clothes will be the same that come with me on the first trip, that’s why they’re not in the picture- they’re already packed.

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