Planning a hike along the Kungsleden

Planning a hike along the Kungsleden

Planning a hike along the Kungsleden

Planning a hike along the Kungsleden

So what is the Kungsleden?  The Kungsleden (or Kings Trail) runs between Abisko and Hemavan and is one of the world’s most famous hiking trails, and possibly the best one.

The path is more than 400 kilometres long, and was established by Svenska Turistföreningen at the beginning of the 20th century.

I hope you find this information help whenPlanning a hike along the Kungsleden

In 2017 some friends and I participated in the Fjallraven Classic in Sweden which is an organised hike from Nikkaluokta to Abisko.  The Fjallraven Classic was a great experience but it did have its downfalls the main one being the trail was heaving thousands of people walking along the route.

The advantage is participating in the Fjallraven Classic is a lot of the organisation / transport is provided for you: pick up from the airport, transfer to Nikkauokta, food and fuel is also supplied.

5 people and myself have decided to  follow the same route next June but will be organising transport, supplies and accommodation by ourselves.

If you are planning on organising this excursion yourself hopefully some of this information will help.

Planning a hike along the Kungsleden

Getting to Sweden

From the Uk the only viable method without time constraints is flying.  You can fly into Stockholm from most major airports

Arlanda Airport (ARN)

Arlanda is the cities main airport and if you decided to take the overnight train up North there is an express train every 15 minutes to Stockholms central train station.

Your flight will also depart from Arlanda to Kiruna departs if you are flying up North.

We arrived in Arlanda in the evening and with our flight leaving early next morning we stayed over in a converted airbus on the grounds of the airport.

Planning a hike along the KungsledenMy room was originally one of the jet engines although fun and different there where no bathroom facilities in the engine meaning having to walk down steps then up into the main part of the aircraft to take a leak in the middle of the night.

Jumbo Stay

Skavsta

Skavsta Airport is about 7km from Nyköping and the local bus service no. 515 will take you to and from Nyköping city center via the train- and bus stations, from where you can travel onwards.

The local train station in Nyköping is 7 km away from the airport. Take a taxi or the local bus service no. 515 to/from the train station to connect to the overnight train to Kiruna.

Overnight Train – Stockholm to Kiruna

You can travel by train all the way from Stockholm to Kiruna. You can choose the night train and sleep away the hours until you arrive in northern Sweden.

Further information / Tickets

Flying to Kiruna

There are 2 airlines that fly to Kiruna from Stockholm.  These flights can get full quickly so early booking is required when Planning a hike along the Kungsleden.

Norwegian Airlines

Scandinavian Airlines

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Hiking the Birch Forest

Homemade wax for outdoor clothing

Hiking the Birch Forest.

Today was time to head out hiking the Birch Forest.  The weather has been perfect recently for foraging for fungi so I headed out into the woods to see if I could spot any.

As we started to walk into the birch forest i could see there where many slippery jacks but not fresh that morning.

We had a good walk around saw some birch polypores these are inedible but have some use in bushcraft and emergency situations:

Birch Polypore
Birch Polypore

Birch Polypore (Piptoporus betulinus) is also called Razor Fungus and can be used as a strop to give a blade a Razor sharp edge.

As well as giving your blade a super sharp edge it can also be turned in to a plaster. By slicing out a piece of the underside of the fungus and peeling it off you can make yourself a bushcraft plaster!

 

Funny how nature works the same thing that keeps your knife sharp also keeps your blood in when you cut yourself!!

hiking the birch forestI enjoy hiking the birch forest we had a look around but no fresh fungi so decided to stop and make some breakfast and coffee.

I was using a small bush box for the fire and was using a flint, steel and birch bark to start my fire.  Camera messed up so missed filming starting the the fire.

The area I stopped for food was full of slippery jacks so I marked the area on my view ranger app for a time when conditions would be better for fungi.

More on foraging

I had recently been playing and designing a foraging pouch which can be clipped onto a belt and is rolled up in a leather holder (below).

First attempt was ok but I need to remove some of the clasps and turn them around so the bag could be removed from leather holder.  Also so that the top of the leather holder could be clipped to inside of bag.

 

Foraging pouch
Foraging Pouch
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Foraging for edible Fungi

A day out in the woods after a very damp couple of days means foraging for edible fungi if conditions are good you are sure to find some fungi.

foraging for fungiBefore I start this isn’t a post to help you identify fungi, I know what I know and I keep to that.  If you are not sure then leave them in place.

If you want to learn about edible fungi then get on a foraging course, buy a book and ask for assistance on some of the Facebook groups or online forums.

I stick to what I know and keep to that.

A day off means walking the Dog and doing some king of micro adventure, today was foraging and a great day it was.

Perfect conditions, rain recently, damp and warm over night meant there was fungi everywhere.

I started off in an area I have been foraging for fungi previously and I had seen fungi there a couple of days previously.

Straight away I was onto Slippery Jacks.  Its really frustrating when you find a perfect looking fungi only to cut it and find it maggot riddled.

So the trick with fungi is to harvest them as early in the day as you can.

Walking deeper into the Birch forest I started to see hundreds so started to carefully select the best.

There was also some Penny Buns around, I love the smell of these and they can grow quite big.  So after filling the cloth bag full I decided to harvest some fatwood from a stump and get a brew on the go before heading off back home for the daily chores.

Searching for edible fungi

If you are interested in foraging for edible fungi there are plenty of videos on Youtube but I cannot stress enough the need to be 100% sure what you are picking.

Please have a look at some fungi identification books.

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Homemade wax for outdoor clothing

Outdoor clothing wax can be expensive.  Here is my homemade wax for outdoor clothing.

A lot of clothing I wear can take a coating of wax to make it more waterproof or hard wearing.

Homemade wax for outdoor clothing
Out in the woods stopping to make some food.

When out and about say foraging for fungi and good water proof jacket is a must.

Some people say that most of my clothing holds a Fjällraven badge and yes it does its due to there clothing being perfect for the outdoor environment.

The Fjällraven G-1000 material is really well made and takes wax very well. Fjällraven make there own wax: Greenland Wax.

Greenland wax is made mainly from bees wax and parafin wax with other secret ingredients and is a great product to protect your clothing.

At £9.00 a bar it is quite expensive if you have many items to wax and once the garment is washed it normally needs re-proofing even if wash in a cold wash.

So after a little experimenting I have come up with my recipe for homemade wax for outdoor clothing.

How to make homemade wax for outdoor clothing

Ingredients:

  • Bees wax beads
  • Parafin wax beads
  • Pine tar essential oil
  • Pine resin
  • Citronella Essential Oil

You will need an old sauce pan, gas stove, something to stir with and some mounds for the bars (I used old plastic snus tubs).

Method.

Homemade wax for outdoor clothing
G1000 fabric is perfect for waxing.

Measure equal amounts of bees wax and parafin wax into the saucepan and add about 10-15 drops of pine tar/citronella essential oil and pine resin.

Gently melt and stir the ingredients now the pine resin might have some foreign particles in it and these should sink to the bottom.

Once all of the wax has melted and the mix is well stirred gently pour into mounds and cool.

So why add the pine resin and pine tar oil?

Pine tar is used in many natural products in Nordic Countries and the Sami use the pine tar as a natural mosquito repellent.

I can’t say that it is 100% guaranteed to get rid of these tiny vampires but if your like me and get bitten any help is better than none hence the reason some citronella is added as well.

Once the was has cooled remove from the moulds, I use a Stanley knife to cut down the side of the snus tubs and pull the wax out and there you go homemade wax for outdoor clothing.

Homemade wax for outdoor clothing.
Shop brought waterproofing wax
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