I’d read about these rucksacks a while ago and the Swedish Army Lk35 Rucksack appealed to me. I liked the old school metal frame and thought this would be a great bag for bushcraft and more importantly I wanted something I could use for hammock camping.
When you search the internet for affordable solo back packing tents you will become inundated with with affordable backpacking tents.
Some will be high end and some very cheap and probably not be suitable or won’t last one camp.
Each tent has its good points and bad points some however don’t have any good points and these are generally the really cheap ones that you can find.
Below is a review of three affordable solo back packing tents.
All three of the tents below can be purchased for under £100 and as cheap as £53.
Vango Blade Pro 100
I used this tent whilst participating in the Fjallraven Classic Sweden. It was great for me and I was lucky I didn’t have to pitch it in the pouring rain. I at 1.83cm could sit up in this tent, just enough space for my bag in the vestibule (but have to crawl over bag to get out for the call of nature). Offering incredible value for money the Blade 100 tent from Vango is a single pole tent with an overall weight of less than 2kg.
The use of a single alloy pole keeps the weight of this tent down to just 1.82kg. Pitching is quick and easy with just a single pole.
Downfall is the inner needs pitching first (not great if its raining). Hyrdostatic Head: 5000, Ground sheet hydrostatic head: 6000. Two compression straps are used to keep the pack size small.
Flysheet door vent allows ventilation, increasing air flow and reducing condensation creating a comfortable nights sleep. With lightweight pegs and taking the tent out of the supplied bag this tent weighs 1.63
The Zephyros 1 person tent offers an ideal blend of low weight, reliable weather proof performance coupled with a competitive retail price. Hydrostatic Head: 4000, Groundsheet Hydrostatic Head:6000. The outer is pitched first which is good if it is raining.
It uses the Superflex alloy pole and tried and tested Wild Country, high performance flysheet and groundsheet fabrics. This tent when swapped with lightweight pegs and minus the bag weighs 1.41kg.
Based on an existing highly successful Terra Nova design, the single poled Zephyros tent gives sturdy resistance to bad weather whilst also offering spacious sleeping and storage areas. The tent pitches flysheet and inner together for speed but I would recommend packing the inner away seperately if you haven’t time to dry condensation of the inner of the fly.
I originally saw this tent on a youtube video of someone completing the Coast to Coast walk and liked the look of it for a summer lightweight back packing tent.
The item was purchased of Aliexpress and took about 2 weeks for delivery from China. It is extremely light weight at once the pegs where swapped at 820gms. You use your walking pole to erect this tent. The Hydrostatic head of the flysheet is: 5000 and the groundsheet which is bath tub design: 8000.
Slight flaw in design as where the webbing is stitched for guy lines and guy ropes this hasn’t been waterproofed so rain will seep in and drip onto inner.
This is easily fixed with seam sealer and small patches on the inside (see video below).
If you are tall like me there isn’t a lot of head room. There is Loads of space inside, large vestibule and can be pitched either inner or outer first.
Out of all three of these affordable backpacking tents this is my favourite as a 3 season tent, but if there is the chance of some bad weather I would use the Wild Country Zephros 1.
They each have there good and bad points and what works for me might not be what works for you and also it is weather depending on which one I use.
I make dehydrator Beef Jerky quite often, it is a staple in my backpack and also in the kids packed lunch boxes. The only problem is that it is so more’ish that it is normally gone as soon as it is out of the dehydrator.
The recipe I use is one that I have put to gather myself, its easy to make, cost effective and with a dehydrator its easy to dry.
Trim the steaks removing fat & gristle and cut in 2cm strips against the grain of the meat (this makes it easier to chew)
Place steak strips into bowl
In a zip lock bag: Add half a bottle of Worcestershire Sauce, 1 Bottle of Teriyaki Marinade, handful of dried garlic, dried chillies (if required) and a tablespoon of liquid smoke.
Mix the marinade together.
Add in the steak strips and massage into the marinade to make sure all the meat get covered.
Remove air from the ziplock bag, lay flat, massage the meat one more time and put into the fridge for 24hrs (removing, massaging and flipping the bag every now and then).
Remove meat from fridge and drain in a colander.
Layout paper towel (normally 2 towels thick x 2 towels long.
layout steak strips onto towels then place towels on top of meat and pat down to remove excess marinade.
Sprinkle BBQ rub over meat on one side, pat into meat then place on the dehydrator racks.
Make sure there is space between the strips on the racks (for airflow).
Turn on dehydrator to full (mine sits at 70c), rotate trays every 20 mins so top goes to bottom for 6 hours. It is handy if you shake the trays every now and then so the strips aren’t stuck to the racks.
After six hours, turn dehydrator down to 40c and leave overnight.
Remove Jerky from the trays, allow to cool and bag them up. You can freeze if you want to keep your dehydrator Beef Jerky longer but like us I’m sure its gone as soon as its made.
I sometimes vacuum pack my dehydrator beef jerky if I’m using it on trips and excursions.
It is a great trail snack and I always take either Jerky or Biltong with me on multi day trips. I recently had 5 days in the Lake District where I took Biltong or during the Fjallraven Classic I had a bag of Jerky with me.
If you are interested in making your own biltong then please comment and i’ll put together a ‘How To’ video.
Below is a video on how I make my dehydrator beef jerky
Dutch oven recipe Pork & Porter Stew served with potato pancakes.
Finally had a day to myself so headed down to the marsh to do some open fire cooking using my Dutch Oven.
Since my Frontier Stove is being serviced it was time to do some open fire cooking. I had also a new video camera to try so thought i’d make a day by filming some cooking, review some new trouser I had delivered from Revolution Race, show how I look after my boots and make some more char cloth.
There was a draw back, I took all the footage but there was an issue whilst editing the footage as iMovie didn’t like the 4k 60FPS footage and it was flickering a lot. I had used my iPhone so had some footage left but only enough to show how I cooked the stew.
So this recipe is my own recipe loosely based on a Polish Dish.
2 x Pork steaks
1 x large potato
2 x carrots
1 x bottle of porter or stout
A little water
Chop the pork steaks into cubes, put back into bag and add 2 spoons of flour and shake the bag.
Cut onion and carrots
Place dutch oven onto coals and allow to heat (gentle heat).
Add meat and onions and allow to brown.
Once meat is brown add in the bottle of porter, paprika and carrots.
Stir regularly over allow heat for about 20 mins (add a little water if beer reduces too much.
Pancake: Open your bag of potato and onion and add 3 large spoons of plain flour, salt and pepper and a little water.
Hold top of bag and knead mix together (it should be the consistency of porridge).
Invert the Dutch Oven lid onto coals, add a little lard, allow to heat the squeeze out mixture and pat flat using spoon onto the lid of the oven.
Allow to cook for about 10 – 15 mins until golden brown turning often.
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.
My 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.