Västra Vätterleden section 8 & 7

On Good Friday around 11.15 I started walking from Mullsjö towards Fagerhult. I’ve previously walked the two sections up to Mullsjö via Bottnaryd a couple of years ago, Södra Vätterleden.

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The weather was cool, around 4 degrees Celsius, when I started walking. I soon found myself a little confused as to where I was to go. The trail markings (orange) were not the best at times and I actually managed to go off trail after only 5-600 meters or so. I’ve been here before because one of my friends used to live here so I knew this area a little but with a quick glance at the map I soon found out that I could just keep walking on the gravel road I was standing on and I would link up with the trail a kilometer or so later. My initial thought was to go on the black and white trail but I didn’t want to risk it. However it wouldn’t have been a problem as they crossed paths further down the trail. If I were to redo this part I’d follow that one instead and jump on the orange marked trail later.

DSC00844The first part of the trail is a good mix between gravel roads and trails in the forest. All in all these sections runs more on roads rather than trails but it was ok.

For the most part it was easy to follow the trail but at times you really had to stop and look at the map and try to find the trail markings as they where missing from logging machines driving through or they were just hidden behind younger trees or even very faded to the point that they were hard to spot.

This is no hard trail to walk. Mostly flat with the odd hill or two but nothing fancy.

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The first longer stop I took was at Julared mill. Roamed this place for 5-10 minutes and then tried to find the trail again. It was well hidden and I lost it again. The tip here is to follow the lake towards the ziplines and connect with the road there. That’ll get you directly on the trail a little further up that road.

Easy walking with quite a lot of gravel roads up a head. Coming ut of the woods on to a road I found this sign. Wasn’t sure if I was to call him or not but I decided to do so. He was very thankful that I called him so that he could take the dogs inside as the trails passes right on his front porch.

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Lunch in the sun. Found two stumps with my name written all over them.

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I didn’t meet a single sole for long periods of time. It was when I hit the Hökensås area that I came a cross some people fishing at the lakes and a bunch of people training hunting dogs to track. But all of that happened more or less within 45 minutes and then I was alone again.

The area around Hornsjön is very beautiful and there are plenty of good spots here if you want to pitch a tent and call it a day. There are even some “campsites” that you can use.

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Gagnån

I arrived at Fagerhult around 5 pm and it had started to hailing about 30 minutes ago. I’d expected rain as that was what the weather forecast said but I was happier with this as it doesn’t get you wet. I took some water from the stream and kept walking to find a spot to pitch my tent.

I found one not too far from here up on a hill away from the trail and with no trees above as I didn’t want any branches falling down on my tent or head during the night. The ground was covered with moss so I took a spot where I could have some of it where I were to lay down but tried to not have it where I would be storing my gear etc not to disturb the ground. I found a good place with a tractor track on one side and moss on the other. As soon as I had pitched my tent, it started snowing…

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The white dot is my aproximate campsite

Saturday

The night was cold, freezing my butt off at some points. I did get to try out my new lantern but I’m not that sure it’s something that I’ll use that often. I’m very used to hanging my Petzl there anyway and it produces way more light than this. I felt it was kind of redundant. But who knows, I’ll bring it again and get a proper opinion on hit.

I slept in and didn’t break camp before 11 am again. As I sleept poorly between midnight and 2 am I wanted to get some extra sleep as it got “warmer”. Had a quick breakfast, a sandwich I had made at home and boiled some water for a cup of tea.

I think my fingers and toes have never been that cold packing up the tent. It was to the point that I couldn’t feel my fingers packing the ice cold tent and it took me a few kilometers of walking until my toes came back to life. Just love that feeling when you start getting warmth back in your toes, it brings forward such a nice pain that can’t really be described but have to be experienced, haha.

Walking from Fagerhult towards Hökensås Semesterby is quite boring. Not much to see and you’re mainly walking on forest roads where most of the trees where cut down. It’s not until you come up towards the lakes the landscape changes and it gets very beautiful. The pictures below are not giving the place justice. The overcast did however give it a moody feeling but at the same time very calming. For long periods of time the trail goes next to the water or on ridges where you can get a good overview of the area.

As you’re getting closer to Semesterbyn (vacation village) you start meeting people running on the trails, camping, fishing etc.

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Very typical trail at the last bit of the section.

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End of the line.

Gear

I used my RAB event gaiters for the entire time. I’ve never really used them before but I wanted to give it and them a go. I found gaiters to be quite neat at times but this particular model leaves some room for improvement. They’re “bulky” and not very form fitted. I do believe it’s a good thing to have but maybe something like Inv-8 or Dirty Girl Gaiters are a better choice.

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This is however the result of two days of walking with them on soft terrain. I don’t want to know what walking on stone paths or similar would do to them. Some kind of hooks or velcro that attaches to your shoes would be better.

Was also happy with my new Injin toe-socks, they were very comfortable.

Quick update

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10.9 kg excl. water

Some changes to the trip. Jon is unfortunately ill and can’t make the trip.

Therefore I’ve done some changes to my kit, added the cook set and inner tent. But instead of going with my Bearpawwd Pyranet that’s quite big for just one person I borrowed Jons Six Moon Designs Serenity NetTent.

Right now my pack weighs in at about 10.9kg. That’s almost 500g lighter than my packing list. So either something in there’s not weighed correctly or I’m missing something vital, haha. I guess it’s the former one as I’ve dropped a few things in my first aid- and repair kit and haven’t checked their weight afterwards, lazy, yes…

I’ve been looking for a smaller inner for my HMG Ultamid 2 and this is a sweet combo so far. Might be a good buy for me. I’ll get back to how the two performed together after the trip.

So without further ado, Hyperlite Mountain Gear meets Six Moon Designs Serenity NetTent!

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Around Bjärehalvön

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Last weekend we went for a two-day tour in Skåne. We wanted to have the opportunity to test the gear we intend to use for our Iceland trip this summer. As we already have walked most of the shorter trails around our hometown we looked for a suitable trail in the southern parts of Sweden.

After some research we decided to hike the coastal walk around Bjärehalvön. This tour fitted us good as it was a circle walk giving us the possibility to start and end at the same spot without needing to backtrack any part of the hike. It is 52 km long, making it ideal for a two-day trip as we know that we usually walk at least 25 km per day.

The hike is split into four parts, each 10 to 18 km long so we decided to walk two parts per day. We opted to start from Båstad on the northern part of Hallandsåsen and walk the trail clockwise. So the order for each part would be 20, 17, 16 and finally 15 back to Båstad.

Båstad to Ängelsbäcksstrand

We started of from the city centre around 11 o clock on Saturday. We headed southwards out-of-town and quickly the trail started going upwards onto Hallandsåsen. The temperature was around 10 to 12 °C and the clouds looked like we could get some light rain.

We were soon on top of the hill and could enjoy quite view over the landscape consisting of rolling hills dotted with forest groves and small farms. Unfortunately much of the track followed asphalt roads that we hade to share with motorized traffic.

Midway we took a short stop in a small beech wood and rested our legs. Walking on hard ground is not the best option. After this the path went down towards the southern shores of Bjärehalvön. We still had to walk on roads but the views made the walk worth it.

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Jon overlooking the Eskers outside of Grevie.

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No, this is Skåne, not a Windows wallpaper!

Closer to the shore we crossed a beautiful small nature reserve stretching over a Esker giving us a pause from the roads. Not long after this we finally arrived at the sea and Ängelbäcksstrand. By now the Sun began to show and the views around us were stunning. It had been a fairly ok walk down the countryside but now things started to look very promising!

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If our calculations were right we thought that we would have time to walk to Torekov before it was time to make camp. So we started walking north along the beach after a short pause.

The trail along the beach showed to be nothing less than fantastic! All the way up to Torekov we walked in pastures along the coast line. There were hardly any buildings except for the old bunkers built during WW2, now left closed for future generations.

We kept a good pace during the whole walk up to Torekov. The fields held plenty of livestock; both cows, horses and sheep and we had som close encounters with all three. Luckily the beasts were satisfied with their herbivore diet and didn’t show any interest for Cuben or Pertex.

Later in the afternoon we arrived at Torekov, a picturesque tourist town at the western end of the peninsula. After a days walking we couldn’t resist and stopped for ice cream in the small marina.

View over the Torekov marina.

View over the Torekov marina.

After the break we went looking for a place to pitch our tent but this would show to be harder than we first thought. The main reason for this is that more or less all coastal area on Bjärehalvön consists of natural reserve areas, which means that camping is not allowed there. This is a general exemption to Allemansrätten and can be good to know if you are hiking in similar areas in Sweden.

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A couple of horses grazing by the seafront.

Because of this we were left to try and find a campsite outside of the reserve. As much of the land close the reserve for obvious reasons is occupied by summer houses there was not very much space left for a tent close to the beach.

It took us several kilometers until we found a decent spot for the night, a small parking lot with a clear view over the sea. We had now walked over 33 kilometers and were both hungry and a bit tired.

Our spot for the night, overlooking the coast line of Bjärehalvön.

Our spot for the night. Andrés Ultamid overlooking the coast line of Bjärehalvön.

This was the first time we pitched the Ultamid with the inner net. A Bear Pawwd net that André purchased last summer for our Jotunheimen trip. Back then we made a last-minute decision to ditch the inner in favor of our bivy bags, so the tent had stayed unused in Andrés storage until now.

The inner net luckily showed to be a perfect fit for the Ultamid and we had no trouble at all fitting in both our sleeping mats and rest of our gear inside the tent. After this we made a quick meal and went to bed after a long days walk.

Sunset over Kattegatt.

Sunset over Kattegatt.

Back to Båstad

Next morning we woke up early and started our journey towards Båstad. We soon passed a small harbour with colourful fishing huts. Next to the huts there was something looking like an old torpedo, probably also a remain from the war. We found an old water pump but to our disappointment we couldn’t get any water our of it.

After this the trail led us up on higher ground and above Hovs Hallar. Actually the trail did not go through the area but stayed on the cliffs above. There were several paths leading down to the shore but we decided to stay on the high route and enjoy the view from above.

Above Hovs Hallar.

Above Hovs Hallar.

The trail then took us inland through the woods and all the way up to the view-point at Knösen 152 meter above sea level. There we met two Danish hikers who just had packed their camp together and where heading for Torekov.

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View from Knösen.

From here the path led us downwards, through similar landscapes; beech wood, fields and farms. On our way we passed a number of couple of small creeks. By lunch we hade arrived at the sea side on Bjärehalvöns northern side, the rest of the walk was along a small gravel road frequented by walkers and cyclists. It took us about an hour to reach Båstad, by then we hade walked around 17 kilometers and we got in to the car and went for a quick-lunch before starting the journey home.

All in all this was a surprisingly good trip, the trail showed to be nice with magnificent views along the walk. If you have the time we can really recommend a walk around Bjärehalvön!

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Selfie time during a short break, sheltered from the wind by an old bunker.

HMG Ultamid 2 – First Pitch

Great weather outside this whole weekend and now that I finally had received everything to make the first pitch it was time to do it. I waited for Jon to come home from his grandpa’s as he needs to know how to pitch the tent as much as I do.

Here are some pictures with the tent setup in our yard. Unfortunately we mowed the lawn afterwards 🙂

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Pitched infront of our house.

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Me and my daughter Alma enjoying the new tent. Granite Gear Crown V.C 60 in the foreground and Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork trekking poles holding everything up in place.

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Jon holds the door open.

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Looks like a dog sits behind the tent but it’s actually Jon with his cap on leaning forward making adjustments on the guylines.

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Jon taking a quick nap with his Fellraisers on.