Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Package tours


Summer is here! Everyone is planning big adventures. Myself included. Firstly I'll be hitting the trail with Thomas in July. Motivated and inspired by this photo set we will be walking the Jotunheimstien from the outskirts of Oslo to Jotunheimen, home of the giants. Once there, amongst the granite monsters, we will decide wether to extend our trip deeper into the heart of this austere and epic landscape. When that little jaunt is over I will travel by bus/train to one of Norway's other treasures, the achingly pretty mountains of the Rondane, which I last visited on a road trip back in 2008. There I will swap hiking partners and join my friend M. We will embark on a 10 day waltz along the Rondanestien trail, through her family's ancestral backyard, as a way for her to say goodbye to Norway for the foreseeable future as she pursues her career and a return to Ethiopia.


The trip will take me through changing scenery. From the country's capital city, through dark, green forests of the south, up into two very different rugged mountain ranges and back into the flatter forests of the east. This trip will test many facets. Group dynamics, my fitness, my psyche and gear choices. It will be my longest trip by far and the idea of leaving home for a month with nothing more than I can carry in my Gorilla pack fills me with a giddy apprehension.


So what is going in the Gorilla? The DuoMid for sure. Too much for the forest? Not stable enough for the mountains? It'll be fine. It'll also cope with switching between one occupant and two. I'll take the BushBuddy Ultra stove for the trip with Thomas (the first 10 days in the forest should be it's ideal habitat) and switch to a more 'instant' canister stove with M in the Rondane. I'm pretty sure I'll spend some quality time napping and 'power resting' during my extended holiday so I'll carry a CCF pad either instead or in addition to a blow-up. Wearing the same clothes for a month will be interesting. I'm toying with the idea of a polyester button up shirt instead of the more usual technical base-layer. Nerdy or not you shouldn't fear zip-off pants either. Shoes are still undecided. Made in England or Made in China. Hell, I might even carry rain pants...

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