Fastpacking Jämtland

Bridge during the hike in Jämtlandsfjällen
Jämtland, bridge over a stream

I haven’t spent alot of time in the Swedish mountain so it was really time to start exploring and hiking the northerns mountains. It’s called “fjällvandra” in swedish, and it’s a big thing. On the popular routes and areas you won’t be alone. I packed my All Terrain 35 backpack with 10kg of stuff. I brought my Exped Scout Combi UL Hammock, what a fool you think. The trees are tiny or non-existing in Jämtland. I know, but I wanted to try the hammock in ground mode. The hammock acts as bugnet and the tarp is… a tarp. I used trekking poles to elevate the tarp. I had a lightweight sleeping bag (550g total) and used a synthetic jacket when the temperature dropped below 8°C, which it did.

In Jämtland the most popular route is called Jämtlandstriangeln, it starts in Storulvån and forms a triangle between Storulvån – Blåhammaren – Sylarna. On each place there is a STF hostel with restaurant and services. I did a A-B trip that started in Ljungdalen, hike to Helags – Sylarna – Storulvån from where I went home. I took the train 7:50 from Stockholms C to Östersund, then a bus from Östersund to Ljungdalen from there you either walk or take a taxi to Kläppen where the trail begins. I arrived ~18:00 and set of immediately towards (~12km) Helags where i set up my minimalistic tarp and hammock. The shelter kept up against the rain, but the weather forecast for the day and next night said storm and the tarp would not keep up with that.

The day was super foggy but I took a day trip up the Helags mountain, with a vision of 20 meters. I spent the night at the hostel that night, with the wind howling outside.

Next day I jogged / power-hiked towards Sylarna, the trail is really well marked and hiked by many. When weather is good it’s not that hard to leave the marked trails and go by map and compass. This adds a lot of fun to the hike in my opinion, you get to see nature more untouched. You will probably be alone, and it adds an experience to the trip to navigate yourself. You will walk in to soggy swamp and mud, if you can’t find away around it you will have to get your feet dirty. I followed the trail most of the day, but I took a detour up a hill to get a good view of Sylarna from above. This was the most picturesque section of the hike, between Sylarna and Helags a little oasis suddenly appeared, with some trees and a stream and a lake. Perfect for lunch.

I would not recommend the hammock ground mode on a mountain trip like this. The weather is very changing and rain, wind and fog comes and goes. It worked out, but the shelter is to small to cook inside and changing clothes lying down is a gymnastic feat that I could do without. Next time I will bring a more sturdy shelter, I’m looking at the ZPacks Duplex. Between Sylarna to Storulvån I followed the trail with a detour up Lillulvåfjället for a view over the hills surrounding Storulvån. From where I would depart in the afternoon.

Storulvån is a big hub for mountain hiking in Jämtland with 150 beds, a restaurant, shop and self service kitchen. The bus to the train leaves from the parking lot. This is where most people start and end their hike, so a lot of people and a well equipped service center accomodate that.

Facts Jämtlandstriangeln:

Storulvån – Sylarna 16 km. 5-6 hours
Sylarna – Blåhammaren 19 km. 6-7 hours
Storulvån – Blåhammaren 12 km 4-5 hours
All these destinations have hostels with a small shop and a restaurant. So you can do this hike without a tent and sleeping bag. Which really can help if you want to travel light. Running on the trail is really popular, and can be done with a really light pack. Sleep and eat at the stations. Water is everywhere, just find a stream that is moving and smell and look clean.

Print your own map from Lantmäteriet, download this A2 map over Jämtlandstriangeln or buy the Calazo Jämtlandstriangeln (printed on Tyvek)

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