Plastic in ocean turned into dinghies

During a weekend in Stockholm archipelago Sjöräddningssällskapet put out bins for hard plastic collection. 2,5 cubic metres of plastic were collected and will now be made into Optimist dinghies  by Chalmers school in a project called Optimist for the ocean.

The Optimist dinghies to be used by sailing schools, the project show that something can be done. But it put emphasis that the plastic should not end up in the ocean in the first place.

Toaks Titanium Alcohol Stove Pot Stand Review

This pot stand weighs in a 35 grams, in four pieces. I only use three pieces when I use my small 375 ml pot. With all four sides the pot risk falling of inside the pot stand. For any bigger pot all four pieces is best to use.

Toaks Pot Stand without the pot in place.

The real magic is that the pot stand is ~8cm high which mean you can stack some small branches and twigs inside it. And suddenly you have a wood stove with unlimited fuel. Yes it takes more time and fiddling around, and yes a lot more smoke. And you need to secure the parts together with a thin wire. For me this is invaluable, I bring some alcohol fuel for when I can’t start a small fire. And the rest of the trip I can try to boil water with twigs and branches. Multipurpose (but not it’s intended use)

Likes

  • Lightweight and compact
  • Multipurpose

Dislikes

  • Assembly is a bit fiddly
  • When assembled it is not super sturdy and can fall apart if you don’t handle it gently. Can be fixed with a thin wire.
  • It’s titanium which is not cheap. Not sure what the weight would be in aluminium.

Top 5 Things I Always Bring on a Trip

For every trip you make the procedure of packing your pack will be smoother. Make lists of what you need for different applications, seasons etc. This is the five items i ALWAYS bring.

  1. Knife. A small knife will do, I use a small multitool call Leatherman Squirt.
  2. Cord. I am not a big fan of paracord, the sheath comes of too easy. I have a 10 meter long dyneema cord 3 mm diameter. It’s strong enough for most things, tent guy line, fix backpack, shoe lace, tie branches to a make a stretcher etc.
  3. Phone. It can be your light, entertainment, watch, map, gps etc. Most important you can call for help if needed. I never let the phone be my only means of navigation for example, batteries will run out …. That is why I also bring a spare battery to my phone, If your phone don’t have that. Bring a small powerbank or have it turned off.
  4. Watch. When you navigate and move a watch is really good to help you keep track. Also you can save your battery on your phone not having to turn it on and off all the time. Time can be really important especially in navigation and emergency situations. Either I bring a really simple watch with batteries that you change every 3 year, limited functionality, but very reliable. Sometimes I use a gps watch, which adds functions but then you have the constant battery problem.
  5. Snacks. Never leave home without it. It can save your mood or you can bribe someone. My Top 5 Energy Snacks.

Other than this you of course need water, food clothing and gear appropriate for the conditions. Navigation: map and compass.

Inov-8 All Terrain 35 Backpack review

All terrain 35 Inov-8 sells this as a fast packing backpack. And that is how I used it for the first test. A four day hike/jog/run in the Swedish hills in Jämtland. I had a load of almost 11 kg and that was a bit too much for actual running in my opinion. With a few kg less in weight I think running would have worked fine. I have now used it during a week alpine climbing and glacier travel in the north of Sweden aswell. The size is really good, it fits what you need for a day. Both summer and winter. The pack is not the sturdiest and I think it wouldn’t survive heavy (ab)use for long time.

The backpack is a little different from other packs, it is not a vest-style system or a normal backpack. The shoulder straps connect to a strap above the waistbelt and can be moved along the strap. This works well, but the position changes when you loose the pack from your back. Each shoulder strap has a small pouch for snacks, gels or a small water bottle. It has a rolltop closing and the back has a zippered opening for access to the bottom of the pack. That ‘lid’ has a flat compartment for keys, money, paper etc.

Inov-8 All Terrain 35 backpack, back lid

Along the sides of the pack on both sides are zippered compartments that don’t give access the the main pack but a side pocket. The side pocket get very cramped if the main bag is stuffed full. There is a slit band that runs on the shoulder straps and on the backside. On the back a shock cord runs all over which is very convenient. One buckle on the bottom and one on top for connecting ice axe, trekking poles etc. On the slit band you can connect whatever string, carabiner or shock cord you want.

detail of Inov-8 All Terrain 35 backpack
Inov-8 All Terrain 35 backpack. Connection possibilites

On each bottom side there is a decent sized stretch pocket. I really like the pack. It is minimalistic but versatile, lightweight and big enough.

Likes

  • Perfect size and weight
  • Looks good
  • Affordable
  • The lid on the back gives nice access

Dislikes

  • The pouches on the shoulder straps are too small. Make them bigger and stretching.
  • Should straps are will move during the day, and when you take off the backpack. They also twist within the buckle when you load the backpack with more than a couple of kg.
  • I am missing the hole for a hydration bladder tube
  • I don’t see the use of the zippered pockets on the sides

Inov-8 All Terrain 35 backpack detail picture of buckle and strap
Inov-8 All Terrain 35 backpack. Problematic shoulder straps.

Inov-8 All Terrain 35 backpack. Loaded with a rope

Running Roslagsleden section 1-5

I had some days over for a short adventure and decided to do a trail running overnight trip on Roslagsleden.

The Swedish summer was hot and dry, but late august had a little dip in temperature and I set out for a overnight run/jog with a lightweight pack. I used a 24 litre Inov-8 running backpack. I packed a light down sleeping bag, a inflatable mat, a titan pot, alcohol stove, some clothes and a lot of food and snacks. I slept in a windbreak so I didn’t have to bring a tent or hammock which lightened my load a substantial bit.

The trail starts in Täby and ends in Grisslehamn and consists of eleven sections total 190 km. I jogged/ran the first five of them, a total of 80 km. The trail is a mix of gravel road and scenic forest trails, the gravel parts are not that nice but the trails make up for it. I think Roslagsleden actually is nicer in the last sections of the trail (just a guess since I haven’t been there). The trail has contact with shops, cafés and hostels along the way so it’s easy to resupply food. This is a google map of Roslagsleden to help you plan your trip, there you’ll find cafés and places to restock or sleep in a hostel.

I set out in the middle of the day with no special goal, I wanted to find a camp site near a lake but timing and distance didn’t add upp so I ended up staying in a windbreak just of trail on a small hill 40 km from the trail start. Not bad at all but I passed alot of nice campsites near lakes.

Next day I set out early to try to finish section five of the trail. It was a long day and i was a bit sore in my legs so I ended up power walking alot. But the trail rewarded with nice views.

Forest on the Roslagsleden trail

I managed to get to the end of section five in Wira Bruk and then I had to walk a while to get to the bus station.

Roslagsleden light pack

I really liked the trip, but some parts weren’t that picturesque as I hoped for. There is a ultra trail marathon called Jättelångt (=really far in swedish) that starts in Norrtälje and ends in Grisslehamn that is 68 km and I think that is the best section of the trail.

Roslagsleden section 1-5 on Strava. Day 1

Roslagsleden section 1-5 on Strava. Day 2

Top 5 Tips For Your First SUP Overnight Trip

Are you a standup paddle boarder looking to get more of an adventure out of your great hobby. Here are five tips to get you started on a SUP overnight expedition.

All my gear for one night SUP trip

  1. Start small. Begin with a one night trip. This helps alot with the packing, you can simplify your food to snacks and things that don’t need a stove. Also the amount of water you need to bring is limited.
  2. Pack smart. Bring what you need and leave luxuries at home. At least until you know how you and your board handles loads. You should of course not put security aside.
  3. Backpack is your PFD (Personal floating device). Pack your lightest things in a dry-bag. Sleeping bag, clothes etc. The backpack now acts as a lifevest. A real life vest or PFD is of course more effective, it’s up to you what you need
  4. Plan your trip. Try to get a A-B tour, paddling with backpack and luggage upwind is alot more challenging that downwind. So check the weather report and paddle with the wind all the time. Get a friend to pick you up at destination, or try to find a place where your can leave your car and get back via bus or train. If you need to return to the same spot, use islands to provide wind cover.
  5. Go Inflatable. When paddling (at least in Stockholm archipelago) you want to jump ashore on the rocky islands to take breaks and find camp. A rigid glassfiber board does not like being dinged against rock etc. An inflatable SUP could also be transported on public transportation which open up alot of A-B trip possibilities.

Arriving at an Island.