Thursday, June 30, 2022

My 2022-2023 3 Season Gear

Hey everyone! Hope you are having a nice summer and getting out there as much as you'd like. This is just a quick post to give updates on the current state of my 3 season gear. I haven't changed much, but there is always fine tuning of small things and replacing of old/worn out things and such. And I don't expect to make any big changes in the near future either. I am generally very happy with my gear and have things dialed in just the way I like them, and it's been like that for several years now. 

For nearly a decade now, my BPW (base pack weight, all gear minus food, water, fuel, and other consumables) has hovered between 3-4kg/6.6-8.8lbs. Some trips slightly less, some trips slightly more, but these are the exception rather than the rule. Right now my BPW for roughly half of the year is about 3.6kg/7.9lbs. Before I link my gear list, the usual disclaimer: I'm still not sponsored, still no free gear, still no adverts on my blog, etc.

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Cesar's Guide to Northern Dalsland: Tresticklan National Park and Torrskogsleden

 

 

Introduction

Dalsland is one of my favorite places to hike in Sweden. It has several marked hiking trails (and a number of unmarked ones as well), many lakes (some massive in size), various nature reserves, and the Tresticklans National Park. It also has a low population density along with a vast amount of thick, beautiful forests, which makes for great, if not more challenging, hiking adventures in relative isolation. There are many hills and cliffs in the area, which also make this place unique, in that some routes call for scrambling and/or climbing to one extent or another.

Dalsland also features prominently in The Troll Trail, so be sure to check out that long distance route if you haven't already. If you are thru-hiking the Troll Trail, you could explore northern Dalsland as a side trail trip to extend your hike.

So for several years now I have hiked a fair amount of kilometers in Dalsland, yet there was one area that I've wanted to explore for a while now, and finally got the chance to go deep into this more wild northern part of the province. The plan was simple in theory: to connect the Tresticklans National Park in the northwest with the Torrskogsleden marked trail in the north. But in practice, there are various complications to account for, though I am happy to say that I feel they are definitely worth it after hiking this long-ish section hike. You'll want to spend at least 3 days or up to a week here, depending on how you choose to hike, how many kilometers you can hike in a day, and what you choose to do. There are plenty of really nice spots to swim, for example.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

The Boulder and The Fox

About 10 years ago I was on a self imposed mission to fully explore this one big patch of woods about an hour away from my home here in Sweden. It began with looking for a good spot to pick wild mushrooms. The deeper I hiked looking for delicious shrooms, the more I fell in love with the area. So I bought a map of the area and just really got into trying to walk across and up and down and all over this chunk of woods. There were a few local hiking trails that went through it, but other than that and an occasional hunter during hunting season, these woods seemed like they were all mine. Like I had it all to myself, and for the most part, I did. I'd be all alone out there.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Cesar's Guide to Nordvärmlandsleden: Ransby to Höljes

 


Introduction

Nordvärmlandsleden is a roughly 55km hiking trail that follows the Klarälven river valley in northern Värmland county.  The trail technically has a southern terminus in the village of Branäs, but this guide and trip report will cover the trail from the village of Ransby (just across the river from Branäs) to the northern terminus in the village of Höljes.  This section is a continuation of my alternate Swedish E1 trail called The Troll Trail/Trolleden.  Click here for more information on this trail system.


Here is the official website for this trail in English, but there is not much to it.  Nordvärmlandsleden is generally well marked and maintained, and has some nice views as it traverses up and down the peaks and ridges of the long and beautiful valley. It even goes up to Värmland’s highest point, the small mountain (or big hill) called Granberget, 700m above sea level. There is also a really cool lookout tower built on its peak.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

The Troll Trail in a Nutshell Full Guide






An Abridged Guide to The Troll Trail:

An Alternate Trail to the Swedish E1 Long Distance Hiking Trail



Version 3.0

By Cesar Valdez


Note: If you prefer to download a PDF file of this guide, you can do so here.


Foreword

This is a condensed but full guide to The Troll Trail, a long distance hiking trail that I created. The longer, unabridged guide--which includes additional details on the various areas/sections, hundreds of photographs, and trip reports of my personal experiences hiking the trail--can be found on my blog (click here). The goal of this shortened guide is to provide just the most essential information to help hikers plan and hike this trail. What I recommend if you are seriously considering hiking this trail is to read the longer guides and trip reports on my blog while you’re at home preparing, and then on the way to the trail and/or while you’re actually out hiking the trail you can switch over to this shortened guide.

Or if you’re restless and just want to get out there and hike, say you’re an experienced backpacker, etc.--I get it. This guide should be enough on its own and you can read the whole thing in less than an hour, then revisit it on trail as needed. Make sure to download all the custom maps that I created for the connection routes, and have fun being on autopilot most of the time hiking the longer marked trails.