Sunday, May 23, 2021

Breakdown: My 2021 Sleeping Systems for Every Season


It's been a while since I posted a big breakdown of my various gear combinations.  Back in 2015 I wrote one that focused on my sleep systems, for example.  That's the last time I did a big breakdown of my sleeping gear here on my blog, but I've written and discussed sleep systems quite a lot on various forums, such as the UL subreddit. One such post over there got a fair amount of up-votes and positive feedback, which was me making a case for using only two quilts to take care of one's year-round backpacking needs. I called it a case for a two quilt system, and you can read that post here.  You should definitely give that post a read if you are unfamiliar with the two quilt system and its benefits and nuances.

But when I wrote that post I was in the process of upgrading one of my quilts (the summer Apex quilt), and since then all of my sleep systems are more or less complete.  So this post will breakdown my current sleep systems, as not only has a lot changed (and for the better), but sleep systems are one of the combinations of gear that I get asked about or comes up in conversation the most.  Both the novice camper or backpacker to the grizzled old outdoors enthusiast, everyone seems to have their own preferences and opinions about the best equipment for a good night's sleep.

And rest is very important when you're out there, so I often recommend to others (especially greenhorns) that if you are going to splurge or spoil yourself when it comes to gear, you should prioritize a good sleep system.  This can be tricky for someone who is new to sleeping outdoors, as you have to dial in your preferences and everyone has different needs when it comes to being comfortable.  So it may take some trial and error if you're new to all this, and you should also not expect to sleep 100% as comfortable as your own bed at home (assuming you have a comfy bed at home).  But that being said, some of the best sleep of my life I've had sleeping outside under my tarp or in a trail shelter.  So here's the gear that provides me with pretty damn good sleep while I'm out and about.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Cesar's Guide to the Värmland Connection Route: Röjden to Ransby


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.  The southern end of this section is at the south tip of the huge lake Röjden, which is a nice place to swim and has a few trail shelters.  The northern end of this section is the village of Ransby, which has a bus stop, a few resupply options, and a hotel.  Note that bus service here is limited, as this is fairly isolated/low population area.  One small supermarket is in the ski lodge area of Ransby on the west side of the river (up on the mountain), and the other more normal supermarket is 8km northwest of Ransby on the highway.  Ransby is also the southern terminus of the next trail that hikers can continue to follow northbound, Nordvärmlandsleden.