Sunday, February 11, 2018

My 2018 Winter and Spring Complete Clothing Breakdown

Introduction

So I finally have a few section hikes coming up!  I will most likely do a gear list breakdown for my spring base pack weight (BPW), but I don't think I will have the time to do one for my winter kit for the trip coming up soon.  However, it has been a while since I've gone over my clothing combos for all the different seasons I encounter (my older one you can check out here, also includes BPW), so figured I should at least update my current clothing choices.  Not to mention that I still get plenty of questions from friends, family, and sometimes online about what my clothing choices are for hiking.  Later on in the year I'll do another breakdown like this for my two summer outfits (one for the mountains, one for the woods), so stay tuned for that.

Two years ago I showed off my winter gear list in a video, and not too much has changed since then as far as gear goes.  But there have been some significant changes to my clothing, in spite of still using some garments for about half a decade or so.  Some of the more hardcore UL backpackers may cringe and/or scoff at some of the relatively heavy choices of clothing I have.  But everyone has their limits, and when it comes to clothing worn I am more likely to shrug and say "good enough" with slightly heavier choices.  

I think because I obsess so much over my BPW down to every little detail, I just don't have the energy to really dial in my clothing combos to be lighter and (this is key) just as warm.  I'm also just not into clothing in general, as say a fashion or social statement, so it's hard for me to get excited about buying say, a pair of pants or a shirt.  But I've spent plenty of time drooling over packs, shelters, quilts, and other BPW gear, and have literally had my pulse rise after getting a package slip in my mailbox for new gear.  Not to say that clothing is any less important for backpacking, it should almost go without saying!  And also note that quite a lot of this gear gets used in my day-to-day life to work and on day hikes, so it's not just collecting dust in the closet when I'm not on section hikes.

So let's get down to the breakdown of my full winter and spring outfits.  First up is some context:

Thursday, November 30, 2017

A Response to 20 Viewers' Backpacking Tips

A month ago I announced a give-away contest on my Youtube channel, the winner getting their choice of either a tarp or a bug bivy from Borah Gear.  Thanks again to Borah Gear who were nice enough to put up the prize for this contest!  They make great gear and have a well-earned good reputation in the online UL community, for instance on Reddit's UL forum.

So the contest was pretty straight forward: to enter just leave a comment with a favorite backpacking tip on my 1000 subscriber video special, and I would take 20 of them and pick one at random.  I also wanted to share all 20 of these tips here on my blog and also give some feedback on each tip, so here we go!  I will make a short video picking the winner at random shortly after publishing this post.  

Thanks to all my readers, Youtube subscribers, and special thanks to everyone that left a tip and entered the contest.  These are good tips, and I've been looking forward to responding to them as they collected over the past month.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Cesar's Guide to The Troll Trail/Trollleden: Introduction


The Troll Trail (or TT for short, or Trollleden in Swedish) is a long distance hiking route I created that goes from city of Göteborg in the south, to lake Grövelsjön in the north on the Swedish-Norwegian border.  It passes through mostly southwest Sweden, but at times goes into southeast Norway or follows along close to (or even right on) the border.  It is approximately 1,100km long, but there are several side trails, loops, and optional parts of the route that are not included in that total.

The TT can be hiked as an alternative section of the E1 European long distance path in Sweden, rather than the official Swedish E1 route.  You can read more about the official E1 route in my guide to it here.  I created the TT as a direct result of hiking the Swedish E1.  While I enjoyed this path overall, there were some problems with several sections, such as lack of trail maintenance, very little information/documentation, very isolated areas (making it difficult to resupply or have access to public transportation), and some sections had quite a bit of walking on asphalt and/or gravel roads.

But the shortcomings of the official Swedish E1 trail was not my only motivation in putting together this trail.  After many years hiking in the areas that the TT goes through, I really fell in love with the nature and terrain of places like Bohuslän and Dalsland.  I discovered more obscure nature reserves and woodland trails that not as many hikers travel to, or even know exist.  Yet other established and well known hiking trails were not that far away.  The more I hiked, the more a new route made sense, and I had a great time in the process as well.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Cesar's Guide to the Edsleskog Loop








Introduction

This lovely little loop is based on several trails around the village of Edsleskog, which is west of the town of Åmål.  It's a shorter loop, starting in and then returning to Edsleskog being a total of only 20-30km, depending on how you hike it.  There is a small network of trails that cover much of the nature reserve, along with a few gravel roads, though there is not much road walking overall--and better yet, very little asphalt involved.  You can get to the village by bus from Åmål, or you can hike there on a trail that connects the two places.  


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Cesar's 2017 Go-To, UL Big Three


Intro

It's been a hot minute since I did a detailed breakdown of some of my favorite pieces of gear, so this time I figured I'd do all my big three configurations for each season of the year.  Regular readers will recognize quite a bit of gear, which itself is a testament to its quality and durability.  But there are some new additions to my collection of big three gear that I am very excited about, and can't wait to get more good use out of them.  

Before I get to the gear, however, some of you may be new here and some context is helpful to better understand why I chose the essential components of my kit.  So let's get that out of the way first, but you can also read my more detailed post on outdoor life in Sweden here.

General use
Solo (or with friends but sleeping solo), wilderness, UL backpacking on section hikes and weekend trips during all four season of the year.

Location
Scandinavia, mostly in the forests and fjälls (alpine mountains/hills) of the lower half of Sweden, and sometimes across the boarder in southeast Norway.