Exploring the last wilderness of Scandinavia

Exploring the last wilderness of Scandinavia

A penchant for wilderness and hikes brings friends together on new adventures. Henrik and Henrik - who are both in their mid thirties, lives in Sweden but works in Copenhagen - decided to wander through the last real wilderness in Scandinavia: Sarek. 

During the planning of the expedition to Sarek, Henrik contacted us and of course we wanted to join them on their journey. Henrik Søndergaard tells the story here

To get into Sarek, we walked 20 km and then were sailed 11 km in to the wilderness. Then we walked in the most spectacular setting in 8 days, without any paths and as far from civilization as you can imagine. We were only disturbed by curious reindeer and high flying golden and sea eagles. 

Sarek is a Swedish national park in an area called Laponia in Lapland, north of the Arctic Circle. Sarek is on the UNESCO World Heritage List for a reason - it is pure wilderness with extensive valleys, mountain peaks, mountain lakes and waterfalls. You hike among some of Sweden's highest mountains, and there are about 100 glaciers in Sarek. You do not find many people and all sounds belong to nature. Nothing is man-made. There are no marked trails or any kind of facilities in Sarek, so you are on your own. It requires good wilderness knowledge, solid preparation and a certain drive, but if you go out into the wilderness you also experience a piece of Scandinavian nature that is incredibly beautiful and difficult to find elsewhere. Since it is only possible to get here on foot, you will have to carry your own gear - everything is based on you having everything you need in the backpack. And in the high alpine environment, the weather can change quickly - and it does.

Henrik and I have spent most of our time working on getting the weight of our equipment as far down as possible. In this connection the T-shirts from LOOW worked better than expected as with its 152g (Size M), it was the only long sleeved T-shirt I brought on the trip.*

I wore it all the 9 days the expedition lasted and I only took it off, when it got wet with sweat after long hours of hiking or when I was washing myself in the crystal clear water in one of the numerous streams form the many glaciers we passed. And yes, I also slept with the T-shirt on.

Some of the principles to reach as far down in weight as possible is to bring only what you need, don’t pack your fear and only products of the highest quality and functionality. LOOWs Merino wool is exactly that. The fabric is thin yet it still kept fine during the trip and I have used the T-shirts at several other occasions in everyday life afterwards.

We were in particular happy about the length of the T-Shirts, we could tuck them in our pants without having them crawl up during a long day of hiking, The sleeves, which were long covered over wrists and warmed a lot more than we expected. When we began to sweat uphill on a mountain it was easy to just roll up the sleeves to reduce the insolation of the T-shirt. The fabric dried quickly without the body becoming cool when we reached the top of the mountain.

The other Henrik who was on the trip also wore a long sleeved LOOW T-shirts, here’s a short description of his experience with the T-shirt:

"My long sleeved LOOW T-shirt in 100 % Merino wool was really great. It was pretty thin in the fabric which made it dry quickly when it got wet and the sweat seemed to be transported equally fast. The long sleeves are great to get the warmth into the hands and the length off the T-shirts helped a lot on staying warm, as you could tuck it in your pants without crawling back up again which most T-shirts do when hiking long hours with a backpack." Henrik L.

*The base weight for Henrik’s total equipment was 5564g; you can see his packing list here

See the video from their trip to Sarek in 2015 here 

The video from the 2016 tour will be finalized shortly.