In recent years, my travels became more adventurous, more off-the-beaten-track and more focused on outdoor activities. For example, in these last two years, I hiked the Fann mountains in Tajikistan, trekked the Georgian Caucasus and explored the Simien mountains in Ethiopia. This summer, I will participate in a mountaineering course in The Alps to familiarize myself with more technical alpine skills (read more about the mountaineering course below). Of course, having comfortable and reliable gear for these type of adventures became increasingly important.
So, what is in my backpack? Many favorite items of my current outdoor gear are from the Swedish brand Fjällräven, which was founded in 1960 by Åke Nordin. Fjällräven’s collection includes backpacks, tents, and clothing. The products are truly designed to fit into wild surroundings with their dark colors and strong materials. Fjällräven focuses on sustainable design, materials and fair production, which I think is pretty awesome. These are some of my favorite items!
Three Fjällräven backpacking favorites
Fjällräven Abisko 65 liter women backpack
It was a love at first sight kind of a story. When I saw the Fjällräven Abisko in the store, I immediately fell for its minimalist design and the dark red color. Even after many rides on top of buses in rain, dust, and sand storms, the backpack still looks pretty as always.
The Abisko backpack has one large front compartment, which I use to keep small things (like my pocket knife, cup, liner etc.). It also has a top compartment and two small side pockets for water or trekking poles. After about a total of 12 months on the road, the backpack has one tiny hole in the front pocket, but that’s it.
It’s comfortable to wear, even during multiple-day hikes carrying full equipment. Being a fairly small person, the waist-belt is well-fitted and in the right position. In terms of size, it also has been perfect for me. It fits my tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat and all my regular backpack gear.
Fjällräven Karla curved pants
My old trekking pants were about 10 years old, and really started to wear off. During my search for new trekking pants, I tried on numerous pants from affordable brands like Decathlon to more expensive brands. However, after trying on about 10 different pants, I realized they were all quite unflattering.
Fortunately, a friend of mine had a tip: ‘The Karla curved Fjällräven trekking pants’. And indeed: they are perfect! They are loose, comfortable, strong and I think they actually look good on me ;). The Karla pants are also made of G-1000 material (more info on this below) with a loose, normal waist. It has two hip pockets and a few other pockets on the leg itself. So far, I haven’t been able to discover any real disadvantages.
Fjällräven Keb Hike 20 liter day pack
My previous day backpack was quite damaged after trips in Asia and Africa. So, I looked for a new backpack and opted for the Keb Hike 20 liter day pack. The Keb Hike is big enough to fit my camera, book, water and an extra vest or sweater. It’s originally designed for ski touring, so it’s quite robust! It has attachment points for trekking poles or an ice ax, you can use it with a hydration system and it comes with a rain cover.
I especially love its look! You can use it for snowboarding and hiking, but it also looks good in the city. I even use the backpack when I go to work or to the gym. One minor disadvantage of the Keb Hike 20 is that dust is quickly visible on the backpack. This might be due to its black color. Other than that, I absolutely love it and can’t wait to use it on my future backpack trips!
Fjällräven’s G-1000 material
G-1000 is a densely woven fabric consisting of 65% polyester and 35% cotton blend. It’s the cornerstone material of Fjällräven and one the reasons why its gear is so strong, comfortable and durable. Do keep in mind the time it costs to maintain this material. To maintain G-1000, it’s advised to apply Greenland Wax with an ironer in a specific way. To be honest, I’m pretty lazy with these sort of things. However, so far all my gear still looks beautiful and strong, even without the wax!
About the mountaineering course
This July, I will participate in a one-week mountaineering course in the Austrian Alps! During the course, I will (attempt to) climb several peaks in the Alps including the Wildspitze (3772 meters), the Hochvernagtspitze (3535 meters) and the Fluchtkogel (3500 meters), while learning fundamental mountaineering skills like glacier climbing, rock climbing-techniques, mountain safety, crampon use, rope techniques, belaying, rapelling, route planning etc. It’s something that I wanted to do for long time and definitely looking forward to this new challenge!
The Keb hike 20 backpack was kindly provided by Fjällräven/Image PR. Opinions and views expressed in this article remain my own!
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Do you have any Fjällräven products? Which ones?
Have you been to the Alps? Any tips on how to prepare for my mountaineering course?