ACROSS NORWAY 63° EXPEDITION
This page is for those who want to get inspired and do the same.
Its time for another expedition, but this time im not alone. Im travelling with my best friend, my wife. We have 9 days to get this done, with 7 days of walking and we are going to head over to the city of Trondheim with a plane, to start our Across Norway expedition. With a walk of 120 km (74 miles) a head, we will travel trough asphalt, roads, swamps, mountains, and national parks stretching from one side of Norway, to the other reaching Sweden. You will be able to follow our progress in form of videoes on one of Dani`s Channels.
Planning: For a family of four its not easy to set some time to do this kind of things, it was then essential we included the rest of the family and work for this trip a year ahead. We think its once in a lifetime experience, and a jorney to problaby be proud of and that will stay, the rest of our life. 120 km is also long enough for us, that are mostly bound to come back to our children, and though its not the widest strech of Norway Across, I think its perfect for us and a must do once in your lifetime. If we find it easy enough, we might take our kids next time.
What Dani thinks about this trip: I think there is alot of wisdom in nature that is mainly lost among society. Though nature also brings some challenges along the way, i think it also gives you more awereness, and energy in life. I dont really think much about borders or flags anymore, to at least Dani, so beeing in nature and the moment you have right now its more important, than really going through a country to reach another, tohugh it a cool goal its really more about sharing life at it is with best friend. We two got engaged in a outdoortrip, but since then and the kids with us its been a long time since we been outdoors just hte two of us, so we now will give travel trough this togheter as a team, other than spend our time at our normal aparment.
What Fanny thinks about this trip: I look forward to experiencing the Norwegian nature, with this expedition. I have since I was a child, always loved to go hiking with navigational map & compass in mind. Ever since, its have been unfortunately to little time for it. But now I`m looking forward to get more time outdoors on this trip, spending time with my husband and also challenging myself.
The Route: Unlike those who done this path before, we are not going to use the cabins for overnights. There is a so called "Expedition Pass" you buy to get registred and get like a tshirt and such, but the down size of that is two things to are bound to stay in all the cabins from DNT (Norwegian Trail Organization) you cannot skip the huts, and that pass is also a bit expensive, and thats it a shame taking in mind those unexperience people who problaby would like to go out in this kind of trips but might not do this to economy.
So we choose only to follow the path across Norway and stop by for some supplys or a hot / cold drink. We rather be in one with the nature and sleep on tents too, but doing that we are also going to carry the extra weight of a sleeping bag, quilt and sleeping pads. it is possible though to book one of the cabins, before you start, so we might do that too. But we think we like to have more flexibility to do it this way, and so we can drop the comfort you normally pay the expedition pass for.
" I think there is alot of wisdom in nature that is mainly lost among society. Though nature also brings some challenges along the way, i think it also gives you more awereness, and energy in life"
Original Music. This expedition was not going to be the only project along the way. Dani has been lately picked up the gitar, so he created some music specially made for this expedition and video. The Awereness EP features new songs like "Secrets Now Unknown", "A Hiker`s Journal" and "Awareness". If you like the songs on Spotify, feel free to share my music on your videoes too if your want for free. It might be come a claim copyright message on SoMe, but contact Dani so he can grant it for you. This EP has some new songs highly inspired about nature and just beeing outdoor. For others kinda sound of a mix between, Neil Young, Eddie Vedder, Bob Dilan, Simon & Garfunkel & Leonard Cohen and they are kind of big inspirations too:
Training & Transition to ultralight gear: Light Gear might be expensive, and you could problaby make it with what you have or borrow, however I spend alot of time outdoors, and I have sold and change also my gear a numbered of times over all this year. Roufly estimating the cost of gear, I think you could come a long way with 600 dollar or around 9000 +- NOK for a trip like this. But you need to be smart in order to travel light, and most important adapt to the miles and weather from mother nature. Specially Dani`s gear is more expensive than that estimated price, but this is what he wanted for this trip:
Our training began a year a head in may 2021. Dani was looking into more ultralight backpaking, and taking the experience from his last expedition, and the Nijmegen march. Dani was missing to be back on the outdoors for longer periods again. He knew that the last time he was carring to much stuff. But this time after beeing long periods at home he knew this time he wanted his wife to come and join for and adventure, and Fanny wanted to join. He quickly found out two thing, one was the need for having enough days for a new adventure, and two a change of their outdoors gear. Ultralight backpacking is not very common and practised in Norway, but among long thru-Hikers around the world it is. I think even the most used to the ourtdoors might underestimate this part of packing and planing for the longer miles, so we learn tips from the thru hikers. And thats when he also started to look at both his gear and Fanny`s gear for a change. Here we started to actually see how many grams we can actually take out to make burning miles more comfortable and faster. You can get a more detailed rund down of our gear in this video (coming soon). Other than that we sat down at look at the map that can be ordered here, and we sat down carefully looking to our gear with this site https://lighterpack.com/r/5b3902
Footwear & Clothes. We made the transition from heavy clothing to light outdoors clothing, and using the layering prinsipal for what weather we encounter. Normally outdoors pants for example are very heavy, unless you try some lightweight jogging pants. So we dropped very heavy poly nylon pants this time and went with something more lighter.
The shoes was a tough decision at start. We been trying to transition from Mid size hiking boots to something more lighter. Thru-Hikers swear often to trailrunners, and Dani has been trying a couple of them for a year where he ended with Altra Lone Peak 5 (mostly due to a super discount, or problaby a fault at the store) & Altra Olympus 4.0 (after beeing super satisfied with the Lone Peaks. Fanny`s shoes though needed to be a bit different from the Lone Peak 5 and she ended with a more cushining shoe type the Altra Timp 3.0. She been pretty sattisfied with that pair to, and are something in between the Peaks and the Olympus. We change the orginal soles with Sofsole AIRR Orthotic, but not on the Olympus. These shoes are lightweight and ment for both running and hiking in the trail, however we needed to sacrifise not getting wet in summer time, and less ancle support to lightweight and something that can dry faster. Ancle support though can be given by the use of pair of trecking poles and the dryness with use of good socks and better insoles that the ones allready inside these shoes. Having in mind some of the features between Lone Peak 5 and Olympus, Dani for this trip went for the Olympus and I will explain why in a video.
Shelter. Our home is also this time tents from NorTent. Dani and NorTent has been keeping contact for a while. NorTent is a small company with passion for Nature and has done it very well selling tents tipis and tarps. Both discussed then a smaller option, than they lavvo tipi and gamme expedition tent. Ultralight 1 person backpacking and thru hiking is not very well practiced in Norway (yet) other than perhaps using Hammocks, wich in Dani`s opinion takes longer time to set up and you problaby will carry more weight. Dani saw inmidiatly that people might be very well adapted to beeing among nature, but they also normally carry just to much stuff when doing longer trips.
NorTent got inspired by the idea and started designing a ultralight option in both 1 person and 2 person tents, known as the "Vern 1" and "Vern 2". The owner also went on a longer expedition across Norway testing this tent. We are not sure yet if we will carry two tents or one for this trip but normally both my wife and I like to have good space, and we still need to see how this tents work out for us. Here are some early bluprints of the prototype:
Food rations. This time we will problaby not make as much bonfires as usual since its summer, and we will me using as much time walking the trail. We decided to see how cheap we can go, making some home made meals to save money and just experience something new. Otherwise we can problaby buy food on those cabins any way. However we will bring a small collapsable fishing rod only for a casual fishing pond.
Jotunheimen Expedition Training
Backpacks. Fanny Marie is very happy with her previous buy the Bergens Helium Woman 55 liters, that weights 1 kg. This norwegian brand pack is great, and very practical. It has quick access to the inside. It has two side mesh for storing wet socks or water bottles. You can remove the hood to spare 204 grams, you can attach poles two the sides and has multiple adjusting posibilites. It dont have side pockets on the belt and its not completly waterproof so we might need use stuff sacks and a nylofume pack liner.
As for Dani, he wasent completly satified with his Helium 55 Pro, that was a bit different than Fannys version and made more for Top Skiing ice climbing, beeing too narrow on the end so he recently sold out that gear too. He learned also from the expedition that the Norrøna Pararanger, his old trusty backpack is just to heavy, specially when the Cordura material gets wet. so he went for something lighter, bit smaller, and 99 % waterprof this time and sold that one too. The Hyperlite Southwest 4400 70 liter, now this can be purchased in Norway, but its the Dyneema part that is important and there are only a few products you can actually buy in Norway with that. For my case though i needed to order from the US, wich is expensive. The pack is very well seem sealed, strong, waterproff, 1,1 kg light, and practically. Its also has a little internal frame. This pack might be to big for a thru Hike like this, though its good to have for when Dani does Packrafting and fishing trips or even Winter Bushcraft Camps in the while for the future, and so when not it can be folded down to like a 50 liter pack.
Camera gear. There is not much other than the drone that has been changed. The Lumix G9 still doing a fantastic job. This time though I will drop the long lens and the smallest vlog lens and will focus on making a good film with a 25 mm Leica lens, a 7 artisans wide Angle lens, and also their pratically heavy Macro lens. I like 7 artisans lens due to the quality and the price though they might be a bit heavier. The Drone that is the Mavic 2 Zoom can also will also provide us with some footage. Acoording to Notam and Flysafe app there are some places along the trail where I will be allowed for some safe drone footage with my certification. We will not take with us the GoPro I think and the 360 Camera this time either. But will will need all of the Drones Batteries with the Adapter to use as a Powerbank too. Other than that a normal powerbank will be essential too. Batteries juice dry fast outdoors and solar panels are a waste of time and money.
Security & Navigation. New piece of gear this time is the InReach Mini, where Dani swich from the Gen 3 Spot Connect. This is unlike the last a two way SMS device wich is essential when both parents are away from their kids for 8 or 9 days. I wanted to switch to the Explorer but apparently one of my friends had problems with the device, and the map you have there are a thing you need to pay for in addition to the subscribtion and the divice itself. Other than that we will be using either the downloable apps from Norgeskart App, Alltrails app and of course a phisical map and a compass just in case we run out of batteri or devices fail. The Inreach Mini therefore is more lightweight too and since we are carrying the phones too, its ok to have a smaller device.
Both Fanny and Dani have also sport watches, one with GPS and Compass to track our distance and elevation too.