The Rapa delta and entrance to Sarek just before Aktse

Kungsleden – five highlights and ten important lessons learned

Aktse with Skierfe in the background
                         Aktse with Skierfe in the background

July 2013: First time out on a multiday, camping hike: The Northern (and most popular) stretch of the Kungsleden from Abisko to Kvikkjokk – approximately 160 km walked in 10 days.

Highlights:

  1. The wilderness of Laponia in general. Although you are never far away (10 km max) from a staffed hut, there is a true sense of wilderness, which furthermore comes without virtually without a risk of predators.
  2. Aktse. An old, now abandoned, settlement, where the spirit of the settlers remain and a mountain lodge now is established at the old settlers lodge.
  3. The endless forest between Laitaure and Kvikkjokk.
  4. The midnight sun. In July it never really gets dark.
  5. Kebnekaise and around (I climbed Kebnekaise  on another trip in both 2014 and 2016).
Camping close to Sälka
                                   Camping close to Sälka

Lessons learned:

  1. Bring a map. Not only for safety but also to learn about the landmarks on the way.
  2. Do not buy too small hiking boots. It took me two years and 6 lost toe nails to realize this.
  3. Check your sleeping mattress. My sleeping mattress was not insulated as I had bought an air-mattress by mistake.
  4. Hiking in Laponia requires a four-season sleeping bag as snow may be encountered at any time, especially in the higher areas, such as at the Tjäktja pass.
  5. Merino wool, merino wool. Merino wool is unsurpassed for base layer/underwear.
  6. Even though the midnight sun is on, it may not be enough to charge a solar charger.
  7. Bring hiking poles, not only for hiking but also for river crossings.
  8. Do not overdo it in the beginning. The 20 km I did on second day between Abiskojaure and Alesjaure was clearly too much.
  9. Bring a GPS watch – not for navigation but for monitoring distances hiked and ascents done.
  10. The mosquitos are ferocious. The mild Danish mosquito spray does not work up here: Buy the local mosquito repellent.

    Walking on planks through birch forest at the beginning, right after Abisko.
    Walking on planks through birch forest at the beginning,         right after Abisko.

Schedule:
Abisko – Abiskojaure (camping) – Alesjaure (camping) – Tjäktja (hut) – Sälkka (camping) – Singi (camping) – Vakkotavare (camping) – Before Sitasjaure (camping) – Aktse (camping) – before Pårte (camping) – before Kvikkjok (camping).

The complete photogallery of the Kungsleden hike is available on flickr.

With these lessons, I went to the Alps in France, to hike the Tour de Mont Blanc.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *