Covid-19 gave me a bit of a headache planning this trip. Not knowing if I can go ahead with my trip had a noticeable (negative) effect on my motivation to plan the hike. End of June, when Norway decided to open its borders for some European countries mid-July, I went ahead and booked my flights to the far north, even though at that point it wasn't clear yet, for which citizens Norway would grant entry for tourist purposes.
Then finally, on July 10th, less than two weeks before my scheduled departure day, the long awaited news: Norway will open up for Swiss citizens!
Some well needed positive news, which boosted my motivation. High time to finish the planning!
Despite now stepping on the gas, this time planning won't be as thoroughly as during my previous hikes. While I plotted the route and with the help of this semi-official (?) website, created a spreadsheet with distances, resupply points and accommodation, I don't exactly know what surprises the trail will hold for me (which makes my hike even more exciting!). Still, I got all the gear sorted and I'm positive my body is physically capable of doing the trail.
To summarize: not perfectly but adequately prepared for the hike.
A hike, which will be challenging. Mainly because its remote nature. Towns or settlements are few and far between in northern Scandinavia, which means carrying lots of food. The longest stretch will roughly be 300km with nothing but some huts in between, which might or might not offer some basic resupply options. Ergo my legs need to carry around two weeks’ worth of food. To make this slightly more bearable I opt to leave my heavy full frame camera behind and instead go for a semi-professional compact camera. From what I've learnt so far from my new toy, I'm of good cheer to snap some great photos of the hopefully spectacular landscape which I'm looking forward to showing you on my website soon.
Hut in Scandinavia are scattered all over the place. However, they are rather pricey to sleep at, with the exception of some small, free shelters. Therefore, the tent is where I will spend most of my nights, maybe a hut occasionally should the weather be throwing its worst at me.
Speaking of weather: This will probably be the most challenging thing. Being well north of the Arctic Circle the weather can be harsh - even mid-summer. Snow and high rivers can slow down or even prevent progress. However, who said it's going to be a walk in the park...
While my initial plan was to hitchhike all the way up to the Cape, I quickly scrapped this idea, when Corona made its appearance in Europe. The chance drivers would pick up a wild looking,bearded fellow would sink from small to sub-zero. Hence, as mentioned before, I'll fly into Alta, stock up on food and gas there before heading to the Cape. Well, I'll still try my look hitching as I love doing it but could easily catch a bus, should the need arrive. On the way I hope to drop a food package in Olderfjord, to pick it when I pass by on my way south.
Work in progress: An overview of resupply points along or close to the way. While I try to stay on the trail as much as possible, somtimes it's more convenient to hitch into a town for resupply and hitch back to the trail.
Spreadsheat with distances and other useful information
My gear. Not exactly lightweight yet acceptable for me.