Do you want to meet fellow lightweight backpackers and outdoor enthusiasts, learn about packrafting & bikepacking, and hear interesting Keynotes from the likes of Glen Van Peski, Linda Åkerberg and Chris Townsend? Then join us at the European Trail Days in Sweden
this May POSTPONED, new date to be announced!
Disclosure: I’m an organizer of the European Trail Days and have a financial interest in its success. As you know: I’m keepin’ it real and tell you how it is - I maintain full editorial control of the content published on Hiking in Finland. Read the Transparency Disclaimer for more information on blogger transparency and affiliate links.
When I started Hiking in Finland in 2009 I soon started to network with like-minded hikers here in Europe and elsewhere. Going outdoors and sharing great experiences is just better than going alone, and in 2010 the Nordic Lightpackers set out on a hike in Vålådalen. It was an amazing experience, and two years later I again met “strangers from the internet” for the first Ultralight Summit in Slovenia.
In 2013 the 2nd Ultralight Summit took place in Finland and despite the weather we had a great time hiking. These meet-ups gave me the feeling that it’s great to meet like-minded people, people who share the same passion of going outdoors, are interested in trying new things, and who are fun to be around. Fast-forward to 2020 and the European Trail Days! A social, relaxed Festival where you can meet all your digital and real-life friends at a beautiful spot in Sweden, stroll over our small fair and check our gear from companies like Locus Gear, Liteway Equipment, Sierra Designs and others, eat tasty, locally produced ice cream and sit by the camp fire and swap stories from your hikes with friends!
The inaugural European Trail Days will take place at the Glassbonden Farm next to the Vindeälven river. Glassbonden is a household name in the region for their delicious, locally produced ice cream (made from the cow’s milk which will graze around the Festival area!) and we’re super-excited to work with them. One of the best things about the location most certainly is that you can hike in two days from the centre of Umeå to it, on the Tavelsjöleden Trail. The massive field will hold all the Tarps, Pyramide shelters and tents from the people who join us for a night or two, as well as the booths from all the cool brands which join us, Workshops, the stage and the campfire area! On the river you can try packrafting, in the forest you can learn how to hang a hammock correctly and there’s plenty of cool trails and gravel roads for hiking and cycling. Also, the Vindelälven river is one of Sweden’s best fishing rivers with brown trout and other native fish, so bring your fishing rod!
For the European Trail Days we decided we need a program, and one which is really interesting to new and old hikers & backpackers alike. We’re very lucky that we were able to secure an amazing set of speakers for the European Trail Days:
- Glen Van Peski, Founder of Gossamer Gear
- Linda Åkerberg, Sweden South to North thru-hike and PCT Finisher
- Chris Townsend, needs no introduction! Triple Crowner and finisher of a host of long-distance trails
- Jörgen Johansson, The founder of the “3 for 3” Idea and one of Sweden’s earliest UL backpacking proponents
Some of these wonderful people also will host their own Workshops, so if you want to get some tips from Linda about hiking in Sweden or check out what Glen carries in his backpack, sign up for one of those, too! Speaking of workshops, I already can tease that there’s going to be a Workshop about packrafting and one about lightweight food and stoves, so if you want to keep up-to-date on these keep an eye on our Facebook page as that’s where we announce these things (they also go up on the Website, traildays.eu, if you’re not on Facebook).
In addition to Keynotes and the Workshops we will have a cozy little fair with a bunch of very cool outdoor and ultralight brands:
- Locus Gear from Japan
- Liteway Equipment from Ukraine
- Packraft Sverige from Sweden
- Hiker Haus from Germany
- Sierra Designs from the USA
- Gossamer Gear from the USA
- Six Moon Designs from the USA
- Backpackinglight.se from Sweden
I can tell you, there’s several more that are coming, but haven’t confirmed 100% yet, but it will be really cool to see all the shiny UL Gear in person and talk with the makers!
AND that’s still not all, as we aim to have a Concert from a local band on Saturday night, there’s going to be a Camp & Chill area where you can sit around the campfire and socialize, we will have every day a “Solo Hiker Meet-up” where you can meet other attendants, and some more stuff which I’m working on! We also have delicious ice cream and food is also available in case you don’t bring your own!
I’m coming! What does it cost & where can I sleep?
Now the best thing: Most of the programme is FREE! Yes, all the Keynotes, checking out the fair, chilling at the campfire, and coming to the concert is free for everyone! The only costs you will have at the Festival is for camping, a mere 15€ for one night or 29€ for two. You can get your camping tickets online at our Ticket Site, and that’s also where you can purchase your tickets for the different workshops. The camping fee goes to cover our costs for the rental of sanitary facilities, showers, and clean-up afterwards, so you directly benefit from it with having access to toilets and showers =) And as this is an outdoor Festival everyone brings their own shelter - be it a nice tent, an ultralight tarp and bivy bag, or a hammock - we have space for everything and everyone is welcome. If you prefer to sleep inside, please refer to our Website for other accommodation options!
Getting there from Finland
I know there’s already a sizeable group of Finns coming to the Festival (join Kevytretkeilijät to find out who!), and for us it’s the easiest to travel with the bus or train to Vaasa and then take the Wasaline ferry to Umeå. When you have arrived in Sweden it is important to have booked the Bus transport from the harbour to Umeå centre in advance (via the Wasaline website), otherwise you might end up stranded in the harbour. From the centre you either can hike directly via the Tavelsjöleden Trail to the location (the 40 km trail should take around two days), or you can use public transportation to get to Glassbonden. Please refer to the Festival website for information about this. Also, check out Brian Outdoors’ Trip Planning article as Brian will travel from Copenhagen to the Festival, and has done a lot of planning (which is also useful for those who come from central Europe and elsewhere!).
See you in Sweden in May!
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