Hiking in Finland

Climbing, bikepacking, skiing & packrafting in the north

The Week in Review

Back to business tomorrow.

On Monday I announced Ultralight A-Z - the video series about lightweight and ultralight backpacking which I plan on making. So far there are 77 awesome backers which have funded already 53% of the project - my biggest thanks go out to you! Also the support for ULAZ from the UL blogging community has been amazing thus far, with many bloggers supporting me with great posts:
Also on Twitter there have been countless tweets and ReTweets, for which I am very thankful! I am indeed grateful by the enthusiastic support from you all, and am positive that we will soon reach the goal and make ULAZ a reality! Any amount helps to bring us closer to the goal, thus if you haven't yet made a pledge, like to see me more funny video like the one underneath - then please back my project!

Flagstaff. Mountain bike and pizza action.

Greg has an awesome review of a few Exped pieces up on his blog. "Open the pod bay doors, HAL." must be one of the greatest conclusions!

Neusiok Trail. Includes a pink LightHeart Gear Solo shelter =)

DIY Tenkara Line Furling.

Toni has a new blog on Blogger and lets us know what he was up to in the last weeks.

Appalchia & Beyond review the GoGirl. Which is for girls. In case that isn't obvious.

Jim does the Mattabesett Trail - Reservoir Loop.

Ditch the Tent: Go into Fast Fly Mode!

Backpacking food was on a few peoples mind this week. Rocky likes it vegetarian and light, for he-who-shall-not-be-named it can be a mix of MYOG and ready-made, Sam writes about food for an overnighter and Baz found rice udon.

Ross did some sweet videos on axes, called "An Introduction to Axes".

The Lost Coast.

Gavin was on the Isle of Jura and brought home some splendid photos.

Problems of Authenticity.

Terry - Terra Nova’s new range for 2012.
James - Terra Nova’s new range for 2012.
Martin - Terra Nova’s new range for 2012.

Terry reviews also the Lowe Alpine Zepton 50 Hyperlite.

Sheila was three days in the Cairngorms.

Dear Diary, Basti reviewed the Icebreaker Oasis Crew. He wrote so lovely and kind about it, that you definitely should read it.

Vegan sleeping bags.

Alan delievers a Blast From the Past with his 2005 TGOC Report.

Damien issues a challenge to outdoor clothing manufacturers.

Matt helps you choosing the best touring bicycle.

Project Hyakumeizan does a screen test. Great photos of what looks like a very challenging and beautiful climb.

The BPL's Gear Shop Closes and has a Gambler's Sale going on - meaning everything is on sale. Ever fancied that awesome UL240 Cocoon quilt? A Vapr bivy? Now's your chance.

Food for Thought III

It is Friday, you're sitting at home after work (please don't tell me you're reading this blog at work - that can get you into trouble), packing for a backpacking trip in the forest/ hills/ lakes/ all of the before mentioned and then one question shoots into your mind: What would Hendrik eat on a trip like this? Well, first and foremost, Hendrik wouldn't think on a Friday afternoon what he would eat on the next two days out - that is way to early late. Hendrik is well organized and plans weeks, even months ahead. Time to learn from him.

[If you hover with your cursor above the photos, some smart tags with additional wisdom will appear, including links. Try it!]

This is the food for Hendrik's ten days canoe/ kayak/ packrafting trip in Eastern Finland from May. Paddling up to 30 km a day was a new experience for Hendrik, and he used different body parts to go forward - not feet and a back to carry a rucksack, but his hands and arms to paddle him forward. Them students were recommended to take high protein food for this trip, and with his food partner he shared the lunches - she carried lunch for five days, and he did as well. Weights ya wanna know?

Here we are. Hendrik was very pleased with the total weight and the weight of the days, Sun & Mon was a bit more heavy as he had a Travellunch Double meal which he took, those are inherently a tad more heavy. On top came the Chorizzo sausages above, which he didn't eat more than four of and then fed them to the garbage can. And as they had two possibilities on the trip to buy food, Hendrik bought some extra German Bratwürste, apples, bananas and chocolate, which made a nice "fresh food" addition to the diet.

Ten days packed separately, each package includes the breakfast, snacks, coffee, tea and dinner for two days. Shared lunches, some snacks, nuts'n'berries and olive oil extra.

All packed up except shared lunches and the first days. Happy about the compact size Hendrik was, lemme tell you!

For the lunches and breakfast Hendrik went MYOG and created them myself: Müsli with dried berries, nuts, milk & cacao powder plus sugar for breakfast, spaghetti with dehydrated tomato sauce, tuna, salt and pepper and red lentils with a cup-a-soup.

The müsli is easy to make, but takes time as Hendrik does it with the weight scale. He finds that
  • 90 gram of müsli
  • 20 gram of milk powder
  • 5 gram of concentrated cacao powder
  • 5 gram of brown sugar
  • 10 gram of dried raisins or similar
  • 10 gram nuts
is the right size for him and gives sufficient energy for the first half of the day. Also for breakfast is a cup of Starbucks Via - hat tip to Phil who's the kind supplier! - and a satchel of Immunstabilität; which is giving a tasty dose of vitamins and minerals - something that often tends to come to short on trips, and Hendrik found them a good addition.

Lunches were easy: 100 gram red lentils and two satchels of cup-a-soup were plenty for two people, and pretty tasty (at least Hendrik thought so, his partner found it good as she hasn't tried red lentils before). The other lunch was a tad more complicated: An oven (or dehydrator) was needed to dehydrate the dolphin tuna (take tuna in oil. Hendrik didn't look closely as he was shopping and grabbed tuna in water, which was OK, though tuna in oil is a lot better. There, you again learned from his mistakes!) and pasta sauce. You could make the pasta sauce yourself, though Hendrik was short on time and bought a tasty one (Parmesan Tomato Sauce ftw!) from the shop. 3 hours on 50 degrees = dehydrated tuna and sauce. Break into small chunks, give them another hour in the oven, while packing 150 gram of full corn spaghetti in a Ziploc, add salt, and then the tuna and sauce. To cook them, Hendrik just puts a good 800 ml of water in his pot, brings it to a boil and throws the whole thing in there, adds a bit of olive oil, lets it boil for ten minutes and Voilá ready is the meal for two!

All dinners were freeze dried meals from Fuizion, Cache Lake Outfitters, MX3, Trail Foods and Travellunch - which almost all can be conveniently purchased at the OutdoorFoodShop.de from right there where you're sitting - MAGIC! It is something Hendrik did as well, because it is cheaper for him to purchase there & pay shipping than purchase locally.

So why not make the meals yourself? It is a time question, really. It does take a good amount of time to prepare and dehydrate meals, and ten days is a lot of food to make, which would mean a lot of time spent on shopping, cutting, dehydrating, packing. Hendrik can do that, but he can do other things better with his time and hence preferred to get the ready made meals. He kept score of the different meals, and all were tasty, but the crown goes to the Fuizion Coq Au Vin, with the Cache Lake Outfitter's Spaghetti and the MX3 Chicken and Rice Tandoori sharing the second place. If you look for a few meals to try, give these a go - you won't be disappointed [Hendrik's wife tried on a winter snowshoeing day trip some Fuizion meals, and was mighty impressed by them as well =]!

A complete list of dinners consumed, including rating:
  • Monday: MX3 Shepard's Pie - 3 Stars
  • Tuesday: MX3 Chicken Mushroom Pasta - 4 Stars
  • Wednesday: Trail Foods Glacier Garlic Noodles - 3 Stars
  • Thursday: MX3 French Tartiflette - 3 Stars
  • Friday: Fuizion Coq Au Vin - 5 Stars
  • Saturday: Cache Lake Outfitter's Choice Spahetti & Sauce with Beef Flavor Bits - 5 Stars
  • Sunday: Travellunch Meatballs & Potato mush - 2 to 3 Stars (depends on how hungry Hendrik is)
  • Monday: MX3 Chicken and Rice Tandoori - 5 Stars
  • Tuesday: MX3 Oriental Chicken Tajine - 4 Stars
  • Wednesday - Leftovers - fruits and sausages!

For snacks he had nuts, dried cranberries and blackberries (also known as blueberries), OatSnacks, sesame snacks as well as Snickers and Mars. Those latter two are needed to fill Hendrik's appetite for chocolate, are affordable, and have a decent energy to weight ratio. And hey! - it is CHOCOLATE! Do you know how much the body & mind crave that stuff when you're outdoors for any time longer than two days?! The OatSnacks are pretty awesome and come in a variety of tastes, and can replace a full meal - yeah, they're that filling. Easy to make yourself as well, I hear, depending on where your time/ money/ preferences lie.

He-who-shall-not-be-named (anymore) hopes that you enjoyed this post about food - he did enjoy eating and writing about it! If you did, consider backing his Kickstarter project where he plans to do similar awesomesauce - on video! Imagine the show: Fire, food, and Voldemort he-who-shall-not-be-named doing entertaining and educating things on video, it is something you don't want to miss out on!

The Video Guide to Lightweight Backpacking

If you are an attentive reader, and once in a while dare to take a look at the sidebar of this wee blog, you will have seen the Kickstarter widget. You also might have seen the Ultralight A-Z Title, remembered that I had something along those lines planed during winter, and connected the dots. Which would have lead you to visiting the Kickstarter Project page, hit play on the now conveniently up here embedded video, and watched my pitch. By the end of the two minute video I hopefully would have had you so far that you'd say "Hell yeah, I want swag and see Hendrik do this!" You would have hit the green "Back This Project" button, decided what kind of reward you'd like - a DVD and T-Shirt, Stickers, or a HD Download - and made your pledge. I would have been very happy to get your support, and we would together make this series a reality.

So the ideal line-of-thought would go =) Other lines-of-though could be:

- "What is Kickstarter?" => Answer.
- "What does he need the money for?" => A new yacht in Papua New-Guinea (That's me being sarcastic. Read the Project page!).
- "Why is it not free?" => Because it is premium content. Freemium is available though ;)
- "What are the topics?" => Life is like a chocolate box, you never know what you're going to get. And hence I keep the cards close to my chest and put on my pokerface.

Honestly, I think the Kickstarter Project page and the video say it all. If you have questions, comments, observations, please feel free to comment away here or on Kickstarter. I'd love to make this series for all of us, though I do need your support to make it a reality. Any amount pledged helps to reach the goal, and only if the goal is reached, Ultralight A-Z will become a reality.