Hiking in Finland

Climbing, bikepacking, skiing & packrafting in the north

The Week in Review

Proper spring has sprung. +6°C, sunny, and the first flowers are blossoming. Time to start new projects.



News & Various:

A couple of weeks back I read about the plans of a few construction companies who got permission to build along the shores of Lake Inari in the protected Natura 2000 wilderness area. Lake Inari is a wonderful nature area and a sacred place for the natives of the region, the Sami. Now Benidorm style hotels, villages and Villas should be build along the shore of this sacred land, destroying protected areas and with it the habitat of many animals and plants. Please show your support and sign the petition! You can read the open letter in English here, and more information and photos can be read in this Spiegel article.

Brian made a DIY Bridge Hammock. It looks sweet, and at 10.5 oz all in it is SUL!

Seems hammocks are gaining traction, as also Black Goat Gear published a very detailed Double Layer Hammock Guide. Order those materials and start sewing!

If you speak and/ or understand German, you definitely need to go and see the Yukon Arctic Ultra documentary.

The trekking-lite-store.com now has Hyperlite Mountain Gear tarps and rucksacks in stock, so if you were waiting for them to be available in Europe, check their shop!

Brian is giving away a complete Kupilka Starter Kit which is your chance to get some kick-ass Kupilka gear!

European cottage news, Lite Mountain Gear is a German cottage which now opened their website and shop and will roll out some more gear during the spring & summer. Colin Ibbotson's Tramplite shop will open on October 1st, so start saving for those Skins 2 packs!

Mark is coming back to Finland - and the Nordic Lightpacking guys and I rejoice!

Tenkara: Sweetness on the Bitterroot.

John writes about Barefoot Hiking - Torture or Bliss, a honest look at his experiences with VFFs.

Cracking open.

Gear:

Thomas shares his first impressions on the MLD Trailstar. Its yellow, so it is awesome.

PTC shares his view on the Haglöfs Bivvy Down Vest with us.

David plays with fire and his new Trail Designs Ti Tri Sidewinder Inferno.

Dug lets us know about all he’ll be wearing on the PCT.

Basti revies the North Face Khyber 100 fleece.

I reviewed the Julbo Dolgan sunglasses and the GoLite Tumalo Storm jacket and pants.

Skis. Boots. Poles.

Trips:

Jaakko sends his first greetings from Svalbard. Make sure to subscribe to his blog as he will deliver regular updates during the next three weeks while skiing in the arctic!

Fraser shares some impressions from his birthday weekend at Rothiemurchus with us. Superb photos which you should check out!

Chris shares some photographic impressions form the last months in Japan, before the disasters struck.

Sabine hiked the E4 on Cyprus, and it was quite an adventure she had! Great photos of a lovely spring!

Back north we can now follow Joe's and Jörgen's tall tales of their adventure in Finnmarksvidda.

Jake and his mates went on their 2011 Legends Patrol Trip- AT section hike.

Marcel went on the E5 from Oberstdorf to Bozen. 250 km, 15 Days, 3 countries, lovely views.

James was on a wilderness slackpack on the Isle of Rum, some fine sunrises there!

Alberto keeps on teasing us with perfect skiing in the Italian Dolomites.

Robin visited Dartmoor. No sunshine there, but varying degrees of gray and serious rain also make for a trip to remember.

Dave was in Huldreheimen. He and his friends had a really big tent with them.

Adam went to Lost Lake in Alaska. Stunning photos which you must see.

David went Bikerafting the Minnehaha. I want a bike. That's how cool this is.

GoLite Tumalo Storm Jacket & Pants

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What is soft, breathable, and waterproof? It's the GoLite Tumalo Storm Jacket and Pants, which I have been testing since last summer. In black. Because I don't (yet) do colours.


Staring off contemplatively into the middle distance, as Fraser puts it.

The facts:

GoLite Tumalo Storm Jacket, Size S, weight 258 g.
GoLite Tumalo Storm Pants, Size S, weight 195 g.

Made of Pertex Shield. Which is soft to the touch, breathes amazingly well, and keeps the water out. Is it better than eVent and GoreTex Paclite? In breathability terms, yes. I also haven't yet get wet in them, which means they are at least waterproof enough for my needs, which includes packrafting and canoeing in them, weathering a Finnish rain shower in the summer, autumn drizzle, and trail running in the winter.


Pertex Shield, baby.

Actually I think the material breathes too well. That might sound odd for those who regularly have problems of running wet in their jackets and pants, so let me explain. Fact of the matter is, I often just wear my waterproofs when I go hiking when the weather forecast promises drizzle, rain, grey, dull wetness. No sense in putting them in the pack and wear a pants and windjacket when I will need to change it either way soon again. The pants have been the Rab Drillium pants, and I tried and switched between different jackets. In these pants & jacket, it was always comfy warm without being too clamy or wet. Now Pertex Shield also lets my heat escape pretty well, up to the point that if I rest for a minute to check the map and take a bearing I'm getting a bit cold. This might be merely a subjective feeling, while others might actually find it an advantage, but it is something I noticed over the months.


Pit zips for even more ventilation.

The jacket has pit zips and mesh-lined pockets which mean you can go all out and be so airy that you will fly away with the next breeze =) I haven't used the Pit Zips a lot, as it is seldom hot and humid in Finland, but those in Southern Europe, Asia and Southern America will likely welcome this breathability. The Waterproofness is, as said, excellent. The cut is spot on for me, a nice long back and sleeves which end in elastic cuffs (sadly no thumbloops), with a shock cord closure on the bottom hem and a two-way zipper which has a storm flap. Now two-way zippers and me have a interesting relationship, as we don't often seem to work smoothly together. However, this zipper is a tad easier than other jackets with two-way zippers which I have used, though I believe that a simple zipper still is best. To round things out, all seams are taped. Sweet!



Mesh pockets to store stuff and ventilate.

The waterproof pockets are good, though it is easy for stuff to entangle itself in the mesh. You also can use the pockets double, as in that when you open the jacket you can put something, like a map, behind the pocket. See the above photo to understand what I mean.

Which brings us to the hood. It is a hood, which could have been made better. Of course my bar is high with the Haglöfs OZO hood as the benchmark, but even in comparison with the Arc'teryx Squamish Hoody I found the hood lacking - it is a tad fiddly, and doesn't cover my head too well. My solution to this problem is to use the Tumalo Jacket with an umbrella for best wet weather protection while keeping the best visibility. If you don't carry an umbrella, and have a smaller head than me, then you might find the hood just fine.


Long back, and a hood.


Pant-a-licious.

On to the pants then. Again they have fully taped seams, an elasticized waist with draw cord, a small cargo pocket with a keychain hook, short calf zips with a storm flap and velcro closure. Same very breathable, black, soft Pertex Shield material, so what I said for breathability and waterproofness also applies here. Good long cut, comfy on the hips, free to move and scramble up hills, and rather durable as well.



Zipper and velcro at the leg.


Leg pocket with a key hook and enough place to keep your phone and wallet.

They have been very nice to use through the last three seasons, being much better than I expected - coming from 3 layer garments, I thought these can't be nearly as good, but my belief was quickly disabused after using them. If you are disappointed with the performance of other "highly breathable & waterproof" garments and are thinking about trying something new, then this jacket and pants might be well worth a look. In case you find black boring (w00t?!) then the jacket is also available in Rust Red and Blue. You can get your GoLite Tumalo Storm Jacket and GoLite Tumalo Storm Pants now at Ultralight Outdoor Gear where they're available at a nice discount!


Not Trash! Recycle the jacket at the end of its life =)

Julbo Dolgan Sunglasses

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While currently the weather doesn't warrant the use of sunglasses, the time spent in the North and East of Finland skiing did, and I am hopeful that soon we will have wonderful sunny weather again. So sunny, that one needs sunglasses!



My sunglasses of choice for outdoor activities are the Julbo Dolgan shades, made in France. Weighing in at 33 g including the necklace thingy, that is an acceptable weight for me. While there are lighter glasses around, for something that gets used so much and might collect its fair share of scratches from bushwacking & spending time in a meshpocket with other stuff, I believe a good, affordable pair is a better investment than a 200€ pair of shades where every scratch hurts.

I have the Spectron 4 lenses, which claim to be "Light but with excellent shock resistance" and have an anti-reflective coating which "improves visual comfort by eliminating stray reflections" and a flash finish: "improves visible light filtering with mirror effect lenses; it reflects the rays of light and increases the filter effect and eliminates the radiation reflected by the outer mirrored surface of the lens." Woohoo.


Side view.

Translated into plain English that means they do their utmost to keep those dangerous UV rays out of your retinas, also keep out the glare from snow & water, and allows you to shoot laser beams at ultraheavy backpackers. OK, I made that last one up, but that would be a cool feature. It also said that it has an anti-fog coating. Well, somehow those never seem to work for me. Put the lenses on your head to check something with clear sight, put them back on, and they give me this lovely foggy view. At least the fog doesn't stay long, even if I do an activity like skiing which lets me perspire a lot. So it is cool and I learn to live with it.

The lenses have a sweet, slightly orange tint to them, which is great in white winter landscapes as well as in green summer forests. Also when packrafting I found them an adequate protection for my eyes, while being able to pick out details in the stream ahead. The outside of the lenses have a mirror finish, this allows me to stare without worries at the ultraheavy food of other campers without being afraid that they notice it (unless I am also drooling). On a more practical note, it allows me to check my face for scratches or if my hair-do is fine when re-entering civilization.


Looking smart.

The sunglasses keep snow and wind out very well thanks to the ergonomic design and "removable" wings at the side. I tried once to remove them, but didn't want to exert too much force and hence gave up. Taken off, they might save a gram or six together, I guess. But I rather am protected from snow and wind, to be honest. The necklace thingy (Weight: 1 g) makes me look like a 70+ year old grandmother and likely to lose my glasses, but the truth is that sometimes it is more convenient to have them hang around your neck than have the shades riding on top of your skull. Like when you have a sweaty head or big wooly hat on top.


Hitching a ride on top.

Bottom line? A cool looking pair of shades which are functional and light. If Nemo could have chosen his own sunglasses instead of getting a hand-me-down pair from Morpheus, he would have taken these. You can get them at your own free will from Parttioaitta in Finland, or check the Julbo Europe / Julbo USA site for a retailer near you.