Hiking in Finland

Climbing, bikepacking, skiing & packrafting in the north

The Week in Review

Frostbite ain't fun, I can tell you now.



News & Various:

Always wanted to go for a hike with Chris Townsend, hear about his trips and visit Finland? Combine them all and join us in the autumn when Chris and the Nordic Lightpacking crew hook up for a hike in Finland.

Geek tents rock. From tree over car to modular tents, these are some seriously fun designs.

Timo is selling and giving away a whole bunch of lightweight gear, so for all aspiring lightweight backpackers in Finland a great chance to pick up some good stuff.

The Story of Bottled Water is a recommended see this week, because you don't need bottled water.

If you feel that there is too much choice, not enough imagination in the outdoor industry, read this article about the major players.

Mungo brings us some fine Ray Mears Videos: Northern Wilderness - In Arctic Footsteps, and I recommend you take an hour and watch the six clips.

Some fine winter fly-fishing photos can be seen at Eat More Brook Trout.

Mike delivers a photo dump from his trips in the last weeks. Warm n sunny, yay!

Brian is giving away a Kupilka 21 cup. Combine with Coffee.

Antti picked his next destination, The Cleveland Way! Looking forward to his planning et al.

Pig-Monkey shares some very useful knowledge on Lanolizing Wool.

This weeks recommended read goes to Tomas for his excellent post titled "Winter sleeping systems, trying weird new shit like VBLs".

David from Self Powered interviewed Chris Townsend, and these interviews are now online as a stream, with a final show coming next Tuesday and featuring Andy Howell and Alan Sloman.

Jörgen Johannson is offering a course called "Learn Smarter Backpacking in Arctic Scandinavia".



Trips:

Ian was dropped off for a month long teddy bears picnic party in Canada. Sweet.

Ken went for another hike on Tenerife, this time along Las Cañadas. If you wanna escape the cold, snow, rain and misery check out his great photos and trip report from the warm south.

Peter went on a full moon overnighter on skis and survived the biting cold just fine!

Basti shares some fine photos from their winter trip last December.

Mark goes to Afton, and beyond.

A spectacular trip report from Cumming Crofton comes from Granite & Ice.

Steve went on a Tuesday into the Peak District and found it empty and all to himself.

Roger was on another very fine beach walk, a bit of snow, dunes, fishing boats, lighthouses, - in short, a magic scenery!

Paul vistited Fells, Circles & Highways.

Aro went on a snowshoeing daytrip.

Atom vists Zebra Slot Canyon. Recommended read for its stunning photos of beautiful red rocks.

Jonathon and Jim visited Dolly Sods in feet of snow.



raeG:

Yours truly shed light on Osprey's newest creation, the Hornet 32 backpack.

Chris shares his first impressions of the Nemo Espri 2P Tent.

CAMP presents the new Cassin X-All Mountain Tool, something the serious climbers and mountaineers among my dear readers should take a look at.

The Husky Hiker reviews the Kako IceTrekkers Diamond Grips Traction System.

Joe takes a first look at the Forty Below Light Energy Shortie overboots.

Tookie on the other hand takes a first look at the TAR Haven quilt.

Big Kev looks at the Finisterre Humboldt Mk II.

Keith takes a look at the Bouldering In Ireland guidebook, a real work of art!

OceanMountainSky is reviewing the ULA Equipment Circuit Pack.

Mr. Turner made a remarkable video Remote Canister Gas Stoves for Winter.

Gustav writes on the Bushbuddy as a multi-fuel stove, a must read for all BB owners.

Maz writes about Buffalo, that UK company which makes great lightweight gear.

creep takes a good close look at the Kahtoola FLIGHTsystem, which combines overboots and snowshoes in one.

Osprey Hornet 32 Backpack

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I've been using one backpack in the last month almost exclusively, from skiing and snowshoeing trips to going to school and taking it food shopping, and that is the Osprey Hornet 32 backpack. It is a new fast & light backpack from a major player, so it is always good to have a look and see their take on lightweight backpacks.


Welcome to Hiking in Finland, Osprey!

For those with blazing fast internet connections, watch the underneath video to get a good idea of this new pack in action before I jump into the nitty-gritty details:


Or view it on Youtube.

The pack is 593 gram on my scale, Size M/L.

These 593 gram get you a 32 liter backpack, with a few extra liters if you count in the two lid pockets, two hipbelt pockets, the big front mesh pocket and the hydration pocket which holds reservoirs up to 3 liters, though it is most comfortable with the Osprey HydraForm 2l pack (which is awesome, btw!).


In all its glory.


The inside lid pocket, up-side-down.

Lets start on the top. The top lid pocket is covered by mesh, so keep things which need to stay dry inside the pack. But sunglasses, snacks, and waterproof packed stuff can go fine in there, as there's plenty of space. If you open the lid you find another pocket, and while this is also mesh, because it is on the inside I feel comfortable and safe carrying maps, charger or other stuff which needs to stay dry in there. You can take the lid completely off, saving you some weight, though it can't be used as a fanny pack or similar.



The two hipbelt pockets are similar to the lid pockets - one more waterproof with a solid cover, the other pure mesh. They're big enough for s few snacks or a small compact camera, but I didn't find them super easy to open and close - then again, which hipbelt pockets are? The hipbelt itself is fine, the buckle is small but easy to operate (also with woolen mitts) and to tighten the belt you pull inside - which is far superior to pulling outside, in my opinion. It carries well, and despite me having a long back and it riding a bit high when I pull the shoulder straps very tight, it is good. I only use the hipbelt when skiing in the forest, otherwise the sternum strap is sufficient for my needs.



Something which I haven't seen before was the outside reservoir pocket. It is a good idea, as in this way you can access your reservoir quick and easy - no opening your main pack, fishing the reservoir out and stuffing it back in, maybe getting your gear inside wet or dirty. A drawback I found with it is that if it is snowing, snow gets into the pocket, as it is open to the top and can not be closed. Same goes for leafs, small twigs and other stuff which finds its way in when you bushwack through the forest. But because it has a drain grommet in the bottom, at least water and snow are less of a problem.



Backpanel and one of the pockets on the shoulder straps.

The backpanel is soft and has a removable CCF pad in it, and I found it especially comfy when having the 2 l HydraForm reservoir in there as well, as it has a sort of backpanel. However, also without the reservoir it is good, and I found it perfect for skiing, snowshoeing, school and grocery shopping.

The shoulder straps have a die-cut foam in it, between two layers of mesh, with the inside having a softer mesh to add some cushioning. The pockets on the shoulder straps are nice, if you carry a small & narrow GPS or phone, or want to have your snacks close you will like these. An iPhone doesn't fit in, sorry folks!



The front pocket is good, a bit tight maybe and with the two buckles to close it, it can be a bit slow if you need something fast. But it stores a UL tarp fine, as well as snacks, extra gloves and buff with some room to spare.


The main pocket.

The main pocket is big. 32 liters is plenty for a UL summer trip, and I think that's where new lightweight and UL backpackers will take this pack. Now in winter I carry extra puffy insulation, a 1l thermos flask, binoculars, a book, papers, iPad, camera, spare socks, gloves and gaiters in it, and yes, there's still room. It is massive. Sadly it is a cinch closure, and I always find that the cords get in the way and flies around where it shouldn't, but that might just be my inability to use it correctly.

There's a buckle which goes over the cinch cord closure, and that buckle is connected to a strap which has another buckle! The 2nd buckle allows you to close the front mesh pocket and keep it tight. Over that then goes the lid... with another buckle! Lots of buckles, you see. I think here Osprey should simplify, less is sometimes more. Then there's a ice axe loop at the bottom, and plenty of cord tie-off points around the pack to put own cord through to attach gear. Add in a lifting loop and a sternum buckle with a whistle and you have a fine pack with plenty of details.


The side pockets.

The side pockets are OK. They seem a bit loose and are too small for a 1l Platy, and the side compression straps, while a good idea, are meh. The sidepockets on the Hornet 46 are the full length of the site, thus should be better to hold 1l Platys and other water bottles.

Which brings us to the conclusion. I think the major advantage of this backpack is that you can walk into any outdoor shop, load it up with about 5 kg of gear and try it. You can't do that with a cottage backpack, and there's still those people who'd like to try a backpack on before buying it (Return shipping policies in the USA might be great, but in Europe they're backwards and a lot of hassle most people don't want to bother with). You also can get it immediately and don't need to wait 8 weeks or more for it to arrive. And what better way to get into lightweight backpacking than trying something in the shop? Maybe the shops even start to understand that lighter = healthier & better, and carry more gear for our needs. Anyway. There's a lot of details on this pack, or bells & whistles, as I like to call them, maybe a tad too much for my taste - but you always can take scissors and cut these off,which is easier than taking a needle and thread and sew them on. It is comfy, carries weight up to 8 kg well, looks good and has some smart extras. I like it.

Now you're thinking if you should get this backpack. If you don't have a pack which fills this niche - lightweight rucksack for weekend and day trips - and you have a retailer near you which carries it, go and try it and decide yourself =)


On a recent Snowshoeing trip.

The Week in Review

I'm on tour. Business resumes as normally.



News & Various:

If you want to satisfy your need about new, shiny UL gear, check the "New Gear From The Cottages" I wrote last week.

I am really excited to welcome the trekking-lite-store.com on this blog, your European source for US cottage gear from the likes of Tarptent, Mountain Laurel Designs, Gossamer Gear, ZPacks and many other UL gear makers. Check them out!

Chris has a nice article on How New Is Lightweight Backpacking? on his blog, well worth a read.

Devin wrote about the Backcountry Boiler, the power of Making-Your-Own-Gear and Community Supported Development in the first ever guest post on this site. Additionally there was revealed that Backpacking Light has a limited number of Backcountry Boilers for pre-order. Yay!

If you are into winter trekking, you're well advised to check that site and tap into their knowledge.

Martin tells us how he goes about planning his TGOC route.

Mikko made his own puukko. It looks fantastic and his step-by-step guide is definitely a must-see if you wanna make your own knife.

The laser etching on the Backcountry Boiler is so fricking sweet, I'm in love.

Brawny writes on her favourite tape.

This guide to travelling hand-luggage only is useful for all those who wanna spend less time waiting for luggage to arrive.

John made a MYOG Ninja Tarp in all-black for a certain Mr. Horner. And apparently John even considers starting his own cottage in the future - awesome!

Dave writes about the interesting case surrounding Roland Fleck.

Robin made a MYOG Duomid groundsheet in an L-shape.

Phreerunner reports that Global Warming is alive and well in Timperley and hence the first spring flowers pop up.

Andy talks Dehydration: A Recap on the Basics.



Tripping in the wild:

Fraser shares a Photographic Tour of Scotland with us. He makes superb photos, so if you're not able to go out to climb Scottish hills, then this is for you.

Nick and friends got up early and did the Glen Tanar Circuit in six hours, eleven minutes. The Fast & The Furious?!

Peter and Toni went for a overnighter in Marttila, pushing bikes through knee-deep snow and making fires.

Justyna and friends went on a four day winter mountaineering course in the Polish mountains. Lovely scenery and great climbing puts Poland on the map for me and many others, I'm sure.

Joe overcame his cabin fever.

Dave discloses "The Plan".

Ken was on Tenerife in Spain and his trip to Mount Negras and the Canal had fantastic views.

Sam is on Day 41 of his trip.

Benjamin shares his Impressions of the TULFWT V.

LAUFBURSCHE repots on the trip before the TUFWT and showcases his new Laavu off in the wild.

Peter went to visit an old friend. It is good to visit old friends.

The Nepal Chronicles reach Chapter 10.



Fear, Gear, Beer:

Mr. Hotel found The Wood Worker's Snowshoes. Handmade by a local guy, they look sweet.

Mr. Kirkpatrick writes about the one mitt to rule them all. Because you have a glove & mitt fetish, you want to read it.

Mr. Bigbananafeet is cooking on ice.

Brian took the tarp plunge. Congrats on a wise choice!

Chris Townsend reviews the Finisterre Storm Track Jacket.


Weather forecast for this trip.