Today we are leaving for our trail running adventure in the Swedish Mountains and I am so excited! I have told you before about the distance that we are running and how I have prepared physically. This is part two in my mini-series and it’s about packing for a trail running adventure. What’s in my 8 liters and 3,5 kilo backpack?
I am working together with Peak Performance Luleå on this one and will use chosen pieces of their gear and clothes when we head out.
5 days in the mountains with a 3,5 kilo backpack
My bag have been packed for a couple of days now and seeing it in the hallway feels strange. It is so small! Am I really going to be Ok for five days with nothing more than what’s in this little bag? I have to remind myself that I have packed it carefully and that it actually holds everything I need. But of course, compared to hiking with a 60 liter /20 kilo backpack, you have to choose your gear carefully.
This bag is called ’Peak Performance trail backpack 8L’ and it might look small, but it holds more than you might think. We will be staying in mountain cabins so luckily we won’t need tent and sleeping bags, which usually takes up a lot of space. The bag has two compartments which makes it easy to find things. It also has straps that allows you to compress it – so even if it’s not full, your gear will be tightly strapped.
If you want to pack light, you have to reduce what you’re taking with you. Bring the most versatile gear (clothes that you can wear in both sunshine and rain, clothes that dry fast etc) and make sure the gear that you’re bringing is light weight and functional.
I have written down what’s in this little backpack, by categories. You find the full list below.
Functional clothes for running
Since we will be running the full 78 km (maybe except for the steep parts at the start from Vakkotavara) I will be wearing tights and running shoes, not hiking gear. I’m running in a pair of tights and a short sleeved t-shirt and will wear my wind-jacket on top. I like to wear a cap when out hiking or in the mountains since it’s good in both sunshine and rain. This one has mesh in the back for ventilation and a lining that will stop sweat from dripping in your eyes.
Looking at the weather report now, it looks like we will have rain most of the time. If that’s the case, I will run in my rain jacket. Apart from the gear that I’m running in I have a few extras. Two pair of socks, some underwear and two extra sports bras. When you hike or run and get really warm and sweaty, when you stop to eat the sweat get’s really cold. It’s always good to have something to switch into so that you can stay dry and warm.
Staying warm with wool and down
I’m also bringing a wool shirt, an extra pair of tights and a down jacket. You should never go hiking in the mountains without bringing your down jacket – even though it’s warm during the day, it might get cold at night.
The clothes that I’m running in, as well as my jacket and the backpack, are all from Peak Performance. I have been using them for a couple of weeks now and I really love them. They are functional, stay in place (I hate t-shirts that slide up when you run and tights that slide down) and they look god damn good! So far I have no complaints on any of my gear, they still look new too, even after plenty of kilometers.
The backpack is what impresses me the most – small if you have nothing in it, so perfect for shorter runs and day trips. But the fabric on the sides is stretchable so it gives you plenty of space to pack.
Food and snacks
Since we’re two going together, we’ve split the food and cooking gear between us. I am taking all the food and my cousin, Lollo, is brining the small kitchen and gas. We’re planning on buying food in the mountain cabins as we go, so we’ve only brought food for 4 lunches and one dinner (one of the cabins doesn’t have a small shop).
I have 4 packs of freeze dried food, plenty of powder soup, bread and cream cheese and then oats and raisins for breakfast. I’ve also brought dried fruit and peanuts to eat while on the road. You can usually buy some bread, hot dogs and canned food in the cabins so that will be our dinner on tuesday and wednesday. Thursday we’ll eat the freeze dried food we’ve brought and on friday we’ve booked a three course dinner in Kebnekaise Mountain Station. Luxury!
First aid kit and other medical equipment
If you’re going out into the mountains, no matter if your going out for one day our ten days, you need to bring some basic medical equipment. It’s good to bring something to cover smaller wounds and abrasions, as well as something to wrap up a broken foot with.
I always carry plenty of plasters, tape, sterile gauze dressings, a bandage, burn gel and disinfecting napkins. I also have aspirin and medication that helps with rehydration. It might also be good to bring something that helps a bad stomach. It’s not fun if your stomach gets bad when you’re in the middle of nowhere..
Packing light for 5 days in the mountains – the full list
- 2 pair of running tights
- 1 running t-shirt
- rain jacket
- light-weight down jacket
- 3 pair of socks – 1 low and 2 high
- 4 pair of underwear
- 2 sports bras in functional material, 1 sports bra in micro fleece
- 1 wool shirt with long sleeves
- shampoo (paper shampoo)
- toothpaste and toothbrush
- tampons and contacts (very optional)
- travel towel
- travel sheets
- batterypack / phone charger
- Oats, raisins and cinnamon mixed in a small plastic bag for breakfast
- bread and cream cheese
- 4 packs of freeze dried food (1 portion in each)
- 8 powder soups
- fruit snacks (from the kids shelf at the super market, the best!)
- nuts and raisins
- rain cover for my backpack
- first aid kit (plasters, ape, sterile gauze dressings, bandage, burn gel, disinfecting napkins, paracetamol)
- spork and a foldable cup