This year is the 15th anniversary of the start of the Swedish Classic adventure. The Classic started in 2005 with just a couple of hundred dedicated trekkers, and this year we have over 2000 participants from all over the world taking part in global events. So, we thought it would be a great opportunity to talk to Helle and Anders, a married couple, who are also some of our longest standing Classic participants. This year will be their 10th time on the Fjällräven Classic Sweden trail.
You have completed the Classic Sweden event for 9 years running now. What keeps you motivated for your 10th Classic experience?
Our motivation is threefold: first of all to be out in the special Northern Swedish nature which we really love. Second, to be able to use your body and feel the physicality of having completed a long and challenging hike. And finally, one of the joys we have is to be able to participate in an event with like-minded people. It is because of Fjällräven Classic that we now hike several times each year throughout both summer and winter.
Tell us your most memorable moments on the Swedish Classic over the years.
Pitching our tent on the very top of a hill facing towards Kiron because there was no wind and a spectacular view. (Yes, we know a very stupid idea…) At night a storm hit us. We knew we had bought a very good tent and we knew we had set it up correctly, but it was still a nice surprise to find everything was intact in the morning. A second memorable moment was the first time we got the (now) usual warm welcome from everybody when arriving in Abisko. It’s such a special moment on the trek.
What was the biggest challenge you faced?
Our biggest challenge has always been to look after our feet. After 9 times we have now nailed it, but boy did it hurt the first couple of times.
What would you say to anyone thinking about taking part in the Classic for the first time?
Just do it. It’s not easy, but it is absolutely doable for everyone. You don’t need to be an experienced hiker. Remember to enjoy the journey and not only focus on getting to the end. Try to learn as much as possible about hiking and being outdoors before you start. The more you know the more fun it is.
What are your top 3 tips for anyone who has already signed up & preparing for this year?
Number one and above all: Take care of your feet. Two: Prepare breakfast the night before, so you can have breakfast inside your sleeping bag in the morning. Three: Have a spare set of long johns, shirt and cap with you, plus gloves in merino wool for sleeping.
And one of the most frequently asked questions. How should we pack for the Classic this year?
Buy the very best equipment you can, it makes the trip so much more enjoyable. The list on the Fjällräven website makes sense, follow that. You will need clothes suitable for temperatures between 0 and 25 degrees – trust us, you really are going to need them. You should aim for a total backpack weight of no more than 12-13 kg including everything except for water.
Tell us about the route. Views? Highlights? What should we look out for?
First part to Kebnekaise is a kind of warm-up. Kebnekaise to Singi is nice, but Singi to Tjäktja is the highlight for us – this is what we think of when we talk about the Fjällräven Classic. After Tjäkja it is completely different, but still really nice. From Kiron to Abisko is a kind of cool-off before we all have to return to the real world.
What are you looking forward to this year when you take part?
To return to an area we really love, and this year we are driving from Denmark camping along the way, so this year it is our summer vacation. Through Fjällräven Classic (and other outdoor events) we have really learned a lot about the outdoor life – a special shout-out to Johan Skullman, our outdoor hero.
A big thank you to Helle and Anders for answering some of our most frequently asked questions and sharing their own experiences, inspiration and tips for preparing for the Swedish Classic. As we look back over the last fifteen years of the Fjällräven Classic Sweden there have been some incredible highs, followed by (mainly feet-blister related) challenges as well. We’re so excited to welcome everyone back to the next Swedish Classic starting in just a few weeks, and get busy making some more memories.
For more information or our frequently asked questions check out: https://classic.fjallraven.com/sweden/