How to prepare for a successful trek
Solo hiker Shanna Bussink shares her preparation tips for a positive trekking experience.
Solo hiker Shanna Bussink made all the typical beginner mistakes when she set out on her first trek. She brought two bulky, heavy towels and the wrong gas connection for her stove. She also wore shoes with soles that were too thin for the terrain. Since then, she has completed many long treks; learning more about what to pack and how to prepare. Now she is sharing her knowledge and passion by offering a training programme developed specifically for Fjällräven Classic Sweden participants.
Shanna Bussink is an enthusiastic solo hiker. She lives in Amsterdam, Netherlands, but her desire to get out into nature in her hiking boots has taken her to many parts of the world. Trekking along popular trails over the years has been interspersed with discoveries of more and more remote and unpopulated hiking areas.
Her enthusiasm for trekking was fostered at a young age by her mother, who took Shanna and her siblings on treks throughout the Netherlands.
“I remember the oversized frame backpacks we had! I think the experience of that time planted a hiking seed in me. Twenty years later, I did my first solo trek, but it didn’t feel like anything new. On the contrary, trekking suited me perfectly, as if I were born in a pair of hiking boots.
Unfortunately, I made all the typical ‘beginner mistakes’, but I also learned that preparation is a complex puzzle. What works on one trek may be useless on another. To ensure a successful experience, you have to make conscious and thoughtful choices.”
Shanna visited Sweden for the first time as a child with her parents in their converted van. Many years later, she hiked the Kungsleden Trail and learned about the Fjällräven Classic while there. Soon enough, an idea began to germinate: why not use all of her knowledge about trekking to develop a training programme for Classic participants? A certified personal trainer, Shanna has a solid track-record of coaching others.
Setting out on a trek with no preparation is doable, but so much more enjoyable with the right packing and training. “When you meet other hikers,” says Shanna, “Many tell you that they wish they had prepared better. Through the programme, participants start their training well in advance and also get the most all-around preparation they could wish for on an adventure like Fjällräven Classic.”
How to prepare for a successful trek
Check out Shanna’s tips
Bring a water bottle. You can drink from it during the day and store hot water in it at night. Put it in your sleeping bag for a great heat source.
Wrap duct tape around your trekking poles and water bottle for good grip. It is also good to have on-hand for quick repairs on the trail.
Bring a shell jacket, down jacket and gloves. These garments give you a variety of protection in different weather conditions.
Things break, so bring duplicates of essential gear. Be creative and use equipment with double or triple functions.
Maintain your gear. Clean it, wash it and dry it to extend its life.
Take a small notebook to write your impressions and thoughts in every day. In doing so, you will pay more attention to the entire experience and retain it longer. It will be like a souvenir.
Enjoy the view!
The programme, Fjällräven Classic Hikeprep, was developed by Shanna specifically for Classic Sweden. During it, participants receive weekly real-time training sessions that are professionally timed to help them become physically stronger. The weekly workouts, called Hikefits, are done at participants’ own homes. Hikeprep also includes monthly workshops. Each focus on a unique topic, including equipment selection, water purification, tent pitching, outdoor food preparation and stress management.
Carl Hård af Segerstad, Fjällräven Global Event Manager was impressed with the initiative:
“I was surprised and delighted when Shanna contacted me and told me about the programme. My first spontaneous thought was ‘What a brilliant idea!’. There are many people taking part in Classic Sweden who are completing their first trek. Offering a training programme that prepares them mentally and physically for it feels like a great thing to do.”
In the end, Shanna does it all for the love of trekking. When asked by others where the passion comes from, she takes time to answer the question. It is not just about being outdoors, being active or in nature.
“Trekking gives us humans the best of both worlds, making it the perfect activity. During a hike, we experience both structure and variety. The main thing is putting one foot in front of the other for many miles, but also no two days are the same. You pass a range of landscapes, and encounter a variety of flora and fauna, so your impressions are varied as well. I like to say that trekking offers a pleasant variety in a familiar structure. The structure puts you at ease, while the variety provides stimulation.
Join Fjällräven Classic Hikeprep
Once you have purchased your ticket for Fjällräven Classic Sweden, you can sign up for the Fjällräven Classic Hikeprep programme at every moment until august 2022 at a monthly cost of €65. In 2022, the programme is offered to hikers in the Netherlands and to hikers in Sweden, and the plan is to extend it to more countries upcoming years. Learn more at hikenbeginthier.nl.
Join the Dutch program here:
Join the Swedish program here: