What is the Fjällräven Classic & why should you do it?

Posted by Ettienne Montzka-Caceres on

What is Fjällräven Classic?

In simple terms, it’s a trek through nature. You carry all you need on your back and we, Fjällräven, take care of the logistics including freeze-dried food, transport, route planning and a few other little extras.

When & where did it start?

It started in northern Sweden, way above the Arctic Circle in the summer of 2005.

Why did Fjällräven want to do a trekking event in the first place?

The original thinking behind the event was to encourage more Swedes – who spent increasing hours in the city or travelling to sun-drenched Thai beaches – to experience the wonderful wilderness that was to be found within their own borders.

Over the years it has expanded globally and Classic is no longer aimed solely at Swedes. Its purpose now is to give people from all over the world a taste of Swedish-style trekking; to inspire and encourage people to experience nature both close and far from home; and to share a passion for trekking with like-minded individuals.

Where can I do it?

Fjällräven Classic is now available in Sweden, Denmark, The USA and Hong Kong. Other events are in the works, too.

What’s the difference between the treks?

The Swedish Classic is the longest at 110km. The landscape is relatively flat, but the trail is rocky, which makes it surprisingly tiring. Because of the weather, it requires a little more kit (we have had snow at the Swedish event), which may result in a heavier backpack. You can camp wherever you want, though, so you can take your time.

The Danish Classic is fairly long at 75km and the trail is the easiest of the four, making it good for families. Camping is in designated campsites, but this adds to the sense of comradery even if it does compromise on the freedom to sleep where you want. The weather can be wonderful, then you’ll want to go for a swim in the sea. But this event has been pretty much washed out with rain, too.

The Hong Kong Classic is hot and sweaty. The path is steep, and much of it is paved trail often with lots of steps. It’s not that long, under 50km, but the humidity together with the steepness make this a tough trek. Once again, there are designated campsites, but one of them is on the beach – a highlight for many.The US Classic is shorter but way steeper than the Swedish and Danish events. And it’s not just steep; it’s steep hiking at altitude. We recommend arriving a few days before the event and taking some high-altitude hikes to acclimatise. Days are warm, but nights can be cold. Bears are around, too. Like with Denmark, you camp in designated campsites.

How should I prepare?

Walk, a lot! But do so with a backpack weighing at least 10kgs and it’s better to do one or two long walks a week in nature, than lots of short walks around the city. It’s about building up endurance and getting used to walking on rough, uneven terrain.

Try and add squats, box steps and core training, too. Although anyone, technically, can join us for Fjällräven Classic, you’ll enjoy it a lot more if you’re in good shape.

What should I pack?

Nothing unnecessary, for starters. And it depends on what event you’re taking part in, but for all of them you (or your group) need to possess a tent, sleeping bag and camp stove. You’ll also need gear to trek in, preferably things than are versatile, like zip-off trousers, rather than a pair of trousers and a pair of shorts. Hats are essential, but so is rain gear (though not for Hong Kong). All the events are during the summertime (except Hong Kong, but it’s always pretty warm there), but don’t let that fool you. Don’t forget to pack an insulation jacket.

But I’m a beginner, I’ve never done more than a day-hike. Is Fjällräven Classic for me?

Yes! Just make sure you train for it, use our pack lists and follow us on Facebook for the latest updates, information and inspiration. And grab some friends. It’s always easier to stay motivated if you’ve got others to train with.

I’m an expert. I’ve trekked all over the planet, alone and with friends. Why should I trek with Fjällräven?

Yes! You can share your love for trekking with others from all over the world. You can share tips with beginners and inspire others to spend more time trekking. You can see Classic more like a place to meet other people, more than a really challenging trek. It also gives you a break from planning.

Won’t it be bad for the environment to have that many people trekking together all at once?

We limit participant numbers based on feedback with the local authorities, who have much better local knowledge than we do. We also encourage people to clean up after themselves and we climate compensate travel to and from the event. We also hope that by igniting a love for nature we are also igniting a passion for protecting it.

What’s your best tip?

Pack as light as possible, but never forget a good insulation jacket and some proper rain clothes for the Swedish, Danish and US events. Hong Kong is humid, so shell jackets are superfluous.

Where can I find out more?

We have a website just for Classic you can find info about all the local events from this page as well.

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