Divorcing my ego at Kungsleden 4 days hike
Long story short, in two weeks, I am going to marry the most beautiful, intelligent, and mysterious girl. Before doing that I decided to break up with myself, divorce my ego first. I determined to spend more time with myself and walk a part of the famous Kungsleden (King's trail) in the North of Sweden. The whole hiking trail is approximately 440 kilometers long. I decided to make a shorter version starting at Abisko and finishing at Nikkaluokta - 106 kilometers long trail. It took me four days to complete it. I hope my thoughts will help to plan your hike better so you can avoid the mistakes learning from my experience.
by IGNAS SURVILA
STATISTICS (Abisko - Nikkaluokta 🇸🇪)
106 Kilometers 🧗🏻♀️
4 Days 📅
17,2 kilograms 🎒
4 Stops 🏠
2 nights in a tent ⛺️
287 times people said 'Hei Hei.'💬
3 Saunas 🔥
100% fresh mind 🧠
FIRST DAY (15 kilometres)
My hike started at Abisko tourist station. It's a beautiful place for hikers with a restaurant, WC, beds to sleep and boutique shops where you can buy necessities like primus gas or snacks. That's convenient; however, I purchased some useless stuff like a map. Of course, a lot of people will say that it's necessary to have it, but honestly, I didn't use it even once. Instead, if you are going to have your phone during hiking, download the app called Swedish Mountains. It's very accurate and easy to use even if you're offline. Nevertheless, I can bet that you will not use the app. The trail is very well marked, and it's elementary to navigate.
I started my hike from Abisko tourist station to Abiskojaure 15 kilometers away. The trail wasn't difficult to walk, and the surroundings were incredibly beautiful. After a few hours, I have reached Abiskojaure - gorgeous orange huts surrounded by huge mountains and thick forests. I quickly fixed my tent in the middle of the woods and ran directly to the lake for an evening shower.
SECOND DAY (21 kilometers)
The second day I planned to walk from Abiskojaure to Alesjaure - 21 kilometers. The path was quite intense since almost all route went uphill, but it was sunny and warm. I have twisted my ankle and started to feel a bit uncomfortable. Till the moment I passed by the girl who has been walking the whole Kungsleden (I mean the entire 440 kilometers) barefoot! She inspired me to not cry about it and motivated to move forward. In the middle of the road, I decided to sit down on the edge of the rock to have a quick lunch. It's probably influencer thing to say, but these Knorr soups saved my life.
Suddenly, the winds changed, and just in a few minutes from the warm breeze, the cold arrived. I needed to pack everything and move on quickly.
At almost 16th kilometer, I met two incredibly intelligent Brits, and we bonded immediately. They helped me a lot during the trip, so the last few kilometers were much easier to achieve. We agreed that guys could come to my wedding just with one condition - if they dress like Pikachus with a bow tie (I would love to see that happening). We quickly reached Alesjaure - beautiful place surrounded by snowy mountains. It was a bit too busy, and the feeling was like in a ski resort. Nevertheless, I loved it, and together with my new friends, we went directly to the sauna.
It's important to highlight that there are electrical plugs available only at the mountain stations Abisko and Kebnekaise. The huts between them have neither running water nor electricity. Be prepared for complete wilderness and always have a source of light with you.
THIRD DAY (25 kilometres)
The third day I walked from Alesjaure to Sälka with a quick lunch stop at Tjäktja. It took me approximately 6 hours to walk the distance between the huts - 25 kilometers. Personally, it was the most beautiful and splendid trail of all. I learned that if you are doing the quick (3-4 days) hike - you don't have to carry a tent unless you want to experience the wilderness. Of course, living in a tent adds some points to the whole experience.
The entire trail is under the Swedish Tourism Association. In every 13 to 21 kilometers (8 to 13 miles), you will find comfortable huts where you would be able to sleep, use kitchen facilities, and relax in the sauna after the exhausting hike.
FOURTH DAY (45 kilometres)
The fourth day was the most exhausting, challenging, and extremely long. I decided to skip two huts along the way and walk directly from Sälka to Nikkaluokta - 45 kilometers. Somehow I didn't realize that 45 kilometers in the mountains are not precisely 45 kilometers straight. I was swearing so much during the way and blaming my gigantic Mammut boots. They're amazing, and probably they helped me a lot, but there is a saying - '800 grams on your feet equals 8 kilograms in your backpack'. It would have been better with lighter sneakers instead of massive boots. Next time, I will buy sneakers and a pair of walking sticks so it would help me to keep up the balance and avoid possible injuries.
It was extraordinary trail full of breathtaking nature, spectacular views, dramatically changing weather conditions, hot saunas and massive (I mean massive) mountains around.
Finally, I completed the hike as planned and celebrated the divorce with my ego by walking the Kungsleden trail alone. The experience was incredible. The funny part is that at the end of the trip, I thought that it would be much nicer if my girl would experience the trail together with me.
QUICK TIPS & GOOD THINGS TO KNOW
🗺 You don't need a map. Download Swedish Mountain App instead.
🥾 Light sneakers + walking sticks are better than heavy boots.
⛺️ Do not carry a tent with you. There are plenty of huts available along the way.
🎒 Every kilogram counts. Probably I am a hipster because I took coffee beans, grinder, and Aeropress - useless tools to make a fresh coffee.🤦🏼♂️ What can I say, I love coffee, and it was worth to bring it with me since it brightened every single morning.
🌪 Weather in the North is unpredictable, prepare for worse.
💧Don't worry about the water. You can fill the bottle directly from an open stream, look around for possible sources of contamination, and if clear, drink up without worries.
📝 Prepare. Honestly, the preparation was one of the most exciting parts of the journey. From making the excel sheets for calculating the net weight that you would carry to an analysis of the hike, stops and the history of the trail.
💳 You don't need to have cash. Credit cards accepted on the Kungsleden. There are two places where you could shorten your trip by taking a boat where they don't accept credit cards.
📡 Forget the wifi and mobile connection during the hike. It's probably the best part of the whole journey.
🕯Except for Abisko and Kebnekaise huts, you will not find running water or electricity.