So what is the Kungsleden? The Kungsleden (or Kings Trail) runs between Abisko and Hemavan and is one of the world’s most famous hiking trails, and possibly the best one.
The path is more than 400 kilometres long, and was established by Svenska Turistföreningen at the beginning of the 20th century.
I hope you find this information help whenPlanning a hike along the Kungsleden
In 2017 some friends and I participated in the Fjallraven Classic in Sweden which is an organised hike from Nikkaluokta to Abisko. The Fjallraven Classic was a great experience but it did have its downfalls the main one being the trail was heaving thousands of people walking along the route.
The advantage is participating in the Fjallraven Classic is a lot of the organisation / transport is provided for you: pick up from the airport, transfer to Nikkauokta, food and fuel is also supplied.
5 people and myself have decided to follow the same route next June but will be organising transport, supplies and accommodation by ourselves.
If you are planning on organising this excursion yourself hopefully some of this information will help.
Planning a hike along the Kungsleden
Getting to Sweden
From the Uk the only viable method without time constraints is flying. You can fly into Stockholm from most major airports
Arlanda Airport (ARN)
Arlanda is the cities main airport and if you decided to take the overnight train up North there is an express train every 15 minutes to Stockholms central train station.
Your flight will also depart from Arlanda to Kiruna departs if you are flying up North.
We arrived in Arlanda in the evening and with our flight leaving early next morning we stayed over in a converted airbus on the grounds of the airport.
My room was originally one of the jet engines although fun and different there where no bathroom facilities in the engine meaning having to walk down steps then up into the main part of the aircraft to take a leak in the middle of the night.
As stated in my post about when we completed the Fjallraven Classic 2017, gear selection and packing for the fjallraven classic Sweden is something that you will probably do 100 times before leaving for Sweden.
One of the most helpful tips I can give you when packing for the fjallraven classic Sweden is once you have packed your rucksack purchase a cargo bag for it to travel in and also you can leave a change of clothes and your day bag in it so that it can meet you at the finish (this I found very helpful), Fjallraven will take your bag from the start at Camp Ripan to the end in Abisko.
• Tent* – I took a Vango 1 x Man
• Sleeping bag*, preferably three-season sleeping bag – Down is good but if it gets wet it doesn’t insulate as well
• Stove* with a deep pan – good for boiling water for the freeze dried meals – Something like a JETBOIL or Alpkit Wolf.
• Fuel* (included in the ticket fee, don’t forget to bring a bottle if you use petrol or methylated spirit) – Fuel is supplied you should only need one can.
• Sleeping mattress* – Something that packs small and lightweight, I took a EXPED DownMat Lite.
• Map* (included in the ticket fee)
• Magnetic compass*
• Fjällräven Classic Trash Bag* (included in the ticket fee)
• Thermal fleece/mid layer top* in down, wool or a synthetic material
• Long underpants for a dry change ( what I did and I found it worked very well was keep a pair of long johns, base layer and socks in a small dry bag to change into to sleep in).
• Wind and waterproof pants
• Wind and waterproof jacket with hood
• First aid kit (at least elastic bandage, blister pads, compresses and tape). It is recommended to complement the mandatory first aid kit with safety pins, butterfly stitches (skin closures), fluid replacement and pain relief.
• 65-75lr backpack with rain protection cover
• Sun hat/cap
• Trekking socks, preferably in wool – I discovered Armaskin Socks these are the best items I have found to stop blisters, they are a silcone layered undersock and I highly recommend them, they are worn as the first layer with a pair of hiking socks over them. See my other post on foot care.
•Underwear in wool or in a synthetic material
• A change of shoes or flip flops/sandals to give your feet a break – definitely worth taking.
•Trekking trousers, a pair that can be unzipped to become shorts are ideal – it does get warm up there sometimes
• Trekking boots – waterproof is a must it does get quite boggy in places
• Trekking poles – I relied on mine others didn’t use them. Helpful tip: wind gaffer tape around the top of one walking pole, gaffer tape is really a great ‘quick fix’ item and to limit space and weight you don’t need to carry a full reel of it carefully wind it around the top of one of our trekking poles.
• Matches and/or lighter – didn’t use but depending on your speed you may camp your first night in an area with fuel for a fire a lot of the terrain you will cover is above the tree line apart from the start up to Kebnakaise and towards the end near Keiron to Abisko. It is recommended to burn used toilet paper.
• Dish cloth – don’t see the need if you are eating the freeze dried food out of the bag.
• Small towel – had a small micro fibre towel in pocket as I was getting hot on the first day. If you fancy using the saunas en-route then a larger towel would be needed.
• Water bottle, minimum 0.5lt – Water is everywhere, you will be able to stock up along the route.
• Small knife with scissors or a multi-tool – A multi-tool comes in handy or did for me to help me re-stitch my boots.
• Toiletries – limit these: dry wash, cleansing wipes, toothbrush (cut most of handle off) and toothpaste (find small tube on amazon)
• Toilet paper in a plastic bag with some matches – you should burn your used toilet paper rather than leaving it in the ground
• Head torch – Not needed (doesn’t get dark enough)
• Sunglasses – A must
Other Items for the Fjallraven Classic :
•Camera – I took a GoPro and used my iPhone for photos (I attached a hosing for the GoPro and iPhone clip into the handle of one trekking pole so i didnt need a selfie stick) and navigation (I downloaded viewranger and purchased the relevant tiles for the area and also downloaded the Fjallraven Classic Route.
•Battery Pack for charging phone and GoPro
•Empty Plastic Bottle – I hate having to get out of my sleeping bag in the middle of the night for a pee!
•Sitting mat – these can be found online cheap.
•Waterproof rucksack cover.
•Poncho – Didnt use it but if the heavens did open this would have been invaluable.
•Mosquito Repellent – This is a must there can be swarm in the billions of these little monsters. I get bitten so much and there are so many that i’ve tried and the only effective one I have found was brought in Sweden. Mygga is made with natural ingredients and also has tea tree in it so feels really refreshing when applied after a wet wipe wash in the evening before relaxing and taking in the surroundings.
I purchased this from the supermarket in Kiruna and if i remember they also sell it in the Fjallraven pop up store at check in.
So do yourself a favour and purchase a couple once you return to Kiruna to take home.
•Mosquito head net. Also invaluable a must when the sun lowers and those micro zombies attack.
•Small Trowel. Very helpful for when answering the call of nature.
Energy Drink Tablets
Plastic bottle of Rum
Take your time when packing and really think about each item. If you think to yourself “do I really need this item?” then you probably don’t. The less weight you carry the easier it will be on your shoulders and back and obviously the less weight you will be carrying.
Most importantly your rucksack needs to be suitable for the weather, your shape and the equipment you are carrying. Don’t go out and buy and ‘off the shelf’ rucksack without getting professional advice assisting with fitting the rucksack to you.
Carry most of the weight from the ruck sack on your hips, move heavy items to the bottom of the rucksack and pack the rucksack so you can get to regularly used items first.
Use a liner in your bag something as simple as a refuse bin bag to keep everything dry.
Take small refuse bin bags with you to put wet clothes / dirty underwear to keep the rest of you clothes dry.
A lightweight bumbag will come in helpful to keep snacks, phone and other small regularly used items in, so you don’t have to take your rucksack off every time you make a quick stop.