Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pöyrisjärvi bikepacking trip gets closer

Next Friday I'll take the night train to Lapland and then get on the bus to Hetta. I should be there at 16:20 in the Saturday afternoon. The plan is to ride long days and sleep seven nights on different places in my tent. The total length should be around 360-400 km, of which 60 km is on road and the rest is ATV trails, some singletrack and some bushwacking. Depending on my progress I'll probably check out some more dead end trails, which should yield more kilometres. The planned route is the following (view it in satellite mode, since the map is unusable):

Show Pöyrisjärvi on a larger map

Most of the gear is easy to choose, but I'm still working on some details. The shelter and sleeping gear has been tested well enough (Tarptent Double Rainbow tent, North Face Beeline 900 sleeping bag and Thermarest Prolite 4 Short sleeping pad). The bike is also a clear choice. I'll take my Pugsley with a frame bag and a drysack both on the front and rear rack, with a small LowePro Slingshot backpack for the camera gear. The rest is typical lightweight or ultralight outdoor gear.

I'm still debating whether to take my old MSR PocketRocket canister stove or the BushCooker wood gas stove. Since the weather forecast does not show too much rain now, I'll probably take the BushCooker complemented with some Esbit tablettes.

Regarding the water, I'm currently leaning towards taking some water purifier tablettes with me, since there are lots of lemmings and mice this year. I haven't read any reports from Finnish Lapland yet, but in the Swedish mountains people have gotten sick from the water and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health currently recommends against drinking water directly from the nature, also for outdoor purposes. I've never purified water in Lapland or the Scandinavian fells before, but it might make sense now. The reason the water is usually drinkable in Lapland and the Scandinavian fells is not because there are no disease carriers in it, but rather since it is cold enough to hinder bacteria growth and anything usually gets sufficiently diluted. The area I'm going to has some big rivers that surely are safe to drink from, but there are also lots of smaller streams I'm forced to use. A dead reindeer or a bunch of drowned lemmings upstreams in a smaller stream might be all it takes to get sick.

I also finally got my Sealskinz waterproof socks, which I had to order from the UK, since all shops I've visited in Finland, Sweden or Norway were out of size L. I'll take only one pair of SPD MTB shoes, and they will get wet, at least when fording streams with rocky bottoms.

During my recent family vacation in Sweden and Norway I spent a small fortune on Real Turmat outdoor food, so that should be pretty much covered. I still have a lot to plan regarding the food. I'll aim for about 3000 kcal per day, which would leave an energy deficit of at least 2000 kcal per day. It should be manageable, since my body should be fairly efficient at using body fat for energy. I might complement with a protein powder drink in the evening, if it looks necessary.


  1. Sounds like a plan!

    Do I remember correctly that you've been using the Katadyn Hiker earlier? Just out of interest, do you find it too bulky/heavy, or why tablets instead of the filter?

    Have a good trip, hope the weather is nice.

  2. Maria, you are right, I do have the Katadyn Hiker, but I'm not ready to take it yet. I've just progressed from no purifying at all to at least something. I will still try to find some information from Lapland about the water situation. If I were to purify everything, I would take the Katadyn Hiker, but I'm not there yet.

  3. Ok, thanks for your reply! This is a new situation with all the lemmings this year, a lot of different opinions depending on the source of information.

  4. Sounds like a fine trip. I clicked the Norwegian link you posted to Twitter, but didn't read it for a lack of Norwegian reading skills. I'm probably still going to drink and not purify when I go up later on, can't be bothered to get tablets or similar.

    Real Turmat is great, but a little fortune indeed is need to buy it. I find Fuizion does great food (and at half the price of RT), and you should check them out if you want some ready-made meals the next time. They're really on one level with RT, if not better.

  5. Hendrik, I'll try out the Fuizion food after this trip. Korpijaakko also recommended them and I have a Fuizion rice porridge provided by Jaakko to try.

  6. Aloha from Hawaii. I'm not sure how I stumbled across your blog, but I enjoy reading about your bikepacking trips (especially in Finland because I've done some bikepacking there myself). I'm curious about the BushCooker. How reliable is it? Sounds almost too good to be true!

  7. Maria, the BushCooker is great. It will be my choice in the future for trips outside the winter season. If lots of rain is forecasted it would not be my first choice, but otherwise it is great. The BushCooker is a European licensed (?) version of the BushBuddy. Google BushBuddy and you'll find more info than you need.