Post Hike Gear Review: Riksgränsen to Abisko via Vistas 2019

I published my packing list on September 1, 2019 and supported it with a YouTube video. I used every single bit of kit that I packed except for the winter gloves and the first aid & repair kit. One piece of gear dumped a test and I had one gear failure due to lack of maintenance. Here are my opinions, views and experience using the gear that I packed.

total base weight all gear NOT worn or consumed 6.5 kg
total pack weight all gear NOT worn + consumables added 11.3 kg
total skin out weight pack weight + clothing worn 13.7 kg


My shelter system for Lapland 2019 totalled 891 grams including stakes and stuff sack:

  • 4 ea 6″ MSR Carbon Core stakes @ 6 g ea = 24 g
  • 2 ea 9″ MSR Core stakes @ 14 g ea = 28 g (for the apex pull-outs)
  • stuff sack for stakes 3 g
  • Tarptent Notch with partial solid mesh interior (seam sealed) 836 g

When I first started putting together my packing list for this hike I was contemplating on taking my Hyperlite Mountain Gear Ultamid 2 tent.

Last year I used my Zpacks Duplex which preformed great and lived up to my expectations.

However, I wanted to use another shelter this year and after a test hike in August I decided on the Tarptent Notch. I won’t repeat myself here so if you want to know my reasons I have published them in this article here. The Notch is an old favourite of mine and I always seem to sleep well in it. When I woke on day 6 on this years 2019 hike the wind had shifted direction to the east and blew with such force that the zippered door cord had loosened and the fly door blew into me like a sail full with wind. It was no big deal as nothing happened and I could just fasten it again while lying in bed. To be fair the wind had changed direction, the Notch had been pitched since 16:30 pm the day before (nearly 18 hours) and it had survived a decent beating through the night. The Tarptent Notch didn’t let me down. It’s a great shelter and I liked the comfort that the partial solid inner tent gave me. I would not hesitate in packing this shelter for another Arctic adventure.


My backpack system including shoulder strap pockets totalled 942 grams:

Not much to say here. This is a great pack that is comfortable and carried very nicely my light load of just over 11 kg on this trek. My pack looks dirty and used but it shows no drastic signs of wear. I get a lot of questions about the netting. People are concerned that the mesh pockets could easily be damaged being caught on brush and so on. The two side pockets and the large net pocket have no damage at all. I have used this pack for nearly 5 years below and above treeline!


My sleep system totalled 1075 grams:

Temperatures ranged from 0℃ and up to 20℃. On my first night in the emergency hut at Stuor-Kärpel the temperature plummeted to around 0℃. On arrival I was cold, wet and hungry. I knew from several years experience that all I needed was some warm food, dry clothes and a good sleep system to get my own internal body heater to keep me warm. I had to fasten all three clips on the back of my quilt and tighten the collar draw string on the first night to retain my body heat. Next morning there was fresh snow on the mountains. My quilt kept me nice and toasty. It is important to educate here that your quilt or sleeping bag does not warm you up. It is your body and it’s internal “combustion heater” that heats the quilt or sleeping bag up. The quilt or sleeping bags job is to retain that heat and that is how you stay warm. Before you go to bed you should always eat and if you can exercise a little before jumping into bed then this will help too.

Most nights I slept with the two top clips unfastened and draped the top section over me like I would at home with normal bed covers. My Foratata Down Quilt preformed well. The diversity of being able to close it up tight or open it up makes this sleep system a winner for such a wide scope of night temperatures.

My Therm-A-Rest Neoair XLite sleeping pad is nearly 5 years old. I always clear a site for sticks and stones before I pitch a shelter. I never bother with pump bags or battery driven air-pumps and I just blow air into my pads. This pad is still going strong. I have nothing negative to say about this bit of kit. Some people complain that they are noisy. I do not share that opinion and I’m sold on Therm-A-Rest’s sleeping pads. I also own the XTherm and I have just ordered the Neoair Uberlite which I will try out soon.

My Hyperlite Mountain Gear cuben stuff sack pillow is just over 3 years old. It has been turned inside out and then turned back again several times over the years. I wrote a review on this bit of kit back in August this year. After using my stuff sack pillow for some three years it is starting to show some signs of wear. I wrote that some of the seam sealing tape is starting to loose its adhesiveness. On the first day in the heavy rains my gear was put to the test. When I arrived at the hut and after I packed out my gear I noticed that some moisture had found its way through the areas on the tape where it was not sticking well any more. This is my own fault as I should of repaired the pillow before the trip. This is an easy fix using some DCF repair tape. I’ll have to add this job to my to do list. So I guess that you could call this a gear failure for this adventure.


My cooking system for Lapland totalled 177 grams:

  • Toaks Light Titanium 550ml Pot weighing 70 g
  • Soto Windmaster micro regulator stove including a TriFlex pot support 67 g
  • Speedster oddments bag 5 g
  • DIY pot cozy 8 g
  • Nordisk Titanium XL Long Handle Spoon 20 g
  • Tread Lite Gear Ultralight 3D Cuben Fiber Zip Sack 7 g

The reason for going over to purchased meals from my own home-made dehydrated meals is because I wanted the most compact kitchen I own combined with using gas as fuel. Last year I used alcohol for fuel and a different pot system. You can read about it here.

I didn’t want to carry a wind shield and so that is the reason for the heavier burner from Soto. The Soto Windmaster has a small igniter on it and thus doesn’t require a lighter or matches. It also doesn’t require a wind shield either as it is almost impossible for strong winds to extinguish the flame. The concave design of the burner head creates the effect of a built-in windscreen.

My cooking system for this 2019 hike lived up to my expectations. The pot was also my cup using it in combination with the 8 gram DIY pot cozy. This worked out really nice.

EDIT: After a comment from Robert below I am updating my comment concerning fuel consumption. I conducted a test today October 14, 2019 to simulate how much gas I would of used. I had no way of measuring the gas consumption at my hotel which is where the 230g size canister was disposed. The temperature today is 13℃ and the wind was blowing at 6 m/s. I would typically drink a coffee at breakfast and one cup in the evening. I boiled aprox. 400 ml water for soups on days 2 – 4 and I boiled aprox. 400 ml of water for my dinners. On day 4 I stayed in the Vistas mountain hut and I used their gas at dinner time and for a cup of coffee on the morning of day 5. It appears that I would of used just under 130 grams of gas. This is a worst case scenario as I tested the stoves today without any wind protection. I did however use my shelter as a wind shield on my hike.

DAY 1 Train Train 9 6 15
DAY 2 6 9 9 6 30
DAY 3 6 9 9 6 30
DAY 4 6 9 Mountain hut Mountain hut 15
DAY 5 Mountain hut Crisp bread 9 6 15
DAY 6 6 Crisp bread 9 6 21
DAY 7 Skipped coffee Hike ended


126 g

Robert asked me if there is a significant difference between the Soto Windmaster and the BRS 3000T stoves with respect to fuel consumption. This is relevant because I would of packed the BRS 3000T if I hadn’t taken the Soto Windmaster. So I conducted a little test using both stoves. Here are my findings:

Soto Windmaster

  • boiling aprox. 200 ml of water took 1 minute 45 seconds and used aprox. 6 grams of fuel
  • boiling aprox. 400 ml of water took 3 minute 20 seconds and used aprox. 9 grams of fuel

BRS 3000T

  • boiling aprox. 200 ml of water took 1 minute 56 seconds and used aprox. 7 grams of fuel
  • boiling aprox. 400 ml of water took 4 minute 47 seconds and used aprox. 10 grams of fuel

If I had packed the BRS 3000T then I can only estimate that I would of used approximately 143 grams of fuel against the 126 grams usage by the Soto Windmaster.



As far as food goes I should of taken some of my own meals as well as the expedition meals. I found that after 5 days of this type of food that I was missing some fibre in my diet. My own meals would of done the job and I proved this last year when I used only my home-made meals. I ended up purchasing some crisp bread and some ham-cheese in a tube that I used for lunches on the last couple of days. I was tired of the soups for lunch as well. The crisp bread did the job and my stomach thanked me for the switch. Last year I also used crisp bread for lunches with some Vegemite spread which only Australians can eat because everyone else in the world thinks it’s disgusting 🤣.


My rain protection system totalled 379 grams:

This year I changed my rain jacket with a Haglöfs L.I.M. rain jacket, a heavier jacket and I did not take a wind shirt as I normally do. The Haglöfs jacket was my wind protection as well as a rain jacket which supported my “2 uses” principles that I practice.

  • Haglöfs L.I.M. Rain Jacket, Storm, waterproof 28000 mm, 240 g
  • Inov8 AT/C Ultrapant, waterproof 10,000 mm HH, 86 g
  • Montane Minimus Rain Mitts , Pertex Shield in bag, 53 g

I regret my decision to pack this rain jacket. I really missed my wind shirt, a Cumulus Windy-Wendy Pertex Quantum GL wind jacket which only weighs 60 grams, and I didn’t feel that the Haglöfs L.I.M. rain jacket was any better at keeping the rain out than my much lighter Berghaus hyper shell jacket weighing only 89 grams.

I used the same Inov8 rain rain pants as I used last year. I have no reason to change these pants out for anything else. They are very light and very breathable.


The Injinji trail midweight mini crew toe socks in combination with the Altra Lone Peak 3.5 trail shoes are the best remedy that I have ever tried for toe blisters and overheated feet. My toe socks weigh 55 grams while my Altras weigh in at 632 grams for a pair in size 44 EU. This system in combination works for me.

I have arthritis in my left foot and specifically the second smallest toe suffers with this inflammation. It’s a little deformed and swollen, so it takes a little to get them on that foot, but once they’re on they’re good to go.

My total pack weight including food, fuel and water never really exceeds 11 kg. The toe socks and the Altra Lone Peaks cope well and wear perfect together with my pack weights. If you’re a traditional backpacker with heavy loads then none of my recommendations would apply in any of my articles. Hence the lightweight and ultralight backpacking theme.

When I was on my Lapland hike last year I also used this system. I walked straight through all the streams and water crossings and climbed what ever mountain that was thrown at me. My shoes & socks dried while I was walking. With the pack weights that I carry you don’t need ankle support and hiking boots. At night I dried my socks on a line in my shelter and my Altras dried overnight in the vestibule.


The only thing that I would do differntly next time is to switch my waterproof socks back to a lighter pair and not to wear them during the day which is what I tried to do on the first day this year as a test. I should of done what I always do and just wear my Injinji socks which get wet and dry out. When I get into camp I would remove the Injinji socks and wear the waterproofs to keep my feet dry and warm. Then when I go to bed I wear my warm socks. This is my 3 sock system of wet (Injinji toe socks), dry (DexShell waterproofs) and warm (Darn Tough boot socks). This is what I did last year and it works.

The DexShell waterproof breathable socks dumped the test

The DexShell waterproof breathable socks that I used this year were hopeless. They were only waterproof for a couple of hours and then the inside and outside of the socks were soaking wet. I wanted to try them out and test how long they would keep my feet dry. They have deffiantly dumped the test! You can read the full name/description in the packinglist below.

YouTube Post Hike Gear Review video above

Below is my full packing list copied and pasted from my spreadsheet. Note that water is not included in the weights.

Gear spreadsheet Lapland September 2019 grams


Worn shoes Altra Lone Peak 3.5 (632 g) 632

hiking socks Injinji Trail Midweight Mini Crew Toe Socks 55 g 55

hiking pants Montane 2017 Terra Pack Pants 282 g 282

underpants Dilling Tights Exclusive Merino Wool M/5 85 g 85

handkerchief cotton 14 g 14

buff Merino wool 50 g 50

long sleeve shirt Dilling Long Arm Hoody Exclusive Merino Wool Blue 250 g 250

mid layer Mountain Equipment Diablo Hooded Jacket (M) 310 g 310

hat HMG Breeze Hat 70 g 70

watch Suunto Core Regular Black 62 g 62

cell phone Apple iPhone 6S 64GB 145 g 145

trekking poles Black Diamond Distance FLZ Black White 125cm 437 g 437


Pack backpack HMG Windrider 3400 Pack (55 ltr) 908 g 908

Shoulder Strap Pocket Tread Lite Gear Dyneema X Grid Rucksack Backpack Shoulder Strap Pocket 17 g 34


Shelter stakes 6″ MSR Carbon Core 6 g 24

stakes 9″ MSR Core 14 g 28

stuff sack for stakes Tarptent Silnylon black 3 g 3

shelter Tarptent Notch with partial solid mesh interior (seamed sealed + apex pullouts for vestibule tensioning) 836 g 836


Sleeping sleeping bag (or quilt) As Tucas Foratata Quilt 450 / 900 cuin down custom collar Regular 690 g 690

sleeping pad Therm-A-Rest Neoair XLite – Regular R value 3.2 (51 x 183 x 6,3 cm) 341 g 341

pillow HMG Cuben stuff sack pillow 15″ x 11″ 44 g 44

stuff sack / pod Hyperlite Mountain Gear POD – Large 37 g 37


Clothes carried rain jacket Haglöfs L.I.M Rain Jacket Men, Storm Blue L, waterproof 28000 mm 240 g 240

rain pants Inov8 AT/C Ultrapant Waterproof U Pertex Shield 2.5 Layer / waterproof 10,000 mm HH (86 g) 86

insulated “puffy” jacket Cumulus Incredilite Endurance Hydrophobic Down Jacket (850 cuin) (L) 320 g 320

warm hat (packed) Dilling Wool Beanie 71 g 71

underpants (packed) H&M cotton 60

long sleeve underwear shirt (packed) Dilling Long Arm Hoody Exclusive Merino Wool black 233 g 233

long underpants (packed) Dilling Long Exclusive Merino Wool 188 g 188

hiking socks (packed) Darn Tough Boot Sock Full Cushion 107 g 107

water proof socks (packed) DexShell Trekking Socks Waterproof Breathable Close Fitting MERINO WOOL TERRY LOOP PAD MID CALF 124 g 124

rain mitts Montane Minimus Mitt Pertex Shield / Waterproof / No Insulation in bag 53 g 53

gloves OR Sensor winter gloves 91 g 91

stuff sack / pod Hyperlite Mountain Gear POD – Large 37 g 37


Kitchen pot Toaks Light Titanium 550ml Pot 70 g 70

stove Soto Windmaster micro regulator stove + TriFlex pot support 67 g + stuff sack 6 g = 73 g 73

pot cozy DIY cozy for Toaks Light Titanium 550ml Pot 8 g 8

spoon Nordisk Titanium XL Long Handle Spoon 20 g 20

folding knife  Swiss Army Knife Classic SD including scissors & tweezers 21 g 21

fuel storage bottle standard 230 g gas bottle 150 g 150

stuff sack for cook-set Tread Lite Gear Ultralight 3D Cuben Fiber Zip Sack Toaks 550 Titanium Pot 7 g 7

stuff sack / pod for food & cooking ZPacks Roll Top Blast Food Bag Cuben Fiber 44 g 44


Hydration water bottle 700 ml soda bottle 32 g 32

extra water bottle 1500 ml Evernew folding 36 g 36

water filter Katadyn BeFree water bottle and filter 0.6 ltr 59 g 59


Navigation maps BD6 Abisko – Kebnekaise – Narvik 65 g 65

map holder  Asivik Map Holder 47 g 47

satellite communicator DeLorme inReach SE 195 g 195

compass Suunto A-30 Compass 30 g 30


Electronics power bank Anker PowerCore 10000 mAh including bag & 0.3m lightning cable (4 charges) 200 g 200

Apple iPhone charger Apple USB to lightning lead plus Apple charger 45 g 45

headlamp Asivik H Mini 31g 31

dry bag Tread Lite Gear Cuben Fiber Roll Top Dry Bag Ultralight 11 g 11


First Aid & Repair first aid & repair kit plasters, gauze roller bandage, gauze dressings, adhesive tape (angel skin), needle, cleansing wipes, Paracetamol 500 mg, Ibuprofen 200 mg, Imolope relieves diarrhea, Postafen 25 mg against travel sickness, 4 safety pins, cuben repair kit for tent, Tear-Aid Patch for clothes, HMG repair kit for cuben backpack, repair kit for sleeping pad, duct tape, waterproof matches, Dyneema Guy Rope 2.0mm, Tread Lite Gear Cuben Fiber Pouch 104 g 104


Essentials Wallet Tread Lite Gear Cuben fiber Coin Card Case Wallet Zip 4 g 4

Credit cards etc. drivers license, credit cards, cash, train card, insurance card, medicine card 33 g 33

passport Danish in Zip Lock Bag 43 g 43

shoulder bag Tread Lite Gear Cuben Fiber Chest Pack including shoulder strap 69 g 69

ear plugs in plastic container 7g 7

toothbrush 2 piece plastic 14 g 14

towel Micro fibre cloth wiping the tent down, tea towel, napkin, cosy, drying myself 18 g 18

trowel TheTentLab The Deuce of Spades UL Trowel 2 (17 g) 17

seat pad Therm-a-Rest Z-Seat Pad with R-value 2.2 (53 g) 53

thermometer  key ring type thermometer 8 g 8

wash bag Tread Lite Gear Cuben Fiber Box Zipped Wash Bag Packing Cell ultralight blue 7 g 7

stuff sack ZPacks Medium-Plus Cuben Fiber 9.5 Ltr 24 g 24


Photography camera Canon G7 X Mark II including battery & Sandisk Extreme Pro SDXC 64 GB memory card 321 g 321

rain cover HMG Small CF8 Cuben Stuff Sack – 8” x 10” (7 g) 7

tripod Pedco UltraPod Lightweight Camera Tripod 52 g 52

camera batteries Canon NB-13L 23 g 46

memory card Sandisk Extreme Pro SDXC 64GB 95MB/s 2 g 2


Consumables water  water carried

all breakfast food  oats, raisins, dried milk in ziplock bag (aprox. 140 g per serving) 840

all dinner food Expedition meals purchased 164 g – 172 g 1016

all lunch & snack food oatmeal bars, beef jerky, Snickers, trail mix, mashed potato, soup 2333

coffee Instant coffee 95

fuel weight of fuel in 230 g gas bottle 230

hand sanitiser Hand gel (re-fillable) 48

detergent  Bio-degradable in LD Mini Dropper bottle transparent 6 ml 10

lip stuff Lypsyl 8

toothpaste 8ml Speedster Squeeze Tube (4 g) 23 g 23

foot balm lotion 20

toilet paper in HMG Small CF8 Cuben Stuff Sack – 8” x 10” (7 g) 100

packing for flight home plastic bag large 62


TOTALS total base weight all gear NOT worn or consumed 6.5 kg

total pack weight all gear NOT worn + consumables added 11.3 kg

total skin out weight pack weight + clothing worn 13.7 kg

You can view and downloaded my map here on AllTrails

Product(s) discussed in this article were either purchased by Brian Outdoors from a retailer or otherwise provided by the manufacturer at a discount/donation with no obligation to provide media coverage or a product review to the manufacturer(s). I do not accept compensation or donated product in exchange for guaranteed media placement or product review coverage without clearly denoting such coverage as an “ADVERTISEMENT” or “SPONSORED CONTENT.”

9 Replies to “Post Hike Gear Review: Riksgränsen to Abisko via Vistas 2019”

  1. Really interesting choice of gear, and so many of my own favourites (As Tucas, Tarptent, Treadlite, to name but a few).
    Your remark on the gas canister caught my eye though – I don’t think I’d go on a 7-day hike with just a 100g can. Then again, I’m still using the BRS. Would you say that there’s a significant difference between the 2 with respect to fuel consumption?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for commenting and correcting me Robert. I can see now that after conducting some tests today that my remark is incorrect. I’ll edit my post with the correct information. I conducted some tests today in similar “windy conditions” that I experienced in Lapland. The testing shows that I would of used at least 126 grams of fuel so the larger gas canister was not an overkill. Sorry for the mistake.

      I did a test today with the BRS 3000-T and the Soto Windwaster and I’ll show the results. Not sure if you read the previous day 1 – 7 posts? On day 4 I stayed in a mountain hut and used their gas thus saving roughly 21 grams. This was a post hike 7 day gear review for this hike only as a follow up to the series.

      PS – I’m going to support this article with a YouTube video as well.


  2. Thanks for the gear post-mortem!

    How did you find LIM jacket breathability? I recently got one (LIM Proof, with Haglöfs own membrane), basically because my RAB Momentum DWR cannot be revived anymore. Also, because it was cheapish at an outlet, and lighter to boot. But I found that it is not beading water that well even when new, and I have no illusions about breathability, so I always carry a separate wind jacket. But LIM was never tested, I had no rain at all on my main hike 🙂

    I also got a quilt but with 350 grams fill…perhaps should have gone for 450. OTOH, 350 plus light down jacket and other clothing is good for about 0C, and I can probably manage even a few minus degrees. In any case, I am now a believer in quilts. So much more freedom to sleep and turn around, and I do not mind sleeping with my down jacket on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I only really had the rain on the first day and some on the last. On the first day I also had wind and sleet so everything was wet and moist. I had high expectations of the Haglöfs LIM jacket (waterproof 28000 mm) and so I was disappointed when I hanged it up to dry in the hut and it felt wet not only on the outside but also the inside. This surprised me. I reckon that my Berghaus hyper shell rain jacket (15,000 mm breathable 10,000 mm) does a better job and it only weighs 89 grams.

      Good to hear about your experience with the quilt. I have 4 different quilts for different seasons and temps. A couple with down and 2 synthetic (APEX). Just love my quilts.


      1. My experience is that when hiking with any amount of effort in near – 0C weather and rain, any shell jacket is going to be wet from inside if not through leaks, then through perspiration….YMMV of course. Sleet really wets out even good DWR, and because it is cold, all perspiration condenses on the inside of the jacket. It’s a game of managing misery rather than keeping dry, but of course you do not need me to tell you this 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, about the fuel consumption for stoves…your results match mine. I had Soto Amicus, not Windmaster, though. I found that BRS takes perhaps 20% more fuel or slightly less.

    But this was indoors. Real killer for BRS is even slight wind, the flame flaps around wildly even with a small breeze. For a really small boil kit it is excellent, but I did not want to take it to an extended hike and be bothered about finding perfect wind shelter every time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad to see that I could manage the setup page so you can comment now :).

      Yes, I agree with the BRS in wind. I always try to hide behind my shelter with it. The Soto Windmaster is nearly impossible to blow out. The quality of the Soto Windmaster is also a lot better than the cheaper BRS and here there is no comparison. Everything feels nice with the Soto Windmaster.

      When I screw the BRS on to the canister I have to nearly “over tighten it” to ensure a proper seal and the bottom of the stove hits the lip at the top of the thread section. If I loosen it a little then it doesn’t seal properly. I’m left with the feeling that this is going to go wrong one day.

      The Soto Windmaster also has an igniter on it (not sure if the Soto Amicus has one?) and thus doesn’t require a lighter or matches. I like this feature. I defiantly feel a lot safer using the Soto Windmaster. The down side of it is the weight and price.


      1. Hope that spam bots do not drown your feed 🙂

        Yes, Amicus also has piezo and I like it a lot. I agree that it has a quality feel to it, seals well without need to overtighten, does not bend or wobble etc. The only downside is that for some reason it is really tall, and thus a bit unstable. Perhaps that is because the burner head really heats up in use compared to some other stoves, and it needs to be kept further away from the canister?

        The flame in (Amicus at least) might be a bit too wide for 550 ml cup for optimal efficiency, but if you do not run it at full blast I don’t think that too much heat escapes around the sides. For 900 ml kettle that I have, it is perfect. 550 ml is a good match for BRS, though.

        Liked by 1 person

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