Route planning and physical build-up went hand in hand. Thanks to the lockdown, I could exercise even better than expected. I started my days regularly with early morning runs. In the evenings and on weekends I explored maps and studied blogs from other NPL alumni. The posts, philosophy and route of theflyingsurgeon.com inspired me a lot and confirmed many of my gut feelings:
- It’s possible to have a light pack without compromising on comfort
- the amount of food carried on long stages can be significantly reduced
- A risk-based approach for the equipment selection helps to reduce non necessary items (e.g. the sense of a satellite emergency sender or the composition of the first aid kit)
- hints on the electronic equipment
Next thing was to start thinking of the equipment. That was not so easy. We call already about 5 tents and various cooking sets our own. After a first check, I had to accept that my lightweight tent from 1989 was completely sticking together and obviously no longer usable. The next heavier one was already over 3 kg.
To complete NPL within 4 months, I cannot carry too much. Therefore I decided to cut down the base weight to be able to increase my daily mileage.
The target for reducing weight was quickly identified. The big three:
- sleeping bag
By chance, I struggled across Bonfus. If someone develops ultralight tents in Norway, then they must also withstand the inclemency of the weather in these latitudes. My new backpack and tent arrived just in time for the Swiss-O-Days in Andermatt (Switzerland). The first night at 2’700 m a.s.l at the lake littered with ice blocks at the source of the Reuss river was the perfect and successful baptism of fire.
A clear full moon night in Val Frisal at -10 °C at the end of November showed me that my equipment and I can cope with Scandinavian type weather and climate.