My escape from whatever non-cuddly animal, also led to the fact that I had to change my route fundamentally. Instead of crossing the Finnmarksvidda from northeast to southwest, I have now already crossed it from east to west.
From the Tana, the border river to Finland, I went in 2 days to Karasjok, the capital of the Sami with their own parliament. On the following 3 days, and approx. 100 km my way led high up on the plateau of the Finnmarksvidda, over this away up to the Kautokeinoelva. Almost as far as the eye can see just vastness. Only in far distance the summits of the Gáissas and the Stabbursdal national park frame this plateau. Once on the plateau, the path stretches over gentle hills, past swamps until you reach two huge river plains in the middle part of the Vidda. The sandbanks of the Mollešjohka river with several tens of meters thickness are impressive. The snowmelt is largely over. Nevertheless, the rivers and streams still carry plenty of water. When wading through them, I am regularly knee-deep in the tearing water. It’s also wet away from the watercourses. The swamps are fully saturated. Therefore it’s common to get soaked shoes. In any case, along the trail it never gets boring. Encounters are quite rare. The huts that are usually open are still in the off-season mode and were closed. So there was also no waffle with coffee.
Some people will wonder how I can hike 30 km or more day after day. I think that there is no patent remedy for this. It rather needs a combination of personal basics, learned skills, the consideration of certain rules and also a tailored tactics and equipment.
Let’s start with the basics. I am blessed with a very enduring, robust body. In addition, there is certainly a tenacity and an almost stoic approach to adversity.
In order for something smart to come out of these basics, I strictly follow the following rules:
- keep a steady pace
- keep a balance between performance and recovery
- pay attention to body signals and act accordingly
- never let the tank run empty
- Stop every hour. At the beginning only a few sips of water and a dried fruit, the longer I am on the trail, the longer the breaks and the larger the amount of food I’m eating. After about 2/3 of the daily workload there is a big break with a good meal. When I am tired, I also sleep for a while (15 minutes to 2 hours).
- The hiking poles help me to move forward. So I relieve the legs and get further accordingly. In the evening I feel the upper arms similar to the thighs.
- My cross-country mobility allows me to move forward quite economically.
- With the shoes choice I have mentally “freed” myself. They get wet anyway. So I don’t have to constantly worry about whether to take off my shoes for the creek crossing.
- My backpack is just under 8 kg without consumables. Less weight requires less energy
Shoes I use a lightweight hiking shoe and an even lighter trail running shoe. The trail running shoe is my dry shoe. I use it strictly only around the tent or in the accommodation. At most it is used in dry conditions for longer distances along roads. The hiking boot protects the ankles, but is deliberately not waterproof. Quickly wet, but also quickly dry. With them I go through swamps and wade through streams. As quickly as the water comes in, it is out again. Shoes, socks and feet dry quite well while hiking. Usually, however, the next swamp comes earlier.