Need for forest and lakes

January had been a challenging month with a number of personal commitments which consumed considerable personal energy and time. I felt it was time to seek out some forest and lakes and Raslängen seemed like an ideal place. 

My first stop was Malmo as I had discovered that my JoJo card (Skånetraffiken discount card) no longer wanted to Yo yo. A visit to their office in Malmo and the matter was resolved quickly, and a rebate on my previously purchased full price ticket was given, I  am not accustomed to such excellent service from a public transport operator.  

Alighting from the bus in Jämshög with light snow falling and mist on the surrounding hills, I did wonder if a better option was to get back on the bus and return home. I must have seemed a strange sight in the middle of this quiet township as I had plenty of looks from the passers by. My first challenge was to get out of town, I seem to have more difficulty navigating in towns than I do in the bush. Having successfully left the township I entered Hålan nature reserve. In places there was some snow others it was slush, my feet were soon damp. 

Once in the nature reserve things looked up, the snowing stopped and the sense of being out the forest soon had me thinking of what lay ahead especially as most of this trip I had done before. Following the snow covered trials it was evident that many others had covered the same trails before the last snow fall, but I saw no one. Eventually I met up with the Blekingeleden and turned westward arriving at on the banks of Hålan for lunch.

The sun was now beginning to make an appearance and as I climbed onto a ridge the views across Hålan were impressive. I left the Blekingeleden and descended along a series of old forestry trails to Raslängen, my home for the next two nights.

Soon a campsite was found and the afternoon was spent experimenting with the new shelter, and just doing not a lot. With sunset at 5pm it was soon dark and after dinner it was into bed to the sound of a couple of owls. 

Campsite on banks of Raslängen

It was a long night as they are at this time of the year but I was warm and cozy, in the morning I took my time admiring the changes in the patterns on the ice, 

Early morning Raslängen

as well as the clearing skies 
Blue sky Raslängen
I was now heading further around Raslängen to find another another campsite, it was early in the afternoon when I made camp, but with weak afternoon sunshine providing some warmth and photo opportunities I happily explored the surrounds. 

Ice Raslängen

Calm waters Raslängen

As evening closed in I retired to the sounds of the Natugle (Brown or Tawny Owl) and settled down for the last night for this trip. 

Setting off the next morning in my usual daze thinking about the day ahead whilst making those minor gear adjustments, there was suddenly a loud crack behind me, what I said cannot be repeated here but I turned around to see a pine tree breaking off about 1.5 m above ground level and majestically falling to the ground g across the trail about 100 m behind me.
I was now awake. 


The remainder of the walk was uneventful apart from a fox who took one look at me a ran. Ultimately I made my way to the bus stop through more snowy slush which and the passing sleet. More importantly however, I now felt refreshed and after 2 and a bit days wandering the forests and lakes the world seemed a lot brighter.


Gear Reflections

For this trip I used the Luxe Sil-Hexpeak, with only two nights usage, in cold and calm conditions, my comments should be read in that context. I will likely revise them in due course.

As a mid it is an easy pitch, especially with the included connectors which connect opposite diagonals of the hexagon. Once erected the mid is robust and the side panels are taught. See Robin’s post for some photos in strong winds. 

Things I liked about the outer are:

  • The hook and eye for the door zipper, simple and efficient and better than the clips on a TT Notch for example. 
  • The J zip door which allows the top of the door panel to be left open for air flow.
  • The large entry.

Things I have concerns about regarding the outer are:

  • I would like to see more Mid panel base tie outs
  • Seam sealing, the instructions state seam seal on the outside, I feel that the outside is a better option, I have not dine mine yet.
  • The slope of the sides, means that the area around the perimeter of the shelter is only good for gear storage and reaching down to unclip the hook and eye at the bottom of the zip will most likely result in some condensation ending up on your clothes. Plan accordingly.

Now for the inner, in my view it is a work in progress for me at least. I found it fiddly to adjust and setup and if I was in a gale then I am not sure that I could set the inner up without stepping outside. The inner is a pentagonal shape and in some ways I fell that the shape cause some problems during erection, certainly a rectangular shape would be easier. My observations are as follows

  • In my view the inner should have a tie out to the outer wall at the apex of the pentagon half way up the side.
  • The corners of the inner have struts similar to an Oooktub but the Hex inner is attached to the pegs of the outer, I wonder whether using separate sheppard hooks is a better option and possible redesigning them similar to the Oooktub as well. I note that Chris Wheeler in his video has down just that.
  • Cord, there is a lot and it is all the same colour as the outer and I would prefer (and will) change the colour of one set of cords to make it easier to determine which to adjust. Note if you are using Shepard hooks for the inner then this point is less important.
  • The inner is approximately 110 cm at the centre but slopes away and thus you soon find yourself touching the mesh, I do not see this as a problem however. 

One other observation I have is packing the shelter, if the outer is wet and inner is dry, then packing separately is the key for a dry night, it maybe best that users plan for this eventuality accordingly. I experienced condensation on both nights which was not a surprise given my location near icy lakes in damp forests.

This entry was posted in Blekingeleden, M.Zuiko 12 mm f2, M.Zuiko 17 mm f1.8, Olympus EPL 5, Skåneleden, Sweden. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Need for forest and lakes

  1. Good to see you back in Sweden and glad the pine tree missed you! The Luxe looks good.

  2. Your photo’s are really good. I think the clear air helps get that edge. I have yet to get out with my Duomid and so i read your thoughts on the Luxe with interest. Obviously with being a similar shape some points are transferable. I will bear them in mind.

  3. Some lovely photo's there, looks like a great area to unwind in the outdoors in. Some of your comment re the tent have me thinking about a potential time/faff saving mod for my SL3…

  4. The photos are lookin' sharp! Very nice.

    The shelter is an interesting one. Budget priced is great, but I look forward to reports on longevity. I do like the “Akto-esque” straps from opposite pitching points to keep a nice shape. Adds a touch to weight I guess, but probably makes it a bit quicker to set up than an SL3/WickiUp (which I always find I have to pitch, then re-peg to get the good shape.

    Height is a touch short – what's the space like inside for gangly people?

  5. Thanks Mark for the comments on the photos, a new EPL 5 with 16 mp sensor helps as does some better lenses. The straps are very useful on the Hexpeak as you effectively set it up as a rectangle first then pull out the other two vertices. the inner is a little small in my view for taller people and I intend to experiment with other options in the coming weeks. I do feel however, that the outer will withstand be more stable ins tong winds, so all it needs is an appropriate inner. BTW Bob at BPL uk did suggest anyone over 6'2″ would be challenged I suspect it may even be a bit less than that.

  6. Very nice photos Roger and nice to see Spring is pushing in up North. Spring is comming in, here down South as well but the Alps are highly packed with snow. Lucky you were not hit by fallen tree. We had lots of fallen trees from ice two weeks ago and are advised not to venture into the woods to stay out of potential danger. The Luxe looks nice!

  7. Thanks Velimir, it has certainly been spring like lately, though the wind is still cold. The tree falling was “interesting” as there was very little wind, and no other apparent reason why it fell but I assume it and been weakened by an earlier storm. The luxe has a lot of potential in my view more experimenting needed.

  8. As usual a great trip report and pictures. Just returned from a trip around Raslången myself – start and end in Bökestad.

  9. Thanks Morten, I wonder if you were there about the same time as I was? It is a beautiful area and one I will return to, as I would like to do the circuit around Raslången probably starting in Jämshög again.

  10. Thanks Hanna, I always try to find campsites with pleasant outlooks, though sometimes it can get a bit windy : ). There was very little wind when the tree came down but I am guessing that previous storms and ice were the cause. Skanetraffiken, are excellent and I have always had good experiences with the their drivers.

    I live near the Søstien so it is an easy bus trip, or walk from home if I feel like it and Farum Sø is much quieter than Furesø.

    Keep up the excellent posts, I find them enjoyable and educative.


  11. I was there 14 February – 16 February participating in the traditional Outside (Danish outdoor forum) winter trip around Raslången.

    Guess I will go back early spring. Have only experienced the area during winter. Expect to start in Bökestad again.

  12. I was there 13, 14 and 15, hiked out to Östafors on the 15, after dodging the tree. So we just missed each other.

  13. Thanks, clear conditions always helps.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s