Starting Post

I'm packed up and ready for the off. This must be a personal best. It's three weeks until I fly. It has nothing to do with being organised and everything to do with the vagaries of air transport. Flights to Hammerfest, apart from being excruciatingly expensive, are far from direct. I'll be making two changes but suggested routes involved up to five. My incoming and ongoing flights in Oslo are rather critically spaced. I'd have to be moving, and probably squealing, like a greased pig in a pig wrangling festival if I was to disembark from the one, collect my bagage, pass through customs, pass through security and board the other on time.

What to do? Well, my plan is to take only hand luggage. A great motivation for going ultralight you would think and a very astute thought that would be if it wasn't for security. Stoves, fuel bottles, pocket knives and stacks of Ziploc bags containing freeze dried powders would have border control guards pulling on elbow length rubber gloves before you could say "assume the position". No, the only working solution is to ship my gear ahead of time. My packed rucksack, containing everything I will carry apart from the clothes I'll be standing up in, fuel, Randulf’s mystery tent and a few bits of fresh food, has been entrusted to the postal service. Gulp. Seven kilograms of my favourite things in the world are separated from disaster by a sheet of plastic, a few wraps of packing tape and the loving care of TNT.

On that latter point, it turns out that, in the interest of customer service, my village no longer has a post office. Apparently, since the end of May, unnoticed to me, my fellow residents have been buying stamps and posting letters at the supermarket. I tried the new service for the first time today. I spent a very pleasant twenty minutes trying to work out tarrifs and fill in customs documents with a check-out girl. Well, my gear shipment was after all the first large parcel destined for a non-EU country since the end of May. Here's hoping for a speedy delivery and a reassuring mail from Randulf . When the palpitations have stopped I'll post my gear list.


  1. Brave man. Maybe you could track it with your SPOT GPS? Hope the trip goes well.

  2. I could not do it Dave. I like the train with my Kit in the rack above my head. In sight and safe. Hope it works for you.

  3. Well if it all goes horribly wrong at least you'll super, mega, ultra super, duper lightweight...

    that doesn't help does it :o(

    Seriously, I hope it goes well.

  4. As I flew to Sweden I was planning the same - take it as carry on. But with a Puukko, powders and more I reckoned even the otherwise relaxed security staff here in Tampere would have asked me to step aside, thus check-in it was.

    Not to make you nervous, two parcels from the UK have yet to arrive at my doorstep, and after nearly four and six weeks I am getting worried. I hope you get that email soon, and I reckon TNT will be delivering as they should.

  5. At least this timeline forces you to plan ahead and get things done, I am travelling on the train to Björkliden and have spent a lot of time thinking about what is going, but the reality of packing will probably be a last minute thing as usual. I am flying back from Tromsø and requires a transfer in Oslo, no hand luggage for me (especially with hiking poles)

    BTW, looking at you photo couldn't the trowel be left at home? And did the DB bed go as well : )

  6. Have to agree with a couple of comments here - like Hendrik I felt sure my wee baggies of chocolate muffin mix were going to get me the rubber glove welcome in Stockholm! And as Roger rightly points out - a toilet trowel?! No, no, no Dave. Leave that somewhere safe until you return from your trip. I sturdy tent peg or stick will do the job just as well.

  7. Ben, Trouble with that idea is that I'd have to have packed a trained monkey to keep pushing the "okay" button. Don't suppose you're allowed to post monkeys?

    Martin, I know where you are coming from. I'm a bit concerned about the whole thing to be honest. However, since I almost always have to fly I inevitably have to wave goodbye to mt gear at some stage of the journey.

    BBF, No that doesn't help much at all (although it did put a smile on my face for a second there).

    Hendrik, Thanks for those reasuring words :-0

    Roger, :-) The double bed stayed at home. I get a better nights sleep on the Neo Air (and I'm not joking!)

    Joe/Roger, Wow my potty trowel is becoming a real controversy. This is the second time it's been targetted by the UL pack. I'm getting to like it more and more :-). But seriously, I know I should realy fasion something along the lines of the Ibotson (nee Phil Turner) trowel, and I will some day, but the 20g it saves put the job fairly low on my list for the moment. That and the fact that I rarely go solo and for group travel 50g shared over the group is nothing. It's orangeness is also good for groups. For those moments when discipline lapses and it's not left at the agreed place you can see it at a hundred paces.



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