Me and 3 other friends hiked the first part of the Kungsleden between the 14th of August and the 26th. It was beautiful, but cold an rainy, and I highly recommend it. Here are some information about it, stuff I wish I knew, and stuff to motivate you :).
What I packed for the trip
- A 70L bag (it wasn’t full)
- 4 * 250g of couscous
- 3 * 200g of quinoa
- 2 * some pasta
- 4 portions of potato mash
- 6 dry soups
- Two taco vegeterian mix
- One real turmat teriyaki chicken
- Lots of nuts
- Two pack of tucs
- Two pack of fullkorn cookies
- 2 packs of turkey jerky
- An aluminium pan
- My phone
- A 1000mA power bank
- A rain jacket
- Rain pants
- 4 underwear
- 2 pair of hiking socks
- 3 tshirt
- A warm jacket
- A mosquito net
- My hiking shoes
- A sleeping bag with confort zone at 0°.
- A ground mattress
- A tent for two persons
- Baby wipes
- A towel
- Half a roll of toilet paper
- A small notebook
- A pen
- A book
- A card game
- A compas
- A head light
- A cooking set
- T-röd for the cooking set
All that weighted around 20kg.
What I didn’t need
I didn’t need that much food since buying in the cabin is not that expensive with the exception of kebernakaise station (where you should use the lunch buffet if you have time). I would remove some meals. If you want to carry even less, buy some dry meals in the stations on the way and remove more food. Snacks were mainly needed for climbing Kebnekaise.
What I wished I had:
- A beanie
- One more pair of socks
- A thermos for keeping warm soup during the nights
It gets really cold at night, we’ve had around 3° every night so the sleeping bag at 0° and warm clothes for the night were appreciated.
It also rained a lot and we had to go through some rivers, so full waterproof equipment is needed.
The road is fantastic and is worth doing. I recommend it 100%, and if you’re hesitating stop hesitating and go !
We took the train from Örebro until Abisko turiststation. This took us around 20hrs but since it was a night train it was more than doable. The trail starts close to Abisko turiststation, and you’re in for more or less 120 km. We planned to walk at least 10km a day but no more than 15, which is very chill, and we did it in 12 days because there was no train available earlier. But we could have done it in 10 days at this pace. We used the remaining days to climb Kebnekaise and enjoyed a one day break/buffer in case something happened.
Abisko to abiskojaure
This part is like a walk in a park. The view is superb and easy to walk. Try to get close to the river to see beautiful landscapes.
Around abiskojaure you might get the chance to see mooses as they like to walk up the river. We got as lucky as to see two of them and they got as close as 10m of us.
You can camp for free at the first camping spot and after the National park, but not in the park itself, so plan your way accordingly. You can also pay for a spot in abiskojaure. You can camp right at the exit of the park. You’ll see a fence and there will be water on the right.
Abiskojaure to Alesjaure
After Abisko national park, you walk up toward a mountain, before going around it, through a valley. For us, it was raining and we got really wet so be ready for that kind of weather, even in August. After the reindeer fence, it’s only down, and also the start of mosquito land, so use mosquito repellent and a mosquito net if you have. And had to camp 6km of Alesjaure but you can also make the whole way in one go. There is a boat that can take you to Alesjaure so you don’t have to walk if you don’t want to. Right after the departure point, you will find some good camping spots. Between the boat and Alesjaure, there is an incredible waterfall that you can walk up to, and from which you can see the whole valley around.
The staff in Alesjaure was mean and unprofessional. They kicked us out of the building in one hour even though we bought stuff to eat there. They came to us and told us in the rudest way possible to leave since: “it is late and we are not a waiting area. See the cloud you don’t want to get under them. You have 10 min to leave ok?!”. Their exact words. No one was here so we weren’t taking anyone’s spot, and, even if we had to leave which was written nowhere, there are some better way to say it. Never regretted spending 100kr (500kr if you count all of our group) more than here. Please pass your way and don’t look back.
Alesjaure to Sälka
First, it’s a long way through mosquitoes, even though they are less numerous than before. We camped next to the second big bridge after going out of Alesjaure. Then, the way goes up to 1100m. The trees disappear and it’s only rocks. You switch from green lively land to desolated rocky landscape. Once you go over the peak, you’ll cross a meditation point from which you can see the river going through the valley in the distance. I feel like this is one of the most beautiful view of the whole trail. Spoiler alert on the next image, but the picture doesn’t do it justice.
To Sälka, it’s a way through that valley, with rocky and swampy fields. An easy walk. Sälka staff was more than awesome. Very nice and friendly, we used the sauna, and bathed in the freezing cold river next to it. Awesome little place lost in the middle of Kungsleden.
Sälka to Kebnakaiser station
We avoided Singi and took the shortcut that goes up the mountain. Again you get incredible sceneries, but the trail is a bit hard to see so pay attention to the pilled up rocks showing the way. We got really wet due to some heavy rain on the way, but saw a couple of reindeers.
We camped right after the way down, where the canyon almost end. Waking up was magical for we had reindeers only 50m away from the tent.
The rest of the way was really wet so I was glad I had waterproof shoes and pants. The last kilometer to Kebnakaiser station are easier than everything else before, although really wet. It’s sometimes hard to see the trail because there is so much swamps.
Climbing to the top of Kebnekaise was the toughest part of the Kungsleden, although it is not technically part of it. The way is really steep and filled with rocks. But the view is incredible and the snow top really impressive and scary. You’re basically on a thin rim of snow in between two cliffs. The glacier is slowly disappearing which is really sad. Hurry if you want to see them. Also, the snow top isn’t going to be the real top for long, since it’s melting. Thus, another reason to hurry.
Kebnekaise to Nikkaluokta
The first part is a forrest walk and wasn’t that exciting compared to the rest of the trail. We ate a reindeer burger at lapdånald. Pretty good but pretty pricey also. It’s snowed over the mountains during the night and the view was incredible.
From lapdånald to Nikkaluokta is really pretty. You can go take a look at the prehistoric traps for reindeers on the way. It’s two holes, some history about it, and only 0.9km to get there, so it’s not that much, and you get to walk deeper in the forrest.
When you get to Nikkaluokta, stop by the chapel and marvel over the view over what you just walked, and feel good about yourself :). You just hiked a third of the Kungsleden.