Tuesday, June 3, 2014

A breath of fresh air

It's crunch time for my master's thesis, which is due next Monday. I'm a beautiful mixture of overwhelmed with how quickly so many years of education are coming to an end and excited to have produced something I'm really, really proud of (once it's finished of course).

As has been my tradition when studying for exams, I requested the annual camp-out-just-because trip. The recipe is simple. Go into the forest, and tent out for a night. Audun is still recovering from a bad ankle sprain, so we made the hike short.

We started in beautiful, early evening light. The days have grown obscenely long in Norway now - I can't remember last time I saw that it was dark out.


I also got to carry most of the stuff, because Audun is nursing his ankle to health. This was also good backpacking training. As I've mentioned before, I will be hiking the 338 km John Muir Trail in July (much, much more on that later!). Although I'm in pretty good shape from all the running, backpacking is a completely different ball game. Especially because I don't think I'm going to have light pack in any way, shape or form.


The pack I carried on Saturday weighed 16 kg. My pack for the JMT will probably be closer to 20, even creeping towards 25 when we load up for long stretches without supply.

I also tested out my new Dirty Girl Gaiters:


Which, yes look ridiculous, but (a) are comfortable and (b) I don't have to empty pine needles out of my shoes at the end of the day.

We hiked up to Fagervann, a hill I've run many times now. It turns out it's a lot more work with 16 kg on your back. Somehow I'll get used to it though - especially when I've got 25 days on the trail to adapt.

I had seen campsites at Fagervann before, but when we arrived at the lake they were all taken. I didn't realise so many people would have the same idea as me - it felt positively crowded! We finally found a site which could only accommodate a small tent, which was perfect for us.


Someone had even braided together two trees over it in a beautiful sort of arch.

The lake was beautifully still, except for the occasional plop of a fish jumping.


We stayed up until the mosquitoes got aggressive. I slept in until 8 (yes, this does constitute sleeping in for me), and then got up to enjoy a refreshing morning swim in the lake.

 

 
I'm good at routinely getting outside for exercise, but worse at getting outside just for the sake of being outside. I think this can be equally important, for your mental health more than your physical. So my message of the week? Get outside! No pressure, no strings, even if it's just a walk. Just do it!
 
(This blog post was not sponsored by Nike).
 
- Molly

2 comments:

  1. Emerging from lurkdom to say aaah, the JMT is my dream! Some day, some day. Also, I am a Norwegian living in the U.S., so I really enjoy your posts - for some insane reason, I didn't start hiking until after I left Norway, so it's nice/annoying to see all the things I missed out on. :)

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    1. Welcome! Yeah, unless you're a speed hiker the JMT takes close to a month, and that's definitely a lot of time to take off. Finishing my master's is plenty licence for a long summer vacation though. If it's your dream then I'm sure you'll get around to it some day!

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