Opening Moves

Welcome to Backpacking North!

Once I get things up and running, I'll be using this blog to present hiking trip reports from Finland and the USA, offer gear reviews, outline some techniques, and maybe even provide some good old fashioned philosphizin'.

I originally set up another blog in which I planned to write about hiking north of the Arctic Circle in Lapland, but shortly after my first post I found out I had to move to the USA for a few years.  Because of this, as because I still don't know where I'm going to be in six months time, I decided to rethink the blog plan. Hence, Backpacking North.

As I'm currently living in Minnesota - a place which couldn't be more similar to Finland if it tried - I think, at least in the American mindset, this still qualifies as North. Of course, it's all relative. Maybe the idea of what North is is a question I can address sometime. Or did Glenn Gould already cover that?

As it will be a few weeks before I get out on the trail again, I thought I'd begin by posting a few trip reports from some of the great adventures I've been having in America's wide open spaces, and a couple of even older ones from trips in northern Finland, Sweden and Norway.

Another aspect to this blog will be my continuing attempts to lighten my backpacking load. As with many other backpackers, I've been bitten by an ultralight bug - probably a mosquito. Over the last few years I've moved from a 5 kg Haglöfs Genius 21 tent, to a 2 kg Hilleberg Akto, to my recently purchased, impossibly light GG SpinnTwinn/Ti Goat Bivy combination. I'll be using them on an upcoming trip to the Boundary Waters. How will I adjust to tarp camping? Will the mosquitoes get the better of me? Will my limited knowledge of knots be my downfall? We shall see...

Lastly, I'm still in the process of fine tuning the blog design. I hope you'll bear with some glitches and odd-looking posts while I mess around with the CSS.