Hiking the famous Kungsleden-Part 1

One of the most famous trails in Sweden is called Kungsleden or King’s Trail. It crosses the Swedish Lappland for 440 km from Abisko to Hemavan. Most people don’t hike the whole thing, as it is very long, but it is possible to do some pars of it, the most popular one being from Abisko to Nikkaluokta.

As COVID-19 changed most people’s summer plans, a lot of students had to remain in Sweden, so a couple of my friends and I decided it was the perfect opportunity to explore Sweden and get some hiking done. None of us had gone to the Swedish Lappland yet, so it all came together quite naturally.

We planned a 10-day hike, not necessarily following the official Kungsleden in order to see more territory. Our itinerary included a stop at Kebnekaise Fjällstation, where we would spend a day to attempt to climb Sweden’s highest peak. As it was the longest hike for all of us, we decided to go with shorter distances each day, with an average of 18km/day. This would leave us the time to have longer rests for lunch and dinner. As we would be in the Arctic circle, it is sunny 24h/day so we didn’t have to rush to get to our next camp before sundown.

Our itinerary, from Abisko to Vakkotavare with a detour through Vistas and Kebnekaise was a total of 180km

Free-camping is allowed in Sweden, so it was pretty easy to plan where to stop each day. We would just need to find a flat, dry space for our two tents with an access to water.

As we were pretty early in the season, most huts were closed when we started so we needed to be completely self-sufficient for the first few days. We decided to carry all of our food the the whole trip and re-fill later if needed. We went with dehydrated food from Lidl as it had good energy content and was cheaper than the ones found in specialized outdoor stores.

It was a challenge to fit everything into our backpacks at first, but it would get lighter and lighter every day as we would eat our food. It was tricky to plan for clothes because Lappland has unpredictable weather. We needed to bring limited amount of changes of clothes but still be prepared for any kind of temperature or weather.

Everything I brought for the hike

To get to the start of the hike in Abisko, we took the night train until Kiruna, and then a 2-hour bus to the Fjällstation in Abisko. We planned for extra food for the trip in order to keep our precious food portions for the hike itself.

After exams were done, our itinerary was planned and we had bought all our equipment, we were ready to go! I will write about the hike itself on my next blog 🙂

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