About a year ago I got my first idea for a long trip. Didn’t knew then it was gonna be a thru hike. That idea got to me slowly when I was looking at where I wanted to go and what kind of experiences I wanted. My first plan was to go to Scandinavia for “some” time and after that to New Zealand. After some research and time I decided I want to hike in Scandinavia, but at that moment I had no idea what that really meant.
I don’t have any real hiking experience so in June 2016 I went to Sweden to try it out and it went badly wrong, as you can read here. I wasn’t prepared at all, I had a general route in mind but the route I had in mind wasn’t there. This was a learning experience for me. I didn’t had the right gear with me, my plan was far too vague and to be honest, I had a different idea about hiking.
After this trip I started to read a lot more and also watched a lot of YouTube. I’ve watched countless gear list vids and so on. This was a big help for me personally. The website I learned the most from until this moment is the site from Andrew Skurka. He’s basicly a legend when it comes to Thru hiking. I’m also quite analytic so I like his way in preparing a hike.
Unfornately learning will cost money. I’ve bought gear which I thought was perfect but now I know, it really was a bad mistake! For example, buying a very good, but very heavy backpack.and buying the wrong tent. When I compare the gear that I had with me last year to Sweden and what I’ve got now, I basicly replaced every piece of gear. The most important factor for this is that I needed lighter gear. As I told in a previous post, the gear you can buy in the shops here in The Netherlands are not lightweight and most of the people selling it don’t really understand what you will need.
For me, the most important thing is to go on try outs with your gear and see what will work for you and not. You can do a lot on your computer, but experience the best way to get a real feel for it. I’ve done multiple overnight trips and a number of smaller day hikes.
In less then 3 months I’ll fly to the Nordkapp and until that moment I will keep learning. Also I’m pretty sure that during my thru hike I will make lot’s of mistakes. The thing that everybody has to keep in mind that you will have to learn from your mistakes.