Bikepacking overnighter - Pole Taiga fatbike, sauna & new trails | Taival Outdoors

Bikepacking overnighter - Pole Taiga fatbike, sauna & new trails | Taival Outdoors

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Welcome back to Taival Outdoors. Today we are going fatbikepacking! I'm in Savonlinna, in a completely new area  for me, riding these trails for the first time. But the distances are quite short  today and tomorrow, I have a   map with good gps trail that I drew for myself.  And the main idea for these two days is to enjoy outdoors as always, but perhaps the  main point is that I'm testing some new   bikebacking gear. I've done three bike  packing trips in total with a fatbike.

All of those were with my old bike, and I've  never had any bikepacking specific equipment.   And now I finally decided to invest  in some. Oh, this is wet and muddy,   but then again, I'm on a  fatbike so it's not a problem. I did not expect these trails to be so wet,   because this summer has been extremely hot  or unusually hot actually, but here I am, in completely flooded forest and  trails, which of course means that   it is filled with mosquitoes, and  I am being absolutely eaten alive. And the only antidote is to go  faster. Good signs all around,  

because during winter this is cross-country ski  trail and I guess that's the main purpose of   this trail. So, it's not super ideal for  summer use, but then again, I have a fatbike so I shouldn't be complaining. There we go. No problem. First lean-to of this trail. Nice, sheltered place. The pond  that I passed is just over there, so  

interesting choice to build  this here and not by the shore. But now I must add some more bug spray,  because this is getting ridiculous. I'm not going to stay here any longer, I  just wanted to see this lean-to, and in fact   during these two days I'm going to visit  total of three different lean-to shelters.   Added some bug spray, hopefully it will  do the trick. Now, back on the trail. And   I think I mentioned something about the bags,  but let's leave that to the campsite as well.

So rocky. Roots. And again, it is wet. Uphill on almost non-existent trail. At least there's some perks. A few wild strawberries and walking the bike.

Six kilometers to the today's  destination. Downhill for once. And then steep uphill of course,  well that didn't last long. This trip isn't just a test for these bags,  but also a test for myself and this bike,   because I want to see what kind of terrain I  can traverse with this fatbike in this loadout.   Of course, road like this I could  pedal through with my gravel bike, no problem, but since this bike also has front suspension,  I want to see how it works with this loadout.

That's my destination, four kilometers to go. Something happened. My bag fell off of  this Versacage, started hitting the tire. Well, that's an easy fix. This was  one of the last minute compromises I   had to do, because I have ordered the Ortlieb  Seat-Pack, the bigger one, but it didn't make   it in time, because during midsummer of course  Finnish post didn't deliver or do anything else.   So, I don't have the Seat-Pack. It's waiting for  me in the post office. So, I had to improvise.

And looks like I need to watch out for some  heavy rocks and ditches and things like that   might bounce this bag off. I should  have used two straps, but now I know. 1.2 kilometers, I guess the final stretch of  today's journey is then again a bit more off-road. Now, this is the kind of trail I can imagine  myself doing with this fatbikepacking setup. Not too ridiculous, but still something that   where the front suspension does help  and where I wouldn't come with my gravel Bike. Damn, it's hot. It's so hot. Huh duck boards. Long ones. At least my tires are  so wide that they don't fall into these cracks.

Still wide enough. Made it! All right so here I am: Tervastupa. Or Tervastupa is   actually up there. Here's sauna and that's also  free to use for anyone. There's public sauna   every Wednesday at six o'clock, so in less than  three hours. I'm definitely going to go there.   Ah, look at this weather,  almost completely cloudless.

I'm guessing close to 30  degrees. Ridiculously hot. Some people love it, but for me, not my favorite  season to go and do any outdoor activities, because of the bugs and the heat.  This place looks quite nice.   Now all I have to do is to find some type  of flat-ish ground to set up my tent.   I was thinking that maybe I could go  and find a way up there or something, Set everything up and then just start  relaxing and waiting for the sauna. I think I found a good place for my  tent. Not being freestanding, I need some  

soft ground to peg it down and that's probably the  best and the only spot to do that. And as a bonus,   there is a permanent hammock here,  and I swear I did not know about this. If I had known about this I would  have probably just taken my tarp and tried to spend my first ever night in  a hammock, but this is just a nice bonus   for now. And at least it's a bit windy here so the bugs aren't that bad. But  before setting up the Minipeak XL,  

let's take a look at the bike and  the bags first, as I promised. So,   starting from the back, this is Topeak Versacage.  I've had a pair of these for a few years now,   so that's nothing new. And then here's the  Marine Corps Stuff sack, MACS sack, and I've made   actually a video review about this, and in it I  mentioned that I bought two of these specifically   for bikepacking use, but since I've gotten this,  I've been using them on all of my trips. So,  

they have been definitely worth the investment.  In here, change of clothes, warm clothes, jackets,   things like that, and top here on top my cooking  pot and everything cooking related in it. Here's   just a camp towel. Down here, this is probably  the cheapest frame bag available in Finland,   roughly 50 euros. It's waterproof, but it is  so incredibly tiny that I could just barely fit   all my bike maintenance and repair stuff plus a  first aid kit is in here. That's my normal first   aid kit that I use with a backpacking.  Down here just from fuel for the stove.  

And then most of the stuff is happening up front.  So, this is the bigger 2021 Ortlieb handlebar bag,   and it could be still extended, made quite a bit  bigger, but because it's compressible, it has an   air valve, I’m can get quite a bit of  stuff in here. So, inside of this is   the Luxe Outdoor Minipeak XL tent, my summer  sleeping bag, mosquito or like a bug tent,   then of course all the stakes, pole for the tent  and Katadyn Hike Pro water purification pump.   In front, my old Therm-a-rest Z Lite Sol and my   five years old solar panel. I originally bought  this panel for like longer, let's say five to   seven days and longer backpacking trips, but since  then I've invested also to a bigger power bank,   so I haven't been using it as much.  But I believe it's 15 watt panel  

and if nothing else, it's feeding my phone  all the time, so at least the phone doesn't   go out of battery as fast. So, of course these  kind of portable, like camping, hiking solar   panels aren't that powerful compared to the needs  of modern smartphones, but it does help a bit,   and since it's relatively lightweight, it doesn't  take any like additional space or anything, so   why not. And down here I just have my bigger  tripod for filming. I ended up having to put   quite a bit of stuff in the backpack, which  I would have had anyway with me, because of   the water bladder, but most of the stuff that's  now in there will in future be then in in the   Seat-Pack once I get it. But now, let me set  up the camp and let's talk a bit more about   bikepacking and gear and stuff in  general before heading to sauna.   So, here it is, shelter for  tonight. I just happened to get this pyramid-shaped mosquito tent from mother-in-law  for free. She didn't have any use for it anymore,  

and I decided to give it a go this morning.  So, I got this day before yesterday, and now   this first time testing it with or actually  using it with this tent, and as you can see it   droops down quite a bit, so I just need to add  some loops back home that attached to these, these things, and I can get  a lot more space. Of course,   it's still floorless, so bugs can get down there, but it's still better than nothing and it  doesn't weigh a lot, because it doesn't have   doors or floor. So, in that sense it's a nice,  simple, ultra-light setup. It's made by Frilufts   and it costs roughly 20 euros or so. We'll see. I  do have a mosquito, like bug head net which I will   use if it gets too crazy with these  friends that I seem to have quite a bit. But other than that, camp is set up. I still have two hours  before it's sauna time, so I was thinking to  

go down there by the shoreline  and have a drink or two. Kippis! Well, it's not a lot colder than what I   have in my hydration bladder, but  it's a bit colder, and I'll take it. Although this trip is quite short in terms of  both time and kilometers, this is, like I've, said   mostly about testing out gear and also that bike  with this loadout, but in fact, I'm going to do   a bit longer three day bikepacking trip in one  and a half months, or actually not even that,   less than that, bit over a month, a month's time.  I'm doing it with two friends of mine, three days,   but we are doing it with gravel bikes. So, I  have two bikes, a fatbike and a gravel bike, and  

in my opinion, if you live in Finland, if you  buy one of those: a fatbike or a gravel bike,   you're pretty much set. Gravel bike is so much  more useful and fun compared to a road bike,   and then again fatbike is good all-around  bike throughout the year, all seasons.   So, yeah, doing a bit longer backpacking trip  soon-ish and I'm using exactly the same gear. So,   although I have two very different  kind of bikes, I'm not going to get   two sets of bikepacking gear or anything like  that. Most of the stuff or actually everything   else I have here is what I've you would  use normally when I go camping or hiking.  

Only specific things for bikepacking  are the bags themselves, that's it.   So, I try to keep my kit as versatile as  possible and so far I'm pretty happy about it. Good info: “Camping ABC, drink, drink,  eat, minimize suffering.” Unfortunately,   on my trips I cannot always do all those  things, but I try to do those. It's valid advice  

definitely during this trip: extremely  important to stay hydrated. Looking nice. I'm liking this idea of a mid-trip sauna  already. I always go to sauna after my trips   but in the middle of it… Might have to try to  incorporate this thing to more trips in future. That sauna was great and so was swimming.  Feeling excellent and very refreshed   with clean clothes on and had to put this  jacket on as well just because of these   bugs. I strung up a clothesline so my cycling  clothing wouldn't stink as badly tomorrow morning.   And now I think it's time to find a  nice spot from down there somewhere and   make some dinner. It's already 10  past 7, so about time to do that.

Good looking evening coming up. I've filled up water bladder for tomorrow. I just have to say that this Katadyn  Hike Pro, although it is bulky,   it's just very handy, because it's  so fast and it's kind of no-nonsense   approach to water filtration. For dinner, some  Tactical Foodpack mashed potatoes and bacon.

And as always it's a good  idea to beef it up with some   Kuivalihakundi beef jerky.  Can never go wrong with that.   To be honest, almost any food in this setting with  these views would probably taste really damn good. I think I'm going to leave this open like  so. Even if it would sprinkle a bit of water   during the night, well first of all, it's quite  easy and quick to close maybe one side down,   but I will sleep probably quite far back there  diagonally, so the rain is not a problem.

I will much rather have this increased airflow  and being able to look at these views than to be   like protected from heavy  storms or anything when they are   not likely to happen. And before closing  things up for tonight, I want to show you one of the crucial pieces of  gear that you need to have when   hiking or backpacking in Finland during  summer and that is a good tube scarf. Not because it would be cold during  the night, but this is the only way   to get some true darkness in the middle of summer. Oh yeah. I guess that's all for today, let's see  what tomorrow brings us. Good night.  

Good morning. It's already half past nine,  so I guess that means that I slept extremely   well and my sleeping mask did work. I haven't  had breakfast yet, because I was thinking that   remember yesterday I mentioned  that there are still two   lean-to shelters to visit today, so I  figured why not go now to the first one and   have breakfast than there. The  weather seems a bit cloudier today, so  

I don't think this solar panel has much  of use, but this is also a handy place to   not just charge things, but to keep  this solar panel here in general. The first lean-to isn't that far away.   Just have to find the correct trail to  get there. I think this might be it. What a fun trail to start today's journey. Oh, wet. It's a bit windier today.

Yep, somewhere up there is the lean-to  where I'm heading. Sill some ways to go,   maybe a kilometer. Oh, the trail might be slowing me down though quite a bit.

So Tervastupa 2.2 kilometers,  that's where I came from   ,and Mustalampi is actually the last lean-to  shelter that I'm going to check out, but now   this trail forks, I'm going to the left a couple  hundred meters. I need to backtrack to this same   place then after breakfast, but at  least I know what's in here now. Not for bikepacking. So here we are: Kollaa lean-to.

The trails that I've been riding as well  as Tervastupa - the place I stayed last   night - are upkept by a local association  called Olavin Retkeilijät and this is the   only lean-to in the area that isn't managed  and maintained by them, but this is instead built and handled by Savonlinnan  Reserviläiset, which is the local reservist   association. And I figured since this is not too  far from my main trails, that I would come here   and check this place out as well. It says that  it is in public use, which is quite nice of them. But I'm not using any firewood or  anything, I'm just using this as a   bit of a rest stop in the middle of this  morning. For breakfast, pretty standard stuff: one deciliter of oatmeal, one  deciliter of protein powder.   Using yesterday's Tactical  Foodpack bag as my bowl for this.

Don't judge me, it's a handy way  of not having to do any dishes. And for coffee, looks like we have Nescafe classic 3-in-1,  all right. I don't like quick coffee and   I don't like milk coffee either, but this  is just what I happen to have left over   from some reservist exercises, I believe. Then  Grando's soluble coffee, straight from Germany. I might have put too much water in this one, but   pro tip: always put too much water in your  outdoor meals, you need that fluid inside of you. Quite sweet. While I'm waiting for my breakfast  to cool down, I figured I would share with you  

all a little story. Although this is only  my fourth time bikepacking with a fatbike,   I actually did my first bikepacking trip back  in 2012. So, what's that now, nine years ago?   And only back then I didn't know that it was  called bikepacking and I don't know if anyone   knew that it's going to be called bikepacking.  Back then I cycled with my very standard kind   of front suspension city bike from Jyväskylä to  Pieksämäki to Juva and then somewhere after that   I slept in a lean-to shelter. And that was 170  kilometers first day and then I continued to  

Puumala and Ruokolahti, so roughly 110  kilometers I think the second day. With   pretty much no experience in that kind of  biketouring or bikepacking or anything like that.   It went quite well! I did I think three, one  day 100 kilometer trips with the loadout just to   see if I would have the strength and endurance to  pedal with it. I had rear rack and just old German   army backpack on the rear rack and then a very  small backpack with water and some essentials   and that's it. So, no bikepacking type  of stuff, very lightweight summer loadout  

in that sense, and I kind of envy myself or  my past self, because there's no way that I   could do 170 kilometers or even I would say  100 kilometers would be pushing it with my   back. My lower back cannot take those kinds of  distances anymore. But yeah, when going to that   bit of a longer bikepacking trip then in a bit  over a month's time with my gravel bike, I think   that will bring up some memories, cycling around  Saimaa and doing it with a more similar bike than   what that beast there is. Yeah, just  goes to show you that anyone can do   what is now called bikepacking, you don't  need fancy bike for it or fancy bags for it.  

And I've been seeing more and more of those  bikepacking videos and pictures and so forth   happening in Finland, so I think the boom is  definitely here. And also, I couldn't get that   Seat-Pack anywhere from Finland,  it has been continuously   sold out from all stores throughout the spring.  Whenever the new batch came in I was always   too slow to purchase it, so that's  why I had to order it from Germany,   I bought rest of those bags or those two bags  from Finland, luckily enough. I'm expecting to see a lot more things happening  around bikepacking in Finland. I suspect that many national parks will start to adjust  their trails or adding new trails   and make them more bikebacking  friendly destinations. And I don't mind. This will definitely not be  my primary way of camping, but just another nice  

addition. And who knows, when the dog is old  enough I might do some bikepacking with him. After looking at the map and looking at this  weather and these clouds, I decided to alter my   route a bit. I'm not going to the last lean-to  shelter, but instead I'm going to push forward   hoping that I will hit a bit bigger trail. Of course, I have no idea what is to expect,  what's going on over there beyond this lake.  

Maybe it is single track, maybe it's  super technical, hard to go through,   I don't know, but I wish that if there  is some of that, at least there's not   a lot of it, so I can get to  faster trails a bit sooner. Nice looking little lake, no doubt. Climbed on top of this - pretty much straight  up - then maybe 50 meters of nice pedaling   and now super steep downhill. In  fact, there's actually stairs. And then, it's pretty hard to see from this,  but according to my map, I will turn right and   start climbing on top of quite a big hill,  so we'll see how that goes, but first we   need to get down there. Do bikebacking  they said it, it will be fun they said.  

This is what I'm seeing, and of course it looks  like nothing on camera, but it is super steep. Thank God for bicycle brakes. All right. What comes up, must go  down. Hopefully I can shake these

mosquitos. So wet, oh yeah. There's not much of a trail to follow  really, for example now, maybe this way? There are some planks underneath me, so I guess  some type of a trail should go here somewhere.   There's at least another one. I've been completely   just following the map, because I  haven't seen a trail at all. Now

this looks a bit more promising. Made it to a bit bigger, well, not even a trail, but a road I would say, which means that I can finally  get away from the mosquitoes. In those wet and dark spruce forests there's  more than enough bugs that want to eat you. Finally, back on gravel. And as I am back on gravel, it means that  this adventure is about to come to an end.   Or has this really been an adventure, since   distances have been quite short, and I've had  continuously a good map and a GPS in front of me? Let me know in the comments: does  this qualify as an adventure? But my name is Joel, you have  been watching Taival Outdoors,   and at least I have been thoroughly enjoying  getting back in touch with fatbikepacking.

I will see you all in the next one!

2021-07-08 03:45

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