Fjällräven Classic Sweden: A first timers experience

March 30, 2024
Fjallraven Checkin in Kiruna

Fjällräven Classic SwedenHej, forest friends! I have a special adventure to share with you! Last summer my adventure partner, Paul and I, traveled to Sweden to complete the Fjällräven Classic. From August 10th to 15th, 2023 we trekked above the Arctic Circle through Lapland and Abisko National Park in Northern Sweden. As you might already know, I have Swedish heritage along with a love for travel and hiking. So it was a pretty easy decision to purchase tickets to attend the Classic and fulfil my dream of visiting Sweden.

I’ve broken our entire trek into several blog posts. I want to fill each post with lots of tips, gear recommendations and photos from our experience. So let’s start at the beginning!

Disclaimer: This is my story as a first time participant of the Fjällräven Classic Sweden. The gear and choices we made were best for our skill and fitness levels. I hope my experience gives you a glimpse into what it’s like to try something new and what you can expect during this event.

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Fjällräven Classic Sweden Tickets

We got tickets!

I own a lot of Fjällräven gear and subscribe to the company’s newsletter. One night I received an email that announced the dates of all the Classics and when tickets would go on sale. Reading a little more I was intrigued, so I brought it to Paul’s attention and asked if he’d like to do this. He said yes and the rest is history! We set our alarms at 3am CST which is 10am CET (Central European Time) to buy tickets on the website. The Sweden Classic is the original and longest Classic at 110km so there were more tickets available than some of the smaller Classics like Germany which was higher in demand. We got lucky and secured tickets on our first try! Now it was time to start booking flights, and hotels and researching all the things we wanted to do and see in Stockholm and Kiruna.


We spent the next 6 months preparing by working on our fitness levels, researching and purchasing gear, and planning out the days before and after the Classic in Sweden. I even joined the Facebook groups to ask other trekkers questions and stay updated as we got closer to our departure. I used Notion to map out our itinerary, make lists of our gear, things to pack and keep track of our budget. Amazing tool and it’s free!

Gear from MEC

Some key items we bought from our local MEC store.


My trekking gear for Fjällräven Classic Sweden

Trying on my new gear.

The final days leading up to our departure from Canada to Sweden were filled with last minute shopping and organizing our gear into our luggage and duffel bags. We didn’t do a test run carrying everything in our packs so the weight was going to be a bit of a surprise. We used common sense and really tried to cut back on anything we weren’t 100% sure we’d use. Last minute purchases included dry bags, SPF lip balms, water bottles, gluten free snacks, long handle sporks and extra socks.

These were our most essential items. We used these items every day and had no issues with any of them. Most important and best investment was the GRAYL. We had no worries about drinking the water with this bottle.

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Sea to Summit Ultra-SIL Dry Bag Set, Ultralight Waterproof Stuff Sack (3L, 5L, and 8L)

Nalgene water bottle

GSI Outdoors - Halulite Boiler, The Perfect Packable Pot

GRAYL GeoPress 24 oz Water Purifier Bottle

Primus | Essential Trail Backpacking Stove, Silver, Trail Stove (P-351110)

Darn Tough Vermont Unisex Adult Coolmax Micro Crew Cushion Socks


We booked our flight with Icelandair who we absolutely love flying with. We left Winnipeg in the evening and landed in Toronto for a quick layover and boarded Icelandair for an overnight flight to Reykjavik. We had an 8 hour layover so we hopped on a bus to the city to see Hallgrímskirkja and bought a couple Icelandic hotdogs while strolling along in the rain. That was Paul’s first experience in Iceland and I’d say it was a good start. He wants to go back and explore more another time. Our final flight was from Reykjavik to Stockholm.

Icelandic hot dog

Enjoying the famous Icelandic hot dog.

Apple air tag

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I had bought those Apple AirTags and put one in each of our bags so each time we landed in an airport I could see that our luggage actually came with us and wasn’t left behind somewhere. That was a fantastic purchase and took away my worries of losing our gear.

We did pack our hiking boots, rain gear and a change of clothes in our carry on just in case something did go missing. We realized we could easily piece together some gear if we arrived without any but our boots and main clothing were important to have with us. That might be a good tip for anyone making a long trip for one of the Classics.


Carrying some of our gear with us through our stop over in Iceland.


We spent the next 4 days adjusting to the time zone and sleeping off the jet lag. We stayed at the Downtown Camper close to Gamlastan in Stockholm. It was great! The theme of the hotel was outdoorsy and so close to everything. We walked to all of the sights and attractions. Great breakfast and you could even use their bikes for free to explore around the city. There’s so much more I could write about Stockholm but I’m going to focus mainly on the Classic for this series of posts. We enjoyed several museums, parks, the Royal Palace, and restaurants. We even visited IKEA and had several Fika breaks. We loved Stockholm with its beautiful streets and views of the lake. I’d recommend if it’s your first time to Sweden to break your trip into a bit of fun in the city getting used to the customs and culture, then head out into the wild. The best of both worlds! Central station was very close to our hotel too and that’s where we were headed the next day to board the Trekker’s Train.

Yggdrasil in Stockholm

Walking to Djurgården and exploring along the way.

Bicycles next to a tree in Stockholm

While cycling around Djurgården, we stopped to visit this beautiful tree and enjoy the view.

Stockholm architecture

Wandering around Stockholm.

Trekker’s Train

You could fly or drive to Kiruna, but I loved the idea of spending the night on the train and watching the scenery change from city to wilderness. We had been told the trains are never on time in Sweden and that statement was pretty accurate. There were delays by a few hours and the schedules were always changing. We made sure we buffered lots of room for these situations. The Trekker’s train organized by Fjällräven sounded like the best way to travel and I’d never stayed overnight in a sleeping car before.

Fjallraven trekkers train

On our way but feeling a little cramped with our luggage.

They held some information sessions on board and we had a little orientation before retiring to our cabins to get cozy in our beds. We booked a second class cabin and there was enough space for the two of us plus 4 bags. The train rocked me to sleep but I found later it caused me some motion sickness up to a day later.

Trekkers train

The view inside the train.

Earlier in the week, there had been a lot of rain and flooding in the North and I almost nearly cancelled and booked a flight instead. Staying on top of my emails and Facebook, I was assured the train would make it to Kiruna. Even though we were rerouted and delayed several hours, the extra time we buffered was just enough. We also had to transfer to another train in Boden where we ended up separated because there were more people than seats. I nodded off several times during the remaining few hours left to Kiruna. It was quite the journey to get to the North, I couldn’t imagine what 110km of hiking was going to feel like!

Bus transfer to Kiruna

The largest ore mine in the world. We’ve arrived in Kiruna!

Kiruna Check in

We made it! We hopped off the train and a bus was waiting for all the trekkers headed to check in at Högalidskolan. This is where we received our passport, map, 3 days of freeze-dried food from Real Turmat, toilet paper, trash bag, soap and enjoyed some friendly conversations with our fellow travelers. We each purchased a little foldable cup and shared a Fika while talking to some folks from Scotland. Everyone was very happy to share tips with first timers like ourselves.

Fjallraven Checkin in Kiruna

OMG! We’re about to officially check in.

Fjällräven Checkin in Kiruna

Welcome to the Fjällräven Classic Sweden!

I wandered through the pop up shop and bought the souvenir Classic T-shirts and mid layers. I went with green and Paul got grey. Great purchase because we wear them constantly. Even to work! We walked around outside where they had some tents setup to collect our fuel for our stove and try samples of thin bread with a cheese spread from a tube. We each got a pack of bread and cheese to take on the trek. I went with the flat bread and Paul chose the thicker variety. When in Rome, we chose the reindeer flavoured cheese and the ham flavour. Great snack for on the trail!

trekking food Real Turmat

Included freeze dried meals and bread with cheese in a tube.

Arctic Eden

We dragged our luggage down the hill and through a few streets to our hotel, Arctic Eden by Best Western. The building was an old school converted to a hotel. We really liked it and had fun exploring the endless rooms of gym equipment in the basement. It was impressive! I loved all of the Sámi art and Nordic decor. After throwing our bags into our room and having a quick shower, we needed a good meal at the hotel restaurant. We ordered a burger and fries along with a celebratory beer to kickoff the next part of our journey. I bought some reindeer and moose snacks on the way out after having a nice chat with one of the servers who was of Sámi heritage.

Best Western Arctic Eden Hotel

Classic burger and fries before we are eating trail food.

Packing our Packs

Big Agnes Mattress

Big Agnes Mattress R Value 4.3

Now it was time to fit everything from our luggage into our packs. We hadn’t really practiced this part until now and I was a little nervous how heavy it might all get. We started by packing our clothes into dry bags and eliminating items we decided weren’t necessary. We packed our little toiletry bags and first aid kit. I think these items added a lot of extra weight and next time we’ll rethink how much less we need to bring. We squashed our Big Agnes down sleeping bags into the smallest bundles we could along with our sleeping mats. (Biggest and best purchase we made!)

Shoes, socks, trekking tights, rain gear, cooking and water system, jackets, hats, gloves, poles, sit pads… So much stuff! How on earth are we going to carry all of this?! I removed some extra clothing and accepted this would be as good as it was going to get. We set our alarms and as I tried to fall asleep, I realized that this time tomorrow we’d be sleeping under the stars in the Swedish wilderness.

Packing our gear for the Fjallraven Classic

Sorting out our gear and packing before the big day!

Stay tuned for our first full day of the Fjällräven Classic Sweden. Did we prepare enough? How heavy do you think our packs will be? Find out in the next post!

The Forest Fairy

Written by The Forest Fairy

The Forest Fairy is all about exploring nature, going on adventures and crafting memories.

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