Day 3 – 7 June 2018
Örebrö to Gullspång, Sweden
Transport: Bicycle 102km, 21km/hour average speed
Highs: Swedish breakfast with Daniela. Again beautiful countryside scenery. Campsite location appeared to be on point with the running river…
Lows: Admin tasks – setting up a SIM card drama. Yep, unemployed life is tough. Major low (which in reality isn’t that bad) a block headwind or strong crosswind the whole damn way. Seriously punishing wind today. Luckily Emma was neatly tucked behind #Beausbum which provides some wind relief. Last daily low, the bugs at the campsite- seriously spiders, ants, mosquitos… Emma slept with one eye open and her ears tucked away.
#BeausBowl: Swedish breakfast with Daniela – see picture. Simple and very delicious food.
Stay: Gullspång River – free camping see photo of the running river and a quick video of the tent parkup.
Daily Spend: Groceries 115 Swedish Krona approx AUD $17.7 and SIM card $23 = AUD$40.70
Day 4 – 8 June 2018
Gullspång to Lidköping, Sweden
Transport: Bicycle 106km, 23.7km/hour average speed
Highs: Going for a swim in the surprisingly warm Lake Vänern which is Sweden’s largest lake.
Lows: Biggest low was camping next to where we went swimming thinking we had a secluded swimming spot not far from the town only to be woken at 1am by a group of ‘likeminded’ young individuals who thought they would check we were ok in our tent by literally rattling it (I’m sure they had our best interests at heart right?).
Ohh and Emm wants me to add mosquitos to the list. I’ll concede they are pretty bad throughout Sweden at this time of year.
#BeausBowl: Swedish meatballs with fresh pasta straight from ICA supermarket to the bowl (via the humble Trangia of course – see gear review below for the first of many #mrconsumer does #bikepackinggear reviews).
#MrConsumer Does #BikepackingGearReviews
Gear: Trangia 27-8 UL Hardanodized Pots/Pan + Kettle Cookset
In this first gear review I’m gonna give a down an dirty on the Trangia 27-8 Cookset.
Overview: The Trangia is a Swedish army invention from decades ago. On account of it’s heritage and the fact we are starting our journey in Sweden, I thought it would be the ideal piece of gear to kick off the gear reviews for this bike epic journey.
The Trangia quickly gained commercial popularity due to its simplicity and ease of use. As Keith Bontrager aptly put it: ‘Strong, Light, Cheap – Choose Two’. The Trangia holds true to this rule and is Strong and relatively inexpensive (for what’s included) but this comes at the cost of weight – almost 1kg for all equipment included in this set (not inc. fuel!!!). It is worthwhile mentioning weight as you can go super lightweight and just have a titanium mug with a simple gas burner for less than 100g! You might be thinking why even bother with the Trangia? Although it is somewhat heavy the robustness and modularity of the whole Cookset makes it ideal for a long term trip as you have multiple pots and pans to cook up a smorgasbord of meals (think fry ups in am and pasta/stews in evenings 😍). Think of it as the Swiss Army knife of cooksets.
Use: The Trangia uses a simple alcohol burner which uses liquid methylated spirits or equivalent as its fuel. As a result this Cookset can be hard to light in cold weather as it relies on the fuel to turn into gas by itself which is what you actually ignite when starting it up (methylated spirits rate of turning from liquid to gas reduces with temp – think of those fumes at the petrol station). However a good trick is to pre-warm the burner – ie stuff it down someplace warm 😉.
I have used many different Cooksets and standalone units over the last decade and when I started planning for this trip the Trangia was my top pick – so far no regrets (but it has been mainly flat riding so far 😐). Note there are many different Trangia bundles and I went for this variant chiefly due to the hard anodized coating applied to the pots and pans. This coating allows for ease of cleaning, is similar to non-stick Teflon and is hard wearing – highly recommend!
Day 5 – 9 June 2018
Lidköping to Uddevalla, Sweden
Transport: Bicycle 105km, 22km/hour average speed
Highs: The camping spot we finally ended up at – well worth moving to it as hardly any bugs.. but seriously amazing water sunset views. Such a pleasant late finish. We seem to eat dinner here a lot later like 10pm. Usually I am sound asleep by 9.30pm so this is a clear change due to how much light is going on here!!
Lows: the first camp spot we decided to set up at was in a bug ridden forest. Really bad idea… Like really bad. The bugs consisted of a mix of tiny flies that swarmed in droves and BIT with the added bonus of the common mosquito 😑. Lesson learnt we won’t be camping in a forest anytime soon… After less than 10mins of the assault we decided to pack it up and cycled another 6km to a lake (not really a lake as it is connected indirectly to the North Sea) not far from Uddevalla. It was a hassle moving but the bugs were out of control!!!
#BeausBowl: Dinner was the winner – we made gnocchi, tomato, brocholli with a nice tomato based sauce with prosciutto. I gave it a 5. Maybe it tasted better due to changing camp locations etc. but either way it went down a treat. (Beau rated it a solid 4/5 on #BeausChilliScale).
Daily Spend: Bigger today. We brought gouda cheese- seriously amazing and a massive pack of prosciutto. Seriously a great food day = spend $45 AUD.
Hot Tip from E: Since it gets so so cold in winter here taps aren’t outside so water isn’t that easily accessible. Always fill up where you can even if you have to haul it awhile.. if that fails ask a local at their home. They not only fill it up but put ice in your bottles #kindness #swedesaregoodpeople