TrekDoc: a nature trek checklist

This is my follow-up post of Part 1: How to prepare for a nature trek. It’s about my TrekDoc: a checklist that you can fill out before you leave on your nature trek and that you can share with the trek participants and the people who stay at home. It serves multiple purposes:

  1. It’s a preparation checklist so you won’t forget anything
  2. It simplifies communication between the participants
  3. It’s a convenient information source for the people staying at home

At the end of the trek, I usually add some extra info to the document (under Results) like some trekking statistics (e.g. moving time per day, trekking distance, height ascended and descended), the final trekking route, some pictures, and lessons learned. That way you end up with a complete log of your trek which can be a useful guide for future trips.

Below you’ll find my TrekDoc with sample data, loosely based on a trek I did in Norway in 2021. I have the same document in Google Docs, one that you can easily copy and use as template for your own nature trek.


Example TrekDoc Femundsmarka Aug. 2021

Activity
Goal
Date
Location
Hiking route
Participants
Program
Transport
Water & food
Sleeping
Navigation
Gear
Weather
Animals & plants
Costs
Online info
Other
Results

Activity

Hiking and wild camping.

Goal

Have fun and pretty intense hikes (4-5 hours/day with a backpack over rough terrain).

Date

Sat 7 Aug. 2021 (about 7:00) – Fri 13 Aug. 2021 (about 21:00). This is 7 days (5 days in the field, 2 days traveling).

Location

Femundsmarka national park in Norway. Together with eight connected nature areas (some in Sweden), it forms Gränslandet (‘Border Land’) which is one of the largest continuous areas of wilderness in southern Scandinavia (2.100 km2). The lakes are at around 800 m elevation, the treeline at around 1.000 m and the highest mountains at around 1.500 m. There are many marshes and lakes and sparse pine and birch forest. The area is also great for canoeing and fishing.

Hiking Route

Our planned hiking route is drawn on Google Maps (total distance: 70 km). It can always change depending on local conditions like bad weather.

Day planning

 DayDist. (km)Asc. (m)Desc. (m)Time (u:m)*Destin. (elev.)
7 Aug.00000:00Camping (664m)
8 Aug.113007003:00Camp 1 (870m)
9 Aug.1515025004:00Camp 2 (765m)
10 Aug.121107004:00Camp 3 (786m)
11 Aug.125010004:00Camp 4 (758m)
12 Aug.1322017004:00Camp 5 (808m)
13 Aug.77022002:00Camping (664m)
TOT.7090090021:00
Avrg / day1215015003:30
* Time = estimated hiking time depending on trail conditions, excl. breaks

River crossings

Our route crosses a number of streams. However, in hiking areas in summer, sometimes temporary bridges are built.

Peaks

5 highest peaks in the region: Storviglen (1.561 m), Elgåhogna (1.460 m), Stor Svuku (1.416 m), Gröthogna (1.401 m), Brattriet (1.276 m).

Participants

ParticipantContact in case of emergency
John Smith
Main Street 123
1100 AB Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Mobile: +31 6 12 345 678
E-mail: john.smith@gmail.com
Date of birth: 01 Jan. 1980
Mary Smith
Main street 123
1000 AB Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Mobile: +31 6 78 654 321
Pete Jones
Sunset Road 44
1200 CD Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Mobile: +31 6 11 222 333
E-mail: pete.jones@gmail.com
Date of birth: 02 Feb. 1985
Anna Jones
Sunset Road 44
1200 CD Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Mobile: +31 6 33 222 111

Program

Every day hiking and wild camping, except the two traveling days. The first day (7 Aug. 2021) we stay at a camping near Femundsmarka and the last day we hike a relatively small distance back to the car. (Typical day: 8:00 get up, 9:30 leave camp and hike, 12:00 lunch, 13:00 hike, 16:00 make camp + exploring, 18:00 dinner).

Transport

  1. Train/bus from home to Amsterdam Schiphol Int. airport (NL)
  2. Flight from A’dam to Oslo Gardermoen Int. airport (Norway)
  3. Rental car from Oslo to Femundsmarka
  4. Return in reverse order

Flight schedule

DateSat 07 Aug 2021Fri 13 Aug 2021
RouteA’dam – OsloOslo – A’dam
Flight no.KLM 1143KLM 1148
Time09:20 – 11:05 (1h45m)17:20 – 19:10 (1h50m)

Source: www.google.nl/flights

Meeting time and locationSat 07 Aug. 2021, 07:30, meeting point Amsterdam Schiphol airport (= Big gray cube on a pole with the words ‘Meeting point’ on it. It’s located in the central arrival hall at Schiphol Plaza, between the escalators down to train platforms 3-4 and 5-6, near the Burger King).
Travel distance10 km (train/bus) + 900 km (plane) + 300 km (rental car) = 1.210 km
Travel time (excl. waiting)1hr train/bus + 2hr flight + 4hr rental car = 7hr

Water & food

Water

Source: local lakes and streams (there are many). Purification: filtering (Katadyn filter) or cooking (camp stove). If there is enough wood around, we can also cook on a campfire.

Food

We bring food for 5 wild camps in the field.

6 x breakfastCruesli/porridge with milk powder and (hot) water
5 x lunchHartkeks (= crackers from the outdoor store) with toppings (e.g. cheese, salami, jam, chocolate paste)
5 x dinnerFreeze dried expedition meals. For sale in outdoor stores. Preparation: just add boiling water to bag and wait 10 min. A typical 1-person meal is 600 kcal, needs about 400 ml of boiling water and costs about €5 (this is quite a small portion!)
SnacksChocolate, muesli-bars, dried fruit, nuts
Estimate calories needed/day3.000 kcal

Carry all food in a large stuff sack. Everybody brings their own food.

Cooking

Camp stoveNeeded to boil water for dinner and breakfast, incl. windscreen
PotFor boiling water, 1L, incl. gripper
FuelWe’re not allowed to bring camp stove fuel in the airplane so we will buy this at a sports store in Norway. Amount of fuel needed: enough to boil 1L water (0.5L for breakfast, 0.5L for dinner) per person per day (= 10L water in total). A 230g gas canister boils about 10L water.
CampfireWe might occasionally also cook on a campfire. Lighting a fire is allowed in Norway under the following conditions: on the beach, in the mountains above the treeline and in the woods (but not in the woods between 15 April and 15 September) and always leave no trace.

Sleeping

ShelterWaterproof, wind resistant, lightweight and mosquito-proof tent (1 per person).
Sleeping bagRating at least until 0 °C
Sleeping padInflatable air mattress
Toilet & showerNot available so we do everything in nature. Bury excrement 30m from water sources. Use moss as toilet paper or bring toilet paper and burn it after use.

The first night we sleep at an official campsite.

Wild camping

In Norway they have the “allemansretten” which means wild camping is allowed under the following conditions: no motorized vehicles, at least 150m from houses, not on public parking places, max. 2 nights, leave gates like you find them (open or closed) and there are no special camping spots nearby.

Navigation

Maps

NameScaleLast updateGPS position formatGPS map date
Turkart Femunden Nord 2717 (Nordeca)1:50.0002019UTM zone 32 and 33EUREF89 (WGS84)
Norge Serien Femunden 10075 Töfsingdalen (Nordeca)1:50.0002012UTM zone 32 and 33EUREF89 (WGS84)
  • Most detailed maps in Norway are often 1:50.000 instead of 1:25.000.
  • Hiking routes in Norway are often marked with cairns (mounds of rocks) with a painted red “T” or with red painted sticks if there are no rocks around.
  • I also have Topo GPS maps of Norway and Sweden on my iPhone but I tend to use the paper maps more because I prefer the larger viewing area and I like to save phone battery.
  • We need at least one compass.

Gear

*= Optional
OC’s pick= Online Caveman’s pick (brand and type)
W (g)= Weight (grams)
P (€)= Price (Euro’s)

Per person

ItemCommentsOC’s pickW (g)P (€)
BACKPACK & CLOTHING
BackpackAbout 50L with hip beltHyperlite Mountain Gear 2400 Windrider830290
Backpack linerWaterproofKomo trash bag 60 x 80 cm421
Hiking shoesWaterproof & breathable boots or trail run shoes and wet feetLa Sportiva Ultra Raptor690135
Gaiters* Dirty Girl Black Out3142
1 pair wool hiking socks DeFeet Wooleator4816
1 pair wool hiking socks DeFeet Wooleator4816
1 pair waterproof socks or bagsFor in camp if you wear trail run shoesThick mid length SealSkinz breathable socks or 2 plastic bags16638
Boxershort Icebreaker Boxershort Anatomica (merino wool)5535
Boxershort Icebreaker Boxershort Anatomica (merino wool)5535
T-shirt Icebreaker Tech Lite Short Sleeve (merino wool)12570
T-shirt Icebreaker Tech Lite Short Sleeve (merino wool)12570
Long pantsQuick drying so no jeansFjällraven Forrester510100
Belt* Eagle Creek AT Money Belt6010
Sweater/softshell/fleece jacketMosquito-proofNorth Face Men 100 Glacier Fleece23355
Puffy jacket/warm fleece jacketA puffy jacket is a warm and compressible down/synthetic jacketPHD Ultra Down Jacket: K Series Performance250410
Rain jacket Northface Diad325200
Rain pants Rab Downpour pants regular22463
Cap Patagonia Unisex Beanie6550
Gloves Ziener Idea WS7030
Buff* OutdoorDesigns4515
Hat Fjällraven G-1000 cap6736
Headnet Mountain Laurel Designs Bug Head Net1825
Little towel/dishcloth* Bijenkorf (Dutch department store)1005
     
SLEEPING
TentWind resistant and lightweightMountain Laurel Designs Duomid (2 person cuben fiber tarptent)460390
Tent stakes 12 Easton Nano Nail Stakes17027
Sleeping bagRated until at least 0CPHD Minim 400 Down610380
Sleeping pad Therm-A-rest NeoAir Xlite Women’s340120
Inner tent/Bivy bag*If tent has no ground sheet and mosquito nettingMountain Laurel Design Solo pyramid innernet230150
     
WATER, FOOD, COOKING
Water bottle/bagVolume at least 1LCranberry juice bottle from supermarket451
Bowl to eat and drink from Trangia819
SpoonPreferably long one so you can eat directly from freeze dried food bagsSea to Summit Alpha Long Spoon128
Pocket knife Fixed-blade knife (also for heavy wood work like splitting): Mora Knife 5103330
Lighter Bic Mini121
Matches Flix veiligheidslucifers101
     
OTHER
Hiking poles* Leki Makalu Classic (1 pole also for supporting tent)51060
Headlamp Fenix LD02 (clip on cap)2433
Spare batteries Albert Heijn Alkaline AAA battery101
Compass Silva Ranger3330
Mobile phoneWith phone numbers trek participants and emergency numberApple iPhone8148744
Whistle Fox40 micro78
Sunglasses* Julbo Reflex/Instinct27165
WatchFor navigation, e.g. dead reckoningSee GPS under Gear for general use  
ToiletriesToothbrush, toothpaste, lip balmLactona compact toothbrush, Elmex travel-size toothpaste, Labello lip balm381
Notebook & pencil* Schrijfblok A7 + IKEA pencil501
Travel papersPassport, tickets, insurance, money, bank cards, vaccination app and booklet   
Face maskFor public transport   
Stuff sack*To organize everything in your backpackGranite Gear Air ZippSack 5L2520
Stuff sackFor carrying foodGranite Gear Air ZippSack 16L4530
Sit matSomething to sit onOMM Classic 25 backpack pad2125
     
TOTAL  74233947

For general use

ItemCommentsOC’s pickW (g)P (€)
JOHN BRINGS
Hiking mapSee Navigation for more detailsTurkart Femunden Nord 2717 (Nordeca)3827
Hiking mapSee Navigation for more detailsNorge Serien Femunden 10075 (Nordeca)3727
Map caseWaterproofOrtlieb 27 x 276020
Map caseWaterproofOrtlieb 27 x 276020
GPS*Suunto Ambit3 Peak GPS watch (no built in map)89500
First aid kitContents depends on trip type and group sizeBandages, plasters, Compeed &, Blist-O-Ban (anti-blister), sports tape, paper tape, scissors, tweezers, safety pins, tick remover, pain killers14030
Repair itemsSowing set, duct tape, air mattress repair kit, Seamgrip glue5010
Anti-mosquito stuffCare Plus anti-insect deet spray (40%), 15 ml243
SunscreenIsland Tribe clear gel, SPF 50, 4 hrs water resistant, 50 ml603
Biodegradable soap*Bever Zwerfzeep404
Toilet paper*BackupFrom supermarket (only little bit)151
KindlingFor fire lighting in wet conditions3 Albert Heijn aanmaakblokjes bruin (non-toxic firestarter cubes)151
Extra rope3m paracord605
TOTAL JOHN688651
PETE BRINGS
Camp stovePrimus Express Spider20060
WindscreenPrimus aluminum6515
FuelGood for boiling about 10L water (not allowed on plane so buy in Norway)1 x Primus 230g gas canister (= good for boiling about 10L water) 4007
Water bagPlatypus 2L3014
Water filter + bagFaster than Sawyer + 1.0L bagKatadyn Befree 1.0L5650
Water filterBackupSawyer mini filter6040
Cooking potVolume depends on group sizePrimus AluTech Trek Kettle 1.0L20018
Cooking pot gripFor gripping cooking pots/bowlsMSR4510
CameraSony Cybershot DSC-WX220122200
Camera spare battery*Jupio Li-ion Model CSO00251320
Powerbank*Urban Revolt Powerbank 2200 mAh (good for 1 phone charge)6017
TOTAL PETE1251451

Weather

General

Femundsmarka has a subarctic climate (Köppen climate classification). This means long, usually very cold winters, and short, cool summers.

Averages in Aug. (elevation 800m)

TemperatureHigh: 15 °C, Low: 5 °C (it can get below 0 °C!)
Precipitation78 mm
Average wind speed2 Bft (gusts: 4 Bft)
Dominant wind directionSSW

Sources:

Keep in mind: temperature drops about 0.8C every 100m of elevation (= lapse rate), and wind generally increases.

Snow line

In Summer in East Norway the snow line is at 1.600 – 1.700 m.

Sun

 7 Aug. 202113 Aug. 2021
Rise04:5205:09
Set21:4121:22

Moon

 7 Aug. 202113 Aug. 2021
Set22:1722:29
Rise02:0211:50
Illumination1%30%

Source: https://www.heavens-above.com/

Weather forecast

Webcams

(e.g. to check snow lines)

Valdalsfjell (820m)

Animals & plants

Some of the animals and plants we might see:

Fauna

Arctic fox, Beaver, Brown bear, Carp, Char, Crane, Common redshank, Duck, Falcon, Golden eagle, Grayling, Grouse, Lemming, Loon, Lynx, Moose, Musk Oxen, Osprey, Otter, Perch, Pike, Ptarmigan, Raven, Red fox, Reindeer, Roe deer, Salmon, Sheep, Snow hare, Snowy owl, Stoat, Trout, Wolf, Wolferine

Flora

Bilberry, Birch, Black crowberry, Cloudberry, Common cottongrass, Dwarf birch, Golden root, Heather, Juniper, Lichen, Lingonberry, Map lichen, Pine, Reindeer moss, Sphagnum moss, Spruce, Star moss, Willow

Bugs

Mosquitos (and other stinging insects) can be a real plague in the Summer in Norway so sometimes we need to wear a long-sleeve shirt, a head net and gloves. Prime mosquito time: 15 June – 31 July.

Every day check your body for ticks (some carry Lyme Disease). If you remove them within 24 hours after a bite, normally you are fine.

Costs

ItemEstimated costs/person
Flight€ 320
Rental car€ 170 + fuel
Food€ 100
Camping€ 10
Total€ 600
  • Excluding costs own outdoor gear!
  • Make sure you have travel insurance that covers off-trail hiking and wild camping in the mountains

Online info

Area

Trekking skills

Other

  • Keep your stuff light! Max. weights:
In backpackGear10 kg
Food4 kg
1 liter water1 kg
On your personClothing & Gear2 kg
Total 17 kg
  • Packing tip: pack your bag at least 2 days in advance.
  • Fitness: make sure you are fit enough to walk 5 hours with a backpack over rough terrain.
  • Norwegian words that might come in handy:
Norwegian      English

Bekken         Stream 
Bom            Toll
Bre            Glacier
Bro/Bru/Brua   Bridge
Dalen          Valley   
Elv            River 
Fjell          Mountain 
Foss           Waterfall
Hytter         Cabins
Låst           Locked
Moh            Meter
Myr            Swamp
Nord           North
Øst            East
Søppel         Trash
Sør            South
Sprit          Alcohol
Tørkerom       Drying room
Tur            Trek
Ulåst          Unlocked
Varde          Cairn
Vatnet         Lake
Vei            Road
Vest           West
Vidda          Plateau
  • Currency in Norway: Norwegian Krone (consists of 100 øre). 1 NOK = about € 0,11.
  • Time difference Norway – Netherlands: none.
  • Driving: max. speed on many Norwegian roads is only 80 km/h and there are toll roads.
  • Power plugs: for powering electrical devices in Norway you can use the same power plugs as in The Netherlands.
  • Cabins: the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT – Den Norske Turistforening) has 480 cabins (staffed lodges, self-service cabins and no-service cabins) all over Norway. For the self-service and no-service cabins, often you need a special key to get in.
  • Mobile connection: you will probably have little (or no) connection with your mobile phone in the area (no calling signal and no internet).
  • Alpine distress signal: 6 signals (e.g. whistle blasts) per minute, 1 min. break, repeat, etc. Reply: 3 signals (e.g. whistle blasts) per min., 1 min. break, repeat, etc.
  • Emergency plan: If Mary (John’s wife) has not heard that we have returned to civilization on Friday evening 13 Aug. 2021, she will contact Norwegian Mountain Rescue.
  • Emergency phone number in Norway is (same as in The Netherlands): +47 112.

< The section below is added after the trek >

Results

Distances and times

 DayDist. (km)Asc. (m)Desc. (m)Peak (m)Time (u:m)*
8 Aug122808088003:30
9 Aug15300400102004:30
10 Aug1413010090004:00
11 Aug126010083003:30
12 Aug1925035097004:30
13 Aug.4302069001:00
TOTAL7610501050529021:00
Avrg/day1317517588003:30
* Time = hiking time excl. breaks

Route

Google Maps (final trekking route)

Photos

Online Caveman blog

Lessons learned

  • Pete’s sleeping bag (down bag from REI) was slightly too cold for 2 nights. (Estimated night temp.: 5 °C).
  • The new 1L Katadyn Befree water filter works excellent. It has a higher flowrate than the Sawyer Mini filter and the water bag is easier to fill in streams because of the bigger opening than the Sawyer water bag.
  • All river crossings either had a small bridge (not all on map), or stepping stones, so no need to get feet wet
  • The unmarked trails were not too bad to walk on
  • Every campsite had a campfire place with stones and enough firewood
  • Cloudberries were tasty and abundant in swampy areas
  • We regularly had 4G mobile reception in the area
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