I spent some time coming up with a plan, devising a route, and finding a good time to take off from work. It turns out that no one in Norway works during July, so hey, when in Rome?
So I leave tomorrow. Let's get to work prepping my gear and food.
Up first is lunches, which will largely consist of cheese and salami, for my salts, fats, and protein.
Next was to pile up the food that I'd found and see what I had purchased over the last few weeks. Now, here's a fair warning (and my Norsk friends might want to look away) -- the options here are, well, limited.
For example, one of my absolute staple hiking foods is peanut butter. It is loaded with protein and fat, and has lots of sodium, and a fair amount of sugar. With those four things, you don't really need anything else. Plus, it's delicious!
However, the peanut butter in Norway is ... not that great. And it comes in small jars. And those jars are glass (therefore heavy).
So anyway, groceries here are just different, and it requires a lot of adaptation.. But I've done this before, and I have a rough idea of what I'll want.
I'll start by splitting it into roughly 4 days, since that's about how long it will take me to get to my first resupply opportunity.
Once I had what felt like enough calories, I started with my prep work. First things first: repackage the ramen. This is to eliminate the plastic waste that might turn into litter, as well as speed things along for me so I don't have to waste as much time when I'm eating dinner. It also saves on space because I crush it all up and it no longer is cumbersome rectangular blocks.
Note the weird bags. This is because ziploc freezer bags apparently don't really exist here? Or I couldn't find them, anyway. (Norwegians: if they live somewhere other than the grocery store, please let me know where to find them!). So anyway, they're bundled up in freezer bags and tied off. We'll see how this works out.
This only took up about half the bag, so I figured hey why not -- let's bring twice as much food. It might let me skip the first resupply point and let me stay in the woods :-)
Another weird thing: SmartWater bottles are the universal standard for hikers on the PCT. They're durable, light, skinny, and everywhere. They also have a standard thread, so you can screw your water filter straight into the top. They're 1 liter each, so you can fit loads of water in your pack, in convenient pockets. Perfect. Let me go grab some.
Weird, they're a different form factor here! And a different size?! And a different lid?? Bizarre. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to find something else.
Up next, first aid kit to fix me and my gear in case anything bad happens. Thankfully I still have my kit from the US, so I can use it again.
Finally, let's pack my bag. Take my big ol' pile of gear, organize it, pack it, do a final count, and shove it all in my new (smaller!) pack.
Tomorrow's going to be a big day :-)