July 13, 2019 Reconnect by Foot
Since the start in 2005, Fjällräven Classic has brought thousands of people into the great outdoors. First in Sweden, later in Denmark, Colorado and Hong Kong. Soon, many more can follow.
In Sweden’s far north, vast areas of wilderness stretch for thousands of square kilometers. To hike here is to wander over grand vistas framed by glacier-covered peaks and studded with sparkling lakes. It was in these landscapes that the ideas for Fjällräven products arose, from the need for durable and reliable equipment capable of withstanding long periods in rugged terrain.
It was also here that the first Fjällräven Classic was held in 2005. An event that brought together 152 people to hike the 110 kilometers between Nikkaluokta and Abisko.
Fjällräven experts assisted the participants with tips on what to pack (and what not to pack), how to dress for unpredictable weather, how to avoid sore feet and generally how to prepare for an unforgettable experience. Along the way, they offered practical help and mental support, laying the foundation for a hiking community that has since been exported to other parts of the world.
Four new locations ahead
Today, over 2 000 participants join every summer. Fjällräven Classic has now become the perfect gateway to outdoor life for those who dream of hiking and camping in the wild – but who are not yet ready to do it on their own. Also outside Sweden, with the event’s expansion into Denmark and then to the US in 2016. In 2017, Fjällräven Classic took place in four different locations around the world when Sweden, Denmark and the US were joined by Hong Kong.
At this year’s OutDoor by ISPO, four new locations were presented: Korea, Germany, China and the UK.
“All are chosen for their beautiful scenery and for having a thriving trekking culture with lots of great trails,” says Fjällräven’s event manager Andreas Cederlund.
“With adding new destinations and exporting the successful concept of Fjällräven Classic Sweden to even more countries, we want to give more people, from other parts of the world, the chance to experience a unique long-distance trekking event.“
Freedom to roam – with great responsibility
Events like Fjällräven Classic and the winter adventure Fjällräven Polar are part of the brand’s strategy of shifting toward experiences, and not only be a producer of equipment and garments. For Fjällräven, the events are also a way to educate and help people reconnect to nature. Christiane Dolva, Sustainability Manager at Fjällräven, explains:
“I would say that our events belong to the core of our sustainability mission. We take the end users by the hand, show them how to get comfortable in the wild, and to pay respect to both nature and wildlife. Also, to leave the basecamp in better shape than you found it!”
Christiane Dolva believes that this aspect is often missing in discussions around sustainability.
“We know that people feel better by being in the great outdoors. And I strongly believe that you are more willing to take care and act responsibly if you have a closer relation to nature. Fjällräven Classic is a way for us to spread this message.”
Fjällräven offers an environmental handbook for all its events. Here, it lists requirements of what to buy, how to choose transportation methods, how to collect waste, that all participants should be equipped with garbage bags, and more. All carbon that Fjällräven Classic emits is reported and compensated.
“We also cooperate with organizations such as Keep Sweden Clean (Håll Sverige Rent) and Leave No Trace in the U.S., and through our event they can receive a platform to reach out with their message.”