moved from Walking and Climbing section
There are two shops at Staloluokta - where the stugu is in a village (helicopter service, but no road access). therre's also another shop st Ritsem. I can't guarantee you'll get what you need there, but I think there's good chances, certainly insect repellant (the locals use it), probably gas, but I'm not certain about maps, though. You can buy food to cook yourself in all the other stugor, so they may have other things available too. Send an e-mail to the Ritsem Youth Hostel and ask about maps. You could even post one to yourself at Ritsen YH.
The track is easy to walk and easy to follow - well way-marked and signposted. In fact, Kungsleden is a bit of a pedestrian motorway with hordes of folk walking it in the summer. All the big rivers are bridged. You may have to boulder hop over some of the smaller streams, but nothing serious.
Temps could get down towards freezing, but not seriously below it.
Reindeer are not a problem with camping. Loads of folk do it. In fact, you can camp at the stugor and use their cooking/indoor facilities for less than half the price of sleeping indoors, so the stugor are all surrounded by tents.
To point B above: It is not possible to go from Rago to Staloluokta unless you walk either over the glacier Blåmannsisen or north of Vastenjaure and go south. The river into and out of Kasakjaure is impossible to ford, and there are no bridges there.
You asked about the route Katterat or Riksgransen via Unna Allakas. I did Katterat to Unna Allakas and then on to Alesjaure etc a couple of years ago with my old lady (I can call her that 'cos I'm an old man). It was ok, easy enough to follow, though we had a couple of nasty fords to cross, one of them almost more than we could manage, we were lucky to get some help from a young German couple who turned up just at the right time.
Which period of the year did you go? Based on what I've read, there could be relatively big differences in water levels.
PS: My thanks to Jim and Otto for their helpful answers.
Hi again Ludo
Be aware that all the Norwegian outdoor organisations are issuing warnings about access because of a very late melt season this year. There is still a lot of snow on the mountains, so much that it hasn't yet been possible to put out some of the summer bridges on some routes.
Current weather is generally not very good, with rain and even snowfall on the hills, so, because of the melt, rivers are going to be abnormally high, even in late July. If some of the bridges are still missing, you might have problems.
I haven't seen equivalent comments from Sweden, but it might be worth your while e-mailing STF, Ritsem YH or one or more of the stugor in Padjelanta and asking for information.
Ken and Jim, many thanks for your helpful posts. Will definitely try to get updated info on the spot.
In the end we had the following itinerary:
Sulitjelma – Sorjushytta – Staloluokta – Vaisaluokta – Hellemobotn
To share my experience, here are my answers to my questions:
1) + 2)The only place on the above trail where one can get Coleman gas cartridges and insect repellents is Staloluokta.
NB: To avoid any risk, I had bought a reppelent and headnet before setting off. The reppelent was a DEET one (19.9% DEET) while the headnet was pretreated with permethrin. The reppelent worked effectively while the headnet functioned only 'mechanically'. The mosquitos would land on the net and stay there for hours as if there was no reppelent ... Hence, it looks like an ordinary headnet (untreated with permethrin) is sufficient and less hazardous 3)There was no place on the trail where one could buy maps.
4)We only saw a few small herds between Sorjushytta and Staloluokta. The animals were timid and posed absolutely no problem. 5)The average night temperature was 5-10 degrees Celsius. 6)The only nasty ford (ice-cold water) was between Sulitjelma and Sorjushytta. 7)On the whole the trek was not much demanding except for the fact that some parts were very wet. We often had to deviate from the marked trail to keep our feet as dry as possible. Even so, our gore-tex shoes (new shoes!) resisted for the first five days only. No wonder most of the people we met on the trail wore rubber boots ...
NB re Jim's note on bridges: How can one find out which bridges are permanent and which ones are summer bridges only? On my maps there is no such distinction.
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