Filip H.A. Claeys

Trekking in Mountainous and Subarctic Regions


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A Brussels Waste Bag in Jämtland

In the southwest corner of the very sparsely populated Swedish province of Jämtland lies a remote farm by the name of Käringsjön. This farm is the gateway to a complex lake system, and at the heart of the lake system is a wind shelter that can only be reached by boat. Just like anywhere else the idea is that everything that is packed into a place like this, is also packed out, especially garbage.

During my recent visit to the Käringsjön wind shelter I notice a waste bag attached to the shelter’s wall. This is surprising by itself, but what is even more surprising is that the bag appears to be an official waste bag of the community of Brussels, Belgium. Apparently some fellow country men or women considered it appropriate to just dump their waste instead of packing it out as everyone else does. What were they thinking? That a Brussels garbage truck is going to pass by to collect their junk? Really despicable behavior…

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Scandinavia 2019: Videos

Footage of some highlights of this year’s 8 day, 140 km solo hiking and packrafting trip through the Långfjället, Rogen and Femundsmarka wilderness areas in the Swedish & Norwegian borderlands.

The first video covers about 2.5 days of the Swedish part of the trip. In order to give a feel of the serene atmosphere and solitude of the trip, I deliberately kept the original sound and did not overlay it with music.

The second video was taken during a paddle under windless conditions at 10:30 pm on remote lake Krokathåen, in Norway’s Femundsmarka NP:

Bear in mind that on a trip such as this, I unfortunately never give a lot of priority to shooting video footage, since there is also nagivation, taking pictures, paddling and hiking to be taken care of… The videos are therefore not a comprehensive nor accurate representation.


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Packrafting Punta di Campomoro

Punta di Campomoro is a peninsula on the west coast of Corsica, close to the town of Propriano. As many other peninsulas on the Corsican coast, it is guarded by a tower that stems from the era the region was dominated by the Genoese (16th-17th century). The entire coastline from the Campomoro cape down to Tizzano is rather untouched naturally, and is lined with picturesque eroded rock formations.

I make a packraft tour that takes me back and forth from the Campomoro beach to Punta di Scalonu, crossing the Campomoro bay and rounding Punta di Campomoro (9 km, 3 h). There is little wind and the swell therefore does not cause problems. I enjoy paddling through various rock cities, and realize that it is easier for me to get close to the rocks than for the motor yachts, sailing boats and bulky kayaks that pass in the distance from time to time.

One annoying problem with shooting GoPro footage while being out on the sea is that it often happens that the lens gets covered with a layer of salt, making the imagery rather blurry. Unfortunately, the same happens this time.

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What’s the plan?

With this new blog site my plan is to publish reports of some of my multi-day treks through mountainous and subarctic regions. Only treks during which I have taken digital photographs will be considered.

I have already uploaded the following reports:

Hopefully the following will follow in the not too distant future:

For the following treks I unfortunately don’t have digital photographs, these will therefore not be considered:

  • Egypt 2001: Sinai Desert
  • Morocco 2001: Atlas
  • Finland 2001: Lapland
  • Canada 2000: Rocky Mountains
  • USA 1999: Alaska
  • Iceland 1998: Jökulsárhlaup
  • Iceland 1998: Laugavegurinn
  • Iceland 1998: Fimmvörðuháls
  • Germany 1997: Mosel
  • Greece 1997: Crete
  • Norway 1997: Jotunheimen
  • France 1991: Queyras
  • Belgium 1983: Ardennes