Hi, i miss cycling, and snow:) I used to live in Germany.
I was never a tourer though.
Now I have some addictin to a legal drug for anxiety and trying to go off of it creates horrible withdrawa symptoms. I realized when i am in nature or outdoors I manage these symptoms far better but where I live oudoors means 2 hours bus out of Pireas into a beachline. Which I do, but i thought of going into 'ice' and cycling in sweden in winter. I have experience how it is to cycle on snow/slush and in blizzard for 30 mins at a time when i lived in Germany but of course back then i didnt camp, and at the end f the route I had a warm home waiting for me..
yet I will be there soon (to stockholm) and if i find second hand bicycle i might do it. Is there a route that goes alone train tracks (as it does in Berlin-Magdeburg for example) , i mean can i take a long distance route by train or close to train so that i have the safety of taking a train if i get too tired or injured?
Any advice. Im not happy having elecronics and gear on me, just myself, regular 40 liter backpack, bivvy, sleeping pad, and groundsheet. Im myself quite heavy and untrained past 4 years so I keep my ''gear'' super light. I know this might sound 'crazy' but im not crazy:)
any contructiv advice welcomed, but im not interested if you want to ''advice'' that i do not try this trip.
Advice? Send your question directly to a message box of any WS member/s along your planned route, a good chance that you will receive an answer.
I used to travel a few weeks with a bicycle in the north of Finland during the winter. Here is some advice
- You need a thermos for water/tee. Any liquids in usual bottles will freeze after few hours outdoors.
- Check the minimum temperature your bivy and sleeping bag is rated for. In Sweden, you can experiences temperatures below -20C during the night. It is really very dangerous to sleep outdoors during winter with inappropriate equipment. If needed a cheap winter sleeping bag can be obtained in used army gear shops. Always check weather forecasts.
- Try not to sleep outdoors two nights in a row. In subzero temperatures, the sleeping bag will slowly become wet and give less protection. Use different dress for rinding and for sleeping
- You must have a stove to heat water. If you have a gas stove you need specific winter gas. Ordinary gas might not come out of the bottle in subzero temperatures. In any case, verify if your stove and chosen fuel will work in -25C
- Always prepare food (sandwiches) for the day in the morning while your products are still warm. You need food for energy and it is much harder to prepare even sandwich when products are frozen.
-You need to wear muliple layers of clothes to adjust for temperature. If the weather becomes warmer you should quickly remove some layers to avoid too much warmth. Too much warm leads to sweating and wet clothes. This is dangerous - wet clothes protect you less and after some time you will start to freeze. Use only fast drying synthetic clothes for inner layers.
- when you are choosing your bicycle try to get one with as wide tires as possible.
- plan shorter distances in beginning and don't sleep outdoors the first night of your trip. your body needs to adjust to lower temperatures.