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Backpacking can be an intimidating activity to begin as a novice. But what if your first trek was with a group other backpackers and a team of support along for the ride? The Fjällräven Classic orchestrates just that.
Swedish outdoor brand Fjällräven—the word translates to Arctic fox, a hardy, yet beautiful animal that serves as the logo of the nearly 60-year-old company—is known known for designing highly functional, yet approachable backpacks and outerwear for hikers and backpackers. It’s that approachability factor that inspired the brand to dream up and execute the first Fjällräven Classic event in 2005, a multi-day, supported group trek across some of the most scenic and welcoming landscape in the company’s home country of Sweden.
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The concept of the event is simple: to make nature accessible to everyone. Fjällräven encourages everyone to responsibly and safely experience the rugged side of the outdoors by educating and emphasizing Leave No Trace practices, providing medical support along the trail, and organizing check-in and group camp sites. Community meals, technical support, and even even a few cold beers at the end of each day are also supplied. “It’s a very Swedish concept,” explains Nathan Dopp, President of Fjällräven’s North America operations. “We all need nature from time to time.”
Since launching the inaugural Classic in Sweden, the outdoor brand has expanded the annual event to Denmark, Hong Kong, and following the opening of a North American headquarters in Louisville, Colorado in 2012, to the United States. In 2016, the first Fjällräven Classic USA was held in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, drawing in roughly 100 participants. The following year, the event expanded to 200 participants who trekked 30-plus miles from Keystone to Copper Mountain in three days. In its third year, the event is set to be the biggest yet, with 400 participants expected to traverse 36 miles from Tennessee Pass, along sections of the Colorado Trail, over Kokomo Pass and Searle’s Pass from June 27-29, eventually descending down into Copper Mountain Ski Area for a celebration filled with food, drinks, and live music.
The 2018 route begins at an elevation of 10,448 feet, and includes a gain of 4,627 feet throughout the course of the trek. Fjällräven and brand partners such as Primus and Hanwag, makers of ultra-durable mountaineering and trekking boots, will be demoing gear and other outdoor-related products along the trail. Each element of the event is designed to allow curious trekkers a chance to experience a multi-day backpacking trip in a safe and supported environment—helping future backpackers learn the do’s and don’ts of exploring the backcountry before fully immersing themselves in the outdoors. The event is also perfect for solo backpackers who don’t necessarily have a posse to head out on a multi-day trip with, says Dopp. Though 400 people will fill the trails of Summit County during this year’s Classic, each participant is encouraged to go at their own pace, and to stop and take in the views along the way.
“It’s not a race or a competition,” says Dopp, a mantra that the outdoor brand also promotes with their products, which focus on evolving original and innovative technology to provide the best, most comfortable protection for outdoor enthusiasts of all levels.
Tickets to participate in this year’s Fjällräven Classic $299 per person and can be purchased here.