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The power of the trail


Everything is better together, including nature. That’s why Fjällräven has created a one-of-a-kind community hike. It’s called the Classic Fjallraven– a celebration of nature, human connection and making every hike as fun as it is challenging. Fjällräven guides recently explored the Colorado route for the US Classic and came away with some key points about why coming together in nature is so crucial to our well-being and that of the planet.

Karrie Carnes: speak a common language

Fjällräven guide Karrie Carnes discovered her love for the mountains when she moved to Portland in 2015. Prior to that, she lived much of her life on the East Coast and spent most of her time adventuring around the Atlantic Ocean, practicing water sports such as scuba diving and paddleboarding. In Oregon, Carnes immediately fell in love with the Cascades. “I’m always amazed by these mountains,” says Carnes. “I’m a desk jockey during the week, but I try to go out every weekend. Being in nature allows me to be present in the moment. This is how I practice mindfulness.

So naturally, Carnes jumped at the chance to join other Fjällräven guides on a reconnaissance trip last summer, to test out the brand new Fjällräven Classic USA course in Colorado. The group hiked over 10,000 feet (to over 12,000 feet) through some of Colorado’s most iconic mountain wilderness, camped near high mountain lakes, and forged deep bonds around their shared love for the outdoors. “It’s amazing what nature can do,” says Carnes. “Nature can be that quiet, meditative space, or it can be the backdrop for a community, creating a common language that can bring different kinds of people together.”

A universal message that Carnes loves to share is about how she appreciates the emotional attachments we form with certain gear. For Carnes, it’s his pants. “I know that every time I put on these Fjällräven Keb pants, I’m going to have an adventure. I’m a bit giddy,” she said. So much the better if it’s a multi-person adventure.

Alyssa Macy: Defend the Earth

Alyssa Macy camped more in 2020 than she had ever camped before. Guide Fjällräven and CEO of the Washington Environmental Council needed a publication. So she left her Seattle home and pitched a tent. A lot. Time spent outdoors not only served as a mental health remedy during the pandemic, but gave Macy an opportunity to reconnect with her past. Macy is of Wasco, Navajo, and Hopi descent and a citizen of the Warm Springs Indian Reservation, and has reflected on this cultural identity in recent years. “Covid has been the big break, an opportunity to reassess and look at how we exist in this world,” Macy says. “My dad was an outdoor enthusiast. Much of our time together was hiking, just a few hours up a random hill and watching the community from above. It was always that moment of joy for me, but it also taught me about our responsibility as Indigenous people to protect what we have.

Macy sees outdoor adventure as a natural way to build the conservation community. Anyone recreating outdoors, she hopes, will be inspired to protect it. “People who enjoy fishing, hiking, swimming and boating, we all want to protect these wild spaces,” Macy says. Hitting the track with others helps turn feeling into action. “It’s one thing to go out and enjoy it and another to take action to advocate for good policy.” We all need to get in the same boat and start rowing in the same direction.

She brought this mission to the reconnaissance trip for the Fjällräven Classic USA. “I started each day of the trek with a prayer and song asking for safe passage and honoring those who came before us,” Macy says. “We were hiking in the traditional territory of the Ute tribe, and taking the time to recognize where you are and who has gone before you is a powerful and important step in recognizing our responsibility to the land.”

Cal MacKintosh: Creating Closer Bonds

Want to make a relationship stronger? Share an outdoor adventure. The more intense, the better. “You cook meals together over a fire, sweating together. You smell together,” says Cal MacKintosh. Exploring the Fjällräven Classic route in Colorado promised all that, and more.

When the Portland-based Fjällräven guide was invited to test Fjällräven’s classic new course in the Rocky Mountains, he knew he was expecting a challenge. “I look at Mount Hood every day. It’s so high, and the thought of starting a hike at that altitude was daunting,” he says.

The road topped out at around 12,000 feet. The elevation was a constant factor, and the group also had to cross streams and one evening they had to watch for a moose that parked at the edge of their campsite. It was a bucket list adventure for MacKintosh, but the fact that he got to experience Colorado at its wildest with others gave the trek another dimension.

He and the other Fjällräven guides, strangers on the first day, quickly became friends. “In this kind of situation, people forget their daily life, the stress,” he says. “It just sort of melts. And then people feel closer to each other. You go out to wild places with strangers and just let nature take the wheel.

In 1960, Åke Nordin founded Fjällräven in his basement in the Swedish town of Örnsköldsvik. Since then, the brand has remained true to its mission to develop timeless, functional and durable outdoor gear, acting responsibly towards people, animals and the environment, and inspiring more people to experience life outdoors. air. Watch videos, learn how to participate in Fjällräven hikes, and get Fjällräven gear recommendations on Outside.