I was so excited this week to be able to chat with Malin Klingsell, a.k.a Swedish Fish, regarding her current thruhike on the Pacific Crest Trail ("PCT"). As a vegan, she provided us with so many helpful food tips for others looking to hike but not sure of alternatives to the usual packing list. While hiking at home in Sweden, she makes her own vegan food from scratch for backpacking, but had to come up with alternatives when coming over to the US. Making us jealous with all of her travels, we truly are inspired to get out and hike after interviewing her!
What made you want to start thruhiking?
I read an article in a paper about the Swedish girl Linda Åkerberg who solo hiked the whole PCT last year. It sounded so awesome so I decided pretty much directly that I wanted to do the same. Within two days of reading it I had got 6 months off work. It may seem impulsive, but I had wanted to do a long hike for a long time.
How did you physically and mentally prepare for your truhikes?
A lot of day hikes, running, strength training, yoga and meditation. And as much research about the PCT as I could squeeze in to three months.
What was your inspiration to start thru hiking?
A hike in Greece a few years ago opened up my eyes to hiking. It was my first hike and it was really tough but so beautiful and very rewarding.
What was your biggest fear when starting to solohike?
Not bringing the right things and making the wrong decisions that would put me in unsafe situations.
What trails are you planning on hiking after the PCT?
Oh there are so many trails I want to hike. My favorite is The Kings Trail in Sweden. I have done sections of it but I want to thruhike it some day. I also want to hike on Iceland, the Camino in spain and Te Aroaroa in New Zealand. Nepal is also on the list as well as Madeira and Norway. The list grows quicker than I have time to hike, haha.
What is your biggest hiking accomplishment so far?
Solo hiking sections of the Kings Trail without any prior experience. And of course all the crazy miles on the PCT so far. 100 miles of the Sierra with this much snow. Learning to hike with crampons and ice ax and to self arrest. I am very proud of hiking Forrester and Glen Pass.
When did you set off on your PCT journey, and how long are you planning on it taking to complete?
April 5th and until September sometime.
What do you do to stay in shape off of the trail?
Running, yoga, strength training
What clothing do you pack for the truhike?
The contents of my pack have changed through the trail. But something like this:
Hiking pants, two pairs of underwear, one bra, hiking shirt, puffy jacket, puffy pants, sleeping pants, sleeping shirt, sun hat, gloves (Sierra), two pairs of toe socks (desert), two pairs of darn tough socks (Sierra), waterproof socks (Sierra), trail runners, boots (Sierra), flip flops (desert), wind jacket (Sierra), rain suit, buff, beanie (Sierra)
What brands are vegan friendly while backpacking?
Spanish rice from Knorr
Oriental Ramen from Top Ramen
Most Clif Bars
A lot of chips
We have to give such a big thanks to Swedish Fish for taking the time to chat with us while being out on the biggest adventure of her life! You can follow her progress and check out so many more of her accomplishments here:
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A very warm and jealous of the snow,
Back Country Momma