I have an adventure planned for this summer. During my hike of the King’s Trail in 2021, I met a handful of hikers who were walking the King’s Trail as part of a much larger hike covering the entire Swedish mountain chain. That hike is called Gröna bandet, which translates to the Green Ribbon in English. Unlike most hiking trails, it doesn’t have a set path for you to follow. The trail starts (or ends, if you’re southbound) at the mountain station Grövelsjön in the southern end of the Swedish mountain chain, and ends (or starts) at Treriksröset, the point where the borders of Sweden, Norway and Finland meet, in the far north.
Which route you follow to get there is up to you, as long as you pass through or to the west of six waymarks on the way, and that means that the length of the Green Ribbon is different for every hiker. The average distance for the 46 hikers that completed the Green Ribbon in 2022 was 1 367 kilometers. The average duration was 61 days.
Ever since I finished the King’s Trail in 2021, I have been unable to get the Green Ribbon out of my mind. For the 2022 hiking season, I had plenty of other fun adventures planned – including a hike of the Padjelanta trail with my girlfriend Rebecka – but I made sure to follow every single 2022 Green Ribbon hiker on Instagram. By the time the hiking season was over, I had made up my mind. In late October, I registered my 2023 northbound hike with Fjällfararnas Vita & Gröna band, the organisation responsible for the Green Ribbon.
As I’m writing this, there’s less than four months left to my planned starting date on June 18. Between now and then, I will decide on a route, plan two months worth of food and other supplies, and select the clothes I’ll wear and gear I’ll carry for over 1 300 kilometers. That might sound like a burden, but nothing could be further from the truth. I absolutely love the planning that comes before a hike. I wouldn’t subject you to more than 5 000 words about my Green Ribbon preparations if I didn’t.
I have split those words into three different blog posts, to hopefully make this landslide of hiking information more digestible.
If you find any of this interesting, you can follow me on Instagram for more updates on my preparations and, come June 18, daily diary entries from the actual trail.