Fjällräven’s passion for trekking is real. What essentially started with Fjällräven founder Åke Nordin, inviting groups of people to experience the outdoors with his new functional, durable clothes and equipment in the 70’s, stayed with the brand, developed and grew to become the first Fjällräven Classic event in Sweden 2005. Since then, the interest for trekking expedition style - carrying your own equipment, setting up your own tent, cooking your own food and walking at your own pace, together with like-minded people – is spreading across the world.
The Fjällräven Classic events in Sweden, Denmark, Colorado and Hong Kong have proven to become important business incubators for the brands, stores, vendors, and regions. But most importantly they became a door opener and inspiration for people to access the outdoors.These events have also changed Fjällräven as the brand has moved from working in the outdoor business to also working in the experience business.
2020 sees the start of a long-term commitment to the expansion of the Fjällräven brand by offering no less than eight Fjällräven Classics across the globe: Sweden, USA, Denmark, South Korea, Germany, Hong Kong, UK and China. Thereby strengthening the brands leading position as one of the industry’s most authentic, relevant and dedicated brands. Giving more people – from all walks of life, all over the world – an unrivaled opportunity to experience just how amazing trekking really is.
It all started in 2005, when Fjällräven launched the original Classic, a 110 kilometer long hike through the vast wilderness in Swedish Lapland. This was at a time when the interest in outdoor life and trekking in the mountains was on a decline in Sweden, and the purpose was to inspire people to get out and discover the beautiful nature that lay just around the corner. Since then a lot has happened. Fjällräven Classic Sweden started to draw a growing number of trekkers, not only from Sweden but from all over the world.
After a few years Fjällräven launched yet another Classic event, in Denmark. Followed by USA (Colorado) in 2016 and Hong Kong, in 2017. “We saw participants from all over the world coming to our original Classic in northern Sweden. But we didn’t think people should have to come all the way to Scandinavia in order to get this kind of experience”, says event manager Carl Hård af Segerstad.
Now, fifteen years after the first Fjällräven Classic, interest in trekking in Sweden is booming. And the time is right for the next step of the expansion of a trekking event that has created its own outdoor community.
The new Classic destinations in 2020 are: Germany, South Korea, Scotland and China. All with their own unique nature, their own cultures and approach to outdoor life. But the concept is still the same – the participants carry their own equipment like tent, sleeping bag, stove, food, etc. and will find check points along the way with reliable support, whenever there is a blister that needs to be taken care of, or if anyone needs a helping hand with the gear. The focus is on inspiring people to walk with nature, on nature’s terms, bringing your own gear, and leaving nothing but footprints behind. Every participant is strongly encouraged to leave every basecamp as they found it – or in an even better condition. It’s about treading as gently as possible. And it’s also about sharing knowledge, and making people grow.
“Not only will you increase your skills and your experience as an outdoor person, but you will also get a general feeling of being able to take care of yourself. To carry and use the gear you need in the wilderness makes you grow as a human being.”, says Carl Hård af Segerstad, who sees the expansion of the Classic concept to other places in the world as a natural development. “There’s a space there that nobody else has claimed. And it fits right into Fjällrävens dna, with a long history of inspiring people to get outdoors.”
But enough of the backstory. It’s time to present the new destinations, and their individual outlines.
Fjällräven Classic Germany stretches through beautiful Allgäu, in the Allgäu Prealps. The trails wind through scenic landscapes where Bavarian culture meets the outdoors. Where green meadows and old castles pose beside impressive mountain peaks and clear lakes. Trekking culture is indeed strong in Germany, but with Fjällräven Classic comes new inspiration to experience the outdoors.
“The usual way to go about hiking in Germany is by day hikes. There are also mountain huts, where you can stay overnight, but to bring your own tent is not that common”, says Fjällräven Germany country manager Dean Polic. “There is another dimension added when you carry your own stove and get the experience of pitching a tent and handle your own gear, and we are very much looking forward to welcoming trekkers from all around the world, to enjoy this unique nature together with us.”.
Fjällräven Classic China is a pioneering trekker’s dream. A stunning mountain landscape – but yet without any established infrastructure for outdoor recreation. This is where Fjällräven comes in. The purpose, as it was in Sweden once upon a time, is to make it easier to access nature and to raise interest and awareness about long distance trekking.
China has undergone an incredibly rapid change over the last years, and outdoor culture is a fairly new phenomenon. Here, Fjällräven will not only break new trails in an area where very little trekking has been done before, but also become an integral part of defining the meaning of the word “outdoor”. And by establishing Classic China, Fjällräven hopes to set an example of sustainable trekking, where nature comes first. The trek will start at 3 000 meters above sea level, and reach its highest point at 3 800 meters, leading through an area in Qinghai province, surrounded by snow-capped peaks. The culture is Tibetan, and the trekkers are likely to encounter yak farmers and goat herds.
“The Classic event is a great opportunity for people to get out there and learn more about nature, outdoor life – and themselves. Our belief is that this will create more consciousness and a will to take care of the nature we have around the corner”, says China GM Mr. Ling Ming Wen.
Fjällräven Classic UK takes us to the Scottish Highlands. This Fjällräven Classic has its similarities to the Swedish original. With its rugged terrain, vast highlands and changeable weather, Scotland is a truly fantastic area for long distance trekking. And the trek will take us through some of the most stunning scenery this part of the world has to offer, passing the area around Great Britain’s highest peak, Ben Nevis, along the way.
“At this very moment our team is out walking in the Highlands putting down the test steps for the first UK Classic. We hope to bring a joyous and unforgettable walk to the Fjällräven Classic community through one of the world’s most beautiful natural and historical landscapes, and to celebrate the outdoors together with true Scottish hospitality”, says UK sales manager Will Stanton.
Fjällräven Classic South Korea is an evident and long-awaited choice, as the South Koreans are great supporters of Fjällräven and Fjällräven Classic. Every year, around 200–300 South Koreans come all the way to participate in the Swedish Classic, far up north in
the Arctic wilderness. Now it’s time for the reverse: as Classic comes to South Korea. There is already a great outdoor culture presiding in the country, and what happens in South Korea, will have an effect on the rest of the Asian market. Fjällräven Classic South Korea will take place in the beautiful Mount Hallasan National Park, on Jeju Island. The trek stretches across the island and over the country’s highest peak, Mount Hallasan, with stunning views of the Chinese Sea.
“The trail will offer various surfaces and conditions, from single tracks with beautiful natural steps, to wooden bridges and the typical rocky terrain that is special to a trail in a volcanic environment. The trek will be quite strenuous, but also extremely rewarding”, says country manager Alex Cho.