Every summertime for the past 16 years, the Swedish outside equipment and also clothes firm Fjällräven has invited folks up above the Polar Circle in Sweden for a weeklong trek among the glacier-covered peaks as well as stretching expanse. Understood simply as The Fjällräven Classic, it’s arguably the most enjoyable and family-friendly hiking party on the planet.
This year’s Sweden occasion sold out in secs as people demanded the possibility to see reindeer, waterfalls, and the perpetual sunlight of the Arctic summer season. Fjallraven deals with all the logistics, from supplying food for each individual to manning checkpoints in the process, and also, in very Swedish style, there is no actual purpose. The suggestion is for the travelers to have complete flexibility, to go as fast and much as they desire every day, camp any place they desire, and also make the experience wholly their own. “People sign up for The Fjällräven Classic from all over the globe,” says Jean-Marie Shields, the business’s VP of Brand Experience for North America and a Swede herself. “It’s so Swedish. The event is super public and also inclusive.”
It’s been such a hit– greater than 2,000 individuals now make the trip to Sweden every summer season– that a couple of years ago Fjällräven decided to take the show on the road, as well as there are now shorter versions of the occasion in Denmark, the UNITED STATE, Korea, and also Hong Kong. Next year, the program will expand additionally, to Germany, China, as well as the UK. (This year’s U.S. variation, now in its fourth version, will explore the mountains bordering Colorado’s Copper Mountain this September 6 to 8.) “With The Classic, we’re committed to making it immersive,” says Fjällräven’s North American CEO, Nathan Dopp. “The suggestion is that the best introduction to a backcountry experience is one that you, the walker, define, not an overview. Want to hang around for an hour in that swimming hole? Go for it. Wish to bring a guitar so you can play and also sing around that evening’s campfire? Of course, bring it.”
The Fjällräven Classic isn’t the only point Fjällräven has actually offered the States. While the business was founded in 1960 as well as has earned a worldwide online reputation for making items that are as basic as well as elegant as they are durable and also versatile, it really did not formally launch its U.S. operations up until 2012. Since then it’s opened 24 stores in the U.S., with enthusiastic prepare for additional growth over the following 5 years. Translation: Fjällräven’s exploding.
If you haven’t yet roamed right into a shop or asked a buddy how to articulate Fjällräven (fyall-raah-ven), you’ve most likely at least spied its logo design, a curled-up red fox (fjällräven implies “frozen fox”), bobbing down the street, more than likely on the business’s most legendary product, the Kånken. This common tiny knapsack, long brought by European kids, burst into popular culture in the late aughts, locating fans amongst American influencers, Asian pop stars, as well as every person in between. The pack was seen on Madonna’s children and also the two-year-old daughter of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. To fuel this zeitgeist, Fjällräven provides the pack in loads of designs as well as hundreds of color combinations.
However what the majority of people don’t recognize is that the Kånken has actually been about, practically unmodified, since the late ’70s, initially created as an enhancement on the conventional purse for Swedish schoolchildren. “I’ve had my Kånken for more than 30 years,” claims Shields, the VP of Brand Experience. “I would certainly wear mine on trips with my grandma in the north of Sweden regularly. Hers was yellow, and my earliest memories of being genuinely submersed in nature are from following my grandma’s little yellow Kånken with the woods.”
Today, the Kånken is simply one of the thousands of products Fjällräven makes, but its design tale– as an easy and wise solution to a genuine problem– goes to the root of every little thing the brand name does. The firm’s founder, Åke Nordin, matured along Sweden’s High Shore, exploring the region’s famously rugged mountains, tundra, and boreal woodlands. Using his papa’s devices and mommy’s stitching equipment, he made his first piece of gear, a wood-framed knapsack, in his basement. Hence started Nordin’s lifelong mission to solve issues, to create equipment that was far better than anything available, consisting of lightweight down resting bags and also the innovative Thermo Camping tent, a nylon and also polyester tube-style tent that was lighter, sturdier, and also way much more breathable than the hefty canvas tents of the day.
By the late 1960s, Fjällräven had become the best supplier of gear for Swedish expeditions. The polar travelers were so rapt with their Fjällräven tools that they asked Nordin to make their garments too. To do so, Nordin took a fabric that had actually been as well hefty for his tents as well as a lesson from his youth– in addition to waxing his skis, he ‘d likewise wax his trousers to make them more water-proof. After months of tinkering, one of the outdoor globe’s most durable fabrics was born: the G-1000, a largely woven textile made from recycled polyester and organic cotton made even more resilient and wind- and also waterproof by the company’s proprietary Greenland Wax, a special mix of beeswax as well as paraffin.