In the early 1970s during an expedition, Åke Nordin, Fjällräven’s founder, dug a bivouac pit in the snow on the barren mountain plateau of Abisko in Sweden’s far north, enduring an unbearably cold and windy night. The freezing bitter cold was Åke’s least favorite aspect of outdoor life.
Throughout his life, Åke had always learned his craft by working with people who were more skilled than himself. Knowing that in the ’70s the down insulation professionals were in the United States, he decided to plan a trip to be among his peers. At an outdoor fair in Chicago, Åke met a rock climber who at that time was one of America’s foremost manufacturers of down jackets and sleeping bags. This new friend invited Åke to the outdoor-centric city of Boulder, Colorado (the present home of Fjällräven North America) to teach him how best to develop his own insulating “never feel cold again” down jacket.
Finally, after testing his prototype, in 1974, Åke began producing his Fjällräven Expedition Down Jacket. It was a jacket made from two down jackets offset-sewn together to minimize heat loss and to retain warmth in extreme temperatures, especially in places without indoor shelter. His revolutionary jacket quickly become an essential part of tough expeditions around the world – from the Himalayas to the Arctic Circle.
This is a unique year for the Fjällräven Classic. Why take part?
It’s an honor to keep the Fjallraven Classic tradition alive and to continue to spread Fjällräven’s mission of inspiring people to get out in nature in a sustainable way and to especially be with nature during this historical time, even if it’s virtually. I'll do whatever I can to help others experience the spirit that lies within ourselves, just as being outside on the trail does.
I’ve never been on this trail before, I'm excited to see what's around the bend, crossing mountain streams, seeing the seasons change & spending time with my team. I also prepared for and recognize there will be challenges ahead, being in nature in a smaller group then past Fjallraven Classics. I might not be talking much or sharing the sights with friends, instead, this will be a time to re-connect with nature during a very unique point in our lives. I’m looking forward to what messages nature will give me and to those watching on TV.