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 and developed. It grew to become the first Fjällräven Classic event in Sweden 2005 – a 110km hike through the vast wilderness in Swedish Lapland.
Trekking expedition style – backpacking with your own equipment, setting up your own tent, cooking your own food and walking at your own pace, together with like-minded people – is what it’s all about. The Fjällräven Classic events in Sweden, Denmark, Colorado and Hong Kong have become popular elements in the global outdoor calendar.
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.
Event manager Carl Hård af Segerstad said, “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.”
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 and will find check points along the way with reliable support.
The focus is on ‘inspiring people to walk with nature, on nature’s terms, bringing your own gear, and leaving nothing but footprints behind.’ It’s about treading as gently as possible. And it’s also about sharing knowledge, and making people grow.
Carl 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 Fjällräven’s DNA, with a long history of inspiring people to get outdoors.”
In May 2020, Fjällräven Classic Germany runs through beautiful Allgäu, in the Allgäu Prealps; the trails wind through scenic landscapes where Bavarian culture meets the outdoors. Fjällräven Germany country manager Dean Polic notes, “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.
“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.”
In July 2020, Fjällräven Classic China is a pioneering trekker’s dream in a stunning mountain landscape but without any established infrastructure for outdoor recreation. 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 3000m above sea level, and reach its highest point at 3800m, 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.
China General Manager Ling Ming Wen said, “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.”
In September 2020, Fjällräven Classic UK heads to the Scottish Highlands, with similarities to the Swedish original, 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.
In October 2020, Fjällräven Classic South Korea is a long-awaited option as the South Koreans are great supporters of the brand and event. Every year, between 200–300 South Koreans come all the way to participate in the Swedish Classic.
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. It will take place in the beautiful Mount Hallasan National Park on Jeju Island.