WITHOUT THEIR SUPPORT AND EQUIPMENT THIS ADVENTURE WILL NOT BE THE SAME
OUR PARTNERS WERE ALL SELECTED WITH THE GREATEST CARE FOR THE QUALITY OF THEIR PRODUCTS, FOR THEIR FORCE OF INNOVATION BUT ALSO OFTEN FOR THEIR ETHICS.
NONE OF THEM PAID US TO USE THEIR PRODUCTS.
Zpacks is an outdoor equipment brand that was founded in 2005 by Joe Valesko. The brand is born from the observation that the Ultra-light Equipment allows a real revolution in the Global Approach to hiking and especially of the Thru-hiking. Zpacks designers know better than anyone what they are talking about. All are passionate of thru-hiking with behind them impressive records.
Their first idea: to design only equipments that they dream to use themselves. A guarantee of quality and innovation!
How do they do this? One of the elements of answer resides in a real experience of the field and direct answers to real trail problems, another element of answer is undoubtedly attached to the building materials and in particular: Cuben Fiber or “DCF” - Dyneema Composite Fabric. In a nutshell, DCF is a lightweight, extremely durable and powerful material. In its classic version, it is not woven but agglomerated: filaments of Dyneema® fibers and polyester film are stacked and then pressed together. DCF is lighter than silnylon (silicone coated nylon) and stronger than Kevlar. Cuben Fiber is particularly waterproof in its non-woven form.
The invention of the DCF is truly one of the biggest breakthroughs in the outdoor industry today. In Europe, the use of these materials is still very rare. Today only a few companies in the world use these fibers in their products; most are based in the United States. Zpacks is one of the pioneers, but it is above all a human-sized company with particularly demanding specifications and a real sense of ethics. The production is national and everything is done by hand! An example for Europe!
It is the modern future of hiking and camping equipments.
Icebreaker was founded in 1995 on the conviction that “nature always has a better solution”. When the founder Jeremy Moon encountered by chance a merino sheep farmer, something changed for him: he now had a goal, a passion, let’s call it what it is, an obsession. He started to look for every opportunities to integrate natural solutions to technical apparel and then rely less on petrochemical industry fibers.
The entire product assortment is based on Merino wool which we believe being the solution in terms of quick drying, heat dumping and high breathability.
We also value Icebreaker because of its strong commitment towards animal welfare and environment. Indeed, they were the first company to ban mulesing of sheep, which now tends to become a standard. They products will be of a great help during our thru-hike in Europe.
As the world's leading supplier of navigation products, we have obviously turned to Garmin for our GPS solutions and connected wristbands.
We needed a GPS and a satellite phone to allow us to navigate effectively and deal with any emergencies.
Equipped with the InReach Explorer+ as well as the Fenix 5X for Nil and VivoActive 3 for Marie, we face all situations. Our position is displayed in real time on the website, we can call for help even without a telephone network and without internet connection. Nil can follow our GPX track from his watch and our vital data like heart rate are tracked live as well as their evolution over time since we left.
During this adventure, we will have the immense pleasure of representing the flagship of the brand by taking with us the revolutionary Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II. The E-M1 MKII is the latest in the group's cameras. It is also the most innovative device directly aimed at the most demanding photography professionals.
Being a professional photographer for almost 8 years, Nil was looking for the ultimate camera for this adventure, a light, all terrain and resistant to all types of climates device without compromising on quality.
The first idea was to take with us a minimalist equipment yet with the ultimate goal of producing professional-quality photos and videos according to the most demanding standards. A bet that was thought impossible until the release of the E-M1 MKII! A real revolution for the world of outdoor photography in which we have found no real competitor and that will allow us to push our media even further!
For almost 100 years, Lowa designs and manufactures mountain and trekking shoes known for their quality, robustness and for the comfort of their footwear. Between tradition and innovation, from a family business to a large, world-renowned house, Lowa still produces 100% of its shoes in Europe, using leather coming exclusively from Europe. The company's headquarters are in Jetzendorf, Germany.
In 2015, Lowa created the position of Corporate Responsibility Manager in its teams to oversee all aspects related to sustainable development within the company. The aim behind this is to standardize practices throughout the company and to commit to more responsible production. For all its products, Lowa has created a "list of restricted substances" and banned them from its manufacturing processes.
If we chose Lowa shoes to accompany us in this 10,000 km adventure, it is for the quality of their shoes obviously, but also because their wide range of products allowed us to find all the shoes to face all the types of terrain we will cross and the four seasons. Also, our shoes are resolables, yet an eco-responsible commitment on their part that convinced us! And finally, last but not least, we both felt very good in :)
Enlightened Equipment is an ultra-light equipment brand best known for its high quality sleeping bags and down quilts. Created in the United States by a group of enthusiasts, EE has dedicated itself to creating ultra-light equipment for nature lovers with the aim of going further and becoming freer.
The use of advanced materials allows Enlightened Equipment to focus on the essentials: combining lightness and durability. The company succeeds in meeting the expectations of the most demanding campers and adventurers in terms of sleeping system while offering tailor-made equipment handmade in the United States.
At Enlightened Equipment, you will not find traditional mummy sleeping bags, but innovative and versatile products for real needs. They include quilts specialists, open sleeping bags attached to the mattress.
Enlightened Equipment has made important ethical choices such as not using PFC in its products or the traceability of their excellent down, exclusively of European origin. Their lifetime warranty against defects is a real guarantee of exemplary manufacture.
For this expedition of over a year, we have full confidence in their equipment and we have chosen at home particularly versatile models: the Convert. Our sleeping system can go below -20 ° C without us being worried and this for an incredible weight!
We can not wait to show you their equipment we love!
Deux entreprises japonaises, l’une de matériel télégraphique et l’autre d’ampoules électriques, nées à la fin du 19ème siècle ont donnée naissance à Toshiba par leur fusion.
Aujourd’hui Toshiba est un acteur majeur dans 4 domaines d’activité : l'énergie, les solutions numériques, les appareils électroniques et les infrastructures sociales.
Nous avons fait appel à eux d’abord pour leurs solutions de stockage inégalées. En effet, 10 000 km d’aventure et autant de rush vidéo et de photos nous ont amené à nous poser sérieusement la question du traitement, du stockage et de la sauvegarde de nos fichiers. Leurs SSD et cartes mémoires seront donc fidèles compagnons pendant notre traversée de l’Europe et les garants de nos images.
Notre collaboration avec Toshiba nous a révélé une petite surprise : nous avons découvert l’ultrabook Portégé X20. Généralement orientée vers les ordinateurs destinés aux entreprises, Toshiba propose aussi cette petite machine de guerre : un écran tactile 12,5”, un processeur Intel® Core™ i7-7200U mais surtout un poids à peine supérieur à 1kg et une résistance à toute épreuve (humidité, températures extrêmes, chocs, poussière…). Une station de travail complémentaire idéale pour notre voyage à pied !
Yeti was born in a living-room in East Germany in 1983 with a homemade sleeping bag. They became Danish during the summer 2005 when it was taken over by one of the leading Danish outdoor brand, Nordisk. They remained specialized in what they do best: ultralight down equipment for trekking under extreme conditions.
Why do we love Yeti’s gear?
First, it is of astonishing quality, filled with Crystal Down which is just the finest and most voluminous European down. They are using Down up to 970+ Cuin according to the Norms in the US. They know what they are talking about, they have built their expertise in down over the past 30 years! Then, it is handmade in Europe, which we believe has become quite rare. Also, it is highly durable, has a fantastic after-sale services, it is packable (every jacket fits in one of its own pockets) and surely have a better Heat / Weight ratio than 99% of it’s competitors worldwide.
After three decades already working on research and development in the field of semiconductors PowerFilm Solar has become the world leader in thin solar panels. Although the volume of production is large, PowerFilm Solar can be proud to have a local production of which it completely controls the quality. Each of their product is tested before being sent to ensure the best possible energy return.
For us, being autonomous in energy was a capital need. Still, getting a solar charger is often a serious weight overload that we could not afford. PowerFilm Solar products have no equivalent and the lightness of the fine-film sensors allows us to take enough panels with us to charge a laptop!
The new LightSaver Max that you may have seen on Indiegogo is their latest innovation. An ultra light and resistant solar panel that wraps around a 18000 Mah battery that can also be charged with USB C and delivering enough current to charge two devices at the right speed! In addition, they can be coupled to accumulate their power.
In the Arctic regions, feeding has been a challenge since the beginning of time, for which food preservation has always played a key role. Drytech is a Norwegian brand that has learned the richest lessons from the history of their country to prepare food for outdoor expeditions and raids in often difficult conditions.
It is also above all a family business, passionate, human and responsible that was born from the desire of a man to enjoy the cuisine he loved most, the one of his wife, to the most remote Arctic lands. Since 1989, almost 30 years ago, Rolph Hansen has been striving to perfect both its innovative, gentle and food-friendly freeze-drying techniques as well as the famous and generous recipes. Since then, REAL the brand of Drytech, accompanies millions of men and women in their adventures and their thirst for grandeur.
Throughout this adventure we will have the great honor of being Ambassadors for REAL alongside great explorers like Vegard Ulvang or Børge Ousland who also trust REAL to face the worst conditions. Yes, two frenchies among the Vikings! We approached Drytech with the conviction that their dishes and snacks will energize our adventure.
Compressport is a Swiss sports compression brand that has become THE world reference in the field of triathlon, trail running, cycling and endurance in general. This year, Compressport celebrated its 10th anniversary. 10 years of innovations lighter than the feather helping athletes in their quest for performance but also in their recovery. Compressport teams athletes including some very great names in endurance like the famous triathlete Craig Alexander or Javier Gomez Noya, now five times world champion!
If so many athletes trust Compressport, this is because serious scientific studies have proven the benefits of their products on sports performance.
Compressport is for us a real ally in the daily repetition of difficulty and effort. Some of their products like the famous Full Socks 2.1 allow us a better recovery once at the camp. The legs are generally much lighter. Compressport has kept a real place for research and innovation in recent years and offers innovative, practical and comfortable multi-sport products that are incredibly lightweight.
The Bedrock Sandals were born from the meeting of two outdoor and hiking enthusiasts Dan Opalacz and Nick Pence. In 2011, they embarked on an incredible bet: create a technical sandal meeting the requirements of sportsmen and adventurers most concerned with lightness and minimalism. The project is first launched thanks to crowdfunding on Kickstarter where it met a great success.
Since 2011, the two co-founders along with the ultra marathon runner Naresh Kumar, innovate each year, perfecting their sandals more and more. Their desire for perfection and minimalism is as strong as their sense of ethics.
In addition to being a human-sized company, with all-local production and serious guarantees, Bedrock Sandals supports the 1% for the Planet program and offers opportunities to combat over-consumption with the Re-Soul program to repair wasted sandals.
Nutriting innovates by proposing a unique offer in France combining information, food advice and supplementation.
By highlighting the importance of combining information and nutritional advice with nutritional supplements, Nutriting takes up the problem in the right direction: first, insist on the importance of a balanced diet and then propose supplementation adapted to specific needs.
Real nutritional platform, their website is built around two main axes:
Education: by teaching in a playful way the bases of a balanced diet and by offering a personalized and practical accompaniment by a dietician-nutritionist.
Supplementation: by creating a range of quality food supplements that cover all the nutritional needs that modern food does not always meet or that can be increased in certain specific situations and especially ours!
Nutriting will support us by regularly sending us their specially renowned Multivitamin NuPower, ranked in the top 3 multivitamin complexes. This contribution will be a real plus for our health during the adventure. Hiking is a demanding sport that requires rich nutrition. In itinerant hiking or "thru-hiking" it is often difficult to find foods to build the perfect diet.
As for the long term it will be capital to be lacking of any nutrient, the support of Nutriting will be for us a real asset.
In 1984, at the age of 19, with $1,000 in his pocket and a visionary project, Michael Dell founded his first company, PC's Limited. He quickly stops studying medicine to focus on expanding his company and, at the same time, disrupting the way technology should be designed, manufactured and sold. In the years 1990 to 2000, Dell grew rapidly, expanding internationally to become one of the 5 largest computer manufacturers in the world. During this same period, the company diversifies towards domains such as network servers, printers...
Dell is today a mainstay of the technology industry and offers particularly suitable computers for users of graphics applications.
In our case, it is the Dell XPS 15 that will accompany us in our adventures and that will allow us to edit our photos and edit our videos on the road.
Since 1984, the French brand Vertical has been known for its innovation and research in order to offer mountain and hiking clothing of the highest quality. Today based in Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse in Isère, the brand has recently joined the group Rossignol.
We are more than happy to be supported by a leading French brand in outdoor and mountain sports!
To spend the winter, we rely on Vertical. Equipped with Windy Spirit MP + jackets and Aeropant overpants, winter in the Balkans does not scare us (or a little less anyway!)
Injinji is a sports sock specialist but not just any: the 5-toe sock. Their socks are designed for sports activities such as running but also cut for adventure and long distance treks. The company created in 1999 continues to innovate by enriching its range of technical socks without embellishment for which they use high quality materials. Based in California, Injinji has grown rapidly to become a market leader.
Their socks were created to eliminate friction and make the walking and running experience more comfortable. If we choose Injinji to walk 10,500 km, it is not by chance and it is a choice that many long-distance hikers do to the four corners of the world.
We have selected several of their products including their socks from the Outdoor range whose composition includes a large part of merino wool. These are socks on which we can count our eyes closed to walk some 20km kilometers a day for more than a year.
Vargo is undeniably the master when it comes to ultra-light outdoor equipment in titanium. As for some of our partners, Vargo is born from the awareness of its creator of the need to lighten our bags and offer innovative and sustainable equipment to cope with ever more demanding adventures.
If Vargo started with tent poles, today they develop many award-winning products: knives, tools, and above all, incredibly light cooking solutions and cooking utensils!
The choice of titanium and advanced alloys allows us to divide the weight of many of our equipment without compromising durability, which is a real plus in ultralight hike!
En 2008, Blue Ice a été fondée à Chamonix avec un objectif : allier tradition et modernité dans le matériel de montagne. Revenir à l'essentiel en proposant des produits aussi robustes et sans fioritures que ceux inventés par les pionniers de l'alpinisme en leur apportant une touche d'audace, des matériaux innovants et légers, le tout dans un souci de responsabilité environnementale.
Appuyés par leurs ambassadeurs, guides de haute montagne et alpinistes professionnels, Blue Ice se concentre sur une petite gamme de produits spécialisés dans les activités de montagne.
Nous nous équipons du baudrier Choucas Light pour les passages difficiles et équipés ou lorsque nous devrons nous encorder.
Gagnant d'un Outdoor Award en 2017, c'est le baudrier le plus léger du marché !
To cross the Alps, we needed serious sunglasses. With their glasses made in France since 1957, we could not have dreamed of a better partner than Vuarnet. 100% mineral glasses, made in their factory in Meaux, which ensures that our little eyes will be well protected even by crossing glaciers in full sun!
The story of Vuarnet started around skiing and then developed around all outdoor activities. We are proud to work with a historic French brand, indeed Vuarnet was recognized Heritage Company living in France, a unique recognition that rewards French companies for the excellence of their traditional and industrial know-how.