First Via Suecia-hiker is off

On Swedens’s National Day Constantin Hauzeneder from Munich, Germany, took the bus from Trelleborg to Smygehuk to start his thru hike of Via Suecia.

This probably means he will be the first hiker thru hiking Via Suecia – The Swedish Trail.

Boredom in the small home office in the flat in Munich helped Constantin Hauzeneder to take the final decision: to make a long distance hike from Munich to the North Cape.

From the beginning the plan was to hike the Continental Divide Trail in the US, but Covid 19 stopped that, too. “I just wanted to get out of my flat and have some adventure and see some scenery,” he says.

The 33–year old system administrator from Munich is no stranger to hiking. He has done several hikes in Germany and section hiked the Pyrenees last October. But the one and two week hikes haven’t satisfied his hunger for more adventure.“I always wanted to stay out longer and go further,” he says.

Now he has been out hiking since April 1st, making his own route 1600 km’s through Germany. “It’s been a great experience. You kind of check out from normal life and just live very simple and in the moment.”

Covid 19 has been a problem along the route, though. Because of restrictions there hasn’t been so many places for Constantin Hauzeneder to rest. He has kept going and going, doing almost 40 km days, hiking for one and a half months with only one rest days.

That led to an injury (shin splints) recently and two and a half weeks off trail. “My aim is to go slower and take more rests along the way in Sweden,” he says.

After the start in Smygehuk Constantin Hauzeneder will hike to Gothenburg on the E1 trail, then continue north on the Via Suecia. Technically you could argue he’s not doing the whole of Via Suecia, but just like CDT there is not a single trail taking you north, there is a MAZE of trails. Also the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is full of alternates and detours (often due to fire).

“I’m really looking forward to the wilderness part,” says Constantin Hauzeneder. “I enjoy places where there are no civilization. That’s totally new for me.”

Even though self–chosen solitude is part of the fascination with a thru hike, Constantin Hauzeneder has also been amazed by the social part of thru hiking:

“I have met a lot of friendly people along the way, putting me up for the night, washing my clothes and helping me in other ways.”

You can follow Constantin Hauzeneder on his blog or on Instagram

He expects to be at Treriksröset around September 9 and at the North Cape September 25, finishing a 5050 km hike.

Happy Trails, Constantin!