#NukuYöUlkona is an event from Suomen Latu, which inspires people in Finland (and elsewhere =) to sleep a night outside! This year I took the kids and our new family tent along, and we spent a beautiful afternoon, night and morning outside in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Kvarken Archipelago!
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Packing for three is 3 times as complicated as packing for one - but as long as three spoons, three Kuksas and one stove, as well as Marshmallows, are along, nothing can go wrong! Seriously though, I had to make a list to make sure we had everything along on our hiking and camping trip for the #NukuYöUlkona Challenge. I also made them carry some gear - the older one a bit more, but even the small one carried 2 l of fresh water, her book and sleeping buddy for the whole 3,5 km without complaints!
I decided to take my small kids to Kvarken, and camp with them at Långgrundet, which is the fire and campsite I explored earlier in the year when I was packrafting here. The trip had everything to go well: A great weather forecast with not too fresh temperatures during the night, clear skies to see the stars (and some faint Northern Lights!), a really nice trail, a lot less bugs than a few weeks ago still, and tasty berries along a nice trail. My wife dropped us off at Svedjehamn and then the three of us set out on the trail.
Along the trail we tasted lingonberries and Seabuckthorn berries, which grow a lot here in the Archipelago. They are a bit sour, but super healthy, and I find them really tasty. The kids got in the middle some Marshmallows as a motivation to keep going, but thanks to our regular Sunday hikes they are happy and able to walk longer distances - and so this 3,5 km trip was done after just an hour of hiking. As we arrived at Långgrundet we went to look together for the best spot for our ∞ new family tent, and together picked a really good spot. I told the kids what’s most important, and they did a great job with pitching the tent and checking if it’s a flat spot =)
The next thing was what the kids waited for the most: Dinner! While I myself have a vegan diet since two years now, the kids like to eat some meat now & then, and they wished to take some Bratwurst with us so we could grill them over the fire! They loved the grilled sausages which they ate around the fire hungrily, while I prepared two ∞ LYO Food meals for us. We took them and our three long-handled Titanium spoons to the jetty, where we sat down in the setting sun and enjoyed our second dinner above the water. And because I wanted to make sure that they’re warm at night, we topped things off with a hot chocolate with more Marshmallows after that! Their bellies full they definitely were happy, and after brushing their teeth (they were not a fan of my ∞ DentTabs😁) the two of them retired to the tent and were reading with their headlamps on.
Once they put their lights off I went to take some photos.
I stayed up till a wee bit past midnight, as there was a good chance to see the Northern Lights that night, but ultimately was pretty tired and so also went to brush my teeth, topped off my ∞ Uberlite with one more puff and then snuggled up in my Katabatic Gear Chisos quilt. The kids were already peacefully sleeping under their own quilts (one As Tucas Sestrals Quilt and one Vaude Alpstein 450 quilt), and soon I too was sleeping - though there were a lot of Whopper Swans making noise around us, and also some sheep with bells were walking around.
The next morning the oldest one was up at 8 am, and together we got silently out of the tent while the little one continued to sleep in the middle. I started to prepare breakfast for us - instant chocolate porridge with strawberries and raspberries - and then picked the little one up when she woke up. Together we sat at one of the benches, eating all our porridge, enjoying the warm, sunny weather on this Sunday morning.
And then it was time to start to pack already and head back to Svedjehamn. I asked the kids if they’d like to pick some Seabuckthorn berries for us, which we could make into a cake at home, and much to my surprise they were up for it (they did get several Marshmallows as a reward, too 😃)! This was perfect, because while they were picking berries I was able to pack everything into our three backpacks - of which I had the biggest one, a ∞ Hyperlite Mountain gear SouthWest 3400!
Soon after, we shouldered our much lighter packs, and started the enjoyable hike back.
An hour later our little adventure came to an end. Again we picked tasty lingonberries and Seabuckthorn berries along the way, passed the birdwatching tower and the picturesque red boat sheds, and gave mom a big hug when we met her at Svedjehamn!
It was a great little trip with my kids. They also enjoyed it a lot, and are already asking when we will go the next time! With autumn at our doorstep the best time to go hiking and backpacking just started, so I hope we get to explore some trails around Vaasa and camp out together soon again!
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