Hiking in Finland

Climbing, bikepacking, skiing & packrafting in the north

The Week in Review

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Short days and long nights: a brief stint in the Pacific North West.

Dave has a few thoughts on outdoor forums and social networking.

The new Ulster Way in Northern Ireland has a fine website.

First Impressions of the OookStar.

The Canyon in the Great Otway National Park.

A First Year Walking - Traci's account on how she got to like the hills =)

Show Up and Blow Up: The Dixie States.

Archipelago National Park.

Abel Tasman Walkway.

If you see HIF "censored" - click on the small Censored text in the top right corner to disable it or simply reload the page.

Exposed Scrambling: Grading on a Curve.

Some fine night time photography.

More night time photography by Nick: The Icy Skies at Night.

Phil Turner on the BBC.

Ben Vorlich and Stuc a'Chroin.

Covenanters Admirals and Deer.

Wetherlam & The Old Man Of Coniston.

Wainwright on Maps.

Go back this cool project!

Jill's favourite winter gear.

Some good videos.

Achenbach/ Soledad Canyon Loop.

Tarptent Contrail.

Seeblspitze, 2331 m.

[Fly] Tying Journal & a give-away.

Making a Pot Holder.

Yakutat to Glacier Bay: Lost Coast South.

Soldier Pass and Brin’s Mesa Trails- Sedona, Arizona.

Oregon & Washington biking trip.

Mount Monadnock: Winter Ascent via the Spellman Trail.

GooseFeet Parka.

Micro compass.

Ultralight & ultra-cheap gas stove.

Why UL Gear is more fun.

A twenty year old Jörgen facepalms in the snow, South of Katterjaure.

White-water packrafting, a how-to.

Skiing and Packafting.

Seakayaking in winter.

Fatbiking in Finnish Winter.

Hawaii hiking at night.


Geology in Action.

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Archipelago National Park Trip Report

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Outside it is -12°C so it is a good time to reflect back on one of the nicest trips last year, probably the best part of the international wilderness guide course.

Hover over the photos for smart explanations and info

Sunrise I

Summer Memories from Jungfruskär

Together with my friend Bert we were responsible to organize this trip, which went to the crown of the Archipelago National Park: Jungfruskär. The organization part was fairly easy, a few phone calls, organizing what group gear to take, planning the driving and telling the rest of the group about it.

The programme of this excursion was simple: Drive down south, arrive at the harbour from where we would take a one hour boat ride to the island, make camp and then studying plants and flowers, watch birds and do some two to three hours of meadow cleaning each day - all in a very laissez-faire setting.

We arrived Monday afternoon on the island, and the weather forecast was splendid: Sunshine and high temperatures thoughout the whole week. After rolling out my bivy I grabbed my cameras and went exploring the island - there was no programme until the early evening, and I wanted to make use of the fine weather.

The island is small - a kilometer or two long, and less than one wide - though there goes a nice path around it. I probably should mention that for mere mortals a own boat is the only way to get to it - there’s no ferry or similar. There’s a small jetty for those who visit it (and it seems to be a popular place, from what I’ve gathered) and there are also a few buildings on the island - a tiny museum, a couple of dry toilets and a croft for the lumberjack as well as a barn for the sheep which sometimes graze on the island. Add in the two old cannons and of course the kitchen, Sauna (!) and main building which was on our wind of the island, and you have a truly sweet setting.

Anyway. As I said, our days were very relaxed. We started working usually between nine and ten in the morning, worked till noon, then possibly another hour of meadow clearing before we went bird watching, identified plants and trees and heated up the Sauna. We’re in Finland, after all, and a good Sauna in such a fine spot with such an inviting swim couldn’t go unused.

We also made some excursions across the island; as far as one can talk about excursions on such a small piece of land. They became rather fun - our teacher would point out to a flower or plant and ask What’s that? and then the guessing of the students would start. It made for a few good chuckles among us students.

While the days were relaxed, the evenings were a real Zen Buddism experience. After Sauna a few of us would retire to the kitchen building and play Who’s The Ass (a very entertaining card game for up to 12 people, so ideal for groups!) while I would experiment in making Steam Muffins for us. After that I’d usually retire outside and have a stroll or sit on the pier, listening to the birds and waves hitting the shore.

The island is home to over 800 plant species (remember, this is a tiny island!) many of which can only be found only here, so there was no shortage of plants to identify, photograph and learn. Add in the pleathora of birds - a worthy mention here are certainly the White-tailed Eagles we saw, simply impressive creatures! - and it is a outdoors persons' paradise.

In the plenty of free time we had I went to wander the island on my own, thinking about this and that (and if I could possibly convince my wife to move to such a remote location :) and studying a bit of plants and birds. Oh yeah, I also took some photos. I even once got up at four in the morning to photograph the sunrise. Good memories.

As weight for carrying wasn’t an issue (we walked maybe a few hundred meters with the gear on our backs), I decided to take my hammock - it felt appropriate, going to an island and such - besides my tarp and bivy. In the end I slept each night in a different shelter: First in a meadow in my bivy, second night in my hammock, third at the shore under the tarp and the last night again in my bivy at the shore. Except the night in the hammock I always slept well, and it ws fun to try different systems. I could even have spend a night indoors - the main house had a few beds.

It was a very rewarding trip, with plenty of sunshine and laughter in a gorgeous location. I have good memories of this island, and hope to return some day to it - maybe with a seakayak?

More Information

Archipelago National Park website on Outdoors.fi

You'll need a sea-worthy vessel of sorts to get there. I imagine if you can navigate and paddle then a seakayak might be a good means of transport. Sailing boats also do, I think taking a packraft into the Baltic Sea is even on a fine day a tad risky.

The islands around Turku down to Korpoström all have regular, free ferries between the islands. It is a popular destination of cycling tourists, and if that's you're cup of tea you're well advised to consider the area for a tour in the future.

The Week in Review

If my stories and trip reports of outdoor adventures in Finland have awoken your interest, but you're wondering how you could come to Finland, you might want to consider studying in Finland. The University of Lapland is without a doubt your best bet if you want to be close to the fjells and forests of Lapland, where year-round outdoor adventures - from skiing & snowshoeing over fishing to paddling and hiking - will make your studying time extra special. From Masters Degrees in Graphic Design to Biopolitics you're sure to find something to your taste, or consider doing your Doctoral Studies here. Best of all: No tuition fees. Convinced? Now would be a good time to apply!

A sad reminder that life is short and you should seize the moment. Jack Roberts, climber, 1952-2012.

DIY Ultra-Light Watercolor Pencil Palette.

The New Old School.

MYOG Insulated Pants.

Bicycle Traveler Magazine: 2nd. edition.

Family Hiking Tips: Lost Kids and Search Strategies.

Desert Pictures.

Kuusamo Easy Ski-Bindings.

Ordering a Custom Inner for a Trailstar from Oookworks.

Katabatic Gear Sawatch Quilt.

Why Go Out There?

Mount Liberty & Flume Mountain.

Enjoying Nature.

Canyon Scramble.

Allt Duine: Highland Council rejects planning application + Trump halts work on golf course over turbines. Congratulations to all who fought so hard for this!

For Map Lovers: Glacier, circa 1933.

Skurka – How I Make a Living as an Adventurer.

Cerro Torre.

A two night Wild Camp around Ullswater.

Andalucia along the Southern Variant of the GR7.

Ice and sunshine on Creag Meagaidh.

The FeatherFire Alcohol Stove.

Waterproof Goose Down?

Chris wrote a book called Hillfit.

Robin's state of his gear: Tents.

Jaakko is blogging for one year and would value your input on how to go forward.

My First Tenkara Outing.

Mt. Feathertop.

North Kinsman.

Win a Technical Outdoor Hoodie by Röjk - Gear Giveaway

Tony had a blissful commuting week.

Snowshoeing - A Season Opener.

Jill got into the UTMB.

Grand View Point - Grand Tetons National Park.

Getting Above the Gunk on Deseret Peak.


The Big Fix.

The Plight of the Puffy.

Great Shunner Fell.

Improvised Pack Frames.

Banana toastie with chocolate buttons.

Hill of Wirren.

10 Ways To Avoid Dehydration Outdoors.

Packrafting is real boating.

Yoga Practice for Hikers: The Downward Dog vs. The Cobra Pose.

Ernährung auf einer Trekkingtour.

Cheap, Lightweight Backpacking Food Part 5-Mixing it Up.

New Year's Trip to the Buffalo River.

Disclaimer: This week's "The Week In Review" is brought to you by the University of Lapland. Want to sponsor the next one? Get in touch.