Hiking in Finland

Climbing, bikepacking, skiing & packrafting in the north


Two solutions to my problem: We either make days 40 hours long, or eliminate the system of time completely. There's just not enough of it to get everything done in one day. Thus I take some time out, and leave this afternoon for a week of relaxing next to the Arctic Circle. After all, spring is here in the south thus I will go north to chase the cold and snow to get a few more nights under a tarp in, before summer and Phil and Steven arrive.

Mountains and ice.

I'll go to a cottage holiday with fiancée and her family, enjoying sauna, good food and day trips in Oulanka National Park. And as the fiancée and the parents in law are already used to me camping in the garden, I decided to take my MYOG tarp with me to give it a spin out in the snow. There's up to 80 cm of snow still up in Ruka, and the temperatures should be between -6°C and +3°C, thus I hope walking won't be like it was in Salamajärvi. There's a couple of articles going online next week, so you'll get your fix of Hendrik's ramblings =)

Enjoy the spring while I chase winter!

First Look: MSR Reactor + Passaround

Time is up and the testers for the MSR Reactor Passaround have been selected:

- Lightening up
- Litekayaker
- Toby
- Thomas
- Richard

A big thank you to all who participated, though only five can take part in this passaround - but do not despair, another passaround is just around the corner, so stay tuned for that! The five lucky ones, please contact me via email (its on the right under in the Copyright Notice) and give me your full name and address. I'll take the Reactor up north for a trip next week, and send it to the first in line the week after.

Last weekend I used the nice weather to go out and make a HD video of the Reactor in action, and see if it stays true to its promise of boiling a liter of water in less than three minutes - click play to see:

Great results for an initial test, though we'll see what the testers will put it through and if it then still looks so good! To see how much gas has been used for boiling this one liter of water, I put the canister on the weight scale back at home, and it told me that its now 346 g heavy - that means 18 g of gas have been used. I'm no expert on gas stoves, but that does sound rather good to me. I will be chasing the winter and leave on Friday for a week to the north of Finland, together with my fiancée and her family, for a week of relaxing in a cottage and enjoying the last bit of winter - even proper minus degrees have been forecasted, so I will give the Reactor a test run there before it goes on its journey.

First Look: Tenkara Fly Fishing Gear

It is Tenkara USA's 1st birthday today, so I thought it appropriate to share with you a look at the tenkara gear I purchased recently. You'll have to wait a while still to hear and see the stories of me catching plenty of fish with it, it are the last weeks of winter here, but I reckon until Phil and Steven in three weeks arrive I'll have caught a trout or two!

Packed up for transport.

I have been angling since over twenty years now - I started as I was seven years old with a simple rod, line and float - and I have many good memories of going angling with my dad and brother. Fishing evolved for me from the rod and line to a nicer rod with a reel in many variations, and now I am going back to the rod and line, though this time with a fly at the end of the line instead of the float and worm on a hook.

Ayu rod, 390 cm of pure beauty.

The nice cork handle, which also acts as a counterweight.

Partly opened, you can see the red braided rod tip - that's where the line gets connected to.

So what is tenkara fly-fishing, and why did I get this rod, line and flies? Well, tenkara is the traditional Japanese method of fly-fishing - it is simple (but can take a lifetime to master) and it is well suited for fishing while backpacking because of the light weight of the rod and its small size. Here is a pretty good explanation of tenkara fly-fishing, so I don't repeat that here. I got this gear because I always have been curious about fly-fishing, and the elegance, lightweight and simplicity of tenkara immediately caught my attention as it came out last year, and it took me some months of reading and thinking till I ordered the tackle.

Collapsed AYU rod, 56 cm long.

I got the AYU rod as that is what Daniel, the founder of Tenkara USA, recommended me to get, together with some traditional tenkara line, tippet, some tenkara level line and of course flies. Now flies are definitely a topic for themselves, and I am tempted to bind my own flies, but for the moment I went with the tenkara flies for simplicity reasons. Let me tell you one thing, though: Dr. Hisao Ishigaki, one of the leading authorities of tenkara angling, only uses one fly pattern! If I look back to the box of different lures I used to carry around, I still can learn a lot.

Tippet spool, traditional tenkara line spool, tenkara level line and my box of flies...

... and a close-up of those flies, true works of art!

A look at the weights:

AYU rod: 104 g
Protecting sleeve: 9 g
Protecting tube: 180 g
Fly box & flies: 31 g
Spool of tippet: 9 g
Spool of tenkara line: 6 g
Spool of tenkara level line: 11 g
MLD pouch: 29 g

For a backpacking trip I would leave the protection tube at home, I am careful enough to not needing that, which means the complete pack of kit is 199 g. What is missing here is my fishing license and a fish hook remover, so that might add another 20 to 30 g to the kit. All in all, not too bad, I'd say.

All fits perfectly into the Mountain Laurel Design pouch with place to spare.

I'll keep you up-to-date with the developments with my excursions into tenkara style fly-fishing. If you got curious, head over to the Tankara USA website and have a look at their superb videos, that definitely should get you "hooked" ;)