Find the best tips for your outdoor adventures in Lapland (Part-2)
Outdoor and camping adventures are one of the best experiences you can have in Lapland. If you are planning on your next adventure, you might be thinking of where to go, what to take with you and what is the secret of a successful trip? We gathered a small list of the essentials you want to bring with you to your trip: even just for a one-night hiking trip you want to make sure you have all the necessary equipment with you.
While camping in Lapland it’s good to be prepared for everything – for example you never know if the weather forecast was wrong and it will start raining. Remember to wear a good, comfortable pair of hiking shoes and right kind of clothing! In your backpack it’s also good to have an extra jacket for breaks. You can get chilly when you’re not walking for a while. If you are staying overnight, you can for example stay in a tent. Another option is staying in a wilderness hut: this is also a great experience! As for food, don’t get too stingy. In a hiking trip you need a lot of energy, so you are allowed to eat a lot. And everything always tastes better outside anyway! For example nuts and chocolate are good and fast snacks, and ready-made pastas are an easy option for beginners.
When the essentials are figured out, you can focus on the details. Start making amazing foods on your own, find untouched destinations and challenge yourself. The best tips usually come from the locals: here is the second part of two stories from a locals who are sharing their best outdoor tips for you!
Ulrica Särkioja – Camping in Lapland already from a small age
The duckboards are making a creaking sound, the wind is swishing in the trees and the rapids is pealing. A young family has gone for their adventure in the forest. Small boots are joyfully stumping on the duckboards while the kids are running back and fort telling what they have found on the way. The youngest one of the children has fell asleep on the back of the father. These kind of outdoor experiences are making us love the nature and outdoor from a small age.
Nature memories from the childhood
My interest towards the nature and to its amazing world started already from a young age. I brought every bug and jumping frogs back home from my adventures. This stopped when my little brother took a bee from a can I had put it, and he then put it to his mouth and it bit him. When transporting bugs home was forbidden, I took my younger siblings to the forest and held a nature club for them. I sometimes had to force them to explore mushroom and dig moss from the ground.
A nice way to spend the day was to go fishing! The best thing of the childhood-me was a bird tower at my home village. Every spring and fall there were hundreds of birds. I loved recognizing them with my own binoculars I got as a birthday present and finding them from my mother’s bird book (which I once forgot to the rain outside, yes it was me and the end of that book. But later on I found the same book from a thrift shop and bought it to my mom).
Where it all started
Tempted by the autumn colors and fells in Lapland (I usually don’t count Rovaniemi as Lapland though) I decided to look for my first hiking backpack. I had saved my own money for it, and with the budget of a 13-year-old there weren’t that many choices, but from the sale department I found a good one which is still in use. With that backpack I’m been doing so many adventures in the fells, forests and done both kayaking and skiing trips.
I will always remember the explorations to Urho Kekkonen National Park, navigating in snowstorms in Pallas in the middle of the summer and when we went camping into the nearest forest with my friend. We heard noises from the forest and thought there were some kind of animals but ended up being pranked by my sisters.
Be prepared for everything
One of the most educational trips was a skiing trip in the thick snow. We came across swamps and frozen waters to a wilderness hut in a heavy wind and snow. In the morning one of my skis broke down, and I had to go forward with them back to the car. No roads anywhere to be seen and no signal on the phone all the time. I managed to send a message to my boyfriend who was already gone before me. With frozen fingers we tried to figure out what to do.
Finally I noticed a small strap on his backpack and it fitted perfectly to the skis! I learned that while making camping and hiking trips in Lapland always take extra straps with you because you never know if something brakes down on the way. They can really save you from a tricky situation. In addition I always take matches in bags to keep them dry, tinderbox, knife, first aid kid, chocolate, dry clothes and for overnight hikes a sleeping bag and a good sleeping pad. The best way to survive from a hike is to sleep without being cold and a stomach full of food.
Tips for the best outdoor foods
Talking about a full stomach: the best thing on hikes is when you get to sit down, rest and eat. I’m not the biggest food culinary, but I always try to search for inspiration and new ideas. On our trips we have ready-made pot foods, tinned meat (reindeer and moose for example), and especially on the first days or in the winter to other days as well, sausages and my newest invention which is smashed potato powder. Just add water, butter and salt and you have the best side dish for many meals. Lately I’ve got excited of drying food, and dried apple slices were quickly eaten from the top of our fridge. Apple lightens up a lot when you dry it, and it’s a great addition to your morning porridge and just to snack on its on.
We will always take few extra meals just in case. The classic is the same box of pea soup, which has been in the backpack for many trips. Inspired by the drying, I once put the soup on an oven tray and into the oven, and afterwards put it trough a blender. Also a way to lighten up the weight of the soup! I’m dreaming of a drying machine and dry strawberries and apples with it to the trips and to home to use.
Lapland has so many places to see
There are so many places I would still like to visit. In Kevo I want to see the canyons and the butterflies, which I’ve heard a lot while living in Ivalo. Lemmenjoki river and the old gold countries are also on my list. I want to see the rest of Urho Kekkonen National Park, and the wilderness area of Hammastunturi. I love the wilderness areas because you very rarely bump into other people. In national parks and common forests you can’t avoid seeing other people. It’s nice to get to know people and listen to their stories in the campfire, but as an introvert I sometimes need a full escape of the others. I would also like to visit Vätsäri and do a longer trip there. In the wilderness areas you can relax with your travel companion without social media or other distractions: is there anything better than that?!
Visit at least these places
I haven’t seen the entire Lapland, but there are a few places that are definitely worth the visit and easily accessible. Most of these are in Rovaniemi and Inari-Saariselkä area because I’ve lived in both of these. In Rovaniemi you should visit at least Kuninkaanlaavu, Auttiköngäs and the Arctiv Circle hiking area. When driving towards Posio there is also Korouoma Canyons which is worth of seeing. In Posio you can also find Riisitunturi National Park.
When continuing to the north, in Pyhä-Luosto you should visit Noitatunturi fell and other places on the way there. In the village of Vuotso you will spot the most amazing looking reideer, I promise! In Saariselkä you can go with a car all the way to the top of Kaunispää if you don’t want to walk up there. Between Ivalo and Inari the views are amazing, but be careful with reindeer, moose and local drivers on the roads. In this road a line of four cars is count as traffic. When going to the west from Ivalo there is the mecca for all drone-fliers, Neitokainen, so the lake shaped by the country of Finland.
For last some general guidelines for hiking and camping in Lapland. Plan your trip carefully. Make sure there is someone to pick you up if you have to leave early. Check that all the safety details are taken care of and that you have enough food (and at least one extra meal). Then just enjoy and relax. Forget social media for a while and spend time without the phone for a change!
Story & Pictures by Ulrica Särkioja
Find more outdoor adventures and inspiring pictures from Ulrica’s Instagram!