Find the best tips for your outdoor adventures in Lapland
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 are two stories from a locals who are sharing their best outdoor tips for you!
Silja Jaakola – from a loved hobby to a lifestyle
I don’t know a better way to spend my free time than camping and being on the nature – especially in Lapland, where you can find the most beautiful views in Finland. I’m born and raised in Lapland, so camping and wandering in the forest must be in my blood. Ever since I was a child me and my brother were half-forced to the forest. We had to spend the entire weekend being eaten alive by mosquitoes. We forgot the huge amount of mosquitoes quite fast when we started to fish, eat camping snacks and putting up our tent.
Sitting in front of the bonfire and sleeping on the tent were the best things I knew: especially when it was raining and the raindrops were dancing on the roof of the tent.
Camping became a precious hobby for me already from a young age. Now when being adult it has become even bigger part of my life, or even a lifestyle.
Fells and mountains are important places to me, because you feel yourself so small in front of the big world. That feeling is speechless. The national parks in Lapland offer you so many amazing places and camping sites. I especially like places which are not so popular, because nature for me is a place where I want to be on peace. I’m dreaming of going hiking to the wilderness areas in Northern-Lapland: you can hike for days without seeing anyone.
Admire the views of Pyhä-Nattanen
I do camping in and outdoor things in Lapland multiple times a week – sometimes on top of a fell, sometimes in the near forest. My absolute favorite destination in Lapland is Pyhä-Nattanen in my home village in Sodankylä. That fell is especially important to me, since I’ve been going to the top every year since I was a little girl. This tradition still continues! From the top you have the most amazing views to the other Nattas-fells. Nattas-fells are very sharp compared to the other fells in the area. This is also where the name comes from. ‘’Nattaset’’ in Samí language actually means the breasts of a young woman! On top of Pyhä-Nattanen is also an old and small hut where you can enjoy your snacks in the heat of a stove. A tired wanderer can also spend their night in the hut.
Last time I visited Pyhä-Nattanen in the beginning of June, when a part of the journey had to be done with snowshoes. The view far away was still covered with white frost. Also the pond next to the fall, Sukkulalampi, was still frozen.
Another favorite spot of mine is Aavasaksanvaara in Ylitornio. There is a beautiful view to Övertorneå in Sweden, which is on the other side of Tornio river. On the route alongside with the viewpoints is also a laavu. Here you can make your campfire coffee and grill sausages while admiring the views. I recommend visiting Aavasaksanvaara especially in the winter when you can go the route with snowshoes. If you don’t have your own, you can rent them at the skiing center of Aavasaksa.
What to bring with you?
To have a successful camping trip in Lapland, you basically just need the right kind of happy attitude. In addition that that I like to take a bag pack with the same equipment already packed inside, so going is as easy as possible. My backpack includes sitting pad, a cup, knife, sausage stick, fire making equipment, headlamp, toilet paper, trash bag, extra pair of socks and a first aid package with a heating blanket. Even though the plan wouldn’t include making a fire, I always have the fire making equipment with me. You never know what will happen on your adventure! In addition to these my newest favorite thing to bring is a hammock. In a hammock you can for example take a nap in the middle of your trip. Who wouldn’t like to nap next to the fell views?!
Smoked salmon on an open fire
If I’m feeling lazy, my favorite food while camping is pea soup made with a camping stove. If you want to make some extra effort, and you aren’t too hungry yet, I recommend making salmon on a campfire. To add some Lappish magic to the meal: put a lemon juice mix to the surface of the salmon with a juniper tree branch instead of a normal brush. As a dessert after the salmon the best option is the traditional bread cheese warmed at the campfire. Served with self-picked cloudberries of course! This kind of combination wins five-star restaurant meals anytime!
As a drink anything goes if you drink it from a ‘’kuksa’’, so the traditional Lappish cup. An authentic kuksa makes everything taste so much better. It’s good to remember that you can never wash your kuksa. Based on a Lappish believe you loose your luck if you do this – only flushing it in a fell creek is allowed!
Be brave and try camping alone!
I love camping in a good company, but I also enjoy being alone. Many of my friends have told that they would like to do more camping, but they don’t feel like going alone. I want to encourage everyone to try camping alone. The nature is an excellent place to relax, listen to your own thoughts and get to know yourself. Many amazing adventures will be missed, if you are just waiting for someone to do them with!
Story & Pictures Silja Jaakola
You can follow Silja’s adventures on her Instagram @seikkailufiilis!