Thursday, 11 October 2012

Picking cranberries

A secret cranberry spot has now been checked nearby our scout hut, and there were lots of them as I had noticed before-hand. During a two-hour time window, we managed to pick about five liters of them, as cranberry is bit less picker-friendly than e.g. lingonberry or blueberry, cause the berry doesn't grow in a bunch.

Now, I'll just have to wait until Christmas for eating them with Russian candy (bit like liquid fudge), or maybe I'll just have to taste them way before Christmas : ).

Thursday, 4 October 2012

DIY backpacking towel

By this far, I've been using a 70's terrycloth linen towel, as it's quite small, light and dries quickly compared to terrycloth cotton. This 'old school' towel has worked just fine, and it's actually lot better than the ones usually sold in outdoor stores. I've heard quite a few reviews about these modern microfiber towels, which are light and dry quickly, but in real life microfiber won't absorb water that well, so it doesn't really perform that well for a towel.

Although my old towel works just fine, I decided to give a go for another type of linen fabric. Linen, that I'll use for the new towels, has a square waffle kind of texture, so it's sort of a compromise between normal and terrycloth linen. It's relatively light, but it should still absorb water quite well. And as my cousin has pointed out on an interrail trip, waffle linen also dries pretty quickly on the road.

At the moment, I've got one new waffle linen towel, which was completed today. The towel is approx. 120x50cm and weighs ca. 200 g.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Some Funnel Chanterelles

Today, I went to the first mushroom picking trip of this autumn. We didn't have any goal to reach, but still managed to find few liters. Most of them were still quite small, but some bigger ones were also found. The smaller ones are pretty good for making mushroom pickle, which I've tried once last year and it was damn good. The bigger one's were split into half and left to dry.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

A day hike in Pallas-Yllästunturi national park

Since we had few days to spend after our trip to Norway, we decided to go for a day trip towards the nearby fell area, Pallastunturit. We hiked a path, which took us to the top of the national park's highest fell, Taivaskero (809 m.a.s.l). On our way, we also hiked up to the second highest fell, Laukukero (785 m.a.s.l). To summit Laukukero, it's only a one-kilometer hike off the Taivaskero route, so it's quite easy to summit them both at once. The length of the route is approx. 9 kms, and it starts from the parking lot of Hotel Pallas.

The Olympic Flame was lighted at the top of Taivaskero for the summer olympics in Helsinki in 1952.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Road trip to Kilpisjärvi and Norway

On Thursday the 26th, we headed further north towards Kilpisjärvi, where we had planned to spend few days. During the same day, after we had arrived to Kilpisjärvi, we decided to check out the second highest fell of Finland, which is called Saana. The top of Saana is located at the altitude of 1029 m.a.s.l. It's a four-kilometer journey (one way) to the top from the village.

There was also a four-legged 'person' coming down the path.

On Friday the 27th, we headed towards the 'Three-Country Cairn', which is a place, where the borders of Norway, Sweden and Finland meet each other. We took the 10-o'clock ferry over the lake of Kilpisjärvi to Sweden, where it's about a three-kilometer hike to the cairn. The wilderness hut of Kuohkimajärvi is located just a few hundred meters towards Finland from the cairn. We fried few sausages on a campfire by the wilderness hut before heading towards Kilpisjärvi along Arctic Trail. The scenery from the path is probably one of the best in Finland. The route back to Kilpisjärvi is about 16 kilometers long, if you begin from the dock in Sweden, but I decided to hike to the summit of a nearby fell called Pikku-Malla. So, the total length of my route was about 20 kms.

On Saturday the 28th, we headed to Norway, as we drove to Skibotn, from where we continued towards Alta. The road followed the shorelines of the fjords along the way to Alta. In general, the scenery was pretty awesome. During the next day, we visited the rock carvings nearby Alta. The place is a part of the UNESCO's world heritage sites.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Summertime in Lapland

It has been a while since I wrote my previous post, but it seems that this blog is on its way to turn into a blog for worshiping Lapland, I guess :). At the moment, we've been spending a few days at the village of Äkäslompolo. A minor setback has happened by so far, as the battery of my camera decided not to work and it takes a week or two to get a new one. So, I'll have to get along with my 2 Mpix camera on my mobile phone, and to use iPhone for achieving bit better quality.

Today, I decided to check out a famous gorge, which climbs up to a nearby fell called Kesänki. The gorge is called Pirunkuru ('Devil's gorge'). This gorge goes by the secondary peak of the fell, which is located at the altitude of 519 m.a.s.l. I decided to take a look, as it was almost along the path.

The lower part of the path is quite easy-going, but the path becomes steeper and quite rocky at higher altitude.

The view from the secondary peak towards the highest peak of Kesänki, and the fell of Lainiotunturi is located further away, and its peak was covered by a shadow of clouds.

There is a quite wide and flat gorge in between of Kesänki's two peaks, and it's called Tahkokuru. A nice wooden lean-to is located in Tahkokuru, where we fried some sausages on a campfire and had few cups of coffee. The total length of the route was ca. 11 kms from our hut, as we took a bit longer route back from the wooden lean-to, cause we hiked a path, which is located behind a smaller fell called Nilivaara. All in all, I would really recommend a hike over Kesänki via Pirunkuru, as a pretty nice Lappish scenery can be seen by spending few hours with not that much effort.

For next, we are planning to head further north towards Kilpisjärvi tomorrow, and then head up to Northern Norway.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Some more cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in Lapland

On Tuesday, it was bit cloudy, but otherwise the weather was pretty good for cross-country skiing. I used a different kind of kick wax, which performed better, and skiing went quite well. I skied some 12-15 kilometers, which included a nice break at a wooden lean-to shelter.

On Wednesday, the weather was bit too warm for skiing, so we decided to check another snowshoeing route, which is located on the other side of the main fell, Ylläs. This route goes up to a smaller 'pre-summit' called Pikkulaki. The length of this route is 6,6 km, but as we started from a nearby car park, the total length was ca. 7-8 km. As the temperature was rising during the day, it went finally up to +6C. So snowshoeing wasn't that easy choice either, as snow got quite wet and heavy.

On Thursday, I decided to head for a bit more uphill oriented skiing trip, as I skied a route, which goes up to a nearby fell called Kukastunturi (474m). The total length of the route was about 12 kilometers, of which the first half was more or less bit steeper uphill.

On Friday, I did a bit more easy-going route, which was a bit over 15 kilometers long. And tomorrow, it's time to head back south and get oriented for spring.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Kuertunturi snowshoeing route

As the weather was not that good for cross-country skiing today, we decided to go and have a look, what the surroundings have to offer for some snowshoeing. It has been snowing for the whole day, so the visibility wouldn't be that good, but we still decided to head up to a nearby fell, Kuertunturi.

There's actually an official snowshoeing route up to Kuertunturi, but we started heading towards the major flow of snowshoe marks and we ended up taking a different route to the top of the fell. To be honest, it was a pretty good choice to take another route, cause the official route happened to be a 2-meter wide compacted path, even-though the map of snowshoeing and skiing tracks indicated that snowshoes are a must for this route. The official route is 3,0 kilometers in one way, so 6,0 kilometers in total, but I'd guess that the length of our route was about the same.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Off to Lapland

It has been pretty quiet, what comes to blogging, as I haven't been doing that much outdoorsy stuff lately, cause I managed to twist my knee in January. Luckily, it didn't need any surgery, but it'll take long time to heel, as the doctor said.

Today was the first day of skiing during this winter, and the weather couldn't have been more perfect. As the doctor allowed me to do some easy cross-country skiing, I managed to ski ca. 15 kilometers, although the kick wax didn't work quite as well as I would have liked it to work. But I still have a week or so to do also other outdoorsy stuff, like snowshoeing as I took them with me, and there are even some new snowshoeing routes around the village of Äkäslompolo.

On our way here, we visited Haglöfs outlet, which is located in Haparanda, Sweden, as there's only a bridge to be crossed across a river from Tornio. I managed to find a new day/city backpack for myself, as I bought Haglöfs Raw for ca. 20€, cause daylight has started to come through the bottom part of my old, around 10-year-old Haglöfs Tight. I also bought a mid layer fleece for ca. 30€.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Hammering at our scout hut

We spent yesterday by doing some finishing touches for the new porch of our scout hut. Finally, the exterior is now pretty much finished, and the interior is well on its way to be finished as we mounted the indoor wood panels up to the eye level or maybe even bit higher.

I also tried the camera of my new Samsung. Well as it has only a 2 Mpix camera, the quality of the photos is not that good, but at least objects can be recognized from the photos. (My old Nokia had only a 1.3 Mpix one)

Sunday, 1 January 2012

My new outdoor mobile phone

As my old Nokia got wet in my pocket and the keypad didn't work until the following morning during our hike in Nuuksio national park in August 2011, I started to look for a new one, which should be bit more outdoor proof.

Before Christmas, I decided to wish a new phone as a present, and fortunately Santa noticed my wish. I got a Samsung Xcover 271, which has the IP67 certification, so it's dust proof and waterproof (at 1 m depth for 30 minutes). Unfortunately, it's my first non-Nokia phone, as I'm Finnish, but the cruel fact is that the specs of the Samsung one are simply much more relevant for me.

Apparently, the phone is designed for quite tough use as you can see from the following video. Germans do know how to test products :)

The model is actually not brand new, as Samsung released it in October 2010, but it's enough new for a humble person like me.