Spring of 2015 was when my enthusiasm towards hiking and camping took off, like I mentioned earlier. I stumbled upon a notification on Facebook: Hiking/camping classes, apply now! I knew the person behind it (Minna Jakosuo), so I signed up immediately. Minna is a wilderness guide and she has her own company, Luontopalvelu Erätaival. Fortunately we attended the class before all the social media hype she gained – nowadays it’s hard to get in from the sheer amount of applicants. Why? Well this fierce woman went to the wilderness, alone, for a month. Her Facebook page Kuukausi yksin erämaassa (A month alone in the wilderness) has almost 6000 likes. Her travel story from the top of Lady Finland can be found from her blog. It’s an amazing read and she’s already planning another similar hike.
Minna is the number one culprit behind my hiking fever. If you spend a little time listening to, or reading her stories, you get this overwhelming feeling to go out there, into the wild. I strongly recommend following her, I guarantee you’ll have your fair share of wanderlust and if fortune favours, we’ll all find ourselves from Lapland this Summer. Hey, it wouldn’t hurt! If you’re unsure of all the details and specifications of hiking or camping, this it the class for you. There are plenty of courses available for all seasons. You’ll meet new people, learn awesome new stuff and gain knowledge of proper equipment and meals. Just make sure the classes are hosted by an experienced hiker, preferably a person who graduated as one.
Our class assembled a few times and in the end we stayed the night at Isojärvi National Park. They taught us how to lose and find ourselves – in other words they taught us how to use a compass. We compared travel meals and learned about first aid. I remember someone almost burning their sleeves because of a burner mailfunction. Nothing too serious. When we started comparing camping equipment, especially the prices of different kinds of tents, I realized it’s not going to be one of those cheap little hobbies. One might argue that buying a proper, high-guality (aka expensive) will last you a lifetime but since the need for different equipment varies from hike to hike, I’m not so sure. And whether or not you take a friend or two. Fortunately they’re making lighter and better-quality stuff every year.
Our classmates were either long-time pros looking for some extra travel tips or novices just like us. A mixed bag of people but we got along perfectly. The courses were a lot of fun, no to mention the hike itself. I’d like to send my regards to all my classmates, I noticed the majority of you have already discovered this blog!
The best part, I think, was to hear the reasons why people had applied for this class. Someone was planning a hike with a friend, another wanted to take their grand-children camping safely. We saw ourselves as such city-dwellers that we required a little encouragement. So whatever your reason is, it’s just as good!
I’ve also written about this in my earlier blog on the webpage of Savon Sanomat:
I strongly recommend hiking as a way to improve your ability to cope and to have a little break from your everyday work life. When I was little, I didn’t get to be a scout and my own kid stopped going after the age of 10. So I haven’t had the opportunity to be the treehugger I’ve always wanted to be, but it’s never too late to start! I was insanely hungry for three days after the hike. My body was probably in some sort of alert status which, in turn, left my stomach growling even after my usual salad lunch. I’ve long since recovered, obviously. A week at the office reverts everything back to normal, my legs work again and my hair doesn’t have that smoky smell anymore (granted, it took more than one wash to get it off). But the memory remains. I had so much fun.
~ Anne S