Which was priority number one on our field trip to Isojärvi National Park. The hike wasn’t long because we wanted to spend most of the day in the caverns of Valkulamminvuori and cooking them delicious meals! When I was planning this day, I had a much, much longer hike in mind but since food was the theme of the day, we ended up with this instead.
This wasn’t my first time in the Park in educational purposes, by the way.
Back then, hiking and camping were but a glimmer in the corner of my eye and I was nervous to spend a night outdoors. If someone had said that I’d soon be walking these paths as an outdoor life coach-to-be, I would’ve called them crazy.
Back then we walked to the Vahterjärvi lean-to and food preparations meant practice with meals dehydrated by someone else and first attempts with a Trangia burner. Gas was merely a scary thought and I remember going to a rest stop on the way to the trip to get some. My gear was an assorted mess of anything I could get my hands on at the time.
Field trip to Isojärvi National Park
Like I mentioned before, our first day was spent spelunking in caves. The mushrooms found there were a delectable addition to our meal to come.
Speaking of, we had some dehydrated ones too but they were left over, for another trip. The portions were more than ample. And salty! The pasta gave us a nice boost of energy for a hike.
The school provided us with cooking utensils such us a large paella pan for all sorts of frying related stuff. Since we forgot to bring a large pot, our collection of Trangias helped with the pasta.
After our meal we walked to Kuorejärvi, where we would be spending the night. We set up camp, did some gear comparisons and shared various tips and tricks with one another. We took photos, studied plants and yes, prepared some more food after a while. We partook in some wild experiments, such as making bread in a Trangia and buns on a stick. The main course was a veggie wok with the rest of the sausages and mushrooms.
Come nightfall, we sat by the fire, making jokes how we forgot the booze again. The joke is that alcohol is not allowed on field trips. As we noodled into our sleeping bags, it was already dark and cold but at least our tent came prepared. The sleeping bags provided by the school are three-season ones so some of us would’ve needed an extra layer and ended up sleeping poorly, I’m afraid.
After our morning porridge we packed everything up, took a detour around Latokuusikko to admire the handiwork or beavers and noticed a few trees were marked by a flying squirrel.
I’m planning on taking Heikki to Latokuusikko and to Isojärvi in general, he needs to take pretty pictures for me! The landscape is beautiful even though the photos in this story have been taken by yours truly, I want him to be there.
After our little detour we enjoyed some Italian stew with ground soybeans aka outdoor fast food and headed toward the parking lot in Heretty.
Before heading home we still needed to do some post-hike maintenance for our gear. We hung everything to dry, organized the storage room and cleaned the pans and pots and whatnot. They told us not to leave our teacher alone with the trailer but instead we were to help him empty it out. We didn’t and we did. We have a good crew.
Save for all the learning, what I love most about these trips are my classmates. We come from different backgrounds and yet our dialogue has no problem from flowing naturally from one topic to the next. It’s nice to have help and encouragement.
Planning the trip was its own adventure but I’ll tell you about it another time. Let’s just say that it was a humbling experience.