5 tips – Hiking is fun all year long
Hiking is a nice hobby regardless, whether you are a beginner or an experienced wanderer. The four seasons of the North make hiking particularly pleasant and varying. Seasons set also different requirements especially for the equipment.
1. Try a daytime hike
Going on a day’s trip is the most common form of hiking. It is enough to prepare for the weather, to go for a few hours’ hike. Select the route in advance, according to how long a hike you wish to complete. There is a lot of information available about public routes, e.g. about the length of the course, the condition of the path / road, accessibility and parking lots.
2. Dress properly
Prepare for dressing according to the weather, especially from autumn to spring. Merino wool garments allow dressing in layers, which is easy to adjust also in the middle of the day. An active hiker’s gear includes a base- and mid-layer made of merino wool, merino wool socks and a water- and windproof shell layer. Complement your gear also with a merino wool sweater, beanie and a tube scarf.
For footwear, choose hiking shoes, running shoes or boots, depending on the time of the season and terrain. A colourful shell outfit helps you to stand out in the terrain. That is particularly useful in emergency situations.
3. Pack a rucksack for your trip
Hiking and packed lunches go absolutely together. Invest in a rucksack that you can carry with you all day long. Pack something to drink, lunch and possible delicacies according to the duration of your trip. A thermos flask keeps a drink or a soup warm when needed. If you wish to prepare a meal, take a camp stove with you. On some courses, it is possible to prepare a meal at a campfire place. Usually, there is firewood available at those places. Take, however, equipment needed to light a fire and kindling along.
For first aid, it is recommended to have at least bandages and equipment needed for cleaning a wound. Other convenient little items include lip balm, sunscreen, sunglasses and a camping knife. Don’t forget cutlery, either. If you wish to get off a familiar route, equip yourself also with a compass and a map. In winter it is convenient to carry the equipment on a sled. Snowshoes make it easier to advance in deep snow.
4. An overnight hiking trip
It is easiest to practice a camping trip in summer, when you can pack more lightly. It will become more difficult to choose suitable clothing and gear, when the weather gets colder. Plan your route and the place for staying overnight already in advance. Find out also, where it is allowed to stay overnight. If your choice is a nature reserve, it is allowed to stay overnight only at marked sites.
You’ll need considerably more items for an overnight trip than for a day trip. The most convenient way to carry your gear is to pack them in a haversack, and in winter also on a sleigh. You can stay overnight in a tent, a hammock or for example in a shelter cabin. Take along a sleeping bag and a sleeping pad, suitable for the weather. A closed-cell or an inflatable pad helps you to sleep, providing insulation against cold coming from underneath.
Thin layers of merino wool garments ensure pleasant and warm sleep. Sleeping with a base- and midlayer on still is light and flexible. A merino wool sweater, beanie and socks provide you more warmth. Women need often also more warmth at the backside. Merino wool underpants and/or a merino wool skirt add warmth.
Always remember to take along a headlamp or a torch and a first aid kit as well as enough food and drinks.
- Don’t litter, because garbage doesn’t belong to nature. Take away the things that you bring along. There is a garbage collection at many camping sites, where you can take garbage.
- Keep pets tethered. Show respect towards nature, breeding and rearing season and the peace of natural animals. You can hike in nature with a pet as long as you keep it tethered.
- Camp where it is allowed. Find out about the destination of your trip and instructions for camping there. Show respect towards nature at the camping site. Don’t wash yourself or dishes directly at waterways. If you use a shelter cabin, don’t forget to read the rules for lodging there.
- Light a fire only where it is allowed. Prefer always, if possible, a camp stove. Don’t ever make a fire when a forest or grass fire warning is in force. It is not ‘everyman’s right’ to light a fire. Several campfire places offer firewood. Use wood sparingly. Remember that it is not allowed to tear bark off trees for kindling.
- Check if there are any movement restrictions. ‘Everyman’s right’ grants extensive rights for moving. You should, however, check whether there are any possible movement restrictions for the particular area. There often is freer right to walk than to cycle. When paddling, keep the minimum distance of 50 metres to the shores of cottages. Some areas have been entirely protected from moving, e.g. during bird nesting season.