Friday, July 28, 2017

A week in Lemmenjoki national park.

Lemmenjoki is the largest national park in Finland, covering the area of 2850 sq. kilometers. It has all the elements of the arctic nature; Tall pine forests, mountain birch areas, large marshes, open fell plateaus. It's also known for it's history in gold digging. Central gold area still has active diggers, both hobbyistic and professional. If you're interested, you can find more info about Lemmenjoki national park in

Just a few days ago I came back from a hike accross the park. My girlfriend dropped me by a car on the north side, and came to pick me up on the eastern side of the park a week later. Below is some pics from the trip.

My hike started in the pine forests. First day or two were pretty warm, about 24 celcius.

Warm weather and no wind means a good time for mosquitoes and other not so nice insects. Here you can see two typical creatures that were interested to get a part of me. Mosquito going for the blood, while the horsefly is aiming for a large part of the sking. Below you can see the result of a succesful work of the latter.

Even on insect filled days it's usually much easier when you walk in more open areas. Here it got significantly better, and you can start enjoying the scenery instead of the constant iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii and bzzzzzz in your ears.

Yes, it's late July. Kumu did find the mid-summer snow refreshing, as he's rolling and gliding on it.

Upper fell area is a pleasure to walk. Easy terrain, wide sceneries, almost no mosquitoes at all.

Campsite of the first night, warm and calm evening. A smoky campfire keeps the flying predators away.....

While I was fishing, the dog had to have something to do as well. A reindeer had dropped an antler, it was good to chew for an hour or so.

Mosquitoes and horseflies weren't the only small creatures around. After the rainy night snails found my tipi being an interesting place to check out.

Fresh air after the short but heavy rain. Kilometers and kilometers of roadless wilderness to walk in.

As it's July, I thought not to take the stove with me. But after checking the weather forecasts just before the trip I changed my mind. After two days the temperature should drop to +6 celcius and should be raining very heavily too. This time the forecast was accurate. In the second evening you could suddenly feel the temperature drop significantly, in two hourse it started raining, and the downpour lasted almost for a full day.

In those weather conditions having 1,4kg of a titanium stove in your backpack didn't seem to be a bad idea at all. You can get your gear dry, and instead of burning a big open fire outside in the rain just an armful of wood is enough for the whole evening.

The next evening it cleared up again. Temperature stayed below 10 celcius, really autumnlike feeling. Nicely cool to walk, and no mosquitoes at all.

After 3 days, while walking on the marked trail for half of a day I passed some historical, and still active, gold digging sites. This Morgamojan Kultala open hut was built after an already extinct building. It was under renovation at the moment, but normally serves as an open hut for hikers.

A sauna on the same yard. After the short break it was time to continue my "half day marked trail excursion", and head to the camping site by Lemmenjoki river.

The Lemmenjoki river itself has a daily boat transfer during the summer season. In the main area you can also see many hikers on a daytrip only, as it takes just 1-1,5 hours from the nearest village by the boat. Boats go twice a day, from June to early September. Ravadasköngäs waterfall is one of the popular places to visit by daytrippers. A boat is also an easy way to get right to the center of the wilderness, so you can start your hike from there. Gold diggers use the boat transfer too, when they're visiting the sivilization. If you're planning to have a go, remember to book your seat in advance from . I spent a night at the camping site nearby the terminus of the boat transfer. During the evening and morning I saw probably 30-40 people coming and going. Before that and on the rest of the trip I saw no nobody. Yes, July is a busy season 😉

The night at the campsite was rainy again. After packing the still wet tipi I started climbing up from the Lemmenjoki valley. Temperature was rather low still, and it was refreshing to walk in moist and fresh green forest, lots of air to breath!

After several hours I was back at drier land. A nice lunch break in completely mosquito free area.

If you have an option to walk in this kind of terrain, why not to choose it. Easy to fall in your own thoughts, as you don't have to watch your steps constantly. Just set the compass, and walk for half an hour before checking the map again. Easy and relaxing.

Several times during the week we met very curious reindeers. These came about 15 meters from us, before one of them made a strong blow through the nose and they all started running away.

Walking leashed along me isn't very heavy for the dog of course. That's why he has to find something to do while I'm having a break. Here Kumu has found a shin bone of a reindeer skeleton nearby.

Last camp of the trip. Like always, it's good to get your socks and boots dry if possible.

A dog knows when the masters is planning to leave. Packing the backpack means you're about to go, and he won't be left behind.

A knife maker has to post a picture of his knife too, right? In next days I should get a Tuohipää puukko or two up for sale, so if you're interested, stay tuned!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Tuohipää puukko for sale. ( SOLD! )

This time I have one knife for sale, a birch bark handle puukko. Bark flaps are compressed between brass bolster plates. Blade measures 96 x 19 x 4,5mm, and is forged from a round bar of K510 carbon steel. Handle is 110mm long, 29mm high and 22mm thick at max.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Maasepänpuukkos for sale. ( SOLD! )

This batch has 80CrV2 carbon steel blades, rhombic cross section. Slightly stained curly birch handles. Leather sheaths with a wooden liner for the blade.

All 8 sold!

Numero 1.  87 x 20,5 x 4,3mm blade. Handle 109 x 29,5 x 22mm. SOLD!



Numero 2  86 x 19,5 x 4,4mm blade. Handle 108 x 28,5 x 22mm. SOLD!



Numero 3. 82 x 20 x 4,4mm blade. Handle 107,5 x 29 x 21mm. SOLD!



Numero 4 88 x 20 x 4,4mm blade. Handle 108,5 x 29 x 22mm. SOLD!


Numero 5 85 x 19 x 4,3mm blade. Handle 107 x 28 x 22mm. SOLD!



Numero 6  91 x 19 x 4mm blade. Handle 106 x 28,5 x 20,5mm. SOLD!


Numero7  92 x 20 x 4,4mm blade. Handle 108 x 28,5 x 21,5mm. SOLD!



Numero 8  90 x 19 x 4,4mm blade. Handle 109 x 29 x 21,5mm. SOLD!

A group picture all dressed up.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Selling a leuku ( SOLD! )

This leuku has 216 x 33 x 4,9mm blade, forged from 80CrV2 carbon steel. Handle is 122mm long, 37,5 x 22,5mm in the center, pommel is 51 x 29mm. Curly birch with nickel silver bolster plates. Dark brown leather sheath with a full wooden liner for the blade.

Price 250€ + shipping. (shipping in Finland 5€, Europe 23€, others 35€)

Next knives for sale will be maasepänpuukkos. If you're interested, visit again tomorrow!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Muotkatunturi wilderness area.

Muotkatunturi wilderness area in the north-west part of Inari consists 1571 square kilometers of fell plateau, forests, marshes, and lakes. No marked trails, only 2 open wilderness huts. As the land is  mostly open fell area or covered with downy birch and dwarf birch, it's quite popular willow grouse hunting ground. Also popular for hiking, as the large fell plateaus offer nice views. Below is a few pics from my recent hiking trip in the Muotkatunturi wilderness.

We started from the Kaamanen-Karigasniemi road. First kilometers were in rather thick birch forest. Still nice, as due to the late summer mosquitoes weren't really active yet.

After a while the scenery started to open. Excellent weather for hiking, cloudy and a bit above 10 celcius.

Like you might have seen in my previous hiking post, Kumu was walking leashed. It was the same this time. As a hunting dog he starts looking for the game when I'm walking with him being unleashed. Birds are still having eggs in their nests...

These belong to Pluvialis apricaria. We almost stepped on it while walking, it took off right in front of us.

Here's another one, obviously having a nest nearby too, according to it's behaviour while we were passing by.
It's the change of June/July, and some areas still have quite large spots of snow. Especially creeks and northern sides of the fells. Very packed snow, easy to walk on. Also served as a fridge for our butter and cheese during the breaks.

First days were still on the cooler side, so the stove was used in the evenings.

The time of the midnight sun. You can't really tell what time of the day it is. This was taken after 10 pm, right after the trouts started getting active in this pond next to our campsite.

After spending a night at the pond by a fell we descended towards the river Peltojoki. This small hut was built by Pentti Lahtinen in late 1940's, on a rented property. He didn't remember to take care of his rental duties, and the hut ended up being state property. Novadays open for public.

Then up to the fell area again. Having a lunch break in decently warm weather. Snowy fell sides remind us about the mid-summer....

Rainy and misty moment when passing a fell top, before reaching the lake where we would camp for the next night.

Beatiful scenery, just enough firewood for the evening, but no fish. Except for pikes, which quite often are a sign of no other fish around....

After the cool weather of  the first days of the trip the weather changed. Warm and sunny. I could say even hot. By hot weather I mean sunny and temperature some degrees over 20 celcius. Some of you might disagree with me what's a hot weather....

But Kumu agrees with me, it's hot. Especially for a dog who haven't shed his winter fur yet....

Luckily there's this lovely snow to cool down!
Obviously willow grouses had nests still too, as this one tried to lead us further away from the place where we scared it while passing a marsh by the fell side.

A beach on the south side of Peltojärvi. Again a HOT day, +24 celcius.

Where there's been a man, there's always.... well, you know. These were obviously brought there by snowmobile, a quad bike, or a boat. I wonder why it was so difficult to take them back the same way too? Luckily this is not a common scenery.
Plenty of flat ground for camping by the Peltojärvi. Nicely open for the wind to enter too, as the number of mosquitoes started growing.

Midnight fishing. It seems that fish are active very late in the evening and during the night, and resting on the bright daylight of the midsummer. Of course we didn't always believe it, and had to try our luck when passing a nice fishing site. But no, all our catches came in the late evening, night, or early morning.

This river gave us some graylings...

...which were cooked on the fire.

For the last days of the trip stove was kept packed, and a mosquito net was more useful. But yeah, it's July, so it's time for the summer to come!