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!


  1. Great blog!!

    I've been wondering where you get that 1,4kg titanium stove from. I've been looking around, but the stoves I see are all 10kg or more. What tent you have?

    Thank you!

  2. Thanks Don! My stove and tipi are from Seek Outside,

  3. i rather wonder how the stove will hold up. I worked with titanium a great deal on military aircraft.

    A big no-no was when you would catch somebody measuring for cutting, and used a regular pencil, the carbon/graphite in the surface, when combined with high heat, would cause the titanium to absorb carbon and cause it to become brittle/strain-age in the marked spot and cause it to crack.

    And yet, here are marketers selling titanium stoves which generate high heat AND their own carbon.

    It will be interesting to hear how it holds up to use.

  4. That's interesting. Also interesting to see if it creates some issues with the stove. Titanium stoves are still quite rare on this side of the pond, but I think in North America they're really common. And have been for a while already. Haven't read or heard of that kind of issues. But yeah, interesting to see how the stove will hold up and what's the lifetime of an ultralight stove.

    1. well, JP6 and JP8 are not very clean burning, put a lot of carbon soot on titanium exhaust areas of the engine, and hold up a fair amount of time before skins and stiffeners start cracking...

      If you end up getting any, you can make the stove last longer via repairs just as you would do to an aluminum hull canoe. Only the material would change. You could rivet in an oversize patch over stop-drilled cracks or trimmed out damage in a rounded shape and polish edges prior to patch. Can use thin 6al4v Ti sheet metal, or even thin annealed stainless sheet, and use monel or annealed stainless rivets, a high temp resistant sealer between the two.

      Or, just buy a new one in several years. I value what time I have left, today, and vote second option.