In Finnish nature for the first time?
Almost every time I ask exchange students who come to study in Rovaniemi, what they are looking for to do during their stay in Lapland, the answer is to go to the nature. If you haven’t been into a Finnish forest yet, but wish to go, here you might get some tips for your trip.
To begin with, you need to find out where to go. I would suggest Ounasvaara, as it is very close to the city centre of Rovaniemi. You can reach Ounasvaara by bike, bus or even by walking. If you have a car, Kuninkaan laavu is not too far away either and quite easy to reach.
Secondly, you need to wear comfortable clothes. Hiking boots are not mandatory, but maybe try not to wear your newest white shoes as the hiking route could be muddy. Consider the weather when picking the clothing. If it is likely to rain, bring a waterproof jacket. In forest you can’t really use an umbrella, so if it rains cats and dogs on the day you are planning to go, it is best to raincheck the trip. Otherwise weather is not a problem to go in any time of the year, just bring clothes that will keep you warm when having a snack!
Having a snack brings us to the third point. When going to laavu, (a place where you can have a snack and a break in the forest) you want to have some sausages and maybe a sandwich to heat up on the campfire. Also remember to bring matches or a lighter to make the campfire. Logs you can find from the most common laavus, such as kuninkaan laavu and Ounasvaara.
In Finland every-mans-right is to collect berries and mushrooms from the forrest. If you are planning to go during summer or autumn, you could bring a small bucket or a basket just in case you happen to find blueberries, lingonberries or some mushrooms. Before picking mushrooms, make sure you know what you are picking as some of them are very poisonous. Late summer to early autumn, is the best time of the year for finding blueberries ad lingonberries. Mushrooms you most likely will find later in the autumn. Now in early summer you can find korvasieni (a type of mushroom), but please do not touch it without gloves as they are poisonous.
Most importantly, remember to enjoy the calmness of the forest with all your sensories. Don’t wear headphones. Pay attention how quiet the forest can be and enjoy it! Most likely you will see birds and maybe some animals on your walk in the forest. Admire them form a distance. Enjoy your first trip in the Finnish nature!