Packraft and Wildcamp in Finland's Thousand Lakes

Explore a beautiful boreal forest by land and water. 2 days off work.

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Packraft and Wildcamp in Finland's Thousand Lakes

Explore a beautiful boreal forest by land and water. 2 days off work.

  • Finland
  • May—October
  • Tampere-Pirkkala Airport, Tampere (TMP)

This weekend is an unforgettable introduction to the ‘Land of a Thousand Lakes’. Not your typical hike, you’ll travel mostly along streams and lakes in small, lightweight packrafts. Your route will take you past magnificent cliffs and through ancient forests, with stops at the famous Helvetinkolu crevasse, the unique Haukanhieta dune beach, a lakeside sauna and more. Your hassle-free adventure includes:

  • 2 days of packrafting in Helvetinjärvi National Park
  • 3 nights of wild-camping
  • 1 morning at a lakeside sauna
  • All meals and snacks
  • Airport transfers
  • All packrafting and camping equipment
  • Local, professional, English-speaking wilderness guide

Perfect for:
This is the perfect getaway for nature-lovers and adventurers who want to escape the city for a truly remote and peaceful break. No previous packrafting experience necessary.

What to Expect

Thursday: Arrival

Your host will meet you at Tampere airport and transfer you 2 hours away to Lake Kovero.

There you’ll set up camp and review the weekend’s plan before enjoying dinner around a flickering campfire.

Friday: Packraft

After a hot breakfast you’ll go over safety and equipment with your guide, then push off into the calm waters of the lake.

Spend the day paddling a casual along scenic Lake Kovero surrounded by dense forests and pale rock formations. At one point you’ll deflate and carry your portable packraft across a narrow isthmus to the adjacent Lake Luoma.

Arrive at your campsite on the shores of Lake Luoma in the late afternoon. Enjoy a peaceful evening exploring the shoreline, then retire to camp to light the fire and enjoy a well-earned meal.

10km of paddling and 3km of hiking

Saturday: Packraft

Wake up in the heart of the Finnish wilderness and take a deep breath—it’s a beautiful day!

After a tasty breakfast you’ll alternately paddle and hike along a chain of small lakes to Helvetinkolu, a millions of years old crevasse splitting open the forest.

Cook up a quick lunch around a fire, then paddle the length of the water-filled crevasse. At the end you’ll pack up your raft and hike overland to the shores of Lake Haukkajärvi.

Complete your final paddle of the trip, arriving at your campsite on a beautiful dune beach. Enjoy a campfire cooked meal with one of the best views in the park.

10 km of paddling and about 2 km of hiking.

Sunday: Sauna and departure

In the morning you’ll drive to a nearby Finnish sauna right on the lake. Clean up, relax, and maybe go for a refreshing dip in the clear lake waters.

Have a nice local lunch at the sauna restaurant afterwards, then head back to Tampere Airport for your flight home.

Note: This itinerary and the duration of the activities are subject to change due to group abilities and preferences, weather conditions and forecasts, special events, etc.

Accommodation

You’ll be camping in the wilderness remote from any facilities. High-quality tents, sleeping bags and sleeping mats are provided. If the weather is nice you can choose to forego the tent and sleep under the stars!

Dates & Prices

Please note: Flights are NOT included and must be purchased separately.

Trip Photos

Location

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Helvetinjärvi National Park is a remote wilderness of lakes, canyons, gorges and sandy beaches perfect for packrafting and wild-camping. It’s located about 50km north of the town of Tampere in southwestern Finland. With its deep forests and imposing rock formations, the park feels very wild and forgotten. It’s dominated by impressive geological features created millions of years ago by massive movements deep in the earth’s crust, including the aptly named Helvetinjärvi (Hell’s Lake) and Helvetinkolu (Hell’s Hole).

Start point?
You will be met at Tampere Airport. Your transfer will meet all flights scheduled to land by 16:45 or earlier. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

End point?
You will be dropped off at Tampere Airport. You are free to book any flight that departs after 17:00. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Getting there and away?
Tampere–Pirkkala Airport (TMP) can be reached via a short internal flight with Finnair from Helsinki-Vantaa Airport (HEL). HEL is served by frequent, inexpensive flights from most major cities in Europe. You can get any flight that suits you, but make sure they fit the times above to take advantage of the included transfers.

For extra financial protection against unforeseen situations such as erupting Icelandic volcanoes, we recommend you book your flights using a credit card.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are not included in the trip cost:

  • Travel to/from Finland
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance that covers rafting
  • Tips for your guide (optional)

This trip will run a maximum of 8. There is no minimum group size for this trip.

Sure can! Lots of people do it and it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Our Epic Weekends are very social in nature and we’ve seen lots of new friendships born out of them. Expect a mix of solo travelers and very small groups of 2 or 3, all with a shared appreciation of escaping the city for the great outdoors to try something new and meet new people.

Packrafting is a combination of paddling in light inflatable boats, then packing them up and hiking with them to access a new area. This trip has more paddling than hiking. Originating from wilderness travel in Alaska, packrafting is a bit of a niche sport but is gaining popularity fast. The whole paddling kit (raft, paddle, PFD and helmet) weighs under 5kg and packs down small so it’s easy to carry, yet packrafts are very capable boats, certainly not to be mistaken as pool toys. They are durable, stable and easy to paddle.

You do not need any paddling or hiking experience for this trip. Your guide will give you full instructions and a safety briefing at the start. You’ll just need an average level of fitness to handle approx 20km of relaxed paddling and some hiking.

While we are not packrafting, we are carrying all the stuff with our backpacks, but as we provide the tents, backpacks and sleeping bags, the overall weight is only about 10 kg including the packrafting gear. The guide and companions will also help with the gear as this is a group effort, so this is aimed to be very easily approachable tour to anyone who has a basic skills in swimming :)

Finnish cuisine blends traditional and modern continental foods for delicious and varied dining opportunities. Dishes commonly include fish, pork, beef or reindeer, but also involve lots of vegetables and mushrooms. Typical meals include cabbage rolls, hearty stews, meatballs, a fish prepared in a number of ways.

While camping the food will be simple, hearty, healthy and fresh.

Absolutely! Just let us know at booking.

From May to early June daytime temperatures are around 20°C. From mid-June to mid-September temperatures range from 15-25 °C. At the end of September the temperatures start to decline again.

Summer nights are very short and not really dark at all. From mid-August onward the nights get darker, revealing starry skies and sometimes even auroras—if you’re really lucky.

Not much! All packrafting, backpacks and camping equipment is included, so you’ll only need to bring:

  • Lightweight, breathable clothes for paddling and hiking
  • Sun protection (sunglasses, hat, sunblock)
  • Thermal top and bottom
  • Waterproof top and bottom
  • Warm fleece, sweater or puffy
  • Swimsuit and towel (if you’re brave!)
  • Water bottle
  • Packable camp pillow (optional)
  • Shoes that can get wet, like Crocs, neoprene socks or “barefoot shoes”. No flip-flops.
  • Sturdy, supportive hiking shoes (waterproof is ideal)
  • Head torch
  • Personal items

Children should be over 12 years of age and know how to swim. Prices for children are the same as for adults.

Start point?
You will be met at Tampere Airport. Your transfer will meet all flights scheduled to land by 16:45 or earlier. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

End point?
You will be dropped off at Tampere Airport. You are free to book any flight that departs after 17:00. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Getting there and away?
Tampere–Pirkkala Airport (TMP) can be reached via a short internal flight with Finnair from Helsinki-Vantaa Airport (HEL). HEL is served by frequent, inexpensive flights from most major cities in Europe. You can get any flight that suits you, but make sure they fit the times above to take advantage of the included transfers.

For extra financial protection against unforeseen situations such as erupting Icelandic volcanoes, we recommend you book your flights using a credit card.

We’ve teamed up with the guys at World Nomads to offer insurance designed for adventurous travellers across 140 countries that includes overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities. To get yours sorted, click here.

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