Adventures / Kayak Journeys

Packraft and Wild Camp in Finland's Thousand Lakes

Explore a beautiful boreal forest by land and water

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Trip Ref #8302

Adventures / Kayak Journeys

Packraft and Wild Camp in Finland's Thousand Lakes

Explore a beautiful boreal forest by land and water

DURATION

3 nights

LOCATION

Finland

ANNUAL LEAVE

2 days off work

SEASON

May-Oct

GROUP SIZE

Up to 8 people

MEETING POINT

Tampere-Pirkkala Airport or Tampere Railway Station

ACCOMMODATION

Wild camping

DIFFICULTY

Challenging

No paddling or hiking experience needed, just the ability to swim and handle around 20km of relaxed paddling and some scenic hikes.

Travel across 'The Land of a Thousand Lakes' and through the Helvetinjärvi National Park in small, lightweight packrafts

Stop at the famous Helvetinkolu Crevasse, the unique Haukanhieta dune beach, a lakeside sauna and more

Wild camp in complete peace and quiet and as far away from light pollution as it gets

What's it like?

    See the photos our community shared

    All our reviews are verified

    We only invite travellers to leave a review if they have booked this trip with Much Better Adventures.

    Dan, July 2022

    Excellent experience for a group keen to dip their toe into wild camping. The scenery is some of the best you can see and after a few days of vigorous activity you leave surprisingly rested.

    David, October 2019

    The last trip of the year, on the first weekend of October, was quite something. No matter it was -4 degrees; no matter it snowed - the autumnal (for that, read Finnish summer) colours were a stunning array of reds, golden yellows, browns and greens. This land of boreal forests and mirror-glass lakes provided a backdrop like no other to a brilliant few days packrafting and camping. And the silence was something else! Joose was an excellent guide, with heaps of wilderness and paddling experience to pass on. The food was simple, but hearty, and the crackle of the open fires (and possibly just a drop of whiskey) kept us warm well into the night. Really impressed with the quality of the kit - the packrafts were so good I think I'll be getting one myself next year! And the sauna and lake dip on the final morning was a fun little insight into Finnish culture. If ever I was going to do a MBA adventure twice (and I've done a few), this'd be it.

    Stephen, October 2019

    The level of preparation from the host, Joose, was great. Great logistics, carefully selected equipment, a challenging but achievable plan and a well-organised trip.

    Joshua, October 2019

    The location and experience were great.

    Justin, September 2019

    Finland is a beautiful country, our guide Joose was great everything planned well for the pack rafting and camping sites. He was extremely well knowledgeable of the area we explored and of the country itself. He wanted to show off his country and history and was proud of Finland. This was shown throughout our time with him. The last he planned out for the sauna and a restaurant meal was a great way to finish off the trip.

    Nick, September 2019

    Joose was a knowledgeable, friendly host - fantastic guy. All the equipment was in great condition, so no problems there either.

    David, September 2019

    The host was brilliant, knowledgable, fun and helpful. Beautiful scenery and well-maintained kit and clean and tidy campsites. Would certainly recommend this trip!

    Carl, August 2019

    Best tour I've ever been on, top to bottom.

    Ann, August 2019

    All of it was great. Awesome from start to finish. The perfect balance of activities & introduction to Finnish life.

    Richard, August 2019

    Friendly, knowledgeable, happy to go at whatever pace the group wanted to. Just very well planned.

    Included

    Guides

    Professional, English-speaking, wilderness guides

    Accommodation

    3 nights wild-camping

    Meals

    Munch on tasty food throughout

    Transfers

    To and from the airport or train station and everything in-between

    Equipment

    All your packrafting and camping equipment

    Not Included

    Flights to and from the meeting point

    Travel insurance

    Personal expenses

    The Area

    map

    Logistics

    Starts

    Tampere Railway Station or Tampere-Pirkkala Airport (TMP)

    15:30 at the railway station or 16:30 at the airport on Day 1

    Ends

    Tampere Railway Station or Tampere-Pirkkala Airport (TMP)

    16:00 at the railway station or 16:30 at the airport on Day 4

    Transfers

    A shared group arrival transfer will firstly collect anyone waiting at Tampere Railway Station at approximately 15:30 on Day 1 and will then continue to Tampere-Pirkkala Airport to collect anyone waiting there at approximately 16:30.

    A shared group departure transfer will drop off those with onward travel arrangements by train at Tampere Railway Station at approximately 16:00 on Day 4 and will then continue on to Tampere-Pirkkala Airport for approximately 16:30 for anyone who is flying out.

    Travel options

    It is possible to fly into Tampere-Pirkkala Airport (usually via Helsinki - HEL) and this is a good option if the flight times are okay, however they are often at unsociable hours or don't maximise your time. If this is the case from your departure point, we recommend getting a flight to Helsinki and catching a train from Helsinki Airport to Tampere Railway Station (via Tikkurila Railway Station). Whether flying or arriving by train, please ensure that your arrival and departure times coincide with the shared group transfers as private transfers are not available. Please see the FAQs for further information on taking the train.

    Day 1

    Wild camping · Twin share

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 2 – Day 3

    Wild camping · Twin share

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 4

    Departure day

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    What is the food like?

    Finnish cuisine blends traditional and modern continental foods to create delicious and varied dining opportunities. Dishes commonly include fish, pork, beef or reindeer, as well as lots of vegetables and mushrooms. Typical meals include cabbage rolls, hearty stews, meatballs, and fish prepared in a number of ways. While camping, the food will be simple, hearty, healthy and fresh.

    Vegetarian, vegan and other dietary requirements can all be catered for: just let your host know before arrival.

    What is the accommodation like?

    The wilderness

    You'll wild camp in twin-person tents in remote and serene locations. High-quality tents, sleeping bags and sleeping mats are provided. If the weather is nice you can also choose to forego the tent and sleep under the stars!

    Upgrades

    If you are a solo traveller, you can get a guaranteed solo tent for greater privacy on request. See Optional Extras for pricing.

    Day 1

    The land of a thousand lakes

    Travel deep into the aptly named land of a thousand lakes. Set up camp by Lake Kovero, review the plan for the weekend and enjoy a delicious dinner around a flickering campfire.

    Day 2

    Packcraft

    Packrafting

    10km

    Hiking

    3km

    After a safety briefing, spend the day paddling the scenic Lake Kovero surrounded by dense forests and pale rock formations. At one point you'll deflate your craft and portage it across a narrow isthmus to the adjacent Lake Luoma. Set up camp on the shoreline and enjoy a peaceful evening exploring the area, before lighting the fire and sitting down for a well-earned meal.

    Day 3

    Lake Haukkajärvi

    Packrafting

    10km

    Hiking

    2km

    Wake up in the heart of the Finnish wilderness and paddle and hike along a chain of small lakes to Helvetinkolu – an ancient crevasse that splits open the forest. Cook up a quick lunch around the campfire and then paddle the length of that water-filled crevasse, ending on the shores of Lake Haukkajärvi. Enjoy a final campfire on a dune beach and then watch the sun set over one of the best views in the park.

    Day 4

    Sauna and home

    Start the day with a traditional Finnish sauna right on the lake shore. Clean up, relax, take a refreshing dip in the clear water, enjoy lunch in the adjacent restaurant and then head back to Tampere Airport in time for your flight home.

    15% Off Outdoor Gear

    In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

    What do I 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 feeling 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

    Solo Tent Occupancy

    Payable Before Departure

    Solo Tent Occupancy

    Per Person

    We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

    What's the number?
    It works out on average at 39kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

    The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

    But what does the number mean?
    Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

    • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
    • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
    • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

    What are we doing about it?
    Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

    Want to know more?
    Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

    Packrafting involves paddling in light inflatable boats, then packing them up and hiking with them to access new areas. Originating from wilderness travel in Alaska, packrafting is a bit of a niche sport but rapidly gaining popularity. The whole paddling kit (raft, paddle, PFD and helmet) weighs around 5kg and packs down really small so it’s easy to carry, yet it's also durable, stable, easy to paddle and certainly not to be mistaken for a pool toy.

    Remember that you will add the weight of the packraft to your personal items when hiking, so you will have to be prepared to carry around 10kg on your back.

    No paddling or hiking experience is needed, just the ability to swim and handle around 20km of relaxed paddling and some scenic hiking. When you are not packrafting, you'll need to carry everything with you (tents, sleeping bags etc,): the overall weight is about 15kg including the packrafting gear. However you only walk around 2-3km each day with gear.

    Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

    From May to early June, daytime temperatures are around 20°C, while 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 don't really get dark at all, while from mid-August the nights get darker, revealing starry skies and sometimes even the Aurora.

    Unfortunately it is not possible to leave luggage behind on this trip. We recommend that you pack light and follow the kit list to make this trip as enjoyable as possible.

    If there are no suitable connecting flights to Tampere-Pirkkala Airport to coincide with the group transfers, we recommend flying in and out of Helsinki and taking the train between Helsinki Airport and Tampere. This is an easy and relatively cheap option, with trains costing roughly Euros10 each way. You should book a flight that arrives in Helsinki by 13:00 on Day 1, and departs Helsinki no sooner than 19:00 on Day 4. There are usually two trains per hour of approximately an hour and thirty-five minutes to an hour and fifty minutes in duration. You will need to take the commuter train from Helsinki Airport to Tikkurila Railway Station (about eight minutes) and change onto the train to Tampere. This can be booked online or on the platform or train itself. If travelling by train, please ensure to arrive at Tampere Railway Station by 15:30 on Day 1 and depart Tampere Railway Station no sooner than 16:00 on Day 4 to coincide with the group transfers.

    Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

    Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

    Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

    We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

    We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

    If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

    All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

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