Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 - A Retrospective

The year 2011 is nearing its end and it is time to look back at the year. What went well during the year? What could be improved in the next year? Or wait a minute, that was the Scrum Retrospective. Anyway, 2011 was good year and from my own outdoor perspective an excellent year. Below I will recall some highlights.

The winter 2010/2011 was the best winter for years in Finland. We had a lot of snow and consistently cold temperatures. The skiing season lasted well over four months and the entire winter was a fatbike paradise.

I had a fantastic overnighter in February under the full moon in really cold weather.

The absolute highlight of the winter was the ice road adventure with Toni Lund.

The end of March provided rideable snow crust, something very unusual in Southern Finland.

A winter well spent was still extended with a ski overnighter in the beginning of the spring. Surprisingly, this turned out to be a little out of the ordinary.

After the fantastic winter, the ordinary summer overnighters somehow felt too easy and anticlimactic. Nice, but nothing special. The highlight of the summer was the week-long unsupported bikepacking trip in Lapland at the end of July. This trip proved (for me) the value of a fatbike and that my gear and packing philosophy works as expected.

I continued doing overnighters through the fall, despite the unusually wet fall weather. The real glimpse of light was that the kids got enthusiastic about joining me for overnight backpacking. We did four of these trips during the year and hopefully next year will see a lot more of these. There is something profoundly satisfying in sharing this stuff with the kids.

My goal of at least one overnighter a month and a week-long bikepacking trip was revised during the summer and at the winter solstice I made my last overnighter for the year, spending my 30th night out. It might not sound much for true adventurers, but I'm very satisfied with it. My family comes first for me, so I cannot realistically improve on this one much more.


  1. Great trips with superb photos. It's been very inspiring to read these. Learnt a lot from them, too. Good to see also those ones where weather has not always been optimal. Thanks for sharing these!

  2. Congrats on your 30 overniters. Would love to do that Lapland trip. Happy New Year.

  3. Thank you very much for the year 2011. It's been very nice to read this blog. I wait for the New Year 2012 and your new trips, overnighters and much much more. Happy New Year 2012 and many new fabulous pictures!!!

    Were there any obstacles/impediments? (Daily Scrum) It's very agile photographing and backpaking light ;-)

    BR Pia

  4. I think your 30 nights achievement is incredible for a family man and full time worker. It was truly a great year and the highlight definitely was the Ice Road adventure. Without you and your experience it wouldn't have been possible. Thanks Peter!

  5. What an awesome year you had, kudos!!
    May 2012 bring you more of the same!!

    Peace, Joe

  6. Thanks for the kind words!

    Pia, despite currently working as a Scrum Master, I'm not going to consider the family an impediment ;-)

    Toni, thank you. I'm sure we'll come up with some worthy adventures next year as well.

  7. I haven't commented here lately that much as I'm no (yet?) in the bikepackign circles but also your year seemed to be very nice and active. I liked the big trips: the ice road adventure to Åland and the Pöyrisjärvi bikepacking. Inspiring stuff. Also the trips with kids seem cool. Even though I don't have little ones of my own, it feels great that parents take their kids outdoors and do overnighters and stuff with them! Wish I'd just have the time to buy a fatbike and use it...

    Hyvää uutta vuotta!

  8. I have enjoyed reading all the trips you have shared. Your blog is one I tell others to follow. its great and all the best for next year.

  9. You had a great year! I love your concept of the 'overnighter'. I live in an area of countless lakes and trails close by and there is a lot of canoe camping in my background. typically we would do a week but current circumstances ( elderly parents, my father is 90 living on his own) makes it hard to get away and we miss the 'camping out' But we could easily go for an overnighter close by...again love your concept and will try to incorporate it into my life in 2012 summer; not ready to tackle winter yet!
    Cheers and all the best for 2012, looking forward to more of your great pics and outings,