Monday, November 26, 2018

November Kayaking Pt. II

Last weekend offered a unique November kayaking experience.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Camera and outdoor backpack

Finding a good camera backpack suitable for mountain biking and other outdoor activities is never easy. My solution is a bit unconventional, so I thought I'd make a blog post about it.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

November kayaking

A kayaking overnighter to Konungskär in November.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Trek Full Stache Three Month Review

The first impressions of the Trek Full Stache were that it was an excellent bike. Has that changed?

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Skim Beaufort One Year Review

Now I've had the Skim Beaufort for a full year. I posted my first impressions after just having fetched it and a seven month review in the beginning of the summer. Not much have changed since that, but I've finally had it out in a little harder weather.

Monday, October 15, 2018

End of the summer season

Last weekend a number of things came together, leading to an unofficial end-of-the-season party at Sandö. I was free for most of the weekend, we had an Indian Summer in Finland and I also got a group of nice people to join me for a kayaking overnighter.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

A new kids bike

The boys grow and with the 13 year old now being almost 180 cm tall, and his one year older brother slightly shorter, it was clear that the XS sized Mukluk would be much too small this year.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Nuku yö ulkona 2018

Life is fairly busy with ordinary work and also some kayaking guide work. In addition, the Axxell nature photography education I'm taking started last week, so there is no problem to use all availble time for fun stuff. Still, I have family obligations as well, and taking the 13-year old on his first kayaking overnighter was one of them. It happened yesterday, and coincided with the nation wide sleep-a-night outside (#Nukuyöulkona).

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Another small Isokari trip

I visited the Isokari lighthouse island by kayak in 2017 and found it to be a nice place. Well worth a visit again, and this weekend that happened. It proved to be a very memorable trip.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

A kayaking course at the Archipelago Sea

Last week I spent five days at the sea, with a Vigu specialization course in sea kayaking. It was really nice to participate in a Vigu course again, though this time it was as an instructor, since I graduated from the school last spring.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Trek Full Stache - The very first impressions

It was finally time to get the Trek Full Stache from Nummen Pyörä in the last of July. The Trek Full Stache is a bike I've been waiting for for several years now and I do think it is something new: It's the first FS 29+ bike with a trail oriented approach available for a wider audience. The American manufacturer Lenz Sport has had one for several years, but the geometry of that one seems a bit odd and it would be prohibitely expensive to get to Europe. Salsa has the XC-oriented short-travel Deadwood, and some other manufacturers have bikes that can take undersized 2.6 or 2.8 inch tires, but Trek Full Stache is in my opinion a lot more interesting. I do think Trek has made something extraordinary here.

Monday, July 30, 2018

The 2018 kayaking beginners trip

We decided to have a kayaking trip for beginners again this year, since the one last year was much needed. The trip was fully booked, but one had to pull out in the last minute. Still there were eleven participants and three instructors.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Workhorse

My Salsa Fargo, which I built in January 2010 hasn't gotten much mention lately in this blog, so here is one.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Two more lighthouses

Another little trip on my list was to paddle from Merikarvia to Kristinestad/Kristiinankaupunki or Kaskö/Kaskinen. A one night trip with some daymarks and lighthouses on the route, and also a logistically easy one. During a visit to my wifes homeplace in Närpes with the family, I unloaded the kayak in Merikarvia and started paddling, while the rest of the family drove to Närpes, about one hour away.


Another lighthouse pretty far out, and known for weather observations, is Strömmingsbådan, somne 20 km west of Bergö. A barren and interesting place, impossible to resist for a sea kayaker.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

The Norrskär lighthouse

The Norrskär lighthouse is quite far out in Kvarken. I visited it in 2017 when exploring the Rönnskär archipelago.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Glimpses from Gotland

I spent the last week in Gotland guiding a group of 17 cyclists. While there was a fair amount of work arranging everything, actually doing the trip was relaxing and the group was great. The weather was fantastic and we had a good time. Really what I needed at the start of my vacation, since there has been quite a bit of stress lately at work. Some impressions are shown as pictures below.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Trek Full Stache

Finally some bike content again. It seems like May to July are so busy that I don't find time for mountain biking. The archipelago is at its best during the first half of the summer, so I mostly do kayaking then. It is also a very busy time a work. Add some kayaking instruction at the local kayaking club as well as some paid kayak guide gigs and there is not time for much more. I did however ride quite a lot from January to the beginning of May and I do anyway think that a real winter is the best bike riding time, and this winter we had a real winter, though it started a little late.

Rönnskär daymark

The Rönnskär daymark is the oldest still standing wooden daymark in Finland. I visited it in 2017 during a trip in the fantastic Rönnskär archipelago.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Bengtskär lighthouse

The Bengtskär lighthouse is the highest lighthouse in the Nordic country. It has an interesting war history and is also far enough out that you cannot always get there. Thus the place is clearly attractive for sea kayakers.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Blekungen and Flatu daymarks

The Blekungen/Pleikongi and Flatu daymarks are situated close the the Isokari shipping lane. I visited them in July 2017.

Monday, June 25, 2018

The Härkmeri daymarks

After the midsummer storm of 2018 the weather was again nice and I decided to use a Sunday morning to check out the Härkmeri daymarks, including the mystery daymarks.

IsoKari / Enskär lighthouse

I visited the Isokari / Enskär lighthouse by kayak a sunny day in July 2017. An attempt a year earlier was aborted due to hard wind.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Valsörarna / Valassaaret lighthouse

Valsörarna (Valassaaret in Finnish) were visited by kayak a rainy day in 2015 during a week long trip in the Kvarken area.

Ritgrund lighthouse

Ritgrund is a skerry a bit north from Replot in Kvarken, that hosts the Ritgrund lighthouse. I visited it in 2015, during a week long kayaking trip in the area.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Märigrund fishing lighthouse

As a part of my project to visit the lighthouses and daymarks of the Finnish coast by kayak I visited the fishing lighthouse at Märigrund just before the arrival of the expected midsummer storm in June 21st 2018.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Lyökin pooki daymark

I had the opportunity to get out for a night and also had a place I wanted to visit by kayak. A question if anyone was interested was put up on a local FB forum and I got Esko to join me. We got started from Turku and drove for one and a half hour to get to a nice starting point for the Bothnian Sea National Park.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Vigu - Axxell Wilderness Guide school

I graduated as a wilderness and nature guide from Axxell a month ago, so I think I could very well make a post looking back at the fantastic time I've had as a student there.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Skim Beaufort seven month review

Seven months have gone since I wrote about my first impressions of the Skim Beaufort kayak. Though I haven't had an opportunity to take it out in all conditions needed for a full review yet, I think it might be of interest to write about my experiences of it this far.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Third end of May kayaking trip

The third end of May trip of the local kayaking club, Saaristomeren Melojat, took place last weekend. This time I had planned a route at the east part of the Gullkrona Bay and a total of ten paddlers participated. Most of them had been on earlier versions of the trip.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

May Archipelago

Anna, a Vigu mate,  had bought a new Hilleberg tent and wanted to test it. Since you naturally don't test a Hilleberg tent in your backyard we went for a little kayaking overnighter. Below are a few pictures from the overnighter.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Toni's ITI 1000 party

This winter a friend of mine, Toni Lund, did 1000 miles of Iditarod Trail Invitational (ITI), the world's longest and toughest winter race. He pushed his bike for more than half the distance between Anchorage and Nome in Alaska. It was the ultimate test of winter endurance and survival with a fatbike and he did it in 26 days. Being a bike mechanic by profession, he hasn't had time to write about it yet, with the spring being an extremely busy period in bike shops. For those who understand Finnish, there is a radio show and TV show featuring interviews with Toni.

Finding a date for a little party featuring some riding and an overnighter that would suit everyone in our little group of riders is becoming increasingly difficult with everyone being middleaged and having many obligations, and we couldn't get everyone this time either. But three of us (me, Toni and JJ) met up in Kimito on Ascension Thursday to take a look at the best trails of Kimito.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Ekenäs Archipelago National Park

Time for another scouting trip, this time to the Ekenäs Archipelago National Park, for a weekend outing with a group in the end of September. The area was not completely unfamiliar to me, have done some boating there in the nineties and even some paddling in the inner archipelago at the end of the eighties. Things had changed since then, though.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Another spring kayaking scouting trip

The weekend suddenly was free again, after we had decided to postpone the outing celebrating Toni's riding of the 1000 mile ITI. The weather seemed fine in the forecast, so the only option was to go on a scouting trip with kayak, to look for suitable tent sites for a paddling club trip at the end of May. Jukka joined me.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Spring kayaking

The beginning of the kayaking season 2018 was rather humble, but this weekend had more possibilites.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

The beginning of the kayaking season 2018

By now I should already have been on a scouting trip in the Archipelago Sea for some upcoming kayaking club trips, but there is still ice everywhere. Open water can only be found around the shipping lanes, which from which the melting has begun.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Bontrager Gnarwhal 27.5x4.5 studded fatbike tire four month review

I've now had the Bontrager Gnarwhal studded fatbike tires in use for almost four months and have used them in all sorts of conditions: powder, firm trails, ice and crust. Though we had a nice winter only a few days ago, the snow is now melting rapidly and after this weekend I think I'll put on the summer tires. Thus a good time to write a little review.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

The Åland Ice

I'll return to last week's ride to Åland on ice, since there seem to be so many misunderstandings about sea ice and riding on it with a reasonable degree of safety. When assessing ice, the history of the ice is of importance, and hence I will take a look at that.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Riding to Åland on Ice

At the end of February it happened: The cold weather and weak winds combined with the lack of snowfall got the southwestern archipelago covered with ice. I did nice skating trips, like this one, and also decided to investigate if one of the many trip ideas I have in my mind would be possible.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Nordic Skating on the Gullkrona Bay

The Archipelago Sea is covered with ice. Here is a little video from yesterday's skating trip.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Nordic Skating is on

Finally the Nordic skating season has started for real, in conditions one can usually only dream about. The archipelago of southwestern Finland is getting ice, and the area of new ice without any snow is growing rapidly in the current cold temperatures.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Yet another winter overnighter

This time there was some colors, so it feels motivated to write a short blog entry about the outing. On Friday-Saturday night I made a fatbike overnighter to Vajosuo, which I'm making a video from. On Sunday-Monday night I went on another overnighter with the 12-year old.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Winter in the Kurjenrahka National Park

We currently have a really nice winter in the Turku region in southwestern Finland. Hence a little ski overnighter in the Kurjenrahka National Park seemed the proper thing to do. Jarkko and JJ joined me. I also had another motive for the little trip: I wanted to do everything we didn't do in the winter survival course two weeks ago. Nice skiing, lots of good food and warm toes.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Vigu Survival specialization, part 3/3. Winter survival

At the end of January it was time for the final course in the Vigu (Wilderness Guide) specialization in survival and bushcraft. This was also my final Vigu course, at least for now. I should graduate sometime during the spring.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Tour de Kurjenrahka - January 2018

There is a nice circular route in the Kurjenrahka National Park, which is possible to traverse in some situations by skis and fatbike.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Bontrager Gnarwhal 27.5x4.5 studded fatbike tire impressions

In December I put together Mk. III of my Surly Ice Monster Truck, with the main new thing being the 27.5x4.5" platform. I'm still lacking deep snow and crust conditions for it, but thought it would be of some interest to give my impressions so far.