Sunday, May 10, 2020

Spring packrafting in the Fiskars area

I've long looked at the area north of Fiskars with my paddling eyes. Now that I have a packraft, there are a lot more route options compared to when I looked for open canoe routes. When Caj Koskinen asked if I had any packrafting plans for the weekend, it was easy to come up with a plan.

We started the drive from Turku a little before noon and arrived about one in the afternoon. First a quick lunch, and the getting the gear ready. At this point we didn't put any gear in the tubes, and paddled Flacksjö with the backpacks in our laps, since there was a thirty minute bushwacking section before the next lake.

No problem finding the route to the next lake.

Horsmajärvi/Åsensjö was a nature reserve and for a good reason, it was really nice. As a side note, always check for nature reserves on the map and behave accordingly!

The following hiking section.

Caj packed everything into his big backpack, but I had packed only light and bulky gear into the tubes and the heavy stuff into the 45 liter Ortlieb Atrack backpack I had on the foredeck (and then carried on my back). The backpack was of course easy to carry, but the inflated packraft a bit uncomfortable to carry on the shoulder. In front of this pond without a name, I managed to step into a fairly deep hole and got wet to well above the knees. This should have been captured on video in all its glory, so stay tuned for Caj's video.

Caj had a slightly easier walk with everything on his back.

Iso-Kisko lake.

After that a short walking section to the next lake.

A short paddle on Mustalammi.

After this another hiking section followed, before arriving at the very nice Foudinlammi, another nature reserve.

We still had to continue a little further to find a place for the night, since camping in this nature reserve is not allowed. A short walk brought us to the next lake, Valkiavesi.

A final walking section brought us to a lake where we could camp. A total of 12 km in around five hours.

We found a nice place, landed and started with drinking a beer. After that we put up the tents and then it was time for dinner. Caj had a twig stove and boiled water for a freezedried food bag, but I'm not that much of a packrafter yet, and had a different food strategy.

A nice dinner doesn't necessarily prevent you from making a quick cheese cake for dessert.

And then we just enjoyed the evening. The temperature dropped quickly when the sun went down, but it was nice. In addition to the usual suspects, we heard a boreal owl (Aegolius funereus), which was a really nice bonus.

Caj's tent.

We went to sleep around eleven, and slept to around 7:30. Now and then the whooper swans and arctic loons woke us, but that is quite acceptable. Caj heard a cuckoo, which I managed to miss.

Breakfast and coffee.

Going again at ten.

A first short walking section...

... before arriving at Simijärvi.

It seems like we got headwind during the entire trip.

Studying the map.

These lakes had very clear water.


We had one final lake, Kvarnsjö / Myllyjärvi, before a longer hiking section. I now had changed to carrying the inflated packraft on my head, which was quite comfortable and worked very well, except when the forest was too dense. Eventually this section ended as well, and we paddled Långsjö from east to west.

After that we had a short hiking section and then we were back on Flacksjö, where we started.

And then we were done with a total for the day of around 10 km in three hours. Again an excellent outing in very nice weather. Thanks to Caj for the company.

Caj made a nice video about the trip:

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