During this winter and spring, i was planning many many hikes. On february, i got my backpack ready and drove to Pukala (near Orivesi), where i have been few times already. Unfortunatly, road was a but too icy and bad condition. I lost part of my exhaust pipes from my car. So i drove back.
Next chance came in april, when we went to same place again with my friend Lev and his daughter. It was nice time there! My friend wanted to use my other hammock, but bought a tent because daughter wanted it. I had my DD Frontline hammock. Weather was great, some rain in the night but didn’t bother us.
We had plans to go somewhere again and i wanted to go to the Joutsijärvi again. Last year i was there twice. One time with Instagram friend and one time with my friend Lev. First trip was 17km. Boy i was tired. Next time we went to this backcountry hut, or backcountry shelter, which one you use prefer. Great food, great time.
Joutsijärvi locates near Kullaa, west coast of Finland. This area has almost 30km of trails, Few lean-to shelters and 3 backcountry huts. One of the huts is rebuild, original was from 1700 century and has some information of it’s history. Last year we visit there, but we spend a night at Sisälmystenlahti hut (transl. Entrails cove..why this name…don’t ask lol). Next time we will rent a canoe. Plan is to spend a night on one of the small isles.
It was saturday morning, looked out from window and seems it’s going to be a beautiful day! Fast breakfast and drove to the local foodstore. Luckily my friend lived next to that foodstore, i forgot my keys home…she got my extra keys just in case.
Lev picked me up at 11.30 and we checked our gear. All ok, so we hit the road. We both were really excited about this trip. Lot’s of food and couple of beers and ciders. After one hours drive we parked our car to the Silokallio Course Center parking area.
Met couple of other hikers at Silokallio, so asked about trails condition. They said it’s quite ok, only one place were a bit wet. Lake’s water level has been a bit high for couple of weeks.
We found the trail behind the big building. It was quite wide for first kilometer, until we came to the waterside. First sight to the lake made us smile. Beautiful colors, i really love springtimes fresh green leafs and grass. Sun reflected from the waves and made the water glint.
We turned to right and walked couple of hundred meters in the log trails. Seems these were quite new logs, possibly made last year. Wide and well made. We walked over many small log bridges. Trail follower mostly the shore, which i liked a lot. Nice view to the lake.
Trail was mainly easy to walk. Sometimes there had to be careful, because of sharp stones and big roots of the trees. We had to find good spots to step on, 20 meters of really wet ground and moss in the flooded area.
We arrived to the trailsign and turned to the right. Plan was to visit in Kulha’s lean-to shelter and coming back to this place to walk to our destination in Hiivaniemi. (transl. Yeast cape) Only 2 kilometers to Kulha’s place. Easy trail, couple of small bridges and some really soft log trails.
Scenery changed from deep forest to sudden swamp areas. Swamp was full of small insects, which were all over me. I sweat so easily and a lot, so they reeeeallly love me…damn!
Arrived to Kulha, really nice place! Lean-to shelter was big and there can easily sleep 6 persons. Only 20 meters to the lake. Right side of the shelter was woodshed, which had a saw and axe.
There was an old couple with their grandchildren spending great time by fishing and playing. Lady just got a biggest perch i’ve ever seen! They got couple of them already in the bucket.
We ate some small snacks and rest for 15 minutes. Time to head back to that trailsign place. After that sign, started another long log trail. It followed the shore mostly. Water level was surely high, without logs, we wouldn’t have any chance to get in to Hiivaniemi.
Logs were new, seems they have been just made. Also there was a new bridge, which was quite high, compairing to the other ones. After the bridge, scenery changed.
First we got really rocky and harsh ground. Really thin birch trees around us. Then the forest got thicker and brances were all over us. Suddenly we had a lot of fallen trees around. There was a sign, which told us that 26. Dec 2011 was a big storm called Tapanimyrsky and all the fallen trees been left almost untouched. Reason was, that people can see how the fallen trees makes the nature much richer when they molder.
And finally we were on our destination! First we saw a small pier and campfire place. Right side was a woodshed with saw and axe. Hiivaniemi lean-to was top of the small hillock. It wasn’t as big as the Kulha’s lean-to. Enough room for 4 people. One family was there already, so we didn’t have to set the fire. Just carried more wood from the shed.
At first we search for the good place for our hammocks. It was a bit difficult, but found a place just 25 meters from shelter. Heavy wind made setting up the tarp a bit challencing lol
I had my DD 4m x 4m with me, because Lev wanted a bit more cover. Hennessy’s tarp is quite small, so his hammock got cover from the wind with my tarp too. It was his first night in Hennessy hammock.
All were set up and it was time to relax. Family packed up and left home, so we got the whole shelter and fireplace to ourselfs. Had some steaks, potatoes, noodles and onions with us, goodness gracious that was a good eatin’! I collect some fresh light green spruce tips for tea. I haven’t done that before, but it was good! I have eat them before, but never done tea.
We got couple of beers and ciders. After awhile, Lev asked if i wanted fishing. Sure, so we used my hiking pole as fishing pole. Fish was eating well, Lev dig up some worms and i got 5 fish with them. 4 roach fish and one perch. Haven’t been fishing for years!
Because i am allergic to fish, Lev gave me his steaks and he got a nice fish soup. Boy we were stuffed!
It was a nice sunset, so we had last drinks and enjoyed wonderful colors and peaceful scenery. Wind was really calm too now.
We get into our hammocks around midnight, wind was getting a bit stronger. Checked the weather forecast and seems we gonna get some rain too between 1am to 5am. Checked all the pecks and guylines before i went to sleep.
Night was very windy. The tarp gave us really good cover. Lev fell in sleep very fast, but it took over 2 hours to me fell in sleep finally. Before that i got fun time by flicking (or filliping?) mosquitos from my bugnet. I heard small snap from the tarp when they hit it lol
I woke up 6 am and felt just a bit cold. I noticed that my underquilt was not were it should be. So i open the zipper a bit and pull it where it should be. No problems after that. Lev was well covered with his super shelter system.
We got up around 10am, heated up some tea with my trangia. I didn’t want to leave from my warm sleeping bag. Made some chicken soup and noodles to breakfast. And more tea.
Wind was really strong, we got a bit hard time to take down the tarp. All were packed up fast, time to head back.It wasn’t easy to leave, we both wish to have more time and spend another night here. Route was a bit different on our way back, because we avoided the small flooded part of the trail. One point Lev almost walked over the Viper snake! It’s the only poisonous snake in Finland. We also saw the swans, which made quite a lot of noise last evening. There were a few other hikers too, so i guess they were protecting their small chicks. We were back in our car after an hour walk.
One hour drive back home, went to have some burgers. And talked about next possible trip.
It was great time, weather was perfect! Temperature was around 15-18’c, night was possibly 6-7’c because of the wind. Well, kept the insects away!
Summer is here, let’s enjoy it! 🙂
PS hopefully my english is fine, some words i had to get with translator… :p