On the ice of Päijänne National Park

3 weeks ago we started to talk about next trip. Took some time to choose a place and that was the Päijänne National Park. We were here last summer, remember the Kelvenne story?

Blue line marks our way, around 2 km

We got the idea to walk on the ice and find a small isle to spend a night. We would have a great view around us from there. Päijänne is an large and long waters, where is lots of smaller and biggers isles. During the winter, some people or groups ice skates or skis all the way from Lahti to Jyväskylä (136km) in one day.

We got some ideas where we are going to go and ideas for storing and using pulks for getting our gear to the place X easier. Some has skis, or skates, some non. So we decided to walk there, with spikes on our shoes.

I bought spikes and simple cheap pulk, which i modified a bit. I have Osprey Transporter 60L bag, and for the cover i used my bigger backpack rain cover. Found some hooks and shock cord, all done in 30 mins.

Woke up at 7am and pack all what was left. Got my small Savotta MiniJäger backpack, there i packed all the food etc. 9.30am i was on the road, heading to Tuulos, where i left my car. Jani pick me up around 12. Coffee break at the local mall, then we had an hour drive to the Höysniemi parking. My car isn’t in great shape, for example my exhaust pipe is broken, so most likely it would be ripped off on the forest roads….

Before 2pm we arrived, Joonas came about an hour later and found us from the Pitkäniemi.

Near the Pitkäniemi

The weather was perfect! We all got our sunglasses, snow blindness avoided! There was some snow on the top of the ice, but it was easy to walk. Some 10-15cm piles sometimes, and we (or i) scared a bit everytime we heard a cracking sound un the feet…week before was really warm and a bit rainy too, so the slush was frozen a bit and broke when we step on it. But ice was about 25 to 35cm thick. No wind, even the forecast told us about 5-6m/s winds.

It was amazing to see so far and walk where were last summer in the boat! Walking the snow cover ice, which had no marks from other people. It was a snow desert. Colors of Finnish flag, blue sky and snow white.

Our pulks worked really well, i was happy about mine. Also the spikes were really nesessary equipment.

Soon after we arrived to the Pitkäniemi, we found out that the forest on our right side blocked the wind. But it didn’t bother us, since the Pitkäniemi lean-to was a bit deeper in the forest and the trees gave us a good cover.

Wind drawed great piles and drawings to the snow. Light frosty snow danced and flew around us. It was so beautiful….!


We were not sure if we are going to stay here. We asked about the firewood from the Park facebook site, and they told us that Kelvenne has none. Unfortunatly, Pitkäniemi had none neighter…. Only some sticks etc which someone have been carrying from the forest.


After discussion, we decided to stay here. And Jani disappeared to get the firewood from the car. A bit later he called to help him a bit, because he took one dry and long log with him. So i walked to help him and pull the pulk full of wood.

Evening went fast, exploring the surroundings

Sun was going down fast, so we went to enjoy the golden moment….beautiful! Wind was blowing light snow, and the colors were amazing….it might be cold but heart and mind felt really warm.

Blue tones got more deeper when the sun went behind the horizon….

It was time to cook, everybody was really hungry. Bacon, potatos, vegetables…i got couple of good steaks and made some smashed potatoes. It was a good eatin’!

One couple came to greet us, and decided to sleep in the lean-to. They had fatbikes, drove around the Päijänne. They ate something too and went to drive again for awhile. It was fun to see their lights going far away.

It was time to enjoy the starry sky…. we did see a lot of them….big dipper, orion and it’s belt etc…. they were bright. Also the milky way was above us, we could see it barely. I need to buy an DSLR camera again…! I got my LG G4 phone and Fuji X20 camera with me.

Niko’s light wasn’t so bright on the left


This photo : Joonas Juura

So we got some ideas and played with the long exposures, light painting etc. They came out pretty good!



We had fun in the ice and at the lean-to. Good stories and jokes, great food and so on. It was a bit cold but the wind was dying slowly, so the small breeze here didn’t bother us anymore.

It was time to sleep. I had my 4x4m DD tarp with me, so i had lot’s of room. This time i took the Ticket hammock with me and fit’s well with my Cumulus Selva 600 underquilt. Took some time to get all warm, felt a bit chilly on my back but slowly everything was warming up. Snug as a bug. Warm and toasty inside of Savotta Military bag. Temp went down to -10’C.

Woke up 7.30am, and it was still dark. Wait, i need to get out from the bag….oh wow, it’s beautiful morning! Tarp was a bit frosty inside, but everything was dry.

Niko opened my tarp so i can see outside. I didn’t want to get out from the warm bag….

Everybody had warm night behind and slept well. Wind was gone and seems all got their tarps covered them well.

Breakfast time

Morning sun was gone, only big cloudy sky was saying goodbye when we head back to our cars. It started to snow also. Had coffee break at the Tuulos mall and said goodbye untill the next time.

It was an awesome trip and thank you all! Not sure if we can enjoy these kind of weathers in this winter again. Spring is coming slowly, so other adventures calling.

Here is a video from our trip too :

Thank you for reading!


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