31 Mar 2016

Easter overnighter

Nuuksio national park 24/3/2016 - 25/3/2016

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I had a five day leave from work during Easter - what a nice excuse for an overnighter! This time I went hammock camping to Nuuksio.

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The weather was rather dull and I met few people during my trip. On nice, sunny days Nuuksio can get quite crowded.

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In the city the spring has already taken over but in the forests of Nuuksio it was still winter. The temperatures hovered around freezing. As I sleep cold I brought my winter sleeping bag with me - a wise choice!

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Despite the snow the spring was in the air: birds were singing, water was burbling in the burns... Maybe the next time I visit Nuuksio the winter is nothing but a memory?

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25 Jan 2016

Day walk in Uutela

23/1/2016, Uutela (Helsinki)

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Luontopolku = Nature Trail. Naturstig in Swedish.
The temperature took a sudden upward turn from -24 C Friday morning to -3 C Saturday morning. So Saturday was a perfect day to be spent in Uutela recreational area in Eastern Helsinki. We visit it every now and then as it is easy to reach even by public transport.

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It was snow, snow everywhere so most of the pictures are more or less black and white. A bit dull - on the other hand it feels quite comforting when walking in the snowy forest.

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As the sun started to set beautiful shades of blue and orange appeared from nowhere. The sea was covered by ice and snow so many brave souls were walking / skiing / ice-fishing / doing other winter activities on the ice. I don't belong to those brave ones, especially not now as I did not have any safety equipment with me and I did have the kids with me. So we stayed firmly on ground.

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One must not forget to bring something to be grilled over open fire as there are two fireplaces in Uutela (bring your own wood/charcoal as well!). They were rather busy with people but we got our hot dogs hot. All in all it was a good day out with the family.

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According to the weather forecast this "heat wave" will continue and it's going to rain tomorrow. So it's goodbye snow, welcome sleet and slush. "Oh, nice."

17 Jan 2016

First of the year

15/1/2016 - 16/1/2016, Nuuksio national park

Guess who's back blogging! 18 months just flew by - it all started with a missing camera cable, and blogging is just no fun without any pics. By the time I found the cable I had created a lot of backlog. Not blogging - and creating even more backlog - was not the ultimate solution... But who cares, it's a new year now, so I make a fresh start.

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For the past couple of years I've tried to take up winter backpacking. And yes, I've been backpacking during the winter months, it's just that we've had two very mild winters here. This winter started warm but after Christmas the temperatures plummeted and soon after that we also got some snow. Now it really looks and feels like winter.

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So I packed my backpack on Thursday evening, and on Friday afternoon - after my duties at work - I was ready to head to Nuuksio national park. It was already getting dark when I reached Nuuksio so I chose the nearest campsite. Another reason for this decision was that this was the first time I was testing my winter sleeping bag in earnest; if I had to, I could call a taxi to pick me up...

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The evening was very quiet. I saw no-one so I could enjoy the solitude. The planes to/from Helsinki-Vantaa airport had chosen a route over the national park, and some birds were making noise. Other than that it was just me and my travel radio in the warm sleeping bag.

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As I woke up Saturday morning (well after 10 am...) the temperature was -15 C. I had been warm and toasty in my sleeping bag all night. Sure I also had several layers of insulation under me. But now I know a little bit better how my winter sleeping bag copes.

Saturday was a beautiful, sunny day, and a lot of day trippers started coming to Nuuksio. For me it was time to pack my backpack and start walking to the bus stop. That was the first overnighter of 2016. And it was a good one.