Ready, Set, Hike! – Preparations for the Ylläs Multi-Day Hike


A group of students sitting in a circle on the ground next to a lake.

“You can’t cross the sea by merely standing and staring at the water.”

-Rabindranath Tagore

Ivan Zolkin & Nick Drevos

Preparing and Bonding

We all had waited for a while to embark on our multi-day hiking adventure in Ylläs-Pallas National Park. On the day of departure, our bags were filled with hiking gear and our emotions with enthusiasm, passion and eagerness.

Prior to the hike, we prepared both on our own and as a class, which took time and effort. We spent the first week in Äkäslompolo training for the hike, having lessons, participating in activities, and getting to know each other while also growing closer as a group.

We spent the first day in Lapland, getting to know each other better by having a lesson on the lake in Äkäslompolo. In order for a group to be ready for adventures, there must be a bond filled with trust, and opportunities to know each other on a deeper level. We had numerous different ice-breaking activities on the lake and conversations with everyone, where we talked about our expectations for the hike and learning goals.

Communicating with everyone about our feelings provides a sense of trust and comfort between each other, and we all shared an overwhelming feeling of excitement. We also spent all of our evenings together at the hostel talking, playing games, and making dinners together, which helped us bond all the more.

Students getting off a bus carrying rucksacks.
Now, you’re either on the bus or you’re off the bus. (Photo: Sanni Hydén)

Tent Groups Stick Together

Regarding the preparation of our equipment, we first had to form tent groups consisting of 2-3 people. We decided the groups together as a class using an extensive half-hour to reach a unanimous consensus.

After forming our tent groups, the next step was going on a short day hike to have a lesson on equipment usage in the fells. We learned how to use the Trangias, our gas heating system for food, in the proper way. A very useful tip we also learned was that you can clean your items by making a brush out of sticks and leaves to scrub the dirt off. Moreover, it’s vital to remember that if you rinse anything with water, you must dump the used water 50 meters from a fresh water stream.

Following the Trangia lesson, we were taught how to build and take down the tents properly without damaging them, and how to put up a tarp in different configurations depending on the weather conditions. At first, some groups had challenges, but they overcame them by continuing to practice over and over again as a group. This equipment lesson was filled with valuable information that we were able to put into practice before we left for the trip.

Another important sector of hiking equipment is food brought on the hike. We decided to plan our food within our tent groups. It’s important to note that when taking food on a hike, it should be well-planned, light to carry, and high in calories, while also providing you with enough micronutrients.

A fell and an autumnal forest  seen  on the distance over a completely still lake.
Nature is not a place to visit. It is home. (Photo: Nick Drevos)

New Skills Acquired

To conclude our thoughts shortly, we learned how to get along with each other, respected everyone’s goals and opinions, and became friends on a deeper level with one another. We also improved our own skills with learning how to handle new equipment.

In addition, we realized first-handed how truly important proper planning, in every realm, is while going on a hike in a new environment. After all of the intense preparation surrounded by supportive people with a lot of knowledge, each of us felt more than ready to put our newly honed skills to good use.

Last modified: November 1, 2021