Tough Time Preparing for the First Hike


On the third day of school we got the news about an expedition to Ylläs-Pallas national park. We would be leaving on 11th of September and return on 25th of September. We had so many questions in our heads.

Ahmed Abdulkarim & Kirsi Hirsimäki

One of our classmates had zero experience in hiking and camping. All his clothes were meant for office work. He didn’t even have a sleeping bag. ‘’My first reaction was anxiety, and that I need to go shopping’’, he said. So, on the same day we went looking for what we have and what we still have to get. Where to get those missing pieces of equipment?

We actually got a very good list from our teachers of what we need during the hike. They also said that we don’t need the exact same things they have on the list as long as the gear is acceptable and working. There’s no need to have any high tech gear when you are just starting your journey as an adventure and outdoor educator.

outdoor gear

Equipment for the hike

Lahti, Sini. 2020. Lecture slides, 9/2020, Equipment for the hike

Some of our classmates had some spare gear and school had some that we could borrow for the expedition. That was the first place to ask. Also, there are second- and third-year students who we can ask for some gear to borrow. After asking them and many secondhand shops later, it was time to head to local shops. So, we decided to go to the shops that were in a driving distance. I found myself standing in a local department store in the middle of the night 2:30 am, trying to find suitable rain boots.

Searching for hiking gear in the middle of night in a local store (Photo: Ahmed Abdurkarim)

Sometimes it’s really stressful to go shopping for gear that you are not familiar with. Especially when you don’t know what fits, what kind of a sleeping bag you need and where to get them in time. But there’s always that option: ask from the experienced and learn, or learn the hard way.

While checking the gear one of us also dried some food to take with. It was the first time for her to dry something else than fruits, so she had to check how to do it. She was going to dry potatoes, carrots and mushrooms. That really wasn’t too hard, 500grams of fresh potato made 35grams dried. She failed with the first round with potatoes because she was supposed to boil them not fry. Sometimes you just have to learn things the hard way. We hoped that everything would be in order before the hike.

Drying vegetables (Photo: Kirsi Hirsimäki)

And here’s some tips for you:

Facebook hiking groups: Retkeily- ja vaellusvarusteita, Vaellus- ja retkeilyvarusteet kiertoon and also you can find something from your local facebook second-hand-shop groups

Tips for drying food:



Last modified: November 4, 2020