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Tips for a pilgrimage

Preparing for a pilgrimage in Finland

A pilgrimage can be as long as a day’s walk or it can be a longer journey lasting several weeks. When planning your own pilgrimage, the most important things to consider are clothing, footwear, snacks and the route. There is no competition in pilgrimage, and the most important thing is not the destination. It is about enjoying the journey.

With a hike of less than one day, you should consider:

  • Good outdoor equipment according to the seasons and weather conditions. The clothes should also withstand wind and rain. Bright clothes help to stand out from the terrain, which is useful in emergency situations.
  • Comfortable footwear, such as running shoes, hiking shoes or rubber boots. You should also choose sports socks or wool socks as socks, depending on the weather.
  • Gloves and hats, especially in the colder seasons.

What to pack?

  • Pack enough water or juice in your backpack. You can bring coffee or cocoa to the thermos, which warms you up between hikes.
  • Protein bars, nuts and fruit are good snacks for a shorter hike.
  • On a longer hike, it’s good to find out the campfire sites along the route and possibly bring your own camping stove.
  • Hikers should always carry a few first aid supplies, such as plasters and painkillers.
  • In summer, always pack sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat and mosquito repellent.
  • For hand hygiene, you should carry hand sanitizer with you.

Take note:

  • Check the fire warnings before making an open fire.
  • Save nature by walking along marked paths and outdoor routes.
  • You should choose the hike according to your skill level and find out whether the chosen destination is an easy terrain or whether there are many height differences along the route. If you are planning your first hike, you should choose a well-marked hiking route, where you can find well-maintained rest and fire places, toilets, water intake points and other camping structures.
  • You should find out the water intake points in advance, because carrying drinking water is heavy and only a limited number of water bottles can fit in the backpack.
  • When hiking, you can use either a physical map or phone map applications. If you rely on your phone’s map applications, remember to pack a travel charger for your trip.

On an overnight hike, you should remember to:

  • Pack only as much as you can carry.
  • Test the equipment before going on a hike and break in the new hiking boots as well as possible.
  • Be prepared for rapid weather changes by packing quick-drying change of clothes and spare shoes.
  • Pack clothes, sleeping bag and dry food in plastic bags to be safe.
  • Brings a camping stove for cooking.
  • Note that water is needed in addition to drinking water for cooking, washing dishes and washing.
  • Always uses biodegradable detergent when washing dishes. Consider the environment also by using biodegradable hygiene items.

Sources: nationalparks.fi

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