Fat biking vacation in Finland

“Spend a week as part of a small group staying in traditional log cabins and tackling the snow-covered trails of Oulanka National Park on an extra chunky fat bike.”

Highlights

Kuusamo | Logging Lodge | Oulanka National Park | Russian End cabin | snowmobile transfer | Oulankajoki River | traditional sauna | Lake Paanajärvi | optional activities for the free day include: unguided cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, dogsledding or snowmobile safaris |

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03 Feb 2019
US $ 2325
excluding flights
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24 Feb 2019
US $ 2325
excluding flights
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17 Mar 2019
US $ 2325
excluding flights
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24 Mar 2019
US $ 2325
excluding flights
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Fat biking vacation in Finland

Accommodation and Meals:
On this trip you will spend 5 nights in the Logging Lodge and 2 nights in the Russian End Cabin. The Logging Lodge is a wooden building built in 1950s, located on the edge of Oulanka National Park. It has been recently renovated to improve its heating system and overall conditions to ensure it is as environmentally friendly as possible. A new boiler has been installed to provide fuel efficiency to the place and the renovation of the lodge is a way to preserve part of the local history of the area. In the final years of the industrial revolution, around 1840, the Wilderness of Lapland was discovered as a precious source of timber for trade with Russian and Europe. Lodges were built as homes for people who were coming to work in this business and had to live here for months. The Logging Lodge is an example of one of the luxurious lodges that was built after strikes and protests made by workers to improve their living and working conditions in the area.

Russian End is a traditional elk hunting camp. It consists of one main building, with several outbuildings including a sauna, basic long drop toilet and lean-to and the location is particularly remote and fascinating: close to the river and not far from the Russian border. There is no running water and no electricity, so our stay here has a very minimal impact on the environment. The clients can experience a Finnish shower and they get involved in the process of cutting ice from the river water to use for the shower and for the sauna, along with hot water.The fuel used is totally sustainable and no waste is produced as all rubbish is removed and taken away at the end of the stay by the leader.

Activity:
This trip is spent fat-biking in the Finnish wilderness, so there is a very minimal effect on the environment from our activity. The tracks are prepared by the guide and if possible, man-power is used over motors to minimise carbon emissions and there is constant attention to a strong ‘leave no trace’ policy. We also visit a reindeer farm and museum where everyone will have the opportunity to ride a reindeer and try some lasso throwing. The farm is part of a co-operative and is dependent on tourist visits like this as it is in such a remote place. Optional activities like snowmobile tours are also run through local people, who really benefit from our business. The local leaders have a great interaction with the group and play a key role in imparting local knowledge about Finnish traditions. One of them has married into a reindeer farming family.

Conservation:
Part of the trip cost is a contribution which goes towards wilderness protection and conservation of Oulanka National Park. This donation is used partially for the restoration of Kärpäskelhä- which is an old meadow area used for cows, sheep and reindeer to graze in. The meadow has been out of use since the mid 50’s and has since been growing freely, slowly losing its usual customers and instead becoming overrun with plants and insects. Now, with Basecamp Oulanka, clients can volunteer in Kärpäskelhä if they like and participate in conservation activities. Together with our local operators we have donated more than 60,000 Euros over the past 6 years to wilderness protection work.

Local Craft and Culture:
Along with spending time with local people and visiting businesses (including the reindeer farm), we intend to share local culture by introducing clients to the varieties of handcrafts and local produce on offer here. Smoked elk is a traditional delicacy in these parts and can be purchased in the area, as well as traditional Lappish socks, hats, drums and Karhunkynsi tableware. By buying local crafts, we are contributing to the community and often encouraging customary craftsmanship which has lasted centuries. However, guides will remind clients not to purchase any products made with parts of endangered species whilst they are on the trip.

A Fair Deal:
All of our guides are local and live close to the camp, which has a positive effect on the very high unemployment levels in these rural areas. This also ensures that all generated income stays within the community and helps the village to function properly. Our staff work all year round and receive wages every month- despite our working season not covering the whole year. All staff are educated on responsible tourism issues and this should come across to clients in frequent briefings on current environmental and community issues. Their training extends to topics like flora and fauna, socioeconomic systems and sustainable tourism.

UK Office
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Group Size
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in a unique, family-run hotel that cannot benefit from big coach tours and other mass tourism due to its limited size.


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