Finland provides excellent opportunities for outdoor activities, such as hiking, boating and canoeing. The different regions of Finland, such as the Helsinki region, the Lake District, the archipelago and the southern coast, and, of course, Lappland, all have their own special characteristics in respect of their nature.

A thing most scouts would want to do in Finland, a real “must”, is a visit to one of the numerous national parks, hiking areas and wilderness areas. The national parks and areas are managed by the state owned enterprise Metsähallitus, which also provides up-to-date information on the parks on their National Parks website. Before visiting national parks, check out visitor guidelines and outdoor etiquette. Respecting nature, getting around, camping, lighting a fire and litter-free hiking – once you’ve familiarized yourself with these, you are ready to explore the Finnish nature!

For those who want to rent a boat or a canoe, there are many commercial operators providing their services. Information on charter boats may be found on the site of the Finnish Marine Industries Federation Finnboat (Venealan Keskusliitto Finnboat ry).

General information for planning a visit to Finland is available at the web site of the Finnish Tourist Board (Matkailunedistämiskeskus, MEK). On the site, you will find general facts on Finland and information on things to do as well as information on, for example, transportation and accommodation (camping sites, hostels, etc.). The information is provided in more than ten languages, even in Japanese and Chinese.

For “scoutish” accommodation there is, in addition to local scout camp sites, huts and other facilities, a broad network of public camping sites available, covering entire Finland. The sites are generally well equipped and provide services including WC, showers, washing basins with hot water, sauna, laundry, cooking and washing up facilities, drinking water outlets, fireplaces and waste recycling. At most sites there are Cafés or Kiosks selling foodstuffs as well.

More information on camping sites including details of any specific site is available at a site provided by the Finnish Camping Site Association (Suomen Leirintäalueyhdistys ry.). The information is provided, in addition to Finnish and Swedish, in English, German and Russian.

Finland also has around 80 hostels located both in cities and in the countryside. More information on them is available at a site provided by The Finnish Hostel Association.

Useful Websites

Photo: Jenni Lahtinen