Saturday, August 21, 2010

Hiking The Bear's Ring (Karhunkierros)

Time is flying! A week ago we finished our hiking tour in Ruka, north-east of Finland. We hiked the Karhunkierros (Bear's Ring) in the Oulanka National Park. We did 80km in five days from north (Hautajärvi) to south (Ruka).

The trail is very well marked, quite frequented and if you don't want to rely on free spaces in one of the huts along the trail you bring a tent with you as we did. On the one hand it means more baggage to carry with you but on the other hand freedom and some privacy.

In the beginning of the tour it rained a lot and on the third day we had some difficulties to keep our clothes and shoes! dry. That's when we used one of the huts for a night.

However, during the last two days weather changed and we could enjoy the beautiful views over the Ruka area. Quite a hilly area actually. We walked it at the end of the tour as our backpacks got lighter (less food) and - as odd as it may sound - felt much more fit after three days of hiking (getting used to carrying heavy backpacks and long distances).

The trail is good for beginners because there are several exits along the trail leading back to a road and civilization. At many places along the trail there are even given the exact coordinates in case of emergencies along with a number you should call in such events. Never seen anything like it!

Every few kilometers there are either shelters, huts and fire places with fire-wood, an axe and a saw free to use. A good thing is that they are close to water so you never have a problem with having to carry too much water with you.
Personally we thought the trail was a bit too frequented but that of course depends on the season.

If you have never done a multi-day hiking trip and need hiking equipment or more information about organizing such a trip or just want to play safe going on a guided tour we can recommend booking a tour with Lotta from Hiking in Finland. We met her on the trail and she was very open and helpful.

1 comment:

Vort Kunnegut said...

Hyvä tarina ja hienoja kuvia. Kiitos! Olen haaveillut Karhunkierrosta jo jonkin aikaa. Kokemusta patikoinnista ei ole, joten tuosta kertomuksestanne päätellen Karhunkierto voisi olla sopiva aloitus :) Upeita maisemia.


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