This year, the traditional Winter Hike of the Oulu University Scout Troop SOOPA will be heading to Käsivarsi Wilderness Area in Northern Lapland. Join us for an unforgettable experience and come to enjoy the breathtaking views and the warmth of wilderness cabins in an amazing company.
The Winter Hike is a week-long trip in the arctic hills of Lapland. The participants will be divided into small groups, and in that group you can plan your own hike according to the groups’s wishes. A typical hike includes 50-100 kilometres of skiing, and the route normally consists of skiing from one cabin to another. Shorter day trips e.g. to the top of a nearby arctic hill with only light backpacks are also possible -the wilderness is pretty much your oyster, so using your imagination when planning the route plan and the schedule of your group is recommended! Nights are mostly spent in cabins, but you can also expect sleeping in a tent.
We are leaving for the hike on Friday evening, January 1st, and will return to Oulu on Saturday evening, January 9th. You are welcome to join the hike even if you are not a scout or have little hiking experience.
GENERAL GUIDELINES AND TESTING YOUR FITNESS
You’ll get information about the guidelines in the info meeting on 5th of November at 5pm in Kolo.
If you don’t have any clue of your fitness level, you can test your fitness for the hike by doing a fitness test (there are plenty online, for example google ’walking test’). If you do a test, mark down the name and result of the test and submit the information in the ”Physical Fitness” section in the registration form. Testing your fitness is not necessary, but hiking with the group will be much more pleasant when the members have about the same capability and attitude for hiking.
GROUPS, FOOD AND GEAR
The group size will be around six people. When arranging the groups, we will do our best to take into account the fitness level of the hikers as well as their personal wishes. To help us do that, please fill in the registration form carefully. In each group, there’ll also be experienced hikers, so if you’re a beginner you will have a chance to learn from them. Food will be prepared in small cooking groups, usually consisting of 2 people. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be needed for each hiking day, and the cooking groups can decide themselves what they would like to eat. Here are some meal suggestions.
Winter hikes can be challenging so it is important to have suitable gear for arctic weather conditions. Especially first-time hikers should take their time to prepare themselves and check their equipment carefully. Advice and tricks can be found in the gear list (see below) or in the chronicles from former hikes. And of course questions are always welcome. On top of that, we’ll also discuss about the gear in the info meeting on Nov 5th in Kolo at 5pm.
This gear list for Winter Hike gives you an overview of the most important equipment, both personal and group gear. It is not necessary to own all the group gear mentioned in the list because the group members can agree together on how to get the needed equipment. Tents suitable for winter camping can be borrowed from SOOPA without charge, and SOOPA has also winter hiking skis, boots and coats that you can rent for the hike. You’ll get more information about the gear available for renting from SOOPA’s store-keeper (varastonhoitaja). There are also other places where you can find hiking gear such as www.kuinoma.fi. You can also try emailing other SOOPA members, soopa(at)lists.oulu.fi and ask if someone could borrow you some of the equipment. Make sure you’ll get all the necessary gear well in time for the hike.
Please note that for the bus drive to our destination, you should take snacks and breakfast for the first day as well as a towel, shampoo and fresh clothes in a separate bag for the after-hike sauna. You can leave these things in the bus, and they’ll wait for you there when you come back from your hike.
PRE-TRIP MEETING FOR THE HIKERS
A pre-trip meeting will be held before the hike for all the participants. It is an opportunity for you to get to know your fellow group members before the hike, and discuss about the route you want to take. Moreover, the groups can check that they have all the needed group gear, and assign cooking groups for the hike. The meeting is also an excellent place for new hikers to get more information about the hiking area as well as some basics about the gear and safety on hikes. There will be experienced hikers who are happy to answer any questions you may have.
If the group does not agree on the above-mentioned things in the pre-meeting, it is the group leader’s responsibility to make sure their arrangements are done. If you cannot make it to the meeting, please contact your group and group leader to get all the necessary information. The meeting will take place after the sign-up for the trip has ended, on Dec 7th at 5pm in Aulakahvila at the Oulu University.
SCHEDULE FOR THE TRIP
We will most likely travel to the hiking areas by bus. You can board the bus either at the central bus station in the city centre, in Tuira (Merikoskenkatu) or in Linnanmaa (car park in front of T2 door). When we return to Oulu, you can be get off the bus in any of those same places. We will depart from Oulu around 9pm on Friday 1st of December and return around 10pm on Saturday 9th of January. The departure and arrival times will be arranged according to the arrival/departure times of the trains from southern Finland. The exact schedule for the hike will be announced later in the instructions sent to the hikers after the sign-up has closed
PRICE AND PAYMENT
The price for the hike is 75 €. The price includes transportation from Oulu to the hiking area and back, sauna and a buffet lunch on the way back, and a map of the hiking area. The price does not include any insurance, thus everyone is responsible for that individually. The participants must also pay SOOPA’s member or supporting member fee for the year 2016 to take part in the hike. (Instructions for becoming a SOOPA member and paying the membership fee.)
The payments for the hike must be paid to SOOPA’s bank account by 23rd of November. Pay it right after signing up is recommended! Those who have not paid the participation fee for the hike or SOOPA’s membership fee by the deadline will not be considered as participants for the hike. If they still want to join the hike, they must follow the instructions for late sign-up.
If SOOPA must cancel the hike for some reason, all payments will be reimbursed, and you can also ask the membership fee back if you do not plan to attend any other SOOPA events.
If you get ill before the hike and thus can’t participate, you can apply for reimbursement of the payments by writing a message to the person in charge of the hike (contact information in the end of this message).
All payments have to be made to SOOPA’s bank account:
IBAN: FI72 574136 20057718
Reference number: 11578
Sum: 75€ + SOOPA membership fee
The membership fee and payment for this hike should be paid at the same time, if the membership fee hasn’t been paid beforehand.
Sign up for the hike using this form.
The last day for signing up is Monday 23rd th of November 2015 before midnight. All the payments for the hike are also due on the same day.
Only the first 50 hikers to sign up will get on the hike, but usually there’s room for everyone.
Signing up after the registration has been closed is only possible through contacting the organiser. The person signing up this way will be charged 15€ more and will only be accepted to participate is there’s a group willing to take an extra member.
SOOPA has the right to deny access to the hike from a person who is seen as dangerous to himself or the group. This might occur due to inadequate fitness level, equipment or health. In such a case, all the payments will be reimbursed to the person.
All SOOPA’s events are alcohol-free.
Welcome to the Winter Hike!
On behalf of the Winter Hike committee,
soopa.vaeltaa (at) gmail.com