A Finnish Christmas

It's still a little way off, but I wondered if anyone else is booked up for the Finnish Wilderness week, departing on the 20th December? 


I've just booked - now I have to get my 'skates on' or rather my skis to get organised it time. A bit last minute but should be fun.


Yes, I'm booked too - I went in May, so looking forward to properly icy conditions over Xmas. Does anyone else fancy trying ice climbing?


yeah I might give ice climbing a go. I've done some rock climbing but never ice climbing so might be fun. Not so sure about staying over night in the igloo though if I've built it!


Me too - I climb a fair amount (mainly indoors but a bit of real rock now and again) but ice climbing looks like a whole other thing. 

I was too cowardly to sleep in the quinzee - the walls are very, very thick but the lure of my room/mattress was too great!

BTW - are you travelling out on the Thomson flight at lunchtime? 


yep I think mattress, heat, sauna probably win over ice and snow everytime. Yes I'm on that Thomson flight ( I guess I got one of the last seats so have no idea where I'm sitting). if you've done this trip before - any tips on what to bring?


I fancy the ice climbing, snow mobile too if possible.

Is the seating reserved for the Thompson flight? I'll be heading down to Gatwick the night before if anyone happens to be arriving early and fancies meeting up for a coffee or something.  


is always a good idea!

I read that the Finns are crazy about coffee so I'll be in good company.

Are you staying out at Gatwick or in London?  

I've not made up my mind about the snow mobile my neighbours had one back home when I was a kid so I've done it before but am looking forward to cross country skiing - sad I know but it's a great way to get out into the woods. 


Hello Finland-buddies

Yes, the quinzee seemed like a good idea for about a minute! It was actually quite restful having a lie-down once we'd finished building it - the thick walls block out all sound and you get a tiny bit of diffuse light, so it's a little like lying in an isolation tank (I'm not selling this too well, am I?)

As for what to bring... they provide a mountain of really good clothing for daytime so you don'y need much - maybe a few extra base layers and fleeces. Sunglasses can be useful for glare and wind. Maybe a spare battery for your camera (the cold can apparently affects their performance)... swimming costume for the hot tub... cards or games for the evening (though, chances are, you'll want to crash out by 10-ish!)

Other than that, a very few clothes for the evening, but I wouldn't go mad here - the mood is very, very casual so no need for that ballgown and/or dinner suit. A few books and some music, a few pairs of warm trousers for evening and any favourite snacks etc - the Basecamp really is in the middle of nowhere, and they sell a very small range of 'essentials', so definitely bring any toiletries etc.

Oh, talking about evenings, if you have any games, maybe bring one - As for coffee, they provide an endless supply! 

I'm keen to try the snowmobile (the snow wasn't good enough in May) - you need to bring a driving license for that but I have to say that the highlight was the husky safari - amazing fun and really exhilarating.

Look forward to seeing you.


Hey D - thanks for the info all very useful and I am now getting a wee bit excited. Can i trouble you with a few more queries? It says that some days we are free in the afternoon and can go out on unguided ski or snow shoe trips. Did you do that last time or what did you do with the free time? Also what is the ATM situation - it sounds like it's a pretty remote place so did you just come with everything or did you also rely on getting to an ATM?

 Sorry for all the questions but it sounds like you're an old hand at this trip! 


Hello Kali (your real name? If so, how strange that you're named after a Nepalese river!). Also... neighbours witha snowmobile?  I'm guessing that you didn't grow up in the UK!

I wouldn't exactly call myself and old hand - plus, it was quite warm when I was there in April, so I didn't get the full 'icicles on my nose' experience but...

There's an ATM at Kuusamo airport but there's no need to bring much cash - as there's nothing to spend it on! 'Pretty remote' is an understatement - it's really in the middle of nowhere - the darkest skies you're ever likely to see. Also, everywhere takes credit/debit cards - I doubt I spent more than €200 the entire week (you can pay for optional things like snowmobile etc with a card).

The free time is really yours to use as you please; I did a half-day snowshoe walk, and tried some extra cross-country skiing. In fact, I didn't fancy the day in Ruka (I've never done downhill and it sounded like the snow wasn't great for a newbie) so went for a walk across the frozen lake and had lunch in one of the giant teepees they have - built my own fire and spent the afternoon reading a book and taking photos. I liked the fact that there's plenty available but no pressure to follow the crowd if you fancy doing your own thing for a day.  




Kali: I'm staying at Gatwick, at the south terminal I think. Speaking of which, are we leaving from the north or south terminal?

Only two weeks left of work, can't wait! :D



Hey Nick, we leave from North Terminal but it's not far between North and South terminals. I'm a Londoner for my sins so will be Gatwick Expressing it in the morning. There are a few coffee options in North Terminal Nero, Costa and even EAT do a decent flat white (told you guys I was a bit of a coffee fanatic).


I feel a bit cringy asking this but does anyone know if there's WiFi at the lodge?


I've not seen it mentioned in the notes anywhere, David might know though?

Not long to go now! 


Wi-Fi? No, no, NO! I don't even know if you can get a phone signal - I switched mine off at the airport and didn't turn it back on for a week. Bliss.

This is a resolutely low-tech environment. No TVs or radios - trust me, you won't miss them.

if you really need to send an email, they have Internet access in the office. But you won't! 


Ok I will leave my gadgets behind - no use packing them. So then whose bringing the cards and other low tech fun? Oh my god we might actually have to interact with other humans!!!

Just kidding guys  - I'm not really that welded to my crackberry but it's good to be able to tell the office they won't be able to get a hold of me.

See ya'll soon!


I looked on the airline's site but cannot for the life of me figure out what the limit is! I think I will close to the edge so if anyone has extra allowance I wouldn't mind piggy back at check in.

I've got a dice game that my 9 year old nephew gave me so I think we can just about handle that and a flask of single malt Islay for a wee dram or two to chase the cold away.

See you all tomorrow and if you aren't using your weight allowance let me know your ETA and may be we can meet at check -in? 


The weight limit for checked baggage is 15Kg - that's loads more than you'll need. 

You're not allowed to 'swap' luggage at check-in - it looks very bad from a security point of view.

Honestly, you really don't need to take much! 


Sorry for the misunderstanding - I wasn't suggesting any swapping of luggage. The airline terms and conditions allow for 'pooling' so if two people check in together their total allowence can be pooled between them.  Nothing to do with swaping etc.  Anyway I will sort it tonight.

See you all tomorrow.

Looking forward to bananagrams!


I'm at about 10kg, but pretty tight on space, if you get desperate, we might be able to work something out. I'll be at the terminal early tomorrow, give me a shout if you need to. :)



I just read the check-in info, and it seems that we're allowed up to 20KG.

I didn't know about 'pooling' - happy to pool with you: I can only imagine what you'll be bringing with you to use up that allowance - the world's biggest stollen, perhaps? 


lots of it... nah only joking.

Actually I should be ok. I had a re- sort just now.  

Nick - i'll be there early too as I have to go on a conference call at 10 am so will try and check in before so I don't miss check in etc. I'll give you a shout when I'm on the train out to the airport to see if you are around.  

See you guys tomorrow! 


Will be there in about 20 mins


I've just arrived, did you check in okay?


I'm seated near Dixons / Jo Malone in departures.

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