Instructions on Exploring Sompio Strict Nature Reserve
The use of the Sompio Strict Nature Reserve is steered by the reserve's rules and regulations.
In Sompio Strict Nature Reserve, the following are
- In all seasons, roaming in the Sompio Strict Nature Reserve is only allowed along the hiking trails marked in the terrain.
- Camping is only allowed on the shores of Lake Sompiojärvi, and you may stay there for a maximum of three days at one time.
- Fishing is only allowed on Lake Sompiojärvi with the required permits. Fishers need to check the restrictions on fishing sites at kalastusrajoitus.fi (In Finnish).
- Making a campfire is only allowed at designated campfire sites.
- The local inhabitants and the reindeer herders of the Lapin paliskunta reindeer herding cooperative have certain special rights in the Sompio Strict Nature Reserve.
- All activities causing any change to nature are forbidden.
- If a forest fire warning is in effect, making an open fire is also forbidden at the designated campfire sites and at the fireplaces by the lean-to shelters. During the most severe droughts it is recommended that fires be not made in home fireplaces or hut stoves either, in order to prevent sparks from flying onto dry ground.
- Allowing pets to run free is forbidden.
- Driving a motor vehicle is forbidden.
- Littering or damaging any structures is forbidden.
Careful planning and obtaining information on local conditions will enable you to enjoy the wonders of nature in the best way possible.
Mobile Phone Coverage
- Although Finland has a broad network for mobile phones, there are some areas in the Sompio Strict Nature Reserve without signal. There may also be some smaller spots where there is interference. If this happens try to climb to a higher place or go into an open area. It may be worth removing the SIM card from your phone and then trying again to make emergency call. Different phones also differ in their coverage.
- We recommend that you keep your mobile phone warm at all times and take along food and drink. Certain phone models do not work when the temperature falls below zero. You should therefore let someone know your planned route. To keep your mobile phone charged, bring along a spare power source, a spare battery or an old phone with a working battery.
A Considerate Hiker
You won't leave any traces of your visit to the Sompio Strict Nature Reserve, will you? You will find tips for environmentally sound hiking on the Hiking in Finland webpages.
- Take the different seasons into account when considering equipment and provisions.
- The most important pieces of equipment on a hike are a sheath knife, matches, a map and a compass. You should take them with you even on the shortest day trips in addition to packed meals and drinks. More information on equipment and hiking can be found in hiking books and on the Hiking in Finland webpages.
- Make sure you pack a first-aid kit.
- Take food preparation equipment and your personal cutlery with you.
- There is a stove and a gas cooker at the Pyhä-Nattanen Day Trip Hut. There is firewood in the woodshed.
- There is a saw and an axe at the lean-to shelters, the Lapp 'kota' huts and at the Pyhä-Nattanen Day Trip Hut. However, it is advisable particularly for winter hikers to take their own saw and axe with them. There may be spare saw blades by the wall of the woodshed.
- There is a water bucket and a scoop, a waste bucket, a guestbook and a fire alarm at the Pyhä-Nattanen day trip hut.
- Take a battery (V9) with you, as moisture and the cold may weaken battery function.
- The hut's folder contains instructions for using the equipment and for the correct behaviour at the hut.
- You can practise hiking on day trips. It is recommended that a person who has good wilderness skills participates on longer hikes.
- Remember to inform your friends, close relatives, your place of accommodation or the Urho Kekkonen National Park's customer service points about yourself, your schedule and your route plans. Also inform them, as far as possible, of any changes to your route and schedule. Write your name in the guestbooks at huts and lean-to shelters, as that facilitates the helpers' work in an emergency. The area's rescue service has been statutorily organised and it can be reached via the Emergency Response Centre (ERC). Remember to inform others about your arrival at the destination in order to avoid any unnecessary search alarms. The rescue service will invoice for unnecessary searches. Remember that the telephone number you must first use in an emergency is 112.
- If you face an emergency on your hike, e.g. get lost, get injured or observe wildfire, call 112 and report an emergency. More information on how to act in an emergency.
- Make sure you pack a first-aid kit.
- Hiking in winter is demanding. In midwinter the weather and light conditions are difficult, as it may be –40 C and there are only a few hours of daylight during the polar night. Windy conditions significantly increase the bitterness of the cold weather.
- Avoid hiking alone. In an emergency a fellow hiker is indispendable.
- Late winter is a popular time for hiking, but you must have proper gear then, too. Do not go to the Sompio Strict Nature Reserve with the usual cross-country skis!
- Hiking in Finland:
- Summer and the period of autumn colours are popular times for hiking in the Sompio Strict Nature Reserve. The period of autumn colours usually takes place in the early part of September.