Instructions and Rules in Paistunturi Wilderness Area

Old reindeer fence in Ettevarri. Photo: Anna-Riikka Ihantola/MH.

Instructions on Exploring Paistunturi Wilderness Area

  • Hiking, skiing and temporary camping are allowed everywhere in the wilderness area according to the Everyman's rights (www.environment.fi).
  • Metsähallitus has decided to grant general permission to light fires in the terrain in Lapland. Dry branches, twigs and small stumps can be used as kindling. In places where there is a maintained campfire site within 500 metres, all fires must be lit at the campfire site. We recommend that you do not build campfires in the areas where there are few trees.
    • Making open fires is always prohibited at both marked campfire sites and when fires are permitted by the land owner if a forest fire warning has been issued for the area (ilmatieteenlaitos.fi). 
    • This prohibition does not apply to cooking shelters or other fireplaces with a flue.
  • For organising events is the wilderness area, a permission is always needed from Metsähallitus.
  • Because of the location of the wilderness area next to Kevo Strict Nature Reserve, visitors need to bear in mind that camping is  allowed only in designated places in Kevo. The Strict Nature Reserve has been divided into two parts: the canyon area and the fell area, both of which have their movement restrictions. The boundary line between Paistunturi Wilderness Area and Kevo Strict Nature Reserve is clearly marked. In the forested areas, it is marked with a treeless zone. In open areas, the boundary is marked with poles which are a couple of metres tall and made of wood, the corner poles are made of metal. There are signs of the Nature Reserve on the poles. Read more from the pages of Kevo.
  • Hook and line fishing and ice fishing are allowed under everyman's rights, except where specific restrictions apply.
  • Angling with a single rod is permitted, except in the restricted waters. Persons aged 18-64 years must pay the fisheries management fee. Angling permits for restricted areas are available from Metsähallitus' online shop (www.eraluvat.fi)
  • Fishers need to check the restrictions on fishing sites at kalastusrajoitus.fi (In Finnish).
  • Read more about Hiking in Finland.

Preparations

Mobile Phone Coverage

  • Although Finland has a broad network for mobile phones, there are some areas in the Paistunturi Wilderness Area 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.

Equipment

  • The highland of Paistunturi Wilderness Area is suitable for experienced hikers. It is demanding in the summer, but even more so in the winter, when the harshness of the conditions is multiplied. There is not much firewood in the area, and not many open wilderness huts either, so hikers need skills and adequate equipment. Because of the long distances, it is not easy to get help in the wilderness. If going hiking in the wilderness area, you need adequate shoes, maps, a compass, a tent, a camping cooker, windproof clothing, a sleeping bag and sufficient food supplies. Make sure you pack a first-aid kit.

Safety

  • Do not forget to tell your friends or family about your planned route and timetable. You can also inform Siida - Northern Lapland Nature Centre, but in that case do not forget to report that you have returned, so that the rescue service will not look for you unnecessarily.
  • The rescue service can be contacted through the emergency phone number 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 Finland:

Mosquitoes

  • The time of the mosquitoes is from the end of June until August or September, when the temperature goes below zero for the first time at night.

Seasons

  • "In Kevo Strict Nature Reserve, the ‘ruska' begins on the 10th of September at 2pm ± 5 days." This was the definition by Paavo Kallio, the late professor of botany in the University of Turku. "Ruska" means the beautiful autumn colours, which can be seen for two or three weeks.
  • Snow covers the ground for the first time usually in October or November, however before the New Year snow cover is usually quite thin.
  • If crossing rivers and brooks in the spring during the floods, you need consideration where and how to cross.

Emergency number 112

In case of an emergency along the way, for example if you get lost or injured or see a forest fire, dial 112. Detailed instructions.

ilmatieteenlaitos.fiCheck for Warnings

When forest and grass fire warnings are in effect, fire is only allowed at covered campfire sites that have a flue. A fire can be also lit in fireplaces at wilderness and other huts. Always use extreme caution when handling fire. Please note, that making fire at these campfire sites can be banned locally. 

Check the current warnings (en.ilmatieteenlaitos.fi).