Sliding snow shoes, ski poles and a backpack in the snow in front of a small frozen waterfall. In the forefront is a hiker's hand holding a guksi.There’s no one right way to pack or prepare for a hike. In general, the longer or more remote your trip is and the more changing the weather, the more clothing, gear and food you’re going to need. Use the checklists (day hike packing list and overnight backpacking trip packing list) to ensure you have everything for your trip. Print them out and make notes on your list about what worked well (or poorly) after each trip.

It is usually possible to enjoy a short walk in natural surroundings in most parts of Finland without special equipment. Most trails can be easily walked in sports shoes or walking shoes during dry weather, though hiking boots or rubber boots may be useful, as terrain can vary considerably even over short distances.

On longer trips it is vital to have the right clothing, especially off the beaten track. Hikers may have to cope with sub-zero temperatures any time from September to May in the north, or October to April in the south. Temperatures of 30 - 40 degrees Centigrade below zero are not unusual in Finnish Lapland. Layers of clothing that can be easily removed are preferable to thick clothes. Warm headwear, gloves and footwear can prevent frostbite. Wear bright colours for safety. They can help spot you from a distance, e.g. in emergency situations. 

In summer insect pests can be problematic for hikers in some areas.

Suitable maps of many popular hiking areas are available at bookshops or Karttakeskus (karttakauppa.fi).