Instructions and Rules in Kvarken Archipelago Nature Reserve
Check for Warnings
When forest and grass fire warnings (en.ilmatieteenlaitos.fi) 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. The one who lights a fire is always responsible for its safe use. Please note, that making fire at these campfire sites can be banned locally.
- Camping is allowed in Kvarken Archipelago by the Everyman's right (environment.fi). There are no designated camping sites.
- Lighting campfires is only allowed at designated campfire sites.
Please note that lighting campfires is also forbidden at campfire sites if the forest fire warning or the grass fire warning is in effect. Check the current warnings (en.ilmatieteenlaitos.fi). This prohibition does not apply to cooking shelters or other fireplaces with a shelter and a flue.
- Many of the islands in Kvarken are important nesting areas for birds, so it is essential to keep to the marked trails during the nesting season, 1.5. - 15.7.
- Dogs have to be kept on lead at all times.
- Hand-picking Sea buckthorn (Hippophaë rhamnoides) berries is allowed without limitations. Nowadays, also the use of extractors is allowed without limitations in time.
- Hook and line fishing, ice fishing and fishing with a simple herring rig are permitted under everyman's rights.
- The fisheries management fee (eräluvat.fi) is required if you are 18-64 years of age and will be fishing with lures or traps or crayfishing.
- In some areas in Kvarken archipelago you will also need Metsähallitus' angling permit no 7412 for the sea area (eräluvat.fi).
- Fishers need to check the restrictions on fishing sites at kalastusrajoitus.fi (In Finnish).
- All fishing is prohibited in the Valassaaret-Björkögrunden nature reserve. However, persons resident in Björköby may fish in the area
- As a rule, a permit issued by Metsähallitus is required for activities other than those included in everyman's rights, which may include research and organised events. Further information on required permits: research and access permits (metsa.fi) and permits and notifications related to events (metsa.fi).
Snipansgrund-Medelkalla seal reserve
- The Kvarken archipelago has a dedicated seal reserve (metsa.fi, in Finnish), where visitor access is restricted. Entering seal reserve is prohibited year-round within half a nautical mile (926 m) of the islets marked on the reserve map. Visitors are allowed within half a nautical mile of the islets between 16 June and 31 January. At all other times a Metsähallitus permit is required to enter any part of a reserve.
Mobile Phone Coverage
- Although Finland has a broad network for mobile phones, there are some areas in the park 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.
Weather, Equipment and Safety
- At the sea it is important to be prepared for quickly changing weather conditions.
- Wind-proof clothing is always necessary on the sea.
- Nautical charts are of essential importance, the labyrinth-like archipelago is covered in the series F. There are special maps about the unofficial channels for small boats. These channels are maintained by volunteers, and boaters may use them at their own risk. These maps are sold locally.
- There are ticks everywhere in the Kvarken Archipelago, but especially in the high grassland.
- They live in damp grass, and some of them carry viruses and bacteria which cause diseases. It is important to cover your legs and arms, which is easily done by wearing long sleeves and wearing your socks on top of your trouser legs.
- Tick pliers (sold in pharmacies) and tick check done every night are also essential.Ticks are most likely found in crooks.
- How to Hike without Leaving a Trace?
- 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:
- When walking on the islands, it is good to remember that the rocks are slippery when wet, and so are moss and algae.
- Water flows fast in Kvarken, and this affects the thickness of the ice cover in the winter. If walking on the ice, you need to know where the currents are to avoid falling through the thin ice. It is not recommended to walk on the ice, unless you know the local ice conditions.
112 Emergency Number
If you have an emergency during your trip, such as getting lost, injured or finding a wildfire, call 112. Read more detailed emergency instructions.
Download the 112 Finland application (112.fi) to your phone. When an emergency call is made through the 112 Finland application, the emergency center attendant is automatically informed of the caller's location.
It is recommended to keep the mobile phone warm and to bring extra food and water with you. There are many excursion locations with no mobile coverage and some mobile phones does not work in sub-zero temperatures, that is why it is always a good idea to let someone know about your itinerary and timetable.