Instructions on Exploring Tuntsa 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. In nature reserves for which a maintenance and utilisation plan or regulations have been issued, you must comply with the items outlined in these documents when lighting fires.
  • It is prohibited to light campfires even in the designated 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 the cooking shelters at Naruskan tammi and Tuntsajoki and to the lapp huts at Karhutunturi, Halti, Pystökoski, Sorsa and Nuoluskurun. It also does not apply to stoves of the Murhahaara, Härkätunturi and Takkaselkä huts.
  • Just to the north of Tuntsa Wilderness Area is Värriö Strict Nature Reserve. To enter the strict nature reserve or hike within it visitors must have a permit.
  • Read about Hiking Without Leaving a Trace.
  • 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).
     

View in Tuntsa. Photo: Markku Pirttimaa

Preparations

Mobile Phone Coverge

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

Safety

  • Preferably, do not set off on a trek alone. In the event of an emergency a hiking companion can be invaluable.
  • You can leave your route plan and timetable at the place you are lodging at or at Korvatunturi Visitor Centre. If you decide to change your route while hiking try to inform the place where you left your route plan. Also inform them of your return.
  • In winter, trekking is very demanding. Harsh weather and poor light in the middle of winter cause difficulties. The temperature can drop to -40° and during the darkest part of winter there is only a couple of hours of daylight.
  • Orienteering skills are essential. Be prepared for emergencies such as having to camp out in the forest.
  • Early spring is a popular time for trekking, but even then proper gear is needed. Normal cross-country skis are not sturdy enough for the harsh conditions in wilderness areas which do not have maintained skiing trails.
  • When following snowmobile tracks be cautious. Losing your way is especially dangerous during winter.
  • 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.
  • For information on safety see the Hiking in Finland web pages.

Equipment

  • When trekking in Tuntsa Wilderness Area you should have at least a map, a compass and the needed hiking equipment for the length of your stay. Make sure you pack a first-aid kit.
  • Trekking in the wilderness and on long hiking trails is much more demanding than hiking short day-trip trails and so you will need more equipment with you.
  • For information on hiking equipment and planning your trek see the Hiking in Finland web pages.

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.