Instructions and Rules in Vätsäri Wilderness Area
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.
Instructions on Exploring Vätsäri Wilderness Area
- Hiking, skiing and temporary camping are allowed everywhere in the wilderness area according to the Everyman's right (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.
- To take and use fallen trees of little value from the ground, you need a permit which can be obtained from Siida - Northern Lapland Nature Centre and Ivalo Customer Service. It is recommended to use a campfire place which has been previously used, if you find one. Please note that lighting campires is forbidden also at the constructed campfire places if the forest fire warning is in effect.
- 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 (ilmatieteenlaitos.fi) has been issued for the area.
This prohibition does not apply to cooking shelters or other fireplaces with a flue.
- Please, do not forget to tell your friends, family, or the Ivalo Customer Service about your planned route and timetable. The emergency phone number is 112! The rescue service in the area is statutory, and it can be connected through the emergency number. Do not forget to report that you have returned, so that the rescue service will not look for you unnecessarily. The rescue service charges for unnecessary search.
- Hiking in Finland
- 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 (eraluvat.fi).
- Fishers need to check the restrictions on fishing sites at kalastusrajoitus.fi (in Finnish).
- 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).
Mobile Phone Coverage
- Although Finland has a broad network for mobile phones, there are some areas in the Vätsäri 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 and Safety
- Vätsäri Wilderness Area is suitable only for very experienced hikers, because there are no services. If going hiking in the wilderness area, you need adequate gear, maps, compass, tent, clothing, sleeping bag and sufficient food supplies.
- Make sure you pack a first-aid kit.
- 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.
- The conditions in Vätsäri Wilderness Area are arctic, which means that all the equipment need to be appropriate for arctic climate. The summer will usually begin in the mid June, and permanent snow will often fall in October. In the winter, it is not unusual for the temperature to stay below -20 degrees for days. Without adequate preparations and equipment, an inexperienced hiker may be at serious danger.
- Hiking in Finland:
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.