Finland is Dream Destination for Canoe Tripping

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Remember the word sauna is pronounced,
SOW-na
Has to be one of the most mispronounced word in North America.
According to my Finnish friends, the blonde Finns are from many generations of Swedes that owned Finland for a long time. The Finns I know personally are all dark haired.
I spent a couple of weeks in Northern Finland prior to CV-19 pandemic, not canoe tripping, but car camping. I enjoyed it very much, became very much enamored with the wooden Teno River Boats in Utsjoki, Finland. Would have bought one except for the cost of getting it home. I did visit the boat shop that was still making them.
I did bring home a handful of hand forged Puukko knife blades and Saami hand made mittens. Hoping to go back for a longer visit once the pandemic ends.
 
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I was in Sweden for my son’s wedding and then went on a canoe trip. in reading about the history, I ended up looking at maps. I dearly love maps.

In the process I noticed that much of Finland is water. Pictures look like prime canoe country.
 
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Northern Sweden (and Finland) would be very familiar to anyone who has paddled the boreal and Canadian Shield, Adrenaline junkies should head to Norway, some fantastic but short(ish) runs there but you need skills (and a different boat when you end up in the fjords!).

One other attraction to Norway, you can drive on a high quality highway all the way to 71°N , well above the Arctic Circle!

I haven't really looked into Finland and to be truthful the closest I ever been to Scandinavia is Hamburg!
 
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Middle Sweden, looks a lot like the Adirondacks to me.

I don't know what kind of canoe it was, but here are some old photos. I rented it from an outfitter, situated in a tiny, tiny, tiny town (it all fit into a bread basket), and put it right from town. This was in 2008? I think. Film and 35 mm camera. Clearly the prints, even though stored away from light, are fading.

SwedenCanoe1.jpg
Notice the upside down two-wheeled canoe cart in the bow. The outfitter, a big, tall, blond, brawny Swede, told me I had to bring this for the portages. This was before I saw the canoe. I told him I didn't need a cart, I could carry the canoe myself on portages. He laughed and laughed. He said he had never heard of such a thing. I explained how I would pick it up and sort of toss it up over my head and onto my shoulders and he nearly dissolved laughing.

This was a joke to him and he brought it up repeatedly during our conversations. Over and over again.

SwedenCanoe2.jpg

SwedenHammockView.jpg
 

Glenn MacGrady

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I told him I didn't need a cart, I could carry the canoe myself on portages. He laughed and laughed. He said he had never heard of such a thing. I explained how I would pick it up and sort of toss it up over my head and onto my shoulders and he nearly dissolved laughing.

Not sure his reason for laughing, but the canoe does look like it's probably a heavy poly material. Thanks for the photos of the photos.
 
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Love this whole thread. As a cartophile (map lover) myself, I've noticed how watery Finland is and thought it must be good for tripping. There's lots of big water - I wonder about proportions of sea kayaks to canoes, but either way I'd love to get there for paddling...and to the rest of Scandanavia for reasons stated above!
 
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Some trivia here:


According to the study, the 10 countries with the most lakes in the world are:


  1. Canada - 879,800
  2. Russia - 201,200
  3. USA - 102,500
  4. China - 23,800
  5. Sweden - 22,600
  6. Brazil - 20,900
  7. Norway - 20,000
  8. Argentina - 13,600
  9. Kazakhstan - 12,400
  10. Australia - 11,400

As per the study, Finland does not feature on the list of top 10 countries with the most lakes. However, there are many articles stating that Finland has 187,888 lakes and that makes it the country with the most lakes in relation to the size of the country. In fact, it is estimated that Finland has one lake for every 26 persons. While this fact might be right to a certain extent, it must be remembered that the definition of a lake varies widely from place to place. There is no standard unambiguous definition of the size requirements for a water body to be classified as a lake.
 
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