Saturday, September 28, 2013

Overnighter with Korpijaakko and Peter

It's very nice to get to know like-minded people over blogosphere and social media, but it's even better when you can actually meet them in person and spend good times with them in the great outdoors. This summer, I did it with Mark of Backpacking North, and in 2012 with Hendrik of Hiking in Finland, and my partner-in-crime, Peter.

I've been following Korpijaakko for years, and the news came this fall that he was going to visit in Turku for a couple of times. So, it was clear that it would mean an overnighter together. And, Jaakko is a kind of Jack-Of-All-Trades of outdoors. He does backpacking, packrafting, winter adventures on skis, husky and snowmobile trips as a professional, and now also bikepacking!

Jaakko, Peter and me agreed to go to the National Park of Kurjenrahka, and to camp at the legendary Vajosuo shelter. Peter and Jaakko would come together by car from Turku and ride some nice trails and duckboards to Vajosuo. My plan was to ride from home to Vajosuo, and get some much needed training.

The weather forecast wasn't very promising. Some occasional rain was to provide some typical fall misery. It was also quite chilly for late September, maximum at +7°C and minumum could be as low as +3°C for the night. For a winter and cold lover like me it was definitely nice.

My rig packed and ready to go. I was also testing the new Porcelain Rocket seat pack.

I followed the familiar scenic route (circa 43 km) via the old Askala Power Plant:

The rain was fortunately just drizzling and occasional. It got dark after the midway point, but the Lumicycle LED4 lights provided all the light I needed.

Peter and Jaakko were already at the Vajosuo shelter with a campfire.

I was certainly hungry as I arrived there, so I made a freeze-dried meal.

I really love the mood of a campfire:

We had a great evening as we chatted about our plans and other outdoor stuff. Jaakko is very skilled outdoor person and I hope I can participate at some point in some of his outdoor courses.

We went to sleep around midnight. Now, I made a bad mistake this time with my gear. In order to save weight, I didn't take dry underwear with me. As I crawled into my sleeping bag, my clothes were still pretty wet. At some point of the night, I tightened the cords of my sleeping bag, but I was too cold for the whole night, and didn't sleep well.

Jaakko slept in his hammock under a tarp:

The morning chores:

Our bikes:

Jaakko and Peter ready to go:

Till the next time!

I packed my gear and decided to ride home the same route. The Vajosuo shelter was one of the camps for artist Kimmo Ylönen, who hiked from Norrskata Island to Rovaniemi. The name for his project is 'Noin Miljoona Askelta', which translates to English 'About Million Steps'.

My trusted partner ready to go:

The new Porcelain Rocket seat pack. This is truly amazing piece of gear. It's barely noticeable while riding. I will write an in-depth review of the new packs when the new bike is ready.

The weather was grey for the most part on my way home, but the lovely autumn colors were pretty much everywhere:

Despite the fairly sleepless night, riding felt good. But later in the afternoon I paid the price and took a nap, and in the late evening I was pretty tired.

Thanks Jaakko and Peter for a great overnighter! We should do this again if the opportunity comes!