Utsjoki is a wonderful travel destination throughout the year. On this page, we have compiled some important issues to make sure your trip is successful and safe and your actions in the nature sustainable.

Outdoor Activities

Please stay on designated routes and favour ready-made laybys and service structures. Always choose the right route for a particular activity: skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, walking and mountain biking all have their own routes. For longer hikes, we recommend the Kevo routes, the Utsjoki trail or the Pulmanki-Sevetti route.

Be sure to benefit from the services and expertise of the Utsjoki travel operators. Guided routes and activities are the best way to gain more from the nature experience, be assured of the safety of the activity and learn more about local nature and culture.

Please make fire on official fire places only. Pay attention to fire warnings, as making an open fire is forbidden when there is a forest and grass fire warning. Check the latest warnings from:


Let us keep the nature clean and rubbish-free, which means carrying our own rubbish away with us from the nature. The need to use the toilet may surprise you outdoors as well, so please use the toilets on the routes whenever possible, or otherwise go sufficiently far from brooks and fireplaces. Dig a hole for your waste and cover it afterwards, toilet paper as well. 

Nature belongs to the animals, and animals are an integral part of the nature experience. Please respect the animals by not disturbing or harming birds’ nests or chicks, or go near easily frightened reindeer or calves. Always keep a sufficient distance to the animals that you observe or photograph. Remember to keep dogs on a leash, as they may disturb other animals.

Remember to obtain appropriate permits to hunting and fishing. Disinfect the fishing gear prior to fishing. Pay attention to the use of the hunting dog in the sensitive reindeer herding area. You can contact the local reindeer grazing association before a hunting trip and ask about the whereabouts of the reindeer herd, so the hunting dogs will not disturb them.


Read more about sustainable camping here.

More detailed instructions for camping and fishing can be obtained when buying the required permits. Further information from local travel operators, Nature Centre Siida and from the website www.eraluvat.fi

Hike Well Rested and Favour Designated Routes 

There are many marked trails for both one-day trips or for trekking lasting several days. There are alternatives to easy few hours’ trips as well.

Favour designated routes. The routes wind through the perhaps most striking scenery of Utsjoki, Karigasniemi and Nuorgam. A fair share of Arctic nature is hence guaranteed on the marked routes. It is also safer and more sustainable to travel on designated routes, as there is a smaller chance of getting lost and the erosion of nature is decreased. In addition, for example reindeer may graze in peace.

When hiking, take care of sufficient rest, food and intake of water. You will make wiser decisions when you have eaten and are well rested.

Despite the designated routes, be aware of where you are and follow the map. Favour hiking with a friend, particularly on longer overnight hikes. It is merrier and safer with a friend.


Vastuullisuus retkellä - Explore Utsjoki

Dogs on Leash, Peace for Wild Animals

Dogs are welcome to enjoy the nature of Utsjoki, and the joint moment of the dog and its owner is a fine experience for both. However, keep even a friendly dog on a leash when hiking, for to wild animals the dog is a beast. Particularly birds nesting on the ground are very sensitive to disturbance. Pay attention to other hikers, as some people may be scared of dogs. If you stay in an unlocked hut or cabin on your trip, ask the other overnighters whether it is alright to them if the dog sleeps in the cabin as well. Make sure that your dog will not disturb reindeer grazing in the wild. Read more about paying attention to reindeer here

In addition to the dog, it is good to remember that we should not disturb wild animals ourselves. For example, when photographing or watching the animals with binoculars you should make sure that the animals will not be disturbed by these activities. Particularly when photographing with a drone this is important to recall. Do not go chasing the animals with the drone and remain at a safe distance.

Favour Carpools when Arriving at Destination

Several destinations in Utsjoki may be obtained by public transport or carpools, as you can enter many nature trails from the Utsjoki village or close to Karigasniemi. For example, the Utsjoki hiking trail may be obtained from the Utsjoki village and the Skaidijärvi trail close to the village of Nuorgam. If it is possible to reach your destination using a carpool, favour it.

Vastuullisuus matkaillessa - Explore Utsjoki 5

Preparing Food when Hiking

When building a fire, use a tended fire place, hut or bivouac if possible. Pay attention to fire warnings in the area you are hiking in. The up-to-date warnings can be found on the website of the Finnish Meteorological Institute. Building an open fire at a time of forest fire alert is forbidden and dangerous. Using a firewood stove is also considered an open fire.

The most sustainable way to prepare food from the nature’s point of view is to use a portable stove, such as a Trangia. This is because you do not need carry into the nature firewood using heavy machinery, and traces of an open fire will not remain in the nature. For example, a Trangia with a gas burner will prepare your food very quickly. Do not use a Trangia or another portable stove inside the tent, so always cook outdoors. If, for compelling reasons (for example a heavy rain), you are forced to cook inside the tent, do it near the flap with the stove firmly supported by stones. Please make sure there is sufficient ventilation to prevent the stove from eating up the oxygen in the tent. Be careful with fire safety, as tent materials burn rapidly. As a rule, cooking should be done outside. An open fire should not be made within the tent under any circumstances.

When you wash your dishes in the nature, use a biodegradable detergent, to prevent the detergent from remaining in the nature and the waterways. Do not wash dishes near the beach/river bank or pour dishwater back into the lake/sea/river but soak it into the ground a minimum of 50 metres away from the waterways. The next hikers will not enjoy themselves, if old spaghetti is floating in the water near the camping site. If you are on a day trip, you can carry your dining ware to be washed at home or your accommodation.


Where to Get Water When Hiking?

In the Utsjoki region, water is usually drinkable, but drinking takes place at your own risk. Drinking from mountain streams is safe when you make sure that there are no dead animals upstream or that the stream does not carry animal faeces. The quality of water may be tested by using portable water filters. Another option is to boil the drinking water. Running water is used as drinking water, stagnant water is not. Which would you carry on a several days’ trip: a ten-litre water tank or a water filter weighing 200 grams?

How Does Use of Toilet and Handling Waste Work on an Excursion?

Let us remember to carry our waste with us. You should minimise your waste in advance, and pack your lunch in reusable packages. The amount of waste may also be decreased in the use of aluminium, titanium, steel or plastic cutlery. 

Seek to use the toilets in the camping sites, if these are available. If you relieve yourself in the nature, remember to dig a proper hole and cover your waste properly. For this, a small portable spade is useful. Bring the toilet paper with you or bury it in the ground, but do not leave it lying around, as they will not start to decompose then. Remember that wet wipes do not decompose at all, so bring them along from the nature.


More tips on paying attention to sustainability during your trip can be found here.

This sustainability website has been created as part of a project on Sustainable Tourism in Utsjoki. The project is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, the Regional Council of Lapland and the municipality of Utsjoki, the aim of which is to make Utsjoki an even more responsible travel destination and to steer the travellers to travel in a responsible. More information on the project can be found here (in Finnish only).

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