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people canoeing in Oulanka National Park in Finland

The Finland Canoe Adventure 2023

Challenge level: 3 out of 5

When can I go?

6 July - 10 July 2023 On Sale
Duration 5 days

What does it cost?

Registration fee (payable today) Info £249
Remaining amount
Total commitment Info

The Finland Canoe Adventure 2023

Join us in July 2023 for an awesome canoeing challenge in Finland.

Lapland is renowned for its mystical winters, but we’ll get the best of the Arctic summer. Shining sun, crystal clear waters, sandy beaches and acres of ancient woodland, ideal for wild camping!

No canoeing experience is needed and we’ll kick off with training and gear preparation. Then we’ll canoe for three days in the Oulanka National Park, where northern, southern and eastern nature collide.

Together with our awesome local experts, we’ll carry all the gear we need in our canoes and canoe over 37km on the Oulankajoki river, with two people per canoe. Canoeing by day, we’ll rest by night in rustic cabins and tents by the riverside, cook our meals together and swim under the late night sun.

Our challenge will not only teach us literal life lessons, like how to canoe, set up a secure wild camp and make tasty meals with an expedition cooker; it will also give us chances to look out for an amazing amount of wildlife.

Surrounded by hundreds of rare species, we may spot wild orchids, butterflies and all sorts of elusive animals, from birds to reindeer!

Conquering the challenge in a small group, you’ll form strong bonds with your teammates, make lifelong friendships and get fit, but the best part is that you’ll achieve an incredible feat for the charity of your choice.

Sustainable travel 
Both Dream Challenges and our local experts believe nature is the most important thing on this planet.

Our amazing local challenge leaders for the Finland Canoeing Adventure do everything they can to ensure the lakes, forests and natural beauty can be enjoyed and preserved now and for generations to come.

Want more time to prepare? Join our group for The Finland Canoe Adventure 2024.

Your itinerary

Day 1
UK – Rovaniemi - Oulanka National Park, Lapland

We first meet at the airport in London for our flight to Finland. Touching down in Rovaniemi in the late afternoon, we’re welcomed to the Arctic by a fantastic local guide, who will guide us to our charter bus and send us on our way to tonight’s camp.

After an approx. two-hour bus ride, we stop for our first group dinner and those who have booked rental gear can collect their kits.

We then continue our journey through Finland for around 45 minutes to our rustic cabins, nestled in the extraordinary Oulanka National Park, where northern, southern and eastern nature collide. We’ll settle down in our basic cabins late in the evening surrounded by incredible woodland scenery.

Day 2
Oulanka National Park | approx. 3.5km canoeing + 5km hiking (6 hours activity)

We start the day cooking our breakfast together with our experienced local guides by a fireplace. After eating our fill, we review our route and safety plan and pack our luggage into drybags supplied by our guides. Then, we hop onto our bus and head to the starting point of our canoeing challenge (approx. 40 mins transfer).

We park up at the bank of the Oulankajoki river and work as a team to get the canoes into the water for a brief introduction to canoeing, with two people per canoe, for a short introduction to canoeing.

No previous canoeing experience is necessary for this challenge, as we go through the basics now, before setting off down the river in our pairs, with all our challenge gear loaded securely in the canoes.

Before long, we reach a nearby shore and clamber out of the boats for a short hike in one of the most beautiful parts of the National Park. Our walk treats us to stunning vistas of the river and some of the 500 vascular plant species in the area, including bilberries, mushrooms and wild orchids. If we’re lucky, we may see some of the elusive park fauna too. Keep your eyes peeled for moose and reindeer.

After lunch at a wilderness cabin, we climb back into our canoes and continue canoeing along the river, getting into a comfortable rhythm of paddling and admiring the vibrant trees that watch over us from the banks.

Eventually, we reach today’s ending point and pull our canoes safely onto the bank. With the area to ourselves, we set up our wild camp, pitching our tents in pairs at the riverside. We then cook and eat our dinner together under the evening sun.

Day 3
Oulanka National Park | approx. 10km canoeing + rescue training (8 hours activity)

Waking to a beautiful view from our tents, we cook and eat breakfast together before packing everything up and leaving no trace behind as we launch our canoes into the water.

We continue canoeing along the river and soon approach the Taivalköngäs white water rapids, which are too dangerous to cross on water, so we take a small detour and move our canoes by land.

We take this chance to stretch our legs on a short hike through the trees and across hanging bridges over the river and stop for lunch along the way.

With the rapids behind us, we unite with our canoes and resume our journey on water. In the afternoon, we reach Oulanka Camping Ground and enjoy a quick rest at our cabins. Then it’s time for some all-important safety training! Guided by our local experts, you learn how to rescue yourself and your canoeing buddy from a capsized canoe.

Now all there’s left to do is relax in the warmth of the sauna and tuck into dinner, before getting a great night’s rest in the cabins.

Day 4
Lake Livojärvi | approx. 17km/ 10.5 miles

Rise and shine to our final day of our canoeing challenge! After breakfast, we take a short walk to skip the Kiutaköngäs rapids and climb into our canoes on the other side.

Arms no doubt aching from our previous days’ work, we canoe at a relaxed speed down the river and make a few stops on sandy beaches, enjoying the peace of this remote area.

We come to our halfway point in time for our lunch and cook together at an outdoor fireplace. This rejuvenates us and we launch back into the water to savour our last few hours canoeing through the wilderness. We reach our finish line in the afternoon, where are bus awaits, ready to transfer us back to our cabins.

After some gear maintenance and a hot shower, we walk to Oulanka National Park Visitor Centre, where our delicious Celebration Dinner is served. Filled with an unbeatable sense of achievement, we toast our success and enjoy a reward ceremony.

We then take an evening stroll to see the striking Kiutaköngäs rapids. The ferocious crashing waves make it clear why we skipped canoeing this section this morning! In the evening you are welcome to swim in a safe strip of the river under the setting sun and soothe your muscles in the sauna or head straight to bed, exhausted from accomplishing a mighty charity challenge.

Day 5
Oulanka – Rovaniemi - UK

After breakfast, we bid goodbye to the Land of the Midnight Sun and transfer to the Rovaniemi airport for our flight home. We part ways at the airport in London, free to make our own way home.

Book my place

Funding options

Self Funded

Pay the registration fee (£249) and challenge costs (£1,550) + airport taxes/fuel surcharge (approx. £150).

£1,550

Pay the balance

  • Pay a non-refundable registration fee of £249 when you book, which is used to administer the challenge and secure your seats with the airline.
  • Pay the challenge cost of £1,550 yourself 12 weeks before the challenge starts.
  • The challenge costs cover flights (not including airport taxes and the fuel surcharge, approx. £150), your food, accommodation, transfers, specialist kayaking and camping equipment hire, outdoor remote first aid trained challenge guides and medical support, including a doctor with expedition medicine training and kayaking instructors.
  • Choose to fundraise as much as you can or make a personal donation to the charity, hospice or animal sanctuary of your choice.
  • Please also remember to budget for airport taxes and fuel surcharge (approx. £120).
Book my place

Sponsorship

Pay your registration fee (£249) and airport taxes/fuel surcharge (approx. £150), and fundraise £3,100 or more for your chosen charity.

£3,100

Minimum sponsorship target

  • Pay a non-refundable registration fee of £249 when you book, which is used to administer the challenge and secure your seats with the airline.
  • Fundraise the minimum sponsorship target of £3,100 for a charity, hospice or animal sanctuary of your choice 12 weeks before the challenge starts..
  • Providing you have raised the funds, the charity you are supporting will pay the challenge costs (£1,550) on your behalf.
  • The challenge costs cover flights (not including airport taxes and the fuel surcharge, approx. £150), your food, accommodation, transfers, specialist kayaking and camping equipment hire, outdoor remote first aid trained challenge guides and medical support, including a doctor with expedition medicine training and kayaking instructors.
  • Please also remember to budget for airport taxes and fuel surcharge (approx. £120).
  • Please note that not all charities are happy to commit to the minimum sponsorship option. If you choose this option, we contact the charity you want to support on your behalf. If they are not happy with the minimum sponsorship option, we’ll let you know as soon as possible.
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FAQs
The Finland Canoe Adventure 2023

No previous canoeing experience is required, but you do need to be able to swim in cold, open water.

If you do get a chance to practice canoeing, the more comfortable and familiar you feel in a boat, the more you're likely to enjoy the challenge.

This trip is suitable for anyone with a reasonable level of fitness.

No previous canoeing experience is required, but you do need to be able to swim in cold, open water. If you do get a chance to practice canoeing, the more comfortable and familiar you feel in a boat, the more you're likely to enjoy the challenge.

We do not recommend this challenge if you suffer from back pain, epilepsy or heart problems. By the time the challenge comes around, you'll need to be reasonably strong in order to set up camp. Once you have signed up, we send you a realistic training programme, which gradually builds up as the challenge gets closer.

Please don't be! The majority of people will sign up for this challenge on their own. Once you've registered, we'll send you a link to a private Facebook group for everyone taking on the The Finland Canoe Adventure.

Please feel free to use this space to swap questions, advice and updates with your fellow challengers on your training and fundraising.

You may also want to reach out to the fellow participants in this group to see if there's anyone in your local area you can meet up to train and fundraise with.

We'll supply you with a comprehensive list of everything you will need to take on the challenge well before your departure date.

Some adventurers prefer not to buy personal outdoor summer clothing. If you are travelling light or just prefer not to add to your closet, our ground handlers in Finland are happy to offer a summer clothing gear rental package that will help to keep you warm and dry.

Preliminary booking is required to ensure appropriate sizes are available. The gear package (50€) includes: 

  • One set of thermal underlayer (trousers and shirt)
  • Woolen socks (if needed)
  • Fleece or heavy sweater 
  • Wind and waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Down jacket (if needed)
  • Sandals (Crocs or similar)
  • Cap
  • Paddling gloves
  • Buff
  • Sun glasses
  • Waterproof sacks for personal clothing (large and small)
  • Personal summer gear rental package: 50€

 

Your registration fee of £249 per person is used to administer the challenge and secure your seats with the airline.

Your challenge costs of £1,550 (ie. 50% of the fundraising target if you choose the Sponsorship option) cover:

  • Your flights (not including airport taxes and the fuel surcharge, approx. £150).
  • Meals throughout the challenge.
  • Accommodation and all camping equipment.
  • Special outdoor sports gear rental, such as canoes, paddles, wetsuits, safety vests, tents, sleeping bags, sleeping mattresses, first aid kit, cooking gear and utensils, etc.
  • All transfers in Finland.
  • A team of awesome, outdoor remote first aid trained Finnish/English speaking canoeing instructors and our fab Dream Challenges staff.
  • Full support from the Dream Challenges office in the lead up to and during your challenge.
  • Medical support, including a UK doctor with expedition medicine training, who will accompany us throughout the challenge.
  • Your Finland Canoe Adventure medal and t-shirt.

The group size is likely to be around 30 people.

Absolutely not! One of the amazing things about the Finland Canoe Adventure is that people of all ages will come together to do something very special. 

Like the majority of our challenges, the Finland Canoe Adventure is for people aged 18+. However, 16 year-olds may be permitted to take part under the supervision of a responsible adult.

Please get in touch to discuss this on a case by case basis.

The accommodation on the first and last night is at standard level summer cabins in Oulanka National Park. Bed linen, towels and access to the traditional wood-heated sauna are included.

During the challenge, on night 2, you'll be divided into small teams to share tents, with proper sleeping bags and sleeping mattresses in the tents. You'll also cook your own dinner with an expedition cooker, under the supervision of our local guides.

We organise our accommodation on a twin-sharing basis, which is included in the challenge cost.

However, if you would rather pay for a single supplement (£100 per person, NOT included in your challenge cost) and have a room/tent to yourself, please get in touch and we can arrange this for you.

Certainly. Our accommodation is included in your challenge cost on a twin-sharing basis.

However if you would prefer to have a room/tent to yourself and pay for a single supplement, we'll be happy to arrange this for you at an additional cost of £100. Please note, this is NOT included in your challenge cost).

If you would like a single supplement, please get in touch by emailing us at customercare@dream-challenges.com or call us on 01590 646410 (Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm).

Yes of course! If you wish to extend your stay, please let us know at least 14 weeks before our departure date and we can arrange this for you.

The easiest way to get in touch is by emailing us at customer@dream-challenges.com or calling us on 01590 646410 (9am - 5pm Monday - Friday)

In addition to paying your registration fee of £249 and either self funding or fundraising the minimum sponsorship target, you will need to budget for:

  • Your airport taxes and the fuel surcharge (currently £150 but subject to change – up or down).
  • Personal travel insurance.
  • Optional - Summer outdoor gear hire (50€ per person, to be booked and paid for in advance - we will let you know when bookings for this are available) - this will include all the outdoor summer gear needed for the challenge.
  • Gratuities & personal expenses.
  • You may also choose to pay £100 for a single supplement at our accommodation.

You will need to take out your own personal travel insurance covering health, accident, loss and repatriation.

We have found an insurance policy provider that covers you for this type of activity and also covers you for cancellation due to medically-diagnosed COVID-19 and we will send you the details once you register for the challenge.

You can, however, take out your own insurance, providing it covers you for a canoeing challenge in Finland.

Please ask the insurer about the nature of the cover. It is your responsibility to ensure you have adequate cover for your challenge.

Currently, UK nationals don't need a visa to visit Scandinavia. We'll let you know if this changes.

As we're not medically trained, we're afraid we can't offer you advice on this. We recommend you contact your GP or your local travel clinic, who will have the latest travel health advice.

We also recommend you visit the NHS Fit for Travel website here, to keep up to date with current travel health news and advice on staying healthy abroad.

NHS Fit for Travel website: https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/home

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