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Dream Challenges participants on a charity kayaking challenge in Finland

The Finland Kayak Adventure 2023

Challenge level: 3 out of 5

When can I go?

29 June - 3 July 2023 On Sale
Duration 5 days

What does it cost?

Registration fee (payable today) Info $373
Remaining amount
Total commitment Info

The Finland Kayak Adventure 2023

Join us in the Land of the Midnight Sun on an amazing kayaking challenge for the charity of your choice. In five days, we'll get the best of the Arctic summer and kayak over 40km on the pristine Lake Livojärvi. We’ll experience the peace of Finland’s beaches, the magic of its evergreen forests and the refreshing embrace of its waters, immersing ourselves in nature and escaping life as we know it.

No kayaking experience is needed for this challenge, but you need to be able to swim and feel comfortable in the water. We'll feel the sweet burn in our arms from the get-go and test our minds by learning key wilderness survival skills.

We’ll kick off with training and adventure preparation with our expert local guides, even practising what to do if we capsize - prepare to get wet! Then, we'll head our compasses West and kayak as a team across the lake. Carrying all the gear we need in our kayaks, we’ll navigate our way across the crystal waters and soothe our aching muscles with a dip under the late-night sun.

We’ll wild camp on secluded beaches, learn to cook with an expedition cooker and wake to magnificent views across the lake. We’ll even tuck into dinner in a Finnish tipi and meet the reindeer at a local farm.

Most importantly, we’ll conquer an extraordinary challenge and make a meaningful difference for the charity closest to your heart.

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 Kayaking Adventure do everything they can to ensure the lakes, forests and natural beauty can be enjoyed and preserved now and for generations to come.

Your itinerary

Day 1
London – Rovaniemi - Kuusamo, 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 our fabulous team of local guides. From there, we transfer to a cosy adventure lodge in the countryside. Nestled in the rolling green hills and forests of Kuusamo, we become instantly immersed in the magic of the Arctic summer.

Once settled, our local guides serve us a homemade welcome dinner – and then the excitement begins! We head to the camp’s sport hall with our experienced instructors to go through the gear we’ll use throughout our kayaking challenge.

We learn how to pitch our tents and familiarise ourselves with our sleeping and cooking equipment. If you’ve reserved a summer clothing gear rental package, you’ll receive that now. You can also take this chance to show our local guides your personal gear and practice packing your kayak with them.

Now buzzing for the adventure ahead, we end the day with a traditional Finnish sauna and sleep tonight in bunk beds at the lodge.

Day 2
Adventure Camp, Kussamo - Lake Livojärvi | approx. 12km/7miles

Now our challenge prep begins in earnest. Commencing the day with a homemade breakfast at camp, we head to the lake (approx. 30 mins transfer) for a short swim. This isn’t just because the lake’s sparkling waters are too tempting to resist; it’s also to make sure everyone can swim in open water. Next, we have some fun capsizing our own boats and learning how to rescue both ourselves and each other.

Once we’re confident with our safety skills, we fuel up with lunch. Then it’s time to pack our gear into the kayaks and push off into the clear waters of Lake Livojärvi. No previous kayaking is necessary for this challenge, as we go through the basics now, paddling forwards, backwards and sideways. If you’re already a keen kayaker, you can perfect your stroke and get used to the boats we’ll be using throughout our challenge.

Once we reach our first longer rest stop, we catch our breath, stretch our legs and enjoy some well-deserved snacks. Then it’s back in the boats to conquer a second stretch to our night’s wild camping spot. Our local kayaking experts will be right by our side as we paddle across the lake and get into a comfortable flow.

Arriving in the late afternoon, we pitch our tents by the lakeside and breathe in the tranquillity of the protected forest. This evening, we cook our dinner together with an expedition cooker, under the supervision of our professional wilderness chef.

Day 3
Lake Livojärvi | approx. 13km/8 miles

Waking up to breakfast at our beautiful lake-side camp, we pack up and leave no trace behind. This morning sees us kayaking westward to one of Lapland’s most beautiful roads. We enjoy a longer break on a sandy beach nearby and cook lunch together. Why not jump on the chance to buy a treat from the small kiosk and tuck into some delicious local pancakes for dessert?

Rejuvenated, we clamber back into our kayaks and continue our journey west. Finally, we spot “the Lappish Riviera”, a peaceful, sandy beach, which will be our home for the night.

We pull up at the Riviera and set up our camp, with a view of the crystal waters, fringed with golden sand and pine forests. With the sun still shining this evening, we set off on a relaxed evening kayak tour to a traditional reindeer farm. Here, we’re treated to a delicious dinner in a Lappish tipi!

Later on, we unwind at our camp, and connect with nature under the evening sun, with a mindfulness-style relaxation exercise, led by our local guides.

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

It’s our last and longest day on the lake and we are raring to go! Leaving the Lappish Riviera, as always with no trace, we set our compasses East and paddle back towards the base camp in Kuusamo. We conquer a whopping ten miles today, but the views of the surrounding forest and glistening water enchants us all the way.

Making the most of our final day immersed in nature, we stop for a long, lake-side lunch. Then it’s one last stretch to our finish line! We reach the adventure base camp in the afternoon and after gear maintenance, you’re free to relax. Why not soothe those muscles with a well-deserved sauna?

This evening, we reunite for our celebration dinner and award ceremony. There’s no cooking or pitching tents for us tonight and we enjoy a good night’s sleep in the comfortable rooms at the lodge.

Day 5
Kuusamo – 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.

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Funding options

Self Funded

Pay the registration fee (£249) and challenge costs (£1,550) + airport taxes/fuel surcharge (capped at £250).

$2,325

Pay the balance

  • Pay a non-refundable registration fee of £249, 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, capped at £250), 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 (capped at £250).
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Sponsorship

Pay the registration fee (£249) and airport taxes/fuel surcharge (capped at £250), and fundraise £3,100 or more for your chosen charity.

$4,650

Minimum sponsorship target

  • Pay a non-refundable registration fee of £249, 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, capped at £250), 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 (capped at £250).
  • 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 Kayak Adventure 2023

No previous kayaking experience is required for this challenge, as we will go through the basics with our local experts, but you need to be able to swim in cold, open water and to have a reasonable level of fitness. On Day 2, you'll have a short swim in the lake so we can be confident that you can swim in open water. We will also practice capsizing our own boats and learning how to rescue ourselves and others from a capsized kayak. This is not very likely to happen during our expedition, but it is an essential skill to learn and will help you feel more safe and confident in your kayak.

Practicing kayaking ahead of your challenge is by no means required; but if you get a chance, the more comfortable and familiar you feel in a boat, the more you're likely to enjoy the challenge. Why not also boost your strength and stamina with these fun indoor workouts?

This charity kayaking challenge is suitable for anyone with a reasonable level of fitness.

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. Why not boost your strength and stamina with these fun indoor workouts?

No previous kayaking experience is required for this challenge, as we will go through the basics with our local experts, but you need to be able to swim in cold, open water and to have a reasonable level of fitness. On Day 2, you'll have a short swim in the lake so we can be confident that you can swim in open water. We will also practice capsizing our own boats and learning how to rescue ourselves and others from a capsized kayak. This is not very likely to happen during our expedition, but it is an essential skill to learn and will help you feel more safe and confident in your kayak.

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 Kayak Adventure 2023.

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.

Excellent-quality kayaking and camping equipment is provided and included in the challenge costs, such as kayaks, paddles, safety vests, tents, sleeping bags, sleeping mattresses, cooking gear and utensils.

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 wardrobe, our local team 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 (90€) includes: 

  • One set of thermal underlayer (trousers and shirt)
  • Woollen socks
  • Fleece
  • Wind and waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Light down jacket
  • Sandals (Crocs or similar)
  • Cap
  • Paddling gloves
  • Buff
  • Waterproof sacks for personal clothing (large and
    small)
  • Mini trekking towel
  • Personal summer gear rental package: 90€

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, capped at £275).
  • Meals throughout the challenge.
  • Accommodation and all camping equipment, with access to a traditional Finnish sauna on nights 1 and 4.
  • Special outdoor sports gear rental, such as kayaks, paddles, safety vests, tents, sleeping bags, sleeping mattresses, first aid kit, cooking gear and utensils, etc.
  • All transfers in Finland.
  • Visit to a reindeer farm.
  • A team of awesome, outdoor remote first-aid trained, Finnish/English speaking kayaking instructors and our 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 Kayak Adventure 2023 medal.

The group size is likely to be around 15-20 people.

Everyone over the age of 18 is welcome to join our adventure. One of the amazing things about the Finland Kayak 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. Email us at bookings@dream-challenges.com or call us on 01590 431094 during our office hours (9am - 5pm, Monday - Friday) and we'll be happy to help.

We'll spend our first and last night of the challenge (nights 1 and 4) at a cosy lodge that used to be a village school, now renovated to a modern guest house.

We'll sleep in bunk beds with 2-6 people per room. Each room has its own private bathroom with a modern toilet and shower. Bed linen, towels and access to the traditional wood-heated sauna are all included.

During the challenge, on nights 2 and 3, 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.

 

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 (capped at £275 but subject to change – up or down).
  • Personal travel insurance.
  • Optional - Summer outdoor gear hire (90€ per person, to be booked and paid for in advance - we will let you know when bookings for this are available) - this will include:
    ∙ 1 set of thermal underlayer (trousers and shirt)
    ∙ Woollen socks
    ∙ Fleece
    ∙ Wind and waterproof jacket and trousers
    ∙ Light down jacket
    ∙ Sandals (Crocs or similar)
    ∙ Cap
    ∙ Paddling gloves
    ∙ Buff
    ∙ Waterproof sacks for personal clothing (large and
    small)
    ∙ Mini towel
  • Gratuities & personal expenses.

 

You will need to take out your own personal travel insurance upon registering for this challenge, covering health, accident, loss and repatriation. We advise that you arrange personal travel insurance as soon as you can after you register to ensure you have coverage for your booking as well as the challenge itself.

Dream Challenges has a provider detailed in the Welcome Pack, you will receive shortly after booking your challenge. This provides appropriate cover for your challenge and also covers you for cancellation due to medically-diagnosed COVID-19. You can also call us for details on 01590 646410 during our office hours (9am, 5pm, Monday - Friday).

You can, however, take out your own insurance, providing it covers you for a charity kayaking 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, British citizens don't need a visa for Finland, but we'll let you know if this changes.

Yes of course! If you wish to extend your stay, please let us know at least 17 weeks before our departure date and we can arrange this for you.

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

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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