The arctic region was named after the greek word for bear, άρκτος or árktos. The word is also included in the names of the constellations of large (Μεγάλη Άρκτος) and small bear (Μικρή Άρκτος), visible in the northern sky.
The arctic region can be defined in many ways. A common way to define it is as the region inside the arctic circle, at approximately latitude 66°33′48.7″. This defines the area that has at least one 24 hour period of continuous sunlight, or nightless night as we call it in Finland. This covers a large part of northern Finland, but not for example all of Finnish Lapland.
By temperature, arctic is defined as a region with the mean temperature staying below 10°C each month of the year. By this definition, very little or none of Finland can be considered arctic, as we are warmed by the Gulf Stream.
Third way is to look at permafrost, which is defined as the ground staying frozen at least two years in a row.
Culturally, arctic can be viewed as the homes of the native peoples that habit the arctic regions.
At the moment, I live in Porvoo, a coastal town in the south of Finland. This is marked with a blue star in the map below. My father’s childhood home is in Enontekiö, Finland, also marked with a blue star in the map.
I do not live in the arctic. Most of my outdoor activities do not take place in the arctic. But I have spent weeks every summer in my childhood in the arctic. I do part-own a house in the arctic, that you can rent. Pats of my family through father’s side that lives in Sweden is Sami, although neither me nor my father are Sami. And my longest treks have always been in the arctic region. I have a burning love for the arctic region, especially Finnish and Swedish Lapland.
So I consider myself as having quite tight ties to the arctic, although my day to day life is spent huddled over a computer in southern Finland, where proper winters are nowadays a rarity.
Thus the name: “Out in the Arctic”
I am a almost 40 year old software engineer from Finland. This blog serves as a counter balance to my work life. I write about my outdoor activities: hiking and trekking, pack rafting, ski touring and more recently, mountain biking.
I am a gear head through and through. I love cameras, lenses, knifes, tents, backpacks, satellite messengers, multi tools, sleeping bags, outdoor clothing. If it’s a gadget or gear relating to my hobbies, I love it. So it is quite natural that this blog will have a somewhat heavy focus on outdoor gear. And outdoors blog nowadays without photography (or videography) cannot work, so I will also write about cameras and photography gear, including post processing software.
At times, I feel like I have no time to go outdoors. Busy job and a family tends to do that to people. In the past, I have mostly kept the outdoor hobby alive by buying gear, but not using it. Nowadays I feel like it is a bad pattern of spending, and mostly try to stay out of it. Having a well paid job and no time, I have several different kits of equipment, for different purposes. The kits have mostly stayed the same for several years now.
Any new acquisitions I try to make out of necessity. But If I buy something just to be able to report about it here, I do not consider that a sin.
When it comes to going outdoors and setting yourself at the mercy of the elements, preparedness is hard to overdo. But I often do. I love to learn everything about a topic that has lodged itself into my head. And after I do that, I often want to share it. So one type of article that will surely be featured on this site is the the “I started to learn about this topic, and now I want to share how to you too can best learn about it” type of article.
For an introvert like me, quiet time alone is not a luxury, it’s mandatory. Outdoors life and solitary nights spent at our cottage on the shore of a small lake in Eastern Finland is how I charge my batteries. Spending time surrounded by nature allows me to decouple from the stress and cacophony of daily life and from my work as a software engineer.
I hope to share this love of the nature in this blog.