Self-powered adventures in Lapland


Backpacking North offers in-depth trip reports, gear analyses, ultralight training, thought-provoking articles, and beautiful photography from Lapland.

Writing and photography by Mark Roberts



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Recent posts



Time. Lives. Landscapes. Paths. History. Identity. They all come together in Treriksröset. They meet, blend, and blur at the punctum where three countries meet: Finland, Sweden, and Norway.

With the arctic winter fully behind us under the assault of an alarmingly tropical spring, I see a break in the calendar and hatch a cunning plan for a weekend overnighter and the chance to revisit an area I've not been to for over ten years: Korouoma Nature Reserve – a canyon cutting a diagonal slice through Lapland about 100km from my home in Rovaniemi.

It's time for change at Backpacking North! This year's spring cleaning clears out the entire fleet of Alpacka Packrafts and a few other special packrafty items. Now's your chance to get a floating bargain and take your adventures to new places.

Rovaniemi, located on the Arctic Circle, is very much the beating heart of Lapland. As the capital city of the region it forms a central hub from which the rest of Lapland and the larger Barents region can be easily accessed.

With the third busiest airport in Finland, the second-to-last Northern stop on the train network, and its location on the E8 highway, Rovaniemi is easy to reach from other destinations, and is a frequent stopping-off point for people travelling further North.

But positioned as it is at the point where the Lapland Fells begins to rise from the surrounding plains, there are plenty of outdoor activities to explore and relish in Rovaniemi — so many in fact that a comprehensive guide would be impossible in the space of a blog post. What follows, therefore, is a “best of” list of activities and places to visit if you happen to find yourself in town for a short visit or the long haul.