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It’s a good idea to pay attention to safety whenever you hike. Especially when longer treks are being planned, it is advisable to familiarise yourself with the safety guidelines. Please inform the route maintenance operator if you notice faults or breakage in the structures.

Be pro-active and avoid risks.

  • Check out the routes and your hiking destination before setting out on your journey.
  • Find out the level of difficulty of the route and whether it is suitable for you in particular.  Does it match you and your group’s skill levels and health condition?
  • Consider what risks may present themselves along the way.
  • What sort of weather is predicted for your hiking date? Remember that the weather can also change very fast!
  • How will the weather affect the route? Weather conditions affect hiking and camping in many ways. Rootstocks, rocks and stones are slippery when it’s wet. Heat makes the route harder to walk while snow rapidly covers the paths.  Fog and heavy snowfall can reduce visibility.
  • What length of journey are you planning? Is it possible that your trek may suddenly end up longer than planned?
  • We recommend alcohol/drug-free hiking and camping.  Consumption of intoxicants causes risk both to yourself and to others on the route. It is prohibited to disturb others through intoxicant use at Kokkola camping and rest sites.
  • Do note the time of year. Hiking must be prepared for in various ways, depending on the season. Check the use of your planned route in winter as well. Some of the hiking routes are used by skiers in the wintertime.

Have the right supplies

  • In addition to a phone and a GPS device, you should have a precise enough map in paper format as well as a compass. Stay on the marked trails.
  • Remember drinking fluids and food reserves. If necessary, make sure you have some extra food and beverages along. In hot temperatures, fluid consumption increases.
  • Take a first-aid kit with you as well as any personal pharmaceuticals you need. Don’t forget sunscreen, mosquito repellent and blister plasters.
  • Dress for the weather and make sure you’ve taken enough warm clothing. Prepare for changes of clothing especially for canoeing and other water travel.
  • Be ready for possible chafing and bruising. Choose suitable clothes for the hike that feel good and do not cause irritation. Do not leave on a longer trek with brand new shoes on: rather, try them out on shorter walks and give them time to adjust to your feet. Remember hygiene also when hiking. Good hygiene prevents and treats bruises and blisters.
  • Check whether or not firewood maintenance is available at the rest site and, if necessary, take your own firewood along.
  • At many rest sites that have firewood maintenance, there are also tools for chopping wood.
  • When using an axe, ensure that no one is close to you. Place the wood to be split on the chopping block and stand in a steady, stable position. Do not leave the axe lying on the ground: swing it so it gets stuck to the chopping block and leave the axe there. If you bring your own axe, remember to use a blade guard when transporting it.
  • When using a sheath knife, always remember to point the blade away from you and others. When carving, do it in such a way that the knife can’t slip e.g. into your own thigh. Concentrate on handling the knife and use the sheath whenever you are not working with the knife.
  • Take note of forest fire warnings when making a campfire! When a forest fire warning has been issued, do not light a fire! The risk of a wildfire is extremely high.
  • If you smoke, remember to take an ashtray with you that you can collect your cigarette butts in. Do not throw butts on the ground, because they are quite harmful to the environment and animals. Moreover, cigarette butts can start a forest fire.
  • Hike and camp with caution and care!

Natural risks


  • It’s good to prepare for encounters with ticks along the shore.
  • An effective protective measure is to wear long-sleeved and long-legged clothing and stuff trouser legs inside socks or shoes. It is easier to detect ticks on light-coloured clothes.
  • After you get home after your hike, do a tick search. A tick search is very important to prevent Lyme disease (borreliosis). In borreliosis, the transfer of the infectious agent from tick to human usually takes one to two days.
  • Ascertain whether your hiking destination belongs to one of the tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) risk areas. It’s a good idea to get a vaccination against TBE if you will be in such a risk area. Tick-borne encephalitis can be contracted within a few minutes of a tick attaching itself to a person.
  • If a tick has attached itself to human or animal, it should be removed as soon as possible. Use narrow-tipped pincers or tweezers. Grab the tick as close to its head as possible and pull straight up. Disinfect and clean the skin from the site of the bite.
  • Inspect the skin where the tick has bitten. If, within one to four weeks, the skin develops a reddish area whose diameter is over five centimetres, or if you develop fever, a headache or other symptoms, contact a physician.
  • Do remember to also protect your pets and check them for ticks.

Mushrooms, plants and berries

  • The freedom to pick mushrooms and wild berries as well as non-protected plants is part of the notion of “every person’s rights”.
  • However, pick only well-known edible mushrooms, berries, and wild herbs for eating.
  • If you pick mushrooms you know to be poisonous, e.g. to make dye, take safe handling into consideration.
  • Collect only those kinds of plants that you know well and whose methods of handling are familiar to you.

Waterways and marshland nature

  • If you encounter water crossings on your route, be prepared by packing your belongings, especially spare clothes and electronic equipment, in a waterproof manner.
  • When travelling through fens, it’s a good idea to equip yourself with high-topped rubber boots. Keep your eyes open and identify the wettest spots. If you sink into the swamp, crawl your way up.  The easiest way for you to successfully cross the marshlands is to stay on the paths and duckboards!
  • Careful about slipping into waterways! Remember that stones and rocks along the shore are particularly slippery when wet.
  • Special caution should be noted when travelling by water.

Accidents and how to act in dangerous situations

If, despite preparing yourself pro-actively, an accident occurs or a dangerous situation comes up on a hike, try to act calmly and with determination. First-aid skills are of use, so you should keep them up!

Situational assessment

  • prevention of additional accidents
  • first aid including, for instance, stopping haemorrhaging and ensuring air flow and cardiac functions as well as resuscitation techniques if needed
  • summoning aid, Emergency Centre tel. 112 (ambulance, etc.)
  • looking after the situation until more help arrives

Call the emergency number (112) if

  • prevention of additional accidents
  • first aid including, for instance, stopping haemorrhaging and ensuring air flow and cardiac functions as well as resuscitation techniques if needed
  • summoning aid, Emergency Centre tel. 112 (ambulance, etc.)
  • looking after the situation until more help arrives

Call the emergency number (112) if

  • the matter is urgent
  • there is a real emergency
  • official assistance is urgently needed at the site (Police, first aid, rescue and social welfare authorities) threat or danger to life or health, or if there is reason to suspect it.

In making a notification, report the following:

  1. where you are calling from
  2. what has happened
  3. wait for further instructions
  4. do not hang up before you have received permission to do so.