Last weekend we participated in the second packrafting gathering organized by Korpijaakko at Helvetinjärvi National Park. The weather was quite mixed on Friday and we also had heavy rain on the way to the National Park but Saturday was a perfect packrafting day with clouds and sun. We paddled in different lakes so there was quite a bit of hiking included. The scenery itself was beautiful with leaves changing their colors into autumn mode. Probably, the paddle trip would have been even more colorful in 1-2 weeks but it was still great.
Once we arrived on Friday at the National Park we pitched our tent and enjoyed a nice evening at the fireplace talking about the upcoming trip, gear and other stuff.
Saturday morning we woke up quite late (10 am) and once we crawled out of the tent we saw 2 other packrafters already returning from their morning fishing trip with their packrafts and 2 pikes.
There was a well nearby where we got our freshwater to prepare tea and coffee. After having breakfast we dried our sleeping bags and pads and packed.
Saturday was also quite windy so we were able to use our Windpaddle sails on some parts of the trip. The mix of sun, clouds, and wind made it very pleasant to paddle especially since we were wearing drysuits.
We did a lot of lake hopping, which requires to jump in and out of the packraft and also to walk through the wilderness with your packraft and having breaks in between.
But once you reach the next lake you can enjoy the breeze of the wind on your face rock formations sticking up the lake and lake plants.
At the end of our paddling trip, we lid another fire where we prepared our “late lunch”. Then it was already time to pack our backpacks and to walk back to our starting point.
Unfortunately, we were not able to camp a second night since we had to return to the airport as Konstantin had to catch his flight up north to Alta in Norway for his next adventure. However, we are looking forward to the next packrafting gathering which will most likely take place in May 2016.