Jouni Laaksonen originally 30.9.2019 (latest update 8.1.2020)
My guidebook Hiking in Finland – Day Trips and Backpacking Expeditions was published in summer 2019. If you are interested in what I think about the book, what the book pages look like, and where to buy the book, see my Books page.
However, if you’d like to see what others think about the book, stay here. 🙂
The Great Outdoors describes itself this way: “The Great Outdoors is the UK’s leading authority on hillwalking and backpacking for over 40 years.” They reviewed Hiking in Finland in September 2019.
All of the review is here. Some extracts:
“Alex Roddie reviews a fantastic new English-language guidebook to walking, backpacking and ski touring in the Finnish backcountry.
Scandinavia is becoming ever more popular amongst British hikers… – – The book – which is attractively designed with dozens of colour photos, diagrams, and topo maps – starts with a detailed introduction looking at the big picture, showing the reader why they might want to visit Finland. It’s clearly aimed at foreign visitors. – -There’s also a very handy quick intro to the best areas to visit if you’re after certain kinds of experience (lakes and islands, ancient forests, seeing wild animals, and so on).
The introductory section makes for a great book in its own right and really is very well laid-out. – – Many of my questions had been answered, including some I wasn’t even aware I’d had! There are plenty of interesting stories and anecdotes sprinkled throughout too, and an extensive section on winter travel. This really is guidebook writing at its best.
The rest of the book is dedicated to different areas, including a number of suggested tours. These chapters include sections on local nature, points of interest, cultural history, travel and access, trails, and more. There are also detailed full-page maps. – – Although you’ll need dedicated maps for hiking the routes, this does make planning very convenient.
Overall, this is one of the best guidebooks I’ve seen on backpacking in Scandinavia. – -Highly recommended.”
A blog called Hardly Hiking reviewed Hiking in Finland early in the summer 2019.
All of the review is here. Some extracts:
“The book does a very good job at its two main tasks.
Does it make me want to go hiking in Finland? Yes.
Does it give me the information I need to do so? Yes.
The first part is not in question. The book has good descriptions of a bunch of destinations and the kinds of things you might find there, and does a great job of making them sound appealing and interesting. The pictures are great and there are little insert texts that start “Imagine that…” which are a clever and very effective way of painting a picture in your head of an experience you might have. – –
I would highly recommend the book to anyone interested in the subject – there are not a lot of resources in English available, and it’s quite a lot more in-depth than the National Parks website, for example.”
Latu & Polku (literally “Ski track & Path”) is the magazine of Suomen Latu, which is the biggest outdoor association in Finland. In the November issue 2019 Latu & Polku reviewed Hiking in Finland. Freely translated:
“There’s a lot of interest towards nature tourism in Finland – especially outside our borders. Visit Finland, who markets Finland internationally, has used nature and hiking as the lead of its marketing message for years already. The growth of tourism in Lapland is based on a change of tourists’ values: the will to “return” to nature is great
The first English language book of outdoor journalist and author Jouni Laaksonen is meant for international nature tourists who are interested in Finland. The book is much better than superficial Instagram marketing: the book is full of facts, maps, hints, trails, Finnish hiking culture. A real guidebook!
The book introduces Finland’s best hiking destinations and different seasons. As a nice addition the GPX tracks of the hiking trails described can be downloaded to your own device. The book is also available as an e-book.
After reading Hiking in Finland a tourist from abroad knows more about hiking in Finland than an average Finn!”
Finnish outdoor magazine Erä describes itself as the biggest (in circulation) outdoor magazine in Nordic countries. Erä reviewed Hiking in Finland on their website on 27.12.2019:
The review first describes me, my journalistic work and my 14 outdoor books before Hiking in Finland. Then, freely translated:
“The book describes the best routes of over 20 national parks or other hiking destinations. There are both easy day hikes and demanding multi-day walking expeditions, and also paddling and skiing tours.
The target audience of the book are foreign hikers, who are planning a hike somewhere abroad, and also those who have immigrated to Finland, but don’t know where to start hiking in a new country.
Laaksonen argues Finland is a great hiking destination for example because of security and good infrastructure, and because of thousands of kilometers of marked hiking trails, and thousands of campfire sites and hundreds of open wilderness huts.
These praising comments might make Finland seem like a playground for hikers where there are no rules and everything is allowed. However, Laaksonen has wisely written thoroughly about Finnish Everyman’s Rights: what is allowed and what is not. The etiquette of wilderness huts is discussed as profoundly.
Sometimes it feels like also us Finnish hikers should rehearse the rules about how to behave in wilderness huts. They are not holiday cottages where you can stay for many days or a week.
Hiking in Finland is a handy and compact starter kit about Finnish hiking destinations and even about our hiking culture. The hiking routes described in the book can be downloaded as GPX files to a smartphone or GPS device, so the interesting destinations are easy to find.”
A new British walking magazine The Pilgrim reviewed Hiking in Finland on their Issue 2 / 2019.
Some extracts from Tomas Stanger‘s review:
“Unlike many other hiking guides which only contain details of routes and useful bits of information Hiking in Finland is a complete guide for anyone considering long distance
hiking or day walks. The book is packed with maps, photos, culture and the history for over one hundred hand-picked trails and photos, tips and advice for everyone, from map reading to lighting a fire.
Hiking in Finland is not just a book for those travelling to Finland, it is a complete guide for everyone thinking of hiking trips, I genuinely think he’s thought of everything in this book!
One of the many particular things that did interest me was Everyman’s Right (Jokamiehenoikeudet), which allows the general public the freedom to roam the countryside, forage, fish and enjoy the natural areas. This is something often discussed in many other countries but something that has always been available in Finland, which makes hiking so much easier.
Hiking in Finland doesn’t just serve as a guide book, it’s hope is to inspire people to explore our wonderful world, especially Finland, which is a truly beautiful country.”
Klub slovenských turistov, which probably translates as Hiking Club of Slovakia, wrote a short description of my book.
Unfortunately I don’t speak Slovakian language, but with help of Google translator I understand the text says approximately:
“Finnish journalist Jouni Laaksonen published a comprehensive guide for those interested in tourism in Finland. It is divided into three parts:
-Everyman’s Rights, and the skills and experience needed in Northern conditions
-The Finnish country and its history
-Finnish National Parks and other hiking destinations
In particular, the first part is extremely useful. Less experienced tourists get answers to most of the questions they tend to ask before they decide to spend a day traveling with a backpack on their back. In a clear form it informs what is allowed and what is not allowed, what is appropriate, what is inappropriate.”