I am so excited about hiking in Lapland! I went around the house and digged out the long-forgotten hiking stuff from the closets. I went to the outdoor shop for the headlamp, sit pad and pants. It was fun to try to gather things from four corners and just hope they work!
This is what I had prepared so far after visiting H:
I showed this picture to Nora, my friend who used to have a life as outdoor guide and worked in an outdoor shop she approved of these gears. It must mean I am not at least too wrong in the preparation process 🙂
I heard that it is snowing in Lapland already. To make sure I will not freeze to death, I have bought and borrowed these babies:
I have always wanted a silk liner, and I would say this hike gives a perfect excuse to acquire one. The sleeping bag and compus are Nora’s. I was impressed that the huge down sleeping bag fits in to this small bag!
To save me from my increasing pressure of anxiety, Nora shared me a list of things to bring based on her experience ♡ I feel that I can finally brethe again! Growing up in Asia, I LOVE to-do lists!! I can hardly function without one. Nora’s list is precisely what I needed.
Stuff for weekend hiking late autumn:
1x waterproof jacket
1x waterproof pants
1x fleece or other warm longsleeve
1x thin down jacket or another warm fleece or something
1x normal outdoor pants
1-2x leggings/thin wool pants
1x thin longsleeve
1x t-shirt (wool if possible)
2x thin wool socks
1x thick wool sock
(save one of the socks for sleeping, the two others can be used simultaneously to lessen chance of blisters)
1x warm hat
2x “buff” or other scarf thing (one for neck, one for ears)
(1x hiking towel or other really small one)
Hiking boots (remember to waterproof with spray/wax, depending on material)
Water proof packing bags for clothes
1 sleeping bag
1 foam/plastic sleeping mattress (if not meant for winter use, then take two or one inflatable + one foam)
1 cup/plate/spork type thing
1 drinking bottle á 1 litre
Toilet paper in mini grip/plastic bag
Other hygiene stuff of own choice (in as small amount as possible)
Fire (matches/fire steel/lighter) in a mini grip
First aid pack (including sport tape 2-3 cm to prevent blisters and for example: antiseptic, painkillers, wound-cleaning gauze, sterile dressings, bandage tape, plasters, tweezers, scissors, antihistaminets, sunburn treatment, insect repellent, insect bite treatment, medication for pre-existing medical conditions)
Toothbrush + small tooth paste
(knife or multitool)
(Book to read)
(Sunglasses + sunscreen)
Together with other group:
Silver tape (to fix things with), maybe repair kit for tent
Trangia/other to make food with
Small sponge to clean food equipment + ecological soap
Gas or other fuel for the burner
Map + waterproof folder
Bag for trash
(Water container to bring water from stream to camp)
Just two days before heading to the north, I found out that Lapland had the first snow of the year! Jeez, I hope I would survive in my tent in the snowy weather! Well, we’ll find out soon enough 😉
What to prepare for hiking in Finnish lapland in Autumn? I have only hiked in Taiwan (twice!) and camped in Åland during the summer (twice!). Well, not exactly an applicable experience, since hiking in Taiwan was really hot and humid, and putting up tent in campgrounds in Åland was not exactly very outdoor-sy (read my experience of cycling and camping in Åland in my blog here). I checked out an all-male group’s experience in Finland’s second largest national park at FIVE DAYS HIKING IN LAPLAND. It’s quiet cool! I am so excited!
Luckily, my dear Finnish friend H who has lots of hiking experience taught me where to look for a smooth hiking experience in Lapland! First and foremost, she pointed out that the national park website of Finland contains insane amount of information for people who want to go hiking! Not surprisingly, hiking in Finnish lapland is featured as one of the must-go places 🙂 I am so excited about seeing the stunning beautiful ruska.
OK, so what to prepare for this stunning trip? This is not a exhaustive list, but it gives some clues for first-timers to do preliminary preparations.
What to bring? An overview
It is amazing to see so many things actually fit in the 65l backpack! I explain below first on meals, then clothing and sleeping, followed by walking through wilderness and other important things to remember.
For meals, it is important to bring camping stove (the round thing with black lid next to the sitting pad) so we can actually cook stuff. You can bring salt and pepper to season the food– I am seriously thinking I can bring my own soysauce and chili sauce. It is also not a bad idea to bring chocolate and energy bars. For utensils, you should pack lighweight spork, eating containers and knief.
For clothing, it is important to have layers that not only keeps you comfy and warm, but also insulate and protect you from rain and wind. We can look at it through three layers (see more at Layering Basics).
Base layer (underwear layer): wicks sweat off your skin, keeps you dry and warm
Middle layer (insulating layer): locks your body heat inside, keeps you warm but not sweaty.
Outer layer (shell layer): shields you from wind and rain and snow.
For the base layer, synthetics or wool are both fine, but don’t use cotton. The idea of base layer to keep the skin dry and comfortable. If you wore cotton as base layer, you’ll be in trouble if the cotton layer got wet–since it’s real difficult for cotton to get dry.
For middle layer, you want a layer that helps you to keep warm. I think I will dig out my polyester fleece for the hiking trip. Last but not least, you need an outer layer (or shell layer) to protect you from rain and wind. I will try if my water-resistant snow pants would work, otherwise I still need to buy outer pants (preferably waterproof). In addition, wool socks, gloves, hats, mitton and some kind of multifunctional headwear (such as buff) should be included in packing.
For staying, althought we have already booked wilderness cottage but we just want to be on the safe side. H told me warily that one should always be mentally prepared that there might be nothing available and we are on our own. It makes sense to me. That’s why I want to make sure we have tents and prepare my own sleeping bag and slik liner (H recommds silk liner from SPR). If we are camping outdoors, I have to say I am so excited to see the stars in the northen sky!
For walking through the wilderness, I borrowed a pair of shoes from H and I am planning to test them out in one of the rainy days in these two weeks. I want to make sure I don’t have blisters with those shoes on a 11km walking trip. H also recommends the brand called ‘keen’ because they are amazing for outdoor use. I will keep an eye out on this brand from now on!
Last but not least, here are the remaining important points reminded by H. Some of them are already mentioned above but I still wrote it down. You know, as a double reminder.
Headlamp — obviously it’ll be very dark up north, and in this time of the year we might need to walk a hour or two in the dark. So it is important to have headlamp.
Sit pad — it is light, compact and has potential for multiple usage. H points out it is good especially to sit in a wet surface.
Matches and lighter — everyone should bring some fire-starter stuff.
Spork — plastic is the best material: easy to clean and carry.
Pants — it is good to have a water-repelent pair that you wear in the normal hiking days, AND another pair of waterproof in wet rainy day.
Good pair of socks — H recommends the smartwool brand.
Blister plaster — or first aids in general is good to have.
Enamel cup — H has a kuksa (traditional Finnish wooden cup) but I don’t. Fortunately I have two enamel cups that I can bring. The idea is that you can put hot water in it and it’s light to carry around.
I was writing the method chapter that deals with indigenous methodologies and critical ethnography. This is an inspiring segment from Grounded Theory in Ethnography that lit up my day. I have been struggling what and how to ask questions during my field work for the past years. This segment is like a torch in a dark tunnel that gives me some sense of direction. For those of you who are not so familiar with ethnography and/or grounded theory, here is a post Difference Between Grounded Theory and Ethnography that might be helpful.
A competent ethnographic study demands time and commitment. Grounded theory can help trim excess work but the core tasks still need to be done. Gathering rich ethnographic data means starting by [Page 163]answering basic questions about the studied phenomena:
What is the setting of action? When and how does action take place?
What is going on? What is the overall activity being studied, the relatively long-term behavior about which participants organize themselves? What specific acts comprise this activity?
What is the distribution of participants over space and time in these locales?
How are actors organized? What organizations effect, oversee, regulate or promote this activity?
How are members stratified? Who is ostensibly in charge? Does being in charge vary by activity? How is membership achieved and maintained?
What do actors pay attention to? What is important, preoccupying, critical?
What do they pointedly ignore that other persons might pay attention to?
What symbols do actors invoke to understand their worlds, the participants and processes within them, and the objects and events they encounter? What names do they attach to objects, events, persons, roles, settings, equipment?
What practices, skills, stratagems, methods of operation do actors employ?
Which theories, motives, excuses, justifications or other explanations do actors use in accounting for their participation? How do they explain to each other, not to outside investigators, what they do and why they do it?
What goals do actors seek? When, from their perspective, is an act well or poorly done? How do they judge action – by what standards, developed and applied by whom?
What rewards do various actors gain from their participation? (Mitchell, 1991)
From these questions, an ethnographer learns about context and content, meaning and action, structures and actors. Grounded theory can aid ethnographers in getting into these areas; it should not be used as reason to side-step them. Our basic rule: find data, answer the foundational questions, then develop theory. This approach also remedies weaknesses in grounded theory studies, especially those that rely on single accounts given to field interviewers. What people say may differ from what they do. How they explain their actions to each other may not resemble their statements to an interviewer. Moreover, participants’ most important explanations may consist of tacit understandings. If so, then participants seldom articulate them out loud, even among themselves, let alone to non-members.
There is no better way to learn how to write by reading what you love. I figure out that while I immerse in the world weaved by Brandon Sanderson. His writing helps me to take a careful and close look at my field notes. It gives me the tool to transform the notes into narratives.
Here is one example from Sanderson’s book. The plot goes that Elend was challenged by his friend about his new position as the emperor. I particular like the way how Sanderson described Elend’s thoughts.
Example 1. Making thoughts visible
“So you become the Lord Ruler instead?”
Elena hesitated. It felt odd to have another confront him with his own questions and arguments. Part of him felt a stab of fear–if Teldon asked these things, then Elend had been right to worry about them. Perhaps they were true.
Yet, a stronger impulse flared within him. An impulse nurtured by Tindwyl, then refined by a year of struggling to bring order to the shattered remains of the Final Empire.
An impulse to trust himself.
“No, Teldon,” Elend said firmly. “I am not the Lord Ruler. …”
–The Hero of Ages p.280
I like the parts when the characters find who they are. I enjoy celebrating the moment of clarity with the characters. That’s probably why I revisited more than five times the parts when Harry Potter got the lucky portion and got the information about Horocrux from Slughorn.
In addition to making thoughts visible, to make a story great, it is very important to make good use of contrast. A good amount of contrast (and humor) makes reading the text tolerable.
To graduate, I need to make my writing to carry an engaging plot so the readers could tolerate and bear with me.
Example 2. Contrast (and humor)
“Do you know why I dislike men like you, Venture?” Women finally asked.
“My insufferable charm and wit?” Elena asked. “I doubt it’s my good looks–but, compared to that of an obligator, I suppose even my face could be enviable.”
Yomen’s expression darkened. “How did a man like you ever end up at a table of negotiation?”
“I was trained by a surly Mistborn, a sarcastic Terrisman, and a group of disrespectful thieves,” Elend said, sighing “Plus, on top of that, I was a fairly insufferable person to begin with. But, kindly continue with your insult–I didn’t mean to interrupt.”
第一天的活動是下午五點開始，是一個台灣駐拉脫維雅代表處（註一）以「台灣光點」為名的補助活動，由於代表處希望播放司馬庫斯的紀錄片，所以活動就邀請我來稍微分享一下原住民觀點。我的分享主題 “Research as Ceremony: My reconnecting journey home to my Ancestors”，主要是講我怎麼樣從一個被標籤為高度漢化的泰雅部落長大，在主流教體制中向上爬但是卻發現爬得越高、離原住民認同卻越遠，在徬徨的同時，博士班的研究讓我有機會跟泰雅族的奶奶回到部落去，真可說是一種轉捩點與再出發的認同連結。分享之後，許多與會者在會後跟我分享這樣的矛盾與掙扎他們也感同身受，一個馬來西亞長大的同學說明在長大的過程當中雖然家中長輩說中文，但是她從小是在英語/馬來語的環境長大，所以對中文的認同他覺得在我的演講中很有感觸；有些台灣學/漢學的學者知道原住民族，但是不甚瞭解，在那個場合也多瞭解了一點。