Preparation for hiking -2

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:

This is what I had, after a week of digging around and shopping.

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
1x glove
2x “buff” or other scarf thing (one for neck, one for ears)
2x underwear/bra
(1x hiking towel or other really small one)
Hiking boots (remember to waterproof with spray/wax, depending on material)

Own equipment:
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 headlamp
1 cup/plate/spork type thing
1 drinking bottle á 1 litre
Toilet paper in mini grip/plastic bag
Insect repellent
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)

Foam mattress and eating container from Nora

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 😉

Preparation for hiking

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

Impressive list of things recommended by H for a hike in Lapland!

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.

Both wool (up) and synthetics (down) are good for base layer.

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.

Multifunctional headwear, woolen socks and sitting pads are good to have.

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!

Summer sleeping bag (left) and autumn sleeping bag (right) are two totally different thing.

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!

So excited to try out this pair of shoes!
KEEN has amazing gripping power and will help you stand firm on the ground.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Matches and lighter — everyone should bring some fire-starter stuff.
  4. Spork — plastic is the best material: easy to clean and carry.
  5. 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.
  6. Good pair of socks — H recommends the smartwool brand.
  7. Blister plaster — or first aids in general is good to have.
  8. Hiking knife
  9. 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.
  10. Compostable sanitary pads/napkins/wipes
  11. Taskumatti

Basic questions in ethnography?

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.

It is a chapter in Handbook of Ethnography, the chapter is written by KATHY CHARMAZ & RICHARD G. MITCHELL. The book was edited by: Paul Atkinson, Amanda Coffey, Sara Delamont, John Lofland & Lyn Lowland and published in 2001. DOI:

Here it goes:

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.

Image Courtesy: 18th century Ethnography By J. Ratelband & J. Bouwer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

How Mistborn help me to write better (1)

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.”

–The Hero of Ages p.284

塔林 台灣圓桌會



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。




每次坐在電腦前要打字,都覺得很糾結恐懼,覺得自己沒有辦法一鼓作氣打出拍案叫絕的好文章。但猶如記者朋友前兩天在圓桌會 reception提醒我的:「每個人都會寫,文章好不好只是看編輯修改幾次而已。」所以我決定要秉持這個精神來好好練習自己的自信來梳理自己的思緒。

我決定突破這個心結的方式是 Focus free writing ,這是社會工作博士班學生咪挺時學到的字眼,用來突破所謂 writer’s block。

以上就是我針對「塔林台灣圓桌會」做的focus free writing 筆記。




Persona 5

上週開始玩一款遊戲來練習耍廢放空,遊戲叫做「女神異聞錄」(persona 5, ペルソナ5, Perusona Faibu)

















我帶的活動名字叫做”What is your fullest name”,先跟同學自我介紹,講我名字怎麼一改再改,然後給同學們看 God Father part II主角到達美國名字被改的那短片,接著發三個問題請他們小組討論分享。問題分別是:

  1. 你的名字是誰給你的?為什麼是這個名字?
  2. 你的名字有什麼典故或是象徵了哪個族群的起源嗎?
  3. 你的姓在家族史裡面有改過嗎?是什麼原因?


  • 傳統上會以非洲某地區為名來標記 –> 特定的族群文化傳統
  • 結婚所以改成先生的姓 –> 父權的社會結構
  • 很流行(比如說因為王妃所以很多女孩子都叫「黛安娜」、因為連續劇有名影星,父母幫她取名「畢昂卡」)–> 社會聲望與文化資本
  • 戶政人員寫錯名字
  • 自然與地景–> 芬蘭與德國同學很多人的姓都是跟環境有關
  • 宗教原因 –> 比如說有個同學的曾曾祖父篤信上帝,所以整家人都改姓叫做Vesala;很多同學叫做「瑪莉亞」(耶穌的媽媽)、「安娜」(耶穌的奶奶)
  • 歷史原因、國家主義 –> 芬蘭在併爲蘇俄大公國的時候,有很多有瑞典姓的人家把自己的姓直譯成芬蘭文,班上至少有兩個同學是這樣的情況
  • 讓作為外籍新娘的媽媽可以順利唸出自己的名字 –> 有個法國來的泰裔同學有著法國的菜市場名,說他那時候要選名字的時候,特別避開媽媽發不出的音
  • 取非常常見的名字 –> 可能是想要避開特立獨行、避免歧視與不公平的待遇
  • 宗教原因 –> 日本同學的爸媽是到神社裡面求得她的名字(跟臺灣人去算命好像有點像)




或是,「需要花時間與心力去做的事情」都應該被看成工作(Smith, 2005)。





Beef Noodle Soup (台灣牛肉麵)



這份食譜是根據 The Woks of Life 的這份Spicy beef noodle soup 食譜,感謝友人 Lauren的建議我才發現這個超讚的美裔亞洲人寫的料理食譜網頁,搜羅了很多好吃的亞洲菜(最棒的是用英文寫,翻譯成芬蘭文很容易)。







  1. 入大鍋的:
    1. 生薑10片、
    2. 青蔥3支、
    3. 1 dl 紹興酒(我用 dry sherry代替)、
    4. 1公斤牛尾巴 & 冷凍庫存放已久的半公斤牛肉(註一)
  2. 要炒的:
    1. 2大匙四川花椒、
    2. 2-3粒大蒜頭(一粒裡面大概有10個蒜頭)、
    3. 3粒中小型洋蔥、
    4. 5個八角、
    5. 4-6片月桂葉、
    6. 1 dl 辣豆瓣醬(不喜歡辣,可以用不辣的豆瓣醬)、
    7. 2粒中型番茄
    8. 醬油 1.2 dl 、
    9. 糖 1 大匙
  3. 麵一包—-可以自己現做或是用超市買的麵都好
  4. 乾的橘皮1片
  5. 紅蘿蔔 2-3支
  6. 隨便一種葉菜類(e.g. 白菜、青江菜之類的)
  7. 香菜或是青蔥(裝飾)


(一)用大鍋裝4公升冷水,放入食材 (1)–生薑削皮切片、蔥洗過切大段、牛尾巴牛肉切塊–大火煮滾之後轉小火滾10分鐘。放在一旁,撈起浮沫。


我用 Tio Pepe 雪利酒代替紹興,加到四公升的水中(用10 公升的鍋,超級得心應手)



















註一:原來的食譜建議使用 beef chuck,但是因為芬蘭 beef chuck 昂貴,我使用牛尾巴代替(大概一公斤9.9歐元)。牛尾巴口感還不錯,有膠質不會太乾,骨頭熬湯讓味道有厚度,而且價格也比較平易近人。

註二:如果是只有用牛肉(像是beef chuck),可能1小時就夠;但想要牛尾軟爛,要2個小時以上才夠。