The story of Arctic Hike Helsinki
In the spring of 2015, old childhood friends Markus and Ari agreed to get together for a day hike and a sauna, like old times. The connection had been kept sparsely after childhood, mainly through occasional phone calls and Facebook. Work and family life had taken both energetic and curious men around the world, Markus with food in the restaurant world and Ari as a commercial photographer. Both, however, had found balance in nature, which had already been an important part of life for both men since childhood. A couple of years earlier, Markus had decided to combine love with nature and food by training to become a wilderness guide, and Ari had also switched things up by getting a wilderness guide and nature tourism entrepreneurism degree. Both felt that they had seen enough haste and stress, deciding that that must change. The common view was that if you have found something in life that you feel strongly benefits humanity, you must also be able to share it further. Giving is receiving and ensuring one’s own wellness enables one to enrich other’s lives as well, does it not?
On that shared day of excursions, there was a lot of discussion about how great it would be if you could get more people in a hurry and working indoors to experience what happens when you walk the forest paths, sniff the scents of the forest, listen to the buzz of the wind and observe the birds' activities, and then sit down at the campfire and watch the fire and sip soot pot coffee. Markus had been engaged in mountain biking and stated how wonderful it is to focus only on the next bend, downhill or crossing the rootstock. As a creative professional, Ari had noticed how ideas begin to emerge on their own when you give your brain a moment's break from the flood of information, for example in fly fishing.
Not to mention hiking in good company, and how great it is to learn how to survive in nature. Gain the experience of being able to cope and enjoy even in slightly more primitive conditions. And how to get to know a friend and learn new things about them while spending time together out of the typical shared context, like in the workplace. We had heard about how it is easier for Finns to discuss things that are a little more profound outdoors or in the sauna. We both had experience of what happens in the group during the scouting and wilderness guide school, how acquaintances band together and see each other from a new angle after a day spent together, just as has been done for hundreds of years in this country. If only everyone could experience that sometime!
There was talk of how to alert people to notice the local nature around us, because that is what we all have within walking distance. In order to recover, people need nature around them, as many studies have already shown.
Thus, after the spring day hike and the resulting discussions, the Arctic Hike Helsinki project was born! Work groups, birthday-goers and groups of students have been taken to the forest to celebrate the business recreation day, as well as groups of students, as well as groups from abroad to explore Finnish nature.
Nature is more natural to man as an environment, especially for us Finns, than we know. Our brains have evolved to understand nature and therefore being in nature lowers blood pressure and production of the stress hormone. Walking in the forest opens up all our senses because we use them automatically in a restful state: our senses of smell, sight and hearing. At the end of the day, to be able to do very simple things, people need time to look around and breathe, calm down, versatile and clean nutrition, fresh outdoors, humor, exercise, and nice people around them.
Arctic Hike Helsinki's excursions also combine nature with creative work. Creativity needs time and mild boredom to be born, because that's when the brain starts producing and looking for new directions. If you don't think you're a very creative type, you'll find that there are surprising things about everyone in the right circumstances.
The food is especially close to our hearts and we use ingredients sourced from local producers on our excursions, and as much organic food and stuff produced by Markus as possible. Dining in the open air is a different experience and opens up and caresses our senses. Often the customer also wants to participate in the preparation of food over fire, and there is a task for everyone. At the end we can enjoy the delicacies that melt in the mouth by the fire together!
Let's get to know Arctic Hike Helsinki on excursions! Photos from our excursions can be viewed on the gallery page.