14 December 2013

How to take family to wilderness cabin

How is it possible to take whole family to wilderness cabin for overnight? There is a lot to do, especially in winter-time and when trekking with dogs. This is how we do it:

STEP ONE: Make the decision. There is always (at least) one member of the family, who doesn't want to go. Use your skills to persuade them it'll be worth it and set the date.

STEP TWO: A day or two before start, make sure every member of the family has three layers of clothes ready. Do the laundry. 

STEP THREE: A day before start check and pack everything the dogs will need: harness, food, chains, jackets, hay. 

STEP FOUR: Pack everything the humans will need (food, kitchen ware, sleeping bags, first aid and repair-kit) inside the sledges.

STEP FIVE: Pack the car and trailer and drive to the starting point of your trip. 

STEP SIX: Trust your husband navigating your way through the dark forest. 

STEP SEVEN: When you reach the cabin, first take care of the dogs. Put on their coats and make hay-beds for them. 

STEP EIGHT: Tidy the cabin, take all the stuff in, make fire, get some water from the river and make supper for people and the dogs. 

STEP NINE: Enjoy family-time with no TV or internet. 

STEP TEN: Wash yourself with snow. 

STEP ELEVEN: Let your mind find peace in the silence of the moon-lit forest and sleep well!

STEP TWELVE: In the morning, first make fire and put some water on the stove. After breakfast, pack everything and tidy the cabin. 

STEP THIRTEEN: Drive the dog team back following your own track and greeting short moments of daylight. 

STEP FOURTEEN: When you reach the car, start the engine and pack dogs and sledges to the trailer. 

STEP FIFTEEN: Drive home. 

STEP SIXTEEN: At home, unpack everything. 

STEP SEVENTEEN: Celebrate. Make nice dinner. Thank every member of the family. Tell them how happy you are you could make this trip with them. 


08 December 2013

Young husky winter training

Piitu is an one-year-old alaskan husky.
She lives with us in a kennel of eight huskies.
This is her winter training,
Yeaah! Snow!

In a team with sleigh. 

That was so easy. What do you want me to do next?

Try running in front of the team.
 First time, following an other team. 
Piitu in the lead, second time, following a free leading dog,
which can also be asked to come behind the team.
Piitu leading the team third time:
No helping dogs in front of her. 
Next step: Turn left and right.
She will learn it quickly running beside a good old leader,
who already knows the commands. .

Young husky autumn training

 Piitu is an one-year-o-ld alaskan husky.
She lives with us in a kennel of eight huskies.
This is her autumn training.
Running free
Running with a kick-bike
Running in a team.

Good girl!

Looks like my future sprint-racing team.


03 October 2013

Young husky summer training

Piitu is an one-year-old alaskan husky.
She lives with us in a kennel of eight huskies.
What has she learned this summer?
Follow us when we go walking to the forest and fields.




Jump to table. 

Walk on leash. 

04 July 2013

Camping with kids

It's midsummer, the longest days of the year.
It doesn't get dark at all.
The sun sets at 0.37 and rises at 1.40.

We had a change to go camping for one night with the whole family.
We also had my god-daughter with us. She is ten.

We wanted to go to the river or some lake
and ended up in Jurmunlampi,
 witch is a nice, sandy pond in a river near us.

Here is some pictures and tips from the overnight-trip:
Getting nearer, by boat, we saw there was no-one else there. 

Snow-skirts work very well also with sand!

One tent for us, one for children and a tarp for eating and cooking. 
For freetime: Not just swimming,  It's also nice to make sand-sculptures.

25 May 2013

The map on the table

Good news:
The map is on the dining-room table.
And we are looking at it with my husband.
At this point I can't tell you much,
but I can say we have started planning next winter.
And is the map of Sweden.

The spring came fast.
My horse is eating green grass now,
and the swallows fly around the house.

In the past weeks we went quite often walking to the fields with our sleddogs.
Like this:

But now we are having problems with reindeer:
They always come near our farm so that the dogs can see them.
It's too big risk to let them run free!
Our dogs are nice, but no dog can resist if a reindeer runs in front of the nose...
And who knows what might happen.
Sometimes we think we should put fences all around our farm,
so that we could be able to play with our own dogs.
Sometimes it seems unfair the reindeers can go anywhere.

Summe rholiday is near.
School ends on the 1st of June.
Then I will hopefully have time for agility with Riia, our german shepherd.
Here is some training at home -
Not traditional method :)

03 May 2013

First time in team - on the last snow

Just before the snow melted we had time for basic training with our new dog.
 Here are the steps we took with her: 

First couple of weeks in april we trained her to run free - on by one with all our dogs. 
At the same time we asked her often to come to us and gave her little treats when she did so.
When you do this every day, you build a strong connection with the dog. 
It's very good to build trust with a dog so, that she always knows for sure it is good to come to people. 

Not all of us know there is gravity....

Second thing we did was to put her in a chain.
First for a few hours, then whole day and finally day and night.
It is important for a young dog to get used to the idea of being connected to something,
before you try him or her with a team.

Third step was running in a four dog team.
First loop was only 1,5 kilometers - just to get the idea.
She did great! She was ready to run from the start.

First time

Fourth and final step before we lost all the snow was to go skiing with her.
Most of the time she was running free, but for short moments we let her try pulling the skier so, that an other person was going in front of her and encouraging her. This was just ment to give her an idea about pulling also alone, without other dogs. It is a lot to ask for such a young dog, but she did so great     in team, that it seemed OK to try this a little bit.
Last time on the snow

So, now the snow is gone.
In spring and summer time there are many things we can do with our huskies
- And also with my horse!
I try and tell about them here in my blog.
Thank you for reading!

20 April 2013

A new member in the family

What do you do when you don't know your next destination?
- You take a new dog, offcourse!
And here she is:

She is just perfect, isn't she?
Only 8 months old, breeder Sari Ikonen.
To me it means great pedigree and speed,
and like her dogs also this one loves people
- and is ready to run.

So, now I have something nice to do this spring:
I have to harness and teach this young dog
in the kennel.
Luckyly for me, spring is very late.
So there is still some snow left for her first sleigh rides.
The dog of my dreams

She is such a darling -
I promise I try not to spoil her too much!

03 April 2013


You know the feeling:
The trip is done, goal achieved.
You go through the pictures,
Remember the places,
Miss the feelings.
- then slowly put it behind you, and ask yourself the question:
What next?

I know many places I would like to go.
I ask my son's and husband's opinion.
What would they like to do?
The boys would like to go next time by bikes.
Maybe fishing?
How about summit?
There are many ideas.
But you have to think about the price and resources.
How big effort can you make for the next trip?
It depends when it is -
And that depends with whom you go.

At the moment I can not name the next time our family can go trekking.
(My husband's holiday is in June and at the same time my son goes to confirmation school.)

But do I always have to have a big target ahead?
I know the nature nearby can sometimes hide real adventures.
I know real experience comes with open mind.
I know we can always do small day trips
- even in June.
Then why do I feel  I can't live on them alone?

31 March 2013


It was a fine competition.
I was fifth!
I'm very happy about that.
It took me and my team 26 minutes to make the 9,5 km loop.
That is something like 22-23 km/hour.
You can't expect more with a trekking-sledge and trekking-dogs.
Here is how the day went:
The teams started to arrive to the area at eight o'clock. 
I put my dogs to stake and gave them something to drink. 

At Mushers Meeting at 8.30 we got our numbers
and some information about the track. 
I was difficult to warm up the team. I took them for a walk
 one  by one and then put coats on them. They seemed  relaxed. 
10.42 was my time to start. 
The 9,5 km track was in exellent condition. 

At 11.08 my team crossed the Finish-line

After the race I took the dogs again for a walk,
to the forest, one by one. 

At about 12 I stretched my dogs and gave them drinks.
And then it was my turn to have some coffee!

For the rest of the day I watched the six-dog class.
There were some wonderful sprinter- dogs and mushers!