64 Degrees North

Paljakka, PuolankaBeing born and raised in the Great White North usually means that us Canadians know how to handle the cold of winter. There are few others in the world who know what a block heater on a vehicle is or what it is for, and how many other nations do you know of whose residents regularly wear toques? And when you have grown up living through a winter that can last up to 8 months of the year, we collectively dream about warm tropical island beaches as a means of escape.

In fact, we’ve managed to escape the cold for most of our travels, and these last few months have been the first where we have endured winter in over two years. Our thick Canadian skin has become a little fragile. The cold bites a little more, the thermostat works harder to keep us warm, but overall we have been pretty lucky that the weather in Wisconsin has not been too bad.

So we’re a little nervous about a potentially freezing cold trip coming up in one month time. After we go and thaw ourselves out for four weeks in Central America, we are going to be embarking on a journey north of the 64th parallel (just two degrees shy of the Arctic Circle). And in February, of all months!

We are heading to Finland!


We, along with four other members of Navigate Media Group, have partnered with Visit Finland to explore their iconic Arctic landscape. We’ll convene in Helsinki and then be scattered throughout the country to bring you plenty of exciting tales from the chilly north.

Pete and I will be heading north and east, skirting the border of Russia and discovering the region of Kainuu. Our program is titled “Wild and Free” and it will be all about animals and nature. We’ll be scouting the woods for wildlife, ice fishing, and spending the night at a husky farm. We’ll be bobbing like ice cubes in a northern river (you read that right, it’s called “rapids floating”), and then warming up in a peat sauna.



We’ve got more surprises from our itinerary yet to be revealed, PLUS, the Visit Finland Facebook page will be running a poll where YOU can decide on one of our activities. (Go easy on us, please!)

The “Finland Blogsposure” campaign will be a trip like none we have undertaken before, and you will be able to track our progress on multiple platforms in real time: follow the #VisitFinland hashtag on Instagram and Twitter, and we’ll have lots of juicy photos to put up on Facebook and Pinterest. We’ll be looking for your input and interaction to guide us along the way. Help us bring Finland to you, let us know what you would like to see! Let’s get started now, please leave us your tips for Finland in the comments.

The average temperature for this area in February is -12 deg C (10 deg F), so completely tolerable for normal Canadians, but for these two wimps, it will be a great way to get our tough winter skin back. We can’t wait to get there.


All pictures provided by Wild Taiga.

35 Comments... Read them below or add one of your own
  • January 14 2013

    I know what you mean about losing your thick skin. I’ve been in the south for years and whenever I visit Canada in the winter I feel like I’m going to freeze to death! Enjoy Finland, it sounds incredible.

    • January 15 2013

      We are really looking forward to this adventure, even if it means we get a little chilly! We need to toughen up! 🙂

  • January 14 2013

    I’m cold for you.
    Carmel recently posted..Christmas Dinner & a Farewell (for now)

    • January 15 2013

      Thanks! 🙂 We’ll be sure to do a post on the saunas to warm us both up. 🙂

  • January 14 2013

    Sounds chilly, yet amazing! Can’t wait to read all about it (and see all the amazing photos Pete is bound to take!).
    Amanda recently posted..The Hogmanay Torchlight Procession

    • January 15 2013

      We’re soaking up on sun rays right now to battle the cold! We can’t wait.

  • January 14 2013

    I always love hearing fellow Canadians talking about toques and block heaters (imagine my surprise when my Saskatchewan-naivete self mvoed Vancouver and it took me 3 months to notice none of the cars had cords coming out the front!) . But I can commiserate on the thin skin front – after living in the Caribbean, I think I would shrivel up and die in -12! I’m really, really excited to hear about Finland, especially the rapids floating!!

    • January 15 2013

      Admittedly we are a wee bit scared of that rapids floating, but still very excited. And just hoping that our video camera will work in those low temps so that we can bring you all the action!

  • January 14 2013

    I really enjoyed my time in Arctic Finland with Visit Finland last December. I can’t wait to see what interesting things you do there and hopefully you see some Northern Lights!
    Jennifer recently posted..Five Reasons to Attend Filzmoos Balloon Week

  • January 15 2013

    Sounds like its going to be an amazing trip! Floating down that river looks cool! and chilly… haha

  • jmac
    January 15 2013

    Sounds amazing. I hope you not only see the Northern Lights but get to hear them crackle. I haven’t yet heard thm crackle.

    • January 15 2013

      I grew up with Northern Lights in my backyard regularly, but I don’t remember ever hearing the crackle either. This should be our best shot!

  • January 15 2013

    Can’t wait to see you guy in action in Finland, it really looks like it will be a trip full of adventures.

    I’d never heard about rapids floating, but it looks very cool, I’ll see if I can find out where that can be done without having to go to Finland hehe

    Can’t wait to see how you guys will be doing in Central América as well!


    • January 17 2013

      Instead, why don’t you just come to Finland? 🙂

  • Ali
    January 16 2013

    I know I’ve said it here before, but winter is NOT my thing. It’s a little below freezing here right now, and it’s making me miserable. I might have to take a trip to Finland in the summer at some point, but I think I’ll stick to just reading about the winter stuff! Enjoy, hopefully your tough Canadian blood will kick back into gear quickly!
    Ali recently posted..How to Make a Travel Budget

    • January 17 2013

      Aw, c’mon Ali! Buck up and come jump in a frozen river with us! Haha… 🙂

  • January 16 2013

    Over the moon with excitement for you guys and can hardly wait to read the posts from Finland and beyond. Go get ’em!

    • January 17 2013

      Thanks Maria! We’re VERY excited as well!

  • January 17 2013

    We LOVED Finland – didn’t get to the north though…enjoy!
    Andrea recently posted..Be Over the Top in Atlantic City: Trump Taj Mahal Casino Hotel

  • January 17 2013

    I have tried the rapid floating. Sounds relaxing but is far from it. Exciting, fun and energetic. A bit like rafting without the raft and in an icy river. Go for it. If you want to read what it’s like check out my website under Finland
    Gordon Lethbridge recently posted..Where in the World (19)

    • January 19 2013

      Will definitely take a look Gordon, thanks! Still can’t believe we’re going to do the rapids floating, but now I’m just so damn curious about it, I’m excited!

      • January 29 2013

        Looking foward to meet You in icy river. Meeting is going to be exiting, fun and energetic like Gordon said. We are going to do it middle of the night. Hope that sky is open and We can see stars and if We are very very lucky Northern Lights.

        • January 30 2013

          WOW! In the middle of the night! We are SO excited for this! 🙂

  • January 17 2013

    Sounds pretty epic! I’m looking forward to hearing how you only survived because you drank lots of Glögi (Finnish mulled wine!) when you jumped barenaked into frozen rivers (do not forget to make a hole first; I’ve seen some mean videos…):) I’m sad I don’t know anything truly Finnish, as I haven’t been there yet (yet, yet, yet), but I do know what I will sing when I go visit, and I’ll share it with you because it’s something you can use to keep your lips from freezing while you’re there (I’m just kidding – I’d love to go myself, anytime): – Monty Python’s Finland Hymn.
    Vera recently posted..The street art of Barcelona

    • January 19 2013

      Googling Monty Python’s Finland Hymn RIGHT NOW! 🙂

  • I have no tips to offer, but it sounds like an exciting trip. Well, maybe the only tip I have is to bring those disposable hand and toe warmers 🙂
    Stephanie – The Travel Chica recently posted..The stupidest thing I did in 2012… and the photo to remember it

    • January 19 2013

      Yup, that is on the shopping list! 🙂

  • January 19 2013

    Brrrr. Should be an awesome trip, albeit cold! But then, we Canadians are used to goosebumps, eh!
    Sand in my Suitcase recently posted..Magical Mallorca

  • January 23 2013

    Looking forward to meeting you at the seminar in Kajaani. It’s a nice, sunny -14C here atm, so it’s not too cold at all =)

    • January 29 2013

      Looking forward to meeting you too Nina! It’s 28C here in Belize right now, even though -14 isn’t TOO cold, it is going to be a rough adjustment for us! 🙂

  • January 24 2013

    Oh dear, it’s really gonna be freezing.
    It’s -15C here in Toronto and I’m already complaining. LOL….

  • Elsa
    January 24 2013

    I hardly can wait to read about your experiences and see your fotos from winter Kainuu and Kuhmo where I come from! Especially rapid floating sounds cool and something new!

    • January 29 2013

      Glad to have you following along Elsa! And if you have any tips for us in enjoying your region, please let us know!

  • Nico
    January 28 2013

    Looks like you’ll be having an amazing experience exploring in sub zero temperatures. I’ll stick to the tropics 🙂

    Nico recently posted top 150 Travel Blogs Using Comment Luv

    • January 29 2013

      Stick around Nico, and we’ll make it our goal to make you admit you want to try rapids floating too!! Haha 🙂

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