The new Fjern Autumn/Winter collection just dropped on SportPursuit – durable, weatherproof equipment to take you beyond boundaries, no matter what weather. We got the inside scoop from the Fjern team on putting their new kit to the test and capturing images for the collection in the rugged landscapes of Finnish Lapland. Here is their account.
Christmas quite literally came early this year for the Fjern team at our AW19 location photo shoot. During a week testing and photographing the new Fjern collection in the beautiful but wild scenery of Finland we had snow, met a herd of reindeer, and immersed ourselves in the culture and wilderness of the country. At Fjern we have a strong belief in the Nordic mindset that the outdoors is there to be enjoyed by everyone, whatever the weather. Finland’s untamed outdoors was a natural choice to put this to the test.
Arriving into Ruka-Kuusamo at night time doesn’t allow you to take in the views but when we woke in the morning we were all very pleasantly rewarded. The woodland stretched out before us – if you like trees you’ll love Finland – and there was a distinct feeling that an exciting wilderness was just a few paces away.
We made our way to Ruoppivaara where Jussi & Lotta from Outdoor Passion Finland showed us some of the best rock climbing areas. Key pieces of the new Fjern range are built for demanding outdoor conditions for mountaineers and climbers – this was a perfect opportunity to use our new Husly insulated belay jackets (which were very welcome in the sub zero temperatures). Lotta also shared with us her very useful tip for warming up cold hands – arms straight, hands at a right angle, move your shoulders up and down. If you can do the dance that she did at the same time we’ll be impressed!
As outdoor enthusiasts it is also important to appreciate everyday life in this stunning and challenging natural environment. Our local guide Anna-Riitta arranged for us to visit a nearby reindeer ranch where we could get up close to the reindeer and meet the people who are working and living in the outdoors every day. Satu, the owner of the Palosaari reindeer and fishing ranch, gave us a great insight to this life. The chance to feed and stroke the reindeer was a memorable experience, in particular meeting a rare white reindeer that Satu raised by hand and named ‘Lucky’.
As the days were getting shorter we didn’t have much time left to shoot but managed to make our way up to the top of Ruka fjell just as the sun was setting. It was like stepping into a winter wonderland and our photographer Dan had to spring into action, shooting as quickly as possible before the beautiful fading light completely disappeared. In Finland, these moments of stark beauty are close at hand – all you need to do is get out and discover the amazing landscapes.
On the 2nd day of shooting our guide was the very wonderful Marjo, who specialises in national parks and wildlife for the area of Ruka and Kuusamo. With her wealth of local knowledge we could explore further into the forests. Following the Riisin Rääpäsy Trail in Riisitunturi National Park took us into a remote area with a welcome stop at an open wilderness hut with lunch by the open fire. With sites such as the stunning Ikkunalampi pond on the way this also gave the team some excellent shooting locations to capture shots of the Fjern equipment in action on the hike.
Our 3rd and final day of shooting was spent in Oulanka National Park checking out the Jyrävä and Myllykoski waterfalls and trying to get the Siberian Jays to eat from our hands. It’s a popular area with local hikers, and rightly so as it’s a beautiful place and we could have happily spent the rest of the day there. You’ll spot some of the waterfalls as a distinctive background to some of the images of our latest Orkan Waterproof Shell Jackets.
As fun as it sounds, shooting photos in outdoors locations is hungry work so we then headed over to Porontima for a truly delicious outdoor lunch that was provided for us by Mark & Outi from Ruka Adventures. A Finnish salmon & potato soup was served in Kupilka tableware, a modern take on the more traditional wooden Kuksa, which are wooden Finnish outdoor eating cups. These are traditionally carved from Curly Birch and can be received as a gift or you can buy one for yourself – an essential item for any self-respecting Finnish hiker!
To burn off our lunch we then hiked up to a look-out point which gave us the most amazing views of the area and a horizon of trees as far as the eye could see.
We knew that a trip to Finland would be great but it far surpassed our expectations. Fully embracing the adventurous spirit of Fjern in such stunning surroundings reminded us all why we create our products – so more people can get into the outdoors and enjoy these moments in any weather. We hope to return and experience it in a different season – if it’s anything like it was on this trip we won’t be disappointed.
We’d like to thank everyone involved for their support:
Visit Finland for organising everything!
Ruka-Kuusamo Tourist Association, Naturpolis Ltd., Metsähallitus and Gateway to Land of National Parks project. Special thanks to Anna-Riitta and Marjo for their expert local knowledge, hospitality and delightful company.
Ruka Ski Chalets for the accommodation in Ruka-Kuusamo.
Jussi & Lotta from Outdoor Passion Finland for the rock climbing guiding in Ruoppivaara.
Satu at Palosaari Reindeer & Fishing ranch for letting us visit her beautiful animals.
Mark & Outi from Ruka Adventures for laying on the most amazing outdoor lunch.
RUOK Burger, Pizzeria Ruka and Rukan Kuksa for serving delicious dinners.
Panajiotis, Delia and Tom for travelling to be part of the shoot with us
Daniel Wildey for his amazing photography.
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