Siirry sisältöön

“The cabin hostess”

I’m Marika and I’m from the forests of Repovesi. I’ve spent my whole life in the forests, especially when I was in school. After upper secondary school I studied to become a lumberjack, continuing the long line of lumberjacks in my family. After this I continued my education, and graduated as a forestry engineer. I then fine-tuned my knowledge with the Nature and Wilderness Guide examination. When I found out there are not many logging sites in our local forests, I came to Repovesi to start my own business - because I really enjoy being in the forest, especially in Repovesi.

At this point I was getting quite old, so I felt like being in a need for a partner in life. And after looking for a while I found Sami. He is a nerd, with a capital N, and a city boy from Hamina, but he managed surprising well in the forest. He even had visited forests voluntarily after finishing his military service. And when we met, he already owned his own backpack! I knew that this man was worth holding on to, and I decided to take him home with me. And when I decide something, that will hold. So, then we invited our families to our wedding in the small church in Voikoski, where my dad had got married, too. After the ceremony, our guests got a ride in rowing boats to Karhulahti in Repovesi to celebrate our marriage in the nature – because we both love the nature. We spent our honeymoon kayaking in Hossa, near the eastern border.

Sami and I were thinking that there should be a place in Repovesi, where people could come and just be. There would be no need to do anything, but enjoy the peace and quiet and listen to good stories. I already knew the stories of the logger hut at Saarijärvi, because my great-aunt Anja used to work there. And my grandparents used to work here too. My mother was born in Kivisilmä. So, it’s like coming home for me – and I brought a man with me. We have both lived in cities long enough to know how nice it is to have the peace of nature around you. So we started making a place like that. And if no one else wanted to come there, it would be for ourselves.

Nature and Wilderness Guide as a profession

There are a variety of titles and positions in the nature tourism business, and one might wonder if being a wilderness guide can be a real profession. In fact, it’s possible to complete a basic examination and a professional examination in the nature and environment studies. 

The basic examination is a secondary level education where one can become, for example, a nature guide. After the basic examination one has a choice either to start working or to continue to the vocational examination.

All Nature and Wilderness Guides have completed the professional examination. There are a few institutions teaching the subject. I studied for one year in Eerikkilä Sports Institute, where the discipline has been taught since 1997. During the education, we spent a lot of time in the wild: there was a one-week winter hike in the National Park of Seitseminen, and after that in the wilderness of Hammastunturi in Lapland. In the summer we went kayaking in the rapids of Jongunjoki and competed in the Finnish National Wilderness Kayaking Championship race. Our skills and endurance were tested on 24h hikes. Our class won the 2008 ProGuide competition, where classes from different institutes compete against each other in trekking skills. 

There are different components in the Nature and Wilderness Guide degree. There are written and practical exams on the identification of different species, trekking skills, safety, environment studies and working as a guide and customer interaction. One might come across many different titles and positions in the nature tourism and travel industry, some of which might be made-up. More info about the nature and environment education and degrees you can find here: 


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