Part 2: Camper van and 3-week paternity leave made possible an amazing experience in snowy Finnish Lapland

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Updated 5.9.2021

— Contains a commercial and promotional links marked with an *. 

In the first part of this blog post serie, we reached with a Weinsberg Carabus 600 MQ -camper van to the free parking spot near to river called as Vaattunkijoki. The first part of this blog post serie you can read here at first. There is also found a short summary of the trip at the beginning of the post. ? From Vaattunkijoki, the journey continued towards Saariselkä area. We headed for the night to a camping site called as Luxia Caravan. It is located at Kakslauttanen at the junction of the road to Kiilopää.

Luxia Caravan Kakslauttanen – The septh night of the trip (23-24.1.2021)

We were at Luxia Caravan area between 5 pm and 6 pm at Saturday evening. It was already dark again. ? There was also one another motorhome at the campsite with us. Luckily, they had already been in sauna. So, we could decide when to go to there. However, we first had to cook and eat, and that’s why we booked the sauna at 8 pm. Our son goes to sleep usually around 9 pm. ? Here you can read more about the Luxia Caravan area and other winter campsites visited on this trip.

At first, cooking

We found this kind of easy-to-prepare food in the food marked (see ingredients below in the picture). We often don’t have a shopping list with. So we think in the food market what food we could make. Soon you can see what kind of food it was. ?

Weinsberg Carabus 600 MQ retkeilyauto

“Tuorekset” is a product which contains pre-chopped vegetables. It is always an easy choice when there is no need to chop and you can still get healthy food. My sister recommended that product to us sometimes during the autumn of 2020. After that we have used it at home as well. ??

The preparing of this food is very easy: you just fry the minced meat first. Then at the appropriate stage you throw the spices and vegetables also to the frying pan in order to warm and soften them a bit. As spices at this time we only had black pepper and salt. For travel use, those rice in the bag (see the rice package in the picture above) is handy when the water can be easily removed from the pot when the bag can be lifted out of there.

Weinsberg Carabus 600 MQ retkeilyauto

Then just put the crush tomatoes into and you have a sauce also! Now the food is ready. And if you like you can add a hot sauce to your portion as shown in the picture. ?? And oh, it was so yummy! We got our tummies full and our son liked it too (just without a chili sauce). ?

Weinsberg Carabus 600 MQ retkeilyauto

After eating in the sauna

We had not been familiar with the camping site in advance and this lovely sauna came as an amazing surprise for us!!! ?? And the best of this surprise was that, we got it for our own use!! ? Sauna with a two year old child is not always so relaxed as he ramps back and forth between sauna, bathroom and dressing room. ?? It still always makes it easier when the whole family gets into the bathroom for washing and the same sauna, so one can be with the child while the other is washing. ?? Usually in Finland there is own sauna and bathroom separately for women and men so either parent has to be alone to the sauna with a child. Or go to the sauna after the child is sleeping. ??


Luckily, we had those Slipstop slippers with us which we got at the end of last summer 2020 related to a commercial collaboration. Slipstops kept him upright on slippery floors in the bathroom. The floor of the dressing room was also slippery when there was water on the floor. ? The sauna was really cozy and also a bigger group can fit to it. ?


After the sauna, the feeling was so great!! ?? Our son went to sleep right away. And we watched with Pasi something from Netflix on the phone screen and sat in the rear-facing put front seats. ?

On Sunday morning (Jan 24, 2021), we slept for a long time

In the morning we woke up from the Luxia Caravan campsite and the landscape looked like shown in the picture below. ??❄️ Truma heating system of our camper van is handy when you can use Truma’s combination modes for heating when the camper van is connected to an electric pole. In our case, Truma uses both electricity and gas for heating. Electricity alone is not enough in cold weather to keep the car warm enough. You can read more about this topic here in the winter use post of the camper van.

Weinsberg Carabus 600 MQ retkeilyauto

When we woke up, our little one kicked as usual in his bed. And we were just lying on the bed with Pasi for a moment still and enjoying the moment. You can find more information about our sleeping solution here. It has worked really well (sorry the blog post is found only in Finnish, but at least you can check out the photos and see it). We got comfortable extra space with Pasi with this sleeping solution. ? Before our son’s tent was located on our bed and it took over half of the bed. ? He has that tent in order that he can’t fall out of bed.

Weinsberg Carabus 600 MQ retkeilyauto

Again, we couldn’t complaint the morning landscape. ??☕️ We make breakfast with our son usually so that he plays or e.g. watches a book with Pasi in the high chair at that time when I make breakfast. We also tried to put the high chair in front of the side door and it fits in it, but our son’s hands reach for the gas cooker. So it was not a safe place for our son. And that’s why we didn’t have a dining table at all on the trip, because we cannot use it, because our son’s high chair is located there during eating.

Weinsberg Carabus 600 MQ retkeilyauto

In addition, the dining table that came with the camper van does not fit in its place with the safety seat. A smaller table was ordered in the fall, but it didn’t arrive before the trip. The smaller table can fit in place with the safety seat. We are lazy and do not manage to remove the seat at all on the trip. So we always have it in its place in the back seat next to the window. ?

Tämän kuvan alt-attribuutti on tyhjä; Tiedoston nimi on 7-Luxia-Caravan-14-1024x576.jpg

Then ckecking out the view and a suitable free parking spot for the next night

After the morning activities, we headed to Kiilopää to look at the scenery. We went there at the end of the road to turn around, where is a place called as Suomen Latu.


At the same time, a free parking slot was found for the next night, as shown in the picture below. Then we drove around the Saariselkä area in order to see the places. And at the same time we went to the grocery store.

Finally, we drove to the parking spot found before. The food of the previous day was still enough for this day when we put one more bag of rice. ? I have to say, it was pretty yummy with a hot sauce, even though we aren’t very good chefs. ?? The evening went in peace and we did nothing special and just relaxed. ?

Weinsberg Carabus 600 MQ retkeilyauto

The eighth night (Sun-Mon, 24.-25.1.2021) in the parking spot near Kiilopää

In the morning we woke up from such a stunning scenery again!! ??? There were no other cars in the parking lot for the night, so we were there just three of us. At least almost??

Weinsberg Carabus 600 MQ retkeilyauto

After breakfast we enjoyed a coffee moment with Pasi as usual when there is no rush to anywhere. Morning moments are one of the best moments on a trip when you can just admire the scenery and drink your morning coffee in peace!! ☕️? Imagine the feeling when you can sleep even in the middle of winter almost in the middle of nowhere and make breakfast in complete peace. That’s amazing I would say!!?

Weinsberg Carabus 600 MQ retkeilyauto

Meanwhile, a little one played legos and giggled while sliding legos from the slide. ??

Weinsberg Carabus 600 MQ retkeilyauto

And then suddenly something absolutely amazing happened !! We noticed that there were reindeer just next to the camper van!!!! ?? Only two of them were captured, but they were more outside the van.

Weinsberg Carabus 600 MQ retkeilyauto

He was sooooooooo excited and showed up after the reindeer !!! ?? And he chattered his own tongue.?

Weinsberg Carabus 600 MQ retkeilyauto

The moment was absolutely stunning and this moment is clearly drawn also in the mind of our son. ? On the day of return home from this trip on February 6, 2021, we viewed a book with our son during driving and he was sitting in a window seat in his safety seat. There was a picture of a reindeer in the book, so our son pointed first to the reindeer and then out of the same window where he saw the real reindeer. And he talked with his own language like “tah tah” ❤️ So he can’t speak yet. Then I told him that yes, we saw the reindeer from that window. ?

Weinsberg Carabus 600 MQ retkeilyauto

At the end of the morning things, we had to go to replace one gas cylinder to new one

After the morning stuff, we went for a little ride and check out the possible kite boarding places ready for the next day. After that, we headed to the village of Saariselkä to see if the gas cylinder could be replaced there.

Weinsberg Carabus 600 MQ retkeilyauto

A shopping center was found in Saariselkä, where we bought the most expensive gas of the trip. An 11 kg gas cylinder cost € 32 per a cylinder. The cheapest one during the trip was about € 20 from Tokmanni and Motonet. But we couldn’t complain, because we had to get a new gas cylinder and there was no Tokmanni store or similar discount store in Saariselkä area.

Pasi went to the shopping center and bought a gas cylinder. The seller gave the key to the gas cylinder cabinet outside. There was an egg lock in the cabiner door, but it was icy, of course. ?? Well we put our son at first to sleep in a stroller. Then started thinking how to get the lock melted.

Weinsberg Carabus 600 MQ retkeilyauto

Well there were no other options than trying to defrost the lock with a shoe dryer because we had no other heater with us. Luckily, there is an inverter in our camper in order to use the shoe dryer in this spot. Luckily, the extension cord had also been with us in the trip. So the kitchen socket provided electricity for the shoe dryer. The inverter is connected to the kitchen outlet at this time. This is a good thing when travelling with a small child, so there is no need to put covers in the sockets.

And Ta-daaa!!! We got the lock open with a shoe dryer !!! After that the feeling was super good!!! ?

And after that, Pasi started the replace the empty gas cylinder with a new one. That rear door thermo cover is convenient for this reason too, that the whole car doesn’t get cold when you replace the gas cylinder to the new one. The cover has a hatch on that left side where the gas bottle cabinet is located.

Tämän kuvan alt-attribuutti on tyhjä; Tiedoston nimi on 8-Kaasupullon-vaihto-Saariselka-1024x578.jpg

Walking around the village of Saariselkä

We had never been before in the village of Saariselkä and our son was still sleeping in a stroller. We thought to take advantage of time and go for a little walk. The scenery was really beautiful and the village was so peaceful! ??

It was a pretty cool weather and the only open place seemed to be a local pub. ?

A little one slept in the stroller on the other side of the window and we got a relax coffee time with Pasi. ?☕️ These moments are great in everyday life with a toddler when you can just be and enjoy the moment. There were not many people in the pub at that time, so the risk of corona infection was quite low.

We thought during the coffee moment that it was a pretty eventful day, even though nothing was planned in advance. Because of this, the camper van is the best when you never know in advance what the day will bring. And then every day can be a little new adventure!! And rarely it comes a boring day because usually something happens!! ??? After the another cups of coffee, it was time to head back for the camper van and our son also woke up at that point.

Next night (Mon-Tue, 25-26 Jan 2021) we stayed at the Luxia Caravan camping site

For the night we drove to the Luxia Caravan campsite and got again to the sauna. We also washed the laundry there. It was easy beacause they had a drying cabinet in the laundry room, so the laundry was dry fast. We were the only guests at the campsite, so all services were available at any time.

Then we made mashed potatoes and chicken sauce as food at this time. We found the mashed potatoes in the freezer of the food market. And it was said in the package of the mashed potatoes that it was made from real potatoes. I had to buy it for the test and I have to say it almost tasted like the self -made mashed potatoes!! ?? This can really be recommended to you too !! ?

Weinsberg Carabus 600 MQ retkeilyauto

The picture below shows the ingredients and the same method of preparation was used as described in the previous food. The mashed potatoes were really easy to make. First put half the water and half the milk in the pot according to the instructions found from the package and bring it to a boil Then just put the icy mashed potatoes into the pot. ?

Again, the pre-chopped vegetables were used in the food and at this time the food cream was the sauce. ? I thought then that I could only cook in the camper van in the future !! The gas stove is absolutely wonderful and it doesn’t take too long to clean the kitchen either !! ??

Weinsberg Carabus 600 MQ retkeilyauto

Could we get to kite board today?

In the morning, we woke up from Luxia Caravan area. We ate breakfast and then emptied the toilet of the camper van. And after that we headed for the Saariselkä to check out the possible kite boarding spots. The scenery was awesome while driving! ???

Weinsberg Carabus 600 MQ retkeilyauto

The wind was weak, so we went to the top of Kaunispää and there was one kite in the air. However, the kite size was maybe 18m2 or 21m2 and it was much liter kite than our kites. And our biggest kite is 15m2 so we did not setup our kite at all. It would have been that much heavier and smaller in size. And visibility went really bad due to the snowstorm.

We discussed a long moment with the local kite boarder and he recommended to go Inari for the next day because the forecast for the next day also showed snow and visibility in the fells could be poor.

The top of Kaunispää is really pretty anyway and you could stay at night there also, at least during low season!! ?? In addition to us, we did not see many other motorhomes or camper vans in the Saariselkä area.

We tried to get our son to sleep inside the van, without success. I might have been able to go to try to see if I could get a kite in the air if he had fallen asleep right away. Again, it was noticed that we should just put him always to sleep in a stroller at day time. We just were so lazy at that time.??

Weinsberg Carabus 600 MQ retkeilyauto

To Inari for Tue-Wed night (Jan 26-27, 2021)

We decided to take it “sure” and drive to Inari for the next night because the kite boarding fever was already starting to be almost unbearable. The holiday was already almost halfway through at this point. And we hadn’t been able to fly the kites at all yet. ? We got a tip from a local kite boarder where to go on the ice of Lake Inari. Near that place was also a suitable parking spot to stay the night. The parking spot was a funeral park and it caused a bit of excitement and the thoughts started to escape.?

Buns for dinner dessert

When we got to the park near Inarijärvi, I got an idea to start making buns. And I can tell you how not to make them. ?? In the food store, we got this idea, how could be possible to make buns easily in the camper van. The needed products are shown below. Those buns are from the freezer.

I put the buns in the muffin tins and on the rack in the Omnia oven. I thought there would be less dishes like this.

However, the buns were too big when fried in this way and they touched to the cover of the Omnia oven.

Omnia uuni

And they burned a little. ?? I therefore recommend that you put the buns directly in that red silicone pan so that they fit in the Omnia oven. And then they do not touch to the cover of the “oven”. In addition, you should lubricate them with an egg before frying. So the surface will be more beautiful. I forgot to lubricate.??

Omnia uuni

Luckily, the buns were saved by removing the burnt parts and the taste was just ok. ???

In the morning we woke up from the shore of Lake Inari

In the morning we woke up from the below shown spot!! ? The day started with sleeping on a bomb and I was a little scared if we have still enough time to get kite boarding. So if it was still possible to get our son to sleep during light day time. The dark time came so early in January. The last time when we had snowkited with Pasi was in March 2017, so it was almost 4 years ago. It would be already time to get on the snow again!! ???

retkeilyauto talvella

In the morning outdoor activity, we went for a walk and checked out the snowkiting spot. So you had to walk there, where you can see those individual trees in the middle in the picture below. It has a cape and behind it, it was possible to launch a kite into the air.

As the morning outdoor activity, we often check the wind and compare it with the value indicated by the nearest measurement point of the Finnish Meteorological Institute. Then you know roughly what kites to take with you when you get your child to sleep. You can check the current wind speed from the phone and then choose the kites.

The scenery was really beautiful in Lake Inari. ?? Luckily for us, a snowmobile track went to the snowkiting spot and it was easier to go there with the stroller and the sledge. After a morning outside activities, we went back to the van to eat and change our son’s diaper and sleeping clothes.

*Experiences of WheelBlades XL -skis used in Bumbleride Speed -stroller

* Advertisement: Commercial collaboration with Wheelblades – We got a small discount on Wheelblades XL -skis because we promised to share our experiences with you.

We put our son to sleep in his Bumbleride Speed -​​stroller. The thermo cover shown in the below picture came into use again because the wind was pretty cool.

Before the trip, we had bought WheelBlades -XL skis for the strollers, which can be easily attached to the stroller tires with the help of a quick lock. ?? We started exploring options for getting to kite board in Lapland and getting our son with us sleeping to the kite spot. Finally, we found and ordered suitable skis for Bumbleride Speed -stroller from Switzerland, because we could not find any similar product closer.

* Nowdays I have noticed that you can order Wheelblades XL -skis here in Jollyroom and you can find the pair of skis here in this link. ?

* And if you need only one Wheelblade XL -ski, you can find it here.

The skis are really high quality and work well, for example, when going to lakes or on snowy forest trails, where you can no longer progress with just tires. The order decision was also influenced by the Wheelblades’s developer’s own story and absolutely amazing attitude!! ? It is really wonderful that someone can do a work where he can help almost everyone to get to snowy places even with a wheelchair and with a baby stroller. This is for Patrick: keep doing what you do!!!! ??❄️ We are so happy if we can help you at least a little bit by sharing user experiences. ?

We noticed in use that it is worth locking the rear tires of the stroller if you use skis in the rear tires. It already improved the situation when you put only one ski on the front tire alone, and this single ski may be enough for not so snowy places. The skis remain in place as long as the “bandage” of the skis is adjusted tight enough. For this adjustment you need the tool that comes with the Wheelblades skis. Once you have put the adjustment, you can then use the quick locks to attach the skis. ?

Snowkiting on Lake Inari (Inarijärvi in English)

Our son slept in a stroller while kite boarding. ?? For some strange reason, there were not many photos taken from this lake. And in the case of the below photo, I had set a square image accidentally in phone. ??

The surface was wonderfully soft powder and the scenery was worth admiring !! ?❄️??✨ After the snowkiting, you coud just only smile all the time. ? For some reason we have always a lot of pictures of the landscape and also photos from our son, but not so many pictures from me and Pasi!! At least such that they would be publishable. ??


Packing and after that to the village of Inari to take care of things

When it got dark, we had to stop snowkiting from that day and we started packing the stuff and went back to the van. Our little one was still asleep at this point and we got everything back to the van before he woke up. ?

Weinsberg Carabus 600 MQ retkeilyauto

The light above the side door of the Weinsberg Carabus 600 MQ -camper van is really handy in the dark season. There could be a similar light in the side of back doors. The trunk has its own lights inside. That thermal cover for the rear doors is also convenient in the sense that you can take the stuff out of the trunk so that the whole van does not cool down.

Weinsberg Carabus 600 MQ retkeilyauto

After our son woke up, we went to the village of Inari to shop food to the fridge of the camper van.

Weinsberg Carabus 600 MQ retkeilyauto

After the day we had so hungry that we went to eat pizza. ?? We were lazy to start to do food by ourselves and it would have taken time and the hunger was already hard at that moment. ?? A hotel was open near the food market and it had a restaurant. We felt a little poorly dressed there by wearing collages when there were white tablecloths on the tables. But we were the only customers in the place, so maybe it didn’t bother. ??

The weather forecasts looked a little bit bad for snowkiting for the next few days in Inari area. So we decided to start driving towards Levi. For the night we ended up in Levi and drove there through the place called as Pokka. The route goes through the wilderness. It was already dark again at that point, so unfortunately we could not see so well the landscape. We noticed that the road turned into a sandy road at some point and we started to thinking that it would not be so awesome if we would face some issue with the van.

However, the journey went smoothly. We could not figure out any other spot where to stay night in Levi at that moment, so we spent the night on Levi’s fell !! The first picture of this post has been taken from there and it is a foretaste of the next blog post!! ? It was absolutely amazing to wake up from those landscapes!!! ??❄️?

At the end

The travel story will continue in the next part, and at the latest at Pallas, the sun starts to shine a little.?☀️

Have a nice day there! And you are very welcome to follow us on Instagram and Facebook, and there you’ll hear when the next post is readable in the blog! ? Here you can read more about the blog and here you can find a story about us.

And my opinion is that you definitely have to visit in Finland also in winter time with your motorhome or camper van!!! ??❄️? The experience is so unique, magical and absolutely stunning!! ?

Camper van related blog posts:

How did we start to dreams of our own camper van?:

I wish you a happy reading moments and let me know if there is anything I could write next. ? Please tap also your feeling about this post so we know if you liked it!!

Note! This post contains Affiliate links marked with an *. If you purchase a product or service through that link, we will receive a small commission or a free month of use of the product. However, simply clicking on the link will not incur any costs for you or any income for us. We only recommend products / services that we have tested ourselves and found to be good.

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