In the official rules of the Finnish Wilderness Skills Association we say:
”The Association’s purpose is to promote and increase the hiking and camping hobby, as well as to maintain the genuine Finnish wilderness skills culture. The association’s aim is to provide as many as possible the opportunity to get a camping experience, while developing their knowledge and skills for outdoor life. The association’s goal is to educate the hikers, campers and all nature enthusiasts to adopt safer and environmentally friendly model for outdoor life, which at the same time respects the old wilderness skills tradition.”
Finnish people have a strong and in many ways quite distinctive tradition of wilderness skills and hiking. There are many people for whom wilderness skills are still a part of their everyday life or hobbies – but because the world around us is changing rapidly, many professionals on the outdoor field are also concerned about the future of our traditions.
The Finnish Wilderness Skills association is not going to become a new player in the Finnish outdoor field – there are already a lot of professionals doing valuable and meaningful work for our common goal. The association’s main task is to gather these people together and as a group show the value of our tradition and skills.
Still, while talking a lot about the tradition, we do not want to get stuck in the past. One important task is to show that the Finnish wilderness skills tradition lives on. We can learn from our ancestors’ heritage – and when combined with today’s technology and materials, the old tradition may even get some totally new forms.
In the Finnish Wilderness Skills association we deeply respect our traditions – but at the same time encourage people to further develop our wilderness skills culture.