I’ve been always influenced by the beauty of mountains or fells you’ll find in Lapland, the northern part of Finland. Every winter we have gone there with my family to cross-country ski or earlier in the autumn to hike for a week in spectacular autumn colors. I remember, how we once visited also the Norwegian side and the change in the landscape profile was unbelievable. The round and gentle hills were gone and I found myself walking in the deep valley floors and gazing the surrounding snowy mountain tops. That was something!

In 2009 I hiked with my good friend through the Swiss Alps in three weeks.

Since hiking is purely my hobby, it sets some limits how often and for how long trips I can go but in the last years I’ve been lucky to have been able to do some splendid walks. Of course, one wants more. This website is about following how these plans will turn out as well as everything related to long distance hiking and enjoying the outdoors.

Contact: a.rantsu at hotmail.com

10 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Antti,

    I wanted to send you a pm, but couldn’t find anywhere to do that so guess I’ll just share it all here.

    Even though I’ve been writing a blog myself for 3.5 years, I hardly ever read or leave comments on other blogs. But after reading through all your notes on the GR 5, watching your beautifully put together video, and checking out the resource links you so generously shared, I felt compelled to write and say…..well, thank you.

    I won’t bore or burden you with my life story. Suffice to say my heart is being called to the mountains, to spending time alone and to do something which I’m not at all sure I’m capable of achieving. Just, thank you, not only for the huge amount of practical info you’ve shared but for the beautiful way in which you shared it.


    • Hi Leah,
      Thank you for your kind words! I’m super glad that you’ve found the info useful and inspiring. About the GR5, the english translation of the book is well on its way, hopefully out within the next six months. 🙂
      (My email address is on this page, just above the picture)
      All the best,

  2. Hi Antti
    I came across your blog through walkingforum.co.uk – particulalry your report on the GR5. I found your trip report really useful as I did the section from Lac Leman to Chamonix last summer and I found you the most helpful resource. I have since bought your book and absolutely loved it – you write in a simple style and let your love of the mountains and the walk shine through. I also loved the fact that you allow the reader to understand the fatigue and occasional loneliness of such an endeavour. Thank you for sharing your experience and I look forward to reading the next one!

  3. Hello Antti;
    I came across your blog and video about the GR5. Very well done! It is rare that someone can both do a long distance hike and do a nice job on a blog/video. Keep up the good work!

    This past summer I finished walking across Austria on the Zentralaplenweg #02. Here is a report on the first section;

    Not sure what is next. Maybe the GR5.

    Robert Van Vranken
    Peacham, Vermont, USA

    • Hi Robert and sorry for the late reply.
      Nice video and the Austrian Alps look stunning! Thanks for sharing.
      You were not camping but what could you say about wild camping along the Zentralalpenweg 02? Is it well tolerated in the mountains, regularly campsites in the valleys..?


  4. Terve! Terve!

    Hei Antti, I just looked at your site this week – very impressed.

    Sorry to find out you did not complete the GR11, but I know the last time we spoke you were having serious doubts, and no point pushing on when you had stopped enjoying it (– no matter that you were well prepared and physically capable).

    I thought of you in the final week as the dramatic scenery had all ended, the days were VERY hot, the trails more crowded in parts, at times the marking was sparse, long road stretches and stops became increasingly expensive… I kept going only because it was close to the end and I am a stubborn bugger!
    Unlike you, I had my smart-phone along – but I didn’t use it for navigation. I did take a few pictures with it but otherwise hardly used it at all as WiFi was limited, plus I was relying on a USB cable for charging and in the final third of the walk the cable developed a fault! I found it wasn’t comfortable to be off-line, and I regretted not being able to research places to stay and eat, but I’m also sure there were some intangible benefits…

    My kit was minimal (tarp + mat + sleeping bag) as I made some purchases with cycling in mind – where weight and space is even more of a premium, if you can believe! A small light tent would have been preferable for a number of reasons: I had some epic all-night battles with ants, I was fair game for the mosquitoes and I was plain cold on too many nights.

    Worst was a storm when the tarp came down twice and I was too exhausted to make another hopeless attempt at re-erecting it. What I did not realise was the wind had blown the tarp in such a way that the end of my mat was exposed to the rain and water was running down the groves and being sucked up by my sleeping bag! When I did find out I was lying in a soggy bag it was too late and I was not too thrilled… but I survived and it was not as bad as it sounds!

    Well, it was my first major walk, so a lot of lessons! When I started I had no idea if I could walk that far, so it was a relief to find I could, and that it was a good thing to do… despite the numerous discomforts and kit limitations. Mostly it felt like a real privilege just to be there – not everyone has the luxury of spending six weeks on the trail. Of course the company of like-minded people did help!

    Sorry for rambling on (I should start my own blog!) Hope you get your GR11 report finished soon…

    Best Wishes,

  5. Hi Antti… A few months ago I found your blog and videos on your hiking trips and it’s been a real pleasure to read your stories and learn from your experiences and advice… Thank you for taking the time to write it. I also downloaded your book which was a fabulous read and has inspired me to do the GR5 from Geneva to Menton one summer. I was wondering if you could offer some backpack advice for someone who’s a minimalist. After reading your blogs I’ve done three trips to the Mercantour in France which have been wonderful experiences but only short two day trips covering 30km a day. At the moment I’m using a 28 litre Fjällräven Kaipak which is perfect for one or two days without tent or sleeping bag. I would like to start doing extended trips and need to start thinking about a larger back pack and also either a tarp or one man tent. After several trips under your belt, how are you finding the 58 litre pack size? You seem organised and forward thinking and so am I, so I’m curious if you think you could use a smaller backpack, say 48 litres like climbers do, or do you feel you could use something a little larger, say 65 litres for a little more freedom? Also do you think it would be practical to use a 48litre backpack and carry the one man tent externally, poles on one side, tent bag on the other? This smaller size would mean the pack itself being lighter and more compact but also restrict tent size or possibly if it is carried internally. I’m conscious as a novice hiker after reading several blogs on the PCT, AT and GR5 that the tendancy is to bring everything including the kitchen sink to start with but I really want to start as I mean to go on… light and compact. Your thoughts and experience would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance…


    • Hi Laurence,
      Thanks for your message and nice comments! Great to hear that my blog and book have been inspiring 🙂

      This 58 liter Osprey is only my second backpack, the first being the monstrous 80 liter Haglöfs Oxo which weighed some 3 kilos itself!! So after getting the backpack weight down to one kilo, I haven’t felt much need to optimize it more. The 58 liter has turned out to be the right size for my trips and gear. On longer hikes it’s been absolutely full, mainly because of extra food supplies but at the same time it sets the limit for not carrying too much extra. I think you could easily carry your tent externally on the other side of your pack, I have my sleeping pad just like that. But I don’t really consider myself even nearly being a minimalist, on the light side yes but still there would be a lot of grams to cut 😀 You should check Hendrik’s blog, https://hikinginfinland.com/ , he’s an ultralight guru!

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