• Call of the Wild – Meet Tinja and Her Dogs

    When planning safaris, Tinja is extremely flexible – everything can be tailored to the customer’s wishes.

  • Tinja’s amenities are stripped down to the bare essentials, but the young lady wouldn’t swap the daily chores of the wilderness to an urban life for anything.

  • Tinja keeps Norwegian Fjord horses and Icelandic horses. They are well suited for the stony terrain of Lapland’s fells.

  • Lapland is phenomenal at the time of autumn leaf colour. Pony treks amid the bursting earthy colours will make an impression on anyone.

  • A “wolf” is a dog wolf, in other words a breed that’s a combination of a dog and a wolf. They’re very faithful animals and follow the owner everywhere.

  • Sled dogs see pulling sleds as their mission in life. When customers arrive, a deafening wave of barking starts because they know they’ll be getting to their favourite action soon and nobody wants to be left out.

  • “I’ve had my own animals since I was a child but I started the safari business almost by accident. I wanted to help dogs that other people couldn’t keep for one reason or another”, says Tinja.

  • For people who enjoy outdoor life and want to experience the Arctic winter, Finnish Lapland is the place to get to.

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Call of the Wild – Tinja and Her Dogs

Tinja Myllykangas is a young woman who traded city life to a wilderness hut in Lapland. She now runs a sled dog safari business and shares a deep bond with the wild.

With her 40 husky dogs and a few horses, Tinja lives in the northern part of Finnish Lapland, 180 miles from the nearest town. To her, urban buzz and flashy goods don’t compare with the vast expanse of untouched natural wilderness on her doorstep.

The Wild Essentials

Tinja’s home next to the Muotkatunturi fell has no electricity or running water. She cooks her food on a wood-burning stove or outside on an open fire.

– The chores never feel like a burden. This is a way of life I chose for myself. I get so much joy and energy from living at one with nature that I don’t feel the need for any material possessions, she says.

Loving the Winter

Tinja’s favourite times of year are slightly unorthodox.

– I love the winter. The colder it is, the more energised I get. The darkness isn’t bad at all; even during the Polar Night, the dark period we call “kaamos”, you get a lot of light from the moon and the stars, she reckons.

While Lapland is beautiful in the winter, it’s well worth visiting in the autumn, too.

– It’s a wonderful time for pony trekking. The landscape bursts into gloriously glowing earthy colours. At the height of autumn colour, it looks as though the fells are on fire, says Tinja.

Canine Love

An animal lover since childhood, Tinja became a safari business owner by chance. She wanted to help dogs other people couldn’t keep.

– Sled dogs need a lot of exercise and many aren’t prepared for that. Here, the dogs can do what they were born to: pull a sled, she says.

Her line of work hardly feels like a chore, either.

– My safaris last as long as the customers want. For visitors, a several day safari through the fells is an unforgettable experience. It certainly is for me – every single time, she concludes.

Lapland

In Lapland, swapping the hustle and bustle of ski resorts and cities to the peace and quiet of the wilderness takes mere minutes.

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