Iina Saarikko

Jämsä, Finland

My name is Iina and I'm 27 years old. I live in the countryside next to Finland's second biggest lake called ”Päijänne” with my three dogs; Finnish Lapponian dog ”Harmi”, Lapponian Herder ”Surku” and my Norwegian Elkhounds ”Wisky”. On weekdays, I teach at preschool. I love being out in nature, but especially after a busy day at work. It feels like it's the only way for me to completely relax and get my mind off from work. My favorite activity is to hunt, hike or sport together with my dogs. Although the dogs are a big part of our family, they have also become an everyday activity. 

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Q&A with Iina

What's your words to live by/motto?

I would say that my motto is "just do what you love to do and don't mind what other people say" It's impossible to please everyone so why waste your time for that.

Where's your next place on your travel bucket list, and why?

It has always been my dream to visit Alaska one day. I'd love to see the wild nature and do some hunting, fishing and hiking. I think they got an amazing wildlife and beautiful landscapes there.

What's your favorite type of hunt?

It's hard to decide what's my number one favorite is, but since I love to hunt with my dogs, I would say wildboar hunting with my Elkie or small predator hunting with my Lappies. Those two are exciting and are a fun challenge for both me and the dogs. They're also both good for the nature.

If you could give anyone 3 tips, what would they be?

1. Don't waste your time with people who don't like or appreciate you.

2. Always find yourself time to do what you love the most.

3. Go and explore! There's so much to see, and usually you don't have to go far from home.

What's your outdoor story?

I started hunting when I learned how to walk. My dad used to take me with him hunting, and my first hunting memories are from when we went hunting raccoon dog and hare. When I turned 12 years old, I got my very own hunting license and about the same year, we also got our first hunting dog. Since then, I would never be able to do without a dog. As for now, it does not matter if it is summer or winter, I still spend a large part of my free time out in nature and hunt, fish, hike and train my dogs.