Meet our Outdoor Guides & Team

Adventure by Design provides custom tours and adventure packages throughout the northern regions in Finland, Norway and Sweden. Whether you are in search of outdoor adventure, a taste of Lapland winter magic or a road trip for your family, we can create a unique and memorable holiday tailored specifically for you. All tours encourage human powered movement and foster reconnection with the natural environment and your own mind and wellbeing. We work with a network or locally owned companies where possible and believe in providing a high level of service and professionalism.

Your Guide - Gareth Hutton

I am originally from the South Island of New Zealand and am a professionally trained outdoor instructor and guide, working with groups in the outdoors for almost 10 years. I initially came to Finland in search of adventure at the beginning of 2011, fell in love with the country, the winter, and met a wonderful woman who is now my wife.

I have worked as a guide leading both husky and snowmobile safaris, provided overnight snowshoe trips, been contracted by a number of companies, including Canon Japan, to provide tailored guide services, as well as helped a hundred or so people photograph the elusive northern lights. I am also a passionate photographer with a love for black and white photography, landscapes and of course the northern lights.

I love being in the great outdoors and since starting Adventure by Design in 2012, I have been fortunate enough to have met some wonderful people and have had the pleasure of showing them this wonderful country I now call home. I look forward to meeting you on one of my tours or designing something special just for you.

I am certified as Wilderness First Responder, as an official guide for the Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park and continue to remain a member of the New Zealand Outdoor Instructors Association. I am also a certificated wellness coach and personal trainer.

Header photo courtesy of Akiya Tamba, check out his work here>>

Your guide - Elina Hutton

Finland is my home country, and despite I wasn’t born in Kilpisjärvi, it’s the place where I have always felt at home. It’s also the place where I found the love of my life, but that is a story that you’ll hear once you visit us, so I wont tell it now.

As a little girl, I watched David Attenborough documentaries and read biographies and stories about Polar Explorers. I skied on the frozen river behind my grandparent’s house, pulling my toboggan, pretending to go to the North Pole. Later I traveled around the world, studied a Master’s Degree in Social Sciences and got myself a nice career in an office. For a large part of my career, I have been working in tourism development, pretty much at all the possible levels from hotel cleaner and snowmobile guide to management and regional development. Currently, I’m studying a PhD in nature tourism at the University of Lapland.

My favourite way of spending time off from the office is go skiing on the fells around our home village, still often (secretly) pretending to ski to the North Pole. Hiking, cycling, kayaking, their all fun too, but skiing is my thing.

My role in the company is that of so many spouses of solo entrepreneurs – I do anything what is needed, when needed. Life through us a little surprise in a shape of a cancer, which was diagnosed in 2014. At the aftermaths of that, I studied to become a mindfulness instructor. Mindfulness helped me a lot along the way, so I wanted to be able to pass on the joy. In the future, I will arrange mindfulness retreats in Kilpisjärvi.

Your guide - Tuija Laitakari

Heippa! I am Adventure By Design outdoor guide Tuija. I have been working in the travel and leisure industry for the last 15 years. Currently, I am running my own guiding company but also super excited to team up with my good friends at Adventure by Design.
Working as an outdoor guide is my passion. I am on my element with international guests when showing them what our beautiful Lapland has to offer; wild nature and local ”Lappi-culture”.
Best moments are when I am honored to guide people in nature and seeing them getting excited of winter activities like snowshoeing, overnight hikes, dipping into ”avanto” (hole in the ice) and experiencing the sauna in a proper Finnish way.
Tuija’s motto is: ”Let’s do it!”

Your guide - Riikka Gröhn

Moi, I am Riikka, an adventure guide at Adventure by Design. I am currently finishing my outdoor studies and already fortunate doing my internship with Adventure by Design an assistant outdoor guide. And YES, will stay with this great team for longer! As a guide in Lapland, I wish to show visitors the beauty of life here, how simple things can make you happy and how much energy you’ll get from spending time outdoors.

People say I’m a positive hippie with a crazy attitude not fearing anything. I have always loved animals, zen and nature; lakes and forests in Finland, beaches in Guatemala or hills in England. I am an active outdoor girl who never stops exploring.

 

I’m a kid by spirit, grandma by the soul. I live my life like every day would be the last – loving every moment of it and being outside as much as possible.

Your holiday designer - Sonja Ikonen

Nice to meet you! My name is Sonja, I am a real outdoor girl, Adventure by Design holiday designer, and a digital nomad living between Finland’s fells and Portugal’s surf spots.

As a proud Finn, I am here to share Adventure by Desing’s tips and tricks for you. As an active traveler, I have done many independent trips, as well participated in many tours, retreats, and courses around the world. I have also worked for several years in the traveling business, so designing unforgettable holidays for outdoor lovers is definitely my calling!

As a sports and outdoor fan, my trips most often include either surfing, skiing, hiking in the mountains, practicing yoga and good FOOD! On my journeys, my goal is to travel slow and sustainably respecting nature and local culture. Today I am living my dream life between Portugal and Finland, working remotely and being able to combine the best parts of both amazing outdoor countries.

Do you want to become an Adventure by Design guide?

We are recruiting interns for the summer 2019 and winter 2020 seasons. We offer free accommodation in our cozy caravan, training with Gareth and a great variety of tasks. Send us an email and tell us about yourself and your objects for the internship and why you’d like to do your internship with us and in Kilpisjärvi. A photography portfolio would be great too, for example Flicker or Instagram link.

This is a great opportunity for students in the outdoor field. You will need to have at least basic outdoor skills, speak fluent English (Finnish and German are great bonuses), have a driving license – and if you want to do your internship in wintertime, you need to have some experience on winter conditions already.

You must be enrolled in an outdoor education, wilderness guide or similar course. If you are not Finnish, you need to have study and / or work visa in Finland.

Minimum stay is 4 weeks, internship is unpaid. There’s always the possibility we’ll hire you afterwards! We’re also open to discuss the possibility of a long-term apprentice programme (oppisopimuskoulutus).

National park hiking in Finland

Awards and Qualifications

Wilderness First Responder Certified