The Sámi Knife trip at Karasjok Camping

by Chi Nguyen

One of the most interesting parts in this excursion is that we can gain some real experiences about Sámi daily activities. So, in the second day, we had a Sámi Knife trip at Karasjok Camping.

Gathering up & start

After checking out and giving room keys back, we all gathered in front of the cabin and were ready for the trip. We were all so curious about what will happen in this trip and had a lot of questions such as what is the main attractions of Sámi Knife? How can we use Sámi Knife? What is the main activities of the camp?, etc… Fortunately, we met Silje Halonen – owner of Karasjok Camping – she was also a guide for our trip that day. Silje is a Sámi as well and she inherited the camping from her father. Her family has established the camping since 1963 and Silje took over it from 2011.

We really enjoyed an autumn-vibes in Karasjok with cool weather and fascinating yellow-leave trees started when going along the path to the river.

Weitong © 2019 – Path to the river

Silje let us all participate in preparation tasks for the camping such as collecting and carrying reindeer skins, finding stone for making fire burner and using Sámi Knife to clear brushes.

Chi Nguyen © 2019 – Prepare reindeer skin

Sámi Knife & Prepare for fire

One most necessary thing for camping is a Sámi Knife. A knife was an essential tool for the Sámi people, who survived on fishing, fur trapping and reindeer herding. Those knives are hand-made by Sámi and were sharpened one day before the trip. That’s why those are so sharp.

Karl Andre Thomassen © 2019 – Sámi Knife

Silje guided us to use Sámi knife in the correct way and showed example for us. The Sámi knife is absolutely sharp and we need to hold it tightly in our hands so that we can erase leaves from the bush easily. I am total surprised when even the smallest girl of our group can do this by herself.

Chi Nguyen © 2019 –  Guide to use knife


Chi Nguyen © 2019 – Make grill sticks

We stopped near by the river and started fire camping there. We used all materials brought along including reindeer skins, stone and grill sticks to set up fire and started grilled smoked reindeer meats.

Fire camp & Hear stories

Chi Nguyen © 2019 – Make fire & grill reindeer meat

All of us sat around the fire and talked to each other. We heard stories from Silje about Karasjok Camping and asked her many questions about her concerns. Silje was inspired by sharing Sámi experiences to tourists more, not only bring accommodation for them but also offer them many activities so that they can feel what exactly Sámi lifestyle is. In winter, there is a snowmobile trail right up to the cabins, so the basis for snowmobile safari is excellent! Skiing enthusiasts can use the same track to get down the river ice, and on to the many ski slopes in the area! Besides that tourists can visit at reindeer herds, horse riding, snowshoeing, northern lights chasing and many other activities,…

In summer, in Karasjok camping, they organize some other activities such as hiking, mountain biking, canoeing, cultural trail, hunting and fishing, etc… for tourists.

What will be next?

Now, Silje concerns one matter that how can she decide the target customers and do marketing better for the camping in the future. She are taking part in many tourism projects and learns the way to improve marketing channels through social media and tourism agencies. In long-term plan, Silje wants to build more cabins for more accommodation to tourists and in short-term, she will add more beds in the next Easter.

We were all really enjoyed this activity and highly recommended Silje to develop some more experienced activities like this for tourists in the future.

For more information about Karasjok Camping, check it at: