Tales and Field Tests Instructions Unethicalities Partner introductions Other Articles

Army Tales: Left or Right?

2021 summer; this one time, at military camp. It is a late night or early morning, depending on how you look at it. Countless pairs of feet are moving towards the lake in the cover of darkness. Several recon squads arrive at the same time at an intersection that feels pretty insignificant because both roads go around the lake and end up in the same spot that leads toward the next waypoint.

Varusteleka size chart update 2024

Many people have contacted us and said that the gaps between sizes are too large, and thus many fall between sizes. Therefore we decided to do something about it.

Irresponsibility Report 2023

Breaking news - Varusteleka reduced their CO2e emissions by 1,200 tons! See pics!

Varusteleka's annual report 2023: Charlie Foxtrot

The gold coins have been counted in the coffers, and as you might guess from the heading, things got fucked up. Here’s a bit of a gloomin’ troll report with a slight silver lining at the end.

Textiles are needed everywhere during a major crisis

The security of supply is a hot topic in many countries because of recent pandemics and our deranged warmongering eastern neighbor. However, textiles are often forgotten even though they are vital to both the military and the civilians during a major crisis. We want to raise awareness of this and, at the same time, revitalize European textile production.

Boots on the Ground – a Short Guide to Shoe Selection

Proper gear is a critical factor on the battlefield, and the significance of footwear is particularly crucial – if your feet aren't like a hobbit's, you may need to use footwear suitable for different seasons and terrains to be able to operate in field conditions. In this article, we will explore the footwear of the modern soldier, their characteristics, and suitability for various situations.

The highlights of 2023

Another year is in the books, and we are already busy getting on with the new one. Let's take a brief look back at 2023 and recap what was going on last year.

Project MEGA - GTFO of China Continued

Our MEGA project is moving ahead! For most of our Made in China products, the final shipments are now arriving before we shut down our production in China. One could say that these are historic batches, proper collector’s items, that we have in our hands!

How to attach MOLLE – and what does it even mean?

In the world of military and outdoor gear, two acronyms, MOLLE and PALS, play a crucial role in ensuring versatility and functionality. Let's take a good gander at what MOLLE and PALS attachment systems are, their history, and how they are used – how to attach MOLLE.

Field Testing Salomon Toundra Forces Winter Boots

Last winter we tested the Salomon Toundra Forces tactical winter boots. We can warmly recommend these warm winter boots to everyone whose toes freeze easily or who need to operate in a super cold environment whether it is military use, hiking, hunting, or everyday life.

A short story about women's voluntary military service in Finland

The author has completed voluntary military service for women in Finland. This article is specifically about military service in the Finnish Defence Forces, but might be useful and applicable for other places, too.

Project MEGA - GTFO of China

We have mentioned a certain mysterious project MEGA a couple of times, and now is finally the time to tell a bit more about it.

Behind the scenes: Varusteleka Design Process

For several years, we have participated in the Fashion Revolution Week by showcasing the companies that manufacture our own products. However, right now we are in the middle of a big change regarding the delivery chain thanks to our MEGA project, which we will open up a bit later this week. Thus, we thought that it would be fun to tell you a bit more about our own product design process this year.

One time at Varusteleka brand camp

For several years, we have participated in the Fashion Revolution Week by showcasing the companies that manufacture our own products. However, right now we are in the middle of a big change regarding the delivery chain thanks to our MEGA project, which we will open up a bit later during this week. Thus, this year we will talk about our own brands and their changes and delve deeper into our own design process.

Varusteleka's annual report 2022

The gold doubloons and squirrel pelts we managed to rake up last year have been accounted for and checked over to be sure. Here's a trip into the year 2022 from our perspective in some words and numbers. Enjoy.

Choosing the right rucksack

The best rucksack for rucking is the one that meets both your traveling needs and your budget. Whether you are going to your backyard or Yellowstone, or with Jimmy Blenkinsops to both of the Kilimanjaros, read this article and get started!

World of Bushcraft

What is bushcraft? Well, it is all sorts of cool stuff in the woods that could fill a range of books. And it probably has - both beginner bushcraft and more advanced one. Here’s a quick overview of the world of bushcrafting. We will delve deeper into the subject in future articles.

How to pack your rucksack

How to pack a rucksack? Packing a rucksack is easy – read this article, and you’ll know how in no time. This article is a brief how-to, which you can apply for your own purposes and personal gear.

Irresponsibility Report 2022

We’ve made an inventory on our environmental sins committed in 2022, and here’s what we confess.

How to Choose a Sleeping Pad

The sleeping pad insulates the sleeper against the cold creeping in from the ground and offers a comfortable enough bed so that you can sleep in all sorts of conditions. Selecting the best sleeping pad for camping in the conditions at hand is as important as the sleeping bag selection. If you’re not that familiar with what’s perfect for your needs, this article helps with choosing a sleeping pad that works.

On the Night Vision Close Quarter Battle Course (NVG ITCQB)

I had the opportunity to participate in Project Gecko’s NVG ITCQB course hosted by Tactical Academy Finland (TAF). NVG ITCQB is a follow-up course to the ITCQB 01 and ITCQB 02 courses, which focuses on working with night vision goggles. Some of the students had taken the ITCQB 01 module and a few had also completed the ITCQB 02 course.

Winter hiking gear list

When you’re planning a wintery hike, the first logical step is the hiking trip packing list. This hiking essentials list is a simple way to make sure that you don’t forget anything crucial. The contents of the hiking packing list vary based on the destination, trip length, how cold it is, how much snow there is, what you plan on doing there, and your personal preferences. Therefore it is impossible to create an all-inclusive list. The list for a wintery ski trek in Lapland will understandably be very different from the one you use when packing for a hiking trip in Hawaii.

Battle Belt Setup – How to win a Finnish sniper competition

There are many ways to come up with a battle belt setup. All serious gear choices are exclusively purpose-driven, and in this article the purpose is to win a sniper competition. In Finland, competitive sniping is an official sport under the Reservist Sports Federation; a sport focused on fieldcraft skills and long-range shooting. There are national competitions such as FinnSniper and the Häyhä national championships.

Best Sellers of 2022

In the year 2023, we look back at the best-selling products of the year 2022. Seems like all years of this decade are more weird or shocking than the last, and the effects are felt by pretty much everyone, and it shows in our business as well.

Bug Out Bag

Wherever you may live, a situation can arise where you are forced to leave your home, at least temporarily. It might be a natural disaster, or a human one, perhaps even a special military operation. Anyway, you’ll have to make a run for it, and you can’t rely on the help of your fellow man, because everyone else is also in the same situation.

Detective novelist at the perils of the Archipelago Sea

By Christian Rönnbacka.

Operation Unethicality Program: Carbon Footprint 2021

So there it is again another year of emissions. For a couple of years now, we have been working on determining and keeping track of the environmental destruction caused by our business and planning measures to reduce that destruction. The aim is to get rid of at least half of the emissions before the turn of the decade, as you can read on the page outlining our Irresponsibility work.

DIY Oilskin Coat (or oilskin anything)

Fed up with modern rainwear technology? It's time to take action then! Mankind has created wonderful alternative solutions to Gore-Tex and PVC ages ago. All you need is a cotton/linen garment, linseed oil, turpentine and a lot of patience.

Varusteleka's own product carbon footprint

Hey gang, we have finally calculated the carbon footprints of the majority of our own textile products. Meaning the amount of greenhouse gases emitted in the production process of each product. These footprints can be found on the product pages of our webstore. If interested, you can take a deep dive into the calculation method as well. These calculations were done with the great help of Compensate.

Product carbon footprint calculation method

We have finally calculated the carbon footprint value for the majority of our own products, meaning the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere in the production process of each item. These footprints are visible on the product pages of our website.

Who Made Your Clothes, Part 14, DD Hammocks

This article series by Varusteleka is part of the global Fashion Revolution Week, a campaign that aims at making the sourcing, manufacture, and sales of clothes more ethical and transparent. We believe that this is a damn good thing and thus we were very happy to participate in it for the third time now in 2022.

Who Made Your Clothes, Part 13, Ozra Textiles Company

This article series by Varusteleka is part of the global Fashion Revolution Week, a campaign that aims at making the sourcing, manufacture, and sales of clothes more ethical and transparent. We believe that this is a damn good thing and thus we were very happy to participate in it for the third time now in 2022.

Who Made Your Clothes, Part 12, Savotta

This article series by Varusteleka is part of the global Fashion Revolution Week, a campaign that aims at making the sourcing, manufacture, and sales of clothes more ethical and transparent. We believe that this is a damn good thing and thus we were very happy to participate in it for the third time now in 2022.

Prepping 101 - a short guide to survival

Crisis preparation is best done before the crisis is in full swing. Having a home emergency food supply and a general plan for preparedness is not a fringe thing. They can be integrated into your everyday life without causing excess anxiety. It is more or less a process of habituation. Similarly, most people have smoke detectors, fire blankets, and even fire extinguishers at home, without the fear of a fire laying heavy on their shoulders. In the event of an emergency, these items can nonetheless make the difference between a nuisance and a total catastrophe. Maintaining a home emergency food supply – and being prepared in general – requires some effort, but will eventually be a normal chore among others.

Operation Unethicality Program: Carbon Footprint 2020

This is a glance at all the irresponsible and destructive things we did in 2020. Our business is to buy stuff and ship it around the world, so destruction is guaranteed. That is why our first priority in our irresponsibility work is to reduce the size of our carbon footprint and our impact on climate.

Winter hiking tips

Especially here in the north, winter takes up most of the year, which means snow and cold are a big part of the life outdoors. This is why we asked our best bushcraft warriors to teach the rest of us about the secrets of winter camping! We gained such valuable knowledge that we wanted to share it with you as well. The boot camp was divided into three stages: camping and sleeping, clothing, and nutrition. So, let’s look at what we learned and what we should all take into consideration on our wintry outdoor excursions.

Best Sellers of 2021

At the start of a new year, it has become a bit of a tradition for us to take a look back at the most popular and most buckaroos-generating products of the past year. Last year we faced not very few obstacles with product availability and logistics. We did, however, manage to stock our shelves, be it with regularly irregular intervals. But which products excited you the most in 2021 from a purely commercial perspective?

How to Not Suck When Using Socks

Have people lost the basic skill of using socks properly? Or could it be that knowledge has increased and people were too hardy to complain about blisters before? Either way, taking care of your feet has an important role in covering distances successfully by foot, hence an entire article about socks. Will you find new tidbits of useful information or points of great disagreement? Let's find out!

Hunting moose in Pomokaira in Lapland

Moose hunts on state land in northern Finland offer wilderness adventures for tens of thousands of Finnish hunters every year. We also gathered a group of friends and traveled to Lapland, dreaming of catching the two moose for which we had permits in the Pomo-Vuotso region.

Using a rain cape as a shelter

Even though there are all sorts of handy shelter options for outdoorspeople, ranging from a bivy bag to tents that fit several people, none of them are as versatile, lightweight, and atmospheric as a rain poncho.

Using a Tarp as Shelter

Ah, the tarp: the versatile shelter of any bushcraft-minded camper, trekker, or hiker.

The Shooters of Varusteleka

Being as we are a military and outdoor specialist business, a high proportion of our staff are into things like hiking and bushcraft, and hunting, as presented in this previous article. This time, we're looking at the shooters: various shooting disciplines are a swell combination of physical skill, mental capability, and technical knowledge. There's always more to learn and there's no such thing as a complete or finished shooter. Can you get more Zen?

Introduction to weaponlights

This article talks about the selection, mounting, and use of weaponlights. If you have been thinking about getting some light for your gun, start here.

Making your zippers smarter and quieter

Are you miffed by noisy zipper pulls? In certain use, so are we. That’s why we made this compact article on how to make practical and silent pulls with your own little hands.

Road show during the pandemic in 2020

In this article, we'll tell a little about our Roadshow in 2020, which didn’t really go as planned thanks to the plague. And also a few words about this year’s plans.


In this article, we’ll talk about the joys of traveling by car and introduce three very different road trippers. Hop in!

How to adjust your backpack

In this article, we give you the essential tips on how to adjust your backpack. It’s no rocket science, but there are a few pointers that are good to know.

Plate Carrier Setup - piece together your fighting load

Plate carriers are one of many options to form the base of your modular combat gear. This article covers short reasoning why to choose a plate carrier, which pouches are most advisable, and how to place them.

Developing our logistics in the shadow of the Plague

We have boosted our logistics a lot during last year. Everything didn’t go as smoothly as planned when the plague hit the fan, but now things are going better than ever. In this article, our Supply Chain Director Elina tells what kind of improvements we have made to ensure that your packages move even better.

How to Protect Yourself from Ticks?

The most dangerous animal in Finland is the bastard know as the tick but even if you have zombie dragons in your neck of the woods, these small pricks are quite a nuisance anyway. But don’t let them control your life. You can go hiking, hunting, and fishing to your heart’s delight as long as you do it smartly. In this article, you can find a few tips for neutralizing the tick threat.

We and the environment are so not friends

Hey thanks for the prize Paytrail and everyone who voted for us! So, we won the public vote for Verkkokaupan Ympäristöystävä, something like Webstore Friend of the Environment. And we promised in advance that should we win, we would say a few words about the whole thing.

Who Made Your Clothes, Part 11, Top-Knit

This article series by Varusteleka is part of the global Fashion Revolution Week, a campaign that aims at making the sourcing, manufacture, and sales of clothes more ethical and transparent. We believe that this is a damn good thing and thus we were very happy to participate in it for the second time now in 2021.

Who Made Your Clothes, Part 10, MD-Textil

This article series by Varusteleka is part of the global Fashion Revolution Week, a campaign that aims at making the sourcing, manufacture, and sales of clothes more ethical and transparent. We think that this is the stuff that good guys should do, so we participated in it already last year. And we were very happy to do it again now in 2021.

Who Made Your Clothes, part 9, Kolmituote

This article series by Varusteleka is part of the global Fashion Revolution Week, a campaign that aims at making the sourcing, manufacture, and sales of clothes more ethical and transparent. We believe that this is a damn good thing and thus we were very happy to participate in it for the second time now in 2021.

Who Made Your Clothes, part 8, Omniteksas

This article series by Varusteleka is part of the global Fashion Revolution Week, a campaign that aims at making the sourcing, manufacture, and sales of clothes more ethical and transparent. We believe that this is a damn good thing and thus we were very happy to participate in it for the second time now in 2021.

Who made your clothes and why is it important

Varusteleka wants to be on the side of the good guys in all our functions. Therefore, when we heard in 2020 about the Fashion Revolution Week that demands a fairer and safer clothing industry, we jumped right in. And we participate also in 2023.

Varusteleka's annual report 2020

While being busy with our Total World Domination plans and all the pandemic crap, we managed to count the coins in the vault, and the auditor has given their blessing. So, here’s a short wrap-up of the year 2020 and how it translated into figures.

Combat first aid kit placement on your gear

There are many dangers and potential hazards on the battlefields and without a good first aid kit you will die, so you should carry the right stuff among your combat gear. But what to carry and where? Let’s find out!

Do-It-Yourself: Webbing Suspenders

Here's some reading for those who can't afford ready-made products and have no imagination to help themselves. Umm... That doesn't sound good but anyways, maybe someone will enjoy this.

Gear Selection for Practical Shooting in Winter

There is plenty of cold and snow in Finland when this article was written, and it is fantastic for us practical shooters. Even though the shooting season is usually more commonly associated with summer, you should still get everything you can out of winter training and test your performance in more demanding surroundings. This kind of training is also useful for our Brutality matches.

The basics of snow camouflage

When writing this article, we have the ideal winter season here in Finland and many other countries in the northern hemisphere, and luckily climate change hasn’t yet killed the chances of having snow. We wanted to give you a compact guide on what to take into account in your camouflage when snow covers the landscape and how to get everything out of the top Finnish design, M05 Snow camo.

Sales margin and why everything costs

The author Valtteri Lindholm is the founder, owner, and the Chairman of the Board of Varusteleka.

Staying effective in different weather conditions

How do you avoid soaking your winter clothes with sweat? Is there anything you can do to relieve yourself in the summer heat? Are freezing toes and fingers in the cold a personal thing that can't be helped? What to do if you fall into the water in the winter and only some spare clothes remain dry? Can you increase or decrease body heat by eating or drinking?

Särmä TST L4 Field Uniform Update

You can develop things by fixing faults in an otherwise good idea but it only gets you so far. At some point, you should shift the focus into what's good and make it better. To avoid not "fixing if it ain't broke", care must be taken as when drilling an arsehole to a stick horse. With this philosophy in mind, we took the Särmä TST L4 Field Jacket and L4 Field Pants and whipped up some refinements.

Three lines of gear placement - right gear in the right place

In layered clothing, each layer has a specific role to play. A very similar model can be applied to other gear, too. Different countries use different terms to describe this but the concept is a similar three-layer model. In Finnish, these layers are called circles but elsewhere they are often referred to as lines. In this article, we go through the basic principles of this kind of thinking and give a few examples of how to use the concept in military and civilian applications.

Getting Into Practical Shooting - A Simple Guide

Due to the publicity of the Brutality series of shooting matches by Varusteleka and InRangeTV, many people have asked how to get into this kind of shooting sports: dynamic, practical, action... you get the idea. Here's an overview of how to get started, what to consider when buying things, and make your life easier. In the scope of this article, the various disciplines are treated pretty roughly as one big lump instead of going into specifics of this or that part of any given rulebook.

Operation Unethicality Program 2019 - 2021: On Our Carbon Footprint

Hey gang, we compensated our carbon footprint, as far as we know it!

Hunters at Varusteleka

Looking at the things we sell, it is quite understandable that we got many employees who are interested in shooting, bushcraft, and hiking. And it is quite natural that many also hunt. Some have done it for long, some are just getting started. Hunting is a fantastic hobby as long as it is done sustainably.

Combat Backpacks in Civilian Life

Are assault packs suitable for peaceful everyday life, such as hiking, as a shopping bag, or for carrying work stuff?

Freedom to Roam in Finland

In Finland we have this thing called "Everyman's Rights". In a nutshell, it means that nature is for everyone to access and enjoy. While these rights are not laid out in the law, certain things are specifically allowed based on our age-old customs.

SERE-A Urban Survival Course

How would our forest hermit of an employee survive in an urban environment after the Apocalypse? Let’s find out! When they asked me at work whether I’d like to write a story on an urban survival course, I instantly blurted out “hell yeah”. After a short while, I started wondering what did I get myself into now? I live in the countryside in a sparsely populated area and spend my vacations in the wilderness, so surviving in the bush is a lot more familiar to me. What do you do in the city when you can no longer order pizza, electricity doesn’t come out of the socket, and savage thugs rule the streets? And would this backwoods princess used to sleeping on soft mossy beds survive on cold concrete? And how do you prepare for this kind of stuff?

Kaldoaivi hike 2019

Here’s another set of stories from the fells of Lapland by Tero and Essi. This time about their hike in the Kaldoaivi wilderness area in August 2019.

March or Die! A Basic Guide to Military-Style Movement on Foot

Loaded marching is a major part of soldier skills. Everyone who served should have memories of marches, healed by time. It sucked back then but afterwards all those klicks are warmly remembered.

Rantala's Orders: Perfect gear list for your adventures

Finland is the hottest travel destination in the world! This is already known by international Instagram celebrities, Bollywood stars, and top athletes (or they at least knew it before this pandemic). Soon also the Finns will understand how beautiful their home country really is…

Who Made Your Clothes, Part 7, Utenos

This article series by Varusteleka is part of the global Fashion Revolution Week, the idea of which is to make the sourcing, manufacture, and sales of clothes more ethical and transparent. Since the clothing business has some major issues that needs cleaning, we are happy to join this fight.

Who Made Your Clothes, part 6, Sukkamestarit

This article series by Varusteleka is part of the global Fashion Revolution Week, the idea of which is to make the sourcing, manufacture, and sales of clothes more ethical and transparent. This kind of stuff is perfect for us good guys. That's why we were eager to be part of it.

Who Made Your Clothes, Part 5, Jämä

This article series by Varusteleka is part of the global Fashion Revolution Week, the idea of which is to make the sourcing, manufacture, and sales of clothes more ethical and transparent. This is perfect for all us good guys. That's why we were happier than cows on spring pasture to participate.

Who Made Your Clothes, Part 4, Laurin Metalli

This article series by Varusteleka is part of the global Fashion Revolution Week, the idea of which is to make the clothing industry more ethical and transparent. This kind of honest rebellion that tries to drive the baddies out of the clothing business fits us good guys like a knife in a sheath. So, we jumped right in the front line.

Who Made Your Clothes, Part 3, Zhenpu

This article series by Varusteleka is part of the global Fashion Revolution Week, the idea of which is to make the sourcing, manufacture, and sales of clothes more ethical and transparent. In other words better for the employees and this planet, so all of us. This kind of stuff is desperately needed so of course we joined this revolution.

Who Made Your Clothes, part 2, M.A.S.I Company

This article series by Varusteleka is part of the global Fashion Revolution Week, the idea of which is to make the sourcing, manufacture, and sales of clothes more ethical and transparent. This is perfect for all the good guys, including us. That's why we were as happy as a pig in the mud to participate.

Who Made Your Clothes, part 1, Agtuvi

This article series by Varusteleka is part of the global Fashion Revolution Week, the idea of which is to make the sourcing, manufacture, and sales of clothes more ethical and transparent. This is perfect for all the good guys, including us. That's why we were very happy to participate.

How Corona plague changes the clothing business

Author: Anna Rinta-JylliläCategory Manager, Apparel

Hundred hikes in 2019, part 3/3

This is the third and final part of the article series on our 2019 hiking challenge. In the first part, we talked about the preparations and gear, and in the second part our adventures during the year. This time, we're going to go through what we learnt during the year and what happens next. There's also some good food!

Hundred hikes in 2019, part 2/3

This is the second part of the article series on our Essi and Tero's hiking challenge for they year 2019. In the first part, we looked at the preparations for this adventure-filled year. In this part, we'll see what actually happened.

Hundred hikes in 2019, part 1/3

Hi gang, we are Essi and Tero! We live and work in the Helsinki region in southern Finland and we enjoy different kinds of outdoor adventures. We noticed that it is very easy to get stuck on the couch watching Netflix after work. To break this bad habit, we challenged each other to go on 100 hikes in 2019 and to keep a journal on Instagram. The goal was to spend more time in nature and hone our bushcrafting skills instead of wasting all that time in front of the TV.

Total World Domination Tour 2020!

We kicked off the year 2020 with our traditional long-distance recon mission to the west coast of the USA. Here’s a brief report on what we accomplished across the pond this time. The basic pattern is familiar from our previous tours: the primary targets were the Army, Navy, Military Expo, SHOT Show, and of course Desert Brutality. On the surface, it sounds like the same old song and dance but every time Uncle Sam has some fantastic new stuff to show us. Viva Las Vegas, baby!

Propaganda Survey Results

In March, we asked our Regular Pigs to answer a survey about our Propaganda newsletters. Generally, we got a lot of positive feedback, and that’s great to hear! We want to keep our newsletters entertaining and interesting enough so that people actually want to read them.

Varusteleka Profit Report 2019

It is time for the annual report! Let’s cook the books! We managed to organize debits and credits in an orderly fashion. The auditor has wielded his arcane accounting magic around our profit and loss statement and balance sheet, so it is time to check how the year 2019 went from a financial perspective.

Successful recon mission at Chinese factories

Varusteleka is one of the good guys, and we also want all our partners to be on the same side. That’s why we made the strategic decision to visit all the factories that manufacture our brands to make sure that they operate in line with our responsibility requirements.

Containers, Trains and Automobiles: Varusteleka Road Show 2019

The last year’s Road Show that started in March, had to come to an end. In the year 2019, we stepped up the game and did a total of 23 stops in 16 different cities! When spring finally came and Finns woke up from their polar night hibernation, we hired a Road Captain to take care of Varusteleka’s flying circus: the “Road Show”. We travelled about 6969 km around Finland with 30 employees and it was kick-ass!

MPK RMC Combat Fitness Test 2019

There are many ways to spend an awesome weekend. One is definitely to take part in the Royal Marine Commando Fitness test. The National Defence Training Association of Finland has organized a fitness test adopted from Royal Marine Commando for quite some time in Coastal Jaeger company in Dragsvik and this year’s timing matched my schedule. I was really curious to see how this would play out.

The washing and caring of wool clothes

When used and cared for correctly, wool is a long-lasting material. It does have certain requirements to maintain its properties and long service life. Pressure and abrasion are not good for wool - they don't make those elbow reinforcements just for show. Table edges are natural enemies of shirts made of wool.

Hesco Zombie Invitational 3G Match 2019

It is interesting how random encounters lead to awesome outcomes. A few years back in Shot Show we met the crew from Hesco Armor and got to know each other. Last year, they invited us to participate in their Hesco Zombie Invitational 3-gun match. So we made a trade, that they send one warrior to take part in Finnish Brutality and we send our champion to their match. The challenge was accepted and Hesco participated in Finnish Brutality 2019, now was our turn to return the favor.

Hiisi's Elk 2019

The smell of pine tar on wooden skis and hot coffee in a kuksa will reach your nose as you read this story of tracking the largest game animal in Finland.

Army tales: Offshore March and Shelter exercise

Garrisons - especially in countries with conscription - are a wonderful cross-section of societies. You'll meet so many different people from different backgrounds.

Army tales: Missing Item Report

The mandatory military service in the Finnish Defence Forces was never really an issue or a big deal for me before it began. To the last minute, I postponed my decision to either go and do some time in Finnish correctional facilities, also known as jail time, or just “doing my time”.

Army tales: An APC driver's porcelain dream

Not many people can resist the attraction of a figurative low part of a fence. (A common idiom in Finnish for following the path of the least resistance - editor's note.) Vehicle drivers in armed forces are rather familiar with this concept. It was a cold mid-winter in early 2004, which meant that there was less service before us than behind, but we weren't exactly close to the end either. Our service time as conscripts in the Rapid Deployment Force would be from July 2003 to July 2004.

Army tales: Full Moon in Kiikala

The year was 2008 and our NCO class was training in Kiikala around a small airfield. It was late winter, there was very little snow left and most of the day was pitch dark. We had our foxholes dug and our platoon was positioned to defend a forest next to the airfield. Amongst conscripts, Kiikala has a notorious reputation of having shitty or abnormal weather conditions.

Operation Unethicality Program 2019 - 2021: Recon

Varusteleka is on the good side and attempts to reduce destruction to the environment. We head towards the following main goals:

Psst, wanna buy a used sleeping bag?

New good quality sleeping bags cost a lot. Used military surplus sleeping bags cost relatively very little, but there's a few things you'll need to know. Let's go through these a bit, but first, we'll explain the playing field, in other words, what you can expect from a bag bought from us.

Cooking with Skrama

Skrama is one sharp piece of metal and the flagship of our Terävä brand. While some might think that it's not optimal for cooking, and they might be right, we wanted to try it out. If you're brave enough, you might do the same and share your results with #cookingwithskrama hashtag!

South Carelian Military March 2019

Our experience in the SCMM road and off-road divisions. There are never too many good marching events and the South Carelian Military March - organized for the tenth time this year - is definitely among the best in Finland. You can choose between a division that has your patrol avoid being detected while completing tasks, or a traditional march along roads. The idea is a straight-forward and fun challenge. This year we participated in both main divisions and here's our report.

Varusteleka Profit Report 2018

The books for last year have been cooked and our inspector has given the green light, so here's our retrospect.

Shot Show 2019

The army and outdoor industry have a calendar of their own. The year doesn't start from 1st January, but the real kick-off to a new year is Shot Show. Because we are in tune with this rhythm, we packed our bags once again and headed to Las Vegas to further our cause: Total World Domination.

The Forbidden Internet

Sometimes we look back and remember how things were better before. It's a false memory, of course, because the world has actually become a better place. But there are things we could learn from the way things were traditionally; in other words, cave into peer pressure from dead people.

Road Trip in New Zealand

Summer vacation cancelled! Varusteleka's relocation operation happened during the best summer vacation season in Finland. Thus, we flipped the vacation game upside down with my girlfriend. We postponed our vacation to December and January and headed to the Southern hemisphere.

Christmas Holiday In Thailand With A Light Pack

Well, well, well! I had the first opportunity in years to spend proper long X-mas holidays, so I seized it like a hungry racoon. In a democratic fashion my spouse and a couple who are our friends decided to head far away, because it's often so hectic at work. After a short and random process we decided on sunny Thailand.

Three Nights In Prague And A Light Pack

An extended weekend in urban Central Europe is a brilliant choice to spend a few days of leave. This time I decided to visit Prague, where the weather forecast promised typical conditions: a bit below or above freezing, no high likelihood of rain or storm.

Where is Thofern?

Have you seen Thofern? We have his sleeping mat here and judging from the things written on it, he desperately wants it returned to him. We understand - it must be horrible sleeping on the cold cold ground!

Army surplus: how it works

In a nutshell, army surplus is too good to be true, but it's true: durable, well-tested solutions for the most demanding use, which is military use - and for cheap. We'll tell ya what this stuff is all about and how it ends up in some Finnish army store.

A simple list of outdoor apparel you should own

This article aims to be a simple guide to outdoors(wo)man's wardrobe, so he or she will have means to stay comfortable in most weather types. All of the items here can be found at Varusteleka of course, but you might already own some garments that fill the purpose or think you can find better deals somewhere else. There's a lot of links to different categories of our web pages in this article, and you don't have to open them all as a reflex. They just direct you straight to the appropriate product groups.

The Metal Faces The Bucket: Varusteleka Road Show 2018

The #varustelekaroadshow 2018 has ended. This year we made 16 gigs in 13 different regions. Twelve of the jobs were market square gigs done during six consecutive weeks in spring and fall. Further, we participated in Tuska Metal Music Festival, Riihimäki International Sportsmen’s Fair, GoExpo - Sports and Outdoor Event and Hartola Fair. As far as we are concerned, it went damn well! According to our records, there were 8000 purchases combined. Based on our estimates, every other visitor bought at least a pair of socks, so we reached at least 16 000 people. One tenth of those purchases came from Tuska-festival, and you won’t guess what the most sold item was! Nope, Scho-Ka-Kola came second as Bundeswehr's Flecktarn field shirt took the first place. Now you know the dress code, in case you're in for some metal music during the summer in Finland. You’re welcome!

Kevo Canyon as a Kebnekaise rebound

Me and my buddy started the car on 23th SEP at 1700 hours from Hyvinkää, South Finland. The original destination, North Sweden and Kebnekaise, switched en route to Kevo canyon in Utsjoki, Finland. Winter had come early to the Kebnekaise massif and cut all coach connections and brought the tourist season at Nikkaluokta-Abisko to an end on that very same day.

Sleeping bag size selection guide

Don't know in which bag to hide your body? Read this article and be enlightened!

The ascent of Halti in fall of 2018, part 2/2

In the first part we made it halfway up the slopes of Halti fell, as we had decided to attempt going all the way to the summit the same evening. Morale was growing thin in the rocky uphill.

The ascent of Halti in fall of 2018, part 1/2

We are employees of Varusteleka and a couple, who spend a lot of time in nature. We make short hikes nearby every week and several overnighters every year. In addition to these, we are committed to two longer hikes or other adventures each year. This year we went to Koli national park in May and in late August / early September, we went to Halti fell. Last year we made a trip to the Kaldoaivi wilderness area.

Visiting Scotland with Särmä

I had my one-week summer leave in late August and desperately needed a cooler place to escape the heat wave that had tormented Finland for the best part of summer. I opened the weather forecast map of Europe and saw that there were two locations for me to go: Iceland or the UK. Everywhere else: Scorchio!

Herajärvi Trail - Amateur Hiker Flying Solo

During the busy stretch of our relocation and preparing for the Mega Grand Opening I started to think that a time-out in nature would be a brilliant way to get my mind off of work. The first phase of planning was potential participants. This phase was done pretty fast. At the end of August, all of my hiking-oriented friends had spent their summer holidays already.

Camping with the Defence Forces

Laid-back camping and hiking is fine and a globally well understood thing. Among other things Finns sometimes do differently than others is military excercise and reservist training as a replacement for "civilian-style" outdoor pastimes. Making this choice means you voluntarily restrict your freedom (only for the duration of the excercise of course), but in turn you get to do interesting stuff in varying environments. Here are a few tips how to make most of military training trips.

EKS/SCMM 2018, Part 6, Team Leka firearms training

Four basic rules for safe weapon handling.

EKS/SCMM 2018, Part 5, Team Leka Final march exercise

Training rehearsal and recon mission 6-8.4.2018. Our march is approaching and the demands put on us by our training have grown. This time we rehearsed our march and did a little recon where this will all take place.

Varusteleka's brands 12-month warranty

On top of our regular 100 day returns policy all our Särmä, Särmä TST, Terävä and Jämä products have a 12-month warranty against defects in materials and workmanship. The 12-month period starts on the day the customer receives the product.

Särmä TST Backpack Use as Day Pack Lids

Särmä TST day/combat packs are designed to enable attachment onto the Särmä TST RP80 recon pack for use as daypack lids. In this tutorial we present two ways to manufacture the necessary adapter straps, using a Särmä TST DP10 Roll-Top daypack as example. The same basic idea and adapters will also function with numerous other daypacks and rucksacks, feel free to experiment!

Varusteleka Profit Report 2017

We have crunched the numbers, and our results from 2017 are in. Here’s a little recap of everything that happened last year.

EKS/SCMM 2018, Part 4, Team Leka Fitness

Our team continues training and this time we had scheduled some physical training at our gym. Coach for this session was Petteri Kantola. Petteri is officer (ret.), assumingly gentleman as well, martial artist and damn good personal trainer. Due to the fact, that Petteri has first hand knowledge about coaching soldiers, we were sure that this evolution will be highly beneficial for our military march project.

EKS/SCMM 2018, Part 3, TCCC

Preparation for SCMM continues. Our goal is to refresh our basic soldier skills, and this time we were focusing on Tactical Combat Casualty Care basics. We managed to get ourselves a really good instructor. This individual has trained TCCC for the Finnish Border Guard’s Special Forces and he has a degree in trauma care, as well as plenty of experience.

How to dress in layers

This article is written from a Finnish viewpoint based on the Nordic climate. And since we are utterly commercial, the clothing presented is based on Varusteleka's selection. In this article, we’ll go through the basics of layering clothing and provide recommendations on what you should purchase for each layer. You can access different parts of the article and the recommendations via the contents menu below.

EKS/SCMM 2018, Part 2, First March Exercise

We held our patrol group's first training march on 12.12.2017. The purpose of this training march was to try operating as a group, as well as to test the base levels of the group and the equipment. The mission was a light 15 km evening stroll that took us from Varusteleka - the top of Malminkartano - Paloheinä - the top of Paloheinä - Varusteleka.

EKS/SCMM 2018 Team Leka Introduction, Part 1

How to spend some quality time with the colleagues? Well, taking part into demanding military patrol competition, instead of drinking beer at cozy Sotima bar. But such is life at Varusteleka…

Särmä TST RP80 recon pack assembly and adjustment

The pictured RP80 is an early production piece, some details such as buckles and has changed since then but the assembly is done exactly as described in this tutorial.

Särmä TST Clothing system

A comprehensive and functional four-season clothing system designed foremost for the Finnish military end-user. Our system offers significant improvements in weight-saving, comfort and functionality when compared to their Finnish Defence Forces standard issue counterparts. The less of a bottleneck your clothing and gear is the better you can focus on the task at hand.

Washing textiles

Washing clothes and other textiles sometimes raises questions. We try to give care advice on each product page the best we can, but a separate article still defends its place for spreading knowledge on the subject.

Private Military Contractor - Operation POLAND

A year back I and a few friends of mine went to explore what sort of experiences the Polish Euseca's (European Security Academy) Close Protection Basic and -Advanced courses could offer us. Well, the course was a proper "no bullshit" experience and ever since I've longed to return to Poland one day.


A guide to wrapping a Shemagh-scarf around the head Shemagh-scarf is a convertible piece of gear. Unlike your everyday neck-warmer, it serves as a balaclava, or even as a makeshift backpack if it comes to it... Keeping it to headgear: this scarf offers protection against wind, sand, and snow as well as against extreme colds AND extreme heat. This might come in handy if you leave your cap somewhere during winter but still have your scarf.

Operation 120 Pickles of Sodom

There are many ways to field-test equipment. This time we're diving into less conventional means, which may appear completely out of line and reason to some. The operation wasn't exactly a great success, but we're glad no-one died out there.

The Night of Drifters

We had long planned to do some field testing in an urban environment and also toyed with the idea of homelessness. These thoughts combined with Night Visions movie festival and our own showing there, we realized this had to be done. The movie in question was, of course, Hobo With A Shotgun, starring Rutger Hauer.

Hammock Camping in Winter

The anatomy of hammocking A hammock is a very handy and lightweight sleeping option in summer. It goes where angels fear to tread and it is very easy to set up. It also works nicely in winter - but there are a few issues that need tackling first. When you use a sleeping bag in a hammock, the insulation is flatened underneath you, making the underside easily very cold. It is vital to take this into consideration when selecting your gear and put enough insulation between the hammock and the sleeping bag. For us, a blanket together with a warm jacket has provided enough insulation in -20 degrees Celsius (-4 F), but people are different and you need to find out what works for you the best. A modern sleeping pad keeps the hammock in shape quite nicely.

The Care for Your Shoes and Boots Explained

Proper shoe care is vitally necessary to prolong the service life of your boots or shoes. This article covers how to take care of footwear sold by us, and generally army and outdoor boots. Fancy dancing shoes and fashion items are not included, to keep it as simple and short as possible.

Varusteleka photograph contest 2010

The winners of 100 euro gift cards Jyri Kaasinen – Hello, I'm from the internet Do we really even need to explain this? Good job Jyri!

Paracord bracelet DIY instructions

Be ready for the situation where you might suddenly need a short length of string, line, or cord - for example, pitching a tent or to replace a snapped shoelace - by wearing a paracord bracelet. By following these instructions you will get a paracord bracelet, so you'll have a 3-meter / 10-foot piece of paracord always with you. No extra parts such as buckles are necessary.

How to Choose the Best of Military Surplus: Top 10 Items You Must Have

Rich in durability, versatility, and historical significance, military surplus offers a great selection, from sturdy field clothing and tactical camping equipment to collectibles. These items are an excellent option for outdoors people looking to set out on their next great adventure, military enthusiasts wanting to commemorate the history and sacrifices of past generations, or people just wanting to look cool.

What is Military Surplus and How to Buy it?

Are you on the lookout for affordable, high-quality items that can withstand the apocalypse or even you? Something that looks cool, tells a historical story, and with the added bonus of promoting sustainability. If these statements resonate with you, then you, my friend, are looking for military surplus products.

The Ultimate Guide to Buying Military Surplus Gear Online

Have you recently set your sights on acquiring military surplus but lack the experience in navigating online marketplaces? You may have encountered some SNAFUs in the past or simply made a purchase that turned out to be a real dud once the wrapping paper came off. If that's the case, let us help put you on the right track.

Military Surplus Clothing: How to Find Durable Apparel on a Budget

Are you looking for clothes that won’t bankrupt you but are also made to last? Something that provides you with much-needed utility in nature but also looks cool? If "Hell yeah!", is your answer, military surplus clothing might be your thing.