M.Sc., all-round outdoors professional
Pekka Tuomo Tyllilä, b. 27. 8. 1952, married with Liisa Tyllilä, three children, Tapio(1981), Virve (1984) and Tuire (1990)
Secondary school graduate 1972 Ruovesi
MSc (in computer science) 1981 University of Tampere
II Academic career in computer science and information systems:
1.Teacher (information systems) (University of Tampere) 1974-1978
2. Research work
– Research assistant in research project financed by the Academy of Finland 1978-1981
– Research assistant (in practice independent researcher) for the Academy of Finland 1981-1987
During these years my main interest in research work was focused on the changes of office work content caused by computerisation (traditional adp and office automation). In summarum I have published about 30 articles and reports dealing with this area of research interest. Most of these articles are written in Finnish but some are published in English in international conference proceedings. These studies were among the first on the research field: changes of work content caused by computerisation.
3. Career in the University of Vaasa
– Permanent position: university lecturer 1.8.1987 – 17. 3. 2005, resignation by own will.
– Acting associate professor 1.7. 1987 – 31. 12. 1994
During the years spent in the University of Vaasa my main focus was in teaching, partly because we founded our nature tourism company Hiking Travel, Hit LP 1992 with my wife and Janne Lehtinen and I got interested more and more in this new area of expertise. Gradually my responsibilities in our company had grown so much that on 17.3. 2005 I gave in my resignation from my university lecturer position.
III Career in the field of nature tourism
1. Family background
My family gave me a good background for developing hobbies associated with nature towards professional skills. Since I was a small kid I travelled with my family all over the Nordic countries and we were especially interested in nature, searching for beautiful landscapes, watching birds and colleting plants.
2. Since young adulthood up to present, hiking in Lapland (Finland, Norway and Sweden)
Maybe because of the positive experiences in childhood I started backpacking and ski touring as a hobby in Lapland year 1975. Later I also took interest in canoe and kayak tours and mountain biking. My view is, that this forms the solid basis for all later professional skills on the area of nature tourism.
Since 1975 I have been hiking on the Skandinavian Fjells (mainly in Finland):
– backpacking 33 tours together 280 days, 3770 km
– back country skiing 18 tours together 104 days 1703 km
– kayaking and canoeing 11 tours together 78 days 2478 km
– mountain biking 3 tours together 17 days 526 km.
3. Guiding for Finnish Folk Sport Association Suomen Latu ry
Based on my own active search for more skilful hiking procedures I gradually started work as a voluntary guide for national recreational sport association Suomen Latu ry. During the years 1981 – 1994 I acted as a guide for Suomen Latu: together 75 days 2649 km, mostly 3-6 days cross country ski tours on ready made ski tracks in Central Finland.
4. Racing sport
Parallel to the recreational sport interests I was training also for marathon races in kayaking during the years 1978 – 1986. I was especially interested in river kayaking marathons. I took part in the Artic Canoe Race: 536 km in 6 days on the Muonio-/ Torniojoki (river on the border between Finland and Sweden) My best achievement was the 6.position in the national championships of river marathon kayaking, K1 serie in 1986.
After my own racing I started work as a trainer and coach for my son Tapio. During the years 1993- 2000 Tapio was 8 times national champion in junior series racing kayaking.
5. Educator and specialist on the field of nature tourism, especially different outdoor sports since 1985
Gradually it became more and more prominent that I was educating myself to be a specialist on different sports related to nature tourism. The basic reason for this was that this kind of formal education was just in the beginning in Finland at that time. I was making my own hiking with a notebook in my hand. My university background was of course of great help in this self-education.
My first trials as an educator were connected to my ski tour guiding for Suomen Latu. After these years in the middle of 1980 I have been an educator, trainer and evaluator in different kind of recreational sports connected to nature tourism:
– paddling 185 days 2042 km
– backpacking 50 days 386 km
– cross country skiing 17 days 281 km
– bicycling and MTB 18 days 684 km
– long distance skating 13 days 316 km
– snow shoe hiking 2 days 28 km
A considerable amount of these activities have not been only teaching and training of people working on the field but evaluating, assessing and classifying suitability of different rivers, paths, ski tracks and areas for purposes of nature tourism as well as evaluation of different sporting goods (clothing, tents, canoes, nordic walking poles…).
During these years I have been also teaching in many different vocational curricula, for example wilderness guide education. During the semesters autumn 1999 and spring 2000 I was not present in my university lecturer position but working as a responsible teacher in wilderness guide curriculum.
Since the year 1994 we in Finland have had a new strong tendency in safety concerns in different wilderness sport activities. I was the first who organized a national canoeing and kayaking river classification course 1995 in Kuortane Sports Institute. This education was certified by the Finnish Canoeing Association.
Starting from the year 2000 I have been a member in the safety task group in the Finnish Canoeing Association. My main emphasis has been on river classifications, development of safety procedures on national level and development of kayaking and canoeing guide educational programs.
My main achievement in this field is an educational material, which I developed in 2004-2005 (for 4 months) for different levels and purposes of canoeing and kayaking guide courses (paddling on sea, lakes, rivers and rapids both with kayaks and canoes with three different levels of guide competence in mind). The material can be applied to every paddlers self study as well. It was financed by the Finnish Ministry of Education and supervised by the Sport Institute of Lappland. The material will be updated from time to time.
6. Publications and publicity on the area of nature tourism and recreational sports in nature:
– about 40 articles in Finnish newspapers and periodicals dealing with different sport activities in nature, for example a large summary article describing about 900 km of different rivers from the viewpoint of paddling (based on my own paddling expeditions) in Lappland, published in Erä Outdoor magazine 1993, a large summary article concerning the theme hiking with kids also published in Erä outdoor magazine 1995, large equipment testing articles (open canoes and nordic ice skates) also in Erä 1996, 1998 ja 1999
– few TV programs
– dozens of radio interviews
o Melontreittejä Pohjanmaalla Suuret joet: Kyrönjoki, Lapuanjoki, Isojoki-Lapväärtinjoki published by Hiking Travel, Hit LP, 1993 in Finnish, 67 ISBN 951-9293-20-5.
o Seikkailuohjaajan käsikirja (Mountain biking chapter) p. 58-70, published by Allianssi 1995, in Finnish, ISBN 951-626-089-1.
o Seikkailuohjaajan käsikirja (Canoeing and kayaking chapter together with Janne Lehtinen) p. 150- 210, published by Allianssi 1995, in Finnish, ISBN 951-626-089-1.
o Seikkailulajien turvakansio (chapters long distance skating and mountain biking) published by Lastensuojelun Keskusliitto 1997, in Finnish, ISBN 951-9424-24-5.
– CD-ROM Lappi ( texts and photos dealing with mountain biking, kayaking, canoeing and backpacking), published by AV-ALEX, 2000, ISBN 952-5213-05-06
– Translation of texts from English to Finnish in multinational EU project T.O.P.S.I.E. 1.1.4.e, (Pilot Project: Development of European River paddling Guide vocational training and education) 1998-2002
– Melontaopas webmaterial (for general use for the benefit of both recreational and Finnish paddling training and course activities) 2005,
7. Product testing and development
Parallel to published test articles dealing with different sport equipment I started to make testing for companies manufacturing sports equipment. I have planned and done field tests for outdoor clothing and different sport equipment during hundreds of hours, for companies like Halti, Exel and Rukka.
Maybe this work related to my activities in our family owned nature tourism company Hiking Travel, Hit LP gave an insight to notice the shortfall that sport equipment industry had in very little amount developed equipment for guided group activities in nature. My first product development innovation on this area was the C6 Teno 2000 big open canadian canoe from 4 up to 8 adult paddlers. More about this related to Hiking Travel.
8. Nature tourism company Hiking Travel, Hit LP
In Christmas time 1992 my wife Liisa, Janne Lehtinen (PhD. in business accounting) and myself founded Hiking Travel, Hit LP.
In the beginning the strategic idea was producing and selling many kinds of outdoorsport activities for firms and general public. We understood that with a zero budget for marketing for nature tourism services it would take time to get customers in considerable amount. So we thought that professional education in different areas of nature tourism could be the other main root and source of revenues in our company. We also considered that there could be several synergy factors with nature tourism service production and vocational training on the same branch: with real business cases we could be better in teaching and training. Added to that, that the best season for nature tourism in southern Finland is summer and different schools are mainly active during winter.
Gradually we found out that also all kind of projects dealing with the different infrastructural aspects of nature tourism (river classifications, outdoor maps, sport equipment testing etc.) were also a synergy factor related to nature tourism services and education. We could be better teachers and trainers, if we can have new knowledge from different aspects of nature tourism, developed inside our company.
This kind of strategy (vertical integration) was possible because we were well educated and had already a lot of knowledge on the area of nature tourism. And from the other point of view we didn’t have money and that stressed us to accept a very wide view of what we could do.
Basically this strategy in our company is still the same. Around the year 2000 I started to broaden it still, when I was developing the C6 Teno 2000 big canadian canoe. During the last years I have developed more different outdoor sports equipment. For example: group skis and a group kick sled. We started manufacturing these in 2001.
During the last 5 years Hiking Travel has been a company with annual sales varying between
150 000-200 000 € and employing 1-3 workers outside our family.
My responsibilities in Hiking Travel have been development of overall business strategy, technical, educational and safety aspects related to different outdoor sports and development and manufacturing of sport equipment suitable for group activities in nature.
During the time spent in Hiking Travel I have been in the front line with customers for 116 days, 1600 km (backpacking, paddling, skiing, biking, skating…), serving customers and at the same time collecting information about customer behaviour related to many kinds of product development aspects present in our company.
All that has been described above means that I have been about 1000 days and over 19 000 km on different kinds of tours and expeditions in nature. The longest being a backpacking tour of 38 days and 650 km through Lapland. My belief is that to be an expert in this kind of very practical area of know how (mainly not know what), you have to be a practitioner yourself in many senses, and parallel to that collect information and data, making notes of what you are actually doing. Just related to that basic rock comes reflection and reading of texts written by other experts.