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Sauna Survival Guide

Sauna Survival Guide

Across Sweden, Finland and Norway the Sauna is a hugely important part of the local culture and custom. The sauna is a place for taking time for yourself – either alone, with friends, family or colleagues. Saunas across Scandinavia can also be places where decisions are made, where meetings happen and ideas thrive!

For many people who are not familiar with the sauna culture it’s really nothing to be worried about. If you want to know how to Sauna then our short Sauna Survival guide, inspired by one of our recent trips to Finland.

All saunas are different and can take between 30 mins to 7 hours to warm up depending on the type of sauna. Usually indoor saunas will take around 30mins to get hot – if you’re not sure how to use the sauna in your accommodation then be sure to ask for assistance.

Sauna Survival Guide

  1. Take a deep breath, get naked and leave your clothes in the dressing room. Take a paper towel (where available) or small towel to sit on. Don’t be afraid of being naked, it’s very standard and is to be expected. In larger saunas these are usually separate for men and women.
  2. Take a shower before entering the sauna. Generally you should only sauna in the evening as the sauna will cleanse your skin and open your pores. Taking a sauna in the morning, particularly in winter, may leave your face more prone to getting chapped and your skin getting dry.
  3. Enter the sauna for the first round – open and close the door as quickly as possible so you don’t let the heat out. Don’t stand there with the door open. When you leave the sauna again be sure to close the door as quickly as possible. The recommended temperature is from 60°C – 90°C.
  4. Depending on the sauna type you can throw water onto the coals. You’ll know if you can as you should find a sauna bucket with water in it in the sauna, just use the ladle provided. One scoop is enough in the first instance. Get the heat to a level you enjoy.
  5. Leave the sauna when you feel hot enough, remembering to close the door quickly. Cool off by taking a shower, depending on time of year by rolling in the snow or by taking a dip in a lake (depending on your location) or just by sitting quietly for 5 mins.
  6. Take a second round, repeating steps 3-5
  7. Repeat as many times as you feel comfortable with.
  8. When you’re ready to finish your sauna experience finally rinse off under a refreshing shower (or use fresh lake water as appropriate).
  9. Dry yourself with a towel or air dry by sitting at room temperature. Before putting on clean clothes be sure to allow enough time to cool off otherwise you may continue to sweat.
  10. Have a refreshing drink to help re-hydrate.

The sauna is a really fantastic experience and will leave you feeling amazing!

If you’ve got any sort of heart conditions, use the sauna with care and be aware of your own limitations.