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Sauna Talk: traveling sauna tours the United States to help celebrate 100 years of Finland’s independence

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Imaging checking out from your day job to hit the road with a mobile sauna.

Imagine being able to:

  • Share the appreciation of sauna with others.
  • Take a sauna when you want to.
  • See the country.

This is the journey native Finn’s Risto Sivula and Jouko will be undertaking soon to help celebrate the centennial year of Finland’s independence.  Risto and Jouko are well suited for this duty, and we get to hear why in this episode of Sauna Talk.

Jouko (left) and Risto chilling out between Sauna Talk podcast
Risto (left) and Jouko chilling out between rounds during our Sauna Talk podcast

Folks will be able to experience Finnish Culture and Finnish Achievements along the tour:


Here is the latest draft schedule.  Please check the Traveling Sauna website for changes, updates:

January 13-14 Minneapolis, MN
January 23-24 Finland, MN *
February 1 Kansas City, MO*
February 3-4 Dallas, TX
Feb 24-26 Houston, TX
Feb 28 Albuquerque, NM*
March [ ] Los Angeles, CA *
March 28-29 San Francisco, CA
April [ ] Portland, OR *
April [ ] Astoria, OR *
April 21-23 Seattle, WA*
May/June/July Minnesota – TBD
May 24 Cedarburg, WI*
May 26-27 Milwaukee, WI*

May 19-21 Chicago, IL
May 30-31 Eagle, WI *

June 3 – Embarrass, MN (National Sauna Day)

June 16-17 Eagle, WI

June 23-25 Houghton/Hancock, UP MI
August 11-13 Wixom, MI
August 15 Buffalo, NY *
August 18-20 Leominster, MA
September 30 New York, NY
October [ ] Raleigh, NC
October 14 Atlanta, GA
November 18 Lake Worth, FL
December 2 – 6 Washington D.C.


Email is

twitter: @travelingsauna

There are about 650,000 Finns living in United States, a good chuck living in Minnesota and UP Michigan. But, you will find pockets here and there. We all want to celebrate Finnish Independence, and bringing people together. Together is the slogan for Finland 100, and to recognize this, Finland’s Ambassador to the United States, Ms. Kirsti Kauppi, will be traveling extensively in 2017, and connecting with the Traveling Sauna everywhere she can.  What a nod from official Finland to the national symbol, the Sauna!  A big shout out to Keith and Mark Raisanen from Tylo/Helo North America, who are building the traveling sauna.  100 Saunas is the goal: 50 saunas for Risto and 50 sauna for Jouko.  Saunatimes is going to help make these 100 saunas happen.  Sauna Talk is conceptual thinking.  You slow down.

Sauna is your time and the way you want to have it.

We respect the solitude of sauna, but Sauna Talk is the ambassador of conversation.  North East Minnesota, home of the Kuuma Stove and good Loyly.  Bringing sauna rocks from Finland.  But you can’t use just any rocks for sauna rocks.  Replace your sauna rocks every 5-10 years?  Take a shower before sauna round one?  Yes, it can be a little uncomfortable if your skin is dry, but there are no rules here.

The garden hose shower, simple is better.

What should we use to christen the sauna?  Champagne may not be appropriate. Does anybody have any ideas?  What should the traveling sauna be named?  We’d love to get your thoughts.  The community of authentic sauna enthusiasts are most welcome to come experience the traveling sauna.  Finnish Sauna Society, International Sauna Society, Finnish Embassy in Washington are all supporting the traveling sauna project.

There are more saunas in Finland than there are cars.  The wood burning sauna stove is sustainable.  It is the real sauna.  The atmosphere, the feel, the connection to nature.  And the heat is softer and warmer.  Not as “hard” heat as what comes out of the electric sauna stove.  There is a dream team for social media connectivity to learn about where the traveling sauna will be, and when.  For those wanting to experience the traveling sauna, it’s best to reach out to the local Finnish groups in each town and community, who are coordinating the traveling sauna in their respective areas.

Life in United States vs. Europe.

  • Driving – Minneapolis/St. Paul spans 40-50 miles.  Lots of driving.  Cities are more concentrated in Europe.
  • Health Care, Education, Retirement – you worry about these things in the United States.  Percolating all the time in the back of your head.  Extra pressure.
  • Being naked in sauna is a European thing.  American saunas are usually experienced while wearing a bathing suit.

Who would you like to take a sauna with?  How about Urho Kekkonen or Donald Trump.  An opportunity for sitting down and take it easy for awhile.

Favorite part of the sauna session?  The first Loyly.  The flow or not being rushed.  The feeling of humming and mellow.

What is most misunderstood about sauna?  Sauna is how you want to do it.   It’s up to you how you want to experience it.  It’s all ok.

If you could take a mobile sauna anywhere, where would you choose?  Antartica!  300 degree f. difference in temp.  How about the bottom of the Grand Canyon?  Why not?  And sauna and a lake belong together. Bring the sauna to state parks.   Sauna makes nature pop.

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8 thoughts on “Sauna Talk: traveling sauna tours the United States to help celebrate 100 years of Finland’s independence”

  1. The traveling saunadrink could be kotikalja (homebeer) – non-alcoholic – the Finnish ‘rootbeer’, but a different taste… we make it for Joulu and Juhannus and in between…

    The name for the Traveling Sauna … Kulkuri
    Finnish word for a wanderer – there are many movies and music pieces in Finnish history on kulkuri romantiikka – wanderer romanticism. Traveler – Kulkuri

  2. I would like to meet you in Tucson, Arizona. I have space to house you and a sauna too. If the sauna is from Cokato, MN,I was an art teacher there for three years.

  3. I would be pleased if you could come to Grand Rapids, Michigan. There are many Finish people in this west Michigan area.

  4. Tervetuloa Williston, ND. We would like a stop here. If it isn’t pissible to take the 100 mile detour north off I94, then stop in Dickenson and let us know when you will be there.9

  5. Northern va! People here are stressed out! I am planning to build a sauna in my backyard. All my friends and neighbors will know the benefits!

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