This weekend I came down to Vuodnabahta along the spectacular Ávttje-canyon. The Norwegian Tourist Association (DNT) marks trails with cairs and red painted
T-marks. The local Sami organisation in Vuodnabahta, Vuodnabat Sijdda, is critical, as reported by nord-salten. They find that those markings are too visible, and not respectful of nature. A quote:
Vi foreslår at merking gjøres ut fra samisk tradisjon, der merkinga knapt er synlig, men likevel tydelig. Man må vite hva man skal se etter når man vandrer etter veistikker/sti-merking, skriver leder Mareno Mikkelsen og nestleder Heidi Andersen.
We propose that markings are done from a Sami tradition, where the markings are hardly visible, but still clear. One must know what one should look for when one is hiking along trailmarks, write Mareno Mikkelsen (president) and Heidi Andersen (vice-president).
In my ramblings in Sápmi I have learned that there are many non-tourist trails, often not on the map, sometimes leading to beautiful gábma (turf huts) that are in use by the Sami people and may in principle be used by anyone, but are not advertised for tourists. I find that I could get more out of my Sápmi tours if I learned more about the traditional Sami markings, rather than stay on trails marked by the official Swedish and Norwegian (and Finnish) tourist associations.
What are some traditional Sami ways to mark trails?