How about camping?
I will start by saying that my camping experience prior to my latest trip in May 2020 has been very limited. Some trips 20 years ago with school is all I had before re-establishing my relationship with this super nice activity. In other words, I strongly believe that anyone can fall for the experience of spending a night in nature. To bo be honest, I re-discovered this activity due to the pandemic and I am so glad I did.
How to get going if you haven’t done it before?
What I found out is that you need wool and more wool. Here is the thing, it is cold in Norway during the night even in summer. Wool dries fast and keeps you warm, so invest in a super-underwear set in wool. The tent is another obvious thing. I recommend borrowing from a friend the first time, to check out ww.finn.no to find out if you can rent it or get a used one for cheap money. You never know if you will love it and enjoy it as I did. Sleeping bags, there are numerous of them on the market. I choose one that is for 3 seasons, which means I’ll sleep comfortably even if it is 0 degrees Celsius. Under the sleeping bag, you use a 2-5 cm sleeping pad, depending on your budget. I found the one that is self-inflating to be affordable and comfortable.
Where to go?
Well, we are spoiled with stunning nature in Norway and Oslo is no exception. There are many small lakes and rivers you can visit and most of them are easily reached by public transportation and at least half an hour walk.
If you by any chance happen to be in Oslo, here is a description on how to get to this exact spot: I took metro number 5 to a stop called Grorud, 20 minutes from the city center. There I jumped on a bus to a stop called Skogstad and it took 7 minutes. From Skogstad, I followed a Google map to a small lake called Stokkevann. Honestly, very quick and easy to reach and you are in the wild.
Set up a camp
First thing to do is to set up a tent and all other equipment. Trust me, you don’t want to do that late just before going to sleep, that is a major hustle. Gather wood, make a fireplace with stones set up in a basic circle. Make fire, enjoy the view and chill. Fire will obviously keep you warm, but remember to gather enough wood, big ones and dry are the best. Keep that fire going.
I was lucky and had a friend there that has been camping since childhood. The most important couple of things I learned beside the equipment I mentioned, is to bring enough water and cooking gear that you can put directly on fire. In an iron kettle you can boil water for tea, coffee or soup, and in an iron pan you can warm whatever food you like. Trust me, those things will make the experience much better. What I found to be awesome is simple soup in a bag. Those are light to carry, will warm you during the night and take about 10 minutes to make.
Sleep, yes this is a very important part. If you fail here your whole trip can be spoiled. I love a good night’s sleep. Make sure to have only your wool underwear set, meaning long underwear and top. Trust me it is more than enough. The fresh air and a whole day full of activity will make you sleep like a baby.
I also had a great companion on the trip, a German shepherd. She was enjoying nature as the rest of us and she made sure to warn us if anyone passed by.
WHAT IS SO SPECIAL ABOUT IT?
For me, being in nature escaping from all the boxes that surround us is freedom. Apartment walls, office, computer, and mobile screen, you get the point. Nature is open and the landscape around Oslo offers pleasure for all senses. The green pine trees combined with a calm small lake gives you much-needed tranquility. Just a 24h trip is enough to recharge and make you feel like you have been gone for days.
Enjoy and make sure to put out the fire before going to sleep.