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Exploring the Oslo wilderness

Imagine hiking through beautiful, scenic woods and wilderness. Imagine the fresh breeze flowing through your hair, the sound of a small stream running right beside you and birds chirping in the distance. Imagine your sweat running cold down your neck, your lack of breath and the mild taste of blood when you finally conquer the last hill on your expedition, finally reaching the amazing view of a magnificent landscape. Now, imagine being able to go on this journey every day, just half an hour from your downtown big city apartment. Living in the Norwegian capital of Oslo you don’t have to imagine it, you can do it, every day.

Accessible Trekking

Just 30 minutes from the heart of Oslo you find Nordmarka, a wilderness area with plenty of fishing waters, hiking trails, ski routes, and cabins. In the summer marked trials guide you to dozens of viewpoints, campsites and fishing spots. During the winter ski trails are marked with length and difficulty. It goes a lot of work into making hiking, skiing, and trekking easy and accessible for everyone. Most of the work done making, marking and maintaining miles upon miles of trails are done by volunteers and outdoors enthusiasts organized by the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT). The work is done in the Norwegian dugnad-spirit, the spirit of voluntary work for everyone’s benefit. As a result of this, thousands of Norwegians take trips to Nordmarka every year.

Fuglemyrhytta in Nordmarka is a cabin with great views and excellent facilities,


In the south of Nordmarka, you find Fuglemyrhytta, one of Norway’s many publicly rentable cabins. Owned and maintained by the Norwegian Trekking Organization (DNT), the cabin is open for visitors during daytime and rentable for over-night stays. The modern cabin features a large dining area accompanied by a panoramic view of Nordmarka, thus making it great for sunny summer days, rainy autumn evenings and cozy candle-lit nights. Housing ten beds and the spacious design makes it perfect for a weekend getaway with friends and family.

Primitive Facilities

In contrast to the modern looks, the cabin has a lack of modern facilities. With neither running water nor electricity the cabin is designed in the true Norwegian cabin spirit. Norwegian cabin culture revolves around keeping it simple, with few modern facilities and only the essential items for your stay. Just like the typical Norwegian cabin, there is no in-house water closet. Therefore, you do your business in the outhouse just outside the cabin. Water is gathered from the stream next to the cabin and warmed up by a wooden stove, quite fitting for the fascinating Norwegian cabin culture. So fascinating that we have dedicated a whole blog post to the Norwegian Cabin Obsession.


Nationwide Trekking Initiative

DNT does a great amount of work preparing hiking trails all over Norway. As a result of this extensive work hiking and outdoor activities have become easy and accessible for millions of Norwegians. In addition to thousands of miles of marked trails, DNT also has public cabins spread all over Norway. With over 500 cabins country-wide it is almost certain that there is a cabin near you, wherever you are.
Most of DNT’s cabins are built and maintained in the same dugnad-spirit as the trails are. Professionals are partly funded through the Norwegian state-owned betting company, Norsk Tipping. It is an interesting thought that when buying lottery tickets and betting on horse derbies you indirectly fund the maintenance of hiking trails and cabins around Norway.

Interested in the Norwegian outdoors? Then we highly suggest checking out our story about the Secret Cabins of Northern Norway. We at Nuet publish weekly posts about Norwegian outdoors, culture, cuisine and more. Follow our Instagram @nuetaquavit for instant updates on our posts.

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Secret Cabins

A secret cabin is a shelter that at some point in its history has been kept hidden from someone. These hidden shelters can be found across the deep forests and vast mountains all over the country. Wanderers, hunters, gatherers, fishermen, refugees, tramps, and resistance fighters, have all built in places where none else walks. Some of them have become known to the public, like the one in Northern Norway we visited this summer, but others are so hidden that almost none knows about them, and probably never will. 

Inge Wegge and Jørn Nyseth Ranum spent nine months in an unhabitable and isolated bay above the arctic circle to surf some of the greatest waves in the world. They built their cabin out of driftwood and other cast-off materials that washed up on the secluded shore, while they ate expired food the stores would otherwise throw away.

While their primary goal was to catch amazing surf, they experienced one of the most mystical and secretive traits about Norwegian culture. The following words can be found hanging in their abandoned shelter in Lofoten: 

«We are two guys who brought our surfboards, turned off our cellphones and walked out here in September 2010. We lived here one winter to follow a dream: surfing, and live a simple simple. We gathered drift wood, bottles for insulation and rocks, -everything from this beach, and made an environmentally friendly home. It was a cold winter with lots of storms, but the fireplace made out of an oil barrel kept us warm. We truly lived by the saying: «Rich life – simple means»! You are welcome to use everything here, and we hope you enjoy and respect it. Want to do your share? Pick up some garbage, chop som wood, enjoy the silence.»

Inge Wegge and Jørn Nyseth Ranum

“We lived here one winter to follow a dream:
surf, and live a simple life.”

Inge Wegge and Jørn Nyseth Ranum made a film about their experience.

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