Norwegian Language Blog

Camping season Posted by on May 31, 2009 in Nature

Camping sesong. It is upon us.  Less than half of the year where I reside (in the upper midwest) is suitable for camping in a tent.  Of course staying in a cabin is always an option despite the season or the weather, but rustic camping is a whole different ballgame.  I, personally, love to camp.  It’s such a fun and simple way to enjoy the outdoors.  It really doesn’t have to be that much work either.  I like to backpack and camp in the mountains (which is about a 20 hour drive from me), but driving 15 minutes to the nearest state park is quite enjoyable also.  My boyfriend and I (and our dog) have now been out camping 5 times this season (pretty good considering it wasn’t warm enough until mid-April). 

Norwegians love the outdoors.  I can definitely vouch for that statistic.  Every Norwegian that I have ever spoken to long enough to know a few things about them enjoys being outdoors and camping.  I definintely cannot say the same for all the Americans I know.  My mom and one of my college roommates, for example.  Most Norwegians, regardless of age or sex, love the outdoors.  Anyone who has ever been to Norway can understand why it is so easy to love to be outside there.  It’s beautiful! 

So what is the camping scene like in Norway?  For starters, there are over 10,000 cabins throughout the country that are open to the public for reservations.  They are rated on a scale of 1-5 based on how nice they are and the amenities they offer (size of the cabin, the extent to which they are furnished, the location they are in, etc).  There are also about 400 cabins available to the public that the DNT, the Norwegian Trekking Association maintains.  The DNT maintains mountain trails and cabins and believe it or not, the association was founded in 1868 with the idea to build up travel and tourism.  That’s pretty impressive!  And get this, the president of the association is former Minister of Defence, Kristin Krohn Devold.  Of the 400 cabins, 41 are staffed and the rest are self-service sites.  Most of the self-service cabins do not have running water and electricity, so they are usually located near a river, so campers have access to water (and water that is a lot cleaner than most of the river and lake waters around me-and I live in the “Land of 10,000 lakes”!)  It is good etiquette to leave firewood and a clean place behind you when you leave.  Doesn’t that sound awesome?  And if you are a member of the DNT (which doesn’t cost much at all) you can stay in any of these cabins essentially for free.  You put in an initial deposit via credit card and then get it back after you leave as long as there are no damages.  I am now in the process of daydreaming about a camping trip to Norway. 

Would you like to know some Norwegian camping vocabulary?

ei hytte is a cabin

et telt is a tent….å ligge i telt or å telte is to camp

en teltstang is a pole, like a tent pole

et bål is a campfire

å grille is to grill

en telttur is a camping trip

en teltleir is a camp

and best of all, my dictionary doesn’t exactly tell me how to say marshmallow.  The definition it gives is “en spesiell type godteri” which means ‘a special kind of candy.’  Ha!



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About the Author: kari

I attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, where I majored in Norwegian and History. During college, I spent almost a year living in Oslo, Norway, where I attended the University of Oslo and completed an internship at the United States Embassy. I have worked for Concordia Language Villages as a pre-K Norwegian teacher and have taught an adult Norwegian language class. Right now, I keep up by writing this Norwegian blog for Transparent Language. Please read and share your thoughts! I will be continuing this blog from my future residence in the Norwegian arctic!


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