Norwegians’ Obsession with Cabins

I imagine it must seem strange to foreigners, this need Norwegians have to go to a remote place in the woods or the mountains. A place where they apparently just play board games, ski or take long walks, depending on the season. Why not do this at home; avoiding the long drive? From one Norwegian to all of you, I’ll try to explain.

As if nature doesn’t explain it alone.

Ever since I came back from Australia it feels like I have been stuck. It was the last of the two great adventures I had planned for my gap year, and I have had a hard time letting go of it. I know I’m soon going to Italy with my family for summer vacation, but it’s not the same. So, calling up a friend, I suggested doing something very Norwegian, going to a cabin – away from my usual surroundings, away from the noise and expectations, to a place where we could be alone together.

Well, maybe not completely alone…

Norwegian cabins are usually pretty straight forward. They’re made of wood, are small, have no Wifi, and smell of the outdoors and the mandatory fireplace. Some have running water, but most don’t. The electricity is used for the lights and the old stove – not to charge your computer or Ipad, because you didn’t bring them and neither did anyone else. Of course, many update their cabins to become better than their houses, but for me that ruins it.

Because what would a trip to the cabin be without this? It might look like a toilet, but when you lift the lid it’s actually just a hole. If you haven’t tried one, you won’t know about the wind that comes up from under. It makes your bathroom visits exceptionally fast during winter.

Cabins. There’s something about the silence. There’s something about the lack of human interference. There’s something about less electronics and more eye contact. At cabins Norwegians spend time with the people they care about (or maybe just themselves), while actually being there. Too often time is consumed by all the things that one “has” to do, but that really could wait.

My friend enjoying the moment.

36 thoughts on “Norwegians’ Obsession with Cabins

        1. Haha, yes, very different! Our cabins are definitely not luxury breaks! πŸ™‚ I would love to! It must have been a while back? I can’t remember reading about it on your blog. Then again, my memory isn’t really the best either… πŸ˜‰
          I guess that depends on how you like it, I think I would have enjoyed both styles πŸ™‚

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          1. Yes I posted late April. It’s called a short stay in the new forest☺ Both styles are lovely and different. As I live in London it feels nice to be in a lodge in the forest as it’s very peaceful and quiet. It’s nice to hear birds sing and the lodges are very cosy. But the lodges in Norway sound very traditional and very at one with nature which sounds lovely too☺ x

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        1. Oh, haha, you’re going for the modern style! You’ll probably love it, saunas are amazing😍 You should try a traditional one another time though, there’s pros and cons to both!:)


  1. I’ll admit that I’m not a fan of toilets like that x) But yeah, cabins like that are the real cabins, compared to the modern ones – for example the one we are gonna build. Hopefully we’ll keep some of the usual traditions, like playing card – and boardgames, take long walkes and also fishing trips πŸ™‚

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    1. I don’t think anyone actually like those kind of toilets, haha. But at least they’re not outdoors anymore, right?;) Yeah, yours will definitely be more of a modern style. It will be a nice place to relax anway I think:) Doing those activites is important, and oh so fun! πŸ˜€


  2. We are a family with a long history of camping so I totally get it, even though it does seem a little insane to leave all your creature comforts behind, battle the flies, the mozzies, the dust – have everything take a million times longer to do – like cook and wash up- and live for a little while with nothing but a bit of canvas between you and the elements. A cabin would have been a step up for us, back in the day. Nothing like being at one with nature though….even if you swallow a few flies.

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    1. I used to go camping with my family too, when I was younger. It definitely has its own appeal, the stars being what always had me coming back. Living in a cabin is different, for me it’s more relaxed, and I can’t say I miss the flies and mozzies! (the latter is such an Australian word ❀ ) πŸ™‚

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      1. Yes, well now that we’re older and the grown kids won’t be coming camping anymore 😦 we’re thinking of the unthinkable….moving from a campertrailer to a caravan. Soon we’ll be old farts in caravan parks. πŸ˜›

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  3. It’s all about going back to basics, something that most of us don’t spare the time (effort) to do. There is much to be gained by adopting a simpler life, away from modern distractions. Willingly living in simplicity, with nature as your backdrop and the pulse of your heart as the beat of life.

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    1. I completely agree. In addition I think it’s necessary, or at least very healty to do every once in a while. It’s so easy to forget how beautiful nature is when living in the city πŸ™‚

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  4. I like your “Norwegian” tradition of getting away to a remote cabin. Everyone needs a time out away from electronics and other worldly chatter from time to time. I just returned from two weeks of mountains, sea and sky in beautiful British Columbia. BTW…thanks for visiting and following my blog. I enjoy reading about your adventures!

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    1. That must have been a great trip! I completely agree, and I think we should do it more often. In the stressfull society we live todsy it has never been more important to take a break.
      Thank you, I’m glad you enjoy it! I like your too!:)

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  5. Being of finnish heritage my family was once part of a finnish summer co-op camp a small community of 150 500′ cabins with just electricity no plumbing. Well water and late night trips over the commode. 10 glorious summers we were members. Fun times

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