VIKING MAN OUTDOORS
Hunting was an essential part of life for our ancestors. The Norsemen were great hunters, and for them, the hunt was both a practical and spiritual endeavor. For hunting and combat training, Norsemen and Vikings used specialized clothing that would withstand the weather and the wear and tear of use in rough terrain. Modern Norwegians also have specialized clothing for hunting and training. This clothing is called either 'Jaktklær' meaning hunting clothing, or ‘Skogsklær’ which simply means forest clothing. Just as our ancestors did, we use skogsklær for Combat Glima training and camping. It is practical and tough, and exactly what we need for year round outdoor training and being out in Norwegian nature.
Throughout the year we have weekends out in nature. Apart from glima training, we have fun with other practical sports, such as archery, with both historical bows and modern archery equipment. The Academy has also had survival classes, consisting of being out in nature for several days, making a shelter and equiment out of natural materials found in the forest, and learning about vegetation and means of surviving out in nature.
As part of our training, we fish, hunt, gather, prepare and cook our food out in nature. This is a very important part of the outdoors experience and is a great preperation for becoming more self reliant and independent.
VIKING MAN FOOD
Vikings and the Norse folk were fit, strong and healthy. Apart from living a physical lifestyle, in a land with lots of fresh water, fresh air and powerful nature, a major reason for the good health of these people was their diet.
Norsemen, women and children ate much better than an English peasant during the Viking Age. On every level of Viking society, from kings to farmers, meat was part of a meal eaten every day.
The Norsemen were great hunters, and reindeer, elk, bear, cow, sheep, and other animals were part of their diet. Norsemen were also great fishermen, so fish was a large part of their diet too.
Although meat and fish were often roasted and fried, most meat was boiled, together with vegetables. Viking Age farmers cultivated vegetables and fruit, but these also grew wild. A wide range of herbs and seasonings also helped flavor this diet.
A good, healthy diet is essential for a healthy body. Making sure you have a good selection of fresh meat, fish, vegetables and fruit in your diet is simple and recommended. We also recommend a protein rich meal shortly after training, eating healthy food regularly throughout the day to keep energy up, and drinking plenty of fresh water.
As part of our training, we try to have a well balanced diet, daily exercise, and daily contact with nature, things that are essential for healthy mind, body and spirit. We recommend eating out in nature, at least once a month throughout the year. It is simple to fry up some fish, or steak some meat on an open campfire, and a fantastic and enjoyable experience.
Interest in Viking life and Norse mythology are massive today, but Tyr Neilsen (57) has been fascinated by Viking life and Norse mythology since he was a young boy and lived in England. When he moved to Norway in the 80s, he married a Norwegian woman and got in-laws that were knowledgeable in this rich heritage.
Thanks to my mother in-law I learned a lot about Norse mythology, and my father in-law introduced me to Glíma, the Viking martial art, says Tyr, who lives in Buskerud, Norway. Here he lives in many ways like a modern Viking and teaches the Viking martial arts.
Tyr has been a consultant for several Norse related books, including a book about Glima. He is committed to promoting Norwegian culture and history, and is recent years he has held exhibitions and seminars at museums, schools and festivals in Norway and Europe.
NORWEGIAN CULTURAL HERITAGE
When journalist Bente Wemundstad interviewed Tyr for Byavisa Drammen and had conversations and discussions on various Viking topics, they hit on the idea of him writing a book about Havamal with photography as illustrations. After work on the book had started, they contacted Nova Publishing. Just hours after Bente sent e mails, she received a phone call from publisher Jan Hervig who said that this was absolutely something Nova publishing wanted to participate in. Thus began a very hectic journey, literally. Besides diving into the brilliant philosophy that is found within Havamal, Tyr and Bente travelled to Iceland, where the original manuscript is held.
For a long time it seemed that there was absolutely no way to see the original vellum manuscript, as it is heavily guarded and only very few have been allowed to photograph it. Eventually Tyr and Bente received a mail from the institute that holds the manuscript, saying that they understood the importance of the work on this book. It was therefore granted an exclusive audience with the original manuscript from the year 1270. Photos had to be taken without a flash in a rather dark room at a museum in Reykjavik.
In the Viking Age, Odin’s speech was delivered as a performance. To recreate the original way of presenting Havamal, Tyr and Bente took exciting photographs of modern Vikings and models out in Norwegian nature and at sea. Together, Tyr and Bente translated the first 80 verses of Havamal to modern Norwegian, then Tyr translated the whole book into modern English, with the goal that this Norse heritage will be known to future generations.
Edited Byavisa article by Geir Arneberg