VIKING MAN OUTDOORS by Andreas Sørensen

Being outdoors was an essential part of life for our ancestors. All of their food and building materials came from the outdoors, so naturally they became experts at surviving and thriving, year round in the great outdoors. "Det finnes ikke dårlig værbare dårlige klær." This old Norwegian saying means "There is no bad weather, only bad clothing." This is the commons sense mentality needed in a land that can have freezing winters that last 6 months.

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For hunting and combat training, 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, I use skogsklær for combat glima training and camping. It's practical and tough, and exactly what I need for year round outdoor training and being out in Norwegian nature.

The Academy arranges year round outdoor combat glima courses and outdoor survival classes. On such courses, its really easy to get back to our Viking roots and core values. Training combat glima and learning how to survive outdoors is very healthy and fun. Its never the same from month to month, and there is a big difference between being outdoors in the summer, and being outdoors in rain and snow.

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The survival course consists 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. It's always educational and a great experience. 

The Norsemen were great hunters, and for them, the hunt was both a practical and spiritual endeavor. This is still pretty true for most modern Norwegians who hunt. Today, we don't need to hunt to find food, we have the luxury of finding all we need in a local store. What we can't get from a store though, is the experience of being outdoors. Just as our ancestors did,  we too can enjoy the practical and spiritual benifits of being outdoors.

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Throughout the year, I spend time outdoors. Sometimes its a weekday, but definately on weekends. Sometimes I just take a backpack, and start walking in the nearby forest and hills. When I feel for stopping, I stop and enjoy the surroundings. I often take a small tent with me, so I can enjoy sleeping outdoors, spring, summer, fall and winter. 

The simple acts of staying outdoors, building a fire and cooking a tasty meal is incredibly rewarding. Being able to fish, hunt, gather, prepare and cook food, is a very important part of becoming more self-reliant and independent. For me, there is no better way to become more self-reliant and independent than the outdoors experience.