What is friluftsliv?

Friluftsliv: Is this the Answer on Enjoying Winter More?

Has Friluftsliv Helped Norweigian Handle Winter Better?

Have you heard about the word friluftsliv before? I had not until I read about it in my recent holiday read. I was fascinated to read more about it and discover how Friluftsliv can help you handle winter better.  But can you find how to enjoy them?

How to Have Friluftsliv in Your Life?

hikingThe Norweigian word friluftsliv is a combination of three words for free, air, and life. It actually means an outdoor lifestyle or open-air living.

It is the essence of Norwaying way of life. And most of the Nordic countries have a word describing this for example in Finnish it is ulkoilma elama. So all the Nordic countries embrace the friluftsliv one way or another.

“For Norwegians, friluftsliv is less about what you do and more about where you are” according to Lasse Heimdal general secretary of the Norwegian Association for Outdoor Organisations, otherwise known as Norsk Friluftsliv.

Friluftsliv is not just a concept but a practical way of living an outdoorsy lifestyle. It is about connecting with nature. Many have forgotten how does a man survive in nature. How to enjoy it. It’s looking at simple things like what does the green grass feel under your toes?

Friluftsliv is about hiking, fishing, sleeping in the outdoor hammocks, foraging berries, having a campfire. This word describes the way Norwegians have embraced the outdoorsy life for decades. The word friluftsliv was first introduced on a poem by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen in 1859.


How Can Friluftsliv Help You Handle Winter Better?

outdoor lifeWell spending time on nature has positive effects on your mood. You can arrange winter picnics, stroll in the woods, go skiing if you are lucky enough be on a snowy area.

Just get out there and enjoy the life outside of computers and smartphones. The Nordic way or living is all about getting out and enjoying activities as a family and with friends. Cold weather is no obstable, you just needs layers of good clothing.

How can you do this then? Well covid has forced us to be more in tune with the nature. People are bringing meetings outside, teachers are having a class outside instead of inside. Many schools due covid have had to embrace outdoor settings to keep the spread of the virus on bay.

We are spending more time outdoors and have a more imaginative way of doing it – friends had a campfire and breakfast at 6am looking sun come up on a nearby beach and enjoying the brisk winter morning with play with the kids.

You can also arrange a bike ride with your family and friends or take the dog for a long walk on winter’s morning. You could go one moreover and have utepils. This Norwegian word means having a beer outdoors.

Best Kind Of Antidote for Winter Blues

how to have a bonfireAs many countries are heading to stricter social measures that might be the new normal. Friluftsliv is a practical way to combat the blues of having to stay local.

For people suffering the winter blues, this might be a way to embrace a more alternative outdoorsy lifestyle -sleeping outside in a hammock while looking at the stars.

Whatever way you look at it Friluftsliv can only have good things to offer for those who are looking for a more alternative way of living.

Some take this to the extreme and live outdoors day in and day out. Camping in winter is no exception, you build your own camp or snow cave which keeps you warm. But perhaps this is not for you? If them you might want to check my episodes and blog about hygge with budget and how to have hygge time with kids.

Where Can You Practice Friluftsliv Then?

Many reading this would think hey we are camping does that count as Friluftsliv? Whatever you do to get you and your family outside and connecting and spending time in nature is a bonus in my book. Whether it is called Friluftsliv or not.

The Nordic countries are lucky to have such green and leafy capitals and people can easily spend time outdoors.

When you live in a suburban life where a piece of green is not available Friluftsliv might be harder to achieve.

Further Reading

You can study Friluftsliv in Outdoor Education and Nordic Friluftsliv at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences.

If you want to read more I recommended Friluftsliv: Connect With Nature the Norwegian Way, by Oliver Luke Delorie

Thank you for listening another episode of the Nordic Mum Podcast.

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