Chapter 1 – Trip to “den omvendte båt”

This will be my first post about the first field trip that we did in the Outdoor education of spring semester 2017, in the University of Agder. It is also the first one of the Monday field trips that we will do in co-operation with our “colleagues” as in the fellow Norwegian class of Outfoor education.

The purpose of the trip was to explore the local area of Kristiansand, and familiarize ourselves with a place that especially the local people and families would use for recreation. The weather for the day could not have been better as we started our hike towards den omvendte båt – “the upside down boat”.

Our group was rather large, around 40 students, and therefore from the first steps on we would have to adjust our speed so that the gap between the head and the tail would not grow too large. As mentioned, the weather was quite perfect: sunny with hardly any wind, and the temperature around -5 celsius. Along the way up, there could be found few icy spots, but generally the walking and climbing was relatively easy, and we reached the top within reasonable time.

Due to the ideal weather, the view from the top was naturally amazing. I learned that we were around 200 meters above the sea level, and that the name for the top indeed was given after the formation of the rock that looked like a boat upside down. Altough the temperature was rather mild, some clothing needed to be added, and I am happy with the choices I had made in terms of having sufficient amount of clothes with me. I had the underlayer of merinowool which turned out to be amazing for hikes at this time of a year, because of its ability to keep the body warm, and the ability to dry fast even while wearing it. After we arrived at the top I had a light down jacket to go between the windproof jacket/trousers and merinowool underwear.

As was the purpose of the trip, we did some traditional Norwegian activities. The two fires were started, and some sausages, and other snacks were heated. In terms of making a fire, there were a few things I learned like that the fireplace has to be covered with rocks, for example, so that the fire does not spread to the environment. Furter, the smaller sticks and lighter wood should be placed on first and after the ignition some larger, dry log/wood can be added. Because of the season the wood is usually wet (especially if picked up from the ground) and therefore before adding it to the fire, it should be placed around the fire to dry up.

Alongside the lunch, the Norwegian students initiated some traditional games which we played for a while, and which really started to have a positive effect on the group dynamics. However, due to the fresh snow on the ground it soon escalated into a snowball fight, which I think was creative, and made sure people had fun. A thing that really brought up the atmosphere was that majority of the Outdoor education students seemed to have a great ability to “let loose” and play along with others, eventhough at that point we were pretty much strangers to one another. Therefore, at least for me, the day was very pleasant.