Blog 1: Hike up to Jegersberg
Day 1 in Kristiansand, Norway, and this day had a lot to offer with many opportunities toobserve a variety of different skills, and learn in which the way Norwegians proceed in their normal day to day activities. This day trip was firstly organised by our fellow Norwegian students who had a lot of experience and knowledge touring the local area which allowed them to exploit and transfer these skills with the intention of giving myself and my peers the confidence and ideas to organise our own day trips in the future.
The hike consisted of a long walk up through the woods all the way up to Jegersberg which took approximately 1 hour. The hike was a constant incline, and with there being ice on the pathways it made us more aware, allowing us to plan ahead. This being said, with the Norwegians experience walking up to Jegersberg we were able to follow their steps as they new little shortcuts and better ways of avoiding the ice. Further-more, I was able to stop at certain points of the hike with my peers and acknowledge the fantastic, never ending sceneries which Norway had to offer. We eventually made it up to the top of the hike, where an ‘up-side down boat’ was the point in which was identified as the highest point of the mountain.
After 10-15 minutes of relaxing on top of the boat and taking in the fantastic views, the Norwegian students decided on ‘breaking the ice’ by having a snowball fight and getting everyone involved which was exciting and fun. Eventually, everybody took a break for dinner where I observed the process of my peers building a fire to keep us warm and to cook our food on (I will attach a video of this process to my assignment with a deeper analysis). After we had all eaten, Norwegian students came up with the idea of group dynamic games, which involved being split into different groups with a variety of new people which allowed us to interact with new peers which was an important aspect of the trip. This form of exercise was also used as a form of fitness and keeping one another warm after we had been sat down and stationary for a long period of time.
Finally, after being at Jegersberg for 4 hours it was time to walk back down to the University where we originally met prior to leaving. This new experience for me was fantastic, and it gave me a better insight into what Norway, and the Outdoor Education (friluftsliv) programme have to offer for my future development on Outdoor pursuits. By providing a reasonable overview, which will be taken into consideration in the next section of this blog, on the tasks which took place on that day will allow me to reflect on the personal mistakes which I came across, to allow me to improve my overall performance in an outdoor environment.
Assignment 1: Hike up to Jegersberg
When undertaking an analysis on the learning process it is more apparent to compare it to a framework where you can fully understand the specific stages that you have to go through in order to perform the skills more efficiently in the future. In this case, Kolb’s (1974) model; pictured below, can be utilised to help me analyse certain aspects of the trip not only from my personal experience, but from observing tasks and the way in which our Norwegian peers controlled and got everyone involved; which is vital when improving leadership skills.
Kolb’s (1974) experiential learning cycle: http://www.simplypsychology.org/learning-kolb.html
Due to my lack of experience in outdoor pursuits, I came to realise that I was unprepared within certain areas of the trip. One of them was not having the appropriate gloves to withstand the temperature it was when we reached the top of the hike. Thus, having to borrow a thicker pair from a friend whilst we were stationary.
Secondly, I did not bring the correct equipment needed to create a fire, equipment such as a flint and a knife. But, I was able to observe the correct process of how the fire was created which has provided me with the confidence to join in next time. The knife was used to carve the bark until little shards of wood were formed in a pile to make the fire easier to form, and the flint was used to to ignite the little pieces of bark where eventually the flames grew. This was aided by the twigs which were used to form the base of the fire underneath the bark. The fire took a long time to create, where I happened to notice that the flint that someone was using was overused. Someone took over and provided a brand new flint, which did not take long to ignite some sparks after various attempts; we found that quick hand movements with the flint proved successful. Everyone was constantly blowing ‘lightly’ on the bark in attempted to keep the spark alight. Once the fire was going, everybody was contributing and adding twigs to it to keep the fire alight.
Safety points: When observing my peers using a knife to ignite the fire I identified that they were using blunt side of the knife to limit the chances of injuries. Also, when they were walking around with the knife they always held it by their side pointing down to decrease the chances of injuring someone. When the fire was lit, people were staying a reasonable distance away from it to limit the chances of burning themselves.
Once we had finished our lunch, I identified that the Norwegian students realised that there was a big divide amongst students (mainly with people who they know); so as ‘leaders’ they decided on playing games that Norwegian families would typically play. This included ‘tag’ and stuck in the ‘mud’ which was a fantastic way in improving group cohesion, which also proved that they are good leaders when recognising that. This also gives us ideas on the sort of games to play when we organise day trips in the future.
In summary this day was a brand new experience for me as I have never done anything like it before, especially hiking through the woods in the snow. I can take a lot of positives from the day and from the mistakes I made (equipment; lack of knowledge) I can reflect on them and amend them to allow me to be more efficient on my next outing with the group.