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#Besafie, Romsdalseggen
Photo: Alex Asensi/Visitnorway.com
Travel Trade

They’re risking their lives for a profile picture

BeSafie is a new project that aims to teach common sense and safety precautions to those who travel in the wild and wonderful Norwegian mountains.

#BeSafie. Think about that hashtag for a moment, and you’ll realize what it means.

The Norwegian nature is wild, beautiful and sublime. It will never be tamed, and we wouldn’t want that anyway. But when you are ill prepared, or underestimate the forces of nature, there may be dangerous situations and unnecessary accidents.

Also, more and more people (Norwegians and tourists alike) take risks in pursuit of impressive and dramatic photos.

“A profile picture is not worth risking your safety for,” says Haaken Michael Christensen. He’s the senior advisor for adventure tourism at Innovation Norway, and project manager for #BeSafie.

“The aim of the project is to convey common sense and the mountain code in a creative way,” he explains.

#Besafie, Preikestolen

#Besafie, Preikestolen.
Photo: Cecilie K. Hårvik/Visitnorway.com

The #BeSafie website was launched at Visit Norway today, showing a feed of photos from social media using the hashtag (and #visitnorway). They show that you can take beautiful and stunning images in Norwegian nature without risking your life.

Et bilde publisert av @ceciliekh73

Part of the project is to put up installations where you can take dramatic pictures in a safe environment. That’s possible because the backdrop is not a 400 meter tall vertical cliff – but a poster that creates an optical illusion (though please use the hashtag on safe pictures taken in nature as well!). The clip below shows what it’s all about.

Adventure holidays are one of the fastest growing trends in the travel industry. More and more tourists want to experience nature first hand. But someone who is raised in an urban environment, perhaps in another country, is not necessarily prepared for travelling in the wild.

For example, the popular trip to Trolltunga is a ten hour, challenging hike.

“Bringing a backpack with some chocolate, a water bottle and a scarf is relatively obvious for a Norwegian, while we see some tourists embarking on long hikes in fine clothing and dress boots,” says Christensen.

“Last year there were 23 rescue missions on Trolltunga alone. According to the Norwegian Red Cross, 85 per cent of them involved tourists who weren’t necessarily in any real danger, but who didn’t have proper clothes, were tired, or didn’t have enough food. It could have been avoided had they been properly informed and prepared,” he says.

The rescues cost society millions of Norwegian kroner annually. More importantly, there are also some serious accidents, which could have been averted.

Oh – and do you know the mountain code?

Store Skagastølstind, Årdal

Store Skagastølstind, Årdal.
Photo: Håvard Myklebust / Visitnorway.com

Stay safe by following these simple rules of thumb:

1. Plan your trip and inform others about the route you have selected.
2. Adapt the planned routes according to ability and conditions.
3. Pay attention to the weather and the avalanche warnings.
4. Be prepared for bad weather and frost, even on short trips.
5. Bring the necessary equipment so you can help yourself and others.
6. Choose safe routes. Recognize avalanche terrain and unsafe ice.
7. Use a map and a compass. Always know where you are.
8. Don’t be ashamed to turn around.
9. Conserve your energy and seek shelter if necessary.

We hope you’ll enjoy some wonderful, healthy and safe hikes in the mountains this summer! And please share your (safe!) pictures with us, using the hashtags #BeSafie and #VisitNorway.

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