Magic might happen when you hike in Norway, especially if you wear the green beanie for singles or the rainbow-coloured Pride beanie. The gay head of The Norwegian Trekking Association, Dag Terje Solvang, shares his tips for both flirting and trails.
“I believe in the outdoors as an arena for flirting”, says Dag Terje Solvang, secretary-general of The Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT). “I call it ‘sustainable’ to get to know someone you like in the mountains rather than in a bar, and hiking has proved a welcome replacement for the usual dating apps. You also have a greater chance of meeting someone when you share the same, healthy interest.”
The Trekking Association’s rainbow-patterned Pride beanie (“Regnbuelua” in Norwegian) is being torn away from the shop shelves. Many want to signal freedom and inclusion in nature. The headwear is a follow-up of the wildly popular green “Single beanie” (“Singellua”) that has been a hit with hikers who are not in a relationship. And by the way – an exclusive version of the green beanie also offers a red-coloured inside, so that you can turn it inside out to quickly update your status if you find your love in the mountains.
Dag Terje, who is married to Norway’s Minister of Health, Bent Høie, has been an avid mountain hiker for many years. His experience is that same-sex couples are greeted with smiles everywhere they go and are well received at all places to stay in the mountains. “People in Norway are generally very cool about people of the same sex showing their love. Scandinavia is widely known for its liberal attitudes, and the Pride beanie is an example of how Norwegian society goes further than our neighbouring countries.”
“The Pride beanie has made hiking in Norwegian nature even more exciting, and if you want to be with like-minded people from the very start, you are welcome to join independent dedicated tour groups. Two of the most popular are ‘Fjellgruppen’ for men who like men who like mountains, and ‘Lesbisk turlag’ for women who like women who like to hike. Besides, The Norwegian Trekking Association arranges tours for everyone”, Dag Terje says, and adds:
“Hiking and flirting in Norway is a fast-growing trend”. In August 2018, the association organised the event #helenorgedaterute, which can be translated into “The whole country is dating in the great outdoors”. It has even written down a few humorous rules on how to hit on someone when hiking, in the “Fjellsjekkeregler”.
“Psychologist Silje-Håvard Bolstad, who is a transgender, puts it in a lovely way: ‘In the mountains, it doesn’t matter what kind of gender you are.’ And our own Queen Sonja has stated that your problems are left behind in the valley when all you think about is where to put your foot”, Dag Terje says.
The Norwegian Trekking Association has more than 320,000 members and is rapidly increasing its popularity among young people. In fact, the youth organisation DNT Ung is the second largest Norwegian youth association, after organised football.
The Pride beanie (“Regnbuelua” in Norwegian) is on sale in the shops of The Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT) and many other places. For a long time, the Pride beanie existed as an idea, and it was finally launched in time for Easter in 2019.
The Norwegian Trekking Association is by far Norway’s biggest outdoor organisation. For more than 150 years DNT has been organising hiking tours for everyone, and inclusion is one of its official core values.
Read more about The Norwegian Trekking Association.
Not only can wearing the Pride beanie lead to new relationships. It is also a great accessory for the many Pride festivals and events offered at high altitudes, like the Vinje Pride that takes place in Jotunheimen every summer. “In Norway, we now have a pride festival in almost every little place, and that is absolutely fantastic”, Dag Terje says.
But wait – how sexy are they really, those sweaty mountain hikers?
“Perhaps the people you meet are a bit hot and sweaty, but at the same time, sports underwear reveals body shapes. It may help you focus. The many Norwegian Trekking Association cabins are probably the only places where nobody raises an eyebrow when you sit down for a communal dinner in your underwear”, Dag Terje laughs.
“In Norway, we often say that hiking in nature equals good health, and it’s also healthy to find someone to love.”
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