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The laws of nature

Welcome to our home! Here are some house rules...

Moose .
Photo: Torbjørn Martinsen / Visitnorway.com
Moose .
Photo: Torbjørn Martinsen / Visitnorway.com

First and foremost: Please help us keep nature clean and undisturbed.

The Norwegian right to roam is the best guide on how to behave when you venture into our great outdoors!

Beluga whale in Tromsø .
Photo: Ismaele Tortella / Visitnorway.com
Beluga whale in Tromsø .
Photo: Ismaele Tortella / Visitnorway.com

We’re built for cold winter nights …

… but I’m guessing you’re not?

The Norwegian weather changes with the blink of an eye, especially in the mountains and in the Arctic. A quiet, beautiful summer day can quickly turn cold and windy.

Read the mountain code for important tips, like always bringing extra food and clothes in your backpack.

Bearded seal in Svalbard .
Photo: Asgeir Helgestad / Visitnorway.com
Bearded seal in Svalbard .
Photo: Asgeir Helgestad / Visitnorway.com

We dress up in a thick fur coat every day, and our paws have built-in thermal insoles. Still, we’re considered an endangered species in Norway.

So, as you can imagine, it is crucial to prepare yourself for the conditions you’ll face.

Check the weather forecasts and dress accordingly – and don’t forget the importance of sturdy footwear. Slippery shoes are the worst!

And make sure you know where you’re going, so you don’t have to call a rescue service – if you’re phone has service, that is. Shit!

Polar fox in Svalbard .
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug / Visitnorway.com
Polar fox in Svalbard .
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug / Visitnorway.com

And speaking of shit … When you have to go, you have to go.

Use public toilets where possible. If you have to take care of business in nature, make sure you’re far away from trails, water sources and camping spots.

Use a small shovel or a stick to dig a hole and cover up the paper and … other things … when you’re done.

Outdoor toilet in Femundsmarka .
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug / Visitnorway.com
Outdoor toilet in Femundsmarka .
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug / Visitnorway.com

I smell … coffee?

Remember that you’re not allowed to make campfires between 15 April and 15 September. You can use approved campfire fireplaces, as long as the surrounding nature is not too dry. Bring your own wood and use dry twigs to light the fire.

There are also rules for putting up a tent in Norway – make sure you follow them to avoid disturbing your human neighbours or us.

You can prepare food and coffee on a Primus stove.

Lynx .
Photo: CH / Visitnorway.com
Lynx .
Photo: CH / Visitnorway.com

The perfect outdoor snack? Fish, of course!

But not chocolate wrappings. So, take your trash with you when you leave!

We would really appreciate it if you can collect any rubbish that you see lying around as well. If everyone does that – and throws it in the nearest waste bin – we’ll keep our nature clean. That way, it’ll be just as beautiful the next time you come back.

Otter .
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug / Visitnorway.com
Otter .
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug / Visitnorway.com

We’re happy to pose for a photo …

… but you’ll have to use a zoom lens! We don’t like it when people get too close – it’s scary and might make us angry. Our safety limit is at least 200 metres!

If you want to observe our herd of musk oxen, join a guided tour in the Dovrefjell mountains. The guides know a lot about us and where we like to hang out.

Also, remember that there are rules on how to behave in our national parks and protected areas.

Musk ox safari in Dovrefjell .
Photo: Field production / Nasjonalparkriket
Musk ox safari in Dovrefjell .
Photo: Field production / Nasjonalparkriket

Look at our colourful beaks!

We like to show it off, but we also need to be left alone from time to time – especially when we watch over our eggs or spend time with our kids. There’s enough noise when thousands of hungry babies scream for our attention.

But you are more than welcome to sign up for guided birdwatching or safaris. From Arctic birds to eagles and puffins – there are so many cool species to see.

Puffins in Nordkapp .
Photo: Asgeir Helgestad / Artic Light AS / visitnorway.com
Puffins in Nordkapp .
Photo: Asgeir Helgestad / Artic Light AS / visitnorway.com

It is also vital that you remember that we, the forest kings, are the only ones allowed to make our own trails in nature …

… you have to follow the marked paths.

Did you know that it can take anywhere between 10 and 100 years before nature heals where you’ve made trails?

Moose in Andøya .
Photo: Ismaele Tortella / Visitnorway.com
Moose in Andøya .
Photo: Ismaele Tortella / Visitnorway.com

When you travel as a group, stick together!

Never walk far away from your crew or leave any members behind without an agreement.

And if you meet our herd – we have the right of way. We’d prefer it if you step aside and keep your distance.

Reindeer .
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug / Visitnorway.com
Reindeer .
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug / Visitnorway.com

Like I said in the beginning: This is my home.

So please respect the locals, both two-legged and four-legged creatures – and us with flippers.

Law of nature: ducks and walrus .
Photo: Arne Nævra & Oslo Assembly
Law of nature: ducks and walrus .
Photo: Arne Nævra & Oslo Assembly

This includes us farm pets as well.

We’re super cute – we know – but please don’t pet us or feed us. It might make us sick.

If you pass through our enclosed grazing land, remember to close the gates behind you. Our owners hate it when we run off …

Goats at Prestholtseter in Geilo .
Photo: Christine Baglo
Goats at Prestholtseter in Geilo .
Photo: Christine Baglo

Still, some of us hang out with humans regularly – and we’re more than happy to spend time with you and your kids.

Say hi to us at the various Norwegian farms, moose centres and zoos.

Girl with a goat .
Photo: Leikny Havik Skjærseth / Visitnorway.com
Girl with a goat .
Photo: Leikny Havik Skjærseth / Visitnorway.com

Norwegian nature is breathtaking, so help keep it that way. Leave nothing behind, just like us.

Perhaps my whale friends and I will see you on a safari?

Whale safari in Vesterålen .
Photo: Ismaele Tortella / Visitnorway.com
Whale safari in Vesterålen .
Photo: Ismaele Tortella / Visitnorway.com

Animals teach you how to behave in nature

Credits: Oslo Assembly og Eirik & Johannes | Video right holders: Arne Nævra / NRK / The Footage company & Nautilus Film

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