Spending a night out in the nature has been one of my most wanted things to do here in Norway for a long time. We finally did it and went camping to one of many beautiful lakes in this country, Store Sandungen.
A few days before the trip we were looking into where to camp and we found so many places that we ended up asking a friend to make it easier for us to choose. Simen works nearby this lake which is in Asker, so we thought it would be a great trip to do from Sandvika with the bikes.
From Oslo to Asker.
We took our backpacks and our bikes and biked down to Oslo Central Station to take the train to Sandvika. Once there, we stopped in XXL, the go-to store to get any outdoor equipment you need, because we were missing a few things for the camping trip.
We hooked everything up on our backpacks and bikes and biked uphill into Vestmarka. The trip uphill wasn’t the nicest, considering that my bike was possibly around 30kg plus my backpack was filled up. Pushing the bike all the way uphill was the hardest workout I’ve done this year so far lol. A few downhills and horses along the way made it worth it and of course, the thought of going all downhill the next day was extremely satisfying!
After all that uphill we finally saw the water. Store Sandungen is such a beautiful lake!
We went down on one of the paths towards the water and found the most perfect camping spot. That was it, we were ready to set up the camping site!
Our camping site was pretty sick. We had a perfect view of the lake from the tent, a bonfire spot right in front of the water, trees everywhere… so idyllic!
Simen and I are really focused on having the best experience when we travel, and even though this was just a night out in the nature we wanted to feel as comfortable as possible.
Our tent has space up to 3 people, which allows us both to sleep with a bit more space than having a 2 people one, and also gives us extra room for our backpacks. We brought a blow up mattress for 2 and a battery air pump – this really makes a difference in terms of comfort. Also we had a couple of sleeping bags and some outdoor lights to hang around the tent. Cozy as hell!
For food we only brought a small outdoor kettle and a camping gas stove to boil some water that we would then put in the Field Ration food bags we bought in XXL. This was the first time I tried these type of freeze dried food and I must say it was súper good! I cannot believe how smart and easy these meals are for camping.
In the late evening, we light up a bonfire and drank a bottle of wine while looking at the sunset. It was such a relaxing time for us…
The morning visitors…
I remember hearing a lot of different sounds while in the tent, very early in the morning. Sounds of nature and animals like I never hear in the city. At some point I could hear how the bells were louder and louder, as if cows were approaching our tent.
I opened up the tent and I could see a bunch of cows shaking their bells súper close to our tent and I called Simen SIMEN!!! COWS ARE HERE!! Oh my god I got so excited! Obviously we were in the middle of their land so we tried to be as nice and quiet as possible. We moved a few things around so they would have enough room to walk around us and they did!
It was such a magic moment for me. Simen grew up in this type of surroundings but I didn’t. I am a city girl from a very different environment. So seeing these animals up close in this nature was such a special experience for me.
As we were getting our water ready for some morning coffees, we noticed the cows eating the ashes from the bonfire. It was gross, and I cannot understand how cows liked it! But they seemed to be totally fine about it and apparently they do this a lot and it’s not harmful to them.
Within minutes we found ourselves surrounded by cows. It was surreal. I couldn’t stop laughing and smiling at the same time. This trip just got way cooler than expected.
At some point, we noticed one of the cows really close to our bikes and Simen went up to check on it. Guess what? A cow had licked and tried to suck on my seat and handles. You can still see some trace from the sucking and it’s hilarious. Funny story if anyone asks!
But the visitors time didn’t end here… we had some sheep coming up around the corner!
The sheep appeared in our camping site and they were so cute!!! I could even pet some of them cause they were basically right outside our tent.
This was definitely one of the coolest things I’ve experienced in my life. Not only going out in the nature in such a beautiful spot and forgetting about work, the city, the problems in the world… but also being so close to totally random animals.
The good in the bad.
This year our plans changed completely. We are always planning which country we want to visit, or booking plane tickets. I realised the simplest least planned activities can be the most memorable.
Just a night out with my boyfriend in the outskirts of the city we live in has become one of my favourite trips of all time. We should always see the good things that come from any bad. There’s always something awesome that comes as a result of something awful.
2020 is a very challenging year, but I’m happy to be where I am today and to be able to share all these beautiful memories with Simen. I hope we never stop camping, specially discovering new places and meeting random animals in the way!