Taking inspiration from Norwegian Cabin Culture

By Kayleigh S

Norwegian cabin culture is nothing short of a national obsession and the hytte (the Norwegian word for cabin) is an integral part of friluftsliv, the Norwegian outdoors lifestyle. 

Norwegian words and expressions like på hytta – meaning at or to the cabin; til fjells – meaning to the mountains; and til skogs – meaning to the forest, are etched onto the Norwegians’ hearts.  

Norwegian Hytte 1

The vast majority of Norway's territory consists of empty, almost untouched landscapes, and the size of the country (more than 2000 kilometres from north to south) allows its inhabitants to retreat to places where no one else lives. The hytte is a small but beloved piece of real estate that you inherit from your parents and take care of and look after to pass it on to your children, there are around 440,000 hytter in Norway for a little over 5 million inhabitants.  At the weekend, or when they are holidaying, the people of Norway are ready to drive for hours when they leave their apartment in the cities, and even walk on for a few more hours across rivers and forests when they reached the end of the road, to reach their beloved hytte. If you ask a Norwegian whether they prefer to fly to the other side of the planet, or go spend a few days or weeks in their hytte for the next holiday, chances are they will choose the latter.  Norwegians cherish these solitary escapades, they love being by themselves, or with their family or friends, in a place where no other sign of civilisation is to be found. 

Norwegian hytte

Historically, the Norwegian mountain-, forest-, and seaside cabins were simple, a basic place to stay with everything you need to survive the northern latitudes, with a bed, a fireplace, and possibly a table and some chairs.  The water you needed for your cabin stay came from a nearby creek or well, or you melted snow in a pot on the fire. And your dinner was possibly a freshly caught trout from a river close by – with some melted butter and potatoes that you had brought with you in your rucksack. No cup of cocoa tastes as good as the one you make after a long and demanding day in the mountains. And no bed is better to lie in than a makeshift cabin bed, with the sound of a crackling fire lulling you to sleep.

Cosy log fire in a cabin

Today, cabin life is less about necessity and more about freedom, to disconnect entirely from routine and escape congested urban life.  To spend time outdoors and get closer to nature.  To spend quality time with loved ones or just enjoy the solitude.  Architects are busy reinventing the concept of a hytte for a new generation of outdoor-loving Norwegians and the modern hytte is becoming a much more comfortable place to stay, with all the mod-cons you can imagine. From treetop cabins to cutting-edge design, hytter are often now eco-luxury hideaways.  (That said, if you are ever invited to visit one, be sure to ask whether the cabin is of the traditional or modern variety. If they say it’s simple, prepare for very simple!).  

John Muir Quote. To sit in solitude, to think in solitude with only the music of the stream and the cedar to break the flow of silence, there lies the value of wilderness.

Cabin Culture, but in a box

Whilst we can't send you away to a Norwegian cabin retreat, we wanted to create a gift set that encompasses the very essence of cabin life.  The delicious feelings of relaxation and calmness that come with cosy getaways.  The earthy, wholesome smells of the forest, the flickering light of candles and fires, and the scent of embers and woodsmoke.  That feeling of warmth returning to your toes when you've spent the day outside exploring, amongst the trees.  The indulgence of warm cocoa and the feeling of contentment as you let your body relax, to let your daily stresses just slip away. 

Cosy toes

To read more about our Limited Edition Hytte Box, pop over to our product page.


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