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Full Moon Hopes, and Unexpected Encounters - Premium Private Guided Hikes

Updated: May 17

And so I have been on the fourth overnight stay on my challenge for the year: 52 Weeks of Wilderness: A Year of Adventure Camping and Hiking in the Stavanger Area, Norway

Minimum one overnight sleep in the nature every week in 2024. 

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Weather and Conditions: 

It had been raining continuously throughout the week, but by Thursday afternoon, the weather finally shifted.

The rain began to let up and the wind died down slightly. Seizing this chance, I ventured into the forest, seeking shelter from the lingering breezes and hoping to fully savor the sight of the full moon in its grandeur. The prospect of experiencing the natural spectacle in a serene woodland setting was too enticing to miss, especially after days of relentless rain.

Campsite Selection: 

I managed to get going right after work, and for once, it was still light outside as I began my trek.

Walking deeper into the forest, I felt a sense of calm envelop me. After some searching, I discovered an ideal spot for my tent in a clearing, well-sheltered by a dense pine forest. Nearby, there was also a perfect rocky ledge that seemed tailor-made for setting up a cozy campfire. The combination of the sheltered tent site and the natural nook for a fire promised an evening of tranquility and outdoor enjoyment.

Preparation and Gear: 

If you're interested in a more detailed description of the equipment I use and my thoughts about it, you can read more about it in THIS post.

For this trip, my preparations were minimal and straightforward. I simply charged the batteries for my heated clothing and made some adjustments to the packing list.

Equipment in the backpack for this hike included:

  • Leatherman Wave

  • iPhone 13 mini as main camera

  • First-aid kit

  • Toilet paper

  • Water bottle

  • LED light for the tent

  • Buff (multifunctional neck/headwear)

  • Beanie

  • 2 firestarter packs + lighter

  • Foldable cup + Spork

  • Small electric pump

  • Sami knife

  • Folding saw

  • Headlamp

  • Winter sleeping bag

  • Sleeping pad

  • Tent - Unna

  • Foldable chair

  • Gloves with electric heating

  • Extra Non-Inflatable Sleeping Pad

Additional or reduced from last hike:

+ Solo Stove 

+ Camera Nikon Z

- Two packs of hand warmers for placing inside the sleeping bag at night.

- Multi-fuel and an accompanying bottle of gasoline.

- Small yellow container to eat from.

Food and drink:

  • Lars Monsen's Hunter Stew (dry food)

  • 1 liter of water

Thoughts and Experiences: 

Unfortunately, I didn't get to enjoy the full moon as planned since it became overcast and never cleared up as I had hoped. However, the forest provided enough shelter to mute the wind, and the crackling of the campfire combined with the tranquility of the woods ensured I had a great time nonetheless. In retrospect, when asked about what I did that evening, I had to ponder for a bit. To be honest, I didn't do much beyond sitting by the fire, listening to the flames, eating a bit, and making regular trips into the forest to gather dry wood for the fire. But this simple routine is more than enough for me to thoroughly enjoy myself.

Another question I often get asked is whether I feel scared being alone in the dark forest. When I was younger, I admit there were times I felt uneasy, but as an adult, and importantly, since I stopped watching horror movies, I've never felt fear. Instead, I find immense peace and a sense of security in being alone in the dark.

Of course, this doesn't mean I don't get startled occasionally. For instance, when I was gathering wood in the forest this evening, I accidentally startled a large owl just a few meters away. I'm not sure who got more of a shock, but the owl quickly found itself a new spot to spend the rest of the evening. Such encounters are magical and something any nature lover cherishes.

Learnings and Adjustments: 

So, what did I learn this time around?

Well, if I'm to highlight not so much what I learned but rather what was reaffirmed, it's that

the simple act of making a fire can create everyday magic. There's something about the warmth and light of a campfire that transforms the ordinary into something special. 

Additionally, I had a rather humorous confirmation regarding Monsen's Hunter Stew (dry food). It turns out that this meal is quite effective in, shall we say, stimulating the digestive system and producing an impressive amount of gas – enough to potentially heat several households! While its taste is quite good, I wouldn't recommend it if you're on a camping date; it might be a bit too effective for close quarters.


In summary, this was once again a great trip, and so far, I am very pleased with the project. It doesn't always feel tempting to head out when the weather forecast is iffy, but time and again, it proves that this doesn't matter much once you get going, set up the tent, and get the fire started. 

Reflecting on the first month of the year has provided me with four unforgettable trips, experiences I likely wouldn't have embarked on without giving myself a nudge through the 2024 Wilderness Challenge.

These excursions have underscored the value of pushing past initial hesitations and embracing the unpredictability of the outdoors. Each journey, regardless of the weather, has

its unique charm and offers a chance to disconnect from everyday routines. It's a reminder that sometimes, the most enriching experiences come from stepping out of our comfort zone and into the wilderness, where every moment becomes a part of a memorable adventure.

See you on the trail!!


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