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Destination: why Norway is perfect for solo (female) travelers

Let me start by saying that it is quite an absurd given that it's 2023, and a popular search term on google is; "Can I travel safely as a solo woman to *Destination*?"

Norwegian Fjord Landscape

With that said I will dive straight in with a small introduction. Over the past eight years, I've spent an incredible amount of time immersed in the great outdoors, often in solitude. For some, the idea of venturing into the wilderness alone with a hefty backpack may seem intimidating. However, I found myself feeling much safer and more comfortable than in any bustling city, primarily due to the absence of large crowds.

The individuals you do encounter share many of the same thoughts as you do, as they too are there for the very same reasons. Often enough, I crossed paths with fellow travelers who had been exploring solo for days on end, both men and women. In this article, my aim is to particularly encourage women to venture out on their own in Norway. In my modest (and male) opinion, this is why Norway is perfect for solo (female) travelers:

Norwegian society ranks among the most egalitarian in the world. The gender equality gap is remarkably low, creating a safe environment for women. While there is still work to be done in closing the gender pay gap and addressing the last vestiges of a fading patriarchal system, significant strides have been made in terms of equality principles.

Moreover, there exists a strong social cohesion. People are oriented towards helping one another and keeping an eye out for each other's well-being. You might not immediately sense this as you stroll through a typical Norwegian street, as Norwegians seem rather focused on their privacy. Nevertheless, that social cohesion is undeniably present. Except for a few major cities, the likelihood of being harassed against your will as a woman here is incredibly low.

Another crucial piece of information for you, the female outdoor enthusiast, is the existence of something known as the "Mountain Code" in Norway, adhered to by almost every self-respecting lover of the outdoors. These rules are as follows:

  1. Plan your trip and inform others of your whereabouts.

  2. Adapt your trip according to your abilities and conditions.

  3. Pay heed to weather and avalanche warnings.

  4. Be prepared for inclement weather and cold, even on short trips.

  5. Carry necessary equipment to aid yourself and others.

  6. Choose safe routes. Recognize avalanche-prone terrain and uncertain ice.

  7. Use a map and compass. Always know your location.

  8. Turn around in time; there's no shame in it.

  9. Conserve your energy and seek shelter if necessary.

When you realize that everyone adheres to these rules, you suddenly feel even safer. You know that people are looking out for themselves and for others. This is also reflected in the fact that, once you're out in the wilderness and encounter someone, it's more the rule than the exception to strike up a conversation. It might start with some small talk like, "Lovely weather, isn't it?" But it serves primarily to inform each other about your origins and destinations. This is an extra safety measure. By doing so, you leave traces in an area, making it much easier to be located in case of an unfortunate incident like a broken ankle.

I've mentioned in previous articles that the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT) maintains an extensive network of trekking cabins. In these cabins, there's a guestbook where you note the date of your arrival, where you're from, when you're departing, and your destination.

To inspire you to embark on solo adventures, I'd like to recommend a fantastic series that aired on national TV (NRK) a few years ago. This series follows a group of absolutely amazing young women who film themselves while embarking on wilderness adventures. Not only are they amazing characters, they also provide you with a ton of really good advice on how to prepare for your endaveour. If you download NORD VPN you will be able to watch the series "Eventyrjenter" from pretty much anywhere. I've seen the series at least twice!


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