Hiking across Norway – through the country’s amazing fjords, streams and mountains – would be the perfect vacation for many outdoor enthusiasts. But, for the next year, it’s 23-year-old Andreas Orset’s full-time job.
Orset has been hired as an explorer for the Norwegian hiking boot producer Alfa, along with the Norwegian Union of Outdoor Recreation Organizations. The project also has support from the national official travel guide for Norway, Visit Norway.
More than 1,000 people applied for the job, but Orset made it through the application process and boot camp to be hired as the ‘Eventyreren’ – or Explorer.
For at least one year, Orset will hike through the mountainous terrain of Norway in both winter and summer. He will be cataloguing his adventures on a blog and will serve as an extreme product tester for Alfa’s hiking boots, while hoping to inspire more people to get out, be active and explore Norway.
When not chasing an adventure, Orset is a student of Business Administration at the Norwegian School of Economics. In June, he will lace up his hiking boots and head out on the road to explore.
“On one hand I will explore unknown and interesting places in Norway as well as our famous and beautiful mountains and fjords. At the other hand I hope to try the wide range of activities you can do in nature. There are a lot of cool things you can do outside, such as kiteboarding, climbing, glacier hiking and fly fishing,” Orset told Lonely Planet.
Orset said he has enjoyed hiking since he was young, adding that while some say Norwegians are born with skis on, he’s unsure where he was born with skis or hiking boots. As he got older, he developed a passion for long and challenging hikes, which he says led to a year in the Norwegian Armed Forces that included hiking in all kinds of weather conditions.
Norway is particularly suited to exploration, explains Orset. It’s a long and narrow country, with deep forests, spectacular fjords and mountains.
“Exploring Norway is so exciting because you get to see such beautiful sceneries and natural phenomena. Steep mountains rising up from the fjords, midnight sun and Northern Lights are really worth seeing,” he said.
Another reason he says Norway is a great place to explore is the right of public access to the wilderness.
“For example you don´t need a permission to set up tents when you are in the wilderness. This lowers the threshold to pack your backpack and get out for a longer hike”.
Orset has travelled to many places, including living in New Zealand for a stint last year. And while he says he loved the hiking in that country, nothing can compare to his native land.
“I think there are few places in the world that can beat a beautiful summer day in Lofoten in Norway. The sight of dramatic mountains, old fisherman’s shacks and stock fish is really exceptional”.
To see what life as a full-time explorer is like, Orset will be documenting his experience on Facebook.