Lonely Planet Writer

See the adventures of Norway’s “explorer”, who is on a year-long journey around the country

There are few job titles that sound as cool as “the explorer” – but as Norway’s Andreas Orset has learned in his first three months on the job, it’s a lot of work to have one of the most unique positions in the world.

Andreas was hired as the “eventyreren” or “the explorer” by the Norwegian hiking boot producer Alfa – along with the Norwegian Union of Outdoor Recreation Organisations – to test out the company’s new boots. He’s on a one-year trip around the country, hiking through Norway’s gorgeous and rugged terrain in both winter and summer to put the shoes to the test.

Andreas began his journey in Oslo in June, with his first route taking him from Oslo to Jotunheimen, which is a 400-kilometre hike. The business administration student then travelled up north and has been hiking in Tromsø, Lyngen, Senja, Andøya, Vesterålen and Lofoten.

So far he has hiked more than 700 kilometres. Andreas told Lonely Planet that, at first, he was very eager, hiking between 20 and 30 kilometres each day. However, he started to lose weight and had to cut down on the distances he was covering each day. But he isn’t just on a relaxing stroll – Andreas has been trying different outdoor activities along the way, like paddling, climbing, fishing and hunting.

While he has had many incredible experiences so far, he does note that one moment was particularly enjoyable: “the weather had been quite bad for weeks and many of my hikes up mountains didn’t give me any views because of thick clouds. But one day I hiked up Skamtinden at Kvaløya, close to Tromsø, and for a long time I thought it would be just another hike in the clouds. I was a bit disappointed, because I had heard the view from the top was exceptional. But suddenly, 20 metres from the top, I suddenly came over the clouds and I looked over the ridge and then a fantastic view came into sight. I could see numerous spectacular mountains and the blue fjord between them. And best of all, I got (to see) the sun set from my position over the clouds. It was truly beautiful!”

The wonderful moments of his hike have been interspersed with challenges and learning experiences. He notes that it has been difficult to eat enough, because he has to carry it all on his back, so he has learned ways to get the maximum nutrients from the lightest foods. Since part of his role is to share his journey with the world, he also says that maintaining a blog can be difficult for someone on a year-long hike as power and mobile connections are not always reliable.

But, naturally, there is one more benefit to spending so much time in Norway’s gorgeous scenery – he has met a lot of people along the way: “I find particular one common denominator wherever I am. Nice people are everywhere and I’m overwhelmed over their hospitality and kindness. It’s cool to meet so many people from all over the world in little Norway”.

Andreas has been so happy to meet new people on his explorations, that he’s invited other hikers in Norway to meet him along with way. To find out more about where Andreas is currently hiking, follow his Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook page.