Planning Norwegian Ski Trip (with 6 year old)

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Paul_B

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Jul 14, 2008
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Does Sweden have national service?

Also I heard Norwegian army court marshals any soldier getting frost bite or hypothermia. If have thought Swedish army would take the cold as serious as the Norwegian army does.

I've had the beginnings of hypothermia a couple of times in the UK and frost nip a bit. I've owned good gloves and still had painful hands. I suspect the period of time I got Reynauds type of symptoms could have been due to a very cold winter the UK had iirc 2010 when my very good and expensive gloves proved inadequate. I got a pair of mitts for £30 or half the price of my gloves and they were just incredibly warm by comparison. They're my go to cold winter hand covering for cold UK walks in the lakes.

I'm a fan of a windproof and thick buff I got years ago. There's a non-windproof front where you breath through. I pull that up and wear hat and hood (on soft shell jacket) in cold and windy winter fell days. Proven good in the past. I only know the weather conditions because I was in helvellyn summit 5 minutes after the time the mountain weather recorder guy took his readings and it was only - 13°C with a wind speed of iirc 25mph. Which if I read the graphs right equates to a windchill temperature of - 25°C. Cold enough but with windchill in the UK I've been colder. Used to carry a watch that read temperature and had it on my rucksack where body heat had little or no effect and used fell forecast or readings to estimate windchill.

There are a few UK retailers selling Nordic clothing brands. It seems those brands do a lot of wool and silk based clothing. Also popular are string vests. Are silk balaclavas any good? I use silk sleeping bag liners to keep the bag clean but don't think they insulate much. I guess silk being a fine fibre gives a reasonable wind proof function which is very useful even if they're insulation isn't much due to thin fabric.

Never worn balaclavas before. Always wanted one because they're useful rolled up for when you don't need the face protection.
 

Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Used to have a national service.
No courtmarshalling in Sweden in the past. The climate is far colder in Sweden generally, as we do not have the Atlantic Ocean to milden the temperature. So it takes the temperature awareness to a much deeper level. Not only for the risk for the guys, but risks for the equipment.
Engines seize ( if you can start them up) plastics desintegrate, metal snaps.
Sweden, Finland and Russia ( Kola Peninsula) have a nasty winter climate. Down to -50C when it is at its worst.

Yes, silk balaclavas exist, and are the nicest for the skin.
The difference between a woolen balaclava and a dilk one is that as woolen are thicker, you get frozen condens indide the fabric. Silk is thinner and the frozen condens stays on the outside surface.

But, if it is that cold, unless you absolutely have to go out, just stay indoors.

The cool bit with temperatures around -45 and colder is twofold:
One is that tree trunks split. Sounds like a rifle shot. If you are sitting brside a such tree, you soil your trousers.
The second cool thing is to have a wee. The urine freezes mid air, and falks like frozen yellow drops.
It is cool only once though. Human kind was not made for temps like that.
It is really nasty.

I would be very careful taking a 6 year old that is not used to Scandinavian cold.
You need to be totalky vigilant so the nipper does not get frost damaged face, hands and feet.
If you are lucky it is a nice and warm winter, maybe only -10 or so. That is a lovely temperature.
Do not firget to build a Snow Man with him!
A carrot as nose, two wine corks as eyes ( corks from the bottles you and missus drank the night before :). )
 
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Paul_B

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Geilo has an average temperature of - 3 to - 9°C day / night temperatures according to the couple of weather sites I checked. Other ski holiday guides out it at - 10°C average temps.

We're planning on full warm weather kit. I think we should check out an outdoor shop just for kids in Ambleside that sells didrikson. We got a cheap but good didrikson jacket from them that had a zip out ski skirt and could be zipped to compatible trousers too. Padded nicely and a very good feature set for keeping warm and dry. Much better than spotty otter for kids.

My partner has a few winters in Bulgaria which had cold winters every year I think colder than where we're going at the time we're going. If you live in cold countries you tend to know how to keep warm. She is certainly obsessive about keeping our son well wrapped up.

I've got a lot of old kit but I think I need to buy some more. Kit I have includes haglofs synth vest and jacket, rab vapour rise hooded jacket, mountaineering waterproof (a good winter alpine style one but it's short for climbing purposes), a collection of thinner softshells that could be used to layer up and fleeces of various types. On the legs only exped weight long johns (helly Hansen ones) montane Terra trousers, ancient paramo waterproof trousers and a slightly insulated pair of trekking trousers. Extremities super inferno mitts are a great mitt but not sure about holding poles with them. Ice axe was just about manageable

I think I need a new warm fleece and a ski jacket and trousers. Plus goggles because I wear prescription glasses. Any recommendations for good goggles for wearing over glasses?
 

Janne

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The fleece, see if you can get Helly Hansen Basel fleece.
It is very close to the old HH fleece the girest workers used to wear.
Very useful in UK too!

Good idea to choose a place in southern part of Norway - warmer and much nicer!
 
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Paul_B

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My dad used to get HH pile fleece jacket through work (road building). It was pure mid layer and very warm. Pile inner but the outer was a very rough, open weave fabric and not a good look. Knitted cuffs and collar with blue and white stripes. He wore them walking. Too short for me once I got to 17 or 18 or I'd probably have one around here. Good winter warmth layer iirc.

I think I'll probably wear a HH base layer in Norway. I have a winter weight base layer that's polypropylene inner weave and merino outer weave. The inner PP is very open and the merino outer face is a tighter weave. I have yet to get a wet back wearing this even though I've worked hard in the winter fells wearing it The PP wicks so quickly and the merino absorbs the sweat locking it away from your skin. Any other two material base layer seems to merino against the skin and PP or synthetic to the outside. IMHO HH have it right. Merino doesn't wick but more absorbs moisture. PP wicks possibly faster than any other synthetic material.
 

Janne

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Your dad had the classic one. I love those, the thumb hole is a neat feature.
I wear mine with the fluffy bit out on a cold summer evening, fluffy bit in on winter. Only in the Lofotens mind you.
Not a good looking garment. Looks industrial. Workwear. Love it!
I have one green and one blue.
 

Paul_B

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Going to Geilo in the end flying from Scotland to Oslo then train to the resort. Amazing hotel in half board so lunches when out and about. Any good lunch spots? :)

I'm looking for one last advice. Whats the best website to pre-book our train tickets? We'd be happier to get our tickets booked ASAP to prevent any problems. It would be a nightmare to get to Oslo then be unable to get on the train as unlikely as that might be take no chances right?

Kit buying will come shortly. Thinking layers. Might check out the Aldi merino long John's I've just seen online. Due coming into stores next Sunday. Probably end up getting regatta ski clothing for our son. Separate jacket and trousers / salopettes. They actually look OK.
 

Brynglas

Full Member
Definitely go for Aldi merino. And don't ne too sniffy about Aldi ski gear. It's good gear for the price, and kids at that age grow so quickly, you'll only get a season out of it.
Going to Geilo in the end flying from Scotland to Oslo then train to the resort. Amazing hotel in half board so lunches when out and about. Any good lunch spots? :)

I'm looking for one last advice. Whats the best website to pre-book our train tickets? We'd be happier to get our tickets booked ASAP to prevent any problems. It would be a nightmare to get to Oslo then be unable to get on the train as unlikely as that might be take no chances right?

Kit buying will come shortly. Thinking layers. Might check out the Aldi merino long John's I've just seen online. Due coming into stores next Sunday. Probably end up getting regatta ski clothing for our son. Separate jacket and trousers / salopettes. They actually look OK.
Sent from my SM-T819 using Tapatalk
 
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Janne

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If you are on a budget, you will make your own lunches.
Coop, Europris, plus others.


A must for you should be to visit the Brusletto factory/ outlet. They make knives.
Also The Brothers Øyo factory/outlet. They make knives, kitchen knives and axes.

I am sure you have heard about them, they are quite famous!

There should be a xpcross country track outside the village. Try that too!
 

Paul_B

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What about trains? What are they like straight after Xmas? Busy with people going home from family gatherings? Reliable? Reduced train service?
 

Paul_B

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All in English. Must admit if Norway is anything like Sweden for English speakers we will get by OK Places I've been in Sweden people spoke excellent English. Including one bar man who spoke with a cross between Liverpool and Manchester accent having spent 5 years between those cities. That was Gothenburg, a sporting city (4 decent clubs and considered the birthplace of Swedish football). I digress.

I hope I don't offend but how different are Norwegians and the Swedish? I personally view welsh and English as fairly similar culturally, is it like that with those two completely independent countries? A similar culture? Forgive my ignorance and I hope I don't offend anyone. It's that I've visited Sweden through work a number of times and never been to Norway. I'm curious to know what the feel of the country is like. Sweden was kind of laid back I thought.
 

Janne

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Very similar. The Swedes think they are much better. The Norwegians too of course.
Us Swedes used to call the Norwegians 'little poor brothers across the mountains'
Then the Norwegians found Oil and gas in immense amounts, the fish they catch and cultivate became sought after and profitable.
Most of the Swedish industry got sold or moved, so I am not so sure what they say these days.
The Norwegians do not say much, they just smile........

It could be one country, easily. Used to be a Union, but the Swedes treated the Norwegians quite badly, so the union split in 1905.

So, very similar. Each country have large cultural differences south-middle- north, I would say as much difference as between the countries.

My family in Stockholm, and my friends all over Sweden tell me the country has changed a lot since 2015. To the worse. Much worse.
But that can be seen as politics, so I am not going there!

Nature is more beautiful in Norway. Fishing too. And it is not as nut shrinkingly cold in Norway as in Sweden. The Atlantic moderates it.

Historically, todays Norway and Sweden were a bunch of interconnected, independent kingdoms until the early Viking age, Then the kingdoms started joining each other. Norway became one country before Sweden became one. Then Noprway became a part of Denmark.
Sweden.
Sweden took Scania ( southern bit) from Denmark in 1658, the Treaty of Roskilde, and became Sweden as we are now/

So, in short, very similar.
In my opinion of course.
Most people with a Swedish/Norwegian schooling speak decent English.

Food is very similar too. (Norwegian bread is awful though, imo).

Sweden has much larger 'empty' areas, hence my standard recommendation on this forum to go to Sweden to spend time in Nature. And Norway for the fishing.

Personally I prefer Norway. Hence my twice yearly trips to the Lofotens. For me: Lofotens = Nirvana.

My Norwegian friends are OK with that I am Swedish. They stopped beating and bullying me once they realized I plan to retire to the village.
:)
 
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Janne

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I would like to add that many Swedes are working in Norway, in the service industry, and health care.
so that nice and pleasant waitress might very well be from Sweden!

I have not perceived any difference in the character of the people. Both nationalities are equally nice!
Or not so nice!
 

Paul_B

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On our last day (of my last visit to Sweden) we stayed in a close to the airport hotel and met a character from England who worked most of his working life in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark iirc. He had nothing but positive comments about Norway. Some rather misogynist I thought. He said that Norway was more of an equal nation between the sexes. Sweden was equal but something about it being completely equal in that Norwegians didn't understand anything else.

For example if an English male opened the door for a Norwegian female she would probably like it but before she goes through the door a Norwegian male would probably go through first. Bad manners here but over there it's OK because tbh nobody feels the need to open the door for another because they can do it for themselves. So the etiquette isn't there in the same way

I don't know if that's true in any way but both nations have a reputation with Denmark for equality.
 

Janne

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I do not think it is true, to be frank with you.

It is more to do where you are. As a lady, do not expect to have the door opened in the countryside.

Equal between sexes? Again, depends on where. Town or country side. Most women work, and have done for generations, due to the tax burden ( one wage can not support a family). Yes, we have the legislation.

To generalize, I think that men see the value of a woman more in Scandinavia.

Where I go in Norway, it is a traditionally very separated area.
Men fished, locally for 4 months ( Screi cod season) then away in Norwegian Sea or Barents Sea the rest of the year.
So the ladies had to be self sufficient.
 

Paul_B

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Before editing it I had the phrase sh1t regarding a lot of what this guy said so I kind of knew what you said. I think he was talking about cities judging by where he worked.

Personally I suspect there's becoming a movement of people's national character fading as we move towards a common character if that makes sense. As it becomes a global community people might have more similarities with a forumite from America or Canada than Birmingham or London for example. Shared views can, transgress national boundaries.

Having said that people I met in Gothenburg were pleasant enough but the people I met in a small town out in the country were nicer. I liken it to North vs South England. My dad's side of my family comes from down south so I got to visit a lot. My impression was nobody had time to talk to each other However the north where I've lived you'll end up having random conversations with complete strangers.

If I spoke to a Southerner I got a pleasant enough reply but they didn't want to talk, I was the chatty northern weirdo. Up north I was the quiet one and the other person was the chatty weirdo.

Sweden to me seemed a bit like that. I'm probably wrong in that.

BTW what I remember of Sweden (at least 7 years since my last visit) the local, small town restaurant served a kind of alternative meat and two veg. By that I mean it was a meat dish and you got another plate full of vegetables. A very filling almost heavy meal, I suspect high in fat too. Nice though and big portions. The city was cosmopolitan in that food served could be American, English or most other countries in that you got Italian, Chinese, Indian, Thai, etc restaurants.

I'm looking forward to see what Norwegian food is like. However I reckon it's a 4 star hotel that probably serves an international menu.
 

Janne

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I hope they serve Norwegian food!

What hotel are you staying at?

Traditionally, Scandinavian food was very simple, as people were very poor ( compared to rest of Euope).
Harsh climate, so not much veg or fruit. Fish several times a week. Fish like salted herring. Dry cod. Salt cod.
Salted meats. Potatoes.

Different today.
You need to go and get a hotdog from the ‘kiosk’ which is like small enclosed stand.
Do not go to Peppes Pizza. Please! Worst and most p.o.s. pizzas I have ever tried. And super expensive.

I learned my lesson by visiting a Peppes Pizza in Leknes in Lofoten.
I still get indigestion thinking of them. My wallet still wails when it thinks of the bill.
 
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