A walk home from Kinsarvik in Hardanger to Notodden in Telemark is high on the list of best memories for Bjørn Tore Moen (born in 1986). It was on Notodden in the early 90s that his interest in the outdoors arose with the help of his passionate father and a Helsport Børgefjell tent - which he uses to this day!
Bjørn Tore Moen
“I have many good memories from when my dad and I were on short trips on Lifjell or Lisleheradmarka. As we got older, a friend and I borrowed the tent to go fishing. The first nights alone were in the garden, but we gradually ventured further and further into the wilderness.
“It was chasing big trouts that first lured me out of my comfort zone, and soon, every minute of free time was spent fishing whether it was by the river below my childhood home with a home-made fishing rod or at my friend’s cabin at Møsvatn.”
In his teens, his interests took a turn and Bjørn Tore started playing guitar.
“I played guitar for several years, but the interest in the visual was stronger than my ability to play, so I started taking pictures during most of the concerts in town and concentrated on portrait and band photography.”
At the start of his 20s, he began missing the outdoors and wanted to swap the nightlife of town with long walks in the woods and the mountains.
“I had become overweight and everything was very heavy, but I decided that I would lose weight and get back on track. The goal was to cross the Hardanger plateau alone. After a few months of hard training with heavy backpacks I’d lost over 20 kilos and I completed the trip over the Hardanger plateau with my old Helsport Børgefjelltelt! Now, nothing could stop me!”
Bjørn Tore lives on Notodden and works for GKN Aerospace. He spends most of his spare time outdoors, whether on the plateau with skis and a sled, fishing trips, hiking in the mountains or in search of new peaks. His camera is always with him and what he shares can make any couch potato want to get out and explore.
“By combing my great passions - the outdoors and photography - it makes the weight of the camera equipment easier to carry. I want to document and convey moods and good memories through photography.”
Bjørn Tore says that the essence of his trips is much the same now as it was during his childhood hikes, although the equipment has become a lighter. People fond of photography don’t have “traveling light” in their vocabulary, therefore light camping equipment is essential.
“The weight and volume of my backpack have decreased, much due to Helsport's new superlight gear. Helsport’s products have become lighter in recent years and the new tents have improved details. Although I still use the Børgefjell tent now and then, it is wonderful to be able to pack light equipment, my camera, a packraft and just go for a walk. I can do exactly what I want and not have to think about anything else.”
The big dream is to live outdoors in the wilderness for a whole year and get in touch with the different seasons.
“I have been on many trips in recent years, and I am active all year round. I constantly try to find new and bigger goals. The big dream is to live outdoors in the wilderness for a whole year and get in touch with the different seasons. The length of the tours varies from short evening trips with bonfires to weekend trips in a tent to longer hikes during the holidays.”
During the summer of 2018 he had one of his best trips so far; a walk from Kinsarvik in Hardanger to his house on Notodden.
“It was the summer where it was so hot in Norway. I lay dormant in the tent, swam in little creeks all day and moved in the evening and during the night. Never before have I felt more freedom than on this trip. There was something special about walking home. For each peak I reached I could see Gaustatoppen and Blefjell getting closer and closer.”
He points out that people should find outdoor activities that suit their lifestyle, and that it definitely doesn’t have to be so expensive.
“If you don’t have your own equipment, consider borrowing from friends before buying what you need. Perhaps the most important thing to find is a sleeping bag that keeps you warm! It is essential to stay warm to get a good night's sleep - so run a few laps around the tent or do some jumping before you go to sleep.”
And the most important thing? Make good food, enjoy the silence and enjoy yourself!