Norwegian Wood - Isn't it Good?
by Paul Johnson
Hi, here's my worst lost story.
We were working in Norway on a job in the middle of nowhere.
The job was finished and flight home not till Monday, so Sunday afternoon was ours to kill.
Lets go for a walk we said - so off we trot all wrapped up warm (it was minus 15 at the time).
We found a small lane which snaked into the woods. It was beautiful. Slowly the lane turned to a track thence to a path and eventually petered out altogether.
No problem to intrepid explorers like us, we shall just turn around and go back.
But wait - what's that in the woods? A log cabin? Lets go for a look.
We sat on its veranda for a while, it being deserted and all, marvelling at the wonderful forest all wrapped in blue light from the snow, ice and frost.
Time passed and we realised it was time to go before dark set in, but which way was the path?
Down hill thats it, great until we started going back uphill.
So then back to the hut and start again, which way is the hut?
No map. Worse no compass. Minus 15 and getting colder. Night setting in fast.
No food, no water and no bloody paddle either.
Right what to do?
Ray Mears says stay still and make shelter and to your best to provide wamth and conserve energy - so our natural instincts took over and we searched frantically for a path running around like headless chickens, completely ignoring all we knew.
If there is a God he was looking out for us that day, for in the gathering gloom (why does gloom always gather?) we stumbled on something akin to a track.
Guessing which way to go we followed it and finally exited the forest a mere 100 feet from where we entered.
Lucky or what?
The following morning we took off in the airplane and from its window could view the forest.
It stretched as far as the eye could see.
I promised myself that never, ever, again would I set off for a walk without map and compass - and apart from fine day local walks I have stuck to that promise ever since.
Hope you find our stupidity amusing, there's a lesson for us all somewhere in there!
“If anybody else find themselves in this predicament in Norway they should use the hut for an overnight stay, that's what they are there for and there are hundreds of them dotted all over Norway, provided by the Norwegian authorities. I was in Norway in Jan/Feb 1980 flying helicopters with the Army Air Corps and one of our tasks was to fly under slung loads of food and logs to theses huts, I asked our Norwegian guide what the huts were for and he told me they were for any walker/ skiers who got caught out in bad weather or who got lost and it was too late to get back to their base. So don't put your life at risk... use the hut.”
Rob Howden, Leicester.
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