By: Blonde Two
There are many wonderful things I want to tell you about wild camping in Norway but when you have challenged yourself to live in a basic and loo-free camper for 9 nights without the luxury of a campsite, there is one aspect that becomes particularly important and that is how to go to the toilet. It is fairly easy over here isn’t it. You creep out of your tent in the dark and can squat almost anywhere without being seen (except maybe by a few sheep). It took me exactly 1 hour of our first night in our Norway camper to realise that, because of the midnight sun (hence no northern lights), it wasn’t going to get dark and even a 3 a.m. wee was going to be fully floodlit.
We got better at it as we went along. Campsite 1 was roadside (and fjordside) but the ensuite was only a 100m trot back down the carriage-way. Campsite 2 had one of those ice facilities that people pay so much for in Iceland. The Nordkapp car park at 3 a.m was an experience in wind-insertion that I don’t want to repeat and my favourite was the Norwegian wild camp beach on Senja that had a long drop loo and such a beautiful view that it took me half an hour to go back to bed each time.
Almost all of the loos (and Norway is well-equipped with them) were of the long drop variety. This caused some friendly argument between Mr B2 and myself as to who had the most unpleasant task, he for having to look down the hole while he went or me for having to sit there wondering when the Norwegian Troll Poo Monster was going to come and drag me backwards into the pit of slime. Whilst experiencing the long drops of Northern Norway I realised that it is not the presence of curtains that really matters (yes here is the one that one the prize for the Poshest Long Drop) it is the length of the drop.
Suffice it to say (and I am sure I have said far too much already) I couldn’t bring myself to use the one in Alta which had a rather limited space to excrement ratio.
Vans, I discovered as time went on, are fairly low to the ground and far better for hiding behind than minibuses that contain youngsters. For this to work I recommend travelling with someone that you know well.
Piles of snow in Norway are also big enough to hide behind but a word of warning here, the whole process when the wind is blowing directly from the North Pole (and it was at Nordkapp) takes a bit longer than usual. You take longer to convince yourself to get out of the van, you need to wear more clothes (which take longer to get off), you have to grit your teeth more (there are places Arctic winds really shouldn’t go), the cold can cause a touch of urinary reluctance and once you have finished you have to hide the evidence (I knew the ‘Never eat yellow snow’ instruction but have never before had to deal with the issues of manufacturing it!)
We had a few moments of wild Nordic excitement when we discovered flushing toilets, this one on Senja welcomed everybody and had not only a flush but warm water and even a shower (albeit outside).
We didn’t oblige ourselves of the shower, by then I had developed a few Arctic personal hygiene methods that I can’t wait to tell you about another day!