Outdoorlife Norway
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Our History

Outdoorlife Norway’s Story

Outdoorlife Norway was founded in 2014 by our owner and fearless-leader, Johannes Apon. He is an avid outdoor enthusiast with a Masters degree in Nature-based Tourism (NMBU) and a certification in Arctic Nature Guiding (UiT).

Before establishing Outdoorlife Norway, Johannes worked at Stavanger’s tourist information office. For the majority of travelers, Stavanger is the base point for visiting two of Norway’s most popular hiking destinations and natural landmarks, Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) and Kjerag. At that time, the number of visitors hiking to Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) during the high-season was steadily increasing each year. At the tourist information office, it was common practice to advise tourists against hiking to Preikestolen from late autumn to early spring. The reason was because they were worried that people would not manage Preikestolen’s often challenging off-season trail conditions. Officially, there was little done to facilitate hiking outside of the summer/tourist season. Furthermore, at the time, there wasn’t a guiding company that offered off-season tours.  Johannes wanted to change that.

When he founded Outdoorlife Norway, it was Johannes’ dream to help small groups of guests hike to Preikestolen with the safety of a local nature guide, as well as to facilitate the complicated logistics and equipment needed for off-season hiking. He also wanted his guests to feel the exhilaration of being on true outdoor adventures, away from the crowds. The very first tour Johannes designed for Outdoorlife Norway was a winter hike to Preikestolen. He later applied the (slightly altered) concept to autumn and spring hikes as well. Outdoorlife Norway’s off-season tours to Preikestolen proved to be well-received by tourists from all over the world.

By the time early spring 2015 rolled around, Johannes started milling over the idea that it might be possible to guide guests to Preikestolen during the summer/high season in ways that would avoid the crowds of visitors that made their way to the plateau each day. His first idea was to offer twilight tours along the marked trail to Preikestolen with the goal of reaching the plateau just before sunrise. He also believed that it might be possible to reach the landmark by navigating along forgotten and/or non-existent trails. After some research and development, Outdoorlife Norway’s Preikestolen Sunrise and ‘Off the Beaten Track’ Hikes were a reality.

Simultaneously, Johannes realized he might be able to grow his business further by adding Kjerag tours to his portfolio. Though Kjerag was (and still is) a bucket list destination for many outdoor enthusiasts, reaching it is pretty challenging, both in terms of transportation logistics and in terms of safely hiking to the boulder. At the time, there were no other activity providers in the area, and many tourists struggled with just finding their way to the trailhead. Johannes was confident that he could design a guided tour to Kjerag that would fill the demand for a safe, hassle-free, authentic outdoor experience. Because it was the summer/high season, and he wanted to ensure that he avoided the crowds as much as possible, Johannes scheduled his Kjerag tour to start at a much earlier time. By being among the first visitors to reach Kjerag’s mountaintop, he made sure his guests enjoyed hiking in near-solitude and the advantage of not needing to wait in line before standing atop the boulder. As expected, the tour became an immediate hit with travellers.

The rest is history, folks! As of the beginning of 2019, after just five years in business, Outdoorlife Norway holds the place as the leading provider of ‘off the beaten track’ guided adventures in the Lysefjord, and boasts a year-round tour portfolio comprised of more than twenty unique, innovative hikes/treks to locations across our region. Our guides have safely led thousand guests to Preikestolen (more than 700 tours completed), Kjerag (more than 300 tours completed), Flørli, and Skomakarnibbå, among other locations. Demand for our services has steadily grown each year, and as such, so has the size of our team. We look forward to delivering exceptional nature adventures for years to come!

It’s Been Quite a Ride!