As buyers of Fjällräven gear and readers of this blog, we know you’re already the people that love getting outdoors. You might not be hard-core trekkers, getting out whatever the weather (kudos to you if you are). Perhaps you’re just taking your first trekking-booted steps along the trails of your nearest national park. Whatever! Nature is a big part of your lives; it’s something you need; it’s a place you go to relax, recoup and play. And because of what you get from nature you’re also the most likely people to give back to it. To protect it, so it’s there – wild and free – for generations to come.
But not everyone feels this way. Not everyone, for whatever reason, has spent time in nature. No everyone has felt nature’s power wash over them and fill them with a sense of respect and humility. Not everyone has enjoyed that inner calm and tranquillity that nature offers up freely. The knock-on effect of all this is that not everyone is as likely to protect nature.
Part of our mission at Fjällräven is to inspire more people to enjoy the outdoors. But we’re not alone. A couple of years ago, we met a group of fresh-faced, passionate individuals keen to share their extreme love for nature with others through the power of film.
With professional windsurfer Adam Holm at the helm, this crew wanted to create a film that would show just how much fun you can have in nature, cruising down its rolling hills, riding its peeling waves and exploring the curves of its deep valleys and rising peaks. A film that would showcase nature’s captivating beauty, its visceral wildness, its vivid colours and its vital power. The film is called Chasing the Elements and it’s a basically an ode to nature.
Its purpose isn’t just to inspire – although it certainly does that; it’s more about showing people that anyone can spend time in nature and reap the benefits. Adam’s take was to have a professional or expert in each ‘element’. A windsurfer for wind, a surfer for water, a longboard skater for earth. These experienced athletes would then open up their worlds to amateur enthusiasts.
“Every single person has their own comfort zone, depending on who you are, your experience etc. But it was interesting that everyone was together, trying, with different perspectives, different comfort zones, different levels of experience, and were all enjoying it,” says Adam. “At the end of it all, I asked everyone what they thought and they all said they’d like to spend more time in nature after this. So this speaks for itself.”
Adam and his team of filmers, photographers, athletes and nature aficionados headed to one of the world’s most beautiful regions: the Lofoten archipelago in Northern Norway. It’s a truly magical place. Sheer cliffs rise like spires from the ocean, coloured in an array of green-blue shades that Pantone would be jealous of. Snow often remains on the highest tops, glistening in the perpetual summer daylight. The hills rise and fall like green waves and the coast is a wiggly line of crescent bays and narrow fjords.
“Norway is one of those places that no matter who you are you’re always going to appreciate it even if you don’t have a connection to nature. You can’t help but stand there and go ‘oh my god!’.” Photographer, Jesse Bonde, grew up in Tasmania, Australia so he’s used to a wild and rugged combination of mountains and sea. This means his comments about Lofoten are particularly pertinent. But it’s a view the entire crew share.
The team spent a couple of weeks living in tents, hiking, surfing, skating and windsurfing. They travelled around quite a bit, documenting everything from the scenery and activities, right through to how they were feeling and the ups and downs of the entire experience.
“It’s hard because you have 10 people with different personalities and skill levels and different ways to contribute. Tempers flared at times. But what really brought it back together was the fact that we all had the same goal in mind at the end,” says Jesse.
The result is a stunning visual journey through northern Norway and the excitement and joy that stems from spending time outdoors.
“Just seeing everyone’s faces when we climbed up Reinebringen – that made it all worth it,” says Adam. “It was just a hike, but to see the effect the view and landscape had on everyone up there was really cool and inspiring.”
The film, Chasing the Elements, is available to download from iTunes on the 25th of June 2018 in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, the UK and the US.
Words: Sarah Benton
Photography: Jesse Bonde