Missing translation for header.skipToContent

Sometimes, when you lighten up you get more out of nature experiences. That’s been the case for Oskar Normelli anyway. Here, the mountain leader and Haglöfs ambassador talks about van life and finding a greater sense of freedom outdoors. 

It was 2019 when Oskar Normelli decided to journey to Norway and climb up Galdhøpiggen, the tallest mountain in the Nordics. Wearing shoes borrowed from his father, he managed to fulfill his goal and has been hooked ever since. Two years later, Oskar left his job as a car mechanic and moved to Åre where he would train to become a mountain leader. It was then that he also decided to start living in a camper van.  

“I live wherever I park my home” 

Best and worst part of living in a camper van?  
“The best thing is the feeling of freedom. I usually say I live wherever I park my home. And the worst thing is that it’s quite small and cramped, I’m quite stingy so sometimes I sleep without any heat on even when it’s really cold outside. And something that is very, very good to have when you live in a car is a lot of friends who can help you. I do my laundry at friends’ houses, shower at friends’ houses, and maybe I help them out by changing their car tires, things like that.” 

How has van life impacted your relationship with nature?   
“You’re outside every single day. Like all the time. And I’m outside in bad weather more now than before. But I might as well be outside because it’s no fun being in the car.”  

What’s it like working as a mountain leader? 
“I studied in Åre for 14 months and now I work as a guide everywhere. I have worked in Nepal, I have worked here in Åre. This summer I’m going to work in Svalbard. And I’ve worked as a ski guide, trekking guide, climbing guide, and last summer I worked as a whitewater kayaking guide—so, I mean, I can guide in anything. The coolest part is not only getting to see nice places, but getting to experience it all through the guests’ eyes.” 

What do you think, is less really more when it comes to packing for an adventure?   
“If you pack light, you can go farther and have a much more pleasant experience. But you should always take the surroundings and weather conditions into account, and bring what you need in relation to safety. The key is to plan ahead and pack smart.” 

Three tips for
packing light

1. Organize your packing before you head out 

“If you just put things in a backpack, you might end up bringing things you don’t need. Instead, start by taking stock of your needs and organizing properly.” 

2. Try to carry things with you that serve multiple functions 

“It could be a ski strap that you can also use if something breaks, or a down jacket that doubles as a pillow when you camp overnight.”  

3. Many small streams make one big river 

“If you remove a little weight from everything you bring, an incredible amount of weight disappears. Maybe you bring toothpaste tablets instead of the whole tube or replace your hard water bottle with a soft one.”   

Oskar’s favorites from the L.I.M Series 

L.I.M Mimic Hood Men

L.I.M Mimic Hood Men 

“It’s super light for being a down jacket, and you can pack it down really small into its own hood.” 

L.I.M Rugged Pant

“I feel tight and fast in these pants. They sit closely around the legs so they don’t catch on anything as I move.”   



“The soles bend a bit upwards so you get a really nice rolling feeling while you’re walking. The loops on the back are great for packing, I secure them together with a carabiner.”