There’s a popular saying in Scandinavia that goes something along the lines of “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.” It’s a sentiment that might be uttered by moms and dads as they usher their children out to play in the rain or by hikers contending with wet weather on the trail.
The mentality behind the quote is simple: with the proper gear, one can enjoy the benefits of the outdoors in almost any weather. And according to Scandinavians, those benefits are great and varied.
Take, for example, the Nordic concept of friluftsliv, which translates as “open-air living.” A Norweigian is credited with introducing friluftsliv in the mid-1800s, and it has gained broad acceptance among Scandinavians as a way of life that celebrates outdoor living. Activities that could be considered friluftsliv range from riding your bike to work to reading in a hammock strung between two trees, letting children play in the rain, or sharing a meal with friends outside. It is about connecting with nature and existing in it without taking anything from it other than the clarity and peacefulness that come from immersing oneself in the sights and smells of the outdoors.
The Uphill Skier Glove by Vermont Glove
When we adopt a philosophy of spending time outside regardless of the weather, we open ourselves up to the possibility of enjoying activities that we might otherwise have shrugged off as “undoable” in less-than-ideal conditions. And when we approach outdoor activities with the mentality that thoughtfully selected gear can keep our bodies comfortable no matter what Mother Nature throws at us (within reason), we find that a world of possibilities opens up to us.
Exploring in All Weather
I think back to a trip I took to Ireland with my family a few years back. We left sunny and hot Boston in July for a week-long journey to Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. When we landed in Galway, the sun was shining and the sky was a brilliant blue. We loaded our bags into our rental van and headed west, to a tiny fishing village on the coast where we rented a cozy house that had been converted from a centuries-old pub. The next day, clouds rolled in and the rest of our week was primarily gray and drizzly.
But, we’d done our research and we were prepared. We knew that the weather in Ireland was going to be wet. After all, it’s the cool climate and high rainfall that gives the “Emerald Isle” its gorgeous rolling, green hills. So before we left, we’d invested in some good, waterproof jackets and boots. And despite protestations from our children (“But it’s July!”), we packed warm clothing and woolen socks.
Exploring historical sights in the drizzle.
With the proper gear and the right mindset, we were free to go about our vacation comfortably, exploring castles, historic sites, lighthouses, and seaside villages in all weather. To this day, I credit that vacation with teaching us that with the right clothing and the right attitude, it’s entirely possible to enjoy most outdoor activities in inclement weather. And in doing so, we often discover new sights, smells, and sounds to delight the senses: the smell of wet moss underfoot, the sound of rain on a thatched roof, and the verdant beauty of rain-soaked farmland.
The cows seemed unfazed by the wet weather.
Winter is Coming
As we approach winter here in the Northeast, there is a desire to turn inward and hibernate. And that’s OK. Who doesn’t like spending an evening by the fire or binge-watching some Netflix every now and then? But staying mentally and emotionally fulfilled throughout the winter often involves striking a balance between individual and communal activities and between spending time in the comfort of our homes and spending time outdoors.
If you’re familiar with Boston General Store then you know that we celebrate both the products that make our homes cozy and those that encourage us to get outside and explore.
Clockwise from top left: Otter Wax Fabric Dressing, Vermont Gloves keeping fingers toasty, a selection of BGS products, a jacket waterproofed with Otter Wax
Whether you are getting outdoors in the spirit of friluftsliv, wanderlust, or breaking a case of cabin fever, we have the goods you need to be comfortable outside in any kind of weather. Take a peek at our online store, where you’ll find a wealth of helpful supplies to support your excursions including:
- American-made hats, socks, and gloves by American Trench and Upstate Stock
- sturdy waxed cotton backpacks from Bradley Mountain
- warm woolen blankets and scarves from McNutt of Donegal
- petroleum-free waterproofing wax and dressing for shoes, backpacks and jackets
- sunscreens and balms to protect skin from the elements
- stylish bandanas from Bandits Bandanas
- rugged, lined leather gloves from Vermont Glove
- polarized sunglasses from Tabulae with full-spectrum UVA/UVB protection
We invite you to come outside this winter and embrace the spirit of friluftsliv with us. If a Boston General Store product accompanies you on your journey, let us know! We love to see our products in action, so tag us (@bostongeneralstore) when you share your photos of the great outdoors!