North of the sun: surfing under the northern lights

Living on your own beach for nine months and being able to surf whenever you want… Cool right? This was the adventure Inge Wegge and Jørn Nyseth Ranum, two young Norwegian filmmakers and surfers decided to take. But they wanted to do something more. They wanted to give back to nature. They build their own cabin from washed up trash and documented everything in their film North of the sun.

Every year we visit E.O.F.T, the European Outdoor Film Tour, a compilation of the best outdoor and adventure movies released that year. North of the sun was one of the movies in that compilation a few years back. And still, one of my favorites.

Purely coincidental

Back in 2016, we traveled through Scandinavia for a month. Armed with our tent and our backpacks we searched for the best wild camping spots and the most awesome views. One day, we found a great spot to pitch our tent for a night or two and once the tent was up, I started to walk around a bit and explore the beach.

I was both amazed and surprised by what I found; we pitched our tent in the middle of the North of the sun “film set”! In the movie, Inge en Jørn explain that they deliberately don’t share the location of the beach. They want to prevent the crowds and the effects that could have on this remote place. That’s why, in this blog, I don’t mention it’s location.

North of the sun - onze tent per toeval vlakbij het hutje Our tent, just a stone’s throw away from the cabin.

North of the sun - de hut van Inge en Jørn How cool is this?!

Despite that, the cabin is found and used, mostly by Norwegians. There is a guestbook and even some food you can use. In return, you can leave something in the cabin for the next person who wants to use it. 

North of the sun: Inge and Jørns story

The story of Inge and Jørn is actually an idea that has gotten a little out of hand. At first they wanted unlimited freedom to surf on a secluded beach. And then things kinda took off: they realized that if they wanted to live on their own beach, they also had to take care of all their waste. And while they’re at it, why not take care of all the waste on the beach? From this point onward, the plan started to take shape: creating a home, surfing, while doing something back for the environment.

North of the sun - de woonkamer Edible food can be found in the cabin

The first couple of months were dominated by building the cabin. As a reward for their hard work, the boys allowed themselves to occasionally dive into the sea to catch some waves when conditions were good. The base for their new home was provided by the beach: stones, sand, and driftwood. Washed up and dumped plastic bottles served as insulation. Construction drawings of old Viking houses were their main source of inspiration, but in the end, Inge and Jørn were mainly guided by the possibilities offered by the location. They only took some basic tools. On the beach, they found a first-aid kit that was still useable and definitely came in handy from time to time. 

“These supposed limitations had something very liberating”

They decided to embark on this adventure during wintertime because the waves are higher. But that’s a decision they probably regretted at certain times, like when their surfing suit already started to freeze before they were in the water at all. But still, the spectacular northern lights and absolute freedom in this deserted spot outweighed the inconveniences for Inge and Jørn. And with winter coming, the satisfaction was great when their cabin was finally finished! Rent: € 0, – and no additional costs!

North of the sun - het gastenboek North of the sun - schrijven in het gastenboek Of course, we left a message in the guestbook

Inge and Jørn have spent about € 3 on food (tea and sugar) which they had taken with them in advance. They did the rest of their shopping at supermarkets that give away products for free when they passed their expiring date. In addition, they occasionally went to several bakeries, who at the end of the day normally throw away everything they haven’t sold. Also, they regularly found fresh vegetables in waste containers. By getting food like this, they also contributed to the prevention of food waste.

North of the sun - brief van Inge en Jørn The guys left a message in the house North of the sun - de wc About 50 meters behind the cabin, there’s a comfortable toilet

After nine months the guys collected about three tons of waste on the beach. Even though this is only 0.00000047 percent of the 6.4 million tons (!!!) of plastic and other waste that ends up in the oceans every year, the success of the film has given a lot of attention to this problem. Something Inge and Jørn see as an important result for this project.

North of the sun - foto's 

The cabin is filled with pictures of their unique adventure

Could you live remote like this for a few months? 


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