Q&A / OUTDOOR

”Among the youngest, 18–29 years, 20 percent answer that their nature experiences are hindered by the lack of company or a context”

CAROLINE KARLSTRÖM
On how to get more people to discover the amazing Scandinavian nature
August 11, 2021

Karlström has long experience in the marketing field and always with a strong focus on the digital transformation that we are in. Three years ago, she joined the team at iconic Lundhags, the iconic Swedish outdoor brand founded in 1932 in Jämtland, as brand marketing manager.

This summer, the brand let the Swedish survey company SIFO interview more than 1.000 persons about their relationship to nature and outdoor life.

— Our mission is to get more people outdoors. We asked the participants how much time they spend in nature, what the drivers and obstacles are. We compared different age groups, income levels, education, and in which part of Sweden they lived.

Why did you do it?

— Nature is our place on earth. It’s where we and our customers meet and spend our free time and where our products are used. It’s crucial for us to get more knowledge about how people interact with nature so that we can inspire more people to get out there. It also helps us to lower the thresholds and be an enabler of nature experiences, says Karlström, continuing,

— There are many studies that show how important it is for us humans to spend time in nature and how it promotes both mental health and well-being. The National Institute of Public Health believes that being out in nature leads to reduced stress, strengthened cognitive ability, and improved mental health. It also promotes physical activity and can facilitate social contacts. 

Tell us about the results.

— 34 percent of the respondents stated that they spent more time in nature during the Corona year 2020 compared with 2019. What we also saw was that young people and people with low income have slipped behind. Around one-third of these groups have spent less time in nature 2020 compared with 2019. We can also see that women spend more time in nature than men, 41 percent of the women compared with 27 percent of the men spent more time in nature during 2020. 

What are the main obstacles to get out in nature and what can you and the industry do to remove these?

— Among the youngest (18-29 years), 20 percent answer that their nature experiences are hindered by the lack of company or a context, such as association and activity. The same group also answers that they both lack knowledge about where they can go and what they can do.

— I think it’s important to have young people who can inspire other young people. We have produced a YouTube series with the famous Swedish YouTuber William Forslund. It’s an inspiring talk show where William meets exciting people who all have their special relationship with nature. We also try to give both knowledge and inspiration through all our own channels and work with our different ambassadors. Through their different adventures and activities, they show what a great place nature is and how much fun you can have there and how many different things you can do in nature, says Karlström. She adds: 

— I believe good information and collaboration between outdoor brands are crucial. We have our resellers in many European countries that are important ambassadors not only for us but for Scandinavia. We are also a member of Scandinavian Outdoor Group who gives us the opportunity to reach out to European media and journalists who can spread the word about the wonderful Scandinavian nature. 

Will nature still attract in the same way even after the pandemic, when we can travel to other destinations again?

— Yes I absolutely believe that the pandemic has opened the eyes of many Scandinavians and given them the opportunity to explore our nature and also come to the conclusion that they don’t need to travel on their vacation. There is so much to explore in Scandinavia.

Caroline Karlström’s top three recommendations for must-sees in the Scandinavian nature: 

Lofoten in Norway — Google it and you will see why. 
Stora Nassa in the Stockholm archipelago. 
Bunnersjöarna in Jämtland, Sweden.
On my wishlist: I really want to go Nordic skating in Jotunheimen in Norway.

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