Don’t call me Cave Man

As opening night for the documentary on Norway’s ‘Snow Cave Man’ draws near, the media focus on 60-year-old Sverre Nøkling continues to grow. Now tabloid VG can reveal that Sverre would like it if the press (particularly VG no doubt) would drop all this Cave Man stuff.

He would much prefer to be called an ‘outdoorsman’.

VG revealed today that the recluse, who has lived in self dug snow caves and in the shelter of scree during warmer weather, decided to dedicate his life to a pact with nature when he was just eight years old – when his home burned down.

“It was exciting to watch the house burn down. There was something special about having to start from scratch again, build anew. That was when I started to live more and more outdoors. It was good to get away a bit,” he remembers.

The big move came when he turned 30, and since then Nøkling has been living outdoors, spending his days trekking between the shelters he calls home and living a spartan life that requires next to no money or consumption.

“I’m starting to get tired of this cave man business now,” he says, in an unexpectedly animated voice for a man used to total solitude. “There has been a bit too much focus on that. I live in lavvus and in the open air as well.” Nøkling has been living in a lavvu in a wooded area of Oslo during the mounting fuss around the film about him.

He has a non-materialistic, but not hostile attitude towards what most people consider necessities. He does not like commerce, but listens to the BBC on a radio he found, and has considered getting a mobile phone.

“I don’t miss material things. It’s fine to stay informed about what’s happening in the world and so on, but earthquakes and things like that are a bit remote for me, I just can’t relate to that,” Nøkling tells VG.

He also tells the tabloid that he has sampled the outdoor life abroad as well, spending a year and a half in Australia.

“I worked in a nickel mine and lived outdoors. That went just fine, nice and warm it was. But I have also lived in Turkey. The caves there are very nice,” he recalls.

And VG wouldn’t be Norway’s leading tabloid without working the sex angle. Nøkling assured the paper that he hasn’t always been a lone – he was in fact quite the ladies man.

“Most of them are from my time abroad. There were a lot women there, you know. Even if I’ve lived alone a lot, I’m still a lively guy.”

See yesterday’s post for links to more material about the outdoorsman who likes caves.


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