Visit Norway encourages safe selfies through #BeSafie campaign

Photo: Visit Norway / Instagram You don't have to put yourself in danger to get an adventurous selfie in Norway—just pose with one of Visit Norway's #BeSafie backgrounds.

Photo: Visit Norway / Instagram
You don’t have to put yourself in danger to get an adventurous selfie in Norway—just pose with one of Visit Norway’s #BeSafie backgrounds.

Molly Jones
The Norwegian American

Is taking the perfect selfie worth it if you are putting yourself at danger? Visit Norway, the official travel guide to Norway, doesn’t think so.

As social media become increasingly prevalent in our lives, more and more people are taking risks in order to get that perfect selfie. This is especially true when it comes to tourists in Norway, who have been going to great lengths in recent years to take dramatic pictures in the breathtaking but sometimes dangerous Norwegian landscape. While adventure travel is popular these days, many tourists don’t have the sufficient knowledge, equipment, or skills to travel safely in the wild.

As a result, Visit Norway has created a new campaign to encourage people to take safe selfies and learn how to explore the Norwegian wilderness responsibly. The project is called #BeSafie, a play on the words safe and selfie.

“A profile picture is not worth risking your safety for,” says Haaken Michael Christensen, the senior advisor for adventure tourism at Innovation Norway and project manager for #BeSafie. He notes that it is not just tourists but also local Norwegians who are taking these risks.

“Last year there were 23 rescue missions on Trolltunga alone. According to the Norwegian Red Cross, 85 percent of them involved tourists who weren’t necessarily in any real danger, but who didn’t have proper clothes, were tired, or didn’t have enough food. It could have been avoided had they been properly informed and prepared,” adds Christensen.

One part of the campaign includes a series of installations depicting large images of cliff edges and wild animals, allowing people to take these desired dramatic selfies in a safe environment.

Visit Norway also encourages people to take safe pictures, or safies, while exploring Norwegian nature using the hashtags #BeSafie and #VisitNorway.

The other component of #BeSafie is sharing the nine rules of the Norwegian Mountain Code:

1. Plan your trip and inform others about the route you have selected.
2. Adapt the planned routes according to ability and conditions.
3. Pay attention to the weather and the avalanche warnings.
4. Be prepared for bad weather and frost, even on short trips.
5. Bring the necessary equipment so you can help yourself and others.
6. Choose safe routes. Recognize avalanche terrain and unsafe ice.
7. Use a map and a compass. Always know where you are.
8. Don’t be ashamed to turn around.
9. Conserve your energy and seek shelter if necessary.

This code has become part of Norway’s cultural heritage ever since it was introduced following a series of accidents in 1950. It has since been revised by the Red Cross and Norwegian Trekking Association to be suitable for all mountain trips year round.

Visit Norway thinks that by teaching Norwegians and tourists about the dangers of being unprepared and taking risks in Norway’s nature, they will cut down on the number of injuries and deaths. With #BeSafie, Visit Norway hopes to go from the year of dangerous selfies in 2015 to the year of safe ones in 2016.

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The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.