Small luxury opens the door to natural experiences

Mikkel Mikkelsen designed a line of outdoor equipment that makes outdoor life appealing and easily accessible.

”Six or seven years ago I was a chap who had never spent much time in nature. But a trip to catch oysters in the Waddensea on the west coast of Jutland was an eye opener. Standing at six in the morning in waders just taking it all in, that was big. Still, it had required quite a lot of preparation and planning: What is the coolest oyster knife, what is the technique, how does it all fit together? I want to convey and materialise this fundamental knowledge of how to get on in nature, so that others can have some stunning natural experiences. And you don’t really have to travel very far. The Nordic countries have so many different types of natural environments. Sometimes you develop a blind spot when it comes to places close by.”

“I have designed a line of equipment that can be used in most outdoor activities: a grill set, a camping set and a sophisticated cooking set – objects that allow ordinary people to go exploring in nature; objects that act as guidelines, not as rules. They are created for a weekend trip or for a two- or three-day hiking trip, so that they fit into a reasonably sized pack. In addition you can take the folding table with you to your nearby park, if you live in a city.”

“My graduation project from Design School Kolding also contains three activity packages with equipment for a specific experience: an oyster safari, an underwater hunt with a hand spear or crab fishing. Those are three very different activities, because I wanted to create something that appeals to everyone. The crab set is a refined version of ‘string with clothespin’ indicating that it can be used by a curious four-year-old and also by a middle-aged man in search of new adventures.”

“I find the small luxuries you find in everyday life fascinating. I have a Swiss knife that I am very fond of, a small high-quality item which appears as luxury. That is the feeling I have wanted to transfer to my product line. Each object also has to have a kind of sentimental value, so that you are sad to put it away when you get back from a trip. The cooking pot, for example, is designed so that it can be used as a decorative bowl at home.”

“My project is not necessarily ’back-to-basics’. It’s a balance between the desire to revert to a simpler era while also remembering to move forward. For example I use a fair amount of titanium, which is a technical and advanced material, simply because it is best suited to the purpose. It’s possible to carry some values with us from the past, but you lose some of the functionality if you are too adamant about it. Personally I would never be without my iPhone, even in nature. There is no need to be afraid of adding something new provided it makes sense.”