Without Audun Melkeråen, there would never have been Jerven! Audun is perhaps Odda's (a small village in Norway) greatest hunter and outdoorsman in modern times. Whether it was deer hunting on steep mountain slopes or hunting reindeer and grouse on the vast Hardangervidda plateau, you knew there would be food in the bag when Audun came home. For Audun, all seasons were equally valuable – each in its own way, and he spent all his free time in nature. If it wasn't hunting, it was trout fishing or picking cloudberries – or nice trips with family and friends.
On a reindeer hunt some years ago, Audun had followed a small herd a day's journey into the plateau. He had taken down the buck he had targeted and was well into the butchering when, for once, he was surprised by a fierce storm. It was snowing heavily, temperatures were dropping, and the wind was increasing strongly. There was little shelter to be found, but he managed to lie down behind a large rock with the buck in front as an extra shield.
Now, good advice was expensive. Visibility was almost zero. Going back was impossible. In his backpack, he had a canvas cloth that he wrapped himself in. It retained some body heat while keeping out the wet.
While lying there in the shelter, the idea of the Jerven Bag (Fjellduken) came to him. A cloth that should be both waterproof and windproof, and at the same time, insulating to keep body heat in. It should function as a tent and as a sleeping bag. The hunter should be able to wear the cloth and use it as a poncho. It had to be lightweight and suitable for putting the kids inside when the family rested during a hike.
Audun made it back to Odda unscathed, and the buck was with him. With his lifelong experience of the unpredictable nature, he began experimenting with various solutions, patents, and materials. He was uncompromising in his demands for quality and functionality, and it wasn't until 1982 that the first Jerven Bag was produced. It became a success in the hunting community, and several user groups expressed their interest. Today, the Jerven Bag is produced in 7 different variants – adapted to various needs and usage profiles. For example, Jervenduken is standard equipment on Sea King rescue helicopters and all rescue services in Norway. The bag is also standard equipment with the military elite troops in Norway and SEAL (USA) entirely because of its superb and, in the extreme, life-saving properties.
Similarly, Jerven has developed hunting jackets and pants. With the same uncompromising demands for quality, comfort, and functionality, Jerven is the natural first choice when facing the forces of nature.