The Guy Who Chooses to Live in a Tent

Samuel Rostol has taken on a unique challenge – to spend a year living in a tent in Sweden. He uses his Cat ® S40 to stay connected in some pretty tough living conditions.

Job title: Post-graduate nursing student at Gothenburg University

Age: 32

Hazards of the job: Snow, rain, cold

Favorite app: Geocaching

Current Cat phone: Cat® S40

Let’s get the obvious question out of the way: why are you doing this?

There are different reasons, the main one being that I love spending time outdoors. I’ve been living in Gothenburg city, Sweden the last two and a half years; in the center of the concrete and coming from a small town in Norway with mountains and forests around me, I felt caved in. My girlfriend and I broke up and I found myself looking for an apartment or going for this. It’s been on my bucket list to try so I thought, ‘let’s just try see how it goes’.

And how is it going?

It’s becoming more and more comfortable. When I started out it was the middle of January and there was 10cm of snow and the temperature was -8-12ºC! That was the hardest part. When it was that cold, I had to use two sleeping bags. I got sick after the first week – I got a fever, which I most likely caught from crowded places. Physically, it’s easier now!

But this isn’t a survivalist exercise. You’re leading a normal life right?

Mostly I live a normal life. I go out with friends, I hang out. I study. I just go to bed differently.

What is the reaction of most people to what you’re doing?

A common thread is that many people are just waiting for me to quit but most think it’s cool. My family thinks I’m crazy of course.

“My family thinks I’m crazy”

Talk us through your set-up.

I live in a hammock which you string up and put a tarp over it when it rains. Or snows! I started a trial period on 21st December when it was really snowy. Officially though this experiment began March 1st.

What equipment do you use?

I use a multifuel stove, one of those ones you have to pump. I have of course a regular knife, an axe and a multi-tool. Beyond that I haven’t had a big need for anything specific.


I wash clothes at a laundromat or with friends. I have a gym membership and go to university so I have access to showers and a kitchen. And toilets!

What’s the hardest part?

The mental challenge. When I’m tired, I can be like, do I have to do that? But when I put my head down on my sweater which I use as a pillow it’s just like, ‘aaaah’. I listen to the rain drops and realise, this is where I want to be.

The best part?

There have been some amazing sunsets and sunrises. You wake up to the sound of birds singing. That’s the most amazing part.

There must be things you miss?

Some days I do nothing and that’s easy in an apartment – you watch a movie and cook some food. I can’t lie in my hammock all day. But even though loneliness sucks it’s a good tool to cope with reality. You have to feel the loneliness and it becomes powerful.

Why did you choose a Cat phone?

I realised that my phone was not the best one for the conditions I was living in – one day it can be snow, the next rain and everything can be wet in five seconds. Every day there’s dust and water. I needed a phone that would handle that, so I did some research on who makes the best rugged phones. A Cat phone seemed to be the most likely survivor of this kind of living. And it is.

How do you like it?

It’s a tool for me that I don’t have to worry about. It would suck if I had to worry about my hammer or my axe. It’s my connection to the world.

What do you mostly use it for?

I use WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram. I call sometimes too. The last thing I do before going to bed is to check my emails, like I do if would if I was in an apartment. I lead a regular life.

Follow the rest of Samuel’s camping journey here:

Samuel is already using the Cat® S40. Its waterproof and dustproof capabilities mean he doesn’t have to worry about it letting him down while living outdoors and with its Military spec credentials he doesn’t have to worry about it surviving the elements.

Join in the conversation online with your own #RuggedStories at @Catruggedphones.