So you’re planning a hiking trip in Norway, but you’re worried about what you should bring? Don’t worry, let us help you get started.
With this guide we will help you avoid the typical “touristy” mistakes of not bringing the right clothes or enough food. Whether your hike is long or short, we hope that this post will provide you with some basic information about what to bring when hiking in the spring, summer, or autumn.
1: KEEP THAT BODY WARM
What you should wear on a hike is (obviously) very dependent on the season and on the weather in the place you will be hiking. Here we will present what we find to be the most optimal method when it comes to layering clothes. Depending on the weather, season, etc. you just stop the layering when you feel warm enough 😉
As a base rule, it is better to dress in multiple thin layers, than few thick ones. The layers create pockets of air between them, insulating the body and keeping it hot. Layering also makes it easier to remove or add clothing, making your temperature just right.
The layer closest to the body can either be a technical layer absorbing sweat, or it can be a thin woolen layer. The only thing you have to remember it to never wear cotton, as it gets moist quite quickly, and takes a long time to dry, leaving you both cold and wet. You don’t want to be either. We prefer to use wool, as it has antibacterial properties, making it less subjected to unwanted odors. Wool also has the amazing quality of acting cooling in warm weather, and warming in cold weather, and that it insulates even though it is wet. Thin woolen layers is therefore our preferred base layer for most seasons.
Outside of the inner layer, we usually wear a second layer of thin wool, a little thicker than the base layer.
If it is really cold, we wear a thicker wool or fleece layer above the second layer. This layer can also consist of a light weight down jacket. Finally, as our last layer, we wear a water proof shell jacket.
For your lower body, the shoes are perhaps the most important piece of ‘clothing’. Use waterproof shoes with a good grip, and always test them before going on a longer hike, so you avoid annoying blisters. We seldom find it necessary to wear woolen long johns under our hiking pants, except for in the winter of course. Still, we almost always bring them in our backpacks( except for in the summertime when it is very hot). The weather in Norway can change quite quickly, so you never know when they might come in handy. Pro tip: use long johns that have zippers going all the way down on both sides, so you can remove them and put them on without taking your pants completely off. Check out these from Devold for example.
When walking in high grass in the summer time, we recommend using hiking pants instead of shorts, and shoving them into your socks. This makes it harder for the ticks and mosquitos to find those precious juicy legs and bite you.
2: PACK YOUR BACKPACK LIKE AN EXPERT
Hiking in Norway can be easy breezy, but suddenly turn extremely difficult and dangerous because of quick weather changes. So when going on a hike in Norway, long or short, you should always be prepared for colder and wetter weather. Simply by putting a light shell jacket or a thin woolen layer in your backpack, you can save a hike from becoming an uncomfortable experience.
Even if the weather is warm and nice when you start your hike, there is no guarantee that the weather will stay this way the entire hike. That is why it is always important to bring extra clothes, and why you almost never see Norwegians without backpacks when hiking.
We prefer to always have some layers of wool in our backpacks. These materials are light and easy to carry, but are warm and comfortable to wear, and can potentially save the entire hike if you get cold. Usually we bring a complete extra inner layer of wool, such as a pair of long johns, and a thin woolen sweater. In the late summer and autumn, we also bring thin, packable down jackets. They are super neat to put on when you reach that mountain top and it starts to get chilly. These extra layers are not only utilized if we get cold, but also if we get sweaty, which we often do. It makes your hike more enjoyable if you can change out of a wet inner layer, and put on a nice dry one once you reach your destination. Pro tip: Once you have reached your destination and are having a break, put on dry, warm clothes before you get cold.
Always bring water. If you’re not sure that you can find any water sources where you’re going, make sure to bring enough for the entire hike, based on the temperature, and the duration of the hike.
When it comes to food, the amount is of course highly individual. Make sure to bring enough food for the entire hike, and to bring necessary tools in case you’re bringing canned food. Even if you’re planning to live off of what nature provides, be sure to bring some backup. We ourselves prefer to bring freeze dried food from Real turmat, as it tastes delicious, and doesn’t take up too much space. We also bring a lot of oatmeal for breakfast, as it keeps you full for a long time. Pro tip: When using a camping stove, remember to keep your matches dry, or to bring flint steel or a lighter, and to bring enough fuel.
4: SUPER PRO EXTRAS
The first thing we always recommend people to bring when hiking late summer and autumn, is a flash light. It gets dark much earlier than people expect, and a head lamp or a flash light will be a great advantage when the twilight kicks in. A knife or a multitool is also heavily recommended.
A seat pad is also nice to bring, as it keeps your butt from getting cold when sitting down for a well deserved break.
5: SPENDING THE NIGHT?
If you’re spending one or several night outside, you’ll obviously need sleeping gear. The first thing you’ll need is a sleeping bag, and a sleeping pad. Be sure to check the night temperature of your destination, and choose a sleeping bag that matches the temperature. For sleeping pads, it depends on how sensitive your back is, but we prefer to bring inflatable Exped sleeping pads. Just makes the night so much more comfy.
In case you’re not sleeping under an open sky, you’ll need a tent or some sort of tarp. We recommend using one that has a mosquito net, as Norway is known to be inhabited by the odd mosquito or two.
6: GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER ( …or at least bury it)
When hiking for a longer period, you are bound to hear nature call at some point. To put it bluntly, you will have to pee (or more). If you have to use wipes of some sort, never use non- degradable paper such as wet wipes, and NEVER leave it on or by the trail. Use degradable paper such as regular toilet paper or kleenex, and when you have finished your business (preferable far away from the trail), you bury that stuff along with the paper. We hate seeing people leaving non degradable paper along with their remains close to or on the trail. Ew.
It might sound like a lot to bring and to remember, but if you’re only going on a day’s hike, all of the things you need should nicely fit inside a 30L backpack. If you are going on a longer hike, you will need a bigger backpack for the extra clothes, food, and sleeping gear. We usually wear a 80L backpack each when going on longer trips, which fits all the necessary gear listed in this post, as well as a lot of camera gear.
To sum it all up, your backpack might get a little heavier than you’re used to by following these tips, but there is a chance that they can save you from an extremely uncomfortable hike, and make it an amazing one.
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