General safety tips to help you stay safe in Norway's great outdoors
- There are no sign posts that will alert you of possible dangers, so look after yourself and try not to put yourself in unsafe situations.
- Do not underestimate bad Norwegian weather. Check the weather forecast before you go into the outdoors for the period you will be gone.
- Take advice from people who know the area you are planning to visit, especially locals.
- Bring the right equipment and clothing, and get tips on first aid.
- Sign in/sign out: Leave a detailed trip plan behind including a "panic" date.
- If lost: seek shelter and stay where you are. Use a torch/camera flash to attract attention at night. Try and position something highly coloured and visible from the air to help a helicopter search during the day.
Safety in the Norwegian mountains
The Norwegian Mountain Code is directed towards your safety. When hiking, biking or skiing in the Norwegian mountains you should always follow the Mountain Code and be careful.
Off-piste skiing is what many skiers and snowboarders aspire to. Avalanches are an ever-present, lethal danger as soon as you move away from prepared (or "groomed") ski runs. Avalanches do not discriminate between ability, experience or skiing style, and they need to be shown respect. They can, and regularly do, occur immediately beside marked pistes. Occasionally, avalanches can even occur on prepared runs as well.
Contact the local tourist information and talk to locals in the specific area for advice.
Fishing and boating
Do tell someone where you are going and when you will return. Even if the weather is fine in the morning it does not mean that it will stay that way all day. Check the weather forecast or ask a local before you leave. If the clouds darken and start to gather, it is a good idea to head back.
Do not stand up in a boat. Always wear a lifejacket when you are going out in a boat. Make sure there is plenty of space for each person on the boat.
Rules at sea:
- Think safety: Knowledge and planning reduce risk and increase enjoyment.
- Bring the necessary equipment. Your equipment must be in good condition and easily accessible.
- Respect weather and sea conditions. Only go out in your boat when it is safe to do so.
- Follow the rules of the sea. Rules regarding right of way, speed and correct lighting must be adhered to.
- Use life vests or buoyancy devices. Everybody on board must have a certified life vest or similar.
- Make sure you are rested and sober. The blood alcohol content limit when driving a boat is 0.08 (8mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood).
- Show consideration. Safety, environment and well-being are a common responsibility.
Rafting is a thrilling experience for the individual. It also demands co-operation. The level of difficulty of each trip determines age limits and the degree of physical stamina required of the participants.
For your own safety you should always use a rafting guide familiar with the specific river when white-water rafting in Norway. Never go rafting on your own without extensive knowledge of the river. If you do go on your own, always consult local guides to find out if it is safe to go rafting. Remember that you are responsible for your own safety. Safety is a primary issue for the organisers of these trips, so they provide the necessary equipment such as helmets, wetsuits and life vests. More information on white-water rafting in Norway.
Safety on glaciers
Glacier walking is an incredible experience, but it also demands alertness, knowledge and equipment. Glaciers are constantly moving. Deep crevasses and gorges can reveal ancient secrets, but they are also dangerous.
Never try glacier walking without being accompanied by an authorized glacier-guide. During the summer season there are guided tours on most Norwegian glaciers. Remember to bring warm clothing, headwear, suitable footwear, gloves and sunglasses!
The conditions for diving in Norway are quite different from those in other parts of the world.
The main differences are:
- Stream conditions, visibility and water temperatures make diving in Norway more challenging.
- The cold water often makes it necessary to use dry suits instead of wetsuits.
- Buoyancy control is more difficult to achieve with a dry suit.
- In warmer parts of the world, the focus is on the risk of heat stroke and dryness. In Norway, it is important to prevent hypothermia.
- The low water temperature and more demanding dive mean a shorter dive time. Dive computers and diving tables must be used with greater safety margins in Norway.
Never dive on your own. In Norway the international flag "A" (white and blue split flag) is approved as an indication of a submerged diver. Boating activity makes it essential for divers to mark their presence clearly.
Always check the weather
Even if the weather is fine in the morning it does not mean that it will stay that way all day. Check the weather forecast or ask a local before you leave. If the clouds darken and start to gather, it is a good idea to head back.
Emergency phone numbers
- 110 - Fire
- 112 - Police
- 911 - Police (only from mobile phones)
- 113 - Ambulance
- 120 - Emergency at sea
- 22 59 13 00 - Poisons Information Centre
Safety on Svalbard
The Arctic environment is extremely fragile and demands particular consideration from travellers. A number of laws and regulations are designed to protect nature
and cultural artefacts on Svalbard. In some areas, travel is restricted. You will need to familiarise yourself with these laws and regulations before you go on expeditions.
- Pursuing, attracting or enticing polar bears is strictly prohibited. They are dangerous animals, but also vulnerable.
- Do not leave the settlements without a suitable gun, or an armed guide accompanying you. Be considerate towards others.
- Contact the Governor's office (Sysselmannen) if planning a longer field excursion.
- A mandatory registration applies for travel to large parts of Svalbard.
- Acquaint yourself with the rules and regulations pertaining to travel and other tourist activities on Svalbard.
For the sake of both the environment and yourself we recommend organised tour
For more information, see
Musk ox safari
The only place in Norway, and one of the few places on earth, where you can see the mighty musk ox is Dovrefjell National Park. Out of consideration for your personal safety and the well-being of the animals, you should maintain a distance of at least 200 metres. The musk ox may seem big and clumsy, weighing between 225 and 400 kilos. But they move fast with a top speed of 60 kilometres per hour so you cannot outrun it - therefore keep your distance.