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Safety first Man standing on a mountain top
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Safety first.
Photo: Kristian Paulsen (selvestepaulsen.no) / Bleed / visitnorway.com
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Essential tips for a successful mountain hike in the summer

Norwegian nature is world famous for its majestic mountains and beautiful fjords. However, hiking in the Norwegian mountains is a serious matter, and can be challenging even for the fittest among us. Therefore, it is important to be well prepared. Always bring the right equipment and enough food and drinks, and check the weather forecast before you set out. Happy hiking!

Dress appropriately  

Always bring rain- and windproof outerwear that can help you adapt to changing weather conditions. It is a good idea to wear wool as your inner layer so that you keep warm even if you get wet. Leave your jeans and trainers at home base; they are not suitable for use in the Norwegian mountains. Remember to take all your garbage back, so you help to ensure that the mountains and nature are preserved for the future. Be sure to keep a first-aid kit easily accessible in the top cover of your backpack. With good preparation and the right equipment, you're all set and we wish you a wonderful experience.

Check the weather forecast

Even if the sun is shining at the start of your hike - it can be stormy when you reach the top. We recommend everyone to stay for at least two days at all destinations to increase the chances of enjoying a hike in nice and safe weather conditionsTalk to the locals and ask if there is anything in particular you should be aware of.

Listen to the locals

If you are inexperienced or feel unsure about doing a trip, we recommend that you join a guided hike. A good guide can turn a bad day into a fantastic experience. Never leave the main trail if you are hiking without a guide. Even if sunshine and partly cloudy weather are forecast when you start off, it might be windy and rainy by the time you approach the top. Therefore, ask people who are familiar with the local mountains about weather conditions before you start your hike.

Be prepared

Norwegian nature is accessible to everyone and although it is free to enjoy, it is also vulnerable. Make sure you bring back everything that you take with you, and always leave nature the way you found it. Stay on the marked trails and show respect for plant and animal life. If you also make yourself familiar with the tips below, you are good to go.

 

Jotunheimen Jotunheimen
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Jotunheimen.
Photo: Terje Rakke/Nordic Life AS - Visitnorway.com

Destination guides

Here you find lots of useful information about a few popular destinations where it is important to think safety first. If you follow our advice, you will be better prepared for a safe hike.


The Norwegian Mountain Code

If you are going to hike in the Norwegian mountains, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the Norwegian Mountain Code. The code applies all year round, and makes sure that you are well prepared if something unexpected happens on an excursion. 

Here is a summary of the Norwegian Mountain Code:

  1. Plan your trip and let someone know where you are heading.
  2. Customise the trip based on your ability and potential conditions.
  3. Pay attention to the weather report and avalanche alerts.
  4. Be prepared for storms and the cold; even on short trips.
  5. Bring the necessary equipment so you can help yourself and others.
  6. Choose safe routes. Be aware of terrain where landslide dangers exist and where there is unstable ice.
  7. Use a map and compass, and always know where you are.
  8. Head back in time - there is no shame in turning back.
  9. Save your strength, and seek shelter if necessary.

Read more about the Norwegian Mountain Code here.

Summer hiking packing list Summer hiking
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Summer hiking packing list.
Photo: Kristian Paulsen (selvestepaulsen.no) / Bleed / visitnorway.com

Packing list for your mountain hike

With a good backpack filled with the right equipment, you have a great base for a wonderful experience in the mountains. Choose a backpack with a volume of 30 litres to be sure you have enough space for everything you need.

CLOTHING

  • Hiking boots
  • Wind- and waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Wool underwear and wool sweater
  • An extra set of clothes and socks
  • Cap, scarf and gloves or mittens

EQUIPMENT

  • Enough food and drinks for the whole trip
  • A fully charged mobile phone in a plastic bag to avoid water damage
  • A small headlamp and extra batteries
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Plastic bags for garbage and other things
  • First-aid kit and extra blister plasters
  • Map and compass
  • Pocket knife
  • Nordic walking poles - for maintaining your balance in rough terrain

Top mistakes tourists make Top mistakes tourists make
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Top mistakes tourists make.
Photo: Film production: Kristian Paulsen (selvestepaulsen.no) / Bleed / visitnorway.com

DO'S & DON'TS 

Every year, Norwegian volunteer rescue crews go into the mountains to retrieve tourists who have lost their way, are tired or injured, or have encountered problems after dark at night. These tourists are often dressed in everyday clothes and lack suitable equipment. Here are a few things you should know before hiking in the Norwegian mountains.

DO THIS:

  • Research the length, duration and recommended physical conditioning for the hike you want to do
  • Check the weather conditions, and always listen to the advice of the local mountain residents
  • Buy or rent the right equipment for your trip
  • Always bring enough food, drinks and an extra change of clothes in your backpack
  • Check out the possibility of joining a guided tour

AVOID THIS:

  • Do not wear jeans, trainers or other everyday clothing
  • Do not start your trip too late in the day, as you might risk having to hike in the dark
  • Never start your mountain hike without being in good enough physical shape
  • Do not depend on a map on your mobile device, as there is not always coverage in the mountains
  • Pack it in, pack it out - don't leave anything, including trash, behind

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