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Hiking tips

Before you embark on a trekking adventure in the Norwegian wilderness, take a moment to ponder the practicalities. Be prepared, stay safe, and pack your backpack like a hiking pro.
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Must-have packing list


Please note that these lists are intended for summer hikes. If you stick to forest and/or coastal trails, you can get away with a lighter load. Remember to bring extra warm clothing if you are going any other time of the year. The lists are based on the recommendations found on the Norwegian Trekking Association’s website.

Clothing

  • wool or synthetic underwear
  • wool socks/stockings
  • windproof jacket/anorak or all-weather jacket
  • hiking trousers
  • T-shirt and/or light sweater of wool or fleece
  • hiking shoes or boots

In your backpack or pockets

  • rain jacket (if your jacket isn’t all-weather)
  • rain trousers (if your trousers aren’t all-weather)
  • cap/hat
  • scarf/neck warmer
  • gloves/mittens
  • shorts
  • water
  • food

Sleeping outside? Don’t forget your camping gear

  • tent
  • sleeping bag
  • sleeping pad
  • portable cooking stove, fuel, and cookwear
  • matches
  • plate, cutlery, and cup

Other essential hiking gear


  • first aid kit
  • map
  • map case (with pencil and paper)
  • compass
  • headlamp/flashlight
  • extra batteries
  • sitting pad
  • thermos
  • emergency rations
  • sunscreen
  • sunglasses
  • insect repellent
  • knife
  • toiletries
  • towel
  • toilet paper
  • money
  • keys
  • DNT key
  • DNT membership card
  • binolculars
  • camera
  • transport schedules
  • medicines
  • GPSr
  • book(s)
  • candle
  • firestarter gear
  • tarp, bivy, or reflective blanket
  • boot waterproofing

Stay safe


Norway is an incredible place to explore, with untamed mythical landscapes, mountains, valleys, and fjords. Before you enter the outdoors, get familiar with the nine simple rules of the Norwegian mountain code to help you stay safe.

  1. Plan your trip and inform others about the route you have selected.
  2. Adapt the planned routes according to ability and conditions.
  3. Pay attention to the weather and the avalanche warnings.
  4. Be prepared for bad weather and frost, even on short trips.
  5. Bring the necessary equipment so you can help yourself and others.
  6. Choose safe routes. Recognize avalanche terrain and unsafe ice.
  7. Use a map and a compass. Always know where you are.
  8. Don’t be ashamed to turn around.
  9. Conserve your energy and seek shelter if necessary.

Read more about safety in the mountains

The right of access


As long as you understand and follow a few basic rules and regulations, you are free to walk almost everywhere in the Norwegian countryside. Outdoor recreation is an important part of the national identity, and access to nature is considered a right established by law.

The so called right of access (“allemannsretten”) is a traditional right from ancient times. Since 1957, it has been part of the Outdoor Recreation Act. It ensures that everybody can experience nature, even on larger privately owned areas.

The main rules are easy: Be considerate and thoughtful. Make sure you pick up your rubbish and show respect for nature and people – in other words, leave the landscape as you would want to find it.

The right to roam applies to open country, sometimes also known as “unfenced land”, which is land that is not cultivated. In Norway, the term covers most shores, bogs, forests and mountains. Small islands of uncultivated land within cultivated land are not regarded as open country.

Read more about the right to roam

What to wear


Expect the unexpected. This may be the most important advice when packing for an outdoor adventure. Regardless of the season and the weather when you set off, remember that the weather can change quickly – especially in the mountains.

  • Wear proper hiking boots – regular trainers doesn’t have a good enough grip for hiking, especially if you are going up in the mountains.
  • Dress in layers to make it easier to control your temperature.
  • Make sure that the outermost layer is wind and waterproof.
  • As the Norwegians say, wool is cool. As opposed to cotton and polyester, wool breathes, isolates, keeps off moisture, and is temperature regulating and self-cleaning. Fleece is another good material, especially for winter trips.
  • Use sunscreen – the sun can be deceptively strong, even in the winter and when it’s overcast or windy.

What’s the weather like?


We would like to tell you that it’s always sunny in Norway, but unfortunately that’s not the case. The good news is that the summer climate here can be very good, with temperatures up to 25 degrees Celsius.

However, the weather can change rather fast, also in the summer. The best advice is to check the weather forecast before you go, and prepare for any eventualities.

At altitudes of 1,000 metres or more, daytime temperatures are often around 15 to 19 degrees during summer, or a bit cooler when it’s raining. The spring and autumn months are a bit chillier – but spring in Norway is beautiful when nature comes back to life, whilst the autumn colours are magnificent.

Read more about seasons and climate in Norway

Essential hiking safety tips

Hiking in the Norwegian mountains is a serious matter and can be challenging even for the fittest amongst us. It is important to be well prepared. Do your research, listen to the locals, and pick hiking trails according to your experience, fitness level, and ambition.

Different hikes for different people

One of the best things about hiking is that everyone can do it, but that doesn’t mean that all hikes suit everyone. We can see the lure of Besseggen, and we understand that it is tempting to set off to Trolltunga – just make sure you know what it takes.

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