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Hiking tips

Before you embark on a trekking adventure in the Norwegian wilderness, make sure to plan the practical details. Be prepared, stay safe, and pack your backpack like a pro with these tips.

Please note that these lists are intended for summer hikes. They are based on the Norwegian Trekking Association’s list of essential summer hiking gear. 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 – please check the Norwegian Trekking Association’s list of essential winter equipment.

What to wear

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

Wear proper hiking boots – regular trainers don’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 body temperature. And as we say in Norway: Wool is cool. As opposed to cotton and polyester, wool breathes, insulates, wicks away moisture, and is temperature-regulating and self-cleaning. Fleece is also acceptable, especially in winter.

  • Inner layer: wool or synthetic underwear (light sweater, long underpants, socks).
  • Mid-layer: Wool or fleece sweater. In winter, you’ll need extra trousers.
  • Outer layer: Hiking trousers and a jacket/anorak or all-weather jacket. Make sure that the outermost layer is wind and waterproof.

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 be able to tell you that it’s always sunny in Norway, but unfortunately, that’s not the case. Always, always, always check the weather forecast before you go.

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 quickly, even in summer.

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

Read more about seasons and climate in Norway

Stay safe

Norway is an incredible place to explore, with untamed mythical landscapes, mountains, valleys, and fjords. Before you enter the outdoors, familiarise yourself 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 your ability and the conditions.
  3. Pay attention to the weather forecast and 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. Recognise 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 and go back.
  9. Conserve your energy and seek shelter if necessary.

Read more about safety in the mountains

The right to roam

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

The right to roam (allemannsretten in Norwegian) is a traditional right from ancient times. Since 1957, it has been part of the Outdoor Recreation Act, ensuring that everyone can experience nature, even on privately owned land.

The main rule is simple: 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 found it.

The right to roam applies to open country, also known as 'unfenced land' – land that isn’t being cultivated. In Norway, open country includes most of the coastline, bogs, forests, and mountains. Small pockets of uncultivated land within cultivated land are not considered open country.

Read more about the right to roam

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