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.
• 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)
• scarf/neck warmer
Sleeping outside? Don’t forget your camping gear
• sleeping bag
• sleeping pad
• portable cooking stove, fuel, and cookwear
• plate, cutlery, and cup
Other essential hiking gear
• first aid kit
• map case (with pencil and paper)
• extra batteries
• sitting pad
• emergency rations
• insect repellent
• toilet paper
• DNT key
• DNT membership card
• transport schedules
• firestarter gear
• tarp, bivy, or reflective blanket
• boot waterproofing
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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.
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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.
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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.
Due to the temperate waters of the Gulf Stream, Norway has a much milder climate than other parts of the world at the same latitude, such as Alaska, Greenland, and Siberia. The coldest areas in the winter are often inland or far to the north.
The climate in Norway varies a lot from country part to country part, and there can be large variations within the separate regions of Norway as well.
But in general, the coastal areas usually have relatively mild winters (still with snow and great skiing conditions in the mountains, though), whilst the inland parts have cold winters with plenty of snow, and hot and relatively dry summers, especially in the eastern parts of the country.
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Southern Norway is considered a summer island paradise, whilst Fjord Norway is a popular destination all year round. In spring, the fruit trees are blossoming. During autumn, the mountain sides turn orange and yellow. To experience the silent and serene fjords, surrounded by snow capped mountains, come during winter.
Northern Norway is also a great place to visit any time of year. While the coast enjoys a milder climate, it can get very cold in some of the inlands areas during winter. This is also the best time to experience the northern lights. During summer, the sun is up all night long – the phenomenon is best known as the midnight sun.
Must-have packing list