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It’s no secret that I love Norway. It might be a secret that I don’t particularly love hiking though. LOL. So why the heck would I write about hiking in Norway you may ask? Simple enough, you can’t see the amazing locations that you really want to without a little bit of work. Or…if you can afford a private jet to fly you through the fjords or a private helicopter tour. Both of which are beyond my reach at the moment;)
In both trips to Norway, my husband and I have successfully completed 5 hikes (4 total but we did 1 hike twice). We had planned on adding another hike this last trip, but the weather did not want to play nice and with too much fog and cloud cover, we’d barely be able to see 3 feet in front of us. Hence, 2 hikes with one repeat hike it was.
The first time we went to Norway and hiked, we were totally unprepared and didn’t have a clue what we were doing. To be totally honest, I personally didn’t think we needed to “hike” anywhere. I didn’t pack any hiking shoes or even athletic shoes for that matter. And I had zero warm clothes. It was awful. This time around, I did better. I got a pair of good hiking shoes and broke them in the week prior to the trip and got a hold of a great camping tent from a friend and a camping backpack from a family member. We packed well were plenty prepared. OR so we thought!! I initially purchased a new sleeping bag on Amazon that had great reviews and was rated at a temperature of 15 degrees. Which I thought was wonderful! Well, I thought wrong again. It was 15 Celsius which equates to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. This basically meant that I was going to freeze my tail off in the mountains of Norway!! Which I would have, had I not stopped into a sporting goods store in Alesund and dropped a pretty penny to get myself a sleeping bag rated at 24 degrees Fahrenheit (as the comfort level temp). Meaning, I’m going to be nice and warm in that sucker!
What does this mean, it means get yourself a sleeping bag that is rated at a very low temperature so that you know without a doubt that you’ll be warm in the cold mountain winds. Get a tent, a sleeping mat (a lightweight inflatable one is best in my opinion), a good backpack, and some camping water bags (or filter and just drink from the mountain streams). Make sure you have a headlight or flashlight and some simple food packed. One of the best things about Norway camping is that you are allowed to pitch your tent in any public area. So, if you find yourself driving in the middle of nowhere and need a place to crash for the night – all you need to do is pull over and set up camp and be sure to take all your trash with you. And if you happen to come across one of the many many campsites they have, you’ll pay the US equivalent of $30 to park and camp for the night with access to hot showers, flushing toilets, and wifi. Not a bad gig! Oh, and some of the facilities have laundry units too.
The biggest note of advice I have if you plan to hike and camp in Norway, is to choose the lightest items possible. Norway hikes are no joke and they are not for the couch potato. If you are not in the slightest bit of shape, I would not recommend a vast majority of the hikes. The more scenic hikes definitely demand more. Ranging in both difficulty and distance. For example, our hike to Trolltunga that we did twice. Once in 2013 and again this year; used to be a 22km hike 4 years ago and has since then been re-vamped to a 28km hike. (13.6 to 17.4 miles) Again, I stress that you must be in some kind of decent condition when hiking this route. Especially if you plan to do it in one day and hike during the daylight hours. If you are doing a hike where you don’t plan to camp, that’s great. You can pack a whole lot less and all you need is some water, body fuel, and a pair of working legs. If you do plan on camping mid-way or what not, then you will want to be sure to pack super light. The hikes are tough and the last thing you need is extra weight slowing you down or weighing on your body as you climb and hike the trails.
I’ve included a YouTube Video link of this particular hike below as well:) One final note on this hike – it has gotten extremely touristy over the years so plan on it being quite full if you are going in the regular seson.
Overall, I loved hiking and camping in Norway because the reward at the end was SO worth it. The adventure doesn’t exist without the work and it’s not as fulfilling. Plus, you simply just don’t walk out of your car and into a view like these!!! So as much as I “don’t” enjoy camping and hiking, I absolutely will do it for this amazing view.
Hear more about my overall Norway adventure 2017 in the coming weeks on the blog. Places we visited, our itinerary, and lessons learned.
Tent: Mountainsmith Celestial Tent | Sleeping Bags: Mammut Compact MTI and Bergens of Norway | Sleeping Mats: Outdoorsman Ultralight Sleeping Pad | Water Bottles: KAPAS Water Bottles | Hiking Backpack: Jack Wolfskin