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Hike: hiking is an excellent way to experience Norway; here's my best tips!

Embarking on a hiking holiday in Norway is an unparalleled experience. Picture this: a 70-liter backpack, sturdy hiking boots, and a few weeks of unbridled time to wonder around. It's what I like to do most, though sadly, I've indulged in it far too infrequently in recent years due to...well, life happening. I think it's fair to say that Norway's breathtaking landscapes are best explored on foot, making it the ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

A guy hiking with a backpack in Norway

In this guide, I'll share some invaluable tips for those considering a hiking holiday in Norway. Proper preparation is key, so take your time to gear up for your adventure. Here are some essential pointers to ensure an unforgettable journey.

Plan Your Route and Accommodation

First and foremost, decide which region of Norway you want to explore on your hiking journey. This decision is entirely personal and depends on your experience level and physical condition. Some areas boast challenging terrain with steep ascents, turning seemingly short hikes into demanding endeavors. Therefore, thoroughly research the terrain beforehand to estimate the time needed for your trek.

I highly recommend utilizing, a fantastic resource offering detailed maps with estimated distances and durations for various routes. It also classifies routes based on difficulty levels: easy, moderate, challenging, or extra challenging.

Additionally, it provides information on available trekking cabins, a network of public shelters scattered across the country. These cabins offer overnight accommodations for a tiny fee, provided you bring your own sleeping bag. Cabin facilities range from basic shelters to semi-luxurious lodgings with hot meals available during high season. The DNT website contains all the necessary details for planning your stay.

Most DNT cabins without hosts are secured with a standard DNT key. It's wise to carry this key with you at all times, safely stored in your backpack, especially if you plan to venture off the beaten path. Members can easily obtain this key for a deposit of 100 kroner, available through DNT's webshop, local tourist associations, select tourist offices, and certain stores. Familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations governing cabin stays to ensure a smooth experience. This remarkable system, democratizing outdoor living and accessibility, relies on everyone adhering to the guidelines.

Wild Camping

Norway is perfect for wild camping, boasting vast expanses of pristine wilderness and an extensive network of trails. The country's "Right to Roam" or "Allemansretten" grants people the freedom to enjoy nature responsibly, regardless of their background or origin.

To summarize, Allemansretten encompasses the following points:

  1. Access to Nature: Individuals have the right to hike, bike, ski, or swim in the countryside, provided they do not harm the environment or property.

  2. Camping: People are free to camp in nature as long as they do so respectfully and without causing damage. This includes setting up camp away from residential areas, refraining from making fires during dry periods, and leaving no trace behind.

  3. Foraging: Berry picking, mushroom hunting, and collecting wildflowers for personal use are allowed, but commercial exploitation is prohibited. It's essential to harvest only what you need and treat nature with respect.

  4. Fishing and Hunting: Fishing and hunting are permitted in nature, subject to specific rules and permits depending on the area and species.

  5. Respect for Nature and the Environment: While Allemansretten grants considerable freedom, it's crucial to treat nature with respect. This entails leaving no litter behind, avoiding damage to plants or animals, and respecting the peace and tranquility of others.

Allemansretten is a cherished aspect of Norwegian culture, contributing to the preservation of the country's natural beauty. It enables people to revel in the stunning landscapes and engage in outdoor activities while assuming responsibility for conservation efforts. Before embarking on a wild camping adventure, familiarize yourself with both written and unwritten rules regarding wilderness camping.

What to pack

Packing varies from person to person. Personally, I prefer traveling as lightly as possible, particularly on extended hiking trips exceeding four days. This allows me to allocate more space for provisions. Additionally, I tend to tolerate cold weather rather well and often camp during winter. However, if you hail from warmer climates, your needs may differ causing the underneath packing list to increase a bit. In general, I did my best to compile a little list of basics you'd have to think of bringing.

  • Waterproof jacket and trousers

  • Lightweight windbreaker and hiking trousers with moisture-wicking properties

  • Woolen or blended underwear with an extra set

  • Wool socks with a snug fit and an extra pair

  • Wool sweater or jacket, or a lightweight down jacket

  • Lightweight tent (I always bring one, even though I'm planning to stay in cabins, just to be sure of shelter in case something might change, like the weather for example).

  • A thin matress or underlay to seperate you from cold surfaces

  • Woolen mittens or gloves that retain warmth when wet

  • Lightweight sneakers (nice to have when your hiking boots are wet)

  • Well-worn (!!!) hiking boots to prevent blisters

  • Shorts and t-shirt made of wool or synthetic fibers for warmer weather

  • A thermosflask, both for your morning coffee and to keep the water you drink from rivers nice and cool during warm days.

  • Backpack with suitable volume

  • Waterproof bag that fits inside the backpack (optional rain cover)

  • Sleeping bag if camping; otherwise, a sleeping bag liner for DNT huts (even in midsummer, temperatures can drop at high altitudes)

  • Power banks for charging devices

  • First aid kit with blister plasters and sports tape

  • Minimal toiletries and a small/lightweight towel (preferably biodegradable toothpaste)

  • Toilet paper and an extra garbage bag (you will not find trashbins in the wildernis and dumping your rubbish is an absolute no-go).

  • Sunglasses and sunscreen

  • Insect repellent/mosquito net

  • Map, compass, and waterproof map case, or GPS device

  • Multitool and duct tape

  • Matches/lighter

  • Compact headlamp/flashlight

  • Cash/debit card

  • DNT key

  • Digital DNT membership card

  • Provisions! Rather too many than too few!

When hiking in Norway, always inform someone about your plans before setting out. It doesn't need to be overly detailed, but ensuring someone is aware of your intended route is crucial. While Norway's natural beauty is unparalleled, it's essential to acknowledge the potential risks involved. As previously mentioned, preparation is key.


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