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Gear: keep yourself dry and organised; why dry bags are a must when traveling in Norway

Rarely does inclement weather deter me. And that's not because I'm impervious to heavy rain, storms, or snow. It's mainly due to my incredibly limited free time. I leave home at 5:15 in the morning, and if traffic is kind, I'm back around 6:00 in the evening. Often, weekends are filled with various tasks as well. You catch my drift. I embark on fewer backpacking trips into the wilderness than I'd truly like, given the circumstances. But when I do venture out, foul weather doesn't discourage me in the slightest. In this piece of writing, I'll share a few tips that can truly elevate your outdoor adventures.

First and foremost, a high-quality backpack is of the utmost importance. If you're in the process of selecting a new one, take a quick three-minute read of my previous piece on the subject.

What truly revolutionized my outdoor experience were dry sacks. In fact, dry bags are a must when traveling in Norway. They come in various sizes. The clever thing about these sacks is that you need not rely solely on your backpack to keep your belongings dry. Imagine you're on your way to a mountain hut or setting up camp, and it starts pouring shortly after lunch. You still have a four-hour hike ahead. By the time you arrive at your destination, everything is guaranteed to be drenched. And when you're in the wild, don't underestimate how long it takes for things to dry. This is where dry sacks become an absolute necessity. Not only do they keep your belongings dry, but they also help you keep your backpack organized. For instance, you might have one dry sack for your phone, power bank, flashlight, and any other electronics. Then, another (larger) dry sack for your food items. If you're carrying coffee, tea bags, and breakfast, there's nothing more frustrating than discovering they've all turned damp in the morning.

If you're traveling off-season (before May or after September) and plan to make a campfire along the way, having a dry fire starter is crucial. This is where those dry sacks come in perfectly. Here's my top tip: if you spot a birch tree (preferably a slightly older one), carefully peel off some of the bark. Birch bark dries rapidly and makes for fantastic kindling. In no time at all, you'll have a roaring fire. So, what goes into your dry sack when you're planning a campfire? Matches, a lighter, a stack of birch bark, maybe some paper, and old candle stubs. What few people realize is that peanuts contain a fair amount of oil. Hence, you can use them as makeshift fire starters. Just be sure to check for any wildfire risks beforehand. Ignoring regulations could land you a fine or, worse, an uncontrollable forest fire.

Dry sacks also prove handy for keeping your clothing dry. Of course, clothes take up a lot of space, so you might not need to keep all your garments dry. However, at the very least, pack a pair of socks, underwear, and perhaps a spare pair of trousers. Nothing beats being able to change into something dry when you've reached your destinationafter getting caught in the rain.

Depending on the type and size of your sleeping bag, you might consider getting a dry sack for it too. However, often the bag the sleeping bag comes in is already waterproof.

Over the years, I've purchased numerous dry sacks of various types. For beginners, this set of dry bags is a must!


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