Norwegian Hiking and Backpacking

Summer Wild Camping and Backpacking, Jotunheimen, Norway

Photo: Camping above lake Bygdin, Jotunheimen national park, Norway

Jotunheimen glaciers and mountains, Norway

Photo: Cloudy skies over mountains and glaciers in Jotunheimen national park, Norway.

To put it nicely, Norway is not a ‘sunny’ country.  Don’t be fooled by travel guides and brochures showing photos scenic green meadows, waterfalls, or fjords with calm puffy white clouds and blue skies overhead on every page.  This is a lie.  I can’t count how many times I’ve set my tent up in the rain only to take it down in the rain on the following morning, for days on end.  Even during the height of summer one should always be prepared for cold, wet, and windy conditions.  This applies even more if one is planning on venturing out in the mountains.

Camping Kvalvike beach, Lofoten Islands, Norway

Photo: Camping at Kvalvike beach, Lofoten islands, Norway.

So if the weather sucks so bad, why even go?  Because Norway is an amazingly beautiful and friendly country.  And because when that sunny summer day does come, you will instantly forget that week of rain and cloud that proceeded and will follow it.  And if you are north of the arctic circle and standing on a mountain top at 2 am under a perfectly blue sky, you will already start planning your return trip.

Mountain lunch, Lofoten islands, Norway

Photo: Mountain snack, above Stamsund, Lofoten islands, Norway

Here’s my packing list for a 3 week trip which I start tomorrow.  The first 2 weeks I’ll out on the Lofoten islands, followed by one week hiking around Jotunheimen national park.  Since the main purpose of my trip is photography, I need to keep the weight of my camping equipment and clothing to a minimum to help offset the weight of my camera gear.

Some useful links for traveling around Norway:

Backpacking packlist for Norway

Footwear:
I normally only wear hiking boots in places where I’ll encounter lots of snow and or bog/mud, such as Norway.  However, I’m trying to keep things a bit lighter on this trip so I’m only going to take some trail-runners.  This may be a regrettable decision and lead to constantly wet feet, but I hope not…

Camping Gear:
•Backpack – Golite Odyssey
•Daypack/camera bag – Black Diamond Sphynx 32L
•Tent – MSR Hubba single person
•Sleeping Bag – Mountain Hardwear Phantom 32
•Lightweight foam sleeping pad
•Leki Makalu trekking poles
•Water filter – Katadyn mini
•Petzl Zipka plus headlamp
•first aid kit
•Rain cover for backpack

Cooking:
•Stove – Snow Peak GigaPower
•Cookware – Snow Peak titanium pan & lid
•Spoon Fork combination
•Food

Misc:
•Multipurpose camp soap
•journal & pens
•Hand cleaner
•Plug adapter
•Book
•Maps

Clothing:

•Shell Jacket – Golite
•Shell Pants – Marmot Precip
•Marmot Driclime windshirt
•Lightweight fleece
•MEC lightweight softshell pants
•Lightweight shorts
•3x t-shirts
•3x socks
•3x underwear
•Fleece beanie
•Lightweight camp towel
•Sandals

Lake Gjende in summer, Jotunehimen, Norway

Photo: Scenic summer view of Lake Gjende, Jotunheimen national park, Norway.

8 replies
  1. Anna says:

    I am hoping to spend two weeks backpacking around the Lofotens this August, and will be arriving from Bergen. Did you find that you could camp the whole time, easily? With little extra cost? Since Norway is so expensive, I want to be there and try and spend as little as possible while backpacking. How many islands did you hike on? And are there challenging hikes that you found? Thanks!

  2. paul says:

    This packing list is extremely helpful to a traveler coming from U.S. Thanks so much for the great info. Late on the scene, but loving this blog!

  3. zs says:

    Hi Cody,

    I will be spending a few weeks at Jotunheimen in July. I am just wondering, what fuel did you use, and where can I buy it in Norway?

    Thanks!

  4. Pete says:

    Thanks for the information, I found this very helpful. Just curious did you regret only going with trail runners? I’m the same as you, if I can get away without heavier boots I prefer to. Also did you find your sleeping bag to be warm enough?

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