How to prepare for your trip to Norway

How to prepare for your trip to Norway

The most important aspects of preparing properly physically and mentally for your active adventure holiday in Norway. The information below will help you plan, prepare and ultimately enjoy your up-coming journey to our beautiful country. 

WEATHER

Preparing properly for the weather in Norway is of the utmost importance before your departure. Norway is located in Northern Europe, within or close to the Arctic Circle. This means the weather is variable, with long days in the summer, and long nights in the winter. The weather each day can change drastically- from sunny and warm, to windy, cold and rainy.

We require that you prepare for your trip to Norway with the correct gear based on the equipment list designated for the trip you have booked. You can find your equipment list on our website at www.hvitserk.com under the trip you have booked with us. Please watch our gear video and footwear video on our website here and pack properly before your trip begins. Warm layers and a reliable rain jacket (Gore-Tex is strongly recommended) with rain pants are imperative on a trip to Norway.

You will not be allowed to hike without a proper rain jacket and layering system if the weather is rainy and cold. Last minute purchases in Norway can be expensive, and we recommend you come prepared beforehand. You can read more about weather in Norway here.

TRAIL CONDITIONS

Norway’s trail systems have been created from historical use over time. Due to the harsh climate and low population in Norway, trail maintenance has been uncommon in the past. It is only in recent years, as Norway has become more popular for hiking focused tourism, that trail maintenance and infrastructure has begun to have a presence.

Although the hiking itineraries give you the kilometers, meters in elevation gain, and approximate times for travel – the trail conditions can be more challenging than other places you may have hiked. We encourage you to come to Norway with an open mind, expect to be challenged, and prepare to become part of the Norwegian hiking culture. It is a true nature experience and the beauty that comes with it will leave you breathless and accomplished. Nature is part of Norway’s identity, and the deep passion and love for the Norwegian mountains will be part of your experience.

With this, you can expect to hike steep sections of trail (as switchbacks are rare) and many trails are muddy and wet with roots and rocks along the way. This means trail conditions can be slippery, and you need to be conscious of your footing when hiking. Please make sure to wear reliable hiking boots. Follow our gear requirements, bring a positive mental attitude, and prepare to enjoy an incredible hiking experience in Norway with us!

TRAINING

A base level of fitness is required to join one of our active holidays. When you have signed up for a trip with us, we recommend training for your tour. You may not be able to find the same trail conditions or weather that you will find in Norway at home, but here are some tips for training prior to your tour (you can adjust the training to your current fitness level and location):

  • Hike 2-6 hours with a weighted day pack: food, layers, and 2 liters of water. Once or twice a week. (If you do not have access to hiking on trails, you can walk around your local area with inclines and declines).
  • Trail run or hike (if you have access to trails) in varied terrain 3-10km (distance depending on your fitness level). Once or twice a week.
  • Intervals on the treadmill with a medium to high incline, alternating between walking at a fast pace for 5 minutes, and running at a medium pace for 3 minutes. For 30 minutes to 1 hour, 2-3x a week.
  • Walk with a weighted backpack or run up and down flights of stairs.
  • Weight lift with moderate weights for overall fitness once a week.
  • If you already have a regular exercise schedule, continue your routine, keeping in mind training for hiking specific trips may be beneficial.
  • Enjoy your training! Join a local fitness class, get outside and hike or run, or try something new!

FOOD AND ACCOMMODATIONS

You are embarking on a journey that will take you to some of Norway’s most beautiful places. The accommodations we use are traditional with charm and mostly owned by local partners. Norwegian culture focuses on simple and cozy accommodations with an importance placed on shared spaces to build community. The Norwegian word for this is “Koselig” or “Hyggelig”, which does not directly translate to English. This concept embodies the feeling of a warm and cozy atmosphere, where everyone is comfortable and feels at home.

The cuisine in Norway is based on tradition. Norway, being a Northern country, has historically relied on livestock, local fauna, and root vegetables. Your dinners will often be on a set menu consisting of a meat base: fish, sheep, cow, moose, reindeer or deer meat, with potatoes and root vegetables on the side. If you did not include dietary restrictions or allergies in your registration form, please email us at [email protected] to inform us of your needs. We can accommodate vegetarian/vegan, gluten free and lactose free diets. Keep in mind that gluten free, vegan and lactose free options are limited in Norway, so if you have some hiking snacks from home that suit your dietary restrictions, please bring them with you.

Breakfasts will be buffet style with a variety of healthy cereals, porridge, fresh-baked bread, “knekkebrød” (seed-based cracker bread), cheeses and meats. Traditionally, Norwegians eat “Matpakke” for lunch, which means a simple meal packed from breakfast to take into the mountains. Typically, Norwegians make open-faced bread slices with cheeses, meats and a few vegetables. The food we eat on tour is local, fresh and healthy. You will often see sheep and goats wandering freely when in Norway, and we use partners with local farming relationships for our meals. You can also look forward to eating plenty of delicious deserts when on tour with us!

GROUP DYNAMICS

When signing up for a guided group tour it's important to come prepared to make group decisions. Your group will become your family and friends for the duration of your trip, and its important to join the trip with a group mentality. We will work together on tour, be supportive of one another, and encouraging. Your guides will set a pace that works for the entire group, and the group will hike together when on trail. If a group member is unable to participate on a scheduled hike, alternative options will be presented. Your guide will have the final decisions each day for hiking based on safety, group ability and weather. It is important to join our tours with a group-focused mentality, and a flexible mind-set.