A Small Guide to Hiking in Norway by Erik Haaland

TrodlaTysdal mountain farm (Photo: Erik Haaland)

TrodlaTysdal mountain farm (Photo: Erik Haaland)

Norway – the land of fjords and mountains. I am lucky to live here and try to enjoy our natural environment to the fullest by hiking as much as possible. And if you want to hike in Norway, I will try to give you a little info on where to start and what to do.

The Norwegian Trekking Organization

Founded in 1868, Norway’s largest outdoor organization, The Norwegian Trekking Organization (DNT) has more than 240,000 members in 57 local member “chapters” across the country, from Kristiansand in the south to the North Cape in the north. These local chapters operate cabins, mark routes and arrange trips, tours (more than 4000 each year) and different courses so there is something for everyone, at all ages. They have senior, junior and childrens groups as well.

Boersteinen self-service cabin during winter. (Photo: Stavanger Trekking)

Boersteinen self-service cabin during winter. (Photo: Stavanger Trekking)

Ut.no

DNT has a website called www.Ut.no. Here you will find all the info you would need to plan a trip in the area of Norway you would like to hike (route, cabin info etc. etc.) . Google Translate should work, and the site is pretty straightforward to navigate in, giving you a map with suggested routes, areas to hike in, cabins as well as the difficulty level of the route. The cabins are spread around all of Norway and are, for the most part self-service, in which you pay a small fee. So if you are not into tenting and would like a little more comfort, it is both convenient as well as cheap. They are also usually stocked with some food so if you do not have your own, you pay for what you use. Many people in Norway plan hikes over several days going from cabin to cabin.

 ut.no smartphone app

ut.no smartphone app

Now, the good folks at ut.no have been smart enough to also put their website in an app for smartphones. With this app you can get driving directions to the start of a route, as well as a map that can be used for navigation. Or you can let the app search for routes near your location. Unfortunately it is only in Norwegian but I believe they are in the process of updating this (don’t hold me to it though!).

Guided Hike (Photo: Sindre Thoresen Lønnes/DNT)

Guided Hike (Photo: Sindre Thoresen Lønnes/DNT)

Guided hikes

All the local DNT chapters also arrange many guided trips, all from simple day trips to ones that run over several days. My local chapter is the Stavanger Trekking Association and a click on their page gives me all their upcoming and planned activities. As a “tourist” you are welcome to join in!

Hiking up to Fannafjellet

Hiking up to Fannafjellet (Photo: Erik Haaland)

More Information

I will be happy to help any of you that are considering hiking in Norway. Send me an email to erikhaal (at) gmail.com and I will to try and answer any questions you might have.

About Erik Haaland

Erik Haaland lives in the coastal town of southwest Norway called Stavanger. Married with two children, he works in the drilling industry and tries to hike every weekend. You can follow his adventures at his hiking blog,  tvergastein.blogspot.com

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10 Responses to A Small Guide to Hiking in Norway by Erik Haaland

  1. Grandpa September 19, 2013 at 1:49 am #

    You are sowing my seeds of discontent! Another life list hiking destination.

  2. Dave Walker September 19, 2013 at 2:31 am #

    Yes, Norway is on my list for sure. We’re hoping to add walking holidays to Norway to our website as well soon.

  3. Maurik September 19, 2013 at 4:09 am #

    I live in the Netherlands and have been in Norway a couple of times. One of the most beautiful countries for “outdoor” and really really nice people. Everybody speaks English so that makes things much easier. You can easily go unguided, but conditions can be really harsh. So prepare for all conditions. One thing to remember…It ain’t a cheap country.

  4. Philip Werner September 19, 2013 at 8:48 am #

    I like the idea of pre-provisioned huts. What kind of food to they have and how expensive is it to buy? I assume payment is based on the honor system, but how does it work?

  5. Erik Haaland September 19, 2013 at 11:34 am #

    Hi!

    There are two main types of cabins. Fully staffed or no-catered self-service.

    For info on the fully staffed; http://www2.turistforeningen.no/files/DNT-Oslo/PriserEngelsk2013_print.pdf

    Prizes quoted are in Norwegian “Krone” (10 NOK is about US $1.72)

    For the no-catering selfservice cabins, which there are the most of, the food is sold at whatever they buy it in for more or less. It is your basic spreads, jams and crisp bread, sometimes soups, butter and juice for dilution.

    Also, if you do not have any money with you there is always the possibility to pay with a credit card. Either way (cash or card) you fill out a form with info about your type of stay (day or overnight, with/without food) and drop this in the safe in the cabin.

    You can also google translate the following cabin guide (with video in Norwegian also):

    http://www.turistforeningen.no/hytteguide/

    Erik

  6. Ole Askheim-Thygeson September 20, 2013 at 5:38 am #

    Hiking in Norway is every hikers dream, almost. You can walk anywhere you like (not in gardens or farmed fields), you can camp anywhere you like (as long as you are at least 150 meters away from any house), and the water is drinkable without any need of purification.

    Hiking in Norway is expensive. Norwegians have high wages, so the price of everything is tuned to that fact. A liter of milk is about 2 dollars, half a liter of beer is about 7 in the shop, double that if you are in a restaurant. If you plan to make a longer hikingtrip, bring your own gear, and your own freezedried food (check for tollclearence and rules for import of food).

    The times given for walking paths on the pages Erik referes to, are based on steady walking at 3,5 km/hour without breaks. The real time you use will be longer. You should also always have clothes with you (when on multidaytrips in the mountains) that can handle tempratures down to freezing (O C)even in high summer. Also know your map and compass skills.

    If you use the huts, you are expected to take part in the chores like washing up, cleaning the place before you leave etc.. In fully staffed and self-service huts you will only have to bring a liner for sleeping, no sleepingbag is required.

    Be openminded and ask for help, and you shall get it! Pick the right spot and you can be alone for days in a row, no sound apart from what nature gives you and an amazing landscape.

    Welcome!

    P.s. (please excuse my spelling, I don’t usually write in english)

  7. Erik Haaland September 20, 2013 at 8:23 am #

    Excellent additional info Ole – Thanks!

  8. Tim M September 22, 2013 at 7:35 am #

    Great guide, Erik! Norway is a must-visit destination for hiking. Are there any long distance trails similar to America’s Pacific Crest Trail or Appalachian Trail?

  9. Gaute September 22, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

    There are a few trails…

    St. Olavs ways, a pilgrimsroute from the middle ages from Oslo to Trondheim http://pilegrimsleden.no/en/
    The Rondane path from Oslo to Rondane http://ut.no/tur/rondanestien
    The Jotunheimen path from Oslo to Jotunheimen http://ut.no/tur/jotunheimstien

    and the real big one, Norway from the southernmost point Lindesnes to the northermost point Nordkapp (Cape North) or Kinnarodden
    (Kinnarodden on Norkyn is the northermost point of the European mainland but as wikipedia points out “Nordkapp is, however, the northernmost point to which one can drive a car.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nordkapp)

    Willem has a great tripreport here http://transscandinavia.wordpress.com/trip-report/

    James Baxter did a two way trip and skied from Lindenes to Kinnarodden, then biked to the russian border
    and kayaked back down the Norwegian coast to Oslo http://www.skipaddlenorway.com/

  10. guy July 27, 2014 at 8:15 am #

    Hey! thank you so much for the information.

    Small question, is it possible to rent gear in oslo? my girlfriend needs a down sleeping bag.

    Thanks,

    Guy

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