Hiking Gear

Exploring the vast and intimate landscapes of Norway is not just a hobby but a way of life for me. Hiking is what I do when I can’t park where I put up my camera, and Ludde, my miniature schnauzer, always joins me on these hikes. Reliable and efficient hiking gear is essential to keep us prepared and comfortable on our journeys. Here’s a look at the essential equipment we use. If you need to know what camera gear I use, check the camera gear section under Photography.

Core Hiking Gear

Backpacks

I use a variety of backpacks tailored to specific needs:

  • A large capacity pack for multi-day hikes.
  • A large daypack for extensive camera gear.
  • A compact daypack for essential camera gear.

Detailed descriptions of each model can be found below.

 
    • Capacity: 70 liters with an additional 10 liters extension, ideal for multi-day hikes
    • Comfort: Ergonomic design with adjustable back length, load transfer to the hips, and a breathable back panel
    • Accessibility: Front access for easy packing and unpacking, multiple compartments, quick-access side zippers, and water bottle holder
    • Durability: Made with durable and water-resistant materials
    • ICU: Not applicable (check description below)
    • Additional Features: Multiple attachment points on the front for carrying extra gear

This is the bag I will use when the location I’m photographing at is to far away for me to make it back Knotten in a day. When using this backpack I will only use a small photography kit packed in my Lowepro Stealth Reporter D300 AW.

  • Capacity: Spacious main compartment with customizable internal dividers for camera gear and personal items
  • Comfort: Padded shoulder straps and waist belt for comfortable carrying of heavy loads
  • Accessibility: Side and rear access to camera gear, Molle attachment points on hip belt and inside back panel
  • Durability: Water-resistant materials and reinforced stitching
  • ICU: Compatible with F-Stop Gear ICUs of various sizes (sold separately), Modular ICU (Internal Camera Unit) system for organizing and protecting camera gear
  • Additional Features: External attachment points for tripod and extra gear

This is the bag I will use when I either need to haul a large amount of camera gear along as well as gear for a day-hike (including camping stove). The backpack can also be used as a multi day hiking backpack if needed. Compared to my F-Stop Gear Loka 37L, this one is more geared towards being a hiking camera backpack.

  • Capacity: Compact design with ample space for essential camera gear and personal items
  • Comfort: Adjustable shoulder straps and sternum strap for comfortable fit
  • Accessibility: Quick access to camera gear via rear panel, water-resistant zippers
  • Durability: Durable nylon construction with reinforced stitching
  • ICU: Compatible with F-Stop Gear ICUs of various sizes (sold separately), can accommodate small ICU units
  • Additional Features: External attachment loops for attaching additional gear

This backpack is my normal camera backpack. It’s not suited for more than a day-hike. Unlike the F-Stop Sukha 70L, this one is not suited for multi-day hike in any configuration. I will only use this bag if my gear setup is light, and I don’t need to bring a camping stove.

Clothing and Footwear

My clothing and footwear choices are designed to provide comfort and protection across varying weather conditions in Norway’s landscapes:

  • Base Layers: Lightweight and moisture-wicking for temperature regulation.
  • Mid Layers: Insulating layers for warmth, versatile for changing conditions.
  • Trekking Pants: Options for both warm and cold weather, ensuring comfort on the trail.
  • Outer Layer: Shell pants and jackets for wind and waterproof protection.
  • Footwear: Sturdy boots suitable for rugged terrain, ensuring stability and support on hikes.
  • Accessories: Essential items like socks, headwear, and gloves for added comfort and warmth.

Detailed descriptions of each item can be found below.

  • Heldre Snøhetta Wool Boxer
  • Heldre Hausdalshorgi Wool two-piece set
  • Lars Monsen Rago long sleave

No matter the temperature I will always use different clothing of wool. The Heldre Snøhetta Wool Boxer is my go-to boxer for both hiking and the everyday. Depending on what I expect to encounter during the hike in regards to temperature I will either use the Heldre Hausdalshorgi Wool two-piece set for mid spring and early autumn, as well as during the summer when hiking in high altitude. For the colder months I will mix the bottom half of the Heldre Hausdalshorgi Wool two-piece set with the Lars Monsen Rago long sleave.

  • Heldre Ustaeggen Fleece jacket

  • Stormberg Kildenes vindstopp fleecejacket

My mid layer will depend upon the temperature and time of the year. For day-hikes in the summer I will use for the most part the Heldre Ustaeggen Fleece jacket. If it’s not to cold I will also use it as my jacket. For colder weather or to be worn at camp I will choose the Stormberg Kildenes vindstopp fleecejacket since it’s warmer and windproof. For active hiking it’s most often to warm.

  • Heldre Otra
  • Heldre Otra Winter
  • Stormberg Veiviser shoftshell

For most of the year I will either choose one of the Heldre Otra trousers as these are stretchy, breathable and quick drying. Even though the Heldre Otra Winter has winter in the name, it’s too thin to be used when the weather gets colder than mid spring or autumn. If the temperature gets colder towards late autumn, winter and early spring I will then use the Stormberg Veiviser shoftshell trousers. These are windproof and semi waterproof (8000mm water column).

Shell Trousers:

    • Vikafjell Odda Multi (for colder weather)
    • Vikafjell Trolltunga (for colder weather when wearing hunter boots)

Shell Jacket: Vikafjell Odda

Hiking Jacket: Various jackets or wests with multiple pockets for doing photography

I will use shell trousers for different reasons during the seasons. I will either use them as rain trousers in combination with my trekking trousers, but also on their own if I know that the weather will be windy or wet. For snowy weather I will more use the Stormberg Veiviser shoftshell trousers since they’re warmer and semi waterproof (enough for snow, but not heavy rain). Since I’m not a fan of thick jackets, I will use the Vikafjell Odda for windy or rainy days most of the year around. As I’m not a fan of thick jackets, I will use more layers on my torso in winter. My various other jackets or wests will mostly be used in dry and warmer weather to allow me do photography without dragging my camera backpack/shoulderbag with me when ever I move position.

  • Mountain Boots: Alfa Walk King Advance GTX M
  • Hunting Boots: Alfa Jerv A/P/S GTX

I will use either of these two shoes/boots depending on terrain and time of the year. Mountain boots are my go-to when I’m not suspecting I will need to travese wet terrain like marshes or deeper snow. Both boots have more or less simular characteristics in regards of materials and soles. 

  • Socks:
    • Norwool Anthracite Trekking merino wool socks for on the trail
    • Nordlys of Norway Thick wool socks at camp
  • Headwear:
    • Decathlon Forclaz Travel 500 Hiking Cap
    • Fjällräven Singi Trekking Cap
    • Vikafjell Godøysund soft hat
    • Norwool Winter soft hat with earflaps

For most of the year I will use either the Decathlon Forclaz Travel 500 Hiking Cap or the Fjällräven Singi Trekking Cap depending on the mood of the day. The Vikafjell Godøysund soft hat will be my go-to for colder weather. The Norwool softhat is only for the really cold days or for wearing at camp. It will also be used in winter when I’m doing photography.

  • Gloves:
    • Non brand seamless woolen liner gloves with fingers that allow operation of touch screen
    • H&M Fingerless gloves
    • Vikafell Toronto waterproof winter gloves
  • Neck Gaiter:
    • Vikafjell Finse merino wool neck gaiter
  • Scarf:
    • H&M wide scarf that function as a shemag

Navigation Tools

Navigating Norway’s diverse landscapes requires essential tools for safe and efficient travels (and also understand of Fjellvettsreglene):

  • GPS Device: Provides precise positioning and satellite communication, crucial for accurate navigation in remote areas.
  • Compass: Offers directional guidance with a magnetic needle and orientation aids.
  • Map Case: Waterproof and durable, it protects detailed topographic maps from the elements during hikes.
  • Maps: Area-specific topographic hiking maps offer elevation details, trail markings, and terrain features for informed route planning.
  • Smartphone Apps: Provide offline capabilities, detailed trail information, and route planning tools essential for exploring remote landscapes.

This detailed description provides insights into the functionality and importance of each navigation tool for navigating Norway’s terrain effectively without specifying brands or models.

Currently I don’t use a GPS device beside my cellphone for navigation. Yes, I know that’s not the best, but at the moment there have been other gear that I need to prioritize.

Suunto MC-2 Mirror Compass:

A high-precision compass equipped with a mirror for precise bearings, inclinometer for slope measurement, and luminescent markings for low-light conditions.

Silva Carry Dry Map Case A4:

Waterproof and durable map case designed to protect area-specific topographic hiking maps from moisture and wear during outdoor adventures.

Area-specific Topographic Hiking Maps:

Detailed maps tailored to specific regions in Norway, offering elevation details, terrain features, and trail information crucial for route planning and navigation.

  • UT: A versatile app providing detailed offline maps and hiking trails information of hikes across Norway, ideal for planning your hikes.
  • Komoot: Used for planning and discovering hikes, Komoot offers route suggestions, detailed trail information, and offline maps for navigation.
  • Norway Topo Maps: Specifically designed for Norway, this app provides topographic maps and navigation tools essential for outdoor activities, ensuring accurate route tracking and exploration.

Hydration and Nutrition

Proper hydration and nutrition are essential for maintaining energy and endurance during hikes. This section covers the water bottles, water bladders, food, snacks, and other related items that help keep me fueled and hydrated on the trail.

  • CamelBak Eddy+ 0.75L: A reliable and convenient water bottle for regular hydration on the go.

I don’t use a hydration bladder since those systems is for me more fiddly to use on the trail, and also more cumbersome to refill if empty.

  • HydraPAK 1L: Used for carrying extra water for cooking and other needs during extended hikes.
  • Helsport 10L Hiking Reservoir: Ideal for carrying a larger supply of water for camp use.

This is only used for water to be used at rest or at camp. The HydraPAK 1L is great to be used for those coffee breaks that we all need. Also it’s not heavy compared to hauling larger amount of water. The Helsport 10L Hiking Reservoir do not have an option to close of when walking, but is great for having water at camp as it uses gravity to keep it upright without spilling the content.

  • General Note: While Norway generally has clean water sources, hikers should be cautious in certain situations. It is advisable to use a water filtration system when:
    • Drinking from stagnant water sources.
    • Collecting water near agricultural or urban areas.
    • Water sources are potentially contaminated by wildlife or human activity.
    • Most high altitude water sources in higher altitudes in Norway are regarded as safe to drink as long as the water is not stagnant.

What I mention here is only valid for Norway. Unless you’re hiking in Norway you need to adjust this to your local practices.

  • Drytech Real Turmat and Field Meal: Ready-to-eat meals, with favorites like Pasta Bolognese, providing convenient and nutritious sustenance.

Since most freeze dried hiking meals make starvation a viable option I mainly use Drytech’s line of hiking meals as they are regarded as tasty MREs. They are also used by the Norwegian miltary as their MRE option.

  • Nidar New Energy Bars: A quick and tasty energy boost.
  • Drytech REAL On the Go Dark Chocolate: For a rich, energizing treat.
  • REAL On the Go Energy Drink: To stay hydrated and energized on the trail.
  • Nut Mixes: Various nut mixes with cashew nuts as a base, offering a nutritious and satisfying snack.

Most of what I mentioned here are local to Norway so you may have trouble finding this in other countries.

And I don’t endorse the traditional Norwegian trail snacks of Freia Kvikk Lunsj and oranges since Freia is owned by Mondelez which is a company who have not pulled out of Russia. Also I don’t support Freia’s later practice of trademark infrigment of Nidar. In regards to the oranges I can’t know if you buy Jaffa oranges which is from Israel. So a trail snack that taste of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes is not my idea of a treat.

  • The Brew Company’s Columbian Hiking Coffee: Ideal for brewing a fresh cup of coffee on the trail.
  • Friele Instant Coffee: Convenient for quick preparation during breaks or at camp.

Coffee transcends mere refreshment; it is the elixir of life, the Aqua Vitae of the modern adventurer. Brewed under open skies or savored by the campfire’s glow, each sip is a revelation, awakening the senses and igniting the soul with unparalleled vigor. The robust aroma of The Brew Company’s Columbian Hiking Coffee or the instant gratification of Friele Instant Coffee elevates every moment, transforming ordinary breaks into divine rituals. In the wilderness, amidst Norway’s breathtaking landscapes, coffee isn’t just a drink—it’s a deity worthy of reverence, converting the most devout into fervent disciples of its invigorating power.

Sleeping Gear

Comfortable and reliable sleeping gear is crucial for multi-day hikes, ensuring restorative sleep and readiness for the next day’s adventure. Here are the specific items I rely on:

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