Norway Packing List
and Other Information

This page offers information you need only if you've signed up for a trip involving our Norway itinerary (“Norway Fjords & Glaciers,” “Scandinavian Sampler,” or “Northern Transcon”).

Our usual packing list is not complete for those following our Norway itinerary, which offers varied activites, and confronts atypical climatic conditions. Here is a list of additional things you should plan to bring.

“*” ed items may be purchased on the first day of the trip if you prefer.  Obviously, quantities of articles on our usual packing list may be slimmed down correspondingly.

  • A day pack. This small backpack is necessary for the hiking portion of the trip, and is also useful on the biking section, where it avoids the cost of panier rental.  You will use it to carry “layers” (for protection from sudden weather change), and a picnic lunch.  Also a camera, if you have any sense.

  • A thermos.*  Optional, but the Norwegians all carry them, and our “hyttas” will fill them up with hot coffee or tea (think warm) for a modest charge (free with a bought lunch, or on days when lunch has been pre-paid).

  • Walking / hiking shoes.  The hiking is on trails, and you can do it in some variant of gym shoe if the path is not too wet, and provided that the shoe has excellent tread.  But if you already own a better-suited shoe, bring it.  Ankle support, water resistance, and especially tread are qualities to look for.  Any shoe with good tread can also be used for the mountain biking, thus avoiding an additional pair (light-weight biking shoes are not well-suited to mountain bikes).

    In the same vein, we strongly advise against any form of clip-on pedal or toe clip.  You are more likely to need an ejector seat.

  • A sweater, sweatshirt, or a “serious” windbreaker.  More generally, imagine wearing “layers.”  On three of our days, we go through significant climatic change in the course of the day!  At the base of the glacier, it will be far colder than you are expecting in the heart of summer.

  • Gloves.* A must.  You may never use them, but if you need them and don’t have them, their absence will significantly lessen your enjoyment of the trip.

  • Jeans, warm leggings, or some other warm leg covering.

  • A deck of cards.*  Or a good book.  Nighttime activity is limited in rural “hyttas.”

  • Walking sticks.  We suggest these reluctantly, and do not, ourselves, use them.  20 years ago, the only person who used one was Gandalf.  But people love equipment, and we have recently been criticized for leaving them off this list.  Moreover, we see them more and more in the hands of Norwegians.  Collapsable is essential.

    Special Free Service for Guests on “Northern Transcon” or “Scandinavian Sampler

    We recognize that you may not want to cart all the above around with you on the other portions of your trip.  If you wish, you may put up to 7 kilos (15 lbs.) worth of Norway-specific stuff in a daypack.  We will ship it to the end of the Danish portion of your trip for you, where you will reclaim it for the Norway section.  This service includes 100 euros worth of insurance in the event of loss of (not damage to) your piece (not its contents) during shipment.  No compensation is provided for late delivery, but it is worth pointing out that this has never happened.  So far.  Your pack will probably be the first. : -(

    Please take the weight restriction seriously:  the bag will be weighed by the shipper, and if it is one gram over 7 kilos, a charge of 25 euros per additional 2 kilos or portion thereof will be levied.

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    Important Reminder Regarding Luggage

    Our Norway itinerary includes our Daily Baggage Transfer service, in the conditions described in the “Norway Particularities.”  Please read these conditions, in order to avoid disappointment and / or unnecessary charges once you reach the trip.

    For instance, the service provides for carriage of one piece of luggage, with a government-bureaucracy-enforced weight limit.  This weight restriction MUST be observed.  You may arrange for the carriage of additional pieces, with the same weight restriction (the cost per additional piece is 150 €).  But since you are generally required to move your luggage to and from railway stations, bus stops, and boat docks yourselves, think seriously about the importance of the scuba gear to your hiking experience.  If you decide to bring it, be prepared to carry your 70 lbs. / 30 kilos of luggage 500 meters (yards) along a mud path strewn with boulders and goat poop.

    If you have additional luggage not needed during your trip, you may bring it to the start of your Norway itinerary (Finse) with you.  We can send it on to the end of your trip (Voss, where you board the train for Oslo or Bergen) for the cost of our “One Way Bag Shipping Service.”  Regular one-way baggage shipping conditions apply, including free storage on arrival, and insurance coverage as specified.  This service should be subscribed in advance:  we cannot otherwise offer it at the announced price (typically the cost will be double).

    Note on Rental Equipment if you are Starting Your Trip With Our Norway Itinerary

    The difficulties inherent in shipping between Paris and Norway do not permit us to have a full range of rental equipment available to you at trip start, unless you have ordered it in advance.  So, unless you tell us that you want stuff before you go to Scandinavia, it will not be waiting for you at trip start.

    Here is the rental equipment list.   If you are travelling on “Norwegian Fjords and Glaciers,” we don’t really think that any of it is essential, but notes on that topic follow.  If you would like items from this rental list, please send us your request by e.mail.  It is not necessary to tell us that you would like the tool kit, which would be of no use on these bikes.  We will supply you with what you need to change a flat.  You are unlikely to get involved with any other repair work, since it would require a fairly sophisticated set of tools, and extensive knowledge of bike mechanics.

    What Else is Available?

    Our rental mountain bikes can come equipped with racks for paniers, and these remain a good vehicle for transporting clothing layers and a picnic lunch. However, a backpack can just as easily be bungied to the bike, and bungie cords will be available to you for this purpose.  Since you have to bring a day pack for the hiking, anyway, we suggest that you save the expense of the paniers.

    Handlebar bags are not of much use. You will not need to consult any documents (maps or route sheets) during the rides. The handlebar bag could replace whatever you would otherwise attach to the back, but you have a daypack for the hiking anyway, so why not use that?

    Rain Capes are advisable.  If not ours, then your own.  BRING RAIN GEAR.  Once you are out on the trail, there is not much shelter in which to hide from a squall.  Rain at these latitudes and altitudes is typically cold.  Cycling drenched to the bone in a biting wind is not fun.  If you are well-covered, then (unbelievably), the same ride can be dramatic, exciting, and more fun than under a clear sky.  Nature at her most powerful, in a decor the likes of which you have never seen, and will probably never see again!   But appropriate raiment is ESSENTIAL.