There is a lot of things you can bring with you on a full day of hiking, but as a famous bear used to say: “Look for the bare necessities”. A good way to think about it, is if you are thinking “what do I need to bring” and not what could be nice to bring. The hike will probably be nice in itself, but the lighter your backpack is and with the right equipment, it will probably be even more nice. Let us cover the basics.
First of all you will need the proper clothing. You should always look at the weather forecast before you begin your hike and make sure to dress for the conditions. It is essential to pack some extra clothes (socks, a long-sleeved t-shirt and a wind- or waterproof jacket) just in case the weather changes for the worse. You should consider packing your extra clothes in a waterproof bag (dry bag). The “3-layer principle” can be a very nice guideline if you are in doubt of what to wear. You can read about it on our blog in the post “what to wear when you’re kayaking”.
Shoes and boots are very important items. A hiking boot with a high shaft supports your ankle better than shoes, but you should determine what to wear based on the terrain. It is very personal if you prefer lighter shoes over more heavy hiking boots, but hiking boots will be a good idea if the terrain is very uneven and if you got a backpack which weights over 5 kg. The sole of a hiking boot is often made from hard rubber, which is quite durable compared to a soft rubber sole on most shoes. If you hike in shoes or boots with a soft sole, you might get to experience some soreness in places that you are not used to. This is caused by the flexibility a soft sole got compared to a hard sole, where most experience that they can not really move their feet.
Of course you need a backpack to have all your clothing, gear, food and water in. The size of the bag really depends on how long you are going to hike, but a 15-25 liter backpack should be fine. The most important thing about a backpack is, that it should fit you comfortably, even if it is fully packed. You should have tried the backpack before you begin your hike, so you know how it feels and how to adjust it while you are on the trail. A hip belt on a smaller backpack (also called a daypack) does not necessarily includes a strong hip belt. A strong hip belt is typically more important if you carry a lot of weight in the bag. It is an advantage if the backpack’s rear panel is not too rigid as it can limit the freedom of movement and flexibility that is needed.
The main purpose of the backpack is, that is fits you well and follows your movement.
Other important stuff
Safety is always very important, so it is a very good idea to bring a first aid kit or at least some bandages and some blister patches.
Navigation (a map or a GPS) is usually very important, but it is not essential for you to bring during one of our guided tours (our guides will take care of that).
Trekking poles can also come in handy. Correct use of trekking poles relieves both the back, knees and hips and reduces the load by about 9 kilo per steps.
If it is sunny, a cap, sunglasses and sun lotion is also good to bring.
It is no surprise that food and snacks is crucial to bring on any hike. Do not bring half the size of your fridge, but bring extra snacks (if you do not eat all of it, you can always bring it back home or give it to someone on the trail, that really needs it).
A mix of different nuts and dark chocolate is a hit and for a good reason. Just 30 grams (one ounce) of pecan nuts contains almost 200 calories and the same amount of 70-80% chocolate contains roughly 170 calories. If you are looking for some “fast food snacks” sneaker bars are a good choice.
Last but not least: Bring a lot of water! Depending on the length and intensity of the hike, your age, sweat rate and weather conditions, it is usually a good idea to bring 2 liters of water per person in either water bottles or a water reservoir. The water is safe to drink in a lot of places in the Norwegian mountains, just look out for running water and not still water like a puddle.
We offer a lot of different hiking tours in the breathtaking areas of Sunnmøre and Romsdalen. Book your next tour here