Backpacking in the Jotunheim National Park, Norway, 1997

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Location of the Jotunheim National Park.

Now that I've been to Norway I wonder why I left it so long. It is a truly fantastic place and I will certainly be going back.

For this first trip I chose the best known mountain area, the Jotunheim National Park. This area contains Norway's highest peaks and is more accessible than the more wild areas further North.

Wild camping is allowed nearly anywhere in Norway and since I don't particularly like mountain huts I decided to make this a backpacking trip. In order to keep the weight of my rucsac to a minimum I invested in a very light sleeping bag (a Mountain Equipment Dewline, less than 700g) and a hooped gore-tex bivi bag "tent" (about 1200g). Along with cooking gear, clothes and other bits and pieces my bag weighed 13kg which even I can carry without much pain. To this I added 6kg of food which was more than enough to last the 9 days that I was backpacking for.

I flew to Oslo and made my first mistake by arriving in the middle of a football tournament. On the advice of a helpful lady in the tourist office I avoided the official campsite, which is right next to the football stadium, and spent the night camped by a lake in a park at the North end of the number 3 metro line. There can't be many capital cities in the world where you can do that! The next morning after touring Oslo in search of meths for my trangia stove (Rødspirit if you ever need to know) the trip began...


My mini-tent at the Sognvann park, Oslo.

Index Next: Day 1: Travel.