Day trips are a blast because you can see lots of nature and cover a significant amount of land without having to lug around camping gear. Check out Trolltunga for an awesome – if exhausting – day hike. Even though you don’t need as much gear as an overnight trip, what you bring on a day trip can make or break your adventure. So make sure you’re prepared for all types of weather and situations with our list of day hiking essentials.
Layers are vital because there are so many factors during a day hike that contribute to your body heat. You’ll most likely be starting in the morning when it’s cooler and gain a lot of altitude the further you hike, where it will also be cold. You’ll also be sweating depending on the difficulty of the trail. Ideally wear wicking, quick-drying materials, not cotton. Once cotton gets wet it stays wet and cold for a long time, making you colder.
Start with a tank top, then long sleeve shirt, and a windbreaker. Also bring a thicker layer such as a thin down or fleece jacket. If you get cold particularly easily, bring thermal underwear too. Throughout the hike, see how you are feeling and layer or de-layer accordingly.
You’ll need stretch in your pants to allow you to take long strides and scramble up rocks. Jeans are a no-no. Hiking pants are the best option, but some women prefer hiking in athletic leggings. Even if it’s summer time it can be nice to wear pants because of the sun protection, plants you may brush up against, and bugs.
Wool socks are a must, even in the summer. When wool gets wet, it still keeps you warm, unlike cotton. Keeping your feet warm is the key for good blood circulation.
Your day hike will most likely involve walking over roots and rocks, climbing small boulders, and trekking over uneven ground. So, wearing the correct shoes is required. Ideally wear hiking boots with ankle support, or hiking shoes. If you only have sneakers, make sure they have a thick sole and good tread.
The weather in Norway is constantly changing, especially in the mountains, so bring a thin rain jacket. You can also bring rain pants if the forecast is for strong winds. You may also consider bringing a backpack raincover or protecting items in your bag using plastic bags.
Hat & gloves/mittens
When it’s cold your extremities (hands, ears, etc.) are usually the first to notice the drop in temperature.
Bring a “matpakke”, which translates from Norwegian to a packed lunch. Usually a matpakke consists of bread, cheese, meat, and spreads. Remember seeing cheese and meats in tubes at the grocery store, and perhaps laughing? Tubed food is perfect for a day hike lunch because it won’t spill! Handy, huh?
A popular snack for all Norwegians on a hike is a Kvikk Lunsj, thin wafers covered in chocolate. Fruit and nuits are also easy snacks and give you quick fuel. Pack more food than you think you’ll need, you’ll be burning lots of energy.
Bring at least two large full water bottles. In Norway you can get water directly from a waterfall, stream, or river. The water needs to be flowing to ensure there isn’t bacteria. Still, use your discretion.
If you are concerned with not purifying your water, you can bring a self-pumping water purifier, UV-light water purifier, or iodine tablets (with vitamin C for flavor). Feel free to also bring tea, coffee, or hot cocoa, however, remember that it will be extra weight that you need to carry. Avoid alcohol or very sugary drinks, which will dehydrate and make you tired.
You may usually not get hurt in everyday life or on short hikes, but you’ll be in the backcountry. So bring plasters (Band-Aids), anti-bacterial solution, painkillers, and anything else you may need even if you get only a minor injury.
Phone and extra phone battery
To ensure you’re able to follow Outtt’s route during your entire hike, bring an external phone charger if you have one. Anyways, who doesn’t want to capture hiking adventures on Instagram? Don’t forget to use our #stayouttt hashtag. Unless you’re super into photography, your DSLR camera will probably just add weight to your daypack.
If “nature calls” while you’re out exploring, which it should if you’re drinking enough water and eating food on your trek, you’ll be so glad you brought toilet paper. If you don’t want to bring an entire roll, take enough for your trip. If things get serious, make sure to dig a hole before going, then cover it with leave and dirt. Ideally, follow Leave No Trace Principles, by carrying out your used toilet paper in a plastic bag.
The sun is stronger at higher altitudes where the atmosphere is thinner and thus blocks fewer of its rays. So wear sunscreen, even if it’s a cloudy day.
There are usually more bugs the further into the forest and higher in the mountains you go, so bring bug repellent. Just in case.
Remember: “It’s better to have and not need, than need and not have”. Have a great hike!