norge på langs – the equipment

Click on the picture for the full packlist via lighterpack.com. The above list includes food for 4 days.

Frankly speaking, most gear set-ups will probably work for most walking Norge på Langs, and the only important recommendation I will put forward is to use well-tested equipment and bring repair kits for basic repairs.

While I do not belong in the ultra-light hiking category, I am nevertheless quite conscious of weight: Base weight (without food) should not exceed 11-12 kg, and I do not intend to carry more than 20 kg at any point including the 12-day food carrying stretches. Thus, as I do not resupply, the main challenge was to bring equipment sufficient for the duration of the trip, covering a temperature span of >30°C, while keeping the weight reasonably down at the same time. Whether you walk for one week or three months, your basic gear requirements are essentially the same.

Backpack: Osprey Ariel AG 65 L: 5 years old. With the tent strapped on the outside together with the main food bag (for the long unsupported stretches), 65 L was enough space. I had no issues at all with this backpack.

Sleeping bag: Warmpeace Viking 900: 6 years old. Comfort temp: -7 °C. While I did not encounter temperatures below -3 °C, I spent many nights around zero. Tore a small hole in it in Ryfylkeheiene (repaired with a patch). I never had a cold moment in this sleeping bag.
Helsport Compression Bag M: Had to buy this new compression bag in Alta as the one I initially brought (from Sea To Summit) broke down. Furthermore I used an ordinary plastic bag, to ensure the sleeping bag never was wet.

Sleeping pad: Thermarest NeoAir X Therm Regular: 6 years old. Worked perfectly throughout the entire trip. Never had a hole in it despite the quite rough use.

Rift in tent cover repaired with glued-on plastic bag in the Krossvatn Hut in Ryfylkeheiene.

Tent: MSR Hubba NX 1- person. 6 years old. A 3-season tent, especially susceptible to side winds. I would not trust it to handle more than 12 m/s wind. Objectively I don´t think this tent is adequate for the long wilderness stretches I´d have to pass (such as Finnmarksvidda), but after lifting my backpack in Abisko parking lot (including my 2,2 kg Hilleberg Soulo 4-season tent) I took a calculated risk and went for this 1,3 kg tent. It went well, but I would not recommend saving weight on something as essential as the tent. The tent is 6 years old and used a lot as I like the very spacious design. I had no tent issues in the North. However, in the South a pole broke on the second day while setting the tent up peacefully in a forest just outside Trondheim (temporarily fixed with replacement tube). Later on, the storm in Ryfylkeheiene led to a large 2* 40 cm tear in the outer tent, repaired with a piece of glued-on plastic trash bag. When camping in wet and rainy conditions, as I did in Jotunheimen, the outer tent remained dry, but water leaked into the tent from the bottom. I did not use a footprint.

Deuter Rain Cover (45-90 L)
Osprey 30 L drysack (for the tent)

Tent pole with temporary repair with the spare pole (don´t forget to bring these for long trips!)

Clothes: Two sets of clothes: One set for sleeping, one set for walking.

Clothes for walking:
The Boots: From Kilpisjärvi I walked in the brand-new Alfa Bever Pro Advance GTX boots I had to go off-trail and buy in Tromsø, as my 3-year old Meindl boots broke irreversibly in Reisadalen, probably after being exposed to too much heat in a small log cabin. Weighing 895 gr per boot, th boots, marketed as hunting boots, are far from light, but they were perfect for the conditions and so high that the vast majority of rivers could be crossed keeping them on.

The pants: Norrøna Falketind Gore Tex pants are marketed as breathable, all-round Gore-Tex pants. They work best below 10 °C and are probably not breathable enough for this kind of nordic summer hiking trip, despite leg-long zippers. I found them comfortable and, in fact, ended up buying two pairs: The first were ruined with a large tear on the buttock crawling on a suspect bridge near Cunojávri, the second pair were ruined by an even larger tear sliding down a snow field as well as a scree slope in Kyrkjesteinsdalen. Thus, in my opinion, the pants are not worth the money for this kind of trip, especially since Norrøna charged half the price of a new pair to repair them afterwards. Thus I ended up losing almost 1000 US dollars for two brand-new pants, which both broke during the trip. In hindsight, I should probably have brought my Fjällräven hiking pants, but I thought the Norrøna pants would be more allround, especially in rainy and snowy conditions.

The tear in the Norrøna Falketind pants after sliding down a snow slope as well as a scree slope in Kyrkjesteinsdalen, Suldalsheiene.

Master running shorts: For the summer days, of which there were quite a lot.

Upper body 1st layer: Basic sweater for hiking: A 6-year old Fjällräven Base Sweater no 3 (2019), a 5-year old Aclima granddad sweater (2020).

Upper body 2nd layer: Patagonia Micro Puff jacket. 3 years old. Used in cold/windy conditions.

Upper body 3rd layer:
Arcteryx Alpha SV shell jacket. 6 years old. Not as waterproof as it has been, however a great jacket that I have used 100 of times, well worth the (quite high) price.

Norrøna Trollveggen down jacket. 4 years old. A genuine winter jacket. Wore it when temperatures were around zero °C . The right zipper broke during the trip, which Norrøna repaired free of charge. To carry the extra 660 gr was one of the best gear decisions I made.

Clothes for rest and sleeping:
Sleep wear: Aclima WarmWool hood and longs (2020), Lars Monsen Anárjohka (2019).
Footwear for rest etc: TEVA Terra Fi Lite (2019), Salomon Speedcross 5 (2020). I used the Salomon Speedcross primarily for walking on the paved roads at the end of the trip.

Socks: Two pair of wool socks (one for hiking, one for sleeping).
Underwear: 1 bra, 2 underpants. All 100% merino wool.
Warmpeace Skip Hat
Buff merino wool tubular
Norheim fleece gloves: Bought in 2020 during the trip (Åndalsnes) as temperatures began to drop below zero. Essential for autumn hiking.

Food and cooking equipment

Trangia Storm Cooker (in 2019), JetBoil cooking system (in 2020). Both worked impeccably.
Long Titanium spoon
Small pocket knife
1 L Platypus soft water bottle
Fold-A-Cup. I do not carry water. Instead I carry this cup in my pocket and fills it several times during the day.
230 gr. gas canister (whatever brand available).
One pocket lighter.
One box of matches.
One 8 L Sea To Summit Dry Sack.

Food items:
~200 gr. Nescafé coffee powder
~100 gr. CoffeeMate (as milk powder seems to clump and I only use it in my coffee)

”Minimum food” is the food I carry per day, when carrying food for > 7 days:
2 Kvikk Lunsj chocolate bars (morning + lunch, 249+249 kcal), 1 Real Turmat, or other brand (evening,~600 kcal). In addition I carry the coffee powder and milk powder as per above. In addition, I´ll eat whatever I find in huts etc. Thus ~1100 kcal per day, and far less than the 5-6000 kcal I spend on an average day. But for 10 days it is fine, and most importantly, it keeps the weight down.
Freeze-dried food is the most economic in terms of weight/calorie ratio. If I cannot get it, I´ll eat pasta or noodles for dinner. Generally I have to chose items with short cooking time, as the resupply points for gas are more rare than for food items.
South of Børgefjell, resupply possibilities were plenty and I´d carry quite a lot more food per day, adding bread, sausages, cheese to the “minimum food“.


Toiletries:
1 mesh bag (3L): Tooth brush, tooth paste, toilet paper, lightweight towel.
2 drybags (4L +1L): Compeed, contact lenses, Ibubrufen, small multi-knife, lady shaver.

Electronics:
Anker Powercore+26000 (2020): The most powerful powerbank I could find. Well worth the weight of 590 gr. Charges my iPhone about 10 times and was essential (podcast, photo etc.) during my 12 days stretch without power supplies in Ryfylkeheiene.
SolarMonkey Adventurer solar Panel (2019): Worked well, helped by the midnight sun. Generated sufficient energy to enable my iPhone to be in constant GPS mode for 10 days, including podcast listening etc.
Garmin eTrex 30x GPS (only incoming signal).
iPhone XR (including cable): Probably the most essential item on the trip. Used as GPS, camera, podcast-listening, book reader.
Suunto Ambit3 sports watch.
Various charging cables as per above (*2 for iPhone)

Various

DNT key
Compass
Head lamp
Spare batteries
Mini carabiner (6-7 pieces)
Straps (*2)
Sunscreen
Mosquito spray
Reading glasses
Repair kit for sleeping pad, tent, extra goretech patches.
Wallet with private items: Passport, keys, credit cards etc.

Komperdell adjustable hiking poles Used mainly for balance during river crossings, but also in general. However, no matter how tight I made the locking syste, they would occasionally tend to be shortened when put under pressure in some semi-critical moments, which made me not quite trust them. In 2019 I used Distance FLZ trekking poles, however the closing system did not always work smoothly.

Fishing equipment: Only in 2019. Most days I was too exhausted to fish, and when I was not, I didn´t catch anything. A point to improve on.

What I did not bring:

First-aid items apart from mentioned below. Because I do not think they are necessary.
Sunglasses. Because I never use them.
Water: I never carried water. There was always plenty to find on the way.

GPS emergency sender: Quite frankly I did and do not find it necessary for this sort of trip. I am after all not crossing the North Pole. The thought that I have to manage whatever happens is actually quite liberating. Furthermore, in my opinion the biggest objective danger is river crossings, where an emergency spot would not help.

Paper maps: Carrying all the maps for the entire trip would first of all have been quite heavy, and secondly, quite expensive. But I was slightly anxious about this choice at first. I did have an old map covering half of Finnmarksvidda and two-thirds of the Narvik mountains, but after that I went 100% electronic.

Plan for navigation:
Plan A : Use the GPS on my iPhone (norgeskart and the ut.no app both work offline).
Plan B: If plan A fails, I have a Garmin GPS with routes downloaded whenever I could find them for free. Plan A never failed though and I never needed my GPS.
Plan C: I brought a compass for potential emergency exiting an area (such as Finnmarksvidda). My compass never left my backpack.

norge på langs – the detailed route

In summary:
Norge på Langs (Knivskjellodden-Lindesnes Fyr): 2686 km
Knivskjellodden-Trondheim: 1759 km
Trondheim-Lindesnes Fyr: 927 km
Nordkalottleden (Kautokeino-Sulitjelma): 667 km
DNT Massiv (Sota Sæter-Haukeliseter): 363 km

Total days spent on the trail: 186
Days used to resupply: 9
Rest days due to bad weather: 17

Section 1: Knivskjellodden-Kautokeino. June 3-26, 2019. 347 km.

Magerøya, June 3-5, 2019. 61 km.
Day 1: Knivskjellodden-Nordkapp-Kjeftavatnet (tent)
Day 2: Kjeftavatnet-Polldalen (tent)
Day 3: Polldalen-North Cape Tunnel-Roggejávri/Fisketindvatnet (tent)

Porsanger peninsula, June 6-11. 70 km.
Day 4: Roggejávri-Bealččajávri (tent)
Day 5: Bealččajávri-Fáhccagielas (tent)
Day 6: Rest day due to bad weather
Day 7: Fáhccagielas-Gussoaivi (tent)
Day 8: Gussoaivi-Olderfjord
Day 9: Rest day in Olderfjord

Finnmarksvidda, June 12-26. 216 km.
Day 10: Olderfjord-Skáiddemohkki (tent)
Day 11: Skáiddemohkki-Skáiddejávri (tent)
Day 12: Skáiddejávri-Leaktojávri (tent)
Day 13: Leaktojávri-Njárgajávrrit (tent)
Day 14: Njárgajávritt-Suolojávri (tent)
Day 15: Suolojávri-Bojobæski (tent)
Day 16: Bojobæski-Jotka Fjellstue
Day 17: Jotka-Savostanjávri (tent)
Day 18: Savostanjávri-Masi
Day 19: Masi. But to Alta
Day 20: Alta
Day 21: Alta-bus Masi-Sáitejavri (tent)
Day 22: Sáitejávri-Kautokeino
Day 23: Rest day
Day 24: Rest day

Section 2: Kautokeino-Sulitjelma. Nordkalottleden. June 27-August 12. 667 km.

Reisadalen, June 27-July 1. 93 km.
Day 25: Kautokeino-Ráisjávri (tent)
Day 26: Ráisjávri-Imogammen
Day 27: Imogammen-Vuomatakka
Day 28: Vuomatakka-Furuholmen (tent)
Day 29: Furuholmen-Ovi Raishiin (tent)

The Finnish section, July 2-7. 91 km.
Day 30: Ovi Raishiin-Somahytta
Day 31: Somahytta-Pihtsusköngäs (tent)
Day 32: Pihtusköngäs-Saarijärvi (tent)
Day 33: Saarijärvi-Kilpisjärvi
Day 34: Tromsø
Day 35: Tromsø

Inner Troms, July 8-17. 182 km.
Day 36: Tromsø-Kilpisjärvi-Treriksrøys (tent)
Day 37: Treriksrøysa-Pältsa (tent)
Day 38: Pältsa-Gassavággi (tent)
Day 39: Gassavággi-Čievččasjávri (tent)
Day 40: Čievččasjávri-Ole Nergårdbua
Day 41: Ole Nergårdbua-Lake 697, Vuoma (tent)
Day 42: Lake 697, Vuoma-Gaskashytta (tent)
Day 43: Gaskashytta-Altevasshytta (tent)
Day 44: Altevasshytta-Lappjordshytta (tent)
Day 45: Lappjordshytta-Abisko

The Narvik Mountains, July 23-August 5. 204 km.
Day 46: Abisko-Boazojohka (tent)
Day 47: Boazojohka-Hoiganjohka (tent)
Day 48: Hoiganjohka-Cunojávri (tent)
Day 49: Cunojávri-Caihnavággi (tent)
Day 50: Caihnavággi-Gautelisvatnet (tent)
Day 51: Gautelisvatnet-Čoađgejávri (tent)
Day 52: Čoađgejávri-Sitashytta (tent)
Day 53: Sitashytta-Paurohytta
Day 54: Paurohytta-Gåbddåjávrre (tent)
Day 55: Gåbddåjávrre-Sårgåjávrre river (tent)
Day 56: Sårgåjávrre river-Rikkekjåhkå (tent)
Day 57: Rikkekjåhkå-beneath Rávdoajvve (tent)
Day 58: Beneath Rávdoajvve-Rávddajávrre Hut
Day 59: Rávddajávrre Hut-Vaisaluokta (-Ritsem)

Padjelanta and The Sulitjelma Mountains, August 6-12. 97 km.
Day 60: (Ritsem)-Vaisaluokta-Guossjájåhkå (tent)
Day 61: Rest day
Day 62: Guossjájåhkå-Vidjáguojkka (tent)
Day 63: Vidjáguojkka-Miellädno (tent)
Day 64: Miellädno-Stáloluokta (tent)
Day 65: Stáloluokta-Sårjåsjávrre (tent)
Day 66: Sårjåjávrre-Ny Sulitjelma Fjellstue (tent)

Section 3: Sulitjelma-Røyrvik. August 13-September 12. 389 km.

Junkerdalen, August 13-19. 80 km.
Day 67: Ny Sulitjelma Fjellstue-Sulitjelma Turistsenter
Day 68: Sulitjelma Turistsenter-Coarvihytta (tent)
Day 69: Coarvihytta-Balvasshytta (tent)
Day 70: Balvasshytta-Trygvebu (tent)
Day 71: Trygvebu-Lønsstua (tent)
Day 72: Mo i Rana
Day 73: Mo i Rana-Saltfjellet Hotell

Saltfjellet, August 20-22. 53 km.
Day 74: Saltfjellet Hotell-Saltfjellstua (tent)
Day 75: Saltfjellstua-Krukkistua (tent)
Day 76: Krukkistua-Bolnastua (tent)

Okstindan and Umbukta, August 23-September 1. 145 km.
Day 77: Bolnastua-Virvasshytta (tent)
Day 78: Virvasshytta-Kvitsteindalstunet (tent)
Day 79: Kvitsteindalstunet-Sauvasshytta (tent)
Day 80: Sauvasshytta-Umbukta
Day 81: Umbukta-Grasfjellkoia
Day 82: Grasfjellkoia-Gressvasshytta (tent)
Day 83: Gressvasshytta-Stekvasselv Gård
Day 84: Stekvassselv Gård-Sivertsgården
Day 85: Sivertsgården-Krutå
Day 86: Krutå-Hatfjelldal Camping

Børgefjell, September 2-12, 111 km.
Day 87: Furuheim Gård
Day 88: Rest day due to bad weather
Day 89: Rest day due to bad weather
Day 90: Furuheim Gård-Øvre Båttjønna (tent)
Day 91: Øvre Båttjønna-Kjukkelelva (tent)
Day 92: Kjukkelelva-Virmaelva (tent)
Day 93: Virmaelva-Storvika (gapahuk)
Day 94: Storvika-Krokvatnet (tent)
Day 95: Krokvatnet-Limingen Gjestegård, Røyrvik
Day 96: Rest day due to bad weather
Day 97: Rest day due to bad weather

Section 4: Røyrvik to Trondheim, September 13-29, 356 km.

Day 98: Limingen Gjestegård-Storhusvika (tent)
Day 99: Storhusvika-Skorovasshøtta (tent)
Day 100: Rest day due to bad weather
Day 101: Rest day due to bad weather
Day 102: Skorovasshøtta-Reinsjøen (tent)
Day 103: Reinsjøen-Berg Gård
Day 104: Berg Gård-Heia Gjestegård
Day 105: Heia Gjestegård-Snåsa
Day 106: Snåsa-Imsdalen (tent)
Day 107: Imsdalen-Roktdalen (tent)
Day 108: Roktdalen-Bodom kapel
Day 109: Bodom kapel-Steinkjer
Day 110: Steinkjer-Stiklestad
Day 111: Stiklestad-Levanger
Day 112: Levanger-Bulandsvatnet (tent)
Day 113: Bulandsvatnet-Stjørdal
Day 114: Stjørdal-Hommelvik
Day 115: Hommelvik-Trondheim S

Section 5: Trondheim to Trollheimen, August 10-13, 2020. 80 km.

Day 116: Trondheim S-Motrøa (tent)
Day 117: Motrøa-Mellingsætra (tent)
Day 118: Mellingsætra-Olskastet
Day 119: Olskastet-Druggudalen (tent)

Section 6: Trollheimen to Breheimen, August 14-29, 2020. 190 km.

Trollheimen-Kårvatn-Innerdalen-Sunndalen. August 14-19. 50 km.
Day 120: Druggudalen-Svartåa (tent)
Day 121: Svartåa-Naustådalen pass (tent)
Day 122: Naustådalen pass-Kårvatn (tent)
Day 123: Kårvatn-Bjøråvatnet (tent)
Day 124: Bjøråvatnet-Innerdalen (tent)
Day 125: Innerdalen-Eriksvollen

Sunndalen to Romsdalen (Sunndalsfjellene), August 20-25. 57 km.
Day 126: Eiriksvollen-Dalavatnet (tent)
Day 127: Dalavatnet-Raubergshytta (tent)
Day 128: Rest day due to bad weather
Day 129: Raubergshytta-Aursjøhytta
Day 130: Rest day due to bad weather
Day 131: Aursjøhytta-Lynningen (tent)

Reinheimen, August 26-29. 83 km.
Day 132: Lynningen-beg. Lordalen (tent)
Day 133: Lordalen-Bergebua
Day 134: Bergebua-Pollfoss Gjestehus
Day 135: Pollfoss Gjestehus-Sota Sæter (tent)

Section 7: Breheimen to Haukeliseter. DNT MASSIV. August 30-September 28, 2020. 363 km.

Breheimen, August 30-September 5. 74 km
Day 136: Sota Sæter-Sprongdalshytta (tent)
Day 137: Sprongdalshytta-Greindalen (tent)
Day 138: Greindalen-Løndøla (tent)
Day 139: Løndøla-Nørstedalseter (tent)
Day 140: Nørstedalseter-Fortundalen (tent)
Day 141: Fortundalen-Turtagrø.
Day 142: Rest day due to bad weather.

Jotunheimen, September 6-9. 58 km
Day 143: Turtagrø-Utladalen bridge (tent)
Day 144: Utladalen-End of Uradalsvatnet (tent)
Day 145: Rest day due to bad weather
Day 146: Uradalsvatnet-Tyinkrysset Fjellstue

Skarvheimen, September 10-20. 105 km
Day 147: Tyinkrysset-Sulebu (tent)
Day 148: Sulebu-Skarvheim DNT hut
Day 149: Rest day due to bad weather
Day 150: Rest day due to bad weather
Day 151: Rest day due to bad weather
Day 152: Skarvheimen-Bjordalsbu (tent)
Day 153: Bjordalsbu-Iungsdalshytta (tent)
Day 154: Kongshelleren (tent)
Day 155: Rest day due to bad weather
Day 156: Kongshelleren-Geitryggvatnet (tent)
Day 157: Geitryggvatnet-Brebua, Finse

Hardangervidda, September 21-28. 126 km
Day 158: Finse-Finnsbergvatnet (tent)
Day 159: Finnsbergvatnet-Lundhaukedalen (tent)
Day 160: Lundhaugedalen-Sandhaug (tent)
Day 161: Rest day due to bad weather
Day 162: Sandhaug-Litlos (tent)
Day 163: Litlos-Hellevassbu (tent)
Day 164: Hellevassbu-Haukeliseter
Day 165: Rest day due to bad weather

Section 8: Ryfylkeheine, September 29-October 14. 178 km.

Day 166: Haukeliseter-Raudmøra, Kvanndalen (tent)
Day 166: Raudmøra-Bleskestadåa (tent)
Day 167: Bleskestadåa-Bleskestadmoen (tent)
Day 168: Bleskestadmoen-Jonstølen
Day 169: Jonstølen-Vassdalene (tent)
Day 170: Vassdalene-Krossvatn (tent)
Day 171: Krossvatn-Vassdalstjørn
Day 172: Vassdalstjørn-Hovatn (tent)
Day 173: Hovatn-Storsteinen (tent)
Day 174: Storsteinen-Kringlevatn
Day 175: Rest day due to bad weather
Day 176: Kringlevatn-Taumevatn
Day 177: Taumevatn-Håhelleren (tent)
Day 178: Håhelleren-Gaukhei (tent)
Day 179: Gaukhei-Ljosland Fjellstove
Day 180: Rest day

Section 9: Ljosland to Lindesnes Fyr. September 15-20. 116 km
Day 181: Ljosland Fjellstove-Kyrkjebygda
Day 182: Kyrkjebygda-Eiken Feriesenter
Day 183: Eiken Feriesenter-Kvåstunet
Day 184: Kvåstunet-Paulsens Hotel
Day 185: Paulsens Hotel-Lindesnes Havhotel
Day 186: Lindesnes Havhotel-Lindesnes Fyr!!

Getting there and away:

Getting to Knivskjellodden: Own car from Copenhagen to Abisko – Train to Narvik – Bus to Tromsø – Hurtigruten to Honningsvåg – Bus to Knivskjellodden Parking.
Getting away from Lindesnes Fyr: Hitchhiked to Spangereid – Bus to Mandal – Bus to Kristiansand – Train to Oslo – Passenger ferry to Copenhagen.

Norge på langs – the preparations

In August 2016, while crossing Hardangervidda, I met two women walking something called Norge på Langs. The first woman explained that she had hitch-hiked through numerous tunnels and walked a lot on the E6 highway. I immediately knew such a trip was not for me. Then, waiting for the bus at Haukeliseter, I met another woman. So, how many tunnels did she walk through? Only one, she said: The North Cape tunnel. And she walked in the mountains. Later I looked her website up, where her itinerary was posted. An itinerary I, in fact, ended up largely following for the Northern half of the trip.

First of all, there is no established route nor any set rules for Norge på Langs. Accordingly, depending on priorities and goals, almost everyone end up doing it their own way. Some aim to do it in less than 100 days, some walk only in Norway, some occasionally takes a boat ride or lets other carry their luggage, some cycle parts of the route etc. etc. Thus unsurprisingly, I, for one, have never heard about anyone completing Norge på Langs exactly as I did. According to a private list, 433 people have completed the trip since 1951, but there are more. Me, for example. And others.

Based on previous experiences, I now know myself reasonably well as a hiker: Ideally I get up around midday, walk through the afternoon and evening, often after midnight, especially in the midnight sun. In the  mountains I average about 2,5 km/h (breaks included). I don´t usually walk more than 20-25 km/day in the mountains and 35 km on road is about enough as well. On the mental aspect, I know that I will not get lonely, in fact walking day after day in the wilderness without meeting anyone is uplifting. I do not like to be offline more than I have to: Social media, football results, listening to podcasts etc. in the evening are all essential parts of a trip. I do not want to push myself physically by aiming at a fixed daily hiking distance. Hiking is about freedom. If I am tired, I take a break. If it rains heavily, I will probably not want to walk. If I find an extraordinary campsite after 10 km, I will stay there.
Finally, I have come to have some rough ideas of my weak and strong points: My main weak point is (lack of) physical strength. Followed by: Tolerance for freezing. My strong points: Rational thinking, solid judgement/risk assessment, perseverance.

My main goals for Norge på Langs were: 1) to walk 100% of the route, 2) as much as possible in the mountains, with 3) no preplanned supply parcels/support.

The concept:

  1. Walk 100% of the way. In this context “walk” equals “walk with my backpack”. Thus, no motor boats allowed (with specific reference to the boat services over Akkajaure and Namsvatnet).
  2. Not skipping any major mountain section and I walking mainly in the mountains. In case of adverse conditions preventing me from passing through, I will simply wait or, worst case, return at a later stage to complete the trip. I have driven the length of E6 before. I see no reason to walk it as well.
  3. I do not send food/resupply parcels. Mainly because I would lose freedom and flexibility by doing so and secondly, because I, after doing the relevant research, did not find it necessary. It is also a big hassle as well as expensive.
  4. I will not rely on outside help. If I have logistic issues needing me to go off-trail, I will do so myself. I will not ask anyone for food unless an emergency (defined as: > 48 h without eating).
  5. I will not set daily targets. I will walk at whatever pace I am comfortable with and stop whenever I like.

Where to start? North or South?
Most people start at Lindesnes. Quite frankly, I do not understand why: Starting in the South means that Ryfylkeheiene, Hardangervidda and Skarvheimen will be reached in early/mid-June, quite possibly the worst time of year, in the middle of snow-melting, with deep rotten snow and huge rivers, a nightmare on ski as well as on foot. Of the numerous people starting from the south in recent years, with or without skis, including an Olympic skiing champion, all I am aware of have given up on the mountain route during or right after Ryfylkeheiene.
On the contrary, in the North, Finnmarksvidda is normally fine to walk in early June, which I confirmed by studying snow data on senorge.no. The main issue starting in the North is the notoriously late snow-melting a bit further south, in the Narvik and Sulitjelma Mountains, often as late as late July. Furthermore, I quite simply love the Northern spring with the midnight sun, gone by late July.
So, this was an easy choice: The starting point is Knivskjellodden, the northernmost point on Magerøya, ~1,5 km further north than The North Cape.

Which route?

I wanted to walk the most beautiful and interesting way, not necessarily the easiest and fastest way. The choice of road until Børgefjell was easy (more or less E1, Nordkalottleden, Nordlandsleden). After Børgefjell, the easiest and most popular route would include Røros, Rondane and Eastern Jotunheimen. However. I was less motivated by these areas and preferred the fiords, the deep valleys, Innerdalen, Breheimen and Central Jotunheimen. In the end I decided to leave the Southern route decision until after Børgefjell.

I knew, that the combination of 1) not relying on resupply parcels or 2) outside help, as well as 3) intending to walk a more western route, most likely meant that I´d have to split the trip over two seasons. Ideally I´d complete it in one, but I´d much rather do two seasons than skipping central sections like Skarvheimen, Jotunheimen and Hardangervidda. In the end the choice between “one season with hundreds of km on paved roads” or “two seasons almost only in the mountains” was easy.

I ended up walking the below route over two seasons, the break-off point being Trondheim. All supply points in the North as well as all the huts are marked on the map above. Further details in separate post.

What to bring?
The equipment is described in detail in a separate post.

The planning phase
Intuitively I would say I didn´t plan anything, but that would would be wrong. As I did not send any resupply parcels, didn´t purchase any new equipment and didn´t preplan neither daily stages nor the route, there was not a lot of formal planning, no excel sheets etc.
However, I spent countless hours looking at ut.no, studying route options, in particular potential difficult river crossings and ways to circumvent them. I needed to be sure that it was possible to resupply with food without sending parcels, and I identified the two most challenging sections in this regard: The Narvik mountains, and Lønsdalen-Hatfjelldal, each requiring 10-12 days food to be carried and I would have to leave the trail to resupply. I studied the snow development several times a day for months on senorge.no and I watched YouTube videos as well as looked at Instagram posts and various web sites studying previous trips as well as the areas I´d be passing. The final decision to go was taken only a couple of weeks before the departure, after a final check of the snow conditions, around mid-May 2019.

Physical preparation:
Unfortunately, I did not train a lot (read: I did not train at all) and I was in quite miserable shape at the beginning, not able to run 5 km without stopping, to give an example.

Web ressources used frequently, before and during the trip:
ut.no – for route planning. All DNT routes and cabins as well as most, but not all, free cabins are marked.
ut.no or norgeskart.no: Navigation during the walk, when needed. Also works offline.
yr.no: Weather forecast. I find it the most reliable of the online providers.
senorge.no: Follow the snow situation and compare with previous years.
bratt.no: Steepness. Especially useful when heading off-trail.
Lantmäteriet: Online free hiking maps for the Swedish sections.
National Land Survey of Finland: Online map of the Finnish section.
Restless kiwi adventures: Both a blog and a YouTube channel, but I found the daily videos of the Northern section particularly useful in assessing the geography.
The website by Tine Larsen detailing the route she walked. I met her in Haukeliseter parking lot and she was the one inspiring me to walk Norge på Langs in the first place.

Other recent trip reports:
In 2019, both Gina Johansen and Anne Line Pedersen completed Norge på Langs and wrote extensive trip reports (in Norwegian) on their websites.
Links to many previous trip reports on norgepaalangs.info

the girl who stumbled while playing outside

Inside the operating room, Aden, Yemen

Aden, Yemen, 2012.

It was late afternoon and I was standing on the roof of the brand-new MSF (Doctors Without Borders)  hospital in the outskirts of Aden, the main city in the south of Yemen. It was the beginning of May and already around 30 degrees Celsius while the muezzin called to prayer in a nearby mosque. Due to the tense security situation we were not allowed to leave the hospital at any time and the entire team was installed in rooms on the 2nd floor. If you needed a breath of fresh air you had to go to the roof. Only brief roof visits were allowed though, due to the risk of shelling.

The medical team leader came up and told me he had received a call from another hospital 4-5 hours away, a smaller facility where surgery was not available: They had received an 11-year old girl who had fallen down from a 1 meter high rock while playing outside. She was not doing well, they said, on the outside there was nothing to remark, but she had severe stomach pain and could not move. Could we receive her? Yes of course.

5 hours later the girl arrived and upon examining her it was immediately apparent  that she had peritonitis . She presented with a classic peritoneal reaction upon palpation of the abdomen. Blood tests, apart from hemoglobin, were not available, no imaging possible, but none was really needed: She required immediate surgery. 15 minutes after she arrived, she was undressed and intubated and the surgery began. I had talked to her father via an interpreter and explained the situation, told him that I did not know what was wrong but she may need a stoma.
Immediately after opening the abdomen I noticed the 2*2 mm perforation on the surface of the small intestine approximately 40 cm from the ligament of Treitz. I remember telling the anesthetist that this was good news, the surgery  would be completed in less than 30 minutes. I hope so, she said. As said, I sutured the perforation and closed the abdomen. The anesthetist was specifically trained in pediatric anesthesia as well as pediatric intensive care management and took care of the prescriptions in the recovery room. When I woke up the next morning I went to the recovery room, where the girl was sleeping. She was lucky, it went well, I remember saying. The anesthetist looked at me with an odd expression on her face: She is dying. She has acute renal failure. And there is no access to advance therapeutics such as dialysis, the only possibility to save her life.

The almost 24 hours it took for her to gain access a hospital with surgical facilities turned out to be too long. She died later that afternoon.

Below a video of what a day may look like in this hospital: