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Practical advice for St Olav's Way walk

Discussion in 'St Olav´s Way to Trondheim' started by nidarosa, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. nidarosa

    nidarosa Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Yes please!
    I walked the Camino Frances last year from SJPdP to Santiago, and immediately started thinking about where to go - or rather, walk - next. Being Norwegian, I naturally decided on St Olav's Way from Oslo to my native Trondheim, about 600 km.

    I will be walking with a friend and we are taking separate small tents, a small stove, and hope to keep our packs under 10 k each. We are going next summer, so lightweight silk bags and summer gear makes the load lighter - and we have lots of time to get the right equipment.

    We are planning on staying in our tents half the time or more, but also staying at hostels, hotels and such if they happen to be there when we need them (or we are desperate for a hot meal or a shower). Basically how far we walk each day is not determined by the available lodgings.

    Have you walked it? If you have any pointers, advice on what to do and what to miss, what to take and what to leave, or indeed anything else that might come in handy, it is very much appreciated.

    Buen Camino / God tur!
    Linda
     
  2. dougfitz

    dougfitz Veteran Member Donating Member

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    I walked this last year, as have other forum members, lovingkindness being foremost for walking from Trondheim to Santiago.
    She may have a different view, but 10kg and camping don't seem to be compatible to me. Most people I saw camping were carrying quite a lot more. You would be poorly prepared for the climate or not carrying enough food, or both.
    I didn't camp, and even then my basic load was just under 14kg walking solo. You would be able to share some things like first aid supplies if you walk all the way with a friend. But you will always need to be carrying food for two days, sometimes more, with up to five days' food needed depending on how you plan to approach the Dovrefjell. It is quite different to the Camino Frances on that point.
    I walked to arrive for the St Olav Festival, ie in the middle of summer. There was still snow on the ground in the Dovrefjell mountains, and it rained at least a bit almost every day. Even the days that turned out to be great walking days could start with a little drizzle. My feeling is that one should plan for it as one would an early spring departure from SJPP.
    The Norse pilgrim sites are good. Try http://www.pilegrim.info/en/index.aspx as start.

    Regards
     
  3. nidarosa

    nidarosa Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Yes please!
    Thanks for your input, dougfitz, it is very much appreciated! We will be sharing what we can, but I realise that the pack might end up heavier than we are hoping. Food for five days will be quite an extra weight, thanks for pointing that out - we'll have to look into how we want to approach the mountain. It's a long way away yet and we have more questions than answers for the time being - but I want to start assembling a realistic kit so I can train with it and use it to go camping in the Welsh hills for practice. And of course enjoying the planning process!
     
  4. lovingkindness

    lovingkindness Veteran Member

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    dougfitz likes this.
  5. nidarosa

    nidarosa Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Yes please!
    Lovingkindness, thank you so much for that link, it's just what we need! I will definitely go through their blog and make notes. So much of the info available is general, not concrete or practical, so I appreciate a kit and camping blog!

    Can I also say that I loved, loved, loved your pictures from your fantastic trip - when I first heard about it (on this forum somewhere) my only thought was: I want to do that! Having grown up in Trondheim and being totally in love with Santiago, it is something I hope I will be able to do some day when time and money allows. In the meantime I have your pictures!

    Tusen takk!
    Linda M
     
  6. lovingkindness

    lovingkindness Veteran Member

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    You're welcome. :)
     
  7. dougfitz

    dougfitz Veteran Member Donating Member

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    The Norse sites indicate that there are no shops between Dovre and Oppdal, and I recall there being a strong inference that one needed to carry all one's food for that leg. That might be true if you are free camping, and not using any of the campgrounds and other facilities. As it was, the only place that I stayed that did not provide meals was at Rhypusan, on the night before Oppdal. I understand that one cannot get meals at Fokstugu either, but I didn't stay there.

    My overnight stops on this leg were:
    • Furuhaugli - huts and camping. Good dining room with dinner, breakfast and an option for a packed lunch. Let them know if you intend to have dinner there when you book. One of the best camping grounds I used - might look a bit untidy, but welcoming and helpful family run business.
    • Hjerrkinn - Hjerrkinnhus Hotell - HI property with kitchen for residents, as well as a dining room. Given that I had re-supplied at Dovre, I cooked my own meal for dinner, but had breakfast and packed a lunch there in the morning.
    • Kongsvold - Kongsvold Fjeldstue - very expensive, with no resident cooking facilities. There is a cafe there that is reasonably priced, and I had an evening meal there, and breakfast in the dining room. Don't be tempted to squirrel away a lunch bag without paying - someone else tried this and were charged for every item the eagle eyed staff saw them take - which apparently was pretty much everything.
    • Rhypusan - this is an unattended hut, and the only place I needed to prepare dinner and breakfast. The next night you could be in Oppdall.
    So while the advice that there are no stores on this leg is correct, that does not mean that you necessarily have to carry food for that whole period. Depending on whether you want to buy an expensive lunch pack at Kongsvold, you might need to carry two or three days food. Much depends on how quickly you want to do this leg, and which places you choose to stay at.

    Regards,
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
  8. nidarosa

    nidarosa Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Yes please!
    Thank you, Doug, for taking the time to write down your experiences and advice, I really do appreciate it. The idea that we would have to carry five days' provisions might have affected the choice of backpack size - and definitely the choice of what foods to take - so knowing that there are places to eat helps. My friend and I both have time on our side and don't wish to hurry or feel that we have to reach a particular place for our stops, but rather be prepared to camp wherever and whenever, and still have a list of places we can go to if we want. Obviously we speak Norwegian and can ask as we go, but only if there is someone there to answer :D so practical tips like these are just the thing. I have got the Raju book but have heard that it's rather outdated now, so I'll try to get a guide book nearer the time - if we need it. I walked from St Jean to Santiago without a guidebook, but with info I got from this forum, which was hardly ever wrong. Ordered a pack to try out today, so I am really starting to feel like I am on my way!
     
  9. dougfitz

    dougfitz Veteran Member Donating Member

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    If you have Alison Raju's guide, it is worth taking. There are some places, especially near Oslo, where it is badly outdated, and some others were the facilities have changed, but overall I found it helpful. The Oslo pilgrim's office near the cathedral should be able to tell you what the major changes are. They were quite helpful when I arrived, and it is worth paying them a visit even if you are picking up your passport at the Bishop's residence.

    I also downloaded the maps and other route information pages from the Norse Pilgrim Association website onto my phone, and used those as well. Readability was a bit of an issue, but it was better than carrying a heap of paper from my perspective.

    I understand that there are some additional guides in English that explain the waymarking. It is a bit different to the Camino. Some sections are sparse!

    Regards,
     
  10. Kiwi-family

    Kiwi-family Veteran Member

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    I'm "listening in" to this conversation, squirrelling away information for the future. One question (which will obviously be outdated when I get to go, but gives me a relative idea): what does "expensive" mean? 20 euros or 50 euros for a dinner? 10 euros for a breakfast? Or 30?
     
  11. nidarosa

    nidarosa Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Hi, Kiwi-family, lovely to hear from more people who want to walk the Norwegian pilgrim route! I have recently come back from Norway (I am Norwegian, and from Trondheim) and expensive means *expensive*, unfortunately. If you wanted to eat a proper dinner in a restaurant in Oslo, you would probably have to pay 150-250 Nkr or 20-30 euros, but I don't know if it's less expensive in the more remote areas. Oslo isn't cheap. My friend and I have decided to camp most of the way to save on accommodation costs, meaning we can take longer to do the walk or spend more when we need to. I can see camping in the good and hostels in the bad weather ...

    But if you cook your own meals or go camping, a loaf of bread costs about 2.50-4 euros depending on the quality (white or brown, wholemeal etc), a litre of milk 2-3, a packet of ham or cheese for a few sandwiches around 4 euros depending on size and what kind. It still makes for a cheaper alternative though. Oh, and our ever present Ryvita crackerbread is filling and even lighter to carry!
     
  12. nidarosa

    nidarosa Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Yes please!
    We've now decided to walk from Tønsberg to Oslo this summer to test the gear and get time together to plan the long walk ... So I have to get my kit together pretty soon anyway! Luckily I've already got a Norwegian guide book covering the distance as there is even less info about this stretch.

    Looking forward to it! Sorry, just had to share!
     
  13. lovingkindness

    lovingkindness Veteran Member

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    Excellent! There are six medieval pilgrim's churches along this route and by now, I'm sure markings will have improved. Do take the time, if possible, to visit with Eivind Luthen at the CSJ Norway office in Oslo ( http://www.pilegrim.no). When I hiked from Oslo via Tonsberg to Larvik I was shown such kindness.

    Cheers,
     
  14. dougfitz

    dougfitz Veteran Member Donating Member

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    I will answer another way, which is that I had a daily walking budget of 500NOK, currently around 65 Euro. I went a bit over this overall, largely because I walked alone, and where I stayed in camping ground huts, the hut price didn't alter whether there was one or four to use it. From memory, the cheapest I paid for dinner, bed & breakfast was around 350NOK, going up to about 900NOK for bed and breakfast at Kongsvold - ouch!

    My recollection is that meal prices were in the range of 60NOK to 120NOK, depending on the establishment. Hotels were at the top end of that range, B&B were lower, but it wasn't consistent.

    The Norse National Pilgrim Centre site (http://www.pilegrim.info/en) has a 'Ways' section with the major routes described. The Services pages have indicative prices for various places. I found that when I walked, the charges were typically at the top end of the range.
     
  15. lovingkindness

    lovingkindness Veteran Member

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    ...which is why I lived on blåbær, ripps & cans of leverpostei.....

    + oats + almonds + dates

    + gigantic frankfurters from the Kro
     
  16. dougfitz

    dougfitz Veteran Member Donating Member

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    I had similar days, but there were many places where I wanted the culinary experience, such as Sygard Grytting, Budsjord Gard, Kongsvold and Sundet Gard. On others, I was just happy to have a balanced meal rather than another round of canned meat/fish, crispbread and re-hydrated mashed potato :) I was also perhaps less constrained than lovingkindness, who was at the start of a much more challenging and adventurous pilgrimage.
     
  17. lovingkindness

    lovingkindness Veteran Member

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    ...I had breakfast at Kongsvold too, after camping out in a hideyhole...but...there is only so much food that a non-pilfering good-girlie can eat. After ploughing my way through a grand portion of absolutely everything on the menu, I found staggering uphill directly afterwards made me want to--------------- [is there a nice way to say it?]..........................................hmmm perhaps it shouldn't be said at all....

    [delete?]

    ?????????me constrained????????

    !Never!
     
  18. Corwen

    Corwen Member

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    Really glad people are still finding our page useful :)

    I'm afraid it is getting out of date, but perhaps in a few years time we'll walk Olav's Way again and update it. Also there is far more info available on this route than when we walked it, so maybe our site isn't so crucial any more. All the info we could find out before we left was in a very discouraging article in a back issue of the UK Confraternity of St James newsletter!
     
  19. dougfitz

    dougfitz Veteran Member Donating Member

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    I have just gone back and looked at it after finishing St Olav's Way last year. Even though some things have changed, it is still good advice. Even better, now that I have seen most of the places in your photographs, it was wonderful way to remember my own walk.

    Regards,
     
  20. Corwen

    Corwen Member

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    Thanks dougfitz, thats nice to hear. Glad you had a good walk.
     
  21. nidarosa

    nidarosa Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Yes please!
    Corwen, I have read and reread your blog and keep looking at the pic of your packs and kit ... that really is minimalist. I am unable to get below 10k, but fingers crossed it won't be much more either. Obviously we are carrying separate tents which adds to the weight, but still. I have really enjoyed your blog, so thank you so much for posting about your journey!

    Tusen takk,
    Linda
     
  22. Corwen

    Corwen Member

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    Hi Nidarosa, glad you enjoyed our blog, we really must finish writing the trip up, its only been 7 years and I still haven't finished it!

    We are by inclination minimalists, and that isn't for everyone, but if you would like feel free to post your pack list here and maybe we and other people who have done Olav's Way could give you some suggestions- there may be things you won't need, (or things you do maybe!) and another pair of eyes with different assumptions might be helpful.

    The best thing you can do though is make lots of time to talk to Eivind at the Pilgrim Office in Oslo :)
     
  23. nidarosa

    nidarosa Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Hi Corwen, I agree, it's a good idea to post my kit list here in 'before and after' versions, the after being after my walk from Tønsberg to Oslo this summer. To be honest I can't see how the pack weight can be reduced at the moment as it is not very frivolous - the Camino taught me you always need less than you think. So here's my 'before' kit list, for the enjoyment and scrutiny of veterans and walkers considering walking this route.

    Pack weight:
    Backpack: Osprey Aura 50, 1420 g
    Tent: Vango Apex 200, 1600 g
    Sleeping mat: Mountain Equipment Helium 3.8, 750 g
    Sleeping bag: Don't know the brand, 600 g
    Altus L/XL, 490 g
    Smartwool T-shirt, 140 g
    Wool long sleeve, 240 g
    Wool long johns, 200 g
    Walking trousers, 380 g
    Windproof jacket, 365 g
    2 x knickers + bra, 100 g
    2 x wool socks and liners, 130 g
    Crocs, 260 g
    Scarf and gloves, 110 g

    Wearing:
    Wool T-shirt
    Walking crops
    Scarpa Terra lightweight leather boots - or Merrell Siren GTX hiking shoes?
    Underwear and socks
    Buff and sunglasses

    Other:
    Toiletries, 480 g
    Medicines/first aid, 300 g
    Headlamp, 85 g
    Cup, bowl, spork, knife, 110 g
    Phone charger, 30 g
    Sun cream, 200 g

    Bumbag:
    Passport, camera, phone, money, binoculars, lip salve

    This means the pack weight in itself is 7990 g, plus a litre of water and food would bring me in the vicinity of 10 kg. The amount of food will vary, and on a windy or rainy day the pack would be lighter as more of it would be on me - I know I'd still be wearing it, but not all on my hips.
    I intend to use the scarf wrapped around spare clothing for a pillow, the towel is included in the toiletries. The bumbag is potentially not a bumbag but a small cross body version, and the reason I haven't added that weight to the pack weight is that I don't know how much it will be yet as I don't have all the things, but it will be less than a kilo and carried either across from the shoulder or around my waist above the backpack belt.

    So what do you think?
    Linda
     
  24. dougfitz

    dougfitz Veteran Member Donating Member

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    This won't help, because it might add to the weight, but if you are camping, I don't see a stove in your list, nor a warm outer layer like a lightweight fleece.

    Even in summer, there were a couple of days when I needed the warmth as well as wind-proofing, and had reached four layers on top - base layer, trekking shirt, light fleece and rain jacket, trekking pants and rain pants below.

    I do see you are carrying what might be thermals. The difficulty I find with thermals is that if you don't put them on in the morning, they are difficult to use along the way. To do so means stripping away enough outer layers to put them on, and then getting all the other clothing back on. Clearly not something that is going to work well when one is become cold enough to contemplate that, and might be in the open. Even worse if its raining.
     
  25. nidarosa

    nidarosa Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Hi Doug, everything helps! My friend will be carrying the stove and I will carry more of the food because we had to balance the volume and weight of the shared things. The reason why I haven't put a fleece on there is that I can't abide them, they make me sweaty in a bad way and I decided to take the long sleeve woollen top instead and layer under the windproof jacket and if necessary the Altus. The woollen longjohns are for sleeping in if it gets cold in the night, to change into when trousers are wet etc, and for putting on under the trousers if it's cold and windy. On the Camino in early Sept it was cold enough to use the longjohns/trouser combo all day, so I'm not taking any chances on the mountain in Norway - I do chill quickly. I did consider taking a fleece, maybe I should consider it one more time?
     
  26. Corwen

    Corwen Member

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    Its late so I'll just do a quick post examining the 'Big 4' (tent, sack, bag and mat), but at first glance you could swap your pack for a 50 litre Golite one weighing around 850g and your tent for a small one man version at around 1 to 1.2kg and the mat for a thermarest neoair or prolite and immediately save around 1.5/1.8kg depending on what mat/tent you choose.

    Washkit seems excessive also at 500g, a sliver of soap, a mooncup and a ziplock bag of toothpaste and cut down toothbrush should easily weigh less than 200g if kept in a lightweight container.

    You could therefore get your pack weight down to just over 6Kg without too much effort.

    What is an Altus by the way?

    Will post more tomorrow.

    C
     
  27. Corwen

    Corwen Member

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    OK, further to last nights post...

    Most of this saving comes from the rucksack and mat, and a new tent will be expensive for a marginal gain so that would be the last thing I'd change depending on budget. We were very lucky, someone went in the back of our car just before we left and since it didn't actually need fixing (minor cosmetic damage) we were able to use the insurance payment to buy new kit! One cheap thing to think about is your tent pegs, often they can be replaced with lighter versions (titanium or aluminium), I saved 150 grams of weight with my cheap (£30) one man tent by replacing the steel pegs and by cutting out all the internal pockets.

    I'd leave the crocs behind, we took second shoes and never needed them, as once you've stopped walking its not like there is nightlife to explore or anything! Thats an additional 260g saved.

    If an Altus is a warm garment can you not get a jacket that is both warm and windproof and thus save weight on taking both an Altus and a windproof jacket? If you want to add windproofness to an outfit then a windshirt to wear over your warm jacket would only weigh 100 grams or so.

    So with the crocs gone and replacing windproof jacket with windshirt this saves an additional half a kilo.

    Do you really need two wool T-shirts and a wool long sleeved top? Leave one and save 140 grams.

    If 'walking crops' are cut off trousers then you will regret them as the midges and mosquitoes fly and bite at ankle level during the day in woods. Plus you only really need one pair of trousers and something to wear (very light shorts maybe) while they are in the wash. Either replace them with running shorts (very light) or with actual trousers (more useful). We stitched drawstrings into our walking trousers so they could be pulled tight to stop ticks or pulled up and cinched over our calves to simulate short walking trousers.

    I have a personal hatred of sun cream- it is heavy and toxic. I notice you don't have a peaked or brimmed hat- adding one would keep your face out of the sun and also give you protection from rain and cold for less than the weight of sun block, which you could then leave at home.

    When I get a minute I'll talk about some extra things that you might need...
     
  28. nidarosa

    nidarosa Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Corwen, thanks for your thorough post(s)! I really do appreciate it and you do have some very valid points. In fact you should be a paid pack weight moderator! My thoughts behind the list are:

    First of all, an Altus is a knee length rain jacket type thing (it's actually referred to as a poncho, but it has sleeves - if you search the forum for them they are everywhere) which has a peaked hood, a hump for your pack and closes with a zip at the front. I love mine, it has been on all my walks and comes in handy as rain gear (my walking trousers are water repellent to a certain point, worked well in Galicia, mother of all rainstorms), to cover the sleeping bag if I can't get warm, as a ground sheet for a picnic etc. The weight is unfortunate, but it replaces a rain suit and pack cover which most people would carry, so I'm comfortable with that.

    You are of course right that there are lighter tents out there, I just got a good deal on this one and it allows me to sit up and opens to the beautiful views, plus I can use it for trips with my partner as well, and multifunctionality and price pipped weight here as well. If my trial walk proves that I have to shave off weight I'll consider buying a lighter one-man (coffin) tent and selling it second hand afterwards.

    The pack. Oh, the pack! I am very strangely shaped, apparently, and finding a pack that suits me is like finding the proverbial needle in a field of haystacks. For the Camino I managed to get a (then) brand new model Osprey Aura 35 litre pack which fit me like a glove and I didn't even know it was there. The pack I got for the Olav's Walk is the larger size of the same model and even at ten kilos it feels good on my back, so changing that would be too expensive. Unfortunately there are no shops stocking Golite bags near me either, so I can't try before I buy. I had a Golite Litespeed, the old version at 1,1 k for 39 litres but it couldn't handle the extra weight.

    Sleeping mat. Again I got a good deal on this and it's full size and thick and comfortable. I do have a lighter weight and considerably thinner and shorter one similar to the Thermarest at only 330 g, but it is a lot less comfortable and I thought that a good night's sleep was worth the extra weight. Maybe not. I'll inflate the lighter one when I next pitch the tent and try to lie on it and read or something for a while to see how that works.

    As for the clothes, like I said in my post to Doug I can't abide fleeces, so I prefer to bring a long sleeve wool top for warmth and sleeping in. The windjacket works really well for layering and if it rains I have the Altus. So that's me warm and dry. Thanks for the advice about the crops, I will take my two lightest walking trousers instead.

    The toiletries bag includes nail scissors, vaseline for my feet, small amounts of soap, solid shampoo, washing powder and a towel. I do agree with you on the suncream, but I am redhead and milky skinned and unfortunately burn very easily. But if I wear full length trousers I will need less and can cut down or even change to a sunblock stick instead of the liquid!

    You're right about the hat, there is none. On the Camino I happily left my sunhat in an albergue and never looked back. I use a Buff as a hairband (wet it in hot weather) and drape my thin cotton scarf over my head, shoulders, neck, depending on where the sun is. On the Olav's Walk it'll be on the right, so I'm hoping I can do the same there.

    I will go through my kit and repack this week and see what else I can leave behind - I have already been on eBay trying to find a lighter tent ...

    Thanks again for taking the time to go through the list, Corwen, I really do appreciate it!

    Linda
     
  29. Corwen

    Corwen Member

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    OK I also noticed you are taking a towel and that is part of your toiletries weight. A towel is rather redundant item- firstly any accommodation that provides a shower will also provide towels. Secondly you have lots of wooly garments and you probably won't be wearing all of them at once so just use one of those to dry yourself if you have to.

    An extra kilo for the bum bag also seems a little excessive- you can get very very light bum bags (under 100g) and if you take the smallest camera (or just use your phone camera?) then this weight could be halved.

    Right onto the things you don't have.... You will probably appreciate a water filter, as this would reduce the weight of water you need to carry and since you plan to camp it will allow you to camp anywhere there is a stream without using all your fuel to boil water.

    Secondly trekking poles are very useful in Norway as the terrain is so uneven, rocky and boggy. It will help you keep yor balance in high winds over those plank walkways on Dovre! Since there are two of you you could carry one each of a pair, then if one of you needs the extra support you could use both, or just use one each set a little longer as a staff the rest of the time. Or if you don't use it then the weight of a single pole is pretty negligible. Obviously shop around and get light ones!

    Thirdly you don't mention a guidebook- you will certainly need one, if you can speak Norwegian then Eivind's might be good, otherwise you will have to use Alison Raju's and cut out the info for the non historical route that you won't be walking. You must get Eivind's accommodation guide from the Pilgrim Office in Oslo as it is invaluable.

    ----------------------------

    OK just seen your post which has come through as I was writing this. A poncho, even a Pelerine type, will be difficult to use as the rain is usually accompanied by very high winds, your poncho will blow up all the time and your legs will get very very wet, water will run down it and into your boots. I'd really recommend a breahable waterproof jacket and trousers. I've walked with both systems and although the poncho is great for Spain it is lousy in the high winds you'll get above the treeline on Dovre.

    With regards to the tent etc, unfortunately each choice that is sub optimal as far as weight is concerned (especially rucksack, tent and sleeping mat) adds a lot to the overall weight, as much as a third of your pack weight will be unnecessary but if you are happy with that then fair enough. It will have an impact on your body (blisters, injuries etc) and enjoyment though, so it really is worth letting go of things if you can.
     
  30. Corwen

    Corwen Member

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    And no problem, its quite enjoyable packing vicariously!

    I'm happy to help, the less weight you carry the better a trip you'll have and another brain looking over your list is always helpful, we ran our packing list past several people before we left and took many ideas on board. Its worth remembering as well that the start of the route has plenty of towns with several camping shops so if you leave something behind and later decide you really need it then you'd most likely be able to pick one up.
     
  31. nidarosa

    nidarosa Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Hi Corwen, I have now been doing a bit of minimalist inspection of my kit. Having someone else's comment on your choices makes you rethink them, which is always a good thing.

    First of all I pitched my tent in chilly light wind and managed to get into the dry in only a minute or so - brilliant! The tent Is fantastic with a big panorama opening for sunny or rainy days which the lighter coffin tents can't offer. But as for dual use, well, I dragged my partner in as well and one of us will be touching the sides and in short it's not optimal. Basically this is a one tall person tent, although it might well be a two short persons tent. I also put my 2/3 length lightweight sleeping mat in there and on soft ground that should be quite adequate. The Altus can go under my legs and keep them off the groundsheet, so my down bag doesn't get damp. I will take this mat for the shorter trip, and if it's a disaster I will have to ditch something else and take the heavier one. So that's 420g saved straight away - without any extra cost! It also shows that I can buy a lighter and smaller tent if necessary now that it's not big enough for two anyway.

    I did all the pitching and adjusting in my wool T-shirt and windjacket and am happy with that combo in the wind. Luckily the crops-to-trouser swap doesn't add any weight. I will consider leaving the Crocs although I do love taking my boots off at the end of the day and letting them breathe plus it feels safe to have a second pair in case of blisters etc. I suppose I could leave the towel and use the scarf, which is just as quick drying and can do double duty. And if the scarf is wet and my neck is cold I'll use the longjohns for a neck warmer! I chill easily so I won't let go of my wool, I don't know what I would have done without it in Galicia in early September. On the Altus in the wind I am reluctant to leave it behind but will go out in it next time we get the gales here in NW England, which will probably be any day now. :D

    And you are right about the bumbag, I just weighed the one I've got and it came in at just under 800 g with passport, money, camera, mobile (the camera on it is rubbish, my camera is great), binoculars and lip salve, so I'm happy with that. Add a few pages of A4 printouts and that's it.
    EDIT: The things you just blindly pack ... I just weighed my old phone which has a much better battery, and it comes in at 70 g less than my new one - every little helps! Bumbag is now at 700.

    As for what I haven't got, I'll definitely look into getting a water filter, if not for this trip then for the long one. Being Norwegian it sort of never occurs to me that you can't drink the water ...

    Trekking poles is a thing we've thought about, but both I and my friend walked the Camino without them so we thought we didn't need them. We discussed sharing a set but haven't actually done anything about it yet ... I am going to Cotswolds on Tuesday and will ask about poles and waterfilter and see if they have anything else on offer that's significantly lighter than what I already have. I will be walking the Camino again in 2015, so it's not like the kit I've got won't be used.

    And we both have the Norwegian guide book and a map, but we intend to copy and paste the relevant info onto double sided A4 to save weight, at least for this shorter trip. My friend has an iPhone with the pilegrim app with additional info. We've printed out the accommodation guide as well, but hope to be camping. One thing I did think about leaving was the headlamp as it doesn't get dark in Norway in the summer, but that would mean that I couldn't read or even write a diary in the tent ... I suppose a smaller Maglite would do, I could clip it to the ceiling of the tent?

    This would mean a saving of half a kilo just on the mat and headlight, plus the suncream and possibly a few more bits and bobs. I feel uncomfortable cutting out too much too quickly, but I will be walking around with my pack as often as I can in the next week and that might well kick the weight cutting process into gear :lol:

    Linda

    Thanks again! Packing and preparing is great fun!
     
  32. nidarosa

    nidarosa Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Corwen, look what you've done now! I put 7 kg in my pack, then 8, then 9, then 10, which is my absolute max weight ... and I noticed a significant change in the comfort of the pack between 8 and 9 kg, so my partner promptly declared that he would buy me a lighter tent for my birthday, and I have just ordered the Vango Helium Carbon 200! At 950 g it will have room for me and my pack inside, and two people at a push, as the walls go straight up and not at an angle like the Apex!
     
  33. nidarosa

    nidarosa Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Update for those who follow the ever fluctuating kit list:

    The Helium Carbon came and went. It's incredibly light, but it's also lower and has an odd entrance which I could not use with any dignity or comfort at all. At that price it should make me happy, which it didn't. So the Apex stays, but a few other things have gone, like exchanging the thermals for a fleece for my summer walk, picking up a 200 g pertex wind jacket in the Cotswold sale, choosing a small pot of SPF 30 to rub on exposed areas instead of a whole bottle of liquid, and discovering that you can happily wash wool with a Lush Seanik or Karma shampoo bar, which will now be doing treble duty for its measly 30 grammes.

    I have now reduced my pack weight by about 1.5 kg all in all, and am down to a pack+kit+water+food weight of just over 8 kg. Not bad for a pack I intend to live out of for several weeks!

    Linda :D
     
  34. nidarosa

    nidarosa Veteran Member Donating Member

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    I'm back again from my trial run along the Vestfoldleden, the old pilgrimage route from Tønsberg to Oslo in the south of Norway, and I have some comments:

    First of all: Don't go there! This trail is supposed to be a priority area in 2014 and I suggest you wait until then to walk it. As it is, the guide book is out of date and plain wrong in places, there is a lot of highly dangerous roadside walking on tarmac, and we got lost quite a few times in the woods - not good. If it hadn't been for the GPS we'd still have been there.
    Also the recommended 6 stages are only for super trained people and basically half way there is not a lot of nice woodland or nature to walk through, plus not a lot of accommodation between stages. You'd have to bring a tent, but suitable places to pitch it are few and far between - I hope they assign and clear some tent spaces in the parts of the walk where there is no place to stay overnight.
    If you should decide to walk in rural Norway though - bring cash! We ended up with an unintentional pilgrim discount at one camp site because we didn't have enough in cash and they didn't take cards. Keep some stashed away. We'll probably have a joint accommodation and food kitty next time as it saves the hassle of splitting bills and handing money back and forth.

    As for kit, it worked out pretty well, my ultralight tent was a condensation nightmare on the first night but I have learned to peg it out to allow more ventilation now, though I am still thinking about bringing the slightly heavier, roomier, sturdier - not to mention warmer! - one for the main St Olav's walk from Oslo to Trondheim.
    (Edit: Since this was written Force Ten have come out with the Helium 2, which is a slightly sturdier version of the Helium Carbon 200 mentioned above, and it now has an improved entrance and a second door for ventilation or two man use. It weighs just over 1400 grammes, so is lighter than the panoramic one while offering almost the same views. Also, being a non-tiny person I have room to move inside it, and there is still room to keep my pack inside the tent rather than leave it outside for critters to rummage in. Love it! Just goes to show how many times you might change your mind about kit the more you research and actually walk or camp with it.)
    The backpack was brilliant, lots of pockets and room and it fit beautifully even with a bit of extra water and carrying my boots while walking in sandals.
    Nights could be cold, both of us felt it on our backs and shoulders, so next time I'll bring a merino vest top and I bought a merino buff to put around my neck in the night, and that helped a lot.
    Despite being a staunch anti-trekking pole person, I caved in and bought a pair which we shared, and I would never ever attempt a walk like it without one again. Note the emphasis on ONE, though. You need a free hand to waft the mozzies away. On that note: Bring a good insect repellent, as there are ticks as well as flying menaces.
    Corwen, thank you so much for your suggestion of a pertex windbreaker, mine weighed 200 g and really took the chill off! It has a rollaway hood so it can protect my ears too when it gets blustery and cold. Good advice!
    Other than that and without mentioning brands, it was merino all the way. Vaseline, liner and wool sock combo kept my feet blister free and comfy even when wet, as usual, and the only thing I didn't use was my first aid kit.
    My pack was probably just under 10 kg if I carried everything and only wore shorts, top and sandals, but it was okay. Even if I bring the heavier tent I think I should be fine, it's warmer too so maybe I can make do with a lighter sleeping bag.

    So those are my initial thoughts on summer walking in the south of Norway, more when I have walked further!
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2014
  35. nidarosa

    nidarosa Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Wow. How things change. Thanks once again to @dougfitz and @Corwen for talking me through (and out of) some packing issues. The planned walk was postponed but is now back on again - though it's still along wait until May 2018. Still, she who does not plan in advance cannot go off walking for weeks on end and expect company. Also, this happened:

    Pack weight:
    Backpack: Osprey Aura 50, 1420 g replaced by a Golite Jam 50 at 850 g (570 g lighter and just as comfy)
    Tent: Vango Apex 200, 1600 g without inner about a kilo, and/or replaced by Alpkit Hunka at 370 g (600+ g less)
    Sleeping mat: Mountain Equipment Helium 3.8, 750 g replaced by a lighter, thicker one at 450 g (300 g less)
    Sleeping bag: Down bag, 600 g - upgraded to a synthetic MH Lamina 45 for more warmth and less dampness, 750 g (oops, up 150 g)
    Altus L/XL, 490 g replaced by a lightweight version at 225 g (265 g less) EDIT: I have seen sense, I think, and invested in a pair of Paclite GTX trousers to pull over my running tights to keep dry between the end of the poncho and the boots. Taking the gaiters out the weight increase is negligable. With a lifetime guarantee, what could go wrong?
    Merino T-shirt 140 g, long sleeve 240 g, long johns 200 g all staying
    Fleece/light padded jacket added at approx 350 g
    Walking trousers, 380 g replaced by lighter ones and I might be walking in running tights and a skirt ...
    Windproof jacket, 365 g replaced by fab Rab pertex jacket at 200 g (165 g less)
    2 x knickers + bra, 100 g
    2 x wool socks no liners, 130 g
    Crocs, 260 g replaced by Birkenstock EVAs at 155 g (105 g less)
    Scarf and gloves, 110 g

    Wearing:
    Merino T-shirt
    Walking crops replaced by running tights and skirt
    Scarpa Terra lightweight leather boots - or Merrell Siren GTX hiking shoes? I no longer believe in GTX, going for leather.
    Underwear and socks
    Buff and sunglasses
    Pacerpoles! Yes, I will bring them, but since they will be in use I refuse to count the weight! :D

    Other:
    Toiletries, 480 g, now down to about 200 g
    Cup, spork, knife, 100 g
    Phone charger, 30 g

    Shared:
    Medicines/first aid, 300 g
    Jetboil and gas canister added at 555 g
    Food, dried and other, will have to be carried, but distributed between us

    Sun cream 200 g, Headlamp 85 g, bowl and binoculars are out

    Bumbag:
    Passport, camera, phone, money, lip salve

    Soo, that is looking like a saving of 3.25 g, but adding a few bits and carrying it all myself, I still end up with 2-2.5 kg less than the approx 8 kg starting weight. Plus food and water of course - and yes, I have now started using a filter bottle and a collapsible 1L water bag to top it up. No doubt more changes will occur but at least I am learning!
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2016
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  36. cher99840

    cher99840 Veteran Member Donating Member

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    One thing I noticed when I went with the group was that most places that we stayed (farms and barns) also provided food for nearby campers if arranged ahead of time. It wasn't unusual to have a stranger or two at the table who did not share the bunkhouse.
     
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  37. nidarosa

    nidarosa Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Thanks @cher99840 , that's good to know. Not sure how many there will be of us on the different stretches but I'll have to keep track of available accomm and hot meals nearer the time. My mother just told me that they are planning on doing a lot of work on the path in the next couple of years because it is drawing more people all the time and I assume that means better signposting and maybe more facilities?
     
  38. cher99840

    cher99840 Veteran Member Donating Member

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    I agree with your mom. I got the impression that it is being heavily promoted now. My group's leaders changed every few weeks but each of them carried stickers and the little signs to hang from trees to make the path easier to navigate. One leader got on her phone and called someone to come mow when she (we) discovered the path was entirely overgrown. I am glad I walked before it became popular though. It was a great experience even if the group thing isn't the real me. :).
     

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