Pack Smart for the Trail
When it comes to packing for a hike, the golden rule is to pack light but smart. Remember, you’ll be carrying everything on your back for up to a month if not more, so it’s essential to pack only the essentials.
Backpack: Invest in a good quality backpack with padded shoulder straps and a waist belt for comfortable carrying. Look for a pack with a capacity of 40-50 litres, depending on the length of your hike. Try to keep it under 10 kgs fully packed.
Clothing: Choose lightweight, breathable clothing that can withstand various weather conditions. Pack moisture-wicking base layers, insulating mid-layers, and a waterproof outer layer. Don’t forget to bring a hat, gloves, and a buff for added warmth. Picking the right socks is also essential, but which one is best for you is something you need to decide ahead of the hike. A mosquito net will also come in handy most of the season.
Footwear: Proper footwear is crucial for any hike, and the S:t Olavsleden is no exception. Choose sturdy hiking boots with good ankle support and a grippy sole for traction on uneven terrain. Don’t forget to break them in before hitting the trail! New footwear is a big no no!
Sleeping gear: Invest in a good quality, lightweight sleeping bag and a sleeping pad for a comfortable night’s sleep. If you’re planning to camp, bring a lightweight tent or a hammock with a rainfly.
Food and Water: Choose lightweight, high-energy snacks, and pack a water filtration system to refill your water bottles along the way. You will be able to stock up at various places – although near the border, you will a few days without that possibility.
Other Essentials: Don’t forget to pack a headlamp unless you are hiking aroud midsummer, a first-aid kit, and a multi-tool. And if you’re planning to document your journey, bring a camera or a smartphone with a power bank. But don’t bring your heaviest DSLR with extra lenses and a tripod – unless it’s all carbon it has to stay home.
Leave Unnecessary Items at Home
When it comes to packing for a hike, it’s just as essential to know what not to bring. Here are a few items you should leave at home to lighten your load and make your hike more comfortable.
Heavy Electronics: Leave the laptop, tablet, and other heavy electronics at home. Instead, bring a lightweight e-reader or a smartphone for entertainment.
Fashion Clothing: Hiking is not a fashion show, so leave the fancy clothes at home. Opt for lightweight, quick-drying clothing that can withstand the rigours of the trail.
Jewellery and Valuables: Leave the jewellery and other valuables at home. The trail can be unpredictable, and losing a valuable item can put a damper on your trip.
Excessive Toiletries: Stick to the essentials when it comes to toiletries. Pack biodegradable soap, toothpaste, and a toothbrush. Leave the hair products and makeup at home. Why not get a nice soap bar that work as a schampoo as well.
Packing for a hike along S:t Olavsleden can be a daunting task, but with a little planning and preparation, you can pack smart and make your hike more comfortable and enjoyable. Remember to pack only the essentials, leave unnecessary items at home, and enjoy the beautiful scenery and history of the trail. Connect with others planning their hike along S:t Olavsleden. Join the slowtravel community here.