Bikepacking Norway

We’ve now spent more than a month biking in Norway. The roads are steep. But not near as steep as I expected. They’re not ‘get off and push steep.’ I might actually be faster if I pushed, but pedaling is definitely possible.

The scenery is stunning, and that takes your mind off burning calves and throbbing thighs. Norway is a popular destination and we share many roads with a steady stream of RVS piloted by retirees from throughout Europe. Most are courteous, but a few could do with an eye exam.

Almost everyone we spoke to about cycling in Scandinavia complained about the bugs. We came prepared with headnets, expecting the worst. Except for three or four occasions, it really wasn’t that bad.

I’m not sure if we just got off easy this year, or people were exaggerating about the annoyances of flying creatures. I’d advise you to pack some hefty repellent and a headnet, just to be safe.

Summer in northern Scandinavia can feel like winter in the rest of the world. That said, southern Norway has been basking in a heat wave for the last month. We came prepared with thick down sleeping bags (thanks Pyrenex), high-tech rain gear from Showers Pass and little extras like shoe covers, leg warmers and windproof gloves from the cold weather experts, Grip Grab. (Grip Grab’s a Danish company and they know a thing or two about harsh weather conditions. Showers Pass is based in Portland—rain capital of the USA. And Pyrenex has been around since 1859.)

One night near North Cape the winds were so strong I feared the tent might blow away into the fjord. The next night we got wise and strapped down the tent using our new WrapTies. In case you’re wondering, we’ve still got the tent.

Norway has catapulted to my new #1 wild camping destination. Just like in Finland and Sweden, Norway allows free movement and camping under their Right to Roam law.

As long as you’re 150 meters from an inhabited structure and not on cultivated land, you can pitch your tent pretty much anywhere for up to two nights.

This freedom to camp really makes life easy. I never have to worry about some grumpy person trying to kick us out of our spot. (To be fair, this hardly ever happens anywhere in the world.)

The camping spots in Norway are truly exceptional. Fabulous views everywhere you look. And with a population of just 5 million people, there’s room for everybody.

I truly love Norway. I feel at home here. The people are kind, crime is low, and everyone seems to get along. People don’t appear to be too stressed out about their jobs. They take time for their families and friends. Norway always ranks high it global happiness and quality of life.

Sometimes I think I’d like to settle here. Go back to the country from which my ancestors came. Of course, I haven’t yet experienced Norway in winter. That might change my mind.

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