Hiking and spending time outdoors is like medicine for body and mind. And with the summer approaching, many are planning trips to go hiking in Norway. Mother nature is beautiful, but it is important to respect her. The weather can change fast in Norway, and if the terrain is unfamiliar you have to prepare accordingly.
The Norwegian Trekking Accosiation (DNT) is Norway’s largest outdoor life organization, with more than 260,000 members in 57 local member organisations across the country, from Kristiansand in the south to the North Cape in the north. They have launched the mountain rules in a new version this year, and allthough the rules are not fundamentally different from before, they have added avalanche and ice security awareness guidelines. They have also removed the part about asking experienced hikers, as we now rely more on online information about weather and it is important to get the correct information about this.
History of the Mountain Rules
After several fatal accidents with skiers in the mountains, DNT and the Norwegian Red Cross released the first mountain guidelines in 1952. These were revised and renewed after the Easter of 1967 when 15 people froze to death and two were killed by an avalanche. The two organizations together made the brochure Welcome to the mountains…but be responsible.
There have been many examples in recent years of tourists hiking in Norway who have had to be rescued by helicopter. This was a result of lack of knowledge and respect for the conditions. The guidelines are there to remind you to be prepared, and aware of the possible scenarios happening during a mountain trip.
Happy, exhilarating, and safe hiking is within reach, just make sure to read the mountain rules first.
The Mountain Rules (Norwegians Worldwide’s English Translation)
#1 Plan your trip and tell others about where your going.
#2 Adjust your trip according to your abilities as well as the conditions.
#3 Take into account any weather – and avalanche warnings.
#4 Be prepared for bad weather and cold, even on short hikes.
#5 Bring the neccesary equipment in case you need to help yourself and others.
#6 Chose the safe route. Recognize avalanche terrain and unsafe ice.
#7 Use a map and a compass. Always know where you are.
#8 Turn around in time, there´s no shame in a strategic retreat.
#9 Save your strength and seek shelter if needed.