Mighty Fine Blog

The Norwegian Mountain Code

Kjerag RockOn our Big Five Hiking holiday in Norway you’ll be lucky enough to witness some of the country’s most spectacular scenery. Great views, however, mean exhilarating hikes and so we always recommend that our travellers follow the Norwegian Mountain Code. Developed in the late 1960s by the Norwegian Red Cross and Norwegian Mountain Touring, the code is a simple, no nonsense guide to tackling life in the peaks.

1. Be prepared

This covers physical and mental fitness for your journey as well as the importance of having the right equipment to hand.

2. Leave word of your route

Many hotels have tour notification boxes in which you should put an outline of your route before you set out. If this is not the case, tell a member of hotel staff or a fellow traveller who is not coming with you. In an emergency, these details could save your life.

Troll's Tongue

3. Be weather wise

Always be prepared for bad weather. Even a fresh breeze combined with sleet can result in frostbite. Heed forecasts in adjoining lowlands as well as in the mountains and keep a close eye on developments throughout your journey.

4. Be equipped for bad weather

Always take a rucksack and proper mountain gear. Put on more clothing if you see bad weather approaching or feel the temperature drop. A roomy anorak, long wind trousers, wind mittens and warm headgear are good outer clothing.

5. Learn from the locals

Local people can often give you the inside information you will need to stay safe. Don’t be frightened to ask!

6. Use a map and compass

Make sure you have a map and compass and know how to use them. Before departing, study the map and trace your route. Read the map as you go and take note of points you can recognize. Rely on the compass. Use a transparent, watertight map case attached to your body so it cannot blow away. Take bearings between terrain points on the map. Use the compass to stay on a bearing from a known point.

7. Don't go solo

If you trek alone, there's nobody to give first aid or notify a rescue service in an emergency.

8. Turn back

If conditions deteriorate turn back, there’s no shame in it!

9. Conserve energy

Match your speed to that of the weakest member of the party and avoid sweating. Remember to eat and drink frequently. Physical activity increases the body's need for liquid intake, even if you don't feel thirsty.

6. September 2013 by Joanne Wilson

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