Hiking tour in Norway - from hut to hut!

By Rintsje Bosch

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When you think of a hut tour, you quickly think of a tour in the Alps. That's not strange. We've previously written about how to hike from hut to hut on the Stubaier Höhenweg, the Tour du Mont Blanc, the Alta Via 1, and many more. But don't forget about Norway. The Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT) has more than 550 huts, both staffed and unmanned. This offers a range of possibilities for multi-day treks through the land of the Fjords. But how do you arrange such a hut tour in Norway? We at Bookatrekking.com have outlined it for you.

We at Bookatrekking.com have close contacts with the mountain huts on our routes, and we are happy to take this burden off your shoulders. If you would like to know more, feel free to contact our trekking experts.

1. Choose the right route - From hut-to-hut

The DNT has marked over 22,000 kilometers of hiking trails. The hiking trails you follow in Norway are used for cross-country skiing in winter, and in summer, these are your hiking paths. They are designed to be attractive for both users and to protect the vulnerable nature.

All DNT routes are clearly marked, so even in fog and rain, you can look from one marker to another. The routes in the mountains are marked with red T's, painted on cairns and rock walls. In wooded areas (e.g., around Oslo) and along the coast, the trails are marked with blue stripes painted on trees or posts. Marking for summer hiking trails is permanent and can be seen year-round.  

On the website of the Norwegian Tourist Board, you can find numerous routes and easily filter by duration and level. Search, compare, and choose your route!

2. Choose when you want to go

Most staffed huts are open from late June to early September, but some have a longer or shorter season. You can check the opening dates on ut.no.

The staffed huts also put up their seasonal bridges in June. Without these bridges, crossing the river can be challenging, making your hut-to-hut trek in Norway much more difficult. Private and unmanned huts often also close outside the season.

3. Become a DNT (Norwegian Trekking Association) Member

DNT members receive a discount on accommodations in all huts and on meals in the staffed huts. You have priority for beds when the huts are full, and you can borrow hut keys with a deposit. If you plan to do a hut-to-hut trek in Norway, you will never regret your membership.

4. Choose Your Huts

There are three types of huts in Norway: huts with staff, self-service huts and unmanned huts:

  • Manned Huts

    These huts with staff provide breakfast and dinner. Many lodges have showers and electricity, either from the grid or a local generator. Manned huts are only open during specific seasons. Many staffed huts offer self-service or no-service accommodations during the off-season.

  • Self-Service Huts

    The self-service huts are equipped with everything trekkers need for cooking and sleeping. Firewood, gas, kitchen utensils, table linens, and bunk beds with duvets and pillows (pillowcases are mandatory) are provided. The huts also stock provisions such as canned goods, coffee, tea, rye crispbread, and powdered soup, but the choices may vary by hut. Here, trekkers take care of themselves: fetching water, cooking, washing dishes, and chopping wood. In the high season, some huts have supervisors who assist in organizing work. At the hut, you need to fill out a payment form for your stay. After your stay, you'll receive a link for credit card payment or an invoice if that's your choice. This covers the cost of food and accommodation. Many self-service huts are closed for certain periods throughout the year.

  • Unmanned Huts

    Unmanned huts generally have the same facilities as manned or self-service huts, but there is never any food available. In some huts, there are minimal amenities, and you must bring your own cooking utensils and sleeping gear. Some unmanned huts are closed during parts of the year.

5. Reserve and pay for your huts

We at Bookatrekking.com maintain close relationships with the mountain huts on our routes, and we're happy to take this burden off your shoulders. If you want to know more, feel free to contact our trekking experts.

Most staffed lodges have a card reader where you can pay with a debit card or credit card. For self-service huts, you need to fill out a payment form for your stay. Drop the form in the payment box/safe when checking out. Keep part 2; this is your copy. After your stay, you will receive a link for credit card payment or an invoice if that's your preference. This covers the cost of food and accommodation.

6. Pack the right gear for your hut tour in Norway

The Norwegian weather is completely unpredictable and constantly changing. Therefore, make sure you pack clothes for all weather conditions. And as my mother used to say: layering is the trick!

  • Essentials
    • Hiking boots (broken in)
    • Hiking socks
    • Base layer tops - preferably thermal
    • Mid layer tops (e.g., fleece)
    • Trekking pants
    • Hat for warmth or shade
    • Gloves
    • Waterproof jacket
    • Waterproof pants
    • Casual clothing & footwear for evenings
    • Nightwear and underwear
    • Water bottle
    • Sunglasses & sunscreen
    • Toiletries
    • Meals
  • Extras
    • Small first aid kit
    • Blister patches
    • Insect repellent
    • Camera and charger
    • Map and compass
    • Whistle
    • Book to read
    • Energy snacks
    • Trekking poles
    • Buff

7. Pick up your key!

Self-service huts and unmanned huts are secured with the standard DNT hut key. If you are a member of DNT or an affiliated association in another country, you can borrow a DNT key with a deposit of NOK 100, which is refundable upon return. You can pick up and return the hut keys at staffed lodges, DNT member association offices, and DNT representative offices in Norway.

Many self-service and unmanned huts are not locked. Some have their own locks. A hut may be closed to protect local animals and birds, to comply with an agreement with the owner, or because the trekking association only rents the hut for certain seasons.

8. Arrange your meals

Check in advance whether food is available in the huts you have booked. You wouldn't be the first one left with nothing to eat. It's always good to have enough reserve food with you. Packages of 'astronaut food' that only require adding water are excellent for this.

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