There’s something so empowering about being out in nature, but have you ever though about hiking through it? The beauty of hiking is it’s low cost, it’s challenging and it brings you closer to nature than you ever thought possible. When Osteopath, Dr. Ashton Wilson recently travelled to Norway, she trailed many beautiful hikes, including the 28km climb to spectacular Trolltunga. Here are some tips to come from the experience to help you plan your next hike.
Make sure you understand what is required of the hike before you do it! Trolltunga is a 28km hike 1100m above sea level that will take 10-12 hours to complete, so make sure you prepare accordingly. Train your body for the right strength in the weeks leading up to your hike. Focus on strengthening your gluts for the climb and your hamstrings for the descent. This will really help you limit your risk of fatigue and injury along the way. No one wants to be the one who pops an achilles tendon 10km in, but trust, this does happen.
Because you have to carry everything in your pack and you don’t know what you might be faced with, it’s important to pack for ANY occasion, because once you’re up there, it’s a long way back to the car if you’ve forgotten something. Raincoat, sunscreen, sun hat and first-aid kit are essentials. For asthmatics, don’t forget your inhaler, the air gets very thin up there. It also never hurts to pack some strapping tape just in case someone rolls an ankle (if you need help learning strapping techniques, you can ask one of our Osteopaths at Alpha Sports Medicine & Osteopathy for assistance).
When you’re about 12km in and you feel the ending is never near, there’s nothing like the support of your crew to help push you through the mental barrier. An experience shared is one worth experiencing, so consider roping in a gang to hike with you. Hiking with friends also keeps you entertained, you can tell stories, sing Disney songs and solve the worlds problems all in a hike!
There’s nothing like a 12 hour hiking day to make you crave food all day long. Unfortunately, whatever you want to eat, you have to carry, so taking things like ice blocks to keep things cool will make your hike more difficult. Opt for high calorie, high fibre food that will give you the energy you need to complete the task. Something like this cheese in a tube (that doesn’t require refrigeration) on Nordic polar bread, you may not think it now, but it was absolutely delicious!
The fantastic thing about Norway is the large amount of waterfalls and fresh streams coming off the mountain. The rule of thumb is the higher up the mountain, the cleaner the water and less likelihood of contamination. However, it is highly recommended to take with you a water filter, you can get awesome bottles with filter nozzles online which means not only can you refill along the journey but this ensures your water is drinkable.
The most important thing to remember when doing a hike like this, is to do it your way. There are the seasoned professionals who can complete this hike in eight hours. If you’re more of the weekend warrior type hiker, make sure you take your time. It’s ok to stop for breaks to rest your body and catch your breath, especially if the scenery takes it away! The journey is always more memorable than the destination.
Hiking in Norway is simply incredible. With the panoramic views, tumbling waterfalls, icy fjords and soaring mountains at every turn. It’s an experience you’ll never forget. But remember, you don’t have to travel far to experience a great hike, there are plenty of National Parks in Victoria and across Australia worth visiting. So wherever you chose to hike next, get outside, take some friends and enjoy the adventure!