Norway is a great country for people loving the outdoors. But let’s face it, the weather can be somewhat unpredictable. The unstable weather conditions are something we see more and more of in the United States, making the advice from Norwegian adventurers both applicable and valuable to Americans as well.
As it turns out, “experienced” hikers in Norway have developed a set of rules that anyone can use to improve their chances of having a successful adventure no matter if you are just bike camping in Northern America or climbing mountains. As long as you are outside, these nine mountain weather rules will help you stay safe.
Rule 1: Plan Your Trip And Let Someone Know Wher You Are Going
This is a no-brainer for most people, but you’d be surprised how many people break this rule. This is a wise rule to follow because it’s the only way others will know where to start looking for you if something goes wrong. As a bonus, let someone know precisely where you are going and for how long.
Rule 2: Adapt Your Trip To Your Abilities And The Conditions
The conditions are what they are. It’s usually not possible to change the weather, but you can constantly adjust your plans or even hiking time to mitigate risks. If it starts raining in the middle of riding a bike with your dog, maybe you’ll want to find a shelter until it stops.
Rule 3: Respect The Weather Forecast
This sounds like such a simple rule, but it’s broken very frequently. A weather forecast is just that; a forecast of what may happen in the future. The severe conditions expected may not come to pass, and the milder conditions predicted may deteriorate rapidly. However, it’s wise to plan for the worst scenario.
Rule 4: Be Prepared For Storms And Cold Weather, Even On Short Trips
The mountains are not always friendly. It’s essential to come prepared for any situation, even if you only plan on being outside for half a day or less.
Rule 5: Bring Gear That Can Help You And Others
This rule sounds very official, but this is just a reminder that having the necessary gear to help yourself and others survive in bad weather conditions is essential. This means equipment such as a compass and a first aid kit.
Rule 6: Choose Safe Routes – Recognise Thin Ice And Danger of An Avalanche
Sometimes there are no safe routes. However, the avalanche risk often changes during the day, so it’s essential to know when you can cross which areas safely. The same applies to ice; it’s dangerous even if the surface looks solid because of warm weather conditions.
Rule 7: Use A Map And A Compass To Be Aware Of Where Your Are
It’s possible to get lost even if you follow the rules and stick to marked trails. It doesn’t take much for your sense of direction to be skewed or confused, so keeping track of where you are at all times is a good idea.
Rule 8: There Is No Shame In Turning Around
You are the person who decides what is safe for you to do, no one else. If you feel uncomfortable with a situation or your physical condition, turn around before it gets worse.
Rule 9: Save Energy And Find Shelter If Necessary
Sometimes it’s better to find shelter than to keep hiking. Save the energy you have for situations where you need it.
A Summary Of The 9 Mountain Weather Rules
These nine mountain weather rules are just guidelines, but they can be helpful for anyone who spends time outside, no matter what the activity is. And don’t forget; these rules should be treated as a minimum standard, and everyone should keep their safety in mind as well.
The original version of these rules is named “Fjellvettregler,” and you can find them here if you know the language.