Norway Expedition

Imagine a night that doesn't get dark in a country where the sea cuts deep inland below sheer cliffs. Now picture yourself there—hiking and kayaking, having fun and making friends, being challenged and notching accomplishments at every turn. When you look ahead to next summer, imagine the best summer of your life.   

Overview Details Itinerary What to Pack FAQs Before You Go

Overview

Explore deep coastal fjords and breathtaking mountain landscapes in a land of the midnight sun!

Norway’s got it all – incredible landscapes, friendly locals, a fascinating culture and some of the most stunning summer hiking there is.

After we meet in Oslo, we’ll head north towards Maurvangen, a small town right outside one of Norway’s largest national parks. In Maurvangen we’ll camp, hike and explore some of the most spectacular day hikes Norway has to offer.

From here, we’ll head to Voss to sea kayak through the fjords. Working with professional guides, we’ll learn basic paddling skills before heading out on our three-day trip. We’ll paddle among Norway’s famous fjords, hiking on the second day to look back on just how far we’ve come. We’ll cook together each night with our guides, enjoying Norway’s 24-hour summer light.

We finish with a backpacking trip through Jotunheimen National Park. In one of Norway’s most popular national parks, we’ll enjoy panoramic views from some of Norway’s highest mountains. Our sense of camaraderie will be strong now, and we’ll be at our best as we finish the trek over one of Norway’s most popular locations, the Besseggen ridge.

Back in Oslo, we will reflect on the things we’ve accomplished and the friends we’ve made. There will be stories to tell, and we’ll know that when we head home, this journey will stay with us forever. Having spent time in such a unique place, with people that we’ve come to rely on, our need to explore will continue to grow.

Questions? Contact us!

Initially, we chose Overland because we wanted an active program where our daughter would feel both challenged and supported. Now that she has been on a few trips, we continue to choose Overland because she is developing as a peer and leader in wonderful locations.


- Todd Simkin, Richmond, Virginia

Day 1: Trip Start in Oslo

We’ll meet at the Oslo Airport before hopping on Norway’s world-class public transport to begin our adventure together. We’ll camp as a group right outside the city where we’ll start to get to know one another as we learn basic camping skills, review gear and look at the two weeks ahead of us.

Day 2: Travel to Maurvangen and Hike

On our first morning together, we’ll travel North through the beautiful countryside of Norway towards a small town right outside Jotunheimen National Park. At our campground, we’ll have time to set-up our tents, learn what it takes to work together as a team and explore some of the famous trails in the area.

Days 3 & 4: Day Hikes in a National Park

We’ll start with a number of day hikes, which will help us get our hiking legs underneath us and give us a chance to look at what lies ahead. We’ll start with Bitihorn Mountain and hike either Knutshøe Mountain or the Gjensheim on the second day, both of which will give the group a great look at where we will be finishing our backcountry hike.  

Days 5-7: Sea Kayaking in the Fjords

Working with professional guides, we’ll learn basic kayak paddling and safety skills. We’ll set off from the beautiful Nordic village of Voss and adventure out through the narrow inlets of the Fjords, which are walled by sheer cliffs that dive straight into the water. We’ll camp each night at waterside locations, cooking and learning about the Norwegian culture with our guides. Hiking in between the days of paddling, our group will great a great opportunity to look back on just how far they’ve come.

Days 8-11: Hike in Jotunheimen

We’ll make our way back east as we head into Norway’s mightiest mountain range, Jotunheimen National Park. After spending a day preparing, our group will head out to begin what is widely considered the most desired four-day trek in the Park. The route offers towering peaks, high glacier plateaus and even the occasional herd of reindeer. Averaging eight miles each day and practicing Leave No Trace principles, we’ll continue to grow stronger as group. Passing snow capped peaks and walking along extraordinary glacial lakes we’ll come to depend on one another. We’ll end the hike on top of a beautiful ridge, giving us the opportunity to look back on everything we accomplished and celebrate together over a successful trek.

Day 12: Trip End

On our last full day together, we’ll make the journey back to Norway’s capital, where it all began. We’ll remember all the people we met and the places we explored. Our final dinner will give us the opportunity to reflect and appreciate the friendships we made and the adventures we shared in the Land of the Midnight Sun.

Accommodations

7 nights of frontcountry camping. Campground facilities will have flush toilets and may have showers and laundry.

5 nights of backcountry camping, occasionally with access to bathroom facilities.

Itinerary may vary by group and is subject to change.

Clothing

  • Navy Overland T-Shirt (1)
    We will send every student an Overland T-shirt prior to the trip. Please wear this T-shirt to trip start.
  • Fleece Pants (1)
    Please do not bring cotton sweatpants (they are heavy and bulky and will not keep you warm if wet).
  • Synthetic Hiking Pants (1)
    Lightweight and quick dry material. Non-cotton warmup style pants are acceptable.
  • Synthetic Long Underwear Top & Bottom (1)
  • Synthetic or Wool Top (1)
     Medium to heavyweight. For layering with long underwear and jackets.
  • Winter Hat
  • Gloves or Mittens
    Insulated, warm and waterproof. Avoid knit and porous materials.
  • Synthetic Shorts (1)
  • Synthetic T-Shirt (3)
  • Underwear (5)
  • Wool and/or Synthetic Socks (4)
  • Neck Gaiter or Buff (optional)
    To protect the neck and face from the elements
  • Hat with Visor
  • Swimsuit (optional)

Outer Layers

  • Fleece Jacket or Pullover (1)
  • Packable Synthetic or Down Jacket (1)
    Midweight, compressible, synthetic (Primaloft or similar) or down jacket. Full zip or 1/4 zip are acceptable.
  • Waterproof Raincoat (1)
  • Waterproof Rain Pants (1)

General Gear

  • Internal Frame Backpack
     65-85 liters or 4,000-5,100 cubic inches. Before purchasing a backpack, find your backpack size by measuring your torso length and your hips (instructions are available here). We recommend getting fitted at a store and trying on multiple packs.
  • Waterproof Pack Cover
    If your backpack does not come with a cover, we recommend buying a cover one size larger than your pack.
  • Small Carry-on Bag
    Basic two-shoulder backpack to use as a carry-on.  This bag will be stored in Oslo for the trip, since it can't be carried on the Aurlandsdalen trek.
  • Synthetic Sleeping Bag
    A lightweight, compact synthetic sleeping bag rated to 15 degrees Fahrenheit or less. A synthetic sleeping bag is required for this trip; down is not appropriate as it does not insulate if wet. Your sleeping bag should compress into a stuff sack no larger than 20" in length.
  • Sleeping Pad
    ¾-length or full-length closed cell foam (thin and firm) or self-inflating.
  • Bowl, Mug & Utensils
    6" to 8" plastic dish or bowl with top, insulated plastic mug, spoon, fork and knife. These don't need to be special camping utensils (a Tupperware dish and regular utensils are fine).
  • Water Bottle
    One 1-liter bottle. A Camelbak or similar water carrier is acceptable.
  • Flashlight or Headlamp
  • Adjustable Trekking Poles
    To add stability, reduce strain on the knees and improve balance while crossing unstable surfaces.

Footwear

  • Waterproof Hiking Boots
    Choose comfortable boots designed for hiking with a pack (i.e., mid to high cut for ankle support).  Boots should be waterproof. Break them in before the start of your trip.
  • Camp Shoes
    Closed-toe shoes to wear around camp. Crocs or lightweight tennis shoes are ideal.

Miscellaneous

  • Synthetic Camping Towel
    A medium-size synthetic camping towel (synthetic camping towels dry much faster than regular towels).
  • Gallon Sized Ziploc Bags
    To organize and waterproof your gear and small items.
  • Large Trash Bags
    To waterproof your gear.
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen (SPF 15+) & Chapstick (with SPF protection)
  • Travel Size Toiletries
  • Package of Moleskin or Molefoam
    To protect your feet from blisters.
  • Camera, Charger & Extra Batteries
    A digital or disposable camera.
  • Personal Journal or Book (optional)
  • Insect Repellent

Important Documents

  • Health Insurance Card
    Please bring an original or copy of your health insurance card.
  • Passport
    Please bring a passport that is valid until at least six months after your trip end date.
  • Passport Photocopies
    Make at least four photocopies of your passport and visa (if applicable). Leave one copy with your family and put photocopies in both your checked luggage and carry-on luggage for the flight, separate from your original documents.
  • Permission to Travel to and from Norway
    Please bring a copy of your Permission to Travel to and from Norway form.

Spending Money

  • Spending Money & Miscellaneous Expenses
    Each student should bring a debit card, an ATM card or a prepaid Visa card to cover spending money and miscellaneous expenses. Spending Money: While all meals and activities are included in the trip fee, we recommend $25/week for spending money (for example: for souvenirs or an occasional drink or snack beyond what is provided to the group as a whole). Miscellaneous Expenses: Most Overland students will incur some expenses while traveling (for example: an equipment repair or baggage fees at trip end). Please add $100 to the debit/ATM/Visa card (in addition to spending money), to cover these expenses.

Things to know

  • We travel light at Overland; please only bring the items on your packing list.
  • Your group will have access to laundry periodically.
  • Please do not bring your smart phone (or any other electronics).
    Please visit the FAQ tab for more information on our cell phone and electronics policy.
  • Do not bring any type of knife or multi-tool (such as a Swiss Army knife or Leatherman tool).
  • If you are flying to your trip start, wear your hiking boots and carry your sleeping bag and sleeping pad on the plane in case your checked luggage fails to arrive on time.
  • Pack everything in your backpack or day pack. Do not bring additional luggage.
  • There are no reimbursements for lost, damaged or stolen items.
    Please schedule expensive items—phones, cameras, bicycles, etc.—on your homeowners insurance policy.
  • Please wear the navy Overland T-shirt that you receive from Overland to your trip start location.
  • What is the weather like on Norway Expedition?

    The weather in Norway during the summer varies widely, though its climate is relatively temperate. Average temperatures in July range from the 40s to 60s during the day and are cooler at night. Brief rain showers are common, and it can change quickly from sunny and warm to windy, rainy and cold.

  • What are the arrival and departure airports for my child's trip?

    You will need to arrange transportation for your child to and from Oslo International Airport (OSL) at trip start and end. We will provide more specific travel information once we have placed your child on a trip.

  • How often will my child have access to showers and laundry?

    Groups typically shower and do laundry once a week.

  • Please tell me about the currency on this trip.

    Norway uses the Norwegian krone (plural: kroner). Our leaders can help students withdraw kroner using a debit card or exchange US dollars upon arrival in Norway.

  • Please tell me about safety at Overland.

    Safety and risk management are at the forefront of our decision-making–from trip planning to leader training to supporting our groups in the field. We cannot guarantee absolute safety–no program can. All recreational activities include inherent risks. Therefore, we strive to manage the risks that we can, knowing we cannot eliminate them. We work hard to recruit, train and support our trip leaders so they can create the kind of trips that have made us successful for over 30 years. Please click here to read more about our approach to risk management and our accreditation by the American Camp Association.

  • Does my child need to have previous experience?

    While no previous experience is required, we have high expectations of our students. We expect your child–with your help–to select a trip that is appropriate for his or her interests and abilities. You should spend some time familiarizing yourself with the details of the specific trip and help your child understand what to expect. We also expect our students to prepare ahead of time: to review the packing list, gather clothing and gear and complete whatever training the trip requires (for recommended training please see the Before You Go tab). Once the trip begins, your child should be ready–and excited–to contribute to a wholesome and enthusiastic group where each group member feels welcomed and valued.

  • Please tell me about Overland's admissions process.

    When we receive your application, if your first choice is available, we will: (1) call you to acknowledge our receipt of your application, (2) send you an email with a link to our Admissions Review Forms, and (3) charge a deposit of $795 to your credit card to hold your place in the trip pending a favorable admissions review. If your first choice is not available, we will call you to discuss your second choice, third choice or other options. For more information, and to access our application, please visit our Apply page.

  • What are Overland’s policies on phones, electronics and communication?

    PHONES
    To maximize independence and self-reliance, we do not permit phone calls, emails or text messages to or from our campers. Your child will call home on arrival and departure with our phones and assistance, and in the case of an emergency. If your child brings a phone for use while en route to Overland, please do not send an expensive smartphone, instead, an inexpensive prepaid cell phone will do. All phones will be collected on arrival and returned at departure. While we will take reasonable steps to prevent damage, theft or loss, we take no responsibility for phones and we will not make any reimbursements for lost, damaged or stolen phones.

     

    ELECTRONICS
    Cameras are welcome but please do not bring any other electronics (e.g., iPods, iPads, Kindles or other readers, GPS or similar devices). All electronics (except cameras) will be mailed home on arrival (at your risk and expense).

     

    COMMUNICATION
    We are committed to providing extraordinary support to you and your child; to that end, the Overland office is staffed from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. seven days a week during the summer. Outside of office hours our answering service provides emergency coverage. Our leaders in the field are in touch with our office regularly; they carry cell phones (and in some cases satellite phones). Anytime a camper is treated for an injury or illness by a doctor or other medical personnel, parents are notified by our office. A director will call the parents to explain the nature of the injury or illness, the sequence of events leading up to the injury and/or the steps leading to the treatment. Parents are typically able to speak with the medical personnel, with the leaders and with their child.

  • What vaccinations and medications does my child need in order to travel abroad with Overland?

    Overland strongly recommends that families of students traveling abroad consult their child’s doctor and visit a travel clinic well before the start of the program to discuss options for travel-related vaccinations and medications. These are in addition to your child’s routine vaccinations and regularly prescribed medication.

    You and your doctor are encouraged to generally review information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. State Department, the World Health Organization (WHO) or other sources, in addition to the specifics of your selected program, to consider health issues and determine what, if any, travel-related vaccinations and medications are appropriate for your child. Overland will provide a “Travel Vaccinations & Medications” form to assist with this process.

  • Can I send mail to my child during a trip?

    Getting a letter, card or postcard while on an Overland trip is always exciting. Please keep in mind that sending mail to your child on an Overland trip is different than sending mail to camp because your child will be on the move. Our experience has been that mail often does not arrive on time, and, sometimes, even when it does, post offices, campgrounds and other mail stops do not reliably deliver mail to our groups. For these reasons:

     

    1. Please do not send anything valuable – please send letters, cards or postcards only.  If mail is late, lost or misdirected, Overland’s leaders and staff are not able to return to the post office (or other mail stop) to collect it.

    2. Please use the US Postal Service first-class mail only; do not use UPS, FedEx or DHL (many of our mail stops accept US Postal Service mail only).

    3. Please do not send overnight letters: many overnighted letters arrive before or after we arrive and are then sent back. For this same reason, please do not send mail that requires a signature upon delivery.

    4. Please allow one week for postal delivery to U.S. mail stops.

    5. Please allow two weeks for postal delivery to international mail stops.

Explore the best of Norway!

Students going on Norway Expedition should prepare for:

  • Full days of outdoor activities led by two caring Overland leaders
  • Day hikes to viewpoints and mountaintops
  • A multi-day backpacking trip designed for first-time backpackers
  • A fun, supportive and wholesome Overland experience

We expect you to arrive to your trip fully prepared for all activities.

Preparing for the Hiking

On Norway Expedition, you will hike on well-established trails over a wide range of terrain, from meadows to hills to mountains. You'll start with day hikes where you'll carry just the essentials for the day (snacks and lunch, water, a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen, bug spray and a raincoat). As the group's skills and fitness increase, you'll set out on a multi-day backpacking trip. While backpacking, you will carry all of your belongings (clothes, sleeping bag and pad), some group gear, food and water. Typically when backpacking, pack weights average about 30% of a hiker's weight. In the month before your trip, you should break-in your hiking boots (wear them a lot!) and complete the pre-trip training (see below). Once on your trip, you'll find that enthusiasm and a positive attitude will help to make the trip a success for you... and for everyone in your group.

Pre-trip Training:

  • 4 weeks before your trip: three 60-minute hikes or walks in your boots.
  • 3 weeks before your trip: three 90-minute hikes or walks in your boots.
  • 2 weeks before your trip: three 2-hour hikes in your boots with a backpack loaded with 20% of your body weight.
  • 1 week before your trip: four 2.5-hour hikes in your boots with a backpack loaded with 30% of your body weight.

Preparing for an Overland Experience

Overland trips are wholesome, structured experiences with high expectations of each student’s behavior. You are expected to be enthusiastic, positive, helpful and supportive of your trip mates and your leaders. We ask that you leave your cell phone and electronics at home (cameras are always welcome), so you can fully engage with your group and your trip. Arriving ready for a challenge—and eager to contribute to an enthusiastic group—will go a long way toward creating a successful trip. Please contact us if you’d like to discuss preparing for your Overland trip!