A Night at the Hardangervidda Hilton

By Phil on 2015.07.28 In Norway

I decided to try and do our 30km wild camp hike with only my Kaipak 38 litre rucksack, which had to include tent and my sleeping bag, which as my usual hiking mates will tell you is a tough challenge for me, as I quite easily fill my 38 or 45 litre rucksacks on my normal day hikes with all my gadgets.

I decided I could probably sacrifice some usual essentials like my DSLR camera, tripod, solar panel charger, Bluetooth keyboard and my comfy pillow. Anyhow I managed it, though I’m now thinking I really need a 58 litre rucksack for future overnight wild camps.

Not long into the hike I noticed a wooden sign of a stick man hanging from a tree. It looked like a sign for the gents in the woods. This reminded me of my Fjällräven Polar mates Jostein and Phil’s “one sheet” sketch during our Polar adventure in 2014, which I re-told to Jason. As when you are out in the wild and you need to go to toilet, you really do only need one sheet. For more information on how it’s done, watch Jostein and Phil’s video demo below.

As we continued on our hike onto the Hardangervidda plateau I noticed the rocks looked a lot like the ones I saw when doing Trolltunga last year with Jostein. So I started telling Jason the story about that epic adventure where after getting slightly lost and miles away from Trolltunga we decided to abandon our rucksacks as they were slowing us down and Jostein covered them with his camouflage sleeping bag which was identical pattern to the rocks we were seeing. The camouflage was so good we couldn’t even see it. So we left a banana on a high rock next to it. Jason said that was a great plan as long as there were no monkeys hiking Trolltunga that day. Which he had a point.

Anyway back to the hike. It was a cracking day and by far the best weather we had experienced so far during our trip. It was so good it brought the mosquitos out in force. There were hoards of them and for some reasons they bloody love me! So it was time to try my new Fjällräven Marlin all one mosquito hat, which seemed to do the trick.

We had decided to take the route direct from the quirky mountain hut Fjellstue that we stayed in the night before rather than start from the more popular Rjukan along the road. This was a masterstroke as we had the hike to ourselves until it joined the path from Rjukan after about 12km. Even then we only saw about another 10 people throughout the day.

Along the way we kept picking out spots which we thought would be ideal for our nights wild camp. We were spoilt for choice to be honest, such a stunning place.

We continued to hike across the plateau before heading towards one of the spots we picked out earlier.

After I pitched the tent while Jason watched, we dove inside to avoid the mosquitos and rest. It had been a Hardanger of a day but a cracking one. 

To see how to pitch a tent in 30 seconds while your mate watches, checkout video below.

Camping on the Hardangervidda plateau is like staying at a Hilton. A very spacious room, surrounded by 100s of infinity pools, acres of bathroom space, very attentive staff (if mosquitos can be classed as staff), stunning sunsets and we even had coffee making facilities in the form of my Primus Lite+ stove and ground coffee press. All for free! I guess that’s the beauty of the outdoors and nature. It also has a hell of lot more than 5 stars! 

Jason below asking the mosquitos nicely to bugger off!

Woke early and had our fresh coffee fix before we headed back down towards Rjukan. On the way we decided to take a detour and take in the Sabortøstein route, which was a route used by the saboteurs allied forces during World War II who crept down from Hardangervidda to Vemork to blow up the heavy water factory occupied by the Nazis. It was a cracking alternative route and can’t imagine what it must have been like doing it during WW II in winter conditions. The film Hero’s of Telemark starring Kirk Douglas and Richard Harris tells the story of the saboteurs.

On another note. My theory that mosquitos bite in symmetry is still holding true as I have bites on each cheek (face cheeks not backside), on top of my head as if I had horns sticking out, on each shoulder and each forearm.

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Welcome to my blog about hiking, trekking, Fjällräven Polar 2014, in fact anything where you require boots and the outdoors.

My name is Phil, and following my outdoor epiphany which started in the summer of 2012 I’m now hooked on everything outdoors. So far my biggest treks have included the 250km Cathar Way, the 170km Tour du Mont Blanc and best of all, winning 1st place to take part in the Fjällräven Polar in April 2014.

I plan to use this blog to write about all my adventures, which will include my personal goal of becoming a Munroist (completing all 282 Scottish Munro mountains), summer treks, weekends in the Lakes and many more.

I like to try and make my blog posts humorous so I hope you enjoy reading and that I can put a smile on people’s faces while showing you some amazing places.

If you have any questions about the blog or the places I'm writing about, don't hesitate to contact me on: phil@philyourboots.com

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