I'm planning to fly to Tromso in February with my friends. We'd like to stay for 3 - 4 days and have few questions, I'd be glad if someone could answer them.

  1. We are going to get a tent so we can use the "right to roam" and change our place of visit. Do you have any special tips for us? Which place is best for setting up the tent? We have some experience from wild camping in Poland and we always choose dense forest for this, but I know Tromso region lacks woodlands.

  2. We are taking food with us, too. Can we set up a fireplace? Can we use sticks already laying on the ground (I guess yes) or even cut down the tree (I guess not)? We always clean up after ourselves to leave place untouched, but don't wan't to bring or buy fuel if we can use what nature offers.

  3. I know there are free and open cabins in the area. Some of them are possibly reachable for a one day hike, but some are quite a distance away. How easy is to hitchhike in Norway?

  4. What would happen if the cabin is already occupied? Or if anyone else comes to it after us? Is there some kind of reservation system?

I'll edit the question if anything comes to my mind. Thank you!

  • Related: travel.stackexchange.com/q/18930/2509
    – gerrit
    Commented Dec 20, 2017 at 14:37
  • Will you get around on skis or on snowshoes?
    – gerrit
    Commented Dec 20, 2017 at 14:46
  • @gerrit we have not decided yet, probably snowshoes, but have little experience here because we hardly have any snow in northern Poland :/
    – Mark
    Commented Dec 20, 2017 at 14:47
  • @gerrit, would it make sense for you to post a comment on that question at Travel:SE pointing to this as a "related question"? I don't know that site well enough, or whether or not this question qualifies as related from their perspective. It's just a thought! Commented Dec 24, 2017 at 1:29

1 Answer 1

  1. The Tromsø region does not lack woodlands. If you go out into Bardu into spectacular Dividalen National Park, there are plenty of woodlands. However, mountain birch forests in winter are nothing like dense forests in Poland or other midlatitude regions. The trees are 3–7 metre high and lots of light passes through, so in most forests your opportunities for aurora viewing are fine. Both in Dividalen and on Senja there are free and open cabins that are deep in the woods (the one in Dividalen will be at least two days walking/skiing, though, and can be tricky to find; I've read some reports of people concluding it didn't exist!).

  2. Yes, you can light a fire. Open fires are prohibited below the treeline between 15 April and 15 September. In February you're fine. Bring your own firewood or collect dead wood from the ground. Do not cut off branches from living trees. In February it may be difficult to tell dead from living trees, so do not cut off any branches at all.

  3. I've hitchhiked in Norway and I've found it works quite well, but I would recommend to try buses as well. The road closest to some of those cabins may be a rural road with little traffic, so it may be a couple of hours before you get picked up. You might be better off roadwalking from the nearest bus stop.

  4. There is no reservation system. For DNT huts, it is possible to reserve a bed for a specific place. If you don't arrive by 21:00, your reservation is no longer guaranteed (in other words, after 21:00 you can take any available bed, including reserved beds). Other than that, for people arriving the same day, it's first come first served. If you've already stayed one or more nights, the group who has stayed the largest number of nights should leave to make place for the newly arrived group. This is even more true if you can sleep in a tent. Children have priority and get a bed in any case. For huts not in the DNT system, rules vary depending on who owns or manages them, but the most basic/free huts such as the Statskog ones tend to have no reservations.

  • The DNT huts introduced a reservation system as a result of COVID, and the reservation system is still in place. The reservation is for a specific bed. If someone arrives before 9pm with a reservation for the bed, you have to give it to them. If someone arrive without a reservation (at any time), they can take any free bed or sleep on the floor / couches / in a tent next to the hut if all beds are full. I have been told that DNT only allows half the beds in any hut to be reserved. Commented Sep 7, 2022 at 10:29
  • @BrunoRijsman You're right, I saw that when I was in Norway in a hut a couple of weeks ago. Edited to update the answer. The OP mentioned "free and open" though, which are typically Statskog huts and I don't think they have a reservation system?
    – gerrit
    Commented Sep 26, 2022 at 13:51

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