I'm currently planning a trekking trip in the north of Norway in September/early October.

Because most of my current gear is way to heavy or only for hot weather I'm buying a new set of camping equipment.

The gear I'm currently planning to buy is:

My question now is if the products listed above will comfortably keep me warm during the autumn weather of northern Norway.

The weather statistic for Tromsø would indicate that I will encounter temperatures from about 15°C to -5°C (59°F to 23°F). Tromsø weather

Aspects to take into consideration when answering or suggesting other gear:

  • I'm limited by my budget (student)
  • I do not want "throw-away" gear which won't last more than one trip
  • It's an 8-14 day trip
  • weight is important
  • 1
    This is just a guess, but a guess based on experience: I think you will be warm at the upper end of the range you quote, and a bit chilly at the lower end. The tent seems more than adequate, the sleeping bag marginal at the lower end, and I can't comment on the sleeping pad, because I have never used anything but the ordinary ensolite pad. But you can always sleep fully clothed, and wear your parka and a hat in your bag. And a lot depends on whether you tend to be warm, or tend to be cold.
    – ab2
    Commented Jun 12, 2019 at 2:15
  • @ab2 Thank you for the comment and I prefer a guess on experience rather than some numbers from a study without real world context so you were helpful! I choose the sleeping pad because of it's prize, weight and size and just hope that it will be good enough. If no one else answer I would accept your experience based answer (with an example if possible) as an answer (:
    – GittingGud
    Commented Jun 12, 2019 at 6:10

3 Answers 3


I can only speak from my own experience with equipment that I can only qualitatively compare with yours.

At the upper end of the range you quote (in the fifties F, 10+ degrees C), you will be warm (unless you are wet). So obviously, it is the lower end of the range that is of concern.

We do our backpacking with a three-season tent, with rainfly; your tent sounds as though it is better in the cold than ours, but possibly not. We camped as low as 4 degrees F, and although it was a horrible night (more later), the tent was not the problem. Assuming your tent is in good condition, it is adequate for your conditions.

On to your sleeping bag. I can't remember if our bags are rated to zero F or to 10 degrees F. Ours are definitely are not rated to below zero, F, but they are warmer than your 32 degree bag. They have always been adequate, although marginal in the 4 degrees F night. One beautiful, clear night we didn't bother setting up the tent, and camped under the stars beside the Tuolumne River. We woke up to find our bags looked like skating rinks. They were covered with icy snow, moisture condensed and frozen on the bags. Our thermometer said the temperature had bottomed at 19 degrees F. We were perfectly warm and comfortable all night. Your sleeping bag is most likely marginal at the lowest of your range, but adequate because you can wear your parka inside the bag. What will make you miserable is damp socks on a cold night. Take one more pair of socks than you think you will need.

Now for the pad. I'm not familiar with the pad you describe, and I don't know the R value of our pads. They are just ensolite pads, not thick, not special, not expensive. They have always been enough, except for that 4 degree F night, and their inadequacy was the source of our misery. However, we were camped on snow -- there was no bare ground anywhere -- and in the early night, heat escaped from our bodies and melted the snow beneath us, which later in the night froze. We were trying to sleep in a narrow, shallow depression of ice that had frozen into the position we occupied during our first period of sleep. The pad would probably have been adequate if there had been no snow, and I think a second pad apiece would have made us far more comfortable.

I'll guess that your pad is adequate except for sleeping on snow.

So your equipment sounds adequate to me, provided you have a parka, dry socks, and warm trousers.


Based on my experience

Most of the coldness I experienced while camping came from the ground.
My advice is to take an extra ensolite pad with you. Best one of those with those metallic surface on one side. Just place it under your sleeping pad. If size is also a concern, there are some models which can be folded to the size of a DIN A4 sheet.
And maybe just get a thin blanket with you, which you can wrap around your sleeping bag when it feels too cold. (or to place it under the sleeping bag, wherever you need a bit of extra insulation)

The coldest nights I experienced were at the beach of the north sea with temperatures around 0 C. The air was wet and cold. And coldness crept up from the sand. In the morning everything felt wet and cold, was a sleepless cold night.

Your tent and sleeping bag looks okay in my opinion.
But your sleeping pad not. But that depends on your sleeping position and your body shape. If you usually sleep on your back or on your belly, it can be adequate.
But if you sleep on your side and your body shape is more slim, than it can be painful and annoying because your hip bones need some volume to "dig" into so that you can get a comfy position.
(this is what makes camping not nice for me because I can only sleep on my side and at least for me it's difficult to get enough "bolster" material. But I'm very slim and maybe it's easier if you are a more solid person)

Anyway, I wish you much fun on your trip, may you make a lot of nice experiences

[Edit: Just a sentence regarding the R-Ratings. As far as I know they are not standardized among different manufactures because there are no official test requirements (citation needed)]

  • So investing in a better sleeping pad should be a consideration (as I'm also a side sleeper and this is the weakest part of my considered gear)? Do you have recommendations. The most popular seems the Thermarest NeoAir XLite but that is a step prize increase.
    – GittingGud
    Commented Jun 13, 2019 at 11:45
  • @GittingGud To be honest, I haven't find a solution yet either. The most comfy (but still uncomfy) solution I tried was a huge, bulky inflatable mattress which was like 18 cm thick. But it also depends on the ground/earth you're laying on. The "comfy" part is different from the insulation/staying warm part. With adding a common/cheap extra ensolite pad under your sleeping pad should be warm enough. But it's opinion based and also depends on your temperature sensitiveness
    – undefined
    Commented Jun 13, 2019 at 12:36
  • @GittingGud just observe how deep your hip bone dig into your mattress in your bed. This could give you a slightly better image of what I mean. If you can go to an outdoor equipment shop like Globetrotter and try some of the pads
    – undefined
    Commented Jun 13, 2019 at 12:38
  • 1
    @ab2 maybe its only me who had problems with that. But that was always the worse on every camping trip I made, that's why I thought it's worth to mention here
    – undefined
    Commented Jun 14, 2019 at 10:24
  • 2
    @undefined Sure, it Is worth cautioning the OP!
    – ab2
    Commented Jun 14, 2019 at 11:45

Your sleeping bag & tent setup looks ok but I would be a bit worried with the matress. 1.3R value is a bit limited and as the ground in Northern Norway can be pretty wet/cold in Troms, I would suggest you to buy another matress, some cheap Thermarest Z-lite or a Klymit Static V insulated from Massdrop (what I've been using during my whole year in Norway even for snow bivy camping in -10/-15°C)

To optimize the temperature range: -some woolen base layers: from any brand really, I like my Helly Hansen lifa merino ones but they are not the cheapest/lightest. -A thick pair of socks dedicated for sleeping: if you spend some time in town in Norge, check out XXL for that.

Remember to check the cabins around on Ut.no, you may save a ton of weight in food and gas by sleeping in hyttas with food reserve if you are a dnt member (and if you're young, that's crazy cheap for Norway)

Enjoy the trip, wish I could go back to this amazing place soon :'(

  • Thank you for your feedback! I've choose a sleeping pad with r-value of 3.5 and I've already got a dedicated sleeping base-layer consisting of merino stuff. As I've checked there was only one cabin on the island I wanna go but I might look further into it, didn't take it into consideration for saving food.
    – GittingGud
    Commented Jun 26, 2019 at 6:27

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