35 items to pack when sleeping in a tent on your pilgrim walk

Walking the pilgrim path many choose to bring a tent. When doing so, it is important to plan well and pack functionally and light.

Foto: Eskil Roll

Packing light is imperative for a successful pilgrim walk. Markus Holzmann chose to bring a tent, a sleeping bag and a primus on his journey from Oslo to Trondheim. He started the preparations at home in Germany by reading up on the pilgrim path in Norway. Besides taking a Norwegian language course(!) the choice of equipment and test packing became an important part of the preparation. He thought thoroughly about what he really needed to bring and found the lightest alternatives possible. He even went to the children’s department at IKEA to find a tiny spatula.

Markus’ backpack weighed 15kg when he embarked from Oslo in the afternoon the 20th of June. It was the10th of July when he arrived at the Nidaros Cathedral. He had then walked a total of 643 km, with an impressive average of 30 km per day. Most nights Markus slept in a tent and according to him, this is the reason he walked such long distances each day.

–I just kept on walking until the evening came. When that happened, I just found a nice place to pitch the tent. It was a great experience to sleep outside.

Marcus’s packing list (for sleeping in tent on your pilgrimage)

1. Rain poncho

2. Caps

3. Buff

4. Watertight Bag

5. Two t-shirts

6. Wind proof anorak

7. Shorts

8. Hiking pants

9. Woollen waistcoat

10. Hiking shoes

11. Sandals

12. Three pairs of socks

13. Two boxers and a swim shorts

14. Backpack (60l)

15. Light tent

16. Light sleeping bag

17. Light sleeping pad

18. Mosquito repellent

19. Heating foil

20. Camping stove + lighter

21. Drinking bottle

22. A small kettle

23. Mug and spork (spoon and fork combined)

24. Pocketknife

25. Spatula (mini)

26. Map / compass (but he mostly used the map on his cell phone)

27. Provisions like freeze-dried food, cheese and mackerel on tube, thin bread, oatmeal, chocolate (Walters Almonds are awesome)

28. Toothbrush/dental paste (travel size)

29. Soap in a travel bottle

30. Toilet paper

31. First aid kit + tea tree oil

32. Guidebook (and the pilgrim passport)

33. Cell phone with charger and power bank

34. Light walking sticks

35. Small camera with a mini-tripod

This is the equipment Markus brought on his pilgrim walk. Here photographed after he had walked 600 km and had arrived in Trondheim. Photo: Eskil Roll

3 things to leave at home:

  1. The heavy single lens reflex camera and the big tele lens
  2. PC/tablet
  3. Extra shoes (but make sure the ones you are wearing are waterproof).


  • Many would prefer a woollen jacket or a windproof fleece jacket instead of a woollen waistcoat
  • Markus says that he would have swapped the sandals for flip-flops for use in the evenings. (Sandals are heavier to carry and are not meant for walking anyway).
  • Bring a beanie and a pair of waterproof mittens.
  • Markus got his camping stove from a military outlet in Sweden.
  • An ordinary primus for gas will be easier to get and is a good alternative.
  • Gaiters are good for wearing when you use a rain poncho. An alternative to rain poncho would be a waterproof jacket and pants along with a waterproof cover for the backpack. An inflatable, light pillow can also be good to bring.
  • Plastic bags are convenient for keeping clothes and equipment in.
  • With very few exceptions, the Gudbrandsdalen path is well marked in Markus’s opinion. He managed well with the maps and the list of places to sleep that he found on pilegrimsleden.no