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

It is important to pack the right equipment for your pilgrimage, especially if you plan to sleep in a tent along the way. Here you’ll find advice on what to bring in your backpack.

Foto: Eskil Roll

Experienced hikers know that it is important to pack light to have as comfortable a trip as possible. But it's also important to be prepared for changing weather and temperatures. The same applies to a pilgrimage in Norway, especially if you want to sleep outside in a tent for all or part of the trip. Markus Holzmann chose to bring a tent, a sleeping bag and a primus on his 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 15 kg 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 pair of swim shorts
14. Backpack (60 l)
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
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