Have you ever wondered if you can hike throughout all of Scandinavia? In theory, it’s possible, but it’s really, really hard. It would take many months of your life and a lot of effort. However, if you’re curious to know if it can actually be done, we did some research, and we’re here to share what we found. Let’s explore the idea of hiking across the entire Scandinavian region and see what it would take to make this a reality.
What is the suggested route for hiking throughout all of Scandinavia?
To hike across the whole of Scandinavia, the recommended route starts in Copenhagen, Denmark. From there, you can begin your journey by crossing the Øresund Bridge into Sweden. Then, you’ll hike through the beautiful landscapes of Skåne and eventually reach the Kungsleden (King’s Trail) in the Swedish Lapland. This trail stretches over 400 kilometers, guiding you through Northern Sweden’s wilderness.
Continuing your hiking, you’ll venture into Norway, where you will find plenty of spectacular hiking trails. You can hike the famous Trolltunga, a scenic cliff jutting out over a fjord, and pass through the Pulpit Rock (Preikestolen). The next step is hiking across the challenging but rewarding Besseggen Ridge in Jotunheimen National Park and then through Romsdalseggen Ridge.
As you cross the border into Finland you enter the Finnish Lapland. Here, you can explore the trails of Urho Kekkonen National Park, where rolling fells and pristine lakes dominate the landscape. The charming village of Kilpisjärvi can be considered a satisfying conclusion to the hike.
How long does it take to hike throughout all of Scandinavia?
Based on calculations using Google Maps, it would take approximately 6 months to complete the hike. We considered the suggested route across Scandinavia, hiking 2,900 kilometers from the starting point in Copenhagen to the endpoint in Kilpisjärvi. We took into account that an average hiker dedicates around 6 hours per day to hiking and covers an estimated distance of 20-25 kilometers per day.
This time frame has also taken into consideration the diverse landscapes, the varying trail conditions, the need for rest days, and the exploration of the top sights along the way. It’s important to remember that these calculations are rough estimates, and individual hiking paces, weather conditions, and personal preferences can influence the actual duration of the hike.
|Copenhagen to Stockholm||1 month|
|Stockholm to Trondheim||1.5 months|
|Trondheim to Tromsø||1.5 months|
|Tromsø to Kilpisjärvi||2 months|
How much does it cost to hike throughout all of Scandinavia?
Hiking throughout all of Scandinavia would come with certain costs to consider. Firstly, it’s important to note that you won’t be able to work during the entire hike, which will last around 6 months. This means you’ll need savings or a passive income source to support yourself.
When it comes to expenses, there are four main categories to consider:
Food expenses will depend on your dietary preferences and whether you plan to cook your own meals or rely on restaurants. On average, budgeting around $10-$20 per day for food should be reasonable.
Accommodation costs will vary and they mainly depend on whether you plan to do free camping or rent rooms. If you choose to camp, it’s generally more affordable, with campsite fees ranging from $10-$30 per night. Opting for hotels, cabins, or bed and breakfasts will be more expensive, ranging from $50-$150 per night.
When it comes to clothes, investing in quality hiking gear is essential for comfort and safety. This includes items like waterproof jackets, hiking boots, and thermal layers. You will also need to buy extra clothing on your way because it will be hard to carry too much stuff with you. Depending on your needs and existing gear, budgeting around $500-$1000 should be a reasonable estimate.
You should also expect various expenses such as entrance fees to national parks or attractions, medication, entertainment, and unexpected costs. It’s advisable to have a contingency fund of around $1000 to account for these unforeseen expenses.
Taking into account all the above expenses, the estimated cost for hiking throughout all of Scandinavia, including food, accommodation, clothing, and other miscellaneous expenses, could range from approximately $12,000 to $16,000.
What are the challenges that you will face?
Hiking across the entire Scandinavian region comes with several challenges, Here’s some:
- Health issues: Getting sick or having an accident is almost certain during such a long journey.
- Fatigue: The demanding nature of the hike may leave you extremely tired sometimes, potentially requiring rest days.
- Heavy gear: Carrying necessary equipment and supplies can make the trip more physically challenging.
- Weather conditions: Unpredictable weather can present obstacles, including rain, storms, or extreme cold.
- Loneliness: Hiking alone can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness, especially in remote areas.
- Mental strength: Endurance and resilience are essential to handle the physical and mental pressures of the journey.
- Navigation difficulties: Navigating through unfamiliar places without clear signs or paths can be tough.
- Wildlife encounters: Scandinavia is home to some dangerous animals. Meeting them may be exciting but it also requires caution.
- Limited resources: Some areas may have limited access to food, water, or facilities, so you need to plan and be prepared.
- Seasonal changes: Snow, ice, or shorter daylight hours during certain seasons can affect your journey, so be ready.
Has anybody ever done it?
Surprising as it may seem, some people actually did it! One such example is Andrew Skurka, an accomplished long-distance hiker and adventurer. In 2009, he completed a 4,700-mile trek across Scandinavia, covering the northern regions of Norway, Sweden, and Finland. His expedition took approximately seven months to complete.
Another great hiker, Janne Corax, embarked on a similar adventure. In 2014, he completed a 3,500-mile hike across Scandinavia, traveling through Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland. His expedition lasted for about six months, and he documented his journey in a book titled “Vandra Skandinavien” (Hiking Scandinavia).
So, can you hike throughout all of Scandinavia?
Before you start backpacking, ask yourself the following questions: Do you have enough time and money to dedicate to this challenge? Are you physically fit enough for such a demanding journey? Do you have the mindset to stay focused and committed until the end? If the answer to all is a clear “yes”, then indeed, you have the potential to accomplish this remarkable feat.