Norway Winter - Prelude
Through my hikes in Iceland and Greenland I had mastered hiking pretty well. However, I still hadn't completed a successful winter hike. My hikes with Bart in the Ardennes and Black Forest went OK, but had been very tough. During my solo winter hike in the Vosges and Corsica all sorts of things had gone wrong. By going on another trip I wanted to improve my skills in winter hiking.
After considering my options I decided to go to Oslo. The city borders a large forest with plenty of snow, but has enough people to keep hiking safe. Due to all my cycling and hiking trips I already had more outdoor gear than the average store, but I still bought a new jacket, headlamp, backpack cover, and large trekking pole baskets to prevent them sinking into the snow.
I hadn't been able to buy a good paper map of the area but did have one in my GPS and the routes would be marked. I also bought proper snow shoes, which I was looking forward to try out. Last were my cooking plans. The average daytime temperature in Oslo in December is only -7 degrees Celsius. As my gas stove wouldn't work at those low temperatures, and I couldn't bring my petrol stove on the plane, I planned to cook with Esbit tablets.