Being more experienced after the trip to Scotland it was easier for us to pack up. We had to take a few extra things having the same amount of packing space, but we managed to do it. Here our top case needs to be commended, as it withstood the rigors of travel and it turned out to be quite roomy.
Here is the list of our equipment:
- tent, sleeping bags (warm ones because after all the north is cold)
- air beds (we gave up the idea of taking a double air bed and we took two small, neat, which took very little space)
- rain suits
- towels, clothes, toiletries – reduced to minimum (first pack what is necessary, then you can take more clothes; the fleece turned out to be very important, they were perfect for chilly evenings, but also protected against the cold of the north while driving)
- map of Scandinavia (spiral bound and folded)
- passports (insurance, European Health Card)
- First Aid Kit – fortunately not needed
- gas bottles (1 small 240 ml, 1 large 480 ml), lighter, backpack stove – for the purpose of making tea
- small, metal kettle
- 2 metal mugs
- cutlery (sharp knife!!!)
- mobile + phone car charger
- extra pair of shoes – sandals
- mosquito repellent
- a few extra motorcycle things (tyre sealant, spare ignition plugs, oil, chain lubricate)
- some food (everything can be bought on the way)
- camera + spare batteries + spare memory card
- MP3 player with small speakers + spare batteries
- electric shaver + charger
- spare motorcycle keys (our experience from Scotland)
- lock for motorcycle helmets
- N-com with charger (which unfortunately we lost at the beginning of the journey, so the charger turned out to be unnecessary baggage)
- tea (perfect for cool evenings and mornings)
- good mood
Throughout the trip we stayed in a tent. Several times we camped in the wild, but it was possible only in Norway, as in Sweden and Finland it is not allowed. There are many camp sites there, so basically it wasn’t a problem to find a place for a tent. Campsites in Scandinavia offer a similar standard. Price per night was about 60 to 160 NOK depending on the location. The characteristic thing for campsites is a shower for a coin. From 5 to 10 crowns for 5 minutes of hot water. Sometimes the shower was included in the price, but you had to pay more for the night.
We had a map with marked campsites, but to tell the truth we passed many that were not on the map. Quite popular in Scandinavia are also hytter – small cottage that can be rented for camping. There are also hytters outside of camp sites, where you can stay for the night, but you need to make sure you leave them in the same state as they were before you came in.
The best roads were the one in Norway – they provide the comfort of traveling and the opportunity to enjoy the views. The roads in Finland offer slightly worse quality compering to Norwegian ones, but still absolutely acceptable. For Finland characteristic is the location of the roads – straight road stretching for miles, and around only forests, lakes and mosquitoes:) The most disappointing was Sweden – they have terrible roads there – patched, uneven, and full of holes. There are still many road works and you are forced to travel the gravel road few kilometers long, what is quite “deadly” for sport motorcycle. In short, when traveling Swedish roads we felt tired and exhausted.
Scandinavia surprised us weather wise. Admittedly it greeted us with the rain, but them it cleared up and all the way north we travelled in the sun and warmth. Nordkapp greeted us with clouds and bitter cold. The way back south has been cloudy and coldish, sometimes it rained a bit. Only one day was raining heavily. From the very morning to the very evening – all day in the rain. The end of our holiday was very sunny and warm. You have to remember that Scandinavia is mountainous, so the weather is changeable, and especially when travelling you need to be prepared for everything.