I am on the RS Scandinavia tour May 13-26, I was wondering about rainwear. Would a lightweight raincoat work or would heavy duty be better? Also, are waterproof shoes/boots necessary or would sneakers be OK? Trying to get a handle on how much rain is possible. Regarding coats, my plan was lightweight jacket, fleece layer and merino wool thermals (and some kind of raingear) Do I need to pack a down vest/coat also?
Expect rain. Take a lightweight rain resistant coat...hooded ones work well. If you don’t own one, search the Travel Forum for several suggestions. I am not of the opinion it must be waterproof or be made of some sort of high tech breathable fabric. The key is layering beneath. As for footwear, I just wear high quality lugged sneakers or low cut day hikers...neither water proof or even resistant. Never a problem. If you can comfortably wear soft merino wool products...socks, t-shirt, sweater...take ‘em.
Good advice from Bruce.
Will you be in Norway on May 17? I hope that day will include an opportunity to see some of the day's festivities. It is Norway's National Day.
Spring weather. Check climate statistics for May (month 5):
Prepare for cool/cold, comfortably warm, and wet or dry.
Marmot’s PreCip (rain) jackets work very well and don’t take up much room in your suitcase.
Marmot PreCip jacket are a very good value and work. However, the material is stiff and noisy. You will rustle while you walk.
People's highly-held opinions are often informed by their most notable personal experiences. While I agree with Bruce that a hi-tech, breathable, waterproof jacket may not be necessary, I will never forget walking in (sunny) Italy when a massive downpour occurred. In less than 5 minutes, I was drenched from the waist down. My waterPROOF jacket w/hood kept my head & torso dry. As Suki points out, there are light, waterproof jackets available for not too much money. My defender in Italy was a Columbia Omni-Tec, but I also like the extremely lightweight Frogg Togg hiking rain gear in the $30-$50 range. I work for neither company. The F-T poly propylene coating is entirely waterproof. Just be careful not to snag the material because it is quite thin and will puncture or tear. I often use a set hiking in the rainy PNW and it keeps me dry. Since you are from WI, you will easily be able to figure out adding/subtracting layers depending on the temps expected in May. As far as shoes, if you will be mostly in towns you can likely get by with sneakers, excluding a firehose event. If you plan some hiking away from the RS Tour however, I'd recommend something heavier, again based on personal experience hiking in the mountains of Norway. The trails and meadows can be quite dampish & mucky as I Iearned, even in July. Have a wonderful trip.