in Sweden and Norway
Spending a few nights wildcamping can be the most amazing experience easily beating any 5-star hotel! We love mixing a few nights in our red tent all alone by a lake in the mountains with stunning unbroken views with nights at comfy hotel eating out in a local restaurant. In Sweden and Norway we have the so called freedom to roam, the right of public access, that makes wildcamping possible. Here are our best tips for an amazing wildcamping experience.
Right of public access in Sweden and Norway
View of Torne träsk from the hike to Trollsjön
In Sweden and Norway you have the right to walk, cycle, ride, ski and camp on any land with the exception of private gardens, near a dwelling house or land under cultivation. It is called the Freedom to Roam.
This freedom to roam means that you are allowed to free camp for the maximum of two nights. You are not allowed to camp in private gardens or near land under cultivation.
If you are unsure of how close to camp a residence - ask the landowner before!
Of course you shall bring all your rubbish with you (including toilet paper).
You can read more about the right of public access in Sweden here.
Freecamping by Trolltunga, Norway
Besides that the freedom to roam allows you to wildcamping it is also for free! And there are an endless array of places for camping to choose from. Which of course makes it difficult to choose!
So the first difficulty is to find the perfect spot and then there are a few things that are good to know.
If you are hiking along a trail in a national park you can put up your tent more or less anywhere. If you stay close to a mountain lodge or mountain hut, camping comes with a fee which also give you access to showers, drying room, sauna and kitchen. Staying a bit further away is for free.
Try to stay a bit away from the hiking trail so that you don´t disturb hikers or get disturbed by hikers passing close by.
Try to find a place pretty close to a lake or a river so that you don´t have to go for several kilometres to get water when it is time for dinner or breakfast. Make sure the water is running and not close to any land for pasture. That is usually not a problem in the mountains. We have never had to used any filter in Norway or Sweden since there are so many rivers and lakes where the water is constantly flowing.
There are a few exceptions like the river Visa close to the mountain lodge Spiterstulen in Jotunheimen, Norway. The water in the river is not drinkable. You can actually see that there is something strange as the colour of the water is greyish.
Before setting up your tent look for a place that is as flat as possible. You don´t want to slide down to one end of the tent during night. Also, check the ground and move away larger stones if there are any.
The last thing you should check is that the place is not crowded with mosquitos. Some places are more exposed than others and it might change from time to time. If it is totally crazy with mosquitos, try to go further up where it is usually more windy.
Even if the weather is beautiful and calm without any wind when you go to sleep that might change quickly during the night. Therefore, it is always a good thing to secure your tent with larger stones on the guy lines to be sure.
Another way of camping is of course if you go on a roundtrip by car and have access to the car. You then have to consider the rules of private gardens and land of cultivation that you pass by.
Choosing your spot, you probably don´t want to be close to a heavily trafficked road so it is a good thing to go for the smaller roads and try to find your place.
If you see some other tents spread out that might be good sign of that it is a pretty good place to stay. Just remember to keep some distance. Those who like to camp close to some other tents probably stayed in some campsite along the road.
What to bring when you go camping?
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