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The Right to Roam in Norway

Updated: Dec 7, 2020

Norway is a wonderful country. Everywhere you go there is some spectacular landscape waiting for you. It seems like the Mother Nature made it all for one purpose, to keep you breathless all throughout your road trip in Norway. Countries like Norway, Sweden provide an experience that looks completely different compared to other countries. Here, it is all about nature, picturesque views, sharp fjords, powerful waterfalls, and the magic Northern Lights. May wonder if the right to roam would allow them to enjoy nature at its best.

Forests and mountains take the spot away to museums and art galleries. And do not get me wrong, we have some really amazing museums in Norway, but my point is that, holidays in Norway are like nowhere else. You will rather pack trekking clothes rather than a bikini and high heels. Some places in Norway are quite remote and the best way to reach them is to drive there. Simple. This is why camping in Norway is the best way to explore the country and enjoy it as much as possible.

When travelling around Norway you should know the right to roam rules

Camping in Norway became quite popular nowadays and when you start planning your trip, you will realize that renting an RV will be the first choice. Nothing gives you as much freedom as this type of traveling. The sense of adventure, freedom, and the possibility of going anywhere you want, is just priceless. Of course, some rules apply if it goes about setting a camp in Norway. As mentioned above, the best of our country is our nature and it has to be somehow protected. Let’s find out than what rules to right to roam applies in Norway.

What is the Freedom to roam in Norway?

First, let’s find out what this right to roam actually is. You have probably seen it already somewhere on the internet and wondered what it applies to. It is good to start from basics, right?

Allemannsretten, which literally means everyman’s right, is a law that gives you the freedom to roam on uncultivated land . We know the theory, but how it works in practice? As it sounds, you are free to camp in Norway wherever the land is uncultivated. You are welcome to enjoy Norway’s nature, its fresh air, forests, and mountains. You are allowed to pick berries and mushrooms and enjoy any outdoor recreation act you wish.

Like every law, also the right to roam has some exceptions. It would indeed be very convenient for all the travelers, to camps just anywhere they wish but nature has to be protected somehow. We must bear in mind that there are also people living in Norway, who might not be entirely happy if you set a camp in their garden for a week. I mean, who would like that?

Right to roam: The rules

The right to roam rule applies to the lowlands in the open country where you can set a camp for 48 hours without previous landowner permission. It is always good though to use some common sense. Leave the space you used in the same condition as you encountered it, so others can also enjoy it. Promoting the common good, which the Norwegian nature is, should be the priority. Remember to collect all the rubbish after you leave the spot, and in case you are traveling in an RV, do not use the lakes as dump stations. Those can be found all around the country. Leave the landscapes just as you would like to encounter it. I am sure it is not a place full of empty bottles, rubbish, and the smell of the gray water.

Right to roam in Norway allows wild camping in certain places

Where can you camp in Norway?

This is a very good question. You know the rules already and know that you should always take care of the nature you encounter during your trip through Norway. So where can you camp so you do not make any harm and can still enjoy the right to roam?

You are allowed to set a camp with a tent anywhere in the countryside as long as it is a minimum of 150 meters from the nearest house. The same rules apply to those who are traveling in a campervan or a motorhome. It makes sense right? As I mentioned previously, no one would like to have shouting foreigners just outside their window. Be considerate. I might sound like a broken record but always imagine yourself being in other shoes first.

If you decide to stay somewhere close to inhabited houses or cabin, for more than one night, you will need the landowner permission first. This does not apply if you are setting a camp in some more remote places.

In case you are not sure if the spot you chose for your camping is privately owned land, better ask in the nearest inhabited house. You are also not allowed to camp on the cultivated land and in winter, when everything is covered in snow, it is difficult to distinguish it.

As mentioned above, you can freely camp in the forests where you can pick berries mushrooms and wildflowers and enjoy all the best of Norway. In Northern Norway however, the berries can only be picked if you will eat them on the spot. You are not allowed to take them out with you.  

Remember though that from 15 April to 15 September campfires are forbidden. This is due to the risk of setting the fields on fire easily. There are places that are less hazardous, where you can set a campfire even if it falls in the indicated dates. You will need to assess yourself if there is any risk of setting the fire and you will be personally responsible for the appropriate protection of the bonfire.

These are the basic rules about wild camping in Norway. If you follow them and respect nature, your trip will be nothing but pleasure, and not only for you.

Free camping Norway app

If wild camping is not your thing, and you do not want all this hassle in looking for a good spot for your camping, you have another choice. You can stay on the campsites which you can find around Norway. A free camping Norway app will be quite useful here. You can download it on your phone with no charge and use it freely to search for campsites near you. The NorCamp app is a guide to campsites in other Nordic countries as well, you can use it in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, and Sweden. It will help you find even the small, less known places where you can camp.

The app is pretty easy to use. It uses the GPS from your device to search for the campsites which are close to your current location. All the necessary information about the camping ground will be available, contact number, email address, and their website where you can check some further details.

Right to roam in Norway applies both to motorhomes and tents

The good thing is that every user can submit reviews about campsites they stayed in. This way you can see what others think about a certain place and decide if it is worth going there or better look go for another one.

The overall opinion about the app is that it is very helpful and being free of charge is its main benefit.

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