Roaming Where You Want
In Norway, you can walk nearly anywhere you want. Anywhere. Outdoor recreation has become an essential and major part of Norway’s identity and is thus established by law. This means that you are free to enjoy the great outdoors and breathe in as much fresh air as you wish! But, there’s a catch. You have the right to roam as long you pick up the trash and show your respect to nature.
There are a few rules and regulations that govern the right to roam. The main idea is to be considerate and thoughtful. You should respect your surroundings and should not cause any damage. Leave the landscape just as you found it. Untouched.
The right to roam (“allemannsretten”) has been a traditional right since the ancient times. Since 1957, it has also been part of the Outdoor Recreation Act. This ensures that everyone gets to experience the beauty and magic of nature, even on privately owned areas.
Here are some useful guidelines that you should refer to, with respect to the right to roam.
- You may put up a tent, or sleep under the stars, for the night anywhere in the countryside, forests or mountains, as long as you keep at least 150 meters away from the nearest inhabited house or cabin.
- If you want to stay for more than two nights in the same place, you must ask the landowner’s permission, except in the mountains or very remote areas.
- Places for emptying toilets are signposted. Doing so elsewhere is strictly prohibited.
- Campfires in or near forests are prohibited from the 15th of April to the 15th of September. They are nevertheless allowed in places where fire hazard is unlikely, as by the sea. Never leave an open fire before you have ensured that it is fully extinguished. Take care not to cause any other damage.
- In general, you may pick berries, mushrooms, and wildflowers, but special rules apply to cloud-berries in much of Northern Norway.
- You may fish for saltwater species, without a license, as long as it is for your own use.
The main goal behind these guidelines is to tell you that respect for nature, animals and local habitants is extremely important. Doing so will help ensure that you enjoy your stay and are able to make the experience pleasant for everyone.
There are certain limitations to the right to roam which one must always keep in mind. It does not apply to open country i.e. unfenced land. This refers to land that has not been cultivated. This applies to shores, bogs, forests, and mountains. Small islands of uncultivated land are not considered to be open country.
Additionally, the right to roam does not apply to fenced land that is private. This includes cultivated lands such as plowed fields (with or without crops), meadows, pastures, and gardens as well as building plots and industrial areas.
Meadows and fields are accessible from 15 October to 30 April when the ground is frozen or covered with snow.