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Norway gives you free access to the countryside – as long as you tread lightly.
In Norway, you can walk nearly anywhere you want. Outdoor recreation has become a major part of national identity, and is established by law. You are free to enjoy the great outdoors and breathe in as much of the fresh air as you want – as long as you pick up your rubbish and show respect for nature.
The few rules and regulations are there to keep the unique right of access enjoyable when many people go to the same places.
The main rules are easy: Be considerate and thoughtful. Don't damage nature and other surroundings. Leave the landscape as you would want to find it.
The right to roam, also called the right of access (“allemannsretten”) is a traditional right from ancient times, and from 1957 it has also been part of the Outdoor Recreation Act. It ensures that everybody get to experience nature, even on larger privately owned areas.
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 cloudberries in much of Northern Norway.
You may fish for saltwater species, without a license, as long as it is for your own use.
Respect for nature, animals and local inhabitants will make both your short and your longer expeditions even more pleasant for everybody. Enjoy your trip!
The right to roam applies to open country, sometimes also known as "unfenced land", which is a land that is not cultivated. In Norway, the term covers most shores, bogs, forests and mountains. Small islands of uncultivated land within cultivated land are not regarded as open country.
However, you have access to fields and meadows from 15 October to 30 April when the ground is frozen or covered with snow. Note that “fenced land” does not need to actually be fenced.
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