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 15 April to 15 September. They can nevertheless be allowed in places where fire hazard is unlikely, like by the sea or on an approved campfire site. Note that in extreme drought, even grills, gas burners, and camping stoves are prohibited. If you light a campfire or barbecue, you are legally responsible for ensuring that it is safe, does not escape, and is completely extinguished before you leave. Check the forest fire risk on yr.no.
Some simple campfire rules:
In case of fire: Call the fire department on emergency number 110, then try to extinguish the fire yourself. Don’t put yourself in harm’s way, though.
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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