Tenting – follow the rules!

In Norway we are lucky to live in a country where we can pitch our tent almost anywhere. Still, there are some rules to follow. Here’s a small summary:

Friluftsloven” (law regulating the outdoors) from 1957 regulates tenting. The main rule (§9) states that you can pitch a tent, a minimum of 150 metres from a house or cabin, and stay there for a maximum of 2 days. If you want to stay at the same place for longer you need to get permission from the landowner. Note however that some areas are regulated more strictly, and in some places it’s forbidden to camp outside a designated area. Such areas are usually marked, and signs will tell you the rules of that area.

Camping on cultivated land and private grounds around residential areas is much more regulated, and to camp there you’ll always need permission from the owner.

In the mountains or areas away from houses you don’t need permission to stay for longer periods, although only if your stay doesn’t create any damage or inconvenience. There are some exceptions, for example you can’t camp somewhere if it will damage young forest growth. If in doubt, ask a local.

In short, the regulations for tenting are based on consideration and due care, and a basic rule that your tenting should not inconvenience others. Keep a quiet and tidy campsite, and take all your garbage with you!  And last but not least, something we consider important even though it’s not stated in law: leave the campsite just as good as (or better than) you found it, and let the next person experience the same beautiful spot that you just enjoyed!

Foto: René Cortis