Wild camping in Sweden: everything you need to know
Are you keen on wild camping in Sweden, but a little unsure of which rules apply? Then, this article is for you. We will go through the laws and regulations, and give some advice on how to equip yourself correctly and find the best spots for wild camping.
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Wild camping in Sweden
Is wild camping allowed in Sweden?
Wild camping is allowed in Sweden, but that doesn’t mean you can stay overnight anywhere. Thus, you need to be aware of which laws and regulations apply. You must take into account both parking regulations and laws that exist to protect nature. You must also note that there may be local rules and regulations and that you must ask the landowner for permission if you are considering staying overnight on privately owned land.
Overnight at sleepovers and parking lots
At rest areas and parking spaces, you can stay with a motorhome or caravan for a maximum of 24 hours on weekdays. On weekends, you can stay until the next weekday. If other rules apply locally, you will see this on an additional board under the “P-sign” at the rest area. Please note that you must pay a set fee and that the wheels must fit within any parking space. Please also keep in mind that staying overnight in a motorhome or caravan is not the same as camping. When you stay overnight in a parking lot, you should, as previously mentioned, usually refrain from folding out the awning or taking out the outdoor furniture.
The right of public access and off-road driving law
In Sweden, the right of public access, also called Allemansrätten, applies, which is fantastic and means that you are allowed to stay in most natural areas in the country, including privately owned forests and land. This means you can hike, bike, canoe, pick berries, and camp almost anywhere you want, although there are some restrictions, such as when you’re in sensitive environments or near privately owned homes. If you visit a national park or a nature reserve, you should always read the regulations that apply there. Please also note that with rights come obligations. You must not destroy or litter and you must not disturb wildlife. In addition, you must show consideration for landowners and other visitors.
When it comes to the places at which wild camping is allowed, you have to take into account the off-road driving law, according to which it is forbidden to drive off-road with a motorhome or caravan. This means that you may not park in forests, on beaches, in paddocks, or on lawns. However, you can park on asphalt, gravel, or other surfaces that will not be damaged by the vehicle, next to a beach, or a natural area.
Wild camping with a dog in Sweden
It is for sure possible to bring your dog while wild camping in Sweden, but you have to consider nature and bird life. During the period between March 1st and August 20th, you need to keep extra close tabs on your dog in the wild, which usually means keeping it on a leash. The aim is to protect both birds and mammals during the most sensitive time when the animals breed. Even at other times of the year, you are obliged to supervise your dog, so that it does not start hunting wild animals. This means that the dog is allowed to not be on a leash while being within sight, provided it will come back to you when necessary.
Please note that the rules may be more restrictive in specific locations. For example, dogs must always be on a leash in Swedish national parks and often also in nature reserves. You can always read which rules apply on the signs at the entrance to the national park or nature reserve. Also, keep an eye out for other signs that apply to your dog, as there may be local restrictions in addition to the general ones.
Which camping vehicles are best for wild camping in Sweden and why?
You can go wild camping with a motorhome, campervan, or caravan. An advantage of a motorhome, compared to a campervan, is that you are sure that there is a toilet, and usually also a shower, in the vehicle. There are also motorhomes that are adapted for cold climates, by being well insulated and having good heating systems. At the same time, it may be good to consider that a large motorhome can be harder to park on charming little wild camping sites, compared to a smaller motorhome or a campervan.
While going wild camping with a caravan, size also matters. It can be more difficult to find a good site with a large crew, compared to a smaller crew. In addition, it may be good to consider that some caravans are better adapted to cold weather than others.
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3 beautiful spots for wild camping in Sweden
Here you will find tips about great spots for wild camping in Sweden.
Wild camping in Norrland
Norrland is Sweden’s northernmost and least populated county. Here, you’ll have a great chance for magnificent nature experiences in national parks, as well as at mountains, and lakes. In this part of the country, it is also relatively easy to find places where you can wild camp.
Wild camping at lakes
There are plenty of beautiful lakes in Sweden, where you can experience idyllic Swedish nature at its very best, and sometimes you can find nice wild camping sites with lovely lake views. For example, you can focus on parking lots at beaches, but just make sure that you’re allowed to park there.
Wild camping in Bohuslän
Bohuslän is Sweden’s westernmost province, where you are met by steep cliffs, roaring seas, charming houses, and lots of fresh fish and shellfish. If you’re lucky, you can find a wild camping site with a view of the sea, but it can be easier to find parking spaces in forested areas some distance from the sea, for example via the Park4Night app.
FAQ about wild camping in Sweden
Where is wild camping allowed in Sweden?
Wild camping is allowed in public places, where it is not locally prohibited and where you do not harm nature. It is not permitted to park in forests, on beaches, in paddocks, or on lawns. At rest areas and signposted parking spaces, you can stay with camping vehicles for a maximum of 24 hours on weekdays and on weekends until the following weekday.
Can I go wild camping in Sweden?
You can go wild camping in Sweden, as long as you follow laws and local regulations and show consideration for nature, and avoid littering.
Which is the most beautiful place for wild camping in Sweden?
The least populated county of Norrland, the province of Bohuslän with its steep cliffs or choose one of many nice wild camping spots at the lakes Vänern, Vättern or Mälaren.
Is wild camping in Sweden safe?
Wild camping in Sweden is generally safe and secure. It can, however, be good to avoid deserted parking spaces that are visible from a major road. You may want to stay closer to nature, or together with other overnight camping vehicles.
How much do I need to pay for wild camping?
Wild camping is often completely free of charge unless you stand in a place that requires a parking fee. In that case, you can find information about the fee and how to pay on a sign at the parking lot.