Sweden’s right of public access is a customary law. It’s been a part of our tradition to camp and forage since “forever”. The same goes for travelling, on foot, bike, horse, or canoe.
The general rule is simple: “Don’t disturb – don’t destroy”. Of course, you can tramp almost everywhere, but gardens and homes are still private.
You can pick wild berries and mushrooms, but not cultivated ones. Don’t litter. What you bring with you in – you should take home with you.
And don’t become visual litter; place your campsite away from people’s private sphere. You are not allowed to ruin anyone’s forest or fences.
You are not allowed to light a campfire anywhere, but many places have a fireplace already. And please, make sure the conditions are safe and be careful.
Besides a few urban cities, Swedish Lapland is all about vast woodlands and roaring rivers. High mountains and winding coastlines. To explore is in our DNA, getting off the beaten tracks and into the wild.
Being in nature has always been, and still is, a huge part of everyday life for the people living in Swedish Lapland. One might think that this urge we have to be in nature is because this is considered a fundamental right in Sweden. To go hiking, paddling a canoe, pick berries or set camp for a night is a right defined in what we call the Right of Public Access or “Freedom to roam”.
You can spend time in every forest, pick berries and take them home, all according to this right of access. You can go hiking, set camp almost everywhere and make a campfire if there’s no danger of the fire spreading, all according to this right of access.
It’s available, accessible, and free, but we do ask for something in return – respect.
Pick as many blueberries, lingonberries and cloudberries you can carry with you – but use common sense and do not cause damage to the soil and vegetation, like tearing up shrubs, removing the bark, or picking large amounts of moss. It’s fine to make a campfire where there’s no danger of the fire spreading, but never light a fire on a rock as stone can crack. You may burn cones and twigs lying on the ground, but not chop trees down, so bring a few pieces of firewood. You’re allowed to camp almost everywhere, but not near someone’s house, farm, or pasture with grazing animals.
Welcome, the forest is yours.