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Alex explains the freedom to roam

The freedom to roam is in many ways the basis of Swedish outdoor life. The right to be able to temporarily stay in nature, regardless of who owns the land, makes it possible for anyone to go out into the nature without asking permission in advance. The freedom to roam is in fact part of Sweden's constitution and is defined there as - "Everyone shall have access to nature according to the right of public access, regardless of what is prescribed above."

Although the definition may seem vague, there are clear guidelines about what applies and the law is usually summed up as "Do not disturb, do not destroy". Because even though everyone has the right to stay in nature, this right entails a large number of obligations that are important to keep track of. Below is a clarification of what applies to the most common outdoor activities.


Everyone has the right to walk freely in Swedish nature, but not anywhere; even a pair of ordinary hiking boots effects nature and it is therefore important to adapt your hiking to the surface to inflict as little damage as possible. Walk as much as possible on existing paths and avoid walking on sensitive land such as tree plantations and rocks with lichens and mosses. The wear and tear from hiking may seem minimal but is clearly noticeable in well-visited nature areas where the paths become wider with each passing year, something that takes nature a long time to heal.


Camping for one or a couple of nights on private land is also fine, but remember not to camp near residential houses and to choose your camp site with care, avoid plantings, arable land or other sensitive nature. Ordinary forest land in a forest that has been established is preferable. If there are designated tent sites in the area you are visiting, use these in the first place.


The campfire is an important part of outdoor life and burning is allowed if it takes place in a way that does not risk harming other people or nature. This means, for example, that it is never permitted to fire on rocks as this risks leaving permanent damage, nor is it permitted to fire if there is a risk of the fire spreading. Therefore, avoid burning directly on moss, peat or earthy woodland as these materials are flammable and the embers can burn for days after you have left the place and then flare up again. Plan your campsite well and if the opportunity arises, it is always best to use already prepared fireplaces or to fire on surfaces such as sand or gravel. There are also many different varieties of portable fireplaces where you can have a cozy campfire without damaging the ground. Also make sure you have plenty of water close at hand and put out the fire well before leaving the place.

In nature reserves and national parks, there are restrictions on the right of public access and it is often only allowed to camp and set fire to designated places and sometimes it is completely forbidden.


Dogs must always be kept on a leash during the period 1 March - 20 August and may be released at other times provided that you have good supervision and the dog does not risk damaging nature or disturbing wildlife.


Driving motor vehicles in terrain is often prohibited, even for the owner of the land. If you are going to park your car, do so directly adjacent to the road to damage nature as little as possible.

You have the right to stay in nature but it should not be noticed that you have been there, take your rubbish home, no one else will have to pick it up after you. If you have been able to carry things out with you, you will be able to carry it home again.

Relate to the English mantra
*Leave nothing but footprints
Take nothing but pictures
Kill nothing but time *