Earlier this month I set off to Finland to visit my very best friend, Marika, whom I met when I was living in England.
The most exciting part of my visit was going to be our wild camping trip to Lapland. But after I had arrived and we were talking one night, it hit me: are we even allowed to wild camp in Lapland? I certainly didn’t want to pay and stay at official campsites, because my whole goal with this trip was to be away from civilisation.
I know Denmark has strict rules when it comes to camping, so I was wondering if it was the same principles in Finland. To be honest, I had never heard of Everyman’s Right in Finland, but I know about it now and I love the concept.
What is Everyman’s Right in Finland?
The short version of Everyman’s Right means that everyone have the right to wild camp in Finland. So let’s say you’re driving around, trying to find a good spot to set up camp and you find the perfect place. Can you pitch your tent there? Yes. You can indeed.
You are allowed to set up camp. You can swim in the lakes if you wish. You’re allowed to go fishing. You can pick wild berries, flowers and mushrooms. You can go skiing when the weather allows it, you can cycle everywhere and you can go hiking everywhere.
The wild is yours.
But Everyman’s Right comes with responsibilities
However, as with every rule in the world there are exceptions. The Everyman’s Right law in Finland comes with responsibilities, obviously.
You are not allowed to camp right under someone’s window – and hopefully you wouldn’t want to!
You’re not allowed to be a disturbance to other people or animals.
You’re not allowed to leave trash behind – bring plastic bags with you when you go camping.
You’re not allowed to damage trees or other parts of nature.
So, if you want to go wild camping, make sure you actually do it properly.
There are different rules for national parks in Lapland
The national parks in Lapland are beautiful. Stunning nature that is worth experiencing. But the national parks operate with special regulations, so ensure that you have done your homework before you rock up with your tent and the firewood to light the campfire. The rules vary, but they usually have rules about where you can camp, where you can hike, where you can light your campfire and more. Information for the various national parks can usually be find online – Google is your friend!
What countries does Everyman’s Right apply to?
Several countries allow Freedom to Roam, such as Sweden, Norway and Scotland. However, and this is a big ‘however’, the rules vary from country to country, so just because Finland has one set of rules it doesn’t mean that the same exact rules can be applied to Sweden, for example. So before you make use of Everyman’s Right, make sure you fully understand the law and the responsibilities that comes with it.
Have you ever made use of Everyman’s Right in Finland or in other countries? Let me know by leaving a comment.