Allemansrätten - Freedom To Roam

Roaming Iceland, camping gear in tow. Shot by Christian McLeod.

Roaming Iceland, camping gear in tow. Shot by Christian McLeod.

Allemansrätten - literally "everyman's right" or "freedom to roam" - is an inalienable commandment that guarantees public access to the country's land. At one point, most of Europe commonly embraced this concept, however today the right to roam has survived in it's purest form in only Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

Scouting for a camp spot over Lofoten, Norway. Shot by Marie Peyre.

Scouting for a camp spot over Lofoten, Norway. Shot by Marie Peyre.

Wild camping on Horseid Beach, Norway by Cody Duncan via 68north

Wild camping on Horseid Beach, Norway by Cody Duncan via 68north

These rights of access open doors for remarkable exploring and unrestrained adventures. In several of the Nordic countries travellers are provided with the opportunity to hike across or camp on another's land, boat on someone else's water and even harvest wild edibles (wildflowers, mushrooms and nordic berries) off others' land. These concepts are very unlike North America, where camping is typically designated to certain areas, whether in the wilderness or not. And while this incredible concept will undoubtedly spark the travel bug, these rights do come with some responsibilities (and justly so); that is, an obligation to neither harm, disturb, litter nor damage any wildlife and crops. 

So for the traveler with a tent in tow, this equates to the right to camp anywhere you please, whenever you please, for free. Norway anyone?

Aurora tent views. By Georg Krewenk.

Aurora tent views. By Georg Krewenk.

Camping at Lake Langisjór. Shot by Christopher Lund.

Camping at Lake Langisjór. Shot by Christopher Lund.