If you love camping, you will be happy to know that there are some countries where wild camping in the great outdoors is legal. In these places, you can enjoy all the beauty of nature without worrying about breaking any laws or regulations. From lush forests and stunning beaches to majestic mountains and breathtaking deserts, camping in the wild offers a great way to explore the geography of the Earth.
What is wild camping and why should you do it?
Wild camping is a form of camping where you set up camp in an area that is not designated as an official campsite. This type of camping can involve pitching a tent in the wilderness, or simply sleeping in your vehicle while enjoying the beauty and tranquility of nature. It allows you to really get away from it all, enjoy some peace and quiet, and experience something truly unique and special. Plus, wild camping can be much less expensive than staying at a traditional campground!
Here are 7 countries where wild camping is allowed:
Camping in Canada’s wild areas is allowed as long as it is done responsibly. This includes respecting park boundaries, staying on established trails and campsites, leaving no trace behind, and avoiding lighting campfires when possible. You should also check with local authorities for specific rules about where and how you can camp in each area.
Banff National Park
Banff National Park in Alberta is one of the most popular places to go camping in Canada. With more than 2,500 campsites spread out across its 6,641 square kilometres, Banff offers stunning views of mountains, glaciers and meadows. You can also explore over 1,000 km of trails and soak up wildlife sightings like elk, grizzly bears and wolves.
Rocky Mountain National Park
The Rocky Mountain National Park in British Columbia is another great spot for camping. With over 250 campsites, breathtaking mountain peaks and a variety of wildlife, visitors can enjoy all the beauty that this park has to offer.
Algonquin Provincial Park
Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario is a large wilderness area with more than 2,400 campsites. It’s also home to moose, black bears and over 250 species of birds. With its stunning forests and lakes, Algonquin Provincial Park is an ideal spot for camping in the wild.
2. United States
The US is a great place for wild camping and most federal parks and forests allow it. However, you should always check with local authorities first to find out any rules or regulations that may apply. Additionally, national parks are generally off-limits for camping in the US so make sure you stick to public lands when pitching your tent.
Grand Canyon National Park
One of the most popular places to go camping in the U.S is Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. This park has five different campgrounds spread across its 277 miles of incredible beauty. You can also enjoy stunning views of the canyon and explore a variety of trails, all while keeping an eye out for wildlife like elk, deer and bighorn sheep.
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park in California is another great spot for camping in the wild. With over 13 campgrounds spread throughout its 1,169 square miles of wilderness, Yosemite offers stunning views of valleys and waterfalls as well as abundant wildlife sightings.
The Appalachian Trail is one of the most iconic trails in the US, stretching 2,189 miles across 14 states. You can camp along almost any part of it as long as you follow Leave No Trace principles and check for any local laws or regulations.
Sweden has some of the most beautiful natural areas in Europe and it’s no surprise that it also allows wild camping. As long as you abide by the ‘Allemansrätten’ law (the right of public access) you’ll be able to camp anywhere as long as you respect nature and don’t leave anything behind.
Vindelfjällen Nature Reserve
The Vindelfjällen Nature Reserve in Swedish Lapland is a great spot for wild camping. Spanning over 2,400 km2 and home to both wildlife and hiking trails, you can explore this stunning area without the need to follow any strict regulations.
Kosterhavet National Park
Kosterhavet National Park in western Sweden is also an ideal spot for wild camping. With its incredible seascapes, colorful reefs and abundance of birdlife, it’s no wonder that this park attracts so many visitors every year.
The Värmlands Nature Reserve is another great destination for wild camping in Sweden. With its rolling hills, pine forests and numerous lakes, it’s no surprise that this area has become so popular. Just be sure to check with local authorities beforehand as some areas may require a permit.
Like Sweden, Norway also has the Allemansrätten law which makes it legal to camp wherever you like as long as you follow certain guidelines. In general, you should stay away from residential areas and farms, light campfires responsibly and leave no trace of your visit before moving on.
Jotunheimen National Park
Jotunheimen National Park in central Norway is one of the most popular places to go wild camping. This park is home to glaciers, mountains and a variety of wildlife, making it a great spot for nature lovers.
Hardangervidda National Park
Hardangervidda National Park in southern Norway is another beautiful area that allows wild camping. With its stunning tundra landscapes and abundance of lakes, it’s no surprise that this has become such a popular spot for outdoor enthusiasts.
The Lysefjorden region near Stavanger is famous not only for its scenic beauty but also as an ideal spot for wild camping. You can explore numerous hiking trails, view the famous Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) and take in stunning views of the fjord from its many vantage points.
5. New Zealand
New Zealand is known for its stunning landscapes and wild camping is allowed in most areas as long as you don’t stay for more than two nights in the same spot. Additionally, you should always check with local authorities first to ensure that where you plan on camping is appropriate and legal.
Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park
Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park is home to some of New Zealand’s most stunning landscapes, including glaciers, valleys and lakes. You can camp anywhere here as long as you follow Leave No Trace principles and check with local authorities beforehand.
Fiordland National Park
Fiordland National Park on the South Island is another great spot for wild camping in New Zealand. Its endless mountains, lakes and forests make it an ideal spot for outdoor enthusiasts looking to explore nature without having to worry about strict regulations.
Abel Tasman National Park
Located on the northern tip of the South Island, Abel Tasman National Park offers plenty of opportunities for wild camping. With its long beaches, lush forests and abundance of wildlife, it’s no wonder that this area is so popular. Just make sure to check with local authorities first as some areas may require a permit.
In Finland, wild camping is legal in most areas as long as you follow certain guidelines such as not disturbing the environment and not disturbing other people or animals. Additionally, you should take care to follow fire safety regulations and always ask permission from landowners before setting up camp on private property.
Koli National Park
Koli National Park in eastern Finland is one of the most popular spots for wild camping in the country. With its rolling hills, crystal clear lakes and a variety of wildlife, it’s no surprise that this area has become so popular. Just be sure to check with local authorities beforehand as some areas may require a permit.
Pyhä-Luosto National Park
The Pyhä-Luosto National Park in the far north of Finland is another great spot for wild camping. This park is home to numerous glaciers, lakes and forests and offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventure. Just remember to follow fire safety regulations and always ask permission from landowners before setting up camp on private property.
Wild camping is legal in most areas of Iceland, although you should take care to follow certain guidelines such as not disturbing the environment or other people or animals, staying away from private property, and following fire safety regulations. Additionally, you should always ask permission from landowners before setting up camp on their land.
Vatnajökull National Park
Vatnajökull National Park is one of the most popular spots for wild camping in Iceland. With its glaciers, mountains, waterfalls and a variety of wildlife, it’s no surprise that this area has become so beloved. Just remember to check with local authorities beforehand as some areas may require a permit.
The Snæfellsnes Peninsula on Iceland’s west coast is another great place to go wild camping. You can explore numerous hiking trails, take in stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, and enjoy a variety of wildlife. Just remember to follow fire safety regulations and always ask permission from landowners before setting up camp on private property.
What to bring when wild camping
When camping in the wild, it’s important to be prepared for any situation.
- Make sure that you bring a tent and other necessary camping gear such as a sleeping bag, cooking equipment and firewood.
- Additionally, it’s always a good idea to have some basic first aid items on hand in case of an emergency.
- Finally, make sure that you have plenty of food and water with you so that you can stay nourished throughout your journey.
How to Leave No Trace while camping
When wild camping, it’s important to remember the Leave No Trace Principles. These principles aim to protect the environment and ensure that you leave your campsite in the same condition as when you arrived.
Some of these principles include: disposing of waste properly, being mindful of noise levels, respecting wildlife and their habitats, and leaving what you find.
There are times when it is necessary to empty the sewage water tanks. Do not pour out sewage water in the desert. Campgrounds have special places for this purpose. Knowing the diameter of the RV sewer hose will help you find a specific location and empty the tanks.
By following these guidelines, you can help keep nature clean and make sure that everyone has a great time while out enjoying the outdoors.
Tips for avoiding danger while camping in the wilderness
When camping in the wild, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Make sure that you are familiar with the area and know where you can find help if needed.
Additionally, always let someone know where you’re going and when you plan on returning so that they can alert authorities if necessary.
Finally, make sure to bring a first aid kit and other necessary supplies just in case of an emergency. By following these tips, you can ensure that your outdoor adventure will be both safe and enjoyable.
Wild camping is a fantastic way to explore nature while also respecting the environment. Whether it’s Canada, the US, Sweden, Norway or New Zealand, there are plenty of places where you can legally camp in the wilderness without fear of breaking any laws or regulations. So if you’re looking for an adventure with a unique twist, then why not consider going camping in one of these amazing countries?
With the right preparation and knowledge of the local laws, you can ensure that your wild camping experience will be both safe and enjoyable.
Take a look at this video for more impressions from camping in the wild:
Check some travel books about camping in the wild:
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Hi, we are Krasen and Ying Ying. Krasen is from Bulgaria, and Ying Ying is from China. We are passionate about geography and history, and we believe that the best way to experience it is by exploring the Earth in reality, not in a school, and not virtually.
So, we created this blog Journey Beyond the Horizon, where we share geographical knowledge, travel guides and tips how to experience it when you explore our planet, and a lot of inspiration.
And we wish you a happy journey, not just virtually, but most of all- in reality.