Camping in Norway is easy and somehow a little fuzzy at the same time. Norway has Allemannsretten, or “everyman’s right,” which essentially means you can camp on uncultivated land 150m from homes or buildings. This can be a little bit tough to understand if you come from countries like the US or Canada where camping is very structured even in the wilderness. As my wife and I learned from a Norwegian one night in a DNT hut, it is NOT ok to camp in a hotel garden however. Not that we would have pitched our tent there, but it’s still good to know considering someone in fact did do just that, so be smart and respectful. Another note, they do not allow fires in forested areas during the summer months.
If you’re driving or travelling by public transportation cross-country this right of access can be extremely helpful and money saving. During our trip we drove from Oslo all the way to Tromsø at the very north of Norway and pulled off to camp a few nights. Though we mainly camped in our nice hatchback hybrid rental car because we were both sick and it was pretty cold, it was still convenient that we could do this with no worry.
Now, if you are like us and you’re looking to get off the beaten path and into the wilderness but don’t care to bring a tent to Norway, there are the DNT cabins. These cabins are run by the Norwegian Trekking Association and vary in prices and amenities. Many of these cabins are only a few kilometres up the trail, which makes them easily accessible. The basic self-service or no-service cabins, like the one we stayed in on our trip to Troltunga, are perfect and relatively cheap places to sleep and stay warm. They cost 350 NOK, which equates to around $40 – but do make sure to bring Norwegian notes to pay for your stay, and I would recommend having the exact change ready.
All of the details on the huts can be found at this website http://english.turistforeningen.no/ Basically, the only thing you need to bring is a bag liner and a headlamp and you’ll be set. However, I would say in order to be courteous to other people potentially staying there, bring some alcohol to share if you drink because they will more than likely do the same and want to share in conversations.
While in Norway, I highly recommend either camping somewhere on your trip or trekking up to a DNT cabin and meeting some local Norwegians. It’s a great way to see the countryside and enjoy Norway’s everyman’s right freedom.