Where to Camp Your Tent Free of Charge

   Loving the tent or not, camping in the nature can be the special ingredient for a low cost trip.

   Theoretically you can camp anywhere in the world if you can find the land’s owner and he gives you permission. Or if you are careful to set your tent after dark, leave early and keep you camp fire low. In a seashell: be discrete.

   However..

   Let’s see which countries allow you to camp the tent for free anywhere..and which don’t.

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It’s permitted or tolerated in:

  • Turkey
  • Iceland
  • Czech Republic
  • Scotland – not on private property
  • Estonia - it’s permitted on public land and public forests. In addition, any land strip closer than 6 meters to sea is considered public land.
  • Finland
  • Sweden – the concept is called Allemansrätten (every man’s right). You are allowed to camp anywhere as long as you are at a minimum distance of 300m of a house.
  • Norway - the same as in Sweden, up to 48 hours and at minimum 150m far from houses.
  • Ireland- it is not illegal and it is tolerated, but better ask beforehand.
  • Poland
  • Croatia
  • Bulgaria
  • Australia – it’s legal
  • New Zealand – it’s legal
  • SUA – you can camp anywhere on public federal land at minimum 100m away from the road. This is not the case for national parks where you must camp in special places.
  • Russia – you can camp anywhere, except the church land, private gardens and near water reservoirs (you’ll usually see a sign).
  • Morocco
  • Hawaii – in a few national parks it is free of charge if you already payed the entrance fee for the park. In others you must get a permit, which is free.
  • Argentina – in national parks
  • Mongolia
  • Vietnam – especially in the north (Halong)
  • Laos – some areas
  • Cambodia
  • Thailand – in national parks and on some beaches
  • India - in rural areas



It is not permitted or harder in:

  • Switzerland
  • Netherlands
  • Belgium
  • Greece -  in Grecia still are some places in south Peloponnese where you are allowed to camp. It is forbidden to camp you tent on the beach and you can even go to jail for that. You should keep in mind though that it is only forbidden to camp the tent, not to sleep without the tent. And summers in Greece are very hot.
  • Italy – only with the land owner’s permission. It is forbidden on the beach.
  • England and Wales
  • Croatia – it not actually legal, but it is possible
  • Spain –  is it forbidden to camp, but you are allowed the so-called “pernoctando”, which means sleeping with the visible intention of staying only one night, better without the tent.
  • Portugal – forbidden, but tolerated
  • France – forbidden, but tolerated considering that there are many large lands almost unpopulated.
  • Germany
  • Austria
  • Canada – it is allowed only in province areas and the more wild ones.
  • China – especially in East
  • Brazil
  • Japan – although many people do it anyway
  • Denmark –  you are not allowed to camp everywhere, but there are special places (about 750 actually) especially on the coast and in the forests, where you are allowed to stay not more than two days.


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The list remains open.

   To keep in mind: you are forbidden to set fire, about everywhere.

    Curiously enough, the countries where camping is allowed and you have plenty of open wild land, are also the countries where the locals are happy to let you stay in their own homes.

   It is best to ask the locals first. Who knows, maybe you won’t even need a tent.

Would you try something like this?

If you did, share your experience with us.

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Comments

Posted by denkisa on July 15, 2010 at 6:01 pm

it was very interesting to read.
I want to quote your post in my blog. It can?
And you et an account on Twitter?

Posted by Laura on July 15, 2010 at 6:41 pm

Thank you Denkisa. Feel free to quote :)

Posted by Jaume on August 26, 2010 at 6:19 pm

In Netherlands there are some beaches where you are allowed to camp. From Den Haag to Haarlem there are signs that say if it is forbidden or not.

Posted by Laura on August 26, 2010 at 6:51 pm

thanks for the info Jaume

Posted by Kaens on September 3, 2010 at 12:37 pm

In Russia, avoid camping near the official camping sites, unless you like arguments with quasi-authorities (they’re in the wrong, but may try anyway). There will also be areas, like national parks, where you should stay out of forester curfew’s way to camp without trouble.
Ukraine is the same as Russia.

Posted by Laura on September 3, 2010 at 2:08 pm

Thanks for the info, kaens.

Posted by Ragnhild on June 7, 2011 at 2:50 am

Hi!
I am going for a trip to Croatia and me and my boyfriend need to keep the costs down so we desided to walk the coast in Croatia. Here Croatia is listed as possible to tent but not really legal. Does that count for the outback, like in the middle some forest? Also does it count for just sleeping out in the open with no tent? Do you know what the punishment is?

Gosh! Why couldn`t every country be like Norway^^

Thanks for handy information!:)

Posted by Laura on June 7, 2011 at 9:12 am

I’m afraid along the coast camping is not allowed at all. But if you find a land and ask the owner if you can camp there for a night, he might be ok to let you stay there. Try to see what other people do also, if you find more tents in a place, maybe you can stay there too. There should be a lot of paid campsites too, they shouldn’t be as expensive as a hostel.

Sleeping out in the open shouldn’t be punishable anywhere. If the police comes, you can just say you were watching the sunset (or sunrise) and fell asleep. No law against that.

Also making a fire is illegal all across Croatia and people are protective of their land, so they would call the police.

Posted by Ragnhild on June 7, 2011 at 11:36 am

Thanks a lot!

Posted by Joshua on June 5, 2012 at 1:58 pm

I’ve been camping across France, Germany, and Denmark for the last month. Many locals in France told me to camp along the canals. They said that fishermen do it all the time. Locals in Germany also pointed me toward land along canals and a picnic area (not quite as private as I generally look for). Denmark has been easy, but I’m constantly getting invited into people’s homes!

Posted by Steve on July 12, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Which Theoretically you can camp anywhere in the world if you can find the land’s owner and he gives you permission. Or if you are careful to set your tent after dark, leave early and keep you camp fire low. Thanks a lot for posting this article.

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