The right to roam has deep roots in Norway’s cultural heritage (Photo: Oslo Outdoor)

The right to roam has deep roots in Norway’s cultural heritage (Photo: Oslo Outdoor)

Traditional outdoor life

It is all about the basics, really. To attach to nature. To carry what you need. To rest when you want. To harvest what you eat. To camp where you like. Traditional outdoor life is deeply integrated in Norwegian culture. Children learn how to behave in the outdoors from kindergarten on.

The Norwegian word friluftsliv, which for all practical purposes translates to “outdoor life”, is often associated with simple living in the outdoors combined with hiking, skiing, hunting, fishing and harvesting in wild nature. Perhaps it is the topography of the country that made roaming the wilderness a normal activity. Back in the old days, if you wanted to go somewhere you had to hike or ride your horse, sometimes for days or weeks in a row. Crossing mountains, glaciers, fjords and deep forests. Sleeping on the ground around the campfire at night. Or in basic huts that had been set up along the way. Nobility never developed to any extent in Norway, so there where no feudal lords and few mighty landowners to impose prohibitions on the use of the land in the vast wilderness areas. So people used the wilderness as a common territory for common needs, to hunt, to fish and live the free life. Thus, free roaming became a habit based on norms pre-dating the Viking-era. Norms that was later written into law: The right to roam.

As one of the poorest countries in Europe in the 19th century, few Norwegians had the time or energy to spend time in the outdoors for leisure. They had to make ends meet by hard work at the farms, in the forests or in the factories that the industrial revolution brought along. Thus, it was not Norwegians but foreign visitors who introduced friluftsliv as a leisure activity. British, German and French upper class who could afford leisure time discovered the beauty of the Norwegian nature and went there to fish, hike, climb or simply to spend time in the outdoors.

At the same time the era of national romance was promoted by painters and artists, spurred by Norway’s independence from Denmark and later from Sweden. The grand and wild nature was showcased as the soul of the newly independent nation. Visit the National Gallery in Oslo and you will know what we mean. As the country developed common Norwegians also started to use the outdoors for leisure and the right to roam lived on. For many generations now the most common Sunday activity for families, friends and individuals alike has been to go for a tur, a hike in the outdoors.

Nowadays the concept of friluftsliv includes all kinds of outdoor activities, such as kayaking, mountain biking, canoeing, mountain climbing or randonee skiing. But the spirit of free roaming persists.

Oslo Outdoor value this spirit and these traditions. By joining one of our tours you will not only experience a great outdoor adventure but also continue the ancient tradition of free roaming. Let’s roam!

The right to roam

Allemannsretten består av tre hovedelementer: Ferdselsretten, oppholdsretten og høstingsretten.

Eksempler på allemannsrettigheter er å gå til fots eller på ski, i skogen, langs sjøen eller på fjellet. Allemannsretten gir også muligheten til blant annet å bade, telte, tenne bål, fortøye båt, høste ville bær og blomster, samt fritidsfiske i sjøen.  Retten til sykling og ridning er mer begrenset enn retten til å ferdes til fots. Jakt og innlandsfiske er som hovedregel grunneierens rett. Motorisert ferdsel er ikke en del av allemannsretten.

Historie. Allemannsretten har dype røtter i vår kulturarv. Dette er tidligere uskrevne regler (sedvanerett). De fleste reglene om allemannsretten ble lovfestet med friluftsloven i 1957.

Hovedregel. Allemannsrettens hovedregel står i friluftsloven § 2 første ledd: «I utmark kan enhver ferdes til fots hele året, når det skjer hensynsfullt og med tilbørlig varsomhet.» Den generelle hensynsregelen står også i friluftsloven § 11:

«Enhver som ferdes eller oppholder seg på annen manns grunn eller på sjøen utenfor, skal opptre hensynsfullt og varsomt for ikke å volde skade eller ulempe for eier, bruker eller andre, eller påføre miljøet skade. Han plikter å se etter at han ikke etterlater seg stedet i en tilstand som kan virke skjemmende eller føre til skade eller ulempe for noen.»

Brudd på hensynsregelen eller andre bestemmelser i friluftsloven er straffbart, se friluftsloven § 39.

Unntak. Mange andre lover spiller imidlertid også inn når man skal avgjøre hva som er lov og ikke lov i naturen. Viktige lover for å forstå allemannsretten er også blant annet: vannressursloven, naturmangfoldloven, motorferdselloven, brann- og eksplosjonsvernloven og plan- og bygningsloven. Eventuelle unntak eller begrensninger i retten til ferdsel, opphold og høsting, fastsatt i lov eller forskrift, går foran allemannsrettens generelle hovedregler, se friluftsloven § 19. Det finnes mange lokale begrensninger i retten til å ferdes i utmark, for eksempel særregler om båndtvang, bålforbud, drikkevannsrestriksjoner eller regler i naturvernområder. Derfor er det viktig å sette seg inn i forholdene på stedet.

 
Tent camp during sea-kayak tour in the outer Oslofjord (Photo: Oslo Outdoor)

Tent camp during sea-kayak tour in the outer Oslofjord (Photo: Oslo Outdoor)

Stay safe

The nature is not dangerous. But dangerous things can happen in nature if you are reckless or unprepared.

Show respect