Camping in the mountains

Finding somewhere to stay in the mountains is easy. Mountain hotels, cabins and mountain lodges are in most areas. But if you want to go out to a land without roads off of the marked trails, camping is the only option.

Some mountain safety tips

Camping freely in nature is often absolutely fantastic and many visitors to the mountains have their favourite places that they repeatedly visit. You can virtually freely camp in the mountains, but you must of course take into consideration reindeer herding and not camp to close to where reindeer spend time. 

If you camp next to mountain lodges and cabins, you pay a service fee and can then use the facilities on site.

A recommendation is to use a so-called light-weight tent with many stay ropes, good ventilation and both an outer and inner tent. It can also be nice to have a mosquito net for the tent door. On the mountain, you need protection from rain, wind and mosquitoes. If you want to live more comfortably, there are good light-weight cot tents that are spacious and stable.

In the summer in good weather, it is often easy to find a good camping site, but always choose a site to camp with care. With strong rains, even small streams can flood and at higher elevations, strong winds can subject the tent to harsh strain. Winter camping places even higher demands on both you and the tent. Choose your place for winter camping with even greater care than in summer time.

Some tips to those who want to winter camp

A self-staying cupola or tunnel tent is more stable and easier to set up in snow than a traditional ridge tent. There are special tent pins for winter use that are significantly longer than regular. Skis and poles can also be used to brace the tent. Of course the requirements on other equipment are also greater in the winter. A thick sleeping mat, warm sleeping bag, warm rest clothes and a good shovel are necessary.

Tips for winter camping:

  • choose, if possible, a place sheltered from the wind for the tent
  • shovel up snow along the tent’s outer edge as protection against a draught
  • set up a wall of snow blocks on the wind side as protection
  • dig out the apse (the space between the outer tent and inner tent), so that there is room at the tent opening for cooking and storage of the packs. 

Practice at home or in wind-sheltered terrain first

Mountain safety begins at home. Always test setting up and living in your tent at home, in wind-sheltered terrain, before you set out to open mountain terrain. A tent that you do not know how to set up is not of much use when it is really needed.

Camping means that the backpack gets heavier. Besides the tent, sleeping bag and sleeping mat, the field kitchen, cooking utensils and food must be carried. However, in cabins and at mountain stations, it is most often possible to supplement the provisions and thereby reduce both volume and weight.

About the right of public access and camping

Also keep in mind what right you have to use nature as a camping site. In nature reserves and national parks, special rules may apply.  There is more information about camping and the right of public access (allemansrätt) on the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency website.