Being surrounded by the outdoors no matter what season is deeply ingrained into Norwegian culture. The importance of escaping everyday life for a simpler one and feeling refreshed by nature is still very important to Norwegians. Since 1957 the right to roam law has existed, allowing anyone in Norway to explore the forests, pick berries, pitch a tent, fish, or hunt.
You can pitch a tent without permission from the landowner for up to 48 hours the front-country. In less populated and more remote areas, such as the deep mountains, you may camp for longer than 48 hours. It’s important that you pitch your tent at least 150 meters (about 500 feet) from any inhabited structure or road.
Berries and Mushrooms
A popular pastime is ‘selv plukking’, meaning self-picking. Some people plan trips into the forest to just pick nature’s bounty while others treat themselves along a run, hike, or bike trip. The seasons vary year to year and with weather conditions, but generally, berries are available:
Strawberry: starts around June 1 and ends August 31
Raspberries: starts around June 1 and ends September 15
Blueberries: starts around July 1 and ends September 30
A nationwide delicacy is ‘molte’, a cloudberry. Cloudberries grow in marshy areas but are still extremely challenging to find. They taste very tart, so if you find them make sure you add sugar! Cloudberries are available in Oslo and the lowlands the beginning of August to early September. While in the mountains, cloudberries are available throughout September.
There are a multitude of mushrooms in the forest, however, some can be poisonous. Even if you are an experienced mushroom picker, it’s important to go with a local the first time to ensure you’re picking the edible ones. ‘Soppkontrollen’ is the mushroom control in the Oslo area. The organization of volunteers works every Sunday during the mushroom season at specific locations to ensure the mushrooms you’ve picked are safe.
Besides beautiful nature, Norway may be most known for salmon. There are thousands of areas throughout the country to catch, but salmon, cod, trout, and perch are the most popular. A fishing license must be attained at gas stations, convenience stores, or the Statskog website. Some rivers, lakes, or other bodies of water require specific licenses and fishing equipment, so be sure.
Every year, about 140,000 men and women hunt on Norwegian lands. Game ranges from ‘big game’ moose, deer, and wild reindeer to ‘small game’ including grouse hunting, woodland birds, beaver hunting, and hare hunting. A hunting license can be attained through The Brønnøysund Register Centre. Many hunt on lands owned and maintained by Statskog, which is a governmental guarantor for sustainable management and for public access to affordable hunting.