Freedom to Roam: Sweden’s Allemansrätten

Allemansrätten means freedom to roam
Flickr user Mihaly


Freedom to Roam: Sweden’s Allemansrätten

Never has the nomadic life more readily been accepted than it is in Sweden. The Right of Public Access, or Allemansrätten, allows individuals to freely roam where they please on all public lands. That means beautiful coastlines, glorious mountains and vast Laplunds are at your feet to explore.

We’ve seen the concept of Allemansträtten called a few things (Right of Public Access, Freedom to Roam, Outdoor Access Rights), but no matter what you call it, one thing is clear – since 1994, the concept is a Swede’s constitutional right. Remember several months ago when Sweden listed its entire country on Airbnb? The promotional stunt by Visit Sweden reinforced Allemansträtten and encouraged visitors to come explore the country.

According to Sweden’s Environmental Protection Agency, individuals can swim, fish, camp, forage and drive to their heart’s content – as long as they’re not on private property and they follow one rule: do not disturb, do not destroy.

There are a few other general niceties people should follow. A group called Keep Sweden Tidy put together a list of rights and responsibilities that come with the privilege of Allemansträtten, like “I will not litter,” and “I will not pick endangered flowers.”

Does Allemansträtten sound familiar? Did you by chance associate it with meatballs? Thank IKEA for that – its trademark meatball, mashed potatoes and cream sauce dish is named for the free roaming nature principle because, “just like nature, we believe that all should have access to and enjoy it, any time.”

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