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I don't mean to use a tent, just a mat + a sleeping bag, or possibly a bivy sack if the weather is foul.

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

Yes it is, but only for one night in any single spot. Staying multiple nights is considered camping and is not allowed.

It is never allowed in national parks.

I could only find Dutch references for this, but they all say the same and refer to relevant text in the Austrian lawbooks.

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Do you know how much is the fine for camping? –  Lorlin Aug 27 '12 at 14:23
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I once had a fine for that that was 200 Euros or so. Mind you, that was a pretty stupid move -- I had slept aside a fresh water reservoir that was used for drinking water for the surrounding towns, and there were more "no camping!" signs than trees there...(it was in the middle of the night, and we were exhausted, and the water at night looked real nice...). Point is, it can be a painfully large amount. –  Rody Oldenhuis Aug 27 '12 at 14:47

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