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The Swedish skärgård located just west of Gothenburg is a beautiful place. I have travelled there a couple of times, taking the bus-ferries around between the islands.

There are quite a lot of uninhabited islands, with some grass and rocks, and sometimes a few animals. I was thinking of the possibility of renting a boat and go tenting (camping) on one of these uninhabited islands.

What should I be aware of if I plan to go camping on one of the uninhabited islands?

With aware I mean things that might be a problem which is not clearly obvious, that could be:

  • Is it legal? (according to the Swedish right to access rules, I would assume yes but there might be some restrictions that I am not aware of.)
  • Are there some special equipment that are would be good to bring?
  • Non-obvious dangers (desolate island, perhaps the tides may be a problem?)

Skærgården

(Another link to Allemandsrätten for those that might be curious.)

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I suppose the first question I'd ask myself is, is it legal to camp there? –  Liam Aug 18 at 9:25

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Some considerations I can think of:

Legality
As long as it is not a nature reserve or a military restricted area, it should be allowed. You could probably check with some authority if it applies to the smaller islands as well. I would just try to contact Naturvårdsverket or Gothenburgs tourist agency.

Safety
Since its in the blatic sea, tides aren´t that high. However, also for changing weather, you should choose a campground at some distance from and some elevation above the coast - five meters above seem fine to me, but I am without any actual experience in this point.

Camping
Those islands normally are nearly pure rock, maybe with a little bit of soil on top. If you want to sleep in a tent (probably a good idea, I imagine temperature drops quite fast for the night at the sea) it would be the best to bring a tent that is free-standing, so you don´t have to bother with pegs. Don´t damage the rock to get pegs in - normally locals and authorities get quite angry about that. Also, remind that the surface is likely to be a lot harder than forest floor, so bring a nice matress.

Water
Most likely, there wont be any fresh water on the isles, so bring plenty. Also for cooking, and rinsing. To be on the safe side, I would bring about 4-5litres per person for one night with dinner and breakfast on the island.

Rubbish
It is self-evident you should take all your garbage. In this case, it would be sensible to pack out excrements, or at least the toilet paper, as well since the soil probably won´t be deep enough to bury it.

Have fun, and share your experiences afterwards!

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Just to expand on the legality part, note that some islands in the Gothenburg archipelago are military training grounds. Even though activity in the last year is much less than it used to be exercises could still occur. The islands in question are: Galterö, Stora Stårholmen, Känsö, Lilla Rävholmen and Stora Rävholmen. More information could be found here forsvarsmakten.se/sv/organisation/marinbasen/… (in Swedish) or by calling +46 (0)455-850 00. –  Ahlqvist Aug 18 at 13:52

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