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What would be the most suitable places in Europe where I could venture with some friends on a backpacking trip where we could sleep in tents for about a week and practice camping skills, without much distraction from tourism?

I am asking because most forests in Europe that I know of are either state-owned or privately owned, where camping is illegal (even cooking on open fire is illegal in most forests and nature reserves that I know of).

I would just like to go somewhere for 7 days where I could set up a small camping site with maybe two other friends and experience wilderness without much chance of many other tourists walking past our camping site.

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    As currently stated this question is too broad. Tourism is concentrated in a few hotspots, most places get barely any tourism at all. – gerrit Oct 9 at 13:58
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    As mentioned in the previous question, land in UK is under ownership, so you'll need permission from the landowner to camp and hunt. Weapons are illegal too, and trapping and snaring have strict rules. You might consider Scotland and its "right to roam" policy, but again, there are restrictions to that. – Weather Vane Oct 9 at 15:18
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    You can read about Wild camping in Scotland and the Access Code which contains links to further information. – Weather Vane Oct 9 at 15:25
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    @Guran: aren't all answers opinion based? :) I was hoping some experienced campers would recommend a forest where I could practice my camping skills for a week or so. Most forests in Europe that I know are either state-owned or private-owned, and it's illegal to camp in those or to even cook on open fire. – Jan Stuller Oct 15 at 9:56
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    I suspect that in practice you're after info on where the sort of rules you've encountered aren't really enforced if you're subtle, and this isn't really the forum for that. – Chris H Oct 15 at 11:57
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A camping experience in the effectively tourist-free areas. This is what I was doing in my student times with a mountaineering club in Carpathia Mountains.

The Carpathia in their Ukrainian and Romanian part are quite wild. Romania can be quite survival experience, thought the most danger comes from shepherd dogs. In the Ukraine, the Gorgany are one of the most civilization-free areas in the Europe. Because of their geology, they are very dry and hardly available even for shepherd activities. Add the lack of regular tourist infrastructure, and the only people you met there are those who look for the same wild camping experience as you.

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Wilderness Camping

Since you are talking about wilderness camping, and presupposing that everyone should be following Leave No Trace, camping skills can be practiced in many places - even on public camping grounds to some extent.

If you take Leave No Trace seriously, and actually try to minimise your footprint on the area you visit this will mean...

  • that you cook on portable stoves using fuel which you brought along,
  • bring with you all the food you plan to eat, i.e. no foraging/hunting/fishing,
  • you'll carry out all of your waste, including excrement (or at least the harder-to-decompose parts, such as toilet paper),
  • etc.

If this is what you are looking for then I suggest doing some test runs on public camping grounds. Since your impact on the environment should be minimal and you are in essence almost completely self-sufficient there is no real need for any wilderness.

Once you're comfortable with your gear and your setup you could go for longer overnight treks. There are plenty of areas where you can enjoy remote outdoor experiences - Scotland, Norway, Finnland, Sweden come to mind where you will find wilderness areas that are accessible for camping and trekking (as a starting point google Kungsleden for example - or ask a new question focusing on this specific requirement).

Bushcraft

From your questions it could also be that what you might be after instead is a place where you can go and try out all the cool bushcraft and survival techniques that many YouTube channels so generously supply us with... If that is the case I'd like to state: many of the shown techniques don't generally go too well with Leave No Trace.

--> Building tools and improvised shelters from trees and deadwood, cooking on open fires and generally camping in the same spot for a longer time (say, multiple days) will leave a significantly larger footprint on the area you are visiting.

This isn't to say that there aren't some rare and valid applications for these techniques - but if you are looking for official regulation condoning such techniques you will be hard-pressed, since the prevailing trend is going towards Leave No Trace (and for good reason, I might add), and all the bushcraft/survival hullabaloo is in conflict with this to at least some degree.

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