Hot answers tagged

46

The tent just makes your intent obvious: You planned to sleep there from the beginning. And this is what the authorities want to prevent: Camping in the wild. On the other hand many legislations allow for emergency and high altitude bivouacs, which are inevitable. So the gray area developed where people sleep without a tent in order to escape punishment, as ...


26

I'm not sure you can generalize US Hiking trails, since there will be vast variability in popularity, usage, land area, population density etc. (Just as you mentioned is the case in popular vs. remote areas of Europe). Yes, there are some areas that require reservations, but most don't. In fact, I feel comfortable saying MOST federal public land in the ...


24

It's not really about the tent, it is about planned "bivouacs" (that means you plan to sleep outdoors) and emergency bivouacs where the latter of course aren't forbidden. That means if you carry a tent and sleep in it, it was obviously planned to sleep outdoors where people possibly do harm to the nature because they generally don't follow the Leave No ...


22

Purely speculative hypothesis: Worms are coldblooded, which means they depend on temperatures above freezing for their metabolism to function. They survive the winter by burrowing down below the layer of soil that freezes to hybernate. You mentioned that temperatures changed abruptly. This is where I begin to speculate. It could be that the worms didn't ...


21

In Central Europe there is a much higher population density as e.g. in many parts of the USA, Canada or Scandinavia. There is almost no valley without a village. So private property is rather rare and the land owner want to protect it. In Austria there had even been a law from 1852 (Reichsforstgesetz), which prohibited entering the forest completely. Not ...


16

When checking to find out what kind of earthworm we might be discussing, I found sources listing anywhere from 100 to over 6,000 species. That wasn't very helpful so I'll just skip it and assume you have some common variety of earthworm that's present around many parts of the world! The short answer here is that they were most likely trying to get to a ...


14

Yes, Europe has an international accepted definition of Wilderness. These European Wilderness Quality Standards are continuously updated and are available on the Website of the European Wilderness Society (http://wilderness-society.org). During the last years the society identified close to one million hectares in Europe that meet at least the bronze ...


14

I think it is not that simple. There are several things to keep in mind when making comparisons like this: As far as the US are concerned, you are talking about the most popular national parks here: places like Yosemite, Yellowstone and Zion get few millions of visitors each year, from all over the world. At the same time, there are huge stretches of ...


13

Be very careful as far as schools are concerned - parents or staff will tend to be rather vigilant with strangers on site (especially primary schools) and I believe without permission it is technically trespassing. Geocaches really shouldn't be placed in such areas without written permission anyway, so for some that have done this you might be ok (though I'...


13

I can not give a lot of information about hitchhiking but have spend a lot of time wildcamping in Europe. Sure most land is privatly owned, and most countries have regulations against it, but in most cases you will be fine and undisturbed if you take some things into account: Try to hide your tent, only set it up right before you want to go sleep. Find a ...


13

Unfortunately being Europe the situation changes from country to country. But I will try and keep my answer as general as possible. I most places wild camping is not allowed. Main exceptions are Scotland and Nordic countries and some other places where its illegal but widely tolerated. I Alpine and other mountainous areas (except in UK) there is a widespread ...


13

Population density Germany: 228 pop/km2; US: 33. Much of the land is simply privately owned. Most surface area (public or private) is used one way or another (residential, forestry, agriculture): There is no "wild" or "great outdoors" in Germany with the exception of a few National Parks (Alps, Oder, Bavarian Forest, among others) which are regulated just ...


12

In Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland You can camp almost anywhere in forest and near public waters. Latvia is forest country, and You can camp almost anywhere. There are no restrictions. If the land owner doesn't want to allow it, he must place a sign. There are restrictions on national parks only. In national parks it's allowed in specific places only, but ...


12

I feel only qualified to answer the first portion of your question: When you are in a rural area, just ask if someone lets you set up camp on their property. Farmers often don't mind. Whenever I had the chance to do it this way I did. I sleep a lot sounder not thinking about police officers waking me up at 6AM and you are interacting with the local ...


12

Camping If you're walking with a tent and pitching it up somewhere high in the mountains (this may not be legal, but if you're well behaved nothing will happen), you won't have a problem with crowds. Very few people hike with a tent. In general, as soon as you're more than ~2 hours from the nearest car park, you're out of the crowds. That being said, it ...


12

As gerrit notes, swimming in lakes is common in Scandinavia, and there's not a lot of fauna in them that could even potentially be harmful. Some lakes in southern Sweden apparently do have leeches, which can attach themselves to exposed human skin or, in some cases, to the insides of body cavities. If you were planning to swim in a leech-infested lake (a ...


12

I have so far not been hiking close to Berlin. However, I know to areas that might be worth a try: The Spreewald and the Mecklenburger Seenplatte. Also I just learned about the "Märkische Schweiz", a small low mountain range. I have never heard of the 66 lakes trail, so I can´t give you information on that. Note that you can reach the baltic sea in about ...


11

It is generally illegal in Denmark. You may sleep on all beaches, but you are not allowed to pitch a tent on beaches. In some state-forrests you may camp where you like. More than 1.000 primitive campsites are scattered around the country. Most are free - some cost 1-3 euro pr. night. They may just be a lawn but some have shelters, firewood and access to ...


11

Camping restrictions and permits to enter particular areas are actually very rare when you look at the total land area. I believe in every case these are done only to prevent degradation caused by excessive use. By definition, these systems are therefore in place in popular areas, which is why you hear about them way out of proportion to their actual size ...


11

Its nearly just the half of what you would have expected to see. Honestly I had head-scratched many details for European Long Distance Trails. But I realized that they are so long that even if I plan to complete one of them in sections, it would take multiple years considering my current economic state :-) By the time I realized that,I already had some data ...


11

As your travel advisory links state, the ‘rabies-free’ designation ignores bats. This is also mentioned on the CDC list of rabies-free countries which you link to: The countries on this list are those that have not reported recent cases of rabies in land animals and that have adequate disease surveillance for rabies cases as determined by CDC. Countries ...


10

American Robin, Source European Robin Source They are from different families of birds, The American robin (Turdus migratorius) is a migratory songbird of the thrush family. It is named after the European robin3 because of its reddish-orange breast, though the two species are not closely related, with the European robin belonging to the Old World ...


9

Living in Utah in the US I have a somewhat unique perspective (Utah has more national parks then any other state) I have visited all of the national parks here and most throughout the west. As others have mentioned if you compare the amount of reservations and restrictions to the amount of space the ratio is actually quite small. I thought I would answer ...


9

Some extra info about France. In general, wild camping is forbidden in France, except when stated otherwise. As any other country, France has a number of regional and national natural parks, where "bivouac" (setting up your tent after 7pm and packing it back before 8am) might be allowed. Regulations are specific to each park, and you should get to know it ...


9

It's not a myth. In Sweden allemansrätten (lit. "the everyman's right") is a freedom granted by the Constitution of Sweden. Since 1994 the Instrument of Government says that notwithstanding the right to own property "everyone shall have access to nature in accordance with allemansrätten" source: Wiki You are allowed to use nature but ...


9

The American Alpine club publishes this data for North America annually, though it's unlikely to cover all accidents. One of the best visualizations of this data I've found is from Steph Abegg: Mountaineering Accident Statistics and Mount Rainier Accident Statistics.


8

Swimming is a popular summer pas-time in Sweden and Finland. In rural areas, it's still common for schools to have swimming lessons outside, in lakes. I'm pretty sure there's no risk from fauna in Swedish lakes. If you go too far north, you could risk hypothermia ;).


8

These laws are often to stop homeless people hanging around. In England the vagrancy act has not been repealed and the police still arbitrarily arrest people for being vagrant. So even sleeping rough without a tent is illegal. In other places they just want to extract as much money from tourists as possible and to make them use official facilities. In ...


8

I've hiked in the UK, and a little in the US and western Europe. I'll concentrate on the UK. My perception is that British hikers keep their gear for longer than Americans, leading to two things: old fashioned kit, and a preference for sturdy kit. I, for example, have a pair of leather hiking boots from over 20 years ago. They're heavy but still the best I ...


7

Additional for Greece: I'm a wild camper for many years in Greece. I have never any issue with locals or police.. Ok, I am careful in general but I guess also lucky. :) Yes, it is illegal and you must know where to go. The best is to ask the locals, or other campers that you will find there. As a general rule, after sunset you wont have any issue putting ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible