“Overnatning i det fri” is a guide book in Danish about nearly free campsites in Denmark. Denmark don’t have the “Allemannsretten”, freedom to roam, like other Scandinavian countries. Since the normal campsites have become rather expensive and more like a family holiday theme park. Which off course has it place, but if you just want a place to pitch your tent and access to the basic such as water. Then it has became rather had to find a place to camp in Denmark unless you really did wild camping.
From what I have learnt from talking with the owners at the sites we visited. Dansk Cyklist Forbund (The Danish Cyclist Federation) Dansk Vandrelaug (The Danish Ramblers) among others got this great idea and posted an article in the newspapers asking for people to join up. So now private persons with a bit of spare grass, now have a simple place for you to camp. Some of these are just their back yard or their hayloft or part of their plantation. The local councils have also put up some basic shelters which are either in a park or an opening in a forest.
Some of these campsite does have access to running water, toilet (long drop to a fancy and new WC) or even a shower. Prices range from nothing to 20DKK per person staying, about £2, though we had to pay 25DKK at one site and around 15DKK for a shower if there was one.
On the route we took on our last trip to Denmark we were never more than 5-10km away from a site. Since the 1000 sites are scatted all over Denmark, so you would never be far away from a place to camp. Some places you can just rock up but it just nice to give the owner a bell before you arrive. Don’t worry if you don’t speak Danish, they will speak English, German or even French. And when you are there a bit of pointing and a friendly smile will get you far.
Many of them are not far from rivers so you can used them while on a canoe trip. Also many of them will let you arrive on horse back. I would say the most if not all are with in very easy reach of any of the national cycle routes and walking route.
I was truly astonished by the quality, even by the most basic sites we stayed at, and the friendly welcome we received. We had everything from a very clean “das”, long drops, to a full equipped kitchen and bathroom.
The only thing I can moan about is that the book uses the UTM standard to locate the campsite on your GPS. I’m not sure if that is a normal standard but it was the first time I have ever heard about it. But after a bit of fittling around on my Garmin I managed to enter the coordinates, though there are online tools that convert UTM to “normal” Longitude and Latitude coordinates.
It might be a bit hard for you to get it, since you can’t buy it online, well yes you can but they don’t don’t ship abroad. I was lucky to have a friend whom I could borrow a copy from. Though I pretty sure that you can buy one from any tourist information offices or book shop that are scattered around Denmark. Yes I know not the best option when you are in the planning stage.
The book is mainly in Danish, though have a important information in English, so you should be able to figure out where they are and understand what is there.
Below is a little review of the sites we managed to visit, I have made the UTM links into a lovely link onto Google map:
Skoleskoven ved Vejen: A nice distance away from the ferry in Esbjerg, if you are arriving there.
This is a site run by the local council, in a small “training park” I guess. There is basic shelters, long drops and running water. A brilliant little place very well hidden and you can have open fire there too. If you got a tent there is plenty of places to pitch up too.
Total cost here: Free.
Rold: Around 15miles west of Odense on Fyn, with some wonderful rolling hills to enjoy.
A farm with horses, dog and cat. You pitch your tent anywhere around the barn and even near the lake. We stayed in the hayloft since we had two days of rather wet cycling before. If the owners are home you can use their showers and toilet. You are also welcome to bring you horse here. I spend a long time looking around the barn, since there were so many things that I could remember from my childhood at my grandparents. A very cosy place and the owners just opened the barn door for us when we arrived since they would be out and about.
Total cost here: 15DKK per person.
Slots-Bjergby: Just outside Slagelse on Sjælland
A little lawn outside a old farm right next to the highest laying church on Sjælland. Running water and a very clean toilet and shower is accessible next to the church. The lawn is on a bit of a slope and it looked like the moles have had a go at it. So a bit hard to find a level place to pitch your tent.
Total cost here: Free.
Roneklint: On the coast halfway between Fakse and Vordinborg.
Is an old plantation according to the book though we didn’t any trees, mainly because we arrived when it was rather wet. So were only thinking about getting out tent up and into dry clothing. The owner told me that he is planing to make the barn into a cafe with live music. There was plenty of place to pitch your tent. We didn’t stay around long enough to explore since we had a long day ahead of us.
Total cost here: Free.
Tåst: On a small peninsular with a little marina and beach, oh yes mossies by the millions
This was our most expensive site, I think it went to the food for the mossies since there were rather a lot of them. Nice little marina with a kitchen and seating. Toilet block and a shower which you need to pay for the use of the key. The little marina is just a nice little cosy place to see the sunset from. Easy access to the ferry to Langeland.
Total cost here: 25DKK per person.
Rønshoved: A very pleasant surprise, close to the beach and the border to Germany
Last minutes change of plans found this little gem where we really got a pleasant surprise. In a little valley hidden away from the main road was hidden an old water mill next to a little lake. A little gas stove and seating areas both indoor and out door. You can even rent rooms there. Toilet and shower ever so clean. If we had the time or ever come back we will be staying here again. We were a wee bit worried with the trees and water around us, but they were not to be found these BB’s.
Total cost here: 20DKK per person.
Egebæk-Hviding: Little organic farm with showers and free beer only a short ride from Ribe.
This farm was a blessing after 25miles ride from Tønder into the wind. Only a few miles sound of Ribe and and easy ride from the ferry to the UK in Esbjerg. From the guest book I could see that they have been running a small campsite since 1998, which they did were well. You welcome to explore the farm and its lake, though we were just to knackered. There is a kitchen with all you need to cook up a storm. Toilet and shower is also available. It was only when I was reading the guest book that it clicked for me that we were welcome to help ourself from the fridge. So I had a nice cold beer, which was well needed. Just watch out for the cats they are rather curious and got a bit close to my hot cooker and got oil on their fur and nose.
Total cost here: 20DKK per person and 15DKK per person per shower.