Everyman’s rights and hiking etiquette
Hiking tips

Everyman’s rights and hiking etiquette

Everyman’s rights and hiking etiquette for outdoor activities

The Finnish Everyman’s rights allow anyone to make the most out of nature in a universal way. However, not everything is permitted. Therefore it is of utmost importance for outdoor enthusiasts to be familiar with Everyman’s rights and the hiking etiquette. This guide applies to outdoor activities conducted in Finland and therefore are not universally applied to other countries. Always check the etiquette of your destination separately.

Rules for hiking in Finland
Read the etiquette and hiking rules before you head out in to the Forest

Everyman’s rights – what are they about?

Everyman's rights refer to everyone's right to temporarily use, enjoy and profit from nature, regardless of land ownership. Operations based on everyone's rights are complimentary, and most of Everyman’’s rights are derived from a variety of Finnish laws.

Everyman’s rights allow:

  • To move on foot, on skis and by bike
  • Boating and swimming
  • Temporary accommodation
  • Berry, mushroom and non-endangered plant picking
  • Fishing

Everyman’s rights do not allow:

  • Making a bonfire without permission from the landowner
  • Damaging trees, moss or lichen
  • Harming, disturbing or littering nature
  • Driving off-road with a motor vehicle

NOTE! In nature reserves (e.g. national parks), Everyman's rights do not apply as such. Adherence to the right of every man must not cause the slightest inconvenience to the landowner or to nature.

Everymans rights do's and don'ts
In Finnish National Parks Everyman's rights do not directly apply

Hiking etiquette: 3 basic principles

In addition to Everyman’s rights, it is important to have an understanding of hiking etiquette. By knowing the outdoor code you can enjoy nature without disturbing nature or other hikers. A good outdoor conduct can be summarised in the following basic principles:

  1. Respect nature and other hikers

    -Carry all your rubbish out of nature

    -Do not alter nature

    -Keep pets under control

    -Do not cause unnecessary noise or disturbance

  2. Set up your fires only at the designated places 

    -When a forest fire warning is in effect, making an open fire is strictly prohibited everywhere

    -Preferably go for a camping stove

  3. Follow the local rules of your destination

    -The locally sensitive rules of the excursion destinations may restrict movement and camping, among other things

    -Get acquainted with specific rules for National Parks and other destinations maintained by Metsähallitus

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