Speak to any Dane and most probably they have fond memories of camping as kids and they still do it on a pretty much annual basis. But what does ‘camping’ mean in Denmark?
Well, first of all remove any notion of camping meaning being ‘one with nature’. Camping in Denmark most commonly means ‘caravanning’, possibly in a caravan that is sat fixed in one location, and comes with an extension tent containing a fridge, freezer, oven top, and most conveniences. From my experience people take pretty much everything but their kitchen sink with them, so this is not exactly ‘slumming it’. Cheap but with home comforts seems to be the requirement.
Now that we have understood that, the next step is where to go camping.
There are loads of camping sites dotted all around Denmark. Most of the sites are quite huge set-ups, with place for over 150 caravans. See why ‘being one with nature’ is not exactly what you get?
However, if ‘being one with nature’ is what you are looking for, a bit of digging may also bring up something more to your liking.
One of the options in this case would be what are called ‘primitive camp sites’ (primitive overnatningspladser). This distinguishes them from the larger commercials sites where you get comforts from showers, toilets, laundry, kitchen, a shop, entertainment for your kids etc. Most of these sites are owned by farmers, who provide some space to pitch up a tent. Others are in forests (Frie teltningsområder). One important thing to remember about these sites is that you shouldn’t travel to them by motorised means.
A good place to find such camping sites is the website udinaturen. There is also a book about smaller camp grounds that comes with a handy map showing the location of the camp grounds around Denmark,a s well as contact details (where relevant) and indication of what facilities (toilets, showers, drinking water) there are at the sites.
My Danish camping experience
During the summer Michael and I joined Michael’s parents during their camping holiday for a weekend. I have been camping in tents before in other countries, but this was my first Danish camping experience – and also first time in a caravan! This is what I thought about my stay:
The caravan we were in came with a big (average Danish) tented area in front and a green patch with some tables and chairs outside. I was, therefore, surprised with the space available. However, if the weather is bad and you are stuck inside I can see cabin fever starting to haunt me! I was also surprised at how clean the toilets were every single time I used them, regardless of the time of day.
I guess the main con relates to my main doubt I had about camping in such a way before I went: Why on earth would I want to leave the comfort of my house to be in a crowded area crammed with loads of people, where I can hear every sniffle or sneeze they have? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of camping to be close to nature?
I’d like to hear from you! Have you been camping? If so, what did you think? And if you are a ‘Danish camping’ fan, what draws you to it?