Outdoor Etiquette


Photo: Destination SydkystDanmark

Lately Danes have flocked to the countryside like never before. That’s great news, but every now and then people don’t treat nature kindly, and that NATURALLY needs to stop right now.

Ever since the coronavirus closed the country overnight, Danes have been seeking refuge in nature. The outdoors are always open, and a record number have traded their fitness classes and cinema evenings for a brisk walk and a night under the stars. According to Nature Agency records, the number of visitors at certain natural sites on Zealand and Møn has more than tripled. And that’s just great!

But there seems to be a need for some basic guidance on the do’s and don’ts of outdoor life.

Here’s your beginner’s guide to outdoor etiquette.

Go naturstil
Destination SydkystDanmark


Got to go while you’re on the go? That’s an absolute no-go on the trail. No shit, Sherlock, you might be thinking, but some visitors seem content to conduct their business where it’s no one’s business.

If you can’t suppress the urge, squat discretely in a secluded location, bury any remains and cover with leaves or brush. But it’s best to simply squeeze your cheeks together until you can spot a loo. That’s just good business practice.

Go naturstil
Destination SydkystDanmark


It takes nature almost five years to digest a single cigarette butt, and up to a thousand years to swallow a plastic bottle. We want our shelter areas to be a respite from the world’s worries, but sometimes they rather resemble the final days of Glastonbury. Finding your rubbish in nature rubs everyone the wrong way, especially the wild animals who wake up to your paper and plastic in their homes. Throw your rubbish in... you guessed it... the rubbish bin. The same applies to your dog’s little legacies.  That’s easy peasy lemon squeezy!

Psst... do nature a favour and keep a baggie at the ready – any stroll can be a litter pick.

Go naturstil
Destination SydkystDanmark


Mosquitos and creepy crawlers? No problem. Danes have been bitten by the camping bug. But you can’t pitch your tent just anywhere. Tent camping is allowed at more than 1,000 camping and shelter sites on public woodlands or in one of the 275 forests designated for ‘free tenting’. So you can count your sheep with a clear conscience.

Psst... You may only stay for one night in the same place. It is forbidden to pitch a tent on the beach, but you’re welcome to sleep under the stars.

Go naturstil
Destination SydkystDanmark


With top speeds of up to 140 km/h, drones are losing no time dominating the skies. The small propeller-craft have quickly found wide acceptance – for good reason. But

drones can be a nuisance, especially to breeding birds like the peregrine falcons that frequent steep cliffs and slopes and are easily confused by the droning buzz and unfamiliar silhouette.

As a responsible drone pilot you should only fly in authorised areas, always maintain sight of your drone, and keep a respectful distance from birds and any other two- or four-legged friends.

Go naturstil
Destination SydkystDanmark


The clubs have been closed and we haven’t exactly been active in our activewear... But even though the pandemic has been short on instagrammable moments, resist the temptation to pursue the perfect selfie with nature’s fluffy friends. Seals on the sandbank, stags in the forest, storks on the meadow – none of them care to be the star of your instagram story.

The truth is, wild animals just want to be left alone and are happy to leave the duck face to you.

Go naturstil
Destination SydkystDanmark


Shhh, keep it down! Noise and commotion are a nuisance to many of nature’s wild animals and can even destroy entire ecosystems. Our noise simply has no place in nature – it startles small creatures, disturbs birds’ calls and renders prey defenceless against lurking predators.

So next time you head out to soak up the soothing sounds of nature, leave the bluetooth speaker at home, set your mobile to silent and channel your inner ninja.

Go naturstil
Destination SydkystDanmark


...but when out and about in nature, your dog should be on a leash, even if ‘they wouldn’t harm a fly’. Nature is the domain of wild animals. Loose dogs scare and stress young hares, ground-nesting birds and wild-game, and small children can catch a fright from even the tamest terrier.

So keep your furry four-legged friend on a leash – and your pooper scooper at the ready.

Go Naturstil
Destination SydkystDanmark


Do you want the 7 tips for outdoor etiquette on the go? 

Did you know...

...that the majority of nature is open 24/7? However, privately owned forests are closed during the same hours that the forest trolls sleep – from sunset to the early morning at 6 o'clock.

...that you may collect an amount equivalent to a bag full of berries, mushrooms, or other wild delicacies?

This applies everywhere in state-owned nature, whereas in private forests you may pick whatever you can reach from roads and paths. On beaches, you may gather what you can hold in your hands.

...that you may only light fires in forests with designated fire and camp sites? The edge of the beach is brilliant for small fires. Always extinguish it when you leave, and never cover embers with sand, as this can cause burns to both animals and people.

...that the Danish coasts belong to us all? Therefore, you may dive into the blue waves on even privately-owned beaches, just as publicly-owned lakes are wide open for water nymphs and backstrokers of any kind.

...that in private forests you may only travel on roads and paths? In public forests, it is also permitted to walk, but not cycle, around in the forest floor.

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