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What are you allowed to do under everyman’s right? What’s prohibited? Brief summary:

Friday 1.2.2019 : HEIKKI SULANDER
Mushroom picking, photo: Heikki SulanderMushroom picking, photo: Heikki SulanderMushroom picking, photo: Heikki SulanderMushroom picking, photo: Heikki SulanderMushroom picking, photo: Heikki Sulander

Mushroom picking, photo: Heikki Sulander

Finland’s everyman’s rights have gained praise in an international level. They make sure that all Finns can enjoy the great outdoors with ease and without fees, since we don’t all own land to share as hiking trails. In short: everyman’s rights are a vital part of outdoor hobbies.

This article will provide a guide on how to utilize these rights. A link to frequently asked questions can be found down below.

Suomen Latu, the largest outdoor organization in Finland began a campaign in the Fall of 2018 to include everyman’s rights on the Unesco Word Heritage list.

A little nice to know: everyman’s rights aren’t a unified law. They are constructed by around 30 separate laws where rights to utilize nature are either restricted or given: criminal code, rescue act, fishing act and water traffic act. For instance, terrain traffic act prohibits driving a motorized vehicle without a permit from the landowner. Or the waste disposal act, which prohibits littering.

According to said laws, penalties can be distributed – penalties which are allocated to specific laws. Which is why they don’t list them with everyman’s rights.

These rights are a wonderful thing and enable a variety of outdoor activities. But like all things, they come with their own responsibilities, like bringing your garbage back with you from the woods and respecting other people’s property. So, enforce everyman’s rights with consideration, okay?


Nature reserves, national parks, nature parks and wilderness areas have their own rules and regulations. Detailed information can be found from the website of each location, for instance from nationalparks.fi.

Enforcing everyman’s rights is not allowed to cause disruption or harm.

Everyman’s rights cannot be enforced on private properties, farms, crops or any areas designed for a specific purpose.

Authorities, such as the army or Metsähallitus have the right to restrict everyman’s rights.

What can I do on the grounds of everyman’s rights?

You may:

  •  travel on foot, on skis or by bicycle anywhere that’s not private property or designed for a specific purpose (crops and gardens and such)
  • temporarily stay on location where hiking and travel is allowed (staying in a tent)
  • pick berries, mushrooms and flowers
  • angle and/or ice fish
  • travel on bodies of water and/or ice

What can’t I do on the grounds of everyman’s rights?

You may NOT:

  • cause disturbance or harm to others or to the environment
  • disrupt nesting or game animals
  • cut down trees or harm them in any manner
  • disrupt the peace of people’s homes
  •  litter
  • drive a motorized vehicle without a specific permit from the landowner
  • fish or hunt without proper authorization

This article was put together by the lovely folk at Rinkkaputki / Likelygonehiking. Have a great hiking Fall!

More information:
Ministry of the Environment pamphlets on everyman’s rights (also available in Swedish, Finnish and Russian): http://www.ym.fi/en-US/Latest_news/Publications/Brochures/Everymans_right(4484)


Blog categories: Outdoor activities



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