How to go wild camping in Switzerland

Switzerland is a heaven destination for nature lovers particularly hiking and camping lovers. We shared our recommendation of the best hiking trails in Switzerland and there are countless more of them for you to explore! Camping is also very popular in Switzerland and well organized. It’s generally split into wild camping (tent camping) and caravan camping. Wild camping is allowed and is safe, provided you respect nature and follow the guidelines and rules set by cantons. If you are into caravan camping you can find our recommendations in this guide. The main things to keep in mind when you plan for wild camping:

  • wild camping is permitted only in the mountains above the tree line
  • wild camping is not allowed in a list of areas like nature reserves, wetlands, National Parks, etc
  • respect and do not disturb wildlife and nature when camping
  • collect all your waste when you leave

Wild camping in Switzerland

(photo credit @cici_ch_)

How to choose wild camping location

You can safely choose a camping location when you are hiking up in the Swiss mountains. The area should be above the tree line and should not belong to one of the following forbidden areas for camping:

  1. valleys
  2. inhabited areas
  3. forests
  4. floodplains
  5. wetlands
  6. areas close to mountain huts
  7. nature reserves and the Swiss National Parks
  8. wild rest zones
  9. hunting ban areas.

We would advise to consult specific rules that can be set by the canton in the area you plan to do wild camping. Another important consideration is to choose a safe spot. In practice it means to avoid camping close to mountain streams or rivers. Also it is not advisable to put your tent neither at the foot of a slope nor on mountain tops or ridges. This will protect you from lightning during the thunderstorm or the falling of stones or snow slide.

Respect wildlife

The nature needs a lot of care and attention in order to welcome all the wild campers. The minimum one can do when wild camping is:

  • take all the waste with you when you leave the camping site. Including the food waste
  • don’t make new fireplaces. Always use the existing ones
  • Keep noise down and do not disturb wildlife

Take care of your camping equipment and rent in advance if you don’ have your own. Enjoy this unique experience of wild camping in Switzerland. With all the magical sunsets and sunrises, views over mountain giants and lakes “at your feet”. Switzerland has so much to offer and wild camping is one of the best ways to explore it.

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