Camping in Sweden – close to nature

All camping sites in Jämtland Härjedalen, Sweden, are close to nature. The camping site in Hoting has a sand beach with a tower from the jetty for plunging into the lake. There is an accessible hiking path and you can go fishing. By the camping there is an exhibit showing the prehistory of the area and a car museum showing rare veteran cars.

Cabins Hoting Camping Lena Hedman
The cabins at Hoting Camp site is by the lake Hotingsjön. Photo: Lena Hedman

Camp site by lake Hotingssjön

Red clover, daisies and bluebells are seen all over by the shores of Lake Hotingssjön. The water glitters in the sunlight and a family of ducks swim into the reeds. We park at the yellow reception house and check in for a night at the campsite. We are almost blinded by the tall birches with white trunks that glow with the green grass and leaves around.

Several motorhomes have just arrived and some ladies go for a walk with their dogs. We get a chat with Anders Hall who has driven the so called Wilderness road (Vildmarksvägen) via Gäddede and up to the mountain plateau Stekenjokk with high snow capped mountains.

“– There was still snow up there by the road and more on the higher mountain tops. I am very interested in birds and I even saw a Lapland Longspur”, he says.

He came here after one night in the small village Stora Blåsjön by the Wilderness Road and chose Camp Hoting since it is beautifully situated by the lake and right next to the Inland Road (Road E45), just north of Strömsund.

“– I have had motorhomes for 20 years, it means a lot to me to have this kind of freedom, and stay wherever I feel like”, says Anders Hall.

Carina Jonsson Hotings camping Lena Hedman
Carina Jonsson runs the Camp site in Hoting. Photo: Lena Hedman

Carina used to be a banker – now she runs the camp site

Some guests come here without a prior reservation and some book well in advance, Carina Jonsson tells us. She has had the camp site now for three years.

“– I took over from my parents who ran this camp site for 15 years. After working in a bank for many years I felt a need to become my own boss. It was a dream come true to take the step and dare to take over the business and it feels good that the camp site stays within the family”, she says.

Giving the guests a wonderful stay and a relaxing vacation is what drives Carina to keep going.

“– Many people lead stressful lives nowadays and here at the camp site they can just hang around and relax”, she says.

There is a nice retro feel to the camp site and visitors can play mini golf, boules or frisbee golf. The beach with sand and a jetty that forms a rectangle with a safe area for the younger visitors attract on sunny days. And for the daring there is a jumping tower from a raft further out in the lake.

Naturstig Hotings camping Lena Hedman
Accessible hiking around the camping site in Hoting. Photo: Lena Hedman

Freedom with a rented motorhome

Åsa Wikingsson and Mikael Andersson are also planning on a dip in the lake. They have come all the way from Trollhättan in the south of Sweden and are continuing way up north to Gällivare. After going north inland they will go by the coast to get back south.

“– We have rented this motorhome and it is our first time. It is so nice being able to bring everything we want and being able to cook and stay at the sites we choose. It is beautiful here in Jämtland Härjedalen with all the flowers and lakes. At home all flowers are gone by now”, they say.

After speaking to the nice couple from Trollhättan we decided to try the accessible nature trail around Knortmon. The hiking trail is nice and wide and provides us with beautiful views of the lake. The soft path is a couple of kilometers long and also walkable for prams and wheelchairs. There are several cozy shelters for those who want to have coffee or grill their own dinners. There are also some benches to rest on overlooking the water.

“– I saw that there are boats for rent at the camp site, maybe we can take a tour later, says Erika as we rest on one of the benches where there is water on both sides of the trail.

A virtual sea of Fireweed (Whillow herb or Saint Anthony´s laurels) surrounds a nice barbecue hut and we continue over a wooden bridge, and into the magical forest with pillar-like pines. Several overgrown man-dug pits tell of times when moose were caught in these traps by hunters. A jogger in neon yellow clothes takes us back to the present and then a cute squirrel steals our attention.

Back at the campsite, several motorhomes and two groups of motorcyclists have turned up. Some cook in the service house where there are also opportunities to wash and iron clothes. We grill our sausages on a small barbecue and enjoy the evening light when the sky clears and the sun’s last rays color the ground and trees.

A couple comes walking from the wood-fired sauna and tells us that it was refreshing with an evening dip in the lake. They live in one of the red-painted cabins on the campsite. There is a total of 25 cabins housing from two to six people, with or without shower. For the simple cabins without a bathroom there are showers and toilets in a separate building.

Husbil Erika Enequist
Nice to be able to stay wherever you want and have everything handy in the camper van says the couple travelling through Sweden. Photo: Erika Enequist

Nature and Culture by the camp site

The next day we meet Carina at the reception. She is busy serving guests on their way out on their day of adventures. She says that the visitors come from several countries.

“– Mostly Swedes come here, Norwegians and Germans, but we also have guests from Italy and France. Most stay more than one night. This year we see a lot of Swedes on Staycation”, she says.

Carina tells us there are guests coming basically all year round. In the autumn there are guests who come to hunt bears, birds and moose in the area together with hunting guides.

Some guests take the opportunity to try fishing in the lake where there is everything from trout to large perch – one of the largest weighed 3.4 kilos. Carina also tells of a happy French woman who pulled up a pike that was just over a meter long, like a northern crocodile…

Carina Jonsson Forntidsutställningen Hoting Erika Enequist
Carina Jonsson by the prehistoric exhibition at her camp site. Photo: Erika Enequist

The prehistoric exhibit

Nature and culture in combination can be experienced in this area. At the campsite there is a small museum with staged environments and dolls dressed in leather, just like in prehistoric times. There are Viking axes and other objects showing what life was like in these parts of Sweden. In addition, there is a copy of the world-famous Hoting ski found in a mire. It turned out to be 3,500 years old when a Carbon test was made. Just imagine skiing here 3,500 years ago!

“– On the island Långön in lake Hotingssjön there are graves from the Viking age”, Carina tells us and shows us an exhibit which is usually very exciting for children. The doll in Viking style apparel suddenly turns into a skeleton in a dark tomb.

Carina has a vision. She wants to arrange a stone age camp by the lake where people can try living in huts, making knives out of stones and make dinner in a cooking pit using hot stones from an open fire.

Ivars Car Museum Hoting Lena Hedman
Many rare veteran cars are found at the Ivar´s Car Museum in Hoting. Photo: Lena Hedman

Ivar´s Car Museum in Hoting

We take time to visit Ivar’s car museum, which is close to the campsite and the nearby stop for the Inlandsbanan train. Carina guides us to old treats such as a shiny turquoise Chevrolet from 1957 and a Volvo Duett from 1965 that shines magnificently in orange. The only thing we are missing is an old caravan, perhaps the classic so called Egg from the past. We feel our visit to Hoting is just about complete after the car museum. Another year, maybe we will come here to go to Hotingtravet, which is a trotting race and a lively festival for both people and horses.

”– Even the horses can relax after the races. They get to swim around a specially built jetty and many of the horses want to do it several times”, says Carina.

We are also craving a bath in lake Hotingsjön now that the sun has come up. Thoughts of giant pike with crocodile jaws are quickly forgotten when we jump into the warm and clear water. The sand feels nice on bare feet – and we also take a boat trip out on the lake before we go on.

Life is here and now, as it should be on  vacay!

jetty lake swim Lena Hedman
A plunge from the jetty at the camp site in Hoting. Photo: Lena Hedman
Bluebells Hoting Camping Erika Enequist
Bluebells by lake Hotingsjön. Photo: Erika Enequist

Wild Camping in Jämtland Härjedalen

There are plenty of organized Camp Sites and camper areas / motorhome stopovers in Jämtland Härjedalen. If you prefer wild camping there are some rules to go by.

Local Regulations

In the communities Östersund, Åre, Krokom, Strömsund and Ragunda there are local regulations prohibiting camping with caravans and motorhomes in public areas. Public areas are defined as public roads, streets and parks. In the communities Berg, Bräcke and Härjedalens there are no such regulations for camping.

Trail Act – Driving in the Terrain

The Swedish Trail Act regulates how you are able to drive off-road in Sweden. In addition you need to be aware of traffic signs put up by the Swedish Transport Administrations. In private roads it is up to the owner whether he/she allows public traffic and if parking should be ok. If there is no signage you are allowed to park just alongside the road if the ground is not damaged or the parking means a danger to traffic or if the owner is restrained by you parking in his daily work. If you want to park near a house you need to ask permission from the owners.

Rest stops are for temporary rest

Rest stops run by the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) are for temporary rest and not camping. The basic rule is that you can stay for a maximum of 24 hours in Rest stops and marked Parking lots along the Swedish Public roads. Saturdays and Sundays you may stay until the next weekday. If other rules apply you will see this in local signage by the rest stop or parking lot. Here is a map of Swedish Rest stops.

Motorhome Lake Hoting Erika Enequist
Camper by lake Hotingsjön. Photo: Erika Enequist

Important Information During the Covid-19 Pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic affects travelling, accommodation, and other activities in Sweden. There is compiled information from the authorities about restrictions and regulations you need to be aware of if you are planning a stay in Sweden this summer on this site.

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