As a final desperate act of procrastination to avoid my Danish homework, I’m going to write about the other great revelation of our Møn trip – primitive shelters!
Camping seemed like the smart play for this trip given we planned it all at the last minute and the weather seemed to have just turned for the better (you just have to ignore the bits where it snowed). No point shipping our camping gear halfway around the world if we don’t use it.
Unlike many of the other Scandinavian countries, wild camping is not allowed in Denmark. The upside is that there is lots of effort put into encouraging you to stay in the designated campgrounds. For instance, there is a great website where you can search on a map for campgrounds all over the country. It shows what facilities are at each one, and lets you see if sites are booked out and/or make bookings.
At such short notice, all the smaller public camping sites near the cliffs were showing as fully booked over the weekend, although if we felt more gung-ho we could have taken our chances that some people would do a no show.
Instead we went with the safe option on our first night, camping in our tent at the family-friendly mega campground right near the cliffs. We got a good tip from the guy in the on-site pizza restaurant about camping on a secondary site directly across the road from the main entrance and around the back of a grove of trees. It was fine: not exactly cheap, but close to the walking trails, very quiet and empty and pretty, and gave us this magical sunset moment:
In my googling I noticed that many of the public campgrounds were listed as having ‘primitive shelters’. Understandably, this term piqued my curiosity, so I found a campsite on another small island to the north west of Møn – Nyord – where we could go full Danish and sleep in a shelter on the second night.
The shelters are basically little wooden buildings that you just can just bunk down in using a sleeping mat, feeling reasonably confident you’ll be dry and protected from the weather. They are supposed to sleep up to 6 people, but we were lucky enough not to have to put this to the test.
For two people who had spent the previous night in a small 2-man tent, having this shelter to ourselves was total luxury. It’s definitely breezier than being in a tent though, so next time we probably need to tweak our camping set up to include an extra layer to help out our sleeping bags. That said, it was pretty nice waking up in the open air to birds singing and a view across the fields.
There are four shelters at the site, each with a fireplace, as well as big covered kitchen area (BYO cooking equipment), a tap with running water on the side of barn, and a long-drop toilet. You can book online at the Naturstyrelsen website, and best of all it’s zero kronor.
Nyord is known for birdwatching, as it has big salt marsh areas all around the island and a birdwatching tower. The campground is on the edge of the marsh and has its own viewing platform, so you can wander over and see what the herons are up to while waiting for your two minute noodles to boil on the trangia. It’s the best.
Nyord was first connected to the mainland by a bridge in 1989, so there is only a very small, sleepy village with traditional houses and a little harbour – it’s like a time capsule. Ant wants to move there as soon as he can confirm it gets decent internet speeds. I’d have to get pretty into birdwatching to fit in, I reckon…
It was so great to get out in the countryside – this is definitely how we are going to explore Denmark, one primitive shelter at a time…