Adventure Camping - Shelters in Denmark
One of the reasons we were looking forward to our trip in Denmark a lot? The shelter! You can find them all over the country and it's very adventurous to sleep in these shelters. In this blog we will explain how you can find these shelters and in which shelters we slept during our bicycle trip in Denmark.
The Shelter App
You can download the Shelter App for free from the app store. It is a Danish app and the descriptions are in Danish, but they use a lot of icons so everything is explained quite clearly (and there is still Google Translate of course). When your phone's location is on the app shows how far you are from the next shelter (bird's eye view). Both shelters and tent sites are indicated in the app. You can also filter while searching in the app using, for example, when you want a toilet or water source present.
You can mark the shelters you like in advance by clicking on the heart icon in the App. This is very convenient, but you will soon notice that there are too many to get excited about. We don't recommend mapping out a route in advance (unless you don't have a lot of time) based on the shelters because there are so many that you can easily decide on the day itself how far you want to cycle. Just cycle until your legs are tired and then open the app. We had never have to cycle further than 10km to find a nice shelter. The coordinates of the shelters are always listed and you can easily navigate from the app. However, we quickly paste them into Google Maps or Komoot to get the quickest route.
Which shelters did we sleep in?
Below is an overview of the shelters where we slept during our bicycle trip through Denmark. The exact location is shown in each example. Please note when we mention that there is water, in winter months the water is often turned off so that the pipes do not freeze.
We did not find the first shelter we slept in through the App, but a local guy guided us to this beautiful place. We were on our way to a shelter that was 10km further up north but the man said there was also a shelter very nearby behind the church of Rise. It was a beautiful spot and ideal to test our first shelter. It was - 2 degrees Celcius that night so it was quite cold. We could use the toilet behind the church and the heating was on, luxurious camping.
Facilities: picnic tables, water, outdoor shower, fire pit, wood, trash can, toilet (behind the church)
Most shelters are free, at this one you had to pay 30 DK
Because the first night was so cold in the shelter we went in search of extra insulating material for under our mats. The cold came mainly from the bottom so an extra layer of insulation was definitely needed. Along the way we met Tom and he invited us to his home. He had some isolation material lying around and together we cut out two 'mats' from this. It is much too big and not practical but they have been providing us with extra warmth during our nights in the shelters. For protection against the wind we use our ground sheet from the tent, we just attach it to the opening of the shelter (sometimes there are nails, but we use pincets).
In Jels at the lake we found a beautiful place where we were all alone.
Facilities: picnic tables, water, covered place to sit, fire pit, trash can, toilet, electricity (outlet in toilet)
For the third night in a row we went looking for a shelter, this time on the west coast near Esbjerg. We found one in the app and the pictures on the app looked great, sea view! This was the only shelter where we were left a little disappointed. The route to it was through a grey industrial zone that felt very deserted, the feeling that we really shouldn't be there prevailed. The place also had something unique with the windmills in the background, but it didn't feel entirely comfortable to us. There were mattresses in the shelter that were not really clean and at night we were visited by a mouse (with baby mice). He stole one of our chocolates, bastard!
Location: 55.4539, 8.5116
Facilities: covered place to sit
Sunset and the most beautiful moon ever
We continued our way via the west coast cycle route, and it was great to find a shelter by the sea near Lemvig in the evening. From the roof of the shelter we watched the sunset and when we turned around we saw a full moon appearing on the horizon. For the first time we shared the shelter with hiker, which was still very comfortable in space because the shelters here are quite big. A group of 4 was sleeping In the other shelter. It was during the Easter weekend so the place was a little busier.
location: 56.4761, 8.1250
Facilities: fire pit, picnic tables, trash can, toilet, outdoor shower, sink, free sunset
Unfortunately, the boat from Thyborøn to Agger was shut for the day so we were stuck in Thyborøn at a campsite for a night. We really wanted to sleep in a shelter in Thy National Park but eventually we went for a lunch break in the sun. Also ideal of course to use the app for this. The place seemed very quiet and a beautiful place to spend the night.
Location: 56.8600, 8.3635
Facilities: fire pit, wood, benches, water, outdoor toilet
Protected from the Wind
The wind is not blowing in our favour today and the bike lanes are stretched and unforgiving, a shelter is not very often to be found. We bumped into a shelter along the way and again it is an ideal shelter out of the wind. About 2km from Vigsø we found this shelter where we had a lunch break completely out of the wind thanks to the covered campfire hut.
Location: 57.0908, 8.7415
Facilities: fire pit, wood, covered place to sit, picnic table, water, in the app is mentioned a toilet but we have not seen it
4 million star hotel
After a day of battling the wind, we reach this beautiful shelter at the top of the hill in Klim Bjerg. All around us we see only forest. A beautiful place to spend our last night in a shelter in Denmark. When Stefanie wakes up at night because she has to go to the toilet, she firstly wants to ignore this feeling because she is warm in her sleeping bag, but Niels encourages her to go outside . And it was a good thing she went out there because we saw a beautiful starry sky, what could be better than a 4 star hotel? Indeed, a 4 million star hotel, our most favourite shelter of the trip!
Location: 57.1105, 9.1754
Facilities: fire pit, wood, water (was still closed in mid-April)
The shelter is on a hill that is too steep for the bicycles, which slept one floor below
Which shelter is right for you?
Which shelter would you like to spend a night in? Is it something for you to sleep in nature? And would you like to change the way you travel in order to do so? Be sure to let us know and we'll be happy to provide some more tips!
Alternatives and tips for a shelter
In our opinion, the Shelter App offers a lot of possibilities, but it is always nice to alternate. In our blog from Denmark we give a lot more tips about a cycling trip in this beautiful country, but following info and tips we can already share:
Not all shelters are in the App. Talk to locals, they often point out ones you can't yet find on the map.
Through Brug Min Baghave you can create a free account to find an overnight stay in the yard of people's homes. They open their garden to hikers and cyclists, often there is also a toilet (some even have a private shelter). This can be a little bit more accessible for some if you find sleeping alone in a forest a little too exciting.
As already mentioned, don't underestimate the cold and bring good sleeping material!
Does the shelter not have a toilet? No big deal, but it might be smart to visit a church just before (almost all churches have a public toilet!).
The Naturstyrelsen website may also provide options for finding a place to sleep!
We heard from the locals that "sheltering" can be a bit more difficult in the summer. It turns out to be hugely popular then and arriving early is a must to get a spot. That's why we love the shoulder seasons!