Wild camping is continuing to become a popular hobby in the UK for many. However, wild camping isn’t as easy as just buying a tent and heading out into the wilderness to have your first wild camping adventure. We have compiled a guide; with tips and things you should be aware of to help you navigate the world of wild camping with ease.
Firstly, we hate to put a downer on things but wild camping is not legal in Wales and most of England. It’s not all doom and gloom though – seeking permission from the landowner before pitching up will mean you are legally allowed to wild camp in the agreed spot. There are also a few areas where you can legally wild camp, like Dartmoor National Park and anywhere in Scotland.
What to look for in a wild camping spot
There are a few things you should look for when you are looking for a wild camping spot:
- Location – Pick somewhere that is in a discreet location, so that you are away from roads, paths, houses and anything else which could lead to people seeing you.
- Flat land – Find a relatively flat spot, where you can safely pitch your tent and get good sleep. For many people, sleeping on a slope will result in a bad night’s sleep. Having said that, it’s completely up to you!
- Ground condition – Be sure to check the condition of the ground. Is it wet? Are there animal droppings? Are there sharp rocks? You don’t want your tent ripping, getting dirty or your sleeping system breaking during the night.
- Water source – It would be a good idea to pitch near to a water source. You can use the water to cook with or to refill your water supply using your water filter (if you have one).
How to find a wild camping spot
One of the hardest things when wild camping is finding the perfect camping spot that ticks all the boxes. However, you can make it easier by following just a few simple tricks:
- Go for walks in the area you want to wild camp in and be extra observant for potential spots where you can pitch up. Places with amazing views or spots that are sheltered are a good starting point. Make sure to note them down on a map or on your phone!
- You can also look at maps from the comfort of your home. Use the contour lines to help you find a flat spot. Remember, the closer the contour lines are together the steeper the terrain.
- Use social media as a guide to start looking for good areas to begin your search.
Our top tip: Once you have found a good wild camping spot, keep it to yourself. This helps protect the wildlife in that area as fewer people will know about it. You’ve done the hard work of finding the pitch, so it would be a shame for you to turn up to others already pitched there.
Few rules and things to remember
Now that you have understood the basics, it’s key to remember a few wild camping rules:
- The most important rule is to LEAVE NO TRACE! It means when you set off in the morning, the only sign of you having camped there is some flat grass. Do not start a fire for any reason as this can damage the wildlife and can start wildfires. Take all of your food waste, rubbish and anything else you have brought to camp back home with you.
- When you arrive at your wild camping spot, pitch up no sooner than about an hour before sunset and leave early in the morning. If you are asked to move on for any reason, pack up your gear and clear the area without arguments.
- Be prepared to spend some time without a phone signal. Enjoy the time without your phone, but make sure you know where you can get some signal in case of an emergency. Walk around after having pitched up to find some signal so you can get in contact with someone if things go south.
- Last but not least, enjoy it!
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