Wild camping is incredible, but it is a very different adventure from normal camping. With varying rules, not knowing where is a safe place to camp and the need for fresh water, it can can be difficult so in my guide on wild camping, I will give my tips, tricks and rules which will make it easier for you.
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So without any further ado, let’s get into a guide on wild camping.
I won’t be able to give you a low down on all the types of tents, because I’m not very educated in that department. Instead, I will direct you to someone who is; OokWorks will help you find the best value tent for wild camping!
Obviously, this is the most important part of your wild camping experience, and it’s the area I recommend splashing out the most cash. If your tent breaks, then the holiday is over (or you just have a really bad day and end up sitting in a pub sewing for 3 hours. Yes, that happened to me.)
If you have the ability to (for instance, if you’re driving instead of hiking), I do recommend getting a tent a little bigger than you need. My friend and I camped in a 4 man tent with separate pods to allow for privacy and it was really needed.
This list is based off the fact we travelled in a car for our wild camping trip, so for those with less space, some things may be unattainable.
Tub – This was incredibly useful! Not only was it storage in the car, it also acted as a place to put dirty dishes and where we can wash them.
Cooking stove – CampingGaz do such a perfect stove, the Camp Bistro 2! After using it for so long, it’s safe to say that it’s reliable and sturdy.
Cooking Gas – If using the recommended stove, this is the gas you’ll need with it. Each canister lasts about 3-5 full meals, depending on how long you’re cooking for. Admittedly, 4 minute pasta takes about 10, but that’s pretty good for camping.
Air mattress and pump – Sleeping on the ground really is not much fun. Especially if you find a lumpy sand dune as your only option of the night. I recommend checking out this page if you’re looking for a good air mattress.
Sleeping bag – Staying warm is very important. Especially at night, when you go to sleep thinking that you’re warm but wake up freezing and can’t get back to a reasonable temperature. Trust me, it’s not fun. Picking a sleeping bag is like picking which piece of hay to feed a horse. They all look the same. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! Go Outdoors wrote a really helpful article on choosing a sleeping bag which you can check out here.
Mosquito Net – Mozzies are everywhere, and they’re such a nightmare. You’ll need protection from them, especially at night time.
Lot’s of water – Water can be heavy, but if you’re staying near the sea then you can’t use it for cooking or drinking so I really recommend you bring lots. If you’re near freshwater then be sure to buy a filtration straw like this one and then it’ll be much safer.
Wild Camping in the UK
Unfortunately, you cannot wild camp legally in England, but I’ve seen many people that have. Whereas Scotland, Wales and Ireland, it is legal and very popular!
If you’re interested to learn about my wild camping trip around the North Coast of Scotland then be sure to subscribe to read my posts.
There is a wild camping code everyone should abide, which include:
- Leave no trace!
- Stay one night and move on
- Arrive late and leave early
- Stay 50m away from houses, or out of sight
- Bury all toilet waste at least 100ft away from water
These aren’t laws, but it’s nice to be respectful to the people’s land you are on and other campers.
Best places to find a camping spot
I found it difficult finding a wild camping spot at first, but I slowly learned how to look and I think it’s very helpful information!
First off, make sure you’re near water. It could be a stream, or a late or the sea, but try and find something nearby. Why? Well, you’re able to clean yourself and your dishes in the water, and if it’s freshwater then you can drink it using this filtration straw.
Finding a sheltered area is the most important though. You want to be as sheltered from the wind as possible otherwise your tent would be likely to rip or the poles will bend. Tents which are closer to the floor will have better support if you are unable to find a good, sheltered spot. Having trees around you or a wall behind your back would be perfect.
One of the camping rules is to be at least 50m away from civilisation, so look off the beaten track. Driving around Scotland, we had the best luck when we tried to get lost. Drive on those dirt road tracks, take the odd random turn, it’ll lead you to beautiful, isolated areas!
An important thing to note when camping, is to not camp at the bottom of a slope. If you have a day of bad weather, your tent is very likely to get flooded at the bottom of a hill or slope. If you can, half way up is always best because then you have shelter and should be safe from flooding. But make sure you’re pitching on flat ground!
Tips that helped me out
Finding a landmark.
If you want to pitch your tent and then explore for a little bit, I always recommend finding a landmark. This means you can easily find your tent again, and also makes for some pretty cool pictures!
Use Facebook groups.
My best friend while camping (aside from the one sharing a tent with me) was Facebook. I was part of many groups which talked about wild camping, and many people actually share the beautiful spots that they find. Through them, we were able to find good places to camp.
You won’t have any signal unless you’re very lucky.
It was an annoying lesson to learn, but one that makes sense. The more away from civilisation you go, the less signal you’ll have so make sure you bring a book or a form of entertainment for the evening.
This also means you can’t contact people so make sure you let people know where you are going!
And that is my guide to wild camping!
I really hope you have found this helpful, be sure to share if you have. Also, comment any other tips you have that I might have missed in the comment section below!