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Summer holidays abroad look likely to be hit and miss this year, which in turn has meant campsite bookings are through the roof across the UK. However, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out. Wild camping is beginning to gain momentum in the camping world…but what exactly is it?
For those not familiar with wild camping, it is a blanket term that is given to pretty much every other type of camping outside the boundaries of a regular campsite. You’d never stay in one spot for very long – most pitch up a tent from sunset to sunrise – before moving to the next location. Chances are, there are also no amenities such as toilets and showers, so you really are at one with nature!
Going wild camping for the first time can be a daunting experience, but it’s actually incredibly simple once you know what you’re doing, and the more you go, the more wild camping knowledge you’ll pick up along the way. Here are a few tips to get you started…
First things first, is it legal? Wild camping is legal across the majority of Scotland, however, in England, the rules are much stricter. Wild camping is only allowed across Dartmoor at this moment in time, but is often tolerated in other remote areas as long as you leave no trace.
Our recommendation is to Google ‘wild camping spots UK’ and this should take a lot of the hard work out of finding where you can pitch up. Red Bull has kindly put together a guide to give you some inspiration for wild camping spots across the UK.
There are also a few key things to think about before you decide to navigate the world of wild camping this summer:
Even if your food is pre-packed, we recommend sorting it into suitable containers to eliminate packaging waste when out in the wild. The last thing we want is for the beautiful countryside to be littered with rubbish. Although not relevant (hopefully!) for this country, if you do decide to wild camp across the world you can also get bear-proof storage containers.
This is probably the main sticking point for those wanting to wild camp. The most important wild camping tip for relieving yourself in the wild is that you do it considerately. Make sure you’re at the very least 50 metres away from any nearby water source, for the benefit of all local wildlife, and dig a hole in the ground that is roughly 15-20cm deep and cover it.
What you shouldn’t do is leave your used toilet paper around either. Invest in some compostable or degradable bags for the paper you use, ensuring there won’t be a rotten smell coming from your backpack.
As tempting as it is to light up a big open fire to cook on, it can be incredibly dangerous, especially in hotter months when the ground is dry. Invest in a gas stove that has a windproof device and regulators, which makes them a really reliable option. The Campingaz 400-SG which featured on our list of ‘Must-have Staycation Essentials’ is a great all-rounder that folds away easily for storage.
While nearly all of us rely upon our phones, they don’t make great navigation tools when a lack of signal and poor battery life come into play. Instead, purchase a compass and good old-fashioned map…just make sure you know how to use them before you set off.
We hope this gives you some inspiration and insight if you decide to dip your toe into the wild camping waters this summer.
No campsite? No problem.