Do you enjoy camping? Would you like to spice up your adventure? Try out Wild Camping!
Wild Camping is one of the most entertaining adventures that people can participate in without any special permissions. It gives you the chance to try out your survival skills, test your durability, strengthen the bonds with your friends or family, and of course it is one of the most entertaining activities on the fresh air! However, despite the popularity and very common occurrence, wild camping is not the safest and surely not the easiest active method of spending your free time. It requires huge knowledge about the surrounding world, the knowledge about laws, restrictions, and of course the experience how to deal with inconveniences and difficulties you and your camp-partners may come across.
In order to provide you with the most necessary data regarding wild camping, we have prepared for you a quick list of things you need to take into account and the differences between wild camping laws in particular locations. What is more, we will focus on basic tips and recommendations of how to deal with wild camping, what to do and what to not do. We will also deliver some suggestions of professional campers, who spent a lot of their free time on camping in the wilderness and they mastered that hobby, making it as safe as it possibly can be. Without any further ado, let’s move on to the basics.
What is it? How do people perceive that? Everything about wild camping
Before we carry on with the rules in wild camping and laws in particular areas, it’s good to know what kind of activity wild camping is and how do different people perceive that. Since there are so many people arguing about the true nature of wild camping, we will provide you with a several definitions. The most often concept of wild camping is:
“camping for a several days in an area without the access to running water, stores, and most of all, electricity”
Of course places like these can be for others just a regular spot, since camping areas are in most cases deprived of aspects mentioned above.
Other people believe that wild camping is:
“more like a survival test, where they have to survive for a longer period than just a few days without anything but their tent, their survival kit, and some crucial gear”
In other words, wild camping performed by survivalists is way more extreme that you could think of. In this article we will try to show you how to prepare yourself for different kinds of wild camping, so you have the idea how everything looks like. But let us start from the most important thing, which is the law obedience.
So now, when everything about legality of particular places was said, let’s take a look at the basic information everyone interested in wild camping should know.
Wild camping and the rules in various places in UK
The United Kingdom is, as you know, a country of many nations and there are different laws in England, Scotland, North Ireland, and Wales. Therefore, we will deliver a quick explanation of the differences for you in order to know on what you have to pay attention.
The rules for wild camping in England
When it comes to camping on the terrain of England, we are going to have a difficult time to find a place out in the wilderness, where there is no organised campsite.
Almost every place such as this is illegal to camp.
Therefore, we need to acquire special permission that can be granted by the landowner or a person responsible for the piece of field that will fulfil our expectations. There are of course special places designated by professional companies like Dartmoor, where we can meet compromise between wilderness and legality.
The rules for wild camping in Wales
Similarly to England,
rules for wild camping in Wales are very strict and it’s hard to find a place, where we wouldn’t be breaking a law
However, we have to remember that in national parks (especially in Snowdonia), it is possible to have a wild camp off the beaten track. In that case you just need to follow the rules that apply in the National Park and you’ll be fine. Except for that, there are also special groups, where farmers and landowners of all sort let you camp for a short period for a small charge.
The rules for wild camping in Scotland
While camping in England and Wales is strictly limited and in many places illegal
Scotland provides us with huge freedom that concerns the places, where we can camp
What is more, there are not so many restrictions regarding camping. However, we have to remember about the fact that even when we can camp almost anywhere (except for private possessions and grounds of private companies), we still need to follow some rules. First and foremost, we need to apply “leave no trace” policy, which basically means that we cannot change the environment, where we camped. It means we cannot damage trees or wildlife in general, we cannot leave traces of camp fire, and of course we cannot leave and rubbish or litter.
The rules for wild camping in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is stricter than Scotland in terms of wild camping. It is because
we need to have the allowance from the landowner anywhere we camp
What’s more, almost all the forest belong to National Forestry Commission and therefore we are not allowed to camp there. There are; however, special camp sites, where it is allowed but as we know, it is not what we were expecting to get from wild camping.
What we can and cannot do while wild camping
There are plenty of unwritten laws what to do and how to behave while camping in the wilderness. It is way more demanding activity than camping in the specially designated areas with many facilitations. While wild camping, we have to remember about everything – about our safety, about our well-being, about the nature that surrounds us, and of course about the legal stuff. All in all, we need to be filled with knowledge and experience. That is why it is recommended to always take someone, who had been on several wild camping trips before us, so we know what to do in emergency situations. Let’s now take a look at the most important parts of camping in the wild.
How to find the best spot for wild camping?
There are several things you need to pay attention to. First of all, try to find a highly elevated areas. Thanks to that we are not going to stuck in the hole, where the rain will begin to gather and all the cold air will introduce moisture into our camp. Another very important factor we need to take into account is of course the place itself. When we are planning to camp near the ocean or the sea, just follow the coastline and find a place near your water reservoir.
The similar idea is with lakes and other artificial water spots. Thanks to that you will always have access to water that can be filtered and boiled for proper use. However, keep in mind that we should avoid camping near places with water sources. We cannot let the local water to be contaminated by our litter. That is why we should choose places close, but not too close.
Except for that, we also recommend going off the tracks that were beaten by others. Even if the track is small, it verifies that the spot is sometimes attended by travellers and hikers. Take dozens of feet out of that track, preferably finding a green patch of grass.
How long to camp in one place?
You need to remember that in many places
we are not allowed to stay for more than two nights
That is why we need to remember about changing the spot frequently, or at least once per 2-3 days. Thanks to that no one will ever disrupt our activity and we will not cause any problems to others. After that, make sure to take everything with you and do not leave a single trace you were camping in the place.
What are other recommendations when it comes to wild camping?
When we go for camping in the wilderness, we often are not allowed to make a campfire or start a fire of any sort. What’s more
we cannot leave any trace of our stay
So it leaves us with rather limited possibilities. However, we still can do whatever we want as long as we do not jeopardize the nature and our safety.
Ensuring your safety
Wild Camping can be very dangerous and life-threatening activity if we do not know what we do. Even if we are hardened survivalists, it still may happen that we will require external help from the people with emergency services etc. That is why everyone, who is planning to wild camping, should
tell someone about the plans and the locations
Thanks to that we will be safer and in case of emergency, it is easier to make a contact when people know where we are.
Except for that, we also need to remember about wildlife
animals we may come across can be dangerous as well
Even stray dogs found in secluded places are dangerous since they are more alike wolves than the dogs we know from our neighbourhood.
Getting rid of all the traces
That is why you should choose
camping stove rather than campfire
Of course, we need to make sure there is no sign of fire once we are finished. Another very important thing that people heading off for wild camping should know is toilet waste. We are only humans, but we cannot endanger local water to be polluted by our faeces. That is why we need to make sure to
bury toilet waste at least 100 metres from the water reservoir
We cannot forget about all the detergents. It is recommended to forget about mixing local water with shampoos, soaps, and other things like that. We can of course use them, but far from water source in the given area.
Following the rules of camping
Wild camping is nothing else but regular camping but in the wilderness with additional rules and restrictions. That is why we need to remember about all the elements so crucial when it comes to camping in designated places. In other words, we have to keep an eye on the weather. Do not forget about every situation you may be part in. Except for that, keep in mind that the equipment for wild camping may be more advanced than when it comes to regular camping, because there won’t be any facilitations. The same thing concerns our clothes, gear, and everything else. For more information about suggested items, please visit the adequate subpage, where there will be detailed data regarding everything that is connected to regular camping.
Additional things you need to bear in mind
Except for everything mentioned above, you should also think about general rules that can be used for your stay in the wilderness. As you know, we mentioned a thing or two about the most suitable place for your camping. Let us elaborate on that topic a bit more. Once you decide to set up a camp, you need to do that sooner than later. It is because everyone should make sure that the chosen place is safe, the ground is appropriate for your kind of pegs, and that you are not going to disturb anyone and in other way around. What’s more, a camping place should be free from nests, lairs, and other dens of wild animals because in such situation, you are going to encounter rather dangerous wildlife that is only defending its territory.
Except for bigger animals and other people that we may stumble upon, we cannot forget about the little ones and insects. If the desired place is near the water reservoir, then we are going to have a problem with insects. Because of that, we will be forced to start a fire, which is very difficult topic, as we mentioned before. Ants can be real pain in the neck, especially if we manage to spoil anything or leave litters unintentionally. Because of them, our place will be jeopardized and we will have to look for another one.
If your plan of wild camping is a plan that includes hiking, then you should always plan ahead. In other words, don’t forget that you need to prepare your tent and the camping spot in general. That’s why arrive at the desired location before it gets dark. In order to have more time for traveling, it is also
recommended to leave as early as it is possible
Thanks to that you will have enough time to reach your goals without the unnecessary rush.
Conclusion – is it really a good idea to wild camping?
As you can see, there are plenty of issues related to camping in the wild. We need to take under consideration such elements as legality, our own well-being, the well-being of other people, and what is equally important the condition of nature and environment. The whole purpose of spending time on the fresh air is to become acquainted with everything that we miss in the city or in the rural areas. We cannot forget that in order to let everyone enjoy the nature, we need to leave it in the same condition we arrived. That is how everyone will always enjoy wild camping. It gives you the pleasure to live with the nature in symbiosis. Of course, it is not an easy task to do since almost all of us really enjoy the easements of everyday life. However, such experimental activity will definitely be a great attraction!
If you are looking for a way to spend your free time in more active way than usual, and you also wish to try out your survival skills, then wild camping is definitely a good option for you. Remember; however, that you should always follow guidelines prepared by the Country and never break the rules. In case of any questions regarding our topic, do not hesitate to ask us down below! We are here to answer on any question you may ask.