Wild camping is something we get asked about a fair bit here at Webtogs, and is one of our passions. The feeling of freedom and being able to camp on the hills is incredibly liberating, but some people are a little overwhelmed when thinking about heading out for the first time. We’ve been around the office to put together our top tips if you are thinking of heading out for the first time.
- Leave no trace – We think this is the most important guideline to follow, take everything away with you and leave nothing behind. That means no fire’s, take your litter home, and take sanitary products such as tampons and towels away with you too as animals will dig them up. Toilet duties should always be done at least 30 metres away from any water source, and make sure you take a lightweight trowel to bury any number 2’s! Don’t be tempted to move rocks or logs for the perfect pitch, leave the place where you camp as you found it.
- Where to camp and legal stuff – Wild Camping is legal on Dartmoor and in Scotland provided you follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. It is not legal in England or Wales unless you ask the landowners permission – which is usually impractical. Generally speaking though, wild camping is tolerated so long as you follow a few simple guidelines. Camp as high as possible. Don’t camp in fields with animals, camp away from human habitation and out of sight of roads, houses, farms or dwellings. Finally, be prepared to move on if asked and always be friendly and polite.
- Pitch Late and leave early – Part of leaving no trace means spending as little time actually pitched as you can. The only side note we would say is take note of sunset times late or early in the year as popping a tent up on a mountainside in the pitch dark is no fun. Don’t camp in the same spot for more than 2 days at a time to lessen your impact on the environment.
- Blend in – That means don’t take a bright tent and camp as unobtrusively as possible. This has side benefits in that it helps you avoid being spotted by anyone who might move you on, and lets others share in the natural beauty of the area you are camping in.
- Don’t take the gang – A couple of tents at most is what you want, share a shelter if a few of you are going.
- Take less stuff – Wild Camping is not about taking the kitchen sink, you are much better off taking as little as possible as you are going to have to carry it to your campsite. It’s also why you are wild camping as well, keep things simple and enjoy being away from the distractions and stuff of everyday life.
- Sort the water – Camp near a water source if you can, or remember to take enough drinking water with you. If you are going to pick up water on your trip, make sure you have a water filter with you, you won’t want to be getting ill away from civilisation.
- Get the right gear – Wild camping usually means being that much more inaccessible from civilisation so you need to make sure your gear is up to the task. The last thing you want to do is have a tent fail on you with the wind and rain coming down hard. Checkout our range of quality tents and sleeping bags to make sure you have a good time. Focus on lightweight gear where possible and ensure you have everything you need so if you do have any problems, you can sort them out yourself.
- Small steps – For your first wild camp, consider finding a spot that you can get back from easily, that way if your gear fails or if you have any problems, a retreat won’t take you hours!
Follow these and we reckon you will have a great time, fire away in the comments with any questions, or, what are your top tips for a great wild camp?