In the subtle morning glow, you stir to the sound of gentle birdsong. You hear the breeze softly rippling through the canopy that surrounds you and the – oh, the kids from the neighbouring pitch have started arguing over who gets the last bit of bacon and someone’s questionable taste in music is now playing far too loudly in the distance. Great. If you’re anything like me, then there’s nothing quite like noisy campsite neighbours to ruin the peace and tranquillity of your camping trip.
For years, I pondered at the distant idea of heading off the beaten track with my trusty tent. However, with limited legal wild camping spots in the UK and zero experience, it was just one of those dreams that got put on the bucket list back-burner.
Many moons later, and after thoroughly googling the dos and the definitely do not’s, I finally decided to pluck up the courage and take the wild camping plunge. Wow – all I can say, is you need to get out there and try it for yourself. I could literally ramble on all day about the countless reasons of why you need to go and give wild camping your best novice shot, but, after much deliberation I have managed to narrow it down to a few of my personal favourites.
Wild camping is the ultimate freedom
The freedom of feeling truly wild is invigorating. Stripping everything right back to the bare-bones of life and being surrounded by Mother Nature’s finery. With not a soul in sight to bother you (apart from the odd woodland creature going about their business) you’ll find that you can genuinely kick back, relax and soak in all that nature has to offer.
Wild camping offers the most epic bedroom window views
Forget those five star ratings on Trip Advisor with the hefty price tag to match. Here, you’ve got the finest views in the house at no extra charge. Take your time to find the perfect spot, because when you unzip your tent in the morning, you’ll be blown away by how exceptional forests, mountains, hills and lakes look by the first light of sunrise. You’ll wish all your morning brews could start as magically as that.
Wild camping is adventure in its truest form
Wild camping offers that ‘good for the soul’ type of adventure. The type that delights the inner child within you because, let’s face it, it doesn’t matter how old you are, camping will always be just as much fun as it was when you were eight. Fill your lungs with fresh country air and step back from civilisation, Wi-Fi and the stresses of work (especially Bill, that guy in the office who chews far too loudly and vigorously clicks his pen when he thinks. Damn it Bill).
You can dine at a 100-billion Michelin star restaurant
Who cares about three Michelin Stars when you can dine under billions of the real twinklies in the night sky? Not me. Nothing tastes better than rustling up some well-deserved dinner after a long day of exploring, especially on a camping stove – just don’t forget the marshmallows.
Now, here’s the sensible bit
Make sure that wherever you wild camp, it’s legal to do so. There are a few locations in the UK where wild camping is permitted, for example, Scotland and some areas within Dartmoor National Park. Many countries in Europe, such as Norway and Sweden, also allow wild camping under the ‘right to roam’ act. My best advice is to thoroughly Google your destination beforehand to double check the legalities. It’s also important to know that even in permitted areas, it’s illegal to camp on crops, farmland or private property.
If you do head off into the wilderness for a spot of wild camping, it’s imperative that you follow the ‘leave no trace’ rules in order to help preserve and protect your beautiful surroundings. The rules are basic common sense and include camping out of sight of any roads, buildings or footpaths, not leaving any litter and respecting the wildlife. Thorough details of these rules can be found online
If like me, you could do with some advice before you set off, check out our 5 essential tips for wild camping beginners.