COVID-19 has undoubtedly turned most people’s lives upside-down in some way and has meant that things people used to do for fun are now either restrictive or temporarily banned. One such example is having a holiday or going away somewhere for a short break. Of course, the coronavirus situation isn’t going to be here forever, and there will soon come the point where life can go back to normal. It’s for that reason many folks are thinking about putting holiday plans into place for 2021.
You’re likely reading this blog post today because you’re thinking of going on a camping adventure in the future. You might be doing so alone, or going with your family, kids or friends. If you’ve been camping before, you may have done so by staying at campsites. But, what you’d like to do now is try wild camping. The great thing about wild camping is you can decide where you want to go, and if it’s solitude you’re after, you can find a remote space away from civilisation!
As you might imagine, there are some things you need to consider before setting off on a wild camping adventure. With that in mind, here are some handy hints and tips to help you do wild camping right:
You’ve likely got a particular area in mind where you’d like to go wild camping for a week or two. But, who owns the land where you want to go? The golden rule with wild camping is that you seek permission from landowners before you set up your campsite. Otherwise, you run the risk of getting ‘removed’ from the land – either by the local constabulary or the landowners themselves! There are laws which govern wild camping – specifically where you stay – so it’s crucial to familiarise yourself with those laws first. Aside from that, it’s worth seeking permission before you travel if you’ve got a specific stretch of land in mind, and you know who owns it. Of course, if you own the land, you can skip this for obvious reasons!
Next, you’ll need to do plenty of preparation to deal with all eventualities. For example, you might think about going wild camping in the middle of summer. But, that doesn’t mean there won’t be days where the heavens rain down upon you. You’ll need to think about the things you should take so you’re well-prepared for any weather conditions. An off road camper trailer can be ideal if you’re planning to go somewhere that gets very muddy after a day’s rainfall. You may even wish to put off-road wheels and tyres on your vehicle, so you don’t end up stuck in a remote location especially if you intend on camping in a remote area with no mobile phone reception. As you might have gathered, you should also take plenty of clothes for all weather conditions. That way, you won’t feel cold on a chilly evening if all you’ve got to wear are shorts and t-shirts!
Toilet and washing facilities
Let’s face it: there’s no way you can hold off going to the toilet when you’re wild camping. So how are you going to deal with that? An obvious answer is to invest in a camping toilet. That way, you can do a ‘number one’ or ‘number two’ at any time. When the waste cartridge is full in your camping toilet, you can dig a hole in the ground and empty the contents of it inside the hole. Remember to cover it up when you’re done, and consider using eco-friendly products with your camping toilet. A rule of thumb with wild camping and portable toilets is you should never empty the waste cartridge into or near a river or stream. Your personal hygiene won’t be at its best if you’ve got no way of cleaning yourself each day. With that in mind, you should consider taking a portable shower system with you. It’s possible to use such systems with outdoor shower tents for added privacy. Of course, if you’re wild camping in a caravan, trailer or campervan with built-in shower facilities, you won’t need to worry about that!
Another important rule of wild camping is that you should leave no evidence of your stay. Doing so ensures you aren’t spoiling the land for anyone else or wildlife that roam the land. With that in mind, be sure to store your waste in bin bags and take the bags home with you. A pet peeve of landowners letting people go wild camping on their land is when people leave behind rubbish. It’s important to be respectful of the land where you camp and the individuals that own the land. You might feel tempted to light a bonfire and burn your rubbish. The thing is, lighting fires can be dangerous and spoil the landscape. Even a small fire on a hot and dry day could instantly turn out of control. The other issue with burning rubbish is that you’ll pollute the air.
Part of the wild camping experience is having the ability to cook your food in stunning surroundings. When you cook your food, always use a camping stove or portable barbecue for your cooking needs. As mentioned earlier, don’t light a fire. Be sure to keep a stock of tinned food products, and items with a long shelf life. That way, you can have the choice of eating things hot or cold and have a varied selection of products to whet your appetite. You should be cautious about using any ingredients from your surroundings as they might be poisonous to human health. One such example is mushrooms. Only use wild ingredients if you’re sure you can identify them, and they are safe to consume.
Wild camping is a pastime more people are taking up each year, and it’s not hard to see why that’s the case. The appeal of camping in a remote location away from hundreds or thousands of other people makes taking in the surrounding countryside more enjoyable. By following the above hints and tips, you’ll have an incredible wild camping experience. Good luck!