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6 Tips for Wild Camping

flickr/Bogdan Bordeianu

You can always use some tips for wild camping.

Wild camping is one of life’s essential experiences and a great way to get ‘off grid’ whether with friends or as a soulful solo trip.

Campsites are great and incredibly convenient. You can take full advantage of the amenities such as hot showers, flushing toilets, maintained campsites and the company of other likeminded campers.

However, there’s only so much you can get out of them. Camping is supposed to be a time to enjoy the outdoors in remote locations surrounded by nature with no interruptions from the outside world as you get back to a simpler way of living.

Unfortunately, this is pretty difficult when the peace and quiet you were searching for with other campers has barking dogs, screaming kids, loud talking at night from the family across the field and snoring from your neighbors’ tent.

Get away, for real

For those who want to escape from these scenarios, but still enjoy camping in the outdoors, consider wild camping as the perfect alternative. The idea behind it is simple: pack your kit, choose a destination, hike to the spot you have in mind, pitch your tent and sleep in a remote location with no one else around for a night or two. What could be more perfect than sleeping under a canopy of stars, or listening to the deafening silence all around you or waking up to the forest sounds as the animals begin their day?

Find the Perfect Pitch

Ideally you should get off the beaten track, but find a spot that is close to the route you are taking. It should be sheltered and secluded, but still be able to provide good views with a ground that is nice and flat. If you can, try to locate a spot that is close to water as this will save time going back and forth; however, try not to remain too close, particularly in wet weather, as the water levels are likely to rise during the night.

Ride the Storm or Not?

flickr/Tom Allen
flickr/Tom Allen

When it comes to camping you need to meet the weather halfway, but what if you experience wild camping during a full blown storm? While it would certainly be an exciting experience you might find yourself getting little sleep as you worry about snapping poles, the possibility of lightning and torrential rain. In all probability you will have to go outside of your tent every hour just to check the tent is securely attached to the ground and the guy lines are still where you left them. While some people will say you haven’t truly experienced proper wild camping unless you go through a storm you have to decide whether or not it’s worth it. There’s no harm in taking a rain check if the winds are too high and a storm is likely to strike.

Pack Small

If you have a selection of tents on hand to choose from it’s a good idea to go down to one of your smaller tents when you go wild camping. You won’t notice a small tent in weight when split between two people compared to carrying a larger tent, and certainly if you’re traveling over a long distance to get to your camping spot.

Of course, it’s important to choose a tent that is a mixture of livability and lightweight. If you’re spending a night somewhere then most people will be able to put up with their living conditions; however, if you plan on spending more than one night somewhere, you will appreciate more room space in a tent, so it’s a good idea to choose a tent that is right for you.

Clean Water Sources

flickr/Nikoloz Jorjikashvili
flickr/Nikoloz Jorjikashvili

Chances are that at some point you will need water, especially for your morning cup of tea or coffee. Unfortunately, if you get this wrong the results could be particularly messy, which is certainly something you want to avoid.

In general, running water is safer than still, and it’s best to collect the water as close to the source as possible, say a bubbling stream. If you have to collect water from lakes and pools make sure you boil the water or purify it first and in areas that have a lot of foot traffic be weary of running water as people tend to use these locations are toilet areas.

Minimize Your Impact

Wild camping is a unique experience that lets people take full advantage of the beautiful surroundings, which is why so many people do it. No one wild camping wants to see garbage left behind by other wild campers, so make sure that anything that you bring in you take out when you leave as well.

Avoid lighting fires and use your stove instead for heat. Bury any toilet waste and carefully remove toilet paper from the site by either burning it or bagging it up and taking it away.

If you plan on being in one location for a while make sure that you shift your tent so that the grass beneath has time to recover.

A Few Things to Remember

flickr/Christian Payne

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Even though camping might be a simple pastime, it’s not very minimalist, which is certainly what you want when wild camping.

It’s easy to get carried away with the immense amount of mountain equipment available and forget something small that should be a crucial part of any wild camping list, say, for example, toilet paper. Here’s a short list to consider for your next wild camping adventure:

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping mat
  • A warm jacket
  • Head torch with charged batteries
  • Spare torch with charged batteries
  • A small stove
  • A small pan to eat out of
  • Cup
  • Foldable cutlery
  • Lighter
  • Toilet roll
  • Toothbrush
  • First aid kit
  • Spare socks and warm clothes
  • Food and drink

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6 Tips for Wild Camping