Over the last couple of years, I have spent probably the best part of around three months Wild Camping. From Cycling across Europe in 2017 to Skiing to Afghanistan in 2018. Here are my wild camping tips.
The most important rule of Wild Camping is: Arrive late, leave early and leave no trace.
So what is Wild Camping?
Wild Camping pretty much refers to camping anywhere outside of a recognised campsite.
Why would you wild Camp?
You would wild camp to save money(it’s free), it is exciting to be sleeping in the wilderness and under the stars, and because of camping next to strangers in campsites is not that fun.
Is it Legal?
Depends on where you are, so best to do a little research although I rarely do and rely on experience. If one does get caught by the authorities which have never happened, be friendly and say you are camping for one night and you will leave it as you found it.
My 10 Wild Camping tips:
The Tent: When travelling by car as we did in 2018 it is a little easier to get further away from people and find the remotest spots. However, this is a luxury that is rarely afforded to a cyclist.
So it is best to have a low lying, green tent that can blend a little easier into the natural surrounding rather than a bright yellow one.
Set up at Dusk: The best way to avoid getting caught is to set up at dusk when it is getting dark, and people are heading out of the natural areas and back home.
Be Quiet: I mean this one is obvious but playing loud music as you make your dinner is always going to attract unwanted attention.
If in doubt ask people where you can camp or ask the local farmer: I have done this a few times, you are looking for a place and struggling, you might be in a sprawling town, and it is getting dark. Knock on the door and explain what you are doing, rarely do they say no.
Research Areas to camp: I do this more now, I look on google earth and find forests or areas where there are no buildings, chances are these are your best spots.
Don’t wild camp too near Water: In 2018 we were camping near a lake in Kyrgyzstan. During the night, the lake rose by a few inches taking a load of our equipment, not fun.
Camp as unobtrusively as you can: That means away from roads, houses and other habitation.
Hide Food away: After you have finished your dinner, hide the food out of sight and reach of any local wildlife. Always more helpful not to have an unwelcome visitor in the night.
Gas stove: If you are hiding away from the locals best to avoid fires as they will attract attention and gas stove will cook most of your specialist dishes such as pasta and pesto!
Necessary Equipment: Touch on this with one but also a good mattress and sleeping bag that works for the climate you are sleeping.
As a bonus here is a list of what I have used or like for like that will get you through your first-night wild Camping
- Tent for Cycling Click here
- Mattress Click here
- Sleeping Bag Click here
- Head torch Click here
- Knife Click here
- Camping Stove Click here
- Bottle of Water Click here
- Waterproof Bags Click here
- Spork Click here
- Food to cook that is up to you………
Check out my previous article on 10 essential items for Bike Touring https://www.johnhorsfall.org/2019/08/15/bike-touring/