There are currently over 3000 campsites registered across all of the UK and this figure is rising which leads many to overlook the joys of wild camping. Issues surrounding the legality of wild camping and the ease of organised campsites have meant that more and more people instead choose to pitch their tent on registered sites which have all the latest mod-cons. However organised camping has a fundamental problem: the need to escape into rural tranquillity often instead brings you directly into contact with noisy families, smelly toilet blocks and even your dreaded neighbours. So why not bypass all of this and enjoy your life outdoors wild camping.
The Legal Stuff
It is important to note before you get carried away in the romantic image of wild camping the rules. Wild camping is technically illegal in England and Wales except parts of Dartmoor, unless you have permission from the land owner to camp there. However, it is often tolerated within reasonable limits in many upland and remote areas and many landowners will usually allow you to camp if you ask them. Wild Camping in Scotland was made legal in 2005 but states that you should still respect the land, nearby dwellings and livestock.
What Does Wild Camping Actually Mean?
Wild Camping is the act of camping on land which lies outside the boundaries of regulated campsites. It is often tolerated as long as people follow a few simple things:
- Camp away from towns, villages and roads inconspicuously in small groups.
- Respect your environment - do not leave litter, light a fire, disturb wildlife or residents or alter the landscape in any way.
- Doing the do - perform the necessary at least 30 metres away from water and bury the remnants well with a trowel.
- Leave the site as you would want to find it - there should be no evidence to suggest that you have camped there.
- Always ask for permission before you camp, otherwise you are trespassing.
Wild camping offers you something that regular, populated sites simply cannot - undisturbed tranquillity. With this in mind, why not grab your gear and set off in search of that idyllic spot to immerse yourself in the ultimate camping experience. Just be sure to pack the toilet roll.