You don’t have to stay in a campsite when going camping. Wild camping involves pitching up a tent in the wilderness. This could be anywhere from a forest to a field.
Wild camping does mean having to go without luxuries like bathroom facilities and wi-fi. However, there are advantages to this raw form of camping. Firstly, there are no campsite fees to pay. Secondly, it gives you more freedom as to where you stay – it’s a chance to explore the great outdoors more freely and intimately (when it comes to multi-day treks of mountains and national parks, wild camping may be the only form of accommodation).
Of course, there’s more to wild camping than pitching up a tent in a field. There are certain dangers to be wary of and obstacles to consider. This guide offers a few essential tips for those considering wild camping.
Bring the right gear
If you’re going wild camping, you’ll need to take certain gear with you that might not need to when staying in a campsite. You won’t have access to water on tap, so consider bringing some bottled water with you. Purification tablets and a water filter could be necessary if you plan to drink from natural water sources (you can find more information on drinking water in the wild here https://artofmanliness.com/articles/how-to-find-water-in-the-wild/). If you’re going on a hike and planning to camp in different locations along the way, make sure to bring a light tent and light clothes. Consider bringing food and a gas stove with you too. Equipment like axes could be useful if you plan to make a fire and need to collect some firewood. This guide offers a few examples of axes that could be worth buying https://knowpreparesurvive.com/gear/axes/best-bushcraft-axes-reviewed/. Don’t forget to bring a lighter and some firelighters.
Know the local laws
There are some places where it is illegal to pitch up a tent. This includes any kind of private land (unless you’ve got the landowner’s permission) and most urban parks. However, when it comes to national parks and public woodland, you can usually camp overnight anywhere unless there are signs that say otherwise. This site offers more information on where you can legally camp in the US https://www.nps.gov/subjects/camping/where-can-i-camp.htm. Be wary that laws may differ abroad.
Find the right spot
On top of making sure that your camping spot is legal, you need to make sure that it’s practical. Firstly, make sure that the ground is flat so that it’s comfortable. If there is a small slope, make sure that your head is positioned facing uphill when sleeping. Secondly, you need to make sure that you can put pegs in the ground. If the ground is too wet, they’ll slip out. If it’s too hard, you won’t get them in. Where possible, avoid camping under trees so that your tent doesn’t get covered in sap and to avoid dangers like falling branches. Feeling safe is very important – it’s worth always considering local dangers before pitching up a tent somewhere. Make sure to take advantage of any good views.
This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.