My case for really wild, wild camping

View of the back of our house (at the bottom of the field) on a winter afternoon. This is only a temporary photo as I'm waiting for a more recent photo.

View from the front on a summer afternoon after the barley had been cut

Look at all those neighbour's - not

Then why should I want to get away from it all, and park like sardines on a 'housing estate'?

This is what I call getting away from it all. The ideal camp sites (van arrowed!).

I suppose my family and I are exceedingly lucky not to have neighbour's, and to live over half a mile away from the nearest tarmac road. Yes we don't have any street lights, yes I do have to maintain my own track (with my own dumper, excavator and roller etc.), but feel its all worth it. Yes we do also realise not everyone is so lucky to live in such an idyllic location. Having lived like this most of our lives we find it difficult to cope with other people in close confines of camp sites and even shopping.

What we also find very difficult is the amount of litter we find on some wild camp spots. The first thing we like to do it clean up any litter to take to a bin. However if it looks like there is more than a plastic shopping bags worth of litter we don't camp there.


Wild camping tips

  • Probably sensible to know of official campsites around the area your wishing to wild camp which you can use if your search fails.

  • Always start searching for your wild camp spot at least an hour or so before sunset. Its never successful to try to and find wild camps in the dark. 

  • If you haven't found a spot half an hour before sunset, give up and go to the nearest official campsite. 

  • Don't park too close to official campsites as they will take a dim view of you wild camping.

  • Ideally choose a wild camp where you can park out of sight of the road.
    Once you have found a potentially suitable wild camp spot, check for the following;

    • Signs of unpleasant nocturnal activities. 

      • Smashed car window glass (probably indicates burglars are active there)

      • Fast food rubbish inc condoms etc.

      • Tyre skid tracks (swirls etc)

      • Dumped rubbish (household furniture, fridges etc)

  • Avoid drive through lay-by's (some people consider it fun to drive up by the side of your van, bang on it and race away). If you have too, try and park off the tarmac, or in a position its difficult to park next to your van

  • Avoid car parks, especially in county parks as they are becoming very popular with 'boy' racers and strange voyeuristic activities. Probably if they have lighting will attract more nocturnal activities.

  • Park your van facing your intended exit to avoid manoeuvres in the dark, aids easy exit in a hurry.

  • Check for hidden dangers on the ground or even overhead branches etc. which could cause problems when driving away in the dark, 

  • Obviously using levelling blocks will be a problem (leave them if you have too), but keep the outside of the van clear. Bikes should be racked up and locked. Awning rolled away and so on. 

  • Make sure that at least one person on board being able to drive the van remains sober. 

  • Before actually finally parking up, check the quality of the ground (is it soft to allow your van to sink, or will you be able to drive away after a heavy night of rain?) 

This is a very personal point, providing all the above has been achieved there shouldn't be much litter around, but what there is we clear up to avoid being blamed for it (rubber gloves and placky bag essential). The more of the above points you can achieve, the more pleasant your camping.

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