Camping can be the ultimate family holiday, building trust and bonds whilst taking in some beautiful sights and fresh air. However, being squashed into a campsite with a hundred other families isn’t ideal – and this is set to get worse, with the popularity of camping rising and over a million more households going camping every year. If you have never tried wild camping – being out in the trees with nothing around but your family, your campfire and the stars – you’ve never experienced the best that camping has to offer. However, wild camping has its own difficulties to manage and plan for. Follow the quick tips below to make the most of your stunning wild adventure.
Follow all the Rules
You have to go a long way to find patches of true wilderness. Most land accessible to your family will be owned by private hands, or by wildlife trusts and organisations. It’s important to stick to the rules, or risk being handed hefty fines at the end of your holiday. This means being aware and staying clear of any livestock, asking landowners’ permission before pitching up on private land, and most importantly clearing up after your campfire. The golden rule of camping is to leave your site exactly as you found it, and this is just as relevant for wild camping.
Taking the essentials with you is even more important when wild camping, as you might be miles away from any conveniences. Make sure you have enough food, a good portable stove, and high quality torches with plenty of spare batteries.
Wild camping should be a holiday, not an ordeal, and a few little luxuries can really make a difference. Dry shampoo is a must, as is a sleep eye mask so you can slumber even as others in your tent read by torchlight. Alongside all your essential foods and preparation, don’t forget the fun items such as marshmallows (and sticks to roast them on), which will make your wilderness feel a little more like home.
It might seem gross, but toilet placement is really important. There will be no cabin toilets like on a campsite, so you’ll have to dig your own waste disposal unit. Make sure it’s deep enough – 6 to 8 inches at least is recommended – and at least 50 metres from any water source. A top tip is also to place your toilet in a spot that is usually downwind of your camp. No one wants their holiday to be haunted with a nasty smell, and the last thing you’ll want to do is move your camp once you’ve set it all up.
Another consideration that you would never have to worry about in a conventional camping site, but wild animals definitely need some consideration. You might be keen to see some wild animals, and there are some great camping spots for spotting wild eagles and other fantastic wildlife. However, it’s important to stay safe – thoroughly research any locations for information about local wildlife before you go, and steer clear of any areas where large predators are common such as bears or cougars. If you’re still worried, take precautions with you like bear spray, and make extra certain to clear up any food waste.