What is wild camping?

Break free from organised campsites and escape into rural tranquility with wild camping. In this article we are going to take a look at all the basics you need to know about wild camping for motorhomes. The idea is to go where no-one else is, so the best spots are the ones you find yourself!

A wild camping journey essentially starts when you decide on an area to visit, and then begin then checking out the map to find some unique locations. Stock up your motorhome and head out off the beaten track. The unwritten rules of wild camping focus around respecting the land and leaving no trace behind.

Pros and cons of wild camping for motorhomes

Wild camping means you are not attached to a traditional campsite and save on pitching costs. The downside is you must go without the usual facilites and comforts that traditional campsites offer.

When it comes to wild camping in campervans the biggest issue is you will usually be without a toilet or shower. If you are close to a beach there are often cold water showers or you can also opt to use a portable chemical toilet that you can take along with your vehicle.

With a larger motorhome you can avoid these inconveniences but in any case if you find yourself stuck there will likely be local places such as bus stations, train stations, supermarkets and of course public toilets along your route.

The benefits of wild camping for motorhome owners is the ability to expose yourself to complete solitude in the wilderness yet sit having a strong mobile shelter to keep you moving to new locations. Although campsites may be more comfortable and tailored to basic camping needs, wild camping offers a complete freedom and shortens the gap between you and nature. Besides the benefits of wild camping for motorhomes there are however some issues you should be aware of.

Safety

Although being isolated has its perks and allows privacy there are some issues regarding safety. Take the usual precautions and you will likely avoid any major issues. Always tell someone what you’re doing, where you’re going and when you should be back, but there’s no need to worry. Make sure you have a phone in case of emergencies and especially if your vehicle breaks down.

Here some other precautions that will prepare you best for the wild!

Arrive late and leave early: Plan to arrive at your chosen location as it’s going dark and be packed up and away by the time other walkers are out and about.

Never light an open fire: Many wild camping locations are high risk for spreading fires. This can lead to dangerous consequences and devastate the beautiful landscape and ecosystem.

Leave no trace of your camp: Respect where you stay. Make sure you carry out your rubbish; you should leave the site as you found it.

Be considerate of others: Respect the privacy and livelihood of others; if asked to move on, do so, and keep away from main tracks and paths.

Camp high: Stay on ground that’s well away from people’s property and keep it discreet and you should have no problems.

Choose your toilet carefully: If you do find yourself without access to any toilet facilities find a sheltered spot at least 50 metres away from water and downstream of popular camping areas. Dig a 6–8-inch deep hole, and replace the earth once you have finished your business. Remember to carry out your toilet roll with your other rubbish.

Locations

Wild camping in the UK offers so much choice. In Scotland you can wild camp near the mountains around Glen Coe which are full of legend and history. There are also greats spots near the pyramidal Buachaille Etive Mòr to the Lost Valley, they are a perfect place to settle down surrounded by soaring peaks.

When one thinks of wild camping in England you cannot overlook Dartmoor National Park. Nestled in the wilds of south Devon, in the south-west of England, this vast and rough granite moorland offers endless possibilities for wild camping and exploration.

Permission

Wild camping (done properly) is still perfectly legal. You should always get permission before free camping. This is not always easy as it can be hard to determine who to ask. If you do not seek permission when you must accept that you may be awoken by the police or land owner, moved on or issued with a fine. This is very rare though. In acceptable or designated free camping areas very few problems occur.


Have fun and enjoy the experience! If you don’t feel happy about it, head home: it’s supposed to be for pleasure – not a challenge.

Wild camping is about simplicity – it’s easier than you think and closer than you expect.

With more than 15000 motorhomes and campervans to rent across Europe start your wild camping on Yescapa.com. Then strap on your backpack and venture into the wild!

Joseph T

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