There has been a surge in people going wild camping, I suggst because we all have been more confined than ever, you know why! Well wild camping is becoming the the true getaway, filled with the sounds nature which is meditaion to the soul.
Wild camping, can also be known as boondocking, freedom camping or free camping, means spending the night away from public campsites or caravan parks. The main focus is on nature, how far you take this is up to you.
There is a golden rule whe you venture off the beaten track and that is to be as environmentally thoughtful as possible, leave it better than you found it so it is there for tomorrow.
There are more and more eco-friendly style camp spots that may be a great starting point to wild camping, but we are finding more and people, couples and families are also exploring deeper and further away in the great outdoors to discover their own little slice of perfection. This is known as wild camping.
What are you to bring, basicly you will need to be fully self sufficient, but of course that depends on your destination, so careful and well thought out planning is a must and could be the difference to life and death, scary, only if you make it that way!
What is important to remember about wild camping is it is technically illegal in most places, but it can get a blind eye turned on it, but the risk falls onto you. Make sure if you are on private land you get the landowner’s permission, being charged for trespassing isn’t a great way to end your wild camping trip.
So what is the draw card, “simple”……well that is basicly it, the simplicity of escaping day to day life, things bring stress and in this instance it is basicly just you and nature. The beautiful endless stars are your TV for the night, the crackling of the fire will be your favorite sound track and the smell of the crisp forest air will be better than any glade plugin available, how does it sound so far?
You’re still here, i haven’t scared you off? Well lets keep describing what wild camping involves. The fundamentals is setting up a camp spot outside of a designated campsite or caravan park and sleeping in the wilderness or even local park. You could be doing a multi-day walk and camping off track in a national park (checking first it is legal to do so of-course) or it could be a micro adventure sleeping in nature in the back of your car. As amazing as the peace of the wilderness may be, wild camping can be daunting for first-timers but the rewards are there.
I spoke briefly before about the “rules” about wild camping, well once again I suggest you check before going to make sure it is legal where you are thinking about heading. Now here is a small bunch of rules or guidlines fellow wild camper live by and these are:
The wild camping code: Leave no trace
This is the crucial rule of wild camping and ideally you will create minimum impact on your desired area so it still remains natural and wild. Better still, you should leave the site so no one can tell you’ve even been there.
Litter – this goes without saying, but ensure you collect all your rubbish and take it with you. Walk the site slowly before leaving to check that nothing is missed.Leave the site as you found it – don’t leave holes, fire damage, litter, and take care not to damage vegetation. This includes toliet duties, which should be well buried and covered with turf so your waste can biodegrade naturally.
Fire – If you are allowed to light a fire, ensure you do so correctly and leave no trace that you were ever there. Many sites don’t allow fires so again do your research.
Keep group numbers small – try to minimise disturbing wildlife by camping in a small group and reduce noise and light where possible.
Stay just the one night – and then move on. It is possible to stay more than one night in some areas but try to limit your stay.
Lets look a little into Wild camping in Australia, my home country so i am a little biased. What is the can a can’t do’s?
What does wild camping look like in Australia? Is it ok just to pull up and park next the road? There are so many great free to low cost camp spots in Australia and it is always vital to remember it is illegal in Australia to wild camp! In Australia wild camping can mean two things.
- Camp anywhere you like
- Camp in the wild (nature)
Camping anywhere you like is illegal in Australia, do people do it, yes of course and most will get away with it if you are discrete. You can not just wild camp anywhere unless it’s on a designated signed area. Number two which I prefer to call ‘stop over camps’. This option is still sort of ‘wild camping’ but then allowed ie designated camp over spot on a multi day hike. There are “stop over camps” specially designated for this purpose and you will find them scattered around the country. At most of these rest areas you are allowed to stay the one night, however not on all of them, so please research before you head out (national and state park websites are a great place to start). Sometimes you can find signs that it’s not permitted, and if you’re not sure then please don’t risk the fine and they are frequented by rangers and the like!
Wild Camping Legals
Every country state and town has different rules with wild camping. Thanks to the right of public access, for example, wild camping maybe permitted in Norway, whereas it is strictly forbidden in the Netherlands.
In addition to the specific rules and laws for every country, there are a few basic rules that apply in almost every country.
- Camping is prohibited in some national parks, nature reserves, hunting areas, and protected landscape areas, in almost every country.
- Camping on private property is only allowed with the permission of the owner.
- Avoid agricultural areas.
- Avoid open fires, especially in forest and bush areas, because of the increased fire risk.
So that is it in a nutshell, wild camping, it is a fantastic enjoyable and affordable way to get back to nature and totally up to you how basic or full on you want to make it. It is perfect to go solo camping or as a family. You will make fantastic life ling memories and get closer to nature whle you do it, the world is your playground.