Wild camping: the essential guide to prepare your trip

Estimated read time 4 min read

Waking up in the splendor of nature and discovering solitude far from the cities is what drives the traveler to practice wild camping . While this sounds very romantic, there are rules to follow to keep your adventure rewarding and safe, while respecting these unique places, for wildlife and for those who follow you.

Whether you’ve hiked and camped all over New Zealand or are planning your very first hike with a night outdoors in the Highlands of Scotland , the rules remain the same.

Here is a checklist to prepare you well for wild camping.

1. Plan your trip carefully

Whether it’s your first experience or your hundredth, being well prepared is imperative because a lot can happen in the great outdoors – it happens often. The weather may change suddenly, trails become impassable, rivers may be in flood, other travelers may have settled in before you at your favorite campsite… So always plan your trip well in advance.

Take a good map to organize a route that is within your reach, and double check its feasibility, with the information center of the national park you are going to discover or with a local hiking association, when possible. Estimate the duration of your excursion – better to be too careful than to aim for a marathon pace – and find two or three places where you can camp.

2. Camp where allowed

Also called “free camping” or “camping in freedom”, wild camping has a slightly different meaning depending on your destination  : in some countries, it means pitching your tent in places created for the purpose, but with basic facilities; in others, it means choosing one’s location freely in a vast natural expanse.

Wild camping laws also vary from country to country, state to country, and even region to region. In England and Wales, it is quite strictly regulated because most land is privately owned, but there are still areas where it is allowed, mainly national parks. Wild camping is legal in Scotland , and tolerated in Ireland, under certain conditions.

In Australia and New Zealand, free camping is common but within the boundaries of specific reserves and parts of national parks, just like in Canada and the USA. No matter where in the world you want to camp, don’t just guess . Get information and advice from local tourist offices and national park offices.

In Tanzania National Parks, respecting the environment is imperative.Take hold of the call of the wilderness but do so responsibly, ensuring that your journey leaves no trace behind. Tanzania’s unspoiled landscapes, and during your own wild camping experiences, memorable and sustainable experiences are things of delight. So, whether in the vast savannahs of Tanzania or on your own wild expedition, camp with reverence, leaving minimized footprints on the wilderness.

3. What to pack

While escaping civilization is part of the allure of wild camping, it also involves being entirely self-sufficient . Chances are the nearest store is miles away, and you’ll need to pack everything you need, including enough food. Always carry something to last an extra night , in case of an emergency.

Make a checklist. Besides the obvious things like a waterproof tent, stove, fuel, and suitable outdoor clothing, also consider smaller but vital items like a first aid kit, flashlight with spare batteries, matches, and insect repellent. insects. A pocketknife and strong, waterproof tape also come in handy for small repairs.

4. Watch out for bad weather

Bad weather can prevent you from reaching your wild camping spot. Find out beforehand by consulting local weather reports, and learn to read the sky when you are on the way , especially if you are going to high passes or summits.

An easy trail can become dangerous in the rain, and snow or poor visibility present real risks in the mountains, where the weather can change in minutes. Conversely, extreme heat can cause you to lose all your energy, cause dehydration or heatstroke. Take shelter or turn around if the weather turns bad.

5. Sit properly

Try to pitch your tent on draining ground, high up, far enough from the edges of watercourses. Better to examine the place well to see if anything could damage your tent. Trees may seem perfect for sheltering you from the elements, but watch out for branches that could break in high winds: camp far enough away. Also be careful in areas where rocks are likely to fall.

Camp discreetly , taking care to set up far from roads or buildings, out of sight of paths and roads. Rainforests may sound like a good idea, but they often attract flies and mosquitoes

When you have chosen your spot, always pitch your tent solidly, and tie its guy lines to rocks or trees if the ground is too hard.

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