For those of you who don't know what wild camping is, or if you have never done it then let me inform you. Wild camping is exactly what it sounds like, camping in the wild. It could be as basic as sleeping outside somewhere remote, in a sleeping bag if you have one.
You will need something to sleep in, (unless you like lying in the open air) this will be a tent, trailer tent, camper van, motorhome or caravan. It's not so easy in a caravan as the locations for wild camping are often down narrow lanes or in remote spots where you would find it difficult to take a caravan. Towing a caravan around country lanes is a no no, you can't just turn it around easily if needed. Caravans are much better left on a campsite location for longer periods of time.
If you use a tent then you are free to roam and will find some wonderful locations far from the mad world we live in.
Motorhome / Campervans
If you are the owner of a modern Motorhome / Campervan then there is a good chance you will have your own toilet / shower room, you are then in the position to use it anywhere. The motorhome also has a fresh & waste water tank so you can have a hot shower anywhere you want one. You have gas for cooking, gas for heating, a leisure battery for lighting, and bottled drinking water. Now you have everything needed to stay overnight anywhere, see the top image where we wild camped for three nights back in 2014. If you wanted to stay in one spot for several nights then a solar panel would be useful. Using LED lighting will make a big difference to the battery life.
Another good idea is to have an alarm that you can set whilst asleep inside. I have a flashing red light on the front and rear bumper to show that an alarm has been set, we are free to move around inside with all doors and outside lockers protected. We have wild camped lots of times, both in the UK and in Europe and we have never felt uncomfortable or frightened, The first time you do it, you will be a little uneasy but it soon passes.
Due to the huge interest in Wild Camping there are internet forums dedicated to it, with thousands of people asking questions or telling their stories and sharing wilding spots.
As a member of wildcamping.co.uk you can download all the wild camping spots in the UK & France (POI's) onto your computer or a smart phone and view them on Maps.Me or Google Earth. This is very useful if you are planning a trip away. Going down into "Google Street View" allows you to see what it's like before you even go on holiday. Wild Camping is where you put your hand brake on and stop the night. It could be a car park somewhere in a village or town, it could be on the top of a highland pass where the view is spectacular. We have wild camped high up on a mountain road overlooking a small town along a Loch, the clouds were below us and blocking our view from time to time.
Most medium to large motorhomes are equipped with all that you need, they have a fresh water tank, a toilet, a fridge, a kitchen and beds for the night with gas to keep you warm and a leisure battery for lighting. The small image above shows us wild camping in Glen Etive Scotland, it does not get much more remote than here.
In 2015 it has become much harder to wild camp in Portugal, signs have gone up on the Algarve and the southwest coast telling people that they are not permitted to stay overnight.
Ok, You are without electric hookup, there is no handy water tap, no toilet block and nowhere to empty your cassette. You don't have the safety of a campsite and you will probably be all by yourself.
1. If one of you isn't happy about the location don't stay.
2. Make a note of where you are, should you need to call the emergency services.
3. Park facing your exit should you need to leave in a hurry.
4. Never use external silver screens, levellers, steadies, or awnings, should you need to go in a hurry.
5. Don't drink much alcohol, you might need to drive again.
6. When you reach your wilding spot, make sure you have a good signal on your phone.
7. Get to your planned overnighting spot well before dark, then if you don't like the look of it, you have time to find another.
8. Fit LED lighting to save your battery.
9. Buy a solar panel, it’s a must have, if you are a serious wild camper.
10. Top up your fresh water tank at every opportunity, you never know when you will find the next tap.
11. Never leave rubbish, take it with you.
12. Buy the largest dog bowl and leave it outside, even if you don't have a dog.
13. If the weather is bad don't park on headlands or near the sea, you won't sleep much if you do (read the book, seen the film)
14. Stay for one night or a max of two nights.
15. Graveyards usually have a water tap. just saying.......
16. A decent head torch is much more useful that a hand torch, keeps your hands free.
17. If you are on private land get the owners consent.
18. An alarm system that allows you to be inside when set is very useful.
Having said all that, I have often broken most of the above tips and I have never been asked to move on. I have never had any trouble with humans, only the weather.
There are signs on the side of the road telling you that being tired can kill you and to take a break if you are. Should anyone knock on your door, you can tell them you are tired.
Lock the doors and take the keys out of the ignition, you can then put the kettle on or something.