Your Guide To Picking The PERFECT Wild Camping Spots
Imagine the perfect wild camping spot. Drink in the beautiful views, feel the freedom, and relax in the total tranquillity!
Before you pitch your tent and make your first cup of tea on the camping stove, ensure you know how to get the ideal spot to make your wild camping stay go supremely smoothly.
After all, if you’re worried about a soggy sleeping bag or being blown off a ridge, you won’t be able to fully enjoy the experience!
What does the perfect wild camping spot look like?
- It’s away from roads and people’s homes.
- It’s flat and on a naturally cleared area (avoiding ridges and exposed areas).
- The ground is solid and not soggy and damp.
- It has some natural shelter from boulders or trees (though check for loose branches).
- There should be a water source nearby (though not too close as streams can swell in the rain).
- Look to pitch your tent in sun in winter and shade in summer to regulate the temperature in your tent.
- It has gorgeous views…of course!
How can you find your perfect place for wild camping?
Don’t rely on trial and error. If you do the work before you travel, you’ll have a far better chance of hitting perfection!
1 . Do your research
Get as much information about the area you can, looking at OS maps to pinpoint rivers, streams, and slopes, and look at information from local walking groups who visit the area on a regular basis. Use GPS and Google Maps to pinpoint suitable areas and relevant Facebook groups are an invaluable resource such as Wild camping uk. Use these groups to ask questions so you can get a clear picture of the area and what’s allowed there. Remember, though, to pinpoint the area on your map as GPS and phone signal can be non-existent in wild areas.
2 . Check the weather
In Britain, the weather is always unpredictable, so look at the best and worst-case scenarios for the time of year that you’ll be camping. Having a waterproof, all-weather tent is vital as conditions can change rapidly, especially in the hills and mountains. Look at the temperatures you’re likely to have and the estimated rainfall and pack the right boots and clothing to cope with it. Experienced walkers recommend layering your clothes in base, middle, and outer layers to ensure you are always warm enough. And, of course, pack those all-important waterproofs! Knowing the weather will help you choose the right spot for you at the right time of year. For example, a spot in a sheltered valley might be a little damp in winter, but wonderfully cool in the sweltering summer months.
3 . Get permission
You won’t enjoy your stay if you’re worried about being on the wrong side of the trespass laws, so make sure you know who owns the site and get their permission to wild camp on it. Be mindful of farmers’ crops and animals and don’t camp in fields with them, and ensure you leave no trace at the end of your stay. A friendly landowner can also tell you about the most scenic spots on their land and help you stay away from boggy areas.
Read more about what happens if you get caught wild camping to ensure you stay on the right side of the law.
4 . Plan your food and drink
If you’re wild camping, how will you get to the spot where you pitch your tent? Will you have access to your car or are you walking miles to find the best place? Taking enough food and drink for your stay, and the right sort of foods, will help you enjoy it. If you’re walking some distance, you’ll need lightweight foods, access to a local water source and purification tablets, and a lightweight camping stove. Having that sorted will allow you to explore farther afield.
Here is a guide to What food is best for your wild camping trip
5 . Get the lie of the land
Survey your site from every angle and look for potential problems like saturated ground (it will squelch), loose branches in overhanging trees, whether you’re too close to a ridge or a stream, and the strength of the wind and its direction. Choose the direction to pitch your tent carefully, pitching it in the direction that offers the most stability and protection. In other words, pitch the lowest and narrowest part of your tent towards the wind or pitch at an angle to spread the force of the gusts more evenly over the tent. Don’t pitch the tent door into the wind. Lie down to check the spot is flat, too.
6 . Look for dark sky reserves
If you’re a stargazer, look for a spot in a dark sky reserve to help you make the most of the stars without light pollution. You’ll be able to enjoy the Milky Way and spot constellations like Ursa Major and Minor far more easily than in a town or city. Local astronomy groups will help you find the best places to set up your telescope.
7 . Talk to other wild campers
No one knows the best wild camping spots better than other campers, so join groups and forums online and ask them for their best recommendations. If you love the sea and perfect beaches, your perfect place will be different to someone who adores being in the mountains. So, take their recommendations and research them for yourself to see if they’re a great fit for you.
Our Final Thoughts
Getting the perfect wild camping spot takes time, planning, and more than a little effort.
But, if you’re prepared to put the work in ahead of your trip, you’ll enjoy the experience so much more.
Get inspired by our top five UK wild camping and have a wonderful time!