The idea of wild camping is one of the most picture-perfect ideas anyone could ever hope to smile at, which partly why the wilderness often plays backdrop to those posters with motivational quotes on them. It is getting out into nature. Packing a back and running off to an isolated slice of heaven, just you and your chosen few, feeding off the land, hiking through the backcountry in some tucked away corner of some explicitly gorgeous country. It certainly beats a pitch in some campsite.
However, as carefree and Hemingway-esque as it seems on paper, there are a few things you need to get to grips with before you set off on your first wild camping trip. After all, it is called wild camping for no good reason. You need to know what to pack, where to pitch, how to travel light and all that sort of stuff. Maybe you’re escaping the city on your own for a few days, maybe you are talking your little family on a mad road trip that involves camping. Whatever it is, there are a few basics you need to get to grips with.
So let’s start with the kit.
This is wild camping, which means you are going to need some decent hiking boots to navigate the often turbulent terrain. The reason for this is comfort and safety. The last thing you want to do is twist a knee or ankle in the great outdoors having done the best you could to avoid being found. It’s dangerous, and chances are you won’t have phone signal, which is why plimsolls just are not going to cut it.
There are three qualities that you should be looking for in a tent: durability, lightweight and robustness. The other thing to note is how many people you intent on sharing your tent with. You aren’t going to a festival, you’re going into the wild, so forget about space and go for something you can carry with ease. A great place to start is The Humble Tent. The experts there will be able to guide you and explain exactly which model you will need.
What sleeping kit you go with will completely depend on where you are going and at what time of the year, so do your research. Chances are though, you’re not going to be too hot at night wherever you are, so buy a three-seasons sleeping bag. Something that is lightweight but offers warmth and protection from damp weather. For extra comfort, why not look at a foam mattress you can roll up, or a durable blow-up option. Remember, you don’t want to be carrying around heavy luxuries though.
Keep these to the minimal. Get a good gas stove, yes, but don’t forget that these can malfunction, so consider a heavy duty pan that can sit on a fire too. One pot meals are the way forward I’m afraid. So oatmeal in the morning, rice or pasta for lunch and dinner. As such, why not pack a few tins of high-protein foods, like tuna. The other essential thing to have is ater. Make sure you have some, or that you are going camping near a freshwater source.