Wildcamping - All you need to know

Posted by Katie Martin on 27th Sep 2022

Wildcamping - All you need to know

It’s the time of year where we start to see more and more wildcampers heading out for their spontaneous nights away under the stars across the UK and even internationally. Whether you’re new to the topic of wildcamping or you’re a regular, it’s always important to have a refresh of the do’s and don’ts of wildcamping.

What’s Wildcamping?

Wildcamping is when you set up camp where there is no campsite. It’s basically spontaneous camping where you find a bit of land, you pitch up, sleep, and leave no trace the next morning. It’s a great activity for those who love being out in the wilderness, who love to be at one with nature, hike and enjoy their surroundings.

Why Wildcamp?

Wildcamping is a great activity for those who love to be at one with nature and strip back to the basics of living. It allows you to fully experience nature at its best, switch off from the real world and gives you time to truly relax.

It’s a great experience for people who love to hike and want to stay the night under the stars.

What to take wildcamping?

Wildcamping can seem a bit if a daunting experience, especially when you aren’t sure what to take with you. But it’s actually all based on how long you’re going for, what the weather is like and what you’re looking to eat.

For most people, wildcamping is a one-night adventure, so you’re going to need the basics. Number one… a tent.

At OLPRO we sell a range of different wildcamping tents that are lightweight and are the perfect wildcamping tent. You can check them out here.

Next up is your sleeping bag. Depending on the weather you want to make sure you have a sleeping bag that is going to keep you warm or keep you cool. We’d recommend an all-season sleeping bag which you can take a look at here.

Food. It’s always a good idea to meal plan. Figure out what you want to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as those pick-me-up snacks that are essential for hiking and wildcamping. Make sure to pack your food in Tupperware and if you are having warm meals, make sure you pack your mini camping stoves and gas.

Clothes are an essential part to wildcamping. You need to make sure you have waterproof clothing for those random spurts of rain, but clothes that will also keep you warm at night, and cool in the day during your long hikes. Make sure to pack layers and always prepare for bad weather. You never know when it’ll change.

Now you just need to fit everything in your backpack. But, what size backpack do you need for wild camping? Well we recommend a 65L backpack that is going to look after all of your essentials and also have that wiggle room for any extras you may need, like when you get too hot hiking and have to remove your coat and fleece. Always be prepared!

Is Wildcamping illegal?

One of the most commonly asked questions about wildcamping is... is it illegal? Now this does purely depend on where you live in the world. Different countries have different rules so before you decide to go on your wildcamping adventures, it’s good to first of all check, is wildcamping illegal in the country you want to wildcamp in.

As for the UK, it is illegal to wildcamp anywhere in England, Wales and Northern Ireland without having the landowner’s permission. If you have a certain spot you’d love to camp like Snowdonia, contact the landowner. However, in Scotland, it is completely legal to wildcamp wherever you please, this even includes Scotland’s national parks!

Whilst it is legal in Scotland, it’s incredibly important for you to know that you should always make sure you are respectful of the land. Make sure you pitch somewhere appropriate, leave no trace of plastic packaging or waste when you move onto your next spot.

Which countries allow wild camping?

Now you know where it is and isn’t legal to wildcamp in the UK, it’s time to find out where you can wildcamp in Europe.

The main area of Europe where it’s legal to wildcamp are; Sweden, Finland, Norway, Estonia, France, Spain and Poland. Now whilst it may be legal, they do all each have rules and regulations for wildcamping which you will need to follow.

A basic overview of the rules and regulations in Sweden, Finland, Norway and Estonia are:

  • You should always respect nature, plants and flowers
  • Check if there is a ban on campfires as some countries won’t allow them for the purposes of protecting wildlife.
  • If there’s a drought in that country,grills, camp stoves and gas burners may be banned.
  • Pitch up a distance from any buildings and not in people’s gardens.
  • Leave no trace
  • Wash yourself and your dishes away from water sources on dry land
  • Use hiking trails and don’t make your own path

Countries like Spain are a little more complicated with their rules so you really need to make sure you’re confident with the do’s and don’ts of wildcampin in Spain. Examples of their rules include:

  • You cannot camp closer than 100 meters from the sea
  • National parks and natural parks are prohibited
  • Private property, historic monuments, military zones and urban areas are illegal
  • There has to be a group of 10 people or less wildcamping
  • There’s a maximum of three tents only – tents pitched within 500m of each other are also considered to be in the same group

We’d ensure that you check local rules and regulations for where you’re choosing to wildcamp in Spain to ensure you’re following the rules correctly.

For other countries, make sure to check their guidelines.

Is wildcamping dangerous?

Now there can be some common misconceptions surrounding wildcamping and whether it is safe, and in all honestly it’s pretty safe as long as you make people aware of where you’re going.

In this day and age, it’s pretty hard to go anywhere without having phone service, but there are some areas where it might be scarce so we always recommend letting people know where you’re going and not straying from your path.

Get a lay of the land by looking up the land on google maps beforehand, familiarise yourself with the area and pay close attention to trails.

We also recommend to always be prepared, you never know if the weather might change so make sure you pack extra provisions in terms of food and clothing that will keep you warm.

For all your wildcamping needs, be sure to check out our website.

Scroll to top