This is the first podcast in a 12 part series challenge I have set myself, to do a simple lightweight, bivvy, tarp or hammock type camp, once a month, in all weathers, around the country. Recorded in October 2014.
The purpose is two fold. (1) to encourage others to try sleeping in the wild side, but to do it simply, safely, quietly and with low impact, and (2) to educate and explain that Wild Camping is a luxury that we should treasure in this country and therefore whenever and wherever you do it, to always keep in mind to leave no trace, if at all possible.
Simply put Wild Camping is illegal in the UK except for two areas.
In Scotland where under Land Reform Act of 2003 it is permissible with certain restrictions throughout Scotland. This includes beyond the curtilage of houses and gardens, out of site of roads, away from crops and so on.
The other place is Dartmoor where the same kind of restrictions apply. Camping for one or two nights on the open land on Dartmoor is perfectly acceptable provided that you choose your spot sensibly and don’t pitch your tent on farmland, on moorland enclosed by walls, on flood plains or on archaeological sites. Lightweight camping equipment should be used and large family frame tents should not be used.
There’s plenty of information on the internet relating to both, in particular a map for Dartmoor showing the appropriate areas, however they all share the same requests that you are responsible for your own actions. To respect the interests of others and most importantly to care for the environment.
On the Malvern Hills there’s actually a bylaw stating no camping, so I was on very legal thin ice doing this trip. Was I camping or just waiting for sunrise? However the most important rule number one is to respect your surroundings, and leave no trace. Please review the pictures here for images of where I stayed and you’ll see the low impact I made. This should be the priority for all wild campers and it breaks my heart when people abuse their surrounds. You see so much damage across the net, on Facebook and on Social Media all falling under the guise of Wild Camping.
So much so that there is now a series of bans coming in to Scotland especially around Loch Lomond following the abuse which has taken place. Just Google it and you’ll see what the irresponsible few can do to an are of beauty. So please folks think about minimum impact whenever you go.
This is all I took with me. A pair of walking poles, Thermarest Prolite 3 short, a military bivibag, a Vango 300 down sleeping bag, a flask of tea, water and an Inov8 32 lt rucksack. (The OMM pouch contained my camera and recorder). The blue material in the pack is a Montane Fireball Smock in case it got cold.
As stated in the podcast, if you would like to try it for the first time and join me, or have any suggestions as to where to visit which would make for an interesting location, then please drop me a line at our email address (firstname.lastname@example.org), or leave a comment on this web page.