I would love to wild camp, but something in my head, and the fact that I don't have any light weight kit to take with me, stops me from trying it. I love car camping in Snowdonia, and have some reasonable kit to enjoy it now, but don't think I'll ever bring myself to make the jump to going wild.
It would appear that most of you guys do, but are there many that don't?
I fall in the 'do' category - though I don't do much 'pure' wildcamping.
However, never mind me and other people - I am far more interested to hear what that 'something' is that so discourages you?
FWIW, I tend to divide camping into three distinct categories. First there is campsite camping (self-explanatory). Then there's rough-camping by which I mean camping away from campsites; this can be either car-camping or backpacking, on ground such as besides footpaths and bridleways, coastal walks and clifftops, on secluded verges, in lay-bys, on the headlands of crop fields or other farmland, on waste ground, and so on. Thirdly, I reserve the term 'wild camping' for non-car camping in truly remote locations (that are not agricultural except, perhaops, for livestock grazing) such as high moors and fells.
I do a fair bit of campsite car-camping, rather less rough camping (both car and backpacking), and only ocassional truly 'wild' camping. I enjoy them all. So what puts you off wild camping, Darra?
You scared of being eaten by wolves mate. ?
Seriously though, why haven't you, and would you if accompanied by an "experienced" wild camper if you didn't have to carry your gear more than a mile or two. ?
Include a little history in your walks. Pecsaetan - Ancient Derbyshire, Staffordshire and South Yorkshire - http://pecsaetan.weebly.com/
Totally 'wild camper', the futher away from 'uncivilisation' the better.
When I camp I want to be with like minded friends, or on my own.
I like to be as near to "freedom" as is possible in these islands.
Abroad, it's far easier to get away from the crowds, plus you pitch your tent near people, everything will still be there if you leave it up and come back!!
Then again, If I go out camping it's not a 'there and back' in a day. It will be a overnighter, if not a 3 dayer. So I'll no be coming back to start point to next day, or later.
Darra8 wrote (see)
... the fact that I don't have any light weight kit to take with me, stops me from trying it.
... the fact that I don't have any light weight kit to take with me, stops me from trying it.
I've been wildcamping regularly since 1984 (aged 14), my other half too, and we took our kids backpacking from when they were very young babies - We love it - so don't really relate to your 'fear' - can't help there - sorry Got to give it a go though?- you may have an epiphany
But I don't believe you need lightweight gear - just don't plan to walk as far/fast with a bigger/heavier pack?
I bought my first 'lightweight' tent in 1996, and had no other 'lightweight gear' (in modern terms) till 2006 (when I started looking at OM etc!) - I just used 'normal weight' gear - (synthetic sleeping bag - 65l pack and a Trangia - tinned food even) and I suspect that half of people out there now who backpack use similar stuff (I know most teens on DoE or Ten Tors do) - some of my friends do too, but usually only overnighters.
I was 'scared' (if you like) of the idea of wildcamping, but then I wasn't really that keen on the idea of camping when I joined OM. Somewhere on this forum are several "I don't camp" and "I definitely don't camp in winter" comments from me. Within 18 months, not only was I camping through the winter, I'd been wildcamping and thoroughly enjoyed it.
It helped that 2 pairs of very good OM friends went out with me on my first wildcamp and showed me the ropes, as it were. Matt C lent me a Laser Competition too so I discovered the delights of lightweight gear, but as Mole says, you don't actually need stuff that's that lightweight.
My first wild camp was three years ago over Dartmoor. I am gutted that I hadn't done years earlier. I had a heavy Rucksack, heavy synthetic sleeping bag, a cheap inflatable mat that went down yet I still enjoyed it. Over the following years I have got my gear weight down and am very comfortable every time I go.
I have a friend who has been three times and not enjoyed any of them and has now given up. It isn't for everyone but unless you try you'll never know.
I've slept out ('wild camped?) in every country between Belfast and badakhshan (in Afghanistan). But only because I wanted to.
You should feel no pressure whatsoever about not wanting to sleep out. Morally, it's like marmite or anal sex - if you like it, you like it so get on with it and do it (so long as it doesn't hurt anyone else):
if you don't like it, just say no.
That said, I do remember the first night I slept under the stars.
I was fifteen, planning to hitch-hike on my own to Istanbul (astonishlingly my parents agreed) so, to see what it was like, I took the bus along the Malone Road to Barnett's Park and then walked along the tow-path to what is now the Mary Peters Track, but what was then a wild valley overlooking the river Lagan.
I took a book to read ('Biggles in the Blue') until i fell asleep in the long twighlight of an Ulster mid-summer.
The fact that I remember so many details so long afterwards shows how important every decision was.
Sorry, but your first impression was right - few people on here are going to denounce 'wild camping'
In fact, when I first found this site I wondered what this "Wild camping" was that everyone was talking about - then realised it was what I had, since the age of 12 in 1982, called "Camping". I've never really considered 'campsites' as real camping.
As far as fears are concerned - again, I'm not a good person to comment since I've never had any worries. Remember though that you're far safer on your own up in the mountains than you are walking the streets of any major town, and quite possibly safer than at home in bed - think of the fact that if you camp e.g. in the highlands, anyone passing the tent can't tell if you're a lone 12yo kid or a 40yo 6'4" deerhunter with several high powered rifles and gutting knives in the tent with you - you won't have any trouble !! (And like KIsh says, no-one's going to force you to try...ermm.... Marmite)
I would agree totally about the 'lightweight' comments above - the (MANY) discussions on this site about reducing weight by a few grammes and buying specialist lightweight tents (or going without a tent altogether and bivvying) are particularly aimed at people doing quite extreme stuff - mountain marathons, multi-day 200 mile hikes and such.
To start wild camping, if you choose a good site and have good weather you can use a £10 tent from tesco with any sleeping bag you already have, and just the same changes of clothing and food/water that you would normally take into the hills.
That's all there is to it - same as 'next-to-the-car camping' just with a slightly longer walk from the car (and no parking/camping fees). Just need to check up on appropriate 'toilet protocols' and you're there
Only on OM could you go from wild camping to anal sex in 9 posts!
Similar to Kate, I wasn't a great one for camping especially in wet weather. However I've gradually got into it, both car and wild camping. As others have said you don't necessarily have to have ultra lightweight gear unless you are planning on covering big distances. We recently did a wild camp on Leum Uilleum near Corrour with my 14 year old son. Not a long walk from the railway station but fantastic feeling of wilderness. He loved it!
Wait for a spell of good weather and pick somewhere relatively close to civilisation with a decent path and go for one night. What's the worse that can happen...you don't like it...don't do it again. On the other hand you enjoy it and can try it again and build up confidence to do longer trips.
To me, wildcamping is a means to an end, a necessity if you are walking from A to B where B is more than a comfortable distance from A. Having said that, the solitude when solo, or the companionship of like minded souls when stravaiging in a group, is so, so, satisfying.As for the lightweight thing, it isn't just about extreme activities, that would be ultralightweight anyway, for me it has become necessary because of age and condition. It's about going as far in a certain time with the ease that I did when I was young and fit and able to carry a much heavier pack. Go on an OM meet and if you like it, no one can guarantee you will, you will have answered a question and laid a ghost. Remember, nothing ventured nothing gained.
I remember attending a free festival down south a few years back, We wildcamped well away from the noise, Anyway one of the lads had some legal high he smoked well after we left the main "arena". He turned up about 3.30am thinking he was a ninja though he sounded more like a drugged up elephant, shook me up at first having an off his head nutter patrolling the perimiter of my tent and had me jump up looking for my knife and the best exit plan, But it all came to a halt when he tripped over a guy line and ended up in a large stand of nettles crying out our names one by one for help.
Ahhhh, smoking dope, falling in nettles, hunting knives and high-power rifles,plus yeast extract and sodomy - wild camping in all its glory!
I must admit to being scared of trying it for the first time, wild camping that is, not anal or marmite . I would end up going it alone, as none of my friends are botherd about such things, and I don't think I could do that. I do all my car camping with my 14 year old son, and I am sure he would love to come with me, but 2 things are stopping me. No, actually 3! First, I don't have the means of carrying all the kit, even for a short distance. Second, I have a real fear of it all going tit's up and ending badly.....don't know why, just have! And 3, the WIFE If I said, look dear, I'm going to camp in the middle of no where for the night, and I'm taking the boy with me, she wouldn't be happy at all!
This is beginning to feel like therapy session
When I was camping in Clun forest 25 years ago (Wild Camping hadn't been identified back then) my little camp was visited by a dozen or so Hell's Angels. Big hairy chaps on v.noisy bikes. I learnt then not to judge by appearances. I offered them tea which their leader declined as that would deplete my stores too much. They all turned off their bikes so we could talk more easily. They told me of a large new age group moving in the area which would probably be coming my way very soon. The bikers also wild camped - but in big groups.
We had a friendly discussion on life in general. Fortunately sodomy didn't come up.
OK Darra, here are the solutions to your problems. Now you have no excuses.
1) Buy a very cheap but reasonably capacious 'own brand' rucksack from somewhere like Go Outdoors or even a supermarket.
2) Assuage your (irrational) fear of things going tits up by either joining an OM meet or seeking (through OM Forums) an experienced companion to show you the ropes.
3) Tell your wife a little white lie. Say you are taking the lad camping but leave out the word 'wild'. Simple as that. If you cannot bear even that slight deception then the truth is that you will be visiting a campsite - the place where you camp will, by definition, be the site of the camp or, in other words, the camp site.
PS: It's probably also a good idea not to tell the missus that you and the lad will be going with people you met on the internet, drinking water from streams, burying your poo, sleeping on 6mm of cold foam, or necking half a bottle of malt whisky
- yes, the lad can tell her all that when he gets back. Unless you invoke the 'what goes at camp stays at camp' rule.
You realise that the boy will probably want to go again a) never in this lifetime, or b) next weekend? It can become compulsive!
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