How To Go Wild Camping

Wild camping is one of the best ways to travel and see the incredible landscape of the country/ place you are visiting but-

“What is Wild Camping?”
 
Wild Camping is camping either in a car, campervan or tent outside of a ‘paid’ campground, where you can camp overnight ‘legally’ and for free! You can spend the night in seclusion, in nature, and in places so beautiful you couldn’t imagine that they could exist. The best part about it, you get to skip the weird camper family in the lot next door with the guitar, and the singing, and all the kids screaming. Not to mention that a lot of campgrounds cost a pretty penny nowadays. Now, I may have touched a nerve with those who are probably thinking- 

“Some of my best childhood memories are of sitting around a campfire, eating smores and fishing by the lake during the summer at one of these so-called "terrible" campgrounds."
 
Well, my husband felt the same way when we were in Mt. Tamborine, Australia. What unfolded at the campsite was a rather sad fire with nothing adventurous that we could really do and a sad attempt at re-creating a childhood memory and that’s when we realized, we were not kids anymore, we're adults looking to explore the world and be astounded by nature and you get that with wild camping.
 

North Island, New Zealand

Finding free campsites:
There are plenty of resources and apps that list where you can find free campsites online. Many of them will tell you how soon you should arrive, what season it is accessible in and how you can get there. At the bottom of this article, I have listed resources you can use, in certain countries, to locate free campsites.

Planning ahead:
Many campsites are usually off the grid, which only adds to the appeal, but it does mean you will have to be fairly organized before you arrive.


Firstly, if you are trying to find a site whilst already on the road (for all the road trippers out there), you need to make sure you stop into a town/area with a good data/Wi-Fi signal before you go.
Map your journey and figure out what route you will be taking and see if you can drive the whole way or if you need to hike some of it as well. The last thing you want is for the sun to be fading and for you to be stuck in the middle of no-where, with no idea where you are going.

Secondly, seeing as you’ll already be in town, pick up enough supplies that will last you the length of your stay and any items that will help you get out of a tight spot should you ever be in one. I have listed some supplies below:               
  • Matches/Lighter
  • Canned Food
  • Lots of Water
  • Toiler Paper
  • Flashlight
  • Firewood (if you're in a place where gathering wood is prohibited)
  • First Aid Kit
  • Pocket Knife
  • Camping Stove
  • Pans & Utensils
  • Wooden Planks
Most of the above equipment is self-explanatory but you may be wondering what the deal with the wooden planks is. There have been a couple of times on our travels that our car has gotten stuck in the mud or sand, the wooden planks will help you get out of it if you have no one to tow you.
 
What food you bring and how you store it is also pretty important. In the US there are bears, and the further out from civilization you are, the more likely bears will be around. The thing with bears is they like food, so it is vital you don't attract them to a very edible you. For those of you who have seen "The Revenant," you will know that bears are really not all that cute and cuddly- Just remember his face. When out wild camping, I try to bring long life food, or things that don’t require refrigeration, that can easily be stored in air tight containers. Note that you should pack all food inside your car/tent and leave no scraps/ food packets lying around your site.
 
Thirdly, make sure you have plenty of fuel in your car and always check the weather in the area. Keep in my mind, that although it might be a dry, sunny, day when you head out, the weather of the previous week may have been extremely wet. Which may mean rivers and streams will be turgid and this is dangerous for sites that are located near them. Also, if you are driving after it has rained the ground may be muddy, and this may cause you to get bogged in or you may become inaccessible in an emergency.
Recommendations:
Caleb and I have gone wild camping in the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the United States. We have improved on each trip but have always utilized similar methods.

We bought a cheap van, ripped out the back, built a bed (sometimes we also hung a hammock inside) and created storage compartments for our gear. With the van, we were not restricted to staying somewhere for a definite period of time and we always had a reliable, warm, and comfortable form of accommodation and shelter. When time was short, we could always sleep temporarily at a rest stop or a Wal-Mart car park. This helped when we couldn’t make it to our destination on time.

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

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