I love camping, I have been doing it for as long as I can remember, and I’ve camped in several countries as well as Wales, England and Scotland.
I’ve done the big family camps, huge scouts camps as well as the single camps in the hills, or wild camping as it is known.
But since lockdown, ‘wild camping’ has gained a bit of a reputation and not a good one either.
Unfortunately, there seem to be reports every weekend of Wild Campers causing more damage and causing trouble, which is not really what I class as wild camping. Wild camping should be something that is pleasant, natural and causes no disruption, so from now on, I will not be wild camping anymore.
I will, however, still be heading to the hills to camp. But instead of ‘wild camping’ I will be doing Leave No Trace Camping.
Leave No Trace Camping
What is Leave no Trace Camping?
In reality it’s what most ‘wild campers’ I know do – it’s camping in stealth.
The only things you leave behind are footprints and the only things you take away are memories.
I was once in a bar chatting to a ex SAS soldier, and he described it perfectly to me.
Imagine you are being hunted and people are following you. You wouldn’t want to leave them clues would you? Well, I wouldn’t, so this is exactly how I have wild camped since.
I am about to take my 7-year-old out on his first experience in a few weeks and I am teaching him the importance of leaving no trace.
Rules of Leave No Trace Camping
They are the same rules and guideless of ‘Wild Camping’ as I and many others used to do it:
- Don’t camp if the land is obviously private, there are houses/farms within sight or if you need to jump a fence (unless you ask for permission first)
- Be quiet and respectful
- Pitch late and leave early and never stay more than 1 night
- Don’t light fires
- Take away anything that you bring
If this sounds like something you want to learn more about, or even try yourself, we will be producing a series of articles explaining all about the kit, where to pitch, plus much more.
Why not join our Facebook Group – Leave No Trace Camping, to share your adventures and ask others for advice.
This doesn’t just apply to camping in the hills
Leave no trace camping should also apply when you are camping on traditional campsites.
You should always:
- Respect others
- Take away your rubbish or dispose of it correctly. (More and more sites now offer onsite recycling, so take advantage of this).
- Leave your pitch exactly how you have found it, no rubbish, no mess.
- Respect both the campsite owners and the person that’s following you onto your pitch
So yes, I won’t be going ‘Wild Camping’ any more, but I will be going Leave no Trace camping, wherever I choose to pitch my tent.
How about you?