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Wild Camping Spots

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 ryan2412 11 Jul 2021

I'm looking at getting into wild camping but after a bit of research I can see that you have to get land owners permission to wild camp. Does anyone know any good spots or how to actually find a land owner. I'm looking at the lakes and wales. Thanks in advance.

27
 freeheel47 11 Jul 2021
In reply to ryan2412:

really tricky at the moment.  There is a bit of an issue about 'fly camping'.

Whatever you do- arrive late and leave early. Bury your poo. In other places they'd poo in a bag and take it away with them.

 Kalna_kaza 11 Jul 2021
In reply to ryan2412:

Look at a map of your intended route and try and identify likely good spots on or nearby. Somewhere not too far from a water source but not in the middle of a midge infested bog is a good start.

Out of site of others and leaving no trace is the way to go (some flattened grass is only temporary). In England and Wales wild camping almost always involves being up above enclosed fields. I believe Dartmoor is the only legal exception to not needing the land owners permission. In practice if no one knows you were there, then there's very rarely a problem.

There are a number of very popular "honey pot" camping spots especially in the Lakes which you will no doubt find online without too much effort, try to avoid these as multiple tents can look obvious and unsightly. Some of my favourite spots are only a little distance from major paths but remain hidden to the casual observer. Always have a plan B if your intended location is already being used or otherwise unsuitable. Plan ahead, be flexible and you'll have some of your most memorable mountain experiences to look forward to.

Post edited at 17:00
 Welsh Kate 11 Jul 2021
In reply to Kalna_kaza:

Lots of sound advice here.

My first local wildcamping spots were usually spots I'd clocked during day walks. Now I'll check the maps and satellite imagery to look at the topography and note likely locations but with a small backpacking tent there's usually somewhere you can pitch it as long as the contours aren't too close together. Or it's too boggy!

 Kalna_kaza 11 Jul 2021
In reply to ryan2412:

Also, expect most people here to be very guarded about their favourite locations. Unlike Instagram or some Facebook groups the whole #PerfectSpot type posts aren't the done thing, no need to ruin perfectly tranquil settings with inconsiderate "fly" campers.

1
 robhorton 11 Jul 2021
In reply to ryan2412:

The National Trust own much of the open land in both - there's some information on their attitude to wild camping (on their land in the lakes but the principles apply elsewhere) here: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/wild-camping-in-the-lake-district

 deepsoup 11 Jul 2021
In reply to ryan2412:

> I can see that you have to get land owners permission to wild camp.

In England and Wales yes (mostly) in order for it to be strictly speaking 'legal'.  In practice not necessarily so, especially in the hills and away from farm land.

There have been some real problems with people taking the piss, leaving rubbish, lighting fires etc., this year and last especially so if you're going to do it you need to be absolutely sure that you're not that guy.  There's been a ridiculous amount of fly-tipping and a lot of pressure on rights of way and such too, so it's fairly understandable that some people who live and work in the countryside are a bit more stressed and touchy than usual.  Also one or two have always been arses, just like the rest of us. 

As with other forms of 'trespassing', such as climbing on crags where the access situation isn't completely clear, if you're spotted and asked to leave it's best to do so right away, politely without rising to the bait if you're dealing with somebody who is looking to wind you up a bit.

If you get it right you won't be seen anyway, and as long as you pitch late, strike early and leave no trace who is to say you were ever even there?
(Also don't light a fire and ffs don't get into any 'bushcraft' malarky that involves hacking bits off live trees with a bloody great big knife.)

 Trangia 11 Jul 2021
In reply to ryan2412:

One of the joys of wild camping is to find a beautiful location, well away from "civilisation" and other people. Asking for help in finding such locations on a public forum completely defeats the object!

Do what others do or have done in the past, including myself, and that is to pore over maps and use your own skills and experience to try and locate likely spots. Then you will have to recce them by exploring and walking over the ground, at all times showing respect for the environment, and the sensitives of land owners.  Also whenever you are out in the wilds, keep a look out for likely spots, and memorise them for future use. This is time consuming, can take years, and can lead to much disappointment, but sometimes the occasional gem. If you want them to stay gems, don't share the information with anyone other than perhaps a very few of your most trusted friends.

Do you really think it is reasonable or responsible to expect strangers on an internet forum to share such information, which has taken possibly years to assimilate, with another stranger? Once others get to learn about such locations, it would open the floodgates and they would cease to be quiet, secret and magical spots.

Because of the growing interest in so called "wild" camping it has led to irresponsible "fly" camping which is upsetting land owners and making it even more difficult for responsible campers to find such places. 

2
 GrahamD 11 Jul 2021
In reply to ryan2412:

If someone tells you where to camp, it's not really wild camping, is it ?   Look at a map and make your own choices.

3
In reply to ryan2412:

You want a spot just far enough off the trail it's out of sight and flat and dry enough.  It doesn't need to be a pristine patch of short grass near a stream, little woods can be good and sometimes the ground is less wet.    If you do find the pristine patch of short grass near a stream and not far from the trail *beware* chances are lots of people use that spot and possibly some of them are b*stards that don't clean up their sh*t or leave broken glass.  Usually it takes a while to find a spot so start looking an hour or two before dark.   Make sure you have a decent light with you in case you need to pitch your tent in the dark.

You wake up early anyway so its no problem to be gone before any landowner is going to be about.

And obviously a dark green tent, not a bright orange one.

It's not really worth researching.  Just get a tent, a sleeping bag, a sleeping pad and a headtorch shove them in your rucksack and walk out into the countryside on a long distance path near where you live in the evening.  Walk until you find somewhere good and give it a go.

1
 Flinticus 14 Jul 2021
In reply to ryan2412:

Generic good spots can be found on plantation forests. The ground is often dry, free of undergrowth, the trees provide shelter from the worse of the elements and also keep you concealed. 

Not so good if you live in California or anywhere under a heat dome.

In reply to ryan2412:

>Does anyone know any good spots or how to actually find a land owner. I'm looking at the lakes and wales. T

I know you said lakes and Wales, but... Did you know that you can wild camp legally pretty much all over Scotland?

https://www.visitscotland.com/accommodation/caravan-camping/wild-camping/

I'd also add that if you are on a walk, you can stop somewhere and cook an evening meal. Then you can wander on and find a camping spot. Similar in the morning. Up and off early, have breakfast somewhere with a nice view.

 deepsoup 14 Jul 2021
In reply to Flinticus:

> Generic good spots can be found on plantation forests. The ground is often dry, free of undergrowth, the trees provide shelter from the worse of the elements and also keep you concealed. 

They tend to be gloomy and rather lifeless though.  If the OP is interested in recreational wild camping for its own sake rather than as a way of dossing down for the night between walking days or whatever, perhaps it would be worth looking into using a DD hammock or similar and a tarp to spend the night in more natural woodland with the benefit of a bit more light, wildlife and birdsong.  (But without having to find a clear and level enough patch of ground between trees to pitch a tent.)

> Not so good if you live in California or anywhere under a heat dome.

Jeez.  There's a grim thought.  Looking at the weather forecast for next weekend it might not be so good anywhere near a numpty with a disposable BBQ either.

 Jon Stewart 15 Jul 2021
In reply to ryan2412:

I'm the Lakes, look for 'combs' or 'coves' on the map (corrie in Scotland, Cwm in Wales). These will have flat ground in the bottom surrounded by steep mountain sides and crags, high above the valley and with water. One which doesn't have a footpath through it will a be quiet and spectacular place to spend the night. 

There are good places like this on the helvellyn and high stile ranges. Leave no trace, obviously. 

 Flinticus 15 Jul 2021
In reply to deepsoup:

They can be gloomy but that's also an advantage for sleeping on these very short nights.

 deepsoup 15 Jul 2021
In reply to Flinticus:

Good point.  If you're just looking to get a solid night's kip you probably don't want a load of birds shouting their little beaks off at 4am.

 Flinticus 15 Jul 2021
In reply to deepsoup:

My wife was on Uist recently. Birds singing all 'night'. Is it still night if its not dark??

 deepsoup 15 Jul 2021
In reply to Flinticus:

> Is it still night if its not dark??

It depends on your definition of night, but from an astronomical point of view no it isn't.

In astronomical terms it's twilight until the centre of the Sun's disk is 18° below the horizon, and twilight is subdivided into civil twilight [0-6°], then nautical twilight [6-12°] and finally astronomical twilight [12-18°].

By that definition, nowhere in the UK gets any 'night' at the Summer solstice, just twilight.  Roughly speaking, astronomical twilight in England, nautical twilight in most of Scotland and the northernmost bits of Shetland only get as far as civil twilight.

On North Uist at the moment they're not getting beyond a few hours of nautical twilight, then it's back to civil twilight and then it's day again.  They're about a week away from starting to get astronomical twilight again, and the next time they get any astronomical 'night' will be about mid August.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twilight

TLDR: nope!

Post edited at 12:40

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