The freedom wild camping offers is a huge attraction for the outdoor person how really enjoys getting away from it all while avoiding traditional camp sites. The right to sleep wherever you end up has always been a difficult subject because all land belongs to somebody and as with any property there is a need to protect it.

organized wild camping

This has been highlighted this week by the Loch Lomond and Trossachs national park plans to stop the damage that’s being done to the area. Vandalism and anti-social behavior seems to be a real problem as the Loch is so easily reached by a large amount of Scotland’s population.

I know the media like to publish the worse when it comes to bad news, but the pictures offered up on the BBC website about this story did make me more than a bit angry.

Somewhere In Between

Could there be a middle ground for the wild camper where you get the same sort of remote feeling but without the hassle of ultimately trespassing on someones land?.

One new service called Nearly Wild Camping (love the name) is setup to act as a middleman between campers and the places offering organized wild camping, the quote below is taking from their website

“Nearly Wild Camping is a fledgling network of locations willing to host campers who are looking for a wilder, secluded or quieter camping experience. It brings together ambassadors for the countryside, its rich heritage and wildlife, with those seeking to explore and learn through informal fun”

They seem to be coming along well with more and more campgrounds being added to their list all the time but depending how you do your wild camping you could run into problems.

The two main ones that spring to mind are spontaneity and location. Part of the joy of wild camping is pointing yourself in a direction and making camp once you’ve found a good location or have had enough of walking. Because your location is fixed along with not being able to just turn up at the camp grounds without registering first it does put the kibosh on both of these aspects.

Of course there are restrictions on what you can do (make a fire etc) that change depending which site you use but these rules are applied wherever you decide to camp (for those of us good enough to obey them).

Am I sold?

These organized sites wouldn’t normally fit in with the way we enjoy wild camping but they could maybe hold the solution to a problem we’ve been facing for a while

Many times we’ve thought about dragging our 14 year old on her first real wild camping trip but the safety factor has always bothered us a little. Do enough sleeping in out of the way places and your bound to run into the odd weirdo or drunken crowd and we’d rather not make here first trip one she remembers for all the wrong reasons.

We are considering this option as a way to get her used to a more remote camping spot and hopefully calm her absolute fear of every insect on the planet in the process 🙂

Your Thoughts

Have you used one of these campsites or do you run one?, we’d love to know what your experiences are.

2 Responses to The Rise Of Organized Wild Camping

  1. Hugh says:

    Hi there Carl – you posted a comment on one of my posts regarding wild camping – we offer some ‘semi’ wild camping options at one my two campsites.

    Our Beech Estate Woodland Campsite is in a 2000 acre estate with it’s own 600 acre wood.

    I’d like offer more, but it’s the nanny state approach that stops us – the campsite license we require has this outdated restriction on closeness to waste water points, water taps and facilities – clearly written for caravan sites – which really limit how far into the ‘wild’ campers can roam and enhance their experience. Basically with 90 meters (in Mid-Sussex it’s 45 meters) – so this stops people just disappearing into our woods miles away from anyone.

    We do have isolated pitches as far as we can reasonably offer them and separated from other campers, and allow our campers some discretion – but if we could we would offer more.

    At least we can offer a camping in the woods experience within the bounds of the rules.

    • Carl holpin says:

      Hey Hugh

      Thanks for the information on how the law views you campsite, that,s something I didn’t know and will be digging into it a little more (maybe update this post as a later date).

      Legislation is usually far behind any new ideas but those restrictions must hamstring your operation a fair bit, any sign of changes happening soon?.

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