Part 1 of 2
My friend doesn’t do ‘outdoors’, she likes to sleep in five-star hotels. “Why would you give up the comfort and the warmth of a nice bed to be outside?” she asks me. To be honest if you’ve never done it then, you won’t know. Wild camping isn’t for everyone. It is for those of us that like to feel free, alive and the vastness of the world. Wild camping allows you to connect – connect with yourself and the world on a deep level. The distractions and nonsense have been stripped away, no tv, no hair dryer, no smart phones (if you’re somewhere without a signal). It’s back to just you and nature.
Wild camping with friends is special, you don’t have to be alone. Finding like-minded individuals that enjoy nature and the inner glow you get when you’re a self-reliant team, means you can share your adventures. Stepping off the rat-race, away from the media, the noise and back to the calm of nature. You can slow down from the hub-bub of life. Leave the challenges and step back into the very simplicity of existence – finding or making a shelter, making food and keeping warm. What you choose to use to fulfil these basics will depend on where you go and the conditions. In the UK we have lush green countryside, which denotes the fact that we often need a waterproof shelter.
After cooking a simple meal on my stove out of the wind, at Cow Green Reservoir I stepped outside into the darkness. There’s no light pollution, not a house or street light for miles, just the darkness that wraps you in her blanket. Venus and Mars glowed large and pink, low in the sky near the horizon. When I looked up I could see the Milky Way. The stars were in three dimensions. The big familiar constellations we often see in the sky, vast numbers of medium-sized stars and everywhere millions and millions of tiny stars that you never usually see, making the night sky into clouds of tiny twinkling stars. This view was sublime, its complexity was awe-inspiring. Our little worries and grumbles disappear as our brains try to comprehend the scale and magnitude of our universe and comprehend our emotions as we investigate infinity. Nature puts things in perspective, we feel small and our problems feel small. Wild camping moments like these are why I go. I feel part of something bigger than myself that is infinitely beautiful. Quiet time for contemplation is so important. It helps me listen to who I am and find my way in this complex world.
If you like being outdoors, enjoy being independent and you’ve been camping at a campsite before, then make a small step and go camping without showers and the toilet. There’s a leave no trace principle, so take all litter home, yours and anyone else’s. Follow the rules and camp where it’s legal. The rewards are huge, you feel better, calmer and more relaxed. You’ll also be able to relax and enjoy some of the best views at sunrise and sunset. Do you want to feel truly free? Is it time for you to Go Wild? Ideas and advice can be found on the Wild Camping UK .
If you already go wild camping leave a comment and share why you love it.