Sleeping under the starry sky, waking up to the scent of fresh air around you, and simply getting away and forgetting about your worries – the allure of wild camping is easy to understand. Also known as freedom camping, this form of camping involves avoiding organized campsites and spending the night in the wild nature instead. This is an incredibly pleasant and liberating activity, but it’s not always as straightforward as it seems. Wild camping comes with unclear laws and regulations and plenty of challenges along the way, so keep these important rules in mind and consider visiting some of the best wild camping spots around the world:
Essential Wild Camping Rules
Although a beautiful and unforgettable experience, wild camping can also be challenging and even dangerous if you’re not prepared. Follow these rules to ensure a pleasant trip:
1. Know the regulations well
Before you consider wild camping in any location, it always pays to do thorough research in advance. Even in countries where wild camping is perfectly legal, some areas may be restricted, or you may unknowingly end up on the private property. This can result in fines or other legal troubles, so make sure you do your homework. Contact local governments, visit the relevant government websites, talk to park rangers and other professionals, or simply ask the locals for tips on the best wild camping spots in the region. This will help you to ensure compliance.
2. Make use of technology
If you want to find good campsites while being certain camping in the wild is permitted, you can download a helpful app such as iOverlander and Campendium as well. These applications will provide you with a list of the best free and pay campsites in your chosen region, along with coordinates and other important information. To reach these destinations safely and stay on track, it may be wise to invest in a GPS device. Mobile reception can be spotty in the wild, and a GPS device will help to keep you on course and avoid the dangers of getting stranded in unfamiliar surroundings.
3. Always stay prepared
Nature tends to be unpredictable, which is why it’s vital to pack well and stay prepared when camping in the wild. This means investing in quality otf automatic knives that are sturdy and durable enough to be used for anything from setting up tents to preparing food. On that note, always make sure to have enough food and water with you to last the entire trip. Packing emergency shelter and extra layers of weather-resistant clothing can also be of great help, along with bringing some kindle and firestarters for your campfires. First aid kits are essential for emergencies as well.
Best Wild Camping Spots to Visit
The world hides captivating beauty in nearly every corner, but wild camping may not be possible in each location due to local laws and regulations. Here are some stunning spots you can visit, however:
1. North Cascades National Park, USA
Americans may have it the easiest, as primitive camping in the US is legally permitted in grasslands, national forests, and Bureau of Land Management lands unless marked otherwise. For that reason, the most well-known locations such as Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Sequoia often attract wild campers from all around the world. While these are all great options, the North Cascades National Park is truly the hidden gem of the USA’s natural wonders. Alpine landscapes, cascading waters, pristine lakes, and endless wildlife viewing opportunities are just some of the many unique experiences you could enjoy here.
2. Lofoten Islands, Norway
Nearly every country in Europe has different regulations for wild camping, but most of them allow it in certain forms and regions. Norway is one of the countries where the public has the right to roam freely, which extends to wild camping as well. The legality combined with the undeniable beauty of the country’s nature makes choosing a good wild camping spot particularly difficult. However, travelers are often allured by Norway’s untouched northerly Lofoten Islands, offering stunning meadows, gorgeous accessible beaches, and fresh drinking water directly from pure local streams.
3. Medlands Beach, New Zealand
Coming with more relaxed regulations as well, New Zealand permits wild camping on public conservation land. The same issue often arises here as in Norway, considering the fact that New Zealand offers pristine natural surroundings in numerous forms, from impressive towering mountains to relaxing sandy beaches. One such place tends to attract wild campers, the Medlands Beach in Oruawharo Bay. This spot is entirely off-grid and far off the beaten track, making it more suitable for experienced campers. But Medlands is also a secluded white sand beach with breathtaking landscapes and ideal swells for surfers, which might explain its popularity among wild campers.
No matter where in the world you decide to wild camp, remember that staying informed and prepared is key. Above all, leave no trace wherever you visit, as the outdoors can only be fully enjoyed without causing harm.