Tips for Wild Camping
Wild camping in a beautiful, peaceful spot can be one of the most rewarding aspects of motorhome travel.
It can also be illegal, dangerous and anti-social – it all depends on whether you apply a bit of respect, courtesy and common sense to your parking decisions.
Motorhome Planet’s Top 10 Wild Camping Tips
- Don’t park if there is a sign prohibiting it – breaking the rules just causes them to become more severely applied. Only park in places with no apparent restriction and if an overnight parking fee applies, then pay it.
- Leave no trace of your presence – consider even picking up some litter and binning it if there is a rubbish bin nearby. Don’t dump waste water unless there is a proper drain for it and never dump toilet waste. Don’t wild camp if you don’t have a toilet in your van.
- Keep everything inside your vehicle – remember, you are parking, not camping. The same restrictions apply at many European motorhome parking aires – no awnings, picnic tables, chairs, etc.
- Park so that you can drive out easily in the dark if necessary. Try and avoid using levelling wedges if possible – if you do, make sure you can drive off them easily in an emergency and be prepared to leave them behind.
- Don’t stop anywhere that doesn’t feel right – most of the time, you will have no trouble, but we all know that there are places that are not safe overnight. Use your instinct and look for evidence of unsavoury night-time activities – broken glass, excessive litter, vandalism, fly tipping, etc…
- Make sure you are not in anyone’s way – that includes farm tracks, driveways and blocking lorries in lay-bys. Get well off the road and out of the way of passing traffic.
- Stay sober – at least one person should not drink and be able to drive at anytime, if necessary. This is a good idea for practical and legal reasons – assuming you are on public land.
- Find your parking place in daylight – take it from me, finding a place in the dark and making sure it is suitable is not easy. Don’t be too stubborn – use a campsite if you cannot find anywhere sensible and legal.
- Make sure you won’t get stuck if it rains overnight – check for firm ground.
- Don’t park up right by a campsite – they will see you as taking their business and may choose to complain about you. How would you feel if you ran a greengrocer’s shop and a van parked up outside your shop selling cut price fruit and veg?