Going on a camping holiday has become even more commonplace this summer, when travel restrictions meant Britons chose to stay in the UK. With camping popularity came tales of price hikes, fully booked campsites and Britons left without a holiday option.
One type of camping doesn’t have to contend with any of these problems.
Wild camping is becoming a very popular way to enjoy the outdoors.
And while it is illegal in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, it’s legal in Scotland, where the “right to roam” has been interpreted by many as a right to camp wherever they want.
A common assumption about wild camping is that it’s a solitary pursuit.
And it most often is, as Scotland-based wild camper Dave Riley told Express.co.uk.
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However, wild camping is also a community.
When interested campers first get into wild camping, Dave explained, they will reach out to the wild camping community.
He said: “A lot of newcomers come to these [online] groups asking for advice.
“The majority of people in these groups can be very helpful.”
The wild camping community doesn’t only live online.
Dave said: “It happens occasionally that people have meetups.
“But it happens through chatting online, and there are bigger events.”
When wild campers meet up for a group wild camp, the camaraderie of having common interests and a love of the outdoors make the transition from online to real life fairly easy.
Dave said: “Obviously you have a rapport with people around, you usually end up staying later up at night and having more drinks around the campfires and having a bit of a laugh.
“And it’s great because the majority of people going wild camping, whether solo or in groups have similar interests.
“There’s always plenty to talk about.”
One of the biggest draws of wild camping is the isolation and a return to nature.
But Dave didn’t believe wild camping in a group was particularly different to a solo wild camp.
He explained: “Whether solo or in a group, it’s a very similar process, you just need more food and you end up drinking more.
“I’m not saying it’s a key part but it’s about a group of friends meeting up.”
The wild camping community is a good place to start for newcomers.
Whether online or in real life, Dave said would-be wild campers should reach out: “If you’re a bit wary about solo wild camping, go out with people first.
“I can guarantee there are probably people in every area who enjoy wild camping.
“And if you get online, get involved with some of these communities, the majority of people out there would be more than happy to say come along and join us on a camp.
“And again that’s how people learn. That’s how people understand what are the dos and don’ts of wild camping are.”
Interested Britons can also reach out to Dave directly via Instagram.
“It’s a great community where everyone gets involved and helps people out.”