Wild Camping involves camping in a place other than a designated campsite. Like any other activity that groups undertake as part of Woodcraft Folk, any wild camping activities should be thoroughly risk assessed and led by competent, experienced leaders who will take responsiblity for the safety of the activity.
In Scotland wild camping is permitted in open country, even if the land is privately owned. Groups taking advantage of this right should do so responsibly, and ensure that they adhere to the Scottish Outdoor Access Code – and in particular:
- Camp in small groups – perfect for a Venturer expedition, but not for a district camp
- Don’t stay in the same place for more than 1 or 2 nights
- Take all litter away with you
- Use a stove or raised fire bowl rather than a fire on the ground – see guidance on lighting a fire safely whilst wild camping here.
- Toilet more than 30m from water (stream/river/lake)
More information and advice is available from Outdoor Access Scotland.
In England & Wales it is only possible to wild camp with the landowner’s permission, even on land included in the “Right To Roam”. The exception to this is the Dartmoor National Park – though there are still rules that you will need to follow carefully, and even this is currently under threat due to an ongoing legal challenge – visit the Right To Roam site to find out the latest from the campaign to protect wild camping on Dartmoor and see how you can get involved.
Camping on privately owned land must be organised in advance of the trip with plenty of time to understand the expectations. If your group has permission from the landowner to wild camp you should follow any ground rules you are given regarding fires, cooking, pitching tents etc.
Another option for a back-to-basics experience is an overnight bivvy – sleeping under the stars without a tent.
Often groups will walk with their kit and food to a place to spend the night, this can be done as an event within itself or as a night away at camp – as with wild camping if you are in England or Wales remember to get landowner’s permission.
Survival bags or bivvy bags are essential for this activity – these are a large bag made of tough plastic (or occasionally of waterproof fabric) in which to put your sleeping bag to stay warm and dry.
Cooking on small camping stoves such as Trangias is a good experience young people to plan and prepare their own meals in small groups when bivvying. Older groups can carry their own food and kit and walk to their bivvy site.
Younger or less experienced campers could have a bivvy within the tent circle, or on another part of the site away from the sleeping tents to experience sleeping out under the stars.