Wild Camping

It was the sight of the tree canopy at night that most surprised me most when I went wild camping in the woods last Friday.

The camp had been booked with an instructor as a birthday treat for my 14 year old son and a couple of his friends. My husband was meant to be the ‘designated’ second adult to join the sleep over, but at the last minute fell ill with a stinking cold. So I got to go! Although of course – disappointed for my husband, I was delighted to have the opportunity to camp outdoors.

With no rain predicted we pitched our hammocks in a small clearing amongst Corsican Pine trees and decided not to bother with tarps over head.

The wood was eerily still at night, not creepy though, but quietly beautiful. I felt safe wrapped up in a sleeping bag cocoon and protected by the wood. The cool night breeze washed over my face and my body was warm and snug in thermals and eider down coziness.

It didn’t get pitch black, instead a white glow shone through the canopy, which looked like an ink blot painting against the sky.

I lay listening to sheep bleating in a distant field, the occasional ruffles of a startled pheasant and the shivering of the wind through the pine needles. At 4am the wood woke up with a cacophony of sound. The little chiff chaff merrily punctuating the air ‘wake up, wake up, wake up’ against an assortment of other bird calls.

When I say it was a ‘sleep over’ in the woods, not much sleep happened, but it was a wonderful experience to be immersed in the natural world overnight, to have the scent of woodsmoke on my skin and a warm mug of tea cupped in my hands at 6am.

For anyone interested in a wild camping experience we went with Forest Quest who I can not recommend highly enough.

4 thoughts on “Wild Camping

  1. I haven’t heard of the term “wild camping” before. How would you define wild camping? I wonder if it is similar to what I would call Backcountry or remote camping. I am thinking you hike in and there are no amenities. Is that correct? Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hi Mark,
      Yes – that’s correct – camping with out being on a pitch, or organised camp site. In the UK it is illegal to camp in England on other peoples land, but in Scotland there is freedom to roam and camp wild. Many people though do camp wild in all areas of the UK – the etiquette is to pitch up late and leave early, leaving no trace. This wild camp was playing at it – as we had an instructor, in a small patch of owned woodland with a rustic compost toilet available. However – it gave the kids a fantastic experience of sleeping out in the open and practising bush craft skills. It gave me a hunger to wild camp for real. Tents can be used, but the hammocks were epic! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Emma, Thanks so much for that explanation. I do like the idea of the instructor who is there to also teach a little bushcraft. I haven’t camped in a hammock yet. It makes so much sense. I might want to try it out. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No worries! Def worth going the first time with an instructor – he used special under blankets that wrapped below the hammock – creating a heat trap / kept us very toasty! I think your back can get very cold without the insulation layer.

      Liked by 1 person

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