GetOutside Champion: Phoebe Smith
Phoebe Smith likes to sleep wild - from caves to mountain tops, disused farmsteads and under giant boulders – if it's in a wild place she want to take her sleeping bag and bivvy and experience a wild night out.
It’s a fact (well, in my dictionary anyway!) that nothing beats getting outside and snuggling down under a blanket of stars for the night. Enter wild camping.
And even better, you don’t need bucket-loads of time, money or have to travel far to do it. No matter where you live.
The options for wild camping are endless - from cliff top views to lapping beach waves and forest canopies. But if you’re a wild camping virgin (or fairly new to the wild camping concept) then knowing how to choose a spot, can be helpful. So you feel better armed to get outside, and get exploring.
Below are my five steps to go through before heading out there.
Before even starting the search for a spot, here are some questions that can be useful to ask yourself to help you hone in on what will make it a great night out.
Once you’ve narrowed down the kind of spot you’re looking for, decide on a rough area of the country you’d like to explore, or something specific you’d like to see.
For example, you might fancy a camp out somewhere in the county of Buckinghamshire or alternatively, if it’s Springtime, a camp out in one of the UK’s bluebell woods.
Once you have a rough area or theme – Google to your heart’s content.
Things to try:
’Best views in [insert county]’
‘Best walks in [insert county]’
‘Highest point in [insert county]’
‘Lakes/rivers in [insert county]’
‘Bluebell woods in [insert county]’
‘UK’s best bluebell woods’
Once you have found an area you think you might like to explore, head back to Google and plug in ‘[area / town / hill OS map]’. It should come up with the OS map you need for the area so you can then find the paper or online version. OS's Map Sheet Finder is also useful.
Now you don’t need to be a wizard at map reading to be able to find a good wild camp spot, and you certainly don’t need to know how to find a grid reference or any of that technical stuff. But maps make it all SO much easier!
Here’s what you’re then looking for on the OS map:
The world of navigation via phone has come on leaps and bounds in recent years.
So you can use your phone to help you navigate from your transport stop to the wild camping spot, as well as your map. Just plot your route (you can do this in the OS Maps app) and save it.
Know that there ain’t no rights or wrongs when it comes to finding a wild camp spot.
It’s best to find somewhere far enough away from the surrounding suburbs so that you’re not going to be disturbed, but equally if you are happened upon by the odd dog walker – it’s no biggie (they’re likely to be pleasantly surprised by you and say good morning!).