Wednesday, 15 July 2020

You Know You're Wild Camping When...

Wild campsite with migde hood, on the northern shores of Loch Maree:

When you head out this weekend, will you be wild camping? Or will it be another kind of camping?

There's an easy way to tell. If you want to know if it is wild camping, ask yourself the question:

Did anyone even know you were there?

Were you in a small group or go solo? Did you camp high, out of sight of any roads or houses? Did you carry out any litter? If you needed to go to the toilet, did you dig a shallow hole, a long way from any watercourses, and cover your mess up with turf - or even better, carry it out in a bag?

In short, did you camp like a ninja?

That's wild camping.

Unfortunately the phrase 'wild camping' has been repurposed. Anybody pitching a tent ten feet from their car in a Highland layby, having a party, setting fire to things, leaving behind beer cans, cigarette butts, NOx canisters, barbeques, plastic bags, dog shit, and human shit, nowadays claims to be wild camping.

That's not wild camping.

That's feral camping.

Big difference.

Did you camp like a shit-flinging chimpanzee?

That's feral camping.

Of course, there's gradations in between. And the main complaint against roadside campers, apart from their sheer numbers in some popular places like Glen Etive or Loch Lomond, where feral camping is now banned, is the litter and excrement they leave behind.

So even if you are camping by the road, you can avoid feral status just by clearing up after yourself.

If nobody could have known you were there after you have gone, then good job! At a time when official campsites are still shut, you are being about as responsible as it is possible to be in the circumstances.

Just please, don't go feral!

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