My First Wild Camping Trip

3rd Feb 2017

I have just returned from my first wild camping trip, I have wanted to give it a go for a while. I had all my equipment ready and the weather forecast was good so I went wild camping for two days. It didn't rain much but the nights were quite cold.

Childhood Camping

When I was a boy we used to go camping by the seaside, it wasn't wild camping because we stayed on a campsite. My parents considered camping to be a cheap holiday or weekend break sometimes, campsites are cheaper than hotels or even B&B's so if you don't mind roughing it a bit you can enjoy a break very economically but you will still have access to showers and toilets. Wild camping is a bit different, with wild camping you probably won't have access to shops, toilet blocks or showers.

Why Wild Camping

I enjoyed my first wild camping trip and I think you should give it a go too. You maybe asking yourself why you should leave all the comforts you are used to. You should leave your creature comforts and go camping in the wild because; camping in the great outdoors is a great way to lose the stresses of everyday life, get away from pollution, connect with nature and find your inner self. The thing I like about camping is that once you have all your stuff together you can just go, no need to book flights or hotels. Camping can be done at the drop of a hat.


If you are camping on a site or at a festival and find you have forgotten your torch or something you will probably be able to find a shop that sells it, if you have forgotten your stove or teabags you will probably find a pub or cafe nearby. Camping in the wild is a little different from camping on a site, before leaving on a wild camping trip you need to ensure you have everything required to survive in the wild. Even survival experts prepare before their wild camping trips.

In the army they have a saying, “proper preparation prevents poor performance” they call it the “five P rule” and the army know a thing or two about camping out in the wild. In the scouts they say, “be prepared” and the scouts know a bit about wild camping too. In this post we are going to tell you the basics that you will need on your first wild camping trip, we will give you some advice on what to look for when shopping for it too.

A Tent

You may think this an obvious requirement but not all tents are created equally. The right tent can make all the difference between a peaceful nights sleep away from the hussle and bussle of urban life or a wet, cold and restless night wishing you had never left the comforts of home. When choosing a tent ensure it is wind, water and insect proof. The waterproof rating of tents is called the hydrostatic head, in the U.K it is illegal to call something a tent if it does not have a hydrostatic head of 1000mm or more. The bigger the number the more waterproof the tent, I looked for a hydrostatic head of at least 3000mm when choosing my tent.

The NatureHike Cloud Up is a good choice for lone campers like me. On a par with far more expensive brands, this tent has a waterproof rating which starts at 3000mm, silicone taped seams, it's lightweight and insect proof. The tent boasts a mesh lining and sewn in groundsheet which will prevent anything crawling in. The below video helped me to choose my tent.

Sleeping Bag

A sleeping bag maybe even more important than a tent especially if you plan to go wild camping during the winter months. The D280 Down Filled sleeping bag is also from NatureHike, waterproof, warm and lightweight this sleeping bag is perfect for wild camping during the winter.

A Headtorch

A normal handheld torch is probably sufficient for most wild camping but the problem with a handheld torch is it requires one free hand, if you need to pitch your tent or tie something together after dark you will require both your hands to be free. I believe Petzl to be considered the original and best choice for headtorches but perfectly functional and maybe even better designed headtorches can be found for a lot less.

Something to Cook on

If you are truly wild camping and don't want to go hungry you will need something to cook and something to cook it on, butane camping stoves can be bought very cheaply and hobo stoves can be made for free. See the below video for instructions on how to make a hobo stove:

If you are camping somewhere that allows it you could make a campfire to cook on, if you are planning to cook on a fire all you will need is something to light it. A fire or some other kind of cooking equipment will also be important if you run out of water, I am sure you know never to drink lake water without boiling it first. It maybe O.K to drink water straight from a spring if you can find one and know what you are doing, I would recommend you carry enough water for your trip.

Something to Carry it all

I think we have covered the basic equipment required for a wild camping trip above; somewhere to sleep, something to sleep in, light, warmth, food and water. What will you carry it all in? I just used a rucksack, if you are going further for longer the NatureHike brand seems to offer good value. NatureHike offer 70L Ergonomic Hiking Pack which is waterproof, offers back support, padded waist and shoulder straps. I double checked I had everything I needed before I left for my trip and I suggest you do too.