‘You never know what’s going to happen’: Wild camper’s top tips – ‘be prepared’

Would YOU spend a night CAMPING on a CLIFF?

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Camping took off this summer when many Britons opted for a UK holiday. Exploring the great outdoors on a camping trip was found to be a fantastic way to spend a holiday.

With camping becoming increasingly popular, another type of outdoors holiday has taken off.

Wild camping is capturing the imagination of Britons all over the country.

However, wild camping is illegal in England and Wales.

It’s legal in Scotland, and experienced wild camper Dave Riley spoke to Express.co.uk about his love of wild camping.

For newcomers to wild camping, Dave also shared his top tips for a successful wild camp.

READ MORE: UK Camping: Churches open their doors to campers

Dave said: “My top tips would be: being prepared, having good equipment and reaching out to the community.

“I would also like to stress that when wild camping, leave no trace!”

One of the most important tip Dave had for would-be wild campers is to be prepared.

He said: “Always have a first aid kit, you never know what’s going to happen.

“I’ve only been in one situation where I’ve had to use it before, and that was through my own stupidity and a knife, but that was a learning exercise for me, I won’t do that again.

“Make sure you’ve got a first aid kit, make sure you’ve got enough water with you.

“You need to have the right basics with you.”

When pressed about his “one situation”, Dave explained he “was taking the sap off a pine tree that I could use for firework and the knife slipped and I just cut my hand”.

Wild camping involves being self-reliant, and a first aid kit should never be an afterthought.

For safety, Britons who just started wild camping should let people know where they are.

Dave said: “Another top tip for people going out is to let people know where you are planning to stay.

“I think that’s key.

“One of the things that I often use and promote is the app What3words.

“The entire world has been mapped with a gridline.”

What3words concept is simple: “Every three metre square of the world has been given a unique combination of three words.”

Dave continued: “You can download the app and wherever you are that will tell you what that three-word code is.

“You can send that to somebody, no matter where it is, they will be able to pinpoint exactly where you are in the world.

“It’s a great safety thing for people going out, and it’s used by all the emergency services, so it’s a great tool for people going out there.

“Because if something goes wrong and you’re in a very remote place, it’s going to be difficult to find you.”

The attraction of wild camping is to go off-grid, something Dave knows very well.

He said his favourite camp this year was on an island that was completely cut off from everything and everyone for 12 to 24 hours.

He explained: “You walk across when the tide’s low, and when the tide’s up you’re completely cut off.

“Usually for 12 to 24 hours, because when it comes down again, it’s the middle of the night.

“You’re literally on an island, on your own and that’s been my best camp of the year so far.

“And that’s where being prepared really comes into it.

You have to have the right equipment, enough food and water… there’s no freshwater on the island.”

Britons who think going to sleep on an island on their own is a dream can reach out to Dave.

He said: “People who are interested can contact me via Instagram. It’s a great community where everyone gets involved and helps people out.” 

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