Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 21

Thread: Wildcamping for a REAL newbie!

  1. #1
    Mini Goon ChrisPM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    68


    I've done tent camping for decades but having read LTD'swild-campingthread I feel the urge to get a bit more basic. Only once the weather improves!!For a first attempt I prefer to be fairly local - unfortunately that's central Berkshire.I know it's not "legal", but are there areaswithin easy reachwhere it's possible for one night without upsetting anyone?I know the wild-camping rules: arrive late, leave early, no litter, no open fires, etc.If you've got any suggestions please pass them on here, or privately to chrispm52 AT gmail DOT com

    Assuming it's not raining, do I need a tarp as well as a bivvi bag? I don't like sleeping under trees, are there downsides to sleeping in an open area?TIA!

  2. #2
    Mini Goon
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    234


    I live on the borders of West Berkshire. There is a lot of pheasant shooting happening round here, and it is quite lucrative, so I suspect gamekeepers keep on eye on the local woodland. However we have lots of open gound too. Study the OS map along the line of the ridgeway and I am sure you could find ideas. I would avoid horse gallops, as they tend to exercise the horses early in the morning and they might be posessive.Watership down / Ladle Hill is possible, oralong the general line of the Wansdyke south west of Marlborough. The CROW maps show patches of uncultivated land. On a midsummer night some of the local hills have glow worms.

    Further afield might not be so bad if you have a vehicle. The New Forest (discreetly) is not so far and there is masses of space. Or if you are close to the M4 you could probably get to the Black Mountains or Brecon Beacons in about 2 and a quarter hours.

  3. #3
    ‹bermensch
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    1,371


    People see you! And from a good distance and investigate just for reassurance and will then disturb you. Just when you think you are alone a farmer on quad bike or a dog walker turn up. A curfew on head light use is worthwhile too as that can interest people.

    I favour being hid away in trees.

  4. #4
    ‹bermensch ShoutsAtQuietMice's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    2,874
    Plenty of discreet places on/near Fyfield Down, if that's not too far to travel.

  5. #5
    ‹bermensch Jake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    1,886
    I would point out that a bivi bag is a fair bit different to a tent so I would practise not too far from your car in case you need to bail.

  6. #6
    Mini Goon ChrisPM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    68


    Thank you for the suggestions, I shall investigate further with OS maps and maybe a day drip to check out the lie of the land locally. For future trips, the Brecon Beacons are reasonably familiar, but I've never ventured far into Dartmoor so would be worth a visit.

    I picked up some ideas from a recent Trail magazine, and I was "encouraged" by the 2 hour walk-in to the bivi site which is generally more than most dog-walkers would do for a late night constitutional.

    I've never slept outside of a tent (apart from the occasional alcohol-induced event as a student, but that's nearly 40 years ago now!) so don't expect to get much restful sleep the first couple of times until I become more practiced. And I'm not sure how much insulation I'll need (bivi bag, sleeping bag, mat, down jacket, etc) Hence the need to be close to home.

    The warning about lights is good, I was thinking of going on a Moon-free night to watch the stars, but maybe a bit of natural light would be a benefit. Or shelter in trees. I'm not keen on being directly UNDER trees having had a branch fall on my tent while I was out walking!

    Thanks all!

  7. #7
    Ultra King Parky Again's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    14,005
    Stay well clear of Chequers. People with Real Guns (tm) patrol there.

  8. #8
    ‹bermensch ShoutsAtQuietMice's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    2,874
    Chris, don't know the lay of the land with Southern counties but if Fyfield area is any good to you i can give you a couple of GR's for a couple of sweet spots that are sheltered and pretty much out of view, just off the Southern end of the Ridgeway

  9. #9
    ‹bermensch
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    1,795
    A tarp is more comfy in combination with a Bivy. Tou don't have to zip up completely when it rains.... However the combined weight is as much as a single person lightweight tent with some room to spare. Now is a tent defintely more comfy than a bivi IMHO. Pure biving (without tarp) is indeed for stealth camping. If you do it well nothing is to be seen even when someone get's close. However starting out in biving without any experience is tricky.

  10. #10
    Mini Goon Trenchfoot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    69


    I've the same problem with Kent, which is why I doub't I will bother and have to get my 'fixes' by travelling. I just don't fancy keeping an eye out for anybody who will bother me.

    Good luck with your adventure, be that local or whatever.

  11. #11
    Ultra King That bastard Skip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    6,204


    Yeah, good luck.

    I've rough-camped* on canal towpaths in the past. British Waterways bylaws probably forbid camping but their staff usually only work from 9-5 weekdays and passing boats aren't likely to care.

    In Berks, there is the disused Berks & Hants Canal (some of which is being restored) and the fully navigable Kennet & Avon Canal.

    Stay well away from towns and canalside pubs, pitch at dusk and strike soon after dawn and I very much doubt you'll get much hassle on or beside a towpath.

    * I use the term 'rough camp' rather than 'wild camp' as I don't consider towpaths, farmland, waste ground, commons, roadside laybys and so to be 'wild'.

  12. #12
    ‹bermensch
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    1,419
    Chris,If possible sleep in your own garden as often as you can.
    Try to survive without using "home service".This means bad
    weather,good weather as well.Don't run in ,in the night just
    because you are cold,can't sleep or whatever, otherwise you
    never will be ready for that first wild camp.
    This is also the place to try out all your bits n pieces
    not when your out in the places. Cheers.

  13. #13
    Goon
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    458
    Quote Originally Posted by TheAdrian View Post

    Further afield might not be so bad if you have a vehicle. The New Forest (discreetly) is not so far and there is masses of space. Or if you are close to the M4 you could probably get to the Black Mountains or Brecon Beacons in about 2 and a quarter hours.
    I live near to the New Forest and like it very much. I have heard that they are quite strict on wildcamping and will move you on if you're caught, although that would probably be unlikely. There are loads of excellent spots, as it is quite flat and it is easy to avoid the boggy bits. A decent stream can be a little tricky to find and I would always purify any you collect.

    I'd probably recommend practising with the bivy in the garden if you can and making a trip a little further afield away from Berkshire. For the record, my first wild camp was in the Lake District and I didn't find it a problem - it was like being on a normal campsite except that the water was in a stream and the toilet block was a bush!

    Have fun and good luck!

  14. #14
    Initiate Kish Logan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    653
    I've been 'sleeping out' as I call it for nearly fifty years, in everywhere from here to morocco to afghanistan. Virtually never with a tent - bivi or nothing. The reason I don't use a tent is that I feel that it's very visible, whereas a dun/olive bivi can be virtually invisible.
    I've never been discovered unless I was aware that this was a real possibility (such as in towns).
    My biggest piece of advice would be to try to go to sleep when it gets dark and to get up when it starts to get light. That and common sense. Obviously using torches/lights is not a good idea. It's really not a big deal. But the advice to try it out somewhere safe near home first is a good suggestion.

    It's april, the month when everyone gets itchy to get travelling.

    I'd suggest that you pack your bag and get going!

  15. #15
    Mini Goon ChrisPM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    68


    Thanks, all good advice which is very welcome. I am "Mr Cautious" really, but like to set myself a few challenges. More-so since I retire in exactly 6 working days Oh, the joy, the freedom!

    I wouldn't feel comfortable tent-camping "rough" although I did in myteens while canoeing with three mates along the Kennet & Avon canal.Camping in the garden includes the dozens of cats and the occasional fox!

    So in my head it's a bivi bag, maybe a tarp as a wind break, well off the beaten track. As it turns dark, gazing at the stars until I fall asleep. Up at dawn, pack, thencoffee and a bacon butty.

    The reality may wellbe very different of course -a cold damp sleepless miserable night with a face full of dew and slugs ...

    If only it will stop bl**dy raining and warm up again. Doesn't the weather know this is officially a drought?!

  16. #16
    Goon Grumps's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    355


    There was a thread on here last week for a Dartmoor Wildie meet - get down there andget your ear bent . It's 7/8/9 June iirc -wish I could point you to the thread. Take whiskey.

    Here you go!

  17. #17
    Mini Goon Peebz's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    60
    Chris - if you fancy a bivvy in Burnham Beeches (near Slough) one night, Im up for it ! Should be a hoot.

  18. #18
    Mini Goon ChrisPM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    68


    Sorry, I'm still here! This retirement lark isflippin' busy ...

    Will it ever stop raining??

  19. #19
    ‹bermensch Bedouin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Uzbekistan
    Posts
    2,272
    Best bet when wild camping/biving in semi inhabited areas is 1) get there late and leave early 2) be as inconspicuous as possible 3) sleep only i.e. no cooking at 'campsite' etc

    Your NUMBER ONE enemy will be dog walkers as I guarantee you that no matter how well hidden you are a dog WILL find you. I've only been 'found' once.... bloody jack russell 02:30 on January morning. Was woken by the barking next thing I hear was a surprised "Mike, MIKE theres somebody here!!!!" she then knee's down sort of hugs me and says "Oh I wish I could take you home" at no point did I open the bivi. "Linda, leave them alone!" she then grabs the dog and walks off. I leave it 5 minutes and do a runner thinking that they might ring a homeless charity or the police.That would have been embarrassing trying to explain!

    Anyway I always try to assess the likelihood of dog walkers when finding a bivi spot within the M25/inhabited areas.




  20. #20
    Mini Goon ChrisPM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    68


    if this weather doesn't improve soon I'll have topractice inthe back garden. But I know a fox uses our garden as a short cut most nights. While I think it's unlikely that it would try to chew my face off (they're far too well fed on bin-scraps to be hungry) I'm not sure I'm comfortable with being snuffled over byanything bigger than a hedgehog ...

Similar Threads

  1. Wildcamping - Get Out There.
    By Trevor DC Gamble in forum Soapbox
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-11-2015, 03:08 PM
  2. Wildcamping
    By Lucy3 in forum Starting out?
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 29-05-2015, 07:46 PM
  3. bed for wildcamping dog
    By in forum Gear
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 21-10-2009, 09:38 AM
  4. New to Wildcamping
    By Rob Bennett in forum Starting out?
    Replies: 79
    Last Post: 27-06-2006, 04:56 PM
  5. wildcamping in the lakes
    By Simon Oakley in forum Starting out?
    Replies: 26
    Last Post: 12-10-2005, 12:59 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •