Guide to Wild Camping: Gear, Tips, and Advice

Guide to Wild Camping Gear, Tips, and Advice

Are you looking for a more ‘wild camping’ experience than you’re used to and want some pointers how to get started?

You’ve landed on the right page.

I will explain what wild camping is in more detail and cover everything you need to know throughout this article.

But in summary, it’s taking your camping experience a notch further – meaning more remote, minimalist, and wild than regular camping.

It’s not too dissimilar to backpacking and finding somewhere to pitch up away from a campsite.

If you have experience backpacking you can take it a step further and head off a little further, pack less, and camp longer. Whatever the adventure is you’re looking for, make it happen.

Definition of Wild Camping

Although I know what wild camping is, and when people talk about wild camping I get a good idea of what they are talking about, it’s hard to define in a sentence.

This is because wild camping means different things to different people. Although there are some consistencies, so if I can to define wild camping to someone I’d say:

Wild camping is camping as light, carefree and outside of the mainstream as you feel comfortable doing.

Some people considering wild camping to be heading out to the most remote part of the wilderness as they can get to and pitching their tent.

While others who are used to having all their luxuries when camping will see anything less as being wild.

These are extreme examples, but it is subjective and open to interpretation.

What Do You Need to Take Wild Camping?

The goal of wild camping is to travel as light and eco-friendly as possible.

That being said, with some smart planning you can have everything you need for a fun and relaxing break without struggling.

The key things to consider are:

  • Shelter
  • Sleeping Gear
  • Cooking items
  • Food and drink

Anything else outside of these is pretty much considered to be luxuries when camping wild.

Don’t let that put you off taking some electrical items and other gadgets though, as I’ve explained already you make up your own rules.

I can provide some better insight and recommend some of the gear you should consider:

Best Tents for Wild Camping

ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent

ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent

The best tents for wild camping are lightweight backpacking tents. This one I’ve featured is the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent and is perfect for pitching up in a hurry just about anywhere.

It weighs just 4 lbs 4 oz and wraps up into a small bundle that will tuck away in any backpack. Only takes a couple of minutes to put up and take down, and gives you excellent protection in all weather conditions.

For me, even wild camping with friends is best experienced with everyone staying in their own tents, but feel free to use a 2-person if staying with a friend.

Just click the link below to browse other models of tents that are suitable but might be more your preferred style.

Click here for Deals, Reviews & Pricing

Best Sleeping Bags for Wild Camping

Winner Outfitters Mummy Sleeping Bag with Compression Sack

Winner Outfitters Mummy Sleeping Bag with Compression Sack

This WInner Outfitters sleeping bag is an example of an excellent sleeping bag for wild camping.

It has a temperature range of 35-40F. Being made with 350T polyester coating and lining, and a hollow fiber fill you’re more likely to be too hot than too cold – which is the way you want it.

It’s a huge bag, yet weighs less than 3 lbs so it’s easy to backpack with. It also wraps up to just 13.8” x 7.1”, so space isn’t an issue either.

For those not familiar with the ‘mummy’ style sleeping bags and what this means, it basically means the bag tapers towards the feet at the end.

This design is better for retaining heat, tend to be more comfortable for most, and you get a huge hood to wrap around your head.

Just click the link below to browse other models of sleeping bag that are suitable but might be more your preferred style.

Click here for Deals, Reviews & Pricing

Best Backpack for Wild Camping

Venture Pal Lightweight Travel Hiking Backpack

Venture Pal Lightweight Travel Hiking Backpack

I’ve chosen this Venture Pal Lightweight Travel Hiking Backpack as an example of the best backpack for wild camping because it ticks all the boxes for what you should be looking for, namely:

Durable – Strong double layer bottom, made of high-quality tear and water resistant material.

Comfortable – Breathable mesh shoulder straps and loads of ways to adjust and custom fit it.

Plenty of storage – The main compartment has a huge 35-liter capacity, and there are lots of compartments and pockets to keep everything where you need it.

Lightweight – Weighs just 0.7 lbs!

Modern backpacks do a great job of being lightweight, strong, and seemly being able to magically fit all your gear in to keep you going for a few days.

There is an area where your money goes a little further in my opinion. Your backpack is the heart of the operation, so it’s worth stretching the budget.

Although saying that, the Venture Pal and others in the same range aren’t expensive. Click the link below to check out the prices and some similar backpacks that are ideal for camping wild.

Click here for Deals, Reviews & Pricing

Cooking and Finding Fresh Water While Wild Camping

I’ve covered a lot of stoves here on the blog. You can check out my top rated stoves here, or jump to my list of the best backpacking stoves.

You need a lightweight stove that’s quick and easy to use, and capable of boiling water and warming up meals so I recommend something like the Jetboil Zip, or the MSR Superfly or MicroRocket.

Related contentcheck out some of my favorite backpacking recipes here.

I’ve covered 7 ways to purify water outside before, as well as reviewing the LifeStraw. I recommend having a LifeStraw on you at all times as this handy little device lets you drink water from the source and purifies it for you.

There are other filtration systems like the Sawyer Mini worth checking out too. Alternatively, you can boil water on your stove of course.

Starting Fires While Wild Camping

Starting Fires While Wild Camping

You must adhere to the leave no trace rules when making fires. Wild camping is no different from any form of camping in this regard.

Please remember the following when making and putting out campfires:

  • Only use dead wood you find on the ground, never break any wood from trees or bushes.
  • Don’t light fires on top of vegetation.
  • Dig a small fire pit to make your fire in.
  • Make sure the fire is completely extinguished before burying it and leaving.
  • Cover up and bury the remains so it’s barely if at all obvious a fire was made there.
  • Leave no trace

Is Wild Camping Illegal?

Wild camping has had a lot of bad press over the years, but for all the wrong reasons.

The drawback to the term wild camping being a bit subjective means that it has been used to describe people who pitch up a tent anywhere and leave a mess behind.

This does describe ‘wild’ people behaving in a wild manner but does not mean the act of wild camping is illegal.

What is illegal is camping on private land or anywhere else you need permission to camp. You must always check that you’re allowed to pitch a tent and sleep at the spot you’ve chosen.

Is Wild Camping Illegal

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this post has helped you get a real feel for what wild camping is and what it means to different people.

As I pointed out a couple of times, there aren’t any set rules. You can make wild camping as wild as you’re comfortable doing.

For me, the goal is to get away from the hustle of day-to-day living and really appreciate nature and the outdoors in all its beauty.

What’s your goal with wild camping?

I’d love to hear if you’ve had any wild experiences or if you’re planning something in future.



  1. Nigel William
    • Dave

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