Wild camping - The do's and don't's, the legal basis, and possible dangers

What is Wildcamping?

 

Before we look into the do's and don'ts, legal principles, and the dangers of wild camping, we want to give a short definition of wild camping.

The term camping (from lat. campus "field") should be known to almost everyone. However, when it comes to wild camping, it looks a bit different. Wild camping, also known as boondocking, freedom camping or free camping, means spending the night in tents, mobile homes or caravans away from public campsites or caravan parks. The main focus is on nature. Nowadays, wild camping is fairly common, even though it is not officially permitted in many countries and even illegal in some others. Check our map on wild camping and get an overview of where it is allowed. By clicking on a country, you'll get even more detailed information.

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The do's and don'ts of wild camping

Wild camping has gained an increasingly bad reputation, especially in recent years, as many supposed "campers" have sought a place in nature and left it in a disastrous state after their departure. Of course, this has nothing to do with wild camping, because the purpose of wild camping is to enjoy nature and to recharge your batteries. Even if it wasn't campers who left the sites like this, it has led to more and more countries banning wild camping or increasing the penalties.

Wild camping is about getting away from it all and enjoying freedom, but there are also rules. If you are thinking of pitching your tent in the wilderness soon, or if you are just interested in the topic of wild camping, we have compiled the most important behavioral rules for you here.

  • You are a guest in nature and should behave like that.
  • First of all, you should pack and take your rubbish with you and not leave it in nature.
  • Take care not to damage trees or bushes when you pitch your tent or park your van.
  • Always leave the place the way you would like to find it.
  • Avoid loud music and campfires during your stay to avoid scaring or disturbing the animals.

If you follow these rules, other campers can enjoy the pitch after you. If we all stick to it, the images of the garbage leaving and ruthless wild camper will hopefully soon be forgotten.

Camping under the stars
Camping under the stars
Perfect view to wake up
Perfect view to wake up

By the way, we have pitches all over the world

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Hazards of wild camping

One question that comes up time and again, when it comes to wild camping, is "How safe is it?" Of course, the answer always depends on the country and the particular campsite. Wild camping is no more dangerous than staying overnight at a normal campsite if you follow a few guidelines.

Contact
Regardless of whether you are traveling in nature or inhabited areas, you should always make sure that you have your smartphone with you to call for help in an emergency. You should also let your friends know in which area you are traveling so that you are on the safe side in case something happens to you and you cannot contact the outside world.

Animals
If you set up your camp in the wild, you should be careful not to stay near breeding sites, as the animals may react more aggressively during the breeding season. Depending on your destination, you should also consider what animals you might encounter in the forest, especially if dangerous animals such as bears or wolves live in your area. While we are on the subject of wild animals, make sure you do not leave your food out in the open and try to pack it so that the smell does not attract animals.

 

 

Intruder
You should consider similar aspects if you want to set up your camp in an inhabited area. Here the danger of being surprised by animals is of course much lower, but mobile homes are a welcome target for burglars. Make sure that your vehicle is always well locked and ideally install an alarm system to scare off any burglars. Furthermore, check the latest travel warnings for your country before traveling.

General safety rules
In addition to the guidelines for wild camping, you should follow the general safety rules for traveling.

  • Scan your travel documents and store them online so that you can access them at any time if they are lost.
  • Hide expensive items, or money, in the car and stow them under the seat or, even better, in the trunk.
  • Make a note of the most important emergency numbers in your destination country.

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