Wednesday, 13 September 2017

5 Reasons To Go Wild Camping.

wild camping scotland

Summer is over, and while I'm looking forward to cosy nights in front of fires, digging out my scarf collection, and getting ready for the festive season, it does kind of limit the kind of adventures you can go on. Luckily, in Scotland at least, September usually has a last burst of sunshine so there might be time to squeeze in a camping trip or two. Wild camping is one of my favourite things to do - and here are some reasons why you shouldn't let the weather put you off (all these photos are from April so you've got no excuse!)

kyles of bute scotland

It's limitless

I'm extremely fortunate to live in Scotland, which has very few regulations on where you can camp. Aside from the Loch Lomond and Trossachs national park, wild camping is allowed throughout the country. As long as you make sure to leave the land exactly as you found it (making sure you remove all rubbish, minimise campfire damage and respect your surroundings) you can set up home for the night anywhere that takes your fancy. Scotland is obviously full of amazing places to camp, like the Cairngorms, Glen Coe or even the Isle of Skye. We are lucky to have access to a car, and therefore can find some beautiful spots such as the location in Argyll in these photos, but you can even find pretty places via public transport - such as the Pentland hills on the outskirts of Edinburgh that are accessible by bus. Have a look at the green spaces around where you live, you might find somewhere perfect for a mini-getaway! Nothing beats waking up to a beautiful view.

wild camping scotland

It's affordable

Camping is a relatively cheap option for a getaway. Chances are, you already have some kind of access to a tent (or know someone who does!) but if not, two-man tents start at around £30. They might not be the best tents in the world, but they'll get you through the night. My brother and I are absolute children, so we convinced our other halves to split the cost of a huge six-man tent. Even still, it was only £150 - again, not the best out there but it's more than enough for us, and it's less than a night's accommodation in a hotel, so we got to spend extra money on food and drink. Bonus.

I won't lie to you, there are some things you should probably shell out for - my terrible, cheap sleeping bag did absolutely nothing to protect me from the chilly April temperatures, so I shook with cold all night. Next time we go I'll be sure to invest in something that's thicker than a dishcloth! If you want to splash out on the full shebang, you can consider an inflatable mattress or a camp bed - thus eradicating the possibility of any stray stones beneath the tent digging into your back. Just be aware that if you are wild camping, you might need to carry your kit to the perfect location - don't overdo it on the added extras!

wild camping scotland

It's a way to reconnect with your surroundings

Getting away from it all is a bloody treat, isn't it? Exploring new towns and cities is always exciting, but sometimes even that can feel stressful and overwhelming. I'm not good with crowds, and I can panic in unfamiliar places. Camping, for me, is an exciting little trip because I know I'm going to genuinely get away from people, traffic, and noise. It's peaceful and calming.

It's also a really lovely way to get to know your own country. I am a massive fan of the staycation, and part of the reason I started this blog was to get to know Scotland better. Camping is an honestly ideal way to do that. Yes, this probably means getting to know how frickin' freezing it is at 2 am, and how many midges can feast on your blood at one time, but you get to see corners of your surroundings you probably wouldn't experience in any other situation.

This trip was full of wonderful, natural beauty. I'll admit that when the tall trees around us started creaking in the darkness it gave me a fright, but after a while, it was kind of comforting to be sitting completely surrounded by nature. We made a little midnight stroll down to the shore of the Kyles of Bute, and just stood staring up into the night sky. When you're constantly in an urban environment, you miss a lot! The sky was absolutely full of stars, it was stunning. The more your eyes adjusted to the darkness, the more you'd see. Jamie even saw a shooting star. It was really breathtaking - the kind of beautiful that it's easy to forget exists in your homeland.

tighnabruaich viewpoint kyles of bute

It's a way to learn new skills

I'm a born and bred city girl, and my husband, lovely though he is, is a country bumpkin in comparison. He has all these practical skills that I just never got the chance to learn while growing up, and it's really fulfilling to learn them now. 

For instance, I can barely cook in our kitchen, on our gas hob and in our electric oven. Learning how to prepare food over a campfire or camping stove is a challenge, but cooking your own food with limited supplies feels way more rewarding. Building and lighting a fire in itself is a challenge! It was quite fun to have to rely on your own effort; even things like finding a perfect location and putting up a (massive) tent were little tasks for us to problem solve and work together on. Better than any of those weird team-building days you might have been subjected to at school or work!

wild camping fire

It's quality time with loved ones

I am embarrassingly addicted to my phone. I can never put the damn thing down, spending hours just scrolling endlessly, barely reading what I'm looking at. Spending the night somewhere with pretty much no signal is actually a relief. I left my phone in the car and didn't think twice about it. Being disconnected from technology, even just for one night, felt so good. There was no Netflix to space out in front of, no Sims to boss about and no Twitter drama to spy on. I felt so much more present, and in return, I had the most fun I've had in ages.

We spent the evening chatting and laughing, actually giving each other our undivided attention, and it was really lovely. Plus we heard an owl above us in the trees joining in on our chat, which was better than any Facebook status I've read recently. It was the kind of night we will all remember for a long time.

scotland forest

Yes, camping can be kind of chilly, and definitely takes a bit of effort, but in my opinion, it was completely worth it for the experience we had. It's a great way of spending a weekend and seeing a different side to where you live.

Have you been wild camping? How did you find it?

Massive thank you to Jamie, who saved the day with this post. All my photos got stolen when I was on honeymoon, so thank you Jads for letting me use your pics. Go check his Instagram here!
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6 comments

  1. What gorgeous photos! I would looovvvee to go camping... the great outdoors... no cell phone/computer... sounds like heaven!

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  2. I WANNA GO WILD CAMPING SO MUCH!!! Your experiences look incredible, those Scottish landscapes are just stunning! I could not agree more about the importance of leaving your camping spot exactly as you find it, I grew up on a farm in the rural Suffolk countryside, and it drove me insane to see the gorgeous agricultural land around my home littered by people walking on the footpaths - sometimes people even throw their rubbish out of their car windows as they drive by and that also infuriates me! Leaving the place pristine for others to enjoy is a really important point which I'm so glad you've raised! Stepping away from your phone and social media can only be beneficial as well, I'm so grateful to the internet for the wonderful people that it has connected me to (and you KNOW who I'm referring to here!) but sometimes it can be beneficial to switch off and have a break! Fab post as always!

    Abbey 😘 http://www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk

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  3. Wildcamping is actually the most blissful thing I've ever experienced. My best friend and I would do it all the time in college, and I'm excited to get some gear and start heading into the woods with my hubby :) Love this post, Beth!

    xo
    Srna

    www.acrushonlife.com

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  4. I would absolutely love to go wild camping. The only ''wild'' camping I've done was in the USA, and although the scenery was amazing, you're only allowed to go camping in designated area's, so it really isn't all that wild. I also love being disconnected from technology every once in a while. Like you, I can get caught up in my phone and taking time away from that makes me feel like I can breathe.

    I absolutely loved this post, and the pictures as well! I think they capture the atmosphere beautifully.

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  5. I had no idea that you could camp anywhere in Scotland, every day is a learning day

    Mel ★ http://www.meleaglestone.co.uk

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  6. THIS LOOKS AMAZING!!! The photos are absolutely gorgeous and the Scottish highlands look like the most idyllic place to go wild camping. I cannot agree more about leaving the place as intact as you found it; you wouldn't mess up a hotel room so why do this to the countryside. Such an amazing and different style of post, I'll have to look into trying wild camping when I finish this year at uni!

    Beesytimes.blogspot.co.uk

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