Wild camping is one of the best ways to get up-close and personal with Scotland’s hills, glens and coastlines. Here Jo Morgan, the self proclaimed ‘Queen of Camping’, gives us her tips on enjoying the outdoors without causing a riot.
It’s not rocket science folks; if you pitch your tent in a field full of sheep, in someone’s garden, or on a farmer’s treasured prize crops, you are likely to get an earful and be sent packing. Instead, try and explore and find a discreet place to camp - it’s all part of the adventure.
The key is to be as unobtrusive as possible and remember that people make their living off the land, so show some respect and leave nothing but peg holes and footprints when you leave. And if you’re going to light a fire, never cut down or damage trees - keep it small and under control and remove all traces before you head off. Don’t forget that sound travels far outdoors and although you love your favourite tunes on full blast, the local wildlife prefer the birdsong, so keep it down or use your trusty iPod.
The secret of successful camping is in planning ahead and making sure you have the essentials to keep you warm and dry. It’s all about getting back to basics, so fine dining and duvets are best swapped for a sleeping bag and a curry in a tin. But whatever you do, don’t forget your can opener - because this rustic trip will likely be fuelled by tinned cuisine. That’s the way of the happy camper.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to pre-warn any squeamish ones among you that proper ‘wild campers’ will have to deal with the joys of outdoor poo-ing. And when nature calls, then the camping cops would like you to carry a trowel and bury it. Perhaps that curry suggestion might have been a little inappropriate - sorry! And if you need a pee, just make sure you do it well away from water sources.
If this wild camping sounds a little bit too basic for those of you who value your home comforts, like er... toilets, then staying in a camp site is probably more your cup of tea. Scotland has a ridiculous number to choose from, with varying degrees of facilities. For more information we recommend checking out www.lovecamping.co.uk.
Another brilliant way to travel around Scotland is by campervan. C’mon, who wouldn’t jump at the chance of exploring at their own pace, finding the perfect spot and being set for the night without having to work out where the bloody tent pegs are? Although camping beside a road isn’t really considered wild camping, it’s still fun.
And don’t worry, you won’t have to fork out a small fortune to hit the open road, because there are several campervan hire companies who can give you your own set of wheels complete with everything you will need for your adventure. For good campervan hire providers try www.campers-scotland.com and www.wickedcampers.co.uk. Happy camping, my rugged chums!
Wild camping has been legal in Scotland since 2005 but campers must comply with the Outdoor Access Code. To view the code visit www.outdooraccess-scotland.com