8 Things You'll Only Understand If You Go Wild Camping Alone
Wait, was that noise a badger or an axe murderer?
There’s a big difference between pitching a tent in a campsite and camping out on a cliff top, field or beach.
When it comes to wild camping, there are no facilities, shower blocks or nearby shop for supplies.
When you are on your own, there’s no one to reassure you when there are strange noises, kit breakages or general mishaps. Still, we wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Here are eight things that only wild campers will understand...
1. People Will Think You’re Completely Mad
You’ve wild camped alone countless times but your friends and family still just don’t get it. “Why can’t you take a normal trip? Or just camp in a campsite?" they say.
It doesn’t matter how hard you try you to bring them over to the dark – star-studded – side, the thought of kipping out in the great unknown just doesn’t appeal.
2. The Noises At Night Still Freak You Out
It’s irrational but the sounds outside the tent still give you a shock in the night.
Your imagination will transform what it only a badger scuffling around into an axe murderer in a split second.
Twigs rustling up against the canvas of your tent in the wind, become a wild animal with a taste for human flesh…
It’s OK to admit that we’ve all been that frightened camper.
3. You Really Appreciate Those Unbelievably Clear Starry Nights
There’s something magical about drifting off to the pristine view of the Milky Way above you, forcing yourself to stay awake as long as possible to make the most of every second.
4. And Those Cracking Views In The Morning
The sunrises you see are breathtaking. The fresh coffee you brew in the morning, while watching the day unfold around you is unbeatable. And you get to savour both all by yourself.
5. You Are Often Greeted With Disbelief
“Whoa, whoa, whoa! You pitch a tent by yourself?"
“And you read a map on your own?"
“And it’s fun?"
Yes! And I build campfires, and cook on a stove and sometimes I don’t take a tent at all and sleep out under the stars. And you know what? It’s freaking awesome.
6. The Thought Of Getting Caught Still Keeps You On Edge
You’ve camped in fields, caves and on cliff-tops but no matter how many times you do it – and how unlikely it is – the idea of someone stumbling across your tent in the early hours of the morning and screeching for you to vacate the area ASAP still makes you a little nervous…
7. You Love The Feeling Of Freedom And Isolation
Nothing quite beats the feeling of waking up completely alone, knowing that you got there under your own two feet, using your navigational skills, and wondering where the next day will take you.
8. Let’s Face It: You’re Addicted
When you’ve tried it once, it awakens an urge to do it again and again. Always on the hunt for different locations, settings and challenges, wild camping has become an activity you just can’t stop.
And, unless it’s far-flung, isolated and remote, pitching in a campsite just doesn’t do it for you anymore.
The past year has seen Daisy Cropper summit North Africa's highest mountain, hike and camp solo around Wales, and learn to surf.
When she's not planning her next adventure she's based in Oxford, hunting out the latest and greatest places to see in the city.