• Stealth Camping

    Introduction to stealth camping

    Whether you call it stealth camping, urban camping, off grid camping, wild camping or sleeping under the stars, this kind of camping refers to pitching your tent in an area outside of a campsite.

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  • Urban Camping

    Introduction to Urban Camping

    Doing this is a little more risky than going into the wilderness, not only because you are liable to be caught but you never know who will turn up with their eye on your bag.

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  • Wild Camping

    Introduction to Wild Camping

    Wild camping refers to a little more than camping in a campsite or spending the night in a small wooded area. Of course, wild camping can also be done for just a few days without entering the true wilderness,

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  • Camping in Vehicles

    Introduction to Camping in Vehicles

    If you are a long term vehicle dweller, chances are your van is quite conspicuous. This is ok if you are planning on living in a permanent park up or travelling around the country staying in places for short periods of time.

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  • Living in Vehicles

    Introduction to Living in Vehicles

    Stealth camping in vehicles is a popular choice, it even extends to permanent living in many cases. Whether you’re planning to move out into your van, or spend a few nights on the road in the back of your car, there are a range of things to consider.

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Stealth Camping

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What is stealth camping?
Whether you call it stealth camping, urban camping, off grid camping, wild camping or sleeping under the stars, this kind of camping refers to pitching your tent in an area outside of a campsite. It quite simply means kipping for the night and removing yourself quietly in the morning without being detected or disturbing your surrounds.
There are a few basic common sense rules applied to this kind of camping, first and foremost that you should not be detected by anybody and you must leave the site in the exact same condition as you found it – without litter or any trace of your presence.
Though it would commonly be seen to be illegal, stealth camping does not have to break the law, so long as you take care to stay off private land, and not trespass in areas that are clearly signed.

Why do people stealth camp?
For me, it would be to get closer to nature. Camping in a common campsite rarely removes you from the habitual noise of large groups of people or indeed, the mod-cons of showers, electrics and cars. But stealth camping can and is done by many people for many reasons; whether its to have some quiet downtime, to prolong your backpacking adventure when money is running low, to find a place to sleep in an unfamiliar environment, or maybe because you were too optimistic about timekeeping on your bike ride or road trip. Knowing the basics and rules of stealth camping can widen the boundaries of your trip, give you the opportunity for a quiet weekend away or get you out of a sticky situation when you find yourself bed less for the night.

 Who stealth camps?
Anyone can stealth camp! Commonly overland travellers, overland bikers, road trippers, motercylce adventurers, backpackers, young people looking for a weekend break, gap year students, motorhome owners, van dwellers, hikers and anybody who needs to!

 What do you camp in?
Stealth camping is not just restricted to tents, although, they would be the most common option. If you plan to use a tent, its best to have a small tent, easily erected and dismantled and preferably in a natural colour; green, brown or camouflage. This will help to conceal, as well as ensuring your set up times are fast and you can make a quick escape if needed. It also minimises the damage to the ground.
Another common tool would be a hammock, providing you are warm enough, or if in a hot climate you have a mosquito net to protect you from any unwanted miniature visitors in the early hours of the morning. Be careful not to damage the trees or poles you use to string up a hammock, and always check what you tie it up to! Many people can get hurt by falling fruits or dead branches.
Of course, live in vehicles, vans and cars can be used for stealth camping, assuming you will not drive them over open countryside! If you plan to stay the night in a van, make sure you are out of the way of the main roads and not on anybody’s private driveway. If you plan on staying in your vehicle, check out the vehicles section of the site.
As well as all conventional mobile homes and camping accessories, if you're feeling brave, you can just take your sleeping bag and find a natural shelter.. or an empty building if you plan to urban camp in or around the town.

The law concerning stealth camping.
This is an important aspect of stealth camping, as you know, many areas in Britain are privately owned and subject to trespassing charges. It would be best to avoid a run in with the police on your camping adventure! There are 2 types of law concerning trespassing. Criminal and civil. Criminal laws are enforced by written law, whilst civil laws are landowners seeking compensation for damages caused by trespassing. Both would be best avoided.
Currently, it is illegal to stealth camp in the UK, the law states that you must have permission from the landowner and as every piece of land is owned it is suffice to say that camping is not legal. Having said this, most landowners are accepting of wild camping and will not mind so long as nothing is damaged. If you are unsure, you can check with the landowner.
National parks are prohibited for camping, except Dartmoor national park which actually encourages it. In Most places in Scotland wild camping IS legal as well as in Snowdonia in Wales.
Although there are laws in place to condone stealth camping, most peoples views on it are positive and it is unlikely that you will suffer any major charges or troubles. Good luck!

Rules of camping.
There are some basic common courtesy rules for all camping, stealth or otherwise, to help ensure that all countryside is left as you found it, and no vegetation or animals suffer as a result of your being there.
When visiting the toilet.. or the bush! Make sure that you do your business at least 30m from running water, this is to ensure that cross contamination or disease is not transferred to the water supply and therefore to animals or humans further down the line.
Bury your excrement into the soil, don’t hide it under a rock! A shovel is useful, but not essential.
Don’t leave ANY tampons or sanitary products in the wild. Even if you bury them animals will dig them up and you will pollute the countryside with non-biodegradable materials as well as leaving a dirty tampon on the floor. Please, take them away with you to the closest bin.
Making fires is essentially a no-no, not only because of the large fire risks that come from dry timber and leaves, or the damage it can cause to peoples’ land and the habitat of local wildlife but also fires attract attention unwanted by a stealth camper.
Now, despite our warning, some of you may still be eager to light a fire.. and if this is the case, make sure you exercise the most caution by following these steps:
if you insist to build a fire, create a small pit, either by digging a patch of grass from the ground (save it, to replace it in the morning) or by digging a little into the soil and line it with stones. This will help to reduce damage to land and stop the fire from spreading. Be aware.. FLINT is explosive when it comes into contact with fire so if you are unsure what flint looks like, avoid the fire altogether, or make sure you clear every bit of flint away from where you intend to light it.
Use dry wood, but consider that it is a habitat for many insects and so is needed in the ecosystem.
In the morning, disperse the ashes and remove the charcoal. Replace the soil you shifted from the pit and ensure all traces of your presence and your fires have gone. Better still, if you have one, a bucket or fire grate bring it along.
Build fires and ATTEND them at all times, be responsible, if you don't know what you are doing, avoid building a fire and use a camping stove and a big blanket instead.
It is not advisable to attempt to build a fire if you are urban camping at all.
Be considerate of the plant life.. do not camp a long time in the same place as it will damage the vegetation. Try to not break any trees or branches, cut any bushes or kill the grass beneath your tent. Avoid digging anything or damaging soil. Don’t pour away anything that has chemical composites, like washing up liquid or soaps into vegetation. Plants at higher altitudes recover slower than those lower down, so take this into consideration when picking a camp spot.
Be considerate to people, the land you are on is their wellbeing, so take care. Noise travels far from tents so keep it down, and avoid large groups of people on your trip as it will create more damage. Remove all your litter when you leave and try to leave the camp exactly how you find it.

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