Going back to basics can be incredibly fulfilling. It strips away the background chatter, the rushing around and allows you to step away from the never ending to-do lists. Camping in the wild is quite literally a breath of fresh air. It's a great way to reconnect with the untamed outdoors that we've distanced ourselves from in our very tamed lives.
I grew up in the countryside only an hour from London, yet it felt like a world away. Believe it or not, Surrey is blessed with unspoiled landscapes, sloping vineyards, forest hikes and playful bike trails. Much of my childhood was spent outdoors in this playground and although a creature of comfort, as I got older and started to travel more, I began to find the outside world more enticing
This lockdown has forced us back home to our roots and to where our childhood adventures and curiosity all began. Having the time to explore local spots in the UK – be that hiking, biking, swimming or driving, has been a blessing in disguise. But the adventure doesn’t have to stop there. With the unique opportunity to discover locally, it’s worth grabbing your sleeping bag and heading out to go wild camping.
Away from our lives full of responsibilities, wild camping is an opportunity to taste freedom. It’s freeing in the abstract sense of daily chaos and worries that takes us out of the present. If we take a ride back into our history, we are pilgrims. Before civilization, we would travel and when we’d need to take refuge, we’d sleep under the stars. It’s something that remains in our innate being.
With great responsibility to bring enough warm layers for the unpredictable UK weather, food, and, as my dad would say, beer, there’s also the responsibility to know your limits in the outdoors and respect nature. Always leaving your spot as you found it, remaining out of the way and never leaving anything behind, will keep hidden treasures hidden, for the next wild campers to discover out on their micro-adventure. For a deeper insight on the side of regulations on land, rights, and the fascinating history of wild camping, I’d recommend reading Wild Camping by Stephen Neale.