You know us, we love camping. Mostly wild camping, but even quiet, well managed campground will do.
The countries we’ll tell you about have some of the most amazing camping spots we’ve ever visited. Of course, not every country supports wild camping. We strongly suggest you try to find the land owner if you’re planning to camp on a certain spot. Don’t violate any clear no trespassing/keep out signs. Don’t mess up with national parks rules. On the other hand and in our experience, most people who love to wild camp, value nature and leave no trace. That’s what we do. And no campfires if there’s a ban, we’ve seen enough wildfires last year in Canada and USA :(. And by wild camping we mean overnighting, not setting up tent for a week for whole family, for that campgrounds are much better with all their facilities.
So here it is, a list of camping treasures and we’ll tell you why… Please use common sense when choosing your spot, be courteous and always review the rules for the country before choosing to wild camp there.
We camped in England, Wales and Scotland. All wild camping. Scotland is especially perfect as the wild camping is legal. The nature is amazing, the rolling hills, Snowdonia, Scottish highlands, New Forest… We’ve never had any problems in regards to wild camping. Make sure your tent is in good condition because you know how it is those countries… Rain and wind love them. One of our old tent poles was broken overnight in Snowdonia in the strong wind :).
Some of the best camping on the beach. Do your research which one. Satellite google maps work wonders when you want to find a tiny one that nobody else will come to. Watch out for the tide times ;). You most likely can’t just come to the most popular ones around sunset time because they will be covered with people taking pictures. And leave early in the morning or at least pack up and then enjoy swimming and snorkelling. One of the most terrifying experiences during our Greek road trip was walking about a kilometre down to the beach on partially washed down road when the group of barking dogs came from somewhere. Not for the faint hearted :).
We did a mix of wild camping and campgrounds (National Park Vatnajokull and Laugavegur hike). Recently people in Iceland have been pretty pissed about wild campers and banned it completely because of tourists who can’t deal with their, well yeah, shit. Don’t be like those people :(. Iceland is a stunning country but with the recent extreme growth of tourism is changing. We definitely can recommend Laugavegur hike and camping at the chalets there for a fee. Also the low number of people who do something else while in Iceland and don’t stick to the Ring Road is very refreshing compared to the crowds in the south.
There’s something called BLM land in the US. You can find those spaces on the maps or on BLM website. You can camp there for free and some of them will have primitive facilities as well (pitch toilet) but no water usually. The other great thing you can find in the US is hike/bike places in some of the campgrounds that you share with our bikers/hikers for minimum payment (5-10 $/person). It helps with establishing new connections and friendships on the road (you tend to meet the same people in those campgrounds because you travel approximately the same speed) and it’s of course cheap accommodation.
Of course we camped also elsewhere apart from these two options but never beyond the “no tresspassing” sign. It’s just not worth risking an owner who doesn’t think twice to use his rifle.
We wild camped a lot when not in national parks. Be careful though there’s a lot of no camping signs, respect them not to get in trouble. Ask the people around they may help you finding a good spot. A local on Vancouver Island gave us a ride to his favourite place! Something about the national parks though. We really didn’t want to disobey the rules. But without people who shared their camping spot with us, we would have to. Most of the campgrounds around Icefields Parkway were fully booked or people in the campervans came early in the morning to secure their spot. You can’t do this when on the bike or hiking of course. Canada Parks are absolutely not ready for an alternative that somebody doesn’t know where exactly they will be in 5 months when the other tourists are booking the campgrounds. Our experience was the worst in Lake Louise campground where the jerk at the entrance sent us gladly away, reminding us there are grizzlies around. Read more. You can certainly find beautiful places to wild camp in Canada but far away from the main tourist destinations.
Most of the people don’t care where you pitch up your tent. There are no official campgrounds apart from the touristy destinations in Baja or Yucatan anyway. Just pick your camping spot wisely, ideally well hidden, ask somebody to help or give you shelter when in doubt. Mexicans are generous folk and very helpful. PS: You may get cooked in your 4 season tent in low altitudes ;).
Please hit us with any suggestions or comments.
PS: To make it clear, we don’t encourage wild camping where it’s illegal. We encourage common sense as that is the quality needed in every country of this beautiful planet ;).
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