Can You Camp Not in A Campsite? (Read This First)

Can You Camp Not in A Campsite

Camping and hiking are significant ways to spend the vacation with family and friends away from home.

Camping is usually best on campsites. Campsites are areas where facilities are available for individuals camping in that area.

Most campsites have all these facilities present. But the question is, what if you want something other than a campsite and want somewhere quiet and lonely to camp?

You can camp away from campsites in areas with no or fewer facilities available for campers. However, even if you can camp outside campgrounds, you must ensure that the area has not been restricted for camping and follow the rules and regulations involved in camping outside the sites.

Before camping off campsites, you must check how safe the area is to avoid an attack by bears, other wild animals, and even natural disasters. This article will serve as a useful guide for that.

What Is Camping Not At a Campsite Called?

Can You Camp Not in A Campsite

Camping not at a campsite is rarely practiced worldwide; it’s called free or wild camping.

Wild camping is done outside the campground and sometimes in locations that have never been used for camping.

These places mostly need facilities available for use by campers. Facilities like;

  • Toilets
  • Waste bin
  • Water
  • Plain ground
  • Fire ring
  • And other necessary facilities needed on the campsite

These facilities are only available in wild or free camping areas in the forest in camps, recognized camping areas.

Even if it is called wild camping, you cannot camp everywhere since the law restricts some areas for camping by individuals.

Wild camping can be in various forms, such as;

  • Camping with tent
  • Camping without tents
  • Camping in a vehicle ( all facilities are available in this vehicle)
  • Camping In a cave

If you want any of the above camps, survey and know much about the area.

And always try to confirm if the authorities allow the area, or you might pay a fine when caught camping there.

Never go wild camping alone. It is best to go in groups in case of any emergency. The risk of camping wild alone is very high, so campers should only go with or even go with at least five.

In most forests, the issue of bears attacking hikers and campers is much, so there are some restricted areas for hiking and camping.

Issues of a flood, wildfires, and other natural disasters have caused restrictions in some areas of the forest.

Always avoid camping close to the water bodies to avoid contamination and prevent flood risk.

Also, low valleys are not advisable for camping because of a flood, which might result from a heavy downpour.

Even if you stay far from water bodies, avoid littering so the dirt will not be washed back into the stream, causing contamination.

Can You Camp in a Location that Isn’t a Campsite?

Yes, you can camp at a location that is not a campsite, but not all areas are available for campers.

For those who love trying out new places and having privacy, camping away from the campsite is a good idea.

Although all locations except a few are available for wild camping, they’re also some things to consider before trying out free camping.

#1. Avoid Deforestation

  1. Always camp on bare soil or a field with short grasses when camping to avoid cutting off or killing plants.
  2. The authorities will not accept deforestation, so camp accordingly and avoid cutting trees, shrubs, or grasses in the forest.
  3. Plants located near water are not strong. Since they’re fragile, the stems break easily when touched or tampered with.
  4. Avoid camping in a high grass field or a plantation/farm. It is punishable by the law and to avoid cutting grasses.
  5. Situating a camp in the center of a meadow is also wrong; it is advisable to use a side to give viewers a clear view.

#2. Water

  1. Always camp close to a water source since you’ll need it for cooking, drinking, and other necessary activities.
  2. Stay within 100 feet of the water body to avoid contamination of water bodies.
  3. Put your waste in a bin (trash can) and dispose of it properly to prevent dirt from washing into water bodies.
  4. Due to the increase in population, water bodies have contaminations due to the carelessness of individuals.
  5. Always treat your water before drinking it to make it safe water. You can treat it through boiling or even chemical water treatments.

#3. Campfires

  1. Always make use of available campfire rings if present.
  2. Make sure your fire is out entirely before leaving your campground to avoid the risk of wildfires which the cause is mostly by careless campers who leave without the fire going off.
  3. Please ensure the fire ash is cold enough to always put your hand in it before leaving your campsite.
  4. Always use fallen wood from trees or other dried branches and avoid cutting off limbs from live trees.

#4. Toileting

  1. Do not toilet close to water bodies.
  2. Dig 6ft into the ground, more than 100 ft away from water bodies, and pass waste into the hole. Make sure to close it with the Earth from digging.
  3. Do not litter toilet paper since it can be washed back into the water.
  4. Always follow the rules and regulations to avoid paying a fine for wild camping or littering the forest due to camping.

Before choosing a campsite, consider;

  • Pitching your tent away from broken trees or long trees
  • Camping close to water bodies
  • Staying in an area big enough to contain all camping activities
  • Good drainage area
  • Camp on a flat surface if possible
  • Do not stay too close to water bodies
  • Stay in a comfortable environment
  • Avoid places that can get damaged by camping activities
  • Always seek permission before wild camping in a particular area

How to Camp Without a Campsite?

Camping without campsites isn’t that difficult except for the fact that facilities are not available in the wild, so you’ll have to improvise

You’ll have to create a method for disposing of waste, toileting, campfires, and cooking food if necessary.

Wild camping is different from campsite camping in various ways. 

Below are a few differences between wild camping and campsite camping

Wild CampingCampsite Camping
Facilities like toilets are not availableToilets are available
Campfire rings may or may not be availableCampfire rings are always available
No designated area is availableThey’re designated areas for campsite camping
Campsites mostly have securitiesThey’re no security in wild camping
There are restrictions to using the wildNo restrictions to using the campsite

Before going out to camp, here are a few things you should take with you

  • A container for water
  • A container for food
  • Water treatment
  • Firewoods if they’re no available woods in your campground
  • Tent
  • Pair of thick clothes during winter and pair of light clothes during summer
  • Containers for cooking
  • Mobile phones.
  • Power banks for charging your phone’s
  • Your lighter or matches for making campfires

And other materials which might be necessary for you to take along while going for a wild camping

Can You Set up a Tent and Camp Anywhere?

You can only set up a tent and camp in the wild because you must obey some available camping rules.

You have to know if specific locations are available for camping and not restricted by authorities for campers.

Some areas have restrictions because of the dangers of bears and other natural disasters that pose a risk factor to campers.

The authorities do not restrict some areas, but you must avoid camping there for safety, like under tall, broken trees.

Follow camping rules and regulations and tips to have incredible wild camping.

Josh Matthews

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