Wild camping is simple, grab your gear, go for a hike and set up your campsite for the night. While there aren’t many rules for wild camping, there is one big and simple one “Leave no trace”. 

Basically when you leave the next morning, take everything with you. 

Unfortunately that wasn’t the case this weekend in the Dartmoor National Park. 

Dartmoor National Park put out at statement

not so wild camping on Dartmoor, with tent and rubbish left behind
Image Source: © Dan Roberts

“ We are very disappointed to see the remains of someone’s ‘camping trip’ on Dartmoor this weekend.

This is NOT backpack camping, and does NOT follow the leave no trace principles we ask people to follow!

This means landowners and Dartmoor National Park Authority are left with the cost of clearing up after you!

To see how responsible backpack campers ‘wild camp’ please follow the backpack camping code, check the map before you go and leave no trace. Thank you.

not so wild camping on Dartmoor, with tent and rubbish left behind
Image Source: © Dan Roberts

Other social media users were quick to respond. 

One saying “Disgusting ! Spoils it for everyone who have respect. Should be ashamed of themselves. No doubt they will be protesting about climate change as if they really give a s**t.”

Sally saying “This is absolutely disgusting . My son is a wild camper on Dartmoor and he always leaves as he finds clean and tidy and respectful!! Of the natural beauty! This kind of behaviour spoils it for everyone such a great shame”

David making a valid point “It only takes one to ruin it for the rest of us.”

not so wild camping on Dartmoor, with tent and rubbish left behind
Image Source: © Dan Roberts

This isn’t the first case, in the last few weeks there have been numerous casses, one in Scotland where a tent was left up the side of a mountain.

But there are consequences to leaving your camping gear and rubbish behind, Mountain rescue teams can be called to go and search for potential missing walkers, exactly like Keswick MRT had to do earlier this month,

Currently there is a huge legal battle going on to make wild camping legal again in Dartmoor and activity like this will only make it more difficult. With a bank holiday weekend coming up, if you are going to head out wild camping, then please follow our simple rules:

  1. Check for local restrictions: Not all areas of the UK allow wild camping, so it’s important to check for any local restrictions or bylaws. National parks and nature reserves often have their own rules and guidelines for camping, so it’s best to check with the local authorities or landowners before setting up camp.
  2. Camp responsibly: When wild camping, it’s important to leave no trace and camp responsibly. This means taking all your rubbish with you, not disturbing wildlife or vegetation, and leaving the area as you found it.
  3. Keep it small: Wild camping groups should be no larger than two to four people, and tents should be small and discreet. Avoid camping in the same spot for more than one or two nights, and avoid camping in large groups or with noisy equipment.
  4. Respect wildlife: When wild camping, it’s important to respect the local wildlife and avoid disturbing or harming any animals. Keep food stored securely and away from animals, and avoid camping near bird nesting sites or animal habitats.
  5. Use a stove: When cooking food while wild camping, use a camping stove rather than lighting a fire. Fires can damage the environment and are often prohibited in certain areas.
  6. Leave no trace: When packing up camp, ensure that you leave no trace behind. This means taking all your rubbish with you, filling in any fire pits or holes, and leaving the area as you found it.

By following these rules, wild camping can be a safe and enjoyable way to

experience the UK’s beautiful outdoors.

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