HOW TO WILD CAMP

Six tips for the first time under the stars (3 minutes read)

On my latest adventure to the North Cape, I had the chance to gain more experience in wild camping. To be honest with you, I was not an experienced wild camper. In many countries, including Germany, wild camping is illegal. The fear of getting caught and the good infrastructure of public camp sites make wild camping less attractive. Therefore, on my past trips, I seldomly went outdoors for wild camping – especially alone. But maybe it’s time to rethink this.

Why wild camping?

The beaty of wild camping lays in its spontaneity. For me it’s the closest, purest and most authentic way to experience nature. Wild camping is about going to a place where you’re not 100 % sure what to expect. You can’t plan it very well. Neither the weather, the temperature, the lights, the sounds. Maybe that’s why we are scared of it. Not being able to predict the day’s final destination is often what makes people nervous.

Yet it gives you a holistic, unfiltered and raw experience. When you travel by bike, you can carry easily your own sleeping system with you. The freedom of biketouring or bikepacking becomes even greater when you are able to sleep almost everywhere. And be spontaneous. Just you, your bike and your tent. And therefore, wild camping may be the perfect option for a wonderful nature experience that is rare to find in a civilized world these days.

Wild camping in Norway is so called ‚Everyman’s Right‘. This means that land can be owned by individuals, but it must still be available to everyone else. It’s the right of public access to the wilderness or the „right to roam“. Keep 150 m distance to buildings, stay for only one night, don’t start a fire during summer, and use your common sense: no camping on fields, private gardens, where cattle stays. This rule is not only true by law but also within the mentality of the people. It’s okay to go outside. It’s okay to sleep outside. Always keep in mind: Respect nature & leave no trace.

To have the full experience of Norway, wild camping was something I wanted to get used to. On solo trips it’s often challenging to manage your fears and doubts. At the end of the day, you may be tired and also you are longing for social interaction. And what about my fears? Two of the most frequently asked question are:

„Aren’t you scared?

or “How do you deal with your fears when you are camping solo?”

Overall, this is not an easy question to answer, even though I gave my explanation many times.

Let me put it in some kind of structure and offer you some pieces of advice. My six tips for wild camping. Because explaining my fears, my process, my doubts, my mental approach to this is more complex than answering a „yes“ or „no“ question.

Here are my 6 tips for (solo) wildcamping:

  1. Take your time.

    If you’re a wild camping rookie or first-timer calculate some time to find the right spot. You should feel comfortable where you stay for the night. Use Google maps, komoot or maps.me to look beforehand where a suitable spot might be. Go there and see if it’s made for camping or not. If not you should have enough time to keep going a bit further and find your place somewhere else.

  2. Look for water.


    When deciding on a place try to find a stream or a lake close to you. You can refill your bottles, boil some fresh water and maybe even wash yourself or your dishes after cooking with biodegradable soap. Life is so much easier with water.

  3. Ask locals.

    When you are unsure where a good spot for wild camping is – especially in small towns, ask the local people. They often know where other bike travels camp or know the best spots. I once asked in a hotel and the staff there were very friendly. They showed me a green area on their property. And offered me a shower.

  4. Take someone with you.

    Traveling solo does not mean to be alone the whole time. When you meet other travels whom you feel comfortable with, look for a spot together. For me, this was a big gamechanger – especially after long days. The company is good for your well-being. Speaking to someone who experiences similar things, exchange thoughts and share stories. It may also be smart from a safety perspective. Norway generally is very safe – no matter if you are solo or in pairs (I would say).

  5. Question your fears.

    Ask yourself “Is there really someone waiting for you in the dark?” or “Is it really more dangerous to stay in nature than it is to stay in a city?”. Maybe you can convince yourself that there is no realistic fear. From a realistic point of view, the chances that anyone or anything is out there who wants to harm you are almost zero. The scary imagines in our heads are unreasonable, often constructed by movies or series. I believe you will meet mostly nice and helpful people along the way.

  6. Trust the process.

    We often talk about the comfort zone. Yes, it is good to leave your comfort zone. But what happens after the comfort zone? After comfort zone follows the learn zone, and then the panic zone. When you do not feel comfortable with the thought of sleeping outdoors by yourself, don’t do it. Yes, question your doubts and fears. But if you can’t handle or manage them, try other options first. Sleep in a friend’s garden, go on public camp grounds first, stay with Airbnb, look for shelter. It’s okay to not go wild camping. It’s time for wild camping when you feel like it. There are plenty of ways to explore nature.


I hope this was helpful to you. If you have any questions, doubts, remarks, more advice – please let me know. You can reach me over Instagram @wiebkelueh or write a comment down below.

Stay adventurous!
Wiebke

Ein Kommentar

  1. Hallo Wiebke,
    Du hast die Aspekte zum wild camp sehr schön zusammengefasst. Ich gabe dieses Jahr mit meinem Sohn auch in Schweden und Norwegen wild gecamp und kann die Eindrücke und Aspekte sehr gut nachvollziehen und bestätigen!
    Ich bin sehr inspiriert durch Deine Reise zum Nordkapp und habe die Tour jeden Tag auf Insta verfolgt – coole Story, tolle Bilder! Ich möchte auch eine ähnliche Strecke nächsten Sommer fahren und freue mich immer, wenn Du weitere Themen beleuchtest. Großartige Arbeit, gerne weiter so! 🙂
    Liebe Grüße
    Henrik

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