Top tips on how you can stay on the #RightSideOfOutside wild camping in Northern Ireland
Wild camping sounds exotic and exciting. There’s no getting around that –plus we enjoy a challenge! Not only are you camping, but it’s ‘wild’ as well! Out of context and without an understanding of the potential risks it sounds wonderful.
And don’t get us wrong – camping is great. We love it! And we love it because we love the outdoors, which is why we’ve recorded this recent video about the risk to nature that wild camping presents.
Let’s look at toilets for example. Do you know how to properly pee and poo in the wild? How far away from nearby water sources you should be? How deep to bury your waste? Is it even possible to bury it with the soil type and depth available to you? People often respond that human waste is natural, and we couldn’t agree more. But so is dog poo and we don’t exactly celebrate that being all over our garden. The good news is, there are resources out there so that if you’re camping at a permitted site that has no toilet facilities, you can relax and enjoy your bathroom break in the great outdoors.
Fun stuff out of the way, let’s think about the implications for wildlife. Many wild campers will preach their affection for wildlife and then think nothing of camping out on their doorstep without regard for potential disruption to mating season, endangered status or impact on nesting. Food potentially left behind can be hazardous to animals health and in areas where wild camping is taking place frequently, can make the animals become dependent on scraps which might one day stop for an extended period of time.
Then there’s the biggie. Wild camping is, put simply, illegal. Unless you have the express permission of the landowner to be on their site, you are breaking the law and an innocuous ‘I didn’t know’ won’t always get you off the hook for trespassing on someone’s land. If a landowner prosecutes, it’s a relatively open and shut case.
This can all sound a little harsh or heavy on the red tape, and again we want to emphasise that we love camping. We just happen to want everyone to do it the right way. You could even say we want you to stay on the #RightSideOfOutside!