Wild Camping at 16 years old
Q. Hi, I was wondering if it would be seen as wise for me and a couple of reminds to do wild camping in the Pitlochry area in Scotland. Our aim is to climb as many as possible munros as possible that we see as been possible to climb without cliffs etc. We would like to keep it close to a hostel and spend the first and last night there to have time to prep bags etc. and other ammendment. We would plan on going out for 2-4days camping in the hills.
Now the problem I see is we are all going to be 16 years old and haven't Been onany mountaineering course to perfect our skills in the hills. The only person I would see of having experience would be myself through doing my Bronze and Silver D of E and bits I have learnt from scouts. So I would say I'm confident using a map and now about planning a route before hand and checking alternative routes and the best places to camp due to the ground conditions. Would you see this as having enough experience with navigation (and of course I can follow my planed route using different methods) and hillwalking to complete an expedition like this or....? ( and my other fiends have experience of hillwalking but not using navigation methods and I also understand the kit required to do something like this.)
A response from any experienced person on this website would be hugely appreciated!
Dan Smith, Dunfermline
A. Wild Camping and The Law in England, Scotland and Wales.
Tents cannot be pitched just anywhere because every piece of Britain is owned by some individual or some organisation and according to the strict letter of the law permission must be obtained prior to pitching tent and camping.
In practice however, this is often impractical and wild camping is usually tolerated in the more remote areas - typically, more than half a day's walk from an official campsite or other accommodation providing you:
- Keep groups small
- Camp as unobtrusively as possible
- Leave camp as you found it
- Remove all litter (even other people's)
- Carry out everything you carried in
- Carry out tampons and sanitary towels (burying them doesn't work as animals dig them up again)
- Choose a dry pitch rather than digging drainage ditches around a tent or moving boulders
- Toilet duties should be performed 30m (100ft) from water and the results buried using a trowel
- At all time, help preserve the environment
- And if you are in any doubt about what you're doing, find out more
In Scotland, the current access legislation (which came into effect in early 2005) is explicit about your right to wild camp on hill land. However, there are exceptions. Since March 2011 you are not permitted to wild camp between Dryman and Rowardennan on the shore of Loch Lomond. See Loch Lomond Wild Camping Ban for more information.
There appears to be an exception to this with respect to camping in Dartmoor National Park where the right to wild camping is actually enshrined in the National Parks & Access to the Countryside Act, 1949 amendment Dartmoor Commons Act, 1985 - see Wild Camping in the UK for more details.
For the definitive answer with respect to wild camping in Scotland see the answer supplied by the Scottish Natural Heritage
For a few (tongue in cheek) tips on wild camping see Some Wild Camping Tips.
NB. go4awalk.com cannot offer any advice on suitable locations for wild camping - but click here for walks from exisiting campsites.
Hope this helps