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My first wild camping event

What is it?

Camping away from an organised campsite is called wild camping.

Check out this fab booklet produced by OutdoorLad Paul.

Search for Wild Camping in the Hostel and Camping Event Type in the Events section of the website, to view all currently planned wild camps.

Unless you are an experienced, rugged terrain day walker, we suggest that you undertake a few Mountain Walks before undertaking a Wild Camp.

Each Wild Camp is unique, ranging from events aimed at novices, lasting for one night and a walk of 10km through to multi day events, where you are fully self sufficient in remote areas, covering 50 or 80km and more than a dozen summits.

We suggest you that you select an easy event for your first Wild Camping experience; and borrow (not buy ) as much of the equipment as possible. Then, having spent little, you’ll be able to decide whether you enjoy carrying all your equipment and living without washing facilities or creature comforts. Once you’ve experienced it and seen the types of equipment other people use, you’ll be much better able to buy the most suitable equipment for yourself.

It is very important that you carefully read every section of the event page, to ascertain that the event is suitable for you before signing up for the event. Note that events quite often start early in the day, so you may need to travel to the event area, the evening before the event start date.

In case of any uncertainty, please do contact the Event Leader, who will be very pleased to talk to you. To contact the Event Leader, find the event leader on the event page and click on his name, to send him a private message.


In the past, camping has often been tolerated as long as people:

  • Camp above the highest fell wall, well away from towns and villages
  • Leave no litter – this includes not burying any letter and removing other people’s
  • Don’t light any fires, even if there is evidence that fires might have been lit
  • Stay for only one night
  • Keep groups very small – only one or two tents
  • Camp as unobtrusively as possible with inconspicuous tents which blend in
  • Leave the campsite as you would want to find it
  • Carry out everything you carried in
  • Choose a dry pitch rather than digging drainage ditches around a tent or moving boulders
  • Person toilet duties at least 30 metres – 100 feet – from water and bury the results with a trowel
  • At all times, help protect the environment


The event page will advise you what to bring, but generally it will include:

  • A tent – (we recommend a dark green Force Ten FT Xenon UL 2)
  • Sleep mats
  • A sleeping bag (we recommend a good quality Synthetic 4)
  • A rucksack (we recommend a 65 litre rucksack)
  • Hiking boots (Scarpa Terra GTX are good)
  • Walking poles
  • Waterproofs and gaiters
  • Sun protection
  • A gas cylinder (we recommend the Go-Outdoors OEX XT-2 Intensity)
  • A good 1 litre aluminium pan
  • Disposable spoon
  • Blue clinell wipes
  • Toothpaste
  • Soap
  • Inflatable pillow
  • A survival bag
  • A normal tent peg and a blizzard tent peg
  • Toilet roll
  • Hand sanitiser 
  • 40cm x 40cm travel towel
  • 1 litre water bottle (we recommend a collapsible 20p lemonade bottle)
  • Water purification tablets
  • Porridge potes
  • Drink sachets
  • A filter (we recommend the MSR TrailShot)


It is essential that you bring the correct food with you to keep you energised throughout the event. Check out Paul’s list here for more detailed information.


Source a chip shop supper – this is a great day to get a good high calorie meal which will provide good energy for the activity ahead.

Saturday/ Sunday

This is general guidance, but it is a good idea to pack:

  • 4 brunch bars
  • 2 bags of nuts
  • 3 picnic bars
  • 3 mars bars
  • 3 sachets of instant coffee
  • Sweets (jelly babies, fruit pastilles etc)
  • Kendal mint cake
  • Bananas
  • Porridge pots
  • Breakfast bars
  • Sealed dehydrated meals
  • Tortellini
  • Pork pies (or cheese pies for veggies)
  • LYO pork loin (or the LYO veggie chilli)


Generally, you need to have mountain walking experience (but every event differs), and a high level of fitness complete the walking terrain. Sometimes it will be easy walking, other times you may be crossing the remote areas, where there are no trails, rivers with no easy crossing points or even bogs. Routes can be determined by the water levels; so, you may need to walk late into the evenings if water levels increase. We may need to camp on exposed, wet, uneven ground. But this an incredible opportunity to try something new and challenge yourself. 


It’s really important that you stay hydrated. We recommend bringing a cheap supermarket 1 litre own-brand 20p lemonade bottle. Being one litre, it’s the right size to take 1 water purification tablet. Number the bottles so you’ll know which one is still going through the water purification process.

Find more info on this on Paul’s guide here.

Leader Qualifications

The wild camping leader will have gone through an OutdoorLads evaluation and assessment process and have proved that they are capable of leading the event. The wild camping leader may involve other leaders during the event, for example, walk leaders, who will also have passed an evaluation appropriate for their roles.

What are other types of OutdoorLads events like?

Find out about other types of events and what to expect if you are going on them for the first time.

More questions?

If there's still something you're not sure about related to attending your first wild camping event or any aspect of OutdoorLads, please do contact us.