What To Be Wary Of When Wild Camping
Hitting the road in your motorhome affords you a sense of freedom. It gives you the chance to explore, to stumble across places you may not otherwise have found. It’s that feeling of independence that appeals to so many, and it can offer plenty of variety too.
You’re bound to meet people from all walks of life, and you can afford – within reason – to be flexible about where you park up and settle down for the night before continuing your adventure the next day.
But choosing where to stop over can present the odd hazard, too. Your vehicle is your home away from home, so it’s vital that you don’t put it, and yourselves, within harm’s way. The topic of wild camping is one that has caused great controversy in some parts of the UK, while there are typically restrictions that motorhome and campervan owners must abide by.
It’s true that wild camping adds an extra degree of excitement, but sometimes Mother Nature can catch you out. So, what are some of the issues you need to be aware of, and what steps can you take to make sure your dream trip doesn’t turn into a nightmare?
You certainly wouldn’t be the first to fall victim to the changing of the tides. In April 2022, a campervan had to be towed away from danger by a tractor after its owners left it parked up on a beach on the west coast of Wales and failed to take into account the rising sea levels. Luckily, help was at hand and the vehicle was pulled to safety before it could begin to drift its way towards Dublin.
Even in the summer months, the famously fickle UK weather has been known to take a turn, which can catch drivers unawares. Some areas are more prone to flash flooding than others and there have been numerous examples of campervans and other vehicles getting stranded after heavy downpours.
November 2021 saw an extreme case of this as an Australian family got stuck for four days in the outback before eventually being rescued by the authorities. Their modified camper got caught in thick mud after severe storms, with emergency supplies parachuted down to them until they could be saved. Of course, there are no deserts in the UK but inclement weather can quickly turn a grassy meadow into a treacherous bog. If you fail to act swiftly, you could soon start to experience that sinking feeling.
This has nothing to do with respecting Mother Nature. Instead, it’s all about understanding the laws of the land and recognising that where you park could impact those around you. For example, if you hunker down for the night in a seemingly remote countryside location, it might be that you’re obstructing agricultural traffic. Being awoken by an angry farmer in the early hours of the morning is not something we’d recommend, so think carefully before you decide upon a resting place
We understand the appeal of stopping off in the wilderness rather than a designated campsite or car park. And to help you avoid any mishaps, here are a few tips you might like to follow.
Reach your destination before sunset
If you can, avoid parking up once night has already fallen. It’s much harder to get a true picture of your surroundings in the dark, and there may be hazards that will only reveal themselves once the sun has come up – by which time it might be too late. Try to plan your route accordingly and give yourself plenty of margin for error when calculating your arrival times.
Get a tide timetable
If you’re visiting a coastal area, you might be lucky enough that you’re permitted to drive your vehicle right down onto the beach. However, as we’ve already discussed, this can prove problematic if you fail to take into account the rising tide. So, make sure you pick up a timetable to work out when it’s safe to head to the shore. These should be available online or in the local shops.
Speak to those in the know
Don’t be afraid to lean on the local knowledge. Residents are not always thrilled to see their towns become popular destinations for motorhome and campervan owners, but the majority will be happy to offer a friendly word of advice about where might be best to bed down for the night. Similarly, be sure to gain permission from the landowner before pitching up. Even landowners who are happy to welcome motorhomers will not take kindly to unexpected visitors if you do not get ahead of the game.
Get the cover you need with Comfort Insurance
Nobody wants to have their holiday ruined by a freak weather event or an act of carelessness. However, as proven by the examples above, these things can happen – so it pays to have the right protection just in case. We can offer cover to help you if you do get into a tight spot, so why not get a quote today or give us a call on 0208 984 0666 and find out what we can do for you.
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We’re a family run business with over 30 years' experience in the provision of specialist motorhome and campervan insurance. With a wealth of awards under our belt, we pride ourselves on providing a friendly and professional service, offering you the most comprehensive cover money can buy - starting from just £220!
We’re a family run business with over 30 years' experience in the provision of specialist motorhome and campervan insurance. With a wealth of awards under our belt, we pride ourselves on providing a friendly and professional service, offering you the most comprehensive cover money can buy - starting from just £200!