Wild camping is a massive pull for people all over the world. Not only is it free but as the name suggests it is wild. It means getting back to nature and gives you the ultimate freedom and makes you feel a bit more human.
Wild camping can be the perfect way to keep the costs of traveling as low as possible, all you need is some time. This is the perfect option to keep the costs down when you cycles to Amsterdam as hotels can start to add up.
I should point out that wild camping is not always legal so if you decide to do this it is at your own risk.
Here are the rules on camping in the countries you will be visiting:
England – Wild camping in most places here (including the route you would take to get to the ferry).
France – Wild camping is permitted if you have the permission of the landowner. It is illegal in national parks.
Holland – There are free campsites set up across the country. Check out this map here for where they are located, many of the sites are located along our cycling route.
Belgium – Wild camping here is illegal and apparently this is actually enforced by the police.
Sop now you understand roughly where you can and can’;t wild camp is you decide to do it anyway here are some handy tips to keep you from getting caught
Ideally if you decide to do wild camping you want to find a spot where you are unlikely to be spotted by a passer by. This means you want to be out of sight from footpaths, roads and buildings. The more “in the middle of nowhere” you can be the less chance you have of getting caught.
You also want to select spots with the cover of trees and bushes, camping in the middle of a field is sure to get you spotted.
When buying a tent and your gear try and buy equipment that is dark greens and browns. Also if you stuff has high-viz strips of reflective parts make sure to cover them up. Otherwise if a car drives pass or a person with a torch you will be lighting up like a beacon.
Set your alarm super early and make sure you are gone before people even begin to get up. We tend to leave by about 5:30am if we do this to make sure we avoid any early morning dog walkers or commuters.
People can be surprisingly friendly and many land owners and farm owners will not mind you pitching your tent of their land if you ask. You never know they might even invite you in for a meal and a drink.