Wild camping is a great chance to get outdoors and escape to the natural surroundings all around you.
It’s a very cheap getaway that can sometimes be even more enjoyable than going on a foreign holiday.
You can basically camp anywhere in the great outdoors but camping in a forest brings about a real sense of adventure and has some benefits to it compared to camping on a stretch of open land or up a mountain.
I’ll discuss some points with you now on how to camp in the forest that will make for a more enjoyable and safer time
Preparation is key
Now, I understand that when finding a good camping spot there will always be an element of playing it by ear; which actually does add to the adventure in it all. However, being able to plan some sort of location is always advised.
If you can, try and visit the area beforehand or plan to camp in a spot you have visited before.
Whenever, we go wild camping to a place we haven’t been to before, I simply use Google Maps. Here you’ll be able to see how to get there, check the terrain and typography of the area. It’s just helps that bit more so that you can get there faster and set up camp quicker.
As you enter into a remote area, you’ll start to lose mobile reception. I do advise turning on your GPS on your phone, purchasing a GPS device or even carrying a compass in case your internal sense of direction fails you.
Take bug spray
No matter where you are camping in the world, it’s always best to take some bug spray with you.
The forest is home to a lot of bugs and you want to avoid getting a bite or sting as much as you can. I always carry bug spray with me in my backpack wherever I go camping.
You only need to use a small amount but it will certainly repel any creepy crawlies around you.
Check the area above for any falling or rotten branches
Once you’re in the forest and have possibly found a good place to set up camp, look up. Look for any loose branches or rotten trees that may pose a risk in falling on top of you during the night.
If there are any, try and remove them and set them aside or find another place to camp. The last thing you want is a tree trunk coming down on your tent during a windy night.
Clear your area of debris
Once you’ve found this perfect camping spot, start to clear the area of any loose branches, twigs, leaves or uneven ground.
This will make sure that you have a more comfortable night’s sleep but also make sure that it doesn’t damage the tent in any way.
Take advantage of the area you’re in
You’re surrounded by all the fuel your fire will need. After you set up camp, take time to gather fire wood.
However, try and stay within the vicinity of your camp when gathering wood to reduce the ‘footprint’ you have left.
There will be plenty of twigs, broken branches or logs on the forest floor that you can use as firewood.
Be mindful of your presence
Whenever you’re camping in the forest, just be mindful of your presence.
When you’re setting up to light the fire, use the wood around you and make sure you have enough supplies to keep your fire lit throughout the day and night.
Just try not to be wasteful and cut down too many small trees or branches that you know you won’t use.
Bring a torch or a lantern
An essential item to have in your backpack
Dark as it is during the night, trust me camping in a forest it will be even darker.
Usually at night you may get moonlight reflecting down on you but in a forest, the trees will block a fair amount of this out.
Bring a good torch with you and have a backup of batteries just in case.
You’ll need it at night if you’re going to the toilet or venturing in the dark for more firewood
Avoid lighting your campfire next to trees
More or less being surrounded by fuel for your fire, you don’t want to be lighting the campfire next to trees.
Keep a safe distance away from them and light it in an area clear of any wood.
Circle your campfire with stones or rocks you can find
Bring some dry tinder
Depending on the weather you’re having in your area, the forest you camp in may be damp and wet.
As little sunlight can penetrate through the trees, the wet and dampness takes longer to dry out.
In this case, I would advise bringing some of your own dry tinder to ignite your fire.
This can be any dry wood chippings or flakes, hay or even flint from your tumble dryer – perfect to catch that spark!
Enjoy your own personal forest
More than likely when you’re camping in the forest, there won’t be any signs of civilisation anywhere near you.
Take this time to soak in the solitary and quietness of your surroundings. At night, you have your own spot underneath the stars so sit back, crack open a beer and relax by your campfire.
Remember to put the fire out
Always make certain that before you leave that your fire is completely extinguished.
Even if the fire has gone out, there still may be some red embers laying there.
Simply throw some water or dirt over the top of it and you’re good to go!
Clean up after you
I know how tiring it can be to pack up after a night of camping, especially if you had one to many sips of whiskey or beer the night before.
Try and be respectful of the area and make sure to take a black bin bag with you to clean up any litter left by you.
It’s good for the environment and returns the forest to its natural state again.
The world is yours to explore and camping in a forest is only a small part of the adventure.
It really allows you to get outside, into the sunlight and enjoy the natural surroundings the human body was designed to live in.
By setting up camp in a forest, you can really take advantage of the area that you’re in such as fuel, protection and shelter.
I do highly recommend it if you haven’t tried it yet
If you do have any questions, leave me a comment and I’ll be sure to get back to you