preparations for wild camping!

Discussion in 'UK Touring' started by rainbowgirl, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. rainbowgirl

    rainbowgirl Deleted User

    ok so i need to get some hose pipe and tap connectors!!

    thats all i got so far!
    what else do i really need to ensure i have good travels around britain this year please?
    used to wild camp afew years ago but (sadly) relied upon my hubbie of the time to sort all the practical stuff out whilst i was the carer of the children now :Blush:
    im doing it on my own now and i just need some helpful hints as to what else i will need
    many thanks
    x
     
  2. geoff1947

    geoff1947 Read Only Funster

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    wild camping

    As long as you have good health, you have everything. When/where are you going?:thumb:
     
  3. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    Security on The Road

    You are clearly a positive/confident person many would not even contemplate touring alone, least of all, wild camp. Whenever I talk about wild camping to people there number one concern is security. But I feel that the risks that wild camping present really are far too low for them to be an obstacle to enjoying wild camping

    Camping in the wilderness in places such as woods, mountains, desert or beaches requires the application of a little common sense but is as safe a place to camp as anywhere else, maybe even safer. You may have heard stories about others that have been robbed when wild camping but please put this into perspective. When it comes to robberies, statistically, you much more likely to be a victim in your own home rather than in your motorhome. Camping in a remote country lane for a few days is no more dangerous that building a country cottage there. In fact its ‘safer, you won’t be around long enough for thieves to suss out your movements patterns etc. Your motorhome's wheels are your best defence and wild campers should use them often.

    Wild camping is not to be confused with wild parking which is a term I use for campers that park up in populated areas, such as motorway service stations and city streets. Parking up in busy populated areas is not to be recommended. The motorhome presents itself as an attractive opportunity to thieves; therefore parking up overnight in a very public place can really be asking for trouble.

    The vast majority of wild-camping in Europe is of course not done in a true wilderness, nor in busy built up areas, it is somewhere in between. Travel around the coast of Britain, France or Spain and you will spot plenty of wild-campers, tucked away down little lanes that lead to beaches or taking advantage of a forest road.

    In most countries in Europe it is not against the law for you to sleep in a public place in your motorhome. However in the UK and most other countries some local laws will prohibit camping. Signs will be placed informing you, so look out for them. There are plenty of irresponsible people among the motorhoming community and they break simple rules, like staying for far too long and producing noise and mess. This is why more and more of these "camping prohibited" signs are appearing. The key to successful wild camping is to keep as low a profile as possible. If the Police swing by and see your "camp" is complete with deck chairs, washing line, awning and a large black sack off rubbish then they are probably going to bang on your door and ask you to move on.


    My top ten security tips for Wild Camping are;


    1. Look carefully at the area, does it feel right? Is the place littered with rubbish, used condoms, skid marks, this might indicate that idiots use the place at night.
    2. Move on Often. Unless you are in a place where you are not overlooked and no one will see you then don't stay in a place for too long or you will be noticed by undesirables. If a particular place is wonderful to wake up in, then move the motorhome during the day, and then move back in at night.
    3. Don’t be a Nosey Parker!! Always park in such a way that you can drive away, nose out, without having to do a 7 point turn.
    4. Don't put screens (sliver screens insulation) on the outside of windows; these will impede your ability to drive away. Driving away is the very best defence for many security situations.
    5. Try to be as inconspicuous as possible, I know this can be difficult in a 25 foot long bright white motorhome however you can lower your profile; do not put awnings and deckchairs out and light that barbeque unless you are certain your actions are not going to attract attention from undesirables.
    6. Make sure when you turn in that everything is stowed, doors are locked and you are not too drunk so as you won't wake and be able to drive away if an incident occurs.
    7. Secure your entry doors. Too often people awake to find someone in their motorhome because they have forgotten to lock doors or windows. Use deadlocks that cannot be opened too easily. Some people place chains between cab doors. These can be effective, but can trap you inside in the event of a fire, if you are going to use a chain, practice undoing it so that it is so easy you can do it quickly in the dark. You might have to!
    8. Be prepared to move on. I heard about a couple on a remote French aire that didn’t like the look of a bunch of youngsters that arrived at the aire and proceeded to light a fire and drink spirits. In the early hours of the morning when the youths had run out of things to burn they amused themselves by throwing stones at the two motorhomes. They were asked to stop and things got worse, The story ended with both motorhomes leaving the aire under a barrage of stones. Don’t let this happen to you. Go with your gut feeling, if you feel at all unhappy; move on, there are literally millions of places that you can find to park. The best way to avoid risks is to drive away from them. Don’t hesitate.
    9. Do not ignore other risks, such as medical emergencies. Parking up 3 hours away from civilisation with no mobile phone signal can pose problems. Have a plan already worked out.
    10. Use an alarm, if you have an alarm fitted then make sure you can set it to guard the exterior whilst you are inside. So if anyone touches your lockers or bikes etc the resulting alarm should wake you and frighten off the thief. Dogs work the same way and I know of some people who do not have a dog, but place a large dog bowl just outside to give the impression that a monster of a dog is asleep inside.
    Wild camping is fantastic. It can mean that yours are the only footsteps on a beach. Imagine how nice that cup of tea tastes when you are the only person seeing the early morning mist on a lake and the only sound is birdsong. With the application of the common sense, and following those tips above; wild camping is no more dangerous than living in the country. It’s what motorhomes are for. I envy you your trip, it will be an adventure, please post here often and tell us how you are getting on.:thumb::thumb:
     
  4. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Good advice Jim.

    One thing that stood out was chains. If anyone secures the front doors with a chain between them they can't sit down and drive away. I know you did not advise this, so not having a go at you, just making a suggestion.

    You can buy battery door alarms for pennies, now they would be in when they went off but the noise might give the occupant the upper hand.

    We are not allowed to stock useful things like pepper spray, but how would you fancy a facefull of fly spray ? Horrible stuff, just ask any fly.

    Always run, never confront seems to be the best advice, dished out by those who know.
     
  5. pudseykeith

    pudseykeith Read Only Funster

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    Be confident of your vehice

    There is no better feelng than to know that your van will get you to your destination and back without suffering things like tyre trouble or overheating of the engine ect.
    My advice would be to have your tyres checked for wear and damage, and tha includes the spare. theres nothing worse than having a pumpture or blow out and then finding that the spare is flat.
    Have the water hoses and heater hoses checked. make shour that the brakes are sound and that the hand brake actually do's work .
    Know if your van uses oil, and how often it needs topping up. the number of ladies i have I have come across that think that you only need to check the oil when the green light on the dash board comes on. when the light comes on it is TOO LATE. The engine has been badly damaged or completely ruined .
    Sorry to be a little negative but if the van brakes down your jolly hols have been ruined.
    I hope this helps and dos not put you off. Motorhomeing and the motor homers are,in general, GREAT people. :thumb:

    Pudseykeith and Rosalie. :Smile:
     
  6. Bulletguy

    Bulletguy Read Only Funster

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    I think Jims list just about covers everything Rainbow. Note in particular point 4 about the use of external screens....a very important point.

    I'm a single guy so travel alone and wild camped up the North West coast of Scotland and Outer Hebrides a couple of years ago. Met one or two single women doing the same so you won't exactly be alone! Wild camping UK is simple as you won't have a language barrier and of course more familiar with any laws etc.

    Last year i toured eastern Germany, Czech and Poland though also used sites where possible (partic in Poland). I often found myself in situations where nobody spoke or understood any english at all, particularly in extreme rural areas of Poland. But i managed to get by...somehow!

    No matter how well prepared you are, if something does go wrong (eg with your van), it will be something you hadn't bargained for. I took plenty of spare bulbs, fuses, wiring, small tool kit, torch, even spare rear light units (prone to getting crunched on Transits!) plus even a clutch cable!! But it was a brake master cylinder which packed up on me in Bavaria. Had to have a brand new one fitted at a Ford Dealer which cost £300. I was seething mad as had it happened at home, i could have picked up a used cylinder from a local breakers for £10-20 and fitted it myself. But that just proves you cannot cover every eventuality......no matter how well prepared.
     
  7. Edgie

    Edgie Read Only Funster

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    You have received some good advice so far.. :thumb:

    Here is the ongoing story of a guy who wild camps all the time, you may learn plenty more from him.. The Adventures of Tioga and George
     
  8. Sundowners

    Sundowners Funster Life Member

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    one of the silly things that we found priceless when freecamping was a water container (about 10 ltrs) that is easy to carry and as discreet as possible, this does sound daft but fresh water can be a little difficult to get to your van.
    Some friends that we met in Athens used to carry the bottom of their porta-potti to a public loo in a carrier bag. Getting rid of "black waste" can present problems.
    Best of luck with your travels
    Nigel & Pamala
     
  9. rainbowgirl

    rainbowgirl Deleted User

    thanks jim , thanks all of you for your excelent advice so far
    im going to hopefully get going soon, geraldine is booked in for an mot next monday and then my friend is going to sort her out inside including an extra seatbelt which i must have as im taking the children.
    then im off! yeh!
    i work full time and so i shall go away everyother weekend exmoor, dartmoor, around dorset where i live, somerset and etc and hopefully cornwall for a week in may and up to the lake district in the summer for a couple of weeks. i feel fine about camping wild on my own i just cant wait and yes indeed i shall ensure to adhere to your helpful hints to help me have as best chance of sucessfull trips as pos!:thumb:
    my friends and family find it hard to cope with the fact im going to be sleeping in the van on my own with the kids but they find it hard to cope the fact i go walking in the countryisde and on the coast on my own, thing is we cant live our lives in fear we gotta get out and do stuff! - and achieve our dreams!
    x
     
  10. rainbowgirl

    rainbowgirl Deleted User

    thats really sweet and so true!
    :BigGrin:
    x
     
  11. spiritsfree

    spiritsfree Read Only Funster

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    So ?....how did it go Rainbowgirl ? Love to hear about your adventures :BigGrin:
     
  12. vindiboy

    vindiboy Funster

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    I used to secure my front doors on my EURA MOBIL Coachbuilt with chains through the arm rests on both front doors and as long as the chains were not passed through the steering wheel I was able to drive the vehicle with the chains in situe with no problem.We are currently in Portugal wild camping and have done for 65 nights so far this trip,we have had no problems to date so far except that I had to have a new radiator fitted and this was done by a local mechanic roadside in Fuseta,and it cost me 250 euros for the complete job,futher bad luck has caught me up and now the clutch on the Hymer is slipping and burning, I am booked in for Wednesday next week at a FIAT garage in BEJA to have the job done at an estimated cost of 1000 euros, joys of motoring or what, meanwhile we are at the old copper mines at MINAS DE SANTO DOMINGOS wild camping,lots of vans here but no FUNSTERS, the down side of the clutch job is that we will have to stay in an Hotel whilst the job is being done and we are not looking forward to that.We prefer to be in the van any day, it would be a good idea to have a suit case in the van for such eventuallities as we are going to look a bit sad turning up at an Hotel with all our clothes etc.in LIDL bags, Oh well.:thumb::thumb::thumb:
     

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  13. spiritsfree

    spiritsfree Read Only Funster

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    Lidl bags !!.....bit posh eh lmao :BigGrin:

    Have a fab time....as it sounds you are ? :Smile:
     
  14. chatter

    chatter Read Only Funster

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    You should have a holdall vindiboy, I have an excellent one, has wheels on the bottom and folds down flat but expands to nearly 4' high (not joking), bought it in spain last time i was there, it has 3 heights that it can be used at all done by zips. Needed it to bring stuff back that wouldnt fit in an ordinary case for my mother, after her illness at christmas.
     
  15. imprint

    imprint Read Only Funster

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    One very useful extra is an entrenching tool. Not as barbaric as it sounds, it's a foldable spade and pick, with a leather or canvas cover. Ex-Bundeswehr is best, others will do. You can dig holes for rubbish, including biodegradable bodily waste, chop wood if you are in a place where a camp fire is safe, put a fire out if it ain't, use it to help get out if you're stuck, clear snow, cook with it - DON'T use it was a weapon because it could be lethali f turned back on you, and other funsters will come up with other uses.

    You can buy them at some camping+ ex-military kit shops or military shows.

     
  16. movan

    movan Funster Life Member

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    hope all went really well for your first lone trip. Please let us know how you go on.

    I struggle a bit with wild camping and find I don't sleep well .... always listening out for noises .... but I still do it occasionally. One thing I would say and I am not being flippant, is that if you normally sleep in the nude .... then don't. If you should have to do the running away bit and driving off quickly, you don';t feel too secure if you have to throw clothes on first. I take a track suit to sleep in so I am always prepared.

    I am sure you will love it.

    (you can also get a little dog for company on the many walks you will be making.)

    :thumb:
     
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