The three main considerations when choosing a tent for wilder camping are weight, pack size and price. Other considerations are how often you will use the tent, how many people and kit will it need to accommodate and in what season/s are you planning to use it.

Generally if you are backpacking you are going to need to spend a bit more to get a higher spec. tent that weighs less and will pack down smaller. Having said that there are plenty of people who just buy the cheapest they can find knowing that they only intend to spend a few nights out in the middle of summer in fine weather. If your tent comes with basic steel pegs you may want to get some lightweight alloy ones to reduce weight.

If you are likely to be out during times when it rains then you might consider a tent with a porch for cooking in and sitting out of the rain. There are many different types on the market but the bigger the porch, the heavier they tend to be overall. Make sure it is well ventilated if cooking inside, better still use a stick (or similar) to hold the door at least part way open. On some tents without a porch supporting the door can provide just enough of a covered space to improvise a sheltered cooking area.

Lightweight, small tents tend to be in the 1.5 – 4kg range. Heavier/larger tents can be split between the number of people in your group. So in a group of 3 with a 5kg tent, person 1 carries the inner tent and poles, person 2 the outer tent and person three the pegs and groundsheet – each carrying less than 2kg. Alternatively a person on their own may carry a 1 person tent (say 1.8kg) and a small tarp/groundsheet (400g) to improvise a porch space.

If weight is your primary concern you should also consider the weight of the rest of your kit as well eg. backpack, sleeping bag, cooking kit, food/water – basically everything you will be carrying and the clothes you will be wearing. You may find you can save weight in one area that would allow you to add some in another, maybe a thicker sleep mat for a better night’s sleep because instead of a pillow you could use a small drybag stuffed with your jacket. Another compromise could be using a narrower but taller tent that you can sit up in but most of your kit has to remain outside under a waterproof backpack cover.

If price is an issue you may want to think about purchasing a well known brand because there will be more chance of selling it on after your adventures via the likes of ebay. In fact you may even want to consider buying a used tent to start with, that way you could get pretty much all of your money back if you later sell it.

As with all kit I would suggest you test it and get familiar with it locally before taking it on more serious adventures…

5 ways to light a fire when camping

It’s always advisable to have more than one way to light a fire when camping. Things can go wrong, get wet or be difficult to find in your rucksack pockets. You need to practice some of the methods before waiting until it’s dark and you’re cold. The bow drill method will keep you warm even if you are not successful at making fire!

1 – Flint (magnesium) and striker (iron) spark into cotton wool

2 – Matches – super easy if you have some tinder/paper and not too much wind

3 – Using a magnifying glass – requires plenty of sunshine so only works in daytime!

4 – A gas lighter – low cost, reliable and great as a backup, check it’s not almost empty

5 – By far the most rewarding is the bow drill method, it takes time, effort and patience

Once your fire is lit that’s not the end of it…..if not managed it will soon go out. The best way to establish a good burn is to waft the base to get more oxygen in there. You can use a sit-mat or piece of cardboard but if you don’t have anything you can use your hand or just blow directly into the fire.

“With a growing reputation for delivering something different, here at OLPRO we design our products with you in mind.
We are a team of experienced, knowledgeable individuals with a deep and genuine passion for getting outdoors – and our aim is to improve that experience for everyone.

Camping and camper van gear doesn’t have to be plain and boring – that’s why our products feature bright and colourful designs.

We offer many different products within our main ranges, including tents, camper van awnings, melamine tableware, printed windbreaks and essential chemicals for camping, camper vans and caravans. We produce our products with as few middlemen as possible, to ensure they are of outstanding quality as well as being affordable.”

Attentional restoration theory (ART) first proposed by Kaplan and Kaplan (1989) claims that urban environments suffer from an excess of stimulation that serves to dramatically capture our attention. People exposed to urban environments are forced to use their attention to overcome the effects of constant stimulation (described as hard fascination), and over time this in turn induces cognitive fatigue. In contrast, natural environments benefit from what the Kaplan’s term soft fascination, which refers to scene content that automatically captures attention while simultaneously evoking a sense of wellbeing. Generally speaking, natural settings do not pull at your attention relentlessly, forcing you to make decision after decision. Instead, they inspire quiet observation, appreciation and relaxation.

‘The natural world is often depicted as a restorative environment that replenishes one’s resources, while busy, crowded urban environments have often been considered attention and energy drains. Although these beliefs were long held as simply opinions and personal views, the last few decades have seen some empirical work on the idea that natural environments can restore and rejuvenate us, boost our attention, and keep us healthier.’  – Positive Psychology Program

‘When the demands of daily life get to be a little much sometimes all it takes is a brisk walk outside to simmer down and release some excess tension. The smell of fresh air and the subtle sounds of nature have the unique ability to cleanse our thoughts and help us escape. With more research into our connection with nature, science is always there to remind us that not only is spending time in nature a perfect way to unwind but is also an essential component to our mental health.’  – MindBody Vortex

It is obvious then that camping in a wilder, more natural location is the perfect way to invoke attentional restoration. People quite often are aware of the positive feeling of ‘escaping’ into nature without being able to express it in words. Camping also allows us to leave the clutter of things we surround ourselves with behind, thus removing distractions that can also cause stress. As humans we do have the ability to adapt and evolve but nowhere near as quickly as the rate of change that has happened in the last few thousand years with the development of cities, man-made materials and the infrastructure built from them.

In conclusion regular wilder camping trips – even for only a single night away – will help to keep the mind, body and spirit in balance and you may just have some fun too!


Offering expeditions, training and development courses across the UK and overseas, Wilderness Expertise has joined the Nearly Wild Camping co-operative as a Business Supporter and we look forward to working with them going forward…


There are many types of tent pegs available but which should you use and why?

When choosing suitable tent pegs you should take into account the weight, shape, size, material and the intended use. Some pegs are designed for different terrains and weather. It’s always good to have a few spares to hand in case of unexpected conditions. Many campers upgrade some (or all) of the pegs that come as standard with their new tent. Make sure you angle your pegs away from your tent to maximise their ability withstand tension. One thing to note is that you don’t want to use too strong a peg that the guy line rips away from the tent in a gust of wind – better to have the peg come loose and be able to ‘reset’ it.

A) Small round steel pegs. These often come as standard with entry level tents, while they are fine for pegging out ground sheets and the base of your tent they are not really suitable for the main guy lines as they can easily turn and release the guy line or pull out of the ground in the slightest breeze. If you have to use these for guy lines you can use them in twos to form an ‘X’ facing the tent.

B) Commonly known as ‘rock’ pegs, these heavy metal pegs are designed to be hammered into firm ground where stones may be present. They tend to be used with larger tents where weight is not the main consideration.

C) ‘V’ shaped galvanised steel pegs have a good surface area allowing them to hold a lot of guy line tension, these make a good upgrade for the main guys if your tent only came with small round steel pegs. They work well in soft ground.

D) ‘Y’ shaped pegs/stakes are popular with higher spec. backpacking tents as they are usually made from aluminium or titanium to minimise weight, there shape enables them to take a fair amount of tension for their size. A good all rounder for smaller tents.

E) Brightly coloured plastic pegs are long lasting durable pegs that are easier to see than other types, are fairly lightweight and they will not rust. Not suitable for very firm or rocky ground

F) Long round steel pegs are an ideal upgrade for main guy line use or to bolster the side of the tent receiving the most wind. Filing the end to a point will make them easier to get into the ground.

G) Lightweight aluminium pegs are useful where weight is an issue, they tend to be of greater diameter than their steel equivalent but they will still bend. Lower in price than ‘Y’ shaped pegs and not as versatile.

We’ve all seen such signs which imply that we will get into trouble if we venture on to a piece of land but what does it really mean? Is it ok to wild camp on a bit of land that doesn’t appear to be used for crops or livestock?

‘The laws of England, Wales and Northern Ireland give landowners the right to exclude us from their land, except for a small fraction consisting of public rights of way and even here we enjoy an entitlement only of passage. The right of exclusion applies equally to forests and mountains, fields and riverbanks, cliffs, quarries and heaths, a 1000 acre parkland or 10 acre meadow. It is enshrined in laws of trespass which provide that if you set foot on British soil you are breaking the law unless the owner of that land has given you permission to be present. These laws entitle a landowner to use ‘reasonable force’ to eject you if you decline a request to leave. In deterring or ejecting trespassers there are of course limits on what a landowner or somebody acting on his behalf can do. If he uses a considerable amount of force the trespasser may sue him for assault; threatening behaviour such as waving a shotgun at a trespasser can be classed as assault since you do not need to touch somebody to be guilty of this offence but merely to instil in them the fear that they may be physically hurt…If he can demonstrate that the trespass has resulted in financial loss to him then a claim for damages will usually be successful’ – A Right to Roam (Marion Shoard).

So to be on the right side of the law you need to seek the landowners permission and in Britain ALL land is classed as privately owned. Although wild camping is tolerated on moorland and mountains in places like The Lake District you can still be prosecuted if you cause any damage, even if that damage is not intentional and may be asked to move on by rangers or landowners at any time.

Motivation – you’ve got to want to do it in the first place!

Planning & Preparation – check the weather forecast, plan your meals & snacks, pack your bag in the order you will need things (or use different pockets). Knowledge of the landscape (map).

Practice & Testing – learn to put your tent up in the dark/low light  and pack away in an organised manner.

Knowledge of Equipment – understand your kit (Practice & testing), you may need backups such as an extra torch and more than one way to light your stove.

Self-discipline – keep your camp and equipment organised or you will keep losing things.

Problem solving – you need the ability to adapt to unexpected changes and failures (Spares & Repairs)

Self-sufficiency – if you are on your own you want to check you have everything you need with you including a first aid kit (Planning & Preparation)

Spares & Repairs – take some basic tools and bits’n’bobs to make field repairs eg. fabric tears, pole break, broken sleeping bag zip etc.

Leave no trace – pack everything out, double check you have left nothing behind.

All of the above lead to Confidence in your ability and equipment but if that all seems a bit daunting start by spending regular times in a wilder place and observing the sights, smells and sounds until it all starts to feel familiar. Then try camping with a friend and finally spend a night out on your own.

Fear – the only way to conquer it is to face it, once you get past the fact that wilder places aren’t full of bogeymen, ghosts  and zombies you will get great enjoyment (and other benefits) from  time spent in nature.


Looking for further reading, try

We are honoured to receive the SME-News 2018 Welsh Enterprise award for ‘Best Campsite Network 2018 – UK’

This is great feedback for everyone involved in helping Nearly Wild Camping become what it is today.


Known for their quality canvas swags, roof tents and awnings, we are pleased to announce the we will be working with Outhaus to retail their products at discounted prices for members.