Wildcamping toxic?

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ScotRoutes
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Re: Wildcamping toxic?

Post by ScotRoutes » Sat Jul 11, 2020 9:12 am

whitestone wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 9:00 am
Maybe we should reclaim "wild camping" for what we do: stealthy, low key, LNT, etc. and refer to the less acceptable activity as "trash camping" or similar.
There is a middle ground.

Lots of folk manage to do off-site camping in an unobtrusive way, leaving no litter, lighting no fires, but by parking up in their van/moho or in a car and using a tent. Part of the discussion is around defining that and what should be included in "irresponsible".

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Re: Wildcamping toxic?

Post by Cheddar Man » Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:07 pm

I think the main problem is when any group start to compare their specific enjoyment of an activity to anothers. It isn't just in this wild camping thing, How many times have we all heard of people being rescued by an MRT and the walking/climbing community say 'they weren't prepared, they weren't proper walkers'.

Education and understanding of other user groups is the key, for one person something pretty 'extreme' may be parking their VW 2/3 of a mile from a campsite, for others it may be spending £00s of pounds on gubbins, slinylon, carbon fibre, matching AplKIt luggage sets and getting on a bike costing £000s before riding off following a digital breadcrumb trail that someone else came up with, and for others it may be minimalist second hand stuff and an OS map, to sleep under an Army bivi in the back end of nowhere.

My point being that although the original article spoke about Wild Camping being toxic, what he really means is that he is a bit p'eed off that he thinks the name of his hobby is being hijacked by groups he doesn't relate to! He even describes himself as 'decent', but I would guarantee he has dropped some litter somewhere. I did the WRT last year, and came across numerous gel sachets, biscuit wrappers and flapjack wrappers. I know now that you will say that it wasn't 'us', it was 'them', but honestly, if it was 'them' it would have been Stella cans and NOS canisters wouldn't it? Besides, some of the places I found stuff you would not have got a lowered Clio or a VW campervan!

So it's not a dig, just an observation that this chestnut pops up frequently, and if we could all take a moment to think it through, Wild Camping can be whatever it means to the person doing it, let's just not get bogged down with claiming we are 'wilder', and therefore more 'decent' than someone else!

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Re: Wildcamping toxic?

Post by Lazarus » Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:16 pm

I assume all groups have issues with litter dropped intentionaly or by accident. I once finished a ride with onl y one flip flop so will have contributed to the why is there one flip flop in the middle of nowhere .Its th eonly " litter" i am aware of dropping

However to claim we are like the person who turns up in a car pops up a tent up lights a fire and disposable barbie and opens the first of 34 tins berfore getting pissed and then leaving it all there the next day is not a great comparison- we are nothing like this and I dont beleive a person like that would be accepted within this community

II really dont see much link between " us" and " them"- though I do accpt plenty of groups object to tothers use of the same space - I dont care who uses the countryside as long as they respect it and the code- they dont

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Re: Wildcamping toxic?

Post by Cheddar Man » Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:37 pm

No, I am not saying 'we' are like 'them', just that words like wild and adventure mean different things to different people due to their experience and we should not deride them for that.

Being in a camper van off of a campsite may actually be quite edgy for some people, but lots on here would laugh and say 'that isn't wild, you are in a van'.

But I bet there are lots of others who would say 'bikepacking ponces, you all use .gpx routes, and specialised bikes. I do it properly extreme on a 1984 Dawes Galaxy with an 1" to 1 mile OS map from 1952' And they will be considered softies by others :lol:

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Re: Wildcamping toxic?

Post by ScotRoutes » Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:48 pm

Being in a camper van off of a campsite may actually be quite edgy for some people, but lots on here would laugh and say 'that isn't wild, you are in a van'.
I recently joined a couple of the MoHo/Campervan groups on Facebook. Wild Camping is basically synonymous with "not on a formal campsite" and includes on-street, supermarket carparks and small, but still paid for, Aires. I think most recognise that it's not "wild", but we are where we are with our use of words.

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Re: Wildcamping toxic?

Post by woodsmith » Sat Jul 11, 2020 1:31 pm

I like the Norwegian model. Camp wherever you want if travelling under your own steam/horseback and all car camping, motorhomes and caravans being restricted to designated sites. I was told by Norwegians decades ago that this was put in place in response to the "invasion" of camper vans/motorhomes. Similarly, 25 years ago Cornwall had local bylaws banning overnight roadside camping.
As bikepackers wild camping we may not be injecting massive amounts of cash into the local economies of the places we visit but I get the impression that many motorhomes stock up with food and fuel in Inverness for example and are self sufficient for the whole circumnavigation of the North Coast 500.

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Re: Wildcamping toxic?

Post by Lazarus » Sat Jul 11, 2020 1:35 pm

wild and adventure
I dont think those who turn up for a piss up use those words - want to come to a party in the woods - possibly - but lets go for a wild adventure in the outdoors - I cannot see it.

I do agree on the broad point that advenutre/wild can vary but walking 300 m from a car is no ones descripton of a wld adventure including those doing it.

" wildcamping" in a camper van -possibly wild if you are retired but my [retired] folks approach is to just park somewhere quiet and i am not sure what they use to describe it - cheap probably :lol:

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Re: Wildcamping toxic?

Post by ScotRoutes » Sat Jul 11, 2020 1:37 pm

woodsmith wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 1:31 pm
I like the Norwegian model. Camp wherever you want if travelling under your own steam/horseback and all car camping, motorhomes and caravans being restricted to designated sites. I was told by Norwegians decades ago that this was put in place in response to the "invasion" of camper vans/motorhomes. Similarly, 25 years ago Cornwall had local bylaws banning overnight roadside camping.
You raise a salient point. If wild-camping (as we know it) is actually illegal in England anyway, any attempt at legally separating the self-propelled from the motorised is likely doomed to failure.

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Re: Wildcamping toxic?

Post by Lazarus » Sat Jul 11, 2020 5:22 pm

true but also the approach to problems is always to target the behaviour rather than the cause


For example traveller /gypsy encampements are solved by more enforcement rather than the provision of sites - they will do the same with wild camping [us or vans] so rather than create designated sites they will go for harsher penalties.

Thankfully we are considerably more stealthy and harder to find than a large campervan in a lay by !

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Re: Wildcamping toxic?

Post by Cheddar Man » Sat Jul 11, 2020 5:29 pm

Of course @scotroutes raises a very fair point.

We are actually discussing an illegal activity anyway in most of the UK! If we leave a pile of rubbish or not, we are in fact breaking the law.

Maybe we should stop discussing it and just quietly get on with it ;)

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Re: Wildcamping toxic?

Post by RIP » Sat Jul 11, 2020 6:45 pm

Cheddar Man wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 5:29 pm
Of course @scotroutes raises a very fair point.

We are actually discussing an illegal activity anyway in most of the UK! If we leave a pile of rubbish or not, we are in fact breaking the law.

Maybe we should stop discussing it and just quietly get on with it ;)
But that just leaves us with gear ratios to talk about. I think that would keep me amused for about 5 minutes (*) :???: :wink:

Perhaps Stu could arrange a 'dark' part of the forum where we could freely discuss naughty things like sleeping in ditches :smile:

(*) sorry, I meant seconds not minutes :wink:
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Re: Wildcamping toxic?

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Sat Jul 11, 2020 7:05 pm

My experience is that, if you aim to travel through the countryside largely unseen and unheard, you'll also do so unhindered. The 'authorities' don't like to make work for themselves, so will only do so when pressed to by the 'public'. I figure the legalities are neither here or there and 'respect' is actually key.
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Re: Wildcamping toxic?

Post by BigdummySteve » Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:02 am

Bearbonesnorm wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 7:05 pm
My experience is that, if you aim to travel through the countryside largely unseen and unheard, you'll also do so unhindered. The 'authorities' don't like to make work for themselves, so will only do so when pressed to by the 'public'. I figure the legalities are neither here or there and 'respect' is actually key.
Also remember that wild camping (along with riding on footpaths) is NOT a criminal offence. They are a civil matter largely between you and the landowner. As long as you don’t refuse to leave if asked or damage anything gaining entry you’re not going to be arrested.
To summarise what stu said, don’t be a Richard and you’ll be ok
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Re: Wildcamping toxic?

Post by BigdummySteve » Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:03 am

No offence to pickers or and other Richards, was trying a clever way of not posting’dick’
We’re all individuals, except me.

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Re: Wildcamping toxic?

Post by RIP » Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:25 am

BigdummySteve wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:03 am
not posting ’dick’
Too late HOTT :smile: . "Jehovah!" etc etc.
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Re: Wildcamping toxic?

Post by jameso » Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:11 am

BigdummySteve wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:02 am

Also remember that wild camping (along with riding on footpaths) is NOT a criminal offence. They are a civil matter largely between you and the landowner. As long as you don’t refuse to leave if asked or damage anything gaining entry you’re not going to be arrested.
To summarise what stu said, don’t be a Richard and you’ll be ok
Potential trespass isn't it, or at least that's what I expect would be raised first? This from CyclingUK is good on the trespass point and it might relate to camping -
https://www.cyclinguk.org/article/campa ... h-trespass
Is cycling on a footpath a trespass?
Cycling along footpaths has not been held to be a public nuisance. If cycling was a private nuisance to the owner it would be a trespass even with a right of way. So if cycling along, say, a bridleway is not a private nuisance then cycling along a footpath cannot be. The clear implication is that a cyclist on a public footpath has lawful authority to be there and is not a trespasser.
.. need to read the whole article, but from that I think a bivi that causes no public or private nuisance in a place that you have a right to be, would be hard to prosecute as a civil matter / trespass. So, bivi just off a byway in England while 'pausing for rest' rather than a pitched camp, having crossed no fences or boundary marks, being no obstruction, gone by dawn and LNT and what could anyone do? That was only from a skim read recently though and not a lawyer etc

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Re: Wildcamping toxic?

Post by RIP » Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:45 am

jameso wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:11 am
So, bivi just off a byway in England while 'pausing for rest' rather than a pitched camp, having crossed no fences or boundary marks, being no obstruction, gone by dawn and LNT
Best option.

I find the whole subject fascinating. But then I'm a bit sad.

Have got this on pre-order, "The Book of Trespass, Crossing the Lines That Divide Us" by Nick Hayes. Will sit nicely with my "Who Owns England?". Compulsory reading for bivvyers I reckon. Oh, along with "Travels Of Tramp-Royal" and "Gentle Art Of Tramping" obviously.

https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/produ ... 1526604699
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Re: Wildcamping toxic?

Post by whitestone » Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:03 am

Not sure if this is an "urban myth" or not but years ago when various dubious sects, like the Moonies were in the news I read that the reason we don't have a law banning them is that there was no definition that could be drawn up to describe them that didn't also include the Church of England! I think wild camping (or whatever you want to call it) suffers the same problem: any definition that allows "us" also allows "them" and vice versa.

There's a similar conversation to this going on at the moment on trek-lite (I think @shewie on here is a moderator there) regarding wild camping: https://www.trek-lite.com/index.php?thr ... -ban.8188/, this comment may strike a chord: "I recon we need another name for what we do because it is fundamentally different to what these tw**s are doing."

James: My ride on Sunday was roughly 1/3 along the Pennine Way, i.e. footpath. Met half a dozen walkers none of whom had the slightest problem with me being there, even the Brummies on holiday who when I pointed out that I was on a footpath responded: "who gives a fig?". Everyone was just friendly to one another. Actually that was really busy, in fifteen years of running and riding on that path normally I see no-one at all. This of course is in the slightly less population dense North of England, not many curtain twitchers up here :lol: , I can understand things being different in the South and East.
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Re: Wildcamping toxic?

Post by sean_iow » Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:22 am

whitestone wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:03 am
I can understand things being different in the South and East.
I used to worry about using the odd cheeky shortcut on a footpath. I then realised that lots of the people I see in the countryside side seem to have any idea about rights of way - climbing over fences, wandering about with their dogs in fields, parking in field entrances and having picnics etc.

So if I pass someone on a footpath most of them don't know if I should be there* anyway and of those who do not all would object to the chance of any confrontation is nearly zero. A cheery hello before they get a chance to speak also helps.

* I'm 99% certain it's lawful to ride on a footpath anyway so feck em :lol: And if the horses hadn't destroyed the bridleways I wouldn't need to use them so blame them :wink:
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Re: Wildcamping toxic?

Post by Lazarus » Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:39 am

As long as you don’t refuse to leave if asked or damage anything gaining entry you’re not going to be arrested.
they have to have the lawful authority to ask you to leave - ie they need to prove they own the land /are the landowners agent or you can just ignore them.
Again dont be a Richard if they walk out he farmhouse dont start arguing with them to prove they own it - a walker challenges you do ask for proof.


You also have to leave by the shortest available route - which will mean shortest way to a BW or road [if on a FP] and not necessairly back the way you came.

TBH its largely academic - how many nighs wild camping will we have on here and how many of us will have been discovered ?

Me once but i was just finishing packing up in the morning and the farmer just ignored me.

Locally we have two or threpaths on the ground - somewith gates one for unknown reasons flagged in themiddleof nowhere for about a mile - as these are not on the map I love being challegned on these sections by walkers.
IME the closer you are to a car parking spot the more likely you are to being challenged -proper walkers in the wilds [ not in a group] have always been fine with me

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Re: Wildcamping toxic?

Post by jameso » Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:49 am

James: My ride on Sunday was roughly 1/3 along the Pennine Way, i.e. footpath. Met half a dozen walkers none of whom had the slightest problem with me being there, even the Brummies on holiday who when I pointed out that I was on a footpath responded: "who gives a fig?". Everyone was just friendly to one another. Actually that was really busy, in fifteen years of running and riding on that path normally I see no-one at all. This of course is in the slightly less population dense North of England, not many curtain twitchers up here :lol: , I can understand things being different in the South and East.
True that there's a bit more pressure on space here in SE but I think all the recent converts to walking here in CV19 times don't seem to know or care much about FPs and BWs. A path's a path, look out for each other and all's ok, much my attitude as long as I've been riding.
- a walker challenges you do ask for proof.
Also if they mention trespass that's a good time to remind or tell them how they got their access in the first place ; )

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Re: Wildcamping toxic?

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:58 am

The only times I've ever had any kind of grief from people walking is when riding on a BW :roll:
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Re: Wildcamping toxic?

Post by whitestone » Tue Jul 14, 2020 12:05 pm

Bearbonesnorm wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:58 am
The only times I've ever had any kind of grief from people walking is when riding on a BW :roll:
Stu, on the first BB200 I did (2016) the route headed toward Knighton then cut back up onto the ridge about a mile before town. I was riding with Burty at the time. As we began to head up the track a woman stopped us and said: "You can't ride up here, it's a bridleway!". It took a few minutes of explaining to her that bikes were allowed on BWs whereas unauthorised motor vehicles weren't.
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Re: Wildcamping toxic?

Post by In Reverse » Tue Jul 14, 2020 12:25 pm

Have we never had a thread titled "I Need a Man"?

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Re: Wildcamping toxic?

Post by RIP » Tue Jul 14, 2020 12:33 pm

In Reverse wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 12:25 pm
Have we never had a thread titled "I Need a Man"?
I think we had "I Kneed A Man" once. It was something to do with a contretemps with a gamekeeper about bivvying in a wood I believe :grin: .
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