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Wild Camping

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icic

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Reading wild camping posts, it’s often mentioned the need to be ready to leave quickly if there is an issue, just wondering what kind of issues crop up and need preparing for that need a speedy departure
 
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Vagophile

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Market Deeping
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T5 SE 180
Reading wild camping posts, it’s often mentioned the need to be ready to leave quickly if there is an issue, just wondering what kind of issues crop up and need preparing for that need a speedy departure
A group of Hungarian drunks decide to wake you up by pounding the side of the van at 3.00 a.m. They think it's funny, I think it's a little disconcerting.
 
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Vagophile

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Market Deeping
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You get involved in a "cops and robbers" chase at midnight when a criminal in a car being chased by the police decides to off road and dump his car behind your camper. Unfortunately, we didn't get away quick enough and spent 4 hours in a Yugoslavian police station trying to explain that we had no connection whatsoever to the fugitive.
 
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Vagophile

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Market Deeping
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You are woken at 3.00 a.m. to find six artic. tractors and trailers maneuvering around your van swapping part loads.That's when you realise that the nice open space you parked on has an intermittent night time use!
 
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Vagophile

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Market Deeping
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You hear a rustling noise at the back of your camper in the middle of the night and, looking out, see two black youths trying to hide under the waterproof cover on your motorbike on its carrier. They were not a threat, but repeat attempts were a distinct possibility.
 
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Vagophile

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Market Deeping
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You are awakened at dawn because the van is rocking violently. Looking out, you find that the van is surrounded by a herd of Friesian cows, three of which are using the van as a scratching post. Not serious in itself, but they were curious and very frisky to the point of potentially causing damage.
 
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Vagophile

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Market Deeping
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Parked in the middle of nowhere in the countryside, you are woken by tapping on the window and see two Spanish policemen looking in, one holding a yellow piece of paper which looks official. He threatens to stick it on our camper unless we are gone in 10 minutes.
 
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Lightning

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Bristol
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T6 Ocean 204
It can be hard to find a great spot, which is not rammed with like minded people in huge vans, otherwise no problems at all.

It may however become illegal to wild camp in pairs or more, anywhere in England following this consultation. Let’s hope not.

 
Wesel

Wesel

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Belgium
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T6 Coast 150 4Motion
Parked in the middle of nowhere in the countryside, you are woken by tapping on the window and see two Spanish policemen looking in, one holding a yellow piece of paper which looks official. He threatens to stick it on our camper unless we are gone in 10 minutes.
A lot other stories of the same kind in the comments on Park4night
 
Elly Swanson

Elly Swanson

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Reading wild camping posts, it’s often mentioned the need to be ready to leave quickly if there is an issue, just wondering what kind of issues crop up and need preparing for that need a speedy departure
It depends what issues you anticipate. If it’s just a warden moving you on it will probably be more civilised (as long as you &/or them don’t get the hump). If it is a security, personal safety issue you need to think ahead just in case:
Make it so you don’t have to leave the van and can get away quick. These are mainly for nighttime:
Make sure you park where you can’t get blocked in and have an escape plan in your mind
Keep the Windows closed and roof down
Don’t put the awning out
Don’t leave stuff out/under the van
Don’t use external thermal screens
Keep the driver’s seat facing forward
Keep a path clear to the driver‘s seat
Sleep with your keys in an easy place (not in the ignition)
Sleep in clothes you’d be happy to run away in
Have your shoes to hand
Carry a personal alarm that’s easy to set off
If you don’t have a dog that’ll make a rumpus have a recording of a big loud dog and shout at it as if there’s a real dog there
If you’re on your own pretend you’re not and talk loudly to an imaginary person
Make sure you’ve not let your engine battery run down
Keep yourself in the dark and have a bright torch to shine in people‘ faces
Sleep with one eye open

Just be prepared and have a plan in mind without ending up paranoid. If you’re thinking of carrying something you could use as a weapon, self protection of course, make sure it fits the scenario In case anyone gets hurt and you have questions to answer afterwards. Baseball bat might not fit the story of you being out in the countryside, but a nice hefty walking stick would.

Been in a couple as a lone female, here’s a funny one, well it was the next day:
Tai chi weekend in a rural community centre in the Wye valley, me the only person staying in the quite large carpark. Very upper class village and most idyllic spot. Car park backing on to a beautiful valley with river and woods. Wonderfully peaceful and loads of wildlife day & night. Lovely restful sleep until 2am when some cars turned up. At first I thought they were doggers, but soon realised it was drug dealing. Just kept quiet and stayed put but ready to move after sussing out they couldn’t block me in. They left at around 4am. The next morning the locals wouldn’t have it. One actually said I must have dreamt it as things like that didn’t happen round there!
 
V

Vagophile

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Messages
791
Location
Market Deeping
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T5 SE 180
A very comprehensive list of how to park up defensively.
I don't think that my list is too bad for forty years of travelling. I've decided not to publish any more!
On the plus side, we have been invited to a Greek wedding, joined in a French boar hunt and had a day trip in a caique just through a random connection with locals while parked up.
 
clarinetbcn

clarinetbcn

T5.1 Beach 140
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Barcelona, Spain
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T5 Beach
It depends what issues you anticipate. If it’s just a warden moving you on it will probably be more civilised (as long as you &/or them don’t get the hump). If it is a security, personal safety issue you need to think ahead just in case:
Make it so you don’t have to leave the van and can get away quick. These are mainly for nighttime:
Make sure you park where you can’t get blocked in and have an escape plan in your mind
Keep the Windows closed and roof down
Don’t put the awning out
Don’t leave stuff out/under the van
Don’t use external thermal screens
Keep the driver’s seat facing forward
Keep a path clear to the driver‘s seat
Sleep with your keys in an easy place (not in the ignition)
Sleep in clothes you’d be happy to run away in
Have your shoes to hand
Carry a personal alarm that’s easy to set off
If you don’t have a dog that’ll make a rumpus have a recording of a big loud dog and shout at it as if there’s a real dog there
If you’re on your own pretend you’re not and talk loudly to an imaginary person
Make sure you’ve not let your engine battery run down
Keep yourself in the dark and have a bright torch to shine in people‘ faces
Sleep with one eye open

Just be prepared and have a plan in mind without ending up paranoid. If you’re thinking of carrying something you could use as a weapon, self protection of course, make sure it fits the scenario In case anyone gets hurt and you have questions to answer afterwards. Baseball bat might not fit the story of you being out in the countryside, but a nice hefty walking stick would.

Been in a couple as a lone female, here’s a funny one, well it was the next day:
Tai chi weekend in a rural community centre in the Wye valley, me the only person staying in the quite large carpark. Very upper class village and most idyllic spot. Car park backing on to a beautiful valley with river and woods. Wonderfully peaceful and loads of wildlife day & night. Lovely restful sleep until 2am when some cars turned up. At first I thought they were doggers, but soon realised it was drug dealing. Just kept quiet and stayed put but ready to move after sussing out they couldn’t block me in. They left at around 4am. The next morning the locals wouldn’t have it. One actually said I must have dreamt it as things like that didn’t happen round there!
I wild camped in Scotland for 5 weeks last summer (sigh, remember last summer?), usually with no other car or van in sight, and only did three things on your list: No awning (don't have one just for that reason) but roof up, no stuff outside the van, no external screens. I was fine...should I have been concerned? If it's because you're a woman, I agree that it's outrageous, and am very sorry that you've had to develop this list based on experience. When on rare occasions I wild camp stealth in a city (no awning!) I hang a black curtain to block off the front cab from the rest, and do pretty much everything on your list (the dog recording is a great idea that I will steal from you!).
 
Elly Swanson

Elly Swanson

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I wild camped in Scotland for 5 weeks last summer (sigh, remember last summer?), usually with no other car or van in sight, and only did three things on your list: No awning (don't have one just for that reason) but roof up, no stuff outside the van, no external screens. I was fine...should I have been concerned? If it's because you're a woman, I agree that it's outrageous, and am very sorry that you've had to develop this list based on experience. When on rare occasions I wild camp stealth in a city (no awning!) I hang a black curtain to block off the front cab from the rest, and do pretty much everything on your list (the dog recording is a great idea that I will steal from you!).
Not because I’m a woman. It all depends on where you are and what the likely risks are. You don’t need to do everything on the list on every occasion. Perhaps I threw you with the “lone female” comment, in hindsight I could have left that out Because it perhaps skews the message. My list is based on experiences in a previous job where I not only had to keep myself and others around me safe, but advise others in it too.
 
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Borris

Borris

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When we stealth camp we always use quite country lanes. We always park up late (after midnight usually) and leave early, 06.30 - 7.00ish. We never block gateways or park up near houses or built up areas. It can take a while to find a suitable spot but we are always mindful not to cause anyone any inconvenience. Once parked up we go straight to bed. I will already have made up the down stairs bed and pulled the blinds before we set out so it's just a question of climbing through to the back and getting our heads down. We never put the pop top up and always position the vehicle ready to leave quickly. We travel and sleep in loose light clothing so no need to change. The front seats remain facing forward. For privacy we drape a large sheep skin rug over the front seat headrests and stuff a cushion in the gap left at either side. I take the keys with me when I go to bed after having locked all the doors.

So far we've never had a problem.
 
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V

Vagophile

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791
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Market Deeping
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T5 SE 180
So - the lesson i've got so far, is dont ever take parking advise from Vagophile :D

Now I'm upset!
My general principles for an overnight park up are to stick to rural areas if possible, (although industrial estates can be a good bet) and suss out on Google earth beforehand. Whilst abroad, I have found that further east, small harbours and monasteries can prove very rewarding for quiet parking. A lot of supermarkets tolerate overnight stays on their car parks (you can ask), some filling stations have free dedicated overnight parking especially in Romania; for 10 euros you can join the truckers for secure parking in T.I.R. stops and get a shower in the morning (and sometimes cheap diesel).
I used a small harbour on a Greek island as a base for 3 weeks and got to the point where local fishermen would offer us the choice of their catch (at an inflated price!) and would tell us of places to visit.
I have noticed that over recent years, there has been a tendency to "clamp down" somewhat on wild camping which I attribute to those who do all the things that campers are blamed for and don't seem to realise the damage that they are doing to the camping community. Unfortunately, the way thing are developing this year, this can only get worse.
Edit. When staying at the Greek harbour, we did encounter one hazard, we were adopted by a local feral cat that infected us with ringworm!
 
Borris

Borris

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Now I'm upset!
My general principles for an overnight park up are to stick to rural areas if possible, (although industrial estates can be a good bet) and suss out on Google earth beforehand. Whilst abroad, I have found that further east, small harbours and monasteries can prove very rewarding for quiet parking. A lot of supermarkets tolerate overnight stays on their car parks (you can ask), some filling stations have free dedicated overnight parking especially in Romania; for 10 euros you can join the truckers for secure parking in T.I.R. stops and get a shower in the morning (and sometimes cheap diesel).
I used a small harbour on a Greek island as a base for 3 weeks and got to the point where local fishermen would offer us the choice of their catch (at an inflated price!) and would tell us of places to visit.
I have noticed that over recent years, there has been a tendency to "clamp down" somewhat on wild camping which I attribute to those who do all the things that campers are blamed for and don't seem to realise the damage that they are doing to the camping community. Unfortunately, the way thing are developing this year, this can only get worse.
I fear you are right. We have made no plans to go anywhere in our van this year. All the places in the UK that we would like to visit, when permitted, are still likely to be harbouring some animosity towards campervans and interlopers.
 
soulstyledevon

soulstyledevon

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I fear you are right. We have made no plans to go anywhere in our van this year. All the places in the UK that we would like to visit, when permitted, are still likely to be harbouring some animosity towards campervans and interlopers.

Oddly.
I am happy to now travel anywhere within the UK. But i will not venture to mainland Europe, first time in many years and i will probably avoid campsite this year too.
We are happily contained within the Cali and can do 2-3 nights before we need to think about hitting a site.

Plan for the rest of 2020 is short breaks wild camping as much as possible.
 

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