Camping is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and it can be a very economical way to have a holiday. Scotland is teeming with an amazing array of gorgeous landscapes and wildlife, from the borders up to the Highlands and islands, which makes it an ideal country to explore with a tent. But if you don’t like the idea of crowded camping sites, and can manage without a shower block, then why not try wild camping?
You are free to camp on most unenclosed land in Scotland (Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003), however you are expected to follow a strict code of behaviour, leaving the area exactly as you found it (Scottish Outdoor Access Code). While you may feel comfortable with wet wipes instead of a shower, not having a toilet is a bit more of a challenge. When you camp in the wild, the guidelines are that when you need to go, the site should be at least 60 metres away from any water source, regardless of how small, and any path. Dig a hole several inches deep and remember to fill it in with the excavated dirt afterwards. Paper should preferably be burnt but this may not be advisable in a fire risk area, so bag it and take it away with you.
If the idea of squatting over a freshly dug hole is just a bit too wild, you should invest in a Boginabag. It consists of a collapsible stool with a hole, to which you attach biodegradable, plastic bags. Along with the beauty of Scotland, you have to be prepared for variable weather. Your tent may be wind and waterproof, but you need to be too. Apart from a decent pair of boots, you should invest in a good quality jacket, that will keep the warmth in and the elements out. For an excellent range of jackets and other gear, go to www.e-outdoor.co.uk.
Areas to Explore
There are so many beautiful and remote places to wild camp in Scotland, such as Calgary Bay, situated on Mull, about 12 miles from Tobermory. It’s low, partially wooded hills, broad Machair (grassy meadow growing on sand) and beach make it a top spot. Although the beach isn’t an official campsite, there is an area designated for short stay wild camping. Another gem lies on the banks of Loch Nevis, in wild Knoydart: Sourlies. Not only are the views spectacular but it has bothies, which are rustic huts for camping. They’re little more than a rudimentary stone shelter, possibly with a fireplace, but nothing else.
If you really want to be one with nature or if you just like singing at the top of your lungs, then try camping in Scotland on the wild side.