11 Tips for Wild Camping in Scotland

11 Tips for Wild Camping in Scotland

Wild camping in Scotland is a unique and unforgettable experience, offering campers the chance to immerse themselves in some of the country's most breathtaking landscapes. Whether you're an experienced wild camper or a beginner looking to try something new, Scotland is the perfect place to set up camp. However, wild camping comes with its own set of challenges and considerations, so here are some tips to help ensure your trip is both enjoyable and safe.

Research the Area

Before you embark on your wild camping adventure, it's essential to research the area you plan to visit. Ensure you are familiar with the local bylaws and regulations, as wild camping is only permitted in some areas of Scotland. In addition, consider the terrain and weather conditions, and plan accordingly.

Choose the Right Spot

When choosing a spot to set up camp, it's essential to consider a few key factors. Look for a level area away from potential hazards such as steep cliffs, loose rock, and fast-flowing streams. In addition, avoid camping in designated areas such as wildlife reserves or historic sites. You can check out websites such as Outdoor Scott and Campendium to find significant wild camping areas in Scotland.

Pack Light

When wild camping, it's essential to pack light and only bring the essentials. This not only makes it easier to transport your gear, but it also minimizes your impact on the environment. Essential items include a tent, sleeping bag, stove, food, and water. Don't forget to pack a map and compass, and make sure you have a basic understanding of navigation.

Leave No Trace

One of the most important principles of wild camping is to leave no trace. This means taking all of your rubbish with you and leaving the area as you found it. Avoid making fires, and if you do, make sure they are small and contained. When camping near water sources, be mindful of the impact you may have on the surrounding environment.

Respect the Wildlife

Scotland is home to an abundance of wildlife, from red deer and golden eagles to seals and otters. When wild camping, it's important to respect the wildlife and their habitats. Keep your distance, and avoid disturbing them as much as possible.

Be Prepared for Emergencies

Wild camping can be an unpredictable and challenging experience, so it's essential to be prepared for emergencies.

Make sure you have a basic first aid kit, a means of communication (such as a satellite phone), and a backup plan in case of bad weather. In addition, consider taking a wilderness first aid course to equip yourself with the skills and knowledge you may need in an emergency.

Pack a Repair Kit

When wild camping, it's essential to be prepared for any eventualities. Make sure you pack a repair kit with essentials such as duct tape, a multi-tool, and spare tent pegs in case of equipment failure. In addition, consider taking a spare tent or shelter in case of damage or loss.

Embrace the Adventure

Finally, the most important tip for wild camping in Scotland is to embrace the adventure. Embrace the unpredictable nature of wild camping, and allow yourself to be fully immersed in the experience.

Whether it's the breathtaking scenery or the sense of accomplishment after a long hike, wild camping in Scotland is an unforgettable experience that will stay with you forever.

Know the Rules for Wild Camping in Scotland

Wild camping is only permitted in some areas of Scotland, so it's important to familiarize yourself with the local rules and regulations. Some areas may require you to obtain a permit or camp in designated areas, while others may prohibit camping altogether. Make sure you research the area you plan to visit and follow the rules to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Know Your Limits

Wild camping can be physically demanding, so it's important to know your limits and plan accordingly. Make sure you are in good physical condition and consider the difficulty of the terrain and weather conditions when planning your trip. If you are unsure of your abilities, it may be best to start with a shorter trip and work your way up.

Stay Safe

Finally, safety is always a top priority when wild camping. Make sure you have the necessary equipment and skills to deal with potential hazards, and always let someone know your plans before you head out. Remember to stay hydrated, eat well, and take regular breaks to avoid exhaustion.


In conclusion, wild camping in Scotland is a unique and rewarding experience, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. By researching the area, packing light, leaving no trace, respecting wildlife, being prepared for emergencies, and embracing the adventure, you can ensure your wild camping trip is both enjoyable and safe. So, grab your gear and hit the hills – Scotland is waiting for you!

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