Camping is one of our favorite things to do when we’re on the road. When we camp, it’s mostly wild. This means we do not pitch our tent in a designated spot for campers, mostly because when whilst traveling Asia, these are not very common. We sleep outside, in a spot where we deem appropriate. As much as we enjoy it, this is one of those things that we do with a little precaution. These are some tips, from what we’ve learned through our experiences in 15 months on the road.
Ideally, look for a place to stay whilst it is not dark yet. It makes it a lot easier, safer and easy to set up. At the same time, plan your timing well to minimize the number of people that see you do so.
Make a move the following day. We never wild camped at the same place for more than one night, except once. Funnily enough, that one time was the only time during the trip that we found ourselves in a sticky situation. So lesson learned – set up, sleep, eat, wake up, pack up and leave.
Watch out for the possibility of change in the area you choose to pitch your tent. It is sunny, hot and all peace and quiet, but just before you start relaxing after one of those days riding and adventuring like a boss, it starts raining. The ground becomes a muddy hell, rolling rocks start invading the area like meteorites coming from space and you realize you are suddenly in deep sh*t. Oh, and you have to get the bike out of there too.
Use what you can
Make the most of what you find and the natural resources that surround you. If there’s a river close by, use water from there. Natural streams are usually very clean, especially in mountainous regions. If you can boil it, or use purifying tablets, that’s even better. When we traveled in the Himalayas, we always filled water from streams, small waterfalls and rivers. It saved us both money and hassle.
Adapt to the environment and use what you have. If it’s hot, look for a shady place. If it’s cold, cooking inside the tent will warm it up and make it easier for you to adjust your body temperature before you sleep.
Keep the wildlife away. Avoid leaving any food remains in the tent as creatures that you’d like as far as possible at night will smell it and create havoc. Moreover, if you dump your waste outside, do so in a safe distance away from the tent. Try to find a place where it is less likely for dogs, cats or other animals to find and tear up. This will avoid you the hassle of picking up scattered waste in the morning or even worse leave a mess behind.
Be respectful and responsible
Be nice to locals and act wisely. At the beginning of this piece, I mentioned that when we stayed at the same place for more than one night was the only time we got in trouble. Check out the story here and you’ll easily see why.
Be aware, be kind, stay calm and after all – have fun!