As part of Cycling UK and OS Maps’ joint work encouraging more people to discover and enjoy the outdoors more responsibly, the two organisations have launched an awareness film on how to wild camp responsibly. As has been remarked on many times before on these pages, you don’t have the right to wild camp in much of the UK – however, if you’re going to do it, do it right.
Featuring the youngest woman to cycle solo around the world (and Singletrack’s new XC correspondent), Vedangi Kulkarni, the video advises would-be wild campers on how to ensure they leave the countryside as they found it.
From advice on where to camp to how to go to the toilet responsibly (tip: pack it up and take it out) to picking up others’ rubbish as well as your own, the two organisations aim to give people the skills and wider awareness needed to leave the countryside in a better state than when they found it.
“One of the horror stories of the past year and a bit has been of how people have headed to some of this island’s most beautiful locations, spent a magical time overnight, and then just left it in a complete tip.
“I’m hoping with this short film, we’ll help many of them think twice about what they’re doing, while also providing valuable tips for those who wanted to ensure they leave no trace when they head outdoors.”Vedangi Kulkarni
The video is part of a wider series of advice and tips, including advice on how to use your bike as the basis for a shelter, that the two organisations are sharing with the British public as part of their year long cycling and camping challenge, called #12nightsoutin1year. Entrants are encouraged to head out on their bike and experience a night beneath the stars, in a tent, bivi bag or hammock, at least once a month over the course of a year and to photograph their experiences.
Each month, participants who have posted their photos and experiences on Instagram using #12nightsoutin1year will automatically be entered into a monthly competition to win a range of cycle and navigation related prizes.
Cycling UK’s Cape Wrath Fellowship custodian Sam Jones, who has camped out at least once a month for the past two and a half years years, wants to see everyone make the most of the wilderness they can discover from their doorstep and leave it in a better condition than they found it.
“The outdoors is there for everyone to enjoy, whether they’re walking, riding or running,” said Sam. “With that enjoyment comes responsibility, which is why #12nightsoutin1year focus is just as much about enjoying the countryside, as ensuring it’s in a better state than when we found it.
“Trash free trails are something we can and should all work towards every time we head out.”
“Anyone getting outside on their bikes around our beautiful hills and moors for the unique experience of wild camping must remember to leave the place as they found it.
“We have to be kind to our environment and at the end of the day the only thing we should ever leave behind is our footprints.”Nick Giles, Managing Director of Ordnance Survey Leisure
For more information on the #12nightsoutin1year challenge see: https://www.cyclinguk.org/12-nights-out-1-year