New campaign calls for more responsible wild camping

wild camping
Campaign to educate on how to wild camp responsibly (Image credit: Sam Jones)

Two leading outdoors organisations have come together to encourage people to be more responsible wild campers.

OS Maps and Cycling UK have launched an awareness film that reveals some of the key ways to camp and leave the countryside as they found it.

The short video is presented by Vedangi Kulkarni, who is the youngest woman to have cycled solo around the world.

The campaign includes advice on where to camp, leaving no trace and how to go to the toilet responsibly.

The organisations are also keen to give people the skills and wider awareness needed to leave the countryside in a better state than when they found it.

Vedangi said: “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.”

wild camping

We have a responsibility to leave no trace in the countryside  (Image credit: Cycling UK/ OS Maps)

wild camping Thorsmork Iceland.

Wild camping and cycling in Iceland (Image credit: OS Maps/ Cycling UK)

Give it a try: #12nightsoutin1year

The video is part of a wider series of advice and tips, including tips on how to use your bike as the basis for a shelter and a 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.

Sam Jones, who is Cycling UK’s Cape Wrath Fellowship custodian, has camped out at least once a month for the past two and a half years years. He says he 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.

Same added:  “The outdoors is there for everyone to enjoy, whether they’re walking, riding or running.  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.”

Nick Giles, managing director of Ordnance Survey Leisure, said: “Anyone getting outside in 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.”

Fiona Russell
Outdoor writer

Fiona Russell is a widely published adventure journalist and blogger, better known as Fiona Outdoors. She is based in Scotland and is an all-round outdoors enthusiast with favorite activities including trail running, mountain walking, mountain biking, road cycling, triathlon and skiing (both downhill and backcountry). Aside from her own adventures, Fiona's biggest aim is to inspire others to enjoy getting outside and exploring, especially through her writing. She is also rarely seen without a running skort! Find out more at Fiona Outdoors.