If you’re planning to wild camp in Scotland, Bradly of “Dream Big, Travel Far” shares his 15 top tips and tricks to make your experience safer and more pleasant. They’ve been driving around the world since 2020 and have expert tips for wild camping in Scotland and beyond.
How to Wild Camp in Scotland
Since converting our van (who is called Helen), we’ve driven to dozens of countries across Europe, as well as to North America & South America. However, Scotland remains very close to our hearts as we spent more than 4 months there, living in our van and driving around this spectacular country.
It is hands-down one of our personal favourite places to visit anywhere in the world. Particularly for vanlifers, due to the many amazing spots for wild camping in Scotland. Teeming with extraordinary nature and wildlife, there’s no better way to explore the country than in your own vehicle. Without further ado, let’s get right into it!
1. Understand what wild camping is
But first… what is wild camping?
Also known as free camping or boondocking, it’s essentially camping overnight outside of registered campsites, or at a location where you don’t have to pay for.
Wild camping is not the same as camping in general. While setting up tents in wilderness areas is a form of wild camping, so is sleeping in an RV, campervan, or motorhome! Some examples include parking in a field, near a lake, or in a public car park.
As the latter is what we’re best accustomed with, our suggestions today are for vehicle-based wild camping. However, many of the points actually apply to the other form of wild camping, such as in a tent. Check out a Scotland road trip at: North Coast 500 – The Ultimate Trip Guide to Scotland’s Epic Drive
2. Choose the right motorhome or campervan
The first thing you should do before starting your adventure is to choose the right vehicle. Whether you’re buying your own or renting a campervan, it’s important to pick the best one for your needs. Some features to think about include:
- Size – Are you travelling alone or with someone else? Make sure that you can confidently drive your chosen vehicle. While a larger motorhome may be more comfortable to live in, they’re harder to navigate rough terrains and off-the-beaten track. This is crucially important to remember, as most roads in Scotland are very narrow; even along the NC500 and particularly in cities.
- Number of beds – Likewise, pay attention to the number of berths…