Wild camping done right
Wild camping is re-connecting with nature. It is camping somewhere away from facilities, in a wild place. It is stepping outside your comfort zone, to experience new things. Wild camping helps you escape the manic world in which we live, and find some inner calm.
I base my guided WeCycle wild camping experiences in Dartmoor, for several very valid reasons:
- Dartmoor is the last remaining wilderness in England, and is hauntingly beautiful in its own way.
- It can easily be a car-free adventure, and you can get to the start by train. Be sure to read my Bikes on Trains guide first though.
- Dartmoor is the only part of England where wild camping is perfectly legal.
- Dartmoor is ancient and near to where we’ll be camping there’s a Bronze Age village that’s at least 3 700 years old. Yes, that village predates the beginning of the Roman Empire by over 1 500 years!
Why choose WillCycle?
That’s a great question. For starters, I’m a highly experienced, fully-trained ride leader, and I’ve taken hundreds of groups of cyclists out on rides. I’m First Aid trained and with my military background, I offer a wealth of experience.
More important than that is my passionate belief in treating people fairly, and as equals. You won’t be made fun of, you won’t be laughed at, and you won’t be lectured at. Instead, you will find a WeCycle ride to be a fun, challenging and growing experience, all underpinned by my deep-rooted ethical approach.
You will be encouraged to do as much as possible for yourself, as that will increase your skills and confidence. At the same time, help and guidance will be available, in a supportive environment. Mutual support and respect together form the basis for my WeCycle experiences, and you will leave having learned new skills, while having a bunch of fun.
Why should YOU sign up?
That’s an even better question. Have you ever laid on your back, to look up at the stars in a night sky unpolluted by light? Have you ever watched the sun set over open moorland, or even better, watched it rise again in the morning? Have you ever gone wild swimming in a deep pond on Dartmoor?
Have you ever pitched a tent yourself, slept in the tent overnight, and woke to the early light, with the magic of Dartmoor all around you? Have you ever wanted to go wild camping, but were too nervous to do so? Or, have you ever wanted to go wild camping, but felt unsafe to do so on your own, while none of your friends wanted to try it out? You can even have the opportunity to go wild swimming at night!
When you join me on a WeCycle guided wild camping experience, you will have a great time. You’ll learn new skills, or perhaps hone existing ones. As a bonus, you’ll be in a group of like-minded people (group sizes are limited to maximum eight).
Women are welcome, and more importantly, are welcome as equals.
But I’m a single woman – will I be safe?
The words below is by Katy, the first woman to go wild camping with me. My WeCycle guided wild camping experiences only go ahead if there is a minimum of three participants, and I take great care to create a safe and supportive environment for all.
“You’re expected to bring your kit and get on with it – this is not some Sherpa thing, it’s training really – you do exactly what you would if you were alone, but you actually have the security of company, which as a woman is a good stepping stone.
I’ve met at least three women, or more, who wild camp alone, but it’s like cycling alone, not everyone is comfortable doing that and therefore finding company who also like doing that thing is the option you need.”
What if you don’t own a tent?
Tents can be expensive, and I understand why you wouldn’t want to buy one that you might never use. If you don’t have a tent, I can provide with one to use overnight, but please speak to me about that first. There’s a Contact Me form below that you can use.
What if I own no camping kit?
To a limited degree, I can help with that, and either lend you some of my kit, or share some of it with you. For example, I can let you use my camping stove. However, please don’t assume any of this will be available, unless confirmed with me, as I have limited spare kit.
OK, I’m very interested. Now what?
My WeCycle guided wild camping experiences are carefully designed for you to not only enjoy, but to benefit from. Group sizes are minimum of three, and maximum of eight.
Everything described above you can experience for only £85 per person. Should you so prefer, I can make a payment plan available to you – please just contact me to ask (use the Contact Me form below). A payment plan would mean a deposit of £30, and four monthly payments of £15 each.
The Small Print
I like to be clear about things, so forgive me if some of what I write here seems obvious. For starters, I can’t promise you clear starry nights, or blue skies during the day. The weather on Dartmoor is changeable, but that simply adds to the adventure. The rides will go ahead regardless of the weather, with the exception being if 40+mph winds are forecast.
The route is challenging. If you’re just a moderately fit, moderately skilled rider, you should cope with it. The route is intentionally designed to be challenging. However, we will travel as a group, and we will stop as often as you need us to. Nobody will be rushing you along all the time. Equally, if you find the pace slower than you’d like, I expect you to be supportive towards others who may be struggling more than you.
It’s not a race. If you want to show off your amazing athletic skills, high speed cycling and supreme off-road cycling talent, please stay away? A WeCycle experience is intentionally not a competitive environment.
You must carry a minimum of two litres of water on your bike. On a sweltering hot summer’s weekend, you will need every last drop. Equally, you will need to carry all your gear on your bike. Panniers will be easier for most people to use, and usually offer more storage space, but you’re free to choose your own luggage system. Just do yourself a favour and don’t use a backpack!
The route is rough in places. You might fall over. You might step on uneven terrain (well, it is Dartmoor, after all) and twist your ankle, or you might even get bitten by a horsefly (they love me, for some reason!). These are ordinary risks, and you agree that you’ll be undertaking this adventure at your own risk. From my side, I promise to do my very best to keep you safe, while also allowing you to make your own decisions. I will not treat you like a 5yo!
Abusive behaviour will not be tolerated. I’m sorry that this even needs saying. Anyone being abusive towards others will be asked to leave. Abuse includes being racist, homophobic, sexist, or similar. Equally, anyone lighting fires, littering and refusing to clear that up, or causing harm to Dartmoor will be asked to leave. A WeCycle adventure is a respectful environment.