UK: +44 (0)1479 420 020
US: 1-866-740-3890
National Geographic - Best Adventure Travel Companies

Wild Camping in Scotland – A Beginner’s Guide

Posted on Apr 30, 2012 by Sarah Morton

Planning to Wild Camp in Scotland? Improve Your Success Rate.

I could count on one hand the number of times I have been wild camping in Scotland, and that very same number all amount to unsuccessful attempts.

I hate to admit it. As much as I love adventure and the outdoors, I am more of a five-star hotel kind of gal than up for roughing it.

That said, I had my arm twisted at the weekend and got whisked away for my first wild camping in Scotland expedition. How to pack your camping kit like a pro.

Location, Location, Location

Location and weather are obviously key factors to the success of wild camping in Scotland.

As luck would have it the Scottish weather played ball. The sun shone all day, and I managed to catch one of the best sunsets I have ever seen, while tucking into a delicious supper. Location, on the other hand, is less to do with luck and more tilted towards planning.

One of the great things about the Highlands is, there are so many remote and wild spots that wild camping is quite accessible, we chose to head for the hills of Assynt, in the North West Highlands, where there is an abundance of secluded spots to pitch your tent.

The drive through the wilderness to find the perfect spot was breathtaking, I got within touching distance of more wildlife, sea life and birdlife in two days than some people do in their whole lives, and I definitely woke up feeling more refreshed than I ever have done in any hotel.

The Ultimate Wild Camping Articles

  1. A few tips on what NOT to do if you’re camping in Scotland.
  2. FILM: Assynt – An Immersion in Wilderness
  3. How to Pack Like a Pro When Camping
  4. The Best Places to Camp in the Highlands
  5. How to Bike and Camp in the Wild

Wild Camping Tips

Wild camping in Scotland isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you have been thinking of giving it a go, Spring and Summer in the Highlands are the perfect time to take the plunge. Have a read of my essential first-timer tips to get your planning off to a start:

  • Location – chose an area you really want to see, with plenty of things to do during the day be it walking, climbing, biking or paddling, make a full trip out of it.
  • Bring a good map with you – Ordnance Survey maps are the best. Have a rough plan of where you want to go.
  • Check out the roads and local facilities – some areas are really very remote, with just single-track roads and very little local amenities – make sure you bring anything you really need, because chances are you may not be able to pick it up locally.
  • Bring a supply of food – things that are easy to cook or just need heated up.
  • Make sure you know how and where to go to the toilet! If you’re not sure, this book tells you how.
  • Pack out what you bring in – make sure you leave the wilderness as you found it. Pack out all litter and unused food, leaving no trace.
  • Bring plenty of warm clothes – it can get very cold at night, and have extra clothes in case you get wet.
  • Check the weather – pretty much out of your hands, but if it’s going to be bad, it might be better to hold fire and hang on for a better forecast – the most accurate information for the Highlands can be found on the Mountain Weather Information Service website.
  • Bring the right kit – carefully research the kit you need to specifically suit your trip.
  • Know the Scottish Outdoors Access Code.
  • Practice leaving no trace – enjoy the land, but leave it as you found it to ensure we preserve the beautiful but fragile environment.
  • Don’t forget your camera!

VIDEO: Wild Camping and Canoeing in Scotland

Take a few minutes to immerse yourself in the excitement of canoeing wild camping in Scotland as a group tackle our North West Highlands canoeing and camping trip.

Guided Wild Camping Trips in Scotland

If you’re still not sure you’re ready to brave the wilderness alone, why not try one of our canoeing or sea kayaking expedition trips that include wilderness camping, and let our expert guides show you the ropes. Our trips take wild camping to another level with freshly baked bread, great menus, cosy communal teepees and the most secluded of locations, to prove we do the best wild camping tours you can checkout reviews here.

Click on the links in the table below to find the right wild camping tour for you.

Trip Date Name Price Availability Book
13th May - 18th May 2017 Sea Kayaking - Sound of Arisaig £7756 place(s) leftBook Now
20th May - 25th May 2017 Sea Kayaking - The Summer Isles £7756 place(s) leftBook Now
22nd Jul - 27th Jul 2017 Sea Kayaking - Island Hopping in the Outer Hebrides £8954 place(s) leftBook Now
5th Aug - 10th Aug 2017 Sea Kayaking - Sound of Arisaig £775Places availableBook Now
12th Aug - 17th Aug 2017 Sea Kayaking - The Summer Isles £7752 place(s) leftBook Now
26th Aug - 31st Aug 2017 Sea Kayaking - Island Hopping in the Outer Hebrides £895Places availableBook Now

About the author

More from Conservation, Open Canoeing, Sea Kayaking, Wilderness Walking

Orkney Isles Top Ten Old Man of Hoy Orkney Isles: Top 10 Things to Do

Posted on Apr 21, 2017 by Sonja Jones

Assynt photography Assynt Photography: Incredible Images from the North West Highlands

Posted on Apr 14, 2017 by Rupert Shanks

Spring in the Cairngorms Spring in the Cairngorms: Top 5 Things to Do

Posted on Apr 11, 2017 by Rupert Shanks

sea kayaking in scotland Sea Kayaking in Scotland: A Photo Love Story

Posted on Apr 06, 2017 by Rupert Shanks

Whisky Galore on the Isle of Eriskay Whisky Galore on the Isle of Eriskay

Posted on Mar 27, 2017 by Sonja Jones

Overnight Canoeing 10 things to take Overnight Canoeing

Posted on Mar 20, 2017 by David Russell

Popular Categories....

walking Road Cycling Sea Kayaking Mountain Biking How To Video