Sunday, 6 April 2008

Definition of Camping

I was thinking of things bushcrafting when doing the dishes this morning (yup, no kitchen scales, but I do wash up). Darren called a few minutes later and we chatted about life, the universe and other such nonsense that we can't change. At the end of it I was left with the question - just what is camping?

In the old days, I thought it was "being under canvas", but not these days. I looked at the CRoW Act (schedule 2 1(s)bans camping on Access Land) - no definition. The Scottish Outdoor Access Code fails to define camping beyond the detailed:

This type of camping is lightweight, done in small numbers and only for two or three nights in any one place.

So, lets think about this. Sleeping under a tent is camping. Obviously.


But car camping isn't lightweight camping.


Sleeping under a tarpaulin is camping.


But is sleeping on the ground in a bivvy bag classed as camping? Like this.

What about sleeping out when night fishing? Or in a hide like this when bird-watching? What about lying under a shelter manufacturer from natural materials? Like this. Sleeping in a sea cave? Like this. Sleeping in a hammock? Like this.

Definitions according to the Compact Oxford English Dictionary: link mentions tents, huts or other buildings. yahooAnswers elected an answer which included a tent, a primitive structure, or no shelter at all (link). lists tents, huts, etc., erected for shelter (link).

So, if camping on Access Land in England & Wales is banned under the CRoW Act, is sleeping in a non-built shelter, eg a bivvy-bag, or just sleeping under the stars also banned?


Anonymous said...

I prefer the term "wilderness living". It's always hard to get permission to get on land when you say you want to "camp".
Camping to me conjours up images of huge tents, Gaz stoves and hideous Kamping sites.
My kit is at the most hammock, tarp or bivi bag and I kip down where there's suitable and appropriate resources.
But you're right; it's not defined.
Pablo's Woodlife
Pablo's Woodlife

AktoMan said...

Aye but the law refers specifically to "camping" (England & Wales), and "wild camping" (Scotland).

I like the term "living" in the wilds rather than "surviving". Our ancestors didn't just survive in the wilds, they lived there. And some did really well at it.

As hang-gliding and para-gliding are also banned in the same Schedule paragraph, perhaps it is all down to surface area? ;-)

WD said...

I keep forgetting you guys have sneaky photos of me sleeping. Only draw back of a tarp I think ;)

Great little article.

Peter Lumley said he also dislikes the term wild camping, and prefers to use overnighting.

WebMosaic said...

Camping means to get away and to really feel where we came from. Its a place to get in touch with the body and mind and see who we really are. Camping is very healthy to do, go out, see the outdoors, be alive!
camping france


AktoMan said...

Always strange that we can't just do that on our comfortable sofas. Do we have to separate ourselves from the clutter (that is supposed to make us happy and our lives easier) to get back in touch with our selves. Hmm. More thoughts required - sofa now or wait until I get to the hills.