The art of triple A wild camping

“Why sleep in a 5 star hotel if you can sleep under a 5 million star sky?”

Last year, my friend Dewa and I made a road trip to Sagres in the southern part of Portugal, taking in parts of Belgium, France and Spain on the way. It was a tremendous trip. Our luxury was not found in high quality hotels, but in the freedom of traveling by cabriolet, mainly on back roads and without a fixed road plan or overnight destination. Every night we tried to find a camping spot away from tourists, in nature, near a water source. Many times we set up camp and looked at each other, amazed by the beauty of our site. Every next night it became a challenge to find another superb camping spot, different from anyone before.

Wild camping is a minor risk. Sometimes it is difficult to find that perfect spot. Darkness, uneven terrain, thick vegetation, tides and fences sometimes hinder us. Traffic signs usually don’t. We assume a ‘no camping’ sign will scare off others, but not us. Also, the best camping spots are sometimes found on dead-end roads and unpaved back roads. We do respect private lands and don’t trespass fences. We might camp in meadows, in the middle of nowhere, out of sight, but don’t do no harm and never leave any trace. Not causing any problem, we suppose no-one has a problem with our staying there for the night. However, keep in mind that wild camping is not allowed in many European countries. Someone may get mad and you might get removed. Run into officials and you may get fined. Whatever you do, do it respectfully, don’t make fire or noise and treat your site with the same respect you would do your belongings. Is wild camping safe? If you don’t want to take the risk to find out, choose an organized camping.

Tomorrow we’re going on another road trip. This time it will be Germany, Switzerland and Italy. The concept is the same. One cabriolet, two girls, two tents, no fixed plan, triple A wild camping.


Camping at Lac de Mondely
Early morning mist over Lac de Mondely (France).
Camping Extremadura
Amongst autumn heath on a lake in the Extremadura (Spain).
Camping on the Loire.
Tranquil setting on the Loire (France).
Camping viewpoint
Excellent camping on a not-maintained viewpoint along a little used backroad (Spain).
Camping beach Portugal
A bit of adventure: pitching a tent on one of Portugal’s wild beaches.
Camping at a ruine
Much attracted by castles and ruins: this one overlooked a canyon (France).

Dare & Share!