Camping Legally, or not

Discussion in 'Hiking Chat' started by dovidola, Apr 20, 2020.

  1. dovidola

    dovidola Thru Hiker

    Posts lifted from elsewhere to avoid cluttering up another thread - Shewie (Admin)



    I think bivvys (hooped or otherwise) have their place too - someone else's!

    However (*Warning - slight thread drift...) the current restrictions and their anticipated aftermath (which I'm worried could prove permanent) are making me think for the first time about stealthier (i.e. criminal) camping, and I can see a bivvy might be an option.
    Enzo likes this.
  2. Padstowe

    Padstowe Thru Hiker

    Although I get where you are coming from, personally I've never worried about where I can or can't sleep.
    Any time anyone has woke me up & told me "you can't sleep here" my reply has always been along the lines of "well I was doing a good job of it till you came along".
    (If i have to move, I move, if I don't, I don't)
  3. PhilHo

    PhilHo Thru Hiker

    Relax its not "criminal" it is just trespass. That is potentially a civil offense. If they don't know who you are they can't take action against you.

    I fancy doing the Pennine Way some time by walking until I'm too tired then getting into a bivi until I've had enough sleep, repeat.
    turkeyphant, Rmr and Mole like this.
  4. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    As long as you move on when asked it's not criminal.
    But I prefer a strife free life, so I try and avoid being in that position.
    Mole likes this.
  5. dovidola

    dovidola Thru Hiker

    That was then. This is now. And who knows what will be later.

    In point of law, there is no such thing as a 'civil offence', at least not in England and Wales. There is a 'civil wrong' or tort, for which you can be sued for damages. Whether you can be identified for such action is a separate matter.

    Exactly my position. Until now.

    Ditto. Until now.

    My point is that until the current 'crisis provisions' came along, we wildcamped (in England and Wales) in a somewhat grey legal area and as long as individuals conducted themselves sensibly there was seldom any difficulty. This crisis is shining an (unwelcome IMO) light into how the law operates (and doesn't) in this sphere of human activity, and my concern is that new legislation of a more permanent nature may be forthcoming, plus the means of enforcing it.
    turkeyphant likes this.
  6. Chiseller

    Chiseller Thru Hiker

    .
    In Britain, it is legal to use a bivi bag by the side of a right of way or on access land. Your are resting and not camping.
  7. Rog Tallbloke

    Rog Tallbloke Thru Hiker

    Interesting. Where can I read about what is defined as a bivi bag? Is there a size limit? Does the regulation prohibit any kind of pole structure?
  8. PhilHo

    PhilHo Thru Hiker

    Its never criminal.
    Enzo likes this.
  9. Chiseller

    Chiseller Thru Hiker

    I'm not certain on the hooped part Rog. There was an article in the paper and magazines a couple of years or more back. A man bivid/wild camped all across Britain. He slept in areas with limited public access and on private land with public rights of way crossing it.
    I may be incorrect on this next bit... But I'm sure he slept on some Royal land aswell.
    Rog Tallbloke likes this.
  10. PhilHo

    PhilHo Thru Hiker

    That's why I misspelled it ;-)
    WilliamC likes this.
  11. Rog Tallbloke

    Rog Tallbloke Thru Hiker

    Golf courses are my favourite. Deserted at night. Nice flat pitches on well tended grass to be had.
    Peterbob67, gixer, Jamess and 3 others like this.
  12. Heltrekker

    Heltrekker Section Hiker

    In the past when I've needed to pitch in areas where I might have risked a dubious welcome, I've always sneaked off the path to find somewhere a bit covert where if you pitch late and leave early, nobody knows you've been, and if they can't find you, they can't move you on!
    Chiseller likes this.
  13. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

    Just don’t pitch over a sprinkler head
  14. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    I think camping is an issue on rights of way, but you can rest and have something to eat. Not sure how clearly camping is defined.
  15. Rog Tallbloke

    Rog Tallbloke Thru Hiker

    Haha, yes. Fell foul of that one on some communal grass in Malaga once.
    Chiseller likes this.
  16. HillBelly

    HillBelly Section Hiker

    Not sure where that comes from but I don't think its correct. Resting comes under stopping or lingering. The side of a right of way can be in someones garden.
    turkeyphant likes this.
  17. Chiseller

    Chiseller Thru Hiker

    Has to be a bit of common sense applied... You can always travel less than a km to be clear of a garden.
    If I recall correctly, In some countries you can bivi on someone's adjoining land as long as your a certain distance from a dwelling.
  18. Padstowe

    Padstowe Thru Hiker

    Same kinda law applies in different countries aswell, I know some people who got done for setting up a tent while I who was just sleeping under the stars didn't comment an offence. :)
    So may be something like that?
    Edit: I think it was something to do with the tent being a structure or something to that effect.
    Chiseller likes this.
  19. Chiseller

    Chiseller Thru Hiker

    I'd say, you stop to eat, read a map, make adjustments etc... I'd call resting, laying down and having recovery time on your journey. That would be a stronger reason on a thru hike etc than a couple of days walking a circular.
  20. Chiseller

    Chiseller Thru Hiker

  21. HillBelly

    HillBelly Section Hiker

    He can put it in italics and quotes, but it doesn't mean its extracted from law.... I'd need to see that to believe it.
    turkeyphant likes this.
  22. Chiseller

    Chiseller Thru Hiker

    Seeing as he's a Councillor and promotes access rights... I've no need to disbelieve it... And what's the worst thing can happen... I'm 'asked' to move on.
    As a Councillor, would he publicly put his name to a statement that wasn't legally correct?
  23. Padstowe

    Padstowe Thru Hiker

    I'd say it all depends on how the country you are in defines "camping".
    Nothing to do with tents, but a New Zealand mate of mine some 20yrs ago told me that back home then he could park up his van anywhere that wasn't private property with no problem, but as soon as he put something outside the van it was considered camping & was illegal unless at a camping ground.
  24. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    I think in at least some Nordic countries you can camp anywhere as long as your out of sight.
    But if your out of sight you can camp anywhere here too, no witness, no crime.
    Heltrekker and Chiseller like this.
  25. Chiseller

    Chiseller Thru Hiker

    On the tent part... From the dictionary of all places...

    tent1
    /tɛnt/
    Learn to pronounce
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    noun
    a portable shelter made of cloth, supported by one or more poles and stretched tight by cords or loops attached to pegs driven into the ground.

    So I figure even a free standing tent is still a tent and a hooped bivi, would be a tent, with or without peg points?

    Then a bivi bag that has peg points, but no hoop... Should be what it is a bag.
    ?
    Padstowe likes this.

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