Free Nights - a guest post by Jon Doolan

Free Nights - a guest post by Jon Doolan

 As part of an ongoing project, I'm encouraging Mums, Dads, kids, carers, and adventurous significant others to take the stage and share what makes #dadventure matter for them, whether they get out on their own to recharge and rebalance, or with the family, to nurture a love of the wild and to expand horizons.  Please get in touch if you'd like to share your story.


Recently, I found myself on a school-night #microadventure with a number of likeminded souls, and having realised quite how likeminded one of them was, asked if he would mind penning a guest blog for Dadventurebasecamp.com.


And here it is...


(Words by Jon Doolan, pictures a joint effort)

Is Wild Camping a bit naughty?

Is Wild Camping a bit naughty?

 Is Wild Camping illegal?

Just to be clear, I'm not a lawyer.  I've read a bit, and I've thought a bit, and this is my own view.  So please read on, think on, but eventually make up your own mind, and do whatever you think is best.

Most people new to this sort of thing (me included) has questions about the legality and safety of sleeping wild sooner or later, and Al Humphreys (as ever) answers them jolly well in this straightforward article on his site.  He concludes that he would not worry too much about the theoretical legal aspects of sleeping in a bivvy, that if you act with common sense and courtesy you will be fine, and quite sensibly puts the whole 'am I doing something naughty' question in perspective - "remember, you are acting far more illegally and dangerously every time you break the speed limit in a car". 

That gave me the confidence to head out for a bivvy on my own, but once I started making plans to sleep out with my boys, I wanted to understand the position a little better, and to find out where on earth we could take on a night in the Wilds.

What follows (again, just my personal views as a non-lawyer) should help you get started, and hopefully let you see that it's not black and white, but please don't rely on this any more than anything else you read on the internet!

The short answer is that while wild-camping it is not explicitly "legal" without permission, it's not actually "illegal" either, and the difference is actually quite important.

If you are discovered sleeping somewhere, by someone who'd rather you weren't there, and you haven't asked permission, the result is that if you might very well be asked to leave. However it's very hard to see how you could be arrested, or prosecuted, unless you've been doing something else that actually is illegal, or unless it's on certain specific types of land (like railways).  Read on to find out more...

The Big Trip

The Big Trip

One of the tricky things with young kids is getting them to draw a mental bridge between the Bear Grylls or Al Humphreys adventures they love to watch, and the sphere of their own experience. 

Al's done awesome work with some specifically kid-based #microadventures, and great tips for getting kids out there, but I still wanted to give the boys something more tangible to aim for and identify with. Some way of placing themselves at the heart of the story.

Enter the Dirtbag Diaries...

Already one of my favourite podcast series, it unearthed a real gem with Otto Gallaher's tale of a family tradition of a Big Trip that I instantly and shamelessly adopted.

Telegraph Outdoor Adventure & Travel Show

Telegraph Outdoor Adventure & Travel Show

On Friday 12th Feb, we packed our rucksacks with provisions, water, and emergency items (toys trains for on the train, and notebooks for interviewing adventurers), and headed to London's Excel Centre for the 2016 Telegraph Outdoor Adventure Show and the London Bike Show.

A double whammy of excitement, and the perfect solution to an inset day at the boys' school.

We met up with Andy Bartlett, who was putting the final preparations in place for his epic Stand Up Paddleboard adventure following the Danube from source to sea, and went exploring around the stands, speakers, and shows that are squeezed in under the enormous roof of the Excel.