We all know road trips are my favourite thing in the world, hence the reason I converted a van and travelled Australia in it. However there are other reasons for my van conversion… mainly the cost. Van Life is a whole lot cheaper than if you were to hire a car & stay in hotels. This little home on wheels has been a lifesaver when it comes to my bank account. So today I thought I’d give you the information you’re going to need when it comes to Freedom Camping.
For those of you who don’t know what Freedom Camping is, let me explain. Freedom Camping is basically camping places for free. Not everywhere allows it and there can be a lot of rules that apply to Freedom Camping but fear not, I’m going to explain them all here. It’s a great way to save money on the road & can be super exciting to pull up somewhere and stay the night for free. How many times in this day & age do you get anything for free?
// Helpful Apps \\
So first of all let’s talk about apps. These have been a complete saviour on our trip, in helping us find campgrounds and places we can stay for free. There are a range of apps out there that all do the same/similar things. For this trip the only app I’ve used is THL by Britz. This app is genius. You can filter it down to what you’re looking for. Whether that’s fuel stations, campgrounds, public toilets. Whatever it is, it’ll tell you the closest facilities to you.
This has been so good in helping us find places to stay for the night. It filters it to free sites, cheap sites or even more luxury sites. It really does have everything and allows you to have the reassurance to know you’re legally camping for the night. As a lot of places don’t allow overnight parking, meaning you could get fined if you’re caught.
Park 4 Night is another popular app used to find locations you can park for the night, for free. Do your research & use whatever app suits you best.
// Safety \\
There is no denying it, if you’re staying somewhere for free then it’s probably going to be a little creepier & not in a designated site. There’s the chance you’re just going to be in a field, in a lay-by or in a local park. So be aware of the safety side of things. If it doesn’t feel safe, if something feels remotely wrong then don’t risk it. It’s not worth it.
A tip for feeling safer, which is something we have found to work really well is: Arrive in daylight. Everything looks and feels a little creepier in the dark. So arrive to your freedom camping location during the day. It’ll ensure you get a good feel for the place and can really scout it out.
Also, if there are other campers at the site when you arrive, you know it’s probably going to be okay. It’s like when you go to a restaurant. You’re more likely to go to a restaurant that’s busy, than one that’s empty.
// The Rules \\
Just because the site is free, it doesn’t mean there aren’t any rules to you staying there. It really goes without saying but some people feel they’re exception to the rule. The biggest rule of any Freedom Camping site is: LEAVE IT AS YOU FOUND & LEAVE NO TRACE! Freedom Camping sites are usually better for people with self contained vans because a lot of them don’t actually have toilets. So make sure you leave no trace and leave the place how you found it.
Do not litter, don’t have fires on the floors. You know, just be respectful of the space you’re in. After all, you’re being allowed to stay there for free, so respect it and just be a decent human being.
Freedom Camping isn’t for everyone. It can be a little more risky, it’s not the most luxury accomodation however, if you’re on a big trip and need to limit your costing, then it’s a great tool for being budget friendly. It’s saved us a lot of money so far on our trip and actually, there are some really great sites out there.
| By Harrison |