Travel: The Best Places In The World To Hike And Camp For Free
Time to escape, time to think, time to be, and breathe some fresh air and take in the world around you.
That's what a lot of people are now looking for, particularly as alongside physical exercise, more and more people are realising the benefits of Mindfulness.
Don't get me wrong. I love the sun, sea, and sand as much as anyone, and I'm sooooo ready for a relaxing holiday, but experiencing green trees, dirt roads, and looking up into the night sky to see a million stars anywhere in the world is pretty special too.
There are some stunning locations worldwide that you can walk, hike and camp for free in, so I've found you some amazing places for you to try.
Not for the faint-hearted. This is a great trail, stretching from Georgia to Main. It has a distance of 2,180 miles and takes between 5 and 7 months to complete (Hope you have an understanding boss). You can go any time of year, as long as you have prepped for all weathers and temperatures. It is the longest continuously marked footpath and takes you through 14 different states. You’ll need to be an expert planner to get it all done in one go or have a lot of places booked to sleep and relax along the way.
Everest Base Camp Trek
I know people that have one this and raved about it. If you didn't know, this in Nepal and goes on for a magnificent 70 miles. It takes 16 days to do, but you really want to think about going between March and May or September to November. This one is gaining in popularity, as you get to get a glimpse into the culture and the people that call this place home. You also get to set foot on the highest place on earth.
Bay Of Fires
This is in Tasmania, Australia - and is a sweet 16 miles. Taking on average around 4 days, meaning it is excellent for relatively new hikers wanting some adventure. The best time to go is between October and May - taking into account how hot Australia can get during the summer months you won’t want to risk it. This hike has a lot of beautiful white sandy beaches, and rocks and boulders covered in bright red (blood red) lichen. The water is a serene turquoise and makes everything seem more vibrant.
Laugavegurinn // Fimmvorduhals Pass
I've fancied going to Iceland to ages. I love the idea of the warm blue lagoons, however, for something a little more strenuous, this hike is a decent length but shouldn't take you too long to do. It's 50-miles but can be completed in 4 days. Of course, you might want to take much longer because the scenery is stunning and you’ll want to be getting those all important photos for the 'gram'. The best time to go for this one is June to September. You will wander through volcanic peaks and rocks coated in lichen. There will be stunning views of rhyolite peaks. The 50-mile stretch has such a range of landscapes it will keep surprising you. You can add on an extra 15 miles at the beginning or the end for the Skogafoss. A stunning 200-foot high waterfall.
Closer to home, this one is 470 miles long. It only opened in 2012 and is the first end-to-end walking route. Of course, Scotland is renowned for its amazing landscapes and typically drizzly weather. I attempted Ben Nevis once in the rain. It was so slippy but I got three-quarters of the way up. What amazed me was people attempting it in flip-flops and some on bikes!! Due to the Scottish weather, you might want to go in April/May time to make the most of it. It should be noted that the hike becomes increasingly difficult the further you get along it, so you should really consider if you have the experience before you start out. It takes between 5 and 7 weeks to complete but can be broken up into 4 neat parts if you are restricted by time.
When you start hiking, you should always make sure you hire a professional guide or go with groups for a while. It can be very intensive physically, so for more significant hikes, you might need to train and work up to them.
Glamping and holiday parks may be popular but free camping is becoming more popular in recent years. It isn’t so much about ‘freeloading,’ it is more about finding those spots that you might otherwise miss. More countries are opening up parts of the landscape to free campers, on the basis that they stick to a few rules:
Never near peoples houses
No fires, and clean up after yourself
A set amount of time in one area
Sweden it seems is one of the best places in the world to go for wild camping. I have been to Sweden and it is stunning. I tried Husky sledging too and they have so many unspoiled areas. Allemansrätten or, freedom to roam is deeply set in their culture and law. This means that everyone has access to nature. Respecting the environment and nature is the key to it all.
The best thing to do is invest some time into researching off road caravans and getting one that suits your needs.
Sweden’s largest island is in the middle of the baltic sea, on the southeast coast. Many Swedes would regard it as the ideal summer destination as it is brimming wild birds and flowers. There are sand dunes, long stretches of beach and Visby is nearby. It is perfect for campers who like a bit of a bike ride too. You are free to pitch your tent anywhere you want but stay away from the houses!
The most southern tip of Sweden. Home to Lund, Malmo, and Helsingborg. You can hike the Skaneleden Trail, which is around 73 miles long and goes through some beautiful countryside, along the coast, and through forests too. There are plenty of sites for wild camping here, and you will also find shelters too.
If you want to stay somewhere for more than a night, you can stay in Skuleskogen for a maximum of three. It is one of the 29 national parks in Sweden and is in the Vasternorrland county. You will be surrounded by the sea, woods, and lakes - which provide the perfect backdrop for kicking back or going for plenty of walks. There are free cabins all over the park in case you find yourself arriving in the rain, and you can move around the place but not be in one spot for more than three days.
There are many apps that can help you check where you can camp and the best way to move forward on you hike, so make use of some technology when you can.