By: Blonde Two

Blonde One and I were approached by a television company last week. I know, it happens all the time, we are just about fighting them off!

The request was an interesting one and I will tell you all about it when we find out whether or not it is going to come to fruition. It did, however, raise a point that I have been thinking about covering (again) for a wee while. That of Dartmoor and her wild camping rules.

We are so lucky to be able to pack up tent and head up to Dartmoor to pitch up in so many beautiful spots. I don’t think that wild camping has become more popular (correct me if I am wrong) but I do think that it has become more talked about, particularly on social media. More talked about, but maybe less understood.


To my mind, you should have to work a bit for your wild camp. You should walk somewhere, eat a lesser meal than usual and sleep in a bed that is just south of comfortable. If you do this, you are likely to be sticking to most of the wild camping rules (yes, even Dartmoor has them!) The rules are there for a good reason, to protect the environment that you are visiting, let’s have a look at them:

1. Use a lightweight tent – that is one that you can carry for at least an hour (if you were wondering).
2. Pitch at least 100m from a road (that is further than you think) and make sure that you can’t be seen from the road or from property. Pitch late and pack up early.
3. Do not light a fire! I repeat, do not light a fire!
4. Do not pollute streams or rivers.
5. Take all of your litter home with you. (For those of you who aren’t aware, apple cores and banana skins do constitute litter and will fit into your rucksack).

And finally, do please take a look at the Dartmoor National Park’s wild camping map. All of the land on Dartmoor is owned, some of it forms part of somebody’s income, some of it is protected. The map is easy to use, DO camp and have a lovely time in the purple areas, DON’T camp in the other areas. The other areas, by the way, include Spitchwick where once again this year there has been horrid mess caused, Haytor which gets very busy anyway and the main plantations (Fernworthy Forest, Bellever and Soussons Down).

Oh yes, you might also want to consider your own safety. DO take a map and compass (and know how to use them), DO check the weather (especially water levels) and DO tell someone else where you are going to be and what time to expect you back. Plus, DO be careful where you pitch your tent, nobody wants a middle of the night accident do they?

Finally please remember that wild camping is not the same thing as glamping. If you fancy a bit of glamping, Dartmoor has some great camp sites, with real loos and everything! Have fun!


Update on Dartmoor wild camping

January 23rd 2023

The picture for wild camping on Dartmoor has changed following a well-publicised High Court decision. This is a developing and controversial situation. Thanks to efforts by the Dartmoor Commons Owners’ Association and Dartmoor National Park Authority, there are currently some areas on Dartmoor where you are still permitted to backpack/wild camp. You can read the news release from Dartmoor National Park Authority here. Please find below a summary.
  • You can currently wild camp on a reduced area of Dartmoor
  • You can view the new Dartmoor wild camping map here
  • If you camp within this area, you don’t need to seek the landowner’s permission
  • If you camp within this area, you don’t need to make an individual payment
  • This is a permissive agreement, which means it can be removed
  • Which means it’s more important than ever to make sure you adopt a leave-no-trace approach
  • Large groups, barbecues and campfires on Dartmoor are still prohibited