By: Blonde Two

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


Wild camping = backpack camping

Wild camping or backpack camping offers a great wilderness experience but only if we are all prepared to do it in the right way. This year has seen unprecedented numbers of people trying wild camping on Dartmoor for the first time. Some have done the right things and taken themselves and their rucksacks up into the wilderness, others have caused the National Park Rangers untold problems by camping in the wrong place, causing damage and leaving mess. Those rucksacks can get heavy (no you shouldn’t be camping next to your car) so we have five things you definitely won’t be needing. Leave them at home, lighten your load and make sure you leave no trace.

  1. You don’t need earplugs to wild camp on Dartmoor. If you camp in the right location you will be away from all roads, houses and other people.
  2. You can leave your fire starting kit at home. For very good reason, campfires are banned on Dartmoor. They leave long lasting damage and risk enormous grass fires.
  3. You won’t be needing your speakers or even your own music. Pitch your tent, sit back and enjoy the sounds of nature.
  4. Don’t bother taking a disposable barbecue (or any kind of barbecue) to Dartmoor. They also damage the grass, cause fires and make a mess in your rucksack when you take them away again (which you obviously would do because you are not a numpty).
  5. Your weekly shop. Backpack camping or wild camping on Dartmoor should only be for a couple of days. If you want to stay longer, we have some really lovely campsites.

It’s a simple message… If you want to be an environmentally friendly wild camper instead of a disruptive, damaging fly camper…




Dartmoor Wild Camping Courses