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Free camping guide.

Love free camping but have never tried it?

Does it seem difficult because no one in your group has done this before?

Here I will try to show you how to do it based on my own experience.

First of all, we should clarify what free camping means.

Free camping therefore means staying in nature completely independent of tourist or other building structures.

Having a tent set up somewhere in the forest or on the beach and looking for the rest of your needs at the nearest tavern, canteen or anything else then this is called free accommodation.

So in this article I will talk about free camping and everyone can adapt it to their needs.

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Tip #1 - Accommodation

Here you can choose one of the four accommodation options:

1) Tent: Tents are divided into winter, summer, four seasons, etc. Choose according to the season you are camping. Make sure it has a good degree of waterproofing so that you and your things are safe, the rain comes from where you least expect it. Finally, choose the capacity of people that each scene describes. It is very important to always choose the number of people who will have +1 left. That is, if you are two people, then choose a three-person tent. This extra space is important to be able to have things like your backpack inside the tent.

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2 ) Hammock: The hammock is an original way of staying. It doesn't offer the space that a tent does. It is usually preferred by solo travelers. All you have to do is find two points to tie it. In the trade you will find cheap hammocks that start from 25 euros and reach up to 100 euros with a mosquito net, a place for a substrate, a waterproof cover in case of rain, etc.

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3) Ground: This method and the one below are perhaps the most far-fetched solutions, but what could be simpler than putting your substrate on the ground, getting into your sleeping bag and sleeping. Make sure the soil is free of thorns or other sharp objects. Also be careful not to tile any ant nests. If you have chosen to sleep on the sand of a beach then spread the sand with your hand before lying down. If you have been on another surface then do the same with a folding shovel. Sand is relatively soft soil. Otherwise, you can collect leaves and grass from around and use them as a soft substrate under your sleeping bag.

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4) Makeshift accommodation: It's time for self-creation. Reeds, fallen tree trunks and branches are all you need to build a makeshift shelter to sleep or roost. Also known as bushcraft. Here you will find folding tools such as saw, axe, knife very useful. Rope or rope for tying is also necessary. Before you start doing something like this, remember that it is not allowed to cut green trees and branches. You only use fallen logs.

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Tip #2 - What should I take with me?

  • Mattress - folding or inflatable

  • Scene

  • Small container of water (it doesn't need to be hot, hot water is what quenches your thirst in the summer months and not cold water contrary to what most people think)

  • Headlamp - it is preferable to a simple flashlight because you have both your hands free while lighting the spot you want.

  • Twine, artani, or rope

  • Small gas cooker for cooking

  • Small cooking set with pot, plate, cutlery

  • Disposable waterproof (doesn't take up space and is very useful in cases of rain)

  • Lighter, matches (in the trade you can find different variants)

  • A second change of clothes

  • Foods such as rice, pasta, nuts, etc.

  • Knife

  • Multitool

  • Power bank

  • Folding hoe / saw / shovel

  • Sleeping bag

  • Small pharmacy / insect repellent / antihistamine / painkillers

  • Book - notebook

Tip #3 - Food - cooking

A self-respecting free camper cooks to eat. But what can you cook and what can you eat?

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One solution is not to cook. A combination of the following will loosen your hands while eating healthy and nutritious:

  • Toasts

  • Nuts

  • Sesame tahini

  • Honey

  • Pumpkin seed tahini

  • Peanut butter

  • Dried fruit

  • Olives

  • Cereal bars

  • Seasonal fruit salads

The other solution is cooking. What can you cook in your small gas stove? Quick fixes are:

  • Boiling rice

  • Pasta

  • Rough

  • Less fast solutions are:

  • Boiling lentils

  • To the above you can add some canned tuna or dolmades.

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Tip #4 - What should I look out for?

  • Pay attention to the place where you will set up your tent. If you are in an unfamiliar place, make sure you are away from prying eyes and don't be seen.

  • If there are other campers stay relatively close to them but not next to them, respect each other's privacy.

  • Don't take up more space than you need.

  • WE DO NOT SET FIRE during the summer months and during the period specified by the fire department. In Greece, the fire season is from May 1st to October 31st.

  • Pick up your trash.

  • Pay close attention to where you will set up your tent and, in general, where you will sleep at night:

  • Find a shady spot. If the morning sun hits you, you will wake up early from the heat.

  • Stay away from landslide prone areas especially if the weather is rainy.

  • Landslides can also be caused by animals crossing a path directly above you.

  • Avoid being near the bank of a river. The river can swell suddenly from a sudden storm even if that storm is far away from you and you have not even noticed it.

  • Away from roads and not near a road bend.

  • If you sleep on the beach, keep a reasonable distance from the sea. Shipwrecks may surprise you unpleasantly.

Tip #5 - Closing

Free camping is a wonderful activity. But this requires respect for nature. You will pick up your trash on your way out and leave the place as you found it.

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