Go camping in the wild

Travel advice: From Coillte’s seven sites in its forests to more structured camping and glamping, the choice is all yours

Practise putting up a tent in the back garden and make sure to bring all pegs and ropes

Practise putting up a tent in the back garden and make sure to bring all pegs and ropes

 

We’d all like to turn all the family electronics off and take everyone out in the fresh air. If you are prepared for an unholy row – just while you banish the phones – then take the family wild camping, and 20 years from now they will still be talking about it. There are many beautiful places around our country to camp, fish, hike, swim and just relax.

Coillte has seven sites in its forests that are truly wild in Kerry, Tipperary, Waterford, Cork, Laois, Offaly and Mayo, see coillte.ie. Coastal locations are also good places for camping; find yourself a spot in the dunes for shelter. If you find a nice rural or mountainous spot, do ask the local landowner for permission to camp.

You can find more structured campsites that cater for camping, motor homes and caravans on camping-ireland.com. Some will have washing facilities, cafes, hot tubs, organised events – and yes, even wifi. Check out the camping-ireland.com and also Pitchup.com.

There are many lovely glamping sites around the country now, but they are far from roughing it in the wild, with comfortable beds, luxury surroundings, pizza ovens and hot tubs. If 300-thread count sheets matter, Dromquinna Manor family tents are €185 per night. Purecamping.ie on the Loop Head Peninsula is environmentally friendly site and has Bell tents for four from €75 per night.

When you are pitching a tent in the wild, take into account the distance from water and housing, be at least 400m away. Practise putting up a tent in the back garden and make sure to bring all pegs and ropes.

Leave plenty of time to arrive at your site – there’s nothing worse than trying to put a tent up in the dark. And that’s before the rain starts! Dig a good deep fire pit and line it with some stones. Dig a latrine well away from the campsite and remember, leave no trace.

jscales@irishtimes.com

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