Into the Wild: Embracing Adventure with CampWild

Into the Wild: Embracing Adventure with CampWild

Tell us a bit about yourself and CampWild

My name is Alex Clasper and I am an outdoorsman through and through. I have spent 10 exciting years in the outdoor and leisure industries, creating and shaping experiences for many.  In 2023, I decided to leave my role as Experience Manager at Red Paddle Co to bring CampWild to life and fuel the fire for unlocking wonderful Wild Spaces.  For me, CampWild was born with the philosophy that everyone should be able to access nature through adventure and I am on a mission to connect, educate and inspire more of the UK to do this.

Along with my lifelong friend, Tom Backhouse, we wanted to scale access and connection to nature through the adventures of Wild Camping. Our love for wild camping was born in our younger years where it was embedded as a regular activity to participate in. Throughout the twists and turns of working, adult life and later as parents, wild camping became a staple tool to help us navigate modern living and stay grounded and connected to the great outdoors. This gave birth to the concept to share this on a wider scale, making wild camping more accessible by creating access to wild locations on private land across the UK and providing tools, structure and education that break down confidence and entrance barriers, making wild camping more attainable for a larger population.

We also want to connect people to nature and in turn change their values and behaviours to protect these beautiful environments (you can't care for something if you don't experience it!). The structure of creating this wild location has developed into  a circular model that gives back to both landowners and the landscapes they look after.

Tom Blackhouse (left) and Alex Clasper (right)

What general advice would you give someone who is looking to embark on their first wild camping adventure?

Keep things simple (use the CampWild platform)! Most of us associate wild camping with trekking up into the mountains to camp, and whilst this is a brilliant way to experience adventure, it takes a certain level of skill, knowledge and confidence to execute this in a way that is enjoyable.

Wild Camping doesn't always need to be a grandiose expedition up a peak, for us it is about the simplicity of being immersed and connected to any landscape (they all offer something wonderfully different), so things can be much closer to home and with a little preparation of kit and planning (it doesn't need to be super high tech and light weight), you can have a simple, immersive and memorable night under the stars. When it comes to actually finding a location, things get a little trickier with only Scotland and areas of Dartmoor offering legal permission to wild camp. This is where CampWild comes in…

Whilst we have some amazing spaces across national parks, Scotland, Dartmoor and very remote locations, the vast majority of our Wild Spaces are located within an hour of a built up area. You can find them in corners of woodlands, wild flower meadows, banks of rivers.. The list goes on and these really are some very special habitats and landscapes. We have created a network of permissive spaces for our community to book and exclusively camp in - the space is yours for the evening, you won't see another soul there (at least not a human one!).

To make things even easier, each and everyone of these Wild Spaces has been given a grade that tells you how difficult it is to get there, what kit you will need and what to expect when from the landscape…everything from wildlife, history, geology to what the land is being used for. When you come to book the space you receive a route card that includes critical information, everything you need to know about the site and info on exactly how to get there through a visual infographic as well as a digital OS route map (you get a free month as a CampWild member). 

What are your camping essentials?

Kit - Suitable kit for the terrain, exposure and area you are going to camp, here are some basics:
Tent (footprint and pegs)

Sleeping bag.

Sleeping mat.

Camping pillow (or roll up your jacket!)

First aid kit.

Lighting (torch/headlights/camp lighting)

Weather appropriate clothing.

Pocket Trowel or poop bags for burying/removing toilet waste.

Mobile phone for communication (and snaps!)

A bag to carry it!

Food - Plan what you're going to eat, keep it simple and pack enough to fuel you for the journey in and out!

Water- Take a container for water and have a plan for where you can refill (use a filter or purification tablets)

A Plan - tell somewhere you are going to be and when they can expect to hear from you!

Bonus Essential: If you are new to Wild Camping, take a buddy!

There are lots of locations on your roster, however, are there any that you particularly love or think that our followers would?

There are so many beautiful spaces that we have unlocked but for Tom and I, we grew up on Dartmoor and we are lucky enough to have a Wild Space on the edge of a Temperate Rainforest on Dartmoor, which is protected by a conservation group we work with. The walk in is stunning and the wildlife is out of this world. When we first walked into the space a stag stood on the edge of the forest next to a river that is home to a family of otters.

A lot of our followers are women who love the outdoors, however, who may not have yet camped wild or camped alone.  How would CampWild benefit them? 

First and foremost, access and security: We hear from a lot of women who are looking to venture into the world of wild camping that they don't feel comfortable with firstly, finding a space they are allowed to be in, and secondly, aren't completely comfortable being there alone (we also hear the same from male members looking to join our community). All of our Wild Spaces have been set up so you have permission to be there. When you book a space it is exclusively yours for the evening (you won't see a soul except for the wildlife!), so you have the freedom to arrive early and leave late and time to explore the area. For the most part or Wild Spaces are behind gates and fences, often with combination locks (which you are given the code to when you book) Finally, the landowner is notified that you have booked it and knows you are there. 

Route Cards: Each one of our Wild Spaces has a unique Route Card, rich in essential information about access, difficulty, ground conditions, parking and more. Alongside our Wild Space profiles, the route cards unlock the adventure to be found in these intimate & stunning hidden spots on private land. The final piece to the puzzle here is the digital route that comes with the route card in partnership with OS Maps - this will take you from parking right the way through to the spaces itself. 

Resources and tool: Wild Camping can be daunting when you start out and it is easy to get lost in the jargon of kit, do’s and don'ts and navigation. We have spent the last year bundling a platform that simplifies all of this, from our kit grade (with collaboration with Vango) to our resource hub, we have created all the information you need to navigate your way through finding your feet in sleeping under the stars.

A community of like minded individuals: Community sits at the heart of CampWild, and we have built a network of like-minded  adventures and growing community features that help inspire and connect you to others on their journey into the wild.  This summer we are hosting 3 community campouts across the UK for our members to celebrate!

Is there anyone who inspired your love of the outdoors?

I think Tom will agree with me when I say this person is an inspiration for both of us… Dick Parker. Dick set up an amazing outdoor curriculum at school (Tom and I are old school friends)  that thrust us into some amazing experiences and opportunities in the outdoors. One that stands out above the rest is Ten Tors, in which you set out to walk 35, 45, or 55 Miles across Dartmoor in 2 days with everything you need on your back, some achievement for a 13 year old! Sadly Dick passed away in 2021 following a fall. This was a man that dedicated his life to getting children outside and developing hugely valuable skills through experiential learning. It is safe to say that the paths both Tom and I have carved would not be the same without his dedication. The value that learning outdoors plays on young people's development is monumental, and we believe it is never too late to learn, the outdoors is a massive classroom for both adults and children and creating a meaningful relationship through adventure is so valuable. If we can deliver a slither of the impact that Dick had on people's lives we have won! 

Do you find that being outdoors and wild camping, specifically, has a positive impact on your wellbeing and mental health?  

Undoubtedly, and there is huge amounts of data to evidence this. This is a core pillar that forms the foundation of the project.

We have become connected to some amazing people that have some hugely compelling data to prove this and we are not seeing some of the charities we work alongside socially prescribing time in the outdoors. Applying and growing the understanding of this area is something that will always continue to grow within the project. 

Tom and I both have been on our own journeys that have been hard to navigate and we have always used spending a night under canvas as a way to decompress and connect with ourselves… a wild prescription if you like. Each and every time you walk into a wild location to spend an evening surrounded by nature something truly magical happens that leaves you feeling grounded and centred.

Everyone has their own story to tell of the difficulties life throws at us making it hard to navigate, for us, it is crystal clear that time in the outdoors can be used as a hugely positive tool to improve mental (and physical) health and wellbeing. 

What is the best piece of advice that you ever received?

“Keep an open mind” Keeping an open mind allows new ideas, perspectives, and experiences to flow into your life. A fundamental basis of being human is to feel connected and invigorated by life and allowing new experiences into your life is a catalyst for this!

On writing this blog, do you have a motivational or inspirational message to share with our followers? 

Time outside is never time wasted. Get yourself out there, throw yourself into the unknown and embrace the journey. 


CampWild won the ‘Most Sustainable Initiative for the Outdoors Market’ at the National Outdoors Awards 2024. Find out more by following the link.


Sunday Inspiration 

Favourite Route or Trail 

It's got to be Dartmoor. I will never forget the first time I made my way to the highest point on Dartmoor (High Willhays), as a 13 year old boy I was completely blown away by the sound of... absolutely nothing, so still, so quiet and it left me feeling so grounded and content, which is a pretty significant emption for a 13 year old. Dartmoor has played such a significant role in both of our lives, it is a truly sacred place for both of us and many others.

Image credit:

Favourite Quote

 Favourite Song

Earth Wind & Fire - September

Tom and I have always been huge fans of epic playlists that get us pumped up when we hit the road for an adventure and there is one song that always gets played pretty early on after throwing our packs in the card and heading to the hills...

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