For this collection of wild camping books, we’ve pulled together a few of our go-to favourites, to help you get the most out of the great outdoors. We’ve got books on bikepacking (that’s hiking with a bike, also known as just ‘biking’) as well as survival guides and inspiration on where to go for your next UK mini adventure.
As always at Camping Things, we only choose the best, so you’re assured a great read, whatever you choose.
Wild Nights: Camping Britain’s Extremes by Phoebe Smith
‘Thrilling insight into the wildest places in the UK.’
Author of Extreme Sleeps, Phoebe Smith is back with a collection of the wildest, most remote places in Great Britain to set up camp. As one of the UK’s most celebrated extreme campers, Smith has been to the ragged edges of our little island and back again.
Wild Nights is a thrilling look at the most fun, most challenging places in the UK to hike, climb and camp. Journey with Smith as she battles whiteouts in Wales, monster waves along the Suffolk coast, and the treacherous summits of some the highest, most unforgiving peaks the British Isles has to offer.
Highly recommended by us, for both casual campers and extreme adventurers, Wild Nights is fun, personal and surprisingly informative. One of the best wild camping books on our list.
Bikepacking: Mountain Bike Camping Adventures on the Wild Trails of Britain by Laurence McJannet
‘One of the most satisfying guides to mountain bike adventure camping we’ve ever read.’
If you’ve never heard of bikepacking, the idea is pretty simple: pack your stuff into a giant rucksack, and set off on the adventure of a lifetime on your bike. It’s an awesome way to stay fit, and the sight and feel of the wild flying past as you gun it down some mountainside, are, we think you’ll agree once you try it, the experiences we all really live for in life.
McJannet details 30 of the best multi-day rides across the UK, covering both city escapes and extreme wilderness rides. There are trails for the whole family to enjoy, plus a few of the more wild rides up mountains and deep into the woods. All of the routes come with map guides, so you’re good to go with just the one book, and most of the routes are easily accessible at their starts by train or car.
Technical rides, long and short family-friendly routes, coastal adventures and winter rides are all featured in Bikepacking, and are written in McJannet’s engaging, knowledge style.
Wild Camping: Exploring and Sleeping in the Wilds of the UK and Ireland by Stephen Neale
‘More than meets the eye in Neale’s expertly curated adventure book.’
It may not look like much on the front cover, but inside, Neale’s Wild Camping is one of the most engaging and comprehensive guides to wild camping in the UK and Ireland, that we’ve seen in a long time.
Neale covers each corner of the British Isles, plus everywhere in between, highlighting where to stay, what to do, and what you ought to know about local laws and law of the land. Combined with charming personal insights into Neale’s own life as an adventurer, this book makes great reading for the evening, and for whenever you get a little bit of downtime.
From the Scottish Highlands to the living waves of Britain’s wildest coasts, and what Neale refers to as ‘Middle Earth’, whatever sort of adventure you’re looking for — even if it’s just in your head — you’ll find it in Wild Camping.
Microadventures: Local Discoveries for Great Escapes by Alastair Humphreys
‘Discover something new about the world and yourself.’
Microadventures have becoming increasingly popular over the past few years, as a way for busy people, and those who just don’t want to go for a full-on expedition, to experience a little bit of the outdoors, without investing too much time, money, sweat or tears.
We’re making these microadventures sound like adventures for the non-committal, but they’re far from that. What they are, is an opportunity to explore in miniature, to discover something new about the world and about yourself. They’re close to home, cheap, and usually don’t require a whole of investment in terms of kit.
In his book Microadventures, Humphreys details dozens of microadventure ideas, with accompanying photos to get you inspired and fired up to get out and do something. An entertaining read in its own right, Microadventures is a great little guide to getting the most out of life, one bite at a time.
SAS Survival Guide: How to Survive in the Wild, on Land or Sea by John ‘Lofty’ Wiseman
‘The definitive guide to not dying when you’re outside.’
Would you know what to do in the event of a fast-spreading flash fire? How about a flood? What would you do if you were stranded with nothing to eat? It’s time to face reality, you’re unprepared, unsafe to be walking around in the wild. You need this book.
Written by survival expert John ‘Lofty’ Wiseman, who is most definitely not anything like either Bear Grylls or Ray Mears, the SAS Survival Guide is a real-world, practical guide to staying alive when things get hairy. It might seem like overkill for your everyday person to be learning these sorts of skills, but hey, the zombie apocalypse has got to come some time.
A solid addition to any outdoor-lover’s book collection, keep a copy in the car, and one in your rucksack.
Best wild camping books