FREE CAMPING - HOW SAFE IS IT?
🏕 FREE CAMPING, HOW SAFE IS IT? 🏕 A lot of people seem to be a bit nervous when it comes to free camping, and questions related to free camping & safety come up a LOT. So let me start by telling you about a time when we were free camping and did NOT feel safe: This was a few years ago on a previous trip pre kids. We were relatively new to 4x4ing & remote free camping, and we were somewhere in the Shark Bay region on the WA coast (can't remember excatly where). We went down a soft sandy 4x4 track to reach the campsite, getting bogged on more than one occasion so it wasn't an easy place to access. When we arrived there were a few people about so we decided to set up camp in a beautiful spot right by the beach. Unfortunately though all the other people were day trippers and as the day wore on they all left and we found ourselves in the middle of nowhere, on our own, with no phone reception. Now these days this a situation we're fairly comfortable with (& these days we carry a sat phone too) but on this occasion we felt very isolated & vulnerable. And once the sun went down our imaginations started to go into overdrive. But we knew we were being a bit silly, & managed to go bed and fall asleep. Until about 10 or 11 at night when a single 4x4 arrived and started doing slow laps of the camp ground, passing slowly by our tent 3 or 4 times before stopping on the other side of the camp ground, turning off the lights & engine, and falling completely silent. No sounds of a campsite being set up. Nothing. Well now our imaginations were running completely wild! Who would come down that difficult 4x4 track in the dark? Why did they drive past our tent so many times? Why aren't they setting up camp? Are they planning to sneak over and murder us in our sleep? You get the idea. Needless to say, that was the end of sleep for us for the night. We went so far as to grab our shovel from outside & keep it by the bed - just in cases. And once the sun came up we were so thoroughly spooked that we just packed & up camp and started to leave. But as we were driving past the other car a head popped out & started waving. A head that we recognised. And we quickly realised that the people who had terrified us so much the night before were actually friends of ours - we'd met them at previous campsites on a few occasions traveling down the coast! What on earth were you guys doing sneaking in in the middle of the night?! You scared the shit out of us! We slept with a bloody shovel!! Well, it turns out they had been at the next campsite down, had found themselves similarly spooked by a fellow camper & their own imaginations, and so had decided to leave and move to the next site. They were so scared they drove past a few times to check us out, and didn't even bother setting up their tent, just slept in the car with a kitchen knife between them - just in cases. So there we all were, scared of nothing, sleeping along side weapons, & imagining our own imminent deaths all night, when we should have been up around the campfire having a few drinks & catching up on each others travels. I guess the moral of this story is (in the words of Mr. Roosevelt) 'the only thing we have to fear is fear itself'. Yes, you could come across a crazed serial killer while camping alone in the middle of the bush. But you could come across one at home, or walking down the street too. These days we free camp at every opportunity, and often in remote places where there's not another person in sight (or for a few hundred kms!). And we've never again felt the need to sleep with a shovel 😉 (Just do yourself a favour & don't watch Wolfe Creek🤣🤣) 📷 of us in our Cub Campers trailer free camping at a great remote site in south west QLD