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Six tips on how to camp responsibly

Visitors camping at Great Langdale Campsite, Cumbria
Visitors camping at Great Langdale Campsite, Cumbria | © National Trust Images/Paul Harris

Whether you're a pro at camping or trying it for the first time, it's important to be considerate of the place you're in and the landscapes around you. That's why we've teamed up with our partner Vango, leading camping and outdoor specialists, to create some useful tips to help you camp more responsibly.

We're delighted to be working with Vango and our collaboration is centred around our shared passion for the outdoors and enjoying the simple pleasures of sleeping under the stars.

Our National Trust Camping Collection by Vango offers sustainable camping equipment – through the use of recycled plastic bottles – for those wanting to be kinder on the planet. Through the sales of this collection, Vango will contribute a minimum of £20,000 to the National Trust to help look after the places we care for.

Responsible camping tips with Vango

Take a trip to Cloud Farm Campsite in Devon to meet ranger Josey Field as she takes us through some of our tips on how to camp responsibly. Plus, watch her use Vango's award-winning National Trust camping equipment, including the Devon 300 tent.

Tips on how to camp responsibly

1. Be prepared

When going camping it's good to try and be as prepared as possible. Situations can change at a moment's notice so planning and preparing for all weathers and emergencies can help ensure the safety of yourself and others.

Before you head off, it's good to check you have everything you need, from your tent to chairs and cooking utensils. It's also good to check that everything works, nothing is broken and you have enough of everything, such as tent pegs.

When setting up, only camp on durable ground or in designated areas and make sure to check for rocks or sticks before pitching your tent.

2. Be considerate

Camping is a great way to get away from it all and many camp to enjoy the tranquillity of nature and their peaceful surroundings.

On your camping trip, say hello and respect your neighbours, but make sure to not be too noisy.

It's also nice to give fellow campers enough space to move around freely and have some privacy, so try not to make it feel like you're pitching up on top of someone else.

Two people enjoying the view from their tent at Hoathwaite Campsite in the Lake District
A view from Hoathwaite Campsite, the Lake District | © National Trust Images / Paul Harris

3. Be mindful

There's something exciting about sitting round a fire or cooking on a barbecue when you're camping. However, they can be dangerous and aren't allowed at certain sites, so make sure to follow the rules around fires and barbecues at the place you're staying.

If you are allowed, set up on flat ground to reduce the chance of it tilting over, never leave it unattended and ensure to extinguish all fires and burn all wood to ash.

You should also never burn anything you're not meant to like plastic items, aluminium foils or foil-lined items.

4. Think ahead

You may need to check any local or seasonal restrictions, or specific concerns of the area.

You could also think ahead about what meals you're going to make and what cutlery and utensils you're going to need. You could invest in reusable alternatives or bring some from home instead of using disposable ones.

5. Stay clean and tidy

It's important to take an empty bag to clear up any rubbish you have. If there are no facilities on site, make sure to take your waste home with you.

Wherever possible, split out your recyclables and general waste.

6. Leave no trace

Remember to take everything back home, leaving the site as you first found it for the next visitors to enjoy.

We know mementos can be a nice reminder of our holidays. However, it's important to leave natural habitats as you found them. Some places you visit may also have historical structures or artefacts, so it's really important to leave those as is too.

Vango tent with the front porch open with two chairs placed inside
Get ready for your next camping trip with Vango | © AMG Group / Vango

Behind the Vango collection

The four tents (sleeping three to six people) in this award-winning camping collection are made from a new Sentinel Eco™ fabric. The fabric is created from recycled plastic bottles from waterways, streets and landfills. It's highly waterproof, durable and has colour lock technology to aid in colour retention from UV light.

The oak leaf design was inspired by a carving at Alfriston Clergy House in East Sussex. The three styles of sleeping bag complement the tent range and use a 100 per cent recycled polyester filling made from reprocessed plastic bottles. Thanks to this collection, Vango have repurposed 295,000 plastic bottles all within the first year of production.

Our favourite campsites

Upper Booth Farm Campsite, Derbyshire

Upper Booth Farm Campsite, Peak District 

At Upper Booth Farm Campsite, enjoy being nestled in the Peak District National Park, perfect for walkers and outdoor lovers.

The camping fields at Gupton Farm Campsite, Pembrokeshire

Gupton Farm Campsite, Pembrokeshire 

Pitch up at this coastal campsite that overlooks Freshwater West and experience spectacular sunrises and fresh salty sea air.

Cloud Farm Campsite and the surrounding area, Devon

Cloud Farm Campsite, Devon 

Camping in the great outdoors doesn't get better than this. Set up your tent for a tranquil retreat surrounded by Exmoor scenery.

Camping at Brownsea Island Campsite, Dorset

Best places to camp near you 

With locations across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, our campsites offer beautiful holiday spots that are perfect for exploring the great outdoors.

Our partners


Vango are specialists in tents and outdoor equipment that allow everyone to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors.

Visit website 

Camping at Great Langdale Campsite, Langdale, Ambleside, Cumbria

Inspired to sleep under the stars?

Get ready for your next camping trip with our National Trust Camping Collection of tents and sleeping bags by Vango. Visit Vango's website to learn more and shop the collection.

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A gap through leafy trees reveals a bell tent with the sea in the background

Discover more with the National Trust Podcast 

Camp under the trees at Brownsea Island, Dorset and uncover the history of the Scouts movement in 'Escape to adventure island'. You can also find more episodes from series seven, filled with nature and history.

Camping at Brownsea Island Campsite, Dorset

Best places to camp near you 

Take a look at our best places to camp in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and find a campsite near you.