Tayte Pollmann’s Tuesday Trail Tips series of articles are supported by American Trail Running Association corporate member Nike Trail Running. Tayte is currently searching for a flat spot to pitch his tent in the French Pyrénées.
When I leave home to explore a new mountain range, it’s essential to find the right place to stay. An Airbnb or a well-equipped camp site offer comfortable ways to explore trails away from home, but there is something special about having the freedom to set up a tent anywhere I want and calling it home for the night.
I’ve had many unforgettable memories “wild camping” with only a tent and some supplies for dinner and the next day’s breakfast. I have memories of boiling a pot of tea just outside my tent, while looking down at nothing but clouds below. I recall hearing eerie sounds in the night, which were the sounds of the grass moving in the wind and unknown animals traveling past me and the thin tent walls. Whatever animals these were, they had good intentions not to eat me.
Overall, wild camping allows me to have a better understanding of the great outdoors by being immersed in it and it gives me the unique freedom to pick my favorite places on the trails and make it home for the night. Some of my best runs have come by setting up a tent in my favorite spots by the trail and leaving the next morning on a run to explore the area further.
On your next trail adventure, keep on the lookout for the perfect spot above the clouds, near a lake, or by the friendly animals. Pro Tip: most cows are friendly even if they are big and their cowbells will keep you awake all night! When you wild camp, you may not spend the night in the most comfort, but you will spend the night most excited by being a part of nature.