Campsites these days increasingly offer electric hook-up as standard, so campervanners can run TVs, microwaves and even showers.
But many holidaymakers feel this destroys the magic of camping, and they yearn for something a little more back-to-basics.
Going off-grid in a remote camping spot with few or no facilities can be a highlight of any holiday.
Just remember to make sure you’re well stocked with essentials such as fresh water, food, and a first aid kit, and that you’re covered with suitable campervan insurance.
Why off-grid camping?
Why off-grid camping? Well, the answer is simple. It's all about reconnecting with nature and breaking away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Off-grid camping allows you to experience the wilderness in its rawest form, unhindered by the trappings of modern conveniences. It's an opportunity to reset your internal clock to the natural rhythms of day and night, rather than the artificial cycles dictated by clocks and schedules.
Off-grid camping is a chance to develop survival skills that our ancestors took for granted, but which many of us have forgotten in our reliance on technology. It's a chance to navigate using the stars instead of Google Maps, to cooking over an open fire instead of a microwave, and to sleep under a sky full of stars instead of a ceiling. This type of adventure can provide a profound sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that's hard to find in our everyday lives.
But it's not just about survival skills. Off-grid camping also offers a unique opportunity for introspection and personal growth. Devoid of distractions like TV, internet, and cell phones, you have the time and space to just be with yourself and your thoughts. This can lead to a deeper understanding of who you are and what truly matters to you.
If you’re not sure if you’re brave enough, read on for our seven top reasons to give off-grid living a go!
If you’re planning on lengthy travels, then you’ll want your budget to stretch as far as possible. A few nights in a cheaper campsite without electric hook-up can help you eke out the Euros, and perhaps even extend your holiday.
Remember – if you’re thinking of parking up for the night somewhere that’s not a designated campsite, check you’re allowed to be there. Some countries and areas are more accepting than others.
You don’t want to be moved on in the middle of the night – or worse, face a fine that would eat up the very last of your holiday money.
By reducing your reliance on campsite electric hookup, you’re bound to cut your energy usage. Sure, you can have a fully charged-up leisure battery to run the most essential appliances, but otherwise you’ll be living a lower-carbon life.
If you’re travelling during the summer months, or around warmer countries, you could even invest in solar panels for your van.
That way, you can run your electrical appliances in environmentally friendly fashion while happily camped off grid. If you’re installing panels on your van, remember to protect your investment with campervan insurance.
To avoid draining your limited power supply, choose LED lights and other appliances.
Lead a simpler life
Many campervan owners will say that a van combines all the joys of a back-to-nature tent holiday, with just the right level of comforts from home.
Forget about watching TV and power showers – a decent mattress, clean drinking water and a solid roof are all that’s needed.
If that’s you, then there are many sites to choose from. And if you start to get pangs that you’re missing EastEnders, or you want a decent reading light in the evenings, then you’ve got your campervan leisure battery and mods cons as a fall-back.
Just remember to pack warm clothes – including socks - for those chilly evenings and nights!
Get some peace and quiet
At some larger campsites, you could be mistaken for believing you’ve pitched up at Piccadilly Circus. Bars and restaurants stay open late, and afterwards there are often group get-togethers back at people’s pitches.
If that’s your idea of a great holiday, pick one of the numerous all-singing, all-dancing sites for your holiday. If, however, your idea of on-site entertainment is storytelling round a bonfire, then choose an off-grid campsite.
To really relax on holiday, you need to know you’re covered in case anything goes wrong.
Check out campervan insurance from Motorhome Protect to find the right policy for you.
Stay in the most stunning scenery
Most larger campsites with a full range of facilities are located near, but not in, beautiful places. Planning authorities will refuse applications for giant sites that could ruin a special view or natural environment.
However, they are more willing to permit a smaller campsite, perhaps open for just 28 days over the summer.
Such sites are nothing more than a farmer’s field with a drinking water tap and a temporary toilet block – but they can be the setting for some of the most memorable and scenic holidays you’ll ever enjoy.
One thing such pop-up sites won’t have is electric hook-up. And who needs TV anyway when you’ve got an amazing vista out of your windows? So much better than a campsite full of facilities, where your view will usually be that of your neighbour’s van.
For the really intrepid traveller, you can probably spend the odd night parked in coastal car parks, depending on location. Check the regulations, don’t outstay your welcome, and take all your rubbish with you.
Get the most out of your campervan
So you’ve invested half your holiday budget for the next decade in a super van with all mod cons. Now you want to make sure you use every square inch of it.
So charge up the battery, fill up the water tanks with enough water, check your bottled gas cylinders and petrol tank are full, and hit the road! Who knows what adventures await?
Remember – while the vast majority of campervan holidays are incident-free, things can go wrong. Make sure you’re covered with the right campervan insurance.
Enjoy the freedom
There’s something so special about driving through a breathtakingly beautiful region, spotting a tiny campsite from the road, and pulling in.
Many informal campsites won’t be advertised anywhere – and they’re often the magical ones. You’ll hardly believe your luck as you settle in for the evening, and you certainly won’t want to swap the serenity and clean air for a bland site with electric hook-up.
Having the capacity to go off grid, even if just for a night or two, gives you spontaneity. It lets you turn your holiday into an adventure – while retaining a few creature comforts. Happy travels!
Things to consider before going off the grid
Going off the grid is an alluring concept. The idea of disconnecting from the hustle and bustle of modern life, gaining self-sufficiency, and reducing your environmental footprint can be very appealing. However, you should take some time to fully understand what this lifestyle entails.
Here are some things to consider before going off the grid:
- It requires a significant amount of planning and preparation. You'll need to secure a reliable source of electric power, which could include solar panels or wind turbines. Consider the cost, maintenance, and effectiveness of these options for your specific location. Similarly, you'll require a sustainable source of water and a way to manage waste.
- Becoming self-sufficient in terms of food can be a daunting task. It involves growing your own crops, raising livestock, or hunting and foraging. This requires not only knowledge and skills but also a considerable amount of time and effort.
- Keep in mind that living off the grid often means living in isolation or in a remote area. Consider how this will affect your social life and access to amenities like healthcare.
Is off the grid living illegal?
Are you yearning for a life disconnected from the hustle and bustle of city living, free from utility bills, and the constraints of modern society? You may be contemplating off-the-grid living, but are wondering, is off-the-grid living illegal? The answer isn't quite as straightforward as one might hope. It varies depending on location, local laws, and how you choose to live off the grid.
One popular method of off-the-grid living is residing in a motorhome. This raises another question: Is off the grid living illegal in a motorhome? Again, the answer depends on where you park your motorhome. In some places, it's perfectly legal to live in a motorhome on your own property. In others, there are strict zoning laws and regulations that prohibit it.
While off-the-grid living isn't inherently illegal, it often butts against zoning laws, building codes, health department regulations, and even homeowners association rules. It's important to do your research ahead of time and understand the regulations that apply to your specific situation.
Living in a motorhome permanently? How can I adapt to the much smaller living conditions?
Living in a motorhome permanently may seem like a daunting idea at first, but it can turn into an exciting adventure with the right mindset and preparation. Indeed, it's about embracing a minimalist lifestyle, being flexible, and appreciating the freedom that such living conditions offer.
So, how can you adapt to these smaller living conditions?
- Decluttering is important. You'd be surprised at how much stuff you don't need once you start downsizing. Keep only the necessary items and make every item count. Functional and multipurpose items are your best friends in a motorhome.
- Organise your space wisely. Use smart storage solutions to maximise every nook and cranny of your motorhome. You can find plenty of creative ideas online for compact living spaces.
- Remember that living in a motorhome permanently doesn't mean you're confined to its four walls all the time. Instead, the world is your backyard. Enjoy outdoor activities, explore new places, and soak in the changing scenery.
- Cultivate patience and flexibility. Things might not always go as planned - whether it's a flat tire or unexpected weather - but that's part of the adventure.
Get a quote from Motorhome Protect today
Your campervan is your home on wheels, enabling you to live in relative luxury wherever you are. So it’s important that you protect it with campervan insurance.
Motorhome Protect arranges campervan cover from a panel of leading insurers for vehicles with a value up to £150,000. It can include cover for up to 365 days a year, with unlimited travel around the EU.
Camping personal effects of up to £3,500 can also be included.
We offer quotes to drivers with previous claims or convictions, too.
Get a quote today to start your off-grid adventures.
Policy benefits and features offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.