Camping in New Forest - has anyone here done that?

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Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
5,141
4,493
Mid Wales
I would not try rough camping anywhere in the New Forest TBH; the New Forest Verderers are quite strict and have reasonable powers to evict you and fine you apparently.

However, there are good campsites within the New Forest including the C&CC one.
 

nigelp

Full Member
I live and work in the New Forest. This year Forestry England have taken a zero tolerance approach to any form of wild camping. Due to the risk of fire even camping stoves are banned within the forest. Locals also seem to delight in reporting persons who are wild camping.
Previous years the Forest has been a good place to ‘lose’ yourself into if you were very discreet. :wink:
Some of the camping in the forest sites do not have toilets this year but those that do also offer a 30% discount if you are a ‘backpacker’. I’ve done some midweek camps at the forest sites and they have been very quiet and you can tuck yourself away and look into the forest to get a nice experience. Most are ‘open’ to the forest and the ponies and cattle can still wander through the site which adds to the experience. I’d not bother with weekends or school holidays. The forest is heaving this year.
 

hebdo9

Member
Jun 28, 2021
15
5
54
Sussex
I live and work in the New Forest. This year Forestry England have taken a zero tolerance approach to any form of wild camping. Due to the risk of fire even camping stoves are banned within the forest. Locals also seem to delight in reporting persons who are wild camping.
Previous years the Forest has been a good place to ‘lose’ yourself into if you were very discreet. :wink:
Some of the camping in the forest sites do not have toilets this year but those that do also offer a 30% discount if you are a ‘backpacker’. I’ve done some midweek camps at the forest sites and they have been very quiet and you can tuck yourself away and look into the forest to get a nice experience. Most are ‘open’ to the forest and the ponies and cattle can still wander through the site which adds to the experience. I’d not bother with weekends or school holidays. The forest is heaving this year.
Hi, Thanks for that information
 
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Lean'n'mean

Nomad
Nov 18, 2020
416
171
France
I have wild camped in the New Forest a few times. The first time I was spotted by a gardian ? /keeper ? who told camping was not permitted in the New Forest. but he was a nice old boy & after doing his duty by informing me, we had a chat & he didn't bother me again & if memory serves I stayed about a week. I even had a fox hunt come through the area I was set up in & a friendly young lady a top of a magnificent hunter even stopped to ask me what I was doing, she was genuinely interested & not worried or haughty.
The second time no one saw me but it was in the dead of winter. Both times though were back in the early 80s & people were more intelligent, more intuitive & could bend the rules if the situation demanded it.........................except middle aged dog walkers, whom, even back then they were the scourge of wild campers & seemed to be in permanent liason with the local contabularies but I digress..
I haven't been there for decades but I imagine it would still be possible to find places to stealth camp ,provided you pitch camp at nightfall & broke camp at day break & avoided vigilante eyes whilst entering the forest with a large rucksack, though I can't see it being a particularly relaxing experience.. It might not be a good idea at the moment either, with the lockdown ? semi-lockdown ? god knows what down, since there will likely be more people mooching around , same goes for this summer as only millionaires will be able to go abroad on holiday, there will be much more human traffic in places like the New Forest.
 
Last edited:

hebdo9

Member
Jun 28, 2021
15
5
54
Sussex
I have wild camped in the New Forest a few times. The first time I was spotted by a gardian ? /keeper ? who told camping was not permitted in the New Forest. but he was a nice old boy & after doing his duty by informing me, we had a chat & he didn't bother me again & if memory serves I stayed about a week. I even had a fox hunt come through the area I was set up in & a friendly young lady a top of a magnificent hunter even stopped to ask me what I was doing, she was genuinely interested & not worried or haughty.
The second time no one saw me but it was in the dead of winter. Both times though were back in the early 80s & people were more intelligent, more intuitive & could bend the rules if the situation demanded it.........................except middle aged dog walkers, whom, even back then they were the scourge of wild campers & seemed to be in permanent liason with the local contabularies but I digress..
I haven't been there for decades but I imagine it would still be possible to find places to stealth camp ,provided you pitch camp at nightfall & broke camp at day break & avoided vigilante eyes whilst entering the forest with a large rucksack, though I can't see it being a particularly relaxing experience.. It might not be a good idea at the moment either, with the lockdown ? semi-lockdown ? god knows what down, since there will likely be more people mooching around , same goes for this summer as only millionaires will be able to go abroad on holiday, there will be much more human traffic in places like the New Forest.
Yeah I know places in Sussex I can go but not very interesting - I use to know game keepers and I know they can be strict about camping but most are friendly, I know back in the 80's there were fewer people walking around the countryside and it seemed pleasant, walking around on a moon lit night after a few whiskies down the pub was even better especially at 12.30 am, Now because of this supposed great reset the countryside will probably be policed more - things like re-wilding, re-wilding what though? Bears, Wolves? I hope not, I think if you are camoflaged up then you can evade busy bodies, yeah the human trafficking could pose a problem but if you are quiet and blended in and arrive late and leave early, I suppose you could minimize risks. I quite like the challenge of not being seen or heard and a bit like a soldier hiding from the enemy, there is the possibility we may have to be fugitive survivalist in the future, way things going eh!
 

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