Tips on free camping
If you do not have any experience free camping in campervan I wrote down few tips how to make it easy and without stress..
Searching for a free camping spot
Free camping in Slovakia is only possible outside of National parks and levels of nature protection higher than 2. I therefor recommend planning a bit upfront to avoid visit of nature guards and possible fines. These guys are usually very friendly and will just issue a warning but it’s not a rule. Anyway it is advised to stick to this rule due to nature protection itself.
One mobile app can be very handy for choosing a place to sleep – park4night. It is available on Google play and iStores and I provide a link below. There is an extensive list of free camping spots with pictures and descriptions. Another good help is app Google Maps which can be switched to satellite view so you can easily see what is around you. I recommend to choose a spot well before dusk so you know what to expect in the morning. It always takes more time to find the right spot.
Please watch the weather forecasts too and adjust the choice of the spot accordingly. If there is rain expected, park the van on solid surface away from rivers or even dry river channels. And one more handy tip about parking – make it straight, like really the most straight you are able to. This is important for your sleeping comfort 🙂
And now you can download the park4night app:
Bigger vans (Dromedar and Big Banana) both have 50l tank with drinking water. Smaller T4 Mountain hut has 25l canister with drinking water. If you try to safe water still count on around 7l per day and person. Shower water is not included in this amount. Bigger vans have outside shower connected to the main tank while smaller Mountain hut uses solar shower with 8l capacity. There you can use also water from nature stream. It can be heated on sun or also it’s possible to add water heated on gas burner mixed with cold on.
Before settling down for a night it’s good idea to check the water levels so if you would like to place and want to stay longer there is no need to drive to get some.
All vans are equipped with secondary battery. This one is used for all the appliances and also for charging of your gadgets. The battery is topped up by solar system and also alternator while driving. This ensures enough power for normal use, watching a movie on laptop, charging phones, cameras… Also there is a power inverter and plug for 220V. It is however good idea to use electricity wisely setting up the fridge to right levels and using lights just when needed. Good thing is you will always start the engine in the morning because batteries are separated automatically to prevent flattening the main one.
The vans do not have any chemical or other toilet. If there is a need for #2 I recommend using shovel which is part of equipment (and also toilet paper as usual 🙂 Shovel is quite necessary if you do not want to leave traces after your little adventure.
Foods and cooking
This takes also little bit of planning and experience. It’s definitely a good idea to plan your menu a bit upfront so you don’t need to visit shops every day. I would definitely focus on simple food which can be prepared with less dishes and so water. Store only cold food into fridge to preserve power. Basic ingredients are included in the van so no need to buy salt, spices, olive oil, coffee or tea. I’ll be happy if they serve you. Before going to shop check what’s included in the van so you can save some coins. Definitely detergent is there 🙂
If it’s important for you to stay online, check the place where you are planning to camp for mobile data availability. Most of Slovakia is covered but in remote places the speed can feel like in 90s. But offline time has also it’s advantages as you certainly know 🙂
Do not leave ANY traces behind
Please, before leaving a camping spot make sure you take everything with you. Mainly trash and other stuff which was not there before your visit. It is good idea to dedicate one plastic bag for trash and every time you happen to be in civilization to empty it. You can use paper trash for starting a camp fire for example. If you make one make sure its further away from vehicle and you use designated fire places. After you are done with fire make sure it’s also done and properly put out before going to sleep or leaving.