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The Waki Way - Living full-time in a motor home

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We always seem to get asked the same questions about living somewhat off grid in a motor home, to which the answers seem to spark a dozen more questions! So (to give our voices a rest!) here's the answers to our most frequently asked questions...

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Enjoying The Wilderness in Safety

There are over 16,483 square kilometres of stunning National Park land in the UK to explore, and that's not including the Scottish Highlands, coastal areas or privately owned nature reserves! 

The thing we love about the UK is that no matter where you live you are only ever a couple of hours away from somewhere wild and beautiful, however the short journey time can lead you into a false sense of security as you can still find yourself dangerously isolated if something goes wrong.

To give a degree of perspective, Mountain Rescue teams for England & Wales reported attending 1066 incidents in 2012 of which unfortunately 30 were fatalities. Download the incident report for the full breakdown of the locations and activities involved - you might be surprised.

This is by no means a how-to survival guide, we just want to make more people aware of the dangers so they can return safe and well to their families and share the happy memories!


See below for our tips on staying safe whilst enjoying the UK wilderness:

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        1. Navigation: If hiking is on the agenda make sure you have the appropriate Ordinance Survey map of the area even if you plan to stick to marked trails. It’s all too easy to miss a marker and get turned around which can lead to a very dangerous situation. Learn how to use the map with a compass to ensure you don't get lost in the first place, that being said also make sure you also know how to figure out where you are in case you do still go wrong somewhere. GPS gadgets are great and all 
        2. Clothing: Make sure to wear the appropriate clothing for the area you are travelling in and for the time of year. It can be tricky to know for sure what the weather is going to do so you really need to be prepared for it to change, especially here in Britain! Wearing layers of clothes means that you can adjust your outfit depending on the current weather and your activity level - you may well be comfortable wearing a just a t-shirt whilst walking or running but if you are forced to sit still for any length of time (with a sprained ankle for instance) you will soon cool down. Bring a small rucksack to keep an extra layer of clothing in along with whatever else you may need to bring along, you'll be able to keep your hands free. It seems most of us naturally choose clothing in earthy or dark colours which can make it near impossible for someone from a rescue team to find you against the landscape! Have something brightly coloured with you to be able to get attention if you need to, like this handy waterproof rucksack cover>    Buy waterproof cover on Amazon now, only £2.56!Buy waterproof cover on Amazon now, only £2.56!  Choose footwear with good tread and ankle support, trainers are just not supportive enough to safely help you over uneven rocky ground. If you've bought yourself a lovely set of brand new hiking boots for the trip you really MUST wear them in before you go on a long hike! Wear them around the house when you can and test-walk them to the local shops - it will loosen them up and bring any pressure spots or rubbing areas to attention beforehand. Also invest in a good set of hiking socks designed for boots and long distance walking, and pop some blister plasters in your pocket just in case - you won't be enjoying the wilderness so much when you have to walk another 10 miles back with blisters!        Buy Compeed 3-Day Blister Plasters on Amazon now!Buy Compeed 3-Day Blister Plasters on Amazon now!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
        4. Terrain, Routes & Stops: Wherever possible stick to the trails so as not to disturb and trample on the local flora and fauna. Also a lot of wilderness areas tend to be made up of peat between the rocks so a short exploratory wander can land you in a very wet and often smelly bog! Take it slow (you're not power-walking to the shops!) and take particular care over where you step and assess the ground ahead of you, consider that a sprained or broken ankle is only ever one awkwardly placed step away.   
        5. Emergency: Make sure your phone has a good battery level & keep note of where you have signal in the area. If you’re trying to get away from your e-mails and social media (and that's always a good thing!) then switch just your internet off, it will greatly improve the battery life but you can still make a call. Depending on how far into the wilderness you plan to go it can be a good idea to bring a spare battery or emergency chargerBuy Anker Mini Phone Charger on Amazon now!Buy Anker Mini Phone Charger on Amazon now!If you do find yourself lost or in an emergency situation stay calm. Stop, take a deep breath and think rationally about what you need to do. To get help dial 999 or 112 and calmly answer the operators questions in order.                                                                                                                                                                                                     For greater peace of mind, and for some practice in keeping a cool head in a crisis, we highly recommend you get yourself on a survival and/or first aid course!


If something goes wrong you may well find yourself in need of help from a Mountain Rescue service. Many people are surprised to know that mountain rescue teams are not paid for by our taxes, rather they run solely because of generous public donations. You can donate to a Mountain Rescue charity through the links below - you might need them someday!

I also highly encourage you to read the yearly incident reports available on the England & Wales groups' website, the figures are enlightening and make for interesting reading. 

Donate to Scottish Mountain Rescue now! Donate to Scottish Mountain Rescue now!

Donate to England & Wales Mountain Rescue now!Donate to England & Wales Mountain Rescue now!



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About us:

My name is Sarah and in 2011 my husband Ryan and I decided to buy and re-fit an old motor home - we named it Waki and now live in it full time in the UK!

We live neither on or off-grid, rather somewhere in between, and are not the first and I dare say not the last to choose this way of life... read more>> 

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