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What Is Cliff Camping? The Ultimate Camping Experience!

what is cliff camping

Nothing brings us as much joy as getting out in the open with nature. Camping allows us to go full-fledged outdoors and get away from the stress of everyday life, being at one with the scenery around us.

And we certainly all have our go-to camping locations and spots where we like to relax. But, sometimes, we crave something a little more daring and adventurous than the typical camping spot in the woods.

If you’ve ever found yourself thinking this exact thought, cliff camping might just be what you’re after!

You can completely take your camping game to the next level with cliff camping. Of course, you obviously can’t be afraid of heights if you want to try this type of camping. 

But if you’re an adrenaline-junkie camping-lover, this could be just what you’re after!

What is Cliff Camping?

Cliff camping is quite simply camping on the side of a cliff (who would have thought!). It’s an extreme form of camping that requires both physical fitness and mental toughness.

You’ve got to be strong enough to carry all of your camping gear up and down the cliffs, secure enough to stay in a tent on the narrowest of ledges and brave enough to enjoy the impressive views!

When done correctly, cliff camping can provide unbeatable views and an incredible sense of achievement. However, it’s important to remember that this is not a form of camping for beginners. If you’re new to camping, stick to more traditional forms until you build up your experience, like tent camping in the Peak District.

If you’ve never camped on a cliff edge before, it might be wise not to go at it alone for your first trip. Experienced climbers are best suited to advising you on the safest routes and methods for camping, so you could see if there are any camping groups you can join who are experienced in cliff camping.

Cliff camping tips
What Is Cliff Camping? The Ultimate Camping Experience!

What is Night Cliff Camping?

The counterpart to day cliff camping is night cliff camping. It is usually done by experienced climbers as well, but with a few extra risks that come with it. 

Although the views and adrenaline-pumping experiences are still there, the risks increase when you camp on cliffs in the dark!

It’s important to note that if you’re going to do night cliff camping, you must have extensive knowledge about the area, as well as all of your climbing equipment. You don’t want to put yourself in a vulnerable position.

That being said, the rewards that come from cliff camping at night are very real. The sights of the stars and the moon from a cliff edge at night can be truly mesmerising, giving you an unmatched sense of peace and calm that you won’t find anywhere else!

It will surely be an unforgettable night.

What is night cliff camping
What Is Cliff Camping? The Ultimate Camping Experience!

Where Did Cliff Camping Originate?

Some say the concept of cliff camping originated in the 1980s in Yosemite National Park in California when climbers began finding ledges to camp on as they traversed the cliff walls.

Today, though it is still considered an extreme activity, more and more people are turning to cliff camping for a unique camping experience. 

It’s become increasingly popular in areas around the world that have plenty of steep cliffs and dramatic landscapes.

Directions to cliff camping
What Is Cliff Camping? The Ultimate Camping Experience!

Where Are The Most Popular Places For Cliff Camping?

If you’re planning on going cliff camping, you’ll need to choose your destination carefully. Not all cliffs are created equally! When choosing a place to camp, make sure to pick a spot that is safe and has easy access to food and water.


Europe is home to some of the most spectacular cliff camping spots in the world, including Cliffs of Moher in Ireland, Salto del Gitano in Spain, and Mont Aiguille in France. Countries like Switzerland and Italy also offer plenty of opportunities for cliff camping, with their stunning mountain ranges.

The Dorset coast in England is also popular for its dramatic cliffs and stunning ocean views.

North Wales has some of the best cliff camping spots in the UK, so it’s definitely a spot to check out.

North America

For those in North America looking for an extreme camping experience, there are plenty of options too! Yosemite National Park in California is one of the best spots for cliff camping in the USA (where it all started!), as well as Zion National Park in Utah.

Canada also has some incredible spots for cliff camping, like the Canadian Rockies and Lake Superior Provincial Park in Ontario.


For those looking to camp on a cliff ledge in Asia, Thailand is one of the best options. With its limestone cliffs, beaches and islands, there are plenty of adventurous places to explore!

Cliff camping in Japan is also popular, with Mount Fuji offering some of the most stunning views. Other popular spots include Mount Hakuba, Kashimayari and Inokashira Park.

Cliff camping gear
What Is Cliff Camping? The Ultimate Camping Experience!

What Do You Need To Take Cliff Camping?

First and foremost, you’ll need to pick out your cliff tent, and you need to carefully select the right tent for your needs. It should be lightweight and sturdy enough to withstand the elements, as well as big enough to fit both you and your camping supplies comfortably.

You must double-check the set-up instructions, stakes and tripods to ensure everything is in place – the sturdiness of your cliff camping tent is essential!

A portaledge is a type of tent specifically designed for cliff camping, and it allows you to attach your tent to the cliff wall. Make sure that your portaledge is properly secured before you go to sleep.

You never know what the weather forecast will be like when you’re out camping on a cliff edge, so it’s important to bring some layers with you. Pack a rain jacket and waterproof trousers (just in case!), as well as some warm clothes for colder nights.

The shoes you wear are also essential. You’ll need sturdy shoes with good grip – preferably climbing shoes or specialised cliff camping boots.

A sleeping bag is a must, as it will help you stay warm and comfortable during the night. If you plan on doing any rock climbing, you should also bring some safety equipment such as a rope, harness and carabiner with you. The DD Jura 2 Sleeping Bag is a great option – it will keep you warm and comfortable in temperatures as low as -5C.

Finally, don’t forget to pack some food (and snacks!) and plenty of water to keep you going. If you’re in a cold climate, you will need to bring a thermos with you to keep your drinks warm. You can’t go wrong with hot chocolate!

Cliff camping meals
What Is Cliff Camping? The Ultimate Camping Experience!

How To Stay Safe While Cliff Camping

As with any extreme sport, there is always some element of risk involved with cliff camping. It seems obvious to say that you should never camp on a cliff ledge without the proper safety equipment and knowledge. 

If you’re ever feeling unsure, it’s best to err on the side of caution and not take any risks.

Make sure that your tent is securely fastened to the cliff face rocks and packed with plenty of padding for extra protection from the elements. It’s also a good idea to double-check your equipment, such as ropes and carabiners before you set off.

Make sure you fully stock your emergency or first-aid kit and know how to use it. Bring a friend with you in case of an emergency, or make sure someone knows exactly where you’re going and when you plan on returning.

It will be a good idea to take a few light sources with you – a flashlight, headlamp, and lantern are all essential for camping in the dark. If one breaks or fails, you’ll have a backup.

How to stay safe while cliff camping
What Is Cliff Camping? The Ultimate Camping Experience!

Summarising Cliff Camping: Your Next Adventure!

Whether you feel as if you’ve exhausted your usual camping spots or you’re looking for a new type of thrill, cliff camping is an excellent adventure! With its spectacular views and rugged terrain, this extreme activity is perfect for those who are seeking adrenaline and exploration.

To make sure you have the most fun and stay safe while cliff camping, it’s important to double-check your equipment before setting off – and it’s probably best to go with a friend or group who have some experience in the field.

It’s undeniable that you’ll experience some of the most breathtaking views and exciting moments on your cliff camping adventure. Here at Wood To Water, we’ve got a huge selection of essential camping gear so that you can prepare yourself for the adventures that await  – so what are you waiting for?

Get packing and hit the cliffs!


What is cliff camping?

Cliff camping is a type of extreme camping that involves pitching a tent and sleeping on the side of a cliff face. It offers an adrenaline-filled adventure for those who aren’t afraid to take a risk.

What is the point of cliff camping?

Cliff camping offers a unique and thrilling experience for thrill-seekers who want to explore the wilderness in an adventurous way. It also provides spectacular views and the chance to truly appreciate nature.

What type of camping is the most extreme?

Cliff camping is considered one of the most extreme forms of camping, as it involves pitching a tent and sleeping on the side of a cliff face. Survivalist camping is also quite extreme, as it involves camping with minimal supplies and equipment in harsh conditions.

How does a portaledge work?

A portaledge is a tent designed to be attached to a cliff face. It consists of a durable and lightweight frame, suspended from the side of the cliff with rope and webbing, and a high-strength fabric hammock. It can be used for camping or as a base for rock climbing.

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