Camping on the Great Wall

If you liked my last blog post about our Silk Road trip to the deserts of Gansu province, then you’re in luck – I have another epic China travel experience to share!

Doesn’t it feel great when you’ve been sitting on a travel dream for years, and then you finally take action and make it happen?

Camping on the Great Wall of China was one of those things for me. I’ve been thinking about it since first setting foot on the Wall in 2008, but never managed to make it a priority. Until now.

A few weeks ago, six girlfriends and I flew up to Beijing to embark on our Great Wall Adventure. We booked a private tour with China Hiking for a 2 day, 1 night 16 km hike from the unrestored Gubeikou section of the Wall to Jinshanling.

Sorry if I sound like a broken record after just having raved about my Silk Road tour, but camping on the Wall was INCREDIBLE! Definitely a top 3 China trip for me.

Just being on the Wall is obviously a cool experience, but it’s completely different when you’re the only one there. For almost two days.

The scenery is amazing, and the unrestored ruins are far more interesting than many of the more accessible, restored sections.

This adventure wouldn’t have been the same without this 👇 group of girls. Not only did we have a great vibe traveling and trekking together, but I feel like we conquered so much. We pulled through the demanding hike, survived a thunder storm and pouring rain during the night (including water pouring into the tents), we were scared of strange noises coming from the pitch-black night, and we dealt with being super gross and dirty like champs.

Despite being completely wiped out after the two days, I was left with more energy than I’ve had in a long time.

If you’re looking for a unique experience where you can combine nature, being active and bonding with friends and family, all while hanging out at one of the 7 wonders of the world, then camping on the Wall is for you.

A few thoughts…

  • The whole team at China Hiking was fantastic to work with. They were so positive, flexible and professional from start to finish. They listened to our expectations and wishes, and recommended a hiking route to match. They helped patiently with planning and answering our questions. And our guides for the hike, John and Dan, looked after our safety while taking endless photos and Boomerangs.
  • The Gubeikou-Jinshanling hike is stunning, but I would have preferred to skip the last 1-2 hours of the second day when entering the restored, more popular section of the Wall in Jinshanling. It’s more crowded and just doesn’t compare to walking on the more secluded parts. Besides that, I loved every second of the hike.
  • China Hiking provided all the camping gear (tents, clean sleeping bags, headlamps etc). During the trip, we stopped at two different farm houses for meals, freshening up and charging phones and camera batteries. The camping gear was conveniently dropped off and picked up at the farmhouse, so that we didn’t have to carry everything all the way.

This is a trip I’ll never forget.

Find many more pictures and videos from this awesome hike in my Instagram Stories Highlights under Great Wall.

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