1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hey Guest, Early bird pricing on the Summer Moot (29th July - 10th August) available until the end of March, we'd love you to come. PLEASE CLICK HERE to early bird price and get more information.
    For forum threads CLICK HERE
    Dismiss Notice

Wild Camping in France

Discussion in 'Out and About' started by LomaxFairchild, Mar 13, 2019 at 5:19 PM.

  1. LomaxFairchild

    LomaxFairchild New Member

    Joined:
    Wednesday
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    London
    Hello from a newcomer, pointed this way by Womble!

    I'm planning a bike trip from Paris to Barcelona, taking minimal kit. So far a Kelly Kettle, sleeping mat+bag and a Hennessy hammock are on the kit list. I'm happy to stay in campsites but aware that the distance I'll be doing, in the time I've got, will mean that being able to camp ad hoc could be handy.

    Has anyone done this? Anything to look out for or avoid? Do the French take a similar attitude to it as the Brits?
     
  2. nobby8126

    nobby8126 Nomad

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2010
    Messages:
    318
    Likes Received:
    161
    Location:
    Isle of Wight
    Welcome Mate, Have you thought of taking a poncho or tarp so you can make a basha attached to bike.
    Personally I'd ditch the kelly purely as there are much smaller and more adaptable things for a long trip
     
  3. Woody girl

    Woody girl Settler

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2018
    Messages:
    901
    Likes Received:
    514
    Location:
    Exmoor
    Agreed about the Kelly kettle. Bulky and heavy. Get a twig stove for when you are able to find fuel but a pocket rocket or similar stove for quick stops and brews or when you don't have access to sticks or you can't light a fire.
     
  4. Paulm

    Paulm Full Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    Messages:
    1,015
    Likes Received:
    63
    Location:
    Hants
    I love my kelly kettle and it gets a lot of use at base camp, but I wouldn't contemplate taking it on a longer trip. As said above, there are lighter, more compact and flexible bit of kits for when you're travelling around.

    Sent from my SM-A530F using Tapatalk
     
  5. Janne

    Janne Bushcrafter through and through

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2016
    Messages:
    9,228
    Likes Received:
    1,366
    Location:
    Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
    Do you plan to bike over Andorra?
    Beautiful roads over the mountains.
     
  6. Sundowner

    Sundowner Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    616
    Likes Received:
    178
    Location:
    Northumberland
    But not too many trees for a hammock lol
     
  7. garethw

    garethw Settler

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2010
    Messages:
    595
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Guignicourt, France
    In rural areas there are loads of Municipal campsites. In fact all over France there are hundreds of really nice campsites that are far cheaper than the UK. I've not travelled on a bike, but have lived, worked and travelled extensively in France for over 30 years, mostly in a small campervan.. There are guide books that list them and you can download satnav lists here: http://archiescampings.eu/ Seems you can get as a phone app too.
    I used to plan my route around the campsites and you'll be unlucky to not find a good one in most small towns and villages.

    You should not have any problem bivouacing in rural areas either, I've hammock camped in forests and woods and never had an issue. Obviously discretion and leaving only foot-prints is essential. Wild camping is not allowed in France, but if you set up at the end of the day and leave early morning you're unlikely to have a problme.
    You can ask locals also if you can stop over on their land and most will not object.
    Fires are often not allowed, and that includes naked flames, including stoves & kelly's etc.. this is true in the south due to risk of forest fire.
    Have a good trip.
     
    oldtimer and Robson Valley like this.
  8. Woody girl

    Woody girl Settler

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2018
    Messages:
    901
    Likes Received:
    514
    Location:
    Exmoor
    Do you have a separate tarp for your hennessy? Is it big enough to make a tarp tent? This could be handy if you find yourself in an area with no trees. All you'd need to add to your kit would be some pegs and a walking pole in case you could not find a suitable pole in the wild. You don't realy want to be cutting branches anyway. There are several you tube vids on how to set one up. A 3x3 dd tarp or something simular is all you need. I don't know which hennessy hammock model you have but you will need a good tarp anyway for it. As nobby says you can also use your bike to make a shelter with it. It's good to have options.
     
  9. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2014
    Messages:
    6,910
    Likes Received:
    763
    Location:
    McBride, BC
    I always have to do some sort of a shake-down trip. Maybe two short trips much closer to home.
    Seems the only way that I can figure out what all I DON'T need and what all I have left at home.
    Don't forget to take pictures!!!
     
    Janne and Woody girl like this.
  10. boisdevie

    boisdevie Forager

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Not far from Calais in France
    I walked 550km of the Pyrenees GR10 with a hammock and only had to go to ground twice. Lots of trees in the Pyrenees.
     
  11. Erbswurst

    Erbswurst Settler

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2018
    Messages:
    542
    Likes Received:
    248
    Location:
    Berlin
    A hammock with tarp is a good idea for France during the summer. Especially if you take additional a ground sheet with you to use it on camping grounds, if there aren't trees. A walking pole you don't need. If there isn't a tree to attach the tarp, there is a hedge or lamp or whatever.

    The ground is dusty and bright grey in sothern France, you should use bright grey clothing.
    In most areas there are a lot of stones.
    Such an air mat is a good idea:

    https://www.decathlon.co.uk/trek-700-l-mattress-yellow-id_8493395.html

    But only hammock and ground sheet for emergencies should work too.

    For example this cheap and light poncho:

    https://www.decathlon.co.uk/glenarm-hiking-poncho-green-id_8010059.html

    I recommend to take tough lightweight aluminium pegs with you. You will probably get problems to get wooden pegs in the ground.

    like this here:

    https://www.decathlon.co.uk/ultralight-aluminium-camping-tent-pegs-id_2873930.html

    If you do your trip during the summer, forget wood fires! You can get in real problems in France if you light a fire in a forest or somewhere else. It doesn't matter if wood, gas or spiritus.

    At camping grounds you could use this gas stove for example:

    https://www.alpkit.com/products/kraku

    Big fitting gas bottles you can get in nearly every larger supermarket in France, smaller bottles at Decathlon, what you find every where.
    (Dont use Optimus bottles with this stove.)

    Think about eating only cold food at or from the bakers shops and super markets!
    I usually do it there and do not cook.
    Instant coffe works with cold or warm water from the tap.

    Cheap camping grounds you find here:

    http://camping-municipal.org/

    But private owned 2 or 3 stars camping grounds are good and cheap as well. And they are every where.

    The youth hostels are relatively cheap too, the standard is very different from town to town. But most I like. They are nice to meet young people and to visit towns, because they are located in towns or next to them.

    https://www.fuaj.org/

    Look at this thread here:

    https://bushcraftuk.com/community/index.php?threads/french-maps-right-to-roam.151808/

    If you want to buy a pot and a mug have a look at this:

    https://www.tomshoo.com/p-y6549.html

    In France I use during the summer the Snugpack jungle bag in coyote brown, because it blends perfectly in the nature in southern France, olive green would probably work too, but not as good as coyote brown.

    This sleeping bag is perfect for French summer conditions. And it should work as a hammock cocoon / underquilt too, I guess, perhaps with a few modifications to attach it.

    https://www.snugpak.com/outdoor/jungle-bag
     
    #11 Erbswurst, Mar 17, 2019 at 7:37 PM
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019 at 8:03 PM

Share This Page