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camping anywhere

ThatGuyOnABikeThatGuyOnABike Posts: 198
edited December 2007 in Tour & expedition
i'm planning a trip around europe but can't find campsites along some parts of the route. do you have any advice about camping just anywhere? i mean in a desserted bit of woodland off the road or something. are there any laws surrounding this? is it really advised? what do i do???
B and B ain't an option cos this is a budget trip.
In the valley of high oil prices the cyclist is king!
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  • i'm planning a trip around europe but can't find campsites along some parts of the route. do you have any advice about camping just anywhere? i mean in a desserted bit of woodland off the road or something. are there any laws surrounding this? is it really advised? what do i do???
    B and B ain't an option cos this is a budget trip.

    The laws of wild or stealth camping varies from country to country. There was an extensive article written about it in the CTC magazine the other month. I did it twice in France and did it without permission. The secret is to find a secluded spot out of the line of sight of any houses/farms and the road. Use a tent that has a low key colour scheme and avoid ones with retroreflective tape, guy ropes and the like.

    I've stealth camped in the UK and France and have not had problems. In some parts of France however thater's a problem in finding somewhere out of sight as thers a distinct lack of walls and hedgerows to hide behind.

    It might be worth your while seeking further advice on the CTC web site.
  • and what do you think of the netherlands and belgium for stealth camping?
    In the valley of high oil prices the cyclist is king!
  • Jon GJon G Posts: 281
    i'm planning a trip around europe ..... any advice about camping just anywhere? i mean in a desserted bit of woodland off the road or something. are there any laws ? is it really advised?

    Don't know about law re. it around Europe.

    Re. practicalities. Both here & presumably in Europe.
    - make sure you don't damage crops, disturb farm animals, etc, to avoid confrontations with farmers.
    - avoid places which are likely to be 'lovers lanes', hang-out spots for young drinkers, etc, to avoid being either pestered by louts or mistaken for a peeping Tom.
    - find your spot before dark, as a place which seems fine in the dark may prove to be visible or have other hidden faults when it gets light.

    Jon
  • BrainsBrains Posts: 1,732
    Extensivly steath camped all over Europe, and it is not usually a problem.

    Pick the site before dark

    pack up soon after dawn

    The 'rule' is 7pm to 7am

    You need a green tent

    Avoid golf courses
  • cheers for the advice. erm... my tent is green, but florescent, with reflective guy ropes and stuff.seeing as i'm going with a group and the other tent is dark green i think i'll position my smaller tent behind it and hope for the best. but what do you guy do about no showers? wet wipes right?
    In the valley of high oil prices the cyclist is king!
  • swagmanswagman Posts: 115
    Just come back from some 'free' camping in the Sierra Nevada,Spain.Illegal yes but a bit of a challenge out witting the park rangers :lol:
    Key was wait till dusk then set up in the woods,but be up for dawn for leaving .It worked, couple of times the rangers would pass me an hour later.
    Lifes a challenge,do it ,we all share the planet.
  • jibijibi Posts: 2,463
    I have camped all over Europe, sometimes on little village greens, or Boules park. Now wild camping my way around Australia.

    The rules given above seems OK. Try to cook away from where you are going to sleep, find a place to camp, go somewhere to cook a meal ( or a cafe) then go back to where you are camping.

    enjoy

    george
  • jibi wrote:
    I have camped all over Europe, sometimes on little village greens, or Boules park. Now wild camping my way around Australia.

    The rules given above seems OK. Try to cook away from where you are going to sleep, find a place to camp, go somewhere to cook a meal ( or a cafe) then go back to where you are camping.

    enjoy

    george

    sounds good - what's the rationale behind not cooking where you camp?
    "There are holes in the sky,
    Where the rain gets in.
    But they're ever so small
    That's why rain is thin. " Spike Milligan
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    1) Probably the noisiest thing you'll do. If you do it away from your tent and someone does hear you then at least they'll be less likely to find you should they come looking later.

    2) Animals - not an issue in the UK and most of Europe obviously. An issue in the likes of Tanzania and Canada where you've got animals that'll eat you for supper to worry about.

    Makes sense.

    Having said that I've always cooked by my tent even when I knew there were lions around. Figured at least I'd have somewhere to hide....
    More problems but still living....
  • In scandinavia you are alowed to camp anywhere as long as it is a respectable distance away from peoples houses (i think around 100m is the recommendation), you only stay one night and leave it as you found it.

    Also in places like Sweden you find like open huts everywhere, like a shelter with a fire place and a place to lie. As long as you have a good sleeping bag these are an excellent place to stay. (mainly found on walking trails)

    I think wild camping is possible in most areas outside large cities as long as you are careful, and you dont lie in until 10am.

    I live in a town of 15,000 people close to leeds and could think or dozens of places to camp within 15min walk of the town centre here and nobody but the odd chav would bother you...but i guess in a foreign town you dont know the place so well.
  • NigeyyNigeyy Posts: 140
    The problem I had in Holland was similar to the UK; in some areas it's so heavily populated it's hard to find a place out of the way. One solution: I camped in a little clearing at the top of the embankment of a motorway surrounded by trees and shoulder high bushes -yes, it was noisy, but at the time I had little choice as it was about 1:00am, and even though many people might be passing close by to you (in cars) they'd never see you. Gone in the morning before many people in houses close by had noticed.
    and what do you think of the netherlands and belgium for stealth camping?
    Fight Cystic Fibrosis: do something. http://www.cycleforhaylee.org http://www.cff.org
  • In scandinavia you are alowed to camp anywhere as long as it is a respectable distance away from peoples houses (i think around 100m is the recommendation), you only stay one night and leave it as you found it.

    Also in places like Sweden you find like open huts everywhere, like a shelter with a fire place and a place to lie. As long as you have a good sleeping bag these are an excellent place to stay. (mainly found on walking trails)

    I think wild camping is possible in most areas outside large cities as long as you are careful, and you dont lie in until 10am.

    I live in a town of 15,000 people close to leeds and could think or dozens of places to camp within 15min walk of the town centre here and nobody but the odd chav would bother you...but i guess in a foreign town you dont know the place so well.

    A long time ago while doing the Dales way from Leeds to Windermere with a mate , we pitched our tents in a quiet area just outside of Ilkley. At the crack of dawn we heard several conversations very close to the tents and on peering put had found that we'd pitched on the edge of the fairway on Ilkley golf course. We'd been too drunk to take much notice of our surrounding when pitching the tents.....

    Subsequently taken more care when stealth camping.
  • cheers for the advice.
    In the valley of high oil prices the cyclist is king!
  • vectravectra Posts: 91
    Wildcamping - my favourite subject.
    Buy a hammock, you can set it up anywhere.
    I toured Hungary and Romania in June and only took my hammock and flysheet. No problems finding anywhere, even in the few campsites I came across.

    Hungary is just brilliant - the best place I've ever been to. Every town has a park, usually surrounded by trees, so wait until dark and just nip in. hammock's up in two minutes.
    Otherwise there wereno problems finding someplace out of town.

    Here's a short extract from my holiday blog -

    A few other top drawer hammock experiences:

    Watching three bats, ghostly silent flitting in figures of eight round the two trees I'm slung from. I could just reach up and touch them, they were that close.

    Listening to two foxes calling each other. The dog over there and his vixen over the other side. And, ssssh, listen, is that her cubs as well?

    Having wild pigs route around in the leaf undergrowth, looking for truffle no doubt.
    You have to make sure the hammock is extra high in such woods as you wouldn't want to get bitten on the bum by a boar. Jeez. Have you seen how big these beasts get?

    Being seranaded by a nightingale, rightly deserved as one of the worlds best song birds.

    Feeling the almost palpable malice of a dark brooding forest, when it's too dark to move.

    On top of a hill overlooking Eger (Hungary), when all the day's noises have died away and the night creatures are just coming out, and the rest of the world, save a few tramps and hobos, are tucked away snuggly in bed. You can hear all the dogs for a 5 mile radius calling each other. Then you hear the night creatures crying their own warning call.

    You've never lived until you've slept out a few times in a hammock.
  • sounds wild! i like animals. but i have a tent and i am not intending to replace it with a hammock till i've used it to destruction.
    In the valley of high oil prices the cyclist is king!
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    vectra wrote:
    Buy a hammock, you can set it up anywhere.

    Anywhere there are trees.... :wink:
    More problems but still living....
  • amaferanga wrote:
    vectra wrote:
    Buy a hammock, you can set it up anywhere.

    Anywhere there are trees.... :wink:

    Anywhere there are trees close enough and strong enough to do the job.

    Seen some interesting hammock/tent thingies somewhere on the Internet. The minimilist approach seems too much like hard work to me.

    :P
  • vectravectra Posts: 91
    Trees? No need to worry about just finding two trees. Anything will do - fence posts, telephone or electric poles, skips, portacabins - the list is endless, just use your imagination.
    In fact it's easier and quicker to find a spot for a hammock and sling it up than it is to find a flat level spot for a tent.
    I've camped over burns, inside bus shelters, along side disused railway lines, under bridges, just to name a few. The least obvious places are often the best.
    You only really need a tent in wide open spaces.
    This is not theoretical; having done both, IMO a hammock is much more versatile.
  • As it's p ' ing down this morning going to work is a no-no , so I'll squander some time adding my tuppence worth here .
    Good sage advice has been given , wild camping or, like 'Vectra' , tramping , is the way to do it . For campsites , in my limited experience of them , enfeebles the spirit , particularly S.Europe in the summer . There's so much country out there it's always seemed slightly mad to me to confine oneself on a campsite to spend the night amongst , mostly , people you'd rather not spend the night with .
    Often enough a tent is unnecessary , but when it's used a green one , or at least a dark green flysheet , gives peace of mind .
    A new thought for me gleaned from this thread is the prospect of a hammock . Good idea ! My only experience of them was in my youth on a merchant ship in the tropics where I kipped my 'off watches' in one outside in the breeze . Exquisite comfort . Now , why did I never think of one for my bicycle tramps in foreign parts ?
    A definite waste of time to my way of thinking is the p'faff of lugging cooking gear around with you , for sod all benefit other than maintaing the homely comfort zone around one's bod . Cooking isn't going to keep you alive for longer . If you must have a brew in the morning then the prospect of a proper coffee ( not the ersatz crud ) in the nearest to hand cafe ( often enough many miles off ) is the best way of getting yourself out of your pit and onto your bike again . Reward ! Similarly , hot food , if you must have it then , well , ..buy it . Treat yourself with waiter service now and again .
    Oh yes , should you ever be snagged for being a wild camping miscreant ( it's never happened to me ) a likely argument on officialdom's part would likely be that - other than scallywags - it's campers that start the fire's in the woods that have afflicted so much of the world these past few years - ( ..could be ? ) , but if you're not a smoker or carrying any other means of creating flame , that at least is one idea that can't be leveled at you .
    Roll on spring .
    "Lick My Decals Off, Baby"
  • vectra wrote:
    Trees? No need to worry about just finding two trees. Anything will do - fence posts, telephone or electric poles, skips, portacabins - the list is endless, just use your imagination.
    I

    OK so I'll rig my hammock up on some imaginary fixtures :lol:
  • psmiffypsmiffy Posts: 236
    A definite waste of time to my way of thinking is the p'faff of lugging cooking gear around with you , for sod all benefit other than maintaing the homely comfort zone around one's bod . Cooking isn't going to keep you alive for longer . If you must have a brew in the morning then the prospect of a proper coffee ( not the ersatz crud ) in the nearest to hand cafe ( often enough many miles off ) is the best way of getting yourself out of your pit and onto your bike again . Reward ! Similarly , hot food , if you must have it then , well , ..buy it . Treat yourself with waiter service now and again .

    There speaks someone who has either never learnt to cook (or for that matter make coffee) or has a very thick credit card – It makes me wonder all this talk of minimalistic idealogogy what other people get from cycle touring - I enjoy my attempts at camp cooking – collecting fresh ingredients from local shops if possible – interacting with the people of the country – pottering about the towns en route – a good strong cup of instant muck in the morning – while I exchange pleasantries with my neighbors (never to be seen again so no problem if I find them to be distasteful) or a nod to a shepherd or farm worker if camping savauge. On good night sleeping with the tent open to the skies – on bad nights tucked up snug against the rain (or on occasion snow) with my homely comforts (sans maitre) - is what I like so wrong – has my spirit been so enfeebled that I no longer know the true path

    Returning to the theme of the post I have camped almost everywhere - on verges so close to the road that the ground shakes as lorries pass, in around and under motorways, on top of glorious mountains, by superb beaches and quite often in some beautiful campsites – to camping wild – yes when it is appropriate – you don’t need to skulk like some miscreant – my tent is neither green or non- reflective and I have never ever been “snagged” - basic rules are camp between sundown and sunrise away from population and on fallow/non-agricultral land – camping next to no camping sign generally encourages people with big torches to come round and wake you in the middle of the night.
  • daviddddaviddd Posts: 637
    agree with psmiffy - cooking by the tent is fundamental to the concept of camping in my opinion. Nothing so heart-warming as a cup of tean of coffee on a cool morning, good start to the day and lifts the spirits./
    Oct 2007 to Sep 2008 - anticlockwise lap of Australia... http://www.davidddinoz.blogspot.com/
    French Alps Tour 2006: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=r ... =1914&v=5R
    3 month tour of NZ 2015... http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/nz2014
  • In scandinavia you are alowed to camp anywhere as long as it is a respectable distance away from peoples houses (i think around 100m is the recommendation), you only stay one night and leave it as you found it.

    Also in places like Sweden you find like open huts everywhere, like a shelter with a fire place and a place to lie. As long as you have a good sleeping bag these are an excellent place to stay. (mainly found on walking trails)
    SNIP

    Yes 'allemansrätten' -. 200 metres is the minimum recommendation, be careful about open fires in the spring & summer. Long distance walking trails huts are 'vindskydd' (literally wind shelter) tho' you often find them occupied by noisy but friendly Swedish scouts! Tent is preferable inland due to midges/mossies in summer!
  • Just caught up again with this thread .

    psmiffy wrote :

    " There speaks someone who has either never learnt to cook (or for that matter make coffee) or has a very thick credit card "

    Oh ? This is indeed a revelation ! Thanks . What exactly was it within my post excited you to make that assumption ? That I choose not to lug along my kitchen in my panniers nor bring along my Gaggia for a decent brew ?
    If pissing about with billycans , flames , and pot washing of a morning and evening pleases you : brilliant ! Have a good time of it .
    If you'd bothered to read my post , instead of fixating on an element of it that was opposed to your idea of a jolly time in the wilds , you may have noticed the caveat " to my way of thinking " . I was hardly being judgemental in my post . But you , with your peurile conclusion , were .
    "Lick My Decals Off, Baby"
  • vernonlevy wrote:
    amaferanga wrote:
    vectra wrote:
    Buy a hammock, you can set it up anywhere.

    Anywhere there are trees.... :wink:

    Anywhere there are trees close enough and strong enough to do the job.

    Seen some interesting hammock/tent thingies somewhere on the Internet. The minimilist approach seems too much like hard work to me.

    :P

    Some natty ones here

    http://www.woodlandorganics.com/hennessyhammocks/index.asp
    Tarpaullynn
  • tarpaullyn wrote :

    " Some natty ones here

    http://www.woodlandorganics.com/henness ... /index.asp "

    That's a bloody good link . Must give'em a try . Thanks !
    "Lick My Decals Off, Baby"
  • TedxTedx Posts: 16
    I really like the sound of this Hammock idea

    Looks light weight, easy and quick to set up and very comfortable

    I'm going to test one out.



    Are they warm enough in very cold weather ?
  • Tedx wrote:
    I really like the sound of this Hammock idea

    Looks light weight, easy and quick to set up and very comfortable

    I'm going to test one out.



    Are they warm enough in very cold weather ?

    Nope thats what sleeping bags and thermals are for :lol:
  • TedxTedx Posts: 16
    What about open fires? Does anybody start at open fire to keep warm?
  • Tedx wrote:
    What about open fires? Does anybody start at open fire to keep warm?

    Under the hammock :?: :?: :?:
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