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France trip - wild camping

chris_seedchris_seed Posts: 20
edited May 2011 in Tour & expedition
I'm attempting to go from London to Paris (Newhaven to Dieppe) in a couple of weeks with a friend. The plan is to do that leg of the trip in under 24 hours. We are staying in Paris for a few days and then taking a long route back to Calais via Belgium. On the way back we will be wild camping.

Does anyone have any suggestions on camping spots or handy tips?

I have an enclosed hammock, tarpaulin and necessary sleeping gear at the moment but not much idea for locations when it comes to the camping. Obviously somewhere with trees for the hammocks.



  • vernonlevyvernonlevy Posts: 969
    You've asked a very open question that stands little chance of getting any useful responses.

    A long route back to Calais via Belgium' would require detailed knowledge of a huge tract of land and every available copse before anyone could advise.

    To be honest I think that a hammock will limit your choices considerably as there's large chunks of land without any useable trees unless you fancy a long hike from the road to get to a distant copse.

    I've wild camped on three tours in France and although I've found secluded spots out of the line of sight of inhabited building and the road I don't recall any being endowed with useable trees for hammock suspension purposes.

    Using a tarp is a different matter but do you want to have bugs and ticks crawling over you as you sleep?
  • mz__jomz__jo Posts: 398
    1 Avoid any site likeky to be used by gypsies. The current french culture is very much against unauthorised camps. For the same reason keep well away from any habitation or else go and ask permission (might be easier to do that than camp totally wild, if you are not too much of a crowd). My preference would be for picnic sites but only stopping after dark.

    2 NO CAMPFIRES. France is very dry at present. I don't think there will be burning restrictions in the north but the french don't need anyone to teach them how to light up the countryside; they are quite capable of doing that themselves!

    3 I would prefer to sleep on the ground with a self-inflating mattress. Keep a light tent or shelter for the thunderstorms that are bound to be coming.

    Have a good trip
  • chris_seedchris_seed Posts: 20
    Thanks mz_jo.

    There are only 2 of us so we'll probably just stay away from civilisation and are not planning any fires. Not even a camping stove.
    We've got hammocks but also have thermarest inflatable mattresses so can sleep on the floor if needs be. We also have waterproof tarpaulin to use as cover.

    Thanks for the advice. Can't wait for the trip. Just a bit of an adventure really.
  • chris_seedchris_seed Posts: 20
    Here's the bike that I will be doing the trip on. Probably not the most practical thing but the budget for the trip is small and this hasn't cost me a lot to build. Excuse the poor quality image. Stupid iPhone.

    - Clip on aero bars, probably not the most comfortable thing but will offer a change of position from time to time. They will have an aero brake lever attached for drafting behind my trip partner.
    - Carradice Longflap saddle bag which will hopefully hold my hammock and sleeping gear as well as a set of lightweight clothes.

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