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Camping alone all the way

henrytdrummond

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2016): SJPdP-Fist.
Hey all!

I'm considering trying to walk from Canterbury to Rome from August 2018. I do not really expect anybody else to commit to such a long journey, so I'm resolved to camp on my own all the way.

Do people know whether this is feasible and safe? I have a 1kg tent, so I am hoping it would be light enough. I'm just wondering whether it's advisable to do it alone from a safety point of view.

Sorry if I'm asking the obvious!

Thanks
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
I walked from Canterbury to Rome in summer 2015 and camped for most nights in France and Switzerland. Mostly wild camping but also several nights in official campsites. You are unlikely to find official campsites for every night of your journey and I do not remember seeing any in Italy. In any case restricting yourself only to official campsites would severely limit the choice of daily stages you could walk. Wild camping is possible with all the usual conditions of either asking permission from local landowners or being prepared to find an inconspicuous spot, set up late and leave early. However, there is a fair amount of low-cost pilgrim accommodation on the Italian section of the Via Francigena and it is increasing all the time. Wild camping in Italy is illegal and much of the route is in fairly well populated areas. More difficult there than in France or Switzerland. If I was to walk the VF again I would probably ditch my tent once in Italy.
 
D

Deleted member 12253

Guest
I walked from Canterbury to Rome in summer 2015 and camped for most nights in France and Switzerland. Mostly wild camping but also several nights in official campsites. You are unlikely to find official campsites for every night of your journey and I do not remember seeing any in Italy. In any case restricting yourself only to official campsites would severely limit the choice of daily stages you could walk. Wild camping is possible with all the usual conditions of either asking permission from local landowners or being prepared to find an inconspicuous spot, set up late and leave early. However, there is a fair amount of low-cost pilgrim accommodation on the Italian section of the Via Francigena and it is increasing all the time. Wild camping in Italy is illegal and much of the route is in fairly well populated areas. More difficult there than in France or Switzerland. If I was to walk the VF again I would probably ditch my tent once in Italy.
I think its illegal to wild camp in spain but maybe i am wrong
 

henrytdrummond

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2016): SJPdP-Fist.
I walked from Canterbury to Rome in summer 2015 and camped for most nights in France and Switzerland. Mostly wild camping but also several nights in official campsites. You are unlikely to find official campsites for every night of your journey and I do not remember seeing any in Italy. In any case restricting yourself only to official campsites would severely limit the choice of daily stages you could walk. Wild camping is possible with all the usual conditions of either asking permission from local landowners or being prepared to find an inconspicuous spot, set up late and leave early. However, there is a fair amount of low-cost pilgrim accommodation on the Italian section of the Via Francigena and it is increasing all the time. Wild camping in Italy is illegal and much of the route is in fairly well populated areas. More difficult there than in France or Switzerland. If I was to walk the VF again I would probably ditch my tent once in Italy.
Thanks so much Bradypus! This is certainly very useful. I might try to post my tent on once I reach the Aosta Valley.

Can I just ask, how did you feel safety-wise, particularly when wild camping? Anything to look out for or be vigilant about? Wild boar? Hunters? :eek:
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Can I just ask, how did you feel safety-wise, particularly when wild camping? Anything to look out for or be vigilant about? Wild boar? Hunters? :eek:
I am fairly used to wild camping and I had no big anxieties. I chose not to follow the official VF route through northern France and walked mainly on canal towpaths until Besancon. Once away from villages these are quite isolated with very few people. Also being in part public land I felt less worry about camping there. I usually waited until dusk before setting up my tent and left quite soon after dawn - in part to make sure I walked some distance before the full heat of the day but also so that few people might see me and object. No one ever did. Very little of the main VF route goes through areas where wild boar or hunters would be a major issue. I think that fears of wild boar can be exaggerated. I have met them elsewhere and though I would not welcome the experience while lying in my tent they are no longer quite the stuff of my nightmares :) Though I will freely confess that walking last year in Sweden through a region claimed to have the densest population of brown bears on earth did have me looking over my shoulders more than once... :)

Edit: Just a PS. In several places in Italy I found porcupine quills lying on the roadside. Now that did make me pause for thought. Very strange and scary things.
 
Last edited:

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
On my recent walk on the route out of Geneva, I met Roger, who was walking from Shrewsbury to Santiago and camping on the way. He's blogging at https://rogerbreakell.wordpress.com/ His kit was as follows:
Zpacks Solplex dyneema 1-man tent http://www.zpacks.com/shelter/solplex.shtml
Mountain Laurel Designs 850-ml titanium pot https://mountainlaureldesigns.com/product/mld-titanium-pot1/
Evernew Titanium alcohol stove http://www.evernewamerica.com/overview-1-1/

Together with a lightweight inflatable pad and down quilt.
 

sulu

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
a few since 2010
My only comment would be - and I haven't walked it yet - is; is August not a bit late to start if you want to do it all in one go? By the time you arrive in the mountains the St Bernard Pass is likely to be closed for the winter I think :confused: Just a thought!!

I don't know the first thing about camping!
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
My only comment would be - and I haven't walked it yet - is; is August not a bit late to start if you want to do it all in one go? By the time you arrive in the mountains the St Bernard Pass is likely to be closed for the winter I think :confused: Just a thought!!
A very good point! The pass is normally only open between the beginning of June and mid-October - and that can vary if there is much early snowfall.
 

henrytdrummond

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2016): SJPdP-Fist.
Very true. I'm slightly pressed for time, and may have to walk quickly/take the bus for sections!
 

sulu

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
a few since 2010
I am planning to walk from Reims to Aosta, starting 1st September, but I will jump most of Switzerland as it is too expensive for me. I hope, if all goes well before that, to take the train from Yverdon to Lausanne, then Lausanne to Martigny or Sembrancher, at that point it depends on the weather.
I worked in Lausanne for a year and that year the clouds came down on 1st August and when they went up the mountains were covered in snow, I hope I am luckier this year.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I walked from Canterbury to Rome in summer 2015 and camped for most nights in France and Switzerland. Mostly wild camping but also several nights in official campsites. You are unlikely to find official campsites for every night of your journey and I do not remember seeing any in Italy. In any case restricting yourself only to official campsites would severely limit the choice of daily stages you could walk. Wild camping is possible with all the usual conditions of either asking permission from local landowners or being prepared to find an inconspicuous spot, set up late and leave early. However, there is a fair amount of low-cost pilgrim accommodation on the Italian section of the Via Francigena and it is increasing all the time. Wild camping in Italy is illegal and much of the route is in fairly well populated areas. More difficult there than in France or Switzerland. If I was to walk the VF again I would probably ditch my tent once in Italy.
I see now that you are a well seasoned backpacker/adventurer, and why you personally are not a fan of the Brierley guidebooks. ;)
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
@henrytdrummond , hi

If I may echo @Kitsambler on gear.

Most of my gear is from zPack and found it works and is lightweight.

I have a two person tent so I had space to bring my pack inside. I got the version with a built in bug screen. Even in summar I don't recall any bugs about. And the floor picks of the ground damp. and the ground sheet is fitted inside. If I needed a replacement I would get the same model but with out the bug screen. And also save about 200 grams of weight.

I also bought an inflatable sleeping pad.

On pack up in the morning I put the (deflated) sleeping pad and tent pegs as a core and roll the tent around them to go into the carry bag, and so into the pack.

All up weight (of tent, pad and pegs) about 800 gram.

And like @Bradypus I find my spot during the afternoon but leave it till dusk to set up. And pack up and go early morning.

My tent use last year was on Thames Path and North Downs Way to Canterbury. Often my choice was a church "acre", under a tree with nearby headstones in abundance.

And I am considering a VF from Canterbury for a few years from now.

Kia kaha
 

ViOS

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017
Thanks so much Bradypus! This is certainly very useful. I might try to post my tent on once I reach the Aosta Valley.

Can I just ask, how did you feel safety-wise, particularly when wild camping? Anything to look out for or be vigilant about? Wild boar? Hunters? :eek:
Wild boar can be a problem. Specialy during heat season. Just today I walked up and found several boars close to my camping site. I decided it was best to pickup the hammock and sack and leave the area ASSAP. And it wasn't the only group I found this nightIMG_20170819_200040432.jpg .
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Wild boar can be a problem. Specialy during heat season. Just today I walked up and found several boars close to my camping site. I decided it was best to pickup the hammock and sack and leave the area ASSAP. And it wasn't the only group I found this nightView attachment 35774 .
I was not suggesting that there are no boars at all along the route. But they are not common in all areas. Also the fear of boar attacks is often out of proportion to the actual risk involved. Boar attacks on humans are a very rare event and those are mostly by single male animals in the winter breeding season or occasionally by females defending their young in the spring. In either case the probability of an attack is slight and it is even less likely in areas where hunting is common and boars have learned to avoid human contact. Boars are far more likely to flee from humans than to attack. This website gives advice from people with an interest in wild boar and also quotes advice from a UK government agency.

http://www.britishwildboar.org.uk/index.htm?publicsafety.htm
 

MarkWoods

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via Francigena (Canterbury to Rome 2017)
Hi. I just finished walking the Via Francigena from Canterbury to Rome (Aug 2 - Oct 26). I camped 39 days, pilgrim stay about 41 days, and hotel about 6 days. Half of the camps were wild, the other half in established campgrounds.

I echo much of what Bradypus has posted. My experience was very similar.

I camped just 9 nights in Italy. But the best wild camp and best established campground were both in Italy.

Bon Camino.
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
I have camped extensively on European pilgrimage routes and my advice is always - just ask for permission from the landowner - more often than not you are getting invited for dinner, to use the washing machine etc. Buen Camino, SY
 
Camino(s) past & future
Netherlands to Santiago de Compostela (2450km-2018)
Santiago de Compostela to Rome (2019)
Excellent advice! ... I walked from the Netherlands to Santiago last year and wild camped almost the entire way. Having said that, Parish halls, Presbyters, and simply asking whether you can pop your tent up on someones property, whether that be a farmers field or just a local backyard if caught out, is an excellent way to meet the locals and greet them, make friends and simply commune with folks that are often only too eager to offer a pilgrim a little respite along the way. Be Brave and share your journey with others, and allow them to become part of it.Many cannot do such a thing, it is wonderful to include them.

I have camped extensively on European pilgrimage routes and my advice is always - just ask for permission from the landowner - more often than not you are getting invited for dinner, to use the washing machine etc. Buen Camino, SY
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2019)
Hey all!

I'm considering trying to walk from Canterbury to Rome from August 2018. I do not really expect anybody else to commit to such a long journey, so I'm resolved to camp on my own all the way.

Do people know whether this is feasible and safe? I have a 1kg tent, so I am hoping it would be light enough. I'm just wondering whether it's advisable to do it alone from a safety point of view.

Sorry if I'm asking the obvious!

Thanks
I think camping in between wildlife may be dangerous.
 

timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
Excellent advice! ... I walked from the Netherlands to Santiago last year and wild camped almost the entire way. Having said that, Parish halls, Presbyters, and simply asking whether you can pop your tent up on someones property, whether that be a farmers field or just a local backyard if caught out, is an excellent way to meet the locals and greet them, make friends and simply commune with folks that are often only too eager to offer a pilgrim a little respite along the way. Be Brave and share your journey with others, and allow them to become part of it.Many cannot do such a thing, it is wonderful to include them.
I LOVE your comment about sharing your journey with others.❤❤❤ It's so true. And can require a bit of trust and vulnerability. But calls forth astonishing generosity and l I've from others.
I walked Canterbury to Brindisi last year. I'm in Bitola in Macedonia tonight having walked from Durrës in Albania. I'm walking into Greece in the morning. Hoping to get to Istanbul this year and Jerusalem somehow next year. Tim. Oh and a big Buen Camino for your trip.
 
Thread starter OLDER threads on this topic Forum Replies Date
jsalt Via Francigena to Rome 17
Apicula Via Francigena to Rome 8

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