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Camping and food

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Tassie Kaz

Sempre Avanti
Time of past OR future Camino
2023?
Hello, I’m hoping to start on the via Francigena in September, my question is - are there many camping options and small food supermarkets for supply in France ?

Thanks in advance
I can't help with camping info but as no-one else has replied yet, I'll weigh-in regarding food supplies.
Most of us seem to take a DIY approach to making our way across France...I certainly did & thoroughly enjoyed doing so.
There is/was much conjecture about the 'official' path so I suggest you first decide how closely you want to stick to that...& whose version of it! There are no historical records of Sigeric's exact route, only his nightly stops so actually getting from Point A to Point B is not as defined as with other walks/Caminos.
I walked in 2019; signage was light on the ground. I used Alison Raju's guidebooks (regular readers of my posts know how I feel about them... 😄) taking it only as a suggestion...actually I took it as a challenge to find a 'better' IMHO route.
I tailored My Way to my needs; accom, food, daily distances, terrain & weather.
I tend not to regularly eat in restaurants preferring self-catering so grocers, supermarkets, markets dictated my path second only to accom availability.
Even though I tailored my route, planning ahead was still required for food & I recall having to carry 2 days worth for several sections.
Planning to be in towns or villages with a store still did not guarantee being able to replenish. Opening hours/days were often not convenient on to which 'special' days & the whims of store owners also played a part.
In short, research & plan ahead but still carry a stash of food just in case. In 2019 (pre-pandemic) it was possible to access an almost daily resupply but a lot will depend on your individual decisions & choices...daily walking distances a big factor.
Best wishes...I hope you get some replies more helpful than mine!
👣 🌏
 

roving_rufus

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2013-2015) Portugues (2017-2019) Via Francigena (2018-??) Camino from Ireland (2020-??)
I did camp using camping sites and a few gardens, and only wild camped once when there was no option. I didn't camp every night but made use of available pilgrim accommodation and due to some illness a hotel or two. Some sites might close as September is end of season. In France it kept costs down to camp and opened up other options. I know I camped in licques ( there was also a campsite at Divion were I planned to but plans changed). Then Perrone, Seraucourt Le Grand, Tergnier , Suzy (off route but easy to reconnect without backtracking), champlitte, (basic site near Dampierre which I skipped due to excellent chambre d'hotes offer Inc dinner for €30). There are several up the valley from Ornans to Lods. It made life easier and cheaper by filling in gaps to the available pilgrim accommodation
I never starved but only because I carried food in my pack, to cover at least 2 days (that might included something more of an only open in emergency sort of dinner). Most days you will pass through, begin or end in a town with a shop or bakery but many shops are closed on Sundays and bakeries tend to close one day a week and likely only open on Sunday mornings only. If you take the Roman road after Chalons en Champagne then you need several days supplies as there are no shops though pilgrim hosts on this section at least used to provide a dinner.
 

Chris2017uk

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
None
I can't help with camping info but as no-one else has replied yet, I'll weigh-in regarding food supplies.
Most of us seem to take a DIY approach to making our way across France...I certainly did & thoroughly enjoyed doing so.
There is/was much conjecture about the 'official' path so I suggest you first decide how closely you want to stick to that...& whose version of it! There are no historical records of Sigeric's exact route, only his nightly stops so actually getting from Point A to Point B is not as defined as with other walks/Caminos.
I walked in 2019; signage was light on the ground. I used Alison Raju's guidebooks (regular readers of my posts know how I feel about them... 😄) taking it only as a suggestion...actually I took it as a challenge to find a 'better' IMHO route.
I tailored My Way to my needs; accom, food, daily distances, terrain & weather.
I tend not to regularly eat in restaurants preferring self-catering so grocers, supermarkets, markets dictated my path second only to accom availability.
Even though I tailored my route, planning ahead was still required for food & I recall having to carry 2 days worth for several sections.
Planning to be in towns or villages with a store still did not guarantee being able to replenish. Opening hours/days were often not convenient on to which 'special' days & the whims of store owners also played a part.
In short, research & plan ahead but still carry a stash of food just in case. In 2019 (pre-pandemic) it was possible to access an almost daily resupply but a lot will depend on your individual decisions & choices...daily walking distances a big factor.
Best wishes...I hope you get some replies more helpful than mine!
👣 🌏
Thanks for your reply, that’s interesting that the route is not fixed which is helpful. I guess I’ll do some research into camp sites and their open times ect
 

Chris2017uk

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
None
I did camp using camping sites and a few gardens, and only wild camped once when there was no option. I didn't camp every night but made use of available pilgrim accommodation and due to some illness a hotel or two. Some sites might close as September is end of season. In France it kept costs down to camp and opened up other options. I know I camped in licques ( there was also a campsite at Divion were I planned to but plans changed). Then Perrone, Seraucourt Le Grand, Tergnier , Suzy (off route but easy to reconnect without backtracking), champlitte, (basic site near Dampierre which I skipped due to excellent chambre d'hotes offer Inc dinner for €30). There are several up the valley from Ornans to Lods. It made life easier and cheaper by filling in gaps to the available pilgrim accommodation
I never starved but only because I carried food in my pack, to cover at least 2 days (that might included something more of an only open in emergency sort of dinner). Most days you will pass through, begin or end in a town with a shop or bakery but many shops are closed on Sundays and bakeries tend to close one day a week and likely only open on Sunday mornings only. If you take the Roman road after Chalons en Champagne then you need several days supplies as there are no shops though pilgrim hosts on this section at least used to provide a dinner.
Thx for the reply some great info . Yea I want to camp as much as possible. I walked Le Puy to sjpp in November and it can get very expensive
 
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Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Time of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
Thanks for your reply, that’s interesting that the route is not fixed which is helpful. I guess I’ll do some research into camp sites and their open times ect
As far as I know there is an officially recognised and signposted route. But many of us who have walked from Canterbury to Rome have thought that we would prefer something a bit more direct or intuitive. Personally my aim was to walk to Rome rather than follow a particular route. I decided to make my own way through France mostly following canal towpaths. Feel free to make things up as you go! :cool:
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
If it will help, there is a channel on Youtube, Efrén Gonzalez. He has completed a vlog of his journey on the Via Francigena. All the joys, scenery, trials and tribulations are covered, including stealth camping. Time for some binge watching!!!
 

SusanSmyth

Happy Member 😋
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
I plan to start the VF in Canterbury on or around 19 April and walk for four weeks. When I asked on the Via Francigena FaceBook page I was assured I would not need to camp and that I needn’t bring my sleeping bag. Now I am back to fretting about accommodations and backpack weight…..
 

Lyn R

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Mozerabe-via de la Plata-Sanabres (2017)
I did camp using camping sites and a few gardens, and only wild camped once when there was no option. I didn't camp every night but made use of available pilgrim accommodation and due to some illness a hotel or two. Some sites might close as September is end of season. In France it kept costs down to camp and opened up other options. I know I camped in licques ( there was also a campsite at Divion were I planned to but plans changed). Then Perrone, Seraucourt Le Grand, Tergnier , Suzy (off route but easy to reconnect without backtracking), champlitte, (basic site near Dampierre which I skipped due to excellent chambre d'hotes offer Inc dinner for €30). There are several up the valley from Ornans to Lods. It made life easier and cheaper by filling in gaps to the available pilgrim accommodation
I never starved but only because I carried food in my pack, to cover at least 2 days (that might included something more of an only open in emergency sort of dinner). Most days you will pass through, begin or end in a town with a shop or bakery but many shops are closed on Sundays and bakeries tend to close one day a week and likely only open on Sunday mornings only. If you take the Roman road after Chalons en Champagne then you need several days supplies as there are no shops though pilgrim hosts on this section at least used to provide a dinner.
Great information roving.rufus.
 

roving_rufus

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2013-2015) Portugues (2017-2019) Via Francigena (2018-??) Camino from Ireland (2020-??)
I plan to start the VF in Canterbury on or around 19 April and walk for four weeks. When I asked on the Via Francigena FaceBook page I was assured I would not need to camp and that I needn’t bring my sleeping bag. Now I am back to fretting about accommodations and backpack weight…..
Plenty of people walk the VF even in France without camping. There is a useful booklet produced by French association FFVF which provides info on accomodation including pilgrim hosts. But camping will reduce costs compared to some of the available accommodation. As for the sleeping bag, some pilgrim accommodation provide bedding but others do not (my experiences were pre Covid), so something to sleep in I feel might be needed, and in April a sleeping bag liner might be too little in Northern France.
 
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Harington

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Vézelay/Francés 2011, Primitivo 2012, VdlP 2013, Via Domitia 2014, Inglés 2015, Francigena 2016
Hello, I’m hoping to start on the via Francigena in September, my question is - are there many camping options and small food supermarkets for supply in France ?

Thanks in advance
There's a really excellent little booklet "Livret Hébergements et Services sur la Via Francigena en France", published by the Fédération Française del la Via Francigena (FFVF) and sold in their online shop. Even if you don't speak good French the info is mainly by way of symbols. It lists all pilgrim accommodation, campsites, shops, cafés etc.
 

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Chris2017uk

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
None
I plan to start the VF in Canterbury on or around 19 April and walk for four weeks. When I asked on the Via Francigena FaceBook page I was assured I would not need to camp and that I needn’t bring my sleeping bag. Now I am back to fretting about accommodations and backpack weight…..
Yes, I want to camp this time to save money and the experience. I walked Le Puy to sjpp and didn’t have any issues with bedding ect
There's a really excellent little booklet "Livret Hébergements et Services sur la Via Francigena en France", published by the Fédération Française del la Via Francigena (FFVF) and sold in their online shop. Even if you don't speak good French the info is mainly by way of symbols. It lists all pilgrim accommodation, campsites, shops, cafés etc.
ah brilliant, I’ve used maim maim do do for Le Puy to sjpp sounds similar
 
Time of past OR future Camino
please see signature
I was assured I would not need to camp and that I needn’t bring my sleeping bag. Now I am back to fretting about accommodations and backpack weight…..

I walked Canterbury Cathedral to Chaumont-en-haut-Marne in September 2018. I was booked to return in March 2020 ...

As my close neighbour @Tassie Kaz has said, in France there is not a signed route. I mainly used roads and sign posts to the next village, town, city on my simple itinerary for each day. One forum member used canals in France from Calais to shortly after Langres.

Of my 21 days, I used my tent on 7 occasions. A factor for me was a need to recharge my hungry 10 inch tablet and a strong desire to have an evening meal. Only one was real tent site, nearly 2 km from the village centre. Another was behind the village church across the road from the restaurant I had eaten at. Another was an unused orchard suggested by the Pizza shop owner after he had shown me his photo standing in S Peter's Plaza with his pack at his feet. My last was on the back lawn of a restaurant closed for the low season. This was arranged by the receptionist of the nearby hotel which was complete.

I also encountered two gite-d'etape.

Being on the road gave more opportunities to pass a café. Without exception these were bars with gambling opportunities. And coffee could also be ordered.

I had studied the accommodation list on the Via Fracigena website. After comparing to the route I was contemplating, I could not see many opportunities for me.

I now plan to return March 2023, with my tent and sleeping bag etc and knocking off the 1,400 km remaining.

So, @Chris2017uk, to you i say kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui (take care, be strong, patient and confident.
 

Chris2017uk

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
None
I can't help with camping info but as no-one else has replied yet, I'll weigh-in regarding food supplies.
Most of us seem to take a DIY approach to making our way across France...I certainly did & thoroughly enjoyed doing so.
There is/was much conjecture about the 'official' path so I suggest you first decide how closely you want to stick to that...& whose version of it! There are no historical records of Sigeric's exact route, only his nightly stops so actually getting from Point A to Point B is not as defined as with other walks/Caminos.
I walked in 2019; signage was light on the ground. I used Alison Raju's guidebooks (regular readers of my posts know how I feel about them... 😄) taking it only as a suggestion...actually I took it as a challenge to find a 'better' IMHO route.
I tailored My Way to my needs; accom, food, daily distances, terrain & weather.
I tend not to regularly eat in restaurants preferring self-catering so grocers, supermarkets, markets dictated my path second only to accom availability.
Even though I tailored my route, planning ahead was still required for food & I recall having to carry 2 days worth for several sections.
Planning to be in towns or villages with a store still did not guarantee being able to replenish. Opening hours/days were often not convenient on to which 'special' days & the whims of store owners also played a part.
In short, research & plan ahead but still carry a stash of food just in case. In 2019 (pre-pandemic) it was possible to access an almost daily resupply but a lot will depend on your individual decisions & choices...daily walking distances a big factor.
Best wishes...I hope you get some replies more helpful than mine!
👣 🌏
I walked Canterbury Cathedral to Chaumont-en-haut-Marne in September 2018. I was booked to return in March 2020 ...

As my close neighbour @Tassie Kaz has said, in France there is not a signed route. I mainly used roads and sign posts to the next village, town, city on my simple itinerary for each day. One forum member used canals in France from Calais to shortly after Langres.

Of my 21 days, I used my tent on 7 occasions. A factor for me was a need to recharge my hungry 10 inch tablet and a strong desire to have an evening meal. Only one was real tent site, nearly 2 km from the village centre. Another was behind the village church across the road from the restaurant I had eaten at. Another was an unused orchard suggested by the Pizza shop owner after he had shown me his photo standing in S Peter's Plaza with his pack at his feet. My last was on the back lawn of a restaurant closed for the low season. This was arranged by the receptionist of the nearby hotel which was complete.

I also encountered two gite-d'etape.

Being on the road gave more opportunities to pass a café. Without exception these were bars with gambling opportunities. And coffee could also be ordered.

I had studied the accommodation list on the Via Fracigena website. After comparing to the route I was contemplating, I could not see many opportunities for me.

I now plan to return March 2023, with my tent and sleeping bag etc and knocking off the 1,400 km remaining.

So, @Chris2017uk, to you i say kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui (take care, be strong, patient and confident.
Thank you . I may put my progress on here some photos ect
 
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