Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.
Actually, my husband and I are leaving Le Puy on August 22 or 23, and we're going to be camping at least part of the time. I've walked the Camino Frances before, and I slept in albergues much of the time, but I slept outside without a tent for at least 12 days, and I found that I preferred sleeping outside as I got closer to Santiago.
Based on my previous experience, you don't need a tent (in June and July), but we are bringing a tent, since we will be going later in the year, and it is nice to have some shelter. We plan to just set it up several feet to the side of the path in clean area, prefably on the outskirts of a small town. When I slept outside before, I never felt that I was in danger, well... except for one time when someone was using a tractor with a shovel near us at 1 AM. They started driving down the road right next to where we were trying to sleep. But I wasn't really in danger, it just seemed that we were witnessing some kind of odd activity that we probably shouldn't be witnessing.
My one concern is I will be missing out on some of the contact with other pilgrims if we are not staying in gites/albergues, so I do still want to stay in albergues as well. Also, the practical aspect of not being able to shower easily is good incentive to stay in an albergue at least half the time or pay them a Euro or two to be able to use their shower. So I am going to be mindful of the need to meet other pilgrims and try to balance it with the benefits of saving money and the comforts of being in a tent.
Thanks everyone for all the useful information. Elissa hopefully I will see you and your husband on the chemin. I will be taking my sweet time since I have about 11 weeks to finish and get my butt back to Paris.