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Wild camping on Le Puy?


New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Primitivo-2023, Le Puy-2024-?
Hey! Thinking about walking Le Puy this year. I am a solo female traveller. On my previous Camino (Spain) I stayed in municipal albergues, but this time I would like to try something different-wild camping (both because I have very limited financial resources and because I really want to try this on Camino). I've read about the laws and regulations regarding wild camping in France...but I would really love to know more about the personal experiences of those who have tried that! :)
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France is a camping paradise!

Along the via podiensis, often you can camp for very little money on official campsites, showers and all.

There are countless campsites along the way, some of them only ~5-10€. Many gites allow camping in their garden, too (for much less than a bed would cost, I think I usually paid 5-10€).

I didn't wild camp but met several people who did.

France is very tolerant of it, as long as you do it in a respectful way. If you set up your tent late, for example next to a pilgrim rest area, and leave early, it usually is no problem. No fire, no litter, of course.

In at least one village I even saw a sign on a little patch of grass in the middle of the village that said "bivouac allowed here, from 7pm-7am".

There are also many small chapels along the way where you could sleep under the porch. Often there's a water fountain next to it, sometimes even a compost toilet.

Also, a few "open access" shelters, for example the réfuge de la béate (highly recommend).

So, you have many options.

If you want a list of the chapels, I can send it to you. I got it from a hospitalero in Cahors. Was very useful.

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Two years ago we met a young lady who was camping on the GR65 Some nights she would just knock on a door and ask to sleep in their yard. It seemed to be working for her.

I'm too old and that is too adventuresome for me. It is just different when you are in the High Sierra doing that.

good luck Bob
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In at least one village I even saw a sign on a little patch of grass in the middle of the village that said "bivouac allowed here, from 7pm-7am".
That is the point: distinguishing between:
- "bivouac": you put your tent in the evening, and remove it next morning
- "camping": you leave your tent mounted in the day.
The first should be allowed, or at least tolerated, nearly anywhere. I have some pilgrim friends who has mounted their tent for the night inside little cities. Even in Spain, in Fromista, a fellow pilgrim has put its tent in the middle of the city for one night.
Of course, it is always better to ask before.
I hope you will enjoy your journey in France, bon chemin !

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