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Wild Camping?

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Racheleo

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
One week September 2015
Full Camino to come, August 2017
I am returning to finish my Camino on 27 August and am flying into Biarritz and will take a bus on 28th to Puente La Reina where I left off last time.

I'm wondering if anyone has had any experience with camping near Biarritz or in Irun as I am afraid I land too late for buses that day and the hotels are rather extortionate. And I guess any random advice about camping on the Camino would be great too, I am hoping to do a mixture of both if my tent doesn't weigh my down too much!

I am walking by myself too so if anyone wants to connect then that would be lovely! Also whilst i'm here, I have 33 days at the moment to finish it in, do you think that is enough, I could push it to 35 if needed? I am 24 and relatively... fit. :)

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Buen Camino

Rachel xx
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
For your night in Biarritz have you considered the youth hostel which is within easy walking distance of the airport?
https://www.hihostels.com/hostels/auberge-de-jeunesse-hi-biarritz

Wild camping along the Caminos is a topic which usually generates a lot of fierce argument on this forum. The legality of it is questionable and there are valid concerns about the potential for environmental damage and souring of relationships with local landowners. Having lit the blue touchpaper please be prepared for the sparks to start flying.... :)

PS. On your time scale to complete the journey. Only you can judge your own fitness and the stages you will feel comfortable with. If it is any comfort to you I am a fat 55-year old couch potato who takes very little exercise and I walked from St Jean to Santiago last year in 28 days. Your timetable sounds manageable to me. All the more so if you leave your tent at home and travel light ;)
 

Racheleo

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
One week September 2015
Full Camino to come, August 2017
For your night in Biarritz have you considered the youth hostel which is within easy walking distance of the airport?
https://www.hihostels.com/hostels/auberge-de-jeunesse-hi-biarritz

Wild camping along the Caminos is a topic which usually generates a lot of fierce argument on this forum. The legality of it is questionable and there are valid concerns about the potential for environmental damage and souring of relationships with local landowners. Having lit the blue touchpaper please be prepared for the sparks to start flying.... :)

PS. On your time scale to complete the journey. Only you can judge your own fitness and the stages you will feel comfortable with. If it is any comfort to you I am a fat 55-year old couch potato who takes very little exercise and I walked from St Jean to Santiago last year in 28 days. Your timetable sounds manageable to me. All the more so if you leave your tent at home and travel light ;)
Thank you for your advice! I am still considering leaving the tent at home, I just had a few days on my last Camino with my boyfriend where we didn't have any space to stay, luckily we managed to catch a ride to someones house and sofa surfed but I wouldn't feel comfortable doing that alone. Hence the tent idea, but i'm happy to hear both sides of view for it, I would not want to influence any negativity with land owners for sure so your advice is welcome :)

I want to finish in Finisterre so 33 days sounds good then, phew.

Thanks :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
.
Hey Rachel
If you're young and relatively fit then 32/33 days from Puente La Reina should be fine. But people always say allocate as much time as possible so 35 would be better - give you more options to take rest/recovery time, explore places, or celebrate with fellow pilgs in Santiago.
If you are a dedicated camper and want the freedom of getting away from the typical pilgrim routine of hurrying to each place to find a bed and then hurrying on early the next morning, then a tent might work for you. But very few people bother because of the extra weight involved and the fact that so many albergues are interesting places and we often have a lot of good experiences in them (that outweigh any bad ones).
For your first night, Bradypus' auberge rec looks good or if you are going to Irun then you could aim for the camino albergue there which isn't huge but has an overflow section at busy times (more recent stayers may be able to confirm) . You can get there easily by Metro from Hendaye, which is about a 25min train ride from Biarritz - there's other threads explaining all of that.
Cheers, tom
 

Paladina

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, primitivo & del norte (2017); VdlP/Sanabres, ingles et al (2018), Mozarabe and more (2019)
Thank you for your advice! I am still considering leaving the tent at home, I just had a few days on my last Camino with my boyfriend where we didn't have any space to stay, luckily we managed to catch a ride to someones house and sofa surfed but I wouldn't feel comfortable doing that alone. Hence the tent idea, but i'm happy to hear both sides of view for it, I would not want to influence any negativity with land owners for sure so your advice is welcome :)

I want to finish in Finisterre so 33 days sounds good then, phew.

Thanks :)
For occasional wild camping a bivvy bag is preferable: it's lighter, more versatile and discreet. Choose your site carefully, well away from private property and barking dogs; don't light a fire or use a camping stove; leave early in the morning, removing all trace of your presence. I've done this frequently, almost always alone, and have never encountered or caused any problems. Whatever you decide to do, I wish you well.
 

CyclingJeff

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata route, Seville-Santiago, and the Camino Francesa, summer 2013, via touring bicycle, solo. Planning Camino Francesa east-west, by mountain bike, 2014.
I've done the occasional stealth-camp on both el Norte and the CdF; I've been discrete and adhered to the guidelines mentioned by Paladina, above. I take along a jungle hammock with a rain fly; weighs less than a kilo and I find it far more comfortable than any albergue rack, to be honest! In the warmer months, a military poncho liner is perfectly adequate to keep out the chill and is cheaper, lighter and more portable than a sleeping bag. It's hard to justify a stealth camp, though, when albergue accommodation is ten euro or less.
 

Karl Oz

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
Portuguese
Aragones
Sanabres
Piamonte
Elizabethpfad
I was idly considering the logistics of camping rough when walking the CF a few years back. What did seem apparent was that in significant stretches of the way (eg. between Burgos and Leon) there was nowhere where you could erect a tent without being completely visible to everyone. Every bit of usable land seemed to be planted to crops, and farmers tend to resent and consequently remonstrate with people who freelance camp on their land. I expect that in some of the rare forested parts such as in the Basque country you could do it inconspicuously, but perhaps you might feel less secure doing that.

A good point has been made above, which I find convincing, in that the cost of albergues is so low that a decision to camp could hardy be made in order to save money. People do it though, so maybe some dedicated campers could advise on the practicalities according to their own experience.
 

long trails

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2012
I'd urge you to bring your tent because it's really nice to be able to mix things up, rather than being at the mercy of albergues every night (and the army of bag rustlers, snorers, squeaky bunk beds, poorly ventilated rooms).

- Quite a number of albergues allow camping on their land and will often charge less than half the cost of a bed but you can still use the facilities and be social. Not bad for your own room!

- There are plenty of options to wild camp all along the Camino. My profile picture is actually taken in Hontanas where I camped with two others. Beautiful spot overlooking the village and we had permission too.

- When the Camino is really busy, having a tent is a nice backup. You can pretty much always find a bed these days but having nights away from the crowds is special.

- I have met a number of pilgrims who were only wild camping. One young girl from Germany was doing the whole Camino on 2 Euros a day! Her only cost was food.

- Not sure how heavy your tent is but there is so much awesome ultra-lightweight gear on the market. It's easy to have your entire camping gear under 1kg these days. If you go with a tarp or bivvy then maybe 500 gms is possible. That's half a litre of water in terms of weight!
 

jefferyonthecamino

http://www.barrerabooks.com/ - Guidebooks
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (1994)
Camino Francés (2013 - 2018)
Camino Portugués (2015 - 2018)
Camping on public land outside of designated areas in Spain is illegal; this makes sense in my opinion as camping can be messy and if we all did this it would get really messy, for the licals and for the other pilgrims.
 

Oravasaari

Helsinki, Finland
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJpdP to Fistera, 2016 Leon to Fistera, 2017 CF-Salvadore-Primitivo, 2018 CF run/walk
I camp out a lot here in Finland (even in the winter) and although I saw lots of places that would have been great little stealth camp sites they never seem to appear just when you need them/at right moment etc. I was always drenched in sweat after a long day on the road so a 5€ shower and bed vs sweaty bivy camp was a no brainer. I you are only strolling along at 10-15km per day camping might be more doable tho. On real hikes you have to camp as there is no alternative. On the caminos it is different. Weigh-up the snoring/bed/shower/cooking facilities/shops/bar/restaurant/town sights/company versus the camping equipment weight/hygiene/comfort/nature/solitude/creepy crawlies/

Having said that I've carried a 400g air mat on every one of my caminos for the peace of mind of being able to sleep anywhere (poncho tarp, summer bag) that alone takes away the bed race aspect etc.
 

Racheleo

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
One week September 2015
Full Camino to come, August 2017
Hi thank you for your replies.

I am finishing the Camino in memory of my past boyfriend who passed away 6 months ago and who I started the Camino with two years ago, so for me I think some availability for solitude would be welcome at times when it gets a bit too emotional. It's not about the cost of the albergue for me.

Thank you very much for your responses, they have all been helpful! I would hate to cause any upset if I pitched a tent so maybe the best way to go would be to camp when there was land at the albergues I guess?

I bought a small tent that weighs 1.5 and it was very cheap incase I wanted to donate it along the way and just stay in albergues, if i make it far enough!
 

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