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Wild camping

ScotsWanderer

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Sep / October 23
Hello , I have a question to everyone relating to camping.
I am starting the Camino del Norte on September 6th by foot.
I am wanting to bring my small hiking tent to save money.
I've been reading that I may not be allowed to wild camp along the Norte route. Is this a fact ?
Can you still pay a donation at the albergues to use the showers , even if I maybe camping ? Thank you in advance 🙏🏽🤠
 
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Albergues are not required to accept donations to use their grounds and plumbing. Some may, others won't.

Try searching this forum...somewhere on it were several informative discussions on camping.
 
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Just had a look at Open Street Map to see where the [commercial] campsites were on the Norte up to Santander. Gives a general idea of where gaps might be.

There are a lot of surf camps on the Norte so you shouldn't be short of somewhere to pitch a tent though there will be a cost. Stop at Surf shops along the way and ask. They should know where to pitch a tent.
 

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Hello , I have a question to everyone relating to camping.
I am starting the Camino del Norte on September 6th by foot.
I am wanting to bring my small hiking tent to save money.
I've been reading that I may not be allowed to wild camp along the Norte route. Is this a fact ?
This is a recurring and difficult question -- and the truth is that the legality or not of wild camping varies from Region to Region, as well as between Municipality to Municipality.

The absolute no-noes are :

1) NO open fires -- this is the rule to be most scrupulously followed. A gas camping stove is OK.

2) No staying in the same place for 2 nights or more, unless somewhere specifically designated by a Municipality as a camping area.

3) No wild camping inside the bounds of a village, town, or city. This should seem obvious, but it seems that more and more pilgrims are ignoring it.

4) Do not wild camp on private property without the owner's authorisation -- though really, if it's just some field out in the sticks that has already been harvested, use your common sense.

I don't know if there are areas de descanso por peregrinos on the Norte, as there are on the Francès, but if so, you can pretty much treat those as camping areas.
Can you still pay a donation at the aulberges to use the showers , even if I maybe camping ? Thank you in advance 🙏🏽🤠
Fairly often yes, more often showers than camping space availability.
 
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There's a lot of sense in JabbaPapa's input; I've wild camped the Camino three times; I'm not going to run off the lists of do's, and dont's...............................you know thy common sense stuff.. I'v never had a bad issue; I 'dissapear'............then no one is to know; that's the way to do it, and if you've done it right, no one will know you've been.
I've got many happy memories from what I call bivvying; the wild camp tag, seems to get us a bad name; I travel lght, no tent, just bag, basha, and gortex bag; seen some bad weather too; it's a lot more do' able, than some seem to think.
I wish you well, enjoy the freedom, and the connection it offers to the enviroment around you.
I'll be doing it again soon.............before my 70th birthday.
 
My assessment of this is that wild camping is NOT legal in Spain, and possibly in Portugal. If you can find a legal campground along a Camino route, use it.

Failing this, the safe course is to obtain the permission of a property owner to pitch camp on their property. The advice above about no fires is real, drop-dead serious.

Were I to consider it, I would only cold camp, cowboy style. This means, no cooking or stove, and trying to blend into the local floral and fauna. If rain threatens, the only shelter that might avoid notice would be a low-pitched tarp or a bivvy sack, that did not create a contrasting shape when someone looks at a distance. So, a straight line, denoting a ridge line on a tarp, when seen from the trail, would be a giveaway.

Because of the general illegality of this practice, you need to hide what you are doing. Go far enough off the trail, farther than the outdoor toilet range zone, so your camp will not be noticed.

On balance, perhaps just finding a legitimate place to sleep for the night might be best. A local bar / cafe will usually know of rooms for rent, or they will call ahead for you to an albergue or hostal to hold a bed.

Wild camping ought not be necessary.

Hope this helps.

Tom
 
All my life I tried to maximize the number of nights I slept in a tent. I read early on they don't count against your time on earth. Must have worked. On my first Camino I carried a 3 lb tent from Irun to Gijon. Didn't see a good opportunity or need to use it. Mailed it home and walked on to Santiago so much lighter. I did see some places where I could have pitched it unobtrusively, but there were no nearby drinking water sources. I bet many albergues with grassy lawns would let you pitch your tent and use the facilities. Ask. Last time I walked through Castro Urdiales I slept in one of the albergue's' tents. (it leaked!) Buen Camino
 
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

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Hello , I have a question to everyone relating to camping.
I am starting the Camino del Norte on September 6th by foot.
I am wanting to bring my small hiking tent to save money.
I've been reading that I may not be allowed to wild camp along the Norte route. Is this a fact ?
Can you still pay a donation at the albergues to use the showers , even if I maybe camping ? Thank you in advance 🙏🏽🤠
You'll be fine. There's a video on Youtube explaining the legal situation in the regions on the camino.
 
You'll be fine. There's a video on Youtube explaining the legal situation in the regions on the camino.
There are videos on Ubend explaining all sorts of things. Some are less fantastical than others.

I tend to put my trust in official sources like the ones that the Guardia Civil, Police National and Guardaparques will rely on in court :)
 
There are videos on Ubend explaining all sorts of things. Some are less fantastical than others.

I tend to put my trust in official sources like the ones that the Guardia Civil, Police National and Guardaparques will rely on in court :)
I'm a criminal defense lawyer and I think that his analysis of the respective laws in the different regions is sound and it makes sense to me, but I would advise being thoughtful and considerate in any instance!
 
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I'm a criminal defense lawyer and I think that his analysis of the respective laws in the different regions is sound and it makes sense to me, but I would advise being thoughtful and considerate in any instance!
Perhaps there is a video with sound legal advice on YouTube. The challenge is for a non-professional to recognize it as such from all of the others. In your post #10 you didn't indicate which video was reliable, just saying that there was one.
 
Perhaps there is a video with sound legal advice on YouTube. The challenge is for a non-professional to recognize it as such from all of the others. In your post #10 you didn't indicate which video was reliable, just saying that there was one.
It appears to me to be reliable. Rioja is the most restrictive, apparently. I'll see if I can locate the correct video. That being said, it might be a hassle.
 
Hello , I have a question to everyone relating to camping.
I am starting the Camino del Norte on September 6th by foot.
I am wanting to bring my small hiking tent to save money.
I've been reading that I may not be allowed to wild camp along the Norte route. Is this a fact ?
Can you still pay a donation at the albergues to use the showers , even if I maybe camping ? Thank you in advance 🙏🏽🤠
Expect others to be friendly and accommodating but at the same time eyeing with a bit of suspection.
 
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