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  #1  
Old 26 Jun 2010
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Rough Camping France??

8 of us heading for the Italian Alps next month Dover - Calais.

We're hoping to camp/rough camp through France, we`re following as many "Unpaved Roads" as we can.


Anyone done anything similiar?? What's the legal bit of just stopping in a layby and putting up a bivvi??

Any tips??

Cheers
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  #2  
Old 26 Jun 2010
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putting up your bivvy for the night is fine. using a gaz/oil cooker to prepare food likewise <Providing> the 8 of you don't get boisterous and start annoying anyone. If its a big lay bye you might be better off splitting into two or three smaller groups.

DO NOT, as others have done here, steal wood to make bonfires. in fact do not have bonfires at all because in much of rural France this is illegal from June to October due to the fire risk.

In other words be discrete and inconspicuous and everyone including the gendarmes will leave you to enjoy your trip. If you interfere with someone elses enjoyment of life you will be severely hassled.
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Old 28 Jun 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldbmw View Post
putting up your bivvy for the night is fine. using a gaz/oil cooker to prepare food likewise <Providing> the 8 of you don't get boisterous and start annoying anyone. If its a big lay bye you might be better off splitting into two or three smaller groups.

DO NOT, as others have done here, steal wood to make bonfires. in fact do not have bonfires at all because in much of rural France this is illegal from June to October due to the fire risk.

In other words be discrete and inconspicuous and everyone including the gendarmes will leave you to enjoy your trip. If you interfere with someone elses enjoyment of life you will be severely hassled.
+1 ...
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Old 29 Jun 2010
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Agree completely, could be a nice trip if done right though
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Old 2 Jul 2010
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Absolutely right...OldB and also myself have done this for a long time in France and if you're discreet then you'll have no problem. France is a very liberal country in this area.

Better to avoid campfires - they're not needed and only cause problems; they may mark you out as first time campers too. If you have to pay for camping then go to the "Camping Municipale"; nice sites at the nicest prices. Big towns have them as well as villages.

I hope your unpaved roads arent footpaths, as many are destroyed by bikes.

Stealth camping is great!

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldbmw View Post
putting up your bivvy for the night is fine. using a gaz/oil cooker to prepare food likewise <Providing> the 8 of you don't get boisterous and start annoying anyone. If its a big lay bye you might be better off splitting into two or three smaller groups.

DO NOT, as others have done here, steal wood to make bonfires. in fact do not have bonfires at all because in much of rural France this is illegal from June to October due to the fire risk.

In other words be discrete and inconspicuous and everyone including the gendarmes will leave you to enjoy your trip. If you interfere with someone elses enjoyment of life you will be severely hassled.

Last edited by Caminando; 2 Jul 2010 at 20:51.
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Old 2 Jul 2010
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There are a lot of rules and a lot of places it's not allowed. If you can read French see Camping sauvage - Wikip├ędia for a summary.
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Old 2 Jul 2010
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Originally Posted by Magnon View Post
There are a lot of rules and a lot of places it's not allowed. If you can read French see Camping sauvage - Wikip├ędia for a summary.
True, Magnon, but I've never had a problem and every country has rules which we diplomatically sidestep.
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Old 2 Jul 2010
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France is overloaded with regulations. What the English fail to grasp is they are there as a matter of last resort. Basically you CAN bivouac anywhere sensible if done with care. On the other hand if 10 of you decide to have a large bonfire and loud music on the grass beside the village war memorial that you are using as a latrine, expect to be on the receiving end of all the legislation they can find.

snuggle up quietly out of anyones way in a laybye, rest area, or wild spot and no one will bother you. The basic rule is don't upset anyone or offend their sensibilities.
They do not mind you having fun so long as you don't impinge on their fun.
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Old 2 Jul 2010
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The French are paranoid about forest fires. There are several helicopters a day over here which is a fairly remote part of France. Other than that I agree that there are regulations for everything, most of which are ignored.
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