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Rugged travellers, Backpacking Europe in March'09

Travel Forums Europe Rugged travellers, Backpacking Europe in March'09

1. Posted by MelonBomb (Inactive 10 posts) 7y

I am asking, for those of you who live or travel all over the Europe........................

How POSSIBLE(and safe) is it to POP UP A TENT IN COUNTRY/RURAL AREAS around Spain( Valencia for "las Fallas"),England(London, New Castle), Scotland(want to see most of the castles),France(giverny, chartes) Czech Republic,Hungry & Romania, to sleep?
My buddies and I are willing to sleep pretty much anywhere as long as it's SAFE, and SEMI_LEGAL. WE really want to live, breath, smell, and feel the countries we visit(cooped up in an over priced hostel is our last resort). We are all very spirited and adventurous. In fact, we are wild-land fire fighters in california, we sleep outdoors 6 months out of the year anyways.

We will be traveling by foot, trains and plains, while living out of our backpacks.

All ADVISE is helpful and very appreciated!!!!

Thanks for your time..

2. Posted by Marlonka (Budding Member 5 posts) 7y

I've done some walking trips through Europe and of course it is safe if you don't sleep in the middle of the city
From your list...i only visited England and Romania in that way and i must say both were rly great experiences.
we've walked through valleys, and mountains...it was pure backpacking trip.. so 5 days of the week we spent sleeping in the nature, others in hostels

of course you must choose the right time of the year to do that:)

for romania i didn't find any similar pages when we prepared, but for england i used some info and routes from this page:

http://www.ukendtoend.com/index.html

very useful.

Other than that, once you pick a route, else is easy when you get there. since you have experience in sleeping outdoors, i think it'll be a piece of cake for you here.
we didn't have any problems with puting tents...but then again.. we didn't rly pop them up next to houses and ppl:)

3. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 7y

Regarding the rules for that in Europe:

AFAIK camping wild is illegal in the Netherlands and Italy, but allowed in Austria and Sweden as long as you move on the next day and leave no trace. In Germany and the UK it is semi-legal, ie there are obscure laws forbidding it but they are rarely enforced as long as you behave yourself.

France (especially Paris and other big cities) has a big problem with homeless people, instead of building cardbox houses many live in tents. There is a lively scene of homeless people and poor tourists who camp wild in some of the parks in Paris. (Just don't leave any valuables in your tent - not even a good sleeping bag or mattress. I also wouldn't pitch a tent there that is worth more than 50 USD.)

The Czech Republic is still pretty cheap, here a camping site off the beaten track won't cost you much. Similar is true for Hungary and Romania.

BTW, Spain, UK, France, Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania are a lot of ground to cover, especially walking. For a trip including all these countries and travelling by car or public transport I would plan on having around 4 months, if covering significant distances on foot I would plan more like 5 months.

I also hope you plan to start your trip in Southern Spain, March can still be pretty cold in Western and Central Europe at this time. (Think of possible flurries of snow and temps around freezing point at night.) Climate in France and the UK is similar to that of Oregon and Washington at the Pacific Coast, with Southern France being similar to Northern California. The Czech Republic and Eastern Europe have a slightly more continental climate with colder winters and hotter summers.

[ Edit: Edited on Dec 5, 2008, at 3:59 PM by t_maia ]

4. Posted by monkeycat (Full Member 109 posts) 7y

Wild camping is illegal in a lot of areas of Spain, if not all. I think it's mainly anywhere which is a national park, and all areas next to and including the coast. Having said that if you are not going in the Summer no Spaniard would imagine that you would be camping other than between Easter and Summer.

5. Posted by monkeycat (Full Member 109 posts) 7y

BTW.

most castles in Scotland?

Are you sure?

There are a couple of hundred...

surely you mean one or two.