Carrying a tent in September

Neta

Posted: Sat, Aug 8, 2015, 12:29

Hi all,
I'm planning to do the whole route, N to S, beginning in September 13 (I still hope to start a bit earlier but it might not work out due to flights constraints). Hopefully I'll be able to finish it by September 28, following the 16 stages of walking. I would love to hear your advice on whether it is essential and recommended to carry a tent in this time of the year. On the one hand, it would be great to be able to be flexible and not have to reserve a place at the refuges in advance, but on the other hand, I really want to try to be as light as possible in terms of weight.
I would really appreciate any thought you might have on this issue.
Thanks,
Neta



Gaffr

Posted: Sat, Aug 8, 2015, 13:14

Hello,
The other option is to hire one of the tents, either already erected or held in store, from the refuge folks. Have always carried my own but I did see folks getting a tent at the refuge. I have only been once to Corse in September and it did seem to be much less crowded than in June/July so it could be that a refuge place could be easily obtained without booking?

--

Gaffr



Welli

Posted: Mon, Aug 10, 2015, 8:36

Neta,
I am also doing the GR20 this September, and will be taking a tent for the obvious benefits you mentioned. We're taking the MSR Elixir 2, which comes in at just under 2kg. Between 2 of us, its really not much extra weight to carry for the advantages it brings.



Neta

Posted: Wed, Aug 12, 2015, 19:27

Thank you both for your insights!
As I will be traveling solo (and being pretty small in size), I want to avoid taking anything which is not essential. If anyone can share more about refuge availability and/or tents for hire during September - that would be great.



Trurl

Posted: Fri, Aug 14, 2015, 2:08

Neta,
we did a number of stages at about the same time you are thinking of last September.
September is not crowded, but refuges appeared full each time.
I think that most gites had tents already set up and available for rent.
But I can't swear that EVERY one of them had them.
You may take this risk and/or go for ahead of time reservations,
or carry your own < 2kg tent for maximum independence.

--

--Jacek



Trurl

Posted: Fri, Aug 14, 2015, 2:09

Addendum.
What was NOT essential was our own gas stove: access to stoves was good enough.

--

--Jacek



Neta

Posted: Sat, Oct 10, 2015, 18:21

After completing my GR-20 experience about two weeks ago (September 10-24 2015, 15 days in total, N to S), I can now attempt to answer my own question - in case it will be of interest to others in the future: I didn't take a tent with me after all, nor did I make reservations for the refuges in advance, and in my perspective it proved to be a good decision. The route isn't too crowded in September, and I didn't have any problem to find a place to stay - either at the refuge itself or in one of the tents already set up near by. On the other hand, the route is quite challenging and definitely not easy, so carrying the minimum possible (i.e. - no tent or even sleeping mat) makes it easier, in my opinion, to enjoy the challenge.
All in all - a great and highly recommended experience!



GRRR 20

Posted: Mon, Oct 12, 2015, 9:30

I finished the GR20 on 12th September, and it was busier than I ever saw it in previous years. I'm surprised it was so much quieter for you, starting on 10th. The refuges were completely full when I was there, and the hire tents were almost all full, but it was still just about possible to get one.



Trurl

Posted: Mon, Oct 12, 2015, 17:45

OTOH, a light tent and mattress is only about 2.5 kg and gives you more independence and cleanliness.
BTW, it's been one month since I walked the North, I am already nostalgic :-)

--

--Jacek



Michele
moderator

Posted: Tue, Oct 13, 2015, 9:17

So based on Neta's and GRRR20's different experience we can't make any reliable statistics about tents availability (or busy places). It's just a matter of luck.

Neta, what was the weather like, so deep in September? Thanks

--Michele



GRRR 20

Posted: Tue, Oct 13, 2015, 10:49

This is how busy it was when I was there early in September. Every day I met at least one group of walkers who were being guided, and on some days I met two groups. One day, I met groups from France, Germany, England and Ireland - two groups walking N-S and two groups walking S-N, and that was in addition to smaller groups of friends, couples and people walking on their own. The Hotel Castel de Verghio was full, and they have 30 rooms. Their gite was also full, and that has 70 beds. At most places, when I asked about hire tents, they managed to find one that was free, but in two places they were all full, and they had to get extra tents out of storage. Maybe if I was walking just one day later it might have been quieter.



Michele
moderator

Posted: Tue, Oct 13, 2015, 12:11

Thanks GRRR20



Neta

Posted: Tue, Oct 13, 2015, 12:33

Obviously I can't offer any reliable statistics, but it might be that there is quite a difference between the first and second half of the September. From my experience, it seemed that there wasn't any real problem to find a place to stay, although I should mention that I was walking by myself (i.e - needed only one spot), and maybe things can be more complicated for bigger groups.

As for the weather - it was beautiful in 13 out of 15 days. a bit cloudy and windy at times (especially on the high parts), but it only rained a little during the 3rd day (for one hour) and 14th (for a few hours) day. No thunderstorms at all. I guess that's also a matter of luck.



Michele
moderator

Posted: Tue, Oct 13, 2015, 13:29

Thank you Neta.