Renting a Tent w/o Reservations

PatrickB

Posted: Fri, Jul 7, 2017, 9:12

Hey Folks,

I am planning to hike the GR20 in mid- to late-August at the tail end of a study abroad stint in Germany. As I wanted to travel as light as possible to and from the US, I don't have tent with me in Europe, and I would prefer not to buy one right before I leave. I would be fine sleeping in a rented tent at the refuges, but my question is: how risky is it to do the GR20 without a tent and without reservations at the refuges? I would prefer to hold off on reserving spots so that I have some flexibility with my itinerary.

Is getting an early start to get to the refuge early a sufficient strategy, or is it too busy at this time of year?

Thanks,
Patrick



Michele
moderator

Posted: Fri, Jul 7, 2017, 14:22

Hi Patrick,

well, the answer to your first question is: very risky. The GR20 is very crowded at that time of the season and chances are you won't find any spots available inside the refuges. Now as to the rented tents, something needs to be clarified: you don't rent a spot (I wish it was that!) you rent a tent: meaning you have to find yourself someplace where to pitch it (which may not be so easy). Many park tents are already pitched, but, in some cases if more people keep asking for them, other tents are taken from the storage. So if you get to the hut without a reservation for a park tent, you might get a tent anyway (but don't quote me on that). Let's hear what others have to say about it.

Getting an early start is a well known strategy so I'm not sure if it'll be of any help.

--Michele



PatrickB

Posted: Fri, Jul 7, 2017, 14:56

Hi Michele,

Thanks for the quick response. I think part of me knew what the answer would be when I asked...but it's good to get confirmation. Another option I am considering is carrying a light bivy sack as an alternative if I can't secure a rented tent or bed inside a refuge. I can't remember if it was on this forum, but I remember reading an account from someone who did the entire trail with just a bivy sack and said it was manageable, although perhaps not the most comfortable.

If anyone else has done the trail with a bivy sack, I'd love to hear you thoughts!

Patrick



Michele
moderator

Posted: Fri, Jul 7, 2017, 15:22

Patrick, I know there are people who have done it with a tarp, or a shelter. Of course this won't protect you much from the weather but it's manageable. A lightweight bivvy sack is also an option if you want to go ultralight.

--Michele