The need to reserve camping spots ahead of time for August hike

Fool

Posted: Tue, Mar 6, 2018, 7:20

Hi, I'm considering a NOBO hike in August (likely first half) and I'm wondering how crowded the trail typically is around that time... I'm specifically wondering if I need to worry about reserving ahead of time when I'm just planning on camping the whole way. I'd like to be able to be a little flexible in my itinerary but I also read somewhere that some of the refuges are going to be undergoing renovations beginning this year. I would think that could very well impinge on space for pitching a tent in some places...?

Thanks!



Gaffr

Posted: Tue, Mar 6, 2018, 8:21

Hello,
Never been to the trail in august but it is a big holiday time for Folks in Europe.
In my own experience on the GR20...for camping with own tent....just turn up and sort out the pitch and
payment with the Guardien at the refuge.
It would appear that the refuge at Carozzu is the one for an upgrade this year and it is the area with the least amount of space for campers.
There has been a temporary arrangement at Asinao after the fire at the refuge.....much more space for tents there.
Of course on that stage Asinao to Usciolu other places to stay overnight....the one of the three that I have used is at the bergeries at Croci.

Maybe also keep looking at the Randoblog of the PNRC for information.

--

Gaffr



Fool

Posted: Wed, Mar 7, 2018, 5:30

Hi Gaffr, thanks for the insight, and the quick response! So.. pitch first and then payment? :) And what's been your experience, if any, of there not being a suitable space to pitch somewhere, what happens then? Push on to another refuge? Or stealth camp?



Gaffr

Posted: Wed, Mar 7, 2018, 6:55

Stealth camp is definitely frowned upon on the island....waste, and fire are the the two big worries on an island with so much dry material lying around.
Must admit that it has been tight at times to get a reasonable pitch at a few of the overnights....however with some cord and a few stones to anchor the tent it is possible to get by. Carozzu was the most difficult for a tent. The first time that I went to the GR there were not quite so many of the pre-pitched for hire tents at the refuge areas.

--

Gaffr



Michele
moderator

Posted: Wed, Mar 7, 2018, 8:00

Actually wild camping ought to be an act of protest against the Park people totally ignoring us campers. In fact they don't seem to care in the least. Although there is a plan for refuge renovation/rebuild there is no interest in making our life easier. After you pay, you are totally left on your own with that "find yourself a pitch". I feel the money I give is a total waste. Sorry for the rant.

--Michele



Fool

Posted: Wed, Mar 7, 2018, 21:13

Gaffr, thanks again for your help, and to you too, Michele, for your thoughts.

I can certainly appreciate the frustration you're feeling, Michele. No need to apologize for the rant, at least not to me.

Stealth/wild camping would be the last resort for me. While I feel I try to respect LNT (Leave No Trace) principles more than most, I also appreciate how well-traveled this trail is and wish to impact it as little as possible. I'm fine with restricting my impact to specific areas (around the refuges). It's not the ideal wilderness experience, but such is life when you share a special place lots of people. It's a trade-off I'm willing to accept so that I might share both the experience and the trade-off with so many.

I also appreciate that I'll be a guest to Corsica and wish to respect their decisions on how to manage their wild spaces. I don't mind paying a fee to camp, especially as I get the impression there are reasonable services included; potable water, toilets, shower, bins for your garbage, access to a gas stove for cooking, access to shelter in a pinch, etc... I also imagine, though I have no idea what the reality is, that my fees to camp, in part, also go toward management of the trail and the wild spaces it traverses...? Possibly even emergency support.

Right now, I personally feel there are other ways to protest what sounds to be a lack of consideration of campers in refuge areas. Taking that frustration out on the trail, and effectively on all who walk the trail, doesn't feel like the appropriate way to go about it. That said, I completely respect that you guys know so much more about this trail, and those who are charged to maintain it, than I do. My knowledge is very limited to what I'm only just beginning to learn about the GR20.

Thanks again to both of you for responding to my query!



Gaffr

Posted: Thu, Mar 8, 2018, 13:44

Good to read your reply.....I'm sure that you will be travelling in the right spirit for the route.
I did not discover the GR20 until I had retired. I enjoyed the journey made over the variety of terrain so much that my wife and I came back to travel over five of the other multi day walks on the island two of which crossed over the GR20 at two different cols.....we just wanted to find out more about the walking on the island. Six years later I came back to walk the trail in the reverse direction.....still an enjoyable experience.
My own wee collection of images taken on the GR20.....gaffr.blogspot.co.uk....the GR20 for some idea of what the terrain offers.

also...the very fine two videos from Michel...very professional and fun approach to the GR20.
GR20 North: memories of a Trekker https://vimeo.com/15061401.... and the South on https://Vimeo.com/29148378

Also....for the charge made at each refuge for the camping overnight you get a receipt for this....each stage on the ticket e.g. Bivouac de Manganu etc. and has the PNRC (Parc Naturel Regional de Corse) so I guess that these fees help out with the upkeep of the GR20.

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Gaffr



Fool

Posted: Fri, Mar 9, 2018, 6:13

You guys have me excited to do it! :) Many thanks for sharing