Tell me ANYTHING about camping in europe pls? (and a couple Q's) - TravelPUNK Backpacker College Student Budget Travel Message Boards!



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Raileurope.com: See Europe by train
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Old 07-12-2008, 07:32 AM   #1
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Default Tell me ANYTHING about camping in europe pls? (and a couple Q's)

Firstly: Hi, this is my first post.

I'm going to UK/Spain/France with a couple friends for three months in the summer of 09 and I'm incredibly excited. This will be my first backpacking trip and I was thinking that I'll save a lot of money and see a lot more of the countryside if I bring a tent and camp out once in a while (love camping). Unfortunately I can't find any information on this topic anywhere. Is it uncommon? Is it even feasible? If anyone could let me know anything about their experiences, or experiences they have heard of, regarding camping in western Europe, it would be most appreciated. Or if anyone has any immediate reactions to the idea, with or without any knowledge on the subject, I wold love to hear them. Anything regarding campsites, camping laws, the non-existence of the practice in the afforementioned nations, or the sentiments of the local authorities regarding camping, would be particularly useful.

Two more quick things:
1. Are cigarettes cheaper in the U.S. (apx. $5/pack) or Europe?

2. The Eurail website mentioned that I may need to "supplement" my Eurail fair, depending on the train. Do they mean I might have to pay something in addition to the Eurail pass? If so, how much? I'm just curious as to what the story is there.

Any help on any of these things would be MOST appreciated, thanks.
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Old 07-12-2008, 11:15 AM   #2
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Hi Sleeping (great name btw :D), welcome to the boards

1.) Cigs are more expensive over there (usually anywhere from 50% to 6x as much). A lot of people were rolling their own to save money.

2.) Supplements vary. For example, you mentioned Spain and Italy. In Spain, you have to pay a reservation fee (usually a few euros depending on the train). Night trains with couchettes are usually an extra 20 euros.

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Old 07-12-2008, 11:29 AM   #3
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In Germany, to make a reservation at the kiosk at a train station you could pick your seat (window, aisle, table, etc) and just pay 4 euros. It would print off a card, and then once on the train, at my seat, when the guy walks by to take tickets, I'd hand him my rail pass and that reservation ticket and that was it. I was able to walk on many trains in the middle of the day during the week without reservation though, just rail pass in hand. Best to make reservations on weekends though especially in the summer. And if traveling to big cities during commuting hours.... I got on the train from the Frankfurt airport to Koln and was lucky to find a seat at 7:30am.
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Old 07-12-2008, 01:08 PM   #4
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Only place I've really camping is in Amsterdam at the beach. I would only imagine sadly that the camping grounds would be way outside of the cities, but i really don't know. I just haven't seen campgrounds anywhere.
I always bring smokes with me as well.
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Old 07-12-2008, 03:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe7f View Post
Hi Sleeping (great name btw :D), welcome to the boards

1.) Cigs are more expensive over there (usually anywhere from 50% to 6x as much). A lot of people were rolling their own to save money.

2.) Supplements vary. For example, you mentioned Spain and Italy. In Spain, you have to pay a reservation fee (usually a few euros depending on the train). Night trains with couchettes are usually an extra 20 euros.

--Joey
Thanks Joey ^_^; I checked out a few other backpacking sites before posting here and I'm glad I picked this one.

Too bad about cigarette prices. I guess, like buying gas in the states, you always assume you're paying the worst prices until you travel. Unfortunately, neither carrying rolling papers and a tobacco tin around, or loading up on cartons in the states and hauling them around Europe seem very appealing. I was hoping that federal taxes on cigarettes would be so much less extreme overseas that it would be cheaper to buy packs along the way. Oh well, C'est la vie. Ideally I'd quit along with my travel partners, but I don't think any of us would want to spend every waking moment of 3 straight hectic months with a couple of bitter and irate, tobacco-withdrawn former pack-a-day smokers.

So 100% of the rides them selves are ALWAYS paid for, I just need to pay for some reservations and special accomodations? I figured that might be the case, I just wanted to make sure I wouldn't show up for my ride only to be told by the director "Actually the Eurail pass only covers %50 of the necessary expenses"

Well thanks for the info man. I checked out your blog and I really hope you decide to go to China. I've heard that visiting a country during a tumultuous time in its history can often be the experience of a life time. I knew someone who traveled to Argentina around the collapse of its economy (2001/2002 I think?) and, having experienced a state of anarchy first hand, was changed forever. I know another man who is in Nepal right now, observing the Maoist uprising first hand. While the danger in such endeavors is inherent and certainly not to be trifled with, there seems to be something particularly eye opening about them.
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Old 07-12-2008, 04:04 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by pinknic38 View Post
In Germany, to make a reservation at the kiosk at a train station you could pick your seat (window, aisle, table, etc) and just pay 4 euros. It would print off a card, and then once on the train, at my seat, when the guy walks by to take tickets, I'd hand him my rail pass and that reservation ticket and that was it. I was able to walk on many trains in the middle of the day during the week without reservation though, just rail pass in hand. Best to make reservations on weekends though especially in the summer. And if traveling to big cities during commuting hours.... I got on the train from the Frankfurt airport to Koln and was lucky to find a seat at 7:30am.
Thanks, I'll certainly repeat this to my travel cohorts. Do you think the language barrier will present issues when making train reservations? I certainly want to learn foundational French and Spanish before departing, and I need to figure out a direction I should point my education.
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Old 07-12-2008, 04:27 PM   #7
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Only place I've really camping is in Amsterdam at the beach. I would only imagine sadly that the camping grounds would be way outside of the cities, but i really don't know. I just haven't seen campgrounds anywhere.
I always bring smokes with me as well.
Oh yeah.... Welcome to Tpunk!!!!
^_^ thanks for the warm welcome, and you seem to be the only person who has come across anything to do with camping outside the states, which I appreciate

I plan to spend a couple weeks in each city I visit and I thoroughly enjoy camping, so I hope to have a lot of time devoted to hiking around outside the cities themselves. The first time I went to France I had a wonderful time in Paris, but the second time I went I actually got to travel around all the beautiful little towns outside of Paris and found it to be exponentially more rewarding, I felt as though I truly got to know the country itself; so I have no reservations against leaving the actual cities. I think it leads to a more intimate acquaintance with the nation and its personality, leaving the places that have been more shaped by tourism then history.

Do you find traveling with cigarettes to be cumbersome and do you know if a lot of European countries still allow you to smoke in restaurants, cafes and movie theaters? And one more thing (sorry ^_^ how do you think foreign authorities would react to guerrilla camping on the side of the road, just outside the city?
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Old 07-12-2008, 06:24 PM   #8
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Joining my voice to the others to welcome you aboard !


There is a sub-forum about camping/outdoors in which I've found this thread that should be of interest to you. Check the forum for more infos.
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Old 07-12-2008, 06:43 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Sleeping Under Czars View Post
Thanks, I'll certainly repeat this to my travel cohorts. Do you think the language barrier will present issues when making train reservations? I certainly want to learn foundational French and Spanish before departing, and I need to figure out a direction I should point my education.
no way, language was not an issue. I don't know a lot of German and the kiosks had a little flag thing that let you select your language. Most trains the announcements were in German and English but some there weren't but there's a leaflet that outlines the whole route of the train in each seat so if you don't know the language you can at least count your stops.
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Old 07-14-2008, 01:06 PM   #10
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20 Ciggies are around the €8 mark in Ireland, in Spain and Portugal you can get 200 for around €40. So that's the place to buy.

There are hundreds and hundreds of camping sites around Europe, there are a good few sites that list all of them if you Google camping Europe.

Prices seem to be around €8 to pitch a tent. Amsterdam was the only place I went camping too. Camp Zeeburg is actually accessible by public transport but that's extremely rare most campsites will be well outside cities and mostly inaccessible by public transport. I'd say you'd need a car to be able to camp Europe.
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Old 08-09-2009, 02:24 PM   #11
 
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I guess I'm a little late here, but I figured that someone else was going to read it eventually. I plan on doing some camping as well, and have had some of the same questions and concerns. Since I am more interested in the more rural timeless places I thought it wouldn't be too far fetched to knock on a farm house door and polity ask if I could camp in their field for the night. I have also heard that in some places hostels will let you camp on the grounds or even toss a sleeping bag out on the roof for a lot less money and still have access to facilities. I know you are planning on visiting France and Spain but in the north one or more of the Nordic countries has the "every mans right" law that lets you camp pretty much any where and everywhere as long as you are out of sight.
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Old 08-12-2009, 03:42 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manders View Post
I guess I'm a little late here, but I figured that someone else was going to read it eventually. I plan on doing some camping as well, and have had some of the same questions and concerns. Since I am more interested in the more rural timeless places I thought it wouldn't be too far fetched to knock on a farm house door and polity ask if I could camp in their field for the night.
Generally farmers don't like people on their land and will more than likely say "ger of me larrrnd". The main reason being their liable should you injure yourself. In Ireland they don't even like you taking a short cut or hiking through their land. Partly because their anti-social and partly (maybe mostly) because it's legally their fault if anything happens to you. They'd also be afraid someone might bugger their sheep and steal their milk maidens.
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Old 08-18-2009, 01:52 AM   #13
 
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If you are following particular trails they often give advice on places to camp, or in National Parks. In England they often let you tramp through fields because peoples property and the parks are actually one in the same. But then again, I would not like to camp in a field of sheep (mostly because they scare the crap out of me!), so choose an area that doesn't look open to grazing herds...
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