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  1. #1
    ricktreks's Avatar
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    Spain - looking for places to hang in the north (Cantabria, Asturias & Galicia)

    Hi everybody,

    I've been having a lot of fun trekking in the Pyrenees, a beautiful region of Spain. Most of the trekking routes are furbished with "refugios" or huts, which are world class. Really inexpensive, comfortable bunks, clean bathrooms, and the food is great, at least at the ones I've been to.

    However, being a hammock hanger traveling with all my gear, I'm actually ready for some solitude in the wilderness, and in the next few weeks I'm planning to head towards Cantabria, Asturias and Galicia, hoping to do some backpacking with a few nights outside.

    Does anybody know what the regulations are on backpacking (hiking + camping) in those regions and specifically for hammocking?

    Any help in this regard will be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers,
    R
    Backpacking trips in the tropical jungles of Latin America... Exploring our living planet from within...
    http://www.jungletreks.com

  2. #2
    hutzelbein's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, camping outside officially designated campgrounds is not allowed in most European countries, including Spain. This doesn't mean that it is not done, but if you want to do it, you better stay out of sight. I would also avoid areas that see a lot of tourists, especially coastal areas. I read that the police is sometimes looking for illegal campers by helicopter. Also, better don't camp in conservation areas, as the fines can be pretty steep if you're caught.

    I'd be interested in a trip report if you go hanging in Spain. I walked the Camino in 2015 and really enjoyed Galicia.

  3. #3
    ricktreks's Avatar
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    Yeah, thanks. I've gathered as much. Just doing research on this topic I have come across several youtube videos of people doing stealth-camping at "undisclosed" locations. They can't be too stealthy if they're building campfires with all that smoke potentially attracting attention. So it seems to me like they're not too worried about being detected.

    In any event, I don't want to be breaking any regulations. I'll ask at local places if I can get a permit, and if not, I'll just pass on the camping this time. It's kind of a shame, but it is what it is.

    In the future I'll try to hook up with locals prior to planning my trip, or just go to countries where camping is not against the law.

    Thanks so much for the advice.

    R
    Backpacking trips in the tropical jungles of Latin America... Exploring our living planet from within...
    http://www.jungletreks.com

  4. #4
    hutzelbein's Avatar
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    Well, it's probably a difference if the locals camp openly in the backcountry or if a foreigner does it. Even though I'm a local in Germany, I take pains not to be seen or heard when I stealth camp. You never know how the respective officials feel about this activity. Many don't mind as long as you behave responsibly, leave no trace and camp outside of protected areas. But some do mind.

    If you decide to stealth camp, don't make a fire. Europe, but in particular the southern countries have seen very dry summers recently. If you're caught not just camping, but making a fire, I would expect no leniency.

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