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  1. #1
    Senior Member 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
    Senior Member 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.

  5. #5
    Spain is in my list for travelling.

  6. #6
    Senior Member ricktreks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aaronhooker View Post
    Spain is in my list for travelling.
    You should go. Their travel industry is hurting, like most places around the world, due to the pandemic. So they would welcome visitors. If you want to hang, I'd recommend getting in touch with outdoor clubs and go with locals or follow their recommendations. On that trip last year I ended up not camping at all because it was illegal, and I didn't want to break any rules. But I told myself that if I ever did it, I'd hook up with some locals. In my case it's easy because i speak Spanish and my wife is from there originally so she has quite the extended family. I also have a lot of friends from Spain, so stealth camping should not be a problem at all. I just didn't do my homework last year prior to that trip, and basically took it for granted that I'd be able to camp like I've done in many other countries.
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  7. #7
    joe_guilbeau's Avatar
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    https://www.buscatucamping.com/lista...spana/Asturias

    https://www.buscatucamping.com/lista...pana/Cantabria

    https://www.buscatucamping.com/lista...Espana/Galicia

    The above links have satellite images of selected camping areas.


    Back in 1975, I was in Rota, Spain, so things have changed since then, so Google Earth Pro will suffice.
    Last edited by joe_guilbeau; 07-21-2020 at 23:16.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ricktreks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joe_guilbeau View Post
    https://www.buscatucamping.com/lista...spana/Asturias

    https://www.buscatucamping.com/lista...pana/Cantabria

    https://www.buscatucamping.com/lista...Espana/Galicia

    The above links have satellite images of selected camping areas.


    Back in 1975, I was in Rota, Spain, so things have changed since then, so Google Earth Pro will suffice.
    Great resource website, thanks for sharing. Definitely worth having a look. In my experience many Spanish and Italian "campings" are a bit similar to RV parks in the US, and they're typically found in suburban areas or outside of towns. I haven't found in Europe the equivalent of a US national, state park, or Forest Service campground with minimalistic campsites secluded in the woods. That's why I prefer stealth hanging in the wilderness or isolated areas. But for anyone looking to spend the night in a tent with all the basic amenities, instead of paying for more expensive lodging, these places are a great alternative. But it's worth having a look, sometimes you do find some hidden jewels in these places.
    Backpacking trips in the tropical jungles of Latin America... Exploring our living planet from within...
    http://www.jungletreks.com

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