Wild camping struggle in Italy?! Is it even possible? | Day 7 of TMB to Courmayer, Rifugio G. Bertone

6:45 a.m. on December 14, 2019 (EST)
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Wild camping struggle in Italy?! Is it even possible? | Day 7 of TMB to Courmayer, Rifugio G. Bertone

In today's episode of Tour de Mont Blanc we hiked from Plan de Veny to Courmayer, Rifugio G. Bertone in Italy.

Watch the full video here: 

The morning of that day was very cloudy and chilly with lots of humidity and wetness in the air. It was one of the first cloudy mornings on the trail. We woke up quite early at 6 am and were just chilling out in the tent for a while. We were so grateful for the privileged location that we camped in yesterday evening. The views from the site were incredible with the massive rocks and waterfalls coming down from them right in front of us. It was so beautiful that Angelina even got desire to draw a quick sketch of this view just for the souvenir sake.

We got out from the camping quite late at 11am because we had an accident with that map application we are using for GPS. It was accidentally deleted with all the maps of the countries and regions when trying to update other application and freeing up the space. And so we had to download them once again. And the Internet access had a limit of 500MB of use so it took quite a bit of time to do so.

We knew that in front of us there is another mountain to climb and we didn't want to do that today because we were doing one mountain every day the last several days and got a bit tired. So we had a plan to get to the village Courmayer and then to look around in search for the camping spot.

All the first part of the trail we were walking along the pavement car road with a gentle downhill which felt so easy and great. And fortunately there wasn't much traffic on it. We still got the amazing views of the mountains, Mont Blanc in the clouds, waterfalls and glaciers. In about an hour or so we were in the village Courmayer. We hoped in the supermarket in the last moment before it was closing for siesta and bought some local products to try like cheese, focaccio bread, cherries and some yogurts. There were quite a lot of cheese variations on the shelves and many of them we have never seen before.

The town Courmayer was a nice village with lots of rock buildings and beautiful views all around. We would even stay there for a while because we like this kind of mountain villages quite a lot. There were a lot of pizzerias too, so we definitely had a plan to try pizza in it one day.

We had our snack and started to get out from the town. Unfortunately there were no campsites close to the village so we had to continue along the trail going uphill in search for some place there. We saw that there were some flat spots not far from the path but they were all too accessible from the route and parking down the trail so we thought it won't be a good idea to stop there. Also we continued seeing the camping crossed signs with no fire no littering signs together but we still wanted to believe that it was referring to a camping during daylight and not to wild camping for a night.

The trail was going up in a zig zagging style and it was easy enough all the way through. It was going through the forest with lots of shadow and the weather was very comfortable too. The weather forecast was apparently wrong saying that it will be thunder storming all day long. And it was great because the rain is able to ruin many plans. We were just quite tired to enjoy it because all the last days we were conquering the mountains and were pushing to the same muscle groups so they got quite a bit sore. Also we met a squirrel on the way which was a very pleasant encounter.

In about an hour and a half we got to the top of the hill and we had to do 800m of elevation from 1200m to 2000m. There was a refugee house staying on top of the mountain and we wanted to ask them whether it is possible to set up a tent close to them. We asked the receptionist about it and he definitely denied that. He said that in this region of Italy wild camping is not allowed in any place. That the refugee houses are a private business and if the owner will see the tent on its property he will be unhappy about it. Also he said that there are forest rangers and people can get fined but not always. So you can do it on your own risk. We felt really disappointed about that. In our opinion it is unfair to the people like us to not allow to stay in tent which was our own choice and personal preference. And we were even ready to pay some set price for the spot and using the toilet but it wasn't even offered to us. It wasn't even an option. France could do it differently allowing the bivouac for a night and we just didn't get it why it should be so different in the neighboring countries in the same mountain massif. Unfortunately we see that it is very commercialized because this trail is so popular and the prices are very high for everything. We are sure that there are people just like us who like to stay in tents and cook their own food and don't like dormitories and shared spaces.

So after searching for quite a while going downhill and uphill with almost no powers we luckily found a good place to camp. It looked like it was just made for a tent - so flat it was. So it was a real reward at the end of the day. So we had our buckwheat mixed with rice and cheese for dinner and very exhausted hoping that nobody will disturb us went to bed.

What is your opinion about wild camping prohibiton?

10:30 a.m. on December 14, 2019 (EST)
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Not really an opinion but the owner of the land make the rules. I've seen where in the Adirondacks people wake up in their home and found people tenting in their yard. They were asked to leave since it was private property. There were also no toilet facilities.

If everyone camped wherever they liked much of the land would be ruined.

Rules aren't always enjoyed but some are necessary.

For how long will you two be traveling?

12:50 p.m. on December 15, 2019 (EST)
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Old Guide said:

Not really an opinion but the owner of the land make the rules. I've seen where in the Adirondacks people wake up in their home and found people tenting in their yard. They were asked to leave since it was private property. There were also no toilet facilities.

If everyone camped wherever they liked much of the land would be ruined.

Rules aren't always enjoyed but some are necessary.

For how long will you two be traveling?

 Yes, that´s true. Camping on private property land in every country is prohibited and we don´t stand for that. It is very understandable. We were referring more to the established trails and making some camp spots available there together with the refuges, that would be a nice change.

Now we arrived home and this winter season not travelling much really. But this summer we´ve been travelling for 4 months straight. After this hike we´ve done the Cinque Terre, part of Via Francigena in Tuscany and in the end went to explore some of the Dolomites trails. It was a great journey, a summer to remember for sure.

3:21 p.m. on December 15, 2019 (EST)
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I believe some  of the No Camping restrictions are because of possible litter and human waste problems and maybe limited water access.

Lets face it  many hikers are slobs, I hate to say it but it is true. So those in charge prevent problems by saying 'no' to everyone.

I've enjoyed your adventures-thanks.

6:12 a.m. on December 16, 2019 (EST)
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Old Guide said:

I believe some  of the No Camping restrictions are because of possible litter and human waste problems and maybe limited water access.

Lets face it  many hikers are slobs, I hate to say it but it is true. So those in charge prevent problems by saying 'no' to everyone.

I've enjoyed your adventures-thanks.

 Well you have more experience in this and you know what you're talking about. Anyway us normal people shouldn't suffer because of these "slobs". Or there should be some system of certification for the serious hikers who know how to behave themselves in nature. 

Thank you, there's more to come next:)

11:04 a.m. on December 18, 2019 (EST)
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Walking Nature World said:

"..us normal people shouldn't suffer because of these 'slobs'..."

LOL!  Wherever you have monkeys, you'll have monkey business. 

We can't even make some people abide by traffic laws for their own saftey, let alone tell them how to hike their own hike. 

Ed

6:19 a.m. on December 19, 2019 (EST)
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whomeworry said:

Walking Nature World said:

"..us normal people shouldn't suffer because of these 'slobs'..."

LOL!  Wherever you have monkeys, you'll have monkey business. 

We can't even make some people abide by traffic laws for their own saftey, let alone tell them how to hike their own hike. 

Ed

 Heh, yeah, that´s the sad truth of life.

10:34 a.m. on December 19, 2019 (EST)
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Well, the Supreme Court just ruled that cities can't outlaw homeless camps unless they provide sufficient housing for those homeless people.  Wild Campers are just homeless people in a less populated environment.

2:31 p.m. on December 19, 2019 (EST)
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balzaccom said:

Well, the Supreme Court just ruled that cities can't outlaw homeless camps unless they provide sufficient housing for those homeless people.  Wild Campers are just homeless people in a less populated environment.

 
interesting, I didn’t know about that ruling but it explains some of the city happenings. We don’t see it out in he county.

February 23, 2020
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