Tenting/Camping LEJOG

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
Freelander
Posts: 22
Joined: 2 Oct 2019, 11:45am

Re: Tenting/Camping LEJOG

Postby Freelander » 26 Dec 2019, 11:04am

graham bowers wrote:I would recommend going across to the Orkneys for both the ferry to Aberdeen and there are some fantastic archaeological sites if you have time. Skara Brae for one.

Something that hasn't been mentioned thus far, and is very relevant to camping in Scotland, is the Scottish midge.

Do you have a route yet?

https://www.smidgeup.com/


Hi Graham,

Thanks for the advice. It sounds like the Orkneys is the route to travel and worth the trip. Thanks to you and the previous contributor for recommending this. I would never have known that this is the best option by planning on my own.

It sounds like the Scottish Midge may be as challenging as the terrain. I have experienced the utter torture that black flies, mosquitos and “no-see-um’s” can inflict on the cyclist here in Nova Scottish, so your advice is heeded. Is there a point/place going north where I should pick up a net and some repellent or will I encounter them over the whole of Britain?

I have be looking at several resources for route planning. I am reading Royston Wood’s books and just received the SUSTRANS guide. I will begin putting together my route in January at which time my posts will likely be daily requesting additional details.

Thank you for helping me in the endeavour.

All the best,
Daryl

LittleGreyCat
Posts: 797
Joined: 7 Aug 2013, 8:31pm

Re: Tenting/Camping LEJOG

Postby LittleGreyCat » 4 Jan 2020, 4:32pm

Freelander wrote:
graham bowers wrote:I would recommend going across to the Orkneys for both the ferry to Aberdeen and there are some fantastic archaeological sites if you have time. Skara Brae for one.

Something that hasn't been mentioned thus far, and is very relevant to camping in Scotland, is the Scottish midge.

Do you have a route yet?

https://www.smidgeup.com/


Hi Graham,

Thanks for the advice. It sounds like the Orkneys is the route to travel and worth the trip. Thanks to you and the previous contributor for recommending this. I would never have known that this is the best option by planning on my own.

It sounds like the Scottish Midge may be as challenging as the terrain. I have experienced the utter torture that black flies, mosquitos and “no-see-um’s” can inflict on the cyclist here in Nova Scottish, so your advice is heeded. Is there a point/place going north where I should pick up a net and some repellent or will I encounter them over the whole of Britain?

I have be looking at several resources for route planning. I am reading Royston Wood’s books and just received the SUSTRANS guide. I will begin putting together my route in January at which time my posts will likely be daily requesting additional details.

Thank you for helping me in the endeavour.

All the best,
Daryl


The Midge aren't that bad, allegedly.
They are more in the damp and boggy areas, so not in most of the UK, and can't travel very fast so shouldn't be a problem whilst cycling.
The can be a problem when you stop moving, though, both for a break and in the evening.
Camping is more likely to encounter them than staying in hotel or B&B.
I think only likely to be a problem north of Inverness.

We do have mosquitoes near any still water in the late summer - garden ponds, water storage, whatever - but I don't think that they compare with the ones you get in other parts of the world.
Deet based repellents or Avon Skin so Soft moisturiser (as used by the Special Air Service) should be enough to protect you (or just stay near someone who tastes better to insects).

graham bowers
Posts: 3
Joined: 9 Jul 2019, 10:03am

Re: Tenting/Camping LEJOG

Postby graham bowers » 12 Jan 2020, 9:03am

Daryl

I've not logged in for a bit, sorry for the delay.
Midges will be encountered throughout the UK. If camping in England they may be a low level nuisance if conditions are adverse so I'd normally have repellent in case it was needed, but it wouldn't spoil my day if I was without. It would normally be OK to leave the tent door open. You'd normally be able to enjoy a beer outside the tent however sometimes, as the evening progresses, you'd want to slap a bit of repellent on.

By the time you get to Loch Lomond, for example, if conditions are adverse, it can be much worse - I camped there late June one year when I was cycling the West Highland Way. What does much worse actually mean? Well, for example, getting fully dressed with the tent zipped up, re-zipping the door as quickly as possible and a fast walk / jog to the washroom. I remember a couple of people outside their tent eating their breakfasts with waterproofs on and hoods tightly closed to minimise exposed skin, eating as they walked as fast a possible to outpace the clouds of midges around their heads. I didn't feel the need to wear a net as doing everything on the move was enough. As they are most active in mornings and evenings, generally not a problem during a cycling day. OK, they may be encountered in still dank places, so the trick is not to stop in those places.

The further North and West you go, the greater the potential for large populations. In adverse conditions, it's imperative to keep the tent zipped up as you'll need to kill any that get in the tent before sleeping. And when you go outside, dense clouds can form around your head in moments. You'll certainly not wish to sit outside the tent enjoying a beer as without a net, you'll be bitten in seconds, and beer never tastes the same through a net ;-)

I'm trying to pitch this to give a realistic expectation of what you may expect.

A question that's just occurred to me is do you intend to eat out, or cook? If cooking outside, that's when you'll be exposed.

hilloverthehill
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Joined: 9 May 2016, 11:14am
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Re: Tenting/Camping LEJOG

Postby hilloverthehill » 13 Jan 2020, 1:59pm

Threads have already mentioned the wild camping options in Scotland, but don't be adverse to doing the same through England. I did my JOGLE in November when most camping sites were shut, and I camped in out-of-the-way woods, canal towpaths and tucked down by rivers. You can always ask a farmer - you'll probably find many are quite amenable, especially if you play the Canada card!!

Freelander
Posts: 22
Joined: 2 Oct 2019, 11:45am

Re: Tenting/Camping LEJOG

Postby Freelander » 17 Jan 2020, 1:49pm

graham bowers wrote:

A question that's just occurred to me is do you intend to eat out, or cook? If cooking outside, that's when you'll be exposed.


Thanks so much for the reply Graham. I'm glad several members offered their advice and experience dealing with midges. I know similar how insects on this side of the pond can really be a nuisance (at the very least) on cycling trips. I think I will carry some repellent and heed all advice.

As for meals, I will be doing both. I always carry a stove and cookware. It just depends on how the trip evolves as to what I'll do more of. Unless I find eating-out to be too expensive I will probably eat at least one meal at a restaurant/pub to experience and enjoy the food of the UK, pubs and socialize a little. Maybe breakfast too but lunch will likely just become snacking throughout the day. I guess I will eat at establishments as much as my budget will allow to experience more of the UK.

Freelander
Posts: 22
Joined: 2 Oct 2019, 11:45am

Re: Tenting/Camping LEJOG

Postby Freelander » 17 Jan 2020, 2:00pm

hilloverthehill wrote:Threads have already mentioned the wild camping options in Scotland, but don't be adverse to doing the same through England. I did my JOGLE in November when most camping sites were shut, and I camped in out-of-the-way woods, canal towpaths and tucked down by rivers. You can always ask a farmer - you'll probably find many are quite amenable, especially if you play the Canada card!!

Thanks for the reply. I think as far as camping goes, I'll probably do a mix of campgrounds, what we call "road-side" camping and B&B's. I always enjoy a shower at the end of a day, but it's not imperative. I hope to do some road-side camping in England. It would be awesome to wake-up in the country side. In my experience almost everyone you meet while cycling is very kind and accommodating to requests, if they don't offer first. When I was a child I thought England, Scotland and Wales were three different islands (not sure why). I now know and think of them as one beautiful and historic island of adventure. I can't wait!

Freelander
Posts: 22
Joined: 2 Oct 2019, 11:45am

Re: Tenting/Camping LEJOG

Postby Freelander » 17 Jan 2020, 2:29pm

Hi,

Thanks to everyone for their help to date. I've decided to use the SUSTRANS National Cycle Network as the basis for my route planning. I find this little guide excellent for someone who knows nothing of how roadways work in the UK. Of course it also has tons of cycling specific information as well.

My first question as I begin planning the route in earnest is route numbering. Specifically in this guide if the cycling routes in the guide are signed on the road? I suspect they follow established roads for the most part picking up dedicated cycling trails where possible and returning when required. I prefer to stay on asphalt roads but some trails are fine. So as I plan the route I would like a sense of traffic on the various designations. I know M-series is the main motorway, but I suspect A-series roads are very busy as well. Are the B-series roads low traffic in general or is it highly variable? There are minor roads listed which I assume are low traffic and have a name and not necessarily a route number.

Finally, the first "region" of my tour is the Southwest from Lands End to Gloucester. I suspect i'll be 4-6 days in this region. If you had a top three places to visit, what would they be? My problem is I like history, architecture, culture and scenery all too much to get anywhere in a day. I don't want to miss anything that "shouldn't be missed". My feeling is that the UK is so rich with all of these, that it really doesn't matter where I go; it seems there is something significant to see and enjoy wherever my path takes me. I thought I would ask, just in case I am overlooking something.

Thank you to everyone for helping me plan this trip!

Take care,
Daryl

SUSTRANS Guide.jpeg

Jamesh
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Joined: 2 Jan 2017, 5:56pm

Re: Tenting/Camping LEJOG

Postby Jamesh » 17 Jan 2020, 5:04pm

If you want to camp it's probably sensible to cycle into Wales where there will be more campsites than closer to the industrial Midlands!

Also if you take canal paths there are often odds and sods of canal side where you could camp and no one is going to question what your doing.

Cheers James

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Location: English Riviera

Re: Tenting/Camping LEJOG

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 17 Jan 2020, 5:17pm

Hi,
On the cornwall north coast which is awash with cycle paths coastal paths and car parks, a lot of people camp up in the summer so you wont be alone, devon north coast too, find a spot between the coast road and sea and your made :)
There are plenty camp sites in devon and cornwall because of the good weather, plenty tent only ones you will find too.
In devon and cornwall in july I camped for a week with a 600 gram not so warm cheapo sleeping bag and no other cover under bus shelters :)
Was not cold at all.
Perhaps if you are camping an additional lightweight bivy bag like 350 grams like I used would make wild camping very quick and easy, less likely to be spoted by nosey locals and dog walkers, than a tent.
Though most people I find in devon and cornwall always manage a good morning when I am leaving.

P.S. - Tarka trail is now hard face tarmac so it will be plain sailing in summer.
Hatherleigh to Barnstaple.

Newquay is youths holiday paradise so if you arrive there night time beware, though they have cleaned it up somewhat of late.
NA Thinks Just End 2 End Return + Bivvy
You'll Still Find Me At The Top Of A Hill
Please forgive the poor Grammar I blame it on my mobile and phat thinkers.

Freelander
Posts: 22
Joined: 2 Oct 2019, 11:45am

Re: Tenting/Camping LEJOG

Postby Freelander » 25 Jan 2020, 11:46am

Jamesh wrote:If you want to camp it's probably sensible to cycle into Wales where there will be more campsites than closer to the industrial Midlands!

Also if you take canal paths there are often odds and sods of canal side where you could camp and no one is going to question what your doing.

Cheers James


Yes, I am hoping to avoid as much of the industrial heartland as possible. It's good to know that camping along the canal paths will be an option and not an offence.

All the best,
Daryl

Freelander
Posts: 22
Joined: 2 Oct 2019, 11:45am

Re: Tenting/Camping LEJOG

Postby Freelander » 25 Jan 2020, 11:49am

NATURAL ANKLING wrote:Hi,
On the cornwall north coast which is awash with cycle paths coastal paths and car parks, a lot of people camp up in the summer so you wont be alone, devon north coast too, find a spot between the coast road and sea and your made :)

P.S. - Tarka trail is now hard face tarmac so it will be plain sailing in summer.
Hatherleigh to Barnstaple.

Newquay is youths holiday paradise so if you arrive there night time beware, though they have cleaned it up somewhat of late.


Thank you. That is very helpful. Those details are really useful since cycling touring is really all about the details when it comes to being able to simply relax and enjoy the ride.

All the best to you,
Daryl

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Location: English Riviera

Re: Tenting/Camping LEJOG

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 25 Jan 2020, 9:28pm

Hi,
Although wild type camping even in a vehicle (on the road carpark (unless private) on common land/ council land) is illegal in england at least, you won't get arrested or fined just asked to move on, but this is very very unlikely.
If you just keep this in mind-

"Pick a spot not visible from a road or dwelling and no one will know you are there, mornings you will see dog walkers, few frown some smile and say good morning, you will be gone before most are up and around.
No open fires, no litter etc, leave it as you found it, not in catchment areas of reservoirs.
Asking at the door of a dwelling might well meet with a happy outcome to get your head down in their garden / field especially if you are solo."

Good luck and happy travels :)

Dartmoor is Legal to camp for a few nights in same spot but also apply my comment in above paragraph.
There are some areas that are banned on dartmoor, and I have camped in most of these areas, next day a farmer comes along at 5 am and they just ignore you, especially if they are on quad bikes on their mobile phone :?
Exemoor has a stricter view and their wardens like to spy you with their binoculars :)
Just pick a spot out of sight and you will be OK.

P.S. If by chance anyone does object to you, ask for ID................most jobsworth's don't carry any!
NA Thinks Just End 2 End Return + Bivvy
You'll Still Find Me At The Top Of A Hill
Please forgive the poor Grammar I blame it on my mobile and phat thinkers.