Solo / camping advice

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
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Solo / camping advice

Postby Excalibur » 4 Sep 2014, 6:23pm

I am looking at doing E2E solo and camping along the way , I'm asking if anyone has campsite recommendations with showers and poss shop onsite . Trying to plan a route on B roads over 12/14 days at the end of June/July time ( more daylight hours ) and kids still in school.

Also any tips on what stove to use, I have a small gas one which uses the the small blue canisters or would a meths style one be better .

Thanks ,,, any help ,advice gladly welcome

Not decided which end to start from yet . I live near Manchester and possibly looking at one way car hire at either end rather than using the train

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Re: Solo / camping advice

Postby AaronR » 4 Sep 2014, 7:18pm


Currently planning my JOGLE trip for May next year - you've come to the right place for advice (I've had plenty of help!)

Manchester gives you better rail access to the north, or perhaps you could persuade a friend to drop you off? For the cost of their fuel, food and an overnight camp/B&B you can travel in comfort without the horrors of rail, and depending on your route you could almost have a night at home along the way

Ive got my trip planned up to day six which gets me from Southampton up to JoG and back down to Stirling (I lose 2 days just getting up to the start, so thats only a ride from Wick to JoG on day 2, than start JOGLE on the morning of day 3) - my plan is to get the whole route written out and then post it here for evaluation and advice, that should cut down on the number of edits needed before I get a final route

Best resource I have found for route planning is Google Maps - their cycle setting is pants, but the ability to drag and alter routes, look at nearby camping options, zoom in down to street level to look at junctions and roads is excellent

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Re: Solo / camping advice

Postby mattfen » 5 Sep 2014, 2:37pm

Are you are thinking about camping every night ? I did solo / camping in April and found that the tent was very wet from the dew / condensation in the morning, and apart from carrying the extra weight of the water, I needed to dry the thing out before being able to sleep in it the following night. Fortunately I was blessed with very nice weather (April) so within 10 minutes of pitching it had dried out BUT if my evenings had been rainy then I'd have been in a different position. I did 2 or 3 nights camping then one night hotel / B&B which allowed me to recharge batteries / battery pack, wash and dry clothing, fully dry tent and generally reset myself ready for the next few days.

Campsite-wise, I'm a member of the Camping and Caravan Club (Campervan !) so used several of those. The way that worked for me was to see where my daily mileage 'sort of' got me to then onto Google maps, search for campsites and in a second window search for pubs. One without the other was a no go. Happy to dig out where my stops were if you want them but our mileages will differ per day (I did it in 12 days ish) so you'd be out of sync !

I had a good experience at all of my campsites and roofed accom (except one - a C&CC site near Ebury), but boy did the Crask Inn beat the lot hands down. In my book LEJOG should be renamed LECIJOG.

Worth phoning / emailing every campsite to confirm prices - one site near shortlandsend was going to charge me the same a car / caravan / family rate - after questioning it they did offer to reduce it from £23 to £21 as I was going to use hook up electric. I stayed at Summer Valley down the road where the owners gave me a discount because I was doing LEJOG - £8 a night. The Plough (Shortlanesend) down the road was jolly nice too !!

Mapping wise - RidewithGPS puts Google maps on the naughty step for features and useability - in my opinion !
If you are in Manchester then there is a direct train from Leeds to Penzance - Manc to Leeds is easy enough to make that an option.

Train to Leeds, then Leeds direct to Penzance - book early enough and first class is only £32 more
other end, JOG to the JOG ferry - onto Orkney to Kirkwall - campsite near the Leisure Centre - then fly back to Manchester with bike in hold. No stress, no transferring bike from train to train or worrying about spaces for bikes. If they cant fit it on the plane then they fly it down when they do have space and deliver it to your house. At the end of LEJOG I couldn't give a monkeys if my bike had been delayed back by a day or 2 !!
Stove wise, here's a vote for the good old MSR Pocket Rocket - I did camp next to a guy with a Trangia - if you can accept the weight / size then for me that would be the stove of choice. The rocket fitted into my mug and the fuel can into the saucepan.

Apologies for rambling post !!

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Re: Solo / camping advice

Postby bikes4two » 7 Nov 2014, 11:22pm

> On my 13 day lejog I camped most days but had I think, 3 Travelodge stops enroute.
> For finding campsites I found very useful.
> I did my ride in an April and it rained nearly every day so the tent was wet nearly all of the time, but no big deal (the lightweight tent just weighed a bit more).
Without my stoker, every trip would only be half a journey

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Re: Solo / camping advice

Postby ferrit worrier » 10 Nov 2014, 4:43pm

Hi Excalibur

Firstly welcome to the forum.

I've just completed my third E2E (2xLEJOG 1XJOGLE ) for my last ride I used the train at both ends. I live in south Manchester, so I took the train from Stockport to Reading (after work) overnight in Reading then the morning train to Penzance. no problem at all the train staff were brilliant very helpful. then for the return I stayed overnight at the Sea View Hotel at John O'Groats. can recommend it good food good beer clean and warm :D . the following morning I rode down to Wick got the train to Inverness overnight at Inverness SYHA nice place and good food for a hostel. then train to Edinburgh, change to Edinburgh, Manchester airport. Call at chippy on way home job done. :D

Book as soon as the tickets become available and split the journey into the above segments and save a lot of gold beer tokens :D When you book, phone the train operator and advise them you have a bike you will then get your bike reservation. pop down to your local station (needs to be a main line station) and collect tickets from machine. It's so simple even I did it :lol:

Good luck and have fun, practise getting your kit off and on quickly as it does help. I found all the train staff were very pleasant and helpful.

Percussive maintainance, if it don't fit, hit it with the hammer.

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Re: Solo / camping advice

Postby largeallan » 11 Nov 2014, 10:49am

I camped and used a friend at home as 'mission control' to find me a campsite when I had a clearer idea of where I was going to finish every day. Saved a lot of stress at the end of a day and meant I didn't have to kill myself getting to a pre-determined stop come hell or high water.

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Re: Solo / camping advice

Postby JohnChell » 2 Feb 2015, 10:13pm


I was wondering if you had got any further with finding campsites? I am thinking of solo camping LEJOG this summer, I'm looking at around 14 days I expect and would want to camp every night. I can only go in August so I would like to find details of campsites that I can book in advance.
"Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable and to give an appearance of solidarity to pure wind" -George Orwell.

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Re: Solo / camping advice

Postby MLJ » 3 Feb 2015, 9:48am

As a 'backpacker' cycle camper, I do not book in advance. For an overnight stay, very few sites will turn you away. Use to find suitable sites which may be on your route. If there are two or three in a vicinity, that will help if your distance changes. Be aware that some sites have one price only, a high one! As a non-member you can check in to to any C&CC site at a reasonable cost. If you need to recharge batteries the reception will often do this, or else ask a caravanner to do it for you; they have already paid for their hook-up! I always separate inner and outer tent for packing, so it does not matter if the outer fly is erected wet. It will soon dry, even in rain, and the inner can be put up under the shelter of the outer, provided your tent is erected outer first.