What do you look for in a campsite

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bretonbikes
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What do you look for in a campsite

Postby bretonbikes » 23 Mar 2016, 4:19pm

Hi All.

As some of you know we have been based at the local campsite on the Nantes-Brest canal for 25 years run by the commune, but the place has become so run down we've been forced to take it over. It is my intention to make it the best cyclecamping site on the planet so what I'm asking here is for help on what makes a campsite perfect for cyclists. Kate and I have been doing this for 30 years so we know what we want but we may well miss something essential!

So this is what we have so far.

Large area exclusively for lightweights - no motorized vehicles of any kind (no drunk campervan driver terrifying you at midnight).
Decent grass - no 'burnt' patches of mud or gravel where caravans have been
No enclosed emplacements so tents scattered as you like (no vehicles remember).
Fixed per person price, no extras for emplacements, showers etc
Stock of common spares and tools and repair service
Emergency food/wine stock for those arriving after shops are shut
Covered area with tables and chairs
Covered camp-kitchen with cookers/fridge etc
Fire-pit and berbecue
Canoe Hire
Loo roll!
Free route plans for the area.

OK - let us know what's missing...

The campsite is in the middle of a well 'equipped' village so that covers other stuff.

This is very important to us - if we don't make it work we get evicted...

Cheers

Geoff

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al_yrpal
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby al_yrpal » 23 Mar 2016, 4:56pm

A toilet and a tap and peace and quiet. But.. I wish you the very best with your venture, if its aimed at cyclists you are sure to do well there.

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. CTC gone but not forgotten!

bretonbikes
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby bretonbikes » 23 Mar 2016, 6:22pm

al_yrpal wrote:A toilet and a tap and peace and quiet. But.. I wish you the very best with your venture, if its aimed at cyclists you are sure to do well there.

Al


I need a hot shower too! - The cyclists camping area is really tucked away and as I said - no vehicles...

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honesty
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby honesty » 23 Mar 2016, 6:27pm

Decent toilet, decent pitch. Hot shower is a definite luxury I would look for now and again. WiFi. Look roll. Snack shop.

JMaude
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby JMaude » 23 Mar 2016, 6:54pm

Charging points for phones etc that are lockable for security.

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Heltor Chasca
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby Heltor Chasca » 23 Mar 2016, 7:13pm

Best of luck Geoff. I admire you for doing your bit to make the place survive.

Little shop selling produce suitable for campsite cooking or raw. Fruit. Pastries and wine. Warm showers, hot water for washing up. Maybe hook up with a local smallholder? Wifi is a bonus. I take solar power and batteries so I'm not always on the look out for power...b

bretonbikes
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby bretonbikes » 23 Mar 2016, 7:16pm

Heltor Chasca wrote:Best of luck Geoff. I admire you for doing your bit to make the place survive.

Little shop selling produce suitable for campsite cooking or raw. Fruit. Pastries and wine. Warm showers, hot water for washing up. Maybe hook up with a local smallholder? Wifi is a bonus. I take solar power and batteries so I'm not always on the look out for power...b


Ah wi-fi - I'd forgotten that - sooner said than done...

tatanab
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby tatanab » 23 Mar 2016, 7:24pm

Charging points, wi-fi --- modern day issues that do not bother me.

A few comestibles to buy would be nice but must not clash with local businesses or their trading hours.
If you have a fire pit/barbeque area it must be well separated from pitches so that cyclists passing through can sleep against the wishes of those staying for several days.

The basics of toilet, shower and peace suffice for me which is why I tend to use the simplest of municipal site.

Edited - I nearly forgot. If you have a locked gate, please have an unlocked side gate so early risers can leave early. Waiting for a gate to open at 08:30 means the best of the day is gone :lol:

700c
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby 700c » 23 Mar 2016, 7:30pm

Hot Shower.
WiFi (even if I have to sit outside an office that has it, doesn't have to be sitewide).
Secure charging points where phone/accessories can be left to charge (for a small extra fee).

For camping, I like to get as far away from other peoples noise, so perhaps an area for "quiet camp".


Where exactly are you based? I'm sorry I don't already know...

bretonbikes
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby bretonbikes » 23 Mar 2016, 7:43pm

700c wrote:Hot Shower.
WiFi (even if I have to sit outside an office that has it, doesn't have to be sitewide).
Secure charging points where phone/accessories can be left to charge (for a small extra fee).

For camping, I like to get as far away from other peoples noise, so perhaps an area for "quiet camp".


Where exactly are you based? I'm sorry I don't already know...


We're in the centre of Brittany on the Nantes-Brest canal at Gouarec.

Thanks for all the help guys - it will all be done!

les tocknell
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby les tocknell » 23 Mar 2016, 8:11pm

Seating of some sort. I have found a picnic bench very useful on many sites. Loungers would be good, too!

bretonbikes
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby bretonbikes » 23 Mar 2016, 8:20pm

les tocknell wrote:Seating of some sort. I have found a picnic bench very useful on many sites. Loungers would be good, too!


I'm not sure loungers isn't going just a bit too far;-)

loch eck steve
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby loch eck steve » 23 Mar 2016, 8:59pm

Something to lock my bike to and decent flat ground that is good enough for my tent pegs to go in !

PH
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby PH » 23 Mar 2016, 9:23pm

You seem to have it pretty well covered, I'd have been surprised if you hadn't.
bretonbikes wrote:No enclosed emplacements so tents scattered as you like (no vehicles remember).

You can't please everyone, but open pitches often means people walking through, I prefer a defined pitch.
Fire-pit and berbecue

I know they're popular, but IMO open fires and lightweight tent fabrics are best kept well apart. I should probably include people who don't know what they're doing in that mix, but that seems to include a lot who think they do. I moved pitch last year when I was not only being choked by the smoke from green wood, but there were a lot of glowing embers floating overhead.
One omission from the list is a washing line, plenty of it or rotary driers, I think it's a basic need yet so often not provided.

All this is great of course, but the one thing that makes or breaks a campsite for me is the one you can't do anything about, location. I know roughly where I want to be at the end of each day and unless there's something seriously wrong with it I'm going to choose the closest site. All those I've toured with (Admittedly not a huge sample) seem to choose campsites on the same basis, with the camping very much secondary to the cycling. You'll know the potential market better than me of course, but I do wonder if that market is wide enough.
Good luck

MrsHJ
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby MrsHJ » 23 Mar 2016, 9:36pm

Decent ratio of showers and Loos and well maintained facilities. Think about light and warmth across facilities (it always surprises me when facility doors aren't hinged to shut behind you to keep bugs out and Warmth in) and care with not overlighting the campsite so that it feels like a prison at night. Wifi that doesn't switch off when the office closes.

Think about putting a washer and dryer in (I can't remember if you had one when we visited) but we are always happy to pay for doing our laundry as a family of 4 rather than doing it by hand.

I also remember there are some permanent/semi residents at Gourec? Might be worth organising things so the permanents have plenty of space and own area and passing through people who are often working to a different schedule are recommended to a different area.

You do have an excellent location with the site, village, eating out, the canal and shopping all together. It's quiet and flat and uncpmplicated.