What do you look for in a campsite

Specifically for cycle touring subjects & questions
donald.stewart.nj
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby donald.stewart.nj » 26 Mar 2016, 3:53am

Trees and bushes NOT open grass fields. I do not like camping on a lawn.

bretonbikes
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby bretonbikes » 26 Mar 2016, 10:03am

RobH wrote:
JBB wrote:When can I give the place a try Geoff, currently expecting to be cycling Belle-Isle-en-Terre to Spain at the beginning of May.

The only thing I think I can add is that any rules about quiet are actually enforced. I've had camping ruined by this.


This. Absolutely.

Also, connectedly, please allow enough space per plot, so that tents are not crowded too closely together.


It'll be open mid April at the latest and even if it was a cruddy campsite it's worth it for the position in Gouarec;-) - http://www.bretonbikes.com/brittany/gou ... f-brittany -

One of our problems with the campsite (from a maintenance point of view) is that normally an emplacement in France is between 70 and 100 m2 - so a 50 emplacement site is under 5000m2. The Gouarec site is 28,000m2 and only has facilities (at present) for 50 emplacements so I'm not exaggerating when I say that you are welcome to take 1/4 acre for your pitch. Means a lot of mowing though...

The quiet thing is very tricky. Of course it'll be enforced as much as possible, and no-one is going to have rowdy parties, but the problem I find is what do you do about the family sitting outside their caravan/tent under the stars at 11.00pm and quietly chatting. It doesn't disturb anyone - UNLESS they are next door and in a tent with 1mm thick walls... (I always carry earplugs!)

The setting up of a lightweight area of the campsite will go some way to addressing this as most campers like us tend to go to bed with the sun and likewise get up soon after dawn - not many are up until the small hours chatting. That said we may well have a designated 'quiet corner where people are expected to be VERY quiet after 10.00 pm, and place the fire-pit etc well away so that those sitting up late don't disturb anyone and can feel a bit more relaxed. The layout of the site is rather long and relatively thin as it runs along the bank of the canal which in turn means the two areas could easily be set 400m apart. Not only that, but at one end there's the weir which is pretty noisy (in a nice way) and which would mask a lot of any sound...
35 years of cycletouring, 30 years of running cycling holidays, 5 years of running a campsite for cyclists - there's a pattern here...

andymiller
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby andymiller » 26 Mar 2016, 10:55am

bretonbikes wrote:OK - let us know what's missing...


Children' play area (I don't know if anyone has mentioned this).
I'm assuming you have sinks and washing machines. Communal washing lines are also useful especially if you don't have lots of trees.

In Italy some campsites have an area with serviced pitches and then another (cheaper and more informal) area with no services - the cars and campervans will gravitate to the area with the services.

Don't forget the motards.

If the site is a lot bigger than you need you could let the grass grow longer in some parts (provide a natural cordon sanitaire). Maybe a local farmer would be happy to come in every so often and cut the longer stuff for forage. Or maybe exchange a bit of mowing for a night's camping...

I don't know whether there are many Dutch people on that route but I wouldn't mind betting that there are a fair number, so it would be worth getting into the Dutch campsite guides (there's one for small and simple sites, but I forget what it's called).

If you haven't already done so make sure that Google knows where your site is, ditto TripAdviser etc (and Hoover) [EDIT blood auto-correct: Zoover].

I think there are good arguments for and against showers with jetons - a 'free' shower isn't actually free it's just included in the price. Jetons can save water and energy by ensuring people don't spend a ridiculous amount of time in the shower. On the other hand there's nothing more irritating than going for a shower and then realising that you have to get a jeton. Maybe giving people a 'free' jeton each on arrival is a reasonable compromise.

bretonbikes
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby bretonbikes » 26 Mar 2016, 11:32am

andymiller wrote:
bretonbikes wrote:OK - let us know what's missing...


Children' play area (I don't know if anyone has mentioned this).
I'm assuming you have sinks and washing machines. Communal washing lines are also useful especially if you don't have lots of trees.

In Italy some campsites have an area with serviced pitches and then another (cheaper and more informal) area with no services - the cars and campervans will gravitate to the area with the services.

Don't forget the motards.

If the site is a lot bigger than you need you could let the grass grow longer in some parts (provide a natural cordon sanitaire). Maybe a local farmer would be happy to come in every so often and cut the longer stuff for forage. Or maybe exchange a bit of mowing for a night's camping...

I don't know whether there are many Dutch people on that route but I wouldn't mind betting that there are a fair number, so it would be worth getting into the Dutch campsite guides (there's one for small and simple sites, but I forget what it's called).

If you haven't already done so make sure that Google knows where your site is, ditto TripAdviser etc (and Hoover) [EDIT blood auto-correct: Zoover].

I think there are good arguments for and against showers with jetons - a 'free' shower isn't actually free it's just included in the price. Jetons can save water and energy by ensuring people don't spend a ridiculous amount of time in the shower. On the other hand there's nothing more irritating than going for a shower and then realising that you have to get a jeton. Maybe giving people a 'free' jeton each on arrival is a reasonable compromise.


Sadly the commune want the whole site to be cut like a golf-coarse - so bought a big gang mower! But it'll be nice turf to set up a tent. Will be doing all the registering on various sites, but at the moment there's a little confusion over phone numbers... You can imagine... The current number on many sites is the number of the last 'owner' but one who left the place 5 years ago so you can see the problems we're inheriting...
35 years of cycletouring, 30 years of running cycling holidays, 5 years of running a campsite for cyclists - there's a pattern here...

andymiller
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Joined: 8 Dec 2007, 10:26am

Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby andymiller » 26 Mar 2016, 11:40am

Oh and if you really want to set yourselves apart, then a soap dispenser basins in the toilet block.

bretonbikes
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby bretonbikes » 26 Mar 2016, 11:42am

donald.stewart.nj wrote:Trees and bushes NOT open grass fields. I do not like camping on a lawn.


Masses of mature trees (luckily as it's not something you can add!) - it's a very long established site - only the grass will be 'lawn-like' - it's also divided into 4 'fields' each of which is long and thin and bordered either by the canal, or the river so most people camp next to the hedge/borders - the campsite is actually on an 'island'...
35 years of cycletouring, 30 years of running cycling holidays, 5 years of running a campsite for cyclists - there's a pattern here...

bretonbikes
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby bretonbikes » 26 Mar 2016, 11:57am

andymiller wrote:Oh and if you really want to set yourselves apart, then a soap dispenser basins in the toilet block.


Do you know what? I love those old fashioned 'lemon' blocks of soap in French loos - can still get them though I fear I'm in a minority...
35 years of cycletouring, 30 years of running cycling holidays, 5 years of running a campsite for cyclists - there's a pattern here...

phil parker
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby phil parker » 27 Mar 2016, 10:19am

I cycle camp quite a lot, but I can't really constructively add to the above good ideas, so I just wanted to wish you the best of luck!

psmiffy
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby psmiffy » 27 Mar 2016, 11:44am

Not a lot really - in the first instance some way of attracting the attention of the guardian or instructions in English what to do if the bureau is closed (Im a brit so I expect everyone to pander to my language blindness but I suppose other nationalities probably are entitled to the same :) ) - after that - a sit down loo - a decent shower - and somewhere to wash up - basic cleanliness should be a given - for the most part if a campsite has at least those basics im happy - i rarely stay more than one night anywhere so extras are wasted on me

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Gattonero
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby Gattonero » 27 Mar 2016, 12:39pm

JMaude wrote:Charging points for phones etc that are lockable for security.


^This.

Also a few points around the pitches to lock the bikes close to one's tent. Yo can put a rent-a-lock for a pound or so a day, that would be nice!
And a sink outside the toilets, to wash one's cooking stuff.
It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best,
since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.
Thus you remember them as they actually are...

Toeclip
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby Toeclip » 27 Mar 2016, 12:55pm

Good, secure cycle storage and nice hot showers. A campsite where cell-phones, loud music and the Internet is banned or preferably with no signal. As James Tiberius Kirk said "This is your chance to get away from it all".
THE real Land- Rover rules

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Gattonero
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby Gattonero » 27 Mar 2016, 1:11pm

Not everyone would agree with the "no network coverage". People may be in real need to download some information or other stuff essential for that trip, yes you can blame them for not doing it before or having lost the info, but give them a chance.
Furthermore, a wise tourer would remove the phone's battery to avoid drainage anyway. If you don't want to use the phone just leave the battery off.
Having no network won't help to reduce it's use, as one would still fiddle with the music/pictures/videos in the phone's memory.
It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best,
since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.
Thus you remember them as they actually are...

andymiller
Posts: 1716
Joined: 8 Dec 2007, 10:26am

Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby andymiller » 27 Mar 2016, 1:55pm

Toeclip wrote: A campsite where cell-phones, loud music and the Internet is banned or preferably with no signal. As James Tiberius Kirk said "This is your chance to get away from it all".


I have a cunning plan for this. It's called turning my phone off.

The longer you're away from home the more you appreciate being able to keep in touch if you need to.

RobinS
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby RobinS » 27 Mar 2016, 3:54pm

Main thing is it being open - we may drop in late April on our way south on our three month trip!

bretonbikes
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Re: What do you look for in a campsite

Postby bretonbikes » 27 Mar 2016, 5:16pm

Yup - the internet thing is difficult, so it'll only be around the office (where there will be a covered area with tables and chairs) - will be open by the third week of April and yes there are extensive washing facilities for clothes etc - I hope to get a 'dirty' sink set up outside somewhere with a hose for those with 'oily' hands etc.

Security - it's pretty much a zero crime area and I personally wouldn't even bother to lock my bike on the site, but a lock just through a wheel would be more than sufficient. That said there will be places to lock to and under cover to boot.

Yes there will be washing lines, an area for simple lightweight pitches (see earlier post)
35 years of cycletouring, 30 years of running cycling holidays, 5 years of running a campsite for cyclists - there's a pattern here...