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What is wild camping?

Campsite Ile de Ré > Camper tip > Backcountry camping

Backcountry camping involves pitching a tent in an area that is not intended for this purpose, usually in the middle of nowhere. This practice is particularly appealing to nature lovers, slow travelers, adventurers who like to spend the night in unusual surroundings and travelers in search of freedom.

The main differences between wilderness camping

Wilderness camping offers many possibilities. It’s the opposite of glamping and open-air hotels, luxury campsites with large water areas and modern facilities. Campers are not obliged to pitch their tents in a plot of land allocated to them within a defined park.
They let their instincts guide them and set up their tent in a place they like. Most often in a green, unspoilt setting, such as by a river, in the mountains or in the forest. Backcountry camping is sometimes confused with bivouac camping, which consists of sleeping for a single night under the stars. Backcountry camping is when the camper stays in one place for several days.

Is wild camping legal in France?

The rules for this type of camping vary from country to country. In France, wild camping is generally permitted, but there are a few restrictions. Camping is prohibited:

  • on roads or public thoroughfares,
  • on private property without prior authorization from the owner,
  • by the sea,
  • in nature reserves,
  • less than 500 meters from a listed historic monument or garden,
  • within 200 meters of a water source intended for human consumption,
  • in certain areas defined by prefectures or municipalities.

Despite these constraints, France is still a great country for wild camping. If you’re going to the Ile de Ré, our 4-star Les Prises campsite in Ré la Blanche is the place to be.