/ Sleeping mat corsica gr20

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fshbf - on 31 May 2017
My partner and I are going to corsica in a couple of weeks time. We will be spending a few days car camping around the towns and villages on the coast and then doing the central section of the gr20. On the gr20 we are planning to carry our own tent and sleeping mats rather than use the ones at the refuges.
My question is - I only have a foam 3/4 length mat and am thinking of getting a new one for the trip, possibly air or air+foam. Can anyone advise how rocky the ground is likely to be at the refuges and what the nighttime temperature will be in mid-June?
mbh - on 31 May 2017
In reply to fshbf:

We did the northern half of the GR20 from Vizzavona in 2011, in mid July. We slept inside, but saw the camping places at all the refuges we stayed at. From what I can recall, you should be fine. I don't recall them being terribly rocky. We camped at refuges a couple of years ago in the Pyrenees, where the arrangement for campers was similar. I had a 3/4 length mat and was OK.

Don't know about temperatures in June, but on our first night in mid July, at Onda, I slept outside on a table without a bag and was only slightly chilly.
daWalt on 31 May 2017
In reply to fshbf:

the camp grounds on the GR20 tend to be gravelly (sharpish) granite sand / pebbles; and peg-able (just) ground, rather than proper rocky.
the sand / gravel can be quite rough, puncturing your mat is a risk, but you should be fine if you're careful.
I had an exped synmat and managed not to puncture it, but somehow managed to get small wear spots in the tent grnd sheet (it was old).
not sure about exact temp (not worse than chilly in the mountains at night) - decent 2 season bag was fine for me (all appropriate disclaimers apply).

the main thing was rain rather than temp - get up early and aim to arrive before the afternoon storms kick in.......
TobyA on 31 May 2017
In reply to fshbf:

Invest in a ground sheet size piece of tyvek (maybe a tenner from ebay? Less if you have a contact who buys it for building!). Weights little and seems to do a good job of protecting mats and/or tent groundsheets.
fshbf - on 26 Jun 2017
Just back from our trip and thought I'd do a quick update in case someone else finds it useful... Firstly - amazing trip, gorgeous scenery and crazy driving!

We did a few days driving around the coast. Our first day walking was from Corte to Refuge de la Sega via the Arche de Corte. Second day walked to Refuge Manganu with an extra bit to see Lac de Nino. Third day walked to Refuge Pietra Piana. Fourth day took the high ridge route to Refuge L'Onda and then the normal route on to Vizzavona. After which we had a relaxing couple of days on the coast and flew home yesterday to rainy Manchester.

We carried our own tent, sleeping bags and sleeping mats for the walk, but it was noticeable that most people were either staying in the refuge or hiring tents each night which would considerably reduce the weight/size of rucksack required.

We had four season sleeping bags, which were nice at the highest refuge but were far too hot everywhere else - didn't even take them out of the stuffsacks on the last two nights back at sea level.

The ground at the campsites (coast and GR20) was fairly flat but was really hard compacted sandy soil that it was nearly impossible to get tent pegs into. Many people had self-supporting tents which would have made life easier. From looking around it would seem that short, wide pegs with a sharp point might have fared better - our long thin ones ended up looking like corkscrews by the end of the week.

We took a groundsheet (£10 from Screwfix) which we used for the campsites around the coast but we decided it was too heavy/bulky to take on the walk. It wasn't essential but probably reduced wear and tear on the base of the tent.

Our tent is double skin and doesn't work as a single skin, and we got very hot on the last couple of nights. For the coast and lower GR20 campsites many people had single skin tents with top vents and probably got a better night's sleep for it.

Food at the refuges was expensive and variable - we had carried our own food for lunch and evening so were just really buying breakfast and treats. La Sega had some tinned food, dried pasta and plasticy sliced bread (3EUR/loaf). Manganu had a slightly wider selection with Coke (3EUR) and beer (6EUR). Pietra Piana had some oranges (1EUR each) and also salamis and cheese. Their vegetarian evening meal was priced at 30EUR but sounded acceptably filling if expensive. They might have proper bread if you were lucky on timing but we only really found the plastic sliced stuff. All the GR20 campsites were 7EUR pppn for camping using your own tent.

We found we needed to start each day with 4.5ltr of water for 2 people, given that there are limited opportunities for refilling even from rivers, and we did use water purification tablets although they may not have been necessary.

Overall a really good experience

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