/ font info

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chev1n - on 21 Mar 2013

i'm looking for some info with regards to getting to font and having as much fun as i can while there, weather permitting. i want to be getting away pretty soon as i have working commitments to consider but first i need to sort passport
i have never flown before and i want to fly as part of the adventure and also it should enable me to spend more time there as i am only able to go for a few days. I want to camp.
what i want to find out about is basically general info about flying mainly what you can bring on a plane. I am going to be takilng a tent obviously but will i also be able to bring my stove etc?. can i bring liquid such as bottles of water and what about fuel?. i use a meth stove so i am wondering if this will be a problem. if so can i purchase it there as it seems generally less commonplace than other fuels.
this is my first time so i'll probably leave my boulder mat at home and wait for next trip when i've got things sussed. but could you tell me if i would be able to bring this on a plane?
i have no car because i am a student and i'm going alone. maybe somebody has info about campsites mainly costs and locations. much of the travel info is on the ukc article which is really great. any info regarding the above would be really great.
happy climbing and lets make this season a great one - when spring finally starts
Carolyn - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to chev1n:

Meths - can buy in the big supermarkets (alcool a bruler), and possibly smaller ones. It might well be with household/garden stuff rather than camping gear. The alternative would be to get a cheap camping gaz stove - both the pierce and the screw blue camping gaz cylinders are easy to buy. (Not necessarily compatible with the screw cylinders more commonly available in UK, though)

Getting around - if you can get to the Milly la Foret campsite, then you're within walking distance of some bouldering - and loads more if you can hire a bike. It used to be possible to hire bikes somewhere (train station? One of the youth hostels?) - looked at it years ago, but for two people it was barely cheaper than hiring a car. Would be better for just one of you, though. Campsite is also a least a couple of miles from the nearest supermarket/food shop. Although campsite is also full of climbers, so might be able to cadge a lift.
Carolyn - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to chev1n:

Oh, and yes, have taken bouldering mat by plane no problems. Made it a simple bag from Ripstop nylon, mainly to stop straps getting caught up or it coming undone.
The Green Giant - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to chev1n:

Hi Chev,

The camp site near Milly la Foret is called La Musardière (+33 1 64 98 91 91 ) they speak a reasonable english when you want something and even better English when they want some (ie money). However depending when you go you will find others here who are also boulderers and usually happy to share information as well as good facilities (showers, washing up, pool, pay phone).

There are other campsites but they tend not to be near to the more popular areas. If you can get hold of a guide that would make things a lot easier. The Jingo 'Wibbly' Wobbly guide is probably the best general one (www.jingowobbly.com/fom/fom-main.html), but I guess that depends on whether you can translate French or not.

Flying to Paris is your best bet, gathered you have worked that out already, you can then get a train (for free if you're feeling skint and willing to risk it for a biscuit) to Fontainebleau Avon which is the train station in Font. From here, there are buses or taxis. I'm not much of an expert on theese but I know it cost two lads somewhere around 20 euro to get from Font to the afore mentioned campsite. You could probably hitch pretty easily if you knew where you were going exactly, or you were lucky enough to find someone who spoke English. You can then hire bikes from the campsite or walk places pretty easily. But, I'm guessing you would like to explore a lot in your short time so a bike is probably better. Can't remember prices exactly but I can remember thinking it as being reasonable.

Flying you can take pretty much anything in hold luggage(luggage that goes in the bottom of the plane). Depending on which company you fly with you could have anything from 15kg to 30kg (I think) of allowance. But if you are really worried, you can get screw on gas stoves in Milly (which is cyclable from the campsite)in the hardware store next to the supermarket there. However, it is expensive and would save you time and effort just to buy it in England. Flying a pad on a plane, I have no experience of this though, I reckon it would be expensive, especially on the budget airlines.

October is the best time of year to go.

Have fun! Hope this has been helpful!
BoulderBus - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to chev1n:

I've never had a problem taking my mat on a plane.

watch out for the stove/fuel thing - most airline T&C's say that you can't take a container which has been used for fuel (even if it is now empty), in practice this is not often checked, but if it is, it won't be allowed on.

Where are you flying from?
Ropeboy - on 22 Mar 2013
In reply to chev1n:


Not quite what you wanted to know but could be fun with some others plus finding your way round the forest on your own without a vehicle won't be that easy, it's spread out over an enormous area.

chev1n - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to BoulderBus:

I want to say a big thank you to everyone for all the information.

I am going to be flying from Edinburgh

Is it going to be very risky to take my meths stove on and fuel onto the plane. I cannot imagine that it will be something encouraged. I do not want to be turned back as this would waste an entire day (at least)

if this is going to be the case i would probably be better buying something on the trip. what are the odds from such a major airport?

does anybody have any info regarding the hostels?

are they cheap/ expensive? close to the crags?

again. many thanks to everyone. see you at the crags

i cannot wait till october but may have to put off going in april. i know the weather has been very strange but has anyone any ideas about may. do you reckon it is likely to rain lots?
EeeByGum - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to chev1n: All you need for Font is your shoes, some chalk or Pof, a rag to wipe your shoes and a toothbrush. Flying in will be fun and you can get to Font from the Gare de Lyon easily enough, but you are going to be in for some epic walks to get from place to place. Either that or you may be able to hitch but transport around venues is going to be your biggest issue. A car really makes the difference.
chev1n - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to The Green Giant:

so it IS possible to hire bikes at mily la foret campsite?

can you tell me a bit more about the stoves? - the screw on gas stoves. i might buy these in the uk before i go. are these safe for the plane? am i advised to buy the fuel there - at the campsite - the gas cannisters. can you advise me what to buy? i want something lightweight and cheap. i have only ever used meths stove - this is quite heavy - but i usually bother with pans and stuff which are included in the meths.
i might just take my meths stove on the flight and buy the fuel in the supermarket. i take it the fuel is the most risky thing to take on plane.

could anyone advise me about bringing bottles of water on the plane and pop also snacks such as chocolate.

much thanks for any info at all

really am a flying newbie and a font newbie (-:
chev1n - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to Ropeboy:

thanks for offer - this would be great except i havent got everything ready. only just sent to renew passport. its probably going to have to be rainy may.

have a great time you guys

hope you enjoy the weather and it doesent get TOO cold or rain

have MEGA fun
James Gilbert on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to chev1n:

Don't worry about the weather, just keep your fingers crossed. It's way too unpredictable to say "October is the best month" - you can get good weather at any time of year.

Don't take any kind of fuel on the plane, as it's not allowed (gas, meths, petrol, etc.)

chev1n - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to James Gilbert:

thanks for this

most likely going to be may - and october (-:

thanks for the fuel info - defo not worth risk

might consider taking the stove
Carolyn - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to chev1n:

Yes, no fuel on plane - the question was if you'd get away with an empty Sigg bottle that has once had meths in or not.

Liquids on plane - you can only take tiny volumes through security. You can try taking empty bottle and filling up from sink in the toilets once you're through security, but lots of airports have mixer taps that only give out warm water, forcing you to buy over priced bottled water from the shop.... Chocolate and other snacks you can take through fine, though.

I'm not sure if you can buy fuel at the campsite, or if you'll need to find a supermarket? Have never tried, as we've driven out for last few years.
Carolyn - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to chev1n:

This looks really useful re: bikes and a cycling route
Carolyn - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to chev1n:

And this lists mountain bike hire at the campsite, but I'd email them to check

It also suggests they only sell bread (and that only in summer hols), so you'll probably need to head out to supermarket for food as well as fuel. It's a few miles (and one of the websites suggested 5km) from what I remember, so fairly easy by bike, but would be quite a trek on foot.
obi-wan nick b - on 26 Mar 2013
In reply to chev1n: Here's what Easyjet have to say on the subject of stoves and fuel which is quitre encouraging. Obviously it only apples to Easyjet so worth checking other relevant airlines.
chev1n - on 27 Mar 2013
In reply to Carolyn:

thanks lots and lots for all the info. This is very helpful. I'm getting very excited about the trip
chev1n - on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to Carolyn:

what do you mean tiny? would a litre bottle of say energy drink or water be ok?
Carolyn - on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to chev1n:

No. I can't remember the details, but at best it's 100ml. But that info will be on airport/airline websites. You'll basically need to buy something after security.

Unless you don't want it until after you land - you can put it in hold luggage if you want.
chev1n - on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to Carolyn:

thanks for this

i will have a look on the airlines web site and get as much info as i can.

can you have a litre water in hold? i will probably be ok on the flight and can always get something in the cafe if i really need. think i might want some quick water while waiting for bus/ taxi
Carolyn - on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to chev1n:

As far as I know, no restriction on liquids in the hold, but they're heavy if you're close to weight allowance with tent, etc. Though at Newcastle, bottled water was basically buy one, get one free after security (albeit at inflated prices), so you might be as well to spend a few quid or a bottle or two once you're through. You can then take it on the flight OK - it's to do with not being able to check that liquids aren't explosives at security checks, I think.
CasWebb - on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to chev1n: Probably best not to put that much liquid in your hold baggage. The scanners detect fluid and the airlines/airports are still very touchy about it.
CasWebb - on 28 Mar 2013
In reply to Carolyn: Just looked at Heathrow and it states "Liquids that can not be placed inside the re-sealable bag must be packed into the hold luggage and checked in. Liquids of any amount can still be carried in luggage checked into the aircraft hold.". So you could actually put a litre of water in your checked in baggage, but do check with whichever airline you're flying with.

The Green Giant - on 05 Apr 2013
In reply to chev1n:

Sorry, I hope you see this! I'd forgotten I had written you an essay then not returned to see for a reply.

The stove I used was small back packing stove: http://store.primuscamping.com/backpacking-stoves/single-fuel/butane/expressstove-trade-without-piez...

You can find others like it, varying in price, features and so on. This one screws onto a butane cannister. I couldn't find any of these at the camp site I mentioned. But In Milly la foret, which (as I think I mentioned) is down the road from the camp-site there is a DIY store next to the supermarket. They sell these gas cannisters for flame torches for some sort of DIY stuff.

You can hire bikes from the campsite, cheaply. If you go during some sort of holidays then you are more likely to meet people who wouldn't mind you tagging along to places, sharing knowledge and stuff.
chev1n - on 09 Apr 2013
In reply to The Green Giant:

hi - i am glad you guys are still writing. not been to a computer for a while. i mainly use the college ones and its been shut.

delighted that my passport has arrived and now i've just got to conjure up the money and plan time - and go

been researching easyjet. flights seem to cost minimum £128 plus there is this £25 for the hold luggage £25 if you buy it online. is this it than? no more hidden extras? what about this hand luggage. is this like - a hand bag? and i take it you put it on your knee or under the seat...and it is 56x45x25cm. it can have wheels included in these dimensions. is there a weight limit to this?
maybe i could just take this?? and not camp! i can see a picture of some hand stuff and some sizes but i've no idea of the weight ! i am actually considering small tent. this I imagine will go in hold together with a stove like you just shown me (thanks lots for info)

can you tell me how cool camping in the forest is? would you advise it?

i might go in the camp site for first 2 nights

can somebody tell me if it has cafe. is the coffee nearby as I am an addict? lol

also there is a possibility i may go in a hostel. especially if it rains. does anybody have any beta on these.

thanks everybody for all your help. i am trying to weigh up all the costs of everything. i need to research bike hire. and also other airlines. easy jet seemed to suggest that only 100ml liquid was allowed but you seem to suggest other airlines might allow it in hold luggage. obviously it will be heavy and I have to prioritise

best wishes everyone and happy craggin

ps i've decided i'm not going to take my boulder mat on this trip. want to practice getting about the place first

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