/ TMB Odd Question ....

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whereisearl on 06 Jun 2017
Bit of an odd question.... Currently planning to do the TMB this summer. As I will be camping/ wild camping I am aiming to travel as light as possible and want to avoid carrying food for 7-8 days. How easy is it to buy food (freeze dried/ dehydrated meals etc) along the route?
Pedro50 on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to whereisearl:

Doesn't answer your question but food and gas for 8 days could be about 12lb (and diminish everyday) and would avoid scrottling around doing shopping as you go. Better to be self-sufficient IMHO.
MG - on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to whereisearl:

Most campsites will sell basics. (Wild camping is frowned upon/banned).
Robin Woodward - on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to whereisearl:

I think there are only about 2 days during which you wouldn't pass through a town/village with a general store, and this would depending on how you break it up, and whether you do the passes (which you should, they're probably the best bits). Looking at a map alongside the guide book, it's fairly obvious. Whether or not they sell freeze-dried/dehydrated food, I don't know, as we were hutting it, so were just buying lunches.

With regards to camping on the way around, we saw one family (mid teens son and parents) coming the other way camping, who were very overloaded and looked knackered on day 1. We also spent most of our (clockwise) walk with an american guy who was semi-camping. He had a tarp/sleeping bag/roll mat and was very experienced in long treks so had his kit dialled. He did a mixture of wild camping, camping by a hut (when they were full so they couldn't complain) and in camp sites. There are some bits where it was easy to tuck away, and others where it wasn't. He also managed to blag a shower/dinner in at least one hut on the cheap (again going for the full ones where they couldn't complain). having said this we only had rain for one afternoon (when he ended up in a campsite and we left him behind).
whereisearl on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to Pedro50:

Thanks for the reply. 12lb (5.5kg) is effectively doubling the weight of everything I would be carrying.
whereisearl on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to Robin Woodward:

Thanks, that's pretty helpful.

Obviously studying maps/ guidebooks gives and idea of where towns/ villages are but its not to say they necessarily have shops etc. Happy to carry 1-2 days worth of food as necessary but don't want to have to carry a full 7 days worth if avoidable.

Ideally I would like to wild camp the entire way but realise this may not be possible and could end up camping by huts/ on camp sites.
Robin Woodward - on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to whereisearl:

Just had a look at my annotated route map and I think we (clockwise from Tre-le-Champ in 7 days) only had 1 day where we didn't pass a shop doing the Fenetre D'Arpette, although if we'd stayed in the normal hut on the french site (we stayed in a smaller higher hut which was amazing - Refuge des grands or something) or we'd walked on into the town (30 mins from the refuge we stopped in on the swiss side) we could have avoided this. However, you're more likely avoid the latter (if going clockwise) as the wild camping spots are before you get to the refuge we stopped at on the Swiss side of the pass.

The other potential day would have been when we headed over the Col des Fours (although there is a pig(?) farm on the east side which did lunch and various bits and bobs), but we ended up doing a double day that day, so we finished in a town instead of just down from the col (although this is where our wild camping friend used a campsite - it was raining though).
freeheel47 on 16 Jun 2017
In reply to whereisearl:

Hello- I did that in 1990 or 1991 as a student- I bivved and stayed in 2 gites when I got really stinky and needed a wash.

Basically it is really easy to bivvy (or wild camp) on the hill- not so easy in the valley bottoms. I think I bivvied at Col Voza, Col de la Seigne, Monte Saxe, Col Ferret, Fenetre D'Arpette and Plan Praz all without problem.

It is easy to get supplies in Chamonix / les Houches, les Contamines- then there is a bit of a trek to Courmayeur- then a bit of a walk to the Swiss Val Ferret and then again a bit of gap to Chamonix again if you do not divert to Argentiere (or Trient).

I think you only need carry a couple of days food at the most. Alternatively you could take no spare food and eat at huts / gites if you ran short. But this is expensive.

This summer I'm back- but with my wife and 3 kids (8,13 and 15) taking a different approach- staying in gites and huts, and taking only a bit of emergency food. Planning on buying it as we go along. Hopefully we will have very very very light packs.

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