These Hiking Shelters Are Free to Use ... If You Can Find 'Em

Pro: There's a website. Con: It's in French.

By Diane Rommel

These Hiking Shelters Are Free to Use ... If You Can Find 'Em
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14 July 2017

Ya gotta love the American way of camping. 

Under the stars. In front of a fire. Maybe you've got a sleeping bag. Maybe you're so hardcore you're winging it in, like, a North Face and warm pants. We are a frontier people — we're so tough, that not only can we disarm terrorists; we can star as ourselves in the Clint Eastwood movie about us disarming terrorists

Then there's the European way of doing things — including camping. And we gotta say: There's a time and a place for everything, including this.

haut perche (5 images)

This is Le Haut Perché — we'll translate that as "The High Perch" — an elevated shelter near Bordeaux, in France's southwest corridor. Designed by British firm Studio Weave with an assist from collective Bruit du Frigo, it's a raised enclosure on a weathered steel platform overlooking a lovely landscape. It's part of Les Refuges Périurbains project, offering free access to shelters for hikers in the region. 

Also rather European: The single mattress inside sleeps ... six. 

Interested in checking it out? The reservation website is in French, but Google Translate can help you there. 

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