Hi-De-Hi Au Vieux Campeur In Paris

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A Visit to Au Vieux Campeur in Paris

Let’s get this out of the way now. This is NOT a sponsored post.  

"Book shop Au Vieux Campeur in Paris"

I have not received a Euro cent (or a penny) from Au Vieux Campeur in Paris, and not a free book or a free map either.

In fact, the Vieux Campeur is not even aware that he is going to feature in a blog post on this site, and if I had told him about it on my last visit, he probably would have shrugged in that inimitable Gallic way, as if to say ”…Bof!

"Shop front of Au Vieux Campeur for outdoor gear"

The truth is, Au Vieux Campeur doesn’t need recommendations from Easy Hiker or indeed any other website, having traded for 70 years as France’s foremost shop for hiking wear, hiking boots, tents, camping gear, you-name-it-they-have-it outdoors equipment as well as travel books and maps.

"Shelves of books on hiking at Au Vieux Campeur in Paris"

Although Au Vieux Campeur has established branches in eight cities and towns all over France – 26 shops in Paris alone, scattered all over the St Germain area where the business once began – it has preserved the slightly musty charm of a genuine family enterprise and is still run by the son of the company’s founder.

"Hundreds of maps for hiking and camping in Au Vieuw Campeur in Paris"

Two of their Parisian shops are exclusively dedicated to selling books and maps, back-to-back on Rue de Latran in the 5th arrondissement: one for France, one for the rest of the world.

"Sampling of books on hiking destinations in France at Au Vieux Campeur"

The France shop is twice the size of the “rest of the world” shop – which may be funny, but certainly is good business thinking, too.

No shop can ever store all the books that were ever published about any place anywhere in the world, but to take up that challenge for a single country is a different matter.

"Hiking books on international destinations at Au Vieux Campeur"

I don’t know whether Au Vieux Campeur in Paris provides all the travel guides there are about France, but they certainly strive hard to give you the impression.

I know you can buy it all on the Internet these days, and cheaper too, probably, but nothing beats the feeling of actually holding the books in your hand and being able to make an informed comparison.

I have bought many books online over the years that simply weren’t what I was looking for and proved to be utterly useless. That has never happened to me with books I bought in an actual shop. Think about that.

"Entrance to Au Vieux Campeur book shop at rue Latran 75005 Paris"

So do yourself a favour: if you intend to go hiking anywhere in France and can read basic French, give Au Vieux Campeur in Paris a visit first. You will not regret it.

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7 comments to Hi-De-Hi Au Vieux Campeur In Paris

  • I totally agree with your points, David. I also liked the feel of the shop and will definitely give it a regular visit. Thanks for dropping by.

  • Au Vieux Campeur in Paris is brilliant! I really enjoy wandering in and out of all their shops near the Sorbonne. I love the way each of the shops specializes in one or two types of items. Nowadays, many outdoor stores are little more than glorified clothes boutiques, but this one is the real deal and I’ve found all sorts of obscure items on my trips to the area.

  • A postcard as a map…. now that’s really creative.

  • Austin-Lehman Adventures

    I agree with you about finding maps and what not on the internet. But having traveled quite a bit also looking for adventures such as hiking, rafting or whatever that specific country has to offer, I have found that some times you need a map that locals understand and can draw on or show you exactly where you want to go. My sister and I got so lost our first week in Venice that we just bought postcards of where we wanted to go and showed a local and asked them where it was on a map. It worked brilliantly. When in Rome…get creative.

  • Looks like a great store. It is good for travelers to know where places like this are in different countries, so in case they need something on the road they know where to go.

  • ella

    wow at all those maps, what a great shot and shop :)

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