INSTRUCTIONS AND ADVICE
On this page you will find useful information about your BMLD. This page is updated periodically according to your questions.
Last updated on 1st January 2019.
Are you interested in the BMLD? Here you will find answers to some of your questions.
The main difficulty will obviously be that the 200 km, and even the 120km, are not small distances. It will be necessary that the body and especially the feet in particular will be able to take the endurance. However, there are also other factors to consider especially your morale, motivation as well as good organisation.
NB: this text is written specifically for the BMLD 200. You will need to adapt it for the BMLD 120.
Good time management
As you are going into the unknown you must try to plan. How fast to walk? What rest periods to plan? In theory, it is sufficient to walk at a speed of 2.67 km / hr. to finish within the time but you will have to factor into this your rest periods which at this pace will be none! It is advisable to walk slightly faster! To compare with no rest period and at a continuous speed of 6 km / hr., you can expect to return at 6.20pm on Friday 31st May 2019.
It is better to adopt an intermediate pace of approximately 4km / hr. At this pace you can expect to complete 50 hours of walking and also more importantly, 25 hours of rest which will include sleep, meals or just stopping.
At a speed of 5 km / hr., 40 hours of walking are enough to allow you to arrive on Saturday night to avoid a third night out.
Try to choose your pace sensibly. Your aim is to complete the route without much suffering. For stops, try to stick to the estimated times without succumbing to fatigue.
Can we avoid walking at night?
At the end of May and the beginning of June the days are long. Sunrise will be at 6.15am and sunset at 9.45pm. That means you will have about 15hours and 30minutes of daylight to walk and even possibly 16hours and 30minutes in which to enjoy the twilight and dawn light. We can count on 14hrs+ 16hrs+ 16hrs+ 6hrs this gives a total of 52 hours of daylight. Is it sufficient ? At a speed of 4km / hr., it is certainly not because it is necessary to provide stops and rest including during the day. So equip yourself and be prepared mentally and technically to walk during the night.
Walking the night
This obviously requires special equipment. Lighting to see and be seen, safety vest (yellow, I believe they are trendy). Prepare yourself mentally. For example, imagine yourself very tired, at 1.00am in the middle of the desert, trying to see in all directions to find that tiny yellow and red symbol indicated by the guidebook .
A good diet is obviously essential. There will be no refreshment stations available. You will not be able to receive any personal assistance and you will not be able to pack everything into the backpack. It will therefore be necessary to purchase certain provisions during the route. However food stores are becoming increasingly scarce. You have to plan your points of purchase in advance.
At Bournezeau (20km) you can find everything but take into account that Thursday is a national holiday in France. What will be remaining open when you arrive there?
At La Réorthe (39km) there is nothing (except a dispenser of baguettes just off the route).
La Caillère (57km) has shops but you should be arriving there between 6.30pm on Thursday 30th May 2019 and 6.30am Friday 31st May 2019. On Thursday evening the bakery and supermarket will be closed (national holiday). There only remains a restaurant that will be open.
At Bourneau (76km) there is a bakery. Will it be open when you arrive?
At Vouvant (83km), Mervent (99km) and Foussais (118km), you can stock up as the estimated times may allow for this.
After that the possibilities are limited.
At St Hilaire de Voust (140km) there is a supermarket and restaurant.
At Chapelle au Lys (148km) there is a seasonal restaurant (???).
At L’Etruyère (157km) there is a restaurant.
At Cheffois(166km) there is a bakery and a bar that stays open late at night.
For the final stages of the walk you are more fortunate as there are shops in Mouilleron (173km), Bazoges (181km) and Sigournais (195km).
In addition there are a few restaurants and even a bakery in the countryside.
To summarise, it is better to plan to eat for the first 80km and then stock up as you go. Maybe also carry a knife and a spoon into your backpack.
In addition to bars, restaurants and even mini-markets, the guidebook will inform you of where you can find water points, normally every 10 km if possible.
To prepare yourselves carry one or two containers of water for 10-12 km of independent walking. A cup will also be useful because some washbasins at public toilets are too shallow to drink from.
It is also necessary to prepare and plan. The topography guide has suggestions for all the possibilities of lodgings (hotels, lodgings, camp-sites, etc …) and shelters (rooms, courtyards, sheds etc…). In the Mervent forest you will find several forest huts. Why not rest for an hour or two on a bench to recover or sleep.
For paid accommodation, find out in advance about possible availabilities and even if you are sure of your pace, book them in advance. Check the availability of mobile homes on each campsite.
For those who will be bringing their own tents or even for those who admire “the beautiful night sky”, the guidebook indicates some places for you to “bivouac”.
GPS and mobile phones
There are a few shelters (approximately 3 to 5) officially available to you which will be equipped with electrical sockets for recharging of batteries. The smartphone (such as GPS) is not compulsory but is recommended, if only for example, to order a sandwich in the next bakery.
In the case of many wanting to share the “electricitypoints”, it might be advisable to carry a multi socket charger or even a portable charger?
The procedure for arriving at control points is described in the regulations. Periodically (every 10 km or so), you will have to leave a “pass card” in a letterbox (BAL), as exactly described in the guidebook. This pass card contains your identity and the recipient’s address. Before depositing it, you will have noted your time of arrival and time of departure before writing it in your control book.
Periodically, the owner of the letterbox will send us the names of walkers that have passed in front of their house. At the end of the event, we will collect all the pass cards. This will allow us to follow the progress of the various walkers and ultimately validate (or not) your BMLD.
Using the guidebook will allow you to know in advance the position of official control points. However the organisers will also set up “hidden control points” in non-predefined locations. Control books and pass cards will be provided initially with two waterproof cases and two neck lanyards that will allow you to protect and transport them. These documents will be personalised with your own personal data, except for those who register on Thursday 30th May 2019 who will have to enter their identity themselves.
Supporters or followers
There is nothing planned for your supporters. If you want your loved ones to be informed, it is entirely up to you.
Only contact with the owners of the letterbox will allow us to follow your progress and how dispersed all the walkers are.
To lighten your load, we can take care of small luggage (5 kg maximum) that we will make available to you at certain “control points” on the route.
For the BMLD 200, there will be two control points made available where you can leave luggage. The first one is in at Bourneau (76km) and the second at Fief (137km).
For the BMLD 120 there will only be one control point made available at Bourneau (54km).
Be aware of the luggage size. A maximum of 20 litres with no sleeping bag. Include clothes, shoes, supplies, batteries etc… In addition a plastic bag for dirty clothes.
Please make sure that your bag is secure with a lock. We do not provide insurance for the luggage and it’s contents.
Finally, do not forget to label the luggage for easy identification (surname, first name and address) in a clear and identifiable way.
Note: the luggage can only be returned to Chantonnay after the last walkers have passed through the control points.
Please respect the rules of the road for your own safety. At night you will need to be seen so it is essential to wear a high visibility safety vest. The regulations state that the organisers have the right to stop a poorly equipped walker and can disqualify them in the case of a refusal to stop.
As there is no assistance whatsoever and no first aid at your disposal, it is therefore necessary to equip yourselves with a basic first aid kit.
To run or not?
Although the BMLD is a walking event, we do not prohibit those who wish to run nonstop or intermittently.
This is the reason why the estimated times indicated in the guidebook to the control points are only suggestions. You can arrive at an earlier time.
However, the overall time of 33hours and 20 minutes cannot be reduced. No arrival will be accepted before 6.20pm on Friday 31st May 2019.
To register, do not use the procedure suggested below (for the daily walks) but select, in the B.M.L.D. tab, under the heading BMLD registration.