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What type of jacket do you need if walking early March.

Discussion in 'Equipment Questions' started by cjm, Dec 24, 2011.

  1. cjm

    cjm New Member

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    Hi - I'm walking the Camino Frances starting about the 8th of March 2012 and will finish end April. Do I need to take a heavier jacket with me for the cold? I will be taking a windproof fleece jacket and will also have a lightweight rain jacket plus 2 thermal tops, 2 long sleeve merino tops and 2 Icebreaker merino Tech tee shirts. Is this enough to keep warm?
    Hope someone can get back to me as I'm reading so much conflicting information about what to take for this time of year.
    Also.....do you need to take a poncho rather then a windproof light rain jacket? Is a poncho better?
    cjm

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  2. JohnnieWalker

    JohnnieWalker Nunca se camina solo

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    Hola - well you are taking a little more than I would take but you do have the layering system right imho - a good base layer, a good mid layer + a wind and water proof outer layer. Rain is probable when you are walking and so you need to think about waterproof trousers to complete the waterproof outershell. You are quite right that some pilgrims prefer a long poncho such as the Altus - others find these too warm and cumbersome. It is really matter of personal choice. I have used both and mostly prefer a rain suit of jacket and trousers others swear by their poncho.

    John
  3. viajero

    viajero New Member

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    This is the time of year that I walked in 2008. I had a very lightweight, but good, rain jacket and a fleece jacket. I had a wool thermal shirt as well. It was enough for me. I did not have a poncho. I did bring a pair of lightweight Goretex trousers which I packed at the very last minute as I saw that there was snow in Roncesvalles where I was starting out. I probably only wore them 2 or 3 times and probably could have been fine without them. You are bringing quite a few more items than I brought but if that's what works for you then that's fine. I had very little rain the month that I walked though...a couple of days of snow and maybe one or two days of very light rain but that was about it.
  4. sulu

    sulu Member

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    I walked those dates last year and started in snow. I agree with both the above comments.
    Personally I prefer a jacket to a poncho. I found that the worst thing was the wind, blowing from the left all across the meseta, it was bitterly cold, I saw plenty of torn and discarded ponchos. Actually the wind started well before the meseta, in Pamplona the temperature was -4 but I saw in a newspaper that, with wind chill, it was reckoned to be about -14C. By April last year it was warm and springlike, there's no knowing what it will be like next year though here in Spain the sun can shine at any time and when it does it is effective, remember, when you take off layers you still have to carry them!
    It may be because of the vagaries of the weather that you see conflicting info, though, often, people post advice without saying what dates they walked!
    Buen camino!
    Sue
  5. andy.d

    andy.d Member

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    Anyone worn a down jacket as midlayer in winter?

    Andy
  6. jpflavin1

    jpflavin1 Member Donating Member

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    Andy:

    I have walked the last two Springs (March 23rd from SJPdP) and will be back in 2012, leaving on March 28th (from Irun). You have a lot more than I would bring but you do have the layering right. I wear long sleeve under armor shirt, a fleece and my North face outer jacket which is waterproof. Once I started walking I was very comfortable. I also have a light pair of rain pants. Most of the time I hiked in just the under shirt and fleece in the morning.

    The weather was actually better than I expected. Only four days of rain, but that was last year. The wind, as stated by someone, was the most surprising aspect to me. The only segment I walked through snow was over the mountain on the first day.The Meseta was actually very warm last year (around 30c) and most days I hiked in a long sleeve t-shirt). The important thing is to have a range of clothing that is layered and some form of rain gear. I do not like the Poncho's but many Pilgrims wear them.

    Ultreya,
    Joe
  7. JohnnieWalker

    JohnnieWalker Nunca se camina solo

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    Andy

    Yes on my very first camino when I started out from Sevilla at the beginning of January I took a down jacket - I've never taken it on a camino since! There were two problems with it - it was nice first thing on a very cold morning and in the evening when everything cooled down but when walking it became impossibly warm. Secondly and more seriously even with full pit zips on my rain jacket there is inevitably condensation and when down gets damp it is useless. But it did fold up into one of the pockets and made an excellent pillow! Nowadays imho technical clothing is better for the job.

    Regards

    John
  8. andy.d

    andy.d Member

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    Thanks. Yes, I walk in winter with plenty of thin technical layers with a rainsuit on top. I've seen some serious winter walkers recommending down jackets, so it's very helpful to see your advice,

    Andy
  9. cjm

    cjm New Member

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    Thanks to everyone for their replies and advice, it's really helped. Sitting here on Christmas Day in 34C heat and high humidity its hard to think of packing for cold weather.
    cjm
  10. methodist.pilgrim.98

    methodist.pilgrim.98 R.I.P 2013

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    I have used a Berghaus rainjacket at various times of the year and with a lightweight Berghaus fleece found it to be sufficent.

    The multi-layer tip is good.

    Never bothered with a poncho and never missed it. I protect my rucksack with a purpose bought rain cover

    A friend has asked me walk the Meseta in March 2012. Still not sure if I can afford to go but I have noted the note about the wind and thank you for that information.

    Wish it was 34c here!

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