Winter Camino – 20 tips

snow-spain
A pilgrim that have walked the Camino in Winter shares 20 tips for walking in this time of the year:

Winter Camino: 20 tips

  1. You don’t need a lot of clothes, but the ones you have need to be very functional. (I like ultra fine merino wool, my husband likes hi tech synthetics)
  2. Two full outfits plus jacket, gloves and headband is enough. Use one for day (if you get sweaty there aren’t many people around to be bothered by it) and one for evening after your shower. This minimizes washing – you can wear them for days.
  3. Walking makes you warm, even in the winter.
  4.  A twisted elastic travel washing line is invaluable. After you wring out your washing roll it in a towel to get more moisture out.
  5. Heaters are mostly turned off during the night – get your socks on it as early as possible, and hang your line close to it.
  6. Between Christmas and 6 January lots of places are closed. Don’t count on finding bars open in villages to have a coffee or buy food during the day. More things open up after 7 January.
  7. If you are on a tight budget, plan to arrive in time to hunt for open albergues. There are usually hostals or rooms for rent but they will sharply escalate your expenditure. You may need to walk on to the next town.
  8. However if there is accommodation, there are always plenty of vacancies! We always found a bed.
  9. Newspaper stuffed in your boots will dry them out.
  10. No need for sunglasses.
  11. Learn some basic Spanish. You can go days without finding anyone to speak any English, and there are no other pilgrims to help you out.
  12. The solitude is wonderful, you have it all to yourself.
  13. Chocolate is great.
  14. The hours of darkness are very long, and the evenings are too cold and dark for sightseeing. Take something light to amuse yourself, such as a pack of cards, crossword book, sudoku etc.
  15. The bleak winter landscape is very beautiful.
  16. Change your socks in the middle of the day. Soft, warm, no blisters…lovely!
  17. A good attitude makes it a fantastic adventure.
  18. Walking in snow makes you feel so tough.
  19. A glass of wine never tasted so good.
  20. Did I say chocolate is great?

More in the Winter Camino Tips in the forum.

Scared of dogs?

dogfromSpain

A pilgrim recently wrote in the forum:

So I’ll be walking this June/July, going the Ourense route, hiking solo. Here’s the thing: I am *TERRIFIED* of dogs. (I was bitten when I was little.). Everyone says, “Carry a stick with you for the dogs.” OK, great. What do I *do* with the stick???

Read more about being Scared of dogs on the Camino  here in or Camino forum. 

Crime on the camino

Crime on the Camino
Crime on the Camino

Crime is not really a problem on the Camino. If anything happens, many times they do on the way to or from the Camino. This pilgrim talks about one experience he/she had in Madrid:

A few days ago I was jumped and robbed whilst waiting for the lift to my fourth floor hostal in Madrid. This occurred inside the building on the ground floor, despite the door to the street being locked. The thief had obviously been waiting inside the building for a likely target. The robbery was very quick. I was knocked to the ground and my wallet taken from my hip pocket. I had money in other pockets, but this was not touched. The thief was out of the building and into the street before I got up.

Read more about Crime on the Camino de Santiago here in our Camino forum.

Also see the “Crime” section in the forum.

Best Way to Handle Bedbugs On the Camino de Santiago

Bed Bug

The question was:

So, my preventative measures failed and Im pretty sure Im carrying some unwelcome guests in my sleeping bag. I was bitten badly one night even after I stopped sleeping in by bag, and was bitten only slightly for the few following nights when I slept in my bag. Ive since stopped using my sleeping bag and I havent gotten any new bites. But heres the question; whats the best way to get bedbugs out of your stuff when your on the camino? Bad news is is that my sleeping bag is down, too. Ive looked everywhere for suggestions on what to do, but I havent found anything.

Read the conversation about how to best treat Bed Bugs on the Camino Forum.