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  1. W

    Water Discussion (I thought you might like a laugh)

    Although water is easy to find on the Camino Francés, I'll still carry a Grayl. Water was not easy to find on the twelve kilometers I walked from Los Arcos to Arróniz in 2015. Hot day, and I filled it three times from ponds and ditches.
  2. W

    Ingenious (to me) water bottle solution : )

    I carried a "Grayl". One day, refilled it three times from ditches with no ill effects. I believe Grayl has competitors.
  3. W

    How do you secure your backpack from theft as checked luggage.

    Do NOT use "a strong padlock" if you will be going through airport security in USA! If a bag is locked with a lock that is not "TSA approved," TSA will cut the lock and replace it with a zip tie. And a TSA approved lock is a joke—if thousands of TSA agents have a master key, it's a certainty...
  4. W

    Hiking Sandals only?

    I've met pilgrims wearing sandals. Met one with bare feet. I actually had dress shoes, and no blisters until afterward in Cardiff (three days on pavement).
  5. W

    Rucksack size carry on plane

    at any USA airport, locking is useless. If the lock is not "TSA-approved" then they will cut or break it. But TSA-approved means TSA at every airport has a master key—which means criminal can buy master keys cheap on the black market. A lock merely tells every one who sees it that there's...
  6. W

    Walking surfaces (and appropriate footwear)

    I walked a LOT in dress shoes without blisters. But three days in the city of Cardiff, got really bad blisters, so I tossed them in a charity bin and switched to some a pilgrim had abandoned in Villamayor. What were they? I don't know how to distinguish among tennis shoes, running shoes, etc...
  7. W

    Compeed vs hikers wool or both?

    Whatever. I am not the only person who has personally witnessed the STRONG adhesive in Compeed ripping skin off of the victim. But Compeed, like Moleskin, is perfect to prevent the shoe or sock from rubbing directly on the skin. What good is "helping it heal" if you later rip the skin off?
  8. W

    Hiking poles (please bear with me) need honest advice.

    One disadvantage I found with poles was that the ones I bought first were about four centimeters too long to fit in an airline carry-on bag! And it was a heck of a search to find a pair that wasn't the exact same length for the next trip!
  9. W

    Hiking poles (please bear with me) need honest advice.

    I've noticed the difference if I put some of my weight on the poles. Obviously that is different than what many people do—just tap the ground with them as they go along. But a bigger benefit for me is to keep from falling when the surface is neither solid nor flat.
  10. W

    Compeed vs hikers wool or both?

    Compeed is NOT for putting on blisters!! It is for preventing blisters! If you put it on a blister, when you try to pull it off, your skin will come with it, leaving what remains of the blister to get infected! I don't know how many pilgrims we bandaged up because someone had told them to get...
  11. W

    To sleeping bag or not to sleeping bag?

    Second that. We had them on the beds when we expected it to be cold; otherwise, we brought them out when pilgrims asked.
  12. W

    To sleeping bag or not to sleeping bag?

    I have the cotton sack, and I like it, but if I were to lose it, I would replace it with silk to reduce the weight. https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/general-europe/sleep-sacks-and-convertible-carry-on-bag-does-it-fit
  13. W

    To sleeping bag or not to sleeping bag?

    I retired 41 months ago and hit the road. I have used my sleeping bag only four nights, and none of those were in Spain. I have used my sleep sack (basically a cotton sheet made into a bag) hundreds of times.
  14. W

    Backpack in airline holds

    I didn't say it was in the hold. I said stolen. And since you bring up medications, can you believe that thyroid hormone replacements were stolen from an albergue?
  15. W

    Backpack in airline holds

    Some people like the collapsible cable netting that can be locked to prevent theft in albergues. I wonder whether the holes in them are small enough to prevent straps from sticking out far enough to catch on things? One argument against the bags is that they send a visual signal that "there's...
  16. W

    Backpack in airline holds

    Most small keys will work for that, if you're determined enough. But if you're that determined, fingers will work. :-)
  17. W

    Backpack in airline holds

    My experience is that no matter how carefully I analyze what I might need and how to pack it, when I actually need something, I have to empty the whole pack to find it! Especially if I check it and TSA decides to peek in. It comes out of the scanner or baggage claim looking like they...
  18. W

    Backpack in airline holds

    That's what I thought, until I had to make a claim and read it more carefully. Stolen iPad: they pay for replacement up to three hundred dollars and one of the things I have to provide is a copy of the police report. Wasn't a problem to get it, although it was full of errors. They showed me a...
  19. W

    Backpack in airline holds

    [ This is not what she was talking about, but it is entertaining, nevertheless: http://briangreen.net/2011/08/making-improvised-backpack.html
  20. W

    Backpack in airline holds

    We used to have a lot of jokes and horror stories about lost and misrouted baggage. But today, most airports have computers telling the handlers were to put it after they scan a bar code.
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