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2 Questions

Time of past OR future Camino
September 2022
Walking month of Sept. into Oct. if necessary. I have heard of people taking light sleeping bags and others talking about some type of sleep sack. I am traveling as a pilgrim and will stay at albergues. What do I need to take for sleep? Do I spray for bedbugs before I leave home? Also, I have heard people advise taking a roll of TP "just in case". Are public restrooms available or is it a problem? Thank you.
 
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dbier

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Last 114km Camino Frances, Jul 21
2023 - Camino P
How cold do you get at night, and what is a comfortable sleeping temperature for you? Not every albergue has heat, and some (most?) don't have A/C. There are multiple threads in this forum on the topic

If you're going to spray for bedbugs, use permethrin (spelling?), and do it before you leave home. There are multiple recent threads on this forum on the topic 😉

Not a lot of " public" restrooms. Many cafes and restaurants have one, but it's courteous to buy something there. And sometimes they run out of TP. There's some threads in this forum on that, too. 😉

Which Way are you traveling? Buen Camino.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
September 2022
How cold do you get at night, and what is a comfortable sleeping temperature for you? Not every albergue has heat, and some (most?) don't have A/C. There are multiple threads in this forum on the topic

If you're going to spray for bedbugs, use permethrin (spelling?), and do it before you leave home. There are multiple recent threads on this forum on the topic 😉

Not a lot of " public" restrooms. Many cafes and restaurants have one, but it's courteous to buy something there. And sometimes they run out of TP. There's some threads in this forum on that, too. 😉

Which Way are you traveling? Buen Camino.
Camino Frances. I guess I am searching the threads incorrectly. Under search, I have typed in "toilet", "bathroom", "sleeping bag" etc. Nothing. I felt self-conscious about my questions, but I did try to find answers on my own. I am running out of time.....Leaving 8/25.
 

dbier

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Last 114km Camino Frances, Jul 21
2023 - Camino P
No problem; just wanted you to know who *I'm * quoting. And I should have looked at your other posts.
I'll hope that a mod drives by with some suggestions.
And as someone else has said, Breathe. 😉.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
No worries @SantaMonicaPeregrina - we were all first time walkers once! All questions welcome.

Sleeping gear: September into October can get cold on the Camino Francés. Using albergues, I would not do it without my warm sleep system (as described below).

A sleep sack is also known as a sleeping bag liner. They come in cotton, silk and synthetic and various cominations. Mine is silk, with a stretchy panel down the sides, to allow movement. They were designed to wear inside a sleeping bag, for added warmth and to keep the sleeping bag clean, but many of us use them as a substitute for a sleeping bag, and our special "hack" is to add something warm inside them. Things over the top tend to slide off.

Which I how I use mine. As the outer layer, with a lightweight down camping quilt inside.

And my answer is yes, I would spray with Permethrin before leaving home. I also take a lightweight dry bag into which I put all my sleeping gear, and seal it before putting it into my backpack. In the hope that if I do manage to get bedbugs, they will not contaminate all my pack. It is not a complete solution but everything helps. Lots of threads on bedbugs.

Here are many threads about sleeping bags, which should also help.

Toilets:

Don't worry, your question is one asked by just about every woman who is contemplating the Camino.

I don't think it is necessary to take toilet paper, but I usually have a tissue in my pocket when I go into a toilet, "just in case".

Here is a thread on toilets and here and here. There are others, but that will probably give you enough information.

"Public conveniences" are not a common thing in Spain, but everyone uses the ones in the bars, of which there are many along the Camino Francés. I'm 70 but rarely find I need anything else. Be like the Queen, never miss an opportunity. It can be a bit circular, it is polite to buy something, if you use the restroom, which often means a drink, which often means...

Everything will unfold for you once you start walking. Have fun. Buen Camino!
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
I am curious about where you plan to start and whether you have adjusted your schedule, since you asked on this thread about how many days are needed for the Camino Frances. It will help us answer your questions if we know a little more about your situation.

guess I am searching the threads incorrectly. Under search, I have typed in "toilet", "bathroom", "sleeping bag" etc. Nothing.
I'm not sure what is happening with your searching, but another approach is to look at the tagged threads. See this list of topics, and click on any one - such as sleeping bag - and you will get a lot of threads. @Kanga has given links to some of them. Or you can go down this list of Pilgrim Topics Related to All Routes, looking at the various sub-forums, and find topics of interest.

Or, even better, you are welcome to ask all your questions on this thread!

I am traveling as a pilgrim and will stay at albergues. What do I need to take for sleep?
It is not required that pilgrims stay in albergues. Many "real pilgrims" stay in private rooms in hostals if they can afford them and prefer the privacy. If you are planning to stay in albergues, you need to take anything you will need for sleeping. Some albergues will supply sheets, some will supply disposable bottom sheets, some will have blankets, but others will provide nothing but a mattress. For September-October, I would recommend a lightweight sleeping bag, or a sleeping bag liner with a small down quilt or several layers of insulating clothes for an unexpected cold night.

I have heard people advise taking a roll of TP "just in case".
I see that advice a lot, but I think it is rather silly to take literally. Nobody needs to take a whole roll of toilet paper with them. However, it is a good idea to carry a few squares of toilet paper or tissues with you for those occasions when you might be caught without, or you might even want to blow your nose! There are not many stand-alone public restrooms on the Camino. Rather, there are restrooms in bars and restaurants, which you can find every 5 or 10 km along the route, with a few exceptions. However, many of us have still been caught with the need to "go" in the middle of nowhere, and it is no big deal, as long as you do not leave any trace! Carry your toilet paper out!

On another thread you expressed concern about whether you would be able to stay in albergues if you were getting your backpack transported. On the Camino Frances, most albergues will allow that. Are you pre-arranging your backpack transport, or are you going to do it day-by-day?
 

xin loi

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Walked May 14, 2014 from St Jean France

starting to walk again August 25, 2016 --SJPDP to Finisterre
I would definitely take a sleeping bag as I ALWAYS carry a Sleeping bag AND a Sleeping Pad. Walked 5 Caminos and used them on each Camino.

Toilet Paper? DEFINITELY!! Some "Pilgrims" think it is very funny to steal the entire roll of TP from toilets at Cafes. They even brag about it! ALWAYS have some in a plastic bag your pocket---you WILL need it somewhere.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
I am curious about where you plan to start and whether you have adjusted your schedule, since you asked on this thread about how many days are needed for the Camino Frances. It will help us answer your questions if we know a little more about your situation.


I'm not sure what is happening with your searching, but another approach is to look at the tagged threads. See this list of topics, and click on any one - such as sleeping bag - and you will get a lot of threads. @Kanga has given links to some of them. Or you can go down this list of Pilgrim Topics Related to All Routes, looking at the various sub-forums, and find topics of interest.

Or, even better, you are welcome to ask all your questions on this thread!


It is not required that pilgrims stay in albergues. Many "real pilgrims" stay in private rooms in hostals if they can afford them and prefer the privacy. If you are planning to stay in albergues, you need to take anything you will need for sleeping. Some albergues will supply sheets, some will supply disposable bottom sheets, some will have blankets, but others will provide nothing but a mattress. For September-October, I would recommend a lightweight sleeping bag, or a sleeping bag liner with a small down quilt or several layers of insulating clothes for an unexpected cold night.


I see that advice a lot, but I think it is rather silly to take literally. Nobody needs to take a whole roll of toilet paper with them. However, it is a good idea to carry a few squares of toilet paper or tissues with you for those occasions when you might be caught without, or you might even want to blow your nose! There are not many stand-alone public restrooms on the Camino. Rather, there are restrooms in bars and restaurants, which you can find every 5 or 10 km along the route, with a few exceptions. However, many of us have still been caught with the need to "go" in the middle of nowhere, and it is no big deal, as long as you do not leave any trace! Carry your toilet paper out!

On another thread you expressed concern about whether you would be able to stay in albergues if you were getting your backpack transported. On the Camino Frances, most albergues will allow that. Are you pre-arranging your backpack transport, or are you going to do it day-by-day?
I would definitely take a sleeping bag as I ALWAYS carry a Sleeping bag AND a Sleeping Pad. Walked 5 Caminos and used them on each Camino.
I have to say when it comes to the sleeping bag it is all, as others have said a matter of personal taste. Xin loi loves his sleeping bag. I walked three caminos with just a sleep sack and finished around the first week of November and yes I was cold a few nights and one night I had to sleep in everything I had. But for me it was worth it to have less bulk and weight.
As xin loi and C cleary state you should have some toilet paper and keep it in a ziplock sandwich bag. I prefer wet wipes instead. I also carry about 10 sandwich bags. I use some for my soiled wipes and some for leftover food that I may be eating along the way. If the bag is dirty from just food I will wash it out and reuse it. Never drop your soiled toilet paper or wipes on the ground. Have a zip lock bag to put it in and dispose of it properly. Some areas of the camino are really disgusting where people just do their business and throw their soiled paper and garbage anywhere.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2021; CSS/CP 2022
Buen Camino! You will have an amazing journey...I walked CF last year in October, staying in albergues most of the time. I was comfortable in a silk sleep sack and down quilt, which, like mentioned above, was stuffed into the sleep sack. The two get placed into a stuff sack at the bottom of my pack when I wake up. Galicia got a little chilly toward the end of the month and I wore my long underwear at night then, but I was quite comfortable the whole time. As to "trail bathrooms," which - don't worry, we ALL use - I did pack some tissues, and eventually "borrowed" a few squares of TP from albergues in the mornings to use on the trails. I brought a small roll of dog-poop bags with me to stash used tissues until I could dispose of them in a proper garbage can (the bags go in a reusable zip lock bag dedicated to this job.) The amount of toilet paper you'll see on the trails could be alarming! I'll do the same when I return to Spain to walk San Salvador this October. Lastly, I felt inspired to make a donation to Ditch Pigs at the end of my pilgrimage, to atone for any harm my "stops" may have caused. https://www.peaceableprojects.org/current-projects to find out more. Pack in, pack out!
 

wanderingsilvia

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances
Walking month of Sept. into Oct. if necessary. I have heard of people taking light sleeping bags and others talking about some type of sleep sack. I am traveling as a pilgrim and will stay at albergues. What do I need to take for sleep? Do I spray for bedbugs before I leave home? Also, I have heard people advise taking a roll of TP "just in case". Are public restrooms available or is it a problem? Thank you.
Many albergues don't provide a blanket. Since these months have been very hot, I only wished I had a blanket was in one place. September- Octber may get cooler. The albergues for the most part run out of tp at night. And most don' t provide soap either, so bring a small towel and soap with you to wash your hands or brush your teeth.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte (2020)
Walking month of Sept. into Oct. if necessary. I have heard of people taking light sleeping bags and others talking about some type of sleep sack. I am traveling as a pilgrim and will stay at albergues. What do I need to take for sleep? Do I spray for bedbugs before I leave home? Also, I have heard people advise taking a roll of TP "just in case". Are public restrooms available or is it a problem? Thank you.
I finished my Camino on July 5. I sprayed my pack well with permethrin prior to leaving and used a treated liner. Mostly albergues and no bedbugs.
I needed to have tp once outside. I always took advantage of an available restroom and took some extra paper from them with me but no need to bring a full roll. It’s easy enough to buy something at cafes: coffee, soda, chips, nuts, etc. if you don’t need it while walking, it’s nice to have a snack at your overnight stop or to share with another pilgrim.
 

sarahchicago

Trail snail
Time of past OR future Camino
May 2022
No worries @SantaMonicaPeregrina - we were all first time walkers once! All questions welcome.

Sleeping gear: September into October can get cold on the Camino Francés. Using albergues, I would not do it without my warm sleep system (as described below).

A sleep sack is also known as a sleeping bag liner. They come in cotton, silk and synthetic and various cominations. Mine is silk, with a stretchy panel down the sides, to allow movement. They were designed to wear inside a sleeping bag, for added warmth and to keep the sleeping bag clean, but many of us use them as a substitute for a sleeping bag, and our special "hack" is to add something warm inside them. Things over the top tend to slide off.

Which I how I use mine. As the outer layer, with a lightweight down camping quilt inside.

And my answer is yes, I would spray with Permethrin before leaving home. I also take a lightweight dry bag into which I put all my sleeping gear, and seal it before putting it into my backpack. In the hope that if I do manage to get bedbugs, they will not contaminate all my pack. It is not a complete solution but everything helps. Lots of threads on bedbugs.

Here are many threads about sleeping bags, which should also help.

Toilets:

Don't worry, your question is one asked by just about every woman who is contemplating the Camino.

I don't think it is necessary to take toilet paper, but I usually have a tissue in my pocket when I go into a toilet, "just in case".

Here is a thread on toilets and here and here. There are others, but that will probably give you enough information.

"Public conveniences" are not a common thing in Spain, but everyone uses the ones in the bars, of which there are many along the Camino Francés. I'm 70 but rarely find I need anything else. Be like the Queen, never miss an opportunity. It can be a bit circular, it is polite to buy something, if you use the restroom, which often means a drink, which often means...

Everything will unfold for you once you start walking. Have fun. Buen Camino!
I also brought a “piss-off” which is a backpacking hack- a two sided (absorbent/impermeable) washable cloth you can use if you need to pee behind a tree then you can fold it tosnap on your pack or put in a ziplock to wash next opportunity. Some use TP and put in a ziplock to pack it out. Sadly, some leave TP all over the freakin’ place. (The walk from Cizur mayor to the Alta de perdon is just one stretch that particularly bugged in this regard)
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Yes. I don't know how many times I've begged women to please please don't leave toilet paper behind. Many women find it more convenient to use a panty liner, or a small washable cloth of some kind. Take a small ziplock plastic bag for your washable cloth, rinse out and dry at night. Or if you do use toilet paper or tissues, pack them out in the ziplock plastic bag. You will find rubbish bins in every village and town.
 

StuartM

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2012)
I walked in late October and never bothered with a sleeping bag. In the places that did not provide sheets I slept under my shemagh, more out of the habit of having something/anything over me when in bed. Anytime I wasn't as warm as I'd like I'd just put on an extra layer. A fleece top or throw my down jacket over me. To be honest, I rarely needed it. When you get a lot of people in a room they generate a lot of heat and when it comes to controlling the ventilation it always seemed that cold people complaining was worth more than warm people complaining. Some albergues (the one in O Cebreiro being the worst) were uncomfortably hot just from the number of people in the bunkrooms. I never permethrined anything and never suffered from bedbugs either.

I guess it comes down to how warm/cold you sleep normally as to whether or not you want a sleeping bag. Also how much you are willing to rough it. Cold doesn't bother me that much and I don't mind roughing it.

As for toilet paper, better to have it and not need it. When I'm hiking at home I carry a few cheap dog poo bags with me in case I need to go outside for putting toilet paper in and dispose of it in the first bin I come to. They are biodegradable unlike ziploc bags. I've seen a lot of stupid advice given on the internet about burning it if you have to go outdoors. This is a horrendous idea. Never burn toilet paper outdoors, especially in Spain where it is like a tinder box for much of the year.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
September 2022
@SantaMonicaPeregrina - Have we managed to answer any of your questions on this or your other thread?
Yes, I have received many good replies. I have added an additional 8 days to my trip so I won't be in such a hurry and can stop and see various "sites" that interest me. I have ordered a sleep sack and a light down blanket which will probably be ok, but I tend to be chilly at night and don't sleep well unless I am warm. Regarding transporting my pack I received a kind reply which suggested I post a doc note on my stuff. Between M.S. and bone-on-bone arthritis in my foot (plus bone spurs) I feel that transporting my stuff is the only way I can ensure that I can make the entire Camino Frances. I walked 16 miles today. Longest ever. I am making ready spiritually as well. I am excited about this opportunity. Thanks to all.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
I have added an additional 8 days to my trip
That is really good news and it helps everything fall into place better.
I have ordered a sleep sack and a light down blanket which will probably be ok, but I tend to be chilly at night and don't sleep well unless I am warm.
Me too. You should be fine in September with that plus layering when necessary.
I feel that transporting my stuff is the only way I can ensure that I can make the entire Camino Frances
Seriously, don't let that other thread worry you. Sometimes when we stop to examine our own principles and decisions, it reminds us of how complicated those principles and decisions can be! Discussing them here on the forum tends to magnify the issues and tradeoffs. After all, if you asked everybody you see in a day at home, what they think of your decision to wear whatever, or drive/walk to the store, or eat some chocolate versus a carrot, you could get some very alarming and judgmental replies that don't reflect the big picture that you understand. The Camino and the forum both collect an assortment of people who are extremely interesting in both good and bad ways!

It will be interesting if you report back to the forum after you have walked.
 

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