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A few questions about equipment on the Frances

John Brierley Camino Frances Guide
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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Kayci,
Backpacks are a bit like shoes/boots/sandals. Everyone has their preferences. Start with the assumption that whatever you decide will be less than perfect but probably OK. St James and your own abilities will provide.
Which is probably too vague for you at the moment but will make sense later.
I've never needed more than 7 kilos in weight, even in winter. A 50 litre pack is quite big enough. The main thing is to find one that suits your body and does not add unnecessary weight. I'm a fan if these rather weird packs - but I'm sure there are plenty of other good choices: http://www.aarnpacks.com/products/featherlite_freedom.html
 

Kayci

Member
Hi Kanga, thank you for the reply. I have another question. I've purchased trekking poles and have already worked out that walking up hills is so much easier with them. What is the rule about how long they should be?
Thank you again,
Kayci
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Correct handgrip, angle and height are much easier to demonstrate than explain! Get the grip demonstrated by a specialist hiking store. Hold the poles so your forearms are parallel to the ground, poles angled slightly backward and planted in the ground, that gives you roughly the right height.
 

Kayci

Member
Thank you again Kanga. One more question though....Which maps do I purchase if I am going to walk Camino Frances??? :)
 
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wayfarer

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Year of past OR future Camino
2012
Hi Kayci, there are great videos on youtube to show how to use trekking poles. A 35 to 40 lt pack should be more than sufficient for you. The bigger the pack the more you will be tempted to pack stuff you don't really need and believe me every ounce/gram counts when you have to carry them on your back. There is loads of advice on what gear to get on this forum and no shortage of different opinions. Take advice on the best pack to fit you from a gear shop, same with the boots. IMO merino is the best for T shirts rather than cotton or man made. The general rule is one set of clothes on and one set in the bag, three pairs of socks as they are most important for foot care and if your feet are ok you will put up with a lot of other stuff like weather etc. I also recommend the two sock method, ie one liner sock and one outer.
Hope this helps.
Buen Camino.
Edit: You don't really need any maps as the route is well marked. you could buy a guide which has maps and also accommodation listed along the way. Brierly is the most popular but I used the Michelin guide because it it so light and you will get the full accommodation list at the pilgrim office if you are starting in St Jean. Also try and get a pack that has "air gap" which is a light frame which keeps the pack away from your back so it won't cause you to sweat so much on your back.
 
Last edited:

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
You won't need any maps for the Frances - the whole route is so clearly marked it's quite unnecessary.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
PS I don't wear boots and I don't let gear shops choose my pack - did for my first Camino many years ago and finished up with heavy boots that caused foot pain and a pack I discarded halfway along because it was too big and too heavy.
 

Kayci

Member
Thank you Wayfarer and Kanga, I'm looking for a 28 to 30 litre pack. Do you suggest a particular one? I'm not a fan of the top opening packs.
I'm planning to use my Vibrams. I've never had any problems with them. Mind you after the training that I am doing I may need a new pair.
I'm really enjoying the little extra exercise and this very steep learning curve.
Kayci
 

wayfarer

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2012
The one I use is a Gregory Z40, it is both top and back opening and has the air gap frame, I am nearly sure they do these in a 30 and 35 lt as well, you could check online.
 
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Stefania13/14

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Hi Kayci, I will use an Osprey Hornet (I think 32 L.) It weighs 274 gms. and the rain cover weighs 114 gms. I weigh 58 kgs. and my total pack weight without food and water will be around 5.8 kgs. (10% of my body weight). I am 66 inches tall and the pack seems to fit really well for me. I wear it when out hiking all the time in preparation for my first camino this May/June.
That said, the other folks have actually used their equipment on the camino so take my comments with a grain of salt ; )
Stefania
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Hi Kayci.

Maps: Although you don't NEED a map, I like carrying Brierley's map book. It is lightweight and allows me to see what is up ahead in the way of villages, albergues, and places to eat. It also shows me what the terrain will be like. I carry it every year.

Pack: Find a pack that is lightweight and COMFORTABLE. Wear it around the house with 10% of your body weight for a full six hours. Notice places it rubs you raw or is uncomfortable for those are the places that will be problems on the Camino. I prefer a top loader, myself. Fewer zippers, less weight. I am able to stuff my down sleeping blanket into the bottom and pack my clothes in featherweight stuff bags on top. Mine is an Arcteryx and I've used it for several years. It is small enough to carry on the flight, as well.

Shoe: I never have worn boots on the Camino. I wear New Balance runners or trail shoes and have had great luck and comfort with them. They dry out overnight, they are flexible, and they have a wide, deep toe box so my toes have room to spread out. I love them! I have seen more people with horribly bloody feet walking in boots, so I stay away from them. This is not so much a "hike" as it is a long walk - and there are very few places on the Camino, in my opinion, that warrant boots. In those places, use your poles for stability and go slowly and carefully, and you'll be fine. (Unless you have ankle issues, which of course, would warrant the support of boots).

Trekking poles. As wayfarer mentioned, there are great videos on YouTube on how to use trekking poles properly. I see more people using them wrong - they should move naturally with the movement of your arms BEHIND and NEXT to you, rather than out in front, PUSHING you rather than pulling. The only time they should be in front is when you're going downhill. Anyway, look on YouTube.

Here is a video, and if you look alongside it, lots of others:


Good luck and Buen Camino!
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Trekking poles. As wayfarer mentioned, there are great videos on YouTube on how to use trekking poles properly. I see more people using them wrong - they should move naturally with the movement of your arms BEHIND and NEXT to you, rather than out in front, PUSHING you rather than pulling. The only time they should be in front is when you're going downhill. Anyway, look on YouTube.

Here is a video, and if you look alongside it, lots of others:
While I agree with @Anniesantiago's advice, the video demonstrates a very poor grip technique. It requires one to continually grasp the pole grip - a very tiring way to use the pole. If you are going to use the pole this way, it is no better than a classic wooden stick, and much more expensive to boot!

There is a good explanation of a much better grip technique on Pete's Pole Page, together with a much better explanation of why it is better than I could offer.

Regards,
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
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Hi Kanga, thank you for the reply. I have another question. I've purchased trekking poles and have already worked out that walking up hills is so much easier with them. What is the rule about how long they should be?
Thank you again,
Kayci
@Kayci, I adjust my pole length so that my forearm is roughly parallel with the ground when I am on level surfaces. While it is generally unnecessary to do much adjustment for slopes, there are a couple of places on the CF where it will be beneficial to shorten the poles going uphill, and lengthen them going downhill.

If it is raining, I shorten my poles slightly and have my wrists a little lower than my elbows. This avoids collecting rain in the arms of my rain jacket.

Regards,
 
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Yeah, I agree, Doug, although grip is a lot like "boots or shoes" when you come down to it.
I also think putting the straps around your wrists is a mistake.
If you fall, you have a broken wrist.
Everybody has to find the way that's best for them, but this was just to show that there are videos available.
 

dougfitz

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Yeah, I agree, Doug, although grip is a lot like "boots or shoes" when you come down to it.
I also think putting the straps around your wrists is a mistake.
If you fall, you have a broken wrist.
Everybody has to find the way that's best for them, but this was just to show that there are videos available.
When I did some superficial searching for pole related injuries, all of the fractures appeared to have resulted from high speed skiing accidents. I must admit that this was a surprise, as I had expected that with mostly older people using walking poles, there might have been some from walkers. Perhaps we older walkers are keeping our bones stronger with the range of physical activities we are undertaking.

I haven't had a major fall using poles, but a friend I was walking with on and off in 2010 did have. He slipped on the steep slope just before Zubiri, and ended up almost horizontal. He was saved from hitting the ground by his poles, but in the process, badly bent the middle section of one of his poles. We did a temporary repair, and when he returned to Australia, contacted the retailer. They and Leki's local distributor both claimed it was impossible to bend the pole section. Only when he took the pole section into the shop were they prepared to arrange a replacement.

While it didn't break any bones, as you might expect, his wrist was sore for a few days afterwards, but he avoided other damage to himself at the time.

Regards,
 

t2andreo

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The experienced pilgrims have covered almost everything you asked about or needed to know. I will add my two cents worth - okay maybe eight cents worth) about the critical need to have both your boots and rucksack properly fitted by someone who knows what they are doing.

No two people are built the same way. Even someone with your same general build will have shoulder, hip and arm bones that sit differently. I have also learned over the decades that everyone has slightly different feet owing to the underlying bone structure that is unique to each human.

I will separate my contribution into bits, Boots and Backpack /rucksack. So here goes:

BOOTS:

As a general rule, your hiking shoe or boot size should be at least one full-size LARGER than your normal street shoe size. I wear a US size 11 (45) street shoe and a US 13 (47) hiking boot. But my Keen boots run 1/2 size small. So my size 13 boots are really a 12.5 - 1 1/2.

This oversizing is to allow about 1/2 size for the extra, thicker socks you wear, and another 1/2 half size for swelling as you walk. Your feet will swell both due to heat and the weight you are carrying. Also, fit the boots with the socks you plan to wear while walking.

The choice to wear a low shoe or mid-ankle boot is a personal one. As a large framed fellow and carrying about 13 kilos, I found it better to have the additional support the ankle-high boots provided. They were also warm and better for splashing about in the many, many puddles along The Way.

Remember as you read this that if you ask 10 pilgrims what boot & sock arrangement they use and you will likely receive 15 opinions. This is my position based on a lot of research and my personal experience walking the Camino Frances last year. I had not one blister - not one. Perhaps it was luck. Who knows? I also paid close attention to what problems the other pilgrims around me were having with their feet and choice of footwear.

Anyway, when you hike you will likely wear two pairs of socks. The inner layer is usually a thin liner sock of silk or a poly, "Cool Max" type material. They could even be a pair of "nylon" ankle socks you already have. This liner wicks moisture from your skin and reduces friction between your feet and the boot / shoe. I now prefer dark colors (black, navy, brown) to light colors (white, tan, grey). After five weeks of walking, the white ones I used last year were very "funky" and went in the trash. I think the darker colors will look better longer.

The second, outer pair of socks probably should be something like "Smart Wool" brand Merino wool. They are thick, provide really good padding and protection, are hypoallergenic, and do not stink easily. They also hand wash rather well. They dry quickly too.

When fitting the boots, make sure your heel is firmly back in the heel counter or box. Lace the boots to ensure your foot does not slide forward on level ground. If the store has a simulated slope, ramp, or stairs, walk up and down them. When walking DOWN, your toes should NEVER touch the inside of the toe box. That causes blisters and smashed toe nails - yuck.

I also suggest you try looking at this forum conversation for further advice copy and paste the entire thread into your address box):

http://www.caminodesantiago.me/comm...Compostela+(Camino+de+Santiago+de+Compostela)

BACKPACK / RUCKSACK:

Again, no two people are built exactly the same. Try to find a shop where they have an experienced hiker / backpacker who knows how to fit a backpack. Several better backpack brands (Deuter, Gregory, Osprey) use a plastic fitting frame to measure your torso. All are good brands, offering value and reliability for the cost. You will see a lot of them on the Camino. Choose a pack based on fit and features you want. (TIP) What "looks" best, may not fit best.

The "best" backpacks for a Camino is one the fits you "best." The better packs, intended for serious trail use, will have a padded waist / hip belt, some sort of a back pad / suspension system that allows air to circulate between your back and the pack for ventilation, a chest / sternum strap, and UPPER shoulder harness adjustment straps. Many will also have pockets for an optional hydration bladder system.

All backpacks have lower shoulder strap adjustments. However, the difference between a casual, school or day pack intended to be slung and unslung easily and a serious hiking backpack that will stay on your back for several hours at a time seems to be having upper shoulder harness adjustment straps. This allows you to snug the pack high and tight to your shoulders. This reduces shoulder and back strain and pain.

There appears to be a "Sweet Spot" for many pilgrims who have clothes that are small to pack, of 32 - 35 liters. Again, just my observation, but the Osprey Talon 33 (M) / Tempest 30 (F) liter series seem to be very popular. For sake of integrity, I use an Osprey Kestrel 48 liter rucksack in Foliage Green. All my clothing is very large - likely double the weight and volume of yours. Plus, for health reasons, I must carry additional nutritional stuff. So, my all-in rucksack weight is necessarily more than the 10 % recommendation.

When correctly fitted, the backpack weight should ride mostly on the hip belt and should sit on top of your Iliac Crest (loop). That is the big "wing bone" of your pelvis or hips that projects (if you are of thin build). I must press in a bit to feel along my waist to find it. It is the shelf-like, projecting bit where mothers sit their toddlers. Anyway, this allows the weight of your pack to be carried mostly by your hips and legs and not your shoulders and back. After 25 - 30 Km it WILL feel better.

Final point, when you try the pack on in a shop, ask to place weight in the pack approximating the weight you will carry. The local REI store I use has sandbags in five-pound increments to add to any backpack. I use 25 pounds for ME. You would likely use less. Anything heavy will work. If they do not have sandbags try propane cylinders, sideways - they are dense and heavy.

The point is to walk around in the store with the loaded backpack on for 20-30 minutes to see how it feels. Have the salesperson help you adjust it properly so it fits you comfortably. Only after you do this, would I recommend committing to buying a particular backpack / rucksack.

WALKING POLES:

Doug is absolutely correct in everything he says about walking poles and staffs. I used a pair of Leki hiking poles with the classic twist adjustment. They saved my Camino and likely my life when I was forced by a mountain biker coming downhill at speed to jump off the path (downhill - the stupid way of course) whilst hiking up Alto de Perdon. The right-hand pole bore my weight and literally prevented me from falling off the mountain.

That said, I cannot imagine NOT having a pair of quality poles with me. I retired the über lightweight pair I used last year, in favor of a slightly heavier diameter model this year. I also fitted removable LED blinky lights to alert oncoming drivers in poor weather, one to a pole.

I also disagree with the video above. By gripping my poles all the day long, I developed a medical condition known as (seriously) "Trigger Finger" in my left pinkie finger. It was more an inconvenience than a hindrance. But it still hurt. Only a cortisone injection after my return solved the problem. But the finger is still sore. This year, I am arranging to have the injection about a week before I leave for France in April.

The poles are handy for other things besides stability, traction and safety. If you were ever to meet an unfriendly dog (frankly, I think this is Camino myth), the pole could come in handy. I use mine to hang laundry from under the upper bunk in an albergue by using 2 "S" hooks on each pole to suspend the pole from the bed spring above. Large rubber bands also work well wrapped through the springs or slats and around the pole. Of course, this only works if you have the lower bunk...;)

Poles are also usable as tent poles for using lightweight tents or tarps for shelter, if you go that way.

I hope this helps.
 

Kayci

Member
T2andreo you are amazing! Thank you so much for this advice. I live in country Australia so it now appears I need to travel to Brisbane to try on my pack. I thought I could buy it online. Had my heart set on a Deuters AC Aera 28 SL but unfortunately it is not for sale in Australia.
Again, thank you to everyone who has responded!
Kayci
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
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C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
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T2andreo you are amazing! Thank you so much for this advice. I live in country Australia so it now appears I need to travel to Brisbane to try on my pack. I thought I could buy it online. Had my heart set on a Deuters AC Aera 28 SL but unfortunately it is not for sale in Australia.
Again, thank you to everyone who has responded!
Kayci

Kayci:

You CAN buy a pack online - BUT ONLY after you have been properly fitted, etc. Packs are too expensive and much too personal to order blind - so to speak. I mean, you would not buy lingerie without first trying it would you? Believe me, after walking a Camino for three or more weeks, the backpack will seem like the most personal and intimate item of apparel you are wearing. So it MUST fit properly. Besides, you can buy a yellow silk flower anywhere... ;)

But, since you have to go to the time and expense of traveling to "the BIG city," as you say, you might as well favor the outdoor shop with your convenience as they used to say, and buy it from the man or woman who devoted time and effort to helping you.

That said, I usually advise people who are very price conscious about packs or boots to get fitted, then consider trying to find the same pack online for less money. However, in my experience, savings is usually not worth it. The two most expensive and critical items you will invest in are your boots and pack. So, logically, you should put the most time, effort, and expense into those items. Choosing wrong can adversely affect the experience...

Have you done a Google / Bing search for the particular pack you want? Other places to check are www.amazon.com.au and direct with the manufacturer. BTW, Deuter packs ARE available in New Zealand. Yes I realize you cannot drive there. But if you do order one online, the postage will be less from NZ than from elsewhere - I think. But, again, this only applies if you finalized the make and model you want, but cannot find it in Oz.

Is this the pack you like? http://www.deuter.com/en_US/backpack-details.php?category=119&artnr=34724&title=AC Aera 28 SL
I do like the "Emerald - Kiwi" color.:) This was a U.S. Google search. However if you query "Deuter AC Aera 28 SL Australia," you will get a bunch of Aussie sites that sell it.

I hope this helps.
 
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t2andreo

Veteran Member
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Kayci:

Further to my last, I just did some creative surfing about the web. Here are the Deuter models with the AC and SL features you wanted in the AC Aera 8 SL. Here are the Deuter SL - Women's fit torso / frame backpacks AVAILABLE in Oz:
http://www.deuter.com/ae/AU/html/2232-2244/SLWomen'sFit.html

Among these packs, the Futura 30 SL appears closest to the specifications of the Aera 28 SL. Here is the direct link:
http://www.deuter.com/ae/AU/product/2232-2244/34241/Futura30SL.html

You can even get the Emerald color, albeit Emerald - Titan.;) It is close enough to the 28 liter pack you originally coveted, but is available in Australia.

Again, I hope this helps. When and where are you thinking of starting your Camino?
 

dougfitz

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@t2andreo and @Kayci - Deuter packs are becoming increasingly difficult to find in Australia. Here in Canberra they used to be carried by Mountain Designs, but recently they haven't carried any store stock and have only been available on-line. The other listed stockist is Anaconda, and I don't know what their stocking policy is at present, but when I last visited their Canberra outlet, I didn't see any Deuter packs on display. The other issue is that the range of models available can be quite limited, and you will not find the full range in Australia.

If you do try getting one from New Zealand, don't be surprised if they are not prepared to export to Australia. Many European and US manufacturers have different distribution companies in Australia and New Zealand, with strong controls over where each company can distribute. This can be quite frustrating when you find an item that is available in New Zealand, but the NZ distributor will not export it even when it is not being carried by the Australian distributor.

Regards,
 

Kayci

Member
Hi Dougfitz, This is exactly what I am finding. I can find the pack online but cannot purchase it as they don't import to Australia. I'm going to have to start again. I'm using an ill fitting osprey at the moment with 3kg am I'm reluctant to add anymore weight until I get a pack that fits properly. I live 6 hours drive from Brisbane. Very frustrating. Kayci
 

Kayci

Member
My next question Dougfitz is I've been reading a little about tips of the trekking poles. Mine have solid metal points but I've seen a photograph of poles with rubbery suction caps. What should I use? Can I change the tips on my poles? And should I?
 
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Kayci

Member
T2andreao, I am starting in July this year. I have a wedding to go to in Scotland on the 8 July then my Camino begins.
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
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You can buy the rubber tips to fit over the metal tips. It makes them quiter on concrete and on pavement while walking. I would reccommend them.
 

t2andreo

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T2andreo, I did it! She squeals with excitement! I've ordered the Futura using the link that you gave me! Thank you!

Squealing with delight is good too! :) I hope you are pleased with the fit when you get it. Do not forget to use ALL the various points of adjustment that the manufacturer provides for you so you can "fine-tune" the fit to your frame. Also, be sure to go here to view the videos that will explain all about your new "best friend."

http://www.deuter.com/ae/AU/html/1720-1723/tipsforbackpacks.html

When you receive the rucksack and fit it to your torso, try to do it with some weight in it. I use a 15 lb (7kg) sack of kitty litter. When I train, I start with one sack (15 pounds), then progress to two (30 pounds) as this is closer to my all-in carry weight. :eek:

I hope this works for you.
 

t2andreo

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My next question Dougfitz is I've been reading a little about tips of the trekking poles. Mine have solid metal points but I've seen a photograph of poles with rubbery suction caps. What should I use? Can I change the tips on my poles? And should I?

Using the bare carbide steel tips or the rubber caps is an individual choice. On dirt and gravel, the metal tips have more "bite." However on paved surfaces - there are a fair lot of them - the tips make a distinctive clicking sound as you walk.

If you happen to be with several others who are also using bare tipped poles, the noise can be distracting. I have seen it elsewhere on this forum that some of the people who live along the Camino find it a nuisance, especially very early in the morning.

Personally, I find the "clickety - clack" and scraping of metal on pavement distracting too. I always use the rubber tips. It silences the clickity-clack noise and on paved surfaces provides better traction over the bare metal tips. One pair should last the entire route. If they do not, you can buy spares along the way. I found them much less expensive than here in the States. I use Leki poles.

If you start with the rubber tips, then decide not to use them on a given day or because of local conditions, they just come off and go in a pocket. However, if you do not have them and decide you want them, you will have to wait until the next largish town or city to find a shop that sells them.

All said, I would rely strongly on whatever Doug suggests as well.

I hope this helps.
 

Kayci

Member
Thank you again t2andreao... I've been using them to train with and I don't like the colicky noise either. Good to have options.
 
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I find those rubber tips all along the Camino.
I always pick them up and have quite a collection at the end of each Camino.
I love them for "in-town" -- it must drive the locals nuts to hear that clickity clack at "O-dark-thirty" in the mornings!
 

dougfitz

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My next question Dougfitz is I've been reading a little about tips of the trekking poles. Mine have solid metal points but I've seen a photograph of poles with rubbery suction caps. What should I use? Can I change the tips on my poles? And should I?
@Kayci you do not have to replace the carbide tip - the rubber tip is pushed on over the top.

There are two basic types of rubber tip. One is a symmetrical conical shape, and is generally just known as a rubber tip by the manufacturers. The other has a curved foot, and is often called a fitness walking tip or power tip. There are some differences between the different walking foot designs, but they operate in much the same way. Generally, the walking tip has a longer life than the rubber tip, but this can vary significantly between different makes.

I prefer to carry fitness walking tips, and use them on sealed surfaces, particularly in urban areas. The tapping of the bare tips can be particularly annoying to fellow walkers. Off sealed surfaces, taking the tips off generally gives better grip as the carbide tip can dig in, whereas the rubber tip has a tendency to slip under pressure.

My experience is that the Leki and Black Diamond rubber tips are the most durable. Komperdell are also reasonable. Leki, Komperdell and Swix all make reasonably durable fitness walking tips. The least durable tips that I have used were from Fizan. A pair of their fitness walking tips lasted me a whole weekend (~6okm), compared to Leki tips which lasted me about 600km on the Camino Frances. No-brand names I have tried vary, but have never been as good as the better brands.

Rubber tips are relatively easy to get in Australia, but fitness walking tips have almost disappeared from the market. Mountain Designs sell Leki and Black Diamond, Paddy Pallin sell Komperdell and Kathmandu sell Fizan. I am sure there will be others.

Be careful if you see Komperdell rubber tips - some of their poles have a thinner carbide tip (8mm), compared to the more common 12mm diameter tips of most other poles, and rubber tips designed for the thinner carbide tips won't fit other makes.

Regards,
 
Last edited:

Kayci

Member
Doug, again you are a wealth of information! I don't understand why Australia is so backward with a lot of their gear! Truly astonishing considering all the wonderful places that we can walk. I'm heading to Cania Gorge in Central Queensland to do one of their longer walks in two weeks. Such beautiful authentic countryside.
Kayci ( with much gratitude for your patience with me) :)
 

Kayci

Member
Hi Dougfitz,
I'm sorry for the imposition. I'm finding my way around here slowly but can not find how to post a question now. I thought I'd mastered this. Even though Susannah gave me some good advice. I think it may have to do with the iPad. Somewhere someone spoke on accommodation in Leon. The concerts in. The Cathedral and walking from this accommodation to the bus stop to avoid the industrial estates. I'd like to access this information again. Can you remember this post? Or help???? I want to stay in cheap accommodation that I can stay up late to see the concerts. I believe that there is a place close to the cathedral.

Buen Cmino
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
@Kayci, I don't recall the specific discussion.

In Leon I stayed in a hotel near the cathedral for about 45 euro. Although there were cheaper options available in hostels that wouldn't have had a curfew, these required sharing a room, and I was after some privacy.

Regards,
 
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Kayci

Member
Thanks Doug. Please tell me to desist if my endless banter gets too much..... But a rain jacket ... Is is called gortex? ... Sorry but I remember seeing them in Kathmandu.
Again many thanks!
K :)
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Thanks Doug. Please tell me to desist if my endless banter gets too much..... But a rain jacket ... Is is called gortex? ... Sorry but I remember seeing them in Kathmandu.
Again many thanks!
K :)

Don Suero only charges around 25 Euros for a single room.
It's a 3 minute walk to old town.
Check www.booking.com to find it.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Thanks Doug. Please tell me to desist if my endless banter gets too much..... But a rain jacket ... Is is called gortex? ... Sorry but I remember seeing them in Kathmandu.
Again many thanks!
K :)
Goretex is one of several 'breathable' membrane technologies. Some, eg Vaportec, hint at their purpose. Others like Goretex and Event, don't.

Rainjacket designs vary. You will see one, two and three layer jackets, with or without pit zips, fixed and detachable hoods, mesh linings etc, etc.

Single layer jackets will normally perform least well, be less breathable if at all, but will be very light because they don't have a breathable membrane. The waterproof fabric is normally treated with a durable water repellent (DWR) which lasts for a year or so of use, and can be re-applied (this goes for any DWR treated jacket, not just single layer).

Because the waterproof and breathable membranes are not robust enough to act as an outer layer by themselves, they are applied to a base fabric to protect them from wear etc. A three layer fabric will also have an inner layer to provide some further protection to the membrane from wear from rubbing with your clothing. This is known as a three layer design. In classic designs, the jacket (or pants) are then made with a mesh lining. The mesh captures a layer of air, and these jackets can add to your warm layering quite effectively.

To lighten the fabric, you now see materials that just have an base fabric and the membrane, ie no inner protective layer. These are two layer fabrics, and generally the jacket design doesn't include a mesh lining. They are lighter jackets.

The other big variable is jacket length. Short jackets will just cover your buttocks, long jackets will reach down to your knees and medium lengths will be anywhere in between. With a shorter jacket, rain pants are generally needed to get good full body rain protection. With a longer jacket, wearing long gaiters can give good overall rain protection, with just the area round the knees not directly protected, but covered to some extent by the jacket itself.

Classic designs have storm flaps, an overlapping layer of material that protects the zip and stops the wind from getting in. This adds weight, and some jacket designs now use a waterproof zip without a storm flap. In the extreme, both wind and water will get in, but in less extreme conditions, the jacket I have that takes this approach works well enough, although I have other jackets that I would use on long walks.

My take - get a light a medium length two-layer jacket, preferably with a storm flap over the zip. Don't go for a soft-shell (that's another discussion) unless you want to take a poncho for hot-wet days, and that will only add weight.

Currently (Jan 14) Snowgum, Paddy Pallin and Kathmandu have their sales on. I never buy anything at Kathmandu unless it is on sale, and good raingear is expensive, so its always a good thing to avoid paying the full rrp for anyhow. PM me if you want my take on specific items you are considering.

Regards,
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Dear Kayci,
Is there any way you can beg, borrow or steal second hand packs from within your local community to try before going to Brisbane to buy? Maybe an advertisement in a local newspaper, Freecycle, or Gumtree? It's worth seeing what is available, you might be surprised.

As I've said before, nothing is perfect, and it is hard to make an assessment of a pack by just walking around in a shop for half an hour, even with weights in. A bit like trying to buy a mattress by lying on it for ten minutes.
Some stores will agree to a home trial for a few days - a refund or at least a replacement if it doesn't suit.

I was at my favourite hiking store today and asked about packs and Osprey came up as the most popular, but the store owner (who is a mountaineer) is a fan of my beloved Aarn pack - although he uses a smaller one than mine and without the balance pockets.

One thing to watch is that the pack (whatever it is) fits snugly against your body. I've seen some packs that swing the pack so far out (for coolness) that the pack is swaying around. That's a recipe for fatigue and aching muscles.

Good luck with the hunt!
 
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