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A few questions...Water filter, sandals, rain prep

Thao

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (Spring 2016)
Hello all,

My name is Thao from Las Vegas, NV USA and I'll be walking the Camino Frances from SJPP to Santiago beginning April 5-7. As the title suggests, I have some quick questions I would love to get advice about.

1. Did anyone bring a water filter such as a Sawyer filter? I figured I could do without because I'd be walking through cities multiple times a day, but someone suggested it and I wondered if it could be necessary since I'd be drinking water from a different country for the first time?

** also I'm thinking about bringing a water bladder such as a platy bottle. Should I bring a canteen instead? Such as a hydroflask? Or both?

2. In addition to my hiking shoes, I've been considering hiking sandals. Is it acceptable to wear street/hiking sandals into the shower and alburgues? Do people think it's rude to wear dirty street shoes indoors and in the shower? Because I would never do it in my own home and I was raised to never wear street shoes indoors. I'm thinking about bringing shower flip flops and leaving out the hiking sandals altogether.

3. I have my awesome lightweight rain jacket, poncho, and backpack cover. But how necessary are rainpants? Can I do without? Someone suggested I get dry bags for my sleeping bag and my clothes because the stuff can still get wet despite the cover and poncho. Is this true?

4. My sleeping bag is lightweight 1 lb 13 oz and rated 55 degrees F. I figured I'd be indoors every night in hostels. This is plenty warm, yes?

Thanks all! This will help a lot in my preparations.

T
 
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A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
Water is just fine on the CF and you will find it very often instead of on 2 longer stretches where carrying more than usual is required, including out of Carion de los Condes and into Najera. Don't bother with a canteen. A Camelback works ,except when it's time for a refill and you have to pull it put and push it back in, but very doable. Otherwise the Smartube is just perfect.

Most albergues ask you to leave your dirty walking boots at the entrance. A pair of Crocs etc., are perfct for walking around the albergue, into town, in the shower.

You can do without rainpants, until rains that is :rolleyes:.

Contents of my bag have never gotten wet thanks to my altus.

April may be chilly, but if you bring clothes to wear at night you should be fine: think of a pair of longjohns, longsleeve tshirt, light fleece. Many albergues have blankets. Also consider a sleepingbag liner, silk or other.

Hope this helps!
 

Camino Ky

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances April/May '2016',
Portuguese Camino '2017',
Camino Frances Dec/Jan '2019/2020'
Hi Thao, I commence my first Camino on 4 April so may see you at some stage. I am going to either bring my Nalgene bottle or just buy a bottle of water when I get to Saint Jean and refill it where I can. If you are worried about changing water, you could buy bottled water each time to start with or fill up at the Albergue. Water bladder is handy, I am just trying to keep weight down. I have read that water is ok and will sometimes tell you if it is not potable. I am wearing hiking boots during day and taking a pair of Croc sandles for evening wear (with a thin pair of socks to keep toes warm) and showers. I have a 10dc comfort zone sleeping bag And plan to layer up if I am cold. Also have a silk liner, not sure if I will take that though. Buen Camino
 
Year of past OR future Camino
See signature. Too many to list here.
1. Did anyone bring a water filter such as a Sawyer filter? I figured I could do without because I'd be walking through cities multiple times a day, but someone suggested it and I wondered if it could be necessary since I'd be drinking water from a different country for the first time?

No need absolutely. I do suggest, however, that you use standard plumbing to satisfy your bottle filling needs rather than random "picturesque" fountains in the countryside, if possible. Most are absolutely OK, but I seem to do better when avoiding them for the most part.

2. In addition to my hiking shoes, I've been considering hiking sandals. Is it acceptable to wear street/hiking sandals into the shower and alburgues? Do people think it's rude to wear dirty street shoes indoors and in the shower? Because I would never do it in my own home and I was raised to never wear street shoes indoors. I'm thinking about bringing shower flip flops and leaving out the hiking sandals altogether.

I don't think anyone will be watching what you wear into the shower or the alburgue. In the municipal alburgues, often they make you take off your shoes outside or in the entryway(which are my hiking shoes). Its an easy transfer then to sandals or flip flops once settled. Some might think its gross, but I have never worn footwear into an alburgue shower at all. Sure, I walk into the bathroom in my flip flops, but I don't stress about wearing them when bathing. The only time I had a foot issue was when I didn't trim my toenails.

3. I have my awesome lightweight rain jacket, poncho, and backpack cover. But how necessary are rainpants? Can I do without? Someone suggested I get dry bags for my sleeping bag and my clothes because the stuff can still get wet despite the cover and poncho. Is this true?

Not. Never used rainpants.

As far as dry bags, there are some fancy options out there, but my old stand by has been garbage bags inside my pack. This is a controversial topic, however, because garbage bags make a lot of rustling noises when one heads out early in the am. I do not head out early in the am generally, so this is not an issue. I like the kind of garbage bags with "easy close drawstrings".

4. My sleeping bag is lightweight 1 lb 13 oz and rated 55 degrees F. I figured I'd be indoors every night in hostels. This is plenty warm, yes?

Plenty warm? Yes.
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Year of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
... 1. Did anyone bring a water filter such as a Sawyer filter? I figured I could do without because I'd be walking through cities multiple times a day, but someone suggested it and I wondered if it could be necessary since I'd be drinking water from a different country for the first time? ** also I'm thinking about bringing a water bladder such as a platy bottle. Should I bring a canteen instead? Such as a hydroflask? Or both?

No need for a water filter, bottled water is readily available and the tap water is fine to drink, perhaps a bit heavy on chlorine occasionally, but perfectly safe. I prefer to bring/buy on arrival a couple of sodas in PET bottles, very light weight, easy to refill, clean and replace.

...
2. In addition to my hiking shoes, I've been considering hiking sandals. Is it acceptable to wear street/hiking sandals into the shower and alburgues? Do people think it's rude to wear dirty street shoes indoors and in the shower? Because I would never do it in my own home and I was raised to never wear street shoes indoors. I'm thinking about bringing shower flip flops and leaving out the hiking sandals altogether.

No, I personally would never wear dirty street/hiking sandals in the shower, in the albergue yes (brushing of the dirt) but never in the shower. Think of other pilgrims and the hospitaleros that have to clean the showers. Hiking sandals are great to walk around town in the afternoon/evening. I take just them and enter the shower barefoot, hasn't killed me so far ;-)

...
3. I have my awesome lightweight rain jacket, poncho, and backpack cover. But how necessary are rainpants? Can I do without? Someone suggested I get dry bags for my sleeping bag and my clothes because the stuff can still get wet despite the cover and poncho. Is this true?

Instead of dry bags I simply use sturdy rubbish bags, cheaper and lighter. In April I take rain pants and a poncho, the rain pants or long enough to cover the top of my boots/shoes which decreases the possibility of getting wet feet.

...
4. My sleeping bag is lightweight 1 lb 13 oz and rated 55 degrees F. I figured I'd be indoors every night in hostels. This is plenty warm, yes?

Yes, that should do fine. Buen Camino! SY
 
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J F Gregory

Portugal Central - October 2019
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (March-April,2016) finished, (October 2019) Portuguese Central Route.
We hike more in the rain than not this time of year. We took our pack packs to REI and fitted a dry bag for lining thinking ahead. If using just a rain cover moisture sometimes gets in to the pack, not too bad. We also use ponchos. We will load our empty bladder into the pack in case we need it, otherwise us a 24oz water bottle for easier convenience. The water weight difference is bottle 2 lbs. and bladder 4.5 lbs. when full.

Ultreya
Buen Camino

Fred
 

BrienC

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés 2015
Via de la Plata, 2016
Camino del Norte, 2019
Portuguese, 2021
Thao,
No water filter needed. And like S Yates says, simple soda bottles work great and come in various sizes. Do keep tabs on distance to next water source (in map or guidebook) and carry just what you need. You'll get a sense of it as you go.
If you don't mind the expense of buying another sleeping bag, you could get one that is much lighter and even to a lower degree rating.
Definitely go with lightest possible and cheap flip flops or a pair of Crocs. Great for around town, in the hostel and to the shower if you think it necessary.
Rubbish bags work very well, and the money you save on dry bags (which are great too) could go to a better sleeping bag.
Buen Camino!
 

Thao

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (Spring 2016)
All of this advice was very helpful! Thank you all. I appreciate it! I just got my forum member patch. So excited to represent this great community!

T
 

J F Gregory

Portugal Central - October 2019
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (March-April,2016) finished, (October 2019) Portuguese Central Route.
Thao,
No water filter needed. And like S Yates says, simple soda bottles work great and come in various sizes. Do keep tabs on distance to next water source (in map or guidebook) and carry just what you need. You'll get a sense of it as you go.
If you don't mind the expense of buying another sleeping bag, you could get one that is much lighter and even to a lower degree rating.
Definitely go with lightest possible and cheap flip flops or a pair of Crocs. Great for around town, in the hostel and to the shower if you think it necessary.
Rubbish bags work very well, and the money you save on dry bags (which are great too) could go to a better sleeping bag.
Buen Camino!
Also if you use a silk bag liner it increase temp by about 10 F.
 

pudgypilgrim

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
voie de tours 2015
If you're in the US, trash compactor bags are great for liners for your pack and not rustle-y so you won't disturb folks in the albergues. I used those, and large zip-loc style bags in lieu of smaller dry bags.
 
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zzotte

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2012 Camino Frances, 2014 Lourdes to SDC, 2016 Camino del Norte
Hi Thao, welcome to this forum, lots of good information found here, as everyone told you no filter needed, if you are concern about the local water drink bottle water, and only drink potable water, flip flaps are good, crocs are better in my opinion because if you have to you can hike with it, the best for me is xeroshoes cloud (flip flap with heel strap) great for everything, If are taking a 55 degree sleeping bag in my opinion is a waste just take a liner and sleep in long johns top and buttons, I dont think you a rain jacket, poncho and pack cover, a poncho gets way too hot inside, another choice would be a light rain jacket and umbrella. Just my two cents

Zzotte, Buen Camino
 
Year of past OR future Camino
See signature. Too many to list here.
If you're in the US, trash compactor bags are great for liners for your pack and not rustle-y so you won't disturb folks in the albergues. I used those, and large zip-loc style bags in lieu of smaller dry bags.

Ok, last year, being a freak about things, I actually weighed a trash compactor bag v. a standard trash bag on my digital scale. Standard trash bag (rubbish for you Europeans) purchased at Sprouts (30 gal, drawstring) weighs 579 grams. Standard trash compactor bags (Albertson's [Everyday Essentials] generic, 20 gal, twist tie) weighs a WHOPPING 913 Grams! That's a difference of 434 grams! Thats about 1/10 lb! Or about the weight of a toothbrush, 4 band aids, and 2 anti-diarrheal tablets.

I personally would not justify the anti-rustling noises of the compactor bags v. dental hygiene, first aid, and not having the shits.

This is meant to be funny. (But all weights were verified this evening).
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
Ok, last year, being a freak about things, I actually weighed a trash compactor bag v. a standard trash bag on my digital scale. Standard trash bag (rubbish for you Europeans) purchased at Sprouts (30 gal, drawstring) weighs 579 grams. Standard trash compactor bags (Albertson's [Everyday Essentials] generic, 20 gal, twist tie) weighs a WHOPPING 913 Grams! That's a difference of 434 grams! Thats about 1/10 lb! Or about the weight of a toothbrush, 4 band aids, and 2 anti-diarrheal tablets.

I personally would not justify the anti-rustling noises of the compactor bags v. dental hygiene, first aid, and not having the shits.

This is meant to be funny. (But all weights were verified this evening).
Damien, I think your weights are off. Surely a trash bag cannot weigh a pound or so, a pound being 454 grams. Did you mean 57.9 and 91.3 grams? Otherwise I would consider having that digital scale checked or you will have a tough time getting under 10% of body weight o_O
 

pudgypilgrim

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
voie de tours 2015
Hold on, I'll go weigh one of mine. (runs downstairs)

Okay, back now. A Glad 18 gallon compactor bag weighs 71 g. Are you sure you weren't weighing the boxful? There are four in a box (at least that's how the Glad bags are packaged).

EDIT Oh, and my pack + 1 pacer pole weighed 6.2 kilos when Norwegian weighed my carry-on.
 
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See signature. Too many to list here.
Damien, I think your weights are off. Surely a trash bag cannot weigh a pound or so, a pound being 454 grams. Did you mean 57.9 and 91.3 grams? Otherwise I would consider having that digital scale checked or you will have a tough time getting under 10% of body weight o_O
Oh man, whoops. Just checked.... Yes I missed the decimal point on all of my factors... But that means the trade off is still accurate.
 

pudgypilgrim

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
voie de tours 2015
I can't imagine what kind of stuff you'd be bringing that less than 20 gms would make that much of a difference.

Personally, I'm eagerly monitoring Annie's approach with the ScotteVest and Macabi skirt. I bet if you thought it out carefully you could work down to just a waist pack in addition to those.
 

Thao

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (Spring 2016)
Norwegian was cool about bringing your pole in your carry-on bag?
 
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pudgypilgrim

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
voie de tours 2015
Yes. I carried one put together and the TSA let that one go through, too. They were pacer poles which do look like they could be canes. But neither Orlando nor Paris gave me any trouble. Of course that was back before the latest Paris attacks, so it might well be different now.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
Yes. I carried one put together and the TSA let that one go through, too. They were pacer poles which do look like they could be canes. But neither Orlando nor Paris gave me any trouble. Of course that was back before the latest Paris attacks, so it might well be different now.
I always think that the only airports that give you a hard time are those who like to think they are pwerful, and flex their muscles, and those who can make a buck. The others let you do as you please, and yet, where does trouble happen? Just saying :confused:o_O:):)
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Thao:

If some of this is repetitive to above, please accept my apologies. Here are my recommendations from three Caminos, all walked in the April - May time frame. This includes two Camino Frances from St. Jean to Santiago.

Rain - accept that you WILL get wet. If not from falling rain or snow, you will retain enough perspiration under rain gear and layered clothing to thoroughly soak your upper body and sometimes, your rucksack too. If your zip-off hiking / cargo pants are made of 100% nylon or polyester, they will dry very fast (< one hour). Also, I find that simply zipping off muddy lower legs and hand-washing them in a shower base or sink or even hosing off outside, followed by a good wringing, is an effective way to make one pair of pants go further. I usually wear one, and keep one spare.

I wear a lightweight (Sea to Summit) siliconized nylon poncho over my rucksack. However, I also use the rucksack cover that came with it. I wear a gore-tex rain parka with armpit vents (zippered). Typically, unless it is raining sideways (seldom if ever in Spain) My soaking comes from sweat. At least it is warm and wet (good). I would rather be soaked from sweat and WARM, than cold from rain and COLD. Cold and wet is NEVER a good thing.

If you walk in April, you WILL experience snow at elevations. There are several stretches of the Camino Frances that have peaks above 1,000 meters. Typically, snow is found into mid-May or beyond at these elevations. Even if it is clear and dry, low temperatures and a weather front moving in from the Atlantic Ocean can result in several inches of snow. Rain should be expected every day once you hit Galicia (after Astorga).

Shower shoes - if you do not wear flip flops or slides, or Crocs, it is highly likely that you will pick up a foot fungus early on. If your feet smell like cheese after being in an albergue shower yesterday, the chances are you have a common foot fungus today. All pharmacies sell powder or ointment cures.

I use Google Translate on my smart phone to develop a library of off-line translations I can use. When I showed the foot-cheese one to a pharmacist at Fromista, he almost fell 0ver from laughing so hard. Then he merely pulled a foot ointment from a card next to the cash register. It is a very common affliction along the Camino. Keeping your feet off the shower floors, and trying to keep them clean and dry all day is the best way to avoid this problem.

Many people swear by Crocs because they are lightweight and can be worn with pants, etc. around town giving your hiking shoes / boots time off. I started wearing cheap, light weight flip-flops, but being a large fellow, they were not adequate for street wear. I moved to pool / shower slides, until at least one of Rebekah's dogs turned one of them into a chew-toy at Moratinos in 2014. After than, I picked up a bright, frog-green / Wasabi colored pair of Crocs at the Crocs store in Leon. They were expensive, but no one will "Accidentally" make off with my Crocs. You can see me coming half a Km away! Now, it is part of my persona. I try to buy outerwear in a similar shade of green. I freaked out Bruno the Parrot in Hotel Garcas last year, where I usually stay in Lavacolla before the final walk into Santiago. I had the same yellow-green plumage as he did. He was fascinated!

Water bottles, etc - My recommendation is to NOT buy a water bottle or tube-drinking system. Consider the price, and the weight when empty. My last, Osprey bladder system weighed 11 oz. (312 gm) when empty. Too much to justify the relative convenience, at least IMHO.

Also, rigid water bottles are sometimes hard to fill from bathroom sink taps at albergues, hostals and cafes. The easiest, lightest, and most readily available way to carry water is in the ubiquitous .5 liter (500 ml) bottles, as it comes in the store. The bottles are available anywhere, already filled with safe water. They can be reused for a month or more, can be rinsed and reused until too dirty to use, and recycled at the end of the life-cycle.

I usually buy four bottles on my first arrival after flying to Europe. My preference is for Vittel. The plastic is rigid and the topes fit snugly. These bottles last for the full Camino. You can find several creative ways to carry multiple bottles here. Do not invest in relatively heavy, costly, bottle holders until you first read this forum.

Finally, you do NOT need a Sawyer filter, or any other filtration system on a Camino. You are never more than about 5 Km from a tienda (shop) or cafe / bar where you can fill your water bottles safely or buy fresh bottled water. The filter and tubing are just useless weight. Every gram adds up...

I hope this helps.
 
Last edited:

Interpreter

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés
My husband and I just finished the Camino Frances this past October. I had a lot of problems with blisters but was able to alternate between my Merrell Moab trail hiking shoes and trekking sandals which I bought in Viana. It made a world of difference!!!!!! I wouldn't have been able to go on without the two types of shoes.
 
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Thao

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (Spring 2016)
Thao:

If some of this is repetitive to above, please accept my apologies. Here are my recommendations from three Caminos, all walked in the April - May time frame. This includes two Camino Frances from St. Jean to Santiago.

Rain - accept that you WILL get wet. If not from falling rain or snow, you will retain enough perspiration under rain gear and layered clothing to thoroughly soak your upper body and sometimes, your rucksack too. If your zip-off hiking / cargo pants are made of 100% nylon or polyester, they will dry very fast (< one hour). Also, I find that simply zipping off muddy lower legs and hand-washing them in a shower base or sink or even hosing off outside, followed by a good wringing, is an effective way to make one pair of pants go further. I usually wear one, and keep one spare.

I wear a lightweight (Sea to Summit) siliconized nylon poncho over my rucksack. However, I also use the rucksack cover that came with it. I wear a gore-tex rain parka with armpit vents (zippered). Typically, unless it is raining sideways (seldom if ever in Spain) My soaking comes from sweat. At least it is warm and wet (good). I would rather be soaked from sweat and WARM, than cold from rain and COLD. Cold and wet is NEVER a good thing.

If you walk in April, you WILL experience snow at elevations. There are several stretches of the Camino Frances that have peaks above 1,000 meters. Typically, snow is found into mid-May or beyond at these elevations. Even if it is clear and dry, low temperatures and a weather front moving in from the Atlantic Ocean can result in several inches of snow. Rain should be expected every day once you hit Galicia (after Astorga).

Shower shoes - if you do not wear flip flops or slides, or Crocs, it is highly likely that you will pick up a foot fungus early on. If your feet smell like cheese after being in an albergue shower yesterday, the chances are you have a common foot fungus today. All pharmacies sell powder or ointment cures.

I use Google Translate on my smart phone to develop a library of off-line translations I can use. When I showed the foot-cheese one to a pharmacist at Fromista, he almost fell 0ver from laughing so hard. Then he merely pulled a foot ointment from a card next to the cash register. It is a very common affliction along the Camino. Keeping your feet off the shower floors, and trying to keep them clean and dry all day is the best way to avoid this problem.

Many people swear by Crocs because they are lightweight and can be worn with pants, etc. around town giving your hiking shoes / boots time off. I started wearing cheap, light weight flip-flops, but being a large fellow, they were not adequate for street wear. I moved to pool / shower slides, until at least one of Rebekah's dogs turned one of them into a chew-toy at Moratinos in 2014. After than, I picked up a bright, frog-green / Wasabi colored pair of Crocs at the Crocs store in Leon. They were expensive, but no one will "Accidentally" make off with my Crocs. You can see me coming half a Km away! Now, it is part of my persona. I try to buy outerwear in a similar shade of green. I freaked out Bruno the Parrot in Hotel Garcas last year, where I usually stay in Lavacolla before the final walk into Santiago. I had the same yellow-green plumage as he did. He was fascinated!

Water bottles, etc - My recommendation is to NOT buy a water bottle or tube-drinking system. Consider the price, and the weight when empty. My last, Osprey bladder system weighed 11 oz. (312 gm) when empty. Too much to justify the relative convenience, at least IMHO.

Also, rigid water bottles are sometimes hard to fill from bathroom sink taps at albergues, hostals and cafes. The easiest, lightest, and most readily available way to carry water is in the ubiquitous .5 liter (500 ml) bottles, as it comes in the store. The bottles are available anywhere, already filled with safe water. They can be reused for a month or more, can be rinsed and reused until too dirty to use, and recycled at the end of the life-cycle.

I usually buy four bottles on my first arrival after flying to Europe. My preference is for Vittel. The plastic is rigid and the topes fit snugly. These bottles last for the full Camino. You can find several creative ways to carry multiple bottles here. Do not invest in relatively heavy, costly, bottle holders until you first read this forum.

Finally, you do NOT need a Sawyer filter, or any other filtration system on a Camino. You are never more than about 5 Km from a tienda (shop) or cafe / bar where you can fill your water bottles safely or buy fresh bottled water. The filter and tubing are just useless weight. Every gram adds up...

I hope this helps.
@t2andreo Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply! This helped immensely!


Thank everybody for all of this great advice! I appreciate it all so much.

Best,

Thao
 

Seabird

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF April/May (2016), starting in St. Palais, France
I wear a lightweight (Sea to Summit) siliconized nylon poncho over my rucksack.
@t2andreo -- I think that's what I just bought -- does it have snaps along the side and can be used as a groundsheet/cover?

Why do you also wear a gortex jacket underneath? Is it not adequate for keeping the rain out? I
 

pudgypilgrim

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
voie de tours 2015
I have that one, too, Seabird. It keeps the rain out, but your forearms will get plenty wet. Still, I like it because it's temperature neutral--you can wear it all day without getting sweaty. The only big complaint I have is that the visor on the hood thing is clearly designed for large men. I have to wear my hat under the poncho to hold it up enough to be able to see where I'm going.
 

Seabird

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF April/May (2016), starting in St. Palais, France
I have that one, too, Seabird. It keeps the rain out, but your forearms will get plenty wet. Still, I like it because it's temperature neutral--you can wear it all day without getting sweaty. The only big complaint I have is that the visor on the hood thing is clearly designed for large men. I have to wear my hat under the poncho to hold it up enough to be able to see where I'm going.
Thanks for letting me know your experience. It's much lighter (and more expensive) than the one I bought first, but I wondered about how well it worked since I haven't yet tried either of them. Didn't want to invest in something that wouldn't be adequate.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
@t2andreo -- I think that's what I just bought -- does it have snaps along the side and can be used as a groundsheet/cover?

Why do you also wear a gortex jacket underneath? Is it not adequate for keeping the rain out? I

The Gore-Tex parka with ample pit zips keeps me warmer, and is lighter and less bulky than an extra fleece layer. Fleece keeps you warm, but leaks heat in the wind and does soak up rain or sweat. Fleece is very heavy when soaked. Try it at home.

My parka is just that, a hip-length zip up jacket with pockets, pit zips, and a hood. I wear a separate, sea-to-summit siliconized nylon poncho over everything. The poncho keeps rain and snow off. The parka is fine in light showers that do not threaten to soak and as part of my heat-retaining under-layers.

Also, during April and most of May, the Camino Frances was a cold, raw, rainy place.

The trade-off is added perspiration. But, again, warm and wet is very good. Cold and wet is never good.

In the end, you experiment, find out what works for you from a performance and packing perspective, and act accordingly in future.

I hope this helps.
 
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Lots of great answers.
Here are mine:

1. Did anyone bring a water filter such as a Sawyer filter? No filter needed in my opinion. The only time I do NOT drink from a fountain is if it is marked "non-potable" or if it is raining so hard the water in the creeks is running brown. In that case, you can purchase bottled water everywhere along the Way.

** also I'm thinking about bringing a water bladder such as a platy bottle. Should I bring a canteen instead? Such as a hydroflask? Or both?
Just bring a water bottle. Easier to clean and fill.

2. In addition to my hiking shoes, I've been considering hiking sandals. Is it acceptable to wear street/hiking sandals into the shower and alburgues? Hiking Sandals or flipflops, either would be fine.

3. I have my awesome lightweight rain jacket, poncho, and backpack cover. But how necessary are rainpants?
I take them but my hip was injured and when it gets cold, it aches. If you have no such problems, a poncho should be fine. If it rains TOO hard, you can often get out of the downpour until it lightens up.

Can I do without? Someone suggested I get dry bags for my sleeping bag and my clothes because the stuff can still get wet despite the cover and poncho. Is this true?
I've walked the Camino nearly every year for 10 years and I've never used dry bags and my stuff, including my down sleeping blanket, has never gotten wet.

4. My sleeping bag is lightweight 1 lb 13 oz and rated 55 degrees F. I figured I'd be indoors every night in hostels. This is plenty warm, yes? Yes, though in April, you may find some albergues with no head, so be sure to have longjohns, etc., you can put on.
 

Seabird

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF April/May (2016), starting in St. Palais, France
Thanks @t2andreo -- sounds like the sea-to-summit siliconized nylon poncho will work well over my Northface lightweight jacket I'm bringing for wind/light rain.
 

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