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Any tips for keeping warm?


New Member
I made my pilgrimage in May/June a couple of years ago. While it was generally clement weather, I found the mornings cold for the first hour or so and there were a few cold days. What really helped me out was taking a thermal long sleeved rash vest that I use for surfing. These are far lighter and take up a lot less space than a normal jumper or sweashirt and keep you exceptionally warm. You can pick them up for £20-£30. I hope someone finds this useful.

Anyone else got space saving/unusual tips for keeping cosy?

rioja routard

Active Member
keeping warm

at the risk of sounding facetious dare, I say it................ walking keeps one warm.

no disrespect intended

buen camino


walking on a cold morning

Coming from Quebec I will share with you how I stay warm.

Since I am a babyboomer I can't just take off in a rush to warm up because that is just asking for muscle strain.

I walk slow in general but especially the first 10 minutes.

If it is cold it is important to dress in layers and keep the neck and head wrapped up. Since my attire is quite sparce for the camino you would probably see me wearing my rain poncho under my back pack with my my rain bonnet and all on a windy day.

Once the heat kicks in it is a matter of a short stop to remove layers.

gatineau gypsy


Active Member
Alec you are better off to put 2 or 3 coats of thin apparels than 1 big sweater.

Like an onion remove skins as you get warm... it won't take more than 5 minutes especially since it seems that there is always a climb after you leave your refuge/albergue in the morning !


New Member
keeping warm

i walked the camino frances april/may 2006 and there were many nippy mornings. i found a rayon sarong to be one of my favorite bits of multipurpose gear.

on chilly mornings that were likely to warm up i didn't relish stopping to remove pack and clothing all morning so i'd step out dressed for later-in-the-day with the sarong around my neck like a scarf or over my shoulders, spread out across my chest and tucked under straps/hipbelt for warmth.

not bad.

then as the sun came out i'd wear it loosely over my hat and shoulders to keep the sun off my neck and backs of arms.

admittedly a bit of a robinson crusoe vibe... but it was preferable to gooping up with sunscreen.

sarong uses:
- warm layer
- sun layer
- after shower wrap
- impromptu curtain
- light blanket/sheet
- barrier between silk sak and rough wool alberge loner blanket to protect from the vicious (steel) wool spikes...

worth every one of its 7oz.


you can't sleep if you are cold

I just got back from doing the Camino and I was surprised to see the number of people who where cold. And there was a stretch of cold weather of winds, rain and hail when I was there and people were not prepared for it. Plus when you are tired and hungry your temperature will drop.

You need a 1 lb sleeping bag that closes like a mummy sack - a silk liner will not cut it. Have an extra pair of socks just for sleeping in an a head band (or I used a shower cap) for keeping the heat in. Warm up before hitting the sack and the heat will generate in the sleeping bag. Because if you are cold you will not sleep and that is a problem when you are walking every day. Dress in layers, T-shirt, shirt, sweater, jacket with hood, poncho with hood. The municipale alberques do not have heating and hot water can be dicy as well.

The private alberques and a small hotels are a blessing when you reach the bottom the barrel - when don't have a stitch of clean clothes and are quite smelly and sweaty and bone tired.

It may sound awful but it really isn't - because we are all in the same boat and the Camino is the most beautiful place I have ever been. The spring flowers are beyond description and so are the people.

Gatineau Gypsy


Yes, has to be layers - and it doesn't really matter about fashion out there. Just buy some extras in really cheap shops if you need them ... keeping the head covered is most effective ...
but - apart from winter weather - I don't understand this coldness thing, except, so many come from centrally heated homes, centrally heated cars, centrally heated offices - being cold is ok you know, gets you going, you enjoy that first hot drink, seeing your breath on the air, the way sound travles differently when it is cold, the sound of your feet crunching on the ground, the scattering of yesterdays bread to feed the birds ... I quite like it..

Two things about bedtime (three), wear a hat, and don't move much - it is you who warms up the bag so make a cocoon of warm air around you by lying still, and with your breath leaving the bag, not condensing inside it and - important - make sure your bladder is empty by not drinking too much at night. If your bladder is fairly full in cold weather you will be cold in bed.
Oh, that's four isn't it!
And unhunch the shoulders - if you are relaxed you won't be so cold.
Alright, five.


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Layered approach seems to be the best. For me I have my lightweight rain jacket, pullover and t-shirt to combine for the morning depending on the weather and how cold the morning is.

Most mornings it is usually the pullover over the t-shirt. So I only need to make 1 stop to remove the pullover.

So far, I don't have the need to remove the t-shirt... :)



Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
Re: you can't sleep if you are cold

Carole said:
I just got back from doing the Camino and I was surprised to see the number of people who where cold. And there was a stretch of cold weather of winds, rain and hail when I was there and people were not prepared for it.

You need a 1 lb sleeping bag that closes like a mummy sack - a silk liner will not cut it. The municipale alberques do not have heating and hot water can be dicy as well.
Gatineau Gypsy

Thanks Carole, for yet another informative post from someone on the trail... or in your case... just finished it. You have helped me realise that my summerweight sleeping bag won't cut it in April/May. For 300g more in my pack, I can be warm. And as for clothes.... if I take what I need for the NZ ranges... where weather can do anything.... I guess I will be taking the right gear!

Lillian Rodriguez

Active Member
Re: you can't sleep if you are cold

Hi everyone!

I just returned home after walking the camino from April 24 to May 26th.

Coming from a tropical climate, I felt cold many nights and days. While I was pleasantly surprised to find all the albergues I stayed at were had enough heavy blankets for all beds, I chose not to use them and instead used a 4 oz silk mummy liner inside my 600 grm 3 season sleeping sack. Of course, I slept with socks and whenever that was not enough I added the sarong, or even my long legged walking pants!

On cold mornings, I wore layers underneath the rain jacket. May 1st was definitely the coldest day. It rained heavily and even snowed on the nearby mountains of Najera. I wore rain pants, a fleece beanie and gloves. The fleece items got wet but kept me warm enough while fighting the rain and mud during the 8 hours it took to walk the 16 km from Navarrete and Najera.

On this day, I also realized how ill prepared some people take on the camino. I saw an older woman walking in flat soled Keds with no grip whatsoever and no walking stick trying to walk up the mud and flowing water. In less than an hour, she slipped and fell twice. Fortunately she wasn't seriously hurt.

Being prepared does not necessarily mean carrying an excessively heavy rucksack but rather choosing wisely!


cooler weather

Another mistake people did in cool weather is drink less water than usual. To avoid muscle strain you need to drink the regular amount of liquids like soup or water that you would normally consume.

Also, the alberques usually have blankets but they may not have enough for everyone.



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