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Availability of water of Camino Frances


I'm trying to decide what water storage means to bring on the Camino Frances starting in SJPdP. I have a Camelbak for the hydration sleeve in my backpack that's 3 liters. I think this would hold plenty of water. Except that it adds weight and requires repacking more than half my pack when replenishing it (I do put everything in stuff sacks, so it's a bit easier). The other option is to get a couple of bottles to put in the stretchy side pockets for convenience, but that option holds less water.

I'm starting on September 27, so it's not going to be the dead heat of summer or anything.

How long of a stretch am I looking at without water available? What are people's opinions of means of hydration?

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Except for a few stretches, you're never too far from a village with a store that sells water or a fountain with "agua potable" (water you can drink). I know of quite a few people who had camelbacks & got sick after a couple of weeks because they couldn't (or didn't, wasn't sure) keep them clean enough. What I did the last time was buy 2 half-liter bottles of water & carry them, then refilled the bottles as I went along. After 4 or 5 days, or when the bottles started to look manky, I tossed them & bought new bottles. A bit more environmentally-friendly than using the bottles once & tossing them in the appropriate bin.

What I found yesterday at the grocery store was a re-usable water bottle with its own filter, so I grabbed it. :) My plan is to use that bottle for drinking, then buy one 1/2 liter bottle of water to refill it with, & use the plastic bottle for refilling at fountains, etc.

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In my opinion, 3 liters is way too much. I thought I posted this already but don't see it so I'll repeat what the above poster says... just take a bottle or two and refill them along the way. Lots of fresh clean water available along the Frances. No need to carry all that extra weight.
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A 1 liter Platypus hydration system weighs 3.2 ounces. A 3 liter system weighs 3.8 ounces.

A Nalgene 1 quart wide-mouth bottle weighs 6.2 ounces.
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I would never carry 2 liters of water. That's way too much for me!

I carry the small bottles and never ran out. I think they were the ones anniethenurse mentions below.

The other nice thing about carrying smaller amounts of water is that you can can drink COLD FRESH water at the fountains, instead of body-temp water or water heated by the sun. I guess it's just a matter of preference. :D

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Carrying a container capable of larger loads is different from the amount carried!


New Member
I carried the same sized camel pack and found it very helpful because you'll only need to fill up once a day, unless you're on the meseta. But somewhere between Fromista and Terradillos many pilgrims became ill while I was traveling (including myself, but it was a 48-hour bug). We all agreed it was a fountain somewhere between the two. Just an FYI, maybe in/around these areas, use bottled water. But it was in 2004, so it might have changes. Once the camel pack is tainted, throw it away! But use it if you can because it's so much more convenient to drink from than struggling with a bottle in the side of your pack! Best of luck to you! Buen Camino...

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Taking a 2 ounce plastic bottle of liquid bleach to treat any hydration equipment will save you from throwing it away. About ten drops in a cup of water will kill mold and bacteria, and it will flush the feed tube and spit valve as well. It probably is worth doing once a week as a preventive measure.
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Javier Martin

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In my opinion it should be enough with just one litre. But it depends on your needs about water. There's always water and/or towns every few kilometers, and if not the hospitalero and pilgrims who ar repeting the Camino will say to you. And, September/October has not hot weather in the north of Spain.

Buen Camino,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.


Personally I always carry a 2Liter CamelBak... and I do drink a lot of water.

A lot of people underestimate the importance of drinking water during the Camino... or other sports. - First you have to remember you are not in the office or in your home... you are out WALKING all day.. which means your body needs water to regain it's strenght... if it is hot like these days... (Spain is boiling at the moment)... you have to drink even more not to dehydrate.

Once dehydrated it takes a few days for the body to recover.
Your muscles and your mind and your energy will last a lot longer if you drink lots of water...

Look what happens to a plant if it does not get enough water... unlike a plant it is difficult for people to drink too much water... we have the ability to pee.... and if you arfe in doubt wheter you are dehydratetd or not... take a look at the colour of your pee... yellow?? drink more water.

Drink water... - Water is the extra weight I personally do not mind to carry...

Dont forget the 17km with nothing in sight after Carrion de los condes... 1L is not enough here... there are no fountains, no shops, no bares... no nothing....

@Javier Martin... September can be quite hot in North Spain... I remember walking in 38C one september... - it might not be normal weather... but it sure was hot...


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Camino Frances.Vasco del Interior.Camino Finisterre& Muxia. Camino Portugues. Ruta del Ebro.
Two half liter bottles are enough for me. Very hot days I use effervescent (do you call them effervescent?) tablets against dehydration. Along the camino I fill up my bottles in the fuentes, bars and restaurants as well as I drink some extra in the morning when having breakfast, also for lunch and keep on drinking all evening, too. This way 1 L of water is enough to carry, even the hottest day. Don´t want to carry more water than necessary.
Water is very available along the camino, as well as other drinks like Coca Cola, other soft drinks or beer. Once when it was HOT HOT somewhere before Pamplona and Trinidad de Arre, in a little one street village there happened to be a Coca Cola machine just when we were just wanting to drink something very cold. I don´t drink Coca Cola otherwise but IT WAS GREAT in the heat of camino! annie

Javier Martin

Veteran Member
Annette said:
...@Javier Martin... September can be quite hot in North Spain... I remember walking in 38C one september... - it might not be normal weather... but it sure was hot...

Yes, weather sometimes is rather crazy in Spain, jeje. It's difficult to say what is going to happen.

Buen Camino,
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Water, water, water, I just can't get enough of it when I'm walking and I did run out one day en route to Najera, I had problems with my achilles and was walking like a snail, no other pilgrims about and I was parched :? - so I always carry 2 litres in my platypus (water bag, inside pack) and a small 500mls bottle outside my pack that I can use at water fountains to have a good long drink( can't get that long drink feeling with the platypus) and refill that- too much hassle to take the platypus out to refill as bag so tightly packed!!
However if I ws going to be walking through alot of villages etc would prob bring a bit less, but really the water thing its very personal - we're all different.
That said keeping yourself well hydrated goes a long way to keeping you from muscular strain and overheating - can get very hot in the afternoons in summer months, whatever yo decide to carry, drink alot and take heed of the guide book if it says a particular stretch has little shade or refreshment, be prepared!
Buen Camino

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