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Backpack advice

K

karenfromcali

Guest
Hi. Can anyone help me with some backpack advice. I purchased a Kelty Cayote which has good thick padding but weighs 5lbs 8 ounces. I also have a Teton Hiker 3700 with is almost 2 lbs less but not as much padding. I plan on starting from SJPP next March, so over the whole camino which is best? Padding or weight? I'm looking to keep my pack weight around 15 lbs if I can. I know there are other packs out there which are light and good but they are too expensive for me.
Thanks for any help in advance.
karen
 
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Wow, that Kelty is heavy. As long as the lighter pack fits you well, I would go with that one. I'm sure that others will wade in here also....Buena Suarte
 

Anne100

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte, Sept.-Nov. (2013)
There is no padding in my pack, only a little padding in the straps and belt. For me it's more important that a pack fit well and "ride" well. 5lbs 8oz is very heavy without even anything in it yet. Have you gone to an outfitters and let them fit you with a pack? They will load it with however much weight you want and let you walk around the store with it so you can see how it feels. You don't have to buy what they suggest but it will give you an idea of how much padding and structure you need. A comfortable pack is just as important as comfortable shoes. If you post a price range I will try to make some brand suggestions.
 
K

karenfromcali

Guest
Thank you so much for your replies HalfDome and Anne100. I am so new at this and appreciate your help. I did get myself fitted at REI but decided to go with a cheaper pack from amazon. I was ideally hoping to keep the price between 100-150.
Blessings. Karen :)
 
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Karen, I don't know if you're still deciding. I have a few packs and eventually went with a newer, lighter one rather than my old faithful, heavier one. Your body gets used to the padding available and the difference in weight makes a difference in your overal comfort. Those times when your pack is completely empty (it will happen) and you happen to hoist it up, you'll kick yourself for every extra ounce, no matter how light it is. Enjoy your Camino.
Kathy
 
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Karen, I don't know if you're still deciding. I have a few packs and eventually went with a newer, lighter one rather than my old faithful, heavier one. Your body gets used to the padding available and the difference in weight makes a difference in your overal comfort. Those times when your pack is completely empty (it will happen) and you happen to hoist it up, you'll kick yourself for every extra ounce, no matter how light it is. Enjoy your Camino.
Kathy
 

muzzal

Member
Karen, I Googled your packs and if I'm correct, the Kelty is an 80L and the Teton a 60L pack. This would explain why both packs are quite heavy as they are large capacity. The extra padding on the Kelty is because it is designed to carry the weight of 80L of gear.:eek:

The consensus in these forums seems to be that 30 - 40L is sufficient, so both your packs are way over capacity with the concomitant high weight. The other consideration is that with such large packs, you will be tempted to pack too much, exacerbating the weight problem. If your budget is $100 - 150, then there are many reputable brands such as Osprey, Gregory and Deuter (to name just a few) that fit into your budget and are recommended by other forum members.

If possible, I would consider returning or swapping out the Kelty for a smaller and hence lighter pack.

Murray
 
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Anne100

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte, Sept.-Nov. (2013)
With 15 pounds total weight I would choose the Teton Hiker 3700 over the Kelty Cayote. Since you already have it, load it up and do some hiking with it and see how it feels. Here are some other possibilities in your price range if you (or anyone) is still looking for a pack. Click on the pack name to go to the web site.

Golite Jam, 50L 1 lb 14 oz, US$110
ULA CDT, 50L, 1lb 1 oz, US$135
Gossamer Gear Gorilla, 50+L, 26 oz, US$146

Backpacker Magazine Editor's Choice picks are usually good bets. I don't know how objective they are but their recommendations have always been good ones in my experience. I picked my current sleeping bag based on their reviews and it quickly became my favorite.

Another good web site is Backpackgeartest.org. It's a compilation of reviews on all kinds of gear, including packs, by individual users. Their pack reviews helped me decide on a pack for my A.T. thruhike.
 
K

karenfromcali

Guest
Thank you all so much.
Kathy thank you. Yes I'm learning that every ounce really does count! Especially when I went out for a practice walk and was so sore the next day!
Murray thanks. I guess I was going a little over kill. I thought bigger was better! I plan to return both the Kelty and the Teton and will pick up a smaller lighter pack :)
Anne100. I looked at the bags you suggested. Wow they are light! Definitely worth looking into. Thank you :)
 
M

MendiWalker

Guest
Hi Karen

Keep in mind that your backpack should not weigh more than 10% your body weight with all you stuff in it.
Buen Camino!
 
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Anne100

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte, Sept.-Nov. (2013)
Keep in mind that your backpack should not weigh more than 10% your body weight with all you stuff in it.

That's a general guideline but certainly not a hard and fast rule. You should take what keeps you safe and comfortable and what you can reasonably carry. That's going to be more than 10% of total body weight for some people.
 
K

karenfromcali

Guest
LOL. Thanks MendiWalker. Well if you have a rather bedraggled looking peragrina on your doorstep next march holding out a coffee mug with a pleading look :eek:it will probably be me :D
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
As a rule of thumb, you should be able to fit 15lb (6.8kg) into a 35li pack or perhaps a bit less. Depending on its construction, a pack this size might be between 700 gm (ultralight) and a bit over 1kg (sturdier, more padding, etc). This leaves you around 5.5kg to 6kg for the real stuff in your weight budget, compared to around 5kg for the Hiker 3700.
Be careful of the so-called 10% rule. It is one of the classic magic numbers of the Camino, and I have yet to find anyone who can point to an authoritative source. It might work quite well in summer if you can tolerate some discomfort and have the budget for lighter gear. In March, you will be walking in late winter/early spring. Realistic pack weights could be around 25% heavier for spring or as much as double for winter depending upon how resilient you are.
Regards,
 
K

karenfromcali

Guest
Hi Doug. I ended up returning the Kelty and Teton and bought an REI Flash 52 which weighs in at 2 lbs 12 ounces (1.24 kg?). I also picked up a lightweight sleeping bag that rates at 15 degrees, a silk liner for extra warmth as needed and R 4.2 pad. I also have a small 1 person tent just in case of sudden bad weather and poor visibility in which I may have to stay put for a while. With all this in the pack it is coming in at about 13 pounds (5.8 kg) including the pack and it feels a lot more doable. I still need to add clothes etc though.
 
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Kiwi-family

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Exchange the tent for clothes and you'll set to go!
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
I didn't take a tent or pad when I walked at the end of Mar in 2010. I cannot think of a circumstance where it would be a better option to set up camp rather than head for the next village or town. The pilgrims I saw camping were doing so to save money, not for emergency shelter.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
I agree that you don't need the sleeping pad either - there will be beds and mattresses and often blankets too at every albergue along the way! Now you can pack a toothbrush as well;-)
 

Anne100

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte, Sept.-Nov. (2013)
Read all the posts about wonderful places you want to stay around to explore a second day, or full albergues with no beds available, 4AM wake up times, and the other negatives about staying in albergues, and you'll find many reasons to have a tent as an option.

I frankly don't understand the insistence that other pilgrims only take "x" amount of gear or carry "x" amount of weight. Take what you need to be safe, comfortable and have the options you want for your camino.
 
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NicoZ

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2013
Hi. Can anyone help me with some backpack advice. I purchased a Kelty Cayote

You need to understand the code words. That pack is an expedition pack. Which means it's designed for a person carrying say a week of stuff. That's food ,pots and pans and the kitchen sink.

OTOH you're stopping every day in a town. Have access to shops,hotels and everything else. While I don't tend to like most day packs this sort of thing is closer to a day pack then it is to expedition pack .

I have a yoga pad. The thing weighs nothing. Straps to the bottom of my backpack so takes up no inside room. It's not exactly a down mattress but if I'm stuck sleeping on the floor it'll be a touch warmer then bare stone.

One final thing. You mention March. If you're stuck over night outdoors a summer weight sleeping bag (15C) isn't likely going to be enough. So either don't haul it or haul something intended for cold weather. It can still be cold overnight March/April.

Okay one more. How often have you setup a tent? Are you really interested in setting up a tent in the dark ? Remember March sunset is still fairly early.
 
K

karenfromcali

Guest
LOL. Just when I thought I was getting things right! My thought had been that if I am fortunate enough to be able to take the Napolean Route (it being early March) then I would have shelter if the weather turned. The sleeping bag is for 15 F so about -10 C. I have put up many tents, night and day. Once past the pyrenees (or valcarlos if it's not passable) I can always donate the tent if it becomes too much.
 
M

MendiWalker

Guest
You don´t need the tent nor the pad. What you DO need is gear for the rain. It rains a lot on the Camino del Norte believe me. Best is try to travel light avoid all the unnecessary weight. If you realize that you need something of have forgotten something you can always use that little piece of equipment which no one should leave behind - " the credit card", light in weight but great when needed.
Buen Camino!
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
I walked Route Valcarlos at the very beginning of April when it wasn't clear that Route Napoleon was safe. Some took Route Napoleon, and many had a long day of it, with some arriving at Roncesvalles after 8.00pm. But it was clearly possible even when they did the last couple of hours in the dark.

Next time I do the CF, I plan to take two days rather than carry a tent and camp out. Why? If you are thinking of taking a tent for this or any other stretch, you would need to contemplate having food, cooking and eating utensils, water for the evening, etc. Very quickly, you are carrying much more than just the weight of the tent. Its not impossible - I have walked with over 20kg on my back, but its not necessary on the CF or any of the other pilgrim routes so far as I can tell.

When I walked, only one private albergue didn't have space when I arrived. Everywhere else, there was always room available, if not at the first alburgue, one a bit further into town. Yes, there are snorers, but I don't think lack of beds will be a problem at that time of year. My own view is that carrying a tent is a big effort just to avoid snorers when a very much lighter set of earplugs might suffice.

As for staying an extra day, it is possible to plan a short walking day before and after most of the major towns along the CF, which would have much the same effect. The only place that I recall where you couldn't stay if you had just walked from the previous town was at the parish albergue in Granon.

My last point, and that is whether you need to carry a 15degF/-10degC bag. Certainly if you were planning to camp at this time of the year, it could be right. But I don't think you would need that level of insulation if you were staying in albergues. I carried a 5degC bag in April, and it was enough for the places that weren't heated (at Zubiri, which didn't provide blankets in the old gym, the parish albergue in Granon and at Espinosa).
 

Anne100

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte, Sept.-Nov. (2013)
If you are thinking of taking a tent for this or any other stretch, you would need to contemplate having food, cooking and eating utensils, water for the evening, etc.

No more so than if you're planning on staying in hotels or albergues. You don't need a campfire and cooking gear just because you camp, you can easily eat in bars or restaurants and carry some snacks just as you would otherwise. Everyone needs to carry water so that's no different, either.
 
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Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
I frankly don't understand the insistence that other pilgrims only take "x" amount of gear or carry "x" amount of weight. Take what you need to be safe, comfortable and have the options you want for your camino.

I think it comes from experience of people carrying more than they needed and not wanting others to make the same mistake. While I used everything I carried last year, I know I have come home and bought lightweight versions of a number of things for future hikes (a pack that doesn't weigh 2.5kg was my first change) because I now experientially understand that the less weight you carry the easier it is. I understood in my head before I walked last year, now I really get it!
I have yet to come across someone who didn't take enough (except perhaps rain gear)
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
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No more so than if you're planning on staying in hotels or albergues. You don't need a campfire and cooking gear just because you camp, you can easily eat in bars or restaurants and carry some snacks just as you would otherwise. Everyone needs to carry water so that's no different, either.
Anne100, the section in question that the OP was most concerned about was SJPP to Roncesvalles. I don't recall ever reading about the great variety of bars and restaurants along that stretch of the Camino, where the OP effectively suggested she would consider wild camping. You would need food and water for any of those meals. Loading oneself up with a tent, food, water, etc for what is generally a pretty tough stretch as it is just wouldn't be my choice for how to approach the start of walking the CF.

Elsewhere, you are perfectly correct. It is possible to eat in bars and restaurants along most stretches. My response was in the context of what the OP has suggested are her intentions and reasons, not in the generality of camping along the whole of the CF.
 
M

MendiWalker

Guest
People can carry whatever they wish, including the kitchen sink. But I find it sad to see a pilgrim who has come from far carrying a huge backpack with far to much weight and expect to walk day after day and cover hundreds of kilometers hoping to reach Santiago. Most of them won´t and the ones who do will arrive in terrible condition e.g. feet problems.
This morning when I went off on my hike in my mountains around town, I saw a female pilgrim who just arrived in Bilbo. She was carrying a huge back and a wheeled suitcase as well. I greeted her with a "Buen Camino" and she stopped and we chatted for a bit and I answered a few questions she had about the way she had to connect with the Camino. I do hope she makes it along the Camino del Norte but I have my doubts.
Buen Camino!
 
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K

karenfromcali

Guest
Having thought through everyone's comments, and knowing I don't want to fail due to too much weight, I may replace the tent and pad with an emergency bivy bag. It's very small and very light and will eliminate a good 5 pounds or so from my pack. Thank you all so much for taking the time to respond. You are awesome! :D
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
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Hola Karen. You might like to consider the type of poncho which opens out to form a tarp/bivvy. Our Rohan ponchos do just that and weigh about 400gms, the latest version weighs less. These are the long capes, not the short one. Dual purpose items are always good. :)
 
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Pilgrim Office 2018, Hospitalero Acebo 2019
Having thought through everyone's comments, and knowing I don't want to fail due to too much weight, I may replace the tent and pad with an emergency bivy bag. It's very small and very light and will eliminate a good 5 pounds or so from my pack. Thank you all so much for taking the time to respond. You are awesome! :D
Hi Karen, I have been reading this thread and am curious as to what you mean by a emergency bivy bag. I am also wondering if I should take a tent or not. I have a really light 1 man tent that I could take for emergencies... Thx. Ed
 

gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CFx2, CPx1
Hi Karen, I took the emergency bivvy bag to slide my very lightweight sleeping bag into if the temperature so required and also as emergency equipment that may be of use to others.
Never needed it.
I'll always take it.
 
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Hi Karen, I took the emergency bivvy bag to slide my very lightweight sleeping bag into if the temperature so required and also as emergency equipment that may be of use to others.
Never needed it.
I'll always take it.
Hi Gerard, what does you Bivy bag look like? Trying to get a grasp of what one is. Thx.
 
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K

karenfromcali

Guest
Hi Karen, I have been reading this thread and am curious as to what you mean by a emergency bivy bag. I am also wondering if I should take a tent or not. I have a really light 1 man tent that I could take for emergencies... Thx. Ed

This is the bivvy I have been looking at
Adventure Medical SOL Emergency Bivvy. It costs about 15 dollars and weighs about 3.5 ounces. Reflects 90 % body heat so handy just to have in your bag. There are also a regular bivvys which is like a mummy bag that closes over your face. Smaller and lighter than a tent. Also for those who are claustrophobic there are bivvys with an elevated face area. Try REI or amazon to take a look :)
 
K

karenfromcali

Guest
This is the bivvy I have been looking at
Adventure Medical SOL Emergency Bivvy. It costs about 15 dollars and weighs about 3.5 ounces. Reflects 90 % body heat so handy just to have in your bag. There are also a regular bivvys which is like a mummy bag that closes over your face. Smaller and lighter than a tent. Also for those who are claustrophobic there are bivvys with an elevated face area. Try REI or amazon to take a look :)

Also the reason I had planned on a tent (1 person, light weight) was due to the time of year. I am walking early March and being as the weather can be so unpredictable (or so I read) I thought a tent would be a good back up plan if caught in inclement weather. When are you planning on walking?
 
K

karenfromcali

Guest
I had been thinking (originally) was that a tent and winter sleeping bag would give me emergency shelter should I get stuck on the pyrenees (if I am able to take this route at all) in bad weather. i.e. shelter to stay put rather than wonder off a cliff and gain some protection from the elements etc. until the weather cleared enough for me to get to an albergue. I then planned on donating the tent when I was passed this particular area. :)
 
Last edited by a moderator:

lettinggo

Active Member
Hola

In my experience you will not need a tent.
A few years ago I walked the Valcarlos route from Saint Jean to Ronchesvalles in early February, as the high pass was closed. The locals told us not to walk the Camino trail but go by the asphalt road, due to bad weather and snow.
The asphalt road is by the way much longer than the trail.

It was quiet a hard day for our group of first time pilgrims, but we never felt at risk although we arrived late in darkness at the Albergue. (We did have lots of challenges and a blizzard is not particular fun).
If there had been a need of 'rescue' ourselves, we would just have stopped one of the many cars on the road and asked them for assistance. A tent would not have made much sense to bring, a there are many other possibilities for aid. The Camino Frances is not a walk into wilderness.

That being said, I think the best advice would be to; bring food, fruits and water to last a day. Stay with fellow pilgrims and talk about your current situation to make sure all are well and comfortable, follow the advice from the locals, take the breaks your body will tell you it needs.

I hope this advice does not seem reckless, but my experience from looking at other pilgrims is, that once we are on the Camino, we exceed what we though was possible.
And the first thing anyone should pack into the backpack is a large bag of good sense.

Buen Camino
Lettinggo
 
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MendiWalker

Guest
Good sense must be in hard to find because it´s always out of stock at the corner store.;)

Buen Camino!
 
Past OR future Camino
Francis SJPDP-SDC (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017) , Norte 2018
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This is the bivvy I have been looking at
Adventure Medical SOL Emergency Bivvy. It costs about 15 dollars and weighs about 3.5 ounces. Reflects 90 % body heat so handy just to have in your bag. There are also a regular bivvys which is like a mummy bag that closes over your face. Smaller and lighter than a tent. Also for those who are claustrophobic there are bivvys with an elevated face area. Try REI or amazon to take a look :)
Thank you for your reply Karen. I will check out at REI. Ed
 
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Also the reason I had planned on a tent (1 person, light weight) was due to the time of year. I am walking early March and being as the weather can be so unpredictable (or so I read) I thought a tent would be a good back up plan if caught in inclement weather. When are you planning on walking?
Hi karen, I plan to start at SJPDP end of May 2014. Sounds like I do not need to worry about a tent but maybe a Bivy...Appreciate your responses....
 
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Espero

Member
Past OR future Camino
April 2014
If you want a poncho for rain gear and think you might need a tent, try a Gatewood Cape from Six Moons Designs. http://www.sixmoondesigns.com/tarps/GatewoodCape.html. I have one for backpacking in the Sierra Nevadas, but I won't use when I walk the VDLP next April. At 12 oz. it's too heavy. Besides, I don't think I'll need a tent and prefer to use Frogg Toggs Dri-Ducks Ultralite 2 for rain gear.
 
Past OR future Camino
Francis SJPDP-SDC (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017) , Norte 2018
Pilgrim Office 2018, Hospitalero Acebo 2019
If you want a poncho for rain gear and think you might need a tent, try a Gatewood Cape from Six Moons Designs. http://www.sixmoondesigns.com/tarps/GatewoodCape.html. I have one for backpacking in the Sierra Nevadas, but I won't use when I walk the VDLP next April. At 12 oz. it's too heavy. Besides, I don't think I'll need a tent and prefer to use Frogg Toggs Dri-Ducks Ultralite 2 for rain gear.
Hello Espero, Thank you for sharing your dry weather plan. I looked at the Duck and some of the reviews suggested that it was not very breathable. What has been your experiences with this? The same or better? Sometimes I find it is not good to believe all the reviews that are posted.

thank you. Ed
 
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Espero

Member
Past OR future Camino
April 2014
Hi Ed,

I haven't had any problems. I also use the jacket as a windbreaker. The material is light weight and not as durable as other rain gear, but I don't do any brush busting so I've had good experiences. Besides, their easily patched with duck tape (no pun intended). They should last a camino easily. Never been in any deluges like you have in Florida, but they're good in the light rains I've hiked in. Sports Authority has a 20% off sale today only, so you can be out the door for around $16 buckaroos. http://www.sportsauthority.com/home...22584-VQ16-c&gclid=CKLB2rSxr7kCFRDZQgod9mIABQ

Buen Camino!
 
Past OR future Camino
Francis SJPDP-SDC (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017) , Norte 2018
Pilgrim Office 2018, Hospitalero Acebo 2019
Hi Ed,

I haven't had any problems. I also use the jacket as a windbreaker. The material is light weight and not as durable as other rain gear, but I don't do any brush busting so I've had good experiences. Besides, their easily patched with duck tape (no pun intended). They should last a camino easily. Never been in any deluges like you have in Florida, but they're good in the light rains I've hiked in. Sports Authority has a 20% off sale today only, so you can be out the door for around $16 buckaroos. http://www.sportsauthority.com/home...22584-VQ16-c&gclid=CKLB2rSxr7kCFRDZQgod9mIABQ

Buen Camino!
Thanks for the reply. I am not headed to Spain until May 2014 so I am going to look around a bit more before I decide on rain gear. Thanks again!!

Ed
 
P

Pattii

Guest
I am a bigger girl... tall...broad shoulders and I carry a few extra lbs. I have a pack that I have used for years but its heavy...obviously too heavy for this journey. I have been looking at the different ultra light weight packs on the market but I need to have one that disperses weight evenly as I have back issues. I am worried about finding one that will be comfortable but not too big...and very light. Any recommendations would be wonderful. I have looked at the osprey's and heard they might not be the most comfy for a bigger person...
 
K

karenfromcali

Guest
A woman after my own heart! LOL. I cannot resist anything that sparkles! Maybe something cute and sparkly for my pack too. hmmm :rolleyes:
 
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K

karenfromcali

Guest
Incidentally. Where and when do we get the shell? I have read posts that other pilgrims identify each other before getting to the camino due to a shell on their pack. So if we want to begin our travels with it where do we get it from? Is it a specific kind of shell, size etc?
Thanks.
 

vicrev

Active Member
I do a mixture of both , If the weather is lousy.....Gite........If the weather is good ......Camp.......I just love sleeping under the stars & waking up to the sounds of Nature....Nothing like it...........As far as food & water is concerned,I carry it anyway whether camping or staying in a Gite...............All my gear is Ultralight (including me!).........The argument for & against camping just seems to go on & on.....It is all a matter of personal preference........:).........Vicrev
 

Bajaracer

Camino Frances 2013 Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2013) Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Incidentally. Where and when do we get the shell? I have read posts that other pilgrims identify each other before getting to the camino due to a shell on their pack. So if we want to begin our travels with it where do we get it from? Is it a specific kind of shell, size etc?
Thanks.

You can get the shell at any of the shops in SJPDP or at the pilgrims office for a donation, remember, the bigger the shell, the bigger the tourist.......
 
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Pattii

Guest
Incidentally. Where and when do we get the shell? I have read posts that other pilgrims identify each other before getting to the camino due to a shell on their pack. So if we want to begin our travels with it where do we get it from? Is it a specific kind of shell, size etc?
Thanks.
I had heard you can get them once you are there. I am going to try to find out if I can order one before I go. I have also heard traditionally you got the shell once arriving at Santiago...but that was long ago. I think there is probably somewhere you can get one shipped before you go. Also I think you can get a badge from here...I might do that too...to recognize others from this forum.

The sparklies...I KNOWWW I have to have some ...not sure what yet. I am excited I am going to buy socks tomorrow...lmao...and trying on hiking boots~
 
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Pattii

Guest
I don't think we have scallop shells in Alberta. lol And I don't think even our beaches have the right kind of scallop shell even if I could get to one.

Is there somewhere they can be ordered from...is it a certain type?
 
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Pattii

Guest
I panned for gold when I was little...giggles...I thot I was rich with the golddust in my wee bottle of water...
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Incidentally. Where and when do we get the shell? I have read posts that other pilgrims identify each other before getting to the camino due to a shell on their pack. So if we want to begin our travels with it where do we get it from? Is it a specific kind of shell, size etc?
Thanks.

The scallop shell , in French coquille St Jacques, was first associated with the hagiography or timeless legendary history of Santiago when his decapitated body was said to have been miraculously pulled from the sea near Padron, Spain; thus shells have been the symbol of Saint James and of his pilgrims ever since. Read more about the evolution of Saint James' legendary iconic symbol in this Forum thread.

Today shells are for sale along the caminos. If starting in SJPdP the pilgrim office of the Amis du Chemin de Saint Jacques at 39 rue de la Citadelle also sells them.

MM
 
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ktchnofdngr

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
September '13, June '16, July '21, And July '22
If you want to make your own, go to any craft store (here in my corner of the world, our local dollar store carries them), and then use a red sharpie to draw a St. James cross on the outside (wikipedia has a good picture of one). I superglued a pin to the back, and voila! Your very own scallop shell!

I don't think it matters if it is exactly the same as what you would get in Spain. ImageUploadedByCamino de Santiago Forum1381207614.341856.jpg

Blessings,

Ruth
 
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Bajaracer

Camino Frances 2013 Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2013) Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
I had heard you can get them once you are there. I am going to try to find out if I can order one before I go. I have also heard traditionally you got the shell once arriving at Santiago...but that was long ago. I think there is probably somewhere you can get one shipped before you go. Also I think you can get a badge from here...I might do that too...to recognize others from this forum.

The sparklies...I KNOWWW I have to have some ...not sure what yet. I am excited I am going to buy socks tomorrow...lmao...and trying on hiking boots~

Wait till you get there, you'll have the choice of sorting through and picking out the EXACT ONE YOU WANT, otherwise you'll get what you get.....
 

w cleveland

New Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPDP-Santiago '13
Hi. Can anyone help me with some backpack advice. I purchased a Kelty Cayote which has good thick padding but weighs 5lbs 8 ounces. I also have a Teton Hiker 3700 with is almost 2 lbs less but not as much padding. I plan on starting from SJPP next March, so over the whole camino which is best? Padding or weight? I'm looking to keep my pack weight around 15 lbs if I can. I know there are other packs out there which are light and good but they are too expensive for me.
Thanks for any help in advance.
karen
 

w cleveland

New Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPDP-Santiago '13
Speaking as an individual who is only five days from Santiago, weight is the ultimate factor for me. I know dozens of pilgrims who have had to mail unnecessary items home so they could finish their Camino. To each they own....
 
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LesBrass

Likes Walking
Past OR future Camino
yes...
Incidentally. Where and when do we get the shell? I have read posts that other pilgrims identify each other before getting to the camino due to a shell on their pack. So if we want to begin our travels with it where do we get it from? Is it a specific kind of shell, size etc?
Thanks.

I found mine on a beach near Fisterra whilst on holiday this year... at the time I was very stongly considering walking CF. The shell was on the only one on a perfectly sandy beach... needless to say I took it as a sign that I HAD to walk :)
 
K

karenfromcali

Guest
I found mine on a beach near Fisterra whilst on holiday this year... at the time I was very stongly considering walking CF. The shell was on the only one on a perfectly sandy beach... needless to say I took it as a sign that I HAD to walk :)

Wonderful! I would have too :)
 
P

Pattii

Guest
Also the reason I had planned on a tent (1 person, light weight) was due to the time of year. I am walking early March and being as the weather can be so unpredictable (or so I read) I thought a tent would be a good back up plan if caught in inclement weather. When are you planning on walking?


There are a lot of tents out there that can deal with weather. The best thing is to make sure it is a quick set up and that it is meant to deal with cooler weather. Just like a sleeping bag tents are made for specific types of camping/weather. I am taking a tent too...its small and ultra light weight but can deal with -10 c as can my sleeping bag...
I am bringing both.
 
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Pattii

Guest
I don't know what its like to live a winter in another country but in Canada...where I live the weather often for months at a time is way below 0... It can often be -30 for weeks on end. We travel like everyone else by car but we are told to carry a winter safe bag. I have several items that are in my safe bag that I will also bring with me as I will be travelling through the end of summer into the winter. One of them is a reflective sheet/bag for warmth and safety. The other is a candle for warmth...its surprising that a small flame can stave off so much of the cold but it can.
 
K

karenfromcali

Guest
There are a lot of tents out there that can deal with weather. The best thing is to make sure it is a quick set up and that it is meant to deal with cooler weather. Just like a sleeping bag tents are made for specific types of camping/weather. I am taking a tent too...its small and ultra light weight but can deal with -10 c as can my sleeping bag...
I am bringing both.
Hi Pattii. Thanks for the reply. What tent and sleeping bag are you taking? I was going to ditch the tent idea but not so sure now. Also haven't decided on a sleeping bag yet.
Thanks :)
 
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Pattii

Guest
The tent I am looking at taking is 32 ounces...its this link.

http://www.backcountrygear.com/tarptent-squall-2.html

I am pretty sure this is the one...still looking but for room and comfort this is the best one for the weight. Also it only needs two poles...walking poles...and sets up in minutes...I am getting the one with the sewn in floor.
Its netted so it is good for bugs and creepy crawlies and with a good sleeping bag would be just fine for spring or fall. Not sure in the deep of winter...and it would depend where of course.

The sleeping bag that I found so far that is the lightest and the lowest temp is this one...

http://www.backcountrygear.com/marmot-plasma-40.html

It has a -7 on the low side but completely dressed with a reflective bag or sheet you would probably be good for more than - 10.

The key is weight. The best value for the best weight for the best protection. Most people on here will tell you not to bother with a tent but those who have brought one and used it loved it. I know a woman on the Camino right now...Anne...who is doing the Norte and when she is back I hope to hear some amazing things from her.

I happen to love camping and I was ready to buy some solo gear so I have been buying gear that will be conducive to doing long hikes. And because I live in Canada I am getting gear I can use in spring and fall here.

In total the weigh of both is about 1500g or about 3.5 lbs.
For me that weight is worth it. I have 5-6 lbs specifically for my camping gear...stove and fuel and utensils... I am pretty much there even with my walking poles. I am carrying roughly 15 to 18lbs...without food and water (hopefully including my backpack.)

I am also still looking for tents and sleeping bags to see if there is anything lighter... this one so far is the one for me. There is another similar tent that is for one person (I want the extra room) and its even lighter.

I am taking very little other than a couple days clothes and a few personal items. Most of my weight I will be sending on because I have things like meds that I cannot carry (6 months worth) and extra heavier clothing for later on my trip.
 
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vicrev

Active Member
Patti,there is an OZ site called ....bushwalk.com....good info on Ultra-light gear,just go to subforums....it will tell you just about everything on camping&ultra-light..........believe me,we are the Kings (& Queens ) of ultra-light...........:):)...........Vicrev
 
K

karenfromcali

Guest
Thanks Pattii. I also love camping and have been caught in all kinds of weather. I will look up your link.
Many thanks again.
Karen :)
 
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Pattii

Guest
Patti,there is an OZ site called ....bushwalk.com....good info on Ultra-light gear,just go to subforums....it will tell you just about everything on camping&ultra-light..........believe me,we are the Kings (& Queens ) of ultra-light...........:):)...........Vicrev
you are awesome...thanks!
 
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vicrev

Active Member
Hi Pattii,....... if you are still looking at Ultra light tents,I have been using a..... Luxe Rocket..... one man(or woman) It comes in at just under 1 Kilo (even though their blurb says 1.2 Kilos) .It has a insect mesh inner,with a fly,room to put your gear under the fly, & only needs one walking pole to erect...............I have been very pleased with it.........Mine is an older model, they may have changed the configuration of the tent since, I don't know.........hope this helps..............:)................Vicrev
 
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Pattii

Guest
Wow thats really light. Does it have a sewn in floor...bug protection cause i really really am afraid of spiders...I know I sound like a wimp...its a phobia...I manage camping by having very clean tents...grins...and bug nets!

The one I have been looking at is under a lb. about 905 grams. I think its much the same as yours...
 
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W

whariwharangi

Guest
I am a bigger girl... tall...broad shoulders and I carry a few extra lbs. I have a pack that I have used for years but its heavy...obviously too heavy for this journey. I have been looking at the different ultra light weight packs on the market but I need to have one that disperses weight evenly as I have back issues. I am worried about finding one that will be comfortable but not too big...and very light. Any recommendations would be wonderful. I have looked at the osprey's and heard they might not be the most comfy for a bigger person...

I used my 90 liter arcterix backpack ... overkill. It weighs 3.5 kg empty.

If I walk another camino I will obtain a pack size 50 - 60 liters. I note there are many packs in this size range that weigh around 2kg.

I like external frame packs; they are usually a bit lighter. They sit higher up on your back and so support loads better. There is more airflow between pack and back too. Downside is they don't travel on planes and buses very well.

The main feature you need (internal or external) is a hip belt that transfers most of the weight onto your hips.

If you go for an internal style make sure it has a metal frame. A lot of packs are sold without a frame; these are not intended for walking distances with a load.

Make sure it fits. Frame sizes often come small - medium - large. If you get one too small then the hip belt will be too high and it will be difficult to get out from under the shoulder straps. If you get one too large the hip belt will drag down below your hips and be of no use and shoulder straps will slide off your shoulders.

Since you are decorating with Canuck flag ( something I do not recommend) you have access to Mountain Equipment COOP (MEC). Thats a good place to look for a pack. Their website provides further information about gear to help make an informed choice. Further, other outdoor stores tend to be located close to the MEC.
 
W

whariwharangi

Guest
Incidentally. Where and when do we get the shell? I have read posts that other pilgrims identify each other before getting to the camino due to a shell on their pack. So if we want to begin our travels with it where do we get it from? Is it a specific kind of shell, size etc?
Thanks.

Lots of people just get a badge instead of a shell ... such as the one sold here on the forum. See the top bar this website.

Canadian Company of Pilgrims sells badges to its members. I think other confraternities also sell them.

Too, pilgrims dress differently and have a different, perhaps more relaxed, air about them (notwithstanding the give away backpack) ... you can pick them out of a crowd no problem even without shell adornments.
 
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W

whariwharangi

Guest
Hi Pattii. Thanks for the reply. What tent and sleeping bag are you taking? I was going to ditch the tent idea but not so sure now. Also haven't decided on a sleeping bag yet.
Thanks :)

I guess you need to decide if you are planning to walk on the camino or if you are planning on an outdoor adventure.

If your purpose is to follow one of the camino routes to Santiago then you will have lots of albergues to stay at. You will not need a tent, a sleeping pad, or a bivy sack. You will need a sleeping bag that is suitable for indoor use where temperatures might be cold but certainly not below freezing.

I carried a -10C rated bag. I never slept in it because it was too warm; I just used it as a blanket(and often woke up sweating with just that). Often the albergues were so warm I used only the sleeping bag sheet liner. Next time it will be a plus 5C bag.

If you want extra gear for an emergency I would recommend bringing a thermal blanket (basically a large sheet of aluminium foil) to wrap around you when dressed in all your stuff and taking shelter from the wind. A poncho can be used as a makeshift bivy sack. A small candle can be used as a heat source. My bet is you won't need it and any gear purchased for this purpose will be money wasted.
 
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K

karenfromcali

Guest
I guess you need to decide if you are planning to walk on the camino or if you are planning on an outdoor adventure.

If your purpose is to follow one of the camino routes to Santiago then you will have lots of albergues to stay at. You will not need a tent, a sleeping pad, or a bivy sack. You will need a sleeping bag that is suitable for indoor use where temperatures might be cold but certainly not below freezing.

I carried a -10C rated bag. I never slept in it because it was too warm; I just used it as a blanket(and often woke up sweating with just that). Often the albergues were so warm I used only the sleeping bag sheet liner. Next time it will be a plus 5C bag.

If you want extra gear for an emergency I would recommend bringing a thermal blanket (basically a large sheet of aluminium foil) to wrap around you when dressed in all your stuff and taking shelter from the wind. A poncho can be used as a makeshift bivy sack. A small candle can be used as a heat source. My bet is you won't need it and any gear purchased for this purpose will be money wasted.

Thanks for the good advice :)
 

jl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
Realistic pack weights could be around 25% heavier for spring or as much as double for winter depending upon how resilient you are.
Regards,

I have yet to weigh my pack Doug, though I have weighed individual items,and at this stage it is only marginally heavier, if at all, than a fully loaded summer one. Admittedly, I am planning to walk the CF and so I know that even in December the basic infrastructure exists - making life much easier. I have taken care when purchasing equipment that I got the lightest - Backpacking Light in Melbourne have done well from me. I realise if I were travelling one of the roads less travelled it might be a different story. Janet
 

Chris Gentry

New Member
Past OR future Camino
France - April 2014
Karen,

Since i'm traveling in March as well, ( SJPD ) I will be taking an AMK SOL Escape Bivy with a very light liner bag for extra comfort. I'm thinking this, along with my cold compress long underwear will be sufficient for me. I use the underarmor compress for snowboarding and it does a fabulous job wicking away the moisture and keeping me toasty warm while I ski under the lights.

http://www.rei.com/product/832336/s...|google|main&gclid=CL6OyNCBkbsCFfJxOgod02YAOg

Peace of Passage,

Chris
 
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Karen,

Since i'm traveling in March as well, ( SJPD ) I will be taking an AMK SOL Escape Bivy with a very light liner bag for extra comfort. I'm thinking this, along with my cold compress long underwear will be sufficient for me. I use the underarmor compress for snowboarding and it does a fabulous job wicking away the moisture and keeping me toasty warm while I ski under the lights.

http://www.rei.com/product/832336/sol-escape-bivy?s_kwcid=sn03a9JV8_dt|pcrid|34504133765|pkw|sol escape bivvy|pmt|p|google|main&gclid=CL6OyNCBkbsCFfJxOgod02YAOg

Peace of Passage,

Chris
Just ordered this Chris from REI. Going to give it a try on the Florida Trail this winter....Thanks for the heads up about this. Looks good.

Ed
 

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