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Backpack Etiquette

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Janbrovold

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2013
Francés (2015)
#1
I'm excited to be heading back in a few weeks for my second Camino. I'm walking with two friends for whom it will be their first time... we are all 60+++. Could members please refresh me on backpack etiquette especially in albergues? Thanks so much!!
 

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Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
#2
Just don't ever put it / leave it on your bunk. Don't leave your valuables in it when you are showering or out in the evening. And if it is stolen by a teenage member of a minority ethnic group, don't worry - you will get to go to a great spontaneous party and someone will carry your pack for you to the city boundary.
 

crazyloon

May 1 start - SJPP See you out there!
Camino(s) past & future
(May 2017)
#5
I'm excited to be heading back in a few weeks for my second Camino. I'm walking with two friends for whom it will be their first time... we are all 60+++. Could members please refresh me on backpack etiquette especially in albergues? Thanks so much!!
Thank you for asking this question @Janbrovold . I, too, was wondering what to do with my backpack once I head to the shower. I'm sure it will all fall into place. The suggestion of taking your valuables with you to the shower makes sense and I hear consistently not to lay your backpack on the bed. I guess it is on the floor. 1 month to go! OMG, this rookie is so excited.
 

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falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#6
Chairs are for sitting, not storing a backpack.
Put a loop of rope on the pack hoist loop, and you will be able to hang the pack from most bunks.
Half the space below the bunk belongs to each of the top and bottom occupants.
Don't lie directly on the mattress.
Packs can be pretty dirty, which is why you should avoid putting them on beds.
Lights out at 2200 generally.
Almost everyone will be getting up at 6 a.m. in the summer. If you want to sleep in, albergues are not the right place!
Lights will usually be turned on at or before 7 a.m.
Hospitaleros will probably throw you out at 8 a.m., sometimes quite rudely.
Never set your alarm.
Phones on vibrate (no one wants to hear it ring at two in the morning).
Share the hanging space on the ends of the bunks.
Prepack if you plan to leave early. Don't use "crackly" plastic bags.
Bring ear plugs. You cannot control the snoring of others, so plan to accommodate it.
Take showers of modest length. Often hot water heaters are under-capacity units.
:);):)
 

crazyloon

May 1 start - SJPP See you out there!
Camino(s) past & future
(May 2017)
#7
Chairs are for sitting, not storing a backpack.
Put a loop of rope on the pack hoist loop, and you will be able to hang the pack from most bunks.
Half the space below the bunk belongs to each of the top and bottom occupants.
Don't lie directly on the mattress.
Packs can be pretty dirty, which is why you should avoid putting them on beds.
Lights out at 2200 generally.
Almost everyone will be getting up at 6 a.m. in the summer. If you want to sleep in, albergues are not the right place!
Lights will usually be turned on at or before 7 a.m.
Hospitaleros will probably throw you out at 8 a.m., sometimes quite rudely.
Never set your alarm.
Phones on vibrate (no one wants to hear it ring at two in the morning).
Share the hanging space on the ends of the bunks.
Prepack if you plan to leave early. Don't use "crackly" plastic bags.
Bring ear plugs. You cannot control the snoring of others, so plan to accommodate it.
Take showers of modest length. Often hot water heaters are under-capacity units.
:);):)
Thank you, this really helps.
 

crazyloon

May 1 start - SJPP See you out there!
Camino(s) past & future
(May 2017)
#9
I guess what I would consider common sense (such as turning off your electronics or putting them on vibrate) are not always apparent. I expect I will be tested a few times, but heck I'm not perfect so I'm sure I'll annoy somebody with my sunny morning disposition. lol
 

Camino Chris

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#10
Just don't ever put it / leave it on your bunk. Don't leave your valuables in it when you are showering or out in the evening. And if it is stolen by a teenage member of a minority ethnic group, don't worry - you will get to go to a great spontaneous party and someone will carry your pack for you to the city boundary.
As so often, "Tinky", you make me laugh!
 

marylynn

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011-12-14-15-16-17-18 CF
2013 Arles/Aragones
2015 & 2017 Hærvejen DK
#13
And that goes for any alarms that you think you have to set - vibrate only please.
I hadn't realized that my iPad alarm would sound for everyone to hear even though I had plugged in my earphones (so I didn't annoy anyone). So sorry!!!!!!
 

Gillean

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Seven
#14
Would a "standard" carabiner also work for this? Seems like I always carry one.
Put a loop of rope on the pack hoist loop, and you will be able to hang the pack from most bunks.
I think at least part of the point of not putting your pack on the bed is to avoid the transmission of pests like bedbugs that might be on your pack. Hanging your pack on the bunk bed would defeat that objective. I think packs, like boots, belong on the floor and nowhere near bedding.
 

Jersey

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
July 2017
#15
I'm only walking from Leon to Santiago this summer due to a birthday party I have to be at the week of August 12 in Valencia.
Between reading about snoring, dorm style bunk beds, cold showers and now backpacks lol
I plan on staying at any establishment or hotel where I have my own room. Hopefully I'll meet some like minded folks willing to share a room, to help cut back on expenses. Any advice is appreciated and a big thank you to all that share there experience with those of us that know little
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid.
#16
It sounds complicated but it is really not. Think about the needs of other people, and be considerate. Everything else follows.

Communal living does require subjugating our own needs to the needs of the community, something a bit foreign to our western individualist way of life.
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
#17
Don't put it on the bunk. Don't put it on a chair. Don't hang it from a ladder. Don't dump out the contents on the floor next to the beds. Don't inventory it noisily in the dark, in the sleeping quarters early in the morning while pilgrims are still in bed.
Do get it ready the night before, place it on the floor, upon waking take it and all your stuff and go out into the albergue common area or outside, and do whatever you need to do.
 

Mark McCarthy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2014 2015
Lourdes 2 SdC 2016
Sarria 2 SdC April&Oct 2016 & (April 2018)
Camino Baztan June 2017
#18
Try and prepare your pack as much as possible before going to bed so as to minimise any inconvenience to those sleeping a little longer.
For going to the showers, it is worth investing in a dry sack to keep your valuables and your clothes dry while you shower. I use an Osprey 12l dry sack like this: https://www.rei.com/product/882613/osprey-ultralight-dry-sack.
 

Felice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Santiago Sept 2014
#19
I think at least part of the point of not putting your pack on the bed is to avoid the transmission of pests like bedbugs that might be on your pack. Hanging your pack on the bunk bed would defeat that objective. I think packs, like boots, belong on the floor and nowhere near bedding.
Early on during my walk, I stayed at an albergue where the lady was almost paranoid about bed bugs. So when we arrived, we were told to take out what we needed for the stay, whilst we were still in the lobby. Then she gave us thick plastic bags, into which we put our packs. Then we were told to hang the bagged pack from a hook from the end of the bunk.

Later on, after picking up bed bugs myself, I adopted a similar strategy, though I had no plastic beg. By then there was no way I was going to leave my pack on the floor for the night. Instead, I would hang my pack from the frame of the upper bunk using a piece of string I just happen to have. The pack was suspended between the two beds, touching neither.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via De La Plata 2014
Camino Sanabres 2015
Camino Mozarabe (2016)
#23
Thank you for asking this question @Janbrovold . I, too, was wondering what to do with my backpack once I head to the shower. I'm sure it will all fall into place. The suggestion of taking your valuables with you to the shower makes sense and I hear consistently not to lay your backpack on the bed. I guess it is on the floor. 1 month to go! OMG, this rookie is so excited.
Hang it up if you can on a peg. Harder for bed bugs to hitch a ride
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via De La Plata 2014
Camino Sanabres 2015
Camino Mozarabe (2016)
#24
Early on during my walk, I stayed at an albergue where the lady was almost paranoid about bed bugs. So when we arrived, we were told to take out what we needed for the stay, whilst we were still in the lobby. Then she gave us thick plastic bags, into which we put our packs. Then we were told to hang the bagged pack from a hook from the end of the bunk.

Later on, after picking up bed bugs myself, I adopted a similar strategy, though I had no plastic beg. By then there was no way I was going to leave my pack on the floor for the night. Instead, I would hang my pack from the frame of the upper bunk using a piece of string I just happen to have. The pack was suspended between the two beds, touching neither.
Good advice.
 

Shston Girlfd

Member
Donating Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Portuguese (2018)
#26
Details, details. Those valuables we are supposed to bring with us into the showers - are there generally hooks to hang a shower kit or do I have to hold it in my teeth as I bathe?
 

Shston Girlfd

Member
Donating Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Portuguese (2018)
#28
Teeth. Sometimes the door handle is a useful shape. Or you get lucky and there is a hook. People have all kinds of ingenious solutions.
- I am looking forward to the expanse of human ingenuity which will be on display. You also answered another - solitary or group showers. Bueno Camino!
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
#29
Sorry...there will be no hooks in the showers. Very strange in as much as it has been a frustration for pilgrims for many years.
It is one of the challenges of the Camino.
Most people use a plastic ziplock or dry bag of some type.

Warning to not trust someone you have just met to watch your stuff.
It is a well established scam. Fake pilgrims are not unknown.
They may walk as a pilgrim during the day and make friends for this purpose. Not common enough to create worry...but keep your money and valuables with you at all times.
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo (2018) if all vital signs working
#31
I took a nylon laundry bag for my backpack, knowing it would be kept on the floor...
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
#32
Please don't ever put your backpack on a chair.
Chairs are for sitting on, in albergues and cafes.
Thanks!
Jill
The backpacks on furniture thing is a mystery to me. It never has crossed my mind to do it, as communal chairs and furniture are for backsides to rest on, not backpacks. Yet rude pilgrims do it.
One albergue I arrived at had about four pilgrims ahead of me checking in. There was a couch of sorts right by the hospitalero's desk. They promptly dumped all their packs on it. Strange.
 

Doogman

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Many more in the future (hopefully)
#33
Just don't ever put it / leave it on your bunk. Don't leave your valuables in it when you are showering or out in the evening. And if it is stolen by a teenage member of a minority ethnic group, don't worry - you will get to go to a great spontaneous party and someone will carry your pack for you to the city boundary.
@Tincatinker: I "liked" your post, but I don't think that is sufficient. I just wanted to say I thought it was brilliant!
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: 2013, 2014
Madrid: 2016
Portuguese: 2015, 2017
Invierno: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2017
#35
Thank you for asking this question @Janbrovold . I, too, was wondering what to do with my backpack once I head to the shower. I'm sure it will all fall into place. The suggestion of taking your valuables with you to the shower makes sense and I hear consistently not to lay your backpack on the bed. I guess it is on the floor. 1 month to go! OMG, this rookie is so excited.
Simply use a one-gallon or three-liter ziplock bag to contain your valuables while you are in the shower. If you need more volume, use two bags or get one larger bag. The sealed bag can go into the shower with you if needs must.

Everything else in your rucksack can conceivably be replaced if the worst happened. My suggestion is to carry into the shower in that waterproof bag the same items you carried onto the flight over the pond. These are the things you cannot be separated from without huge inconvenience.

Easy peasy...
 

Christian Hiriart

The Camino keeps calling.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances September (2016) St. Jean to Leon
Planning for the next...
#36
Just don't ever put it / leave it on your bunk. Don't leave your valuables in it when you are showering or out in the evening. And if it is stolen by a teenage member of a minority ethnic group, don't worry - you will get to go to a great spontaneous party and someone will carry your pack for you to the city boundary.
Uhmmm That's excellent Tincatinker, someone should make a movie about that...
 

Luka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata (2013/2014)
Via Podiensis, Camino Francés (2015)
Camino del Norte (2017)
#39
Never set your alarm.
This! I was surprised on the Camino Frances how normal it seemed to be woken up by a chorus of alarms around 5.00 am...
 
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marylynn

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011-12-14-15-16-17-18 CF
2013 Arles/Aragones
2015 & 2017 Hærvejen DK
#41
- I am looking forward to the expanse of human ingenuity which will be on display. You also answered another - solitary or group showers. Bueno Camino!
I haven't stayed in every single albergue on the Camino, but I have never ever encountered a group shower! Don't worry.
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
#42
I haven't stayed in every single albergue on the Camino, but I have never ever encountered a group shower! Don't worry.
There's a group shower in Lugo, on the Primitivo. Weirdly in a very modern albergue. It also has a mysterious dining room without a kitchen. Blame the Xunta de Galicia. I normally do.
 
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JulieandPeter

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (April/May 2015)
Frances (May/June 2017)
Planning Le Puy to SJPDP (August/September 2018)
#43
My advice is to try not to be too angry at the poor peregrinos who didn't read this post before they headed out on their 500 mile journey across Spain in an effort to become better humans. :)
 

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Saint Mike II

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
#45
Details, details. Those valuables we are supposed to bring with us into the showers - are there generally hooks to hang a shower kit or do I have to hold it in my teeth as I bathe?
At the better albergues there will often be hooks, at others you might need to supply you own removable hook (a simple suction one) and or a length of twine to tie your stuff to the door handle or anywhere suitable - up off the wet floors. Cheers
 

Mckarash

A Coddiwomple expert
Camino(s) past & future
St Jean - Belorado July 2016
St Jean - Sahagun April 14th to April 29th 2017
#46
My biggest bugbear was the selfishness of folk with plug sockets. Fair enough, first in first use, but you don't need to charge your phone or tablet for 3-6 hours. There are only so many sockets to go around! Quite often i'd have to do a 1hr stealth charge in the middle of the night. I'm bringing a double socket this year if a neighbour needs to share.
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
#47
Why do pilgrims dump all the crap out of their pack (early morning in the dark sleeping area), and put it back in all the time? I never understood that. It's a pack. Everything is in arm's reach. Reach in and grab it and remove it. Then when you are done with it, put it back in.
o_O
 
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tillyjones

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances June 2015
VDLP May 2017
del Norte September 2018
#48
I think at least part of the point of not putting your pack on the bed is to avoid the transmission of pests like bedbugs that might be on your pack. Hanging your pack on the bunk bed would defeat that objective. I think packs, like boots, belong on the floor and nowhere near bedding.
I don't think that will have any impact on transmission of bedbugs. If you set a bag on a bed during daytime hours, they're not going to jump off the bag onto the bed. They hunker down until meal time (aka the middle of the night, when they sense the CO2 in the air) Wherever a contaminated bag sits, they will come out of hiding, find a nice meal and then find somewhere to sleep it off, maybe the same place they came from, maybe a different place. If the bag is in the same room, they're going to find you. Only well outside is a safe place for that purpose, I'd say.
 

Glenn Rowe

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
.
#49
When with other people, like walking in a group or in a city, don't turn around suddenly and slam your pack in someone else's face... :oops:
And don't sit down on a log or rock or backless bench while wearing your pack. If you do, you're almost certain to wind up lying on the ground behind it. Then (as if that wasn't sufficiently embarrassing) try getting up!
:oops::(:)
 

Glenn Rowe

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
.
#50
Why do pilgrims dump all the crap out of their pack, and put it back in all the time? I never understood that. It's a pack. Everything is in arm's reach. Reach in and grab it and remove it. Then when you are done with it, put it back in.
o_O
Lack of organization, lack of practice, lack of awareness. To name three.
 

tillyjones

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances June 2015
VDLP May 2017
del Norte September 2018
#51
Why do pilgrims dump all the crap out of their pack, and put it back in all the time? I never understood that. It's a pack. Everything is in arm's reach. Reach in and grab it and remove it. Then when you are done with it, put it back in.
o_O
To find stuff? To get at the stuff that's at the bottom? To get everything reorganized after it's been disorganized and jumbled from pulling stuff out and putting stuff in all day?

I do that. Would never have dreamed that would bother someone whom it has nothing to do with!
 

Glenn Rowe

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
.
#52
To find stuff? To get at the stuff that's at the bottom? To get everything reorganized after it's been disorganized and jumbled from pulling stuff out and putting stuff in all day?

I do that. Would never have dreamed that would bother someone whom it has nothing to do with!
@tillyjones:

If one does it in the sleeping area at zero-dark-thirty, while others are still trying to sleep, the noise alone is quite bothersome. And if one does it on the lower bunk, the person occupying the upper bunk is likely to become more than a bit upset -- possibly even a little seasick.

Awareness, as they say, is the first step toward meaningful change.
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
#53
@tillyjones:

If one does it in the sleeping area at zero-dark-thirty, while others are still trying to sleep, the noise alone is quite bothersome. And if one does it on the lower bunk, the person occupying the upper bunk is likely to become more than a bit upset -- possibly even a little seasick.

Awareness, as they say, is the first step toward meaningful change.
Exactly. That's what I'm talking about.
Five in the morning. Lights are still out in the sleeping area. People are still trying to sleep.
Not the most logical time and place to inventory a backpack.
 

tillyjones

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances June 2015
VDLP May 2017
del Norte September 2018
#54
@tillyjones:

If one does it in the sleeping area at zero-dark-thirty, while others are still trying to sleep, the noise alone is quite bothersome. And if one does it on the lower bunk, the person occupying the upper bunk is likely to become more than a bit upset -- possibly even a little seasick.

Awareness, as they say, is the first step toward meaningful change.
No doubt. The poster asked why people take everything out. I simply answered the question. ;) There was no mention of it being noisy, which is a wholly different issue.
 

SabineP

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#55
Exactly. That's what I'm talking about.
Five in the morning. Lights are still out in the sleeping area. People are still trying to sleep.
Not the most logical time and place to inventory a backpack.
Or like I observed two weeks ago in an albergue in Ledigos. A very OCD man checking six times ( in the very very early morning ) his pack by packing and unpacking everything. And checking with a torch ( also six tmes ) if he did not forget something under the bed... But I digress :D
 

fenix

Nevertheless, she persists
Camino(s) past & future
Several, since 1999
Upcoming: Almeria to Muxia, Summer 2017
#56
This! I was surprised on the Camino Frances how normal it seemed to be woken up by a chorus of alarms around 5.00 am...
Why, why, why, do people think this is OK? (Or just not care that it isn't ok?)

Does anyone else Fitbit? I'm using mine this camino. It has a very convenient vibrating alarm.



My biggest bugbear was the selfishness of folk with plug sockets. Fair enough, first in first use, but you don't need to charge your phone or tablet for 3-6 hours. There are only so many sockets to go around! Quite often i'd have to do a 1hr stealth charge in the middle of the night. I'm bringing a double socket this year if a neighbour needs to share.
Yeah, ditto on this too.

I am never not astounded at the thoughtlessness of others. Albergue life is always a major test of my zen.

I was thinking of starting a simple blog for the first time this camino, as my means of staying in touch with home. I may have just thought of its title - Misanthrope Walking, or some such.



To find stuff? To get at the stuff that's at the bottom? To get everything reorganized after it's been disorganized and jumbled from pulling stuff out and putting stuff in all day?

I do that. Would never have dreamed that would bother someone whom it has nothing to do with!
I was often amused by the pack explosions I saw in the evenings. Maybe mildly annoyed at the occasional one that was all over the floor around my bunk area that I had to repeatedly step over. But yeah, who cares how others pack/unpack?

Now, it did drive me personally crazy when I used to carry a top-loading pack on the camino, and felt like I was always blindly digging for something that was inevitably on the bottom. I have a panel loading camino pack now, that causes me far less stress.



To the original question of this thread, I personally think putting packs on the bed is not necessarily bad etiquette, as long as it is temporary, and as long as it is not directly on the mattress or albergue bedding. It's a dirt issue, I think. So as long as my pack is on top of my towel/sleeping bag/pack-liner or the like, I think it is fine to briefly access/organize it on the bed.

Really, bed bugs are not the issue in that temporary daylight situation. Just don't leave packs on the bed for extended periods, especially overnight.

I think there are much bigger etiquette issues at play in albergues.
 

Purky

The Dutch guy
Camino(s) past & future
Breda (Holland) to Santiago (2016)
Camino Ingles (2017)
#57
And don't sit down on a log or rock or backless bench while wearing your pack. If you do, you're almost certain to wind up lying on the ground behind it. Then (as if that wasn't sufficiently embarrassing) try getting up!
:oops::(:)
Never had the backward drop, but I had the forward topple once when I wanted to pick something up. My pack slid up, made me topheavy and I there I went, face first. Good thing I was alone, but I could have sworn that cow in the meadow was laughing at me.
 

Glenn Rowe

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
.
#58
Never had the backward drop, but I had the forward topple once when I wanted to pick something up. My pack slid up, made me topheavy and I there I went, face first. Good thing I was alone, but I could have sworn that cow in the meadow was laughing at me.
Just be glad said cow hadn't recently made a deposit where your faceplant took you....:p:D
 

Luka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata (2013/2014)
Via Podiensis, Camino Francés (2015)
Camino del Norte (2017)
#59
Does anyone else Fitbit? I'm using mine this camino. It has a very convenient vibrating alarm.
That is a good idea for my next Camino! Just bought one this weekend, but hadn't thought of that opportunity yet.
 

Jersey

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
July 2017
#60
To find stuff? To get at the stuff that's at the bottom? To get everything reorganized after it's been disorganized and jumbled from pulling stuff out and putting stuff in all day?

I do that. Would never have dreamed that would bother someone whom it has nothing to do with!
If you put more than 1 person in a bedroom, I don't care if it's 2 people or 80 people. Everyone is gonna do something that someone else doesn't like or understand lol
 

fenix

Nevertheless, she persists
Camino(s) past & future
Several, since 1999
Upcoming: Almeria to Muxia, Summer 2017
#61
Never had the backward drop, but I had the forward topple once when I wanted to pick something up. My pack slid up, made me topheavy and I there I went, face first. Good thing I was alone, but I could have sworn that cow in the meadow was laughing at me.
Did that once, but without the reasonable excuse that I was trying to pick something up. I just toppled forward, faceplant, splayed out on my belly, no reason. This was a wilderness excursion, not a camino. I'm lucky it happened in a wide flat valley, fairly smooth trail, not on an exposed section. I'm sure the marmots were laughing at me, but I couldn't hear them over the sound of my $%&@*%^# hiking partner's laughter (and picture taking).

Granted, it was towards the end of a long hard day of altitude and mountain passes. All I could think, face down on the trail, was damn..... this is kinda comfy. Think I'll stay here for a bit.
 

Icacos

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
#63
The sign in the albergue in Rabanal said lights out at 10:00 p.m. We got back at 9:10 p.m. and the dormitorio was in total darkness and in complete silence. You're darned right we used our little 'night lights' to get into our packs and get ourselves organized .....albeit as quietly as possible.
 

Icacos

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
#64
.......on transmission of bedbugs........ They hunker down until meal time (aka the middle of the night, when they sense the CO2 in the air)
I've never encountered a better reason to leave the windows of an albergue open overnight. :D
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
#65
I was often amused by the pack explosions I saw in the evenings. Maybe mildly annoyed at the occasional one that was all over the floor around my bunk area that I had to repeatedly step over.
"Pack explosions". That's a good term for it. Saw that several times. The entire contents of the pack all over the floor, in the pathway between the bunks and a couple of occasions on the floor next to the bunk where I was sleeping, so I'd have to pick my way through scattered clothing and equipment when I climbed down.
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo (2018) if all vital signs working
#66
Re........ a very OCD man

I think we can show a little kindness here. I have a lifelong friend whose husband lives with severe OCD. He will tell you himself, it is a living hell.
 

Saint Mike II

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
#67
My biggest bugbear was the selfishness of folk with plug sockets. Fair enough, first in first use, but you don't need to charge your phone or tablet for 3-6 hours. There are only so many sockets to go around! Quite often i'd have to do a 1hr stealth charge in the middle of the night. I'm bringing a double socket this year if a neighbour needs to share.
I understand @Mckarash - I am bringing a power=pack has 3 USB slots so can charge my iPad/iPhone and room for anyone who needs help. Cheers
 

Camino Chris

Veteran Member
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#68
Don't put it on the bunk. Don't put it on a chair. Don't hang it from a ladder. Don't dump out the contents on the floor next to the beds. Don't inventory it noisily in the dark, in the sleeping quarters early in the morning while pilgrims are still in bed.
Do get it ready the night before, place it on the floor, upon waking take it and all your stuff and go out into the albergue common area or outside, and do whatever you need to do.
Or you can wait until most pilgrims clear on out and you are one of the few left. Then, and only then, you can make all the noise you wish!:)
 

Camino Chris

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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#69
Or like I observed two weeks ago in an albergue in Ledigos. A very OCD man checking six times ( in the very very early morning ) his pack by packing and unpacking everything. And checking with a torch ( also six tmes ) if he did not forget something under the bed... But I digress :D
That's what I do at home before leaving for the Camino! o_O
 

Camino Chris

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Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#70
"Pack explosions". That's a good term for it. Saw that several times. The entire contents of the pack all over the floor, in the pathway between the bunks and a couple of occasions on the floor next to the bunk where I was sleeping, so I'd have to pick my way through scattered clothing and equipment when I climbed down.
I hope the bedbugs hitchhiked a ride on his stuff that night and left you alone! :)
 

Camino Chris

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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#71
Early on during my walk, I stayed at an albergue where the lady was almost paranoid about bed bugs. So when we arrived, we were told to take out what we needed for the stay, whilst we were still in the lobby. Then she gave us thick plastic bags, into which we put our packs. Then we were told to hang the bagged pack from a hook from the end of the bunk.

Later on, after picking up bed bugs myself, I adopted a similar strategy, though I had no plastic beg. By then there was no way I was going to leave my pack on the floor for the night. Instead, I would hang my pack from the frame of the upper bunk using a piece of string I just happen to have. The pack was suspended between the two beds, touching neither.
I've read that bedbugs can climb anywhere and everywhere, even on string, but hopefully that helps.
 

Camino Chris

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Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#72
Exactly. That's what I'm talking about.
Five in the morning. Lights are still out in the sleeping area. People are still trying to sleep.
Not the most logical time and place to inventory a backpack.
I used good quality earplugs every night. I was amazed at how I never heard the bag rustlers or scurrying around in early morning. When I finally would wake up and took them out I was surprised at all the noisy racket going on around me. Gotta love those earplugs!
 

Gillean

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Seven
#73
I don't think that will have any impact on transmission of bedbugs. If you set a bag on a bed during daytime hours, they're not going to jump off the bag onto the bed. They hunker down until meal time (aka the middle of the night, when they sense the CO2 in the air) Wherever a contaminated bag sits, they will come out of hiding, find a nice meal and then find somewhere to sleep it off, maybe the same place they came from, maybe a different place. If the bag is in the same room, they're going to find you. Only well outside is a safe place for that purpose, I'd say.
You may very well be right. In fact I truly believe you are. I've stayed in albergues where your backpack had to be isolated in a sealed heavy plastic bag and couldn't brought into the sleeping area. You had to take those essentials you needed out of your pack and bring them separately to the sleeping area. In both cases those places had had bed bug infestations and had had the devil's own time cleaning them out so they were especially careful and trusted no one. Personally, my basic rule of thumb for communal living is to not put my pack anywhere that I wouldn't be happy putting my boots and that includes hanging it off the bed. Both the boots and the pack have potentially been in some rather nasty places.
 
Last edited:

Janbrovold

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2013
Francés (2015)
#74
Thank you for asking this question @Janbrovold . I, too, was wondering what to do with my backpack once I head to the shower. I'm sure it will all fall into place. The suggestion of taking your valuables with you to the shower makes sense and I hear consistently not to lay your backpack on the bed. I guess it is on the floor. 1 month to go! OMG, this rookie is so excited.
You will have a wonderful Camino!! I asked this question about etiquette because I remembered some conflicting info in the past: don't put them on the bed, don't put them on floor, and don't use the chair. Sooo... I will check what others are doing and for sure avoid the bed:) Buen Camino!!
 

nidarosa

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes please!
#75
And if you store your poles in or on your pack, perhaps in towns and cities to avoid clickety-clacking, please store them with the tips down, not up! Many leave their bare metal tips sticking up in other people's eye height which is at best thoughtless and at worst could cause serious damage. I assume they don't want the dirt off the tip in their pack pockets - if so, stick the tips in a small bag or wrap it in your bandanna or something before storing the poles.
 

Shston Girlfd

Member
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Portuguese (2018)
#76
I used good quality earplugs every night. I was amazed at how I never heard the bag rustlers or scurrying around in early morning. When I finally would wake up and took them out I was surprised at all the noisy racket going on around me. Gotta love those earplugs!
Encouraging me to upgrade my earplug choice.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via De La Plata 2014
Camino Sanabres 2015
Camino Mozarabe (2016)
#77
Does anybody else reading these posts ( and many others in other threads) in a purely non- judgemental way of course think "first world problems"!!!!! Met a Spaniard on the Sanabres who sang as he walked and all he carried was a staff and assorted plastic shopping bags hung around his body containing his few possessions and some food. Everytime we met up with him he was singing. Made me feel humble in my hi tech expensive clothes, backpack and assorted hi tech gadgets that might be lost or stolen.???

I bet he would not get his gear stolen by a "young person from a minority ethnic group" whose father would return the plastic bags and make the minority ethnic group young person then carry his plastic bags to the edge of town.
 

Shston Girlfd

Member
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Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Portuguese (2018)
#78
Does anybody else reading these posts ( and many others in other threads) in a purely non- judgemental way of course think "first world problems"!!!!! Met a Spaniard on the Sanabres who sang as he walked and all he carried was a staff and assorted plastic shopping bags hung around his body containing his few possessions and some food. Everytime we met up with him he was singing. Made me feel humble in my hi tech expensive clothes, backpack and assorted hi tech gadgets that might be lost or stolen.???

I bet he would not get his gear stolen by a "young person from a minority ethnic group" whose father would return the plastic bags and make the minority ethnic group young person then carry his plastic bags to the edge of town.
Perfect! Bring us back to our true purpose and goals here - thank you from the bottom of my heart. I read your note an I thought of the thousands of pilgrims over the centuries which undertook this journey with not much but their faith. Buen Camino!
 

crazyloon

May 1 start - SJPP See you out there!
Camino(s) past & future
(May 2017)
#79
You will have a wonderful Camino!! I asked this question about etiquette because I remembered some conflicting info in the past: don't put them on the bed, don't put them on floor, and don't use the chair. Sooo... I will check what others are doing and for sure avoid the bed:) Buen Camino!!
Awesome, thank you!
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#80
Fellow dormmate tripped this morning over the backpack and content left at the foot of a bed by another. Considering the room was only half filled the bag owner should have had no problem putting stuff away.

Spending a second night in an albergue. I pavked all my things carefully so they wouldn't be in the way during the day. Found them on a chair by a bed in a different room, but there by the hospy. He must think the chair is for me? :rolleyes:
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
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Frances: 2013, 2014
Madrid: 2016
Portuguese: 2015, 2017
Invierno: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2017
#82
My biggest bugbear was the selfishness of folk with plug sockets. Fair enough, first in first use, but you don't need to charge your phone or tablet for 3-6 hours. There are only so many sockets to go around! Quite often i'd have to do a 1hr stealth charge in the middle of the night. I'm bringing a double socket this year if a neighbour needs to share.

I bought a 3-way "cube tap" in one of the first Oriental Bazaar / China Bazaar shops I came to. Over time, this has grown in to a collection of "better designs" over the years.

This allows me to share the outlet with up to two others. The added weight is offset by the gratitude you receive. If lost, just buy another at the next Bazaar...there is always one ahead in a large town or city...

I hope this helps.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Starting April, 15, 2017
#84
I'm excited to be heading back in a few weeks for my second Camino. I'm walking with two friends for whom it will be their first time... we are all 60+++. Could members please refresh me on backpack etiquette especially in albergues? Thanks so much!!
Bring along a tent and avoid all these pitfalls.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Starting April, 15, 2017
#86
I guess what I would consider common sense (such as turning off your electronics or putting them on vibrate) are not always apparent. I expect I will be tested a few times, but heck I'm not perfect so I'm sure I'll annoy somebody with my sunny morning disposition. lol
'sunny morning disposition" ...Please do your best to contain that at least until after breakfast.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria to Santiago - May 2017
St Jean Pied d Port to Finisterre - April 2018
#87
Thank you for asking this question @Janbrovold . I, too, was wondering what to do with my backpack once I head to the shower. I'm sure it will all fall into place. The suggestion of taking your valuables with you to the shower makes sense and I hear consistently not to lay your backpack on the bed. I guess it is on the floor. 1 month to go! OMG, this rookie is so excited.
Hi Crazyloon, I recently reoad about using ziplock bags to put valuables in when showering and to use a cable tie to tie your bag to your bunk. I thought this sounded pretty sensible. Buen Camino! Im starting mine in one month :)
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
#88
Don't explain to people why your pack is more wonderful than others. People become fond of their packs and don't want them insulted. Pilgrims who hate their pack have already quit.
 

Uunikorny

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
July(2017)
#89
I used good quality earplugs every night. I was amazed at how I never heard the bag rustlers or scurrying around in early morning. When I finally would wake up and took them out I was surprised at all the noisy racket going on around me. Gotta love those earplugs!
Which earplugs did you have? I'm a light sleeper and haven't found anything fantastic. Tia
 

Desert Bruce

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
July2015 2 weeks vol Santiago Pilgrim office
2016 Sept-Oct St Jean-Muxia
2017 Pamplona-Finisterra
#90
Would a "standard" carabiner also work for this? Seems like I always carry one.
Last year I carried an 'S' hook to hang my bag from the bunk, it was big enough to use on all the alberque bunks I encountered. It was also useful to attach things while walking. Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Starting April, 15, 2017
#92
Which earplugs did you have? I'm a light sleeper and haven't found anything fantastic. Tia
There is a gentleman who lives on the AT practically, does many utube vids and he recommends the swimmer type plugs and definitely not the foam variety.
 

t2andreo

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Frances: 2013, 2014
Madrid: 2016
Portuguese: 2015, 2017
Invierno: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2017
#93
I have found that using a Nite-Ize #6 "S" Carabiner hook works perfectly. You can find them at your local Home Depot (in the US). The #6 is molded into the logo on the hook.

A smaller size does not work on the prevalent style of bunk bed in albergues. I chose my signature frog (Wasabi) green color to blend with my rucksack. It is available in several colors online as well.

I also use this hook to fasten my bag casually to a cafe table, or even to another bag at any rest stop, or to a park bench (if it has railings). If someone were to grab my bag, they would be unpleasantly surprised to have another one or two attached to it. When traveling by bus, I also sometimes attach this to something else to deter theft.

When not in use, the #6 "S" Carabiner clip rides inside the back panel of my Osprey rucksack, at the top, where the water compartment has a snap clip. I attach it there. it is always instantly available, yet out of sight.

I hope this helps.
 

BobM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (SJPDP - Santiago); Via Podensis (Le Puy en Velay - SJPDP); Via Francigena (Canterbury - Rome); Via Portugues (Tui - Santiago); Via Francigena del Sud (Rome - Bari).
To Do Via Egnatia (Durres - Thessaloniki); INT & Jerusalem Trail (Tel Aviv - Jerusalem)
#97
....Do get it ready the night before, place it on the floor, upon waking take it and all your stuff and go out into the albergue common area or outside, and do whatever you need to do.
I took my stuff into the kitchen or some other place where there was ample light away from the dorm. If you do have to look for stuff in the dorm in darkness, don't use a headlamp that will flash about off walls, the faces of sleepers and generally annoy everyone but you.:(

Bob M
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
#98
I took my stuff into the kitchen or some other place where there was ample light away from the dorm. If you do have to look for stuff in the dorm in darkness, don't use a headlamp that will flash about off walls, the faces of sleepers and generally annoy everyone but you.:(

Bob M
Just before I leave the albergue I always try to go back and make one last check on and around my bunk to make sure I'm not forgetting anything. I try to do that with minimal noise and light. Despite that, I've still forgotten stuff at an albergue, not discovering that mistake until kilometers later. Too late. Oh well. ha ha
 

PEI_Heather

Canadian Member :)
Camino(s) past & future
2016 - Voie de la Nive
2012, 2016 - Frances
2013 - Portuguese
2012, 2013 - Finesterre & Muxia
#99
At the better albergues there will often be hooks, at others you might need to supply you own removable hook (a simple suction one) and or a length of twine to tie your stuff to the door handle or anywhere suitable - up off the wet floors. Cheers
The better alberques will have GOLD plated hooks, Mike; those are the ones that also have swimming pools, porters to walk five km out to meet people and carry their bags to the albergue, and bedbugs carrying Waterford crystal taste testing glasses when they make their rounds...! :D
 

BobM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (SJPDP - Santiago); Via Podensis (Le Puy en Velay - SJPDP); Via Francigena (Canterbury - Rome); Via Portugues (Tui - Santiago); Via Francigena del Sud (Rome - Bari).
To Do Via Egnatia (Durres - Thessaloniki); INT & Jerusalem Trail (Tel Aviv - Jerusalem)
Just before I leave the albergue I always try to go back and make one last check on and around my bunk to make sure I'm not forgetting anything. I try to do that with minimal noise and light. Despite that, I've still forgotten stuff at an albergue, not discovering that mistake until kilometers later. Too late. Oh well. ha ha
Having left a pair of socks on the washing line and my soap container in the bathroom I can relate to that. :)
I always check the washing line, the kitchen and under the bed where you or someone else might have inadvertently kicked an item while crawling in and out of bed.

A useful packing strategy is to pack your stuff in 'lots' that make it easier to check. For example, I put all my electronic stuff like spare batteries, chargers etc in one bag. My documents like my diary credencial, tickets were in another bag.

Bob M
 
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