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Blanket clarity

Creativeguy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP France to Santiago 2020
I’m planning to start in St Jean Pied de Port early May this year. Thus far, I’ve been told that: 1.) the albergues rarely have blankets, AND 2.) rarely did a person need a sleeping bag because the albergues now have blankets and sheets.

So, which is more accurate for the albergues on the Frances route?

Thank you!
 

Derrybiketours

A journey of 500 miles begins with one step!
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdeP-FIN(09/2018)
PORTO-SANT(11/2018)
Caminho Da Fe(01/2019)
SJPdeP- SANT(09/2019)
Madrid(7/2020)
Municipal albergues rarely have blankets and if they do they are allocated on priority basis as not enough for everyone. The private albergues often have extra blankets. Its May, It's Spain. Do you need one? I've walked early September and sleeping bag liner was suffice. Last year walked late September and slept inside same silk sleeping bag liner and added lightweight jungle blanket to my Kit which was well used and needed. If I walked in May, sleeping bag liner would be suffice and if occasional chilly spring night layer with clothes. Plus I'm suspicious of cleanliness of albergue blankets and carry my own travel pillow and anti-bedbug sheet 🤠
 

november_moon

Veteran Member
Alberques are so varied that you will find pretty much all situations from a bare mattress to sheets and blanket.

When I walked the Frances a couple years ago, I would estimate that 2/3 of the time there was either a blanket on each bunk or some available in a closet - almost always those institutional wool ones. Most of the time there was some kind of matress cover on the beds, although in some alberques, the mattresses were completely bare. At some alberques (probably less than 1/4) paper sheets were provided. The only time I encountered a made bed with real sheets (top and bottom) and blankets at an alberque was in private rooms.
 

SenorJacques

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (May-June 2020)
I'm starting from SJPdP around the same time you are and will only be bringing my sleeping bag liner (a Sea to Summit Cool Max Traveler w/Insect Guard, for what it's worth). Even a small "proper" sleeping bag is more than I want to carry in terms of weight and bulk, and for those chilly nights when I'm at an albuerge that doesn't supply sheets or blankets (or blankets I'd want to use) I plan on sleeping in the lightweight merino base layers + outerwear that I'll be carrying with me anyway, which can keep me warm into the 40 Fs.
 

Telboyo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
I intend to leave the UK the day Before Brexit and walkMarch -April 2019 Camino Frances
I walked in April I took an 800g 5°C sleeping bag, although the out door night time temperature was between 0° and 8 ° C I was too hot in the sleeping bag because most albergues had the heating on at night. I think I got in it once and slept under it may be 5 times in a month. I don't think it was a waste of weight, even with it and a 600g power pack my bag was only 7kg.
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
I'm starting from SJPdP around the same time you are and will only be bringing my sleeping bag liner (a Sea to Summit Cool Max Traveler w/Insect Guard, for what it's worth). Even a small "proper" sleeping bag is more than I want to carry in terms of weight and bulk, and for those chilly nights when I'm at an albuerge that doesn't supply sheets or blankets (or blankets I'd want to use) I plan on sleeping in the lightweight merino base layers + outerwear that I'll be carrying with me anyway, which can keep me warm into the 40 Fs.
And a opened up Poncho as a blanket substitute helps also ;-)
BC SY
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Yes, which another reason is why I’ve gradually (begrudgingly?) come around to taking a poncho instead of a rain jacket. An opened up poncho makes a nice ground cover for a picnic as well.
Ahhhh. . the multi-tasking poncho. Aside from the great ventilated rain protection, these are a few of the ways I have used mine when backpacking. . . and a couple of ways I've used it on Camino, too. :)
  • A shelter lean-to. A bit of cord and trekking poles make it even more independent in setting up.
  • A sun shelter, it can be rigged up to provide you shade in hot climates.
  • Ground cloth: Under a tent, or a survival shelter, a poncho can protect you from the damp ground. If you are in a cold damp climate, this can help you stay warm.
  • Wind Break: While a poncho without a liner does not have much insulating qualities, you will be warmer if you wrap up in the poncho in windy weather, this will help protect you from wind chill.
  • Privacy -- great emergency privacy screen when needing to do some 'elimination' business and natural coverage of bushes or tall grass is scarce. It also works when needing to change pants or shorts.
  • Sit pad. When taking a break and sitting surfaces are damp.
  • Mattress cover.
  • Can make an emergency backpack or carryall.
  • Windshell to add a bit of extra warmth to layers when starting out on cool, early mornings when you need something that can be quickly removed after you have warmed up from walking.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I've mostly walked mid April thru May and always use a lightweight sleeping bag when staying in albergues...muni or private. There are always a few nights when I wore my long sleve fleece top to bed for extra warmth.
 

Creativeguy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP France to Santiago 2020
Thanks for the feedback! This is my first time. I am taking a sleeping bag liner good for roughly 25° F/ 4° C. I'm wandering, not scheduling unless I get to busy sections where it's more important (after Sarria). So I don't know what type of places will be available. Cheers!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Thanks for the feedback! This is my first time. I am taking a sleeping bag liner good for roughly 25° F/ 4° C. I'm wandering, not scheduling unless I get to busy sections where it's more important (after Sarria). So I don't know what type of places will be available. Cheers!
I can't imagine any albergues will be that cold in May!
 

gerip

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
CF, Burgos to Santiago, May 2019
Ingles, Sep - Oct 2019
It seems that men tend to sleep hot and women tend to sleep cold. I ordered the warmest Sea to Summit sleeping bag liner, took one look and sent it back. I knew it wouldn't suffice for me. I sleep with a light duvet in summer in the UK.
I think it was you, @trecile, who posted a photo of your sleeping setup and that's what works for me, with the addition of the ever-wonderful sarong, which functions as a privacy screen at nights (I always have a bottom bunk, I even prefer that to a single bed in a dorm just for the privacy).

Here's my sleeping bag: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01CEVT922/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Here's the sleep sack I've converted to a mattress + pillow cover:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B071W5VHQJ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

All my 'sleep system' gets stuffed into a 5-10L drybag (everything treated with Permethrin, of course), the last thing to go into the rucksack in the AM.

I will admit that when you're jammed into one large room with twenty other pilgrims and no open window it can get hot and stuffy, so I will just stick my feet in the bottom of my sleeping bag and not cover entirely. I don't walk June - mid-September, More than just the dorm rooms would be too hot for me.
 
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OnHellas

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Sept/Oct 2017
Portuguese April 2018 (From Porto)
Take a sleeping bag.....self sufficiency is the way forward.

On arriving at Orisson in my first Camino in September 2017 I realised that a) the dorms were mixed and b) there was no bedding!!

A night under an itchy dog blanket made the sleeping bags offered for sale at Roncesvalles an absolute bargain whatever the price to quality ratio was......it saw me through the rest of my walk to Santiago so happy days were followed by happy nights.
 
Last edited:

gerip

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
CF, Burgos to Santiago, May 2019
Ingles, Sep - Oct 2019
Take a sleeping bag.....self sufficiency is the way forward.

On arriving at Orisson in my first Camino in September 2017 I realised that a) the dorms were mixed and b) there was no bedding!!

A night under an itchy dog blanket made the sleeping bags offered for sale at Roncesvalles an absolute bargain whatever the price to quality ratio was......it saw me through the rest of my walk to Santiago so happy days were followed by happy nights.
Nor any bedding at Roncesvalles, for that matter. Definitely not at the Burgos muni. I think blankets are made available at most private albergues, but seeing how they were being used by some of the other pilgrims and knowing that they were not cleaned after each use, I wouldn't touch one with a bargepole, except for the time when I refused to undress and shower in Villafranca.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2011), Camino Frances (2015), Camino Ingles (2017), Camino Muxia (2017), LePuy(2019)
If walking in May, be aware that old stone buildings = specifically the donativo at Granon - can be really cold at night. I loved my experience at Granon and would do it again. However, I slept in everything everything I owned that night!
Oh, one more use for a poncho. I encountered a pilgrim descending from the Cruz de Ferro - ill and cold from fever or the beginning of hypothermia - and I suggested he put on his rain poncho to help conserve his body heat.
 

NamaMama

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2018)
We walked in May and early June 2018 with only a silk liner. I was grateful for the blankets when they were available and shivered the night away 🥶🥶🥶when there were none. The majority of alberques had blankets. (in our experience).
Buen Camino
 

Gilles

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Many caminos since 2009 !
Just take a silk bag. In some albergues using a sleeping bag is even forbidden and this will probably occur more and more often.
 

Sharonn

La peregrina lenta
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2015
Camino Portugues 2017
Camino Frances 2019
Early May: better to take a light sleeping bag if you want to be warm enough at night. Even if there are blankets available I'm not sure if I would want to use them. I took a sea to summit silk liner early June and was a bit cold at night during the first week or two but I slept in my long sleeve top and lo g pants.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Just take a silk bag. In some albergues using a sleeping bag is even forbidden and this will probably occur more and more often.
I don't bring a sleeping bag, but I never encountered an albergue that forbids them! Why would they??
 

tomnorth

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015)
Not all the albergues have blankets and those who have them, let's just say they could wash them more often. Take a light sleeping bag.
BC SY
I agree completely. I found it comforting to know that when I went to bed I’d be snuggling into my own sleeping bag. Some of the blankets could definitely have used a good washing.
 

sdevine

Camino Frances 2019, and planning 2020
Camino(s) past & future
4/26/2019 - 6/12/2019, planning 2020
I’m planning to start in St Jean Pied de Port early May this year. Thus far, I’ve been told that: 1.) the albergues rarely have blankets, AND 2.) rarely did a person need a sleeping bag because the albergues now have blankets and sheets.

So, which is more accurate for the albergues on the Frances route?

Thank you!
i took a sleeping bag liner when i walked May 2019, its light, doesn't weigh much and you can use to lay on top of any sheets, and place and covers “if needed” and supplied.. in May, June.. i never was in need of covers.. buen camino
 

taigirl

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2019
I’m planning to start in St Jean Pied de Port early May this year. Thus far, I’ve been told that: 1.) the albergues rarely have blankets, AND 2.) rarely did a person need a sleeping bag because the albergues now have blankets and sheets.

So, which is more accurate for the albergues on the Frances route?

Thank you!
I’m planning to start in St Jean Pied de Port early May this year. Thus far, I’ve been told that: 1.) the albergues rarely have blankets, AND 2.) rarely did a person need a sleeping bag because the albergues now have blankets and sheets.

So, which is more accurate for the albergues on the Frances route?

Thank you!
I found albergue rooms very hot as majority of pilgrims have an aversion to open windows overnight.
 

cbacino

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte - Primitivo (2018)
Via Francigena (2017)
Appalachian Trail (2016)
I’m planning to start in St Jean Pied de Port early May this year. Thus far, I’ve been told that: 1.) the albergues rarely have blankets, AND 2.) rarely did a person need a sleeping bag because the albergues now have blankets and sheets.

So, which is more accurate for the albergues on the Frances route?

Thank you!
Both. Don’t count on blankets.
 

VeganCamino

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Future Frances from Saint Jean Pied du Port to Burgos, starting in June.
I’m planning to start in St Jean Pied de Port early May this year. Thus far, I’ve been told that: 1.) the albergues rarely have blankets, AND 2.) rarely did a person need a sleeping bag because the albergues now have blankets and sheets.

So, which is more accurate for the albergues on the Frances route?

Thank you!
I walked in June so it was warmer but I had just a silk sleep sac and didn't find I needed a blanket. I stayed in a mix of private hostels and cheaper hotels. Blankets were always available. I doubt you will need one in May though, except in SJPP itself and then you can choose a hostel with blankets. I stayed in a lovely place that had them available. LMK if you want a recommendation.
 

mikulre

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2019)
My daughter and I walked the Frances May 12 - June 13 last year. I had a very light sleeping bag and she had a liner. We stayed in a variety of albergues. There were almost always blankets available. There was only one occasion when my daughter wished she had a sleeping bag (the municipal at O Cebreiro). I initially I used my sleeping bag to avoid using the blankets provided. Based on the common instructions to fold up the blankets in the morning and put them back in the closet, I’m pretty sure they’re not getting washed very often. But after a couple weeks I valued the convenience of not rolling up my bag in the morning over any concerns of sanitation 😁My daughter liked the liner because it provided a barrier between her and the linens/blankets, but was easy to pack in the morning.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Camino Frances SJPP / 2014 Camino Portugues / 2015 Camino Ingles / 2015 Hospitalero Training
2016 (fall) Camino Sanabre / Hospitalero?
Municipal albergues rarely have blankets and if they do they are allocated on priority basis as not enough for everyone. The private albergues often have extra blankets. Its May, It's Spain. Do you need one? I've walked early September and sleeping bag liner was suffice. Last year walked late September and slept inside same silk sleeping bag liner and added lightweight jungle blanket to my Kit which was well used and needed. If I walked in May, sleeping bag liner would be suffice and if occasional chilly spring night layer with clothes. Plus I'm suspicious of cleanliness of albergue blankets and carry my own travel pillow and anti-bedbug sheet 🤠
The cost of cleaning blankets at public albergues is too high for frequent laundering. Like others have suggested bring a liner, light weight poli-fill blanket or sleeping bag. On cold night consider more expensive housing.
 

audiohio

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo 2018
I use a Cocoon Silk Travel Sheet and am very pleased with it's ultra light weight. It is surprisingly warm and holding up well after about fifty nights of use. Used it on the Primitivo in Sept-October
 

clearskies

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Here and there
Used to carry a light sleeping bag on my earlier Caminos during May but 2 years ago I switched to a Sea to Summit liner and haven't looked back. If I do get chilly at night, I just wear a fleece.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Thanks for the feedback! This is my first time. I am taking a sleeping bag liner good for roughly 25° F/ 4° C. I'm wandering, not scheduling unless I get to busy sections where it's more important (after Sarria). So I don't know what type of places will be available. Cheers!
I've never heard of a liner that is good for a low temp of 25° F...news to me. 😊
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
This is just a wild guess, but I'm thinking it's mostly the men who get by with sleeping bag "liners only" when on the camino in the months of April or October.
 

PokeyRN49

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2022)
Municipal albergues rarely have blankets and if they do they are allocated on priority basis as not enough for everyone. The private albergues often have extra blankets. Its May, It's Spain. Do you need one? I've walked early September and sleeping bag liner was suffice. Last year walked late September and slept inside same silk sleeping bag liner and added lightweight jungle blanket to my Kit which was well used and needed. If I walked in May, sleeping bag liner would be suffice and if occasional chilly spring night layer with clothes. Plus I'm suspicious of cleanliness of albergue blankets and carry my own travel pillow and anti-bedbug sheet 🤠
What is a jungle blanket?
 

Karl Oz

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
Portuguese
Aragones
Sanabres
Piamonte
Elizabethpfad
Just take a silk bag. In some albergues using a sleeping bag is even forbidden and this will probably occur more and more often.
That is quite a prediction. Which albergues forbid sleeping bags? I have used a silk liner often, and mostly gotten away with it. Mostly. But I will be taking a sleeping bag henceforth.
 

Derrybiketours

A journey of 500 miles begins with one step!
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdeP-FIN(09/2018)
PORTO-SANT(11/2018)
Caminho Da Fe(01/2019)
SJPdeP- SANT(09/2019)
Madrid(7/2020)
It is something like this:
Indeed it is, Snugpak that's the one I used. My only criticism is that it slides off the top bunk in middle of the night unless its wrapped around body. Its very versatile and one side is water proof so can be used as all important vino tinto blanket (next ill be asked what a vino tinto blanket is) and ill leave it too my learned friend @davebugg to answer 🤠
 

Derrybiketours

A journey of 500 miles begins with one step!
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdeP-FIN(09/2018)
PORTO-SANT(11/2018)
Caminho Da Fe(01/2019)
SJPdeP- SANT(09/2019)
Madrid(7/2020)
Which albergues forbid sleeping bags?
The ones that @Gilles stayed in😉 but I'd be both shocked and surprised if this was accurate, maybe there's sleeping bag snobbery like on caravan parks older models are prohibited 🤠
 

Creativeguy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP France to Santiago 2020
Again, thanks for all the feedback. I going to travel with a Sea to Summit liner with thermolite. Very light and compact. Cheers!
 

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