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Camino del Norte, tent or no tent??

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hossein84

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Northe (2019)
Hello all,
I'm starting my camino from Bilbao on 6th June 2019. I still can't decide to take my tent with me or not. In my reasoning, pros of taking the tent: saving some money, enjoying quiet nights (I hear a person or two might snore in albergues), sleeping in nature. Cons: the extra weight of the tent and the camping mat on my shoulders.

Your input would be highly appreciated as it would save me 3-4kg in my pack.

Buen Camino
Hossein from UK
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
Hello all,
I'm starting my camino from Bilbao on 6th June 2019. I still can't decide to take my tent with me or not. In my reasoning, pros of taking the tent: saving some money, enjoying quiet nights (I hear a person or two might snore in albergues), sleeping in nature. Cons: the extra weight of the tent and the camping mat on my shoulders.

Your input would be highly appreciated as it would save me 3-4kg in my pack.

Buen Camino
Hossein from UK
If you decide to carry a tent, there are much lighter options available, even with a limited budget. For example, my backpacking tent and mattress together weigh just a bit more the 1kg (2.4 pounds). Other great options can lighten that weight even more, to below 1 kg. Please feel free to contact me by PM if I can be of help in this regard.
 

Phil71

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese (2014,2016),Primitivo (2015), San Salvador (2017), Norte (2018), Ingles (2018)
Also remember wild camping is illegal in Spain so ask landowners permission. Or sleep in albergue grounds for probably a small fee (and can still have a shower). There isn't the bed race of the C.F. so you don't need to camp. But it you want to then go for it.
 

hossein84

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Northe (2019)
Thank you all so much, that's invaluable information. For those who have experienced the CdN would you personally take a tent if you would go again? I mean if the weight was no issue at all (weightless for arguments sake). Or would it be too much of a fuss (permissions, finding camping sites, etc.) and just not worth taking.

Also (sorry I'm clueless :) ) if I take a tent which would be more suitable for the time I'm there (6th June - 11 July) season 1 or 3 sleeping bag? My season 1 is almost half the weight of the season 3.
 

Jan_D

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones (2011)
Frances (2012)
Norte (2013, 2014)
Hospitalera (2014)
Portugues (2017)
Thank you all so much, that's invaluable information. For those who have experienced the CdN would you personally take a tent if you would go again? I mean if the weight was no issue at all (weightless for arguments sake). Or would it be too much of a fuss (permissions, finding camping sites, etc.) and just not worth taking.
Hi Hossein! I think part of the fun of the camino is the community you meet in the albergues. But if you're not enjoying the snoring, Spain has some major sports stores in all the cities. Why not start without a tent, but then buy a tent along the way if needed? Bilbao might be a good point to make a choice, particularly as it has a very big Decathlon store.... By the time you reach Bilbao (or any other city depending on your starting point), you'll have a good "feeling" for the camino, and the possibilities of wild camping, and will be able to make a more informed decision.
 

Roy Howard

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I walked Camino Frances in 2015 and plan to walk Camino Primitivo in 2017
I had no idea one might need a tent walking the Norte. I walked the Oviedo which is even more remote than Norte and had no problems with finding Albergues.

Is it common to take a tent on the Norte? I've not heard this. Thanks!
 

Jan_D

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones (2011)
Frances (2012)
Norte (2013, 2014)
Hospitalera (2014)
Portugues (2017)
Is it common to take a tent on the Norte? I've not heard this. Thanks!
No, it's not very common. But you do come across people doing it every now and then.

To each their own, but to me it seems like a bit of a hassle. The municipal albergues on the Norte are only €6, and for that you get a bed and a warm shower. I'm usually a sensitive sleeper, but by day 3 the exhaustion takes over, and from then on out the snoring doesn't really bother me. In any case I think a bit of adversity on a pilgrimage is good for the soul ;)

You'll find some people on this forum have very strong opinions about the legality and ethics of wild camping (in fact I'm surprised it hasn't come up on this thread). I suppose they have a point: with hundreds of pilgrims on the path every day in summer, can you imagine if everyone decided to camp on the beaches and in farmers' fields? I think if you're going to camp, the best option would be to use the tourist campsites that you find frequently along the coast. Sometimes the albergues let you pitch tents on their grounds, but you normally have to pay the €6 anyway.
 

Michael-FL

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Portugues (2017)
Frances/Salvador/Primitivo (2021)
Hossein, from what I experienced and in learning from others, camping along the way is rare and discouraged. Agreed with other posters on the drawbacks if more people started camping - not just the issue of trespassing, but also littering, disturbance of crops and natural areas, etc.
If you’re concerned about snoring, recommend packing some good earplugs, which weigh nearly nothing. Also would have to agree that the albergue experience can be a big plus. Feel it out the first couple of days and then decide whether to go Rambo.
Cheers,
Mike
 

NortePilgrim

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
3 x Frances
1 x CP
3 x del norte
Yes,
not common, but take it with you. i am also starting the next days del norte. i made it 3 times without tent, slept at porches of churches in need of raincover etc..., i liked to be independend of albuerges, i am not a young child who has to go to bed at 23h. i would never see the starlights, milkyway on the norte... if weather is fine just roll out your matrazes at a nice spot and enjoy the night... carrying a tent gives you possibilities in bad weather... do your own camino, albuerges community feeling changed massive over the last 15 years, but this iss another discussion...
see you on del Norte
 

hossein84

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Northe (2019)
Thank you so much guys, great insights! @Jan_D , @Michael-FL I'd love a bit of community feeling, but I feel I would regret not sleeping under the stars for at least a few nights. And some nights might call for a little solitude, which is also an important part of a spiritual journey I feel. So, as you suggested @NortePilgrim I think I will take the tent just in case, and do a combination of accommodations, ideally trying to camp as much as possible. I will keep you all posted, and give my verdict whether it was a romantic idea to tent or not. Thank you all! See you on the del Norte @NortePilgrim :)

p.s. a blog post a pilgrim friend shared regarding camping that I found very helpful:
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
There isn't the bed race of the C.F.
I don't know about June, but I for me there was more of a bed race when I did the Norte last July than I've experienced on the Frances which I've done in August/September, July/August and just now in May.
I did meet a young couple last year who carried a tent and used it several times.
 

NortePilgrim

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
3 x Frances
1 x CP
3 x del norte
i think i will not catch you ( irun 9 or 10 juni) coming from gr 10, but we are pilgrims in mind
ultrea
 

hossein84

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Northe (2019)
Any suggestions regarding sleeping bag? Would season 1 be sufficient for camping in June - July, or take a season 3?
 

cbacino

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte - Primitivo (2018)
Via Francigena (2017)
Appalachian Trail (2016)
Hello all,
I'm starting my camino from Bilbao on 6th June 2019. I still can't decide to take my tent with me or not. In my reasoning, pros of taking the tent: saving some money, enjoying quiet nights (I hear a person or two might snore in albergues), sleeping in nature. Cons: the extra weight of the tent and the camping mat on my shoulders.

Your input would be highly appreciated as it would save me 3-4kg in my pack.

Buen Camino
Hossein from UK
I walked from Paris. When I got to Irùn, I mailed my tent home and was glad I did. Wildland camping is not looked on favorably. From Irùn to Oviedo and the Primitivo, I saw maybe two tents.
 

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