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Camino tent? Bought this - £18.95 delivered (25usd)

David

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
First one in 2005 from Moissac, France.
Hi all ... so ... dark winter days and have been using this last week to prep for a Camino I hope to take this year (yep, decided, am going back, and with my S-Cargo trailer, not a pack!) .. but who knows when.

I don't want to get into the wild camping debate as this post isn't about that - I want to take a freestanding dome tent, one that can be put up where a tent cannot be pegged down. Plan is to use it whenever I can .. on refugio verandahs or their parking spaces, and gardens, etc, paying refugio price for facilities but sleeping outside - as few packed Covid bunk rooms as possible. Has to be light, under 2kgs, but big enough for me (I am 180cms, 70 inches long).

Anyone else planning to take a freestanding light tent to do the same?? (Has to be freestanding!).

I have absolutely no desire whatsoever to pay megabucks on a designer tent, lack the funds anyway - just a cheap one that does the job. This one has doors each side (double - mesh and closed) and was £18.95 delivered, about 25 us dollars, 35 Aus dollars .... and weighs 1.7 kilos, will be less when I take the pegs and guy ropes out. Probably has waterproofing similar to a hamster but will be going in summer.
This one - https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/324523908228?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649



s-l1600.jpg

what fun! Buen Camino!!!
 
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Old Bamboo

Member
Past OR future Camino
CF, Francigena, KumanoKodo,Benedetto, Iseji, Assisi, Kunisaki, Shikoku 88 (1~24), Kohechi,Dajia Mazu
I have a similar tent and paid about $20 for it some years ago. It's also a dome tent, can be pitched anywhere and weighs about 1.5kg. Your idea is a good one to pitch outside the refugios yet use their facilities. But be aware it will not be waterproof but for summertime use will be perfect.
 

David

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
First one in 2005 from Moissac, France.
Guys. I don't need a tent to last long, just long enough to do a Camino. If the zips break, who cares? I carry nappy (diaper) pins. If the waterproofing is only a mere 800 who cares? It will be used in clement weather outside refugios on concrete, timber boarding and in gardens. It will merely be an anti bug private night shelter, not going on a Himalayan adventure, just a stroll through Spain.
All is well.
 
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David

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
First one in 2005 from Moissac, France.
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good_old_shoes

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
If you don't use it in rainy conditions, why not. A surprise thunderstorm at night might be problematic, but even then... you probably have a poncho to keep off the worst.
Another idea would be to bring only the inner tent of something like the cheap decathlon dome tent (29Euros). Using just an inner is nice for hot nights, because more air will flow, and also less weight. Those pretending-to-be-waterproof single wall tents can get a lot of condensation.
 

chinacat

Veteran Member
@David

You can always proof it, with one of those sprays …Grangers?
But don’t forget to air it thoroughly before you go!!
(you would definitely do this, I know! 😉)

I’m sure this doesn’t apply to you David, but the extremely low cost of these tents often encourages festival attendees to abandon them on festival sites when they leave.
This leaves the organisers with the task of collecting, removing, and disposing of vast quantities of non-biodegradable plastics.
Even if the tents are taken home, there is still the problem of disposal in a non-polluting manner.
 

gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CFx2, CPx1
For reasons of weight I'd also keep an eye out for a single wall tent. Two walls are generally to alleviate condensation problems. A wipe from an, always at hand, microfibre hand towel suffices.
I was looking for a cheapie for a young couple I met on the Via Francigena (Switzerland was killing their budget). I found online that Decathlon had a selection. From memory about E25. Could be worth a look.
I'm currently awaiting notification from DROP (formerly MASSDROP) on a tent to a design by Dan Durston but It's a single wall, top-range model at a mid range price.
Regards Gerard
 
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Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
As we used to say to our girls: "You want to bring it? Then you've got to carry it. All the way!"

I can see your reasoning but would advise you take at least one peg - it need only be a basic skewer type - because I've seen unpegged tents like that bowling across a breezy campsite like a Zorb ball. Otherwise some heavyish stones placed inside the tent in the corners.

Don't forget to take a decent sleep mat - those "yoga" mats aren't worth it and in normal times you'll see them dumped in refugio 'lost and found' boxes as people abandon them. And a decent sleeping bag of course, even in summer you can get some very chilly nights. Take a decent sleep mask too otherwise you'll be waking before dawn as the early morning rays light you up like a Chinese lantern.

Keep an eye on those glass fibre ribs. The cheaper the tent the thinner the tube walls. They can split where they enter the ferrules (the shock cord is very thin and can cut through) or, worse still, the rib cracks as you bend it into place. Have seen them splinted with a chopstick and some heavy duty duct tape (Gorilla or Rhino) which will work in a pinch. Don't tread on them, they're not crushproof.

Personally, for what you need, I would have gone for a British Army surplus gore-tex bivvy bag at not much extra cost.

Be that as it may, good luck and BC!
 

RENSHAW

Official Camino Vino taster
Past OR future Camino
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks on the CF frequently.
Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
@David - Here is my tent in the 'Jardine' at the the Albergue Los Paradores a number of years back. Even though it could be free standing , Most of the time I also choose to peg it down. The Camo addition was my poncho opened up. That night we had one almighty thunderstorm. The tent cost me £8 from Tesco. Not one drop came in. Once rigged I took on of the many plastic tables and a chair and put it in the shade next to my tent where I had a picnic that evening - SUPERB!! CAMINO 2013 051.JPG
 

David

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
First one in 2005 from Moissac, France.
As we used to say to our girls: "You want to bring it? Then you've got to carry it. All the way!"

I can see your reasoning but would advise you take at least one peg - it need only be a basic skewer type - because I've seen unpegged tents like that bowling across a breezy campsite like a Zorb ball. Otherwise some heavyish stones placed inside the tent in the corners.

Don't forget to take a decent sleep mat - those "yoga" mats aren't worth it and in normal times you'll see them dumped in refugio 'lost and found' boxes as people abandon them. And a decent sleeping bag of course, even in summer you can get some very chilly nights. Take a decent sleep mask too otherwise you'll be waking before dawn as the early morning rays light you up like a Chinese lantern.

Keep an eye on those glass fibre ribs. The cheaper the tent the thinner the tube walls. They can split where they enter the ferrules (the shock cord is very thin and can cut through) or, worse still, the rib cracks as you bend it into place. Have seen them splinted with a chopstick and some heavy duty duct tape (Gorilla or Rhino) which will work in a pinch. Don't tread on them, they're not crushproof.

Personally, for what you need, I would have gone for a British Army surplus gore-tex bivvy bag at not much extra cost.

Be that as it may, good luck and BC!

Thanks Jeff - to me, putting up a tent on a verandah or concrete parking space or maybe in a garden isn't "real camping" ... if all went pear I could just step inside the building or into the doorway of a shop :D. Though think you and Renshaw are right - will take some pegs.

I am expecting it to be poorly made so will be waterproof spraying it as Chinacat suggested - I do that with all 'waterproof' items I buy and a fab idea to carry chopsticks! I repaired an upright piano with a chopstick once. A key had broken, took it all out and cut and sanded the chopstick to size, glued it in - voila! sorted!

I looked at all sorts of options but freestanding of good quality that are also under 2kilos are pretty rare. I also looked at bivvy bag videos but decided they were just a little too restricted for me - not as supple and agile as I once was.
I almost went for this tent but decided to go cheaper (could be my biggest mistake so far as is £65 vs my £19 which in the scheme of things isn't that much difference!!) - https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08MTM75GT/?tag=casaivar-21

I have my Snugpak jungle bag (my favourite bag) at 900gms, box shaped so roomy too and can be opened out completely.
They are now £20 more expensive than when I bought mine - https://www.snugpak.com/jungle-bag

and after looking at various sleeping pad options I bought the Alpkit Cloud Base inflatable sleeping mat as it has stunning reviews, weighs 420gms, packs down to small bottle size - plus the drybag air pump so it doesn't go mouldy inside.

I wouldn't be doing any of this if I was using a rucksack, but with a trailer it is very different and not a problem to carry some extra kilos. Tent, mat, bag, will be just over 3 kilos in all.
-
 
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good_old_shoes

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
Chopsticks surely make nice pegs for garden ground! And they weigh next to nothing. I drilled small holes in to add loops for easy removal, and heated them over a candle to make more robust.
 

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Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
Thanks Jeff - to me, putting up a tent on a verandah or concrete parking space or maybe in a garden isn't "real camping" ... if all went pear I could just step inside the building or into the doorway of a shop :D. Though think you and Renshaw are right - will take some pegs.

I am expecting it to be poorly made so will be waterproof spraying it as Chinacat suggested - I do that with all 'waterproof' items I buy and a fab idea to carry chopsticks! I repaired an upright piano with a chopstick once. A key had broken, took it all out and cut and sanded the chopstick to size, glued it in - voila! sorted!

I looked at all sorts of options but freestanding of good quality that are also under 2kilos are pretty rare. I also looked at bivvy bag videos but decided they were just a little too restricted for me - not as supple and agile as I once was.
I almost went for this tent but decided to go cheaper (could be my biggest mistake so far as is £65 vs my £19 which in the scheme of things isn't that much difference!!) - https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08MTM75GT/?tag=casaivar-21

I have my Snugpak jungle bag (my favourite bag) at 900gms, box shaped so roomy too and can be opened out completely.
They are now £20 more expensive than when I bought mine - https://www.snugpak.com/jungle-bag

and after looking at various sleeping pad options I bought the Alpkit Cloud Base inflatable sleeping mat as it has stunning reviews, weighs 420gms, packs down to small bottle size - plus the drybag air pump so it doesn't go mouldy inside.

I wouldn't be doing any of this if I was using a rucksack, but with a trailer it is very different and not a problem to carry some extra kilos. Tent, mat, bag, will be just over 3 kilos in all.
-
Missed the bit where you said you were using the trailer! Uptick for the Snugpak bag and the kip mat looks good I have the Berghaus 100mm thick mat - not practical for anything but car camping but soooo comfortable.
I'm told the army use a mesh version of tents like your instead of bug/mosquito nets inside manky old buildings.
Chopsticks - as @good_old_shoes say, multifunctional - you can even eat with them!
Have a good Camino.
 
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Xali1970

Planning the next one
Past OR future Camino
2016 Primitivo
2018 Pimitivo, VdlP
2022 Too Many
I'll be taking a free standing tent along as well.
My experience of single dome tent is that there tends to be a lot of condensation in them (unless you leave a door open, and can be pretty pointless in wet conditions.
I'll be on a bicycle, so weight is less of a concern to me
 

Wildcamper57

New Member
Past OR future Camino
(2018)
Hi all ... so ... dark winter days and have been using this last week to prep for a Camino I hope to take this year (yep, decided, am going back, and with my S-Cargo trailer, not a pack!) .. but who knows when.

I don't want to get into the wild camping debate as this post isn't about that - I want to take a freestanding dome tent, one that can be put up where a tent cannot be pegged down. Plan is to use it whenever I can .. on refugio verandahs or their parking spaces, and gardens, etc, paying refugio price for facilities but sleeping outside - as few packed Covid bunk rooms as possible. Has to be light, under 2kgs, but big enough for me (I am 180cms, 70 inches long).

Anyone else planning to take a freestanding light tent to do the same?? (Has to be freestanding!).

I have absolutely no desire whatsoever to pay megabucks on a designer tent, lack the funds anyway - just a cheap one that does the job. This one has doors each side (double - mesh and closed) and was £18.95 delivered, about 25 us dollars, 35 Aus dollars .... and weighs 1.7 kilos, will be less when I take the pegs and guy ropes out. Probably has waterproofing similar to a hamster but will be going in summer.
This one - https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/324523908228?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649



View attachment 116785

what fun! Buen Camino!!!
Hi, I am also going to camp on the camino, I do think it is worth investing in a good tent though. Do you have Decathlon stores? They are all over Europe and they sell good tents. I have an ultralight 1 person at 1.3 kg which is not bad, I paid 99 euros I think. You really don't want it to fail in the middle of the night,
 

David

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
First one in 2005 from Moissac, France.
I haven't found any lightweight free standing tents on the Decathlon websites, at any price, sadly .... the army mosquito tents are great but do come in at about 4 kilos and to be fair, I have never noticed mossies on the Frances and it is privacy I want really.
condensation inside single skin tents? True - but it comes from our breathing .. what we need is a soft mask with a hose that goes outside the tent!! But as they don't exist plan is to leave both doors slightly down but the insect nets up, hoping that this will reduce any condensation but still give privacy - less problem in hot weather of course.

hhmmm ... thinks ... that would be a fun project .. attach a hose to a mask in some way ........
 
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Chopsticks - as @good_old_shoes say, multifunctional - you can even eat with them!
The wooden chopsticks that come "free" with a meal in Asian restaurants remind me of giant toothpicks and I see them breaking in a wind storm if used as stakes. Besides, who says you can eat with them...they test my patience beyond the max and I always give up!🙃
 

Wildcamper57

New Member
Past OR future Camino
(2018)
I haven't found any lightweight free standing tents on the Decathlon websites, at any price, sadly .... the army mosquito tents are great but do come in at about 4 kilos and to be fair, I have never noticed mossies on the Frances and it is privacy I want really.
condensation inside single skin tents? True - but it comes from our breathing .. what we need is a soft mask with a hose that goes outside the tent!! But as they don't exist plan is to leave both doors slightly down but the insect nets up, hoping that this will reduce any condensation but still give privacy - less problem in hot weather of course.

hhmmm ... thinks ... that would be a fun project .. attach a hose to a mask in some way ........
1642604733181.png
A little bit pricey but a nice little tent
 
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good_old_shoes

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
The wooden chopsticks that come "free" with a meal in Asian restaurants remind me of giant toothpicks and I see them breaking in a wind storm if used as stakes.
Wouldn't use them for a wilderness hike but for camping in gardens or campsites within civilization in good weather conditions they're ok. They're so lightweight you can bring a few more as backup in case one breaks. For a free standing tent on an albergue porch pegs are not really needed anyway.
 

good_old_shoes

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)

This one is free standing. 2,4kg total, but if you leave all the unnecessary parts at home (bag it comes in, heavy steel pegs, and the rainfly) it should be light enough. If you use only the inner you also wouldn't have any problems with condensation. It's basically a bug shelter and privacy screen then.

I don't own that tent, but the previous model (the green one), and for its price (19€back then) it is decent quality, and mine is definitely rain proof.
 
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Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
The wooden chopsticks that come "free" with a meal in Asian restaurants remind me of giant toothpicks and I see them breaking in a wind storm if used as stakes. Besides, who says you can eat with them...they test my patience beyond the max and I always give up!🙃
Oh Crissy! You're obviously not eating in the right kind of restaurants ;) the better kind use chopsticks made of bamboo.
Bamboo is one of the strongest materials you can find in nature - in Hong Kong we used it for scaffold poles!
We taught our girls to eat with chopsticks using an elastic band - the folded up wodge of paper is the wrapper they come in:

1642673800799.png

Start practicing now for Chinese New Year on 1st February - the year of the 🐅

新年快乐 / 新年快樂 Shin-nyen kwhy-ler!
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
I haven't found any lightweight free standing tents on the Decathlon websites, at any price, sadly .... the army mosquito tents are great but do come in at about 4 kilos and to be fair, I have never noticed mossies on the Frances and it is privacy I want really.
condensation inside single skin tents? True - but it comes from our breathing .. what we need is a soft mask with a hose that goes outside the tent!! But as they don't exist plan is to leave both doors slightly down but the insect nets up, hoping that this will reduce any condensation but still give privacy - less problem in hot weather of course.

hhmmm ... thinks ... that would be a fun project .. attach a hose to a mask in some way ........
Like the lady seen walking down our high street wearing a covid mask with a hole in it . . . so she could puff away on her cigarette!
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
As yours, but no zip 🙂

Cheaper … though more expensive than used to be.

Useful for stashing in the car during winter 😉


A cheaper version would be the "Woobie" poncho liner but not the MIL TECH produced ones.
 

David

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
First one in 2005 from Moissac, France.
Well, I went and collected the tent today from a delivery point and put it up as best as I could - I am living in a narrowboat so think 'narrow' .. room enough to put the tent up over the furniture in the saloon but not to add the flysheet, and towpath is muddy.
I am surprised as it is better than I thought it would be - cheapo of course, but for my purposes I think it will be fine.
They list it as 1.7 kilos but take the bag and pegs away and it drops to just 1.39 kilos ... it has double doors, mesh door and full closing on each side and small mesh vents at the top ... were I to choose to only use it in dry weather and left the flysheet and extending pole behind the total weight drops to 1.07 kilos but think I will probably take the fly as that is nicely waterproofed, silver backed.

So - Camino tent for under £19? Sorted! That now goes into my "Camino locker" until that unknown future date ..... hhmm and I will make up a small repair kit just in case ...
 
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Leemac40

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Sarria to Santiago
I have a similar tent and paid about $20 for it some years ago. It's also a dome tent, can be pitched anywhere and weighs about 1.5kg. Your idea is a good one to pitch outside the refugios yet use their facilities. But be aware it will not be waterproof but for summertime use will be perfect.
Buen Camino David, sounds amazing!!!!
 

FamPed

Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
There are many different Pilgrim Routes and Caminos in life.
The Snugpak jungle bag zips open fully to become a blanket - I think she means that?
Is fab as I have hot feet so can just unzip the foot edge!
I have the same Snugpack as you, bought it maybe 5 years ago. (There were only one colour option, mine is red outside and black on the inside.) I have used it maybe about 6-8 weeks every year, totally love it! Best things about it? Weight and that you can unzip the foot edge separately.
 
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MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
Sorry to catch on here after purchase but there are a couple things on the down side, only one I have seen mentioned, that would be the tent not being waterproof. On that, there ad of the tent re few places to pitch a tent under to protect from the rain.

Over arching, though we hear of some who camp out / wild camp, the Camino does have a ruling that it is not allowed. Not judging, just mentioning.

Next, though a plastic reinforced tarp is not free standing, a single line between two trees or other supports can make you a tent with floor in short nic. Also much lighter to carry. One end of the ten can be butt against one vertical support or tree. An adjustable hiking pole can be used to prop up one end. And looking thru the internet, one can find many ways of using a tarp to make several tent variations, as options to support it will vary. The advantage, besides weight and versatility is that it is waterproof, like, "wake up with a puddle all around you," kind of waterproof. That happened to me once.

Finally, if you need free standing, you already have the tent. Take a tarp too to provide rain protection. Get one long enough to use as a ground sheet first and then pull it over the tent and down the other side, staking down two corners. If taking any stakes, use plastic only. Stanstead Airport TSA confiscated my steel ones, even though the tips were blunted.

Hope this helps.
 

David

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
First one in 2005 from Moissac, France.
Sorry to catch on here after purchase but there are a couple things on the down side, only one I have seen mentioned, that would be the tent not being waterproof. On that, there ad of the tent re few places to pitch a tent under to protect from the rain.

Over arching, though we hear of some who camp out / wild camp, the Camino does have a ruling that it is not allowed. Not judging, just mentioning.

Next, though a plastic reinforced tarp is not free standing, a single line between two trees or other supports can make you a tent with floor in short nic. Also much lighter to carry. One end of the ten can be butt against one vertical support or tree. An adjustable hiking pole can be used to prop up one end. And looking thru the internet, one can find many ways of using a tarp to make several tent variations, as options to support it will vary. The advantage, besides weight and versatility is that it is waterproof, like, "wake up with a puddle all around you," kind of waterproof. That happened to me once.

Finally, if you need free standing, you already have the tent. Take a tarp too to provide rain protection. Get one long enough to use as a ground sheet first and then pull it over the tent and down the other side, staking down two corners. If taking any stakes, use plastic only. Stanstead Airport TSA confiscated my steel ones, even though the tips were blunted.

Hope this helps.

Michelle, hi, and thanks. I was being tongue in cheek re how waterproofed it is - sorry.
It is a double skin tent, freestanding dome, sewn in groundsheet, with a reverse silver coated fly with a pole that goes front to rear to make two door 'covers' and it is waterproof - but at that price not waterproof in the way an expensive tent is, cheaper material and so on. I will be spray proofing it as well, which I do with all waterproof items I buy.
The fly is 180T silver coated polyester so the waterproofing will only be about 1000mm head I should think. Enough for light rain but not for serious weather, but I am going in summer this year and although I might wake up in rain I won't be pitching in horrid weather.

Were I to take only the inner tent it would be 1.07 kilos and with the fly and extension pole, 1.39, which to me is a really light tent - and is quite spacious too.
My reasons for using a tent with mesh screens rather than a tarp or bivvi bag (or hammock) is privacy and also exclusion of creepy crawlies - I don't like the thought of things crawling over me at night. I was tick-bit on Camino once and developed Lyme's disease.

My post is specifically not about wild camping, though, there are no Camino rules re wild camping, rather general Province laws ... it is not legal but it is common. (Go to the riverbanks in any Spanish city and you will see many tents with immigrants living in them, left alone by the police). But, I have been visiting Camino since 2005 and have met many wild campers over the years, some with dogs, and not one of them had ever had any problems with police or locals or farmers - I am not recommending wild camping, merely offering what I know and I won't be doing that. If I were I certainly wouldn't be taking a bright orange tent!

It isn't for every night, only when suitable, and I know of plenty of refugios that have gardens, some have campsites, plenty with verandahs, concrete parking aprons, etc - there is a bar/cafe in Rabanal that uses the field opposite. It has toilets and a couple of large marquees with mattresses, pilgrims just sleep in there, but what is really interesting is that there are always lots of single tents also pitched, which has always made me wonder just how many pilgrims do quietly carry tents.

If I were more like you, Michelle, I would just take a lightweight bivvi bag and a super-light tarp and sleep easy but I am city grown and like very much to keep 'nature' separate from me when I sleep - my fail 😂.

Though - your tarp idea .. it could be worth taking a real waterproof light tarp to use over it in poor weather - not a bad thought, thanks.
 
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Wildcamper57

New Member
Past OR future Camino
(2018)
Michelle, hi, and thanks. I was being tongue in cheek re how waterproofed it is - sorry.
It is a double skin tent, freestanding dome, sewn in groundsheet, with a reverse silver coated fly with a pole that goes front to rear to make two door 'covers' and it is waterproof - but at that price not waterproof in the way an expensive tent is, cheaper material and so on. I will be spray proofing it as well, which I do with all waterproof items I buy.

Were I to take only the inner tent it would be 1.07 kilos and with the fly and extension pole, 1.39, which to me is a really light tent - and is quite spacious too.
My reasons for using a tent with mesh screens rather than a tarp or bivvi bag (or hammock) is privacy and also exclusion of creepy crawlies - I don't like the thought of things crawling over me at night.

My post is specifically not about wild camping, though, there are no Camino rules re camping, rather general Province laws ... it is not legal. But, I have been visiting Camino since 2005 and have met many wild campers over the years, some with dogs, and not one of them had ever had any problems with police or locals or farmers - I am not recommending wild camping, merely offering what I know and I won't be doing that.

It isn't for every night, only when suitable, and I know of plenty of refugios that have gardens, some have campsites, plenty with verandahs, concrete parking aprons, etc - there is a bar/cafe in Rabanal that uses the field opposite. It has toilets and a couple of large marquees with mattresses, pilgrims just sleep in there, but what is really interesting is that there are always lots of single tents also pitched, which has always made me wonder just how many pilgrims do quietly carry tents.

If I were more like you, Michelle, I would just take a lightweight bivvi bag and a super-light tarp and sleep easy but I am city grown and like very much to keep 'nature' separate from me when I sleep - my fail 😂.
I would much rather camp than share with a bunch of snoring and wind breaking pilgrims. Seriously I am a ridiculously light sleeper.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022 CF
Hi all ... so ... dark winter days and have been using this last week to prep for a Camino I hope to take this year (yep, decided, am going back, and with my S-Cargo trailer, not a pack!) .. but who knows when.

I don't want to get into the wild camping debate as this post isn't about that - I want to take a freestanding dome tent, one that can be put up where a tent cannot be pegged down. Plan is to use it whenever I can .. on refugio verandahs or their parking spaces, and gardens, etc, paying refugio price for facilities but sleeping outside - as few packed Covid bunk rooms as possible. Has to be light, under 2kgs, but big enough for me (I am 180cms, 70 inches long).

Anyone else planning to take a freestanding light tent to do the same?? (Has to be freestanding!).

I have absolutely no desire whatsoever to pay megabucks on a designer tent, lack the funds anyway - just a cheap one that does the job. This one has doors each side (double - mesh and closed) and was £18.95 delivered, about 25 us dollars, 35 Aus dollars .... and weighs 1.7 kilos, will be less when I take the pegs and guy ropes out. Probably has waterproofing similar to a hamster but will be going in summer.
This one - https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/324523908228?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649



View attachment 116785

what fun! Buen Camino!!!
Sounds perfect for your needs this year 😎
 

good_old_shoes

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
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Apart from camping in the gardens, sometimes it's possible to sleep outdoors in fresh air without a tent, but still with a roof over your head.

In Vilar de Mazarife, albergue de Jesus, for example. There are 'official' matresses outside on the wooden balcony. With a roof over your head.

I also slept on another balcony unofficially once... Just moved my stuff outside after everyone else had gone to bed. Of course I had booked into the albergue paying for a bed.

Would be nice to have more 'open air dormitorios' during covid times.

Does anyone know other albergues that officially have outdoor beds?
 
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RENSHAW

Official Camino Vino taster
Past OR future Camino
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks on the CF frequently.
Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
I would much rather camp than share with a bunch of snoring and wind breaking pilgrims. Seriously I am a ridiculously light sleeper.
I sometimes sleep in my tent to give other pilgrims a chance of peace and quiet. Unfortunately I am one of those perpetrators that you mention.
 
Past OR future Camino
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@David, seems like a good purchase for you and your trailer.

Two years ago a similar post had me traipsing off to our local Kmart for a free standing dome tent.

The features that got my attention was the roominess - both for sleeping and for moving around.
I knew its weight (1,5 kg) was more than I wanted for my pack. There were two other features that weighed against it going in my pack.
First was the bulkiness: there would be almost no room for other essentials, such as clothes changes or sleeping bag.
Second was the poles. Although carbon fibre each segment was quite long. I was very nervous when setting up as the pressure on the poles had me very anxious about breakage. If a breakage happened en camino, then game over.
A local factor was its profile in wind. I first needed to peg out the up-wind corners. And then the other two when the rods were in place.

It now rests in its bag for use during a car outing.

But a good purchase at NZD 30 (GBP 15).

Kia kaha
 
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and after looking at various sleeping pad options I bought the Alpkit Cloud Base inflatable sleeping mat as it has stunning reviews, weighs 420gms, packs down to small bottle size

Looks good in all respects, especially the length at 1.890 metres.

I came through the lightweight manufacturer and bought a Therm-a-rest pad. For weight considerations I bought the small version 1.120 m which covers shoulder to knee with a weight of 220 grams and rolls up nicely with my tent. When I strike uneven ground I wish myself to sleep thinking about longer and wider (and putting aside thoughts of weight ).

Kia kaha
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
Apart from camping in the gardens, sometimes it's possible to sleep outdoors in fresh air without a tent, but still with a roof over your head.

In Vilar de Mazarife, albergue de Jesus, for example. There are 'official' matresses outside on the wooden balcony. With a roof over your head.

I also slept on another balcony unofficially once... Just moved my stuff outside after everyone else had gone to bed. Of course I had booked into the albergue paying for a bed.

Would be nice to have more 'open air dormitorios' during covid times.

Does anyone know other albergues that officially have outdoor beds?
The Municipal refugio on the west side of Molinaseca used to have army style tent they used as an overspill area, not sure if they allow own tents though.

The huerta behind the Guacelmo in Rabanal has been used for camping (including by a guy with a hinny).
 

martin1ws

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2018; (2020); 2021
My idea to the weight (not for you, David, with your trailer, but especially for newcomers with a backpack):
Because of corona I had in 2020 stuff for camping on my German camino with me... it is not only the tent / tarp / ... but also a warmer sleeping bag, a sleeping pad and a larger backpack... in my case it was in total a little bit more than 2kg extra-weight and I used it only once (but only because I had carried it for two weeks, I would not have needed it). It was a rather inconvenient night because everything was cheap and / or weight-optimised.
So I will probably not carry it again on a pilgrimage with a backpack and I would recommend to try and sleep in the camping equipment at home before carrying it on a complete camino.
 
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MichelleElynHogan

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Michelle, hi, and thanks. I was being tongue in cheek re how waterproofed it is - sorry.
It is a double skin tent, freestanding dome, sewn in groundsheet, with a reverse silver coated fly with a pole that goes front to rear to make two door 'covers' and it is waterproof - but at that price not waterproof in the way an expensive tent is, cheaper material and so on. I will be spray proofing it as well, which I do with all waterproof items I buy.
The fly is 180T silver coated polyester so the waterproofing will only be about 1000mm head I should think. Enough for light rain but not for serious weather, but I am going in summer this year and although I might wake up in rain I won't be pitching in horrid weather.

Were I to take only the inner tent it would be 1.07 kilos and with the fly and extension pole, 1.39, which to me is a really light tent - and is quite spacious too.
My reasons for using a tent with mesh screens rather than a tarp or bivvi bag (or hammock) is privacy and also exclusion of creepy crawlies - I don't like the thought of things crawling over me at night. I was tick-bit on Camino once and developed Lyme's disease.

My post is specifically not about wild camping, though, there are no Camino rules re wild camping, rather general Province laws ... it is not legal but it is common. (Go to the riverbanks in any Spanish city and you will see many tents with immigrants living in them, left alone by the police). But, I have been visiting Camino since 2005 and have met many wild campers over the years, some with dogs, and not one of them had ever had any problems with police or locals or farmers - I am not recommending wild camping, merely offering what I know and I won't be doing that. If I were I certainly wouldn't be taking a bright orange tent!

It isn't for every night, only when suitable, and I know of plenty of refugios that have gardens, some have campsites, plenty with verandahs, concrete parking aprons, etc - there is a bar/cafe in Rabanal that uses the field opposite. It has toilets and a couple of large marquees with mattresses, pilgrims just sleep in there, but what is really interesting is that there are always lots of single tents also pitched, which has always made me wonder just how many pilgrims do quietly carry tents.

If I were more like you, Michelle, I would just take a lightweight bivvi bag and a super-light tarp and sleep easy but I am city grown and like very much to keep 'nature' separate from me when I sleep - my fail 😂.

Though - your tarp idea .. it could be worth taking a real waterproof light tarp to use over it in poor weather - not a bad thought, thanks.
I do have an ultralight, Contrail TarpTent. Without pegs, which I usually make on site, it weighs just 1 ib., uses a walking pole for support. No longer manufactured.
 

good_old_shoes

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
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@martin1ws Definitely good advice to test gear at home before you take it on a hike/walk/pilgrimage/whatever. Find out what works well for you before you rely on it for a good nights's sleep.

If someone doesn't really like sleeping outdoors and only carries low quality, not tried out before camping gear as a 'backup plan just in case', it is certainly easy to regret carrying the extra weight, and also to be miserable when using it.

On my 2020 german camino I used my tent most nights and was very happy to do so. 70l backpack, ~8-10kg weight total depending on time of year. Over the years, I've come to prefer camping to indoor sleeping when walking, but I've already been a (non walking) camper before the camino and know my gear (which is not ultra expensive ultralight stuff, but is very comfortable and working well for me).

I think most advice to not bring a tent is given by those who are usually non campers, trying to not use the tent they brought whenever possible. Often combined with too cold sleeping bag, uncomfortable mat and not waterproof tent and/or condensation issues. Then of course you'll almost never use it, and it is dead, useless weight in your pack.

My tent is my home on tour. My cozy little cave. I gave a nickname to my sleeping bag: "cloud". It's like sleeping in a soft, fluffy, warm cloud each night. That's what the non campers don't get: It's not a compromise to sleep in the tent because there was no real bed available. It can be actually nice and comfortable to camp. And the right gear, (that works for you, not what is recommended by others) is the key to that.
 
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Past OR future Camino
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Both @MichelleElynHogan and @good_old_shoes mention ultralight and, in different way, experience or trial before walking long distances as a criteria.

All of us are generally limited by what is available in outdoor pursuit shops in the region we live in.

And any relevant experiences in youth will tend to direct thinking when getting gear together some 50 (or more) years on.

In my youth I was conditioned to having a timber framed back pack that allowed an air gap to my back: this was full of "essentials". And its was nothing to do more than 1,000 metres of elevation in an afternoon passing through "bush" (dense forest with multiple varieties with the "track" marked by tin can ends painted orange nailed to a tree). I have no recollection of the weight (I don't think we had bathroom scales back then), but it was heavy. And there were two shops to choose from.

I started my planning in early 2012 and determined early that I was going to make a meal of my trip to Europe. I expected to stop just before I dropped on journeys in France (from Le Puy), Spain (from Saint-Jean) and UK (Thames Path [ source to London] and London to Canterbury). I did not know anything about hostels (gite d'etape, albergue, whatever)

So, I did the rounds of the now four relevant shops in my region. Typically a pack and sleeping bag were 1.5 kg each and a small tent about 2 kg With water (1 kg) this was 6 kg, before adding changes of clothes etc. This compared very unfavourably with the suggested all up target weight of 7 kg.

I noticed all packs were now frameless! I began with a small pack (no frame) I could not get used the pack against my back: after a few hours both my back (and top) and the back of the pack were sopping wet.

So the on-line search began. Typically I was seeing boutique manufacturers in the US. This took almost two years as costs, including air freight, were high.

I settled on Zpacks in the US state of Florida. In part because the owners (husband and wife) had written up their 3,000 km and 3 month journey (Te Araroa) from top to bottom on my country (and had passed with 1 km of my front door). I could get a handle on how their gear had worked in circumstances I knew of.

My order arrived in early 2015 and consisted of:
  • 0.580 kg - tent (2 person tent - me and my pack)
  • 0.375 kg - sleeping bag
  • 0.600 kg - pack (50 litre including pockets) with a mesh "trapeze" - my back is dry :):):)
  • 1.555 kg - total
Now my all up starting weight (everything in or attached to the pack) is around 7.5 kg (? 16 lb)

And all of this goes with me on all my training trips.

So, @David, a bit more than GBP 18.95 delivered, for the tent, I'm afraid.

On the other hand, my choices have given me more options and allowed me to do things that otherwise might be impossible.

But I do need a hostel every few days to recharge my tablet-phone and camera.

Kia kaha (take care, be strong, get going when you can)
 

good_old_shoes

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
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Aragonés ('18)
@AlwynWellington That's an impressive weight for your sleeping setup!

Probably wouldn't work for me though. I get cold easily and carry a -8/9°C comfort rating down sleeping bag even in summer. I guess the tent needs trekking poles to set up? Hard to do with just a wooden staff! Ect.

That's what I wanted to say: Recommendations are all good, but your gear needs to work for yourself / your preferences as well as the circumstances you'll use it in. That can be a 19€ tent as well as a 1000€ one, a 300g tarp or 2kg tent.

My tent+sleeping bag+mat is 3-4kgs, by the way. Don't even know the weight of the empty pack. Not at all ultralight. I manage to keep the overall weight down by packing less clothes, toiletries and electronics...

Maybe David has really just found what fits his needs for a camino tent best. A few nights sleeping in the tent under different weather conditions should bring an answer to that question!

Good luck, @David, I hope that tent will be a good temporary home for you on a wonderful summer camino :)
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
1989
I think most advice to not bring a tent is given by those who are usually non campers, trying to not use the tent they brought whenever possible. Often combined with too cold sleeping bag, uncomfortable mat and not waterproof tent and/or condensation issues. Then of course you'll almost never use it, and it is dead, useless weight in your pack.
I think most of the advice not to bring a tent is due to some fundamental differences between being on the Camino and on a hiking trail. Hiking trails tend to be from campsite to campsite. Caminos tend to be from village to village. That creates a different kind of experience. With indoor accommodations specifically aimed at pilgrims readily available, the thinking isn't "camping is bad" but rather "why separate yourself from the community of fellow pilgrims and not avail yourself of the infrastructure provided especially for you, and carry extra weight in order to do so?".
 
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David

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First one in 2005 from Moissac, France.
I think most of the advice not to bring a tent is due to some fundamental differences between the Camino and on a hiking trail. Hiking trails tend to be from campsite to campsite. Caminos tend to be from village to village. That creates a different kind of experience. With indoor accommodations specifically aimed at pilgrims readily available, the thinking isn't "camping is bad" but rather "why separate yourself from the community of fellow pilgrims and not avail yourself of the infrastructure provided especially for you, and carry extra weight in order to do so?".

hhmmmm ... there is resistance by some pilgrims to the idea of tenting (wild camping aside) and it isn't just the extra weight. So I don't know what it is.

But I think that a global plague with five million dead can have the knock on side effect of changing how people think and also make tenting more acceptable to hospitelaros.
Refugios might also be desperate for any income they can get. They won't want a good year this year they will want a year that is good enough to repair their losses over the previous two years, don't you think?

Also, tenting at refugios is no different from being in refugios except at sleeping time - the same fee is paid, the same connection with other pilgrims, the same fraternities, the same sharing of kitchens and meals, the same putting back into the local economy - what is missing?

Well - missing is (to me) - being in a closed airless room with ten or more others farting and groaning and sweating, with the drunk coming in late and waking everyone up. Being in that same room when early lunatics get up in the dark and start packing their rucksacks and wearing headlamps. Being in a bathroom rush queue. Trying to sort gear closely surrounded by other people. The modesty issue when getting dressed or undressed. The chance of someone taking your footwear/poles/phone by mistake.

The benefits? (to me)
Using refugios and sharing with other pilgrims.
Having privacy.
Fresh air comfortable peaceful sleep.
Go to sleep when you want, wake up when you want.
Waking up fresh and rested, maybe sitting outside the tent taking in the early morning.
All your gear with you, safe.
Get up when you want, go to the bathroom/breakfast after the rush.
No fears about not getting a bed so no rushing, ever!

oh! and much less chance of catching a virus that can kill you and that you can pass on before you even know you have it to kill others - so a win-win really (or win win win win win ;))


What's not to like??????
 
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David Tallan

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
1989
hhmmmm ... I think that a global plague with five million dead can have the knock on side effect of changing how people think and also make tenting more acceptable to hospitelaros.
Refugios might also be desperate for any income they can get.

Also, tenting at refugios is no different from being in refugios except at sleeping time - the same connection with other pilgrims, the same fraternities, the same sharing of kitchens and meals, the same putting back into the local economy - what is missing?

Well - missing is - being in a closed airless room with ten or more others farting and groaning and sweating. Being in that same room when early lunatics get up in the dark and start packing their rucksacks and wearing headlamps. Being in a bathroom rush queue. Trying to sort gear closely surrounded by other people. The chance of someone taking your footwear/poles/phone by mistake.

The benefits?
Using refugios and sharing with other pilgrims.
Having privacy.
Fresh air comfortable peaceful sleep.
All your gear with you, safe.
Get up when you want, go to the bathroom/breakfast after the rush.
no fears about not getting a bed so no rushing.

What's not to like??????
True true. But I think most advice not to bring a tent is from previous to the pandemic. I'm not saying that using a tent is wrong, just what I think has been behind people advising against it. I could be wrong but that has been my sense of the force of the arguments.
 

David

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
First one in 2005 from Moissac, France.
True true. But I think most advice not to bring a tent is from previous to the pandemic. I'm not saying that using a tent is wrong, just what I think has been behind people advising against it. I could be wrong but that has been my sense of the force of the arguments.

I agree with you David - most of that stuff was pre-plague and to be fair most was anti wild camping, for good reasons, but, are there any arguments now? Each will choose - all is well - hey - will you be taking a lightweight free standing tent next time out? Is tempting, isn't it! Though, I know I speak glibly, using a trailer where an extra 3 kilos doesn't matter too much - were I backpacking I would be spending the children's inheritance buying the lightest kit possible! :)
Hey, David - where are you located? If in the UK I would be happy to lend you my S-Cargo trailer so you could try it out - copy it and make your own, they are truly fab!

(Thinks: Should I put up a post with lots of photos and instructions on 'how to make a Camino trailer' ??)
 
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David Tallan

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
1989
Probably not for me. I don't find dorm sleeping so uncomfortable. On the other hand sleeping on a sleeping pad on the ground in a room I can't stand up in is more uncomfortable (and that's not counting the extra weight - I'm not taking wheels to carry it). I have camped, and spent weeks doing so, but I will avail myself of a real bed when one is available. I can understand why you would want to, though. And my choice may be different if Covid is still a big concern in 2023 when I next expect to go on Camino.

I'm located overseas in Canada. :)
 
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good_old_shoes

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Even for caminos that have a great camping infrastructure like the Le Puy, where it is often possible to camp in the gite gardens, where you can sleep in your tent and still meet all the pilgrims at the gites and have dinner together ect, the advice usually is to leave the tent at home.

Even for caminos with overall bad infrastructure, almost no albergues and almost no other pilgrims, the advice to leave the tent at home is often given - in favour of recommending hotels. For the camino I'm planning right now, often that would be up to 100€/night to sleep in hotels, where there are no other pilgrims, and for some reason, that's considered better than sleeping in your tent in the same town's official campground, where there are equally no other pilgrims, but at least other campers to talk to, have a coffee with ect...

I'm not a wilderness hiker and never was.

My first long distance walk was the Frances.

I walk from town to town on my caminos, just like everyone else, and I'm always happy to meet other people and pilgrims on the way. Many towns have campsites as well as albergues, hotels, pensiones, casa rurals, ect. Why is sleeping in one better than the other?

I really don't get why many pilgrims are so judgemental about that. Sleeping in a parador is apparently fine. Sleeping in single rooms each night, 'distancing' yourself from all the other pilgrims who sleep in albergues, is fine. Skipping sections because they're 'boring' is fine. But bringing a tent to sleep in albergue/gite gardens where it is allowed, or a campsite where it exists, is for some reason apparently considered a sacrilege.

I like albergues, too. They're great. But I also like my tent. What's wrong with that?

Why the need to discourage those who prefer a night here and there in a tent from doing so, but not those who like to spend a night in a single room from time to time, which is instead considered to be totally normal?

I just don't get it.
 
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Probably wouldn't work for me though.

@good_old_shoes, I agree with you. I was conditioned by my early experiences and the common wisdom overall weight limit I had accepted.

Though I carried this stuff 1,500 km from Le Puy-en-Velay to Santiago de Compostela, I used it not once.
Nor on the part of the Whithorn Way I completed with my eldest son.

But it was essential on Thames Path, London to Canterbury and that part of Via Francigena I have completed. On average for those trips, about twice a week.

And I use it for multi-day trips closer to home.

The limit at present is the need to recharge my tablet/phone and camera on a regular basis.
But I have just bought a 20,000 mAh power bank!!!!

I make it work for me. It is NOT everyone's cup of tea.

Kia kaha

edited 26 Jan 22 to correct the capacity of the power bank
 
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JustinB

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy (2022)
I plan, finally, to walk my Camino starting May 30 from Le Puy to Santiago. I had thought of bringing my Ketly Late Start 2P free standing tent but will bring my Trecking pole tent instead. Much lighter and I can pack it easily with out having to bring my 50L pack. The only reason I am bringing a tent is my fear of a packed summer Camino and finding no room at the inn.
 

SanchoSombra

New Member
Past OR future Camino
past & future
Hi Peregrines, I am taking a tent this year in June on the Camino Norte just because I feel more free and hope to enjoy more of the camino spirit. Probably I will stay at campsites, or outside rural albergues. In bigger towns I probably go for pensions. Wild camping is no option for me. Am a bit worried about the weight, and I hope not to exceed 10kg of backpag weight, which could be ok for my physics. And if not it will be donated on the go. One reason why I did not buy ultralight and ultra expensive equipment. My tent is sold for 59E at amazon, it gives me a good feeling, it is freestanding and solid and hopefully waterresistant, but with 1.8kg not ultralight.
 
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David

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First one in 2005 from Moissac, France.
Hi Peregrines, I am taking a tent this year in June on the Camino Norte just because I feel more free and hope to enjoy more of the camino spirit. Probably I will stay at campsites, or outside rural albergues. In bigger towns I probably go for pensions. Wild camping is no option for me. Am a bit worried about the weight, and I hope not to exceed 10kg of backpag weight, which could be ok for my physics. And if not it will be donated on the go. One reason why I did not buy ultralight and ultra expensive equipment. My tent is sold for 59E at amazon, it gives me a good feeling, it is freestanding and solid and hopefully waterresistant, but with 1.8kg not ultralight.
SanchoSombra, that is a really good tent! Great price for a 3000mm waterproof tent and long inside too. I see that the inner is opaque on the bottom half and mesh only at the top. If the forecast is dry June and July you could possibly leave the flysheet behind, would save a little weight. But 1.8k is a good weight for a proper tent. Carry less water? Sounds like a great Camino coming up!!
 
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good_old_shoes

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Francés ('15, '19)
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Aragonés ('18)
And you held them over fire? How did that work? And you drilled the holes with an electric drill? I ask because I want to do this, it sounds like a great trick!

I just moved the peg in and out of the flame to not let it burn completely. The pegs also did soak up some of the wax which I hope helps so that they don't soak up much water from wet ground and/or rain. I'm not even sure it's necessary to do this, but I heard the fire/heat treatment will make it more sturdy. Anyhow, even if it's useless, I do like the look and it was fun making them and cost nothing!

The holes were drilled with an electric drill same way you'd drill a hole in normal wood.

The string is waxed string usually used for sewing leather but any lightweight string will do I guess. It's just to make it easier to pull them out of the ground.
 
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FlechaCadaDia

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances ('05)
I just moved the peg in and out of the flame to not let it burn completely. The pegs also did soak up some of the wax which I hope helps so that they don't soak up much water from wet ground and/or rain. I'm not even sure it's necessary to do this, but I heard the fire/heat treatment will make it more sturdy. Anyhow, even if it's useless, I do like the look and it was fun making them and cost nothing!

The holes were drilled with an electric drill same way you'd drill a hole in normal wood.

The string is waxed string usually used for sewing leather but any lightweight string will do I guess. It's just to make it easier to pull them out of the ground.
Thank you!
 

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