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Camping mat - to have or have not?

Vivienne17

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2017
Hi
With just two weeks before I start walking _ I have a few days at home making last minute adjustments to my kit, and watching as many Camino DVDs as I can!
With a keen eye on the pilgrims to see what they have on their back in terms of bags I notice that quite a few carry camping or sleeping mats.
Can anyone comment on whether this is essential please?
 

jozero

Been there, going again...
Camino(s) past & future
CF x 3
Funny, I've seen them in videos too but haven't seen one in real life yet...! No, def not essential or even needed at all. If you're interested, lots of people post their packing lists for the forum to give input on. Not necessary however the combined experience may lead to less weight/stress on the ankles, knees, hips, spine, shoulders and probably a few other parts too :D
Have a great Camino experience!!
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
No need for a sleeping mat at all. Albergues have real mattresses, though perhaps lumpy or concave, and if they are out of beds, they are not supposed to let you say due to fire restrictions.
 

WGroleau

Wandering Weirdo
Camino(s) past & future
2015 & 2016 (partial)
HiWith a keen eye on the pilgrims to see what they have on their back in terms of bags I notice that quite a few carry camping or sleeping mats.
Can anyone comment on whether this is essential please?
Not essential. However, in Villamayor, many times a pilgrim was glad of one when all our beds were full and he/she slept in the village frontón. I have used mine a few times. But the lack of one didn't keep me awake on granite, hence my saying it isn't essential.
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
A half - or even a third - makes a very nice and comfortable "sit-upon" (old Girl Scout term, sorry).
 

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
Hi, I asked a guy once why he was carrying a roll-up sleeping pad, and he replied that he might need it one night. Two weeks later I bumped into him again, still carrying the mat, and I asked him if he’d used it yet. He said “no”, but he’ll keep carrying it “just in case” :D.
Jill
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I've carried and used one on two caminos - in 2003 which was a Holy Year when we knew we would be walking into SDC in time for the Feast Day, basically with half of Spain. We slept quite a few times in sports halls and were grateful for the mats. The second time I carried one was on the Norte, when we planned to camp. I did use it a bit, but would not bother camping again.
 

WGroleau

Wandering Weirdo
Camino(s) past & future
2015 & 2016 (partial)
Hi, I asked a guy once why he was carrying a roll-up sleeping pad, and he replied that he might need it one night. Two weeks later I bumped into him again, still carrying the mat, and I asked him if he’d used it yet. He said “no”, but he’ll keep carrying it “just in case” :D.
Since I retired three years ago, I have only had to use my tent and sleeping bag four nights. The first two were without the pad. I can sleep on anything, but the pad is worth carrying in my opinion.
 

Felice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Santiago Sept 2014
I was in Santiago last weekend (as a tourist), and I was surprised by how many pilgrims were carrying roll mats, having hardly seen anyone use one when walking previously. However, it was EXTREMELY busy, felt like a great river of pilgrims was rolling down that last street to the cathedral, so I would not have been surprised if accommodation between Sarria and Santiago was at an absolute premium.

In 2 weeks time, most people will be back at work in Spain. It's the turn of the foreign pilgrims to walk and there are not so many of them.

When I walked the Camino frances in Sept 2014, I did meet a couple of people who had slept on the floor due to there being no beds, but in both cases, they had started late and walked until 5, expecting there to be a bed. They soon learnt that they either had to get started earlier or make a reservation. In the 4 times that I have walked, I have never failed to get a bed.
 

J F Gregory

Portugal Central - October 2019
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (March-April,2016) finished, (October 2019) Portuguese Central Route.
A butt mat is helpful when taking a break while walking. Mine weighs 6oz and keeps me dry while sitting on wet stuff and protection from sitting on rocks or thorns.
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
The number of sleeping mats discarded in Roncesvalles is actually comical.
You continue to see them discarded in albergues all along the way as people realize they are carrying them with no need to use.
 

Purky

The Dutch guy
Camino(s) past & future
Reality is frequently inaccurate
I met a few pilgrims who used a sleeping mat for a comfortable siesta after lunch. And one for yoga purposes.
 

RENSHAW

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks every year on CF reaching Burgos or Leon. Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
If you are walking the Camino Frances then a few days into the walk you will come across an albergue in Puenta La Reina called Los Padres Reparadores - they have hundreds of mats in a huge wardrobe - should you then feel the need , offer a donation for one - discard it at another albergue once it has served its function.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
In two Caminos I have only met a couple of people who used mats, and they did so because were camping by choice.
 

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