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Camping Camping the Camino del Norte

Trailhawk

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: Camino Cebu. 175 Kms 10 days. 4x
Future: Camino del Norte + Camino Primitivo
I found on Google map that there are many camping parks along the Camino del Norte. Is it possible to camp there using a hammock and a tarp shelter? Do enlighten me because tents are a bit heavy and bulky. Thank you.
 

peregrino_tom

Member
Camino(s) past & future
.
Hi Trailhawk
I see from your other posts you would like to walk the Norte starting from Hendaye/Irun on the 15 March next year. Obviously at this point we don't know where the world will be with C19, so I'll respond as if there are no C19 restrictions/considerations, and then you can filter these answers through the situation closer to your departure time....
If you start that early in the year, I think nearly all the camping parks will be closed and not all of the other accommodation will be open either. A lot of places on the Norte open up for the year at Holy Week - Semana Santa - which in 2021 runs from 28 March - 3 April. I think most camping parks probably stay closed until May - but that's just my guess.
I see you are from the Philippines. Even though you are a trail survival expert I should warn you about the cold. When I walked late March and into April there was still light snow falling on some days and the temperature then for a few days was around 5-8C but made colder by the wind. You can imagine what the nights were like when the temperature dropped further. Having said that there were also many periods when the sun was shining in the day. But you should be prepared to deal with some cold, stormy weather.
I don't think the Norte is any good for a hammock - public camping sites by the sea don't tend to have many trees and I don't think they'd allow it. If you have a tarp you won't have any privacy for changing or sleeping, and family pet dogs will check you out! These public sites tend to be large sterile areas used primarily by families with big tents, caravans and campervans.
If you are set on camping I suggest you consider the timing of your trip and aim for a warmer period, and bring a lightweight tent - a single skin should be sufficient in warmer months. I have often carried a Trailstar (which has now been copied by other manufacturers). Though I rarely used it, as the albergues have been such an important part of the camino experience.
Anyway I suggest you have a good think about what it means to sleep out on the camino, especially in terms of where you stay, the time of year and what you bring. Also with C19 this is a developing situation: we may find that more albergues wish to allow pilgrims to camp in their yards/gardens around the albergue - we shall see...
Either way, this will be an interesting discussion.
Cheers, tom
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
I found on Google map that there are many camping parks along the Camino del Norte. Is it possible to camp there using a hammock and a tarp shelter? Do enlighten me because tents are a bit heavy and bulky. Thank you.
Welcome Trailhawk, depending on the type of hammock and tarp shelter plus accessories you intend to use a lightweight tent probably will not weigh much more and indeed maybe less.
I would also agree with Tom above about the weather and privacy issues. I walked the Frances mid April into May and it was very cold and wet for the first half of the walk, I sent my unused tent home and used albergues and Hostals, I would not have even considered using a tarp in those conditions.
 

peregrino_tom

Member
Camino(s) past & future
.
Hey Mods, I was actually wondering whether to suggest moving this to a new thread to get away from the distraction of all the 2015 conversations - and you obviously had the same idea!
Muchos gracias, tom
 

Trailhawk

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: Camino Cebu. 175 Kms 10 days. 4x
Future: Camino del Norte + Camino Primitivo
Thank you very much @peregrino_tom you are most helpful. I did plan for March 15, 2021 but I found out later as I checked the billeting areas on my intended route that some of the camping parks (and a few albergues too) do not open until the second week of April yet and that forced me to move forward my schedule. Then here comes the pandemic. I do not know if 2021 Spain would be opened for tourism but, if not, I would forego and reschedule it for 2022 instead. Yes it is very cold indeed as I checked later on the mean average temperatures there in mid-March to early April and it is a challenge indeed for one who lived and toiled in the tropics for all his life. If things get better for next year, the next best schedule I would give myself is late September or early October. I just want to avoid the crowds. I will not be walking solo but I will be accompanying a good friend. He would be 70 by the time he would walk the Camino next year. While I may be very proficient in stealth camping, I would never do such a thing where I am a guest. The query on the hammock-shelter combo is just to collect a sensible opinion from people who have been there and I am fortunate that pilgrims like you gave sound advice. Thank you very much.
 

Trailhawk

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: Camino Cebu. 175 Kms 10 days. 4x
Future: Camino del Norte + Camino Primitivo
Welcome Trailhawk, depending on the type of hammock and tarp shelter plus accessories you intend to use a lightweight tent probably will not weigh much more and indeed maybe less.
I would also agree with Tom above about the weather and privacy issues. I walked the Frances mid April into May and it was very cold and wet for the first half of the walk, I sent my unused tent home and used albergues and Hostals, I would not have even considered using a tarp in those conditions.
Was planning. Did not have any idea until @peregrino_tom provided good information on what to expect. The hammock would be of two-layer construction where you could place an insulator in between. The shelter would just be a simple one that I can adjust down or up.

31959257_10156237078909876_7214050709308702720_n.jpg30741306_10156195803999876_5047421029111037952_n.jpg
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014

Trailhawk

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: Camino Cebu. 175 Kms 10 days. 4x
Future: Camino del Norte + Camino Primitivo
A lightweight tent needs a ground sheet, a sleeping pad and sleeping bag. Does lightweight include the tent poles and the peg?
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
Pegs yes, but with some you can use your walking poles instead of tent poles which will reduce the overall weight. There are a few other threads in the camping section which discuss various lightweight tents that you might find helpful.
 

Trailhawk

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: Camino Cebu. 175 Kms 10 days. 4x
Future: Camino del Norte + Camino Primitivo
I will stick with the hammock-shelter combo. I think this is lighter and I do not have to sleep on the ground. I would not add weight for a ground sheet, a ground pad and a sleeping bag. As long as I have a cheap roof insulation cut to fit inside my hammock which I could use also to sleep on the ground as last resort, if and when trees are scarce.
 
Last edited:

OxFyrd

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese 2018, voie d'Arles 2019 (Arles -Santiago)
Scheduled : Le Puy-Bilbao - Primitivo
Hi Trailhawk
I see from your other posts you would like to walk the Norte starting from Hendaye/Irun on the 15 March next year. Obviously at this point we don't know where the world will be with C19, so I'll respond as if there are no C19 restrictions/considerations, and then you can filter these answers through the situation closer to your departure time....
If you start that early in the year, I think nearly all the camping parks will be closed and not all of the other accommodation will be open either. A lot of places on the Norte open up for the year at Holy Week - Semana Santa - which in 2021 runs from 28 March - 3 April. I think most camping parks probably stay closed until May - but that's just my guess.
I see you are from the Philippines. Even though you are a trail survival expert I should warn you about the cold. When I walked late March and into April there was still light snow falling on some days and the temperature then for a few days was around 5-8C but made colder by the wind. You can imagine what the nights were like when the temperature dropped further. Having said that there were also many periods when the sun was shining in the day. But you should be prepared to deal with some cold, stormy weather.
I don't think the Norte is any good for a hammock - public camping sites by the sea don't tend to have many trees and I don't think they'd allow it. If you have a tarp you won't have any privacy for changing or sleeping, and family pet dogs will check you out! These public sites tend to be large sterile areas used primarily by families with big tents, caravans and campervans.
If you are set on camping I suggest you consider the timing of your trip and aim for a warmer period, and bring a lightweight tent - a single skin should be sufficient in warmer months. I have often carried a Trailstar (which has now been copied by other manufacturers). Though I rarely used it, as the albergues have been such an important part of the camino experience.
Anyway I suggest you have a good think about what it means to sleep out on the camino, especially in terms of where you stay, the time of year and what you bring. Also with C19 this is a developing situation: we may find that more albergues wish to allow pilgrims to camp in their yards/gardens around the albergue - we shall see...
Either way, this will be an interesting discussion.
Cheers, tom
Can you confirm that the Camino del Norte (and primitivo) has many forests (pines mainly).? Tks.
 

peregrino_tom

Member
Camino(s) past & future
.
Hi OxFyrd
It's been a few years... but as I recall, it's a mixed picture - many areas of wooded hills in the first week to Bilbao. A bit sparse from there to Santander and beyond to the split point. Primitivo I'd say has more woods. On the Norte you are pretty much on open coastal plain to Ribadeo. Therefter better as you turn inland and go up into the hilly country. In Galicia the woods are often Eucalyptus plantations
 

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 saw these guys wild camping on the Primitivo in May of 2016 and again twice later on the covered porches of small chapels. They look like they are "happy campers".
Screenshot_2020-05-30-06-01-00.jpg
 

linkster

Nunca dejes de creer!
Camino(s) past & future
CF (17) Sarria - Portomarín
CF (17) SJPdP - SdC
CF (18) SJPdP - Fisterra
CP (19) Porto - Muxia
Here is a hyperlink to a Youtube video that demonstrates how to go to ground with your hammock. I would prefer to hang, but in a pinch it is possible.👣:D:cool:
 

Dandabika

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Completed GR65 (2016)
I found on Google map that there are many camping parks along the Camino del Norte. Is it possible to camp there using a hammock and a tarp shelter? Do enlighten me because tents are a bit heavy and bulky. Thank you.
I walked the Del Norte in 2017. Around Easter, Spaniards get a Credential del peregrino, park their cars a couple of kilometers from the albergues and walk that to access cheap accommodations for the holidays while vacationing. Many albergues and campsites are overflowing with people for about a week to 10 days then. Some albergues that I stayed at during the Easter holidays had tents you could pitch on their lawn, but as added insurance, I carried an ultralight 8 oz bivy and used my Sea to Summit poncho as a tarp over me when there were no other choices. Campsites are more expensive than albergues and not nearly as many as you want. Spain has very strict laws about "wild" camping plus campfires are forbidden. The campsites that I saw were designed with hedges to mark the edges of the individual sites, plus 99% of the campsites are occupied by trailers. Not a lot of trees large enough to hang your hammock on. Keep your pack light because you're going to climb lotsa hills.
 

Trailhawk

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: Camino Cebu. 175 Kms 10 days. 4x
Future: Camino del Norte + Camino Primitivo
I walked the Del Norte in 2017. Around Easter, Spaniards get a Credential del peregrino, park their cars a couple of kilometers from the albergues and walk that to access cheap accommodations for the holidays while vacationing. Many albergues and campsites are overflowing with people for about a week to 10 days then. Some albergues that I stayed at during the Easter holidays had tents you could pitch on their lawn, but as added insurance, I carried an ultralight 8 oz bivy and used my Sea to Summit poncho as a tarp over me when there were no other choices. Campsites are more expensive than albergues and not nearly as many as you want. Spain has very strict laws about "wild" camping plus campfires are forbidden. The campsites that I saw were designed with hedges to mark the edges of the individual sites, plus 99% of the campsites are occupied by trailers. Not a lot of trees large enough to hang your hammock on. Keep your pack light because you're going to climb lotsa hills.
Thank you :)

PS. I state again that "wild camping" is not in my plans although I loved it. Who would not. But sometimes we have to make choices that would reflect on our actions and we become role models for other succeeding pilgrims from our respective countries. The Camino de Santiago is a pilgrimage route designed for the "sick in spirit" and, currently, for the tourists.
 
Last edited:

Nev Sheather

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walking now (2017)
I found on Google map that there are many camping parks along the Camino del Norte. Is it possible to camp there using a hammock and a tarp shelter? Do enlighten me because tents are a bit heavy and bulky. Thank you.
As per the other enquiry about camping, you need to actually spend money and buy a a good quality lightweight tent, or their will be guaranteed trouble on wet, cold, windy etc nights! Cheap tents are either heavy or rubbish that will not withstand a shower.
 

Sparleb644

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via Podiensis 2017
del Norte 2018
Fisterra 2018
Primitivo 2019
Madrid (2020)
Was planning. Did not have any idea until @peregrino_tom provided good information on what to expect. The hammock would be of two-layer construction where you could place an insulator in between. The shelter would just be a simple one that I can adjust down or up.

View attachment 75690View attachment 75694
Just a note about your setup. While in the tropics you don’t need a sleeping bag and pad, for night temps of 15 and less, a sleeping bag is a must in a hammock, and as it compresses ender your body weight, a pad is also required as the temp drops lower. In May on the Norte, we had lots of nights at 10 deg or lower. We had days at 12 and 15. costwise, ultralight tents are expensive, so I like your idea.
have fun,
cheers
 

Dandabika

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Completed GR65 (2016)
Thank you very much @peregrino_tom you are most helpful. I did plan for March 15, 2021 but I found out later as I checked the billeting areas on my intended route that some of the camping parks (and a few albergues too) do not open until the second week of April yet and that forced me to move forward my schedule. Then here comes the pandemic. I do not know if 2021 Spain would be opened for tourism but, if not, I would forego and reschedule it for 2022 instead. Yes it is very cold indeed as I checked later on the mean average temperatures there in mid-March to early April and it is a challenge indeed for one who lived and toiled in the tropics for all his life. If things get better for next year, the next best schedule I would give myself is late September or early October. I just want to avoid the crowds. I will not be walking solo but I will be accompanying a good friend. He would be 70 by the time he would walk the Camino next year. While I may be very proficient in stealth camping, I would never do such a thing where I am a guest. The query on the hammock-shelter combo is just to collect a sensible opinion from people who have been there and I am fortunate that pilgrims like you gave sound advice. Thank you very much.
Hi again, I failed to tell you that I walked the Del Norte AND the Primitivo. The Primitivo is more challenging than the Del Norte with distances greater between albergues. When I crossed the Primitivo in May, I was hit with a snow blizzard with lightning no less! The winds were so high that my hiking partner and I had to get down on one knee and drive our hiking poles as deep as possible so we would not get blown off a mountain. The winds were about 120 kilometers per hour! In 2018 I walked the GR70 in September. Again the winds there were spectacular. Wind, snow and rain are only about , at worse, 10% of the experience though. My advice is try to stay in municipal albergues where at least even if some are not heated you'll get a good and safe night's sleep. In at least, from memory, about 75% of the municipal albergues are repurposed schools and othe municipal buildings that often have portico/porch that can as a last measure offer you some protection from the elements. I walked with some Italians that would plan to arrive late at all albergues where if municipal albergue volunteer would go home to sleep, they would find somewhere in a hall or under a porch or sometimes on a kitchen floor, inflate their mattresses and sleep there. The police never gave them trouble for doing that, but with a caveat; only if there are no other reports of you doing that on a regular basis. The Spaniards at albergues and campsites keep a very detailed account of all their users. You must present your passport to acces their accommodation and they are legislated to note in detail all info and dates about your arrival and departure. So it's easy for the authorities to figure out what you've been up to. There was a municipal albergue that I stayed at where a group of trekkers arrived very late and partied till 2am, made a mess, broke a chair and a table. When I arrived at the next albergue about 36 kilometers later, the authorities had already warned the next albergues about those characters. They were refused shelter where I stayed plus I was told they would be refused at all municipal shelters from there on. I suspect they went home since I never saw them again.
 
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Kosmos

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte 2017
It is very easy to do the Camino del Norte from camping site to camping site, in July Spain will be open and many people will choose that option.

Last year a couple did the Camino del Norte camping, they made a video about the best campgrounds

 

Barbara

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
It is very easy to do the Camino del Norte from camping site to camping site,
Really? The start from irun maybe, but not much further on, but maybe things have changed since my last time. Or would this be unofficial camping?
 

OxFyrd

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese 2018, voie d'Arles 2019 (Arles -Santiago)
Scheduled : Le Puy-Bilbao - Primitivo
Hi OxFyrd
It's been a few years... but as I recall, it's a mixed picture - many areas of wooded hills in the first week to Bilbao. A bit sparse from there to Santander and beyond to the split point. Primitivo I'd say has more woods. On the Norte you are pretty much on open coastal plain to Ribadeo. Therefter better as you turn inland and go up into the hilly country. In Galicia the woods are often Eucalyptus plantations
Tks for answering. Very informative alingwith maps. As I'm hamocking, I'll have to avoid eucalyptus known as widow makers.
 

OxFyrd

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese 2018, voie d'Arles 2019 (Arles -Santiago)
Scheduled : Le Puy-Bilbao - Primitivo
Really? The start from irun maybe, but not much further on, but maybe things have changed since my last time. Or would this be unofficial camping?
In any case, I'll not go to a camping site. I sleep early and leave in the very early morning. Not interested by holidays campers fiestas
 

Kosmos

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte 2017
Really? The start from irun maybe, but not much further on, but maybe things have changed since my last time. Or would this be unofficial camping?
There really are a lot, you can google campsites on the Asturias coast or Basque coast or Cantabria coast.

Campsites on the Asturias coast

11_camping_asturias_ori Google_Maps.jpg

11 camping_asturias_ occGoogle_Maps.jpg
 

Barbara

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
Ok, there are a lot on Google. Now I suggest you complete your research with a) distance from Camino
b) opening and closing dates,c) type of site, as in is this caravans only? Is it a campervan site or permanent caravans or can you rock up with a tent? and d) distance between sites along the Camino or suitable footpaths including any deviations. Then if you add the cost for one walker or cyclist for a night and maybe where the nearest grocery store and restaurants are located, put all this on a spreadsheet or even just a text file, you will have a useful resource that we will all thank you for.
Because just Googling "campsites" might be a bit lightweight.
 

Barbara

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
Hello again. I took a random section of the Norte, from Villaviciosa to Gijon. There are two campsites nominally in Villaviciosa, one of them at Castiello de Lue, and one right on the coast, which take tents. Neither of them is what I would consider near the Camino, except by car, and even then not exactly close.
On the way you will go through Deva, which not only is on the way, but advertises Pilgrim friendly. I would stop there if I were walking, because the next campsite is at Cudillero, somewhat beyond Muros de Nalon. Don't shoot the messenger!
 

Isca-camigo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Various ones.

This campsite is next to Salinas which is about 5km past Aviles. I checked around Gijon as well on the west side, there is some campsites there. Google is a great idea but I can only speculate why they miss places out which I know exist, I have found that when looking at places for info, Google can be 50/50 if it gives you complete information. If I checked a bit more, I am pretty sure I would find campsites far in excess of what Google just shows.
 

Barbara

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
That's good, then. Are you up for making a list of campsites ON the Camino? With opening days? Could be really useful.
 

Isca-camigo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Various ones.
I walked in July 2010 on the Norte with my tent, I stayed on campsites on a couple of occasions and in the grounds of Albergues as well. I ended up feeling very drawn to staying in Albergues and only kept the tent as a fallback if the crowds got crazy.. Before I went I researched campsites via Google, when I arrived I realised there was a difference and there was more campsites. Whoever is on the ground I suggest they speak to tourist offices or locals, opportunities might present them selves. If I was walking in the Summer months heading off to the beach would be on my list, in July in the Holy Year many people did that. If it was warm I might just spend the night in my sleeping bag next to the beach.
 

Dandabika

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Completed GR65 (2016)
In any case, I'll not go to a camping site. I sleep early and leave in the very early morning. Not interested by holidays campers fiestas
Albergues are an almost guaranteed quiet place past 8 pm. The few campgrounds that I've had to stay at were all busy places well into the evenings. From memory, campgrounds have no noise rules past 10 pm, but there seemed to be lots of cars arriving from wherever well into the night.
 

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