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Can I use a liner only?

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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Maybe, but you may be cold for a while depending on seasonal temperatures. Blankets at albergues are hit and miss. We never had any at the places where we worked as hospitaleros because they were a good bedbug hiding places. When we have been on the Camino in July we had silk liners and that was enough. Other times we have had something more substantial such as a lightweight down sleeping bag or an army poncho liner.

A lot of people use a silk liner and carry a smaller down quilt or throw and sleep with it inside the liner bag (keeps it from sliding off at night).

If you are staying in albergues you will need some kind of liner or bag. If you sleep only in private rooms or hotels you might not need one as bedding is usually provided.
 

GPeachy

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
April / May (2016) CF
I definitely agree with the idea of a light bag or fleece throw with the liner. I personally had a liner with a fleece shawl and slept in a slightly large fleece pullover. Even when there were blankets, sometimes there weren't enough for everyone, and I only saw them in a few places. May can actually be quite chilly in the early mornings and the evening.
 
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Vacajoe

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2019
Yes, you can. If you sleep hot, it’ll be enough (all I used for walking in April-June, Sept-Nov. my wife gets cold at night, though, and the liner was not enough. All about personal preference
 

jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2021, 2022
I recommend bringing a lightweight compressible bag too. It was cold in June/July 2021 and everyone who didn't have a bag was way too cold. Stayed cold at night for many weeks. Not every place has blankets. Less due to COVID. I am hearing some places are bringing them out again - but I wouldn't rely on it! Plus - blankets don't get washed between pilgrims.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
CF Spring 2022
I walked from late May - early July. I took a silk liner and a light fleece throw and was comfortable. I didn't need blankets provided by albergues. Buen Camino!

This is exactly my setup for my upcoming May-June CF. I figure I can use the liner the entire way and donate the blanket at some point if the weather is warm enough - whereas I’d be stuck carrying a heavier sleeping bag the entire way. (Even the lightest ones weigh more than my liner + fleece blanket combo.)

That said - people tend to have strong opinions about this on here, so I’d say go with what your own instinct is telling you to pack 😊
 

Incommunicado

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Camino Frances 2017
Via Francigena ?
We used inexpensive synthetic material liners from Amazon, cheap as heck, warm enough for mid-Sept. into October. Sometimes too warm. Really depends on the albergue in question. I don't know that I'd invest in silk -- ours were perfectly fine, dirt cheap, and we decided to toss them before we returned to the US, along with some of our more grungy/battered clothing & gear.
 

jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
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Camino Frances 2021, 2022
We used inexpensive synthetic material liners from Amazon, cheap as heck, warm enough for mid-Sept. into October. Sometimes too warm. Really depends on the albergue in question. I don't know that I'd invest in silk -- ours were perfectly fine, dirt cheap, and we decided to toss them before we returned to the US, along with some of our more grungy/battered clothing & gear.
The only advantage of having silk is it is known to help repel bed bugs. Doesn't mean you couldn't get them with silk - but it reduces the risk. Otherwise - whatever material one choses is fine! Well... that - and it is usually VERY lightweight.
 
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C clearly

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Most years since 2012
The only advantage of having silk is it is known to help repel bed bugs.
Can you provide any support for this? My question is genuine, because I have simply never seen any authoritative study that drew this conclusion, but I would really like to!

I do use a silk liner, because it is a great fabric - very lightweight, has a warm feel, and it is a very fine woven fabric that bugs couldn't get through. But I'm not sure that there is any special bedbug protection/repellency that silk has.
 

trecile

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jeanineonthecamino

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Camino Frances 2021, 2022
Can you provide any support for this? My question is genuine, because I have simply never seen any authoritative study that drew this conclusion, but I would really like to!

I do use a silk liner, because it is a great fabric - very lightweight, has a warm feel, and it is a very fine woven fabric that bugs couldn't get through. But I'm not sure that there is any special bedbug protection/repellency that silk has.
I will have to look. I had some good information years ago when I did research. I will look to see if I saved the files. It isn't foolproof - but it helps.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
Bring the liner. If it's still a bit too cold for you while on the Camino purchase another liner at an outdoor shoppe. Double layer them.
 
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jeanineonthecamino

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Camino Frances 2021, 2022
Bring the liner. If it's still a bit too cold for you while on the Camino purchase another liner at an outdoor shoppe. Double layer them.
2 liners would NOT have helped me stay warm last summer when June/July were unseasonably cool. And I couldn't find a lightweight sleeping bag. I used my liner and my Turkish towel and layers of clothing/jackets and was still cold.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2012
Can I use just a sleeping bag liner? I hope to start Camino Frances early May 2022 . First timer
Where you from? What are the night time temperatures? What do you sleep in at home.? Quilt/ Duvet/ sheet & blankets? What are the likely nighttime temperatures in northern Spain along the route of the Camino Frances at the time you intend to walk? What will your requirements be for a comfortable nights sleep in those prevalent conditions.? Answered your own question you have 😉
 
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RJM

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
2 liners would NOT have helped me stay warm last summer when June/July were unseasonably cool. And I couldn't find a lightweight sleeping bag. I used my liner and my Turkish towel and layers of clothing/jackets and was still cold.
Everybody's different. I've walked the Frances before in June to July without any type of sleep system. Just depended upon the albergue blankets when available. Overall, no problems. Got cold a couple of nights, but two out of more than thirty ain't bad.
 

jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2021, 2022
Everybody's different. I've walked the Frances before in June to July without any type of sleep system. Just depended upon the albergue blankets when available. Overall, no problems. Got cold a couple of nights, but two out of more than thirty ain't bad.
Oh - I agree everyone is different. That said - of those of us walking the same stages - there were only a couple of us who did not have a sleeping bag. We were all very cold at night. Even men who sleep warm were scrambling for more layers (I am never surprised when "I" am cold - but they couldn't believe THEY were cold). Everyone else was comfy in their sleeping bag! And it wasn't just a couple nights last summer - it was from shortly after Estella to Santiago that the nights were cold most nights last summer. Again - unseasonably cold - but cold none the less! We only received blanket perhaps 4-5 nights. We were SO excited when we got blankts!
 
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Camino Frances May 2022
Just throwing this in... a camping company called Slumberjack makes two kinds of sleeping bag liners, the blue one is a cooling liner and the other red one is a warming liner. They come with their own stuff sac. I tend to always be cold but the blue one, with a light fleece blanket has kept me pretty warm even when it's been chilly.
 
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Barney12

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF from Leon to SdC May 2022
Im in Leon..about to start my Camino..and I'm finding the nights are pretty chilly. I've brought a silk liner and a super light bag..700gm..and I'm finding this combo perfect. But I do feel the cold. As others have said..all down to personal preference. I kind of look at it this way...better to have it and not need it..than need it and not have it! Buen Camino :)
 

CWBuff

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances May-June/2022
Finisterre June-July/2022
Im leaving in 19 days going on Camino Frances. I am bringing with me this:
Sea to Summit Premium Stretch-Knit Expander Liner
that i decided on due to various threads previously explored here on the Forum
IMHO that will probably be all I need. Granted as many have observed and\or commented with the COVID-related changes too many things are different but I am still comfy enough to feel that i should be OK
Heck slept in the canvas tent in temps in 20s (F not C :))
Anyways - Good Luck no matter what you decide and Buen Camino🚶‍♂️
 
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Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
Can I use just a sleeping bag liner? I hope to start Camino Frances early May 2022 . First timer
Hello
My view is yes. I have done four Caminos in 6 different months of the year including April and May. I have always been fine with just a liner but I don't really feel the cold. You can always put another t-shirt on if you get cold.
Buen Camino
Vince
 

sharonmonty

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese 2022
I did check our university academic library and I don't find any research studies on silk and bedbugs. I did find this nursing continuing education piece on bedbugs and eradication. Still accurate. Off topic so delete if you think advisable.
Thanks for this. Best information I’ve seen about bed bugs. My daughter brought them back to her flat in her suitcase from a holiday. I’ve read loads about them but this is the most useful. Shame and anxiety about sleeping! Absolutely.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
Sea Gal: fellow Washingtonian here (Anacortes). I hiked the CF starting on Earth Day, 2017. I am slave to the goddess of all things light weight. I used a silk liner and on those occasions when the albergues had no blankets and I felt a bit of a chill, I simply layered up under the liner. There were only two or three nights like that. Hope this helps.
 
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Thomas1962

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2010/2011/2012/2013: Madrid -Salvador -Primitivo 2014: EPW 2015: Amsterdam - SdC
A sleeping bag makes you more independent of temperatures, kind of albergues and hospitalero´s.
 

ShelleyS

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
SJPDP 9/20/17
Can I use just a sleeping bag liner? I hope to start Camino Frances early May 2022 . First timer
I used 2 liners and walked in Sept/Oct. The inner liner is silk and I used the top to cover the provided pillow.
That was comfortable for me and very light. I was only chilled at one place and the windows there were wide open.
 
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howardd5

Active Member
Can I use just a sleeping bag liner? I hope to start Camino Frances early May 2022 . First timer
Yes , in may it’s sometimes cool in the AM there are often blankets around for the using , but there may not be enough if it’s cold. Yes you can bring a liner . I use a ultra lite down bag that’s only 2 or 3 times the weight as a liner , and never regretted it . Remember a cotton pillow case
 

Beeman

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Primitivo,2017,Argonne and salvador,sept.2019
Can I use just a sleeping bag liner? I hope to start Camino Frances early May 2022 . First timer
I walked the Primitive in September and took a silk liner and was usually cold and getting up in the night to put on clothes in the dark. Only one albergue had blankets and those were for rent. My fellow walkers looked snug in their bags. Even on a hot day,it can get cold at night
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Yes , in may it’s sometimes cool in the AM there are often blankets around for the using , but there may not be enough if it’s cold. Yes you can bring a liner . I use a ultra lite down bag that’s only 2 or 3 times the weight as a liner , and never regretted it . Remember a cotton pillow case
I always use a scarf as a pillowcase. Can double as a light throw, neck wrap, evening shawl, etc. 20220327_085836.jpg
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
Can I use just a sleeping bag liner? I hope to start Camino Frances early May 2022 . First timer
I always use a liner otherwise I am too warm in a sleeping bag. My partner on the other hand uses a sleeping bag. I guess it would depend on your body temperature. I bring a shawl that is multi purpose for those chilly nights and can sub as a blanket. I have travelled in May-June no issues.
 
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Ian Salsbury

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
booked to do Lugo-Santiago June 2018
My first 2 caminos I brought a silk liner that I purchased many years ago for £5 no bigger than my hand and no thicker than my hand when packed. It was adequate for me June and July and I sprayed it with permethrin to keep the bed bugs away. The down side was being 6' and weighing around 100kg it was a bit snug when I moved around in it and eventually wripped it, also the mozis got me. This year I intended to take a snugpack jungle sleeping bag with mesh zip cover over my head next week, but it's now postponed to july/August due to an emergency eye operation. So instead I will be simply taking a sea to summit fleecy bag liner and spray it with permethrin. Hopefully I won't be too warm or the mozis will found me as they adore me....!!!
 

David Hobson

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Portuguese, Norte
My first 2 caminos I brought a silk liner that I purchased many years ago for £5 no bigger than my hand and no thicker than my hand when packed. It was adequate for me June and July and I sprayed it with permethrin to keep the bed bugs away. The down side was being 6' and weighing around 100kg it was a bit snug when I moved around in it and eventually wripped it, also the mozis got me. This year I intended to take a snugpack jungle sleeping bag with mesh zip cover over my head next week, but it's now postponed to july/August due to an emergency eye operation. So instead I will be simply taking a sea to summit fleecy bag liner and spray it with permethrin. Hopefully I won't be too warm or the mozis will found me as they adore me....!!!
Yes liner is fine.
 

John Cook

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
Things are obviously different on the Frances compared to the Norte. I've just reached Santiago and throughout the entire Norte I was only allowed to use a sleeping bag three times. Liners were allowed, just as well as I was only given a bottom sheet with a blanket. I never understood why a liner was allowed and a sleeping bag wasn't.
 

NM99

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Francés - StJPP-Santiago May-June 2022

good_old_shoes

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Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
Yes liner is fine.

It is not that easy. A liner is enough for some, but for many it is not. Especially in colder seasons (like spring).

Unless the op knows they're a very warm sleeper, or staying in private rooms/hotels most nights, there's a good chance they'll be cold in albergues in spring, at least some nights.

I've been cold *with* a sleeping bag some nights - in june and july! I was cold many nights in spring, with sleeping bag and warm wool clothing.

It really depends on several factors.

A warm sleeper can be warm with a thin silk liner even in cold temperatures.

A cold sleeper will not be warm enough with one or even with two thin liners as some recommended, nor with a liner plus a shawl (!?) or just sleeping in their clothes. Not even in summer, at least not every night, and certainly not in spring. Foncebadon for example has a mean minimum temp. of 5°C in may. San Juan de Ortega 6°C (source meteoblue). Albergues are likely to not be heated. Now imagine the room temperature there at night in an old building made of stone with no heating!

If you don't know whether you're a cold or warm sleeper: Test it to find out. Nobody can tell you what works for you, you have to find out for yourself.

One way to find out at home:

Switch off heating and open windows, or (depending on climate you live in) switch on air condition if available. Go to bed very tired and hungry (this will simulate exhaustion, which is one factor that can make you feel colder). Then use your liner or a thin duvet cover (crawl in, as into a liner) or cover yourself with a thin linen only. Play a video with loud noises in the background, also (there's always noise in albergues, which doesn't make it easier to fall asleep). If you want it to be very realistic, sit outside in the cold for a few hours before going to bed (simulating sitting outside in a bar having dinner/drinks with other pilgrims and / or walking around town) and preferrably wear a slightly damp shirt. Imagine a cold, rainy day when your clothes didn't dry completely. Also damp hair from having an only luke warm shower before and drying yourself with that tiny microfibre towel.

If you still sleep well, you'll probably be fine with a liner only.

I know the "liner is enough" group will not be happy with this comment. But as someone who has been cold too many nights even with a light weight sleeping bag, I always feel bad for those first timers that end up freezing because they've been told that a liner is more than sufficient, and carrying a sleeping bag is 'unnecessary weight'...

You need to find out for yourself. Don't listen to others with this. Not even to me ;-)
 
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Anamiri

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2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
Can I use just a sleeping bag liner? I hope to start Camino Frances early May 2022 . First timer
In May I needed a sleeping bag in albergues - towards the end it was warmer, but a liner wouldn't have kept me warm enough every night. I do have a very light sleeping bag that's small and not too heavy.
I wouldn't be happy sleeping in just a liner at home in the same temperatures, so the sleeping bag is a necessity for me. There were the odd nights when I had layers on inside the bag.

In September I was sometimes happy with just a liner - depends a lot on the weather at the time, by October it can be freezing.
 
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Karl Oz

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Frances
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Can I use just a sleeping bag liner? I hope to start Camino Frances early May 2022 . First timer
It will be Spring so you can expect some cool evenings. Altitude also plays a key role. I've done it with only a liner several times, but never again. There is nothing worse that waking up in the middle of the night cold and with little recourse other than to get dressed and get back in your liner.
 

JesperK

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2013-2016x2-2018 CP:2014 CF:(2022)
It depends on you. Are you a cold or warm person? Some places you'll share room with people that love to open windows - especially when it's cold - and even in May there are places where it can get a bit nippy at nights.
 

SioCamino

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CF 2015, CPo 2016, VDLP[Sev-Các] 2017, VDLP[Các-Sal] 2018
Things are obviously different on the Frances compared to the Norte. I've just reached Santiago and throughout the entire Norte I was only allowed to use a sleeping bag three times. Liners were allowed, just as well as I was only given a bottom sheet with a blanket. I never understood why a liner was allowed and a sleeping bag wasn't.
I'm really surprised and confused by this. What time of accommodations were you using?
(albergues usually at most have a fitted sheet, I've never heard of not being "allowed" to use a sleeping bag)
 
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Maxwell4334

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Can I use just a sleeping bag liner? I hope to start Camino Frances early May 2022 . First timer
I did this before. And I’m doing it again. If it’s cold you can try to find alburgues with blankets. Or you can do like me and just sleep in your clothes. The liner I have packs away into a very small bag. It weighs only 300 grams. This is helpful if you’re trying to minimize both the weight and volume of your pack. I have a 20 liter pack and it weighs only 6 kilos when full.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
I am hesitating between taking a light-weight snug-fitting sleeping bag or the MEC one mentioned above (post 44) for my fall camino. Whichever I take, I shall also provide myself with warm nightwear: merino wool base layers which can double as warm pyjamas, for those cold nights where the albergue does not provide heating or blankets. Last fall, I slept mostly in hostals or hotels, to gain private space because of the pandemic. This year, it may be largely albergues and I really need to be warm enough to sleep. And there may also be days when I shall be grateful for warm merino base layers to walk in.
 

John Cook

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
I'm really surprised and confused by this. What time of accommodations were you using?
(albergues usually at most have a fitted sheet, I've never heard of not being "allowed" to use a sleeping bag)
I had to use private albergues for the first 4 weeks as the municipal albergues were closed due to COVID. I was told the councils didn't want to risk their staff's health. Virtually all of them after Irun had signs up saying 'No sleeping bags'. I did stay in hotels too, as the distances between albergues was sometimes too long and they supplied bedding, of course.
 

SioCamino

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Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2015, CPo 2016, VDLP[Sev-Các] 2017, VDLP[Các-Sal] 2018
I had to use private albergues for the first 4 weeks as the municipal albergues were closed due to COVID. I was told the councils didn't want to risk their staff's health. Virtually all of them after Irun had signs up saying 'No sleeping bags'. I did stay in hotels too, as the distances between albergues was sometimes too long and they supplied bedding, of course.
Thanks for the reply. In those private albergues what did they supply instead? Presumably people would have needed more than just a liner...
 
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John Cook

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2022
Thanks for the reply. In those private albergues what did they supply instead? Presumably people would have needed more than just a liner...
I was given the regular paper sheet and pillow case. Then there was a blanket on the bed.
As the municipal albergue in Deba was closed I had to walk a further 7 kms to the next (private) albergue and that was fully booked but I was offered a bed in their garage. I had proper sheets, 4 pillows and 4 blankets. I didn't want to leave!
 

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