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Cheap but fine equipment

0 Euro Camino Bank Note

Nezabudka

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Burgos (Oct 2018)
Just wondering if we could try to collect all experience about less expensive hiking gear in one place?
Cheap not necessary means poor quality all the time :)
Yes, of course, we all try to hunt sales on our favourite brands, and quite often the cheap stuff that is sold online would be a fake copy of those. But sometimes, perhaps, those are not much worse than originals?

My finding is Bluefield Poncho. I believe, it's very similar to Altus one. It has got the same issue, too - not enough ventilation in arms. Costs around $20-30 on Amazon, Aliexpress, eBay.
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32768857764.html
61288

Do you know about anything else, that would help to equip on a tough budget?😎
 
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David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Great idea for a post!! Generally it is, after all, only five weeks ...

I use a trailer (to carry my first aid bags) but also sometimes walk with a rucksack. I now use a cheap Chinese 50L. It is great; well made, comfortable, weighs just 1 kilo - 2.2 lbs - and costs a mere £22 with free delivery.
I can't tell the difference in quality between mine and the expensive ones - which are also made in the far east. They come in five or six colours.

They are on Ebay.uk but assume also on Ebay.com (link below)

s-l1600 (1) (750 x 750).jpg


https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Lixada-Waterproof-Outdoor-Trekking-Backpack-ack-Mountaineering-Knapsack-D0C9/352609851975?hash=item52192f5a47:m:mLtMIk3MYYDuxYsULtGVoRA
 

Albert_Hadacek

Young gun
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues - 2015
Camino Norte - 2016
Camino Frances - 2018
Decathlon is very popular sports store all over Europe and also in Spain /France, you can get quite cheap things that will last for your journey. Backpacks around 40-70 euros... You can get these waterproof jackets that are foldable for 5euros... Sleeping backs are also super cheap there.
 

Telboyo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
I intend to leave the UK the day Before Brexit and walkMarch -April 2019 Camino Frances
I bought a rucksac from china, it was fine with the exception of the buckle on the waist strap it would pop open every time I tightened the straps.
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
Thank you, @David :) I’m looking for a backpack for my dad now. They do not have Decathon in their small european country, and luxury items like Osprey are too expensive for my parents.
@Albert_Hadacek, I guess, for most pilgrims it would be too late to buy equipment when already in Spain. Better to get used to it before the Camino ;)
Decathlon also do online sales so if you know what size bag you need you could order it there.
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
I began my camino walking with a rucksack from Lidl, cost 17euros. it served me well but there was a metal bar at the back and when the pack was fully loaded that was exposed and dug into my back. My next rucksack was a second hand Decathlon pack. O.K. but didn't have great support for me. Finally, after 7 years of walking I have invested in an Osprey Eje rucksack, it's a correct size for me, fits well and is a dream to carry.
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
I've also had several ponchos, a second hand, quite heavy one that tore in the wind and rain whilst walking over the Pyrenees. Another flimsy poncho, also second hand. My latest model bought at a brocante ( car boot / yard sale) is a very sturdy decathlon number. perhaps a little heavy but it has a great front fastening, sleeves, it is large but really covers the rucksack and keeps the heavy rain out.
 

MikeJS

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis (2011), Norte (2012), VdlP (Apr 2016). Sureste/Invierno (Apr/May 2017).
I use a cape that covers me and my rucksac that cost 10 euros in spain. My last one lasted for 3 caminos and I got a replacement on my last camino. I have found them in the spanish agricultural stores as they seem to be worn my the farmers.
 

Isca-camigo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Various ones.
I met my partner in Leon to walk the San Salvador one July, I had started way back and it was my 40th day in. Prior I had given her a rough idea of what equipment was needed, when I had a look I realised she had a bought a plastic €2 euro poncho (actual price), the only thing missing was the plastic egg shell you get in arcades. To cut a long story short when it started pouring on the stage from Pajares her kit passed with flying honours while my expensive goretex wetted out. So the moral is unless you know your kit through experience don't look down on cheaper items.
 

jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
I have just bought some gear from Decathlon AU - postage free if you spend either $80 or $90 (can't remember which). I actually bought a 35litre pack for around town and was amazed at how light it is and how good the harness appeared to be. You have just missed the sale that ALdi had a couple of weeks ago - they had some packs, which with a cursory glance appeared quite well designed, there MIGHT be a few left if hyou have a store near you. There are Aldi stores in Adelaide, but no Decathlon - it is those in the east who have that privilege. I have also been impressed with the golf umbrella I bought from Decathlon. It might be cheaper / easier for you to buy here and post to your folks. Are you aware that there is a pilgrim group that meet in Adelaide? PM me if you want the details.
 

MikeyC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF - September 2016
CF - April May 2017
Shikoku - October 2017
Kumano Kodo - October 2017
CF - 2019
I bought a Bluefield poncho but found their XL tight with a 36Litre pack. It really is a Large at best.
I have used the top of the range Decathlon poncho on several Caminos and although a tad heavy it has a two way front zip and under arm zipped vents.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
I bought an inexpensive Ikea poncho, recommended by @David, but have not yet used it. A posting on the forum reported that it leaks in heavy rain, so I have been looking for a spray to waterproof it. I have just realized that a tin of spray costs twice as much as the poncho itself, with no proof that it would make the poncho more waterproof. I may take the poncho to the mountains for a couple of days prior to my departure for Spain. It has rained pretty much every day in Calgary for more than a month and shows no signs of stopping. Maybe I should just walk out my front door with the poncho on later today, and see how wet I get. One reason that I walk caminos in the fall is that it seems to me to be dryer. Hopefully, the Ikea poncho will be adequate for the rain that I get in Spain from September to November.
 

RRat

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning 2017
Just wondering if we could try to collect all experience about less expensive hiking gear in one place?
Cheap not necessary means poor quality all the time :)
Yes, of course, we all try to hunt sales on our favourite brands, and quite often the cheap stuff that is sold online would be a fake copy of those. But sometimes, perhaps, those are not much worse than originals?

My finding is Bluefield Poncho. I believe, it's very similar to Altus one. It has got the same issue, too - not enough ventilation in arms. Costs around $20-30 on Amazon, Aliexpress, eBay.
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32768857764.html
View attachment 61288

Do you know about anything else, that would help to equip on a tough budget?😎
tedt
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
Inexpensive, cheap, used etc equipment works just fine to walk the Camino. Absolutely no need for expensive high-tech gear. I stress this because I would not want anyone who researches via this forum walking the Camino to have the impression that expensive equipment and clothing is needed, and in turn believe they cannot walk it due to a tight budget/limited funds. You can walk it cheaply. You should see the pack I carried on my first Camino Frances several years ago. A cheap, frameless ruckpack, maybe 30 litres in size. Bought it from a friend for about ten euros. I do not know if it even has a brand on it lol. It worked just fine.
Besides your shoes/boots and socks, walking the Camino is not hard on any of the equipment or clothing. Especially if all you are going to do in your life is walk one Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sarria to Santiago March 18 , Camino Frances June 18 Camino Frances May 19
Inexpensive, cheap, used etc equipment works just fine to walk the Camino. Absolutely no need for expensive high-tech gear. I stress this because I would not want anyone who researches via this forum walking the Camino to have the impression that expensive equipment and clothing is needed, and in turn believe they cannot walk it due to a tight budget/limited funds. You can walk it cheaply. You should see the pack I carried on my first Camino Frances several years ago. A cheap, frameless ruckpack, maybe 30 litres in size. Bought it from a friend for about ten euros. I do not know if it even has a brand on it lol. It worked just fine.
Besides your shoes/boots and socks, walking the Camino is not hard on any of the equipment or clothing. Especially if all you are going to do in your life is walk one Camino.
I totally agree with you , sometimes you would think Osprey are the only pack that would get you to Santiago from reading posts here . When you walk the Camino you see every brand , size colour and condition and they all do the job for their owners . The biggest factor for anyone walking is buy what you can afford and walk , your footwear needs to be broken in but again they do not need to excessively expensive as long as they suit you . There is a mountain near where I live and people climb it with Goretex gear and state of the art gear ( myself included) and often when you reach the summit you might meet a local farmer in an a work pants and jumper wearing wellingtons counting his sheep 😊
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
I would like to see prices when folk mention their cheap alternatives :) - Decathlon has good prices but they are global chain and they aren't 'cheap' - I want more posts for those really cheap alternatives that worked.

@Albertagirl - I always reproof anytihng waterproof that I buy as I don't trust factory output - some really cheap sprays on Ebay, less than the cost of the Ikea poncho! - hey - you don't need to go up a mountain to test it, when I used to sail all of us tested our gear by going into the shower with it - works!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sarria to Santiago March 18 , Camino Frances June 18 Camino Frances May 19
I would like to see prices when folk mention their cheap alternatives :) - Decathlon has good prices but they are global chain and they aren't 'cheap' - I want more posts for those really cheap alternatives that worked.

@Albertagirl - I always reproof anytihng waterproof that I buy as I don't trust factory output - some really cheap sprays on Ebay, less than the cost of the Ikea poncho! - hey - you don't need to go up a mountain to test it, when I used to sail all of us tested our gear by going into the shower with it - works!
I walked 3 times in Karrimor Aspen Low walking shoes that cost €40 , I bought good insoles to replace the originals and I have never yet got a blister thank God .They are available from Sports direct but have increased in price since to €65 but they are great value at that with a Vibram sole
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
This modern "right gear" thing .. I do find it all a bit silly .. at my age, brought up with rationing and wearing whatever I was given and leading a fairly small footprint life since, and not being a consumer fetishist ;) - I tend not to fall for power advertising so I just don't get the desire to buy the expensive hiking gear.

It really is a very modern thing you know, every outdoor activity now has its own uniform, and it isn't cheap ... which is why I am enjoying this thread - and wanting to see more cheapo workable alternatives - with the prices! :)

Look - here are some old photos of hikers .... this one the woman is wearing a tie!! - just to support the opening post ....

2fd6394c12101a6140513f64037197f0--hiking-outfits-fat-face.jpg

Alpine hikers, pipe smoke .... I think the second in line might be the count of monte christo ...

hike.jpg


And a really old poster ad for alpine hiking ... they don't seem to have a tent or sleeping bags so I am wondering how they are intending to stay warm when the sun goes down .... :) :)

12266381_master.jpg
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
I find amazon to be a wealth of inexpensive, good clothing and equipment to walk the Camino. I believe I could easily kit myself out from there for around 100 euros. That is not counting footwear. Even the good, inexpensive footwear could be a few dollars more.

Now this is my opinion, so please no ruckus over it, but I also have found no need to go to an outdoor store and be "professionally fitted" for a backpack. I have always just got one, adjusted the straps etc for me, and off I go. I feel that pack weight is far more important than fit. Mind you, I mean this within reason. It is quite obvious if a pack, any pack, is way too large or small for you, or say the straps etc just will not work for your body. I mean in regards to a decent looking pack, with good reviews and you see its dimensions, weight etc. I say this again, for the tight budget minded reading this. Those with plenty of money to spend on gear? Spend away. I know gear research is almost hobby-like for some, and that is okay.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
I would like to see prices when folk mention their cheap alternatives :) - Decathlon has good prices but they are global chain and they aren't 'cheap' - I want more posts for those really cheap alternatives that worked.

@Albertagirl - I always reproof anytihng waterproof that I buy as I don't trust factory output - some really cheap sprays on Ebay, less than the cost of the Ikea poncho! - hey - you don't need to go up a mountain to test it, when I used to sail all of us tested our gear by going into the shower with it - works!
@David
So it does work to wear the poncho into the shower, which demonstrates that my Ikea poncho leaks a lot, around the hood, where it is attached to the body of the poncho. The stitching is apparently not waterproof. And the plastic strips which were attached over the seams at the back of the hood are becoming detached. I am not sure what to do next, as I don't think that I could repair the seams with a spray. And using a seam sealant as well as a spray does not guarantee me a waterproof poncho. The water seems to be soaking through, as well as coming in through the seams. I put on my rain pants underneath, and they are fine. I may decide to take my rain jacket instead of the poncho. It is certainly waterproof, so much so that I sweat copiously on the inside. I am laughing at myself, and blessing myself for all those plastic bags into which I put everything in my pack: my last line of defense.
 

benny aumala

Member
Camino(s) past & future
may-june 2016
may-june (2019)
Interesting talk, indeed!
Short comparison gives these ponchos:
Bluefield 460g 18 US$ at Aliexpress, free delivery to Finland.
Altus 325g 50 € available in SJPdP and Pamplona
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
@David
So it does work to wear the poncho into the shower, which demonstrates that my Ikea poncho leaks a lot, around the hood, where it is attached to the body of the poncho. The stitching is apparently not waterproof. And the plastic strips which were attached over the seams at the back of the hood are becoming detached. I am not sure what to do next, as I don't think that I could repair the seams with a spray. And using a seam sealant as well as a spray does not guarantee me a waterproof poncho. The water seems to be soaking through, as well as coming in through the seams. I put on my rain pants underneath, and they are fine. I may decide to take my rain jacket instead of the poncho. It is certainly waterproof, so much so that I sweat copiously on the inside. I am laughing at myself, and blessing myself for all those plastic bags into which I put everything in my pack: my last line of defense.

Ah - how unfortunate, you seem to have bought a lemon - I suggest taking it back or sending it back with a well written gentle complaint, including Camino info - who knows how they will respond, they are a very good company so will be over-helpful I should think.

Sorry to tell you this but mine is totally waterproof and nothing is coming loose .. but, everything is made in factories and just one in a thousand being faulty can end up with a lot of unhappy customers (1,000 for every million sold ;) ) - is why I always re-proof when I buy, even if it is brand new.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
FroggsToggs cheap raincoat $10 U.S. is perfectly waterproof...I love mine, they weigh nothing! Woman's is purple!
Yes, best poncho on the market at that price, IMO and they do indeed weigh very little.
Not an extreme duty rain poncho, mind you, but perfectly adequate for walking the Camino. They also make a good rain jacket and pants.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
Ah - how unfortunate, you seem to have bought a lemon - I suggest taking it back or sending it back with a well written gentle complaint, including Camino info - who knows how they will respond, they are a very good company so will be over-helpful I should think.

Sorry to tell you this but mine is totally waterproof and nothing is coming loose .. but, everything is made in factories and just one in a thousand being faulty can end up with a lot of unhappy customers (1,000 for every million sold ;) ) - is why I always re-proof when I buy, even if it is brand new.
I have had this poncho for some time (keeping it for my next camino, without wearing it), so I do not think that returning it would get me a replacement, or a refund. And the local Ikea store is a long distance across the city where I live. As I am without a motor vehicle, I think that I shall just write it off. Fortunately, the cost was low enough that it is only a minor loss. I had a similar experience with some underwear which I bought recently online from Tilley. When it arrived, it was too small, although the label pronounced it the same size as an identical pair previously bought locally. As there is no longer a store in Calgary which sells it the only way to get it is currently to order online. Tilley refused to refund or replace it, but offered to sell me the same item in a larger size for half price. I took their offer and am now satisfied that my wardrobe for my next camino is coming together. But the dual challenges of having to order online and trust the seller, and often having to pay ridiculous amounts of money for whatever one gets could certainly be daunting for persons on their first camino, who may believe that only recommended items will do. Five years ago, my backpack did not show up for a month in New Zealand and I managed with borrowed gear and essential clothing items purchased from a big box store, including a pair of very cheap boots for tramping, which I gave away before I left the country. And in my younger days my clothing for back country wear was always a couple of dollars from a second-hand store. It can be done. Buen camino to all low-income pilgrims.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Jul-Sept 2019: Six weeks in Northern Spain.
Apr 2018 Asturias
May 2016 CP: Portuguese
Two words.. Thrift Shop! I've purchased silk shorts with top for $5, which serve as pajamas. In my area I find all kinds of clothing and even some gear from Under Armour, North Face, etc. A cheap plastic poncho served me well on CP.

Buen Camino!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
I bought my collapsible walking poles almost 20 years ago (Kilimanjaro Davos) for 15€. Many mountain tops in Alps and 10 Caminos later I'm still using them.

My "cheap" Salomon low-cut shoes for 25€ got me through 1 Camino (Levante+Sanabres+Muxia) and I'm still using them 5 years later running everyday errands. They are still good enough for at least one more Camino.

My mid-cut Salomon hiking boots for 55€ got me through 3 Caminos. And I'm sure one more.

My Kilimanjaro Zermatt 40+10l backpack for 110€ is with me for 15 years (mountains and 10 Caminos) and although it's a bit scruffy I think it will last for at least half of that in the future.

I got very expensive tech shirt as a member of a jury at the International Mountain Film Festival but it only lasted one Camino. OTOH the tech shirt bought in Decathlon for 6€ is still serving me after 3 Caminos.

Am I just lucky or some stuff out there is overpriced?
 

Nezabudka

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Burgos (Oct 2018)
Decathlon also do online sales so if you know what size bag you need you could order it there.
Thanks, good to know. Will look into it. :)
You have just missed the sale that ALdi had a couple of weeks ago - they had some packs, which with a cursory glance appeared quite well designed.
...
Are you aware that there is a pilgrim group that meet in Adelaide? PM me if you want the details.
No, I have not. I bought a few things for my daughter, including the backpack. ;) now just need to test those. Unfortunately, it wouldnt work for my parents. We bought them Keen sandals, while they were here, but sending from AU to EU costs a fortune, easier to order other stuff online.
Yes, you texted me about the group, thanks a lot. We’re still considering joining in next Fri :)
Besides your shoes/boots and socks, walking the Camino is not hard on any of the equipment or clothing. Especially if all you are going to do in your life is walk one Camino.
Agree with all my heart and soul 👍
I would like to see prices when folk mention their cheap alternatives :) - Decathlon has good prices but they are global chain and they aren't 'cheap' - I want more posts for those really cheap alternatives that worked.
Yeah... that was an idea of this post...it’s quite easy to find good and expensive stuff, but finding cheap and working well enough - it’s a challenge :rolleyes:
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
So... cheapo ... the shirt I am wearing in my Avatar - just outside Maneru - came from Mountain Warehouse (UK chain) for £12 in a sale (so I bought two), the sun hat from a charity shop (thrift shop), and the zip off trousers were £12 in a sale (so I bought two) in Go Outdoors (UK chain).
Both outlets do regular sales and both do cheapo copies of the expensive brand name stuff that is practically identical.

Let me think .....my fleece is a Musto windbreaker (Musto do sailing specific gear) from a charity shop for £2.50, my poncho from Ikea for £8 ..... my rucksack now the Chinese copy for £21 (I sold my smaller Osprey on Ebay for a great price ;) ) ... my brown 100% cotton T-shirts I buy from Decathlon (hunting section - where brown items are) for 5 Euros a go and my black 100% cotton underpants, shorts style, I get in five-packs, own brand, at Asda supermarket. My Keen Newport H2 sandals cost between £59 and £79, I found mine on Ebay for £36.50 delivered.
My brilliant! sleeping bag is the 900 gms 'jungle bag' from Snugpak - who supply our military and sell the same kit retail - for £32 .... two really good water bottles for £2 each in Morisson supermarket ... only thing I couldn't get discount or cheapo was my Swiss army knife - dang!

I dread to think what I would pay for all that if I went "tech gear" and known brands! :eek::D
 
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Houlet

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014
Via de la Plata 2015
Camino Sanabres 2015
Camino Norde 2017
For rucksacks ebay is perfect, so many people buy one and use it once. I got a pristine used Berghaus Freeflo 30 +8 much cheaper than the fashionable brands It is now less than perfect as I have used for the Camino Frances, the Via de la Plata, the Camino Norde, and several other trips. It is perfect for MY purposes and looks to have much more life in it too.

My sleeping bag is a 700 g cheapo, and my shorts and t-shirts are non branded synthetic easy wash easy dry form a supermarket.

However I do spend more on footwear, I prefer Meindl boots especially since having a failure with cheaper Merrel trainers.

We are all different of course and what suits me may not suit anyone else. I live in the UK and it always amuses me to see the people wearing hundreds if not more than a thousand of pounds worth of designer outdoor gear which seldom gets past the streets of the towns of the Lake District or Scottish Highlands.
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
I'm still using my silk sleeping bag liner bought in 2012 on eBay
My Winter jacket which is Berghouse is still wearing well, also bought on eBay . And a Helly Hansen fleece from an outlet store has served me well.
 
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MitPunkten

Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues 2018
Camino Frances 2019 until Fisterra
As a student I tried to keep my cost low. So ALDI was my best friend.
Shirts both from ALDI. Maybe 10 CHF each.
Synthetic silk liner as sleeping bag: 15 CHF
My shoes were a gift for my birthday.
My backpack cost 100 Euro (I share it with my brother so 50 Euros for each of us)
The rest of my gear I borrowed or friends gave it to me because they didn‘t need it.
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
As a student I tried to keep my cost low. So ALDI was my best friend.
Shirts both from ALDI. Maybe 10 CHF each.
Synthetic silk liner as sleeping bag: 15 CHF
My shoes were a gift for my birthday.
My backpack cost 100 Euro (I share it with my brother so 50 Euros for each of us)
The rest of my gear I borrowed or friends gave it to me because they didn‘t need it.
Good tops from decathlon sale, cheap however very bright colours. Mountain Warehouse in UK good for trousers / shorts. The top from there hasn't worn so well. All very cheap. Nice top from Hennes has lasted well.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés: Sarria-Santiago (2013)
Via Podiensis: (2014-17)
Via Tolosana: Arles-Lodève (2018)
Decathlon is very popular sports store all over Europe and also in Spain /France, you can get quite cheap things that will last for your journey. Backpacks around 40-70 euros... You can get these waterproof jackets that are foldable for 5euros... Sleeping backs are also super cheap there.
 

Kjell family

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy ( April 2018), Porto
We walked as a family ( 11and 16 year olds). One kid wore runners from decathlon and a pack bought in a street market in Indonesia. Because it was 8 months into a years travel we had very little specialized gear. Kids carried 30 l , adults 40l. We had rain jackets and picked up plastic garbage bags for rain skirts. The only gear we picked up was some good wool socks for every one because well, our original ones were getting pretty beat.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
I picked up at the library yesterday a book titled, "Do you really need it?' The title attracted my attention, but I borrowed the book after it opened in my hands to a chapter titled, "High-end equipment, Do you really need it." In reflecting on this issue, a number of questions arose in my mind. Primarily, I suggest that persons preparing to walk a camino get the footwear that works for them, well ahead of time, so they can try it out and if necessary, break it in. This may not be expensive, but it should be properly fitted and the best that they can find, or afford, for the condition of their feet. To do anything else may bring their camino to a premature and painful end. The book suggests that quality and durability are major issues for choosing equipment, within a reasonable budget which reflects the place that it will have in one's life. You don't need the best of everything. I suggest that, apart from footwear, pilgrims should consider their age, their health, their budget, and the probability that this will be their only camino. For clothing, grab what you need from your own closet. Add what you can find from a local second-hand store. Minimize what you can: one to wear, one spare (maybe two for socks and undies) and don't be too fussy about always looking fresh and clean. If you are walking in a group, you can save time and money by sharing laundry services at the albergues and not bothering about buying quick drying clothes to hand wash and hang. You can also share a transport service, to lighten your load without too much expense. If you want to use walking sticks, buy them ahead of time and learn proper use. Otherwise, they are just something else to carry. This is how I began my mountain hiking, about 46 years ago now: good boots and everything else from my closet, second-hand, or borrowed. If you are staying in albergues, you will also need a light-weight sleeping bag, or maybe a liner in hot summer weather. You might try borrowing this from friend or family for a first camino. The joy of acquiring quality, durable or very light weight items can be put off until you plan for future caminos.
 
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Nekodemus

Certified insane
Camino(s) past & future
Been there, done that. Keep coming back.
Most likely addicted.
Thrift stores and supermarkets.

Most of my t-shirts are no-name/off-brand running gear I've gotten on sale at supermarkets - like in 60% off normal price - about equal to a sixth of the price for the branded stuff from the gear-pushers. A wee warning: Don't go for black clothing - you'll be cooked slowly.

My walking pants are from Lidl and they were really cheap, but still going strong after several years.

My windbreaker is a very nice off-brand neon bicycling jacket, also on sale at a supermarket.

Etc., etc.

Takes a bit of patience before you find the right deals.

I don't like Aldi/Lidl backpacks, as I've yet to find one that fits my back, but I've used my cheap (discontinued) Gelert backpack for several caminos.
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
We bought two yellow capes at one of those Chinese shops at €2 each. We looked like 2 canaries along the trail🙄 They did the job though!
 

Moorwalker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
The Saint's Way, Cornwall
When I started walking back in the 1960s there wasn't a lot of fancy gear around especially for short, wide women so I made a lot of my own stuff. I'm always reluctant to spend a lot of money unnecessarily but I'll spend it where I really need to, for me that's shoes because I have huge difficulty in finding shoes that actually fit my hobbit feet. having said that I walk a lot of the time in sandals, usually the cheaper Tevas but i've also made my own huarache style sandals which despite looking like bits of string tied to an old piece of car tyre (which is exactly what some of them are) are surprisingly effective provided your feet are happy with no support.

The bottom line is, does it work? Shoes need to fit well as does a rucksack but you don't need to spend a fortune for either.

Expensive GoreTex really doesn't work well in hot weather so you might as well save your money. I like Paramo in cooler weather, but what lives in my pack these days is a Frogg Toggs poncho which is surprisingly practical and very cheap.

Most of my bicycle clothing comes from Aldi and while it's fairly basic and isn't made out of the latest high tech fabrics it works very well and costs a fraction of the fancy bike shop stuff.
 

taigirl

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2019
Just wondering if we could try to collect all experience about less expensive hiking gear in one place?
Cheap not necessary means poor quality all the time :)
Yes, of course, we all try to hunt sales on our favourite brands, and quite often the cheap stuff that is sold online would be a fake copy of those. But sometimes, perhaps, those are not much worse than originals?

My finding is Bluefield Poncho. I believe, it's very similar to Altus one. It has got the same issue, too - not enough ventilation in arms. Costs around $20-30 on Amazon, Aliexpress, eBay.
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32768857764.html
View attachment 61288

Do you know about anything else, that would help to equip on a tough budget?😎
I bought a $20 cycling poncho from bicycle light on eBay. I am very impressed with its size and quality. My backpack is from Kathmandu. Cost $69 on sale because of its bright aqua colour. Great stuff from Aldi. No compromise on my Keens shoes though.
 

Susan M Fron

SusanM
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (August 2019)
I have lots of used gear. But I had a hard time with a backpack, so I got an Osprey, and shoes are new, too. But pants are from eBay, shirts are Tek gear from Kohl's bon sale. Love bargains!
 

Patti5

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2016
Portugese ( 2019)
Walking the Portuguese route in June I thought I’d be good with my rain jacket but decided the day before I left to pick up a poncho from our Dollar store ( Canada). My $2 purchase ( which covered me and my pack) kept me dry when we had flood warning rains!! If was super light and took me through the 2 weeks that I walked. It was done by the time I left but definitely did the trick. Would not spend the $ on a high end poncho
Decathlon- great prices for hiking poles ( much cheaper than paying baggage fees to bring own from home). I passed them onto a pilgrim arriving at the airport in Lisbon when I left
I have found it worthwhile to spend money on Merino wool clothing - warm and cool weather, dries quickly when hand washed on the trail. I look for sales from Ice Breaker
 

Paladina

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, primitivo & del norte (2017); VdlP/Sanabres, ingles et al (2018), Mozarabe and more (2019)
Cheap unbranded goods bought from chainstores or on eBay may well delight the cost-cutting caminista, but the reason I am reluctant to buy them is because they are rarely traceable. How can you ascertain that your bargain buy is not supporting sweatshop labour, animal cruelty or environmental malpractice? If I can’t find anything acceptable secondhand I’ll wait until the new item appears in the sales. I don’t mind how dirty I get on the Camino as long as I can do so with a clean conscience.
 

LouLou

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
‘2004’ C. Frances (Apr-May)
‘2009’ C. Frances (May-Jun)
Pending ‘2018’ C. Frances (Sept-Oct)
I bought an inexpensive Ikea poncho, recommended by @David, but have not yet used it. A posting on the forum reported that it leaks in heavy rain, so I have been looking for a spray to waterproof it. I have just realized that a tin of spray costs twice as much as the poncho itself, with no proof that it would make the poncho more waterproof. I may take the poncho to the mountains for a couple of days prior to my departure for Spain. It has rained pretty much every day in Calgary for more than a month and shows no signs of stopping. Maybe I should just walk out my front door with the poncho on later today, and see how wet I get. One reason that I walk caminos in the fall is that it seems to me to be dryer. Hopefully, the Ikea poncho will be adequate for the rain that I get in Spain from September to November.
I used one on the Frances in 2018, not too many rainy days but it did the job very well!
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
I used one on the Frances in 2018, not too many rainy days but it did the job very well!
I have tried the Ikea poncho in the shower, and it failed the test, leaking around the hood, especially at the back. So I took it in to a specialty shop yesterday and am getting that area around the hood resealed professionally. The man in the shop tested it and says that otherwise it is not leaking through the fabric. The cost is modest, no more than to buy seam sealant and do it myself. I am also getting my new suede boots waterproofed there. I am willing to pay a bit extra to stay dry.
 

Mar Oregon

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Hoping to walk in 2020
Just wondering if we could try to collect all experience about less expensive hiking gear in one place?
Cheap not necessary means poor quality all the time :)
Yes, of course, we all try to hunt sales on our favourite brands, and quite often the cheap stuff that is sold online would be a fake copy of those. But sometimes, perhaps, those are not much worse than originals?

My finding is Bluefield Poncho. I believe, it's very similar to Altus one. It has got the same issue, too - not enough ventilation in arms. Costs around $20-30 on Amazon, Aliexpress, eBay.
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32768857764.html
View attachment 61288

Do you know about anything else, that would help to equip on a tough budget?😎
Well if you or someone you know is handy with a sewing machine you might take a look at the sewing pattern for a cross between a poncho and a parka called The Parcho. It’s available thru questoutfitters.com.

I have not made this pattern but it looks promising. It has large capelike sleeves which offer lots of ventilation, has several versions to accommodate most any size pack and it can be cinched around the bottom to keep it from flapping you to death in strong wind.
There are lots of outdoor fabric stores, at least in the US, where you can find silnylon or similar fabrics as well as zippers snaps etc. if you look around you can sometimes find good quality fabrics on sale for less, especially if you are willing to choose a less popular color (AKA ugly). Do checkout any ‘seconds’ fabrics which may have blemishes or quality control issues as these less expensive fabrics are often serviceable and minor issues can be worked around or ignored. Be forewarned however. Some of these siliconized fabrics are exceptionally slippery and can be tricky to sew. Hint: only pin pieces together in the seam allowances since you don’t want to add holes to your rain coat. Small clothes pins, paper clips or “quilt clips” are helpful. Burn Camino
 

Opa Theo

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais to Santiago
For our Camino last October I found a 35 L Gonex pack on Amazon for $32. With a promotion it cost me under $20. I showed it to a friend at REI where I had purchased and returned an Osprey pack and a Gregory pack. My friend checked it out and showed it to his manager. He was non comital. Bumped into him the next day and he said REI is in trouble if packs like that are available. The pack was wonderful and qualified for carry on.
For shoes I look for discontinued trail runners. They are less expensive. For poles I like cork handled z style poles which are about $50 on Amazon. Darn tough socks are great but liked less expensive compression style running socks the best. The compression style socks dry quickly
 

patgreen

Member
Great idea for a post!! Generally it is, after all, only five weeks ...

I use a trailer (to carry my first aid bags) but also sometimes walk with a rucksack. I now use a cheap Chinese 50L. It is great; well made, comfortable, weighs just 1 kilo - 2.2 lbs - and costs a mere £22 with free delivery.
I can't tell the difference in quality between mine and the expensive ones - which are also made in the far east. They come in five or six colours.

They are on Ebay.uk but assume also on Ebay.com (link below)

View attachment 61293


https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Lixada-Waterproof-Outdoor-Trekking-Backpack-ack-Mountaineering-Knapsack-D0C9/352609851975?hash=item52192f5a47:m:mLtMIk3MYYDuxYsULtGVoRA
I know Amazon reviews can't necessarily be trusted but that bag has some terrible reviews.
 

Felicia V

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese 2017
Returning 2018
A couple of years back, my sister and I walked Porto to SdC. She picked us up cheap pairs of walking poles ( approx $20 from Walmart) . They were collapsible and we just used duct tape to reinforce the seams, not only that, we just kept wrapping the duct tape around the reinforced areas to use as duct tape dispenser as we needed it for other uses. The poles did not have the spring retractable points so none of the annoying clicks. We dud wear out the rubber tips as we approached SdC, so we triple wrapped tips with duct tape.
We returned the following year with the same beloved cheapie poles. We just replaced worn tips with rubber tips purchase at surgical supply store ( used for regular canes) for a few bucks. Personally, I can’t see dropping $100+ for super poles.
 

Tony Bobcat

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017
Just wondering if we could try to collect all experience about less expensive hiking gear in one place?
Cheap not necessary means poor quality all the time :)
Yes, of course, we all try to hunt sales on our favourite brands, and quite often the cheap stuff that is sold online would be a fake copy of those. But sometimes, perhaps, those are not much worse than originals?

My finding is Bluefield Poncho. I believe, it's very similar to Altus one. It has got the same issue, too - not enough ventilation in arms. Costs around $20-30 on Amazon, Aliexpress, eBay.
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32768857764.html
View attachment 61288

Do you know about anything else, that would help to equip on a tough budget?😎
My Best Buy are my Pacemaker hiking poles for $60.00 Australian dollars were a bargain. Bought on eBay from USA, they work well.
 

Stroller

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte (2015), Frances (2016)
Just in passing, I walked with an elderly Spanish guy who used a hessian shopping bag containing a change of clothes, 2Lt bottle of water and a very light rain jacket. He wore shorts, a polo shirt, cotton sports socks and tennis shoes none of which was bought specifically for the camino, he just selected what was comfortable from his normal wardrobe and in this he walked happily from SJPD to Pamplona where we parted.

A second guy I meet used two plastic carrier bags and again his normal clothing.

Additional costs for camino equipment in both cases zero.
 

Moorwalker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
The Saint's Way, Cornwall
Just in passing, I walked with an elderly Spanish guy who used a hessian shopping bag containing a change of clothes, 2Lt bottle of water and a very light rain jacket. He wore shorts, a polo shirt, cotton sports socks and tennis shoes none of which was bought specifically for the camino, he just selected what was comfortable from his normal wardrobe and in this he walked happily from SJPD to Pamplona where we parted.

A second guy I meet used two plastic carrier bags and again his normal clothing.

Additional costs for camino equipment in both cases zero.
This. Or you could take the example of Emma "Grandma" Gatewood who. age 67, was the first woman to walk the entire Appalachian trail wearing old fashioned tennis shoes, a shelter made out of an old shower curtain, an army blanket, and carrying her kit in an over the shoulder bag rather like an Australian swag bag.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
I bought an inexpensive Ikea poncho, recommended by @David, but have not yet used it. A posting on the forum reported that it leaks in heavy rain, so I have been looking for a spray to waterproof it. I have just realized that a tin of spray costs twice as much as the poncho itself, with no proof that it would make the poncho more waterproof. I may take the poncho to the mountains for a couple of days prior to my departure for Spain. It has rained pretty much every day in Calgary for more than a month and shows no signs of stopping. Maybe I should just walk out my front door with the poncho on later today, and see how wet I get. One reason that I walk caminos in the fall is that it seems to me to be dryer. Hopefully, the Ikea poncho will be adequate for the rain that I get in Spain from September to November.
I have used the IKEA Poncho 3 times. Mine does not leak?? I do not think a spray is necessary. Like any poncho..if you have it open somewhere and the wind is blowing water will get in...IMOit is the a very durable, light weight cheap alternative...
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
I have used the IKEA Poncho 3 times. Mine does not leak?? I do not think a spray is necessary. Like any poncho..if you have it open somewhere and the wind is blowing water will get in...IMOit is the a very durable, light weight cheap alternative...
@Marbe2
I tried out my poncho in the shower before deciding that I needed to find a way to seal it. When I asked in Atmosphere, an store which sells outdoor gear, for a spray to seal my poncho, they referred me to a repair shop for outdoor gear. The seams have thin strips (plastic?), which were heat sealed when the poncho was made. Unfortunately, mine was made poorly and leaked: profusely at the neck, but there were also some poorly sealed seams elsewhere on the poncho. I paid $15 Cdn to have the seams around the hood fixed, then another $10 to finish the job where there were other poorly sealed places on the body of the poncho. So I now have a $35 new Ikea poncho (I have not yet used it) instead of a $10 one. I am satisfied with this, as it will be light and cool to wear, unlike my raincoat and the other poncho for mountain wear which I possess among my gear. And the cost was still about a third of what I paid for the other options. I shall try it out before I go to Spain, maybe in Banff next week, if it rains.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
@Marbe2
I tried out my poncho in the shower before deciding that I needed to find a way to seal it. When I asked in Atmosphere, an store which sells outdoor gear, for a spray to seal my poncho, they referred me to a repair shop for outdoor gear. The seams have thin strips (plastic?), which were heat sealed when the poncho was made. Unfortunately, mine was made poorly and leaked: profusely at the neck, but there were also some poorly sealed seams elsewhere on the poncho. I paid $15 Cdn to have the seams around the hood fixed, then another $10 to finish the job where there were other poorly sealed places on the body of the poncho. So I now have a $35 new Ikea poncho (I have not yet used it) instead of a $10 one. I am satisfied with this, as it will be light and cool to wear, unlike my raincoat and the other poncho for mountain wear which I possess among my gear. And the cost was still about a third of what I paid for the other options. I shall try it out before I go to Spain, maybe in Banff next week, if it rains.
You probably got a lemon! Sorry to hear you had to spend the extra money. You might ant to get contact IKEA! Maybe they will send you another one tor you free without paying postage to return the defective one...if it is defective they should! I know you bought it a while ago but I would call and explain you have been saving it for the Camino! Nothing but a phone call to inquire. Good Luck!
 

K Turner

One step at a time
Camino(s) past & future
14 August 2019 (SJPdP 16 August)
My Merrell Moab mids were around $70. High Sierra 20L pack $65. Alps Mountaineering XL sleep pad $18. Smartwool hiking socks $6.39. All from theclymb.com. They carry mostly models from the year prior when companies switch them out. Great deals if you don't care about colors etc.

My Columbia fleece and Kuhl hiking pants were $3 each at thrift. Hiking poles were $1 for the pair.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
Well if you or someone you know is handy with a sewing machine you might take a look at the sewing pattern for a cross between a poncho and a parka called The Parcho. It’s available thru questoutfitters.com.

I have not made this pattern but it looks promising. It has large capelike sleeves which offer lots of ventilation, has several versions to accommodate most any size pack and it can be cinched around the bottom to keep it from flapping you to death in strong wind.
I made and love my Parcho. I learned about it from @Pong in this thread https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/dont-cheap-out-on-raingear.40986/#post-436962, where she posted some pictures of herself wearing it. Mine weighs just 7.2 ounces. It's not ultra cheap to make, but it's much less expensive than the similar Packa.
I discovered another inexpensive poncho on Amazon. Only $20, and the listing states that it weighs only 9.6 ounces, plus it comes in polka dots! For those who prefer something more sedate you can also get solid colors. The nice thing about this one is that it has a full zip front, which makes it easier to put on, and vent if you get too hot. It also says that it has thumb loops to keep the "sleeves" in place. Screenshot_20190730-140904_Firefox.jpg
 

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
My Merrell Moab mids were around $70. High Sierra 20L pack $65. Alps Mountaineering XL sleep pad $18. Smartwool hiking socks $6.39. All from theclymb.com. They carry mostly models from the year prior when companies switch them out. Great deals if you don't care about colors etc.

My Columbia fleece and Kuhl hiking pants were $3 each at thrift. Hiking poles were $1 for the pair.
I love finding items at thrift stores! So much more satisfying than always buying brand new. Half of what I bring on my Caminos to wear are thrift store finds.
 

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 second your suggestion. I just wore my Frogg Toggs $20 rain suit through a driving winter rainstorm here in Concepcion, Chile. The only thing wet was my face. Good stuff!
I am a Frogg Togg fan, too, and have sung its praises on this forum before. I've never gotten wet in my rain suit, even in a torrential 4 hour downpour.
 

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