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Coping with heat on the Camino

BrianLCrabtree

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2023
How do pilgrims handle severe heat on the Camino (35-38 C, 95-100 F)? Aside from the usual precautions for hydration, frequent breaks, lightweight clothing, etc, what other precautions do you take? Do you start the day earlier to finish earlier? Walk shorter distances on very hot days? Take a day off to wait for a cooler next day? The weather is hot and humid where I live, about 95 F, and I'm age 65. Perhaps I should wait for a cooler day for a long training walk, but I don't want to find myself on the Camino in very hot conditions with no training experience in similar conditions. Tentatively planning for the Primitivo around late May/early June 2022. Buen Camino, everybody.
 
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Felipe

Veteran Member
In late May, early June you may expect not so suffocating heat, according to AEMET, Spanish Meteorology Agency. See here (data for Leon). The worse comes ( usually) in late July and early August. Obviously, with weather you never know...
I have been in summer in Spain (not in the Camino). I tried to avoid being in open, unprotected spaces between 1-4 pm. There is a logic in the traditional Spanish "siesta".
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Do you start the day earlier to finish earlier? Walk shorter distances on very hot days?
Yes, I have done both. I have been on the Camino between May and September.
Take a day off to wait for a cooler next day?
I haven't had to do this, but I would if temps were going to be really extreme.
I think that the hottest days that I walked were around 95F, and I started early in order to finish by noon or 1:00. I used a handsfree umbrella to provide portable shade.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
I have never walked June-September, but have encountered a few hot days in May. I think that all of the strategies you mention are good ones, as is the suggestion of using an umbrella.

Are you planning to walk the Camino Frances? If you have another route in mind - especially one of the southern routes - you should take additional precautions as there may be fewer places to stop and get water or other help. On the Frances, in June there are many people and services.

Two tags have been added at the top of this thread, under the title. If you click on them, you'll find many related discussions.
 

David

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2005
It is a very dry heat on such as the Meseta usually. I have walked around the 40C mark (104F).
The main trick is to walk slowly, not try and pound along, walk really slowly and relaxed.
If you read the New Testament with a geography head on you can see that when Yeshua and the disciples travel they take a very long time to arrive somewhere - this is because they are walking very slowly - do that. ;)

Wear a big hat with wide brim and/or a parasol. Great thing about a big hat is that you can soak it and as it dries the evaporation will cool your head.

When the weather is going to be hot don't wait to hydrate during the day - drink lots of water in the evening and before you go to bed, and really top yourself up before you leave the refugio. If you know you will be walking in the heat put yourself onto an alcohol fast - no nights of alcohol and then walking hot the next day.

The closest your blood comes to the surface of your skin is on your wrists - where there is water, a stream, fountain, trough, cross your wrists and allow the water to flow over them - will quickly cool your blood.

If you stop sweating during the day - you are in trouble, be aware of that. Also, if your need to urinate stops or the urine becomes dark, be aware of that too. They are all signs of serious dehydration.

and remember that according to Noel Coward - "only mad dogs and Englishman go out in the noon day sun!"
 
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CarolamS

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
My first Camino was in October (2018) because I wanted to avoid the heat. I walked from Porto and there was a heatwave! It was 34 - 36C, apparently hotter than it had been that August! I am not good with heat but I took to dunking my head under any water tap I came across and soaking my hair. I also wet a small microtowel which I folded and placed on top of my head, under my hat. The slow evaporation kept the top of my head from overheating and I didn't feel ill from the heat (usually what happens for me). I also drank and rested and walked in any shade I could find. But I do believe that little microtowel was critical to my wellbeing.
 

Elle Bieling

Elle Bieling, PilgrimageTraveler
Past OR future Camino
Too many to count!
I also wet a small microtowel which I folded and placed on top of my head, under my hat. The slow evaporation kept the top of my head from overheating and I didn't feel ill from the heat.
I did a similar thing! I soaked a bandana in water and hung it off the back of my baseball-type cap for shade and cooling. However, I was on the Lisbon-Porto stretch with few services, and I did worry a bit that I should save my water to drink instead! Also my lightweight bandana dried out too fast, so maybe the microtowel was better??
 

CarolamS

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
I did a similar thing! I soaked a bandana in water and hung it off the back of my baseball-type cap for shade and cooling. However, I was on the Lisbon-Porto stretch with few services, and I did worry a bit that I should save my water to drink instead! Also my lightweight bandana dried out too fast, so maybe the microtowel was better??
I think folding it kept it damp for longer. It is heat on the top of my head that causes me most distress. My hat did have a large brim all the way round and having the wet cloth inside the hat also slowed the evaporation. Thinking about it now I think I'd also take my bigger microfibre shower towel and use that like a wet scarf around my neck too. It's so great that appearances don't matter on Camino I was certainly dripping wet at times 😅
 

lovingkindness

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
.
Hello @BrianLCrabtree
*Setting off: I get up when the birds begin to sing, about an hour before first light. I set off at dawn aiming to finish by 15 00 at which time I begin to search for somewhere to sleep (I don't carry a phone and rarely book ahead). Sometimes many more kilometers are walked before a bed is found , which is terrible in the heat.

*I drink a litre of water before breakfast to hydrate and carry two 1-litre bottles of water during the day, changing the water often. At the end of the day I find I need to drink a lot, too.

*Clothing: I wear a long-sleeve linen or thin cotton blouse (extra big, loose) with collar or buttons to the neck; a summer buff to protect the neck and sometimes another summer buff on my forehead under my hat to protect from UV and sunlight. I wear full length pants, light weight. It may sound excessive, but sometimes I wear lightweight fingerless bicycle gloves to protect the skin on the back of hands from skin cancers, adding sunscreen and sun screen lip balm, too. I nearly always wear sun glasses. Most other pilgrims and day hikers wear less but as I have been walking much of the time since 2009 I am ultra cautious re skin cancer.

* Random swims!! Yes!! Dunking ones head in running water; having a dip in an old lavoir/lavadero on the outskirts of a village if no one is about; standing under waterfalls etc etc...

*I carry an orange or two. They are so thirst quenching...I eat a sizeable breakfast and dinner in the evening (if there's food to be had) but not very much during the day, mostly just fruit and nuts.

* I greet everyone I meet along the way and often pass an hour or so socialising on a shady verandar.

*Some of the coolest places in Europe during summer are old stone churches. I flake out on a pew or pass a little time doing music practice until I have energy to continue.

Cheers!

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2012
I walked a lot in the Alpujarras in the '70's & 80's. That's years and degrees F. Like everyone else in the Fondas at night and the Campesinos in their fields and groves we breakfasted at sparrow-fart and were on the road at first light. By 2 in the afternoon we had eaten the main meal of the day and slept, anywhere with shade and a draught, until maybe 7. Then you could walk, or work, for another few hours till the light went. Some light food, a couple of drinks and then sleep.

@lovingkindness is so, so right. Drink before you are thirsty. That litre for breakfast might just save your life. And @David has it covered too. If your sweating you need to drink. If you are not sweating you need to stop, now, find shade and drink.

Long term members will know that I usually advocate Orujo as the solution to most camino issues but not heat, never heat. 1 litre of water, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of sugar is the appropriate solution...
 

martin1ws

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2018; (2020); 2021
Great tips here!
I did a similar thing! I soaked a bandana in water and hung it off the back of my baseball-type cap for shade and cooling. However, I was on the Lisbon-Porto stretch with few services, and I did worry a bit that I should save my water to drink instead! Also my lightweight bandana dried out too fast, so maybe the microtowel was better??
The great thing is that you can soak a bandana or something else in water that you cannot drink or that you maybe cannot drink but find on your Camino.
 

FourSeasons

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF Sept/Oct 2013
CF April/May 2016
del Norte (July/August 2019)
How do pilgrims handle severe heat on the Camino (35-38 C, 95-100 F)? Aside from the usual precautions for hydration, frequent breaks, lightweight clothing, etc, what other precautions do you take? Do you start the day earlier to finish earlier? Walk shorter distances on very hot days? Take a day off to wait for a cooler next day? The weather is hot and humid where I live, about 95 F, and I'm age 65. Perhaps I should wait for a cooler day for a long training walk, but I don't want to find myself on the Camino in very hot conditions with no training experience in similar conditions. Tentatively planning for the Primitivo around late May/early June 2022. Buen Camino, everybody.
Hi Brian, I've walked the first part of del Norte and went as far as Santander in July of 2019. It was hot and humid but the heat wasn't the issue with me it was the humidity, everything was always damp. I would image the beginning of the Primitivo would be humid and starting to warm up around May/June and most likely more rain as it's still Springtime.

The Camino Frances is a dry heat, in May/June would be warming up but not unbearable. July/August on the Frances is HOT! Leave early 5AM-ish, finish early Noon 1PM-ish. Hydrate with lots of water and perhaps an Aquarius, a mineral sports drink that comes in Lemon/Lime or Orange flavor, Orange is my favorite. Find an alburgue with a pool 👍🏻 Of course one can never predict the weather in this every changing world, you can only be somewhat prepared. Enjoy your planning. Buen Camino!
 
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NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
In addition to all the good stuff above, add some salt to your dinner (if it isn’t already over-salted).
 
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2019
I know drinking water (and staying away from alcohol) is the best hydration. However, when you need more than water, what is your go to Hydration/Electrolyte Drink - Aquarius (which isn't always available in Sugar Free), Liquid-IV, Propel, Gatorade, Pedialyte, Ultima? Most come in packets and are easy to carry.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
How do pilgrims handle severe heat on the Camino (35-38 C, 95-100 F)? Aside from the usual precautions for hydration, frequent breaks, lightweight clothing, etc, what other precautions do you take? Do you start the day earlier to finish earlier? Walk shorter distances on very hot days? Take a day off to wait for a cooler next day? The weather is hot and humid where I live, about 95 F, and I'm age 65. Perhaps I should wait for a cooler day for a long training walk, but I don't want to find myself on the Camino in very hot conditions with no training experience in similar conditions. Tentatively planning for the Primitivo around late May/early June 2022. Buen Camino, everybody.

I have only walked in temps up to about 35 C.
But would reinforce the advice above.
My standard approach is this. All about prevention:

  1. Drink at least 1/2 litre of water in the morning before setting out.
  2. Carry plenty of water and hydrate often. Most important. Also, every time you replenish your water bottles/bladder, make sure to drink a lot too. We are all different, but I use 1 to 1 1/2 litres per 10 kms if I follow all the other steps below. I ran out of water once (leaking bladder). It was not fun.
  3. Learn how to check yourself for dehydration. Pinching the skin, urination frequency and color.
  4. Walk slowly, don't over exert. (for example, when I'm in Bangkok (we have family there) my walking pace slows right down, other wise I just sweat a lot! No one walks fast there!)
  5. Clothing is very important. I am covered head to toe. Long pants, long sleeves, wide brimmed hat, with neck flap. In hot sun I also wear light gloves!
  6. Rest frequently, in the shade when you can.
  7. Replenish salts. You might want a medical opinion on this. I carry small sachets of rehydration powder. (like those for diarrhea) One of these goes into a 500 ml bottle of water that I sip through the day, along with my regular water. On a very hot day I might use two. Some people use table salt and sugar mix. Like a homemade sports drink I guess.
  8. Carry an Umbrella! I only wish I had one on my first Camino. It's like walking under your personal shade tree! And it cuts down my need to carry so much water. Or conversely, I can drink a lot more.

 
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NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Memories of heat...

I walked out of Bratislava a few years ago on the EPW and it was 38C before noon. I started walking as the sun came up and had to walk until late afternoon. I did not pass up on any chance to drink water or soda/pop or to soak my hat. I drank 6 litres of fluids by arrival and still only peed once.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Leave the albergue as soon as it is light, which in summer is very early, and then stop walking by 1pm. I use an umbrella, like the one above, and they are invaluable, not only for walking, but also for when sitting and resting. Also a long skirt that is loose and tends to make its own "breeze" - a great asset (see avatar).
Lots of water and something very salty at the end of the day.
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
How do pilgrims handle severe heat on the Camino (35-38 C, 95-100 F)? Aside from the usual precautions for hydration, frequent breaks, lightweight clothing, etc, what other precautions do you take? Do you start the day earlier to finish earlier? Walk shorter distances on very hot days? Take a day off to wait for a cooler next day? The weather is hot and humid where I live, about 95 F, and I'm age 65. Perhaps I should wait for a cooler day for a long training walk, but I don't want to find myself on the Camino in very hot conditions with no training experience in similar conditions. Tentatively planning for the Primitivo around late May/early June 2022. Buen Camino, everybody.
Two out of three I walked in a heatwave. As I'm from the opposite hemisphere I find the May/June temps better to deal with than the September temps - May is not normally as cold in NZ as the end of August - so the difference is not so great. I left NZ on 31 August in 2016 at 7C, and arrived to 38degrees C. The heat was so intense, I thought I wouldnt cope. I remember lining up outside an albergue in Pamplona, nearly passing out with the heat. It took a few days to work out a plan.
Basically I work out how long it will take me to walk a stage, and work it out so that I arrive by 2pm. I made it a rule never to walk after that. Seek shade as much as possible. I remember one day on the Meseta, there so many of us under a tree's shade we were nearly touching. We felt obliged to move on when new people turned up.
Plenty of water, and a decent brim on my hat.
I do get used to the heat eventually - in 2017 I arrived in Santiago in 43C, with wild fires in Portugal being shown on all the TV screens, and I was fine.
We also dont have a continental climate - the variation per day is much less in NZ than Spain so in Spain I can start with every layer, and end up in a T-shirt.
On my last Camino in September of 2019. the heatwave finished the week before we walked - I was so happy, so pleasant to walk when it isn't stonking hot.
 
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2021
How do pilgrims handle severe heat on the Camino (35-38 C, 95-100 F)? Aside from the usual precautions for hydration, frequent breaks, lightweight clothing, etc, what other precautions do you take? Do you start the day earlier to finish earlier? Walk shorter distances on very hot days? Take a day off to wait for a cooler next day? The weather is hot and humid where I live, about 95 F, and I'm age 65. Perhaps I should wait for a cooler day for a long training walk, but I don't want to find myself on the Camino in very hot conditions with no training experience in similar conditions. Tentatively planning for the Primitivo around late May/early June 2022. Buen Camino, everybody.
I left before 4a. Works great.
 

Lurch

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
looking at 2018-2019
Most of my ideas have already been mentioned; such as long sleeves and salt. One thing I picked up while humping the paddies in the Nam, lo those many years ago. We were issued and carried a small cotton towel, which we wore around our necks and wet when necessary. If your neck is cool, you are cool, temps/humidity were higher than I have ever known, and I grew up in Phoenix. I know it is added weight, but worth it.
 
Past OR future Camino
2019
How do pilgrims handle severe heat on the Camino (35-38 C, 95-100 F)? Aside from the usual precautions for hydration, frequent breaks, lightweight clothing, etc, what other precautions do you take? Do you start the day earlier to finish earlier? Walk shorter distances on very hot days? Take a day off to wait for a cooler next day? The weather is hot and humid where I live, about 95 F, and I'm age 65. Perhaps I should wait for a cooler day for a long training walk, but I don't want to find myself on the Camino in very hot conditions with no training experience in similar conditions. Tentatively planning for the Primitivo around late May/early June 2022. Buen Camino, everybody.
I walked my first Camino Frances in June/July and temperatures were regularly in the 90's and one day topped 100. I used Reimann Factor 50 sun screen. It is expensive but only needs applying once a day and is extremely effective. I wore a Tilley T4MO-1 Hikers all the time, I worked on covering 20k a day. I started between 6 and 7 am walked for 2 hours and broke for breakfast then walked another 2 hours and broke for lunch at which point I decided which alberque I wanted to stay in that night usually within 5k of where I was having lunch. Working on covering 4k per hour this give you 5 hours walking with two 1-hour breaks. It allows you to finish between 1 and 2 pm and I did not find it onerous. That was in 2013 when I turned 60. I have returned 3 times and followed this regime each time with no problems. Hope this helps.
Buen Camino
Vince
 

TinaPEI

Member
Past OR future Camino
Hopefully sometime....
I did my Camino from July 3-Aug 3, 2016. I wore long pants/trousers and a long sleeve top. On the days it was going to be extra hot, we got up early because we knew we walked farther in the morning. We did get up and start walking by 5:30 or 6. We also checked where there were to be long stretches between towns and villages and tried to do those first thing in the morning. We took plenty of breaks. Oh and plenty of lemon Aquarius! Yummy!!
 
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David Tallan

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
1989
What I did:
  • Set out early (much earlier than I otherwise would have) and walk in the morning
  • Hydrate well
  • Wet my buff and/or hat and wear. This could be done with any article of clothing actually, although it is most important on the head. Evaporation = cooling. That's why we sweat.
  • Walk on the shady side of the road, when there was one.
  • Wear light, loose fitting clothes. (I find light, loose fitting long pants cooler than shorts.)
What I would also do next time:
  • Take along a hiking umbrella/parasol (parasol = "for sun")
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
How do pilgrims handle severe heat on the Camino (35-38 C, 95-100 F)? Aside from the usual precautions for hydration, frequent breaks, lightweight clothing, etc, what other precautions do you take? Do you start the day earlier to finish earlier? Walk shorter distances on very hot days? Take a day off to wait for a cooler next day? The weather is hot and humid where I live, about 95 F, and I'm age 65. Perhaps I should wait for a cooler day for a long training walk, but I don't want to find myself on the Camino in very hot conditions with no training experience in similar conditions. Tentatively planning for the Primitivo around late May/early June 2022. Buen Camino, everybody.
I certainly wouldn´t worry about it being too hot on the Primitivo late May/June but who knows, this summer in Europe has been atypical with lots of rain, flooding and cooler than normal temperatures. I walked the Primitivo this June and I started out most mornings with a jacket on, it wasn't until I reached Lugo that I could just wear a t-shirt in the mornings.

I've never trained in hot temps just because it rarely gets really hot in The Netherlands but I have walked in the heat of summer in Spain on many occasions (the Via de la Plata from Sevilla and the Levante from Valencia). I start out early to avoid the heat of late afternoon and drink, drink, drink! Unless you are in the Barcelona and Valencia area, the heat in Spain is usually a dry heat which is much easier to handle then humidity.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
From what I have read, most of you are fully aware of the danger of excess heat and of ways to manage your health in extreme conditions. However, if you do have a heat emergency while walking alone, I consider it wise to be able to call for help. You can put the Alert Cops app on your phone and learn how to use it. You can learn the Spanish emergency numbers and make sure that your phone is charged when you walk. You might also consider an emergency beacon. My SPOT emergency beacon, the service renewed today in preparation for my fall camino, is powered by batteries (I carry a set of spares), doesn't care if there is Orange or Vodaphone or whatever phone service where I am walking in Spain, and will send an emergency message via satellite to a monitoring service, which passes it on to local emergency services wherever I am, including my exact location. I walk alone and prefer the longer and more isolated caminos, so I find this reassuring, another option, for when conditions in which I walk may be dangerous
 

Vanozza

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
I have walked part of the Camino Frances one and a half times. I ended in Sahagun in April 2019.
How do pilgrims handle severe heat on the Camino (35-38 C, 95-100 F)? Aside from the usual precautions for hydration, frequent breaks, lightweight clothing, etc, what other precautions do you take? Do you start the day earlier to finish earlier? Walk shorter distances on very hot days? Take a day off to wait for a cooler next day? The weather is hot and humid where I live, about 95 F, and I'm age 65. Perhaps I should wait for a cooler day for a long training walk, but I don't want to find myself on the Camino in very hot conditions with no training experience in similar conditions. Tentatively planning for the Primitivo around late May/early June 2022. Buen Camino, everybody.
I hike the Camino Frances in April and in October in order to avoid the hot weather.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I too leave very early on very hot days. I have also met folks who actually walked
At night and morning were done walking by 10am. They rested awhile checked into accommodations, had a long wonderful lunch and then slept from 3pm until 10 or 11 at night.

If you walk at night make sure you have a bright head light. In some areas where it is wooded you will need to walk slower, because of limited visibility…. and then there-is the morning fog to cope with.
 
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Have completed through Agosta
How do pilgrims handle severe heat on the Camino (35-38 C, 95-100 F)? Aside from the usual precautions for hydration, frequent breaks, lightweight clothing, etc, what other precautions do you take? Do you start the day earlier to finish earlier? Walk shorter distances on very hot days? Take a day off to wait for a cooler next day? The weather is hot and humid where I live, about 95 F, and I'm age 65. Perhaps I should wait for a cooler day for a long training walk, but I don't want to find myself on the Camino in very hot conditions with no training experience in similar conditions. Tentatively planning for the Primitivo around late May/early June 2022. Buen Camino, everybody.
I start early in the day so as to be done by peak heat most days (I shoot for 2). Heat generally peaks 3-6. And lists of water. Even if you don’t feel thirsty. Because it is often dry you don’t notice the dehydration.
 

Calisteve

Member
Past OR future Camino
Future Camino - VDLP, Primitivo, Norte, Mozarabe
I walked the Camino de Madrid in March 2020 prior to the lockdown and was sun burnt! So i bought an umbrella but then decided to go with a wide brimmed hat for my Lisbon to Porto jaunt last month. There's a whole continent in shade when I put it on! 20210616_134532.jpg
 

Calisteve

Member
Past OR future Camino
Future Camino - VDLP, Primitivo, Norte, Mozarabe
So …
”where did you get that hat?“ 😉

(Well, someone had to ask …. )
Funnily enough I sent that photo home with the message, "and in the 'where did you get that hat' competition, the winner is...".

Lots of shade though.
 

howardd5

Member
How do pilgrims handle severe heat on the Camino (35-38 C, 95-100 F)? Aside from the usual precautions for hydration, frequent breaks, lightweight clothing, etc, what other precautions do you take? Do you start the day earlier to finish earlier? Walk shorter distances on very hot days? Take a day off to wait for a cooler next day? The weather is hot and humid where I live, about 95 F, and I'm age 65. Perhaps I should wait for a cooler day for a long training walk, but I don't want to find myself on the Camino in very hot conditions with no training experience in similar conditions. Tentatively planning for the Primitivo around late May/early June 2022. Buen Camino, everybody.
I have done a Camino in beginning of May and was more troubled by cold than heat . While starting in June, some of both . While starting in July, too hot and too busy . August don't go . Sept and October the best months ,cool in the am and warm& dry in the PM and not too busy , mostly older folks. On water , because the air is dry , you need to drink alot but much better to take a couple mouthfuls every half hour . Your body can absorb only about 10% of what you drink at any time . If I'd chug 1/2 litter of water I just pee it out within a half hour .I mix some electrolytes in my water in the morning and I think it helps . I think only Germans can drink beer with lunch and walk on . A coffee con Leche is so good during the day that I take it but probably diuretic, but the sugar gives me a boost. Now in Galacia they have a draft sweet Cidre that goes down so well that I have drunk a litre in the afternoon and enjoyed a further couple hours on the trail . At the end of the day at a topis bar I seem to fill out just like rice with a restful beer or two, just me I suppose
 
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In late May, early June you may expect not so suffocating heat, according to AEMET, Spanish Meteorology Agency. See here (data for Leon). The worse comes ( usually) in late July and early August. Obviously, with weather you never know...
I have been in summer in Spain (not in the Camino). I tried to avoid being in open, unprotected spaces between 1-4 pm. There is a logic in the traditional Spanish "siesta".
I’m on the Camino right now and the weather is cool with cold wind. It’s weather, unpredictable. Other years when I’ve been on the Camino during this time of the year it has been hot.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
On water , because the air is dry , you need to drink alot but much better to take a couple mouthfuls every half hour . Your body can absorb only about 10% of what you drink at any time . If I'd chug 1/2 litter of water I just pee it out within a half hour .
Your body needs to absorb water, but it also needs to "just pee it out." If you drink inadequate water to do so, your urinary tract will not like it and unfortunate consequences may result. Don't ask me how I know.
 
Past OR future Camino
2019
Because you will be walking perpendicular to the folds of the mountains on the beautiful Primitivo you must take great care of your feet. Otherwise, you may come to call it the punishing Primitivo. I strongly urge you first read the book "Fixing your Feet . . . " by John Vonhof. Because of the higher elevations on the Primitivo I would be more concerned about wind, rain and fog in May than about excessive heat. Buen Camino
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Past OR future Camino
2018
Hello @BrianLCrabtree
*Setting off: I get up when the birds begin to sing, about an hour before first light. I set off at dawn aiming to finish by 15 00 at which time I begin to search for somewhere to sleep (I don't carry a phone and rarely book ahead). Sometimes many more kilometers are walked before a bed is found , which is terrible in the heat.

*I drink a litre of water before breakfast to hydrate and carry two 1-litre bottles of water during the day, changing the water often. At the end of the day I find I need to drink a lot, too.

*Clothing: I wear a long-sleeve linen or thin cotton blouse (extra big, loose) with collar or buttons to the neck; a summer buff to protect the neck and sometimes another summer buff on my forehead under my hat to protect from UV and sunlight. I wear full length pants, light weight. It may sound excessive, but sometimes I wear lightweight fingerless bicycle gloves to protect the skin on the back of hands from skin cancers, adding sunscreen and sun screen lip balm, too. I nearly always wear sun glasses. Most other pilgrims and day hikers wear less but as I have been walking much of the time since 2009 I am ultra cautious re skin cancer.

* Random swims!! Yes!! Dunking ones head in running water; having a dip in an old lavoir/lavadero on the outskirts of a village if no one is about; standing under waterfalls etc etc...

*I carry an orange or two. They are so thirst quenching...I eat a sizeable breakfast and dinner in the evening (if there's food to be had) but not very much during the day, mostly just fruit and nuts.

* I greet everyone I meet along the way and often pass an hour or so socialising on a shady verandar.

*Some of the coolest places in Europe during summer are old stone churches. I flake out on a pew or pass a little time doing music practice until I have energy to continue.

Cheers!

View attachment 105834
Are those giant marshmallows?
 
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Past OR future Camino
2014, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Various routes...
What everyone else said about starting early, hydrating, seeking shade, and salt. And knowing when to stop.

Two things are lifesavers for me, in terms of hydration/mineral replenishment, and cooling:

>The hydration/mineral replenishment part is to drink zumo de naranja cut half-half with unsweetened soda water. For me it works far better for quenching thirst than Kas or Aquarius. With crisps on the side if I need extra salt.

>The cooling part is to get wrists and head wet with cool water at every opportunity. If I stop for refreshment I ask for some extra ice right before I leave and put in my hat. Ahhhhhh. Portible aircon, at least for a while.
 

lovingkindness

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
.
Norwegian: traktor egg

ps the photo was taken in France. My journey started in Norway.... The French word for wrapping fodder in plastic is enrubanage.
pps Heat waves are sometimes experienced in Norway in the month of July. There can also be freek snow storms at this time as well. As a pilgrim volunteer during July 2019 I experienced both. This year, also, near-record temperatures were recorded in Norway and other parts of Scandinavia.

So.... for those walking pilgrim trails in Scandinavia be prepared, also. :)

ppps and along the pilgrim trails one is sure to see 'traktor eggs'
 
Last edited:

RRat

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Planning 2017
How do pilgrims handle severe heat on the Camino (35-38 C, 95-100 F)? Aside from the usual precautions for hydration, frequent breaks, lightweight clothing, etc, what other precautions do you take? Do you start the day earlier to finish earlier? Walk shorter distances on very hot days? Take a day off to wait for a cooler next day? The weather is hot and humid where I live, about 95 F, and I'm age 65. Perhaps I should wait for a cooler day for a long training walk, but I don't want to find myself on the Camino in very hot conditions with no training experience in similar conditions. Tentatively planning for the Primitivo around late May/early June 2022. Buen Camino, everybody.
Yes to all your methods. You forgot, wear a hat. I found most sections on the cool side. The warmer sections can be avoided if need be or just make it a short day. The warmer sections are not overly warm everyday. You can do it. A side note: Some water fountains are foot operated.
 
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