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Do You Need Sleeping Bag in April?

Florida Bill

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2014 did Frances and plan to Le Puy in 2023
I’ve seen comments that you don’t need to take a sleeping bag but just sleeping bag liner on Puy-En-Velay. But is that true for April? Also, what temperature rating is recommended for sleeping bag where it will be used indoors? I could see one being too hot in one rated at low temperature.
 
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I’ve seen comments that you don’t need to take a sleeping bag but just sleeping bag liner on Puy-En-Velay. But is that true for April? Also, what temperature rating is recommended for sleeping bag where it will be used indoors? I could see one being too hot in one rated at low temperature.
Although I haven’t walked this particular route, I have always carried a 1-season sleeping bag on my spring Caminos. At 1.1 pounds, my bag is very light and there have been numerous times, again in the spring, that I’ve been glad to have it. As spring weather can be unpredictable and as some albergues may not offer blankets, I’d err on the conservative side and carry a light weight sleeping bag.
 
I carried a light weight down sleeping bag (three season) on the via podiensis in Sept-Oct 2017. I did not need the sleeping bag every night, but did need it at some places. As always, it depends where you plan to stay the night. I like knowing that no matter what, I will be warm at night. --A few pilgrim places did not have warm blankets-- one place only had room on the floor. I also joined up with friends who were camping at Sauges. (The campground had hot showers and laundry facilities.) My friends had a big tent, but there were also little caravan wagons that could be rented inexpensively.

Also, I took an alternate route to stay at a convent, and so spent on night in Condom D'Aubrac where the pilgrim auberge was closed for the season, as was the cafe. The Marie opened the community center for me, where there was a warm room and a gym mat to sleep on. There was also a kitchen to use, but I had no food and there were no shops. The woman from the Marie called the cafe owner and they opened the cafe for me, where I bought supper, and breakfast and a picnic lunch the next morning.
 
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Although I haven’t walked this particular route, I have always carried a 1-season sleeping bag on my spring Caminos. At 1.1 pounds, my bag is very light and there have been numerous times, again in the spring, that I’ve been glad to have it. As spring weather can be unpredictable and as some albergues may not offer blankets, I’d err on the conservative side and carry a light weight sleeping bag.
What brand and model bag do you have? Also, do you have advice or recommendation on temperature rating?
 
I’ve seen comments that you don’t need to take a sleeping bag but just sleeping bag liner on Puy-En-Velay. But is that true for April? Also, what temperature rating is recommended for sleeping bag where it will be used indoors? I could see one being too hot in one rated at low temperature.
A liner and a warm jacket should be enough
 
But is that true for April?

I definitely need a sleeping bag in April but I think you are really asking us to tell you whether you will need one. This may sound like I’m on my soapbox, sorry, but here’s what I think is the only way to reply to this question.

I think the "should I take a sleeping bag" question is the same as the "what are the best hiking boots" or "which backpack should I use" questions. This is a question that no one else can answer for you because it depends exclusively on your own body. I don't doubt that all of the posters have accurately reported on what feels good for them in those conditions, but they have their own unique internal heating and cooling systems. I always take a lightweight sleeping bag (850 grams), even last year arriving in Santiago in late July. But then I'm what the Spanish call "friolera", someone who gets cold easily. Only you know if that describes you too. If you're the one who always pulls out a sweater to warm up in summer air conditioning, or who needs extra layers when sitting around in the winter, then you will probably be very happy with the decision to carry a sleeping bag. If you sweat a lot and run around the house in shirt sleeves in winter, then you are likely to be fine with something much less.

There is also a gender difference.

www.theguardian.com

Why women secretly turn up the heating

While male and female body temperatures are similar, subtle biological difference conspire to make household temperatures a perennial bone of contention
www.theguardian.com
www.theguardian.com

So my bottom line is that all I can tell you is whether I would need a sleeping bag. Which will be totally irrelevant for your decision whether YOU will need a sleeping bag. Buen camino, Laurie
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
I definitely need a sleeping bag in April but I think you are really asking us to tell you whether you will need one. This may sound like I’m on my soapbox, sorry, but here’s what I think is the only way to reply to this question.

I think the "should I take a sleeping bag" question is the same as the "what are the best hiking boots" or "which backpack should I use" questions. This is a question that no one else can answer for you because it depends exclusively on your own body. I don't doubt that all of the posters have accurately reported on what feels good for them in those conditions, but they have their own unique internal heating and cooling systems. I always take a lightweight sleeping bag (850 grams), even last year arriving in Santiago in late July. But then I'm what the Spanish call "friolera", someone who gets cold easily. Only you know if that describes you too. If you're the one who always pulls out a sweater to warm up in summer air conditioning, or who needs extra layers when sitting around in the winter, then you will probably be very happy with the decision to carry a sleeping bag. If you sweat a lot and run around the house in shirt sleeves in winter, then you are likely to be fine with something much less.

There is also a gender difference.

www.theguardian.com

Why women secretly turn up the heating

While male and female body temperatures are similar, subtle biological difference conspire to make household temperatures a perennial bone of contention
www.theguardian.com
www.theguardian.com

So my bottom line is that all I can tell you is whether I would need a sleeping bag. Which will be totally irrelevant for your decision whether YOU will need a sleeping bag. Buen camino, Laurie
And there is always the question of weather, will it be the coldest spring in the history of central France, the rainiest, the warmest, who knows. When are you starting, where are you starting, will it be cold or hot on any particular day. Who knows. A better question may be can I buy a sleeping bag on this camino if I need one? That answer may be a little easier to answer, but again who knows? I don't.
 
It's up to you and your tolerance for cold. I would need one and not all gîtes have blankets. Also blankets are not washed between users. If you stay in more expensive accommodations you may be able to rent bed linens. Nights can be quite cold in the Aubrac [it has been known to snow in May] with its higher altitudes although the farther you walk the warmer it will become...
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
The LePuy route has a number of higher elevation areas, especially early on. I walked it in June and when checking weather reports just two weeks prior to going, I saw pictures of walkers slipping on trails in fresh snow and mud!
I would not want to walk in April without a sleeping bag.
 
I’ve seen comments that you don’t need to take a sleeping bag but just sleeping bag liner on Puy-En-Velay. But is that true for April? Also, what temperature rating is recommended for sleeping bag where it will be used indoors? I could see one being too hot in one rated at low temperature.
You should be fine with a sleeping bag liner ... blankets supplied in most if not all gîtes d’étape on the Le Puy route although as Jouffroy notes blankets are not washed between uses ... but it might also depend on two other things : whether you tend to sleep «hot» or «cold» ... and the prevailing weather conditions [impossible to predict but you could ask Prof. Google about long-term averages]. If you went without, and quickly discovered that you need a sleeping bag, you will find an outdoor store at Saugues and a particularly good one at Aumont-Aubrac.
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
It sounds like you already have a light sleeping bag if you decide to pack it, but for what it's worth, I'm taking this "layover blanket" from Gravel: Layover Blanket 12.4 oz, stuffs down into its own pocket to become a fleecy pillow, $129.00 (kinda pricey, but I love its features, like a wide pocket for your feet and snaps to secure it around your neck if it's sliding).
 
Generally yes, but on the Le Puy route definitely.

Regardless the warm welcome you will receive, sometimes in France it can really be cold in the Spring.

And if you are walking to Santiago, then it's a necessary, not an optional.
 
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
It sounds like you already have a light sleeping bag if you decide to pack it, but for what it's worth, I'm taking this "layover blanket" from Gravel: Layover Blanket 12.4 oz, stuffs down into its own pocket to become a fleecy pillow, $129.00 (kinda pricey, but I love its features, like a wide pocket for your feet and snaps to secure it around your neck if it's sliding).
Do you know temperature blanket is rated for? My sleeping bag 2.75 lbs rated for 20 little on heavy side.
 
Do you know temperature blanket is rated for? My sleeping bag 2.75 lbs rated for 20 little on heavy side.
A bit heavy, yes. I don't see a rating for this blanket, alas! I would say that it's like adding a quilted jacket? I'm walking June, so it should be good, but April might need something more. Here's a sleeping bag to consider: 757grams/1.7 lbs, ECO-Opro, waterproof ($30.00 on Amazon here). It mentions 55 degrees. I own this one, too, but I haven't tried it yet!
 
I have needed one in June and July - so for me I would say most definitely yes! How warm depends on how warm/cold you sleep. I bring a summer weight one for Late May/June/July, but would bring a slightly warmer bag earlier in the season. If you stick to down sleepingbags/quilts - you can get some that are pretty light and compressible - I won't ever buy synthetic again because they are just too big and heavy.
 
Ideal pocket guides for during and after your Camino. Each weighs just 40g (1.4 oz).
It sounds like you already have a light sleeping bag if you decide to pack it, but for what it's worth, I'm taking this "layover blanket" from Gravel: Layover Blanket 12.4 oz, stuffs down into its own pocket to become a fleecy pillow, $129.00 (kinda pricey, but I love its features, like a wide pocket for your feet and snaps to secure it around your neck if it's sliding).
A bit heavy, yes. I don't see a rating for this blanket, alas! I would say that it's like adding a quilted jacket? I'm walking June, so it should be good, but April might need something more. Here's a sleeping bag to consider: 757grams/1.7 lbs, ECO-Opro, waterproof ($30.00 on Amazon here). It mentions 55 degrees. I own this one, too, but I haven't tried it yet!
A bit heavy, yes. I don't see a rating for this blanket, alas! I would say that it's like adding a quilted jacket? I'm walking June, so it should be good, but April might need something more. Here's a sleeping bag to consider: 757grams/1.7 lbs, ECO-Opro, waterproof ($30.00 on Amazon here). It mentions 55 degrees. I own this one, too, but I haven't tried it yet!
Thanks! Yeah I saw that and a couple other brands I was considering with same temp rating and one a little lighter at 1.5 lbs for $39. I figure any of those should provide enough warmth considering using indoors and the gites probably give you a couple of blankets you could throw over it if needed.
 
What brand and model bag do you have? Also, do you have advice or recommendation on temperature rating?
Hi Bill. I carry the Kjallraven Funas Lite.


There is also the just slightly heavier bag at 1.5 pounds the Kjallraven Funas.


Temperature ratings are given in the description of each bag.
 
I like the Patagonia Lightweight Sleeping Bag. Took it on the CF. Perfect for indoors. Weighs less than a pound and folds up into a tiny stuff sack. (I also brought a silk liner from RAB. My backpack was about 7.5 lb without water.)
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
In April - yes! I walked late April/early May -- and there was snow a couple of days before us at higher elevations. I carry a very light sea-to-summit down bag (I think it is called Traveler 1) and a silk liner, yet in some of the older stone buildings I was pretty chilly at night. As a french woman said to me of one gite: C'est glacial!
 

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