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Don't Cheap Out on Raingear!

2020 Camino Guides

Kyle Hocking

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Completed: Camino Frances - Spring'16
Preparing: Camino Frances - Fall ‘23
Hi Camino Friends! I just returned from my first (and hopefully not last) Camino from St. Jean to Santiago which my brother and I completed in 31 days without resting. Along the way, we ran into some of the worst rain I can recall ever being in. The wind was fierce, the mud was awful and the trails were completely flooded in areas with some nearly impassable at times. What made things worse for me is that I didn't adequately prepare for the rain.

Sure, I knew it was going to rain. The north of Spain generally is pretty wet in the spring and I was keeping an eye on the weather there before I left. But I really wasn't prepared for what we got. I'm not sure if you can prepare; you may just have to experience it. But with that said, I want to pass along advice to those who are questioning if they need rain gear and how much they should bring.

The answer is: yes you do and bring as much as you can to stay dry even if it adds weight. I bought cheap boots that I intended to ditch at the end of the Camino (which I did). They cost be about 40 euro and said they were waterproof. They weren't even close. Even after spraying them twice before leaving with a waterproof spray, a few minutes in heavy rain and they were soaked. I bought new ones when I got home; HanWags with a Goretex membrane and during the course of my 'working in' process, stood in a stream for about 10 minutes without getting my feet wet. These ones, which were about 180 euro, really worked! I wish I had those on the Camino. My boots were waterlogged and my feet were drenched more than once!

I also went with a plastic poncho that cost me about 4 euro. Don't make this mistake either. It ripped in the wind and clasps wouldn't stay closed. It hardly was big enough to cover me and my bag. After a few days, I had to get rid of it. My brother actually cut it up to make some covers for his shoes (which didn't work too well). Buy one made of canvas that is specifically designed to fit over a pack and if that means buying one for 60 or 70 euro, trust me it's worth it. I wish I had spent the money.

I didn't have a rain cover for my bag either. I had to buy one in Zubiri on day 2. I cannot stress enough how important this is. Even with a poncho, you really need one. You'll need a good rain jacket as well and one that is definitely waterproof. You should also consider buying gaiters for your legs (which I also didn't have) to channel water down your legs and off your feet without entering your boots. Otherwise, even waterproof boots become useless.

I know that we are getting into drier, summer weather now. But if you're planning a spring Camino for 2017 or beyond, you'll want good, effective rain gear.
 

CathyJ

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - April 2016
SJPP to SDC
Hi Kyle, I have also just returned two days ago. Altus poncho (which accommodated my pack) with knee high gaiters kept me totally dry (except for the inevitable condensation). I found that when it stopped raining intermittently I would unzip the poncho and pull my arms out and leave the poncho hanging on my pack. I would turn the sleeves inside out to dry any condensation. If it was windy, simply tying the sleeves around my waist prevented it blowing off. If the rain was only light I left the zip undone and just secured the velcro tabs, this lets some ventilation into the poncho. I took a rain jacket also but it was just extra and unnecessary weight and bulk. I also had good, waterproof boots (Oboz) and never had wet feet.

You are so right, quality gear is best.
 

Pong

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés - April - May 2016
Camino del Norte - April - May 2017
Frances - March-April 2018
I walked about 1/2 the Camino Frances from April 18 to May 11. Rain several days in the early part of the trip, every day in Galicia. I wore trail running shoes which got wet, but with medium weight merino socks, my feet stayed warm and never felt "squooshy". Best of all, the shoes dried overnight. As to raingear, I could not get an Altus in the USA, and the Packa was WAY too big, even the small. I did not want "gortex" type fabric as I wets from the inside out, in my experience, is very expensive, and is heavy as it requires several pieces, including pack cover. I ended up making my own "Parcho" from a kit provided by Quest Outfitters through their online website. The cost was about $50 for everything needed to make the garment. It is a sort of combination poncho/parka. It is somewhat adjustable as to size of the person and size of the pack. I would say it requires moderate sewing skills - it's not a beginner project. On the Camino it worked out very well, though I must say since the fabric is silnylon (waterproof) there is condensation within as there would be with "gortex" type products. However, the parcho vented much better than a pants/rain jacket type arrangement. My pack always stayed dry. I managed the condensation with a very lightweight merino long sleeve, and venting by opening up the zipper when the rain lightened up a bit. I may modify it by removing the underarm seams and replacing these with velcro so that I could vent even more by opening the velcro partway as needed/appropriate to the weather. This Parcho design looks a bit wonky but it worked well for me. The sleeves are odd. They are not sleeve shaped, but more like big triangles, making it look a bit like a basejumping suit when the arms are spread out. Luckily I had no need to do that! The advantage to the sleeve design is that you can pull your arms out of them and into the body of the poncho super easily. There you can adjust your pack straps, or reach the side pockets and waist pockets of your pack. I could even pull my head into the thing, turtle like, and get my camera out and ready for a quick photo. I thought it was brilliant. If anyone is interested and has questions, feel free to PM me.
Parcho.jpgParcho partial.jpg
 
Camino(s) past & future
C Inglés June 2019
To do: C Primitivo June 202x :(
Thanks for the info!
I've planned to walk mid April 17 and I'm keeping an eye on the weather...not so good...
Good equipment is expensive, but as it seems no luxury :)
Will save some more money for the (good) raingear and add the gaiters to the list ;)
 

Rajy62

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2013, Norte/primitivo 2014, vdlp (2015)
I also left my cheap atlus poncho i bought on the camino on the trail. If you are like me sweat easily, a sleeveless 'tarp poncho' is a better choice. Sea-to-summit makes these...Because of its roomy cut, i can use trekking poles and keep my hands inside the poncho....
 

Attachments

koknesis

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances June/July 2014
Camino Aragones August 2015
Camino Sanabres (Ourense-SdC) August 2015
VdlP 2017
an umbrella is the best in a moderate rain. if windy, then plus a light rain shell, like Marmot Precip. however more importantly is not to stay dry (it is virtually impossible in a long period), but warm. therefore wear merino wool underwear.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I walked about 1/2 the Camino Frances from April 18 to May 11. Rain several days in the early part of the trip, every day in Galicia. I wore trail running shoes which got wet, but with medium weight merino socks, my feet stayed warm and never felt "squooshy". Best of all, the shoes dried overnight. As to raingear, I could not get an Altus in the USA, and the Packa was WAY too big, even the small. I did not want "gortex" type fabric as I wets from the inside out, in my experience, is very expensive, and is heavy as it requires several pieces, including pack cover. I ended up making my own "Parcho" from a kit provided by Quest Outfitters through their online website. The cost was about $50 for everything needed to make the garment. It is a sort of combination poncho/parka. It is somewhat adjustable as to size of the person and size of the pack. I would say it requires moderate sewing skills - it's not a beginner project. On the Camino it worked out very well, though I must say since the fabric is silnylon (waterproof) there is condensation within as there would be with "gortex" type products. However, the parcho vented much better than a pants/rain jacket type arrangement. My pack always stayed dry. I managed the condensation with a very lightweight merino long sleeve, and venting by opening up the zipper when the rain lightened up a bit. I may modify it by removing the underarm seams and replacing these with velcro so that I could vent even more by opening the velcro partway as needed/appropriate to the weather. This Parcho design looks a bit wonky but it worked well for me. The sleeves are odd. They are not sleeve shaped, but more like big triangles, making it look a bit like a basejumping suit when the arms are spread out. Luckily I had no need to do that! The advantage to the sleeve design is that you can pull your arms out of them and into the body of the poncho super easily. There you can adjust your pack straps, or reach the side pockets and waist pockets of your pack. I could even pull my head into the thing, turtle like, and get my camera out and ready for a quick photo. I thought it was brilliant. If anyone is interested and has questions, feel free to PM me.
View attachment 26706View attachment 26709
Your "parcho" looks great! How much does it weigh?
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Your "parcho" looks great! How much does it weigh?
I found it on the website and answered my own question - 7.5 ounces.
Here's the link to the Parcho

And thank you so much Pong for that website. What a great resource! I have been looking for a site just like that.
 
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Waka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Some but not all, and other routes too.
Thanks for that warning - I have just invested (yes - invested) in a pair of lightweight Berghaus Paclite rain trousers so I am definitely not cheaping out ...
I have the Paclite rain pants and also the jacket, expensive but well worth it in the rain.
 

Pong

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés - April - May 2016
Camino del Norte - April - May 2017
Frances - March-April 2018
Your "parcho" looks great! How much does it weigh?
I think it was about 8 oz. I'll weigh it when I have the chance and report back.
 

CathyJ

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - April 2016
SJPP to SDC
Another little tip with the Altus or other ponchos - wearing a cap or sports visor will stop the hood from falling down over your eyes and the rain driving into your face/eyes :)
 

Waka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Some but not all, and other routes too.
Another little tip with the Altus or other ponchos - wearing a cap or sports visor will stop the hood from falling down over your eyes and the rain driving into your face/eyes :)
That's pretty much the same with jackets as well.
 

Silverton

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2003- CF ( various), Portugués (various), Aragonés, Inglés, Sanabrés
I walked on the Meseta and Galicia again in April, and this thread is dear to my heart. I spend a LOT of my time planning little 'improvements' in my gear for my next Camino! Despite the condensation problem, I prefer the ease of a zipped poncho (and Pong's parcho looks very tempting). I have rain pants, and a pack cover if needed.
Now I've found a possible answer for my feet: a pair of neoprene bikers' overshoes (is that what they're called?). I found a £2 sale pair at Decathlon yesterday, and I rushed home to redesign and minimise them (60gr the pair) to cover the tops of my much-liked Skecher hiking shoes. Of course they need to be tested in the field, so to speak, but I'm sure Irish weather will provide perfect test conditions soon, to match anything Galicia can throw down!
 

Camino2010

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés
SJPP to Santiago (2010)
SJPP to Fisterra (2011)
SJPP to Fisterra/Muxia (2012)
SJPP to Fisterra/Muxia (2015)
SJPP to Fisterra/Muxia (2016)
Hi Camino Friends! I just returned from my first (and hopefully not last) Camino from St. Jean to Santiago which my brother and I completed in 31 days without resting. Along the way, we ran into some of the worst rain I can recall ever being in. The wind was fierce, the mud was awful and the trails were completely flooded in areas with some nearly impassable at times. What made things worse for me is that I didn't adequately prepare for the rain...

I also went with a plastic poncho that cost me about 4 euro. Don't make this mistake either. It ripped in the wind and clasps wouldn't stay closed. It hardly was big enough to cover me and my bag. After a few days, I had to get rid of it. My brother actually cut it up to make some covers for his shoes (which didn't work too well). Buy one made of canvas that is specifically designed to fit over a pack and if that means buying one for 60 or 70 euro, trust me it's worth it. I wish I had spent the money.
Yes, inexpensive plastic ponchos can be a problem with that Camino blessing of sideways rain. :D

Reading about the way yours ripped in the wind reminded me of my first Camino in 2010. Here's an excerpt from an e-mail I wrote to family and friends back home, if you'd like to read it:

"I spent the night of October 2nd in a small town called Castrojeriz. My knees have been giving me some trouble on this trip after too much steep downhill walking in the first week, and getting to Castrojeriz was a challenge. The last 5km were painful, and the last 2km hurt more than that. It was by calling upon the faces and spirit of my friends that I was able to walk the rest of the way into town, in tears of relief and gratitude for the support I felt. Even though I couldn't see any of my loved ones around me, I could feel them - I could feel you.

So, given how much pain I was in when I went to sleep that night (hard to find a position to sleep in that was comfortable!), I thought it best to take a bus to the next town with bus access (a place called Fromísta) the next day; not every town has bus access on the Meseta. Only thing was, I arrived in Castrojeriz on Saturday and the next day was Sunday. No bus on Sunday. I was looking at waiting until 6pm on Monday before I could leave.

Sunday morning I woke up and asked the hospitalero (person running the albergue) if I could stay until 12pm when the albergue opened again - albergues generally close from 8am until about 12pm each day for cleaning. He said sorry, but no, I could come back at 12pm if I wanted but would need to find somewhere else to go until then. I finished packing up my belongings and went to the town square, looked at the sky (I'd gotten some beautiful photos of the sunrise earlier), and I think I'd already decided by then that I would walk that day after all. I knew that the start to the day was a steep climb to get back up onto the mesa, but I thought I could at least walk 6km to the next village.

The uphill was steep but I took my time, and half an hour later was rewarded with a magnificent view looking back down over where I'd come from. I rested in the picnic shelter and ate a cheese sandwich and a tub of yogurt. I began walking again and found out how quickly "what goes up must come down"... within about 20 minutes I was faced with a steep downhill, much the same as the uphill but in reverse, with stony, rocky ground [this was before they paved it]! Thank goodness for my walking poles!

It was very breezy by then, but still no rain. I kept walking, made it to the 6km mark and the place where I could turn off and go to the village if I wanted. There was a map showing that the village was out there somewhere but all I could see was a dirt track leading off into what looked like nowhere, and it felt like an eerie proposition to veer off the main trail. I decided to follow the rest of the pilgrims ahead of me - I was more or less locking myself into a 20km day, but the ground was flat and that's easier on my knees than hills. Did I mention that it was breezy?

There were a couple more villages along the way, which looked like ghost towns. No one out and about on a Sunday (and in weather like we were experiencing). By the time I left the last village before Boadilla, my stopping point for the day, the wind had really picked up. Gusty, blustery, take-your-breath-away wind! What a funny sight, we pilgrims, stretched out in a line, bracing ourselves against the wind. Still, no rain. That was a blessing, at least. I was delighted to see a few poppies alongside the turnip fields! I'd hoped to see poppies on this trip but thought it too late in the year. I managed to take a couple of photos of them dancing in the wind, when I felt a drop of water on my face.

And then it started to rain. Fast. Big drops of rain, coming all at once. No time to wait until I reached the tree up ahead for shelter to put on my rain coat/poncho, I stopped right there in the open and called to a fellow pilgrim to help me into my coat (first I had to find it in my backpack! Pilgrim rules for the road... if the forecast calls for even a chance of rain, put your rain coat near the top of your pack in the morning when you're setting out!)

Rain poncho on, now the hard part started. The rain was blowing sideways, soaking my legs where the rain coat blew up in the wind, and I knew I still had about 5.5km to go (about an hour and a half). At the top of a big hill was a man trying to wrestle himself into his rain poncho, a square of red plastic with a hole in the centre for his head, and a hood. Another man stopped when he caught up to him and grabbed one side of the poncho (which was whipping around in the wind like a sail), and I grabbed the other side when I caught up. I had just finished snapping the underarm snaps when I realized, "Oh no, it's backwards!!" The man looked confused and I got a "Hunh??" of "I don't understand" in a foreign language. I grabbed the hood and made as if to pull it up over the front of his face, and he understood then! But he didn't care! Too wild and wet to do it over again.

Off we went down the hill, me using my walking poles, aware that all my water and food were buried in my backpack, under my rain poncho. I hadn't eaten for some time but I wasn't going to stop and get out food now. There was no time to think about my knees either, to worry about where my next steps would be on the trail. I was motoring. Not only that, I was passing people! Not too common for me in the course of a day, LOL. But I knew I had to get to Boadilla and dryness and warmth. I trusted that my feet would know where to step, and that my instinct would have me use the walking poles in a way that would be as gentle as possible on my body.

By the way, I followed a trail of that man's red poncho all the way into town. Poor fellow! The wind was tearing chunks of it off and by the time he got to Boadilla, the poncho was in tatters!

I made it to the albergue in Boadilla a short time later, and later that evening, once I'd showered and warmed up by the lovely wood pellet stove, I had one of the best meals I've enjoyed on the Camino - with great company of about 35 other people from countries all around the world.

One woman who knew I was planning to wait for the bus from Castrojeriz, very surprised to see me turn up in Boadilla, said, "Rachel, what are you doing here?!! You were going to take a bus! I thought you were the only smart one among us this morning, staying behind. All day I kept saying to myself, "I wish I was back there with Rachel." But now here you are!"

It was my favourite day of walking this Camino yet. I was completely alive and in the moment, senses engaged and instinct kicked in. Following my heart. I loved it."

Rachel :)

P.S. I know it's definitely not everyone's cup of tea, but I love my Altus rain poncho, it's been a faithful, useful companion four times for me on the Camino (and also on the rainy coast of Ireland!)
 
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Pabloke

Guest
I also went with a plastic poncho that cost me about 4 euro.
No offence meant but... How on earth can one think that a 4€ coat may be a good buy? It's meant to use it once and throw it, an emergency item, nothing else. It's like buying a 100€ car to travel around the world for months. No way.

You can save money with underwear: T-shirts, briefs and socks, technical but cheap. It won't last forever but enough for a long trail. But outer garments should be good ones. Footwear, trousers and jacket/coats must protect in many ways, not only dress.

There are low priced items with a good performance, it can be a good buy if we accept that it won't last a long time. If we want hard-wearing with a good performance we'll have to pay for it.

Another option is... enjoying the suffering of using cheap garments. It's a pilgrimage. ;)
 

koknesis

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances June/July 2014
Camino Aragones August 2015
Camino Sanabres (Ourense-SdC) August 2015
VdlP 2017
Another option is... enjoying the suffering of using cheap garments. It's a pilgrimage. ;)
precisely, why worry. It's a pilgrimage. and everything what does not kill us, just makes us stronger. so why discuss all these blister, backpack weight, bedbug issues? it is irrelevant. never heard someone died of a bedbug bite...
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
For those of you with ponchos that have inexpensive plastic or nylon snaps, which frequently come undone, consider my solution. I put a drop of Super Glue on each, then used a wooden clothespin to hold them solidly snapped until the glue cured. Being very obsessive, I let it sit overnight.

I never planned to use the poncho for anything that required opening it all the way. So this is a great permanent solution to the windy walk problem and also addresses much of the sideways rain issue.

Some forum members ridicule me for my multi-layered approach to walking in the rain along the Camino, but it works for me. Again, here it is:

I wear:
- Keen Targhee II mid-high boots that have a Gore-Tex upper and ARE WATERPROOF.
- Nylon cargo hiking trousers with cargo pockets. Mine are REI "Sahara" pants (available for both men & women). They are UNIQUE in that they have a second, vertical zip that allows you to remove the entire bottom leg without removing boots. This is VERY HANDY on a muddy, wet day. You can wash the bottoms separately. I have not yet seen another brand with this feature.
- As the pants are nylon, they dry within 3o minutes, even on a driving rainy wet day. Thus, I dispense with the added weight of gaiters or rain pants.
- Marmot Gore Tex rain parka, wth pit zips and a hood that rolls into the collar when not in use.
- A pack rain cover. Your pack will absorb even condensation from sweat inside the poncho. This is vital to keep your gear dry. It also protects your rucksack if you ever travel by bus.
- A Sea-t0-Summit sil-nylon poncho. The current version is half the weight of the 2014 model. I have both.
- On rainy days, I wear a ball cap as it keeps the hood open, while preventing rain from running around a sun hat brim and down my back.

So, I start the day wearing the parka with pit zips open and a ball cap. I also put the pack cover on.

As the rain intensifies, I add the poncho.

It might look odd, but it does work to keep me both dry and warm in rain and snow.

I hope this helps.
 

kmrice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago - Fisterra 2008
St. Jean Pied de Port - Santiago 2013
Cheap ponchos were the worst gear failure I've ever had; not entirely sure my family has forgiven me 8 years later. I bought them not so much for the low cost as the low weight; I bought a dozen and gave each of us three and the weight per person was less than half that of a real poncho. Two hours out on the first day we encountered a Galician gale - the rain was horizontal. Our ponchos lasted about thirty seconds before being ripped to shreds. We were soaked, freezing, and in risk of hypothermia.

Fortunately a lovely Spanish family took us in, warmed us, dried us, fed us, and drove us to a bar which rented rooms.

We take packas and rain pants now. Don't need them often, but when we do they can be life saving.
 

MTtoCamino

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
Great Thread/topic

Investing in good equipment will simply make the walk more comfortable.
Thanks for posting
 

frida1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April 11-May 11 2014
Good equipment may do more than keep you comfortable if you're in the mountains and it's cold as well as rainy. No, you probably won't die of hypothermia on the camino, but you could suffer some consequences. However, my main point is that, for those planning future caminos, the weather might not be that bad! When I walked starting April 10 2014, I experienced only a couple days of light rain for the whole camino. Only goes to show how unpredictable weather can be.
 

MTtoCamino

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
Good equipment may do more than keep you comfortable if you're in the mountains and it's cold as well as rainy. No, you probably won't die of hypothermia on the camino, but you could suffer some consequences. However, my main point is that, for those planning future caminos, the weather might not be that bad! When I walked starting April 10 2014, I experienced only a couple days of light rain for the whole camino. Only goes to show how unpredictable weather can be.
That was a lovely spring! 2013 was much like this year.
 

Kyle Hocking

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Completed: Camino Frances - Spring'16
Preparing: Camino Frances - Fall ‘23
Okay, 40 Euros boots, 4 Euro poncho and no pack cover. What could go wrong?:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
To be honest, I hadn't made a trek like this before and didn't really know what I was getting myself in to. I spent a lot of time researching but often times, experience counts for a whole lot more. At least I know for my next Camino!
 

Kyle Hocking

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Completed: Camino Frances - Spring'16
Preparing: Camino Frances - Fall ‘23
No offence meant but... How on earth can one think that a 4€ coat may be a good buy?
I almost didn't buy one because I had a good rain jacket and pants. I bought it as an emergency throw-in a day or two before leaving. But now I know that you really need a good poncho :)
 
P

Pabloke

Guest
I almost didn't buy one because I had a good rain jacket and pants. I bought it as an emergency throw-in a day or two before leaving. But now I know that you really need a good poncho :)
I'm not into ponchos and I swear I will never use waterproof trousers, but this year I had to buy one cape. Heavy rain all day long with sturdy wind made me change my mind. So I bought one in León.

It was almost indispensable just two days, but, hey, once you got it...
 

Kyle Hocking

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Completed: Camino Frances - Spring'16
Preparing: Camino Frances - Fall ‘23
I'm not into ponchos and I swear I will never use waterproof trousers, but this year I had to buy one cape. Heavy rain all day long with sturdy wind made me change my mind. So I bought one in León.
I felt the same way. I didn't intend to use my poncho but I'd seen them recommended so I picked one up just in case. Later, I realized how important a really good one was (for me at least - personal preference).
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
To be honest, I hadn't made a trek like this before and didn't really know what I was getting myself in to. I spent a lot of time researching but often times, experience counts for a whole lot more. At least I know for my next Camino!
Take a look at my post in the "we have all been there...." thread. Like you I was newbie once too. That first try I was carrying an all weather coat that probably took up 20% of the space in my backpack. Today I am a fan of the Duckback pack cover and my poncho, if it rains part of me get wet but it's much better than walking around in a portable sauna.
 

Camino2010

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés
SJPP to Santiago (2010)
SJPP to Fisterra (2011)
SJPP to Fisterra/Muxia (2012)
SJPP to Fisterra/Muxia (2015)
SJPP to Fisterra/Muxia (2016)
Take a look at my post in the "we have all been there...." thread. Like you I was newbie once too. That first try I was carrying an all weather coat that probably took up 20% of the space in my backpack. Today I am a fan of the Duckback pack cover and my poncho, if it rains part of me get wet but it's much better than walking around in a portable sauna.
Yeah, I couldn't handle rain pants (or gaiters either, I think, unless the time of year strongly warranted gaiters). People often say the Altus makes you sweat and keeps condensation inside but I don't find that aspect too bad. And I love being in my Altus with either my quick-dry nylon hiking trousers on rainy days, or (especially) my merino wool leggings. Yes, they get soaked. But they also dry really fast when the rain stops! Same with my sneakers. :)
 

CathyJ

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - April 2016
SJPP to SDC
Yeah, I couldn't handle rain pants (or gaiters either, I think, unless the time of year strongly warranted gaiters). People often say the Altus makes you sweat and keeps condensation inside but I don't find that aspect too bad. And I love being in my Altus with either my quick-dry nylon hiking trousers on rainy days, or (especially) my merino wool leggings. Yes, they get soaked. But they also dry really fast when the rain stops! Same with my sneakers. :)
I wasn't sure about gaiters either but took them. I didn't wear them until the first day it rained and then wore them almost every day after - rain or no rain. The reason - clean trouser legs! I just returned home last week and throughout my Camino I encountered a LOT of mud which ended up all over my pants from muddy boots brushing past them (until I used the gaiters). Also, being caught out by a sudden and VERY heavy bout of rain, I realised that it doesn't matter how good/waterproof your boots are, the rain runs into them from the top - problem solved with gaiters. I loved my Altus also
 

mary flo

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: March 15-April 15 2016

Camino Portugues: 2019
Thanks for the info!
I've planned to walk mid April 17 and I'm keeping an eye on the weather...not so good...
Good equipment is expensive, but as it seems no luxury :)
Will save some more money for the (good) raingear and add the gaiters to the list ;)
This year I walked the Camino Frances March 15-April 15 and the weather varied but wasn't bad - of course there are always crappy weather days anytime of year. If you don't mind it being on the cooler side, you'll be fine! I also really loved the smaller amount of pilgrims.
And yes, the quality equipment is totally worth it :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
C Inglés June 2019
To do: C Primitivo June 202x :(
This year I walked the Camino Frances March 15-April 15 and the weather varied but wasn't bad - of course there are always crappy weather days anytime of year. If you don't mind it being on the cooler side, you'll be fine! I also really loved the smaller amount of pilgrims.
And yes, the quality equipment is totally worth it :)
Thanks for the info ;)
When you walk it is not a big problem when it is a bit colder. Less pilgrims is less distraction and more time to "think".;)
The talking with the other pilgrims will be for the evening then :)
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Again, soon as possible!
Last year i walked from Geneva. From Geneva to St Jean I used a Gortex jacket, I didn't like the look of poncho's, and didn't trust them. I soon found that I sweated way to much in the Gortex and I stopped using it. In St Jean I gave the Gortex away and got a Ferrino poncho (I slightly preferred it from the Altus). It was the best thing I could of done.

I love my poncho now!

Davey
 

pvh

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015 hopefully
I'm starting in Saint Jean in August and wondered what people thought of my idea to bring just my windproof running jacket instead of my waterproof. It is shower proof but is extremely breathable. Last year I walked from Sarria to Santiago and experienced 2 days of solid Galician rain but found the waterproof jacket so sweaty that I was as wet as if not wearing one. Obviously my main concern would be hypothermia crossing the route Napoleon but I figure with a light fleece and my windproof I would be fine using the same principle as "Buffalo" shirts (those venerable mountain tops that are fleece and pertex which keep you warm whilst letting sweat out faster than rain can come in, or something like that). I also figure that in August the temperature, even at altitude will not be low. Any thoughts?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances over 5 years - beginning in October 2016
Really interesting thread. I always manage to get wet in the rain - regardless of the steps that I take to prevent it. Fortunately - it seems that I am largely waterproof. I plan on taking a decent jacket to keep my trunk dry, dry sacks and a pack cover to keep my spare kit dry and a fetching hat to impress my fellow pilgrims. I am hoping that decent socks and vented walking shoes will dry quickly once the rain abates, and I will have very clean legs;)
 

Ginabina

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Santiago (2016)
I'm doing the CF for the first time in September and October. Haven't decided yet when my first day will be (haven't purchased airline tix), as I want to make sure that I go at a time when it's not too hot. Is it rainy in September/October? Is it, more often than not, cooler at that time on the way? I don't want to be worried about these things ... I'm starting the "trust-that-everything's-going-to-work-out" mindset now ... but, want to make educated and wise choices! Thanks in advance for your advice and thoughts!
 

Rajy62

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2013, Norte/primitivo 2014, vdlp (2015)
Those of you interested in identifying ultralight gear, should read Timothy's post and take a look at his super light gear list on his web site. I agree with everything except, shoes and backpack.
 

tony young

Ulysses ... mostly lost
Camino(s) past & future
september 2016;
great thread ....

The concensus here seems to be poncho's which makes perfect sense to me ... ventillation..... pack covering .... and total surface covered ...... but feel conflicted when it comes to practicalities of a good quality Gortex jacket .... ie warmth when not walking ..... churches cafes where a wet poncho is less than welcome. ... I am at my weight limit atm so likely to stick with poncho and light fleece (and maybe some lightweight thermals)

...... but will add the weight of some gaiters on your advise
 

CathyJ

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - April 2016
SJPP to SDC
great thread ....

The concensus here seems to be poncho's which makes perfect sense to me ... ventillation..... pack covering .... and total surface covered ...... but feel conflicted when it comes to practicalities of a good quality Gortex jacket .... ie warmth when not walking ..... churches cafes where a wet poncho is less than welcome. ... I am at my weight limit atm so likely to stick with poncho and light fleece (and maybe some lightweight thermals)

...... but will add the weight of some gaiters on your advise
Tony, I'm in Perth and returned from completing the Camino Frances a couple of weeks ago. Happy to share info if you have any questions. Personally, I think the Altus and gaiters are the way to go but that's just my opinion. I took a good quality rain jacket also and really didn't need it and many times regretted having it as I packed up my gear each morning.
 

MartinZ

Member
Camino(s) past & future
camino frances 2012 ... 2017
I especially love my Euroschirm light trek umbrella. (pretty much storm proof)
 

tony young

Ulysses ... mostly lost
Camino(s) past & future
september 2016;
Camino(s) past & future
Frances over 5 years - beginning in October 2016
I'm doing the CF for the first time in September and October. Haven't decided yet when my first day will be (haven't purchased airline tix), as I want to make sure that I go at a time when it's not too hot. Is it rainy in September/October? Is it, more often than not, cooler at that time on the way? I don't want to be worried about these things ... I'm starting the "trust-that-everything's-going-to-work-out" mindset now ... but, want to make educated and wise choices! Thanks in advance for your advice and thoughts!
Hi Ginabina - I will be walking the CF from the 9th of October (only for a week though). From what I gather, we need to be equally prepared for long rainy days and long sunny days. ;-) I'm taking dry sacks to keep pack contents dry, a pack cover for the same purpose, a waterproof layer to keep my top dry and a hat to keep the water from my eyes. I think that we are unlikely to get roasted or drowned - but there may be a bit of both. Buen camino and maybe see you on the trail.
 

tony young

Ulysses ... mostly lost
Camino(s) past & future
september 2016;
... I have opted for the Sea to Summit tarp poncho locally sourced ..... 0.30 grams and folds to nothing.
Tends to blow around a bit in wind ...... but can open to a flat sheet ( press studs down side) to use as a shelter. .... for the 15% of the time that it rains ... I going with the lighter weight
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I expect that you meant 0.30 kilograms, as their website says that the poncho weighs 400 g. According to @trecile, the Parcho weigh 7.2 oz, which is lighter at only 200 g. Nevertheless,the Sea to Summit tarp poncho looks like a good choice (especially for September) and you don't have to make it yourself!:D
According to the Sea to Summit site, their poncho is 8.15 ounces/230 grams
 

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 must have looked at the wrong one, or just read it wrong. Thanks for the correction - 230 g looks very good!
@C clearly :
My Sea to Summit tarp poncho, an older model, weighs 350 grams. I used it on the camino frances last year and was quite satisfied with it. I have made a desultory search for a newer and lighter model, but the outdoor stores in Calgary in which I looked (including MEC) no longer carry ponchos.
 

Pong

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés - April - May 2016
Camino del Norte - April - May 2017
Frances - March-April 2018

pilgrim gurl

Jo Anne
Camino(s) past & future
(May 2018!)
Hello Rachel,
Thank you. This account is the most helpful I’ve read in the past year. Reading of your struggles (and suffering!) strengthens me somehow. My prayer is that I’ll readily accept suffering, but please, God, no debilitating injuries! I will remember that your day of moments challenge was your “best” on the Camino.
Regards,
Jo
 

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)
Hello Rachel,
Thank you. This account is the most helpful I’ve read in the past year. Reading of your struggles (and suffering!) strengthens me somehow. My prayer is that I’ll readily accept suffering, but please, God, no debilitating injuries! I will remember that your day of moments challenge was your “best” on the Camino.
Regards,
Jo
@pilgrim gurl
Some pain or discomfort may be unavoidable, especially in really foul weather. But I suggest that you respond at once to even moderate discomfort, especially on your feet. A "hot spot" of pink and tender skin on your feet should be quickly wrapped in tape or moleskin or whatever you are carrying for footcare, before blisters appear or skin peels off. If you "readily accept suffering" you may be inviting "debilitating injuries." I am convinced that you will please God best by taking care of yourself so you can continue your pilgrimage. Blessings on your Way.
 

pilgrim gurl

Jo Anne
Camino(s) past & future
(May 2018!)
Rachel,
After faithful reading of this forum for some time, I’m committed to listen to my hard-working feet , step by step.
Thanks for your good wishes.
Jo
 

Kiwi-d

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sep/Oct 2014
I walked the Camino Francis through September into October, and we had four consecutive days of torrential rain, apart from the other odd day here and there of rain. In addition to a pack cover, I used a large black rubbish bag inside my pack. I had Rainbird rain pants, which were superb, plus a Goretex jacket, which was rather old and past its best, and an umbrella. I really think the season you walk must affect what you need to take, but at that time of year, I believe you really need to take rain gear.
 

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