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Drink bottle, gloves, Torch & money belt advice


New Member

I will be commencing my Pilgrimage in early April this year (france route starting in Pamplona) and have a few questions regarding equipment which I would like som advice on - thanks in advance to all who respond.

- What size drink bottle do you recommend - 1 or 1.5 litre, aluminium or plastic and is it better to have two 1 litre bottles to balance your pack more evenly?

- Are gloves required in early April to early May and if so will they need to be waterproof?

- What is the best type of money belt to take - one that hangs around your neck or one that wraps around your waist?

- What is the best type of torch to take and is a Head lamp better than a convential type torch?

- Are waterproof pants required and if so what type as i intend to use a waterproof jacket instead of a poncho.

- What size of micro towel is recommended?

Any suggestions on recomended brands and availability in Australia for the above items would be greatly appreciated as i am located in Melbourne.

Regards Glen
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.
I will be walking from Le Puy to SDC in july/august so can't comment on the CF but I did walk the VDLP last may/june. I took a very small pencil torch-useful if you are getting old like me and have to get up during the night but a head one would be just as useful. I took 1litre bottle and was caught a few times on the long unihabited stretches but I believe the CF is more frequented with bars etc. I think 1 litre is enough considering each litre is one kilo. I took a micro towel which was about 12 inchs by 6 inches-very small but it did the trick. One piece of advice-take EAR PLUGS!
If you want to contact me feel free to let me know-maybe I can persuade you to do the VDLP!
I highly recommend a very bright torch, the people with headlamps did very well. I had only a small single led lamp and found it very difficult locating yellow arrows in the dark. I ended up following someone with a head lamp. I didn't want to walk in the dark, however in october we had to exit the albergues by 8:00 am and it was still dark and sometimes there were not bars open on the way out of town. I learned to scout the way out of town the afternoon before in order to make this easier in the early morning. Often the worst marked areas are in the cities. Buen Camino, John
...and ship it to Santiago for storage. You pick it up once in Santiago. Service offered by Casa Ivar (we use DHL for transportation).

Does anyone have any opinions on Sigg aluminium water bottles?

I am thinking of buying the 1 litre size.

Regards Glen
Drink bottle: last year I took a 1 litre specialised plastic drink bottle. Because of it's size it had to stay inside my pack. Very difficult to get to quickly. This year I'm taking two ordinary 600ml bottles eg Mount Franklin water, and can keep these in my packs outside pockets, and will keep an empty one in my pack to be filled if needed.

Gloves: I took knitted polytec (?) gloves from Kathmandu. Lightweight and roll up small. But only needed them once in May, April will be a bit cooler. Others have suggested using walking socks as gloves and that makes sense. Less to pack.

Money belt: While one round your neck is easy to get to, it can be seen. I use the waist one. Also have zippered pockets in my hiking pants where I keep passport, credit card etc.

Torch: headlamp or larger torch only needed if you think you'll start walking in the dark. Otherwise a very small torth eg Maglite is useful, stops you tripping people sleeping on the floor if you have to go to the bathroom at night. If you are walking in the dark then check out Paddy Pallin for lightweight brands.

Waterproof pants: Have never used these. I have a rainjacket, but don't worry about my legs.

Towel: Last year took small and medium Kathmandu towels. This year will be taking a cotton sarong for body, and small towel for hair (I'm female!).

I took the sigg aluminium 1 litre bottle and found it excellent.Dropped it loads of times without puncturing it.
Down bag (90/10 duvet) of 700 fills with 180 g (6.34 ounces) of filling. Mummy-shaped structure, ideal when you are looking for lightness with great heating performance.

water bottles

consider a water bladder. i filled mine each morning (1.5L) yes the extra weight, however i drank constantly, the weight was even (this stayed in my back pack. couldn't imagine stopping to get my water bottle out. VERY CONVENIENT.
Isn't it strange that we feel the weight in our packs but when we drink the water we are still carrying it but don't feel it anymore?
gdb said:
- What size drink bottle do you recommend - 1 or 1.5 litre, aluminium or plastic and is it better to have two 1 litre bottles to balance your pack more evenly?

I can't answer that completely, but I do think you should carry one or more bottles with at least 1.5L capacity, i.e. not just a single 1L bottle. That said, other post remind me that water is easily found on the road, even if it requires knocking on doors.

- Are gloves required in early April to early May and if so will they need to be waterproof?

You might feel more comfortable in the early morning if you wear gloves. I think if you are raining you will be concerned about other things than your hands.

- What is the best type of torch to take and is a Head lamp better than a conventional type torch?

Go with some kind of LED-based torch - that way you shouldn't have to worry about batteries. Have your worn a head model before? They are very convenient, but my wife and found ourselves constantly shining light into each other's eyes. That is, be careful where you look while in the refugio.

Regards Glen
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
Please, please, please don't take a head torch if you intend to use it at night in the albergues. You will wake everyone and may not survive the experience. Last year I got on very well with a single LED hand torch and that included several walks in the dark.

As to water, I bought 3 half litre bottles of mineral water when I arrived in Spain (very cheap) and topped them up when I could. There were days when I never needed the third bottle but dreaded the thought of being caught on the meseta with no water.

Have fun
Be aware that aluminium is poisonous. People with Altzheimers have high levels of aluminium. Personally, I NEVER use aluminium cooking pots or food/liquid containers ..... just a thought.

I think best bet (my personal thing) is not to use 'hydration' containers with the hose and suck mouthpiece. If you do you will drink as you walk along and won't take breaks - no other animal does this!
Buy two bottles of water and balance your load (water is heavy - enough water for a hot walking day is heavier!) by putting one in each side pouch - refill from taps when empty. Drink a bit from each in turn - this way you can balance your load and can predict a little of the future as you will know how much you have left as well!!
Also, this way you have to stop to drink so you get a natural muscle break - you get to look around you, see where you've been, listen to the silence and maybe, best of all, you can hold out a bottle to another human and offer them a drink - water is good. Life is good. Sharing is good.
I didn't realise people still believed this rubbish about aluminium.This is just one article on the subject. This was a common misconception in the 80's.

Avoid aluminum cookware because of Alzheimer's disease

This myth got its start a number of years ago when medical researchers found elevated levels of aluminum in diseased tissue from the brains of Alzheimer's patients. One logical possibility (but not the only one) was that the raised aluminum level was responsible for causing the disease. Get exposed to too much aluminum, from your job perhaps or your cookware, and you would have a better chance of coming down with this awful disease. People started avoiding aluminum cookware, and some still are - unnecessarily it turns out. Subsequent research has failed to show any connection between aluminum exposure and Alzheimer's, and it is believed that the elevated aluminum in the brains of Alzheimer's patients is a result of the disease process. In other words, high aluminum levels do not cause Alzheimer's, but rather Alzheimer's causes high aluminum levels.

Source: Alzheimer's Society
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
HHmm - let us stay polite Omar.

If you have any aluminium cookware you will notice that when you scour it lots of aluminium comes off with the scouring. If you use pots for cooking and so on then you will get that aluminium into your body. Now, as independent adults, make your own choice about that.... no loose aluminium in your system or lots of loose aluminium in your system.

I have made mine, you make yours - but please, friendliness first.
Sorry if you thought the word 'rubbish' offended you but I was trying to crrect the false impression that others might get that their aluminium bottles are a potential hazard-or that using aluminium products contributes to alzheimers.
None taken Omar - but Aluminium is a poison. Yes there was a report disclaiming but I thought that it had been discredited.


"Although aluminium is not a heavy metal (specific gravity of 2.55-2.80), it makes up about 8% of the surface of the earth and is the third most abundant element and it is a toxic metal.

Aluminium (American spelling Aluminum) is readily available for human ingestion through the use of food additives, antacids, buffered aspirin, astringents, nasal sprays, and antiperspirants; from drinking water; from automobile exhaust and tobacco smoke; and from using aluminium foil, aluminium cookware, cans, ceramics, and fireworks.

Studies began to emerge about 20 years ago suggesting that aluminium might have a possible connection with developing Alzheimer's disease when researchers found what they considered to be significant amounts of aluminium in the brain tissue of Alzheimer's patients. Although automobile manufacturing industry also have concerns about long-term exposure to aluminium (contained in metal working fluids) in the workplace and the development of degenerative muscular conditions and cancer (Brown 1998; Bardin et al. 2000).

Scientists know that aluminium is a significant neurotoxin and that it shares many common mechanisms with mercury as a neutotoxin. For example:

* They are both toxic to neuronal neurotubules
* Interfere with antioxidant enzymes
* Poison DNA repair enzymes
* Interfere with mitochondrial energy production
* Block the glutamate reuptake proteins (GLT-1 and GLAST)
* Bind to DNA
* Interfere with neuronal membrane function

The last three decades have seen a steady increase of aluminium in our environment and diet. Many junk and fake foods contain additives; for example raising agents in breads, muffins and donuts.

Aluminium is harmful to all life forms. It damages all types of tissue. "Aluminium is a protoplasmic poison and a pernicious and persistent neurotoxin". No living systems use aluminium as part of a biochemical process. It has a tendency to accumulate in the brain and bones. It is considerably less toxic than mercury, arsenic, lead or cadmium, but it appears to be more persistent than most of them.

The principal symptom of aluminium poisoning is the loss of intellectual function; forgetfulness, inability to concentrate, and in extreme cases, full blown dementia. It is also known to cause bone softening and bone mass loss, kidney and other soft tissue damage, in large doses it can cause cardiac arrest.

Sources and their effects are listed below.


Aerosol deodorants, alum, aluminium cooking foil, animal feed, antacids, aspirin, auto exhaust, baking powder, beer, bleached flour, cans & tins, ceramics, cheese, cigarette filters, colour additives, construction materials, cookware, cosmetics, dental amalgams, deodorants, drinking water, drying agents, dust, insulated wiring, medicinal compounds, milk products, nasal spray, pesticides, pollution, salt, municipal water, tobacco smoke, toothpaste, treated water, vanilla powder.


Alzheimer's, anaemia, appetite loss, behavioural problems, dental cavities, colds, colitis, confusion, constipation, dementia, dry mouth, dry skin, energy loss, excessive perspiration, flatulence, headaches, heartburn, hyperactivity, inhibition of enzyme systems, kidney dysfunction, memory loss, neuromuscular disorders, numbness, osteoporosis, paralysis, Parkinson's disease, peptic ulcer, psychosis, reduced intestinal activity, senility, skin problems, spleen pain, stomach pain, weak and aching muscles."

We all make our own decisions, Omar - I have made mine.[/b]
...and ship it to Santiago for storage. You pick it up once in Santiago. Service offered by Casa Ivar (we use DHL for transportation).

Thankyou all for the great information - I went and purchased my travelling clothes on the weekend and have looked at a number of smaller items but now need to make some final decisions.

I will most likely buy a 1 litre Sigg aluminium water bottle - I am not concerned about the bottel being aluminium as I am not intending to drink out of it for the rest of my life and I dont have any issues with drinking out of aluminium cans or eating from aluminium pans etc.

I am unsure if I should take gloves - I will be leaving Pamplona on 9 April and dont know if they will be required and if so if they need to be waterproof or just wind proof - any advice would be welcome?

I intend to buy a waist tyoe money belt - lots to choose from just need to make a final selection by looking at the various features - any one recommend a brand or type thay have had success with?

Based on the responses from my original post I am now looking at a small LED hand torch instead of a head torch as I dont intend to walk in the dark and only intend to use it at night/early morning in the refugio - anyone recommend a brand/type they think is worth looking at?

I have decided to pack all the essentials and if there is any spare space/weight then I will take a pair of old lightweigt waterproof overpants rather than buy a new pair.

I have found what i think is a good micro fibre towel - its a Micronet 20" x 40" and costs $30 - it comes with a pouch - the towel weighs 100grams and the pouch weighs 60grams so I am not sure if I would take the pouch - anyone used this towel before or have any other recommendations.

Thankyou all once again for the information you have already offered me and I hope you may be able to provide further information to help me make my final selections.

Kind regards Glen
the towel weighs 100grams and the pouch weighs 60grams so I am not sure if I would take the pouch

Don't use the pouch, instead use a ziplock bag, plastic supermarket bag, or stash bag (available from camping stores).

Which reminds me, use ziplock bags to keep everything dry. Also allows you to organise things in your pack. They come in different sizes and can be bought at supermarkets.
Thanks fro the article-although I couldn't see where it came from. The extract below is yet another one from the Alzheimers Association who I would have thought would have erred on the side of caution but do not give it any credence. Another site said that aluminium was a common additive to our drinking water and that US levels are up to 60 times those allowed in Europe. I would therefore think that if anyone living in the US is concerned about aluminium drinking out of an aluminium water bottle for a few weeks is insignificant compared to what they would be drinking everday at home.

Myth 3: Drinking out of aluminum cans or cooking in aluminum pots and pans can lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
Reality: During the 1960s and 1970s, aluminum emerged as a possible suspect in Alzheimer’s. This suspicion led to concern about exposure to aluminum through everyday sources such as pots and pans, beverage cans, antacids and antiperspirants. Since then, studies have failed to confirm any role for aluminum in causing Alzheimer’s. Experts today focus on other areas of research, and few believe that everyday sources of aluminum pose any threat.. See our fact sheet Aluminum and Alzheimer's Disease (2 pages).

As you say it comes down to choice but I just thought I would offer another view-which, by the way, is supported by many scientific bodies including the WHO.
Prepare for your next Camino on California's Santa Catalina Island, Oct 27 to Nov 2

I am not concerned about the possible risks (if any?) of drinking from aluminium and would prefer if the feed back from this point forward could be related more to all the questions i have.

I appreciate both sides of the discussion (and raising them to my attention) however dont want this post to be the start of a disagreeance between two parties as that was not the original intention. I would hope we can leave the issue as is whith each party acknowledging the others right to their own view (wether right or wrong).

I look forward to more possitive feed back on my last round of questions and appreicate any advice/information in relation to same.

Kind regards Glen
Agreed - shamed - apologies.

Ziplock bags - I'd forgotten about those - they are great. Also a couple of good black rubbish sacks to further separate and safe-wrap clothing - amazing how water will get in anywhere it can.
Also now remember - take a couple of nappy pins (diaper pins?). Safety pins that lock. They are great for instant temporary repairs to clothing but brilliant for pinning wet underwear or/and towel to back of pack so they dry as you walk along and smell lovely too - (the newly air dried clothing not the pins).

In addition to my previous questions (which I still welcome any opinions/advice on) I have a a couple more questions which I would like some advice on:

- Are gaitors required or a luxury?

- Is a normal size pillow case suitable to put over the pillows in the refugios?

- Should I consider buying quick drying underware from a hiking shop or is it ok to take my normal gear.

Thanks Glen
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
I promised myself last year that next time I walk the camino I would take gaiters. My reason was many stretches of the vdlp have large areas of grasses and have those annoying spikey seeds which seem to get into the most inaccessible areas of socks and shoes-it was VERY annoying. The gaiters are ankle ones and weigh only a few ounces. As for undies-I wouldn't wear anything else but cotton.
I used a t shirt to cover pillows
I have been looking at some gear and am thinking about the following

- Sigg 1 Litre aluminium water bottle - not sure if to go with the anodised finish or there is a rougher painted finish - any advice?

- I like the look of the Led Lenser David 15 torch which is reasonably small, hand held and light and cost around $50 - any other types worth considering?

- I have decided to buy the Micronet towel 20" x 40" and will store it in a zip lock bag.

Thanks for all the advice to date and I look forward to more.

Regards Glen
Last year I took 2 Sigg 1L bottles - this time I'm opting for 2 Sigg 0.6l bottles in an effort to carry slightly less water - plus a 1L Platypus flat plastic bottle -Can always carry an extra plastic 1/1.5 L bottle for the Meseta if needed

I went for the Maglite Solitaire AAA - tiny and fine for inside
New Original Camino Gear Designed Especially with The Modern Peregrino In Mind!


Regarding the color of your bottles, I find that darker bottles absorb more heat than ligher colored ones.

I like the biggest pack towel I can find. It maximizes the amount of water I can get off me.

I still like a headlamp better than a hand held. It always keeps two hands free.
Bottle colour works for hats too! - by the way, if really hot soak hat in every stream you cross, fountain you come to, evaporates off and is deliciously cooling.
I agree about the headlamp. Did try small torch with holding it in my mouth - doesn't work.
Thanks for the response

I have purchased a 1litre Sigg bottele with a rough blue paint finish and will add a plastic bottle if required when I am on the walk.

I purchased a 20" x 40" Microlite towel as I felt that if i had anything smaller it would be less useful.

I am hoping to go and look at a few torches this weekend and are most likey to go with a small Led hand held torch as it will only be used to find my way to the toilet in the night - i am not intending to walk in the dark or to be leaving early (where a head on would be perfect for this)

I still havent deided if I am going to take gaitors or gloves as i will check my weight of the gear and see if I can afford the extra grams.

Regards Glen
Very light, comfortable and compressible poncho. Specially designed for protection against water for any activity.

Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.


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