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emergency blanket?

Stellere

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
March 2014 - con mi padre
After much hemming and hawing, I now have a plastic bag weighing 400 grams - all stuff that I've taken out of my backpack. I'm ok with most of it (although I really *would* like to bring that novel…), but I'm not sure about the foil emergency blanket.

At 80 grams, the foil emergency bag is something that I most likely will never use. But seeing as how I'll be walking from SJPP starting in mid-March, I'm wondering if it's smart to leave it behind? Those of you who walk in shoulder seasons - do you bring any emergency hiking gear?

Thanks!
S
 
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CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
After much hemming and hawing, I now have a plastic bag weighing 400 grams - all stuff that I've taken out of my backpack. I'm ok with most of it (although I really *would* like to bring that novel…), but I'm not sure about the foil emergency blanket.

At 80 grams, the foil emergency bag is something that I most likely will never use. But seeing as how I'll be walking from SJPP starting in mid-March, I'm wondering if it's smart to leave it behind? Those of you who walk in shoulder seasons - do you bring any emergency hiking gear?

Thanks!
S

… and another post that did not post.
Is anyone besides me having this issue?
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Last edited:
Past OR future Camino
2012
I carried an emergency blanket from StJdP to Santiago. I never used it and for most of the trip it was redundant dead-weight. I will carry one next on the Salvador / Primitivo in expectation that it remains redundant dead-weight. But then I carry one on every hike I undertake in the hope that it remains for ever redundant dead-weight. your "Bocadillo para llevar" will weigh considerably more but will have only similar live-saving properties.
 
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Agnogel

A very great full pilgrim
I will be carrying one also i plan to sleep under the stars on a few nights it may just come in handy, Some of my training is hill walking in the mountains i carry it as a safety precaution in case i fall or twist my ankle i may have to wait a while before help arrives.
As its called an emergency blanket the chances are it wont be used ;)
 
Last edited:

kmrice

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Santiago - Fisterra 2008
St. Jean Pied de Port - Santiago 2013
I concur with the others; carried one on the Frances, never had any use for it, wouldn't walk without one. One of the very few things you only "might" need that I think seemed justified by their very light weight vs. what could be a life saving utility.

Karl
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Bring it, as you are walking in March. It can still be winter in places along the Camino during March, especially at altitude. You, hopefully, will not need it. But if you or another pilgrim did need it in an emergency, you will thank your lucky stars that you had the wisdom to bring it.

Most people are absolutely OCD about even a few grams of weight on the Camino. I acknowledge partial culpability in this regard. And it IS true that if you are not careful and do not use a postal or cooking scale to weigh EVERYTHING that goes into your rucksack, those grams add to kilograms soon enough. Then you add snacks, boccadillos, water, Cokes etc., and sooner or later you are carrying 15 kg.

On the other hand, I learned rather fast last year on my first Camino that "there are times and days to be smart and times and days to be brave." Bringing an emergency foil blanket or even a mummy-shaped bivvy sack when you are walking in rural areas from late October through late April is just smart.

I personally carry an SOL "Escape" bivvy sack. It is mummy shaped has a partial zip and can serve as a field-expedient sleeping bag for me or someone else who is injured or hypothermic and requires first aid. All it requires is one good, solid drenching in a cold windy downpour to go into hypothermia. Then again, I probably carry a complete repair shop for rucksacks, trekking poles and clothing in my gear as well. Safe to say, I am NOT a minimalist.

I hope this helps.
 
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CISSA69

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
I have walked the Camino de Santiago many many times, volunteered as a hospitalaro and at the CSJ offices in London and have presented on "Camino and Equipment" .
Bring it and use it every night and see how patient and loving your fellow pilgrims are when they hear the rustle as you toss and turn.

Seriously like Travel Insurance, it is one of the few things that you bring that you hope to never use. In fact many pilgrims do not know what they are really for and as such don't get used when they could be used. They tend to be rather large so maybe cut it to a smaller size if you are desperate to save weight. I can imagine that there is other lower lying fruit that you could cut out in preference to the foil blanket!!!! The weather could be very cold, wet and windy not to forget snowy so warmth will be a key consideration. Also March is not typically a busy month so albergues tend to be relatively cold and possibly damp, so make sure you have warm gear for the night. Lots of layers for the day and good gloves and head gear, a good hiking jacket (forget about a poncho at this time of year) and rain trousers ...... a lunch box for food and always carry a packet of biscuits. Bring a cereal bowl and enjoy Spain only no chocolate breakfast cereal - Special K with fruit. UHT Milk is readily available and rem not all the cafes will be open in early March.

Buen Camino.
 
I used my foil emergency blanket after getting my jacket soaked in a rainstorm. Rainpants were better quality. Put it under my jacket in a bar and kept walking till I got to an albergue which was freezing cold. I used the blanket just to keep the heat in. It was better than nothing till I got a poncho. I also had a cold so was glad I had it. But once you use it the foil goes funny so it doesn't last more than a couple of uses.
 
Past OR future Camino
Hopefully leave the states 2nd week of April 2014, Right now i am lost in my existence of living my life and need a cleansing before making my move to Cambodia
I always carry one every time. If not for my needs it has helped others in the past. I actually use the bag type , as it offers complete protection from the elements and have probably saved a life. If your cold and wet you put it on over sleeping bag and stay much warmer. Does not take much to get hypothermia . Just my 2cents
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
Regarding backpack...I have two (apparently contradictory) rules: if I am not sure about carrying a piece of equipment...I just choose not to. Albergues around Pamplona have lots of discarded things stored, bcs after the first days almost everybody is trying to lighten their backpack. The "what if..." is the surest way to a cumbersome backpack. On the other side, I allow myself to carry one (but just *one*) item that gives me peace of mind, or pleasure to use, as (precisely...) a book. You know, afternoons in little villages may be long....
If needed, you can buy additional equipment in big cities, as Pamplona, Burgos or Leon (and, curiously enough, in Castrojeriz, where there is a shop catering to pilgrims...)
 

Diogo92

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
C. Português 2013, 2014
C. de Fátima 2014
C. do Salnés 2015
On the Camiño I only carry one, but on day hikes, I carry both the bag version (has @jeffrey r aitken described) and the blanket version. Since I also carry paracord on my day hikes, I can make a shelter using the blanket, and use the bag to cover me.

Best Regards
Diogo
 
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Rambler

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
June 2008 Camino Frances with Daughter, 2014 Camino Frances with Son
I guess I would be more inclined to carry a bedbug sheet and use it as an emergency blanket. The Camino Frances is so well traveled and near civilization that you really should not be more than a couple of hours from human contact if you got injured. And as long as you are wise in not starting out of St Jean in a snowstorm, you should not find yourself in an emergency situation.
I think bedbugs are more probable...

Rambler
 

tploomis

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Sept. to Nov., 2013
I vote no emergency blanket. If I were carrying an emergency blanket, I would unconsciously be more prone to taking unnecessary chances, knowing I had the emergency blanket in my pack. On the Camino Frances you are always within easy distance of shelter, with the possible exception of portions of the SJPP to Roncevalles walk and some parts of the meseta. I would rather make the correct decision not to head out in bad weather in those situations than to say to myself, "I've got an emergency blanket, if worse comes to worst." I did not find the Camino Frances to be a dangerous walk in any way, although I was unnecessarily anxious about various issues prior to embarking on it. I would only take an emergency blanket if I thought I were prone to impulsive errors of judgment in situations where it makes a difference.
 
Past OR future Camino
Hopefully leave the states 2nd week of April 2014, Right now i am lost in my existence of living my life and need a cleansing before making my move to Cambodia
Here is a personnel story. My first trip to Tucson AZ before i moved there,it was october never rains in Oct [yea right]. Anyhow went for a long hike up Sabino Canyon 80plus out,had my day pack with my E-blanket shorts tee top , rain sleet cold, Hrs away from anything or body no cell signal FREEZING, well all i can say is once again saved by MYLAR, it is to light not to take with someone in a group weather waterproof the best piece of mind anyone can have and also lets not forget about shiny for signaling if needed. I will never ever ever hike with out one long or short.. Just my 3 cents.......Cheers
 
Past OR future Camino
2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017,2018, (2019)
I was given an emergency foil blanket for my camino frances pilgrimage last May. I accepted it with good grace but at no time did I think I'd ever need it. I was wrong.
I found myself sleeping under the stars between Larrasoana and Pamplona on the second night on the trail and it certainly kept my legs warm. I also needed to use it when forced to sleep in a very cold basement dining room at the municipal albergue at Hontanas a few weeks later. If, like me, you plan not to book ahead (and maybe also rely on a liner rather than a sleeping bag), then I'd certainly recommend taking one with you.
 

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