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Gear Question: jackets

HerPilgrimmage

New Member
I am intending to do the camino may/June of 2015, I am curious if any seasoned pilgrims could recommend how this of a jacket and how many degree sleeping bag I may need. Thank you all so much in advance.
 
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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Rain poncho that also covers your pack rather than a jacket - jackets are usually too sweaty in May/June. I take an ultra lightweight wind shirt thing (like the cyclists) as well. A summer-weight sleeping bag should be fine - you are sleeping indoors. As light as possible. Mine is actually a down filled liner and can be opened out flat - gives the flexibility of sleeping in it, under it or on it (when hot). Plus a silk liner.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
"Camino from 2013 to 2019" paused for now...
Light weight sleeping bag is all you need.

A light waterproof rain jacket and a light fleece will be fine.

I don't like ponchos but they are effective

A ruc-sac cover is useful

Buen Camino
 

scruffy1

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
Evenings may be coolish especially on the Meseta so a light fleece or the bike wind jacket mentioned above should be are all you need. Most albergues can become very very wam nights due to all the people together - snoring, snorting and, well, expelling air from all orifices. I find using a sleeping bag liner (silk is lighter and easier to dry cotton is far far less expensive) as a sheet on the bed and an opened light weight sleeping bag as a covering or blanket more than enough. Ponchos are walking saunas even in the winter-time (quite amazing how much one can sweat as you walk), most good backpacks come with a rain cover-not rain proof but usually good enough and that fleece is perfect for a light rain.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
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
No need for a heavy coat,
but I WOULD take a lightweight wind jacket.
I would also take a fleece and some long johns just in case.
Be able layer your clothes.
Last year I dropped up onto the Camino in June and I about froze.
The weather was unusually cold.
I had a pair of merino long johns, a merino sweater, and a windbreaker.
I wore all three in the mornings, then peeled layers off as I warmed up.
At night I was VERY grateful for the long johns.
 
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whariwharangi

Guest
A 100 weight fleece, and a waterproof and wind proof jacket should be sufficient while walking. I'd supplement with a light hat, a scarf, and a pair of wool gloves. You might not need that much in May/June but I wouldn't go without. I'd bring another jacket for evenings ... perhaps a downfilled one.

As for long johns ... you shed 40% of heat through your head ... if your feet and legs are cold put on a wool hat.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
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
A 100 weight fleece, and a waterproof and wind proof jacket should be sufficient while walking. I'd supplement with a light hat, a scarf, and a pair of wool gloves. You might not need that much in May/June but I wouldn't go without. I'd bring another jacket for evenings ... perhaps a downfilled one.

As for long johns ... you shed 40% of heat through your head ... if your feet and legs are cold put on a wool hat.

The 40% heat through the head theory is in question these days.
And frankly, I'd freeze to death without my long johns.
Women tend to be colder in the hips even though we have more body fat.
My male walking partner wears shorts on days I'm bundled up.
I think possibly men and women may have different needs as far as cold goes.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
The 40% heat through the head theory is in question these days.
And frankly, I'd freeze to death without my long johns.
Women tend to be colder in the hips even though we have more body fat.
My male walking partner wears shorts on days I'm bundled up.
I think possibly men and women may have different needs as far as cold goes.

I always used to say the same thing about heat loss through the head, in fact my grandmother always used to tell me to put on a hat if my feet were cold, just as whariwarangi advises! But a couple of years ago, someone on the forum told me this was not the case:

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2008/dec/17/medicalresearch-humanbehaviour

But for me, the key observation in that Guardian article is this one: "The face, head and chest are more sensitive to changes in temperature than the rest of the body, making it feel as if covering them up does more to prevent heat loss." So in my book, it still means that wearing hats can be a very good idea.

In my experience, it's not a gender thing as much as an individual thing. I know I am likely to be cold before virtually any other pilgrim on the planet, so I always have gloves, fleece, etc., and inevitably wear them on the camino, no matter time of year. I have both male and female friends who are much more tolerant of cold.

Does anyone know if it is also a myth that the vigor of your circulation system is one of the primary determinants of how cold you get?
 
Year of past OR future Camino
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
I always used to say the same thing about heat loss through the head, in fact my grandmother always used to tell me to put on a hat if my feet were cold, just as whariwarangi advises! But a couple of years ago, someone on the forum told me this was not the case:

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2008/dec/17/medicalresearch-humanbehaviour

Yeah, I do wear a hat also.
I wonder if that's where I read about the 40% not being true…
All I know is, my hips and shoulders freeze without long johns.
So it's obviously like shoes and walking sticks.
Each person has to choose for themselves.
 
W

whariwharangi

Guest
Does anyone know if it is also a myth that the vigor of your circulation system is one of the primary determinants of how cold you get?

Hypothermia studies indicate that people have one hour to survive in the relatively cold waters around Vancouver Island. There is much variability ... someone who is obese will likely survive longer than someone who is very fit.

A key recommendation states that once in the water the best thing you can do is stay still. If you try to swim for it you will die much sooner.

All of which suggests to me that the less vigorous your circulation the less heat you will lose.
 
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scruffy1

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
The 40% heat through the head theory is in question these days.
And frankly, I'd freeze to death without my long johns.
Women tend to be colder in the hips even though we have more body fat.
My male walking partner wears shorts on days I'm bundled up.
I think possibly men and women may have different needs as far as cold goes.
Thats why electric blankets come with double controls!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
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
Thats why electric blankets come with double controls!

Hahah! That's right!
Especially when I was pregnant my heat/cold flipped; I wanted the windows wide open even in the snow and my poor hubbie was freezing! Those double controls came in handy!
 

gidivet

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPP to SdC - April - June 2014
Le Puy to Conques May 2016
Multiple CF sections since 2014
The 40% heat through the head theory is in question these days.
And frankly, I'd freeze to death without my long johns.
Women tend to be colder in the hips even though we have more body fat.
My male walking partner wears shorts on days I'm bundled up.
I think possibly men and women may have different needs as far as cold goes.
I am intending to do the camino may/June of 2015, I am curious if any seasoned pilgrims could recommend how this of a jacket and how many degree sleeping bag I may need. Thank you all so much in advance.

Hi

I've yet to walk the Camino, but I can share my "system" for hiking in England, where we can have "all four seasons" in one day. These tips are based on my experience, but I think they are sensible and work for me.

1. I would agree with Anniesantiago about layering. If you walk in June you might get very hot weather, but also un-seasonally cold and/or wet. Make each layer as lightweight as possible and choose each item carefully for multiple use. Then consider your own requirements e.g. does your body run "hot or cold", do you burn easily in the sun?

2. You build up an amazing amount of heat just walking at an average pace, especially when carrying a pack. The problem occurs when you stop - if you are wet (from rain or sweat) you'll get a chill even in summer. Therefore your base (and mid-layers if worn) must be breathable and "high wicking" (transferring moisture away from your skin) and quick drying. The outer layer should be wind proof (and completely waterproof when it rains) but still highly breathable.

3. For the Camino it is worth investing in quality "technical" items to keep you comfortable and keep your pack weight down. Cotton is heavy and takes ages to dry.

4. For the Camino, down jackets might work, but lightweight synthetic jackets and vests can be washed and are quick drying. I use the male version of this one (see link below) and to be honest, I haven't yet been able to wear it whilst walking - it gets too broody and warm on top of the other layers, but it is perfect for quickly adding when you stop, to prevent chilling. It also serves as a nice pillow, and packs down extremely small:

http://www.rohan.co.uk/womens-travel-and-outdoor-jackets-Icepack-Vest?ocode=03514197

5. Whatever your choice of footwear, it must fit well, be properly worn in, and keep your feet dry. I chose leather hiking boots, but that is a personal preference. Mine are not too heavy, extremely comfortable and provide good ankle support plus sturdy soles to enable walking on stony ground. Don't forget that the wrong socks can cause utter misery and the right socks make all the difference. You can read multiple posts on the forum about footwear.

My system looks like this:

- base layer - synthetic (I didn't get on with wool) underwear, technical t-shirt, and I carry a very light weight pair of long johns for cold days.
- mid layer - long sleeve shirt with high ultraviolet protection factor. Light weight hiking trousers. You can get one where the bottom of the legs can zip off.
- light weight fleece
- light weight insulated vest - see above - I hardly ever walk with this but in really cold weather you add the waterproof layer to the vest to keep you very snug. An insulated long sleeved jacket under a rain jacket is just too bulky around the arms.
- waterproof jacket and trousers. The trousers can zip open all the way to the thighs, so you can easily put them on over boots, and open them up for ventilation.
- I love my merino buff (neck tube) - it keeps my ears and neck warm, and together with a cap or hat I'm well protected.
- gloves - it's miserable to have cold wet hands, and I'm using walking poles, so they can't go in the pockets.


On very hot days I can strip down to the shirt and zip off the trouser bottoms. On cold days I wear the fleece and long johns. When it rains the waterproofs come out but they are also very good for cold windy days.

I have done most of my training walks since December, and we've had very wet weather. With temperatures down to zero Celsius, strong wind and rain, I stayed very comfortable and never felt clammy.

My backpack has a water resistant cover and all my clothes and equipment are packed in waterproof sacks, so I don't intend to buy a poncho, however I might buy one on the Camino if it turns very wet.

Finally, I did buy a 2 season down sleeping bag with full length zip and a silk liner, with combined weight about 900 g, and for peace of mind, both come pre-treated for bedbugs. I know down isn't so good in the wet, but I'm relying on a waterproof stuff sack.

Ok, I admit I answered some questions you didn't ask, but perhaps it will be helpful.
 
Last edited:

Winchester09

New Member
I am intending to do the camino may/June of 2015, I am curious if any seasoned pilgrims could recommend how this of a jacket and how many degree sleeping bag I may need. Thank you all so much in advance.

I crossed the Pyrenees in June and found a 2 season sleeping bag more than suitable.

I would always advise going with a bag slightly warmer than you need. If too warm you can un zip it but if the temp drops more than expected (which it can in the mountain areas) then you are prepared.

Also judging by season is easier than temp rating. The ratings come in two readings; comfort, the temperature range where you won't feel cold, and extreme, the minimum temperature that the bag will preserve life. With some brands the difference can become blurred. Also the current European tests have changed so a temperature rating from a 2013 bag will be lower than the same bag rated in 2014!

For women a female specific bag is best. Designed to fit a women's body shape there is less empty space inside which wastes heat. They also have more insulation around the torso as women lose heat faster in this area.

Hope this isn't too much lol,
 

rector

ONE HALF
Year of past OR future Camino
SJ-Sdc MAY (2011)
SJ-Sdc MAY (2014)
Sar-Sdc Oct (2015)
Pon-Sdc Ju (2016)
SJ-Log (2018)
my wife and I have done the camino in May-June and Kanga has it right. Quick drying tee shirts, fleece for the mornings and evenings, an ultra lightweight jacket that fits over the fleece but above all the over pack poncho. gidivet is correct for the uk ( we come from northern Ireland wetter than England),but the camino is very different both in the intensity of the rain and potential heat at the same time and the poncho keeps you dry and well ventilated. lightweight sleeping bag is ample in May-June and as Kanga says one that opens is more useful as the heat builds into Galicia by you arrival mid June. You will more often battle the heat than rain or cold
 
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Winchester09

New Member
Jackets,

Waterproof. Get a breathable one from a good name. The more you pay the better more breathable material you will get. For the Camino though just ask the recommendation of your local outdoor shop, they should know what they're talking about. In my store I'd usually go with something like Berghaus AQ2 material or North Face HyVent which do the job for treks still reasonably light weight but not as expensive as some alternatives like Gore-text or EVent.

Warm kit. Take one light (to walk in if needed) like a micro fleece or soft shell. Then a heavier fleece/synthetic/down jacket for mornings, evening or if it's just VERY chilly.

You can get new materials like Polartec Alpha which is a high warmth synthetic which breathes (I've even run in one without overheating) if you want to wear warm kit whilst walking. But, the best advice is to start cold, you'll soon warm up as you start walking and this avoids have to stop and de layer when you over heat.
 

Winchester09

New Member
Jackets,

Waterproof. Get a breathable one from a good name. The more you pay the better more breathable material you will get. For the Camino though just ask the recommendation of your local outdoor shop, they should know what they're talking about. In my store I'd usually go with something like Berghaus AQ2 material or North Face HyVent which do the job for treks still reasonably light weight but not as expensive as some alternatives like Gore-text or EVent.

Warm kit. Take one light (to walk in if needed) like a micro fleece or soft shell. Then a heavier fleece/synthetic/down jacket for mornings, evening or if it's just VERY chilly.

You can get new materials like Polartec Alpha which is a high warmth synthetic which breathes (I've even run in one without overheating) if you want to wear warm kit whilst walking. But, the best advice is to start cold, you'll soon warm up as you start walking and this avoids have to stop and de layer when you over heat.
 

StuartM

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2012)
I'm not a fan of ponchos. Very practical I'm sure but just not for me.

I'd rather have a good jacket, you'll get a lot more use out of one post-camino. I'm sure some people do it but I couldn't see myself putting a poncho on to go to the supermarket or pub at home, I'm pretty certain it would end up in a ball in a cupboard until my next Camino. I couldn't be bothered with all that flappy material or the garish colours. A good jacket is multipurpose, you can also use it for making an otherwise scruffy pilgrim look a bit smarter. The best I've had is my current Rab waterproof, it wasn't cheap but it performs brilliantly and incredibly light. I've never bothered with a rucksack cover, I just pack everything in plastic bags. I know... rustle, rustle, rustle in albergues but I'm never first to leave and I tend to pack up everything but the essentials at night anyway so it's just a case of grab my pack, a few bits of loose stuff and go.
 

RoryGentry

Follow me!!! (Where are we, anyway?)
Year of past OR future Camino
Burgos to Santiago, Sept. 16-Oct. 3, 2013

Santiago to Finisterre to Muxia to Santiago, April 2014
The Marmot Precip is a great jacket for the price.
http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/Rain-Jacket-Reviews/Marmot-Precip
I love, love, love my Marmot Precip rain jacket! It has been on the Camino, in Bangkok, and to the Arctic Circle. It's a great lightweight jacket. As a personal preference, I always buy my jacket 1 size too big to allow for layering, or possibly wearing a day pack under it.

Another thing I like about it is the vented back and LARGE underarm zippered vents.

IMG_1773.JPG
 
Last edited:
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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
After 7 Caminos I've still not found the perfect answer to the jacket/poncho dilemma. I sweat a lot when I walk and regardless of claims about Goretex/Event any waterproof jacket or poncho will steam me up. There's not a lot of point stopping the rain from penetrating if you are getting soaked from the inside. So I tend to look for lots of ventilation and ease of putting on and off. Nothing so far has been perfect for cold/hot/soaking rain/freezing wind/sleet.
 

Bajaracer

Camino Frances 2013 Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2013) Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
After 7 Caminos I've still not found the perfect answer to the jacket/poncho dilemma. I sweat a lot when I walk and regardless of claims about Goretex/Event any waterproof jacket or poncho will steam me up. There's not a lot of point stopping the rain from penetrating if you are getting soaked from the inside. So I tend to look for lots of ventilation and ease of putting on and off. Nothing so far has been perfect for cold/hot/soaking rain/freezing wind/sleet.

There is no perfect answer for the ideal rain jacket, my Marmot Precip and a merino wool layer (still insulates when wet) will handle most wet situations for the day. You have to dry the jacket at the end of the day of walking.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Yes but my Marmot can not handle solid drenching all day rain; plus I needed rain pants (with consequential sweaty legs). In a solid downpour I prefer a long poncho. But not if it is windy sleet snow and freezing ......
 

koilife

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016); Portugues w/ son #3 (2020)
To the OP, obviously, there's a lot of different opinions out there. There's no system that perfectly handles cold, heat, wind, and wet at a low weight. My response here is based on what I've found to work on my own Camino (2013) and years of backpacking in the Colorado Rockies. Other's mileage may vary.
After 7 Caminos I've still not found the perfect answer to the jacket/poncho dilemma. I sweat a lot when I walk and regardless of claims about Goretex/Event any waterproof jacket or poncho will steam me up. There's not a lot of point stopping the rain from penetrating if you are getting soaked from the inside. So I tend to look for lots of ventilation and ease of putting on and off. Nothing so far has been perfect for cold/hot/soaking rain/freezing wind/sleet.
I agree with the problem of waterproof-breathable materials . . . they just don't breath fast enough. Even at freezing temps, I'll sweat out from the inside, even with only a base layer and shirt. The more the temps rise, the more sauna-like the problem gets. I'm not a fan of ponchos (too vulnerable to wind or too much like a sauna without wind), but I know others who swear by them.

The best solution I've found is to use a lightweight, purpose-made, backpacking umbrella (such as the "Chrome Dome" from GoLite, ~8oz) that I can attach to my pack and use "hands-free" in combination with a superlightweight wind shirt (~4oz) with durable water repelency (DWR). In combination, they weigh less than almost any GoreTex/Event/etc. jacket out there. The umbrella cuts almost all of the rain, and that which does hit the jacket generally doesn't penetrate. Because the jacket is so lightweight, it breathes out far more moisture and faster than a waterproof-breathable jacket and can be comfortably worn even into the 60s and low 70s (Fahrenheit) without becoming a sauna. Even if I do sweat it out, the windproofness protects against too rapid a heat loss. The umbrella also helps with shade in the summer sun (you'll get odd---but often appreciative---looks).

I agree strongly with recommendations for merino---base layer, thin gloves/liners, leggings, arm warmers, stocking cap, and buff/scarf. Add in a fleece *vest*, and you get a very lightweight system that can easily handle freezing temps to oppressive heat.

Annie above mentions the unusual cold and wet of 2013. Best as I can tell, we were within a day or two of each other, and my system handled that weather just fine for roughly 10 days, even without the fleece vest (I tend to handle colder weather with need for minimal insulation as long as I'm moving). And, even after I retired the rain/cold gear later on the walk, the umbrella provided great shade for the rest of the trip.

As to the question of bedding, agreed with very lightweight bag or a silk sleeping sack.
 
Last edited:

sriyantra

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances September "2014"
Hi

I've yet to walk the Camino, but I can share my "system" for hiking in England, where we can have "all four seasons" in one day. These tips are based on my experience, but I think they are sensible and work for me.

1. I would agree with Anniesantiago about layering. If you walk in June you might get very hot weather, but also un-seasonally cold and/or wet. Make each layer as lightweight as possible and choose each item carefully for multiple use. Then consider your own requirements e.g. does your body run "hot or cold", do you burn easily in the sun?

2. You build up an amazing amount of heat just walking at an average pace, especially when carrying a pack. The problem occurs when you stop - if you are wet (from rain or sweat) you'll get a chill even in summer. Therefore your base (and mid-layers if worn) must be breathable and "high wicking" (transferring moisture away from your skin) and quick drying. The outer layer should be wind proof (and completely waterproof when it rains) but still highly breathable.

3. For the Camino it is worth investing in quality "technical" items to keep you comfortable and keep your pack weight down. Cotton is heavy and takes ages to dry.

4. For the Camino, down jackets might work, but lightweight synthetic jackets and vests can be washed and are quick drying. I use the male version of this one (see link below) and to be honest, I haven't yet been able to wear it whilst walking - it gets too broody and warm on top of the other layers, but it is perfect for quickly adding when you stop, to prevent chilling. It also serves as a nice pillow, and packs down extremely small:

http://www.rohan.co.uk/womens-travel-and-outdoor-jackets-Icepack-Vest?ocode=03514197

5. Whatever your choice of footwear, it must fit well, be properly worn in, and keep your feet dry. I chose leather hiking boots, but that is a personal preference. Mine are not too heavy, extremely comfortable and provide good ankle support plus sturdy soles to enable walking on stony ground. Don't forget that the wrong socks can cause utter misery and the right socks make all the difference. You can read multiple posts on the forum about footwear.

My system looks like this:

- base layer - synthetic (I didn't get on with wool) underwear, technical t-shirt, and I carry a very light weight pair of long johns for cold days.
- mid layer - long sleeve shirt with high ultraviolet protection factor. Light weight hiking trousers. You can get one where the bottom of the legs can zip off.
- light weight fleece
- light weight insulated vest - see above - I hardly ever walk with this but in really cold weather you add the waterproof layer to the vest to keep you very snug. An insulated long sleeved jacket under a rain jacket is just too bulky around the arms.
- waterproof jacket and trousers. The trousers can zip open all the way to the thighs, so you can easily put them on over boots, and open them up for ventilation.
- I love my merino buff (neck tube) - it keeps my ears and neck warm, and together with a cap or hat I'm well protected.
- gloves - it's miserable to have cold wet hands, and I'm using walking poles, so they can't go in the pockets.


On very hot days I can strip down to the shirt and zip off the trouser bottoms. On cold days I wear the fleece and long johns. When it rains the waterproofs come out but they are also very good for cold windy days.

I have done most of my training walks since December, and we've had very wet weather. With temperatures down to zero Celsius, strong wind and rain, I stayed very comfortable and never felt clammy.

My backpack has a water resistant cover and all my clothes and equipment are packed in waterproof sacks, so I don't intend to buy a poncho, however I might buy one on the Camino if it turns very wet.

Finally, I did buy a 2 season down sleeping bag with full length zip and a silk liner, with combined weight about 900 g, and for peace of mind, both come pre-treated for bedbugs. I know down isn't so good in the wet, but I'm relying on a waterproof stuff sack.

Ok, I admit I answered some questions you didn't ask, but perhaps it will be helpful.

Hi, I checked out rohan and found http://www.rohan.co.uk/womens-travel-and-outdoor-jackets-Cascade-Jacket?ocode=03558667 I only have a very basic camping store near me and therefore will have to buy something online. I like a longer jacket that keeps me dry down to the knees but is 630g too heavy? I would appreciate your advice. I am planning on walking August/September. My training is in the Australian heat at the moment, so I am doing 3 gym sessions a week otherwise I would expire ! Thanks Sonia
 
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jillmom

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
April, 2014
No need for a heavy coat,
but I WOULD take a lightweight wind jacket.
I would also take a fleece and some long johns just in case.
Be able layer your clothes.
Last year I dropped up onto the Camino in June and I about froze.
The weather was unusually cold.
I had a pair of merino long johns, a merino sweater, and a windbreaker.
I wore all three in the mornings, then peeled layers off as I warmed up.
At night I was VERY grateful for the long johns.
Annie, what kind of jacket would you recommend for mid April. We're starting from O'Cebriero April 12. I don't want to take too much, but I hate to be cold!
 

koilife

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016); Portugues w/ son #3 (2020)
As to the question of bedding, agreed with very lightweight bag or a silk sleeping sack.
Actually, I would offer some additional thoughts on bedding.

I made a DIY bedsheet that doubles as a groundsheet or as a tarp. Tyvek makes a water/wind resistant fabric (look for 14M or 1443R) that you can get at various outdoor DIY specialty shops (I get mine at Quest Outfitters). It is soft enough that it feels like a stiff sheet, and it doesn't rustle or crackle more than any typical sleeping bag.

I cut it large enough to act as a topsheet for a single bed with sufficient extra to wrap around all sides and tuck under the bottom. I put grommets at all four corners and at the edge where the long center axis divides the sheet in half. I also sprayed it with permethrin to protect against bedbugs. With it, I carry six titanium tent stakes, each with a superlight guy line and tensioner.

The entire combination of topsheet, stakes, and guy lines actually weighs less than a cotton or silk sheet. However, if I need to go to ground due to excessive weather (say, a really bad storm between SJPdP and Roncesvalles), I can put up the tarp "A-frame" style using my walking sticks as the poles. If I need to sleep in a field due to a lack of beds, I use it as a groundsheet. While it's not truly waterproof, it does the job.

Likely, you'll not be without a bed, but at less weight than a normal topsheet, the system is far more versatile and provides an extra safety and comfort margin against the unexpected.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
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
Annie, what kind of jacket would you recommend for mid April. We're starting from O'Cebriero April 12. I don't want to take too much, but I hate to be cold!

Well, honestly, like Kanga, after all these years I'm still looking for the perfect setup.
And like you, I HATE to be cold!
I'm a Mediterranean girl!

Right now I include in my pack for cold weather the following:

Pair of merino wool featherweight long johns (with long sleeved shirt)
A felted merino wool sweater (I buy a large one at Goodwill and wash it in hot water, felting it)
A lightweight windbreaker/rain coat AND a pair of rain pants
My Altus Poncho for downpours

I tend to be cold in the mornings, then as I warm off I peel off layers.
If the sun is going to shine, I put a regular teeshirt under the merino sweater instead of a long sleeved shirt.
That way I can peel off to a short sleeved tee.
But my tee is also featherweight merino wool much of the time.

If it's super cold I wear the rain pants to keep my hips warm.
I have an old hip injury and it aches if it gets cold.

Lately, I've decided the Marmot rain coat I have is too heavy and so I'm searching for a featherweight windbreaker like the ones we wore in the 70's. Just a parachute fabric windbreaker. Because generally I"m wearing the jacket to protect from wind, rather than rain.

If it looks like rain, I actually "wear" my ALTUS over my pack but tucked back behind my shoulders so I can put it on in a second.
I bought a large, so it goes between my knees and ankles and keeps me dry even when it's not zipped.
I'd like to discard either the jacket or the ALTUS, but haven't figured out how to do that yet.
 

tploomis

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Sept. to Nov., 2013
It's not possible to keep completely dry, or even close to it, if it is raining hard and the wind is blowing for many hours. If that is your expectation, you will only be disappointed. My mountain climbing guide in Patagonia, Martin, who has spent many days out of a year with the worst weather on earth pounding him for days on end, patiently explained to me that my consistent disappointment with "waterproof/breathable" fabrics was my problem with unrealistic expectations shaped by advertising. The water will eventually get through! Ultimately I've come to understand that the hardshell jacket functions in these situations to keep the wind out and body heat in, despite the wet, and with proper layering beneath the jacket, e.g. quick drying wicking fabric, it is possible to be relatively comfortable. I do think jackets with large pit zips help with the ventilation and decrease the inside wetness from body moisture, although they also invite water inside if it is blowing hard. On my camino, there were three or four days of hard rain and wind throughout the day, and I was thoroughly wet for most of those days, but relatively comfortable. Remember, the skin is waterproof!
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Hi, I checked out rohan and found http://www.rohan.co.uk/womens-travel-and-outdoor-jackets-Cascade-Jacket?ocode=03558667 I only have a very basic camping store near me and therefore will have to buy something online. I like a longer jacket that keeps me dry down to the knees but is 630g too heavy? I would appreciate your advice. I am planning on walking August/September. My training is in the Australian heat at the moment, so I am doing 3 gym sessions a week otherwise I would expire ! Thanks Sonia

Sonia, August/September will be hot, hot, hot - so think what you are wearing now. In Spain it is possible to get a freak cold spell in the mountains at any time but highly unlikely at that time of the year. Even if you get rain (and those two months are the driest on average, but it always rains in Galicia) it is likely to be warm rain. A long jacket will be heavy and you will finish up by carrying it. I'm in Sydney and very happy to talk on the phone if you want to send me a private message.
 
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gidivet

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPP to SdC - April - June 2014
Le Puy to Conques May 2016
Multiple CF sections since 2014
Hi, I checked out rohan and found http://www.rohan.co.uk/womens-travel-and-outdoor-jackets-Cascade-Jacket?ocode=03558667 I only have a very basic camping store near me and therefore will have to buy something online. I like a longer jacket that keeps me dry down to the knees but is 630g too heavy? I would appreciate your advice. I am planning on walking August/September. My training is in the Australian heat at the moment, so I am doing 3 gym sessions a week otherwise I would expire ! Thanks Sonia
Hi Sonia -the Cascade jacket looks a bit bulky and heavy and your legs will still get wet. Not very practical. I'd take up Kanga's offer of a chat on the phone.
I think it's risky buying such expensive items without a chance to try them on.
 

jillmom

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
April, 2014
Than
Well, honestly, like Kanga, after all these years I'm still looking for the perfect setup.
And like you, I HATE to be cold!
I'm a Mediterranean girl!

Right now I include in my pack for cold weather the following:

Pair of merino wool featherweight long johns (with long sleeved shirt)
A felted merino wool sweater (I buy a large one at Goodwill and wash it in hot water, felting it)
A lightweight windbreaker/rain coat AND a pair of rain pants
My Altus Poncho for downpours

I tend to be cold in the mornings, then as I warm off I peel off layers.
If the sun is going to shine, I put a regular teeshirt under the merino sweater instead of a long sleeved shirt.
That way I can peel off to a short sleeved tee.
But my tee is also featherweight merino wool much of the time.

If it's super cold I wear the rain pants to keep my hips warm.
I have an old hip injury and it aches if it gets cold.

Lately, I've decided the Marmot rain coat I have is too heavy and so I'm searching for a featherweight windbreaker like the ones we wore in the 70's. Just a parachute fabric windbreaker. Because generally I"m wearing the jacket to protect from wind, rather than rain.

If it looks like rain, I actually "wear" my ALTUS over my pack but tucked back behind my shoulders so I can put it on in a second.
I bought a large, so it goes between my knees and ankles and keeps me dry even when it's not zipped.
I'd like to discard either the jacket or the ALTUS, but haven't figured out how to do that yet.

Thanks, Annie. Good information. Jill
 

Maggie97520

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CDF Fall 2013, CDF Spring 2014
Actually, I would offer some additional thoughts on bedding.

I made a DIY bedsheet that doubles as a groundsheet or as a tarp. Tyvek makes a water/wind resistant fabric (look for 14M or 1443R) that you can get at various outdoor DIY specialty shops (I get mine at Quest Outfitters). It is soft enough that it feels like a stiff sheet, and it doesn't rustle or crackle more than any typical sleeping bag.

I cut it large enough to act as a topsheet for a single bed with sufficient extra to wrap around all sides and tuck under the bottom. I put grommets at all four corners and at the edge where the long center axis divides the sheet in half. I also sprayed it with permethrin to protect against bedbugs. With it, I carry six titanium tent stakes, each with a superlight guy line and tensioner.

The entire combination of topsheet, stakes, and guy lines actually weighs less than a cotton or silk sheet. However, if I need to go to ground due to excessive weather (say, a really bad storm between SJPdP and Roncesvalles), I can put up the tarp "A-frame" style using my walking sticks as the poles. If I need to sleep in a field due to a lack of beds, I use it as a groundsheet. While it's not truly waterproof, it does the job.

Likely, you'll not be without a bed, but at less weight than a normal topsheet, the system is far more versatile and provides an extra safety and comfort margin against the unexpected.

Any chance you can provide a picture or two of your tyvek sheet in action?
 
Last edited:

Olivia Luna

Member
Well, honestly, like Kanga, after all these years I'm still looking for the perfect setup.
And like you, I HATE to be cold!
I'm a Mediterranean girl!

Right now I include in my pack for cold weather the following:

Pair of merino wool featherweight long johns (with long sleeved shirt)
A felted merino wool sweater (I buy a large one at Goodwill and wash it in hot water, felting it)
A lightweight windbreaker/rain coat AND a pair of rain pants
My Altus Poncho for downpours

I tend to be cold in the mornings, then as I warm off I peel off layers.
If the sun is going to shine, I put a regular teeshirt under the merino sweater instead of a long sleeved shirt.
That way I can peel off to a short sleeved tee.
But my tee is also featherweight merino wool much of the time.

If it's super cold I wear the rain pants to keep my hips warm.
I have an old hip injury and it aches if it gets cold.

Lately, I've decided the Marmot rain coat I have is too heavy and so I'm searching for a featherweight windbreaker like the ones we wore in the 70's. Just a parachute fabric windbreaker. Because generally I"m wearing the jacket to protect from wind, rather than rain.

If it looks like rain, I actually "wear" my ALTUS over my pack but tucked back behind my shoulders so I can put it on in a second.
I bought a large, so it goes between my knees and ankles and keeps me dry even when it's not zipped.
I'd like to discard either the jacket or the ALTUS, but haven't figured out how to do that yet.

Hello Annie,

I am a Caribbean gal, hate the cold and I am allergic to wool. The hubs and I start off June 2 from Ponferrada. I have access to weather averages, but am concerned that Northern Spain weather will bite me in the mornings, even in June. Soooo, any gear suggestions to help keep me warm during that time?

Already have warmer than necessary (I am assured!) sleeping bag, but one must get out of it in the morning :)

Recommendations for a light, warm, non-wool jacket are welcome!

¡Gracias!
 
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Stellere

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
March 2014 - con mi padre
I'm reading this thread with interest. I'm doing a March/April camino (leaving next Saturday!), and have probably packed too many jackets. But I *hate* to be cold, and my sleeping gear is less warm than many others', so I might end up wearing my layers at night more than during the day. Here's what I currently have in my bag (for what it's worth - keep in mind that I haven't walked the camino yet. But I do camp and hike a lot here in Canada.):

- lightweight wind shirt (weighs 150 grams, is bright blue and has a hood - it makes me look like a speed skater) - I never hike without tucking this is my bag. It's really light and cuts the wind nicely.

- lightweight down jacket (weighs 214 grams) - I hummed and hawed a lot about this one, but it's still in my bag at the moment. I used it quite a lot while camping this summer in Canada, on nights when the weather dropped. I also use it at home sometimes as a sweater, since we turned the heater down a few degrees to save money. I won't wear the down jacket while hiking, but it's good to throw on during breaks (so I don't catch a chill), I can wear it at night (either inside or outside), it can act as a second sleeping bag layer if it's cold at night, and it packs into a stuff sack to make an amazing pillow.

- lightweight zip-neck fleece (weighs 180 grams)

- Altus poncho/rain cape (will pick it up in SJPP - I expect it to weigh about 450 grams)

Yes, that's right - I'm currently planning on carrying almost a kilogram's worth of jackets. This may or may not be a dumb idea…but my total pack weighs in at about 13 pounds (about 5.8 kg) with water, so I figure it will still be doable.

In addition to the jackets, my regular clothes are merino wool (both long-sleeved and short-sleeved) and I'm carrying a pair of synthetic long johns. I also have a fleece hat, a merino wool buff and a pair of merino wool gloves. If I'm not warm enough, then I give up! Ha!

For sleeping, I don't have a sleeping bag, which is part of the reason that I decided to bring both the down jacket and the fleece sweater. I have a down throw from Eddie Bauer (smaller than twin, but big enough to cover me) and a silk sleep sheet that weigh 814 grams together. I'd love a lightweight down sleeping bag, but the price tag for under 800 grams is pretty steep, so I'm sticking with what I have for now.

Good luck to both of us! Here's hoping we stay warm and dry and comfortable! ;)
 

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