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How much water to carry?

kevinz

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
Hello, all,

I'm beginning the Camino del Norte around Irún around 19 August and walking for about two weeks. Through this section of the Camino del Norte, how much water should I plan on carrying with me between fountains and towns? In the heat, walking, I can go through one liter per hour, I estimate. Are towns and fountains more than one or two hours apart?

Thanks for your suggestions and advice. Buen Camino!

-Kevin
 
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trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
If you use a guidebook, app or Gronze.com they will usually show you the distances between towns, and often if there are water fountains available between towns. With that information, you should be able to estimate how much water you need to carry each day.
The most that I normally carry is 1.5 liters, but everyone's needs are different. For example, I can't imagine drinking 1 liter every hour, but if that's what you need, plan accordingly.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
As @trecile has said, we are all different.
And guidebooks will help you assess where you can refill with water.

I consistently use 1 litre per 10 kms. That's 2.5 to 3 hours walking for me, as I walk slowly.
But I carry a 300 ml backup bottle with electrolytes regardless of my 'main' water load.
In hot weather I also use an umbrella, and this reduces my water needs.
 

xin loi

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Walked May 14, 2014 from St Jean France

starting to walk again August 25, 2016 --SJPDP to Finisterre
Hello, all,

I'm beginning the Camino del Norte around Irún around 19 August and walking for about two weeks. Through this section of the Camino del Norte, how much water should I plan on carrying with me between fountains and towns? In the heat, walking, I can go through one liter per hour, I estimate. Are towns and fountains more than one or two hours apart?

Thanks for your suggestions and advice. Buen Camino!

-Kevin
Walked from SJPDP to Santiago carrying a full liter bottle of water and NEVER opened it. Lots of places for water fountains. Did the Norte in August and September in 2019 and did not bother to carry water.
 
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Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
Water is rather plentiful along the way so no need to absolutely weigh yourself down too much.
 

pjacobi

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015, St. Jean Pied de Port to Burgos
2016, Burgos to Ponferrada
2017, Ponferrada to Atlantic Ocean
Remember to carry snack foods to eat with your water! You need to eat salty and high calorie snacks to replace replenish energy and loss of salt though sweat.


-Paul
 

edtrudeau

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
March 2022 Frances
Hello, all,

I'm beginning the Camino del Norte around Irún around 19 August and walking for about two weeks. Through this section of the Camino del Norte, how much water should I plan on carrying with me between fountains and towns? In the heat, walking, I can go through one liter per hour, I estimate. Are towns and fountains more than one or two hours apart?

Thanks for your suggestions and advice. Buen Camino!

-Kevin
I brought 2 one liter collapsable bottles by Platypus with their hose. Usually filled 1 1/2 unless looked like a ‘dry’ day. Refilled at fountains and cafes as needed. BC
 

jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2021, 2022
I just finished the Norte to Primitivo this summer. If you know how much water you drink per hour - just plan accordingly paying attention to distance between towns - the distances between towns varies a lot more than it does on the Frances. In between towns I don't recall seeing many water sources - if any. And I don't recall seeing as many fountain water sources. FOR ME - Most of the time - carrying 1L is just fine. Some days I had to refill. Some days I didn't. Some days I carried an extra half liter. I always made sure my water bottle was full before leaving the albergue for the day and tried to drink extra water in the afternoon/evening on arrival.
 
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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
I haven't walked the Norte, but my other experiences on the Iberian Peninsula make me cautious. The advice from @Scott Sweeney , @edtrudeau and @jeanineonthecamino is worth reading again.

I have carried at least two litres in a combination of a bladder and reserve bottle for many years. In spring, that would last most of the walking day normally, but in the hot conditions on the CP this year, two litres only lasted until lunchtime and I started carrying 2.5 to 3 litres at the start of the day.

I avoid fonts unless they are clearly marked as potable, preferring to stop at a bar and get a tap refill there with my coffee. Too many friends have had GI problems. Whether it was from water or food I cannot tell, but they have relied on getting water from village fonts along the way.

In August, I expect fonts will all have been turned on. In early spring, there were some on the CF that hadn't been turned back on after winter. This didn't worry me at all, but someone walking with just a 600ml bottle was clearly depending on water being available at one point where this happened, and he faced another 30 minutes at least without water to get to the next village.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Via Podiensis 2017
del Norte 2018
Fisterra 2018
Primitivo 2019
Madrid (2020)
I have done Norte completely and Primitivo. Neither in summer months but both in warm months - May and September. 1.5 litres in a 2litre bladder was good for me except on the longest days when I took 2 litres. Didn‘t fill it during the stage. Emptied the bladder several times but certainly not every time. If you need 1 litre per hour, I think you will both need to fill it and pre locate the spots. Some of the early stages dont have cafés for say 10 km intervals. Most have spots every 5 to 10 kms. I think the critical part for you will be the first stages up to Bilbao….
 

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