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how to pack for Sept-November walk

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Past OR future Camino
June/July 2015 (CF, 100 miles), June/July 2018 (CP, ~40 miles, too hot!)
When I did the Camino in 2015, I went in summer since I was a teacher. This time, I'm going 1 September through the end of November. How should I pack AND how do I keep my pack light? Thanks.
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
In a word, layers!

You will enjoy that time of year!

You want to be able to mix and match layers for all weather conditions, and still have something warm and dry for the evening. In the coldest weather you will wear almost everything. In hot weather you will have to carry most of it! I take almost the same things regardless of the time of year. By very careful selection, I still keep my pack under 6 kg (excluding water).

On the "favourite shirt" thread, I listed all my top layers:
  • Merino sleeveless tank top - I wear this always while walking
  • Synthetic walking/sun shirt with long sleeves and collar - I wear this always while walking
  • Very light merino long sleeve for warmth if needed while walking
  • Merino zip-up sweater
  • Rain jacket
  • Merino tee shirt for warm evenings and nights
  • Down vest (sleeveless) for cold evenings and nights
  • Second very light merino long sleeve shirt for evenings and nights
My bottom layers are:
  • Walking trousers - whatever type you prefer
  • Evening trousers - I use merino wool sweat pants or long johns
  • Rain pants - Can be pulled on over walking ones
Important accessories are:
  • Wool buff
  • Gloves - I would take 2 light pairs for October-November
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Past OR future Camino
2019
“Layers!!!” Is the answer! Please note that as you approach winter, snow is possible at times on the CF and albergues will be closing as “the season” ends. Additionally, sleeping conditions will be much colder than previously as many albergues shut off the heat overnight to save money.
 

Becky 59

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2018, 2021
Camino Ingles (Aug 2019)
When I walked the CF last fall, I walked in a hiking skirt (Macabi) with light leggings underneath in the am, when it was sometimes down to low-30's F (2-3 C). It was frequently warm enough by 10-11 am to slip off the leggings and finish the day with just the walking skirt for my "bottom" layer. (Just a plug for the skirt, lol!)
 
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DyanTX

DyanTX
Past OR future Camino
CF Sept 22 - Nov 3, 2016
I walked the CF during that exact time in 2016. I had a fleece which I only used in evenings and during days off if cool, I never had to wear it while daily walking. Zipoff pants worked perfectly. Most days I was in shorts and t-shirt before noon. Early mornings in late October started with short sleeve, long sleeve knit, long sleeve nylon layers. Down to shirt sleeve before noon - even on Nov 3 when I arrived in SdC. Raincoat only used 3 days for light rain. Rain pants used twice. Wouldn't take rain pants again if weather is warm as the zipoff pants dry quickly. Took light sleeping bag. Too hot early on and by the time it cooled off, I was reserving private rooms in pensions as I'd had enough of sleepless nights in albergues. If booking private, I'd take only a sleep sheet.
You miss all the flowers, cuckoos and storks but have lovely blackberries to snack on alongside the trail.

Slight edit: At the end of the first week of November in Muxia it began to cool off and to rain. Still not cold but much cooler. I left Spain November 11 so later may have been much colder.
 
Last edited:
Past OR future Camino
2019
When I did the Camino in 2015, I went in summer since I was a teacher. This time, I'm going 1 September through the end of November. How should I pack AND how do I keep my pack light? Thanks.
Hi Kate.
I have walked in April, May, June, July, September and October. By far the most pleasant time was September/October when it was pleasantly warm and bright. However, during my stay in SDC over the end of October and beginning of November the weather changed dramatically and became really quite cold and wet. If you are walking in November I would be prepared for cold and wet. Hope this helps.
Buen Camino
Vince
 

Richard of York

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
It getting colder, winter coming on, as you're doing it I might suggest packing for the first week, whatever the weather forecast says, and buy stuff en route as you need it. Spain is generally cheaper than most English-speaking countries, so whatever you need will be in a shop in the next town.
 
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rojasa

New Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2021; CSS/CP 2022
I join the chorus of "layers!" I walked last October (tail end of Sep to Nov 1) from SJPP to SDC. Some mornings I wore almost all the clothes I packed: lightweight long underwear top and bottom, smartwool-ish long sleeve from Costco, smartwool t shirt. I prefer a fake-down jacket over fleece, it packs small into its own pocket and weighs little, and that would be my outer layer until I warmed up walking a bit every morning. Thin gloves, a Camino-for-Good buff (shout out to those good people!), and a wool cap. By the end of October, a rain jacket. Wore the same one pair of pants for the whole camino, the kind with zip-off legs. That's my entire wardrobe there, minus the extra pair of undies, sports bra, and columbia-brand dress plus clean blouse for evenings...the long undies and dress became my night clothes on really cold evenings. I prefer a down blanket rather than a sleeping bag, tucked inside a sleeping sheet (saved weight and room -they tuck nicely into a stuff sack inside my pack). Used everything, wanted for nothing, six weeks...@mspath was my inspiration - Thank you Meredith! - read her blog and see if it resonates for you. Buen Camino! It will be lovely.
 
Past OR future Camino
June/July 2015 (CF, 100 miles), June/July 2018 (CP, ~40 miles, too hot!)
In a word, layers!

You will enjoy that time of year!

You want to be able to mix and match layers for all weather conditions, and still have something warm and dry for the evening. In the coldest weather you will wear almost everything. In hot weather you will have to carry most of it! I take almost the same things regardless of the time of year. By very careful selection, I still keep my pack under 6 kg (excluding water).

On the "favourite shirt" thread, I listed all my top layers:
  • Merino sleeveless tank top - I wear this always while walking
  • Synthetic walking/sun shirt with long sleeves and collar - I wear this always while walking
  • Very light merino long sleeve for warmth if needed while walking
  • Merino zip-up sweater
  • Rain jacket
  • Merino tee shirt for warm evenings and nights
  • Down vest (sleeveless) for cold evenings and nights
  • Second very light merino long sleeve shirt for evenings and nights
My bottom layers are:
  • Walking trousers - whatever type you prefer
  • Evening trousers - I use merino wool sweat pants or long johns
  • Rain pants - Can be pulled on over walking ones
Important accessories are:
  • Wool buff
  • Gloves - I would take 2 light pairs for October-November
Great list, but seems like a lot of weight. How much did all this weigh? I'm 265 now, and last time I kept the weight to around 12-14 lbs.
 
Past OR future Camino
June/July 2015 (CF, 100 miles), June/July 2018 (CP, ~40 miles, too hot!)
I join the chorus of "layers!" I walked last October (tail end of Sep to Nov 1) from SJPP to SDC. Some mornings I wore almost all the clothes I packed: lightweight long underwear top and bottom, smartwool-ish long sleeve from Costco, smartwool t shirt. I prefer a fake-down jacket over fleece, it packs small into its own pocket and weighs little, and that would be my outer layer until I warmed up walking a bit every morning. Thin gloves, a Camino-for-Good buff (shout out to those good people!), and a wool cap. By the end of October, a rain jacket. Wore the same one pair of pants for the whole camino, the kind with zip-off legs. That's my entire wardrobe there, minus the extra pair of undies, sports bra, and columbia-brand dress plus clean blouse for evenings...the long undies and dress became my night clothes on really cold evenings. I prefer a down blanket rather than a sleeping bag, tucked inside a sleeping sheet (saved weight and room -they tuck nicely into a stuff sack inside my pack). Used everything, wanted for nothing, six weeks...@mspath was my inspiration - Thank you Meredith! - read her blog and see if it resonates for you. Buen Camino! It will be lovely.
All this I can really get behind. As I mentioned above, last Camino I kept my backpack to around 12-14 lbs. I weigh 265, so I'm hauling myself plus my "turtle shell" of kit also. I will go with this. I have a rain jacket, most kit already.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
Great list, but seems like a lot of weight. How much did all this weigh?
My pack (excluding water and my warm-weather walking clothes) weighs about 13 pounds. Of that, about 4.5 lb were "spare" clothes. I like to be self-sufficient and also to do my shopping at home, so I try to take everything I expect to need.

There are a lot of items of clothes, but that is because none of them are heavy, and I feel the cold very easily. For warmth I need to layer on more than one item, but that gives flexibility.

If you don't feel the cold like I do, you might be able to eliminate some layers. But think about the function, and how you and your body respond when you walk.
  1. Start with what you would wear on a cool morning when you expect the afternoon to be hot. (Here I suggest a buff and gloves are very useful for the first 30 minutes and they are easily removed once you warm up.)
  2. Surprise! Instead of getting hot, the wind picks up and clouds gather. What would you put on?
  3. Temperature drops - what would you add then?
  4. Rain starts - what do you do? (Maybe a good umbrella, maybe a poncho, or maybe rain jacket and pants.)
  5. OK - keep walking 👩‍🦯👩‍🦯... You arrive at the albergue dripping wet with sweat and/or rain. What will you put on while your clothes dry?
  6. Then when you go to bed, what will you wear if it is hot, or if it is cold, and if your day clothes aren't dry yet? That might depend on what type of sleeping bag you have, and how you sleep. I get cold so I need the down vest and a sweater inside my bag (made from liner and down blanket).
You need to fill all those functions - even if they don't occur on the same day, they will ALL happen at some point during September to November. Think them through carefully.

I am not a big person. If you need to double the weight of clothes, you would need to save that extra 4.5 lb somewhere else. But maybe you don't feel the cold so much, so you can leave out the second merino base layer that I take, and the down vest. Or maybe your poncho will weigh less than my jacket-pants-umbrella combo. But it may also be that you will need to cut elsewhere - for example from toiletries or guide book or phone power bank.

Imagining these scenarios should give you lots of entertainment while you wait for September to come! 🙂
 
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rojasa

New Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2021; CSS/CP 2022
All this I can really get behind. As I mentioned above, last Camino I kept my backpack to around 12-14 lbs. I weigh 265, so I'm hauling myself plus my "turtle shell" of kit also. I will go with this. I have a rain jacket, most kit already.
Good on you for keeping the pack weight down! My total pack weight was 11.4lbs...I'm going on pilgrimage along Camino San Salvador this coming fall and have a lighter, smaller, better-fitting pack which will take another pound off. And lighter trail runners, which seem to help me feel I'm carrying less weight. Gotta say, the physical pilgrimage of walking with heavy shoes and back taught me a lot about patience and endurance...Would very much like to feel I've "graduated" from the "class" and am willing to make myself available for other lessons! :) Wishing you all the best...
 

OTH86

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 x 2, 2017, 2021
I have mailed stuff ahead to myself to lighten my load in the Fall - to Belorado, Burgos, Sahagun, Leon and Santiago - Correos is wonderful!! Advice given by Correos was to put my legal name, Peregrina, both to and from. One time, on a Spring Camino, I was not able to pick up the package, but when I returned six months later, it was still waiting for me in Sahagun!! It was so happy to see me - as was the Correos lady! We're good friends now!!
Buen Camino!
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
I walked the Frances once from October to early November.
I started out in shorts and t-shirt with a baseball cap, ended in long pants and a rain parka. Throughout the journey I experienced rain (never stopped in Santiago), snow (three days in Galicia) but overall the majority of days just sort of cool and cloudy, mixed sun and clouds. Comfortable. Nice.
In retrospect I would have brought only one pair of shorts instead of two and two long pants instead of one. Also a wool beanie hat and a pair of wool gloves and socks would have been nice for walking in the snow.
Other than that, everything was good to go.
 

K_Lynn

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I walked last September/October. As others have said, layers! September started off very hot but cooled down quickly. I wore leggings most days, and towards the end I would start my day with a pair of hiking pants over the leggings and then take those off when I warmed up. Icebreaker makes very thin merino glove liners (28grams) and they were perfect for keeping the chill off my hands. Merino tank top, merino t-shirt, merino long sleeve shirt and a merino hoodie were worn on cooler days and layers removed as needed. You will not be the only person stopping and shedding gear as you go, it's a regular sight. *Remember to put your shed clothes in your pack! I saw a lot of forgotten sweaters/hoodies.
I am full Team Merino. Icebreaker and Patagonia have great lightweight shirts that will allow you to sweat and not stink and will keep you warm when you need it. I brought a light merino shift dress for evenings, it was comfortable and was my one luxury item. They are all machine washable and dry quickly.
Pack list: 1 merino tank 1 merino sports bra, 1 merino t-shirt, 1 technical t shirt, 1 long sleeved merino shirt, 1 pair capri leggings, 1 pair hiking pants, 1 merino dress, 1 merino zip hoodie, 4 pairs merino socks, 3 pairs merino underwear, sports sandals for end of day (pair them with socks for true Camino fashion!) rain poncho, rain pants, baseball hat, thin gloves.
*I'm ditching the dress next Camino, I picked up a nice hiking skirt (that is almost knee length!!!honestly why are hiking skirts soooo short?) that I can walk in on hotter days or wear in the evening.
 

Suzanne H

Camino Junkie
Past OR future Camino
CF'17; LePuy'18; Porto/Coastal'19; Portugal? '22
Hi CaminoKate! I walked the last week of August thru October 15 in 2017. We were shocked by the weather in September, for in 2017 the mornings were quite chilly. I wore socks on my hands until I was able to purchase lightweight gloves ($1-2, just enough to keep the chill off). Buffs and/or beanies were needed on those chilly mornings in spite of the very warm afternoons. I only had one half-day of rain (early Sept) until the rains began in Galicia ~15 October. I strongly agree with C Clearly about layers and her list is a good one (although my list didn't include merino). I agree that weight should be your priority (while at the same time packing for the elements). With all of these layers, I was able to stay under 15 lbs. Keep in mind, you will be wearing some of these layers at all times so they will not all be in your pack.

The following year I packed the same gear for the approx same timeframe on the LePuy. It was the perfect packing list again, but we did have more rain. I opted to carry a lightweight poncho and no rain pants (I dealt with the damp legs and feet just fine). ;) Good luck with your decisions and Buen Camino~!
 
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Embee12

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
First time: Fall 2022
When I walked the CF last fall, I walked in a hiking skirt (Macabi) with light leggings underneath in the am, when it was sometimes down to low-30's F (2-3 C). It was frequently warm enough by 10-11 am to slip off the leggings and finish the day with just the walking skirt for my "bottom" layer. (Just a plug for the skirt, lol!)
@Becky 59 I plan on walking part of the CF in a macabi skirt in October. When you say "light leggings," can you suggest a brand? I'm confused between tights, leggings and base layer bottoms. (I'm not a regular leggings wearer.) I got a very comfortable pair of REI brand midweight tights (to me they seem a bit like old-school thermal underwear), but wonder if they will be too warm. Thanks!
 

Lizhk

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francis (2017) StJPdP to Burgos (2018) Porto interior (2018), Porto Coastal (May 2019)
I have walked a few times in late September into October and early November and suggest a few things to consider:
- a colourful silk scarf. Silk keeps you warm, is lightweight and looks good either on the trail or in a restaurant. Plus you can wrap it a few times for a makeshift Covid mask.
- runners sleeves. I found early mornings cold but by 10 it warms up. Having to slip off these sleeves is much easier than changing from a long sleeve top to a short sleeve. https://www.runnersworld.com/gear/g37384331/best-arm-sleeves/
- a credit card!
Buen camino.
 

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