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Is a sleeping bag necessary in March/April?

Do you need a sleeping bag or liner on the Camino Portuguese in March and April?


  • Total voters
    11

Jashley

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Portuguese (March/April 2019)
Hey everyone!

My gf and I will be walking the Camino Portuguese in March and April 2019 and are wondering if we really need a sleeping bag or liner? Lots of people include one on their packing list because of the cold and bed bugs. So, what we're really asking is- do the auberges not provide sheets and blankets to keep you warm enough? Are bed bugs really this prevalent in the auberges to justify carrying your own sleeping surface? Could an experienced pilgrim please share with us their thoughts?

Thanks!
 
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Veteran Member
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That depends on where you are going to spend the night, in a hostel/hotel or an albergue/ refugio. If you stay in a hostel/hotel every night, you you don´t need anything, if you stay in an albergue / refugio, you at least need a liner , there are carpets in some places, but I would bring a sleepingbag as well, not for the bed bugs, but for the cold nights.
 
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Anamya

Keeping it simple
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Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
It's more about the cleanliness, I suppose. I walked the Portuguese in April 2017 and took a liner with me. Most places are lovely and clean, but you never know how sweaty were the pilgrims that came before you.

Also, it is easier to protect your valuable items (passport, wallet) if they sleep inside the bag with you :)
 

Rainey

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
de Madrid May 2018
del Salvador May 2018
I walked the Madrid and the Salvador in May/June 2018 and definitely used a sleeping bag in albergues for warmth and security of valuables when I was in the mountains of the del Salvador. We were provided bed and pillow covers for most of the lodgings but not always and I did not want to use the blankets.
 
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Jan_D

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
So, what we're really asking is- do the auberges not provide sheets and blankets to keep you warm enough?

To answer your question more directly: no, not always. Sometimes there's only a mattress. Sometimes, but not always, there's a blanket at the end of the bed. Sometimes they give you a disposable mattress cover for hygiene reasons, often not. Welcome to pilgrim life! :)

p.s. I have attached some photos of municipal albergues on the Portuguese way to give you an idea of what to expect (pics are from Gronze)
 

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FourSeasons

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF Sept/Oct 2013
CF April/May 2016
del Norte (July/August 2019)
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Hey everyone!

My gf and I will be walking the Camino Portuguese in March and April 2019 and are wondering if we really need a sleeping bag or liner? Lots of people include one on their packing list because of the cold and bed bugs. So, what we're really asking is- do the auberges not provide sheets and blankets to keep you warm enough? Are bed bugs really this prevalent in the auberges to justify carrying your own sleeping surface? Could an experienced pilgrim please share with us their thoughts?

Thanks!
I am guilty that I didn't read your full post, only the part about needing a sleeping bag. My vote is still absolutely yes on that. March and April can be chilly and wet. I cannot speak of the Portuguese Way but most Alburgues on the Frances rarely supply sheets and some have blankets.

Bedbugs are a separate issue. You are going early in the season where bedbugs shouldn't be a problem however they could still popup anywhere. Not much can protect you from them if they are in the bed unless you have your bag/liner pretreated with a repellant or you always look for them which only takes a few minutes. May I suggest you watch a YouTube video on how to look for bed bugs.

I am so excited for you and your gf. You're going to have an awesome journey. 👣 Buen Camino!
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few times
No, bed bugs are not that prevalent in albergues, and a sleeping bag or liner has no consequence to them if they were.
That being said, bring at least a lightweight liner, and it being March and April probably better to bring a lightweight sleeping bag. One that weighs less than a kilo.
Blankets are sometimes available, but not something to be counted upon.
 
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I understand that some albergues will not let you sleep unless you have some kind of bedding. Not all albergues have blankets, and when they do, they do not launder them each day.

You may get a disposable sheet for the mattress surface, but that would be the most you can count on, unless you stay at hostels, pensions, or hotels.

Buen Camino, keep warm!
 

camino-david

RIP 2020
Year of past OR future Camino
Caminos Frances (x4), Finisterre, Aragon, Via de la Plata, Portuguese 2011 -2015. Hospitalero 2015
A lightweight sleeping bag? Yes definitely because it will be cold. A liner will not be sufficient to keep you warm.
Blankets are usually available but not always, and they are probably not laundered from beginning to end of the whole season so that is another reason to take a bag. I am a hospitalero and have never heard of blankets being washed during the season.
It is very unlikely you will encounter bed bugs in March and April as the eggs do not hatch until the weather is warm. I have walked 3 times in September and October and only encountered bed bugs once and I have only seen one person in all that time who has had an allergic reaction. The subject of bed bugs is overdone and is a physiological reaction and not based on reality.
 

Jashley

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Portuguese (March/April 2019)
To answer your question more directly: no, not always. Sometimes there's only a mattress. Sometimes, but not always, there's a blanket at the end of the bed. Sometimes they give you a disposable mattress cover for hygiene reasons, often not. Welcome to pilgrim life! :)

p.s. I have attached some photos of municipal albergues on the Portuguese way to give you an idea of what to expect (pics are from Gronze)
Awesome! Thanks so much for the detailed answer. I wasn't quite sure what to picture at first but this helps a lot. And thanks for the warm welcome!
 

Jashley

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Portuguese (March/April 2019)
Thanks so much to everyone for their responses. Super helpful! Given the cooler season and the unreliability of the albergues providing blankets, I will definitely be bringing a lightweight sleeping bag. Thanks again to all of you for sharing your wisdom an experience with a newbie!
 

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