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Keith Camino

2019 April 01 Camino Del Norte
Year of past OR future Camino
2018 March Camino Portuguese from Porto
2017 April 01-16 Camino Primitivo + Fisterra
The sun has been blazing since 01 April 2017. People are getting badly burnt. I strongly recommend a wide-brimmed hat and a handkerchief. Pin the cloth to protect your neck or soak it to help with cooling. I am also using a longsleeved lightweight shirt and lightweight trousers. Peoples' hands are also burning so consider gloves. Sunblock SPF 30-50 costs about 15-17 EUR. Take care of your skin!
Cheers, Keith
 
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Keith Camino

2019 April 01 Camino Del Norte
Year of past OR future Camino
2018 March Camino Portuguese from Porto
2017 April 01-16 Camino Primitivo + Fisterra
The sun has been blazing since 01 April 2017. People are getting badly burnt. I strongly recommend a wide-brimmed hat and a handkerchief. Pin the cloth to protect your neck or soak it to help with cooling. I am also using a longsleeved lightweight shirt and lightweight trousers. Peoples' hands are also burning so consider gloves. Sunblock SPF 30-50 costs about 15-17 EUR. Take care of your skin!
Cheers, Keith
tmp_16185-IMG_20170404_123630703567584082.jpg
 
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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
Another way is to thread the shaft of the umbrella down through the carry handle that sits in the middle of the top of the backpack, then down over one shoulder and loop the cord on the bottom of the umbrella handle to waistband or wherever is comfortable. The umbrella tends to move less.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
Wide brim hats are good, especially like the OP is wearing. Ours are similar (Tilley) and have given great service over several caminos. Long sleeve shirts and trousers, and if needed turn up the shirt collar. It is why we prefer to roll up sleeves rather than carry short sleeved items. Also I buy shirts which can button up to the neck, not V-neck versions.
Mantra on moving on after a stop "hat,stick, pack". Years ago I had an umbrella/parasol but would not personally want to use one on the Camino as I find the hat much better for walking.
 
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Camino de Santiago pendant that has a shell on the front, and "Camino de Santiago" engraved on the back. Comes with a black cord. Pendent is slightly larger than a 50 euro cent coin, about 25mm.
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
I wear a Buff, immersed in water and wrung out, on my head, UNDER a 2-3 inch brimmed "bucket" hat. Living here in South Florida, I have a collection of such hats and usually take the most ventilated on Camino, depending on the weather forecasts.

Presently the choice is between a tan North Face ultra-light weight hat, and a tan Outdoors Research (OR) bucket hat. Both are very good, but the North Face hat is softer, lighter, and handles being soaked in water better. BOTH have a neck / chin strap / string. This is important on a windy day...

If you soak a Buff in water, wring it out and put it on so it hangs over your neck (like a pirate - sort of), you accelerate evaporation which provides a transpiration-based cooling effect on your head and neck. Soaking and wringing out the hat does the same thing. It makes a big difference when walking the Meseta...or anywhere on Camino where there is no shade.

Also, you can wet a Buff and wear it around the pressure points on your wrists or around your neck, again to use evaporation to cool your core temperature. I carry two Buffs, one in each rear pocket of my hiking pants.

Lastly, DRINK WATER. ADD electrolyte powder or tablets. I use Nuun brand tablets in a bottle of water. There are many other brands available. I get mine in a runner's store, but they are available online.

Also, add bananas and oranges to your diet. They make excellent mid-morning snacks. Both contain significant amounts of potassium, calcium and magnesium, not to mention fructose. These commonly available fruits will help maintain your electrolyte levels while you are sweating like the proverbial pig.

Carry the fruit peelings with you to the next proper trash can. Please, DO NOT dispose of them on the trail. They DO NOT decompose fast.

While walking, should you STOP SWEATING, FEEL LIGHTHEADED OR DIZZY, or be unable to urinate, or your urine turns darker than normal, STOP WALKING and get to shade. You are likely experiencing heat stroke or sunstroke. This can happen even on an overcast day with a gentle breeze. See the urine evaluation chart below.

In 2015 while walking from Porto to Santiago I took three "dirt naps" while walking along by myself. They were later determined to be dehydration induced syncope (fainting). I have since resorted to forced hydration. I consume .5 liter each hour whether I feel I need it or not. Every other hour is an electrolyte enhanced drink, using the tablets previously mentioned.

Also, use some of the above evaporative techniques to lower your core temperature. Ingest electrolyte replacements and water.

I am including a .pdf of a urine chart that explains how to evaluate the color of your water output...

I really hope this helps someone...

upload_2017-4-12_11-55-32.png upload_2017-4-12_11-55-32.png
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
M

Mark Lee

Guest
On related topic of umbrellas for sun protection, someone on the Camino sub-Reddit recently posted this really helpful video by Scott Williams. His whole presentation is useful but the umbrella part starts around the 56 min mark.


Original post here: https://thecaminoprovides.com/2017/03/28/injury-prevention-tips-for-the-camino-by-scott-williams/
:D.....guy in the video's nickname is "Shroomer" ha ha
I knew a guy in high school we used to call "Shroomer" for a reason, ha ha.
 
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Mark Lee

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I know I need to cover my head, but I've yet to find a hat that doesn't hold the heat in. The Tilley I wore in Guatemala usually soaked through quickly.

Will try the "wet Buff or towel" approach-- that looks effective. And if I can look like a pirate too, that's a bonus!
The hat the OP is wearing is pretty much perfect for warm, sunny Camino days.
Light colored to reflect the sun. Wide brim to cover more area. Ventilated top so it breathes.
and you can soak it down at the water fountains....
 

Annie Little

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances Sept-Oct 2016
I also vote umbrella :oops:..... only thing was I stowed it with rain gear and forgot I had it !! :eek:.... there are some stretches where it is very hard to find shade .... also long sleeve light weight shirts saved my skin ....

Don't forget lips , ears , neck all get burnt ....
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
For the VDLP, I would invest is those cooling sleeves by Outdoor research. Sorry I didn't buy them as my right arm is covered in water bubbles.
 
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notion900

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
>
Be careful to get the right kind of umbrella, normal rain ones will not do. I got sunburned under a red umbrella at a festival a few years ago.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
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(May 2016)
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(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
On related topic of umbrellas for sun protection, someone on the Camino sub-Reddit recently posted this really helpful video by Scott Williams. His whole presentation is useful but the umbrella part starts around the 56 min mark.


Original post here: https://thecaminoprovides.com/2017/03/28/injury-prevention-tips-for-the-camino-by-scott-williams/

Thanks for sharing. Some interesting views in this, particularly about footwear and gait. He has me tempted to try ultralite shoes.

The gait tips are really good. Quite by chance I discovered his technique as I almost tip toed down to Molinaseca due to shin pain...

BOOK? In the video he talks about a Book called 'Born to run'. There are dozens on Amazon with that title. Does anyone know which one he is referring to?
 
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Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
For those who will/are flying into Spain and those who are about to do their first Camino, there is no need to pack a hat from your home. In most city's in Spain you can purchase some sort of head cover, just so you don't have to concern yourself with packing one that might get smashed up along the way. Once you have completed your trip you can then trash it there.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
For those who will/are flying into Spain and those who are about to do their first Camino, there is no need to pack a hat from your home. In most city's in Spain you can purchase some sort of head cover, just so you don't have to concern yourself with packing one that might get smashed up along the way. Once you have completed your trip you can then trash it there.
Have yet to find a decent hat, and I've been on the road for over 10 days. All I have seen is children's hats in a "chino". Bring your gear.
 
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Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
I would not dream of setting off for a camino without my hat. Partly for practical reasons: shades my eyes and protects my head from excess direct heat, more comfortable than a hood in rain, small amount of warmth in serious cold. But also for sentimental reasons - it feels like part of my pilgrimage "uniform" and wearing it somehow makes a difference to the way I feel about my journey. Ridiculous but true :) I have been through Hell and back in that hat and I would never consider leaving home without it!

hell-crop2.jpg
 
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Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
Salt - if you are sweating you are losing salts as well as liquid. Muscles cramp when short of salt - and the heart is a muscle. If you have no electrolyte tablets/powders then a lick of salt works. Do not add salt to water as it is an emetic. A doctor friend gave us this tip many years ago in the tropics.

You will only lick up from your hand the amount of salt you actually need. If it tastes good you need it, if it tastes foul then you don't. (Note this is for real need not as a normal practise) Then also find water to drink and re-hydrate.
 

Paddington Bear

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
May 2017
Thanks for sharing. Some interesting views in this, particularly about footwear and gait. He has me tempted to try ultralite shoes.

The gait tips are really good. Quite by chance I discovered his technique as I almost tip toed down to Molinaseca due to shin pain...

BOOK? In the video he talks about a Book called 'Born to run'. There are dozens on Amazon with that title. Does anyone know which one he is referring to?

http://www.fishpond.com.au/Books/Bo...XHyxIolIjgE6i_A6CFxoqpbJIqWtyfmRW4aAt2l8P8HAQ

It's very interesting to hear other people's points of view but just don't take everything you hear as gospel. Some things you have to sort out for yourself.
 

koknesis

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances June/July 2014
Camino Aragones August 2015
Camino Sanabres (Ourense-SdC) August 2015
VdlP 2017
those legionnaire style ones have probably the highest cooling factor ...

CU9108_160_f.jpeg
 
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t2andreo

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
If the suggestions from Camino veterans in this thread prevent even one case of heat or sun stroke, then it was all worth it.

Read, pay attention to others who have been there and done that. Knowledge is cheap. Mistakes can be expensive.

Enjoy the (hopefully) beautiful weather across northern Iberia this time of year. It can be glorious. Just do not get carried away.

I hope this helps.
 

Jersey

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
July 2017
The sun has been blazing since 01 April 2017. People are getting badly burnt. I strongly recommend a wide-brimmed hat and a handkerchief. Pin the cloth to protect your neck or soak it to help with cooling. I am also using a longsleeved lightweight shirt and lightweight trousers. Peoples' hands are also burning so consider gloves. Sunblock SPF 30-50 costs about 15-17 EUR. Take care of your skin!
Cheers, Keith

I'm having a hard time comprehending how people are getting so burnt.
I'm looking at the weather and it doesn't seem so hot to me.
I haven't been watching the weather in Oviedo but I check the weather in Valencia, Leon and Coruna daily.
Is there a specific reason why the sun would effect us more along the Camino Spain than in New Jersey?
 

KarenR

Karen
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances June 2017
I'm having a hard time comprehending how people are getting so burnt.
I'm looking at the weather and it doesn't seem so hot to me.
I haven't been watching the weather in Oviedo but I check the weather in Valencia, Leon and Coruna daily.
Is there a specific reason why the sun would effect us more along the Camino Spain than in New Jersey?
That's a good question and I look forward to any answers as I am hiking the Camino this June/July. (I'm originally from NJ and curious as well!)
Buen Camino, Jersey!!
 

alipilgrim

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Listed in my signature
I'm having a hard time comprehending how people are getting so burnt.
I'm looking at the weather and it doesn't seem so hot to me.

It's not the temperature that burns but the intensity of the sun. That's why people can get burnt while skiing.

Also, remember most sunscreens warn to reapply every 80-90 mins to ensure protection against the sun. Wearing clothing that covers the skin can be considered a much easier, lighter (less cream to carry), and less messy option!
 

KarenR

Karen
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances June 2017
It's not the temperature that burns but the intensity of the sun. That's why people can get burnt while skiing.

Also, remember most sunscreens warn to reapply every 80-90 mins to ensure protection against the sun. Wearing clothing that covers the skin can be considered a much easier, lighter (less cream to carry), and less messy option!
Thank you! Living in Colorado ski country, I sure get that!! I appreciate your sound advice to help us avoid sunburn and sunstroke on the Camino. I am now rethinking my hat and shirt choices!!
 
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Glenn Rowe

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
.
For those who will/are flying into Spain and those who are about to do their first Camino, there is no need to pack a hat from your home. In most city's in Spain you can purchase some sort of head cover, just so you don't have to concern yourself with packing one that might get smashed up along the way.

There are SO many reasons why that may not be true. In my case, it's because I need a US size 8 hat, and they're awfully hard to find anywhere -- even in L.A.
 

alipilgrim

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Listed in my signature
Thank you! Living in Colorado ski country, I sure get that!! I appreciate your sound advice to help us avoid sunburn and sunstroke on the Camino. I am now rethinking my hat and shirt choices!!

Anytime! I too live in the desert and all my friends are keen on protecting from the sun. I personally like wearing sun sleeves with short-sleeved t-shirts as I find that combo just a bit cooler than long-sleeved shirts. Maybe the airflow under the pits? I wear sungloves too as I find that the backs of my hands would often get burnt using my hiking poles. I see that Outdoor Research now makes sun sleeves that incorporate a finger-less glove (extend past the wrist with a thumbhole): https://www.outdoorresearch.com/en/spectrum-sun-sleeves-4.html
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I'm looking at the weather and it doesn't seem so hot to me.

It's not the temperature that burns but the intensity of the sun. That's why people can get burnt while skiing.

You can also get a nasty sunburn on overcast days if you don't use sunscreen. Just because you can't feel the sun doesn't mean that it's not burning you. I wear sunscreen all year round.
 

Glenn Rowe

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
.
It's not the temperature that burns but the intensity of the sun. That's why people can get burnt while skiing.

To be even more specific, it is the intensity of the ultraviolet rays that increase the burn. The Earth's atmosphere screens out ultraviolet rays; the more atmosphere the sunlight must pass through, the greater the screening. Higher elevations have less atmosphere between earth and sun, so skiers can get burned even in below-freezing temperatures. (You do NOT want to contemplate what would happen to exposed skin above our atmosphere....)

In Spain, in the summer, the sun is higher overhead, which means the sun's rays are passing through the atmosphere more vertically; there is less atmosphere in the way. VOILA! "Crispy Critters!"
 
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Keith Camino

2019 April 01 Camino Del Norte
Year of past OR future Camino
2018 March Camino Portuguese from Porto
2017 April 01-16 Camino Primitivo + Fisterra
I'm having a hard time comprehending how people are getting so burnt.
I'm looking at the weather and it doesn't seem so hot to me.
I haven't been watching the weather in Oviedo but I check the weather in Valencia, Leon and Coruna daily.
Is there a specific reason why the sun would effect us more along the Camino Spain than in New Jersey?

I think the sunburns happened because we still have our winter tans; we spend 8-10 hours every day in the sun; the cool winds made people forget about the burn; and, the higher elevations have greater UV than lower ones. In sum, many minor factors added up to sunburnt noses, ears, calves, forearms, backs of hands, necks and lips. I'm in my late fifties and can see the sun damage appearing on my skin from too much exposure in my earlier days. I have been taking much better care of my skin since noticing skin changes. I don't think it's worth risking anymore and I want to stay good-looking :) a little bit longer.
 
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Glenn Rowe

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
.
I'm in my late fifties and can see the sun damage appearing on my skin from too much exposure in my earlier days.

I'm fast approaching my 71-year mark. I grew up in the sun and, in my college years, I was a lifeguard for five full summers (May through September). So far -- knock on wood -- I've not had any sun-related problems.

Thank the merciful Heavens for my half-Native-American genes! (Choctaw, btw.)
 

Annie Little

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances Sept-Oct 2016
I'm having a hard time comprehending how people are getting so burnt.
I'm looking at the weather and it doesn't seem so hot to me.
I haven't been watching the weather in Oviedo but I check the weather in Valencia, Leon and Coruna daily.
Is there a specific reason why the sun would effect us more along the Camino Spain than in New Jersey?

Because we are walking in the sun ALL day ..... some stretches there is very little shade .... also temperatures can be deceptive ..... even if it is cloudy you can get burnt .... sunscreen is only a partial solution and has to be reapplied throughout day .... long sleeve lightweight shirts are a must in my opinion ....

Ultreia
 

Glenn Rowe

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
.
Is there a specific reason why the sun would effect us more along the Camino Spain than in New Jersey?

I don't know for certain, so let's talk about why some places are more 'sun-affected' than others. The critical issue is how much ultraviolet radition gets through to one's skin.

The first is altitude, though I don't think this comes into play in our current example. Higher-altitude places don't have as much of Earth's atmosphere above them, so more ultraviolet rays get through.

The second is latitude -- places closer to the Equator are more likely to have sunburn-conditions than those farther away. Why? The sun is more directly overhead, which means the ultraviolet rays don't have to penetrate as much of Earth's atmosphere.

The third is humidity -- places with lower humidity are more likely to have sunburn-conditions than those with higher humidity. Why? Humid (moist) air diffracts ultraviolet rays - it spreads them out - far more than dry air does.
 
Last edited:
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
http://www.fishpond.com.au/Books/Bo...XHyxIolIjgE6i_A6CFxoqpbJIqWtyfmRW4aAt2l8P8HAQ

It's very interesting to hear other people's points of view but just don't take everything you hear as gospel. Some things you have to sort out for yourself.

I certainly wasn't taking it as Gospel ;) Particularly when he talked about boots needing to be worn in because they are made of leather :eek:

I bought the book he refers to and read it yesterday. It was an 'interesting' story, but not much in detail about footwear.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
I'm having a hard time comprehending how people are getting so burnt.
I'm looking at the weather and it doesn't seem so hot to me.
I haven't been watching the weather in Oviedo but I check the weather in Valencia, Leon and Coruna daily.
Is there a specific reason why the sun would effect us more along the Camino Spain than in New Jersey?

Part of it is the fact that you are out in it all day.........(up to 10 hours in my case) I got burnt once on a quite overcast day. Now I walk covered up head top toe...including very light gloves.
 
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JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Year of past OR future Camino
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
I wear a Buff, immersed in water and wrung out, on my head, UNDER a 2-3 inch brimmed "bucket" hat. Living here in South Florida, I have a collection of such hats and usually take the most ventilated on Camino, depending on the weather forecasts.

Presently the choice is between a tan North Face ultra-light weight hat, and a tan Outdoors Research (OR) bucket hat. Both are very good, but the North Face hat is softer, lighter, and handles being soaked in water better. BOTH have a neck / chin strap / string. This is important on a windy day...

If you soak a Buff in water, wring it out and put it on so it hangs over your neck (like a pirate - sort of), you accelerate evaporation which provides a transpiration-based cooling effect on your head and neck. Soaking and wringing out the hat does the same thing. It makes a big difference when walking the Meseta...or anywhere on Camino where there is no shade.

Also, you can wet a Buff and wear it around the pressure points on your wrists or around your neck, again to use evaporation to cool your core temperature. I carry two Buffs, one in each rear pocket of my hiking pants.

Lastly, DRINK WATER. ADD electrolyte powder or tablets. I use Nuun brand tablets in a bottle of water. There are many other brands available. I get mine in a runner's store, but they are available online.

Also, add bananas and oranges to your diet. They make excellent mid-morning snacks. Both contain significant amounts of potassium, calcium and magnesium, not to mention fructose. These commonly available fruits will help maintain your electrolyte levels while you are sweating like the proverbial pig.

Carry the fruit peelings with you to the next proper trash can. Please, DO NOT dispose of them on the trail. They DO NOT decompose fast.

While walking, should you STOP SWEATING, FEEL LIGHTHEADED OR DIZZY, or be unable to urinate, or your urine turns darker than normal, STOP WALKING and get to shade. You are likely experiencing heat stroke or sunstroke. This can happen even on an overcast day with a gentle breeze. See the urine evaluation chart below.

In 2015 while walking from Porto to Santiago I took three "dirt naps" while walking along by myself. They were later determined to be dehydration induced syncope (fainting). I have since resorted to forced hydration. I consume .5 liter each hour whether I feel I need it or not. Every other hour is an electrolyte enhanced drink, using the tablets previously mentioned.

Also, use some of the above evaporative techniques to lower your core temperature. Ingest electrolyte replacements and water.

I am including a .pdf of a urine chart that explains how to evaluate the color of your water output...

I really hope this helps someone...

View attachment 33128 View attachment 33128

Hi Tom -

Thanks to you and all who are participating in this thread - it's all very useful information.

Your mention of wearing the buff 'like a pirate - sort of' had me searching for a suitable photo of the world's favourite pirate ... at least in more recent times ... yes, none other than Captain Jack Sparrow ... here he is:

Captain-Jack-Sparrow-captain-jack-sparrow-8967209-640-480.jpeg


It demonstrates extremely well how the buff should be worn, to be in the 'pirate style'. I think the parrot's impressed by it too!;)

Cheers from Oz - Jenny
 

Jersey

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
July 2017
That's a good question and I look forward to any answers as I am hiking the Camino this June/July. (I'm originally from NJ and curious as well!)
Buen Camino, Jersey!!

I didn't get it but the humidity thing makes sense.
I've been going down the Jersey shore ( the beach ) for like 56 years now
I'm not dark skinned but I'll get a decent tan after a week on the beach.
I'm guessing many of these folks aren't used to dealing with the sun.
Use sun screen. Not the 60 SPF but something lower like 12 SPF.
The first day give yourself an hour or two in the sun & then cover up. Each following day give yourself more sun time. After 5 or 6 days you should be OK. Obviously if you burn no matter what, use the 60 SPF and cover up.
 

Jersey

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
July 2017
I don't know for certain, so let's talk about why some places are more 'sun-affected' than others. The critical issue is how much ultraviolet radition gets through to one's skin.

The first is altitude, though I don't think this comes into play in our current example. Higher-altitude places don't have as much of Earth's atmosphere above them, so more ultraviolet rays get through.

The second is latitude -- places closer to the Equator are more likely to have sunburn-conditions than those farther away. Why? The sun is more directly overhead, which means the ultraviolet rays don't have to penetrate as much of Earth's atmosphere.

The third is humidity -- places with lower humidity are more likely to have sunburn-conditions than those with higher humidity. Why? Humid (moist) air diffracts ultraviolet rays - it spreads them out - far more than dry air does.

I think you nailed it with the humitity thing.
I was in Madrid & Coruna last May for almost a month.
I spent many hours outside & it was hotter than normal
but I think, and I'm just guessing here, the humidity was higher than usual. Didn't burn at all
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
The humidity in Northern Spain is not an onerous as the Jersey Shore...I grew up in North Jersey and spent my first 26 summers 'down the shore.' More importantly, insects are nil along the Camino, and there are no green headed 'horseflies' to bite chunks out of you. Insects have never been an issue for me in four previous Caminos. I walked each in April and May.

Nonetheless, the combination of bright, cloudless skies, slight breeze and moderate to high(ish) humidity (70% range) can contribute to a feeling of well-being, just before the onset of heat or sun stroke. Many folks, myself most notably do NOT feel dehydrated. In these weather conditions you need to be alert.

We neglect the symptoms of not feeling thirsty despite not having had a drink in several hours, or not having to stop to urinate, or if we do 'make water' noting that the coloration is darkening. It is then that full blown problems start to occur. The next stage is lightheadedness or dizziness.

I ignored those problems and "soldiered on." Soon thereafter it was "good night Irene!" My syncope episodes were very brief, like a second or two, but in three instances over five-walking days in northern Portugal in 2015, it was enough to put me on my knees twice, and in one instance, flat on my face. THAT cost mean expensive pair of eyeglasses...:eek:

Lessons learned my fellow pilgrims! Drink more than you think necessary, even if you do not feel thirsty. Being able to urinate means that your body has excess liquid to eliminate. As inconvenient as this may be for some, it is normal. Peeing is GOOD. Pay attention to the color. I included a urine comparison chart above. I carry mine as a .pdf file on my iPhone.

I also encourage toting a banana and an orange to eat along the way to replenish blood salts. PACK THE PEELINGS OUT. Dispose of them at the next appropriate trash container.

I hope this helps.
 
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Jersey

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
July 2017
The humidity in Northern Spain is not an onerous as the Jersey Shore...I grew up in North Jersey and spent my first 26 summers 'down the shore.' More importantly, insects are nil along the Camino, and there are no green headed 'horseflies' to bite chunks out of you. Insects have never been an issue for me in four previous Caminos. I walked each in April and May.

Nonetheless, the combination of bright, cloudless skies, slight breeze and moderate to high(ish) humidity (70% range) can contribute to a feeling of well-being, just before the onset of heat or sun stroke. Many folks, myself most notably do NOT feel dehydrated. In these weather conditions you need to be alert.

We neglect the symptoms of not feeling thirsty despite not having had a drink in several hours, or not having to stop to urinate, or if we do 'make water' noting that the coloration is darkening. It is then that full blown problems start to occur. The next stage is lightheadedness or dizziness.

I ignored those problems and "soldiered on." Soon thereafter it was "good night Irene!" My syncope episodes were very brief, like a second or two, but in three instances over five-walking days in northern Portugal in 2015, it was enough to put me on my knees twice, and in one instance, flat on my face. THAT cost mean expensive pair of eyeglasses...:eek:

Lessons learned my fellow pilgrims! Drink more than you think necessary, even if you do not feel thirsty. Being able to urinate means that your body has excess liquid to eliminate. As inconvenient as this may be for some, it is normal. Peeing is GOOD. Pay attention to the color. I included a urine comparison chart above. I carry mine as a .pdf file on my iPhone.

I also encourage toting a banana and an orange to eat along the way to replenish blood salts. PACK THE PEELINGS OUT. Dispose of them at the next appropriate trash container.

I hope this helps.

Good post hydrate hydrate hydrate
By the way. Do they sell Gatorade in Spain?
I don't remember seeing it last year when I was in Spain.
Excellent way to hydrate and get some salt at the same time.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
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C/M: 2016
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Good post hydrate hydrate hydrate
By the way. Do they sell Gatorade in Spain?
I don't remember seeing it last year when I was in Spain.
Excellent way to hydrate and get some salt at the same time.

They do not sell Gatorade per se. The European-wide sport drink brand is Aquarius. I have bought it in tiendas and supermercados in both Portugal and Spain. You can also obtain hydration (electrolyte) tablets or powders over the counter in most farmacias.

Today, I just bought three tubes of Nuun "Active" Hydration Tablets. They come 10 tablets to a roll. I start my fifth Camino from Lisbon on 27 April and I typically break one these large tablets in half (so it fits through the bottleneck) and mix in a .5 liter bottle of water. This is my noontime or early afternoon pick me up. I carry enough so I can have a second drink occasionally, or assist another pilgrim in need.

I carry oranges and/or a banana for my mid-morning snack, drink .5 liter of water whether I want to or not each hour, and try to NOT get dehydrated.

I hope this helps.
 

Jersey

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
July 2017
Thanks Tom
I must have seen it 20 times last year didn't realize what is was.
Useless fact of the day. Pepsi owns Gatorade & Coca Cola owns Aquarius
 

t2andreo

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It is not useless. It is explained by the Coca Cola distribution network across Europe.

If memory serves me right, during WWII, Coca Cola had a deal with the US Government and War Department to supply portable bottling plants as soon as beachheads were established by the Allied forces across Europe. As the troops moved from West to East, Coca Cola followed in the rear echelon areas. I recall reading that Coke executives took the position that "our boys should have a taste of home overseas."

At the close of the war, Coca Cola turned the machinery over to local distributors, along with assigned territories and distribution rights. The rest is corporate history.

This is an interesting aside, but it does explain the preeminence of Coca Cola brands throughout Western Europe.

I hope this helps.
 
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I love my hat (worn in my profile pic), which has seen service building houses in Guatemala and helped me on the Camino Portugues in 2008. It's a lightweight fabric - very breathable - with a huge brim. A great advantage is that by twisting it into a figure eight it folds down to a small disc. It also acted as an excellent piece of rain gear, as it anchored the hood of my poncho to my head while providing a brim to keep the rain out of my eyes.

I hate applying sunscreen to my face (a remembrance of Guatemala, where the dirt and dust on our project quickly formed a mud-like paste on the skin that had to be scraped off), and this hat was perfect. Inexpensive, and purchased in the gardening section of the local hardware store. My college students could joke about my "urban sombrero" all they wanted, but it is a prized possession.
 

KarenR

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Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances June 2017
I love my hat (worn in my profile pic), which has seen service building houses in Guatemala and helped me on the Camino Portugues in 2008. It's a lightweight fabric - very breathable - with a huge brim. A great advantage is that by twisting it into a figure eight it folds down to a small disc. It also acted as an excellent piece of rain gear, as it anchored the hood of my poncho to my head while providing a brim to keep the rain out of my eyes.

I hate applying sunscreen to my face (a remembrance of Guatemala, where the dirt and dust on our project quickly formed a mud-like paste on the skin that had to be scraped off), and this hat was perfect. Inexpensive, and purchased in the gardening section of the local hardware store. My college students could joke about my "urban sombrero" all they wanted, but it is a prized possession.
I personally like the halo effect! :D!!
 

J.Patrick

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
From Porto, Portugal, through Tui, Spain, in 2015.
Northern route in August/September 2017
I didn't get it but the humidity thing makes sense.
I've been going down the Jersey shore ( the beach ) for like 56 years now
I'm not dark skinned but I'll get a decent tan after a week on the beach.
I'm guessing many of these folks aren't used to dealing with the sun.
Use sun screen. Not the 60 SPF but something lower like 12 SPF.
The first day give yourself an hour or two in the sun & then cover up. Each following day give yourself more sun time. After 5 or 6 days you should be OK. Obviously if you burn no matter what, use the 60 SPF and cover up.
I grew up in California with the wild idea that tans were healthy. As a result, dermatologists and plastic surgeons have been carving precancerous and cancerous growths off my body for years now. Keeping your body covered can actually save your life, at least if you're predisposed to sun/skin problems. I think it's my Irish genetics. If you're like me, you need to cover up.
 
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I have a hat similar to Keith's, same color, same ventilation strip near the top, same general design except it is an REI knock off that is made of cotton and is half the price of the Canadian Tilley hat. It is surprisingly cool in summer heat despite being made out of a thick cotton canvas type of material.

I bought a military Booney hat just like Edgar's at my local Army/Navy store which is half cotton and half synthetic, but unfortunately I found it to bee too hot for me above 85F for some reason compared to dedicated hiking hats. It is very sturdy and rolls up nicely though, probably last forever.

There is an old hikers saying "cotton kills" but that is only if it is below freezing. If you are in a situation where you sweat a lot and it gets below freezing then yes wear quick dry synthetics, but cotton is fine in hot weather and in some ways preferable. It stays wet longer and gives more evaporative cooling effect than synthetics which dry much faster. A good compromise is a light colored cotton/synthetic mix for shirts and pants in the summer.

I used to wear short sleeve hiking shirts and shorts here in Northern California, but not any more. Now it's long sleeve shirts and long pants all the time based on the advice of my friend Kevin who is a Kaiser radiologist. He does this and advised me to do this also because he has seen many cases of skin cancer in hikers caused by over exposure to the sun especially at high altitudes (10,000 ft. and above) which is where I go hiking a lot in the summer. Of course a person could just apply sunscreen, but I would rather wear long sleeves and legs than apply sunblock every 1 1/2 hours especially for days at a time on large areas of skin. Most hiking clothing now carries an SPF rating just like sunscreen, so make sure it is above 30 for prolonged use in the sun. I also wear a Buff to protect my neck. I use Banana Boat sunblock stick (SPF 50) on my face and the tops of my hands. It is solid like a deodorant stick, easy to apply on small areas, water and sweat resistant, and works well.
 

Letsgocamino

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
May 2013 Ponferrada to Santiago de Compostela.
Camino Portuguese Porto to SdeC May 31 2017.
The sun has been blazing since 01 April 2017. People are getting badly burnt. I strongly recommend a wide-brimmed hat and a handkerchief. Pin the cloth to protect your neck or soak it to help with cooling. I am also using a longsleeved lightweight shirt and lightweight trousers. Peoples' hands are also burning so consider gloves. Sunblock SPF 30-50 costs about 15-17 EUR. Take care of your skin!
Cheers, Keith
Goodness! My sister&I will be on the CPortuguese may 31st. It might be blazing by then! Or raining
 
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Donna Sch

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If you soak a Buff in water, wring it out and put it on so it hangs over your neck (like a pirate - sort of), you accelerate evaporation which provides a transpiration-based cooling effect on your head and neck. Soaking and wringing out the hat does the same thing. It makes a big difference when walking the Meseta...or anywhere on Camino where there is no shade.

Also, you can wet a Buff and wear it around the pressure points on your wrists or around your neck, again to use evaporation to cool your core temperature. I carry two Buffs, one in each rear pocket of my hiking pants.

Lastly, DRINK WATER. ADD electrolyte powder or tablets. I use Nuun brand tablets in a bottle of water. There are many other brands available. I get mine in a runner's store, but they are available online.

Also, add bananas and oranges to your diet. They make excellent mid-morning snacks. Both contain significant amounts of potassium, calcium and magnesium, not to mention fructose. These commonly available fruits will help maintain your electrolyte levels while you are sweating like the proverbial pig.

Carry the fruit peelings with you to the next proper trash can. Please, DO NOT dispose of them on the trail. They DO NOT decompose fast.

While walking, should you STOP SWEATING, FEEL LIGHTHEADED OR DIZZY, or be unable to urinate, or your urine turns darker than normal, STOP WALKING and get to shade. You are likely experiencing heat stroke or sunstroke. This can happen even on an overcast day with a gentle breeze. See the urine evaluation chart below.
....... I consume .5 liter each hour whether I feel I need it or not. Every other hour is an electrolyte enhanced drink, using the tablets previously mentioned.

Also, use some of the above evaporative techniques to lower your core temperature. Ingest electrolyte replacements and water.

I am including a .pdf of a urine chart that explains how to evaluate the color of your water output...

I really hope this helps someone...

View attachment 33128

I remember one stinking hot day coming across an irrigation ditch with clear cool water. Best thing ever. The hair got dunked, the buff got soaked as did the running t-shirt. Which is why you wear a sports bra. Glad to see you drinking at least 1 l/hr. And if there is a bar within cooee, do not walk past but buy an Aquarius, or a sweet drink eg zumo (the sugar metabolises down to water). Every chance you have to drink water, do it. Before you start, drink water as well as the usual cafe. Drink a ton of water when you get to your destination until you are peeing clear again. The electrolytes are a good idea. When I was training for the Trailwalker I would fill my water bladder with water and electrolyte tablets. And have water bottles to supplement that. And I would stop at every water fountain and shop to top up.

I find that hats tend to trap heat and I already have lots of thick hair so these days a visor is useful for a bit of shade across the face. A buff is essential.
I swear by my silver umbrella to take down the temp a few degrees. Those few degrees are your sanity.

The heat in Spain is a dry heat and you do not see sweat because it's evaporating off your skin really quickly. https://centralaustralianbushwalkers.com/2012/10/26/hot-weather-walking-drink-lots-of-water/ In the heat you can easily lose 1.5l/hr of water. Multiply that over a few hours and it adds up.
 

t2andreo

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This brings to mind a very funny tee shirt seen some years back when I visited Tucson, Arizona. There, they also regard the weather saying, "...but, it's a a DRY heat..."

The shirt depicts three or four skeletons siting around the campfire in the desert. The caption under neath says "...But It's a DRY Heat!"

The point was that a dry heat can dehydrate and kill you just as easily as a humid environment.
 

Glenn Rowe

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
.
The shirt depicts three or four skeletons siting around the campfire in the desert. The caption under neath says "...But It's a DRY Heat!"

The point was that a dry heat can dehydrate and kill you just as easily as a humid environment.

A dry heat can easily sneak up on you . In dry-heat your perspiration evaporates almost as quickly as it is generated, leaving you feeling relatively cool as the moisture is sucked right out of you. Once "your tank runs dry", bad things begin happening quickly.

In humid-heat your perspiration stays on your skin because it cannot evaporate, and your body heat rises. You feel hot very quickly.

Here's something that may help.

heat_stress-index.jpg
 
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t2andreo

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Glenn:

Thanks for the chart. It will be hugely useful. Even if you convert the "Y" axis, the vertical bit, to celsius, you can still see how walking across Northern Spain or up from Lisbon or Porto can put you at serious risk.

If you consider the typical humidity percentage in Northern Spain and Portugal during the months May - October, you can see where you can be in distress even at relatively comfortable temperatures in the low 20s (c).

I am saving this chart to my iPhone, along with the urine chart I posted earlier. together, these tools can help you avoid unpleasant surprises. "Face planting" is NOT considered a Camino art form.

I hope this helps.
 

Donna Sch

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It is also worth looking at the Kestrel Heat Index http://www.nkhome.com/manuals-support/319036C_0_15.10.28.pdf . Note this assumes a body temp of 37 deg C. If you have picked up a virus or have a chronic inflammatory condition you may have a slightly higher body temp and heat stress will happen earlier.
If you have been using caffeine or alcohol, antihistamines or diuretics, are sunburnt...these impact on your ability to sweat.
It also takes about 2 weeks to acclimatise so if you come from a cooler climate, the first couple of weeks will be hard.

https://www.wunderground.com/maps/eu/sp/HeatIndex.html is a current heat index map for Spain.
Weather Online shows the forecast for the next few days.

I recommend the ElTiempo phone app. It gives forecasts by the day and by the hour. So you can spot the trend and watch for days where you know you will have to start early to get to where you are going.
 
Last edited:

t2andreo

Veteran Member
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In Spain, I found the Eltiempo.es+ app for my iPhone to be the best source of weather forecasting for ANY hamlet in Spain. Some of the tiniest hamlets seem to have a weather forecasting "station" somewhere in them...remarkable...

Anyway, I just checked at home here in Florida. This app (eltiempo.es+) IS AVAILABLE on the US Apple app store. I presume it is also available in the Android app store.

Is there something analogous for Portugal? I have not yet found one.

If anyone knows of something like this, please share it.

I already have Weather Underground and the weather channel loaded. But for Spain, eltiempo.es+ is the best app I have come across in five years.

Thanks

I hope this helps.
 

MichaelC

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2023
Lastly, DRINK WATER. ADD electrolyte powder or tablets. I use Nuun brand tablets in a bottle of water. There are many other brands available. I get mine in a runner's store, but they are available online.

I love the Nuun tablets, but can't imagine packing enough for a full Camino. Is there anything comparable that we can find on the road in France and Spain?
 

Donna Sch

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If you are in a farmacia you need to ask for "los preparados para esfuerzos deportivos" or "las bebidas energéticas". Brands like Etixx, elete, Trisport, Ergysport, Wcup all have isotonic electrolyte preps of one sort or the other. But the best thing is good old Aquarius which you can buy anywhere (bars, tiendas etc) and which is so much nicer tasting than Gatorade, Powerade and the like.
 
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