Search 62305 Camino Questions

Jeans on the camino

Time of past OR future Camino
Hoping to do my first Camino Frances in April 2023
Hi, I’m doing my first camino hopefully starting the Frances in mid April. I realise what most of the answers to this question will be. I know there is a lot of criticism for The Way because they all wear jeans( I love the film, by the way). I have most of the gear I need, except my backpack now. Can’t afford it at the mo. I was walking today on a crisp, icy sunny walk and wore my jeans. I knew it wouldn’t rain but still had my waterproof trousers in my pack. I’m walking with a pretty full 20l pack at the moment and working my way up. I was so comfortable. Is it really stupid to wear jeans on the camino? Who’s done it. Shorts are not an option at the mo in the UK and I find my trousers with zip off legs really annoy me and my full very expensive trousers are heavy. Anyone?
 
How to Successfully Prepare for Your Camino
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.

FSP

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF-2013
CP-2016
Fin-2016
Norte-2018
Muxia-2018
Jeans are cotton and will soak up moisture and not dry out and then towards the end of a long day will chafe your thighs something fierce. They don't breath on warm days and only getting hotter as you exert more energy. I see you are in the UK and therefore have access to some really decent gear at great prices from Decathlon. Check out their hiking pants and save yourself a lot of misery. I know from experience. You don't need to go high end for a Camino walk just a basic low priced pair will do just fine.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Hoping to do my first Camino Frances in April 2023
Thanks for that. I do realise that they are a pain as far as washing etc. being realistic would once a week be hideously long to wash jeans? If there was a laundromat and dryer? I spose I could try , if not donate or send home. I will be bringing shorts as well.
 

Tincatinker

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2012
Heavy woven cotton (Denim) is a wonderful fabric, as anyone who has worked in it will testify. Remarkably resistant to abrasion when you’re sliding down the tarmac, good resistance to tooth and claw when your whipping a pack into order- and absolutely useless for hiking when that 1kg of heavy woven cotton has soaked up 2kg of rain, mud and worse.
Frankly shorts are a better bet. Skin is waterproof and dries a damn sight faster than denim. But modern water resistant, stretchy fabrics are worth their cost. Their weight is inconsequential.
Them old Klondikers might well have survived in their De Nimes but the reality was most of them didn’t
 
John Brierley 2023 Camino Guide
Get your today and start planning.

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I was walking today on a crisp, icy sunny walk and wore my jeans.
If you’re starting in mid April, you’re not likely to have a lot of crisp icy sunny days. I wear jeans almost every day of my life but would never wear them on the camino, even in winter, for the reasons you’ve already heard. I‘m sure there is a bit of snobbery involved in the disdain for jeans on the camino, but quick drying pants or shorts are likely to be much more comfortable.
 

jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2021, Norte/Primitivo 2022, VF 2023
Hi, I’m doing my first camino hopefully starting the Frances in mid April. I realise what most of the answers to this question will be. I know there is a lot of criticism for The Way because they all wear jeans( I love the film, by the way). I have most of the gear I need, except my backpack now. Can’t afford it at the mo. I was walking today on a crisp, icy sunny walk and wore my jeans. I knew it wouldn’t rain but still had my waterproof trousers in my pack. I’m walking with a pretty full 20l pack at the moment and working my way up. I was so comfortable. Is it really stupid to wear jeans on the camino? Who’s done it. Shorts are not an option at the mo in the UK and I find my trousers with zip off legs really annoy me and my full very expensive trousers are heavy. Anyone?
Wear what you want to wear - but personally I would never bring them. They are heavy to carry, and take way too long to dry. Even at the albergues with washing machines and driers - the washers don't always get all the water out of the clothes in the spin cycle and the driers are not set up for long dry cycles. Plus - they will end up stinking and holding the stink. You don't need to buy hiking pants or convertibles. Many women walk in comfortable leggings or shorts or yoga pants. I have actually starting hiking in a merino wool blend hiking dress that is very light and if I get cold I put on my silk yoga pants. Quick dry materials are the best.
 

henrythedog

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
My affair
Hi, I’m doing my first camino hopefully starting the Frances in mid April. I realise what most of the answers to this question will be. I know there is a lot of criticism for The Way because they all wear jeans( I love the film, by the way). I have most of the gear I need, except my backpack now. Can’t afford it at the mo. I was walking today on a crisp, icy sunny walk and wore my jeans. I knew it wouldn’t rain but still had my waterproof trousers in my pack. I’m walking with a pretty full 20l pack at the moment and working my way up. I was so comfortable. Is it really stupid to wear jeans on the camino? Who’s done it. Shorts are not an option at the mo in the UK and I find my trousers with zip off legs really annoy me and my full very expensive trousers are heavy. Anyone?
In wet weather ‘cotton kills’ which is a melodramatic way of saying ‘don’t do it’.

You don’t need specialised clothing for what’s essentially a village-to-village walk; but ‘quick dry’ is a consideration. That’s either for rain or laundry.

If you do choose to walk in jeans, I’m certain you’ll neither be the first nor last, and you’ll probably not die.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
Way back in my younger days my college buddies and I would do wilderness backpacking trips, usually a week at the most. We never weighed our packs. We had huge heavy sleeping bags as that was what we could afford and they just didn't make the ultralight ones then. Same goes with the backpacks. Large, external framed. We wore Levi blue jeans and flannel shirts, mostly cotton and sometimes wool. Colder weather we wore those kind of puffy down jackets or vests that were the thing back then for outdoor activities. We wore high leather upper vibram soled boots. I recall Herman Survivors being a popular brand. Mind you, we didn't wash anything on the wilderness trips and wore the same set of clothes the entire time. Same when I was in the military. Leather boots, cotton or cotton blend camo BDU clothing. Never changed them out or washed them in the field. Used to make jokes about wearing them long enough so they would stand up on their own lol.
I've seen pilgrims wearing all manner of clothing (including cotton jeans) and footwear and using all manner of packs and they get to Santiago just the same.
Is the modern lightweight synthetic clothing better? Sure it is, but it can be pricey. If you cannot afford it, you cannot afford it. Same with any of the gear. That's why I advise prospective pilgrims not to be put off by some of the prices of gear recommended on the forum sometimes. It's not a must.
If you don't have a backpack yet, see if someone you know will lend you one. It doesn't have to be a newest latest greatest. Honestly any backpack will do as long as it is large enough to hold your gear. You don't have to be fitted by some "professional" at an outdoor shoppe. Sure, it helps but comes attached to a $200 backpack. Big nope for me.
 

Grousedoctor

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2023
Have to agree with every comment above. I love jeans, but I don’t hike in them either at home or on the Camino. Just from a practical point of view, they don’t dry quickly. You will get caught in the rain and you will undoubtedly trudge through mud somewhere along your Camino. If they’re not dry by the next day, you’ll be packing a relatively heavy, damp pair of pants around. One reason for the looking at hiking-type pants and shorts is simply weight. I applaud you for the 20L pack. Jeans will take up more precious space than will pants of other lighter materials. As most of my Caminos have been spring ones, I have not had many days where I don’t start out in shorts. I’m more concerned about keeping my upper body warm and dry and have found that my legs pretty much take care of themselves. Buen Camino!
 
Create your own ad
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Time of past OR future Camino
Hoping to do my first Camino Frances in April 2023
In wet weather ‘cotton kills’ which is a melodramatic way of saying ‘don’t do it’.

You don’t need specialised clothing for what’s essentially a village-to-village walk; but ‘quick dry’ is a consideration. That’s either for rain or laundry.

If you do choose to walk in jeans, I’m certain you’ll neither be the first nor last, and you’ll probably not die.
Hehe thanks. Good answer
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Hoping to do my first Camino Frances in April 2023
Have to agree with every comment above. I love jeans, but I don’t hike in them either at home or on the Camino. Just from a practical point of view, they don’t dry quickly. You will get caught in the rain and you will undoubtedly trudge through mud somewhere along your Camino. If they’re not dry by the next day, you’ll be packing a relatively heavy, damp pair of pants around. One reason for the looking at hiking-type pants and shorts is simply weight. I applaud you for the 20L pack. Jeans will take up more precious space than will pants of other lighter materials. As most of my Caminos have been spring ones, I have not had many days where I don’t start out in shorts. I’m more concerned about keeping my upper body warm and dry and have found that my legs pretty much take care of themselves. Buen Camino!
My 20l pack is only practice when walking at home and the fact I can’t afford the osprey one I’m aiming for yet. I would be aiming more towards the 30l mark for the walk I hope. I probably won’t do the jeans thing but was just pondering. I’m not a leggings or dress/ skirt type of gal, don’t like clingy things on my legs, but am fine with shorts. Probably the idea that your legs recover quicker than jeans is a good one.
 

jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2021, Norte/Primitivo 2022, VF 2023
I have not had many days where I don’t start out in shorts. I’m more concerned about keeping my upper body warm and dry and have found that my legs pretty much take care of themselves. Buen Camino!
This is a good point. I get cold VERY easily. In fact - I am sitting indoors right now in my office at work - and I have a space heater that I keep turning on. That said - when I hike - I hike mostly in shorts or my dress and I have the ability to add pants if needed - but as long as my feet are warm (and they are with my hiking socks/shoes) and my upper body is adequately layered - my legs are usually fine while walking. If I walk in shorts - then I don't need to worry about rain pants. Sure - my legs will get wet but they dry faster than any clothes are rain pants would. And when my legs get muddy - a simple shower will fix it (whereas handwashing muddy jeans would be a nightmare on the Camino when machines are not available)
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Hoping to do my first Camino Frances in April 2023
Way back in my younger days my college buddies and I would do wilderness backpacking trips, usually a week at the most. We never weighed our packs. We had huge heavy sleeping bags as that was what we could afford and they just didn't make the ultralight ones then. Same goes with the backpacks. Large, external framed. We wore Levi blue jeans and flannel shirts, mostly cotton and sometimes wool. Colder weather we wore those kind of puffy down jackets or vests that were the thing back then for outdoor activities. We wore high leather upper vibram soled boots. I recall Herman Survivors being a popular brand. Mind you, we didn't wash anything on the wilderness trips and wore the same set of clothes the entire time. Same when I was in the military. Leather boots, cotton or cotton blend camo BDU clothing. Never changed them out or washed them in the field. Used to make jokes about wearing them long enough so they would stand up on their own lol.
I've seen pilgrims wearing all manner of clothing (including cotton jeans) and footwear and using all manner of packs and they get to Santiago just the same.
Is the modern lightweight synthetic clothing better? Sure it is, but it can be pricey. If you cannot afford it, you cannot afford it. Same with any of the gear. That's why I advise prospective pilgrims not to be put off by some of the prices of gear recommended on the forum sometimes. It's not a must.
If you don't have a backpack yet, see if someone you know will lend you one. It doesn't have to be a newest latest greatest. Honestly any backpack will do as long as it is large enough to hold your gear. You don't have to be fitted by some "professional" at an outdoor shoppe. Sure, it helps but comes attached to a $200 backpack. Big nope for me.
Thanks for that. Lovely reply
 

jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2021, Norte/Primitivo 2022, VF 2023
My 20l pack is only practice when walking at home and the fact I can’t afford the osprey one I’m aiming for yet. I would be aiming more towards the 30l mark for the walk I hope. I probably won’t do the jeans thing but was just pondering. I’m not a leggings or dress/ skirt type of gal, don’t like clingy things on my legs, but am fine with shorts. Probably the idea that your legs recover quicker than jeans is a good one.
30L is a good size.

And if you don't like leggings/dresses etc that is fine. You can probably find a good pair of "travel" or "hiking" pants that don't cling and are lightweight/quick dry in addition to your shorts. I only need 1 pair of shorts, 1 pair of pants (and like I said I like my hiking dress) - some people bring 2 of either or both.
 
How to Successfully Prepare for Your Camino
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Time of past OR future Camino
Hoping to do my first Camino Frances in April 2023
This is a good point. I get cold VERY easily. In fact - I am sitting indoors right now in my office at work - and I have a space heater that I keep turning on. That said - when I hike - I hike mostly in shorts or my dress and I have the ability to add pants if needed - but as long as my feet are warm (and they are with my hiking socks/shoes) and my upper body is adequately layered - my legs are usually fine while walking. If I walk in shorts - then I don't need to worry about rain pants. Sure - my legs will get wet but they dry faster than any clothes are rain pants would. And when my legs get muddy - a simple shower will fix it (whereas handwashing muddy jeans would be a nightmare on the Camino when machines are not available)
Good points. I too get cold easily but gave good upper body stuff to take and good shoes and socks, so maybe shorts with the option of diverging to fling on if it’s a cold morning or at night if cold
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Hoping to do my first Camino Frances in April 2023
30L is a good size.

And if you don't like leggings/dresses etc that is fine. You can probably find a good pair of "travel" or "hiking" pants that don't cling and are lightweight/quick dry in addition to your shorts. I only need 1 pair of shorts, 1 pair of pants (and like I said I like my hiking dress) - some people bring 2 of either or both.
Will probably look again. I’ve got a great pair of heavy duty trousers for wear in the cold and wet in the uk but would be terrible for the camino. I’ll investigate further. Thanks for the great tips
 

TravellingMan2022

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte
Hi, I’m doing my first camino hopefully starting the Frances in mid April. I realise what most of the answers to this question will be. I know there is a lot of criticism for The Way because they all wear jeans( I love the film, by the way). I have most of the gear I need, except my backpack now. Can’t afford it at the mo. I was walking today on a crisp, icy sunny walk and wore my jeans. I knew it wouldn’t rain but still had my waterproof trousers in my pack. I’m walking with a pretty full 20l pack at the moment and working my way up. I was so comfortable. Is it really stupid to wear jeans on the camino? Who’s done it. Shorts are not an option at the mo in the UK and I find my trousers with zip off legs really annoy me and my full very expensive trousers are heavy. Anyone?
Have you checked your ‘tolerance’ of cold weather with regards to wearing shorts. I am also from UK and my legs don’t really feel the cold so can pretty much wear shorts in all weathers! I have two good friends the same. It’s not just postmen and postwomen who live in shorts!!

I hate wearing trousers/jeans in any situation and wearing shorts significantly contributes to a feeling of freedom (psychologicaly) in my life, and especially on the Camino. Can’t imagine being ‘trapped’ in jeans or long trousers, which is how it would feel for me. That’s just me though!
 
Last edited:

Grousedoctor

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2023
My 20l pack is only practice when walking at home and the fact I can’t afford the osprey one I’m aiming for yet. I would be aiming more towards the 30l mark for the walk I hope. I probably won’t do the jeans thing but was just pondering. I’m not a leggings or dress/ skirt type of gal, don’t like clingy things on my legs, but am fine with shorts. Probably the idea that your legs recover quicker than jeans is a good one.
30L is a good size. My wife and I both carry 36L Osprey packs. I have, in fact, thought about dropping down to a slightly smaller pack, 26-28L, since I always have extra room. But, as you said, Osprey packs are expensive and I happen to like my Stratos very much. So, I’m sure I’ll just keep it and under-pack (I only carry 6-7 kgs) which makes for a nice light load. Whichever pack you choose, just make sure it fits you!
 
Camino Jewellery
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Time of past OR future Camino
Hoping to do my first Camino Frances in April 2023
I wouldn't but I did meet an amazing lady on Camino who had walked about 3000km before I met her and was still walking and she only wore jeans so....
Wow. She sounds amazing. I did get caught in heavy rain with jeans on a while back. Hideously uncomfortable but went out and bought slip over light waterproof trousers. Haven’t tried them yet.
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
Thanks for that. I do realise that they are a pain as far as washing etc. being realistic would once a week be hideously long to wash jeans? If there was a laundromat and dryer? I spose I could try , if not donate or send home. I will be bringing shorts as well.
Well in the beginning it might be cooler, but then also rain. I find wet denim very stiff and uncomfortable.
Then later in May when it gets hotter, you will sweat (I wash daily as my stuff is soaked with sweat) and need to wash. I cant imagine you being able to get them dry.
I wear shorts daily, most people wear shorts, tights, or hiking pants from quick dry fabrics.
As long as I have layers for my top half, bare legs are fine for me.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Hoping to do my first Camino Frances in April 2023
30L is a good size. My wife and I both carry 36L Osprey packs. I have, in fact, thought about dropping down to a slightly smaller pack, 26-28L, since I always have extra room. But, as you said, Osprey packs are expensive and I happen to like my Stratos very much. So, I’m sure I’ll just keep it and under-pack (I only carry 6-7 kgs) which makes for a nice light load. Whichever pack you choose, just make sure it fits you!
When I was looking at a local Cotswold outdoor store, there was a woman who’d just come back from the Camino helping me. She used an osprey 36l too. It looked amazing but being me is probably stuff it full, might be better for me to try snd minimize, who knows. ?
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Hoping to do my first Camino Frances in April 2023
Well in the beginning it might be cooler, but then also rain. I find wet denim very stiff and uncomfortable.
Then later in May when it gets hotter, you will sweat (I wash daily as my stuff is soaked with sweat) and need to wash. I cant imagine you being able to get them dry.
I wear shorts daily, most people wear shorts, tights, or hiking pants from quick dry fabrics.
As long as I have layers for my top half, bare legs are fine for me.
This seems to be the go consensus. I’ve got good gear for my top half so maybe I’ll go the mainly shorts route.
 
Camino Maps
A collection of Camino Maps from the Camino Forum Store

legless

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances March-April 2022. Portuguese 2023!
She
Wow. She sounds amazing. I did get caught in heavy rain with jeans on a while back. Hideously uncomfortable but went out and bought slip over light waterproof trousers. Haven’t tried them yet.
She'd been walking through the main part of the pandemic and had had to sleep outside a lot as no-one would let her in. I bumped into her a couple of times, last time after Santiago, I was on the way t Muxia, she was on her way back and planning to walk from Santiago to Portugal.
 

legless

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances March-April 2022. Portuguese 2023!
When I was looking at a local Cotswold outdoor store, there was a woman who’d just come back from the Camino helping me. She used an osprey 36l too. It looked amazing but being me is probably stuff it full, might be better for me to try snd minimize, who knows. ?
Just make sure whatever pack you take fits properly, if it seems large but you can't feel it on your back, just don't fill it. I'm in Cheltenham, I think you're the first Gloucestershire person I've seen here
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Hoping to do my first Camino Frances in April 2023
Just make sure whatever pack you take fits properly, if it seems large but you can't feel it on your back, just don't fill it. I'm in Cheltenham, I think you're the first Gloucestershire person I've seen here
And you’ve done a camino? I’m only about half an hour from you. Would be interesting to hear your stories
 

Sirage

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago 2005 and a few more since
Of course 😀 shorts every day, and in cold weather or when there is overgrowth along the track, elastic "medical" tubing on the calves. Not to loose, not too tight, just right.
 

legless

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances March-April 2022. Portuguese 2023!
And you’ve done a camino? I’m only about half an hour from you. Would be interesting to hear your stories
I did the Frances from St Jean March - April last year and I'm doing the Portuguese from Porto this year. Let's go for a walk, I'm no expert but I know more than I did. I'll DM you (probably tomorrow) and we'll sort something out.
 
John Brierley 2023 Camino Guide
Get your today and start planning.
Time of past OR future Camino
Hoping to do my first Camino Frances in April 2023
I did the Frances from St Jean March - April last year and I'm doing the Portuguese from Porto this year. Let's go for a walk, I'm no expert but I know more than I did. I'll DM you (probably tomorrow) and we'll sort something out.
That would be brilliant.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2006 to date: Over 21 Caminos. See signature line
Thanks for that. I do realise that they are a pain as far as washing etc. being realistic would once a week be hideously long to wash jeans? If there was a laundromat and dryer? I spose I could try , if not donate or send home. I will be bringing shorts as well.
I think if you're comfortable in jeans you should wear them.
I saw a fellow from Mexico one year wearing cowboy boots on the Camino and he was fine.
You don't really NEED special gear - and honestly, if I were 30 I might wear jeans.
Washing them once a week sounds reasonable - maybe not even that often would be fine.
And yes, you can find washer/dryer on the Camino or pay at many albergues to have laundry done.
Do what feels right for you and have a Buen Camino!
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Time of past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Jeans are cotton and will soak up moisture and not dry out and then towards the end of a long day will chafe your thighs something fierce. They don't breath on warm days and only getting hotter as you exert more energy.
Not what I've found at all, and I've worn jeans on every one of my Caminos.

Of course they breathe, they're natural cotton fibre. You might want thinner ones in Summer than Winter, but that's it really.

And if these are just your normal day-wear jeans that you and your skin is used to, chafing is very unlikely indeed.
If they’re not dry by the next day, you’ll be packing a relatively heavy, damp pair of pants around.
My jeans barely get wet even in full-on Galician rain, you just need protection from the rain for yourself and your backpack.

And even if they're still a bit damp in the morning, if it's dry weather, that'll clear up pretty much from the body heat and the hiking.
I wouldn't but I did meet an amazing lady on Camino who had walked about 3000km before I met her and was still walking and she only wore jeans so....
The final stage of my most recent Camino between end of May and last week was about 3,000K in jeans, cotton t-shirts, woollen jumper, and woollen cape if it got cold.

Only thing that could get heavy from water was the cape ,but even then only in heavy rain or from several consequent days of rainfall. Even that dried out relatively quickly.
Heavy woven cotton (Denim) is a wonderful fabric, as anyone who has worked in it will testify. Remarkably resistant to abrasion when you’re sliding down the tarmac, good resistance to tooth and claw when your whipping a pack into order- and absolutely useless for hiking when that 1kg of heavy woven cotton has soaked up 2kg of rain, mud and worse.
2Kg of rain etc per kilo ? No, that just doesn't happen. What does accumulate is sweat, but with frequent access to a washing machine and in the typical dry Camino weather, it's no problem, assuming you get in early enough.

And I don't know why you're thinking about work jeans, light to medium thickness is what you'd want.
 
Create your own ad
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Time of past OR future Camino
Hoping to do my first Camino Frances in April 2023
Jeans aren't lethal on the camino, just a real pain.


Why not leggings under shorts? That's a frequent Kiwi tramping uniform and it works beautifully.
May come to that but as I’ve said earlier I’m not so keen on leggings. Don’t really like tight clingy things. I do own a pair though. Certainly practical
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Hoping to do my first Camino Frances in April 2023
I think if you're comfortable in jeans you should wear them.
I saw a fellow from Mexico one year wearing cowboy boots on the Camino and he was fine.
You don't really NEED special gear - and honestly, if I were 30 I might wear jeans.
Washing them once a week sounds reasonable - maybe not even that often would be fine.
And yes, you can find washer/dryer on the Camino or pay at many albergues to have laundry done.
Do what feels right for you and have a Buen Camino!
Thankyou. Im not quite thirty anymore either. I’ll turn 62 in may probably on the Camino
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Hoping to do my first Camino Frances in April 2023
Not what I've found at all, and I've worn jeans on every one of my Caminos.

Of course they breathe, they're natural cotton fibre. You might want thinner ones in Summer than Winter, but that's it really.

And if these are just your normal day-wear jeans that you and your skin is used to, chafing is very unlikely indeed.

My jeans barely get wet even in full-on Galician rain, you just need protection from the rain for yourself and your backpack.

And even if they're still a bit damp in the morning, if it's dry weather, that'll clear up pretty much from the body heat and the hiking.

The final stage of my most recent Camino between end of May and last week was about 3,000K in jeans, cotton t-shirts, woollen jumper, and woollen cape if it got cold.

Only thing that could get heavy from water was the cape ,but even then only in heavy rain or from several consequent days of rainfall. Even that dried out relatively quickly.

2Kg of rain etc per kilo ? No, that just doesn't happen. What does accumulate is sweat, but with frequent access to a washing machine and in the typical dry Camino weather, it's no problem, assuming you get in early enough.

And I don't know why you're thinking about work jeans, light to medium thickness is what you'd want.
Interesting and thanks. I much prefer cotton t shirts too but will probably do merino and synthetic because if ease of washing. Somehow jeans shouldn’t need as much washing as top halves. My jeans are what I wear every day. They’re not hugely heavy unless they’re wet of course. They are just the most comfortable things for me.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Hoping to do my first Camino Frances in April 2023
I did the Frances from St Jean March - April last year and I'm doing the Portuguese from Porto this year. Let's go for a walk, I'm no expert but I know more than I did. I'll DM you (probably tomorrow) and we'll sort something out.
I’ll be in Cheltenham today doing a stall on the promenade from about 11.30 for a couple of hours. If you’re about come and say hello
 
Camino Cleanup Program & Retreat
Help keep the Camino clean. Join us May 2023.

Pelerina

Camino Walker
Time of past OR future Camino
since 2011, ongoing.
I do realise that they are a pain as far as washing etc. being realistic would once a week be hideously long to wash jeans?
Sounds fine to me. One of the many things I enjoy about walking on the Camino is how my standards adjust (let's not say drop). The concept of 'clean' is a good example. Whether something 'needs a wash' on the Camino is not the same as at home. Me to myself, 'hhmm can I go another day without washing this? ... usually, Yep! Until the answer is 'Nope'. You'll know when that is. If my socks and underwear are clean, that's the main thing for me. The rest can be 'aired'. That said, I've never worn jeans for Camino or any other walking - but if it's comfortable for you, then why not?
 

Pafayac

On the way...
Time of past OR future Camino
2021: Le Puy-Cahors. 2022: Cahors-Burgos.
For the Camino, it is better to wear hiking trousers, which dry quickly and are lighters than jeans.
 

MinaKamina

Eclipsigrina ~ August 12, 2026
Time of past OR future Camino
Jacobspad 2017
Sounds fine to me. One of the many things I enjoy about walking on the Camino is how my standards adjust (let's not say drop). The concept of 'clean' is a good example. Whether something 'needs a wash' on the Camino is not the same as at home. Me to myself, 'hhmm can I go another day without washing this? ... usually, Yep! Until the answer is 'Nope'. You'll know when that is. If my socks and underwear are clean, that's the main thing for me. The rest can be 'aired'. That said, I've never worn jeans for Camino or any other walking - but if it's comfortable for you, then why not?

A while ago, the 'thing' with jeans was that you should never wash them. Instead, put them in the freezer for a night (or two) to kill the germs and refresh the fabric. Wasn't a Camino 'thing', if I remember well, more like something from Silicon Valley and other office-cultures and I am not sure if the habit ever caught.

Totally agree with your 'concept of clean.' We may have different standards, but sometimes one of mine is: can I make soup with this? use it to make broth? and if the answer is yes, then into the washing machine it goes.

As a teenager, I read a book (I read lots of books) about three sisters who made a trip from Germany to Greece in a small car, at a time when that was not yet common, and there were no motorways. I don't remember the title, nor the author's name, the names of my heroines... but one thing comes to mind loud and clear. The story was told by the youngest sister. She must have been 15 and she was wearing jeans that hadn't been clean before they left. But, she said, there are different sorts of dirt and filth. Her mother did not understand any of that at all, big surprise here! but she did, and this was the kind of not-clean that totally suited a pair of jeans for a vacation.

You wear your jeans, @Ditts . The risk is limited. The worst that can happen is that you will have to wait two days before they have dried, and then either put them on and walk, or send them packing to Ivar in Santiago.
 

dick bird

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
I don't know if you have noticed this, but people who do a lot of walking don't wear jeans. There may be a reason for this. I do a lot of walking and I wear jeans, but not when I am walking. This is because they are not comfortable to walk in. They are also a pain to dry out when they get wet. They get sweaty in all the wrong places in hot weather. They are heavy. They don't have enough pockets and the pockets they have are too small. I like jeans, but not when I am walking. If you wear jeans on the camino, take a boring pair of walking trousers as well and make sure you have a secure address to post the jeans to. Just saying.
 
Camino Jewellery
A selection of Camino Jewellery

roving_rufus

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2013-2015) Portugues (2017-2019) Via Francigena (2018-??) Camino from Ireland (2020-??)
In warmer months I like my shorts to hike in but I also often throw in an old pair of tights with foot cut off, these weigh next to nothing, yet provide something I can wear under my shorts if the weather turns cooler. These tights are a just in case measure, and I have only very occasionally used them- but on one occasion in April when one day was sunny and 20deg and the next was bearly 1deg with ice and frost I was glad to have them. I wear alot of dresses for work so I am used to tights, from the sounds of things you don't- but it might be a cheap way of covering up your legs if the weather is cold.
I don't like hiking in leggings but others love them. Others hike in skirts -I'd just end up chafing. There are always folks who wear jeans on camino- for a variety of reasons- but they do have downsides, and you just need to figure out if they can work for you- temperature-wise, rainwise, weight/fit in pack. As for washing trousers/shorts on camino I probably did once a week- just cleaned off any mud once it dried each day.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
I do carry a pair of jeans, but I cheat a bit and put them in the pack that gets forwarded to my next destination. I always walk in a pair of zip off pants that can turn into shorts very quickly. Although, that said, I've only hiked in shorts a few times. I prefer to guard against bugs and chaffing from bushes. It's nice to slip on the jeans at night just to do a change. But if you aren't forwarding some stuff, leave the jeans behind.
 

isobelmtl

New Member
Hi, I’m doing my first camino hopefully starting the Frances in mid April. I realise what most of the answers to this question will be. I know there is a lot of criticism for The Way because they all wear jeans( I love the film, by the way). I have most of the gear I need, except my backpack now. Can’t afford it at the mo. I was walking today on a crisp, icy sunny walk and wore my jeans. I knew it wouldn’t rain but still had my waterproof trousers in my pack. I’m walking with a pretty full 20l pack at the moment and working my way up. I was so comfortable. Is it really stupid to wear jeans on the camino? Who’s done it. Shorts are not an option at the mo in the UK and I find my trousers with zip off legs really annoy me and my full very expensive trousers are heavy. Anyone?
The annoyance factor of zip off and on pant legs pales in comparison to the convenience of all the useful pockets for me. Also the fabric dries faster than jeans and in a pinch you can just wash the leg part if you've got muddy cuffs. I haunted the charity shop until I got lucky and found a wonderful pair.TBH I haunt the charity shop anyway. I did splurge on a pair of icebreaker trainer-style pants in charcoal. I'm ashamed to say how little I washed them. I would fault the pockets though as not deep enough but I installed velcro for a bit more security. Those were my two "bottoms" on the Camino Frances in sept-Oct 2021.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
Forty eight posts on whether to wear jeans or not on the Camino, with a majority suggesting "no, don't do it", and I agree.
However, if you choose to wear them, any inconvenience you discover (and there will definitely be some) will be yours to embrace, not mine.
I would suggest you try on a pair at home after hand washing, and wringing them out before doing a training walk/hike in rain or even sunshine to see how good they feel.😱
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Time of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
I wear jeans on the Way, especially in winter, and when I am walking in winter, high brush, or rough conditions. Other fabrics snag, or flap in the wind, or won't survive an encounter with barbed wire. Yeah, they get heavy when they are wet, but that's why we have radiators.
If you want to wear jeans, wear jeans. There are no rules.
 
The Way: Through a Field of Stars (audiobook)
A great book to listen to while training for the Camino or to relive the experience!

Len Dacombe

Len from Canada
Time of past OR future Camino
April/May 2015 & September 2015
Hi, I’m doing my first camino hopefully starting the Frances in mid April. I realise what most of the answers to this question will be. I know there is a lot of criticism for The Way because they all wear jeans( I love the film, by the way). I have most of the gear I need, except my backpack now. Can’t afford it at the mo. I was walking today on a crisp, icy sunny walk and wore my jeans. I knew it wouldn’t rain but still had my waterproof trousers in my pack. I’m walking with a pretty full 20l pack at the moment and working my way up. I was so comfortable. Is it really stupid to wear jeans on the camino? Who’s done it. Shorts are not an option at the mo in the UK and I find my trousers with zip off legs really annoy me and my full very expensive trousers are heavy. Anyone?
Jeans are not a good idea for all the reasons people have given. Get your self a couple pairs of hiking pants with zip off legs and they’ll serve a shorts too. Getting laundry done is not difficult as most Abergues offer that service, although sometimes they won't offer a drying service when the weather is good. In those cases, they provide you a place to hang your clothes to dry. Jeans will never dry fast enough.

When I walked in 2015 we met a nice man from Australia who was wearing jeans and he searched a long time in the route to get hiking pants in his size. He was a big guy. He would definitely tell you to NOT wear jeans!

Buen Camino.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Loose silk pajama bottoms over the shorts when needed might do the trick. Good for sleeping on cool nights too. Very light weight and pack small. Could be used as a scarf too I suppose.

Edit: I got loose right but forgot about the clingy.
 
Last edited:

USSusan

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Fall 2021, Fall 2023
Hi, I’m doing my first camino hopefully starting the Frances in mid April. I realise what most of the answers to this question will be. I know there is a lot of criticism for The Way because they all wear jeans( I love the film, by the way). I have most of the gear I need, except my backpack now. Can’t afford it at the mo. I was walking today on a crisp, icy sunny walk and wore my jeans. I knew it wouldn’t rain but still had my waterproof trousers in my pack. I’m walking with a pretty full 20l pack at the moment and working my way up. I was so comfortable. Is it really stupid to wear jeans on the camino? Who’s done it. Shorts are not an option at the mo in the UK and I find my trousers with zip off legs really annoy me and my full very expensive trousers are heavy. Anyone?
You will hear this a lot….-Jeans are heavy, jeans take forever to dry. Both will make you regret your choice. Look for lightweight, quick drying pants. You will be glad you did. Good Luck!
 

shefollowsshells

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Several alone and with children
Hi, I’m doing my first camino hopefully starting the Frances in mid April. I realise what most of the answers to this question will be. I know there is a lot of criticism for The Way because they all wear jeans( I love the film, by the way). I have most of the gear I need, except my backpack now. Can’t afford it at the mo. I was walking today on a crisp, icy sunny walk and wore my jeans. I knew it wouldn’t rain but still had my waterproof trousers in my pack. I’m walking with a pretty full 20l pack at the moment and working my way up. I was so comfortable. Is it really stupid to wear jeans on the camino? Who’s done it. Shorts are not an option at the mo in the UK and I find my trousers with zip off legs really annoy me and my full very expensive trousers are heavy. Anyone?
I’m not advising you wear jeans with what I’m about to share, I think you can figure that out without advice. But it made me think of a first hand witness… almost 30 years ago my brother hiked the full AT, I think a six or seven month endeavor, I don’t know the details I was young and blogs didn’t exist. But he walked the full thing in jeans and wore flannel shirts. His back pack had a metal exterior frame!
Obviously jeans can get you to Santiago… if YOU chose to do that that’s a choice anyone should be able to make in my opinion.
I guess my response is knowing our audience, if anyone is contemplating a camino walking, hiking ( or any mode to move forward) has been experienced by them already I assume….
 

Jodean

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015 CF, 17.04.-26.05.22 CF
15.04-31.05.23 CF
Have you looked at any 2nd hand stores for shorts, back packs or hiking pants? I too hate the pants with zip off legs, the zippers are super annoying. Any kind of loose pants might be perfect for you.

You also don't need special shirts. Wear what you like, as long as it drys quickly and is easy to wash. I like light, long sleeve blouses, but have 1 turtle neck t-shirt for the cold mornings and nights. There were lots of mornings last April and May that started at 2-3°.
Thought about jeans, but the thought of washing them by hand or the days when it poured rain all day long, made me re-think them. I have cheap, polyester pants that wash and dry quickly and easily. They aren't hiking pants, but are super comfy.
 
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.
Time of past OR future Camino
2006 to date: Over 21 Caminos. See signature line
Thankyou. Im not quite thirty anymore either. I’ll turn 62 in may probably on the Camino
LOL! I didn't exactly mean it that way. I grew up on a farm, then lived in the Caribbean for many years. I used to live in jeans, but since growing older in cold, wet, Oregon, I'm much happier in fleece. Wear whatever makes your heart happy!
 

bubba

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015,2016 ,Portuguese 2017,Del Norte 2018, Via De La Plata 2019
Not enough pockets for me in jeans, cargo shorts and pants accommodate the junk I carry better, 2 zip off leg cargo pants + 1set of zip off legs= less bulk and weight
 

mario juan

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
One
Thanks for that. I do realise that they are a pain as far as washing etc. being realistic would once a week be hideously long to wash jeans? If there was a laundromat and dryer? I spose I could try , if not donate or send home. I will be bringing shorts as well.
If you’re lucky with the weather you’ll only wear shorts, unlucky and you’ll need trousers and waterproofs. It’s as simple as that,.. Jeans??? no chance but it’s up to you..
 
How to Successfully Prepare for Your Camino
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.

Sherpa47

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2008 and 2017
Hi, I’m doing my first camino hopefully starting the Frances in mid April. I realise what most of the answers to this question will be. I know there is a lot of criticism for The Way because they all wear jeans( I love the film, by the way). I have most of the gear I need, except my backpack now. Can’t afford it at the mo. I was walking today on a crisp, icy sunny walk and wore my jeans. I knew it wouldn’t rain but still had my waterproof trousers in my pack. I’m walking with a pretty full 20l pack at the moment and working my way up. I was so comfortable. Is it really stupid to wear jeans on the camino? Who’s done it. Shorts are not an option at the mo in the UK and I find my trousers with zip off legs really annoy me and my full very expensive trousers are heavy. Anyone?
If you want only to wear long trousers, have a look at the Craghoppers range. Lightweight and windproof and comfortable. Jeans in my opinion are a big no, no.
 

mariahiles

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances - Sept-Oct. (2017)
My 20l pack is only practice when walking at home and the fact I can’t afford the osprey one I’m aiming for yet. I would be aiming more towards the 30l mark for the walk I hope. I probably won’t do the jeans thing but was just pondering. I’m not a leggings or dress/ skirt type of gal, don’t like clingy things on my legs, but am fine with shorts. Probably the idea that your legs recover quicker than jeans is a good one.
take into consideration the weight of your pack as well. I had a five pound pack and opted for a 3.5 pound pack for the camino - every ounce counts when you're going up!
 

Steven Dwyer

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2000,2001,2004 Camino Frances from St. Jean
2005 Camino Argonese from Oloron to Puente de la Reina, Camino Frances from St. Jean,
2013 Camino Portugese from Porto, Camino Ingles from Ferrol, Camino Finisterre
(2016) Camino Portugese from Braga
I am one of those rare individuals who wears jeans on the Camino. I also carry a pair of shorts for hot days, but I my preference is to walk in my Levi’s. I’ve not run into a major problem with them getting wet since I also use a poncho if it is raining. Sure, they take time to dry when you wash them, but I don’t wash them that often. Did I just hear a collective “Eww.” Underwear gets washed daily, but pants don’t need a daily wash unless you get sweaty. Mud that gets on the legs I wash off, but a few inches of wet on the bottom of the jeans doesn’t bother me.
 

Marian Patricia

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2017
Hi, I’m doing my first camino hopefully starting the Frances in mid April. I realise what most of the answers to this question will be. I know there is a lot of criticism for The Way because they all wear jeans( I love the film, by the way). I have most of the gear I need, except my backpack now. Can’t afford it at the mo. I was walking today on a crisp, icy sunny walk and wore my jeans. I knew it wouldn’t rain but still had my waterproof trousers in my pack. I’m walking with a pretty full 20l pack at the moment and working my way up. I was so comfortable. Is it really stupid to wear jeans on the camino? Who’s done it. Shorts are not an option at the mo in the UK and I find my trousers with zip off legs really annoy me and my full very expensive trousers are heavy. Anyone?
I would choose clothing that will dry quickly. Jeans will not. Convertible pants that can be rolled up into capris or zipped off into shorts are a great option, and are normally made of lightweight materials that are easier to carry and will dry quickly. Maybe look for a pair that is more comfortable than those you already have. Although I live most of my life in jeans, I would recommend something like that over jeans for the Camino.
 

HikingGeo

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2017-Sarria to Santiago and Lires to Finisterre
Hi, I’m doing my first camino hopefully starting the Frances in mid April. I realise what most of the answers to this question will be. I know there is a lot of criticism for The Way because they all wear jeans( I love the film, by the way). I have most of the gear I need, except my backpack now. Can’t afford it at the mo. I was walking today on a crisp, icy sunny walk and wore my jeans. I knew it wouldn’t rain but still had my waterproof trousers in my pack. I’m walking with a pretty full 20l pack at the moment and working my way up. I was so comfortable. Is it really stupid to wear jeans on the camino? Who’s done it. Shorts are not an option at the mo in the UK and I find my trousers with zip off legs really annoy me and my full very expensive trousers are heavy. Anyone?
Having made the mistake of walking about 8 miles around Prague in jeans about 12 years ago, I would never recommend them to anyone. The chafing was bad enough to send me to my physician when I got back home.
 
Pocket guides that pack a punch
1.4 oz (40g) pocket guides with gems of wisdom to ponder during and after your Camino

celticone

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances '13,'18, '19
Portugues '15; Plata '16
Hi, I’m doing my first camino hopefully starting the Frances in mid April. I realise what most of the answers to this question will be. I know there is a lot of criticism for The Way because they all wear jeans( I love the film, by the way). I have most of the gear I need, except my backpack now. Can’t afford it at the mo. I was walking today on a crisp, icy sunny walk and wore my jeans. I knew it wouldn’t rain but still had my waterproof trousers in my pack. I’m walking with a pretty full 20l pack at the moment and working my way up. I was so comfortable. Is it really stupid to wear jeans on the camino? Who’s done it. Shorts are not an option at the mo in the UK and I find my trousers with zip off legs really annoy me and my full very expensive trousers are heavy. Anyone?
Hello,
Since you are in UK your friends are Aldi and/or Lidl. I bought a good 30 litre hiking rucksac in Lidl a few years ago. It was an excellent purchase. They sometimes have light hiking trousers too. My hiking socks are Bridgedale liners with Lidl hiking socks as outers. Just unsure there is no seam across the top of the toe. I have worn Mountain Warehouse hiking shoes on the Camino, often bought in their sale.
Buen Camino
Ena in Scotland.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
I’m not advising you wear jeans with what I’m about to share, I think you can figure that out without advice. But it made me think of a first hand witness… almost 30 years ago my brother hiked the full AT, I think a six or seven month endeavor, I don’t know the details I was young and blogs didn’t exist. But he walked the full thing in jeans and wore flannel shirts. His back pack had a metal exterior frame!
Obviously jeans can get you to Santiago… if YOU chose to do that that’s a choice anyone should be able to make in my opinion.
I guess my response is knowing our audience, if anyone is contemplating a camino walking, hiking ( or any mode to move forward) has been experienced by them already I assume….
I have a couple of friends who walked the AT or sections of the AT 30+ years ago and did it wearing blue jeans and flannel shirts and external frame backpacks and leather lugged soled boots. That was way before it became hugely popular due to movies or books (sound familiar? lol) and also before technology has developed the ultra lightweight synthetic equipment and clothing available now. If this was say 1983 instead of 2023 and the Camino was this popular it would be walked from SJPdP to SDC by pilgrims carrying big heavy backpacks, bulky raincoats and sleeping bags and a lot of blue jeans and such, and guess what?! No trekking poles! :D
Just like now they would arrive in SDC alive and well. Very little chance the elements or even bears :D would kill any of them. lol
 

Wanderingfriend

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2018
Hi, I’m doing my first camino hopefully starting the Frances in mid April. I realise what most of the answers to this question will be. I know there is a lot of criticism for The Way because they all wear jeans( I love the film, by the way). I have most of the gear I need, except my backpack now. Can’t afford it at the mo. I was walking today on a crisp, icy sunny walk and wore my jeans. I knew it wouldn’t rain but still had my waterproof trousers in my pack. I’m walking with a pretty full 20l pack at the moment and working my way up. I was so comfortable. Is it really stupid to wear jeans on the camino? Who’s done it. Shorts are not an option at the mo in the UK and I find my trousers with zip off legs really annoy me and my full very expensive trousers are heavy. Anyone?
Personally I would not as it takes too long for them to dry and they are heavy when you are wearing your second set of clothes. I have done three caminos and have never seen jeans on anyone. I remember seeing the Way and thinking, “This is obviously a movie as most people would wear jeans.” I would have been too cold in jeans in April and early May and October. They would be way too hot most of the other months. Saying that, it’s ultimately your choice.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Sept. 2022 El Salvador, Oct. 2022 Tui Portugués
I live in shorts all year round and I would never wear them on the Camino. Have encountered lots of spikey brambles when the Camino is overgrown and was glad they sliced my pants and not me.
What’s available in your neck of the woods that is reasonably priced hiking pants with features you may want? In the US plenty of the outfitters have incredible sales of past years stuff as well as gently previously used on sale. It might be worth a look around. 🚶🏽‍♀️🚶🏽‍♀️
 
2023 Camino Guides
The 2023 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
Cotton = jeans = bad idea. They do not dry quickly. Heck, cotton is a great wicking material, but wick to where? Stay away from cotton socks for the same reason. I wear the polyester long pants with zip off legs, and swear by them.

It is not a fashion issue, It is just a concern on how you wick moisture away from the body. polyester does the job well. It wicks moisture but does not keep you warm. Cotton does not do that well either. However, polyester in a FLEECE form, can be very warming, when needed. It also packs small and light.

Buen Camino!
 

ChrisGall

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
October 2022
Sorry, I haven't read all the other replies, hope this isn't too redundant. I haven't worn shorts in over 25 years, so not an option for me. I walked last October and used two "pants" - one was a stretchy sort of workout/leisure pant (Skechers, about $20 US) the other was a cheap lightweight pair of leggings (Felina from Costco, about $15). The leggings, which I hadn't worn back home for everyday street wear, were terrific. And easy to wash and dry overnight. comfy. --> Look at lots of photos of pilgrims on the various forums, including Camigas, a Facebook group, and see what people are wearing esp. towards the end of their trek. Also, don't agonize over your choices. If you take the jeans and they chafe or whatever, you can easily find a pair of leggings or other leg coverings in all but the small villages. I worried too much when preparing, and was dreading the trip by the time it was time to go. Better to look forward to your trip and think positive, knowing that no clothing choice will have a make-or-break effect. Be flexible, adapt. It will be grand!
 

ChrisGall

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
October 2022
Sorry, I haven't read all the other replies, hope this isn't too redundant. I haven't worn shorts in over 25 years, so not an option for me. I walked last October and used two "pants" - one was a stretchy sort of workout/leisure pant (Skechers, about $20 US) the other was a cheap lightweight pair of leggings (Felina from Costco, about $15). The leggings, which I hadn't worn back home for everyday street wear, were terrific. And easy to wash and dry overnight. comfy. --> Look at lots of photos of pilgrims on the various forums, including Camigas, a Facebook group, and see what people are wearing esp. towards the end of their trek. Also, don't agonize over your choices. If you take the jeans and they chafe or whatever, you can easily find a pair of leggings or other leg coverings in all but the small villages. I worried too much when preparing, and was dreading the trip by the time it was time to go. Better to look forward to your trip and think positive, knowing that no clothing choice will have a make-or-break effect. Be flexible, adapt. It will be grand!
And you can wear lightweight leggings under the second pair of stretchy pants if needed.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2006 to date: Over 21 Caminos. See signature line
Cotton = jeans = bad idea. They do not dry quickly. Heck, cotton is a great wicking material, but wick to where? Stay away from cotton socks for the same reason. I wear the polyester long pants with zip off legs, and swear by them.

It is not a fashion issue, It is just a concern on how you wick moisture away from the body. polyester does the job well. It wicks moisture but does not keep you warm. Cotton does not do that well either. However, polyester in a FLEECE form, can be very warming, when needed. It also packs small and light.

Buen Camino!
I've heard this advice on cotton so many times, and honestly, it's just not an issue. First on all, who says you're going to get soaked? Second, there are radiators and dryers all along the way. This isn't a mountain ascent, it's a trek and MOST people could just wear what they have in their closet. The idea of special clothes is a new one, as far as the Camino goes. I love my Macabi skirt, but the first time I walked back in 2006 I didn't have one and did just fine. It's all about what people can afford and what THEY want. I've seen people walking in jeans, shorts, skirts, flip flops, barefoot, sandals, heavy hiking boots, cowboy boots, trail runners, and $1000 special gear. And they're all pretty happy. Wear what you want. Plan on layering and you'll be fine.
 
2023 Camino Guides
The 2023 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.

dbier

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Last 114km Camino Frances, Jul 21
2023 - Camino P
Ditts, you asked one other question about how frequently to wash jeans, and I may have missed this, but there is one other personal consideration that keeps me away from clothes worn for multiple days between washes.

I find that if I wear jeans or any pants more than two days between washes, not only do they reek...and believe me, they reek...but I develop rashes and pimples on the skin that is rubbing against the dirty cloth/ fabric. Those rashes only get worse with friction and time.

If this isn't applicable to you, then great. If it is, do your skin and your fellow pilgrims noses a favor, and take clothes that you can wash and dry effectively.

Please.;)
 

Sixwheeler

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2013
You already have your shorts why not get a pair of sports/running tights/leggings and wear them underneath your shorts. If it warms up you can slip them off later. Win/Win! I won't add to all the doom and gloom here regarding jeans but most of it is true.
 

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)
Cotton = jeans = bad idea. They do not dry quickly. Heck, cotton is a great wicking material, but wick to where?
I was wondering earlier when I first saw this thread whether this was the equivalence being made. And if pure cotton denim is all that comes to mind, then there are sound objections to wearing cotton based clothing in the wrong conditions. Is a mid-April camino likely to be one of those circumstances where wearing cotton jeans is a really bad idea? I suggest probably not, although there are still going to be some issues that one might need to be careful about.

I don't avoid cotton clothing. I have a wardrobe full of cotton shirts, t-shirts, pants and jeans. I have socks that have a small amount of cotton in the fabric blend that are some of the best trekking socks I have found, including for winter. And I will wear cotton in summer when its cooling properties, even when saturated with sweat, are ideal. In other seasons, I can still sweat enough to saturate cotton undergarments and shirts, so I avoid having any cotton on my torso. And that is the first point - @@Ditts is asking about wearing jeans, not cotton underwear or shirts. Jeans clearly do not present the same risk of dangerous torso chilling that cotton underwear or shirts might in cooler conditions.

My second point is that jeans are now made from a variety of fabrics, not just pure cotton denim. It seems to me as much a design convention as anything else - five pocket design, double sticked seams in contrast stitching, rivetted reinforcements and narrow contrast stitched cuff. Other fabrics are now common that address some of the issues of pure cotton denim. And other trousers styles might have many more useful features for trekking, but that wouldn't preclude jeans if the features they provide are 'enough' and you don't need the other bells and whistles purpose designed trekking trousers might offer.

@@Ditts, I doubt you will be alone wearing jeans. Others clearly do, and have survived! Some for many thousands of kilometres on the Camino.
 
Last edited:

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Time of past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
For the Camino, it is better to wear hiking trousers, which dry quickly and are lighters than jeans.
Only time I tried that, they were wrecked within three days, and I needed to buy a pair of jeans instead.

Synthetic hiking kit doesn't work for everyone indiscriminately, though of course nor do jeans.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Time of past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Jeans will never dry fast enough.
Only ever an issue with hand washing, and even then, if you get in early enough on a hot and dry enough day, yes, they will.

I wonder how many in here who are saying "no jeans" have ever actually walked a Camino in jeans ?
I am one of those rare individuals who wears jeans on the Camino. I also carry a pair of shorts for hot days, but I my preference is to walk in my Levi’s. I’ve not run into a major problem with them getting wet since I also use a poncho if it is raining. Sure, they take time to dry when you wash them, but I don’t wash them that often. Did I just hear a collective “Eww.” Underwear gets washed daily, but pants don’t need a daily wash unless you get sweaty. Mud that gets on the legs I wash off, but a few inches of wet on the bottom of the jeans doesn’t bother me.
Exactly my own experience.

As to the cotton thing, the only cotton to absolutely avoid for a Camino is cotton socks.

Wool (whichever sort), or trendy hiker kit socks instead, according to personal need and preference.
 
Camino Maps
A collection of Camino Maps from the Camino Forum Store

Tom Hagger

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés, Norte, Primitivo, Português, Plata etc.
I can’t afford the osprey one I’m aiming for yet.
I have an Osprey Kestrel 58L rucksack, which is superb. But I have also found the Karrimor and Vango ranges, both easily available at Millets and other UK stores, to be excellent value for money. Try them on first, course, whatever make and size you decide upon. Buen Camino!
 

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)
How long before someone comes along to say that they always wear cotton socks and never have a problem? 😉
For a saleperson at Kathmandu or REI being asked for advice on good all round hiking gear, steering people away from cotton would be a reasonable thing to do. The clothing that I know I can use in any season and almost everywhere that I have travelled from Nordkapp to the Antarctic Peninsula has no cotton items. Cotton is not suitable for every circumstance, whereas there are other fabrics which are don't have its limitations.

But if I am going somewhere hot and dry, as I am right now visiting my daughter in Perth, Western Australia, it is quite different. I am revelling in shorts and t-shirts day and night. Anyone suggesting that is risky to wear cotton here would be laughed at, because it is a fabric ideally suited to the local conditions.

I suspect the many forum members who are used to wetter and colder weather don't appreciate that for much of the Camino walking season, the Iberian peninsula would generally be similar to the west coast of the US, not those areas east of the Rockies.

In any case, merely parroting cotton=bad doesn't do any justice to the complex reasons underlying why cotton is not an all-weather all-seasons fabric choice.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Yearly and Various 2014-2019
Via Monastica 2022
How long before someone comes along to say that they always wear cotton socks and never have a problem?
Now you mention it...not long. 🙃
Not every camino. But for several caminos I've done just fine with cotton ankle socks under my hiking sandals. 😱

The same goes for jeans. If you've never walked a camino in jeans and are just parroting second-hand common knowledge, it's not the most reliable advice to be giving.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2023
This thread reminds me of the poles on a plane threads that will start turning up soon. Everyone has their own opinion and lots of anecdotal examples being presented.

Here is mine.

Wearing jeans while tramping (hiking in the mountains of Aotearoa New Zealand) when I was 19 and thought that I knew everything almost killed me. Would have if my friend hadn't come back and saved me.

Not tramping fit, jeans on the bottom, cotton shirt on the top, third day of the tramp around Waikaremoana, it had been raining up on the ridge and I got soaked, coming down off the tops the wind changed direction and picked up speed and the temperature dropped markedly. For the first time in my life I became hypothermic.

One of the things that happens with hypothermia is that the body reduces blood flow to the brain to try to keep body core temperature up. This means that you (I) stop(ped) thinking logically.

I felt tired and so I wandered off the track looking for a nice log to sit and rest on. As I sat down my body went into deep uncontrollable shivers.

If my friend hadn't come back to find me and saved my life by warming me then I would have died there that day, happy as Larry (see lack of blood to brain).

These days I would never tramp in jeans but walking the Camino is not in any way equivalent to hiking in the ANZ mountains. The Camino is mostly a walk through small towns and farmland. However, there are a couple of places where walking in jeans is both dangerous for you and also dangerous for the people who will have to come and rescue you if you become hypothermic. The first of these places, if you start in St. Jean is up and over the Pyrenees.

As many people have already told you, the chances that you will become hypothermic as you walk the Pyrenees is relatively small but it is not zero. For the sake of yourself and those who would come to your rescue, please don't wear jeans in the mountains and feel free to wear them elsewhere.

BTW, my local tramping club has a rule that says "you can not wear jeans on a club tramp". They have this rule from experience. They also have a saying, There are bold trampers and old trampers but there are no old, bold trampers.

Buen Camino!
 
Create your own ad
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.

Nick Barlow

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances: April-May 2022
Primitivo: April 2023
I saw people walking the Frances in just about everything last year, and I think it's a case of finding what you're comfortable walking in and sticking with that. My only advice would be not to take anything you haven't tried before you go (like runners say: "nothing new on race day") so you know you're comfortable with it.

I walked it in two pairs of lightweight walking trousers I got from Mountain Warehouse, which weren't expensive at all and I'm still using them now. I don't know your budget and what you have near you, but you can get a decent cheap pair of walking trousers from MW or Go Outdoors that will suit most people for a walk like the Camino.
 

FireDragon

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
March first stage, and second stage mid-April 2023
Jeans are cotton and will soak up moisture and not dry out and then towards the end of a long day will chafe your thighs something fierce. They don't breath on warm days and only getting hotter as you exert more energy. I see you are in the UK and therefore have access to some really decent gear at great prices from Decathlon. Check out their hiking pants and save yourself a lot of misery. I know from experience. You don't need to go high end for a Camino walk just a basic low priced pair will do just fine.
Décathlon has a variety of clothes. I have bought sweat shirts from and paints resistant to rain, this last wasn’t great in a downpour but so light you don’t feel you are wearing anything, and very practical. LL Bean in the US also have some decent equipment and clothes.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Hoping to do my first Camino Frances in April 2023
I was wondering earlier when I first saw this thread whether this was the equivalence being made. And if pure cotton denim is all that comes to mind, then there are sound objections to wearing cotton based clothing in the wrong conditions. Is a mid-April camino likely to be one of those circumstances where wearing cotton jeans is a really bad idea? I suggest probably not, although there are still going to be some issues that one might need to be careful about.

I don't avoid cotton clothing. I have a wardrobe full of cotton shirts, t-shirts, pants and jeans. I have socks that have a small amount of cotton in the fabric blend that are some of the best trekking socks I have found, including for winter. And I will wear cotton in summer when its cooling properties, even when saturated with sweat, are ideal. In other seasons, I can still sweat enough to saturate cotton undergarments and shirts, so I avoid having any cotton on my torso. And that is the first point - @Ditts is asking about wearing jeans, not cotton underwear or shirts. Jeans clearly do not present the same risk of dangerous torso chilling that cotton underwear or shirts might in cooler conditions.

My second point is that jeans are now made from a variety of fabrics, not just pure cotton denim. It seems to me as much a design convention as anything else - five pocket design, double sticked seams in contrast stitching, rivetted reinforcements and narrow contrast stitched cuff. Other fabrics are now common that address some of the issues of pure cotton denim. And other trousers styles might have many more useful features for trekking, but that wouldn't preclude jeans if the features they provide are 'enough' and you don't need the other bells and whistles purpose designed trekking trousers might offer.

@Ditts, I doubt you will be alone wearing jeans. Others clearly do, and have survived! Some for many thousands of kilometres on the Camino.
Thank you for that
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Hoping to do my first Camino Frances in April 2023
I was wondering earlier when I first saw this thread whether this was the equivalence being made. And if pure cotton denim is all that comes to mind, then there are sound objections to wearing cotton based clothing in the wrong conditions. Is a mid-April camino likely to be one of those circumstances where wearing cotton jeans is a really bad idea? I suggest probably not, although there are still going to be some issues that one might need to be careful about.

I don't avoid cotton clothing. I have a wardrobe full of cotton shirts, t-shirts, pants and jeans. I have socks that have a small amount of cotton in the fabric blend that are some of the best trekking socks I have found, including for winter. And I will wear cotton in summer when its cooling properties, even when saturated with sweat, are ideal. In other seasons, I can still sweat enough to saturate cotton undergarments and shirts, so I avoid having any cotton on my torso. And that is the first point - @Ditts is asking about wearing jeans, not cotton underwear or shirts. Jeans clearly do not present the same risk of dangerous torso chilling that cotton underwear or shirts might in cooler conditions.

My second point is that jeans are now made from a variety of fabrics, not just pure cotton denim. It seems to me as much a design convention as anything else - five pocket design, double sticked seams in contrast stitching, rivetted reinforcements and narrow contrast stitched cuff. Other fabrics are now common that address some of the issues of pure cotton denim. And other trousers styles might have many more useful features for trekking, but that wouldn't preclude jeans if the features they provide are 'enough' and you don't need the other bells and whistles purpose designed trekking trousers might offer.

@Ditts, I doubt you will be alone wearing jeans. Others clearly do, and have survived! Some for many thousands of kilometres on the Camino.
Thank you for your thoughtful reply
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
I was wondering earlier when I first saw this thread whether this was the equivalence being made. And if pure cotton denim is all that comes to mind, then there are sound objections to wearing cotton based clothing in the wrong conditions. Is a mid-April camino likely to be one of those circumstances where wearing cotton jeans is a really bad idea? I suggest probably not, although there are still going to be some issues that one might need to be careful about.

I don't avoid cotton clothing. I have a wardrobe full of cotton shirts, t-shirts, pants and jeans. I have socks that have a small amount of cotton in the fabric blend that are some of the best trekking socks I have found, including for winter. And I will wear cotton in summer when its cooling properties, even when saturated with sweat, are ideal. In other seasons, I can still sweat enough to saturate cotton undergarments and shirts, so I avoid having any cotton on my torso. And that is the first point - @@Ditts is asking about wearing jeans, not cotton underwear or shirts. Jeans clearly do not present the same risk of dangerous torso chilling that cotton underwear or shirts might in cooler conditions.

My second point is that jeans are now made from a variety of fabrics, not just pure cotton denim. It seems to me as much a design convention as anything else - five pocket design, double sticked seams in contrast stitching, rivetted reinforcements and narrow contrast stitched cuff. Other fabrics are now common that address some of the issues of pure cotton denim. And other trousers styles might have many more useful features for trekking, but that wouldn't preclude jeans if the features they provide are 'enough' and you don't need the other bells and whistles purpose designed trekking trousers might offer.

@@Ditts, I doubt you will be alone wearing jeans. Others clearly do, and have survived! Some for many thousands of kilometres on the Camino.
April is a wet month, usually, yes? Overarching any qualm that cotton is workable is its inherent ability to wick up water and be very stingy in letting go of it. If dry, yes, it will retain a bit of warmth, but the disadvantages outweigh the advantages.
 
Last edited:
2023 Camino Guides
The 2023 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.

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)
April is a wet month, usually, yes? Overarching any qualm that cotton is workable is its inherent ability to wick up water and be very stingy in letting go of it. If dry, yes, it will retain a bit of warmth, bit the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
Indeed, Apr and May might be close to the wettest months in some places along the Camino routes in northern Spain. That said, temperatures are increasing, so while there might still be the prospect of a cold and wet morning to deal with, they will become less frequent. As I said, choosing jeans will not be without risks, but I see these as manageable now that @@Ditts is aware of what issues might arise.

She doesn't need to pack for your fears or mine. More, she needs to be better informed about what these risks are than the simplistic 'cotton is bad' message that you and others have been promoting.
 

Lindsay53

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2019
Portugues 2022
While it probably won't be fatal to wear jeans on the Camino, they will be heavier, bulkier and very uncomfortable to walk in when wet. They will also take forever to dry. I wouldn't wear them.
 

ChrisGall

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
October 2022
lightweight leggings are really just wonderful on the Camino. So versatile, take up no room in the pack, so comfortable to walk in. Or sleep in.
 

Pelerina

Camino Walker
Time of past OR future Camino
since 2011, ongoing.
Gosh @Ditts look what you’ve started. Almost at 100 replies. If you can bear reading another comment … how about taking -

- Your jeans - you’re obviously comfortable with them. Sure most people don’t wear them (I don't) but some do and with no problem at all
- Hiking skirt - doesn't have to be special skirt - you may have one you can use or modify for the purpose. I found a great lightweight skirt at an op shop
- Leggings - but lightweight, not heavy

The skirt legging combo is really comfortable, in my experience. I know you don’t like the clingy feeling … I wouldn’t like wearing leggings under shorts or trousers, but it’s a different story under a skirt. Much better air flow, and easy to take off, once you’ve warmed up - which is usually pretty quickly. If you find your jeans good to walk in, the skirt is fine for evening, plus the leggings if it’s cold.

Those three items will give you lots of versatility.

Apologies if this suggestion already made - I confess to not having read every single post.

Best wishes 😎
 
Last edited:

Pilgrim1960

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Madrid/Frances 2021
Planning VdlP 2023
Ok folks. ALL THESE COMMENTS ABOUT JEANS!!!
We are an interesting and warm bunch of people to take the time to comment and assist someone about their jeans. The Camino community is just so darn wonderful and I feel privileged to be a part of it.
Buen camino.
 
Pocket guides that pack a punch
1.4 oz (40g) pocket guides with gems of wisdom to ponder during and after your Camino

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
Indeed, Apr and May might be close to the wettest months in some places along the Camino routes in northern Spain. That said, temperatures are increasing, so while there might still be the prospect of a cold and wet morning to deal with, they will become less frequent. As I said, choosing jeans will not be without risks, but I see these as manageable now that @@Ditts is aware of what issues might arise.

She doesn't need to pack for your fears or mine. More, she needs to be better informed about what these risks are than the simplistic 'cotton is bad' message that you and others have been promoting.
Better information is always the intent of my participation on this Forum. Please review the meaning of fear against that of common sense. This ends my participation in this conversation.
 

Tom Hagger

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés, Norte, Primitivo, Português, Plata etc.
Please review the meaning of fear against that of common sense.
The inherently and commonly hyperbolic use of the word 'fears' in the context of Dougfitz's point seems perfectly reasonable to me. I fear that to suggest otherwise would be considered rather too literal by many readers. And I would say that Dougfitz's point seems very sound. 😜
 

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)
Better information is always the intent of my participation on this Forum. Please review the meaning of fear against that of common sense. This ends my participation in this conversation.
How interesting. You ask that I review the meanings of fear and common sense, and then suggest you won't participate in any further discussion. I'm not sure what suggests to you that you are entitled to make such requests of forum members, but I thought it might be interesting.

Fear: an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger

Common Sense: "as Einstein has pointed out, common sense is actually nothing more than a deposit of prejudices laid down in the mind prior to the age of eighteen." Lincoln Barnett, in The Universe and Dr. Einstein.

I suggest my use of the word 'fear' is entirely appropriate.

Too often in this thread there have been dogmatic pronouncements about the danger of jeans, some with an attempt at explanation. But few appear to me to have grappled with the evidence that there have been experienced pilgrims who have successfully, and apparently safely, walked in jeans.
 
Last edited:
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.

Most read last week in this forum

Hi, I’m doing my first camino hopefully starting the Frances in mid April. I realise what most of the answers to this question will be. I know there is a lot of criticism for The Way because they...
Hi there, New to walking and mistakingly put merino wool socks in washing machine with rest of wash Supposed to be 30'c with woollyte. Are they wrecked? Thanks
Hola! I will be starting my first Camino in late April (Frances). I'm wondering if anyone has had any tried using water shoes as an alternative to sandals for the shower and walking around after...

How to ask a question

How to post a new question on the Camino Forum.

Similar threads

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Updates on YouTube

Camino Conversations

Most downloaded Resources

This site is run by Ivar at

in Santiago de Compostela.
This site participates in the Amazon Affiliate program, designed to provide a means for Ivar to earn fees by linking to Amazon
Official Camino Passport (Credential) | 2023 Camino Guides
Top