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Jeans or Sweatpants?

Tim-the-fat-Canadian

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP (2010); Leon (2012); Leon (2013);SJPP Sept 2018
I have read often that people take two pair of jeans. So far, all of my training walks have been in sweatpants (or jogging pants). I find they are more comfortable and stay up better :D

What have your worn? What do you suggest?

Tim
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
I think that most people here will tell you that jeans are the work of the devil on the Camino. :wink:
Most people seem to wear quick dry type cargo pants...both men and women. They dry quickly and do not chafe.....and have lots of pockets to lose things in.

Added: The most popular pants are the zip off leg cargo pants so that you can easily convert them to shorts in hotter weather. Just be sure to mark the matching zippers with fingernail polish or something as they usually are not interchangeable. Can be really frustrating early in the morning.
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
Hey Tim -

Neither! Too hot, too heavy, too hard to dry! I agree with Grayland - quick dry pants or shorts are best. I actually rarely wear long pants no matter what the weather - that just simplifies things for me. (MEC has some super light-weight and quick-drying pants and shorts - take one of each).

lynne
 

nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
Hi Tim,
All of the above the more side pockets the better! I used lightweight cargo pants with a seamless insert on the inner thigh and gusset to prevent chaffing (and that can be an issue especially in warm weather or if you're wearing over trousers for any length of time :shock: ) and they were great. In addition the hi tech material didn't get heavy when wet and dried out very quickly.
Nell
 
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
The technical material is absolutely the best. One of my three foolish decisions on my first Camino was to take jeans. They were heavy and took eons to dry. On subsequent Caminos, one pair of Tilley hiking shorts and a pair of their lightweight hiking trousers. Some people swear by the trousers where you can zip off the legs to make them into shorts. I have never tried them and cannot say.

In terms of chafing, talcum powder can be helpful, but a friend of mine who faces this challenge tells me that wearing a pair of lycra bicycle shorts as her underclothing has served her brilliantly.
 

Tim-the-fat-Canadian

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP (2010); Leon (2012); Leon (2013);SJPP Sept 2018
To clarify, I will be going in mid-March and finishing mid to late April. I have seen U-tube vidoes of snow on the trail near Santiago in late April. So I am expecting to encounter more cold than warm.

Tim
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
Tim,
Walking at that time of year you might well encounter cold weather, but also wet weather. Jeans are the very worst thing for those kinds of conditions, as they get wet and heavy and make you feel even colder. And you will have great difficulty drying out wet jeans for the next day of walking.

I tend to wear shorts most of the time, and I put on some polyprop leggings under them if it turns cold and/or wet. Some people I know prefer light merino leggings instead. I know that is a Kiwi solution to the problem, and it did get me some odd looks at times.... but it works well! The only tricky thing- if it warmed up I needed to find a hidden spot to get those polyprops off before I over-heated!
There are some very lightweight and warm microfleece trousers available out there now but they can get too hot if conditions warm up...

Happy hunting!
Margaret
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
Tim-the-fat-Canadian said:
To clarify, i will be going in mid-March and finishing mid to late April. I have seen U-tube vidoes of snow on the trail near Santiago in late April. So I am expecting to encounter more cold than warm.

Tim

Tim...I am leaving from SJPP in mid March as well and am taking only the tech cargo pants with zip off legs. I walked in March 2009 and ran into some cold mornings. The pants were fine. After you start climbing up the hills you will warm up quickly. :wink:
 

Davroos

Active Member
Tim

I walk here in London, and recently I have done a 33 K walk in the snow followed by a 33 K walk in the mud. I like the rest here have zip offs, but at present as it it is cold, I wear thermals underneath them.

You do not want jeans as they will not dry, weigh to much and they will not be comfortable
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
Hi Tim,
Tim said:
I have read often that people take two pair of jeans.
Jeans are very bad as they hold moisture. If it is cold and they are damp they will make you colder. Damp jeans could also chafe you badly. We have trekking trousers from M&S here in England. Plenty of pockets, zip-off and shower-proof. I'm sure you could find something similar. Quick drying so only 2 pairs needed, one to wear, one to change into. If the bottoms are wet/muddy just zip off and you only have the bottom bits to dry/wash. These trousers are surprisingly warm as they are very close weave and keep the wind out well, while not being too hot on warm days. They also look quite 'tidy' (if it matters).
'Just in case' I have a single pair of Trekmate longjohns basically for pyjama bottoms, but will wear them under my trousers if it is really cold. Terry had knee length outer socks on his Camino last year so doesn't feel the need for a thermal layer, but I feel the cold more.
I know it all sounds like more cost but if you get sore you can't walk.
Buen Camino
Tia Valeria
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
Yes, definitely long johns, doesn't really matter what the material, but I bought the super light-weight ones (MEC) and was surprised how warm they were. Again, they do serve as pyjamas (ie. don't take clothing that is ONLY pyjamas - these long johns are 24 hour multipurpose and dry quickly. I won't get into the zip-off debate :) - you can read that discussion telsewhere here.

lynne
 

Tim-the-fat-Canadian

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP (2010); Leon (2012); Leon (2013);SJPP Sept 2018
So I drove all the way into Burlington today (an hour from where I live) to the Mountain Equipment Co-op to get two pair of proper pants.

Guess what? And here is a clue........my name

The biggest size they had in any pant they carried was 42 waist. I am a 48 :( I guess only skinny people walk :oops:

I will check out a few more places (there are no hiking stores near here) but in the meanwhile, does anyone have any ideas on where I can find some larger pants?

Tim, the Fat Canadian :evil:
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
I can´t tell you where to shop, but I can speak up in favor of jeans.
Not so much for the Frances, but for the high-level, off-the-beaten-track caminos, like the San Salvador. I wore jeans when I did the high-altitude bits last March, and when I ran into deep and drifted snow overlying brambles I was VERY glad I wore good, tough, sturdy Levi´s that day. "Technical" pants would´ve been too cold and too fragile to handle the load, and keep me warm into the bargain.

I only wish I´d had some gaiters along, too.

The jeans dried out perfectly well overnight... I laid them over a hot radiator at the hostel in Poladura de Tercia, and the next night did the same thing in Pajares.

If you are doing heavy walking in cold conditions, jeans are not so bad at all. Lots of people wear jeans on the Camino. It´s all they have.

Reb.
 

Sheesh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2009, 2013);
? (2020)
Hi Tim. I was a plus size (Canadian) gal when I walked last May, so I can sympathize with you in the challenge to find suitable walking clothes at our local stores. I ended up getting most of my clothing online and was quite satisfied. Of course I had to pay import duty, but it was worth it to get purpose-designed clothing made of moisture wicking/quick dry materials. One of my favorite sites was REI.com. They have “extended” sizes for both men and women, and I found their sizing to be true. They also shipped quickly.

I also used an anti-chaffing stick by Bodyglide for the inner thighs, and found that really helpful. Oh, and walking poles – I would not have made it without them!

It is entirely possible for a person of “ample girth” to do this walk! Be gentle with yourself in the early days of your walk and take your time, especially going downhill. And be very, very vigilant in keeping your pack weight down - you'll be so glad you did.

Good luck and Buen Camino.

Sheesh
 

barbaramarie

New Member
Hi Tim...did the Camino in May of 2002....I would not recommend jeans...light hiking pants, preferably with zip off legs are ideal...easy to dry too....you will not find too many dryers on the camino and you would want to carry the least amount of clothing. Barbara
 

barbaramarie

New Member
Hi Tim....just read further in the comments and realize you are going in March...I would still recommend the zip off light weight hiking pants, and just in case of snow, maybe a very light weight long underwear....remember every item in you pack counts....you need to try to keep your pack sack limited to 10% of your body weight....less stress on your legs and feet....LIGHTWEIGHT is what counts... 8)
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
Hey Tim -
If you don't want to pay exchange, go to MEC's online store (mec.ca). There is at least one good pant that goes up to size 42.

MEC Zip-Leg Pants (Men's)
Product Number: 5017-568MEC Zip-Leg Pants (Men's)
Weight: 480g (34)
Sometimes a good hike takes you from beating sun up into misty, cool fog. That's where convertible pants come in handy. Made from rugged, abrasion-resistant nylon with a rain and dirt-repelling DWR finish.
Fabric is 100% nylon with DWR (durable water repellency) finish.
Zip fly with snap closure and belt loops.
Two thigh cargo pockets, two rear pockets; flaps and snap closures.
Gusseted crotch for a full range of motion.
Zip-off legs with full length zippers for easier on and off.
Regular fit and rise.


Hope this helps! (No I don't get kickbacks from MEC!)

lynne
 

Tim-the-fat-Canadian

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP (2010); Leon (2012); Leon (2013);SJPP Sept 2018
Thanks for some very good suggestions. I will follow up on them. Lynne, your suggestion of MEC having a pant up to size 42........that is my problem.......I need a 48.

So that people do not have to go back and the read the entire string, I am leaving SJPP on March 21st, so will likly be walking in some snow and cold (sounds like Canada :) ) , and I am having trouble finding proper walking pants in my size.

Rebekah, you are the only one out here defending jeans :|
 

Tim-the-fat-Canadian

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP (2010); Leon (2012); Leon (2013);SJPP Sept 2018
Just to add some humour, I think..........I was told that because of my size, that I might be stared at in Spain as there are not a lot of fat people there.....I now have figured out why I will be stared at.......it is because if I do not find any XXX pants, I may not have any on :lol:
 

mrbillyto

Member
Hi Tim,
Try Costco if you can. I am not sure what size their zip away pants go up to but I wore ones from there last Sep/Oct and they worked well for me. One of the great features of their zip aways is that it is a web belt and is adjustable so as you shed a few pounds, you can easily adjust the belt that is attached!
Good luck!
Bill
 

viajero

Active Member
I also walked in March. I wore very thin/lightweight pants and on the cold days wore a pair of silk long johns underneath. They are very lightweight yet add quite a bit of warmth. I also wore them as pajamas.
 

isabelle304

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (SJPP-Santiago) (Oct-Nov 08)
Santiago to Finisterre (Nov 08)
Via de la Plata/Camino Sanabres (Sevilla-Santiago via Ourense) (Oct-Nov 09)
Camino Primitivo (Oviedo-Santiago) (Sep-Oct 14)
Tim
I feel your pain. When I set off for my last camino (Via de la Plata), I was extremely overweight and had not managed to find a pair of suitable technical trousers of my size so I took a pair that was slightly too small - they did not button up and I could only do the zip half way up, but they were very comfortable and somehow did stay up. I wore them with a long top to spare people the sight of my overhanging tummy :roll: Needless to say, 2 weeks later I could zip them all the way up and 2 weeks after that I could button them up finally. By the time I got to Santiago, they were far too big and I had to use the belt to keep them up.

I am guessing you will experience a similar phenomenon :lol:

Isabelle
 

skilsaw

Veteran Member
Tim, After composing a long and compassionate missive about the merits of "technical" clothing and cotton jeans or sweats, the internet gods nuked my reply when I googled "Tilley"

To make a long story short, If sweats are most comfortable, go with sweats. Try to get a pair of synthetic longjohns to wear underneath. And Rebekah's suggestion of gaiters is good. They will keep your cuffs dry when walking in snow, and clean when walking in mud.

If you have a big budget, try, "Tilleyendurables.com" or google "tilley canada". They may be able to special order something with a 48 waist for you. They probably have a store in the Toronto area.

Another suggestion is to get the MEC one size fits all, poncho. It will keep you and your pack dry. I've used one for years. In europe, the poncho to get is made by Altus.

Keep on training, and keep your spirits up.

David, Victoria, Canada
 

Tim-the-fat-Canadian

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP (2010); Leon (2012); Leon (2013);SJPP Sept 2018
Thank you all for your excellent suggestions.

Micheal suggested http://www.bigmen.com/pants/rockmountain.html . For anyone who is large out there like me, this is an excellent site, not just for hiking clothes, but for suits, shirts, anythign and everyting. I ordered a pair of pants from them tonight. When I get them, if I like them, I will then order a second pair.

Viajero also suggested an excellent site. It is http://www.sierratradingpost.com/ I may buy a pair from them as well so that both of my pants are not the same (need to be fashion conscience :lol: )

I got new mid-height hiking boots today. They are Merrills and look excatly the same as my Merrills hiking shoes, but will give me better ankle stability and also keep the small pebbles from sneaking in.

So, got the boots, pants are on the way......I am almost there :)
 

kkcamino

New Member
Tim,

Isn’t it great that we all have different ideas and experiences!

I started my Camino in March of last year from St. Jean Pied de Port.

I brought two pair of the light weight quick dry cargo pants with zip off legs. I wore the one pair as shorts every day over a pair of very light polypro long underwear. I washed these each evening, and wore the other pair with legs on around the refugios and around town. You may get by with only one pair of cargo pants and wear the sweats for evening if it would feel more comfortable. By Santiago I was keeping my pants up by tying three belt loops together with a piece of string, so I wouldn’t worry too much if they feel tight at the beginning.

I wore a goretex jacket and goretex pants, and had a rain cover over my back pack. I would choose those any day over one of those portable sauna ponchos. Many cold mornings I started with my goretex pants over my shorts, then took them off when it warmed up. Same with the jacket, so I didn’t have to carry an extra jacket or a heavier long pair of pants. And they were so much better to wear in the rain – and you will be walking in lots of rain.

I too would bring along some very light weight gaiters to keep rain and snow out of my boots, but primarily to keep those pesky little pebbles from being kicked into the boots on the meseta and on some of the gravel paths.
 

Bridget and Peter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Home to Reims 2007
Reims to Limoges 2008
Camino Ingles 2009
Limoges to Gernica 2009
Gernica to San Vicente de la Barquera 2010
San Vicente to La Isla 2012
La Isla to Santiago Sept/Oct 2014
Re trousers/pants (or skirts, come to that) which will not quite do up.

I have discovered that a hair elastic/bobble/scrunchie/pony tail tie/ you know the thing I mean - a circle of stretchy cord which you can buy on a card with a lot of others in a supermarket, or, if desperate pick up from the ground all over the place, makes an excellent adjuster in the case of a button that will not do up.

You squish the band in half and put one end through the button hole, then put the other end through the poked-through end, so that it is attached to and sticking out from the button hole and ready to loop around the button across that little bit of bulgy flesh preventing the zipper from pulling all the way up. As Isabelle says, a long top hides all this quite tidily! And hopefully after a fews days you will have lost the bulge either through weight loss or tightening up the tummy muscles, or both, and you will be able to do up the button!

Sorry for the insight this may reveal into my body shape and slovenly ways, but this is a forum where we like to share! :)
 

quietwun

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (April 2014)
Funny what kinds of threads can be encouraging.

Just to say, I am with you. For women's clothes, LL Bean (US mail order) sometimes has some nice technical material items..usually up to size 20, sometimes in plus. I don't know how their men's things are.

Yes in Canada I pay duty, etc., but really we are often paying it as part of a tag price anyway.

Nice to know I am not alone, although I am working hard on losing a few before my walk so I don't collapse the first day.

Pass the popcorn.

Lynda
 

Tim-the-fat-Canadian

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP (2010); Leon (2012); Leon (2013);SJPP Sept 2018
I am leaving next Friday. Toronto to London to Biarritz to SJPP arriving on the 20th.

Am I ready - no way. But it is time to crap or get off the pot so here I go. I need to thank all of you who have helped me with my questions and shared your knowledge.

I have created a blog and anyone is welcome to follow it. The link is http://what-is-tim-up-to-now.blogspot.com/

Thanks,

Tim
 

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