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Luggage Transfer Correos

May/June Camino merino wool or down jacket

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
I'll be starting from St Jean on May 11th, and I'm doing a hybrid Frances/Salvador/Norte/Finisterre Camino.
I have a lightweight merino wool zip up jacket and a lightweight down jacket. The down jacket weighs about an ounce less. I will also be bringing a long sleeve merino T-shirt that I've added a zipper onto to layer over my merino walking dresses. I also have my homemade "parcho" which is a full cover poncho/raincoat sleeves.

I'm thinking that if I really need the warmth that the down jacket will probably be better.

I've only walked July-September. How similar are the temps at the beginning of May in Basque Country vs late September temps in Galicia?
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
It will be chilly in the morning, but I survive very well layered in a t-shirt, Merino wool jumper and a Patagonia puffy vest, like the one in my icon pix. If it gets nasty I put on a hooded rain coat and shorten my day.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
Terry, my inclination is toward the down jacket. It is more breathable and at least as insulative as the Merino (which is very breathable itself).

The down is likely coated with a hydrophobic water repellant which holds up well in wet conditions if it is covered with a weather layer, like your parcho.

If you have the option, a down vest might be worth consideration. It can reduce weight, and with your long sleeved shirt will provide a great level of warmth when needed. A surprising brand to consider (it was a serendipitous discovery by a few backpackers) which has gotten good reviews:

 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
Terry, my inclination is toward the down jacket. It is more breathable and at least as insulative as the Merino (which is very breathable itself).

The down is likely coated with a hydrophobic water repellant which holds up well in wet conditions if it is covered with a weather layer, like your parcho.

If you have the option, a down vest might be worth consideration. It can reduce weight, and with your long sleeved shirt will provide a great level of warmth when needed. A surprising brand to consider (it was a serendipitous discovery by a few backpackers) which has gotten good reviews:

The down jacket is a cheapie from Costco, so I don't know if it has any hydrophobic coating. I do have some waterproofing spray that I could use on it.
For my first three Caminos I've used a lightweight merino sweater and a very lightweight hoodie - both from Uniqlo! 😊
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
The down jacket is a cheapie from Costco, so I don't know if it has any hydrophobic coating. I do have some waterproofing spray that I could use on it.
For my first three Caminos I've used a lightweight merino sweater and a very lightweight hoodie - both from Uniqlo! 😊
Costco's down wearables do use manufacturers whose feathers and down DO have the coating applied. So if your jacket is under 4 years old, it will have it.

Additionally, their down and feather garments and bedding, etc require that the manufacturers only use ethically sourced down and feathers, if that is of concern. :)
 

martyseville

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
a/a
Always keep in mind...

Wool will keep you warm even when wet.

Vs

When down gets wet, even wet from day in and day out In moist conditions, will not keep you warm.

Wet down is useless

No not walking the AT , PCRM, but you never know when walking.

I always have wool cap, gloves and shirt regardless where hiking.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
Always keep in mind...

Wool will keep you warm even when wet.

Vs

When down gets wet, even wet from day in and day out In moist conditions, will not keep you warm.

Wet down is useless

No not walking the AT , PCRM, but you never know when walking.

I always have wool cap, gloves and shirt regardless where hiking.
That's not really an issue with the hydrophobic down garments that are common nowadays. Even a direct immersion will still allow down and feathers to maintain much of it's insulative value.

This comes under the heading "Don't do this at home" :)
 

lt56ny

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013-Frances SJP-Finisterre, 2015 Camino Le Puy-Santiago, 2017 Portugues Lisbon-Santiago 2018 Norte
Costco's down wearables do use manufacturers whose feathers and down DO have the coating applied. So if your jacket is under 4 years old, it will have it.

Additionally, their down and feather garments and bedding, etc require that the manufacturers only use ethically sourced down and feathers, if that is of concern. :)
Is there anything Camino you don't know??????!!!!!
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Frances (2015)
I'll be starting from St Jean on May 11th, and I'm doing a hybrid Frances/Salvador/Norte/Finisterre Camino.
I have a lightweight merino wool zip up jacket and a lightweight down jacket. The down jacket weighs about an ounce less. I will also be bringing a long sleeve merino T-shirt that I've added a zipper onto to layer over my merino walking dresses. I also have my homemade "parcho" which is a full cover poncho/raincoat sleeves.

I'm thinking that if I really need the warmth that the down jacket will probably be better.

I've only walked July-September. How similar are the temps at the beginning of May in Basque Country vs late September temps in Galicia?
Around that time of year 2015, on the road out of Carrion and again on the road out of O Cebreiro I was more cold than I have ever been in my life and I had sent my jacket home as the April weather had been hotter than usual. Whatever you bring, bring something. The weather can change in an instant as I found out to my cost
 

Chris Gi

Member
Camino(s) past & future
This upcoming May 31st through July 1st approximately.
The down jacket is a cheapie from Costco, so I don't know if it has any hydrophobic coating. I do have some waterproofing spray that I could use on it.
For my first three Caminos I've used a lightweight merino sweater and a very lightweight hoodie - both from Uniqlo! 😊
I love both my Costco “cheapie” down vest and jacket and took both last year on my 3 week Camino. They weigh practically nothing and roll up into a tight ball. While not really rain resistant they never got very wet as I did have a good cover all poncho.
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
I'll be starting from St Jean on May 11th, and I'm doing a hybrid Frances/Salvador/Norte/Finisterre Camino.
I have a lightweight merino wool zip up jacket and a lightweight down jacket. The down jacket weighs about an ounce less. I will also be bringing a long sleeve merino T-shirt that I've added a zipper onto to layer over my merino walking dresses. I also have my homemade "parcho" which is a full cover poncho/raincoat sleeves.

I'm thinking that if I really need the warmth that the down jacket will probably be better.

I've only walked July-September. How similar are the temps at the beginning of May in Basque Country vs late September temps in Galicia?
Def down. I walked Camino from May 8th in 2006.
Had fabulous weather, but on the meta in June, the wind was icy and there was frost a couple of mornings approaching Burgos.
A year or do later people had rain and snow for weeks around the same time.
It is rather unpredictable...
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
I wonder if it would be worthwhile to use this NikWax Down Wash?

 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
I wonder if it would be worthwhile to use this NikWax Down Wash?

Although Nikwax, which makes some wonderful products, states that a wash on a non-dirty down garment or bag can somewhat improve 'loft', that is a statement without a lot to back it up. Also, IF the down already is pre-treated with the hydrophobic coating, some suggest that there may be an actual reduction in loft.

For dirty bags or garments, the loft of the down is attacked by body grime and salts from perspiration and will degrade a tiny bit with extended use. The new hydrophobic coatings seem to help minimize this, but it will happen.

This is when I use Nikwax. If washed according to directions, and applying the utmost patience, not only will the fabric come clean and obtain a bit of repellency, but the down will go back to virtually it's full loft.

Since I use my down stuff for hundreds of miles backpacking each summer and fall, I will usually wash everything at the end of the season. For my winter weight down stuff, I will clean it in the early spring when I'm done with winter hiking and camping.
 

andycohn

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2012,13,15); Finisterre / Muxia (15); Portugeuse (17); Primitivo (17); Norte (18); Ingles (18)
Hi Trecile: Davebugg is the guru here, and has far more technical knowledge than I do, so these are just my personal experiences, which lead me to favor the wool sweater. I finished the Frances in late October, 2015, and walked the Norte in May, 2018 and the Primitivo in May - June, 2017. Wearing a long-sleeved t-shirt, a merino wool sweater and my rain jacket on top, I was always plenty warm, even starting out at dawn in the mountains on the Primitivo. (The non-porous rain jacket atop the sweater keeps the heat in).

The one time I replaced my sweater with a down jacket was for a trek in the Italian Dolomites in September, 2017, where, on our first day out, we encountered freezing temperatures and a snowstorm. With the rain jacket atop the down jacket, I started sweating heavily. (The going was steeply uphill in real mountain terrain). The down jacket got soaked from the inside and lost any insulating capacity. Eventually, I started shivering so hard that I feared hypothermia, and we had to turn back to our starting point.

Dave may be able to explain this as a one-off or unique experience, and you probably won’t enconter conditions like this on the Salvador, but as for me, I’m swearing off the down jacket in any situation where it’s going to get very wet — either because of external conditions or because I’m working up a heavy sweat.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
Hi, Andy; I appreciate your sharing your experience. Early in my backpacking career, I had some similar situations and I can attest to how unpleasant and scary those issues can become.

I am not going to presume anything about your situation, but perhaps some general comments may be applicable to what you experienced. I definitely am not intending in any way to criticize your experiences, so I apologize in advance if I inadvertently come across in that way.

The one thing that I might ask specifically, out of curiosity and information, is if you know whether or not your jacket used hydrophobic down as its fill? Untreated down will act in the way you described if worn in the specific manner that you were doing. Hydrophobic coated down should not have; in fact, it came into being specifically to avoid your type of scenario.

I am going to repost something I wrote about cool and cold weather walking/backpacking. You may have read it before; if not, maybe it can help explain your specific situation . . or not :)

The first thing I ask folks to keep in mind, are the guidelines of when to wear an insulative layer, be it down or fleece, or synthetics in a puffy-style jacket or vest. That information is contained in the re-post.

____

Layering is a biggie in cool and cold weather, as is controlling exertion levels to minimize perspiration.

An important principle is: You never dress with the amount of clothing needed to keep you warm at the start of walking or hiking... you wear the amount of clothing needed to keep you warm 10 minutes after you start walking.

In cold weather, or even cool weather, one needs to do what is necessary to prevent overheating and sweat. That includes how fast a pace one is moving as part of one's total level of exertion, as well as how much clothing one is wearing, and how much air circulation one is able to maintain.

It does not take long, with any layering amount, to saturate clothing with sweat. THAT is when the danger of hypothermia, and at the very least a chilly discomfort will begin to take its toll. If saturation or wetness happens, the only recourse is to change into dry clothing. Since there is usually a limited amount of clothing carried in a backpack, it is essential to adopt strategies to control sweating. Keep in mind that the material of your layers will also determine the effect to you from the above scenario. Focus on clothing made from merino wool or specialized synthetics. These will allow the garment to remain somewhat insulative even though saturated with sweat. Cottons and cotton blends are a menace and can accelerate a hypothermic condition.

Strategies include those mentioned above:
  • Limit layers of clothing to only that which is needed when full exertion is achieved. :) For those who just can't suck it up for a few minutes when first starting to walk, wear only layers which can be quickly and easily removed. For instance, adding a poncho will add about a 15 degree F advantage to existing layers. It allows for good air circulation. As you warm up during the first 10 minutes of your walk, the poncho is easily removed and stashed into a side pocket of your pack.
  • Move as slow as you need to, within reason, to keep perspiration to a minimum. This may also mean stopping to allow your body to cool down. Even with a single, lightweight layer, some folks walking under load will tend to over-heat. Keep monitoring yourself.
  • Keep an insulative layer, like a puffy down jacket or vest, near at hand so that if you are wetting-out while walking, you can put it on quickly when you stop for a break. Keep it in an outside pocket or on top of the other contents in your pack. A light puffy jacket or mid-weight fleece or a down vest works well here. The key is to keep this layer dry and to use it as a last resort when at rest. If this strategy is needed, do not continue walking until you have been able to stop sweating and you can achieve some level of dryness to your clothes.
In the above scenario, you may actually become warmer by removing your saturated layers so that you only have on your dry insulative layer. Dig out a towel and dry off excess sweat as best you can. Wring out your other layers and let them start to dry. If you have a second shirt, put it on. Hang your wet things from your pack so that they can dry. After you have cooled down, and with your dry layer and your insulative layer on, walk slowly to avoid re-heating. You will make progress down the path, stay warm, while letting your wet layers become dry. The real goal at this point is to dry your layers, not achieve distance.
  • Do not discount the amount of added warmth a light scarf or bandanna or a buff will bring as it insulates your neck. Wearing one can make wearing less layers very comfortable. It will also be a good first line of defense against over-heating and excess sweating by the ability to remove it, thus allowing the neck to act as a radiator in helping to shed body heat.
  • Yes, the type of head gear worn makes a big difference in one's body's heat loss or retention. A hat that works well for sun is not going to be the best choice for cold weather. Wool is king, as it is far less impacted by sweat affecting its inuslative properties than most other materials. And even though wool weighs more than other types of insulation, you do not need a heavy cap of wool to keep you warm. Wool is also far more breathable than many materials which aids in heat control.
As with neck wear, a wool cap can be easily removed to assist with cooling the body to prevent overheating.

Much of the above is what I have used when mountain climbing at high altitudes. Patience and light, multiple layers is the key to preventing hypothermia when being active outdoors.

-----------------------------------------------------------
 

holhum

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning for Leon to Santiago June 2019
Hi, Andy; I appreciate your sharing your experience. Early in my backpacking career, I had some similar situations and I can attest to how unpleasant and scary those issues can become.

I am not going to presume anything about your situation, but perhaps some general comments may be applicable to what you experienced. I definitely am not intending in any way to criticize your experiences, so I apologize in advance if I inadvertently come across in that way.

The one thing that I might ask specifically, out of curiosity and information, is if you know whether or not your jacket used hydrophobic down as its fill? Untreated down will act in the way you described if worn in the specific manner that you were doing. Hydrophobic coated down should not have; in fact, it came into being specifically to avoid your type of scenario.

I am going to repost something I wrote about cool and cold weather walking/backpacking. You may have read it before; if not, maybe it can help explain your specific situation . . or not :)

The first thing I ask folks to keep in mind, are the guidelines of when to wear an insulative layer, be it down or fleece, or synthetics in a puffy-style jacket or vest. That information is contained in the re-post.

____

Layering is a biggie in cool and cold weather, as is controlling exertion levels to minimize perspiration.

An important principle is: You never dress with the amount of clothing needed to keep you warm at the start of walking or hiking... you wear the amount of clothing needed to keep you warm 10 minutes after you start walking.

In cold weather, or even cool weather, one needs to do what is necessary to prevent overheating and sweat. That includes how fast a pace one is moving as part of one's total level of exertion, as well as how much clothing one is wearing, and how much air circulation one is able to maintain.

It does not take long, with any layering amount, to saturate clothing with sweat. THAT is when the danger of hypothermia, and at the very least a chilly discomfort will begin to take its toll. If saturation or wetness happens, the only recourse is to change into dry clothing. Since there is usually a limited amount of clothing carried in a backpack, it is essential to adopt strategies to control sweating. Keep in mind that the material of your layers will also determine the effect to you from the above scenario. Focus on clothing made from merino wool or specialized synthetics. These will allow the garment to remain somewhat insulative even though saturated with sweat. Cottons and cotton blends are a menace and can accelerate a hypothermic condition.

Strategies include those mentioned above:
  • Limit layers of clothing to only that which is needed when full exertion is achieved. :) For those who just can't suck it up for a few minutes when first starting to walk, wear only layers which can be quickly and easily removed. For instance, adding a poncho will add about a 15 degree F advantage to existing layers. It allows for good air circulation. As you warm up during the first 10 minutes of your walk, the poncho is easily removed and stashed into a side pocket of your pack.
  • Move as slow as you need to, within reason, to keep perspiration to a minimum. This may also mean stopping to allow your body to cool down. Even with a single, lightweight layer, some folks walking under load will tend to over-heat. Keep monitoring yourself.
  • Keep an insulative layer, like a puffy down jacket or vest, near at hand so that if you are wetting-out while walking, you can put it on quickly when you stop for a break. Keep it in an outside pocket or on top of the other contents in your pack. A light puffy jacket or mid-weight fleece or a down vest works well here. The key is to keep this layer dry and to use it as a last resort when at rest. If this strategy is needed, do not continue walking until you have been able to stop sweating and you can achieve some level of dryness to your clothes.
In the above scenario, you may actually become warmer by removing your saturated layers so that you only have on your dry insulative layer. Dig out a towel and dry off excess sweat as best you can. Wring out your other layers and let them start to dry. If you have a second shirt, put it on. Hang your wet things from your pack so that they can dry. After you have cooled down, and with your dry layer and your insulative layer on, walk slowly to avoid re-heating. You will make progress down the path, stay warm, while letting your wet layers become dry. The real goal at this point is to dry your layers, not achieve distance.
  • Do not discount the amount of added warmth a light scarf or bandanna or a buff will bring as it insulates your neck. Wearing one can make wearing less layers very comfortable. It will also be a good first line of defense against over-heating and excess sweating by the ability to remove it, thus allowing the neck to act as a radiator in helping to shed body heat.
  • Yes, the type of head gear worn makes a big difference in one's body's heat loss or retention. A hat that works well for sun is not going to be the best choice for cold weather. Wool is king, as it is far less impacted by sweat affecting its inuslative properties than most other materials. And even though wool weighs more than other types of insulation, you do not need a heavy cap of wool to keep you warm. Wool is also far more breathable than many materials which aids in heat control.
As with neck wear, a wool cap can be easily removed to assist with cooling the body to prevent overheating.

Much of the above is what I have used when mountain climbing at high altitudes. Patience and light, multiple layers is the key to preventing hypothermia when being active outdoors.

-----------------------------------------------------------
What great info. I have always lived in a subtropical climate and don't 'understand' cold weather as I have never really experienced it. Good advice :)
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
Oh, heck, there's a TON about Camino I don't know. Knowing a bit about backpacking stuff sometimes can translate over for use on Camino, though. :)
I was introduced to somebody in SdC last September who had just done his second CF and knew ALL the answers - me, I don't even know the all questions . . . ;)
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
I'm not sure when I bought it. It seems like less than 4 years, but it also seems like yesterday that my kids were babies. 😊
If they're like mine (32 & 30) they still are!

Going back to the original point my friend JoJo did her first Camino over the Pyrenees in early May and there was still a lot of snow around - she stepped "off-piste" to take a photo and ended up waist deep (although, in fairness she is short-ish) so be prepared. I'd go down jacket or vest and light synthetic fleece mainly because I don't like the smell of wet wool.
 

andycohn

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2012,13,15); Finisterre / Muxia (15); Portugeuse (17); Primitivo (17); Norte (18); Ingles (18)
Hi, Andy; I appreciate your sharing your experience. Early in my backpacking career, I had some similar situations and I can attest to how unpleasant and scary those issues can become.

I am not going to presume anything about your situation, but perhaps some general comments may be applicable to what you experienced. I definitely am not intending in any way to criticize your experiences, so I apologize in advance if I inadvertently come across in that way.

The one thing that I might ask specifically, out of curiosity and information, is if you know whether or not your jacket used hydrophobic down as its fill? Untreated down will act in the way you described if worn in the specific manner that you were doing. Hydrophobic coated down should not have; in fact, it came into being specifically to avoid your type of scenario.

I am going to repost something I wrote about cool and cold weather walking/backpacking. You may have read it before; if not, maybe it can help explain your specific situation . . or not :)

The first thing I ask folks to keep in mind, are the guidelines of when to wear an insulative layer, be it down or fleece, or synthetics in a puffy-style jacket or vest. That information is contained in the re-post.

____

Layering is a biggie in cool and cold weather, as is controlling exertion levels to minimize perspiration.

An important principle is: You never dress with the amount of clothing needed to keep you warm at the start of walking or hiking... you wear the amount of clothing needed to keep you warm 10 minutes after you start walking.

In cold weather, or even cool weather, one needs to do what is necessary to prevent overheating and sweat. That includes how fast a pace one is moving as part of one's total level of exertion, as well as how much clothing one is wearing, and how much air circulation one is able to maintain.

It does not take long, with any layering amount, to saturate clothing with sweat. THAT is when the danger of hypothermia, and at the very least a chilly discomfort will begin to take its toll. If saturation or wetness happens, the only recourse is to change into dry clothing. Since there is usually a limited amount of clothing carried in a backpack, it is essential to adopt strategies to control sweating. Keep in mind that the material of your layers will also determine the effect to you from the above scenario. Focus on clothing made from merino wool or specialized synthetics. These will allow the garment to remain somewhat insulative even though saturated with sweat. Cottons and cotton blends are a menace and can accelerate a hypothermic condition.

Strategies include those mentioned above:
  • Limit layers of clothing to only that which is needed when full exertion is achieved. :) For those who just can't suck it up for a few minutes when first starting to walk, wear only layers which can be quickly and easily removed. For instance, adding a poncho will add about a 15 degree F advantage to existing layers. It allows for good air circulation. As you warm up during the first 10 minutes of your walk, the poncho is easily removed and stashed into a side pocket of your pack.
  • Move as slow as you need to, within reason, to keep perspiration to a minimum. This may also mean stopping to allow your body to cool down. Even with a single, lightweight layer, some folks walking under load will tend to over-heat. Keep monitoring yourself.
  • Keep an insulative layer, like a puffy down jacket or vest, near at hand so that if you are wetting-out while walking, you can put it on quickly when you stop for a break. Keep it in an outside pocket or on top of the other contents in your pack. A light puffy jacket or mid-weight fleece or a down vest works well here. The key is to keep this layer dry and to use it as a last resort when at rest. If this strategy is needed, do not continue walking until you have been able to stop sweating and you can achieve some level of dryness to your clothes.
In the above scenario, you may actually become warmer by removing your saturated layers so that you only have on your dry insulative layer. Dig out a towel and dry off excess sweat as best you can. Wring out your other layers and let them start to dry. If you have a second shirt, put it on. Hang your wet things from your pack so that they can dry. After you have cooled down, and with your dry layer and your insulative layer on, walk slowly to avoid re-heating. You will make progress down the path, stay warm, while letting your wet layers become dry. The real goal at this point is to dry your layers, not achieve distance.
  • Do not discount the amount of added warmth a light scarf or bandanna or a buff will bring as it insulates your neck. Wearing one can make wearing less layers very comfortable. It will also be a good first line of defense against over-heating and excess sweating by the ability to remove it, thus allowing the neck to act as a radiator in helping to shed body heat.
  • Yes, the type of head gear worn makes a big difference in one's body's heat loss or retention. A hat that works well for sun is not going to be the best choice for cold weather. Wool is king, as it is far less impacted by sweat affecting its inuslative properties than most other materials. And even though wool weighs more than other types of insulation, you do not need a heavy cap of wool to keep you warm. Wool is also far more breathable than many materials which aids in heat control.
As with neck wear, a wool cap can be easily removed to assist with cooling the body to prevent overheating.

Much of the above is what I have used when mountain climbing at high altitudes. Patience and light, multiple layers is the key to preventing hypothermia when being active outdoors.

-----------------------------------------------------------
Dave: Thanks for your informative response. My down jacket is also a cheapie, from Uniqlo, and there’s no indication of whether the down is hydrophobic. But after my experience in the Dolomites, I’ve relied on only wool and synthetic layering on the Norte last spring, on the Via Francigena in Italy in December, and a week of backpacking last summer in the Sierras here in California (where serious cold isn’t a problem).
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
Davebugg nailed it = You can take what he says to the proverbial bank...

For me, allow me to state that, regardless of what you wear to protect yourself from the rain, when you walk, you WILL perspire...a lot. You will become wet with your own perspiration even if your rain gear prevents you from being rained on. Parkas with pit zips help, but do not eliminate the problem.

In this instance, do you REALLY want to be wearing down? Down makes sense if you are walking in very cold but dry weather, or perhaps in the evening if there is no heat in an albergue. But, elsewise, you may be sorry you relied on down to keep you warm when it gets wet.

This is why most of us veterans, wear either a microfiber fleece or merino wool as our "keep warm layer." Both will insulate when wet, and dry out fast. Both do not stink after repeated wearings. Both can be hand-washed, wrung out, and line dried as the need occurs.

I only advise down if it is in a sleeping bag, where it can be kept scrupulously dry at all times.

In most years, I walk during April and May. I usually wear a light, short sleeve, t-shirt or polo shirt. If I am cold, I put my Columbia zip-up fleece jacket on (level 100 is adequate, and level 200 fleece is more than enough). Level 300 fleece is too hot and bulky, IMHO. Carry a brightly (neon - safety) colored microfiber watch cap and runner's gloves to keep hands and heat warm as needed. I get these items in a runner's store.

Read the product descriptions. The better brands will tell you the level, either in the description or the style name (e.g. Adventure 100...or Stay Warm 200...)

Over that, on a windy day, or if the rain is a sporadic drizzle, I wear my Marmot parka with pit-zips. I wear my sun hat as the larger brim keeps the light precipitation off my eyeglasses.

Once the rain is sustained and constant, even as a drizzle, I KNOW I will be getting wet from rain. So, then I add my Sea to Summit Siliconized Nylon 'body condom' poncho to everything. Also, I switch my sun hat for a ball cap, as this prevents excess water from running around my head and down my back, under the poncho hood.

This all ensures my rucksack stays dry, and prevents more rain from getting in and soaking me. Rain from the outside is also COLD. Cold is bad.

However, all this layering ensures that my perspiration remains close to my body. When I get where I am going for the day, everything needs to be dried.

One final thought and truism to leave you with: "Warm and wet is not bad, and is sometimes very good... However cold and wet is NEVER good..." You might be uncomfortable while sweating, but it beats hypothermia.

Hope this helps.
 
Last edited:

4 Eyes

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF from SJPP 14, VDLP from Seville 15, DN&P from Irun 16, Portuguese from Lisbon 17, CF from SJPP 18
I have tried a merino wool full zip hoodie from IB but it did not keep me warm enough. I always bring down now. Caveat: for me these are only for post walking time and bed time. I never wear the wool or down layer while walking with my pack. It would get too warm within a couple of minutes. While walking in cold weather, even in the snow, I wear two hollowcore polyester flannel shirts (and a warm hat with ear flaps/balaclava). The shirts are warm, breathable, wicking, and quick dry. They are enough as long as I keep moving. When it gets too warm (uphill) it's easy to remove the hat/balaclava and hook it on my pack strap with carabiner without stopping. You can get these shirts at EB or RR. Men's version is thicker and warmer than women's version. They are having sales now so price is reasonable.
 

Hansel

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2018)
What great info. I have always lived in a subtropical climate and don't 'understand' cold weather as I have never really experienced it. Good advice :)
Slightly jealous holhum, ,always on the look out for somewhere subtropical to retire .Especially, about March time , after a winter in cold and dark weather,
Bill,
ps I have been caught out twice when hillwalking in the "summer " in Scotland, by either not putting on layers soon enough, or foolishly not carrying enough warm gear.
 

Hansel

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2018)
Davebugg nailed it =. You can take what he says to the proverbial bank...

For me, allow me to state that, regardless of what you wear to protect yourself from the rain, when you walk, you WILL perspire...a lot. You will become wet with your own perspiration even if your rain gear prevents you from being rained on. Parkas with pit zips help, but do not eliminate the problem.

In this instance, do you REALLY want to be wearing down? Down makes sense if you are walking in very cold but dry weather, or perhaps in the evening if there is no heat in an albergue. But, elsewise, you may be sorry you relied on down to keep you warm when it gets wet.

This is why most of us veterans, wear either a microfiber fleece or merino wool as our "keep warm layer." Both will insulate when wet, and dry out fast. Both do not stink after repeated wearings. Both can be hand-washed, wrung out, and line dried as the need occurs.

I only advise down if it is in a sleeping bag, where it can be kept scrupulously dry at all times.

In most years, I walk during April and May. I usually wear a light, short sleeve, t-shirt or polo shirt. If I am cold, I put my Columbia zip-up fleece jacket on (level 100 is adequate, and level 200 fleece is more than enough). Level 300 fleece is too hot and bulky, IMHO. Carry a brightly (neon - safety) colored microfiber watch cap and runner's gloves to keep hands and heat warm as needed. I get these items in a runner's store.

Read the product descriptions. The better brands will tell you the level, wither in the description or the style name (e.g. Adventure 100...or Stay Warm 200...)

Over that, on a windy day, or if the rain is a sporadic drizzle, I wear my Marmot parka with pit-zips. I wear my sun hat as the larger brim keeps the light precipitation off my eyeglasses.

Once the rain is sustained and constant, even as a drizzle, I KNOW I will be getting wet from rain. So, then I add my Sea to Summit Siliconized Nylon 'body condom' poncho to everything. Also, I switch my sun hat for a ball cap, as this prevents excess water from running around my head and down my back, under the poncho hood.

This all ensures my rucksack stays dry, and prevents more rain from getting in and soaking me. Rain from the outside is also COLD. Cold is bad.

However, all this layering ensures that my perspiration remains close to my body. When I get where I am going for the day, everything needs to be dried.

One final thought and truism to leave you with: "Warm and wet is not bad, and is sometimes very good... However cold and wet is NEVER good..." You might be uncomfortable while sweating, but it beats hypothermia.

Hope this helps.
Good advice, been debating taking a light down, will probably go for two light fleeces,
Agree cold and wet is miserable,
Bill
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
As others have noted, down works well if you are mostly sedentary and dry... not so well if there is moisture involved. Poly fleece works best, all around. However, there are some of us out there (not including me) who swear that merino wool is the way to go.

I like merino wool in a sweater / pullover. But for rougher wear on Camino, I prefer fleece. In the end it comes down to personal preference.

Just think twice, or thrice, about taking down, unless it is as a night time or day off sweater.
 

ornatewrasse

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019
Costco's down wearables do use manufacturers whose feathers and down DO have the coating applied. So if your jacket is under 4 years old, it will have it.
That is very good to know! I will be bringing a down jacket I bought at Costco within the past 4 years. It fits into a fabric case and doesn't take up much room. I'm leaving for my first Camino on April 28th and will start walking on May 1st from Leon. I tend to get cold very easily so I think it will be very smart to take it. I'm also taking both a long sleeve and short sleeve merino wool top to wear under the down jacket. Looking forward to my first Camino!
 

lt56ny

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013-Frances SJP-Finisterre, 2015 Camino Le Puy-Santiago, 2017 Portugues Lisbon-Santiago 2018 Norte
You got that right, Pilgrim! I am Dave’s Camino groupie
 

alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
April 2019-Camino de Invierno
It's very hot in May and June. I never wore anything except a t-shirt. I'm going back in April and I'm not packing a long sleeve shirt at all. Even the rain jacket I took on the first Camino I only wore one day for like an hour. Remember that Down may be light but loses it's insulation when it gets wet.
 

Hansel

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2018)
It's very hot in May and June. I never wore anything except a t-shirt. I'm going back in April and I'm not packing a long sleeve shirt at all. Even the rain jacket I took on the first Camino I only wore one day for like an hour. Remember that Down may be light but loses it's insulation when it gets wet.
Maybe see you along the way , on the countdown, fly out three weeks tomorrow, Debating a long sleeve shirt or arm warmers, I did wear these, even when it was over 30'c at it's warmest it got down to 6'c with a wind blowing in August on the meseta,
Bill
 

alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
April 2019-Camino de Invierno
Maybe see you along the way , on the countdown, fly out three weeks tomorrow, Debating a long sleeve shirt or arm warmers, I did wear these, even when it was over 30'c at it's warmest it got down to 6'c with a wind blowing in August on the meseta,
Bill
We're walking the Invierno Route starting April 17th so unlikely we'll see each other. Temps are already in the high 60s and 70s. Buen Camino and safe travels.
 

Hansel

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2018)
We're walking the Invierno Route starting April 17th so unlikely we'll see each other. Temps are already in the high 60s and 70s. Buen Camino and safe travels.
What site are you using for weather, ? BBC showing 13'c high , and 2'c low, and then 19'c high and 2'c low, in Oviedo this week.
Bill
 

ranthr

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
It's very hot in May and June. I never wore anything except a t-shirt. I'm going back in April and I'm not packing a long sleeve shirt at all. Even the rain jacket I took on the first Camino I only wore one day for like an hour. Remember that Down may be light but loses it's insulation when it gets wet.
My home is in the north of Norway. For many years I have run away to the camino in May to get away from still winter. In 2013 I started my walk in beginning of May on the GR 65, walked for a couple of weeks there before I went on to the Northe. The last thing I grabbed with me before leaving home was a goretexjacket which in my opinion was to warm. I used this jacked with merino t-shirt and merino sleeves under each day. Some days with a poncholayer, gloves,buff and rainhat. My coldest camino ever!
While I was freezing in France and Spain, the north of Norway had the hottest springweather ever with 20-30 Celcius for weeks.
My point is that May/June is not always hot in Spain. As I heard from the Frances when I was on the coast, there was very bad weather some days with wind and snow.
 
Camino(s) past & future
del Norte/Primitivo May 2019
Poly fleece works best, all around. However, there are some of us out there (not including me) who swear that merino wool is the way to go.
I love wool, down, and fleece and wear all three at different times and sometimes the same time here in the Colorado Rockies. That being said my Melanzana Polar Fleece jacket is my favorite piece of technical clothing. It is warm, cool, breathable, windproof all at the same time. Ok maybe I am biased because it is made right here in Leadville but I am telling ya'll it is fantastic. People in Colorado love their "Mellies"
 

alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
April 2019-Camino de Invierno
What site are you using for weather, ? BBC showing 13'c high , and 2'c low, and then 19'c high and 2'c low, in Oviedo this week.
Bill
I’m not looking at Oviedo. I was looking at Ponferrada where I’m starting from. El tiempo.es is the Spanish weather site.
 

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