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microfiber towel poncho

Backagain

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Primitivo (2017)
Frances (2020)
When I walked in 2017, I just took the usual microfiber hiking towel. It worked but wasn't exactly pleasant. I'm planning to go back in September and am wondering if a microfiber poncho would be a good addition? something like: this. weighs around a pound, looks like it might work for lounging or an extra layer if dry/clean, and has enough towel to keep me nice and dry.

What do you think? weird and probably useless, or potentially worth a few ounces of backpack space?
 
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jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
When I walked in 2017, I just took the usual microfiber hiking towel. It worked but wasn't exactly pleasant. I'm planning to go back in September and am wondering if a microfiber poncho would be a good addition? something like: this. weighs around a pound, looks like it might work for lounging or an extra layer if dry/clean, and has enough towel to keep me nice and dry.

What do you think? weird and probably useless, or potentially worth a few ounces of backpack space?

just looks like extra weight to me.
 
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Phoenix

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2014, CF: partial
2016, CF
2018, CF: partial
2019, CP
giphy.gif
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
this one looks like a stained glass window!

I'm totally doing this. I can go from shower to church with (quite literally) nothing in between.
That one is definitely much better. I think that you could probably just buy two of them and wear them as your walking clothes, since they have pockets and everything. Before you get in the shower you take off the one that you are wearing, and when you're done showering you put on the other one! Maybe you could add an extension for your legs and turn it into a sleeping bag at night.
 
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Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
When I walked in 2017, I just took the usual microfiber hiking towel. It worked but wasn't exactly pleasant. I'm planning to go back in September and am wondering if a microfiber poncho would be a good addition? something like: this. weighs around a pound, looks like it might work for lounging or an extra layer if dry/clean, and has enough towel to keep me nice and dry.

What do you think? weird and probably useless, or potentially worth a few ounces of backpack space?
Going "old school" eh? It's been done before:

1625214425441.png

Shave your hair to a tonsure (cuts down on the amount of shampoo you'll need) and you'll be ready to solve crimes in 12th century Salisbury.

Best not make a habit of posts like these ;)
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
Have you factored in the weight of the iron plate?

1625215198916.png

drop that on your toes coming out of the shower and you'll never finish your Camino!
 

davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
When I walked in 2017, I just took the usual microfiber hiking towel. It worked but wasn't exactly pleasant. I'm planning to go back in September and am wondering if a microfiber poncho would be a good addition? something like: this. weighs around a pound, looks like it might work for lounging or an extra layer if dry/clean, and has enough towel to keep me nice and dry.

What do you think? weird and probably useless, or potentially worth a few ounces of backpack space?
Ounces equal pounds and pounds equal pain.
 

nathanael

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte, Plata,
Going "old school" eh? It's been done before:

View attachment 103859

Shave your hair to a tonsure (cuts down on the amount of shampoo you'll need) and you'll be ready to solve crimes in 12th century Salisbury.

Best not make a habit of posts like these ;)
speaking of tonsures I remember my tonsure day well, nevertheless, they are not that drastic now it's just five cutes in the form of a cross. I know it's good to make these kinds of posts. But you brought back memories.
 
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Starting Camino 02/04/2020
This was something I have been wondering about also. I have already purchased a microfibre towel, but it's TINY. It was the largest one available, and it still wouldn't go even half way around my body (I'm a UK size 14, ladies), so I had actually considered buying a microfibre poncho myself. This one:

Is the general consensus that it's a bad idea? Will I be an object of ridicule in the alburgues? Haha!!
It's's only €12, I might just buy it and make a decision when I have it in my hand. It's supposed to roll up small
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
i also purchased a microfiber towel and just was not doing its job. I now carry a regular that is not that heavy and does the job it's meant to do.
I dislike microfiber towels. It just felt like like it pushed the water around on my skin. I much prefer a cotton flannel baby towel. Bigger people could sew two together as they sre quite small.
 
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Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
This was something I have been wondering about also. I have already purchased a microfibre towel, but it's TINY. It was the largest one available, and it still wouldn't go even half way around my body (I'm a UK size 14, ladies), so I had actually considered buying a microfibre poncho myself. This one:

Is the general consensus that it's a bad idea? Will I be an object of ridicule in the alburgues? Haha!!
It's's only €12, I might just buy it and make a decision when I have it in my hand. It's supposed to roll up small
Take a look at these

Peshtamal


nearly 6' x 3' and light (about 300gm). Use it as a towel, sheet, scarf, shawl, sarong . . . .

They dry (you and themselves) very quickly.

Recommended by both my daughters (one is a UK 10 the other er, a bit bigger!)
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
That looks like a good option, Jeff. I would give that useless tonsure fringe a good haircut and save even more weight.😅
 
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Take a look at these

Peshtamal

nearly 6' x 3' and light (about 300gm). Use it as a towel, sheet, scarf, shawl, sarong . . . .

They dry (you and themselves) very quickly.

Recommended by both my daughters (one is a UK 10 the other er, a bit bigger!)
Oooooh, that might do the job, and its a lot lighter (300g, rather than almost 500g) than the surfing poncho I was considering, and I won't look as silly.
I might order this instead. Thank you.
 
D

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Phoenix

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2014, CF: partial
2016, CF
2018, CF: partial
2019, CP
I dislike microfiber towels. It just felt like like it pushed the water around on my skin. I much prefer a cotton flannel baby towel. Bigger people could sew two together as they sre quite small.
Not a fan of microfiber for anything other than cleaning glass.

However, my wife bought one of these towels specifically for drying her hair (19 x 39 x 0.05 inches; 6.74 oz). Feels like a real towel but is thin and light. Dries overnight on towel bar. I tested it at home after showering and am sold; will be using it on next Camino.

 

Phoenix

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2014, CF: partial
2016, CF
2018, CF: partial
2019, CP
I just carry a towelling dish drying cloth, But I also carry a shemagh, which can be used as a towel as well as a bunk curtain, sun hat, Shawl, scarf,
ground blanket, shopping bag.
Mine was a "gift" from Her Royal Majesty but easily obtained elsewhere.

My son brought one home from Afghanistan and gave to me. Agree re: multi-use.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Yes, they are wonderful! We use them when visiting a relative who lives on a beach...she provides them. I see they are pricey...yikes. My flannel Camino towel was $1 at a charity shop and good as new after 5 caminos.
 
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RJM

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few times
I've walked the Camino(s) several times. I would never carry something like that unless I was also doing some acting on the side, playing Obi Wan Kenobi lol.
Just carry a regular quick dry backpacking towel. Much more versatile and useful.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
I just carry a towelling dish drying cloth, But I also carry a shemagh, which can be used as a towel as well as a bunk curtain, sun hat, Shawl, scarf,
ground blanket, shopping bag.
Mine was a "gift" from Her Royal Majesty but easily obtained elsewhere.

HRM - I'd bet not one in a hundred of our fellow countrymen (services excluded) would have got that right, kudos!
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Yes, they are wonderful! We use them when visiting a relative who lives on a beach...she provides them. I see they are pricey...yikes. My flannel Camino towel was $1 at a charity shop and good as new after 5 caminos.
They can be pricey; yes. However, I’ve found several that I especially like (brand does not matter really, and price point is individual choice too… so I leave it up to others to decide on these things: thickness, pattern, colour, cost), but what i can say about these “peshtow” or “foutah” types of towel is that they are lovely at home too.
I no longer have terry-cloth towels at home. They’ve been replaced over the last several years as they have worn out.
I can caution that the very tight weave of these cotton towels will eventually take on that “wash cloth” smell and there’s nothing to be done about it. I dry mine on a heated rack every day; we wash with borax, vinegar, and *HOT* water… and yet…
BUT: they are indestructible and so after several years in service to the body I feel no guilt about making them “utility towels” around the house and garden.
Value for money…
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I like the Packtowl Ultralight. The body size weighs only 3.4 oz/100 grams. It has a different feel than regular microfiber towels, and you will never mistake it for a cotton towel, but I like it.
 

Charte57

Carolyn
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
If you didn’t like drying yourself with that microfiber towel I doubt you’d like wearing one. Save your pack weight for something else.
 
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t2andreo

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
At least six valid uses come to mind for the above listed product. This well exceeds the pilgrim's rule-of-thumb that: 'every item you carry must have two uses.' N.B. It even comes in assorted colors - I like the grey to hide light dirt.

Here are the uses I came up with.

1. The obvious - a means to strip naked and change in the middle of an occupied albergue room - on your way to, or to get dressed after bathing. It does make a good "all over" towel - including for longer hair. If it gets wet, it will wring out and dry fast.

2. It will make a good roll and stomp towel to dry your hand washing faster. Lay the tunic flat on a bunk, layout the clothes you just washed and wrung out and need to dry. Roll them up. Stomp, walk all along the roll on a floor. This removes excess water from the washed clothes. Unroll the clothes and hang to dry. Hang the tunic towel to dry.

3. As a wall or privacy shield between albergue bunks that are too close together. Attach it to the bunk bed above you with clothes pins, bulldog clips or duck tape. This assumes you have a bottom bunk. In all but the hottest weather, this creates a 'pullman berth.'

4. In lieu of a fleece jacket (to offset weight), it could be worn for warmth. The medieval pilgrim wore a similar tunic with a rope 'belt' - and not much else.

5. You can sleep in it. Add socks and you would likely be very comfortable. You might / could skip the liner or sleeping bag in very warm weather.

6. Under a full rain poncho to keep you warm, but still provide ventilation superior to a regular fleece jacket.

So, someone needs to try it and report back.

Hope this helps the dialog,

Tom
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
Norte (2017-18)
Portugues (2015)
Frances (2014)
This was something I have been wondering about also. I have already purchased a microfibre towel, but it's TINY. It was the largest one available, and it still wouldn't go even half way around my body (I'm a UK size 14, ladies), so I had actually considered buying a microfibre poncho myself. This one:

Is the general consensus that it's a bad idea? Will I be an object of ridicule in the alburgues? Haha!!
It's's only €12, I might just buy it and make a decision when I have it in my hand. It's supposed to roll up small
Assuming for the moment that you're not just joining in with the fun, the plan for showers is this: Wear your dirty clothes into the cubicle. Take off, hang over door or pile on seat/shelf it there is one. Carry your clean clothes with you into the shower, water resistant bag is useful here, put them on after using your microfiber towel (you do know you can wring it out and keep drying?) and exit the cubicle fully dressed...well, I wear sandals in and out, not my all day bottes. You are not wrapping the hikers' towel around your body. If you're after that, try one of the thin pareos...I wouldn't, but some posters like them.

A side note, if you're traveling with a buddy you can spot each other (take turns showering) so there is not the need to carry wallet, camera, tablet, passport, whatever into the shower as well. DH and I spot each other. But solo travelers are known to post that they carry "stuff" in their water resistant bag into the shower.

BC
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Sarria to Santiago 2014
Pamplona to Santiago 2017
Norte. 2018
I like the Packtowl Ultralight. The body size weighs only 3.4 oz/100 grams. It has a different feel than regular microfiber towels, and you will never mistake it for a cotton towel, but I like it.
They are available on Amazon.
 
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Richard of York

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I dislike microfibre towels too, so I bought a peshtemal - a Turkish hammam towel.

The one I bought off ebay for £6 for doing the camino (see pic) is 75x160cm 2'6"x5'4" and weighs 250g/9oz. It is thin so it tucks in snugly around my waist and it dries in no time, meant both transitively and intransitively. It's cotton so feels nice.

In fact it's so good I am using it all the time at home, except when it's in the wash. It rather reminds me of a beach-hut tablecloth, and I figure it will double as a curtain for a bottom bunk and a scarf ("always know where your towel is!" edited: slight misquote)

1625240387990.png
 
Last edited:

Backagain

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Primitivo (2017)
Frances (2020)
thanks, all. this has been a thoroughly enjoyable thread. I'm still not sure if I'll go ahead with the towel poncho or not, but it's not out of the running yet. Although I probably won't go for the stained glass window version.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF- Finisterre-Muxia 03/17; Camino SK 10/17; Norte 03/18; Ingles 11/18; Augusta 03/19
I dislike microfibre towels too, so I bought a peshtemal - a Turkish hammam towel.

The one I bought off ebay for £6 for doing the camino (see pic) is 75x160cm 2'6"x5'4" and weighs 250g/9oz. It is thin so it tucks in snugly around my waist and it dries in no time, meant both transitively and intransitively. It's cotton so feels nice.

In fact it's so good I am using it all the time at home, except when it's in the wash. It rather reminds me of a beach-hut tablecloth, and I figure it will double as a curtain for a bottom bunk and a scarf (never forget your towel!)

View attachment 103875
You’re a true pilgrim. I’m always open to gear / supplies that are practical, lightweight / inexpensive and versatile.
 

SeaHorse

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015 (SJPDP-Finisterre), planning Norte
I have such a microfiber poncho. Wouldn't take it on the camino but it has it's uses. A warning though: the models in those amazon pictures must be VERY VERY short, that thing in real life barely covers the rump. Carefully check the measurements before ordering.
 
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Thurland

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
Interesting note:

Many people use microfiber towels, but not many realize this:. They actually dry YOU better if THEY are damp.

Sounds stupid, I know - but try it out and you will see.

(This is something you might want to "try at home" first)
 

poogeyejr

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Norte, May 2011
Norte, Sept 2013
Frances, 1wk, Jan 2017
When I walked in 2017, I just took the usual microfiber hiking towel. It worked but wasn't exactly pleasant.

what wasn’t pleasant- the size or the



I like the Packtowl Ultralight. The body size weighs only 3.4 oz/100 grams. It has a different feel than regular microfiber towels, and you will never mistake it for a cotton towel, but I like it.


Covers my whole body, I love it and it dries quickly.



Buen Camino!
Kathy
 

Frank Wortley

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
French Caminos - April/May 2013, March/April 2017 and (Sept/Oct 2018)
This was something I have been wondering about also. I have already purchased a microfibre towel, but it's TINY. It was the largest one available, and it still wouldn't go even half way around my body (I'm a UK size 14, ladies), so I had actually considered buying a microfibre poncho myself. This one:

Is the general consensus that it's a bad idea? Will I be an object of ridicule in the alburgues? Haha!!
It's's only €12, I might just buy it and make a decision when I have it in my hand. It's supposed to roll up small
This thread is really funny. Thank you. It has "Made my day!"
 

Richard of York

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I dislike microfibre towels too, so I bought a peshtemal - a Turkish hammam towel.

The one I bought off ebay for £6 for doing the camino (see pic) is 75x160cm 2'6"x5'4" and weighs 250g/9oz. It is thin so it tucks in snugly around my waist and it dries in no time, meant both transitively and intransitively. It's cotton so feels nice.

In fact it's so good I am using it all the time at home, except when it's in the wash. It rather reminds me of a beach-hut tablecloth, and I figure it will double as a curtain for a bottom bunk and a scarf ("always know where your towel is!" edited: slight misquote)

View attachment 103875

After having said all this, I've decided to go microlight, so I'm sticking to a microfibre hand-towel I bought in a euro shop in Germany. It weighs 73g and will still double as a scarf. Thanks to Thurland for the tip about using it damp.
 
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Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
Take a look at these

Peshtamal

nearly 6' x 3' and light (about 300gm). Use it as a towel, sheet, scarf, shawl, sarong . . . .

They dry (you and themselves) very quickly.

Recommended by both my daughters (one is a UK 10 the other er, a bit bigger!)
Thinking about these I decided to buy some more and the package arrived today:

1625572435287.jpeg

Yes that's a standard size credit card, they really do take up little space.
Oh, and that bag contains THREE towels, each 95 cm. X 180 cm. - 37.5 " inches x 71" inches. All three weigh a total of 630gm including the plastic bag.
 

SeaHorse

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015 (SJPDP-Finisterre), planning Norte
Enjoyable thread. I particularly liked the handle on the back of the stained glass poncho hood. Any idea what it's for? We don't normally need handles for carrying our clothes.
Dual use as any good Camino item: you roll the poncho and carry it as a bag or you wear the poncho and somebody else carries you as a bag.
 

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