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Muscle cramps & other bits

Stephanie Martin

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino in Sept/Oct/Nov 2022 (via the French route)
Hi all,
I'll be doing my 1st camino soon (Camino Frances) and I have a few newbie questions that I was hoping to get help with.

Am wondering about whether we should bring laundry powder & a laundry line or if these are provided in albergues?

Also, I've been advised that most albergues only accept cash. I'm trying not to carry too much cash on me. What about restaurants/eating places/supermarkets - will I be able to pay by card?

I'm travelling super-light, and am wondering if shades/sunglasses are necessary when walking from mid-Sept to late October. For anyone who has walked this period, is the sun really bright?

For the season that I'm travelling, is a beanie enough, or is a cap/hat advised?

Will I be able to buy the Pilgrim's passport from St. Jean; and how many stamps a day do I need to get? I've read somewhere that we need to get at least 2 stamps a day during the last 100km, and wanted to double-check if this is true.

I've just been reading of muscle cramps etc on long walks. I'm not bringing any of the usual vitamins/magnesium etc. Wondering what's the advice around this for muscle cramp prevention (I've not been a walker, but have been training abit for the camino). How often should we consume electrolytes and are these readily available along the way (at supermarkets, etc)? Are there other ways to prevent cramping?

Finally, some of those were badly bitten by bed bugs advise that it's best to 'pre-treat' everything (bags, liners etc) before starting the camino. How do we 'pre-treat' , would it be with deet or something else? And when exactly do we do it? I'll be flying from NZ. Should I pre-treat my belongings before the flight, how long does the treatment last?

Many thanks, fellow pilgrims! It's so awesome to know that there's a body of people here to help and support each other.
Cheers
 
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Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
Hi all,
I'll be doing my 1st camino soon (Camino Frances) and I have a few newbie questions that I was hoping to get help with.

Am wondering about whether we should bring laundry powder & a laundry line or if these are provided in albergues?

Also, I've been advised that most albergues only accept cash. I'm trying not to carry too much cash on me. What about restaurants/eating places/supermarkets - will I be able to pay by card?

I'm travelling super-light, and am wondering if shades/sunglasses are necessary when walking from mid-Sept to late October. For anyone who has walked this period, is the sun really bright?

For the season that I'm travelling, is a beanie enough, or is a cap/hat advised?

Will I be able to buy the Pilgrim's passport from St. Jean; and how many stamps a day do I need to get? I've read somewhere that we need to get at least 2 stamps a day during the last 100km, and wanted to double-check if this is true.

I've just been reading of muscle cramps etc on long walks. I'm not bringing any of the usual vitamins/magnesium etc. Wondering what's the advice around this for muscle cramp prevention (I've not been a walker, but have been training abit for the camino). How often should we consume electrolytes and are these readily available along the way (at supermarkets, etc)? Are there other ways to prevent cramping?

Finally, some of those were badly bitten by bed bugs advise that it's best to 'pre-treat' everything (bags, liners etc) before starting the camino. How do we 'pre-treat' , would it be with deet or something else? And when exactly do we do it? I'll be flying from NZ. Should I pre-treat my belongings before the flight, how long does the treatment last?

Many thanks, fellow pilgrims! It's so awesome to know that there's a body of people here to help and support each other.
Cheers
Welcome!

Consider an all in one bar of soap for body/hair/laundry. Do bring some nappy/diaper pins to hang out your washing. You could bring one of those shock cord washing lines and stretch it around your bunk and have some privacy . . behind your damp shirt and undies! Hiking poles work too.

Restaurants/supermarkets etc. will usually take cards but may baulk at them for small purchases but then there's always "tap and go" nowadays.

You'll be walking into the sun in the afternoon and in autumn it can stay low relative to the horizon (great for long legged photos) so, yes, sunglasses or a peaked cap.

You can buy a Credential in SJPP and you must have at least two stamps a day for the last 100kms if you want a Compostela. You ought to get at least two stamps every day according to the credential but, if you're walking from SJPP to Santiago it would be a hard hearted clerk who took exception to missing a stamp or two half way across the Mesata!

Electrolytes are more or less just a bit of salt, a bit of sugar and some flavouring in an expensive sachet. That said I used to get calf cramps while scuba diving and my instructress recommended bananas for the potassium! Unless you have a problem with salt (blood pressure etc.) shake some on your food, put sugar in your coffee and drink lots of water.

Never had a problem with bed-bugs so can't help there!

And have a great Camino!
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
1. Most albergues with a washing machine include soap and have a place to dry clothes. Bring a laundry bar or use shampoo for hand washing.

2. More places accept cards now, but smaller albergues still usually don't.

3. We always wear sunglasses even in winter. Personal choice.

4. Stocking cap or beanie is fine or you might bring a buff which is more versatile.

5. Yes, you can buy a credential in St Jean. 2 stamps a day only needed in the last 100 km.

6. Just salt your food and eat a variety of things. That should be enough unless you sweat profusely or take medication which depletes your electrolytes.

7. There are several threads about bed bugs here. Seek them out and read. Many misconceptions. We never pretreat with permethrin, but many do. It does not guarantee you won't be bitten, but they might die before you get to the next albergue in your pack. Bed bugs are tenacious and when they are determined to bite you, they will.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
Am wondering about whether we should bring laundry powder & a laundry line or if these are provided in albergues?
Albergues that have washing machines supply laundry detergent. For hand washing clothes you will need to bring soap. There are usually clotheslines available, but some people find it useful to bring one.
Also, I've been advised that most albergues only accept cash. I'm trying not to carry too much cash on me. What about restaurants/eating places/supermarkets - will I be able to pay by card?
Increasingly, more places take credit cards, but many still only take cash. There are ATMs in most larger towns.
I'm travelling super-light, and am wondering if shades/sunglasses are necessary when walking from mid-Sept to late October. For anyone who has walked this period, is the sun really bright?
I would always bring sunglasses when spending that much time outdoors.
For the season that I'm travelling, is a beanie enough, or is a cap/hat advised?
A beanie is mostly for warmth - it's still can be hot in September. You might prefer a brimmed hat for sun protection.
Will I be able to buy the Pilgrim's passport from St. Jean; and how many stamps a day do I need to get? I've read somewhere that we need to get at least 2 stamps a day during the last 100km, and wanted to double-check if this is true.
You can purchase a credential at the Pilgrims Office in SJPP.
Yes, all pilgrims are required to get two stamps per day during the last 100 km to receive a Compostela. However, the staff and volunteers in the Pilgrims Office in Santiago can use their discretion. But it's not hard to get two stamps per day.
I've just been reading of muscle cramps etc on long walks. I'm not bringing any of the usual vitamins/magnesium etc. Wondering what's the advice around this for muscle cramp prevention (I've not been a walker, but have been training abit for the camino). How often should we consume electrolytes and are these readily available along the way (at supermarkets, etc)? Are there other ways to prevent cramping?
I've never used electrolytes on the Camino. Regular food and drink have been sufficient for me. Others prefer a supplement. Do you often suffer from muscle cramps? If so, what does your doctor recommend?
There are pharmacies in just about every town where you can buy these products if you need them.
Finally, some of those were badly bitten by bed bugs advise that it's best to 'pre-treat' everything (bags, liners etc) before starting the camino. How do we 'pre-treat' , would it be with deet or something else? And when exactly do we do it? I'll be flying from NZ. Should I pre-treat my belongings before the flight, how long does the treatment last
The product that you use to treat your bedding and or backpack is called permethrin. You need to use it before you get to the Camino. It is toxic when wet, but safe to touch when dry. I believe that it lasts through six washings and approximately six weeks.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
If you do get cramps then eating some yellow mustard (the stuff with turmeric) plain may give you some relief. Peg was offered two packets on a hike and the cramps went away in minutes. I see pickle juice mentioned a lot for this too.

I've read lots on bedbugs on this forum and in scientific papers. Essentially there is no chemical that will keep them from biting you and that includes aromatic oils such as lavender oil. Long term exposure to permethrin will kill them so treating your sleeping equipment and the inside of your pack may incapacitate or kill them and prevent their spread to new locations.

Bring sunglasses.
 

xin loi

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Walked May 14, 2014 from St Jean France

starting to walk again August 25, 2016 --SJPDP to Finisterre
Muscle cramps and how to treat is always a topic of discussion on caminos. Germans like Magnesium. Pilgrims who are American bird dog hunters use what they give their dogs for muscle cramps--Vitamin C. Trade Vitamin C for Magnesium tables --both seem to work but Vitamin C works better for me if walking more than 15 miles.
 

francoisbrochu

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
I carry 400€ as cash and an extra 200€ as an emergency. There are several small town with no ATM . One guy who couldn't walk took a cab to the next town but the only ATM was down.
I was able to bail him out between Canadian, but that was the end of the story for me.

Also check with your bank for international transfer limit there's a charge of 7€ per transaction that you take 50 or 400 still 7€
 

Rick M

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
April ('16,'18, '19, 22)
Sept 21
I've just been reading of muscle cramps etc on long walks. I'm not bringing any of the usual vitamins/magnesium etc. Wondering what's the advice around this for muscle cramp prevention (I've not been a walker, but have been training abit for the camino). How often should we consume electrolytes and are these readily available along the way (at supermarkets, etc)? Are there other ways to prevent cramping?
I suffered with muscle cramps on my first Camino until someone suggested that it was a loss of electrolytes causing the problem. They were right. If you sweat a lot, this can become an issue. My solution is to make sure I eat a banana every day, and drink an Aquarius at the first break in the morning. For those unfamiliar with the brand name, its essentially gatorade, a soft drink that includes electrolytes. Every bar and mercado in Spain sells it. I like the lemon flavor, but try them all.
 
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trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
Muscle cramps and how to treat is always a topic of discussion on caminos. Germans like Magnesium. Pilgrims who are American bird dog hunters use what they give their dogs for muscle cramps--Vitamin C. Trade Vitamin C for Magnesium tables --both seem to work but Vitamin C works better for me if walking more than 15 miles.
Interesting. I've never heard of taking vitamin C for cramps.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Sept. 2022 El Salvador, Oct. 2022 Tui Portugués
Electrolytes are more or less just a bit of salt, a bit of sugar and some flavouring in an expensive sachet.
I agree wholeheartedly. If you look at the doses of electrolytes involved, they are sub therapeutic compared to Rx replacement for deficits. OJ and bananas replace potassium. Magnesium supplements are good, if you’ve never previously taken magnesium try it at home before you leave, frequent side effect may be increased gut rumblings, gas, and bowel movements, not fun to attempt the experiment while on the Camino. Stay hydrated and Buen Camino!
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
1. Most albergues with a washing machine include soap and have a place to dry clothes. Bring a laundry bar or use shampoo for hand washing.

2. More places accept cards now, but smaller albergues still usually don't.

3. We always wear sunglasses even in winter. Personal choice.

4. Stocking cap or beanie is fine or you might bring a buff which is more versatile.

5. Yes, you can buy a credential in St Jean. 2 stamps a day only needed in the last 100 km.

6. Just salt your food and eat a variety of things. That should be enough unless you sweat profusely or take medication which depletes your electrolytes.

7. There are several threads about bed bugs here. Seek them out and read. Many misconceptions. We never pretreat with permethrin, but many do. It does not guarantee you won't be bitten, but they might die before you get to the next albergue in your pack. Bed bugs are tenacious and when they are determined to bite you, they will.
"2 stamps a day only needed in the last 100 km". - is that really your understanding of the matter?

If you just want to obtain a Compostela sure, and I know I bang on about this (a lot) and I know it says it in Spanish not English, but what do you think "AL MENOS DOS POR DIA" actually means? And why do you think that it's considered important enough to be written in capital letters?

1660751485796.jpeg
 

K_Lynn

Buen Camino!
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2021
I picked up a tube of electrolyte tablets at a pharmacy at home prior to heading to Camino, and then picked up another from a pharmacy on the trail. Throw one in your water bottle in the morning to start your day, maybe eat a banana for breakfast and you should be fine as far as cramping goes.
Many people will spray their sleeping bag/blanket and backpack with permethrin to stop bed bugs, I've never used it so I can't speak on its efficacy.
Most places will allow cc/debit for payment for your bed or meals. Keep some cash on you for small purchases.
Sunglasses and a hat are needed.
Pilgrim's passport is available at the Pilgrims Office in SJPdP. Minimum of one stamp per day until the last 100km (Sarria) then you will need 2 per day.

Buen Camino!
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
"2 stamps a day only needed in the last 100 km". - is that really your understanding of the matter?

If you just want to obtain a Compostela sure, and I know I bang on about this (a lot) and I know it says it in Spanish not English, but what do you think "AL MENOS DOS POR DIA" actually means? And why do you think that it's considered important enough to be written in capital letters?

View attachment 131187
Yes, the credentials issued by the Cathedral say this, but the official wording from the Pilgrim's Office is this:

  • You must collect the stamps on the “Credencial del Peregrino” from the places you pass through to certify that you have been there. Stamps from churches, hostels, monasteries, cathedrals and all places related to the Way are preferred, but if not they can also be stamped in other institutions: town halls, cafés, etc. You have to stamp the Credencial twice a day at least on the last 100 km (for pilgrims on foot or on horseback) or on the last 200 km (for cyclists pilgrims).
In reality, it doesn't matter if you have a single stamp prior to the last 100 km if you want to receive a Compostela - the only ones that "count" towards the Compostela are those in the last 100 km. But of course many of us consider our credential as the best souvenir of the Camino, because we can look back at all of those stamps and reminisce about where we were when we got them. And many pilgrims are real "stamp collectors," filling multiple credentials during their Camino.

I noticed that the credential that I have from American Pilgrims on the Camino says

To receive the Compostela in Santiago, pilgrims on foot or on horseback must complete the final 100 kilometers, or the final 200 kilometers if on bicycle. Two stamps per day, including the final day arriving into Santiago, are required for the final 100 kilometers if on foot or horseback or the final 200 kilometers if on bicycle.
 
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trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
Many people will spray their sleeping bag/blanket and backpack with permethrin to stop bed bugs, I've never used it so I can't speak on its efficacy.
Permethrin won't "stop" bedbugs from getting into your bedding or gear, nor kill them on contact to keep them from biting. What it does is kill bed bugs over time - like a few hours. That's why I spray most of my bedding, the inside of my pack and my cloth stuff sacks with it. If bed bugs manage to get inside my backpack I don't want them coming out alive in another albergue or in my house!

This video shows how bed bugs slowly die when exposed to permethrin treated fabric.

 
Time of past OR future Camino
Sept. 2022 El Salvador, Oct. 2022 Tui Portugués
Permethrin won't "stop" bedbugs from getting into your bedding or gear, nor kill them on contact to keep them from biting. What it does is kill bed bugs over time - like a few hours. That's why I spray most of my bedding, the inside of my pack and my cloth stuff sacks with it. If bed bugs manage to get inside my backpack I don't want them coming out alive in another albergue or in my house!

This video shows how bed bugs slowly die when exposed to permethrin treated fabric.

Thanks and ewwwwwwww.☺️
 

Katherine Radeka

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (2022, 2023)
There are some excellent threads on bed bug prevention on this Forum.

The main thing about cash is to always have some with you, in case you are at a place that doesn't take cards, and to be mindful of where you can find an ATM to replenish.

We brought a supply of our own electrolyte tabs, because we'd tested them and they helped us. They had zero sugar - only the minerals. But we still craved salt on hot days - ate lots of wonderful potato chips cooked in olive oil, and of course fried potatoes with every meal.

Buen camino!
 
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hawkeyepierce

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances July 22
I’m currently on the camino and picked up some magnesium supplements in Burgos. The massage therapist at Ultreia in Burgos recommended them after noticing how much my legs were twitching. (Great massage there btw).

Some formulations can, err, encourage bowel activity, so check the specific ingredient. The google translate app is good for this.

I second the Aquarius recommendation. A glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice and a banana won’t hurt either. Both are readily available.

As for bed bugs, I treated my pack and sleeping liner stuff sack with permethrin, but I also inspect every bed. Look for Youtube for instructional videos. So far I haven’t run into any bed bugs.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
Pickle juice has a lot of salt in it...probably why it helps some people. I prefer gin and tonic. Tonic water helps my legs and the gin has other side effects...
Awesome to know! G & T's are my favorite hard drink and I like mine with the lime when available...I digress.🙂
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Pickle juice has a lot of salt in it...probably why it helps some people.
Quoting from

New research suggests that some muscle cramps may actually be triggered by nerve malfunction. Two neurobiologists, Nobel Prize winner, Rod MacKinnon, MD, and his colleague Bruce Bean, PhD, found that overwhelming sensory neurons in the mouth, throat and stomach with strong flavors can quickly reverse many muscle cramps. That may explain why swallowing a teaspoonful of yellow mustard (or vinegar) is so effective for so many in such a short period of time.

Their research has demonstrated that stimulating sensory neurons can interrupt the muscle contractions responsible for cramps. And yes, it frequently works in under two minutes.


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

This theory shows why the remedies work so fast; they bypass digestion.
 
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Scott Sweeney

Veteran Member
Muscle cramps and how to treat is always a topic of discussion on caminos. Germans like Magnesium. Pilgrims who are American bird dog hunters use what they give their dogs for muscle cramps--Vitamin C. Trade Vitamin C for Magnesium tables --both seem to work but Vitamin C works better for me if walking more than 15 miles.
Hydrate
 

DyanTX

DyanTX
Time of past OR future Camino
CF Sept 22 - Nov 3, 2016
I walked the exact same season/timeframe as you are planning a few years back.

Yes on sunglasses. Even filtered sunlight is damaging on the eyes. My glasses have photochromic lenses which I love so I don't have to carry another pair of glasses.

Hat versus cap versus buff - I had all three. The brim of the hat interfered with my backpack and drove me crazy. I ditched it for the baseball cap which worked much better and protected my glasses from drizzle when worn under the rain jacket hood. The buff came in handy over the ears for chilly mornings.

I had no trouble with muscle cramps but my friend did. She ate more bananas and used some electrolyte tablets during the hottest part of the trip. Aquarius is good too.

I did treat my backpack inside and outside and outside of sleeping bag with permethrin. My friend did also. She was bitten and I was not. Science says that some people just don't get bitten and others just don't react. I'm probably in the latter category as I don't react to mosquito bites at all.

I liked paying with cash although some places did take cards. Just stopped at ATM's every few days.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
Yes, the credentials issued by the Cathedral say this, but the official wording from the Pilgrim's Office is this:

  • You must collect the stamps on the “Credencial del Peregrino” from the places you pass through to certify that you have been there. Stamps from churches, hostels, monasteries, cathedrals and all places related to the Way are preferred, but if not they can also be stamped in other institutions: town halls, cafés, etc. You have to stamp the Credencial twice a day at least on the last 100 km (for pilgrims on foot or on horseback) or on the last 200 km (for cyclists pilgrims).
In reality, it doesn't matter if you have a single stamp prior to the last 100 km if you want to receive a Compostela - the only ones that "count" towards the Compostela are those in the last 100 km. But of course many of us consider our credential as the best souvenir of the Camino, because we can look back at all of those stamps and reminisce about where we were when we got them. And many pilgrims are real "stamp collectors," filling multiple credentials during their Camino.

I noticed that the credential that I have from American Pilgrims on the Camino says

To receive the Compostela in Santiago, pilgrims on foot or on horseback must complete the final 100 kilometers, or the final 200 kilometers if on bicycle. Two stamps per day, including the final day arriving into Santiago, are required for the final 100 kilometers if on foot or horseback or the final 200 kilometers if on bicycle.
Agreed insofar as the Compostela is concerned but as Montse told us when we had our induction at the Office - you can cut people some slack if they've missed the odd stamp or two over the last 100km so long as they'd shown due diligence over the previous 700.
I refused a Compostela to somebody who hadn't got his two stamps on two of the days over the "golden" 100km because there were also great gaps over the rest of the journey from SJPP. He appealed and she turned him down too.
Just saying it doesn't hurt to get at least two stamps over the whole Camino as the credential states - I love my "stamp albums" :)
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
Hi all,
I'll be doing my 1st camino soon (Camino Frances) and I have a few newbie questions that I was hoping to get help with.

Am wondering about whether we should bring laundry powder & a laundry line or if these are provided in albergues?

Also, I've been advised that most albergues only accept cash. I'm trying not to carry too much cash on me. What about restaurants/eating places/supermarkets - will I be able to pay by card?

I'm travelling super-light, and am wondering if shades/sunglasses are necessary when walking from mid-Sept to late October. For anyone who has walked this period, is the sun really bright?

For the season that I'm travelling, is a beanie enough, or is a cap/hat advised?

Will I be able to buy the Pilgrim's passport from St. Jean; and how many stamps a day do I need to get? I've read somewhere that we need to get at least 2 stamps a day during the last 100km, and wanted to double-check if this is true.


Finally, some of those were badly bitten by bed bugs advise that it's best to 'pre-treat' everything (bags, liners etc) before starting the camino. How do we 'pre-treat' , would it be with deet or something else? And when exactly do we do it? I'll be flying from NZ. Should I pre-treat my belongings before the flight, how long does the treatment last?
You can order the Sawyers permethrin online from NZ, comes in a yellow bottle. Lasts for the duration of the Camino, and I always like to think that the prolonged exposure on the long haul back will kill any stragglers. It comes promptly, does a few Caminos, and I always spray my stuff the weekend before I go to give it time to dry.

Yes to sunglasses, they dont add weight as you're wearing them most of the time.

Mainly washed my stuff by hand and used soap.

The first time I got my credential from the pilgrim office in St Jean, now I preorder from Ivar, to simplify things if the travel there takes longer. One less thing to stress about. Its a long way from NZ, and by the time I get there I'm pretty tired.

Have never taken a hat, but would have bought a buff if needed.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
You can order the Sawyers permethrin online from NZ, comes in a yellow bottle. Lasts for the duration of the Camino, and I always like to think that the prolonged exposure on the long haul back will kill any stragglers.
Me, too, in the US it is in a plastic yellow bottle.
Yes to sunglasses, they dont add weight as you're wearing them most of the time.

Mainly washed my stuff by hand and used soap.
Yep, get sunglasses.👍
I almost exclusively wash my clothing by hand on the Camino; I see it as part of the unique "experience".
I order my credentials ahead of time from The American Pilgrims on the Camino website.
 

markmcilroy

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances August/Sept 2016
Camino Frances Sept/October 2017
Le Puy to Conques May 2018
Hey Stephanie, you can buy the bed bug spray in a trigger pack from Bunnings here in NZ or the The Warehouse, the brand is Kiwicare and its called NO Bed Bugs. Spray the inside and outside of you pack, and inside and outside of your sleeping bag (if you are taking one) and also spray your sleeping bag liner. There is no smell to it.

Screen Shot 2022-08-18 at 7.12.47 PM.png
 

theuglyamerican

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Arles
Norte
Primitivo
Baztanes
Hi all,
I'll be doing my 1st camino soon (Camino Frances) and I have a few newbie questions that I was hoping to get help with.

Am wondering about whether we should bring laundry powder & a laundry line or if these are provided in albergues?

Also, I've been advised that most albergues only accept cash. I'm trying not to carry too much cash on me. What about restaurants/eating places/supermarkets - will I be able to pay by card?

I'm travelling super-light, and am wondering if shades/sunglasses are necessary when walking from mid-Sept to late October. For anyone who has walked this period, is the sun really bright?

For the season that I'm travelling, is a beanie enough, or is a cap/hat advised?

Will I be able to buy the Pilgrim's passport from St. Jean; and how many stamps a day do I need to get? I've read somewhere that we need to get at least 2 stamps a day during the last 100km, and wanted to double-check if this is true.

I've just been reading of muscle cramps etc on long walks. I'm not bringing any of the usual vitamins/magnesium etc. Wondering what's the advice around this for muscle cramp prevention (I've not been a walker, but have been training abit for the camino). How often should we consume electrolytes and are these readily available along the way (at supermarkets, etc)? Are there other ways to prevent cramping?

Finally, some of those were badly bitten by bed bugs advise that it's best to 'pre-treat' everything (bags, liners etc) before starting the camino. How do we 'pre-treat' , would it be with deet or something else? And when exactly do we do it? I'll be flying from NZ. Should I pre-treat my belongings before the flight, how long does the treatment last?

Many thanks, fellow pilgrims! It's so awesome to know that there's a body of people here to help and support each other.
Cheers
I am an avid hiker and longer suffered from tendonitis / shin splints when dehydrated. I was always confused by this as I really focus on drinking lots of water. Talk to my doctor and he explained the relationship of salt, electrolisis and the bloods ability to carry oxygen to your body.

Fast Forward

Now I carry electrolyte tablets (I use a brand called Nuun) I drink straight water while walking. First stop I dissolve a tab in .5L of water. 2 after noon. 1 when done for the day.

Absolutely solved the problem. Cheap. Compact. Trip Saver!
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015,
2016, 2018
VdlP 2023
Agreed insofar as the Compostela is concerned but as Montse told us when we had our induction at the Office - you can cut people some slack if they've missed the odd stamp or two over the last 100km so long as they'd shown due diligence over the previous 700.
I refused a Compostela to somebody who hadn't got his two stamps on two of the days over the "golden" 100km because there were also great gaps over the rest of the journey from SJPP. He appealed and she turned him down too.
Just saying it doesn't hurt to get at least two stamps over the whole Camino as the credential states - I love my "stamp albums" :)
Pity they cover half the credential with maps though. Not enough room for stamps :confused:
The ones from St Jean are much better.
 
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Virginia G.

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
I agree wholeheartedly. If you look at the doses of electrolytes involved, they are sub therapeutic compared to Rx replacement for deficits. OJ and bananas replace potassium. Magnesium supplements are good, if you’ve never previously taken magnesium try it at home before you leave, frequent side effect may be increased gut rumblings, gas, and bowel movements, not fun to attempt the experiment while on the Camino. Stay hydrated and Buen Camino!
Just a note about the Magnesium. It comes in different forms: Magnesium Citrate causes loose stools/diarrhea, so don't bring that. But Magnesium Glycinate gives you the benefits of Magnesium without the diarrhea. Both are easily found in health food stores, and maybe regular markets, depending on your area.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
8/29/2022
Hi all,
I'll be doing my 1st camino soon (Camino Frances) and I have a few newbie questions that I was hoping to get help with.

Am wondering about whether we should bring laundry powder & a laundry line or if these are provided in albergues?

Also, I've been advised that most albergues only accept cash. I'm trying not to carry too much cash on me. What about restaurants/eating places/supermarkets - will I be able to pay by card?

I'm travelling super-light, and am wondering if shades/sunglasses are necessary when walking from mid-Sept to late October. For anyone who has walked this period, is the sun really bright?

For the season that I'm travelling, is a beanie enough, or is a cap/hat advised?

Will I be able to buy the Pilgrim's passport from St. Jean; and how many stamps a day do I need to get? I've read somewhere that we need to get at least 2 stamps a day during the last 100km, and wanted to double-check if this is true.

I've just been reading of muscle cramps etc on long walks. I'm not bringing any of the usual vitamins/magnesium etc. Wondering what's the advice around this for muscle cramp prevention (I've not been a walker, but have been training abit for the camino). How often should we consume electrolytes and are these readily available along the way (at supermarkets, etc)? Are there other ways to prevent cramping?

Finally, some of those were badly bitten by bed bugs advise that it's best to 'pre-treat' everything (bags, liners etc) before starting the camino. How do we 'pre-treat' , would it be with deet or something else? And when exactly do we do it? I'll be flying from NZ. Should I pre-treat my belongings before the flight, how long does the treatment last?

Many thanks, fellow pilgrims! It's so awesome to know that there's a body of people here to help and support each other.
Cheers
You have some good questions. I am starting mid Sept. also and will follow this thread.
 

NBT

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
Hi all,
I'll be doing my 1st camino soon (Camino Frances) and I have a few newbie questions that I was hoping to get help with.

Am wondering about whether we should bring laundry powder & a laundry line or if these are provided in albergues?

Also, I've been advised that most albergues only accept cash. I'm trying not to carry too much cash on me. What about restaurants/eating places/supermarkets - will I be able to pay by card?

I'm travelling super-light, and am wondering if shades/sunglasses are necessary when walking from mid-Sept to late October. For anyone who has walked this period, is the sun really bright?

For the season that I'm travelling, is a beanie enough, or is a cap/hat advised?

Will I be able to buy the Pilgrim's passport from St. Jean; and how many stamps a day do I need to get? I've read somewhere that we need to get at least 2 stamps a day during the last 100km, and wanted to double-check if this is true.

I've just been reading of muscle cramps etc on long walks. I'm not bringing any of the usual vitamins/magnesium etc. Wondering what's the advice around this for muscle cramp prevention (I've not been a walker, but have been training abit for the camino). How often should we consume electrolytes and are these readily available along the way (at supermarkets, etc)? Are there other ways to prevent cramping?

Finally, some of those were badly bitten by bed bugs advise that it's best to 'pre-treat' everything (bags, liners etc) before starting the camino. How do we 'pre-treat' , would it be with deet or something else? And when exactly do we do it? I'll be flying from NZ. Should I pre-treat my belongings before the flight, how long does the treatment last?

Many thanks, fellow pilgrims! It's so awesome to know that there's a body of people here to help and support each other.
Cheers
Deet, oh no!!! How about diatomaceous earth? I hope albergues and trails are not being contaminated with pesticides.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
How about diatomaceous earth?
Lots of problems with that including health issues to you and your fellow pilgrims. There are several types of diatomaceous earth and some can cause lung damage. Do you want some stranger who isn't trained tossing this stuff around. Even with the right stuff professionals use masks and gloves.

And then it isn't effective in being a repellant as you have to serve as bait to get the bedbug to walk through it. When that happens the sharp grains in the dust (the same stuff that can now be it people's lungs) scrape the wax of the bedbugs' bellies. This will eventually cause some of them to die of dessication but they will get to you first.

The company who put up this webpage touts itself as being eco friendly but they don't really seem to be big fans of diatomaceous earth.
 
Original artwork based on your pilgrimage or other travel photos.
John Brierley 2022 Camino Guide
Get your today and start planning.
Time of past OR future Camino
2013, 2015, 2022?
Such wonderful responses and advice! Your questions are thoughtful and important.

I always carried a length of paracord, wrapped around a pencil, to use as a clothesline when needed, or for other emergency uses. Make sure you learn a good knot or two before you go. I almost always washed my clothes by hand in the albergues. It was cheap, and I almost never had enough dirty clothes to justify a washing machine (I walked solo).

As for muscle cramps and what to take for them, all I can say is beware of suddenly changing your diet when you start or are on the Camino. You HAVE to give your body some time to adjust to all the changes you are making it go through. Don't change too many things at once - changing your diet suddenly can have very . . . uncomfortable . . . consequences.

If you get muscle cramps in your legs, especially in the beginning, I suggest you slow down and/or decrease your mileage. Increase your water consumption if you think you may be getting dehydrated - you'll know when you are thirsty so pay attention to your body's signals.
 

Housedog

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
October 2022
What I learned from bicycle touring....

Cramps: I've had severe cramp issues all my life and have mostly solved it. Cramps are an electrolyte imbalance and can be caused by over-hydration. Over-hydration is more dangerous than dehydration. Drinking too much water can kill you (one warning sign is headache at back of head near neck) while not enough leaves you curled up in a little ball at the side of the road. The right amount of water and normal salt in foods is what you want, but sometimes a Gatorade is good. When I can't maintain the balance I nibble on Nuun hydration tablets until cramps go away. It is almost immediate.

Laundry on the road: laundry strips (Breezeo is the brand I found on Amazon) and a plastic bag ... instant washing machine. A month's worth adds the equivalent to a few few sheets of paper to your pack.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
beware of suddenly changing your diet when you start or are on the Camino. You HAVE to give your body some time to adjust to all the changes you are making it go through. Don't change too many things at once - changing your diet suddenly can have very . . . uncomfortable . . . consequences.

Not just changing your diet, but if you are making drastic time zone changes it can lead to what I call the stomach "reset" when you rid your digestive system of its contents all at once. 🤢

Laundry on the road: laundry strips (Breezeo is the brand I found on Amazon) and a plastic bag ... instant washing machine. A month's worth adds the equivalent to a few few sheets of paper to your pack.
I use the same method and Breezeo strips, but instead of a plastic bag I use a dry bag.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
Great idea! Never would have occurred to me!
Here's a post in which I describe the method that I use.

I've mentioned my method of using a dry bag as a "portable washing machine" before. IMO definitely preferable to stomping on my clothes on the shower floor.

I use a 12 liter dry bag to wash my clothes in, rather than the albergue laundry sinks. As I'm undressing for my shower and the water is warming up I put half a laundry detergent sheet and water in the bag, then my clothes. Then I fill the bag about 3/4 full with water and close it up. I give it a few shakes and set it aside to soak while I shower and dress. I then shake the bag some more to agitate everything well before rinsing in the laundry sink. The detergent sheets don't create a lot of suds, but get the clothes clean. After wring them out well I roll them up in my towel and twist it. This method gets my clothes cleaner than using the laundry sinks alone in the albergues. I think that the long soaking time is the secret. I even use the dry bag to wash when I'm staying in a room with my own bathroom.
 
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