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Silver Oxide Camino de Santiago pendent
Camino de Santiago pendant that has a shell on the front, and "Camino de Santiago" engraved on the back. Comes with a black cord. Pendent is slightly larger than a 50 euro cent coin, about 25mm.
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.

New Three-Season Layering Options

Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I know layering comes up *a lot* but with advances in textiles and new products coming to market every year, I've spent more time than I would care to admit re-working my layers for both pilgrimage and my non-supported walks on the Appalachian and Florida Trails. I'm headed to the California Missions Trail next month and wanted to share an OVERSIMPLIFIED VERSION of my three-season layers.

A good layering system consists of base layers for moisture management and moving sweat away from your body, mid-layers for insulation and retaining the warmth, and outer layers to protect you from wind and rain. While it may seem counter-intuitive, wearing/carrying several high-performing layers can keep you more comfortable outdoors than a basic shirt+jacket system.

BASE LAYER
150wt Merino Wool Short Sleeve (Woolly), or
150wt Merino Wool polo (Woolx, Smartwool, Minus33, Woolly)

MID LAYER
170wt Merino Long Sleeve 1/2 zip (REI, Smartwool, etc), or
Lightweight Grid Fleece (Patagonia R1, Arcteryx Delta, etc), or
35+cfm Wind Layer (Mountain Hardwear Kor Preshell, Patagonia Airshed)
*The Kor Preshell and Airshed both have DWR treatments, so they resist some light rain

RAIN/WIND *might be an addition to or replace a midlayer
Montbell Peak Dry, or
Montbell Versalite (with pit zips), or
Outdoor Research Helium HD (with pit zips)
*While the Peak Dry does not have mechanical venting, it is BY FAR the most breathable at 80Kcfm

OUTER/THERMAL
North Face Thermoball Vest, or
Patagonia Down Sweater Vest


With a goal to get my kit down to two shirts and two mid-layers, here is the most flexible system for my routes on the Camino, California Missions Trail, Florida Trail, and Appalachian Trail.

MOST FLEXIBLE COMBINATION
Woolx Short Sleeve Polo,
Arcteryx Delta Zip Grid Fleece,
Mountain Hardwear Kor Preshell

This means I'm packing just two shirts and two layers.

I've found the 150wt merino with the Kor Preshell keeps me warm/cool/dry from approximately 10-22C/50-72F without having to stop to remove layers. The Preshell does well in most light rain; however the Peak Dry is the ultimate "walk all day in the rain without getting wet" piece. It's pricey but exceptionally good. If it's colder, I'll add the Arcteryx Delta Zip Grid Fleece over the merino / under the Preshell.

Using this system, I've gotten down to just two shirts, and the two mid-layers for most walks. I've put some pictures on my blog and some links to different options, but I hope this short overview helps you.


Edited for clarity as suggested below.
 
Last edited:
how to successfully prepare for your Camino
This book's focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared.
Silver Oxide Camino de Santiago pendent
Camino de Santiago pendant that has a shell on the front, and "Camino de Santiago" engraved on the back. Comes with a black cord. Pendent is slightly larger than a 50 euro cent coin, about 25mm.

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
So complicated. I wear inexpensive tee shirts and a fleece. Normally, have a cotton sweat short in my pack with my waterproofs.
I’m a bit of an old traditionalist myself Mike - and I’ve learned not to treat a village-to-village walk through Spain’s modern infrastructure as a wilderness expedition

here it comes ...

wait for it ...

BUT

even I concede that fabric technology has come on a long way since my regular outfit of Ron Hills, a smelly-helly and holy (i.e. with holes) Karrimor fleece first saw the light of day.

I gave up cotton long ago and although I often succumb to ‘leading edge’ brands, I find the mountain warehouse (think REI over the pond) knock-offs are more than sufficient.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
So complicated. I wear inexpensive tee shirts and a fleece. Normally, have a cotton sweat short in my pack with my waterproofs.
Don't understand complication :) I use practically the same system :) I was 65 in 2003 when I first got involved and am ex forces, as well as mountain rescue. I have a lung condition on top of all my other impediments and know the value of good gear. I stay away from cotton. now 83 in July and haven't found much reason for changing my approach. I do change brands however and keep an eye on the forum for threads like this. I wish you well and buen camino,

Samarkand.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I suspect that the issue of "complication" comes partly from the fact that it is difficult to extract the guiding principles from your specific brand name recommendations. To understand better, we would have to search each of those specific brands/models and figure out what features they have and how they can be mixed and matched, or how other items could be substituted.

I see no base layer bottom, or references to hat, gloves, buff, etc., which can be important in enhancing what minimalistic other layers you might choose.
 
Camino Socks
Browse the Camino Socks collection on the forum shop
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I suspect that the issue of "complication" comes partly from the fact that it is difficult to extract the guiding principles from your specific brand name recommendations. To understand better, we would have to search each of those specific brands/models and figure out what features they have and how they can be mixed and matched, or how other items could be substituted.

I see no base layer bottom, or references to hat, gloves, buff, etc., which can be important in enhancing what minimalistic other layers you might choose.
Full kit is over at my blog. I thought it best not to link a bunch of items so that the post wasnt deemed commercial. I got into headaches once for too many links to on a kit post with amazon, decathlo, and rei, etc.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Don't understand complication :) I use practically the same system :) I was 65 in 2003 when I first got involved and am ex forces, as well as mountain rescue. I have a lung condition on top of all my other impediments and know the value of good gear. I stay away from cotton. now 83 in July and haven't found much reason for changing my approach. I do change brands however and keep an eye on the forum for threads like this. I wish you well and buen camino,

Samarkand.

Thanks so much. Hope this helps a bit on brands, as I've definitely been keeping the delivery driver busy this past year.

For those who may not have fallen in love with Merino wool yet, the advantages are considerable:
  • Retains warmth even when wet from rain / perspiration / etc.
  • Naturally odor resistant; huge blessing especially in mixed company :)
  • Easy to wash; dries quickly
  • Natural fabric; no plastics in production or micro-plastics put off when laundering
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Full kit is over at my blog. I thought it best not to link a bunch of items so that the post wasnt deemed commercial.
I understand, and you were prudent. I was just thinking that the list of products without discussion of the layering concept mentioned in the title became, well, just a list of branded products! :)
 
Camino Socks
Browse the Camino Socks collection on the forum shop
Camino Masks
12 different designs, shipped world wide from Santiago.

Barbara

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
Wear clothes. Ones that breathe and dry quickly. It's Spain, not the Antarctic or the Gobi desert. If you are cold buy some more to put on top. If you are hot take some off.
 

Chris Gi

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Did April through June 2018 from Pamplona to Santiago.
2020 May or end of September - NO!
2021 ?
I know layering comes up *a lot* but with advances in textiles and new products coming to market every year, I've spent more time than I would care to admit re-working my layers for both pilgrimage and my non-supported walks on the Appalachian and Florida Trails. I'm headed to the California Missions Trail next month and wanted to share an OVERSIMPLIFIED VERSION of my three-season layers.

BASE LAYER
150wt Merino Wool Short Sleeve (Woolly), or
150wt Merino Wool polo (Woolx, Smartwool, Minus33, Woolly)

MID LAYER
170wt Merino Long Sleeve 1/2 zip (REI, Smartwool, etc), or
Lightweight Grid Fleece (Patagonia R1, Arcteryx Delta, etc), or
35+cfm Wind Layer (Mountain Hardwear Kor Preshell, Patagonia Airshed)
*The Kor Preshell and Airshed both have DWR treatments, so they resist some light rain

RAIN/WIND *might be an addition to or replace a midlayer
Montbell Peak Dry, or
Montbell Versalite (with pit zips), or
Outdoor Research Helium HD (with pit zips)
*While the Peak Dry does not have mechanical venting, it is BY FAR the most breathable at 80Kcfm

OUTER/THERMAL
North Face Thermoball Vest, or
Patagonia Down Sweater Vest


MOST FLEXIBLE COMBINATION
Woolx Short Sleeve Polo,
Arcteryx Delta Zip Grid Fleece,
Mountain Hardwear Kor Preshell

I've found the 150wt merino with the Kor Preshell keeps me warm/cool/dry from approximately 10-22C/50-72F without having to stop to remove layers. The Preshell does well in most light rain; however the Peak Dry is the ultimate "walk all day in the rain without getting wet" piece. It's pricey but exceptionally good. If it's colder, I'll add the Arcteryx Delta Zip Grid Fleece over the merino / under the Preshell. Using this system, I've gotten down to just two shirts, and the two mid layers for most walks. I've put some pictures on my blog and some links to different options, but I hope this short overview helps you.
Enjoy the California Mission Trail. I live at the southern end of it and have walked parts of it up from San Diego - not the whole way in one go. Lots of pavement and busy streets and next month could be quite warm.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
I know layering comes up *a lot* but with advances in textiles and new products coming to market every year, I've spent more time than I would care to admit re-working my layers for both pilgrimage and my non-supported walks on the Appalachian and Florida Trails. I'm headed to the California Missions Trail next month and wanted to share an OVERSIMPLIFIED VERSION of my three-season layers.

BASE LAYER
150wt Merino Wool Short Sleeve (Woolly), or
150wt Merino Wool polo (Woolx, Smartwool, Minus33, Woolly)

MID LAYER
170wt Merino Long Sleeve 1/2 zip (REI, Smartwool, etc), or
Lightweight Grid Fleece (Patagonia R1, Arcteryx Delta, etc), or
35+cfm Wind Layer (Mountain Hardwear Kor Preshell, Patagonia Airshed)
*The Kor Preshell and Airshed both have DWR treatments, so they resist some light rain

RAIN/WIND *might be an addition to or replace a midlayer
Montbell Peak Dry, or
Montbell Versalite (with pit zips), or
Outdoor Research Helium HD (with pit zips)
*While the Peak Dry does not have mechanical venting, it is BY FAR the most breathable at 80Kcfm

OUTER/THERMAL
North Face Thermoball Vest, or
Patagonia Down Sweater Vest


MOST FLEXIBLE COMBINATION
Woolx Short Sleeve Polo,
Arcteryx Delta Zip Grid Fleece,
Mountain Hardwear Kor Preshell

I've found the 150wt merino with the Kor Preshell keeps me warm/cool/dry from approximately 10-22C/50-72F without having to stop to remove layers. The Preshell does well in most light rain; however the Peak Dry is the ultimate "walk all day in the rain without getting wet" piece. It's pricey but exceptionally good. If it's colder, I'll add the Arcteryx Delta Zip Grid Fleece over the merino / under the Preshell. Using this system, I've gotten down to just two shirts, and the two mid layers for most walks. I've put some pictures on my blog and some links to different options, but I hope this short overview helps you.
I appreciate the time that you spent doing this research for yourself. The was checking the prices of everything you have suggested and taking one from columns A-E cost more than all my gear that I spent on my first Camino. I have walked 5 Caminos and about 5,000K and still have most of the gear that I used on my first one. Still use the same backpack that cost me about $85 at REI. I have no idea what a similar pack to that one may be now. Altus rain poncho that is now about $35. I have new trail runners now that cost me 120. I buy closeout quick dry shirts for about 25 each. Have been wearing the same two for the last 3 casinos. On my second set of two quick dry shorts about 35 for the set. 3 pairs of socks that I bought new that were about 35. Last camino bought 2 pair of mid weight REI socks $40. Down Hoodie REI $80. One midlevel base long sleeve REI quick dry wicker, $40. At a garage sale I got a pullover quick dry long sleeve and quick dry long johns from Under Armour that were both new, still with the tags on them for $12. Hopefully for my next camino starting in Seville I only bought new trail runners that I referenced above for $100. They are Brooks Cascadias and are last years, model. Have always worn the Cascadias and they are great. This is not a criticism but an alternative for people who are on much tighter budgets. If you start early and go to all the closeout stuff from lots of good manufacturers you can do great. Oh yea, when I did my winter Camino I traded my a great sleeping bag that is way to heavy and big for the camino for a sleeping bag that was really small and was rated to 40 Farinheit. I was never cold. Some nights I slept in my base layer. I forgot I also bought a sleep sack on my first camino. It was about $50 on sale and I still use it.
With a little work you can still find lots of bargains online for a camino. You may not look like a fashion plate but it is the Camino after all. I also think if you aren't suffering a struggling at least a little you ain't a pilgrim. Compared to what our forefather pilgrims went through we have a stroll in the park :)
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
No offense taken, @lt56ny.

My goal is to walk with two shirts and two layering pieces for all three-season weather. Lightweight gear is more expensive; no way around that if it's your aim. Sales, clearance, closeouts, and used gear are worth finding.

My last pack weight for the Camino was 8#. With these changes on the same pack, I've dropped 2#. (Of course, I gained the Covid 19 pounds, so there's that! :D)
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
No offense taken, @lt56ny.

My goal is to walk with two shirts and two layering pieces for all three-season weather. Lightweight gear is more expensive; no way around that if it's your aim. Sales, clearance, closeouts, and used gear are worth finding.

My last pack weight for the Camino was 8#. With these changes on the same pack, I've dropped 2#. (Of course, I gained the Covid 19 pounds, so there's that! :D)
With food and water I am at about 8.5 but I attribute some of that to the fact that I walk later in the year. If Spain opens and I can do the Via De La Plata I will not get to Santiago until about December 10. If it is still closed I will be looking at a mid February 2022 start. I am still thinking about my gear and I think I may take less then I have planned. When are you walking? I think 8.5 is definitely not a problem but less is a whole lot more when you have a 1,000K in front of you.
 
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A collection of Camino Fridge Magnets
Camino Maps
A collection of Camino Maps from the Camino Forum Store
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
With food and water I am at about 8.5 but I attribute some of that to the fact that I walk later in the year. If Spain opens and I can do the Via De La Plata I will not get to Santiago until about December 10. If it is still closed I will be looking at a mid February 2022 start. I am still thinking about my gear and I think I may take less then I have planned. When are you walking? I think 8.5 is definitely not a problem but less is a whole lot more when you have a 1,000K in front of you.
I'll be walking the California Missions Trail in April 2021 and then - with a little luck - walking in the UK in the late summer: Way of St. Cuthbert, Pilgrims Way from London to Canterbury, and then beginning the Via Francigena from Canterbury into Europe towards Rome. In 2022, I'd like to walk a Camino loop from Santiago/Muxia/Finisterre/Santiago Holy Door and if possible walk in the Holy Land - perhaps Jordan to Jerusalem or the shorter Jesus Trail. It would be a dream to arrive in Jerusalem, Santiago and Rome all in the same year. I still would like to walk the Shikiko Temples in 2023 and back to the Camino Frances in 2023. Buen Camino!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Enjoy the California Mission Trail. I live at the southern end of it and have walked parts of it up from San Diego - not the whole way in one go. Lots of pavement and busy streets and next month could be quite warm.

I'll be coming through your beautiful city in just weeks to begin at Mission San Diego de Ayala. Fr. Raymond has been so kind as to offer a blessing for my journey; thank you for your well wishes as well.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Discussing outdoor clothing with my brother, I once remarked that "polyester is the walker's friend." He thought about it for a moment and replied "he's probably the only friend it's got."

Before merino was being spun into lightweight layering options, maybe. But man, polyester picks up stink quickly, and once it grabs it, never lets go.

Maybe that’s why the Persil detergent that is so overpowering is so ubiquitous in the preloaded machines on the way, but that stuff burns my nostrils and my skin. I have to use UN scented things myself (and use soap nuts/ soap berries because they are frangrance free and extremely light to carry).

But I fear that if I were to wear polyester base layers I’d quickly find myself unbearable after about 5 days in a row of 1 or 2 shirts in rotation on 25-30k days in those stinking hot temperatures....
 

Glenshiro

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy - León, Camino Frances (2012 - 2019)
But man, polyester picks up stink quickly, and once it grabs it, never lets go.
I certainly agree with the first half of your sentence, and I'm pretty certain no one would stand next to me in a bus queue after a day's walk, but I find that washing my polyester garments (underwear, polyester/cotton shirt) in travel laundry soap followed by a good blast of the hottest water the shower can provide usually renders them acceptable. And, when I get the opportunity, a proper wash in a machine restores them to pristine condition.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
I certainly agree with the first half of your sentence, and I'm pretty certain no one would stand next to me in a bus queue after a day's walk, but I find that washing my polyester garments (underwear, polyester/cotton shirt) in travel laundry soap followed by a good blast of the hottest water the shower can provide usually renders them acceptable. And, when I get the opportunity, a proper wash in a machine restores them to pristine condition.

Yeah. Nope. Not for me. I don’t know... maybe it’s the “female olfactory sensitivity thing” (apparent evolutionary bonus for females to have far more sensitive olfactory sense), but all that supposedly “pristine condition” stuff people are wearing stinks like a bad second-hand shop to me.
 
Last edited:
2021 Camino Guides
Most all Camino authors have decided to use 2020 guides for 2021, with free PDF files with updates coming in the spring. Get yours today.
how to successfully prepare for your Camino
This book's focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared.

stinmd

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances - May 2015; Camino del Norte/Primitivo - July/August 2016; Camino Portugues - Sept 2017
So complicated. I wear inexpensive tee shirts and a fleece. Normally, have a cotton sweat short in my pack with my waterproofs.
Well said! Just keep it simple.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances: 2016, Del Norte: (2018), Finisterre: (2018), Olvidado (to Bonar): (2019): Bonar on 2020
Before merino was being spun into lightweight layering options, maybe. But man, polyester picks up stink quickly, and once it grabs it, never lets go.

Maybe that’s why the Persil detergent that is so overpowering is so ubiquitous in the preloaded machines on the way, but that stuff burns my nostrils and my skin. I have to use UN scented things myself (and use soap nuts/ soap berries because they are frangrance free and extremely light to carry).

But I fear that if I were to wear polyester base layers I’d quickly find myself unbearable after about 5 days in a row of 1 or 2 shirts in rotation on 25-30k days in those stinking hot temperatures....
I have been amazed, but Oxyclean Odor Blasters has alleviated that problem for me. I won't buy polyester again, but until it shreds off my body, this works for me.
 

PatCambridge

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances
I know layering comes up *a lot* but with advances in textiles and new products coming to market every year, I've spent more time than I would care to admit re-working my layers for both pilgrimage and my non-supported walks on the Appalachian and Florida Trails. I'm headed to the California Missions Trail next month and wanted to share an OVERSIMPLIFIED VERSION of my three-season layers.

A good layering system consists of base layers for moisture management and moving sweat away from your body, mid-layers for insulation and retaining the warmth, and outer layers to protect you from wind and rain. While it may seem counter-intuitive, wearing/carrying several high-performing layers can keep you more comfortable outdoors than a basic shirt+jacket system.

BASE LAYER
150wt Merino Wool Short Sleeve (Woolly), or
150wt Merino Wool polo (Woolx, Smartwool, Minus33, Woolly)

MID LAYER
170wt Merino Long Sleeve 1/2 zip (REI, Smartwool, etc), or
Lightweight Grid Fleece (Patagonia R1, Arcteryx Delta, etc), or
35+cfm Wind Layer (Mountain Hardwear Kor Preshell, Patagonia Airshed)
*The Kor Preshell and Airshed both have DWR treatments, so they resist some light rain

RAIN/WIND *might be an addition to or replace a midlayer
Montbell Peak Dry, or
Montbell Versalite (with pit zips), or
Outdoor Research Helium HD (with pit zips)
*While the Peak Dry does not have mechanical venting, it is BY FAR the most breathable at 80Kcfm

OUTER/THERMAL
North Face Thermoball Vest, or
Patagonia Down Sweater Vest


With a goal to get my kit down to two shirts and two mid-layers, here is the most flexible system for my routes on the Camino, California Missions Trail, Florida Trail, and Appalachian Trail.

MOST FLEXIBLE COMBINATION
Woolx Short Sleeve Polo,
Arcteryx Delta Zip Grid Fleece,
Mountain Hardwear Kor Preshell

This means I'm packing just two shirts and two layers.

I've found the 150wt merino with the Kor Preshell keeps me warm/cool/dry from approximately 10-22C/50-72F without having to stop to remove layers. The Preshell does well in most light rain; however the Peak Dry is the ultimate "walk all day in the rain without getting wet" piece. It's pricey but exceptionally good. If it's colder, I'll add the Arcteryx Delta Zip Grid Fleece over the merino / under the Preshell.

Using this system, I've gotten down to just two shirts, and the two mid-layers for most walks. I've put some pictures on my blog and some links to different options, but I hope this short overview helps you.


Edited for clarity as suggested below.
Thanks very much for the information. This is very helpful.
It's certainly an expensive option but I expect the quality is also top notch.

I have always found wool to be quite itchy on my skin, but admittedly I haven't had any wool products for decades, and I expect they weren't merino wool.
So I think I'll order one of the merino t shirts and give it a try, as my first step.
 
Camino Masks
12 different designs, shipped world wide from Santiago.
Camino Cups
Browse our selection of Camino Cups on the forum store
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Thanks very much for the information. This is very helpful.
It's certainly an expensive option but I expect the quality is also top notch.

I have always found wool to be quite itchy on my skin, but admittedly I haven't had any wool products for decades, and I expect they weren't merino wool.
So I think I'll order one of the merino t shirts and give it a try, as my first step.

Honestly, @PatCambridge, I wasn't a "wool guy" at first because I thought of wool as the itchy sweater I had to wear throughout the church service growing up. Fast forward a few more decades and the 150wt merino is - to me - much more comfortable on the skin than the "dri-fit" polyester, better for the economy, and a NIGHT & DAY contrast in terms of odor. I've tried a bunch. The Woolly brand has a little more natural scent when you open the package; Woolx is just amazingly good; same for Smartwool but an even greater price premium. You can find all on their websites, Amazon, etc.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Thanks very much for the information. This is very helpful.
It's certainly an expensive option but I expect the quality is also top notch.

I have always found wool to be quite itchy on my skin, but admittedly I haven't had any wool products for decades, and I expect they weren't merino wool.
So I think I'll order one of the merino t shirts and give it a try, as my first step.
Merino is a long fibre and that is why it is not itchy. Shetland wool is thick but short, and the fibres stick out all the way along every woven strand. Merino is far more similar to the old, good quality cashmere that was not fluffy but rather a tight, long-haired strand woven into sturdy and soft threads.

I think you will be amazed by the zero itch. My entire family even wears merino underwear because it is soft, cool when you want it to be, warm when you need it to be, and stink-free. I crack jokes that with woollen bras and bloomers I feel like Laura-freaking-Ingalls on the prairie, but really: I would never go back to the synthetics...

Cheers.
 

ISABEL linares

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
camino frances,camino del norte,camino frances
To Ivar and all the peregrinos.Whising you Happy Easter and hoping we can all do the Camino soon.

Caminante no hay camino se hace camino al andar. Antonio MACHADO
 

Mycroft

Active Member
I'll be walking the California Missions Trail in April 2021 and then - with a little luck - walking in the UK in the late summer: Way of St. Cuthbert, Pilgrims Way from London to Canterbury, and then beginning the Via Francigena from Canterbury into Europe towards Rome. In 2022, I'd like to walk a Camino loop from Santiago/Muxia/Finisterre/Santiago Holy Door and if possible walk in the Holy Land - perhaps Jordan to Jerusalem or the shorter Jesus Trail. It would be a dream to arrive in Jerusalem, Santiago and Rome all in the same year. I still would like to walk the Shikiko Temples in 2023 and back to the Camino Frances in 2023. Buen Camino!
Same here, SacredSteps. You've started me dreaming again!
 

PatCambridge

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances
Honestly, @PatCambridge, I wasn't a "wool guy" at first because I thought of wool as the itchy sweater I had to wear throughout the church service growing up. Fast forward a few more decades and the 150wt merino is - to me - much more comfortable on the skin than the "dri-fit" polyester, better for the economy, and a NIGHT & DAY contrast in terms of odor. I've tried a bunch. The Woolly brand has a little more natural scent when you open the package; Woolx is just amazingly good; same for Smartwool but an even greater price premium. You can find all on their websites, Amazon, etc.
thanks so much for all the info.
 
Camino Socks
Browse the Camino Socks collection on the forum shop
Unique engravings about the Camino de Santiago from Gabriel and other art objects.

Grammy Kin

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2013); Finisterre (2013); Portugues (2015); King Ludwig’s Way (2016); Via Podiensis (2018)
As someone who is particularly sensitive to cold, a couple of years ago I spent a lot of money on merino base layers because of so many rave reviews. Sorry folks. They do a great job wicking - they wick the heat right away from my body, and I’m left shivering. Also, they are slightly rough on the skin, not at all as smooth as poly, and in dry winter weather can give me an itch storm. I still wear them, as I like their look, and add lots of things over top, but please know they’re not the answer for everyone. For me a blend with a little cotton is not a bad thing.
 

camino.ninja

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 5 6,16,17,18,19,20
Primiti+Salvador 19
Portug. 17,18,20
Catalan 17
Norte 17
Plata 18
I know layering comes up *a lot* but with advances in textiles and new products coming to market every year, I've spent more time than I would care to admit re-working my layers for both pilgrimage and my non-supported walks on the Appalachian and Florida Trails. I'm headed to the California Missions Trail next month and wanted to share an OVERSIMPLIFIED VERSION of my three-season layers.

A good layering system consists of base layers for moisture management and moving sweat away from your body, mid-layers for insulation and retaining the warmth, and outer layers to protect you from wind and rain. While it may seem counter-intuitive, wearing/carrying several high-performing layers can keep you more comfortable outdoors than a basic shirt+jacket system.

BASE LAYER
150wt Merino Wool Short Sleeve (Woolly), or
150wt Merino Wool polo (Woolx, Smartwool, Minus33, Woolly)

MID LAYER
170wt Merino Long Sleeve 1/2 zip (REI, Smartwool, etc), or
Lightweight Grid Fleece (Patagonia R1, Arcteryx Delta, etc), or
35+cfm Wind Layer (Mountain Hardwear Kor Preshell, Patagonia Airshed)
*The Kor Preshell and Airshed both have DWR treatments, so they resist some light rain

RAIN/WIND *might be an addition to or replace a midlayer
Montbell Peak Dry, or
Montbell Versalite (with pit zips), or
Outdoor Research Helium HD (with pit zips)
*While the Peak Dry does not have mechanical venting, it is BY FAR the most breathable at 80Kcfm

OUTER/THERMAL
North Face Thermoball Vest, or
Patagonia Down Sweater Vest


With a goal to get my kit down to two shirts and two mid-layers, here is the most flexible system for my routes on the Camino, California Missions Trail, Florida Trail, and Appalachian Trail.

MOST FLEXIBLE COMBINATION
Woolx Short Sleeve Polo,
Arcteryx Delta Zip Grid Fleece,
Mountain Hardwear Kor Preshell

This means I'm packing just two shirts and two layers.

I've found the 150wt merino with the Kor Preshell keeps me warm/cool/dry from approximately 10-22C/50-72F without having to stop to remove layers. The Preshell does well in most light rain; however the Peak Dry is the ultimate "walk all day in the rain without getting wet" piece. It's pricey but exceptionally good. If it's colder, I'll add the Arcteryx Delta Zip Grid Fleece over the merino / under the Preshell.

Using this system, I've gotten down to just two shirts, and the two mid-layers for most walks. I've put some pictures on my blog and some links to different options, but I hope this short overview helps you.


Edited for clarity as suggested below.


I'll suggest trying a thin lambswool sweater instead of the 170 merino baselayer. Everything else looks good.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
A few years ago Aldi had some cardigans in cashmere and silk. Being Aldi they were cheap, and I bought two. They were (are) absolutely gorgeous to wear, light but soft, fabulous in any kind of weather. Sadly I took one on camino and the straps from my pack destroyed it. So some attention to hardiness is necessary.
 
Camino Masks
12 different designs, shipped world wide from Santiago.
Original artwork based on your pilgrimage or other travel photos.

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