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Opportunities for Camping

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Starsend

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Leaving for my first Camino on 2nd September
Hi All

Starting my first camino from SJPP this coming Saturday. Couple of questions for people who have done it before.

Are there generally a reasonable amount of opportunities for camping? I'm planning on taking a small one man tent and would like to camp out every other night if possible, a) to keep the cost down and b) because I'm not sure how well I will sleep in dorms.

Also, I'm a vegetarian. The meals served in albergues? Is there often a vege option? I've been to Spain before and nearly stared to death as they put meat in everything. Don't eat fish either but love cheese, eggs etc.

Oh, and is it generally very hot walking in Septemeber?

Appreciate any help.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
Camping opportunities are not common. The yard of an albergue is your best bet. There is vegetarian food along the way. Search the Forum for lists. It will be hot in September at times. Buen camino.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
Hi All

Starting my first camino from SJPP this coming Saturday. Couple of questions for people who have done it before.

Are there generally a reasonable amount of opportunities for camping? I'm planning on taking a small one man tent and would like to camp out every other night if possible, a) to keep the cost down and b) because I'm not sure how well I will sleep in dorms.

Also, I'm a vegetarian. The meals served in albergues? Is there often a vege option? I've been to Spain before and nearly stared to death as they put meat in everything. Don't eat fish either but love cheese, eggs etc.

Oh, and is it generally very hot walking in Septemeber?

Appreciate any help.
While many albergues serve communal meals, most do not. I ate most of my meals in bars (restaurants).
When I walked last year in September it was very hot at the beginning of the month.
I'm not a vegetarian, but can recommend a couple of albergues with excellent vegetarian or vegan meals - Albergue Verde in Hospital de Orbigo and La Casa Mágica in Villatuerta.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
Here is an older blog post I did. http://caminosantiago2.blogspot.com/2011/10/campsites-on-camino-santiago-de.html
You should check each and every link because this is an old post and the places might have new links you'll have to search for.

That said, I have camped quite a bit along the Camino because I have MCS and often cannot stay in albergues with people's perfumes, essential oils, highly fragranced laundry detergents, etc.
So it IS possible.
But if I did not have this condition, it would be easier just to pay the inexpensive fee for an albergue, imo.

Regarding meals in albergues - I know of none except the parochials and in those, you take what is served you. If you are vegetarian eating in a restaurant, you may get a vegetable soup with meat or fish stock. So the safest thing is to cook for yourself.

Regarding weather, only God knows.
 

good_old_shoes

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('15)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
Eating vegetarian along the way is easy, no problem at all if you're not picky. When in restaurants, mention that you do not eat fish and bacon, as those are considered vegetables in spain... and maybe cook your own meals from time to time, what you get in restaurants is not too healthy and rather boring after a while. Canned lentils and chick peas are available in almost every tienda. In bars, tortilla is your friend (if you eat eggs). In albergues where food is served, especially donativos, it's tricky... some will ask if there are vegetarians that evening, some will not ask but expect you to tell, and some will be annoyed if you tell them. Personally, I usually did not tell and was happy if there was something I could eat :) if not, I had some emergency food in my backpack.

Regarding camping - there are not many campsites, but it's possible to camp at least from time to time. I regretted sending home my tent in St. Jean Pied de Port. Saw people with small tents at Roncesvalles, in the yard of the Estella municipal, the Hospital de Orbigo municipal and the German albergue in La Faba. In Torres del Rio there's a tiny tienda run by an old woman (close to the end of town), where if you ask you might be allowed to put up a tent in her garden. I know people who camped there (this year), and the lady was lovely. In general, if you want to camp – ask. It will not be mentioned on any sign, but if you ask, many albergues and sometimes locals will allow it for a small fee.

On the Francés you won't save much money, though – when you put up your tent in the garden of an albergue, they'll expect you to pay the same price you'd pay for a bed. The good part is, it's still extremely cheap (usually 5-8 Euros, cheaper than a camp site!), and you'll have access to the showers and kitchen, but more privacy than in a dorm room. So I think it's worth to carry the lightweight tent, even though most others here will disagree (I carried my tent for about 900kms before I got to Spain, so I'm biased).

Wild camping, sadly, is illegal in Spain, and they are serious about that. Don't try it unless you're a master of stealth camping. I met a french couple who had walked all the way from the Swiss border, doing wild camping most of the time. Spain was the first time police made them pick up their tent and leave. They told me they usually were tolerated if they did not put up a tent but slept under the stars with sleeping bag only. Still not exactly legal, but maybe a compromise.

Buen Camino, fellow veggytentigrino!
 

dagreen

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
El Frances (2013)
Please be aware that the vegetal sandwich in Spain often includes egg and tuna. Additionally, lard, AKA pork fat, is an ingredient in some croissants, cookies and pastries. The good news is that it won't kill you. Spaniards have one of the highest life expectancy.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Lourdes/Burgos/SdeC 77; Frances 12,15,17; Finisterre 17; Lourdes/Aragones18; Logrono-Leon 19.
Buena suerte! I have never encountered anyone camping, on any of my walks.
 

good_old_shoes

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('15)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
@rappahannock_rev, I think you're more likely to notice tents, campsites and possible spots for bivouac if you're a camper yourself. It's not very common on the Francés but it does exist. There are official campsites directly on the Camino for example at Irache (close to the wine fountain), Monte do Gozo and shortly before Fisterra (beautiful beach just across the street!).
It certainly isn't for everyone, but if you love to sleep in a tent/outside, there are (legal) possibilities even in Spain. Every pilgrim in a tent leaves one more bed for those who think carrying a tent is too much weight :)
 
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Starsend

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Leaving for my first Camino on 2nd September
Thanks very much everybody for some really useful replies. I'm thinking of leaving the tent behind now, mostly because my pack is 12kg and would really like it lighter than that. Sounds like I should be able to manage ok on the food front :)

Oh, be interested as to what kind of weight people carried?
 

Starsend

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Leaving for my first Camino on 2nd September
The tent and bed roll will bring it down to about 9 which is much better. I do have some dried food so that will get eaten fairly quickly maybe bringing it down to 8. I also have a raincoat. Do people think that I will actually need it?
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
The tent and bed roll will bring it down to about 9 which is much better. I do have some dried food so that will get eaten fairly quickly maybe bringing it down to 8. I also have a raincoat. Do people think that I will actually need it?
You will need something in case of rain. I use a homemade poncho with sleeves that weighs 7.2 ounces/204 grams, and I also have an umbrella, which get used for sun protection much more than for rain.
My backpack comes in at about 7.5 kg without food or water, but many here carry much less, and some carry a heavier load. If you post your packing list, you can get help on what you can cut out.
 

Starsend

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Leaving for my first Camino on 2nd September
I've stripped it right down to what I consider the bare essentials and I'm down to 8.4kg with about 1/2 kg of that being food which won't last long. Reasonably happy with that as it's fairly close to 10% of my bodyweight.

Right then, off to bed, big day tomorrow :)

Thanks everybody for your help.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
I've stripped it right down to what I consider the bare essentials and I'm down to 8.4kg with about 1/2 kg of that being food which won't last long. Reasonably happy with that as it's fairly close to 10% of my bodyweight.

Right then, off to bed, big day tomorrow :)

Thanks everybody for your help.
Sounds good. Buen Camino!
 

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