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Packing list suggestions for late February through April

2020 Camino Guides

clarkandkaren

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
March (2020)
I've looked at a good number of posts to this forum regarding packing list items for this time of year without much luck. It seems the majority of hikers begin the trip in April or May. We've understood from one of local REI managers who has hiked the camino several times that we have some initial difficulties as not all the boarding facilities will be open. However, our larger concern, keeping in mind that we would like to limit our pack weight, is what would be necessary items for this cooler/colder time of year. We have both bought Thermolite sleeping bag warmers, though I've opted for the extreme as I know one of us may find it colder than we prepared for.
In short, are there any other specific gear suggestions/recommendations we should consider given the time of year we are going. Our expected start date is either the last week in February or no later than the first week in March. We will be leaving from Pau, France with the expectation of hiking the entire 500+ mile trail.
Thanks -- Clark&Karen
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
Try searching "winter camino" rather than packing list. And yes lots of Pilgrims start in April & May and even more in September.
So, in February/March you are going to be walking mostly Atlantic maritime climate at heights varying from sea-level to 1500 metres. Expect snow, rain, cold wind off the Meseta and the mountains and even warm spring days with temperatures up into the low 20C's. Pack accordingly. You'll find lots of advice about layering. Consensus is multiple thin layers that can be adjusted to suit the daily conditions and terrain; good waterproofs that will of course also act as a wind barrier. And, yes, I would always carry a sleeping bag though not any additional liner beyond the silk job I always carry. Unless you are planning nights under the stars a 0 degree bag should cut it.
 

surya8

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues Central and Coastal 2017 & 2019; Portugues Interior, Sanabres, Fisterra & Muxia 2018
I walked the Portuguese Coastal in mid Jan this year, so can speak for Galicia at least. Mild temperatures there, some sunshine and rain ranging from light drizzling to downpour so pack accordingly. I'd opt for merino wool for this time of the year. I had several thin merino sweaters that I used for walking and sleeping in. Yes, make sure you have smth warm for to wear in the albergues as I mostly felt warm and comfortable when walking but was getting cold quickly when I stopped or in the albegrgues. I've found the fleece-lined leggins a hit on a winter Camino. Bom Caminho!
 

Eve Alexandra

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Astorga to Santiago in '17
St Jean to Astorga/Santiago to Muxia in '20
I've walked in mid March and I'm going back in mid March again. Thin layers, as others have said. And I recommend a rain jacket and rain pants instead of a poncho. Your pants may have to double as snow pants (this worked fine for me with just wool leggings under them in O Ceb with 6 inches of snow plus sleet/ice later in the day). But don't assume you will always be cold. It was very warm from Astorga leading up to O Ceb, in the middle of March, and I was regretting not having a pair of shorts.
 

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