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2019 Camino Guides

Personal Safety on the Camino - some hints, tips and information

#1
Johnnie Walker’s Hints and tips - please add your own!


Safety on the Camino


The Camino to Santiago is generally a very safe place for pilgrims. However accidents do happen and like anywhere else pilgrims must take precautions against crime. Above all common sense must prevail.

Do not leave your belongings unattended – keep your valuables with you at all times – even in the shower in albergues.

Carry a mobile phone – or have access to one. Telephone numbers of the emergency services are on the reverse of this card.

Stay alert – be aware of where you are and who you are with. Trust your instincts about strangers.

Walk with another pilgrim – if you feel at all nervous or simply want company.

Wear a reflective vest – Spanish law requires everyone walking on roads or close to traffic to wear a reflective vest before first light and after dark. These are available from gas stations and many shops and supermarkets.

Keep copies - of your passport and any important numbers in a separate place from your purse or wallet.

Arrange insurance - have appropriate travel insurance which also provides cover for health care. Keep the insurance company helpline number handy.

Trust other pilgrims – but only to the extent you know them. Don’t forget the basic precautions you would take anywhere.

If something happens – Do not hesitate to call the authorities if something happens which is of concern to you. Just as you would at home. The numbers are on the reverse of this card

Above all – have fun! But don’t forget that the Camino is the same as all other situations where there are people. Use your common sense.


Emergency Numbers

Before calling the emergency services if at all possible work out your location from your guidebook or by asking other people.

112 is the general Emergency Number in Europe. They will answer very quickly even if there is no credit on your phone. Explain slowly and clearly that you need to speak to an operator in English if that is the case.

062 – The Guardia Civil

091 – National Police

092 – Local Police

Each of these services has their own areas of responsibility. However they advise that when in doubt simply phone them and they will decide which force should best respond.

061 – Health Emergencies

080 - Fire Service

Victims of Crime

There is a dedicated an English-language telephone number for victims of crimes who wish to make a police report but do not speak Spanish. The number is +34 902102112. It operates from 8 a.m. to 12 a.m. daily.

Advice and assistance from your Embassy

American Embassy in Spain

+34 915872200

http://madrid.usembassy.gov/

UK Embassy in Spain

+34 91 714 6300

https://www.gov.uk/government/world/organisations/british-embassy-madrid

Irish Embassy in Spain

+34 914364093

https://www.dfa.ie/irish-embassy/Spain/

Canadian Embassy in Spain

+34 913828400

www.spain.gc.ca

South African Embassy in Spain

+ 34 677535146

http://www.dirco.gov.za/madrid/en/

Australian Embassy in Spain

+34 913536600

http://spain.embassy.gov.au/

New Zealand Embassy in Spain

+34 915230226

https://www.mfat.govt.nz/en/embassies/
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#2
Excellent post! Thank you. This is one to bookmark.

May I add...

Re. reflective vest, wear reflective AND BRIGHT something even outside of dawn, dusk and night. It's amazing how easily you can spot those that do. It can be your sun hat, a bandana on your backpack. I am now in the maket for an ultra light OR type hat, but they don't seem to make then in the right colours.

Keep copies of documents: have pictures or scans of them online. These will always be available to you (gmail, hotmail, etc.). Also take a picture of them with your Smart phone and keep them on your phone. Same with flight conformations, bus tickets, etc.

Strap a little plastic whistle on the front of your back pack: to scare away a suspicious character but also in case of injury where you may not be in plain view or to encourage people to walk faster to reach you. Learn the SOS morse code.

Bring a little little padlock with you: more and more albergues jave "taquillas" ', aka lockers, but do not provide a magnetic key or padlock. The ones you use for suitcases are perfect. Yes, they are still easy to break, but the thief will most likely prefer to move onto your bunk mate's taquilla.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#4
Me like! (the hat)... Where can I obtain one?

The benefit is that it combines a well ventilated sun hat with super high visibility, both during the day and at night with the reflective strip around the brim.

The neck cord is also a very good feature for any hat.

Thanks for the post.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#5
I just checked the internet here in the US. The Workwear site does not have anything like the hat pictured above.

However, I did find substantially identical hats here:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...ield-keywords=Greenlee+Hi-Vis&tag=camiforu-20

(This brings up a complete line of Hi-Vis safety products, including the hat)

AND / OR

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001DCVC6U/?tag=camiforu-20

NOTE: From the available photos, it appears the Greenlee Broad Brim Sun Hat has better ventilation in the crown.

On the other hand, the Ergodyne Glo Wear hat is available both in ORANGE and LIME YELLOW

JUST FYI:

Here are the home pages for:

Ergodyne - http://www.ergodyne.com/products/pages/default.aspx?PCA=5

and

Greenlee - http://www.greenlee.com/catalog/Safety-Products/High-Visibility-Apparel

AND LASTLY: CHECK this hat out... http://www.ergodyne.com/products/pages/default.aspx?PCA=36&PRD=489

Really, I hope this helps...
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#6
Thank you John for the excellent information. I cut and pasted it to a note on my iPhone. Handy little gadgets those...

For the "good of the order" I would also like to share that there is a smartphone app available from the iTunes Spanish web site. It is called "Alert Cops." I believe this app is also available for Android smart phones from that store. It has been written up in the forum previously, but it needs to appear here as well IMHO.

Here is the description from the "Alert Cops" iTunes web site:

"AlertCops is a citizen security alert system of the State Law Enforcement Authorities (FFCCSE in Spanish).

This service allows a citizen to send an alert from a mobile device 'smartphone', including the geographical location, straight to the police in a simple and intuitive manner to be assisted quickly and efficiently.

AlertCops allows you to keep a chat conversation and actively cooperate with law enforcement against crime."


It seems to be a GPS-enabled emergency locator and notification app. If you report an incident in progress or just after, you can send the basic information, and the app will stamp the report with the location, date, and time info from your phone. A pre-registration capability, which you would logically do BEFORE you set out on Camino, provides your "tombstone" or standard ID information, so you do not need to waste time entering that when an emergency is in progress.

The app functions BOTH in Spanish AND in English! I have it on my iPhone and plan to use it on my next Camino... I will set it up on arrival in Spain, so as not to confuse the local constabulary with my North American GPS location...:eek:

Here is the link I got using Google:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/alertcops/id897454254?mt=8

(The link works, I just verified it using both Safari and Chrome from the US)

I hope this helps.
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
#7
Johnnie Walker’s Hints and tips - please add your own!


Safety on the Camino


The Camino to Santiago is generally a very safe place for pilgrims. However accidents do happen and like anywhere else pilgrims must take precautions against crime. Above all common sense must prevail.

Do not leave your belongings unattended – keep your valuables with you at all times – even in the shower in albergues.

Carry a mobile phone – or have access to one. Telephone numbers of the emergency services are on the reverse of this card.

Stay alert – be aware of where you are and who you are with. Trust your instincts about strangers.

Walk with another pilgrim – if you feel at all nervous or simply want company.

Wear a reflective vest – Spanish law requires everyone walking on roads or close to traffic to wear a reflective vest before first light and after dark. These are available from gas stations and many shops and supermarkets.

Keep copies - of your passport and any important numbers in a separate place from your purse or wallet.

Arrange insurance - have appropriate travel insurance which also provides cover for health care. Keep the insurance company helpline number handy.

Trust other pilgrims – but only to the extent you know them. Don’t forget the basic precautions you would take anywhere.

If something happens – Do not hesitate to call the authorities if something happens which is of concern to you. Just as you would at home. The numbers are on the reverse of this card

Above all – have fun! But don’t forget that the Camino is the same as all other situations where there are people. Use your common sense.


Emergency Numbers

Before calling the emergency services if at all possible work out your location from your guidebook or by asking other people.

112 is the general Emergency Number in Europe. They will answer very quickly even if there is no credit on your phone. Explain slowly and clearly that you need to speak to an operator in English if that is the case.

062 – The Guardia Civil

091 – National Police

092 – Local Police

Each of these services has their own areas of responsibility. However they advise that when in doubt simply phone them and they will decide which force should best respond.

061 – Health Emergencies

080 - Fire Service

Victims of Crime

There is a dedicated an English-language telephone number for victims of crimes who wish to make a police report but do not speak Spanish. The number is +34 902102112. It operates from 8 a.m. to 12 a.m. daily.

Advice and assistance from your Embassy

American Embassy in Spain

+34 915872200

http://madrid.usembassy.gov/

UK Embassy in Spain

+34 91 714 6300

https://www.gov.uk/government/world/organisations/british-embassy-madrid

Irish Embassy in Spain

+34 914364093

https://www.dfa.ie/irish-embassy/Spain/

Canadian Embassy in Spain

+34 913828400

www.spain.gc.ca

South African Embassy in Spain

+ 34 677535146

http://www.dirco.gov.za/madrid/en/

Australian Embassy in Spain

+34 913536600

http://spain.embassy.gov.au/

New Zealand Embassy in Spain

+34 915230226

https://www.mfat.govt.nz/en/embassies/
John thanks so much for this information. I had sent my family DVD copies of a slide show I put together of my walk this year, after which my son informed me that he and a buddy are now going to walk the CF. Date not quite set yet. So I have made a copy of this info to send him after which, I will point him toward my second family, this wonderful forum. He's had years of paramedic training, so he is already a bit ahead, but all the local contacts in Spain will be most appreciated. Maggie
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
#10
I would also add an ICE Card to this list, you can buy them online but I had my own made from the Ali express site for a fraction of the cost. Just send what you want on the front and back of the card and the size of the USB memory stick required. I have loaded my passport and medical history plus the meds I take in English, French and Spanish.

20160110_105957.jpg


20160110_110148.jpg
 

CanPete

Northern Route Pelgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Past : Northern route, Primitivo
Future : Via de la Plata, Sanabres, Portuguese routes
#11

zzotte

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012 Camino Frances, 2014 Lourdes to SDC, 2016 Camino del Norte
#12
Wayfarer I kind like that, I current use roadid it's a wrist bracelet and an ID number in the back that emergency personnel can access can use it if you are say unconscious or can't answer questions I have use it for years hiking and running the draw back is that cost around $9 per year.

Zzotte
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#15
I would also add an ICE Card to this list, you can buy them online but I had my own made from the Ali express site for a fraction of the cost. Just send what you want on the front and back of the card and the size of the USB memory stick required. I have loaded my passport and medical history plus the meds I take in English, French and Spanish.

View attachment 23235


View attachment 23236
So... If a Spanish emergeny unit finds this on me, who do they call? A US/UK/OZ number? That doesn't make much sense. What is the process? I looked them up on line but can't find the info. Thank you.
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
#16
I cannot answer for the official ICE cards but the one I had made contains information that I added, medical history, names of family to contact and passport ID. You can put anything you want on the card as you would with a USB memory stick.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#17
I cannot answer for the official ICE cards but the one I had made contains information that I added, medical history, names of family to contact and passport ID. You can put anything you want on the card as you would with a USB memory stick.
So yours is just an USB in the format of a card to fit your wallet and it opens in Word? Or another format any puter will read?
 

zzotte

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012 Camino Frances, 2014 Lourdes to SDC, 2016 Camino del Norte
#18
About the reflective vest.....how would drives see u if the vest is partially covered by backpack, rain gear etc? I have never seen a pilgrim wearing one did you?

Zzotte
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#19
About the reflective vest.....how would drives see u if the vest is partially covered by backpack, rain gear etc? I have never seen a pilgrim wearing one did you?

Zzotte
Yup. On the Primitivo, in daylight.. Attached to back pack. A bit inconvinient over the pack, hence the value of the hat etc.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Camino Inglés 2018

Now: http://egeria.house/
#20
There is always the paper version (not sure that every Spanish ambulance has an USB reader) It looks like this http://www.amazon.de/gp/product/3877062784 and is well known in Europe. I am sure similar products exist also in other countries. In an emergency it is vitally important that the first aiders/ambulance crews have quick and easy access to this kind of information so keep it where it is easy to find. Buen Camino, SY
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
#21

Wokabaut_Meri

merely labeled
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances SJPdP - Santiago (April/May 2015)
#22
Me like! (the hat)... Where can I obtain one?

The benefit is that it combines a well ventilated sun hat with super high visibility, both during the day and at night with the reflective strip around the brim.

The neck cord is also a very good feature for any hat.

Thanks for the post.
Asked our shop for the supplier and they referred me to Safety Instruction USA
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#23
I just bought these from Amazon...

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00T2YVU4K/?tag=camiforu-20

The plain white case allows me to affix labels in Spanish and English on either side. I have a Brother labeling machine. Having five allows me to have spares, or make other cards for family members or friends.

Thanks for the lead.
 

zzotte

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012 Camino Frances, 2014 Lourdes to SDC, 2016 Camino del Norte
#25
thanks Anemone you are right the hat makes a better choice
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
#26
I carry my basic personal data, and emergency phones (insurance, family) in a plain card, in my wallet. I prefer this info to be saved in a "low tech" format. In my opinion, it is better not to assume that local hospitals or paramedics will be familiar with tech gadgets.
Also, I always hide a 50e bank note in my backpack, so in case my wallet is lost/stolen, I still can have a decent meal and pay a ticket train to a city where I have friends, or where my country's embassy is placed.
And trust Saint James. He cares for his flock.
 
Last edited:

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
#27
Yup. On the Primitivo, in daylight.. Attached to back pack. A bit inconvinient over the pack, since the value of the hat et,al.
We adapted our vests to fit over our ponchos and packs when walking in rain, so they also went over OK without the ponchos and we did not find any difficulty. We also have a cyclist's vis-band each which we attach to either our front pack strap or back depending on which of us 'drops behind' if needed on a road. They are always visible even when the vest is not needed.
 

arosеo

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
in 2016
#29
I also recommend using VPNs while connecting to free public hotspots. This article explains clearly why we need to do so.
Indeed, no one knows what info can be stolen from our accounts. I’ve never thought my e-wallet can be a target for hackers, as usually I don’t keep huge sums of money there. Nothing of the kind! But once connecting to the airport wi-fi all the money just disappeared from the card and I had to apply for additional financial assistance to the company. For my opinion, you need to be 100% secured and ready to confront any potential risk, be it physical assault or property theft.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
#30
I had my ICE (In case of emergency) contact and medical info put on dog tags that I wear around my neck.
Yes, it is a good idea to have this information OUTSIDE your wallet also. If you are severely beaten and robbed the robbers aren't going to leave the card with you. I've also heard that medical staff may not have the authority to touch your wallet.
 

cd667

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
It's happening next year!
#33
Keep copies of documents: have pictures or scans of them online. These will always be available to you (gmail, hotmail, etc.). Also take a picture of them with your Smart phone and keep them on your phone. Same with flight conformations, bus tickets, etc.
While I understand the convenience of this, as a someone that has to deal with computer security as part of my job, I have to say please don't store scans of your passport on the Internet. All online storage services get broken into sooner or later. Paper is boring, but it has never been hacked. :)
 

greekbecky

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
June 2018 with my service dog
#34
I have a service dog what would it be like to walk with her?
We will have three weeks in June. She is amazing small shepherd.
 

Mito

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2011, 2013) Roncesvalles to Belorado
CLeP (2013) - Le Puy to ?
CF (2018) Belorado to Astorga
#35
I have a service dog what would it be like to walk with her?
We will have three weeks in June. She is amazing small shepherd.
About your dog: If she is a true service animal that you need with you all the time and is trained to perform a service for you, then obviously you need your dog with you. But you will have to make many accommodations. First and foremost, the Camino is a hike --- a long one --- and most dogs, although capable of hiking a long distance in a day, will suffer if they are required to do it day after day. Paws get sore, muscles get sore, etc. So you would need to slow your pace considerably to allow your dog to adapt. And if her paws get sore, that may not happen. Second, dogs are usually not welcome in albergues. You would need to find accommodation ahead of time (sometimes a hotel) or be prepared to camp (more weight!!). Third, the Camino has its own dogs here and there who, for the most part, keep to themselves. But I think they would not ignore a strange dog moving through their territory. I would be concerned for my dog's safety. So, unless your dog is absolutely necessary to you (i.e. a true service dog, not an emotional support dog), you would be doing her a big favor by leaving her home.
 

Lurch

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
looking at 2018-2019
#36
About your dog: If she is a true service animal that you need with you all the time and is trained to perform a service for you, then obviously you need your dog with you. But you will have to make many accommodations. First and foremost, the Camino is a hike --- a long one --- and most dogs, although capable of hiking a long distance in a day, will suffer if they are required to do it day after day. Paws get sore, muscles get sore, etc. So you would need to slow your pace considerably to allow your dog to adapt. And if her paws get sore, that may not happen. Second, dogs are usually not welcome in albergues. You would need to find accommodation ahead of time (sometimes a hotel) or be prepared to camp (more weight!!). Third, the Camino has its own dogs here and there who, for the most part, keep to themselves. But I think they would not ignore a strange dog moving through their territory. I would be concerned for my dog's safety. So, unless your dog is absolutely necessary to you (i.e. a true service dog, not an emotional support dog), you would be doing her a big favor by leaving her home.
Agreed...I have a V.A. supplied PTSD service dog and I would never consider taking her in October on my Camino. Will I miss her, surely, a servic dog becomes an integral part of your life. However, you have to be true to your service dog and treat her/him in a loving manner. The dog/owner dynamic goes both ways. I am very protective of my Tibetan Spaniel, Tai, and realize that putting her in a bad situation was something I would never do.

The Camino will provide. From what I read there will be plenty of decent, interesting people to interact with. Now there is a caveat...I do not know what your service dog does. For example, a seeing eye or diabetes dog is a far different matter than my service dog.
 

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