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Poncho?

2020 Camino Guides

Chev.Jerry

Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2006
August - September 2017
I used a Tsonmall Poncho from Amazon for $15 us. Worked well, covers pack too. It might not last 10 years but was good for the Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I love love love the ALTUS.
1. It covers me and my pack all the way down to my ankles, keeping even my feet dry
2. It zips all the way down, so I don't have to stop and take it off and on while walking. I don't have to take off my pack either. I can just slip my arms out and let it hang off my pack. Then if it starts raining, slip my arms back in.
3. I have used it as a blanket in the Roncesvalles albergue and it kept me toasty warm.
4. It can substitute as my windbreaker or outer layer so I don't have to carry a jacket
 

jozero

Been there, going again...
Camino(s) past & future
CF x 3
I like the Sea to Summit tarp ponchos and have used them for years. Beside standard 'poncho' use, they also can be configured into a tent-like shelter by using your trekking poles (Yes, I know that's not a big feature on the Camino but I use my gear for many of uses too :D). Once you learn 'the dance' required to easily put it on, it a great lightweight item that takes up very little room in your pack.
 
I use Z Packs 3:1 poncho, backpack cover, ground sheet; at a pinch you can add a 4th use over a cord as a small tarp. I camp with a MLD Superlite bivvy
 

aname4me

aname4me
Camino(s) past & future
2013, 2015, 2017, 2019
I can't give enough praise to the Altus Poncho.

The Altus Poncho is durable and long (I'm over 6 foot).
It snaps up the front, which allows for ventilation.

When walking, a big decision you must make is... when to put on your rain gear.

Rain Coat/Jacket
This requires that you stop, remove your Pack, put on the Coat/Jacket, and put the Pack back on.
This is OK for clearly defined storms. It is useless for off-and-on drizzle (in Spanish that is pronounced Galicia). Taking the Coat/Jacket off/on is time consuming.

Typical (American) Poncho
This is closed in the front. No ventilation. Great for standing in the Rain, not for walking.

Altus Poncho
It is a bit pricey. It is available in SJPdP, but should be preOrdered.
It has room for a full Pack and has three snaps to minimize it, when not required... like after arriving at an Albergue.
It has a row of snap in the front. Opening can help with ventilation.

It's big feature is.... You're walking in the off-n-on drizzle of Galicia. When the rain stops, you open it up, take out your arms, and let it hang from your Pack (Like the Hunchback of Notre Dame wearing a Superman cape). If it is windy, you tie the poncho-arms around your chest.
When the rain starts again... you slip in your arms and do up the snaps. Waterproof again. Quick, easy, no stopping.
So.... three choices
1 Fully closed
2 All open
3 Hang from Pack


A Very Popular misconception........ A Rain Coat Keep You Dry!
They do not!
Rain Coat's give you a choice....
1)Leave it OFF and get wet from Rain.
or
2)Put it ON and get wet from Sweating.
This is why ventilation is soooo important.
On the Camino, your walking up a hill, with a full Pack, in the rain. You will sweat.

I can remember, one Drizzly day, walking on the Camino like a Zombie... arm straight in front of me.
I was walking into the wind/rain and my Altus Poncho sleeves (unsnapped). They where catching the wind and cooling (drying?) my arms and torso.

(another time) I was walking across the Meseta, it was on and off rain and a 50 to 80 Kph wind. The Pilgrims with the simple Ponchos, with side snaps, looked like they were wearing a plastic flag that was tied to their necks. Their Ponchos had failed.

The Altus Poncho is also durable. A couple of times I went off trail to take a Picture. My Poncho got snagged. One time, it did tear (an inch long), considering the barb-wire and tug I felt... that wasn't bad.


If you check the picture of us (on the left of the page) we are in Galicia and wearing our Altus Ponchos.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
'03CF, '08VdlP, '12Porto, '14VdlP via Port '15CPI ‘17Levante to Toledo
Yes - another Altus convert. Best bought in Spain so some research required. Well worth it though. Mine has done 5 caminos now and still going strong.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I like the Sea to Summit tarp ponchos and have used them for years. Beside standard 'poncho' use, they also can be configured into a tent-like shelter by using your trekking poles (Yes, I know that's not a big feature on the Camino but I use my gear for many of uses too :D). Once you learn 'the dance' required to easily put it on, it a great lightweight item that takes up very little room in your pack.
Yes, you can use the ALTUS this way as well.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
You can buy an ALTUS in SJPP, in Zubiri, in Pamplona and in Sarria. I'm sure you can get it in the larger cities of Burgos, Leon, and Astorga also.
For the record, if you're starting in Pamplona it is about €10 less there.
 

JulieandPeter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Spring 2015
Frances Fall 2017
Le Puy to SJPDP Fall 2018
Frances Fall2019
Frances Summer 2020
I bought an Altus mid-Camino and gave away my sturdy tarp poncho because I wanted sleeves and I was tired of the wind blowing my poncho every which way. It was an excellent decision, however, the Altus did not keep me as dry as my thick tarp poncho (especially the sleeves), but it was much more manageable and easy to use. I ended up pulling my arms in like it was a tarp poncho and that worked perfectly. I think the thing to remember about the Altus is you need warm clothing underneath (this June we had 47 degree weather one day and 97 degree the next) and it is not made for warmth the way some ponchos are. EDIT I bought mine in Santo Domingo which has two well stocked hiking stores with everything one could imagine: first aid, shoes, clothing, rain gear . . . .
 
Last edited:

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
There is quite a difference between the current models of the Altus and my old one. The current one is much lighter, but it has elastic at the hem of the sleeve, instead of velcro. The elastic seems to cause water "creep" inside. I also feel that mine is more waterproof - but have no science to back that. It is just my impression.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Currently on a "Virtual" Camino and striding out across Navarra!
I can't give enough praise to the Altus Poncho.

The Altus Poncho is durable and long (I'm over 6 foot).
It snaps up the front, which allows for ventilation.

When walking, a big decision you must make is... when to put on your rain gear.

Rain Coat/Jacket
This requires that you stop, remove your Pack, put on the Coat/Jacket, and put the Pack back on.
This is OK for clearly defined storms. It is useless for off-and-on drizzle (in Spanish that is pronounced Galicia). Taking the Coat/Jacket off/on is time consuming.

Typical (American) Poncho
This is closed in the front. No ventilation. Great for standing in the Rain, not for walking.

Altus Poncho
It is a bit pricey. It is available in SJPdP, but should be preOrdered.
It has room for a full Pack and has three snaps to minimize it, when not required... like after arriving at an Albergue.
It has a row of snap in the front. Opening can help with ventilation.

It's big feature is.... You're walking in the off-n-on drizzle of Galicia. When the rain stops, you open it up, take out your arms, and let it hang from your Pack (Like the Hunchback of Notre Dame wearing a Superman cape). If it is windy, you tie the poncho-arms around your chest.
When the rain starts again... you slip in your arms and do up the snaps. Waterproof again. Quick, easy, no stopping.
So.... three choices
1 Fully closed
2 All open
3 Hang from Pack


A Very Popular misconception........ A Rain Coat Keep You Dry!
They do not!
Rain Coat's give you a choice....
1)Leave it OFF and get wet from Rain.
or
2)Put it ON and get wet from Sweating.
This is why ventilation is soooo important.
On the Camino, your walking up a hill, with a full Pack, in the rain. You will sweat.

I can remember, one Drizzly day, walking on the Camino like a Zombie... arm straight in front of me.
I was walking into the wind/rain and my Altus Poncho sleeves (unsnapped). They where catching the wind and cooling (drying?) my arms and torso.

(another time) I was walking across the Meseta, it was on and off rain and a 50 to 80 Kph wind. The Pilgrims with the simple Ponchos, with side snaps, looked like they were wearing a plastic flag that was tied to their necks. Their Ponchos had failed.

The Altus Poncho is also durable. A couple of times I went off trail to take a Picture. My Poncho got snagged. One time, it did tear (an inch long), considering the barb-wire and tug I felt... that wasn't bad.


If you check the picture of us (on the left of the page) we are in Galicia and wearing our Altus Ponchos.
Good post. How old is your Altus? Mine has a YKK zip up the front+ velcro and velcro+elastic at the wrists but your seems to have snaps up the front?
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Currently on a "Virtual" Camino and striding out across Navarra!
Just noticed you live in Thunder Bay - lived on Victoria Avenue for two years in the 70's.

How's the Sleeping Giant?
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Store is Boutique du Pelerin/Direction Compostelle.
Here is their web.

You might use the handy email contact form on their site to ask what they have in stock and at what price.

Good luck and Buen camino!
 
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