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Search 69,459 Camino Questions

Prep for late June to July Camino del Norte

Youren2010

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
6/7, 2013 SJPP to Santiago-finisher-Muniz, 6/7, 2016 La Verna to Rome, 6/7/8, 2018 VDLP
I plan to walk Camino del Norte from Irún , then link to Primitive starting in late June, finishing by the end of July this year. This will be my 3rd camino in Spain after Frances and Via de la Plata. I am so eager to get back on the road.
I am wondering:
1. what kind of Rain gear I need to bring, I only had a rain jacket on the Frances, wished Altus, but on Via de la plata, used umbrella mainly for the heat. how likely there would be raining days? Is it very windy there? I would like to bring a hiking umbrella, I like it can be used for both rain and sun, already have a rain jacket, a rain skirt [ had not had a chance to use it anywhere), will use bag over no matter what, will there be very hot days? Sections with no coverings? It’s hard to get Altus in US, will look into Frogg Todd.

2. for those longer days, 28+ would I possibly run into situations that with no bed left? Then what option do I have? Sleep outside? A park bench? Don’t plan to bring a tent, but a sleeping bag. How do you solve this problem?

3. With using most costal alternatives, what’s the average days needed for completing this two routes combined? I read somewhere average 30-34 days, How many extra days needed?

4. In Irún or sanDebastian, or Bilbao, is there a shop to get cheap hiking poles? Doesn’t want to check bag, and don’t know if I should take chance to carry my old faithful.

5. I read knee braces/ elastic support, available in any pharmacy?

6. Anyone used Gaia GPS for tracking?

Your help is greatly appreciated!
 
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I plan to walk Camino del Norte from Irún , then link to Primitive starting in late June, finishing by the end of July this year. This will be my 3rd camino in Spain after Frances and Via de la Plata. I am so eager to get back on the road.
I am wondering:
1. what kind of Rain gear I need to bring, I only had a rain jacket on the Frances, wished Altus, but on Via de la plata, used umbrella mainly for the heat. how likely there would be raining days? Is it very windy there? I would like to bring a hiking umbrella, I like it can be used for both rain and sun, already have a rain jacket, a rain skirt [ had not had a chance to use it anywhere), will use bag over no matter what, will there be very hot days? Sections with no coverings? It’s hard to get Altus in US, will look into Frogg Todd.

2. for those longer days, 28+ would I possibly run into situations that with no bed left? Then what option do I have? Sleep outside? A park bench? Don’t plan to bring a tent, but a sleeping bag. How do you solve this problem?

3. With using most costal alternatives, what’s the average days needed for completing this two routes combined? I read somewhere average 30-34 days, How many extra days needed?

4. In Irún or sanDebastian, or Bilbao, is there a shop to get cheap hiking poles? Doesn’t want to check bag, and don’t know if I should take chance to carry my old faithful.

5. I read knee braces/ elastic support, available in any pharmacy?

6. Anyone used Gaia GPS for tracking?

Your help is greatly appreciated!
I walked the CN from mid-to-late June. I recall one day as being quite hot with little shade but I started/finished early. I needed my poncho a couple of times but both my pants and shoes dried quickly. I had no trouble finding a place. I'd either gauge my pace and phone ahead to reserve or just go along with friends I met on the route. Bilbao is a big city so it's quite likely you'll find poles at a good rate. I bought mine in SJPDP. I was going to walk the CF but the very high temps led me to switch to the CN. The water views are intoxicating. The up and down on dicey terrain kept my pace down. I'm in my early 70's and on some days I was getting one mile an hour. Speaking of the dicey terrain, you might want to look into a shoe with a rock plate. When I needed to take ibuprofen, it was mostly for the very bottoms of my feet. Otherwise, my Hokas were a great shoe and even the foot discomfort didn't stop me. No tracking device but I do wear an apple watch with fall detection so someone could find me if I got so lost in the beauty that I walked off a cliff. : )
 
Google Earth shows Decathlon stores in Irun, San Sebastian and Bilbao. This is the "REI of Europe" with cheaper prices. There is a good Camino gear outdoor store in old town, Bilbao. Take the metro from Casa Viejo (Old Town) north to Portugalete and cross the river on the iron bridge.

I have only walked the del Norte in September, October and November. Good rain gear is essential then and I do as you do: Good Gore-tex rain coat, rain kilt, knee high waterproof gaiters, Gore-tex non-leather boots, rain pack cover, waterproof bag inside the pack and UV umbrella.

Yes, knee braces are available in most farmacias.

Lots of yellow arrows but at least one app might come in handy. Buen Camino
 
Ideal pocket guides for during & after your Camino. Each weighs only 1.4 oz (40g)!
Google Earth shows Decathlon stores in Irun, San Sebastian and Bilbao. This is the "REI of Europe" with cheaper prices. There is a good Camino gear outdoor store in old town, Bilbao. Take the metro from Casa Viejo (Old Town) north to Portugalete and cross the river on the iron bridge.

I have only walked the del Norte in September, October and November. Good rain gear is essential then and I do as you do: Good Gore-tex rain coat, rain kilt, knee high waterproof gaiters, Gore-tex non-leather boots, rain pack cover, waterproof bag inside the pack and UV umbrella.

Yes, knee braces are available in most farmacias.

Lots of yellow arrows but at least one app might come in handy. Buen Camino
Apps! Yes! Since I had planned to walk the CF, I had no book for the CN and used only apps. The trail marking is not as complete as CF. In one place I found an arrow on the ground made entirely of twigs. I used several apps. In some places when the road forked, one up and one down, I could use an app that showed where I was on the route. With that I could tell if I needed to walk up or down. Some I recall using are Camino Tool and Buen Camino.
 
I have only walked the del Norte in September, October and November. Good rain gear is essential then and I do as you do:
I say just take a poncho like an Altus. It is light and you can squish it up really well. When it comes to rain who knows. I walked the starting at the very end of September to early November and it only rained one night and that was about 120k from Santiago. (No where near the coast). I have walked on the Meseta the exact same time of year in October (3 years apart). The first time it was 90+F every day without a cloud in the sky. The second time it was pouring, driving rain, with high winds in the mid 40's every day. When it comes to weather who knows!!!!! Also I checked there is a Decathlon in Irun and also some local stores. I say go to the independently owned stores to support their business. You are walking on the coast on cliffs often so yes there is alot of unshaded walking.
How many days? Let your body tell you and just walk. When it comes to accommodations remember the coast is busy in the summer with family travel, surfers etc. It is a tourist destination for Spaniards.
Use Gronze.com, Buen Camino and WIse Pilgrim apps to get a range of as many places to stay as possible. You will know quickly how crowded it is. It also depends on what days of the week you hit certain cities and towns. You can always call ahead to make a reservation if you are freaked out. Call the albergues. You do not need that much Spanish or find someone to call for you.
Also Wise Pilgrim and Buen Camino have GPS on their apps. It isn't that hard to follow this camino at all.
Finally just listen to your body, have some sunscreen, have a good hat for shade, have poles and just walk. What will happen will happen. You are on a Camino with lots of places to get things that you may need. Enjoy yourself, but you already know that. It is not your first Camino rodeo.
 
Ideal pocket guides for during & after your Camino. Each weighs only 1.4 oz (40g)!
I walked the CN from mid-to-late June. I recall one day as being quite hot with little shade but I started/finished early. I needed my poncho a couple of times but both my pants and shoes dried quickly. I had no trouble finding a place. I'd either gauge my pace and phone ahead to reserve or just go along with friends I met on the route. Bilbao is a big city so it's quite likely you'll find poles at a good rate. I bought mine in SJPDP. I was going to walk the CF but the very high temps led me to switch to the CN. The water views are intoxicating. The up and down on dicey terrain kept my pace down. I'm in my early 70's and on some days I was getting one mile an hour. Speaking of the dicey terrain, you might want to look into a shoe with a rock plate. When I needed to take ibuprofen, it was mostly for the very bottoms of my feet. Otherwise, my Hokas were a great shoe and even the foot discomfort didn't stop me. No tracking device but I do wear an apple watch with fall detection so someone could find me if I got so lost in the beauty that I walked off a cliff. : )
Thank you so much Ribbon for your quick response , this expression, a shoe with a rock plate, was new to me, I guess you mean a shoe with good traction? Or something else? Arch support?
 
Apps! Yes! In pre-app 2013 I missed a stone marker obscured by a parked car and walked 8 km and 400 meters down and back up before returning to the marker. The car had left. Buen Camino
Hi, Jerry, thank you so much for your valuable advice. From this wonderful forum I just learned yesterday that an app Mapy.cz. I downloaded the NW portion in Spain looks very promising.

In my 2nd and other Caminos in Italy and Japan and hiking everywhere I used Gaia alone, there are so many good apps to choose for the Camino, glad to have some good ones to look into.
 
I say just take a poncho like an Altus. It is light and you can squish it up really well. When it comes to rain who knows. I walked the starting at the very end of September to early November and it only rained one night and that was about 120k from Santiago. (No where near the coast). I have walked on the Meseta the exact same time of year in October (3 years apart). The first time it was 90+F every day without a cloud in the sky. The second time it was pouring, driving rain, with high winds in the mid 40's every day. When it comes to weather who knows!!!!! Also I checked there is a Decathlon in Irun and also some local stores. I say go to the independently owned stores to support their business. You are walking on the coast on cliffs often so yes there is alot of unshaded walking.
How many days? Let your body tell you and just walk. When it comes to accommodations remember the coast is busy in the summer with family travel, surfers etc. It is a tourist destination for Spaniards.
Use Gronze.com, Buen Camino and WIse Pilgrim apps to get a range of as many places to stay as possible. You will know quickly how crowded it is. It also depends on what days of the week you hit certain cities and towns. You can always call ahead to make a reservation if you are freaked out. Call the albergues. You do not need that much Spanish or find someone to call for you.
Also Wise Pilgrim and Buen Camino have GPS on their apps. It isn't that hard to follow this camino at all.
Finally just listen to your body, have some sunscreen, have a good hat for shade, have poles and just walk. What will happen will happen. You are on a Camino with lots of places to get things that you may need. Enjoy yourself, but you already know that. It is not your first Camino rodeo.
Hi, It56ny, I really appreciate your reminder listening to our body, if I took longer time to walk and wouldn’t have enough time to reach Santiago, I should not mind. I am not a catholic.

Thank all of you who spent time google search for me, the support from fellow pilgrims can always be count on!
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
1+ for a shoe with a rock plate (also described as a shank. These can be metal or hard plastic). I did Norte Oct/2022. Beautiful. I hope to do it again this fall or finish the LeVante that I started.

See this thread for information about rock plates here:
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...nt-is-a-rock-plate-for-cf.75334/#post-1038198

I'm sure there are other threads on the need for shoes with rock plates.

Buen Camino!

crackpot
 
Thank you so much Ribbon for your quick response , this expression, a shoe with a rock plate, was new to me, I guess you mean a shoe with good traction? Or something else? Arch support?
I'm still researching this myself. I belief there is something built into the sole of the shoe to help protect the foot from difficult surfaces. Before I started and when I was planning only the CF, someone on the forum had asked about the need for one and responders indicated that it wasn't necessary on the CF. But after a few days on the CN, I began to wonder if having them would have made a difference. The next time I buy shoes, I may get a pair with the rock plate to see how I feel in them. The guys at the shoe store where I shop know about them and told me that people bought them for hiking in the western US. That makes sense as the terrain there can be pretty rough and rocky.
 
"I belief there is something built into the sole of the shoe to help protect the foot from difficult surfaces"

Yes, the plate spreads the pressure over a larger portion of the foot rather than center of ball of the foot.

While training for Frances, I developed a condition called stone bruising. A temporary debilitating pain in the center of ball of my foot. This was caused by stepping on rounded and jagged stones on the trail I was using. I was wearing my new Merrell boots that I was intending to use on my upcoming first Camino.

The foot therapist explained as I was stepping on rocks, continuous regular pressure was being transmitted through the sole. The recommendation was massage therapy, no training for a few weeks, and footwear with a rock plate/shank in it. Problem solved for me. I have about 3 1/2 Caminos with almost no issues.

I have heard of homemade rock plates so you could experiment with that before leave for your Camino.

Buen Camino!!!

crackpot
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
You can make your own rock plate from a very thin flexible plastic cutting mat. Remove the insoles and trace around them on the cutting mat then cut out. Replace the insoles with your new rock plate underneath.

You can buy the thin cutting mats at Dollar stores or similar places very cheaply.

downloadfile.jpg
 
I plan to walk Camino del Norte from Irún , then link to Primitive starting in late June, finishing by the end of July this year. This will be my 3rd camino in Spain after Frances and Via de la Plata. I am so eager to get back on the road.
I am wondering:
1. what kind of Rain gear I need to bring, I only had a rain jacket on the Frances, wished Altus, but on Via de la plata, used umbrella mainly for the heat. how likely there would be raining days? Is it very windy there? I would like to bring a hiking umbrella, I like it can be used for both rain and sun, already have a rain jacket, a rain skirt [ had not had a chance to use it anywhere), will use bag over no matter what, will there be very hot days? Sections with no coverings? It’s hard to get Altus in US, will look into Frogg Todd.

2. for those longer days, 28+ would I possibly run into situations that with no bed left? Then what option do I have? Sleep outside? A park bench? Don’t plan to bring a tent, but a sleeping bag. How do you solve this problem?

3. With using most costal alternatives, what’s the average days needed for completing this two routes combined? I read somewhere average 30-34 days, How many extra days needed?

4. In Irún or sanDebastian, or Bilbao, is there a shop to get cheap hiking poles? Doesn’t want to check bag, and don’t know if I should take chance to carry my old faithful.

5. I read knee braces/ elastic support, available in any pharmacy?

6. Anyone used Gaia GPS for tracking?

Your help is greatly appreciated!
I walked the Norte to Primitivo July 2nd to August 7th last year (2022) An incredible journey! Things that worked for me...
1. I had a poncho (pretty good one) and hated using it. The Norte is so full of hills that when I had it on in the rain, I developed so much sweat under it that I was wetter under the poncho then I would've been walking in the rain without one. I also had a hiking umbrella I thought I'd use for the sun as shade since I was walking in the hottest months. I tied the hiking umbrella to my pack on the rainy days and it was absolutely wonderful. I stayed cool and dry from my thighs to the top of my head. My shins and shoes got wet, but that'll happen with a poncho too. The umbrella was perhaps the smartest piece of useful equipment I took with me for rain and sun.
2. Yes, there were times that finding a bed was tough, but I never went without one. Sometimes I had to pay a little extra for a room in a town instead of an albergue, but usually had no problems. I also was able to make a few of my reservations in advance on booking.com which was very helpful, but never had to book more than two or three days ahead.
3. I walked that entire route, plus to Finistère and Muxia (then bus back from Muxia to Santiago) in 34 days, so I'm sure you can do it in 34 or less to Santiago. (I'm 53 years old and in decent shape.)
4. Plenty of shops along the way (in all the towns you mention plus many others) for hiking poles as well as replacement tips.
5. Yes, many pharmacies along the way for anything you need. I had two knee braces and gave one away to a French hiker that was having some trouble one day. Went to the next town and found another the next morning, no problem. Along the Primitivo, there were fewer options, but never had trouble finding anything I needed within a day.
6. Never used Gaia GPS. I used the map in the Wise Pilgrim App which served my needs perfectly...along with the great many yellow arrows.
Norte/Primitivo (for me) was an incredible experience. Buen Camino!
 
I walked the Norte to Primitivo July 2nd to August 7th last year (2022) An incredible journey! Things that worked for me...
1. I had a poncho (pretty good one) and hated using it. The Norte is so full of hills that when I had it on in the rain, I developed so much sweat under it that I was wetter under the poncho then I would've been walking in the rain without one. I also had a hiking umbrella I thought I'd use for the sun as shade since I was walking in the hottest months. I tied the hiking umbrella to my pack on the rainy days and it was absolutely wonderful. I stayed cool and dry from my thighs to the top of my head.
Once again I'm considering an umbrella. Older threads sometimes reference brands that are now extinct. Which umbrella did you use and how was it fastened to your pack?
 
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Once again I'm considering an umbrella. Older threads sometimes reference brands that are now extinct. Which umbrella did you use and how was it fastened to your pack?
I used the Six Moons Designs Silver Shadow Hiking Umbrella. A bit pricy ($40) but worth every penny. you can buy from them the hands-free strap kit for $10 more, but I simply used a couple of small gear ties to fasten the umbrella shaft to either the left or right shoulder strap of my backpack (depending on which way the rain or sun was coming from. You won't win any fashion contests with an umbrella rigged hands-free over your head, but I can guarantee you will be lots more comfortable than most in the rain or hot sun.
 

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Once again I'm considering an umbrella. Older threads sometimes reference brands that are now extinct. Which umbrella did you use and how was it fastened to your pack?
I use a Euroschirm Telescope handsfree umbrella. I really like the way that it attaches to my backpack. It is very stable, unlike some lighter weight umbrellas that I've tried with various types of clips and riggings. The secret is the extra long handle that attaches to your hip belt.

Ivar sells them in the Forum Store, though they are currently out of stock.
 
In regarding to the umbrella, I am glad that several of you used/considering. I first used the Euroschim with buggy cord tied to my pack on the Camino Frances in Italy in summer, didn’t rain, but good for Tuscany sun. Then I used for Camino de la Plata from Seville, again no rain, but sun and heat. One bone got broken when reached to a very windy section up North. Once broken it is beyond repair, but I kept using it till the end in Santiago. I bought 6 moon umbrella in 2018, planning to use for Porto to Santiago in 2019, with known reason it never get tested. Now I plan to take for Norte. In pacific NW, hiking in mountains no need for umbrella since it’s shade well mostly, I only met one person using it since I bought mine. Really glad that you like it and field test it.
Stumpydave, would you mind showing the gear tie you used for tightening? And a close up for upper section Tie and the lower section connected to your belt? how you tie it? I would like to improve my. I used a carabiner clip the end to my belt.

I looked at my old Super feet insole that I used on my 2nd camino, I felt the plastic section and the whole footbed seems no less than a DYI rock plate, would this be good enough? I had learned from my first camino, with Keen hiking shoes, I developed Planta F, last more than a year to recover. Silver route is long, 1000km, but not much mountain hikes, so no need to consider rocky surface.

Thanks for your time.
 

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€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
If Froggs Toggs made a garment shaped like an Altus I would indeed be a happy person.
 
Well - I have done very end of May through the end of June - Norte to Primitivo.

1. what kind of Rain gear I need to bring,
I decided to hike in either shorts or a hiking dress most of the time on the Norte/Primitivo. I carried only a rain jacket and a pack cover. Was mostly fine with just that. If you prefer a poncho - just be mindful of the wind being an issue esp along the coast. My word of caution - consider your feet. I often handwashed my clothes and found they weren't drying before morning. I had 2 sets of socks as I usually do. I started to wear my socks 2 days in a row to give the washed pair more time to dry. It worked. That is - until I was switching between the Norte and the Primitvo - the trail was through tall wet grass and by the time I arrived my feet were very wet. I couldn't change my socks because they wouldn't dry. (rained too much and wasn't warm enough when it wasn't raining). I will bring extra socks if I do the Primitivo again.
2. for those longer days, 28+ would I possibly run into situations that with no bed left? Then what option do I have? Sleep outside? A park bench? Don’t plan to bring a tent, but a sleeping bag. How do you solve this problem?
The days when I wanted to do longer days or double stages - I chose to reserve a bed that morning - I could usually find an inexpensive private accommodation. Finding albergue beds late in the day was harder on the Norte, and not so bad on the Primitivo (lots more albergues on the Primitivo)
3. With using most costal alternatives, what’s the average days needed for completing this two routes combined? I read somewhere average 30-34 days, How many extra days needed?
I did it in 28 walking days with 1 additional rest day in Oviedo. I did a couple double stage days.
4. In Irún or sanDebastian, or Bilbao, is there a shop to get cheap hiking poles? Doesn’t want to check bag, and don’t know if I should take chance to carry my old faithful.
I went through Bayonne to get to Irun and I know they had a Decathlon. Didn't look at the other two places.
5. I read knee braces/ elastic support, available in any pharmacy?
Pharmacies are harder to find in the remote areas. If you know you need will likely braces, you might want to bring them.
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
In regarding to the umbrella, I am glad that several of you used/considering. I first used the Euroschim with buggy cord tied to my pack on the Camino Frances in Italy in summer, didn’t rain, but good for Tuscany sun. Then I used for Camino de la Plata from Seville, again no rain, but sun and heat. One bone got broken when reached to a very windy section up North. Once broken it is beyond repair, but I kept using it till the end in Santiago. I bought 6 moon umbrella in 2018, planning to use for Porto to Santiago in 2019, with known reason it never get tested. Now I plan to take for Norte. In pacific NW, hiking in mountains no need for umbrella since it’s shade well mostly, I only met one person using it since I bought mine. Really glad that you like it and field test it.
Stumpydave, would you mind showing the gear tie you used for tightening? And a close up for upper section Tie and the lower section connected to your belt? how you tie it? I would like to improve my. I used a carabiner clip the end to my belt.

I looked at my old Super feet insole that I used on my 2nd camino, I felt the plastic section and the whole footbed seems no less than a DYI rock plate, would this be good enough? I had learned from my first camino, with Keen hiking shoes, I developed Planta F, last more than a year to recover. Silver route is long, 1000km, but not much mountain hikes, so no need to consider rocky surface.

Thanks for your time.
Hello! If you look at the picture of me I posted wearing the umbrella, you'll see a small blue gear tie holding the shaft of the umbrella to the strap of my pack. That is the lower tie. The upper tie is harder to see because it's black, but it is located just at the top of my left shoulder in the picture, just below my left ear. Those two ties are all I needed the entire trip across Spain. The two ties kept it perfectly positioned and very stable even in 30km winds!
The shaft of that particular model of umbrella is shorter to save weight, so it couldn't be fastened to my waist. I have used those before and don't care for them because the hip motion of walking would cause the umbrella to move above my head with my walking rhythm...very annoying to me. Attaching it to my shoulder strap only made it feel like someone was holding it very smoothly over my head for me! Very nice! Lastly, I was able to adjust it from one side of my body to the other side simply by moving it to the other shoulder strap, and most of the time I didn't even need to stop walking to adjust. It's a very light umbrella (under 200 grams) and quite sturdy.
 
Thank you! Now I see, I like it all on the top. I am going to get the gear tie and try it on my pack. I had never used or paid attention to gear tie before, a new thing learned. By the way, what is the green pouch?bag You clipped on?
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Thank you! Now I see, I like it all on the top. I am going to get the gear tie and try it on my pack. I had never used or paid attention to gear tie before, a new thing learned. By the way, what is the green pouch?bag You clipped on?
The green thing is a small waterproof pouch that i kept my phone in. It was handy in that location for fast access to check navigation and switch from song to song when I had my headphones in :)
 
Thanks this forum and you , fellow pilgrims’ good suggestions, I have tried the gear tie, likes it very much! Have also put on the Frog Toggs, huge, but light weight, will use it hiking the W at TDP in Patagonia in April, where wind is too strong. A good trial run before Camino.

I have other questions to ask.
1. How necessary carrying a sleeping bag when plan to use public Albergue as much as possible, is there heating or enough blankets in the mountain areas? Sanitary consideration post COVID?

2. How about carrying a pair of swimming wear? Nice cove or lakes to dip in?
it’s nice to have them all, but add more weight with water, food and etc.

3. Or carrying less water bring a Sawyer mini water filtration system? Enough water source, springs, lakes to refill? On Frances, lots of town close by, has fountain or bar/cafe, no need, on Via de la plata, had to carry extra water, due to lack of water sources, and heat, brought a Life straw as emergency supplies, no place to use, however, no need for a real sleeping bag, light clothing. This camino seems need more.

Thanks again.
 
Thanks this forum and you , fellow pilgrims’ good suggestions, I have tried the gear tie, likes it very much! Have also put on the Frog Toggs, huge, but light weight, will use it hiking the W at TDP in Patagonia in April, where wind is too strong. A good trial run before Camino.

I have other questions to ask.
1. How necessary carrying a sleeping bag when plan to use public Albergue as much as possible, is there heating or enough blankets in the mountain areas? Sanitary consideration post COVID?

2. How about carrying a pair of swimming wear? Nice cove or lakes to dip in?
it’s nice to have them all, but add more weight with water, food and etc.

3. Or carrying less water bring a Sawyer mini water filtration system? Enough water source, springs, lakes to refill? On Frances, lots of town close by, has fountain or bar/cafe, no need, on Via de la plata, had to carry extra water, due to lack of water sources, and heat, brought a Life straw as emergency supplies, no place to use, however, no need for a real sleeping bag, light clothing. This camino seems need more.

Thanks again.
I did bring a small, lightweight sleeping bag. I would do it again. Some albergues I found did not offer blankets, only cheap pillowcases and mattress covers. And when they did, let's just say I was glad to have my own. ;)
I had two pairs of shorts I used on the hike. One pair could double as a swimming shorts. I wouldn't carry the extra weight for just a pair of swimming shorts. Think mulit-purpose when you pack. Once you turn onto the Primitivito, the opportunities to swim become less than on the coast.
I had no problem on the Norte or Primitivito getting/finding water. Make sure you plan and take what you will need during the stretches with less services, but i never hat to carry more than two full .75L bottles. (And I hiked during the heatwave of July/early August of last year.)
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
I plan to walk Camino del Norte from Irún , then link to Primitive starting in late June, finishing by the end of July this year. This will be my 3rd camino in Spain after Frances and Via de la Plata. I am so eager to get back on the road.
I am wondering:
1. what kind of Rain gear I need to bring, I only had a rain jacket on the Frances, wished Altus, but on Via de la plata, used umbrella mainly for the heat. how likely there would be raining days? Is it very windy there? I would like to bring a hiking umbrella, I like it can be used for both rain and sun, already have a rain jacket, a rain skirt [ had not had a chance to use it anywhere), will use bag over no matter what, will there be very hot days? Sections with no coverings? It’s hard to get Altus in US, will look into Frogg Todd.

2. for those longer days, 28+ would I possibly run into situations that with no bed left? Then what option do I have? Sleep outside? A park bench? Don’t plan to bring a tent, but a sleeping bag. How do you solve this problem?

3. With using most costal alternatives, what’s the average days needed for completing this two routes combined? I read somewhere average 30-34 days, How many extra days needed?

4. In Irún or sanDebastian, or Bilbao, is there a shop to get cheap hiking poles? Doesn’t want to check bag, and don’t know if I should take chance to carry my old faithful.

5. I read knee braces/ elastic support, available in any pharmacy?

6. Anyone used Gaia GPS for tracking?

Your help is greatly appreciated!
Some people like ponchos - which is fine - I find a good rain jacket more multi purpose (use when you aren't backpacking in towns or after the camanio) do some research on the different types of Gore Tex. There are some really light versions but reading reviews they don't help in a downpour (which I experienced doing the del norte last summer late june and all of july). The featherlight versions also don't help keep you warm when it gets chilly).

The combination of a lightweight fleece, merino wool tee shirt and the rain jacket (both in rain but also on cold or windy days as a second layer to keep heat in) was all I needed. It took me a while to find one with the right fit (Patagonia and a few other ones didn't fit me right across the chest without going up to an extra large). I suggest finding one with 40D GORE-TEX PACLITE PLUS Technology. I got a Rab Meridian Lightweight jacket. It wasn't cheap at 285$ but was perfect for the camino (rain/downpour) never soaked through) and after.

Be sure to test out putting the hood on with your baseball or other hat you are wearing to be sure they work together. I know the ponchos cover your pack but most new packs come with a built in rain cover which worked fine for me (Deuer Futura 32 - carefully chosen equipment/cloths were exactly what I needed for the 513 miles - total load of 14 pounds without water)
Have great Camino
Eric
 
Some people like ponchos - which is fine - I find a good rain jacket more multi purpose (use when you aren't backpacking in towns or after the camanio) do some research on the different types of Gore Tex. There are some really light versions but reading reviews they don't help in a downpour (which I experienced doing the del norte last summer late june and all of july). The featherlight versions also don't help keep you warm when it gets chilly).

The combination of a lightweight fleece, merino wool tee shirt and the rain jacket (both in rain but also on cold or windy days as a second layer to keep heat in) was all I needed. It took me a while to find one with the right fit (Patagonia and a few other ones didn't fit me right across the chest without going up to an extra large). I suggest finding one with 40D GORE-TEX PACLITE PLUS Technology. I got a Rab Meridian Lightweight jacket. It wasn't cheap at 285$ but was perfect for the camino (rain/downpour) never soaked through) and after.

Be sure to test out putting the hood on with your baseball or other hat you are wearing to be sure they work together. I know the ponchos cover your pack but most new packs come with a built in rain cover which worked fine for me (Deuer Futura 32 - carefully chosen equipment/cloths were exactly what I needed for the 513 miles - total load of 14 pounds without water)
Have great Camino
Eric
Your Rab jacket sounds like a real good investment, it can be used for a longtime and with many activities. Thanks for your input.
 
I just received my Snowpeak light weight umbrella. Pretty good, very light. The butt happens to fit perfectly into what I call my banana pocket of my Osprey pack. That's the long slim pocket that sits high on the shoulder.

And in the interest of returning the thread back to the OP's topic. I hiked the first third of the Norte in September years ago. The signs were easy to follow however I did use Wikiloc to go slightly off track to follow GR routes along the cliff and beaches whenever I could. Tougher but better scenery. Occasionally you'd see a squall coming in off the ocean, you'd have about 3 - 5 minutes to get your poncho on. This sometimes would happen 3-4 times a morning. No big deal. I just learned to keep the poncho rolled up and stowed for quick availability. I wore shorts because I've found I'd rather have wet legs then sweat.

My very first Camino I had a neoprene knee brace but abandoned it after 3 days as it gave me a terrible heat/sweat rash.

In September the albergues were full in some of the beach towns so I'd have to stay in 1 star hotels.
 
The 9th edition the Lightfoot Guide will let you complete the journey your way.

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