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gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CFx2, CPx1
The lightweight one, unless you are one of those determined souls, insistent on ploughing on, head down, hour after hour, into the storm.
Us less determined souls, will do an hour or two of such hiking, then, conscience suitably satiated, we will head inside upon finding a warm comfortable environment offering good food, fine wine, ale, and good company, which will make for a pleasant stay until we consider the exterior environment to be of suitable condition in which to be immersed once again.
Yes yes. The lightweight one.
Indubitably.
Regards,
Gerard
 
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Icacos

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2013)
I wouldn’t recommend a heavy bulky anything on camino; but thin, light layers. I walked in April and May, with one thin waterproof jacket/windbreaker for lighter rainy days, plus an Altus poncho which was necessary for the head down, ploughing on rain walking that Gerard just described. 🤣 Sometimes there’s just not a warm, comfortable environment at hand when the skies decide to open.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés : Sarria-Santiago (2013)
Via Podiensis : (2014-17)
Via Tolosana : Arles-Toulouse-(2018-19)
Hello.
I have 2 rain jackets. One is lightweight and compact and has waterproof rating 10.000 mm. The other is heavier and bulkier but has 20.000 mm. Both are quite comfortable. Which one would you prefer? I will walk from mid April to the end of May.
I'm laughing at Gerard Carey's reply. I was walking a portion of the Voie d'Arles last September and encountered a fair amount of heavy rain one day with no place to take shelter. I made it to the next town but my lightweight, compact jacket just wasn't holding up as well as I wanted it to. I was just settling in at a tiny grocery store cum café when an older French gentleman heard my story and offered to drive me to my destination--bless him. I took him up on his offer. On the other hand, I have since decided to add a lightweight poncho [in addition to my lightweight rain jacket] to my pack for double coverage just in case. As Icacos remarks "Sometimes there’s just not a warm, comfortable environment at hand when the skies decide to open."
 
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FLEUR

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
I totally agree with icacos.

A light rain jacket will also give you a protective layer from wind and cold. Poncho is the best protection from the heavy rain if there's no handy shelter.
 
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Terrri

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May/June 2013
September/October 2016
September/October 2019
I prefer a light rain coat to wear while out and about after I am finished walking for the day. But while walking on the Camino I am a fan of a good poncho to keep myself (and my pack) dry from the knees up.
 

Sherpa47

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2008 and 2017
Hello.
I have 2 rain jackets. One is lightweight and compact and has waterproof rating 10.000 mm. The other is heavier and bulkier but has 20.000 mm. Both are quite comfortable. Which one would you prefer? I will walk from mid April to the end of May.
The lightweight one of course! You need to save as much back pack weight as possible.
 

Anthony Rocco

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Ignaciano, Aragones, Arle, Tolosana, Salvador, Primitivo, Madrid, Olvidado/Invierno (2020)
The lightweight one, unless you are one of those determined souls, insistent on ploughing on, head down, hour after hour, into the storm.
Us less determined souls, will do an hour or two of such hiking, then, conscience suitably satiated, we will head inside, after finding a warm comfortable environment, offering good food, fine wine, ale, and good company, which will make for a pleasant stay until we consider the exterior environment to be of suitable condition in which to be immersed once again.
Yes yes. The lightweight one.
Indubitably.
Regards,
Gerard
We wore light rain jackets on our first camino. During the second heavy storm we encountered, as we were miserably walking, we noticed three French lady pilgrims walking blissfully completely covered, pack and all, no rain cover needed, in their ponchos. We arrived at the same time at an inn. They doffed their ponchos and were totally dry. We looked as if we were the chickens from Santo Domingo who escaped and were dunked in a vat of water...dripping all over. At the next town, we bought ponchos and keep upgrading year after year. Our conclusion: There are three essentials for a camino -- the right pack, the right shoes and the right poncho.
 

Jackieduda

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF September (2018)
Hello.
I have 2 rain jackets. One is lightweight and compact and has waterproof rating 10.000 mm. The other is heavier and bulkier but has 20.000 mm. Both are quite comfortable. Which one would you prefer? I will walk from mid April to the end of May.
I brought only two of those cheap, clear, compact plastic bag-like things, sometimes sold as an “ emergency raincoat”. Basically, it is a poncho that goes over your head and has a hood. It wont keep you warm, but it will keep you dry. The advantage being that it is loose enough to fit right over a full hiking backpack. Plus if you tear it or lose it, you have only invested a couple of bucks. They are practically weightless to carry, dont take up much space. I hiked in september through a few good rainstorms and it worked perfectly.
 
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Jackieduda

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF September (2018)
I brought only two of those cheap, clear, compact plastic bag-like things, sometimes sold as an “ emergency raincoat”. Basically, it is a poncho that goes over your head and has a hood. It wont keep you warm, but it will keep you dry. The advantage being that it is loose enough to fit right over a full hiking backpack. Plus if you tear it or lose it, you have only invested a couple of bucks. They are practically weightless to carry, dont take up much space. I hiked in september through a few good rainstorms and it worked perfectly.
Addendum to the above: and in those driving rainstorms, i wore baggies on each foot over my socks, and that kept my feet dry ( until, when arriving in Santiago in a pouring raging rainstorm, i stepped into a deep puddle)
 

Anthony Rocco

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Ignaciano, Aragones, Arle, Tolosana, Salvador, Primitivo, Madrid, Olvidado/Invierno (2020)
I brought only two of those cheap, clear, compact plastic bag-like things, sometimes sold as an “ emergency raincoat”. Basically, it is a poncho that goes over your head and has a hood. It wont keep you warm, but it will keep you dry. The advantage being that it is loose enough to fit right over a full hiking backpack. Plus if you tear it or lose it, you have only invested a couple of bucks. They are practically weightless to carry, dont take up much space. I hiked in september through a few good rainstorms and it worked perfectly.
I'll be honest. I now always carry 3 of those zero weight, super cheap ponchos with me when I am hiking or bike riding. They work, sometimes for more than several times, if the rain is short-lived or light. But I also carry a lightweight, waterproof poncho. It has a number of uses, including to put on the ground for a picnic lunch after a storm leaves the ground wet. Multi-use, lightweight items are my camino angels. I don't know how I ever survived without a poncho, diaper pins and paper tape!
 

cbacino

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte - Primitivo (2018)
Via Francigena (2017)
Appalachian Trail (2016)
I would get an umbrella.
 

Anthony Rocco

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Ignaciano, Aragones, Arle, Tolosana, Salvador, Primitivo, Madrid, Olvidado/Invierno (2020)
I prefer a light rain coat to wear while out and about after I am finished walking for the day. But while walking on the Camino I am a fan of a good poncho to keep myself (and my pack) dry from the knees up.
Yep. I ditched my heavier fleece and substituted a very light rain jacket for post-camino walking around town. I was surprised how it not only blocked the wind but was quite warm. And it has a hood.
 
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Harland2019

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF April/May 2019, CF May 2022
I guess I'll be the odd one out! Comfort is important when I walk, I have a good breathable rain jacket, an ordinary pair of waterproof trousers and also waterproof socks. I can happily walk through heavy rain when I am tucked up nice and warm and dry inside. Depending upon the weight difference between your lightweight and your heavier rain jacket if it isn't too significant I would actually go for the one that keeps you dry in heavy rain even if that is the heavier one. I have never tried using a poncho although I did buy one at SJPdP but I never put it on!
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
Being a quintessential belt and braces (suspenders) sort of fellow, I wear a rain jacket. My recommendations for this item of clothing is to make sure it has armpit zippers that open (aka 'pit-zips') for ventilation. I do not wear rain pants because the 100% nylon cargo pants I wear dry out very fast.

I also carry an über light weight siliconized nylon bright colored poncho from Sea to Summit. The parka might work for a light drizzle. But the poncho is really indicated for heavier rain.

In connection with this, I find that wearing a baseball styled cap helps keep the water off my eyeglasses, while preventing water from getting around a sunhat brim to trickle down my back. This is true for any sort of rain hood arrangement - parka or poncho.

Finally, on my most recent several Caminos I have taken to carrying a meter-diameter (golf-sized) umbrella. There is a classic German made version out there - the brand name Schermer comes to mind, but escapes me at the moment. It costs about €60. But it does have a classy mounting arrangement that contributes to the cost.

As an alternative, In 2018, I discovered a one-meter diameter safety lime yellow umbrella in the GOLF department at Decathlon for €15. If you just jam this through your sternum strap and connect the hand loop to your rucksack belt, it works just fine. If you practice with it at home. you can work out some sort of fastening / stabilizing setup that works for you.

So on any given Camino I carry a rain parka - windbreaker with pit zips, a poncho, and an umbrella. I don't mind becoming wet while warm. But being cold and wet is never a good thing. All humor aside, my multifaceted approach works.

Oops, forgot to mention - I also use a rucksack cover. Water is pernicious. It finds its way in.

Hope this helps.

Tom
 

Harland2019

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF April/May 2019, CF May 2022
Talking about belt and braces I use a rucksack cover and a rucksack liner so everything is dry no matter what happens - hope Martin Sheen had both when he dropped his rucksack off the bridge! Clearly using a poncho would not require either so saving on weight.
 

Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
Neither!
I would opt for a poncho, which provides ample body coverage, pack coverage and above all the needed free-flowing ventilation to keep you and your clothes dry, thus precluding any chance of chills and/or hypothermia.
 
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cbacino

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte - Primitivo (2018)
Via Francigena (2017)
Appalachian Trail (2016)
Yes, a hands free umbrella is great; I also have one. But it won’t work when the wind is blowing and the rain is coming in sideways.
Yes, a hands free umbrella is great; I also have one. But it won’t work when the wind is blowing and the rain is coming in sideways.
Walking the length of the Appalachian Trail, the Via Francigena, and Paris-Norte-Primitivo, I can’t think of a time when I had to put my umbrella down during a rain.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
Lightweight raincoat.

When weather is threatening, it is easy to tie around your waist so it will be handy. Can act as a windbreaker also.

Rain cover for your backpack.

I'm not fond of ponchos because I have had to help too many pilgrims wrestle themselves into one in the rain when the wind is whipping around.

I would NOT wear plastic bags on my feet - trust me, I walked in one of the wettest seasons on record and my feet were soaked for three of the five weeks on the CF. However, good pre- and post- blister hygiene kept problems to a bare minimum.
 

Terrri

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May/June 2013
September/October 2016
September/October 2019
I would get an umbrella.
Definitely recommend an umbrella, but I only used mine for shade when we were lucky enough to have lots of sun. I don't do well with hats as they keep too much heat in - part of the reason I also prefer ponchos over rain coats.

A trick I used with ponchos is to have extra long shoe laces that I tied them around my waist, just under the bottom of the pack. It keeps the poncho from flapping around in the wind and obscuring my footing going up or down hills. And of course does double duty for making clothes-lines.

I must admit this talk of rain coats and ponchos makes me hope for some rain on our next camino.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Future: Camino Frances September 2022 (1st Time!)
I'm laughing at Gerard Carey's reply. I was walking a portion of the Voie d'Arles last September and encountered a fair amount of heavy rain one day with no place to take shelter. I made it to the next town but my lightweight, compact jacket just wasn't holding up as well as I wanted it to. I was just settling in at a tiny grocery store cum café when an older French gentleman heard my story and offered to drive me to my destination--bless him. I took him up on his offer. On the other hand, I have since decided to add a lightweight poncho [in addition to my lightweight rain jacket] to my pack for double coverage just in case. As Icacos remarks "Sometimes there’s just not a warm, comfortable environment at hand when the skies decide to open."
I was going to ask, and I think you answered it for me ... so you actually wear the poncho over your rain jacket? The rain is that heavy at times? We'll be on the Camino Frances in Sept. and early Oct. so I'm hoping that the rain won't be too heavy.
 
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Anthony Rocco

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Ignaciano, Aragones, Arle, Tolosana, Salvador, Primitivo, Madrid, Olvidado/Invierno (2020)
Definitely recommend an umbrella, but I only used mine for shade when we were lucky enough to have lots of sun. I don't do well with hats as they keep too much heat in - part of the reason I also prefer ponchos over rain coats.

A trick I used with ponchos is to have extra long shoe laces that I tied them around my waist, just under the bottom of the pack. It keeps the poncho from flapping around in the wind and obscuring my footing going up or down hills. And of course does double duty for making clothes-lines.

I must admit this talk of rain coats and ponchos makes me hope for some rain on our next camino.
I had to chuckle. After facing sudden thunderstorms and relentless rain coming at us in all directions in Galicia on our first camino, our second camino, from Lourdes to Montserrat, witnessed zero days of rain. None. Not that we were disappointed. :)
 

henrythedog

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
X
I’ve ended up somewhere in the middle. I wear a RAB Latok Guide three-layer goretex jacket. Pretty much bombproof, and indeed I used to wear it for climbing in Scottish winter conditions. But, it’s far from new. It’s now as soft as it could be and with a wash-in proofer it’s still sufficient for all that lowland Spain’s going to throw at me.

I only walk in Spain from September to March and all I have to do is vary the base layer combo under the jacket. It has perfectly placed pockets for cellphone, guidebook and wallet and is almost a second-skin.
 

AZperegrino

Getting ready for the next Camino...
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2019
CP 2022
We walked the CF in September 2019 and had only 1 or 2 rainy days. Our REI rain jackets kept our upper body dry, and our Osprey's built-in pack covers also worked well. However, we didn't have rain pants, so eventually the water running down soaked everything below the jacket: our pants, socks and shoes. Ever since, I switch to my Teva sandals whenever rain threatens. This keeps my socks and shoes dry, but the pants or shorts still get wet eventually.
Based on the many discussions on this site and with friends who have walked the Camino, I plan to get a poncho next time.
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
Henrythedog
Ive similar kit for winter walking in the UK. A Berghaus waterproof jacket with hood. Usually a base layer and a lighter weight fleece worn beneath the jacket (It does have zip in fittings for a winter fleece which I bought on ebay, but dont really ever need )
In those big pockets I can pack my phone, and my glasses in their case. Kleenex tissue and bus pass and lightweight gloves if necessary !

Ive not walked à winter Camino.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
So I have used various combination rain systems over the years. My experience has been “waterproof” rain jackets with breathable arm bits…all of them fail. There were days upon days one March it rained almost daily. In contrast to Carey’s suggestion…. If we had waited for a clear day, we would not have walked very far.

In warmer months, including September, I do not bring a heavy poncho. I too bring those clear plastic emergency ponchos.. along with a lite breathable windbreaker. If the morning are cool/cold,I layer accordingly, use the windbreaker if needed and then an emergency poncho. In winter month I bring a heavier poncho from Ikea and tie it down if windy.

If it is warmer… I forgo the windbreaker, and decide whether to use the cheap poncho. depending on the temperature. If it's warm, with or without the poncho, I will get soaked…so I pass on using it. I don’t protect my backpack but the goods inside it are in plastic and do not get wet.
 
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