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Rain-poncho vs. rain-suit in september

Hola !

I have my backpack already packed, but in search of making it lighter, I wonder if a rain-poncho would be better than my very light rain-trouser and combined water-/windproof jacket. :roll:

Any good advice ? I would hate to be soaking in Galicia late september...


Liv :D


hey liv,

how much does your rainsuit weigh? i love to use the very very cheap $1 "emergency" poncho. Its basically a trash bag cut and formed into a poncho. no pockets but as light as a garbage bag. I used one during a month long hike on the Long Trail in Vermont. The only times i actually used it was when the weather was low 40 degree high 30 degree (Farhenheit) weather during thunderstorms. Its so great because it works as a VBL and keeps you very warm during the walk. Many times i opt for no raingear especially during warm weather while hiking. I faced 50 degrees with no rainsuit and was perfectly comfortable. It lasted the entire month, it rained about 25% of the time and i only "needed" it once or twice. When i did use it it wasnt to protect me from the rain as much as it was used to keep me warm and fight off hypothermia.

hope this helps,
Hi, Chris ! Thank you for answering !

Since my lightweight rain-jacket also serves as a windstopper, it's my rain-trousers that will be the extra that I might not need. The jacket I will bring anyway. The trousers are really light-weight, but if I bring 500 items that weighs next to nothing, it will be some weight in the end anyway... :D

How is the emergency-poncho when it's windy ? And any other type of rain-poncho ?

Will the temperatur and weather in September be like in May ? And how about the famous rain in Galicia ?

Liv :roll:

ahh i see i see. yes the jacket is also good as it has a bit more insulation and both the emergency poncho or rainsuit will have waterproof/windproof.. but the jacket is better for use as the outer layer. hmm. well another option for the legs is to pick up a pair of gaiters. i had knee highs and they really help keep your legs warm in cold rain and help your boot stay dry.

when i use the emergency poncho i put it on under my pack straps so the wind is never an issue. on camels hump (alpine zone at 4k feet in vermont) i experienced incredible hurricane winds. The valley below clocked the wind at 70mph and i have no idea how fast the wind was whipping on the top of this bald mountain. pack straps were stinging my face and i had to stop behind some rocks to readjust, hiking poles were getting lifted off the mountain and if i hadnt some 35 pound pack id probably fly off as well! but the poncho stayed secure. Only problem i had with it was getting it snagged once on some prickers and getting a small tear on the sleeve. still worked fine though! also i could use it for makeshift groundcloth etc..

there are other ponchos, excellent ones. they can go over you and your pack. which can be great but heavy. if i were to get this kind i would make sure to get the kind that can turn into a tarp so that you can string it up between trees and make a waterproof shelter,probably something made of silnylon. for example, http://www.thru-hiker.com/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=ID102 the hood cinches down or you can use the hood to collect rainwater. i havent picked one of these kinds up yet, they cost somewhere in the $80-120 range. they are very versitile though. (if the link doesnt work just look for Integral Designs Sil Poncho $75 10oz)

i dont know much about the weather patterns in galicia. i will arrive in spain mid-late sept. I have not heard of many pilgrims having such difficulty in the rain though. i know its a pain in the butt, though sometimes the rain is wanted because your body gets so hot during a hike. i would expect more rain in may than september.

buen camino!


ahh gaiters, here is a link.

http://www.ems.com/index.jsp;jsessionid ... !7005!8005
bah, just checked the link... in the top right corner do a search for gaiters.

Gaiters are tough waterproof fabric that connect your boot to your leg.. They keep dirt and water out of your boot, keep your legs a little warmer, stop brush from scratching your legs, and are so cute! i have a pair of knee high gaiters, they also make ankle high.. a variety of zips/velcro/ or ties..

when i was on the LT in vermont they were indispensible. though on the camino they are likely to be not needed at all. the knee highs can actually add some warmth while hiking and i found that to be pleasing for my hike. (especially in the colder times)

here is something you may not have heard of, frog togs.. they are pretty nice, though they melt in a fire, they are made out of tyvek material and ive seen some folks with them out on the AT. http://www.qwks.com/Frogg-Toggs-c-1.html

i see all those nice gore tex jackets, they can be quite expensive. for me, instead of one of these really nice jackets i opted for some midweight long underwear for insulation and the emergency poncho for rain protection. im either going to sweat inside the raingear and get soaked or im going to get soaked from the rain... i prefer water soaked to sweat soaked.

do you have some sort of a scale? its amazing how your gear becomes "different" based on its weight. ie, if your raingear is the heaviest thing in your pack but you are hiking in a desert do you really need hi tec raingear?

where are you starting from Liv? SJPdP? or somewhere in spain? its not likely, but it would be great to run into folks here on the forums! like a mini family before we even get ouyt on the path.

buen camino,
i carry a travel raincoat
mine is made by totes
it's polyurethane coated nylon
it's virtually weightless
it comes down below my calves so it almost meets the tops of my socks
it's easy to wear under a backpack because it's fitted
wind doesn't get up under it and flap it around

it rains in galicia
my first camino it started raining at the cruz de hierro and it continued to rain every day for two weeks straight (in july)
my second camino (also in july) it also rained every day in galicia, but never where i was. i only got caught in one brief drizzle
it rains a lot more in september, they tell me

somewhere, i think there's a link on this website, try looking under weather, there's a website that has the average temperatures and average rainfalls by month and by region

Well it doesn't rain in galicia, and there is no wind either. Sounds perfect , it was, i had 3 hours rain, the 2nd last day before santiago.

Actually there was 3 days of bitter cold, i wore everything. however for the rain, i prefered the $1 poncho. i also had a cover for my pack. i did have a very lightweight, breathable and windproof jacket, but i found it too hot while walking.
Ditch the pants.
Sinenomene said:
where are you starting from Liv? SJPdP? or somewhere in spain? its not likely, but it would be great to run into folks here on the forums! like a mini family before we even get ouyt on the path.
I hope I got this quote-thing right !

If a scale is a weighing instrument, I have a scale that can weigh up to 22 kilos ! I keep comparing the weight of my clothes and stuff. Too much planning time is good, but makes me really confused because I think so much about all the things I need to prepare for.... :D

I start from Logroño 3rd of september. I went from Roncesvalles to Logroño in May, and now I'm walking to Santiago in five weeks.

Yourself ?


Liv, i sure hope you don't have 22 kilos. hopefully it is 22 pounds.

i had 8.5 kilos without food and water. it is true, so many people have nothing. packs can always be forwarded on to the next place for a small fee. there was 3 ladies from venuzula, never carried there packs from Roncavelles. they really enjoyed the walk. i think part of the experience is carrying everything and feeling everything.
have a great trip. i am jealous.
hi hi,

dawn, she is saying her scale can weigh items up to 22 kilos, not a backpack weight, (quite a load!!! :shock: )

liv, im starting in geneva on august2nd. right around the corner.. just under two weeks. Its sweet how my friends know im leaving soon so they are all trying to cram in as much fun/hanging out as possible before i go. as a matter of fact i was up to the wee hours of the morning today! hehe


just a little craziness for camino!
we plan to start 8/21 from SJPdP. I'm trying to get organized, but this raingear thing has me really confused. I live in S. California, a climate similar to Spain (altho not the Pyrenees) and we NEVER see rain until Nov, Dec. So I bought a very small rain poncho for emergencies. Then I'm planning to take 1 pr adjustable pants. 1 pr capris, 1 pr shorts. 2 T shirts, 1 long sleeve, 1 sleeveless top, and 1 fleece vest for the camino frances. Beginning 8/21- ending end of Sept. Does that sound reasonble or am I missing something important?? I'm really trying to follow the advice to keep things light, so trying to bring raingear, gaiters etc... is kind of confusing me. I'm just hoping for good weather in SEpt. Dont want to carry too much, but guess whatever the camino leads me to is the Way!
wow...you just revived a 6-year-old thread! :)

There are many, many, many threads on packing lists in the equipment forum that can probably help you. I'd check them out to see what others are bringing.

What kind of rain gear you choose to carry depends on how wet you're willing to get (and stay). Weather is unpredictable. People post about september walks with no rain some years and 13+ days of rain other years so you never know. You can always buy stuff while walking if you find you need it. 4 tops seems like a lot and I don't see a jacket.
do I need a jacket? I've been watching weather in bayonne/pamplona for a week now, seems very hot. My packing list was 2 t shirts, 1 sleeveless top, 1 long sleeve, and 1 fleece vest. I bought a rain/windbreaker at REI but was thinking of returning it cause its a little heavy and bulky and just dont imagine the weather is that cold....do u think I should bring it after all? or maybe just buy something along the way
I would probably leave the vest and either 1 t-shirt or the sleeveless shirt and bring a jacket. it can get cool at night. Personally for shirts I'm bringing 2 tanks, 1 long sleeve and 1 jacket.

What do you mean by adjustable pants? You mean convertible ones that zip off to shorts or roll up to capris? if so, leave out the other pair of shorts or capris.
yes its those pants with zippers. I have those, plus pr of shorts, and then some stretchey capris that look like work out pants, I thought I could combine for PJS

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