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Rainy forecast? Too humid for clothes to dry!

TerriMartin

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
March 2023
I’m on the Portuguese central route right now. The past few days have been rainy, typical Spring weather, 90%+ humidity. This wasn’t obvious to me so in case someone else may benefit…if there’s rain in the forecast your wet clothes will not air dry! Not on a clothing line inside, not draped over an albergue bed frame, not on a clothing line that’s outside but under cover, and not hanging from your backpack as you walk!

The albergues, hostels and guest houses I’ve been have not been ‘air tight’ enough to stop the moisture from getting inside so even clothes left on top of the bed at night are damp by the next morning.

And yes, I brought quick dry synthetic clothing made for hiking or working out. If I could go back in time I’d not try to hand wash and air dry anything with this much rain in the forecast. I’d just look for a washer and dryer at an overnight lodging. And I’d call to make sure that the dryer is working before committing to staying there :)
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
I’m on the Portuguese central route right now. The past few days have been rainy, typical Spring weather, 90%+ humidity. This wasn’t obvious to me so in case someone else may benefit…if there’s rain in the forecast your wet clothes will not air dry! Not on a clothing line inside, not draped over an albergue bed frame, not on a clothing line that’s outside but under cover, and not hanging from your backpack as you walk!

The albergues, hostels and guest houses I’ve been have not been ‘air tight’ enough to stop the moisture from getting inside so even clothes left on top of the bed at night are damp by the next morning.

And yes, I brought quick dry synthetic clothing made for hiking or working out. If I could go back in time I’d not try to hand wash and air dry anything with this much rain in the forecast. I’d just look for a washer and dryer at an overnight lodging. And I’d call to make sure that the dryer is working before committing to staying there :)

Any of the towns you’ll pass through will have one or more laundromats where a couple of euros will see your damp clothes dried to perfection in the time it takes you to find and drink a coffee.
 
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Any of the towns you’ll pass through will have one or more laundromats where a couple of euros will see your damp clothes dried to perfection in the time it takes you to find and drink a coffee.
I’ve not found that to be true. No working options from Vitorino dos Piães to Ponte de Lima. There were 2 laundromats in Ponte de Lima and then nothing working until Valença.

It would be wise to plan breaks around a laundromat location though. Just confirm!
Edit- the day of the week matters too.

I’m not sharing this to be negative, but to hopefully provide help to a future pilgrim. The daily clothes washing advice I read before leaving didn’t seem to account for humidity. Or this cooler Spring weather that (for me) doesn’t mandate daily laundry anyway. I assumed I’d need to do laundry everyday. But the more experienced pilgrims (and through hikers) I’ve met along the Caminho don’t even bother when it’s very rainy/humid :)
 
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3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
Apologies; my recent experience is from Valença onwards from where I was struck by the number of laundromats I saw. They’re few and far between in the UK these days.
 
So much advice is written for the summer season including clothes drying. But march is still winter/ early spring and probably reading advice on winter makes more sense in relation to clothing and washing. Apart from underwear (which I do normally washbout each day) in winter I normally do a proper wash and tumble dry once a week because it's not really easy to get stuff to dry.
 
I had that happen to me a couple of times on a few of my Caminos.

When my clothes weren't completely dry, I just wore the pants and/or shirt slightly damp and they soon dried just from being worn. Oh, well.

Socks were another matter. I put dry socks on in the morning and took the still damp ones out of the zip-loc baggie I carried them in, inside my pack, as soon as I got to the next day's albergue. They would finally dry.

In fact, very slightly damp socks dried enough by being worn that they didn't cause blisters. You just have to get a sense of when wet is too wet, I guess.

I actually found washing machines and dryers more trouble than they were worth in the long run. I did not plan my stops along the Way based on laundry facilities. I found it much, much easier to just wash by hand as needed.

I had an especially memorable bad experience involving laundry machines in the CP last October but that is for another day.
 
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,-
I’m on the Portuguese central route right now. The past few days have been rainy, typical Spring weather, 90%+ humidity. This wasn’t obvious to me so in case someone else may benefit…if there’s rain in the forecast your wet clothes will not air dry! Not on a clothing line inside, not draped over an albergue bed frame, not on a clothing line that’s outside but under cover, and not hanging from your backpack as you walk!

The albergues, hostels and guest houses I’ve been have not been ‘air tight’ enough to stop the moisture from getting inside so even clothes left on top of the bed at night are damp by the next morning.

And yes, I brought quick dry synthetic clothing made for hiking or working out. If I could go back in time I’d not try to hand wash and air dry anything with this much rain in the forecast. I’d just look for a washer and dryer at an overnight lodging. And I’d call to make sure that the dryer is working before committing to staying there :)
Yes, I found the same! Grateful for the lavenderia.
 
I feel your pain @TerriMartin!! We just did the Via di Francesco last fall in Italy, and every single day for 10 days we were putting on damp clothes in the morning to eventually dry from our body warmth. There were absolutely NO laundry options. As soon as our clothes dried during the walk, we would sweat like crazy in the hot humidity and be wet all over again! I don't think I ever felt dry the whole time! And it didn't even rain.

And I agree with @Kathy F. regarding socks. I would pin my too-damp-to-wear-I-don't-want-to-get-blisters socks on the outside of my pack and they would dry that way. Sometimes I got sick of that and just wore stinky socks. :p
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
I had that happen to me a couple of times on a few of my Caminos.

When my clothes weren't completely dry, I just wore the pants and/or shirt slightly damp and they soon dried just from being worn. Oh, well.

Socks were another matter. I put dry socks on in the morning and took the still damp ones out of the zip-loc baggie I carried them in, inside my pack, as soon as I got to the next day's albergue. They would finally dry.

In fact, very slightly damp socks dried enough by being worn that they didn't cause blisters. You just have to get a sense of when wet is too wet, I guess.

I actually found washing machines and dryers more trouble than they were worth in the long run. I did not plan my stops along the Way based on laundry facilities. I found it much, much easier to just wash by hand as needed.

I had an especially memorable bad experience involving laundry machines in the CP last October but that is for another day.
I was told by someone who had walked the Appalachian trail (completely) 15 times that "the best way to dry clothes is to wear them (of course this isn't possible if it's too cold).
 
I prefer walking in Spring and late Fall when it is cool, humid and rainy. Found that many times a drier was the only safe option. If none available in the Albergue, once you arrive if it’s in small towns/cities googling “laundromat near me” worked well. If you are out in the boonies, brace yourself for cold and wet am clothes, a special treat.
 
I was told by someone who had walked the Appalachian trail (completely) 15 times that "the best way to dry clothes is to wear them (of course this isn't possible if it's too cold).
Body heat dries clothes…including socks…faster than you would imagine.
 
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.
I’ve not found that to be true. No working options from Vitorino dos Piães to Ponte de Lima. There were 2 laundromats in Ponte de Lima and then nothing working until Valença.

It would be wise to plan breaks around a laundromat location though. Just confirm!
Edit- the day of the week matters too.

I’m not sharing this to be negative, but to hopefully provide help to a future pilgrim. The daily clothes washing advice I read before leaving didn’t seem to account for humidity. Or this cooler Spring weather that (for me) doesn’t mandate daily laundry anyway. I assumed I’d need to do laundry everyday. But the more experienced pilgrims (and through hikers) I’ve met along the Caminho don’t even bother when it’s very rainy/humid :)
I did find an open laundromat in Arcade, right on the main drag, Oso Blanco. This was on…Thursday? Last week
 
This illustrates a disadvantage to the approach of wearing your next-day's clothes to bed, and relying on daily washing and drying.

I have a walking outfit that can stay somewhat dirty until laundry facilities or weather are good. I have an evening/night outfit that stays fairly clean as it is not exposed to trail conditions. This way, I do not need to wash daily except for underwear and socks. Underwear will dry reasonably well within a couple of days. My socks do too, although thicker ones might not. They can be tucked into the sleeping bag at night for a final drying session.
 
I had this problem on the Norte this past summer. I would wash clothes and they would take FOREVER to dry. Eventually I started wearing clothes for 2 days in a row so it would be a little less of a problem. But - there was the one long day when I was walking through tall wet grass ALL.DAY.LONG. My feet were soaked and my other socks still hadn't dried. Thankfully I was heading into Oviedo and decided to take a rest day and machine washed/dried everything really well. And even before heading to my albergue I looked for the Decathlon and bought 2 more pairs of socks.

Anyhow - don't wash as frequently. And take advantage of washers/dryers when you can! The only thing I still washed every day were my underwear. But those always dry fast - even when wearing. But make sure no matter what - you have clean dry socks at all times - so buy more if you need to. Wet socks can ruin your trip.
 
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.
This illustrates a disadvantage to the approach of wearing your next-day's clothes to bed, and relying on daily washing and drying.

I have a walking outfit that can stay somewhat dirty until laundry facilities or weather are good. I have an evening/night outfit that stays fairly clean as it is not exposed to trail conditions. This way, I do not need to wash daily except for underwear and socks. Underwear will dry reasonably well within a couple of days. My socks do too, although thicker ones might not. They can be tucked into the sleeping bag at night for a final drying session.
You do not want to feel my underwear after a hike as it’s drenched. Seriously.
 
I had that happen to me a couple of times on a few of my Caminos.

When my clothes weren't completely dry, I just wore the pants and/or shirt slightly damp and they soon dried just from being worn. Oh, well.

Socks were another matter. I put dry socks on in the morning and took the still damp ones out of the zip-loc baggie I carried them in, inside my pack, as soon as I got to the next day's albergue. They would finally dry.

In fact, very slightly damp socks dried enough by being worn that they didn't cause blisters. You just have to get a sense of when wet is too wet, I guess.

I actually found washing machines and dryers more trouble than they were worth in the long run. I did not plan my stops along the Way based on laundry facilities. I found it much, much easier to just wash by hand as needed.

I had an especially memorable bad experience involving laundry machines in the CP last October but that is for another day.
I do wonder what that laundromat ’bad experience’ was as I’m going in October.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
I do wonder what that laundromat ’bad experience’ was as I’m going in October.
I am a little curious as well. It's true that laundromats are not to be found in every village, but in all the towns of any size, they are readily available and generally pretty convenient to use. I have been able to find one every couple of days on the Frances, and my success rate at the laundromat has been 100% over several Caminos. A first time pilgrim from NA will find them a little puzzling to use since the payment is often from a central payment machine, you do NOT add soap (that's automatic), and the dryers are absolute demons. 6-10 euros for a wash and dry is totally worth it for me, and there is nearly always a place to get coffee while you wait. After the first time figuring it all out, I had no trouble with them at all.
 
I am a little curious as well. It's true that laundromats are not to be found in every village, but in all the towns of any size, they are readily available and generally pretty convenient to use. I have been able to find one every couple of days on the Frances, and my success rate at the laundromat has been 100% over several Caminos. A first time pilgrim from NA will find them a little puzzling to use since the payment is often from a central payment machine, you do NOT add soap (that's automatic), and the dryers are absolute demons. 6-10 euros for a wash and dry is totally worth it for me, and there is nearly always a place to get coffee while you wait. After the first time figuring it all out, I had no trouble with them at all.
Yeah- I didn’t have any “bad” laundry machine experiences with the exception of the cost was higher than I prefer to pay. But we’ll worth it considering truly clean clothes help restore my energy especially if hand washing for several days beforehand. Sadly- in the laundromats they have different size capacity machines with correlating prices and inevitably the smaller machines are in use and I usually don’t want to waste time waiting for them to become available - so it costs me more. I love that they include the soap so I don’t have to worry about that too. I guess that could be a problem if you have sensitivities to some soaps. A fee took a little time to figure out how to use (especially some in albergues)…

Also regarding the cost - if you ask around - there is often another pilgrim who will share a machine and cost with you if you ask around.
 
Body heat dries clothes…including socks…faster than you would imagine.
I would pin my too-damp-to-wear-I-don't-want-to-get-blisters socks on the outside of my pack and they would dry that way.
Good comments here.
I have not done this yet, but I occasionally read that you can put your clean, damp clothes in your sleeping bag or liner with you overnight and they will be dry in the morning. I probably would only consider this in a pinch.
I had an especially memorable bad experience involving laundry machines in the CP last October
I had a terrible experience in a too hot dryer in Urdaniz, Spain, which was the first time I'd used one on a Camino and had no idea the temp was turned up so high. It shrunk the zipper on my jacket, and shrunk the bottoms of my pants/trousers. I was surprised as they were synthetics; I'd have expected that more if my items were of cotton or wool.
I prefer hand washing and have rarely used washers or dryers on the Camino; my personal preference. For me, using the machines were nearly as much hassle as doing it all myself and more rewarding.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
I am a little curious as well. It's true that laundromats are not to be found in every village, but in all the towns of any size, they are readily available and generally pretty convenient to use. I have been able to find one every couple of days on the Frances, and my success rate at the laundromat has been 100% over several Caminos. A first time pilgrim from NA will find them a little puzzling to use since the payment is often from a central payment machine, you do NOT add soap (that's automatic), and the dryers are absolute demons. 6-10 euros for a wash and dry is totally worth it for me, and there is nearly always a place to get coffee while you wait. After the first time figuring it all out, I had no trouble with them at all.
And… In my one experience with a laundromat in Arcade the dryer was about 500° even on the lowest setting.
 
I remember something that bugged me on the Norte last year was the location of the washing lines at many of the albergues on the first half of the route. I found many of them were located around the northern facing side of the buildings, in the shadows so, despite the largely sunny weather, my washing rarely dried. I slept with my damp underwear and socks under my t-shirt at night.
I don't remember it being such an issue in the second half or maybe I'd chilled out and learnt to live with it by then. If that's the worst that happens then it's a successful Camino!
Can't wait for next week on the VdlP, it's forecast to be 32°C in Seville 😅. I'll still take 3 pairs of socks and liners though.
 

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