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Scared of freezing to death on Camino in Fall!

L. J.

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2018
HI! My husband and I will be walking the Camino in September and October. This is my first time. I get cold easily. (My fingers and toes get painfully cold!) He does not. He's been on the Camino before during the same months. What he recommends as far as clothing may not be warm enough for me. I could use advice on what to pack.
I'm a woman in my early 60's, slightly overweight, but steadily losing weight. I expect to lose that weight by the time I am through with the walk, which also presents a problem. I will need clothing that has elastic and/or drawstrings in the waist and can adjust to weight loss.

Thanks!
L. J.
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
Wear several light layers. Pick out a favourite walking outfit for normal days - something to cover your legs (skirt and tights, or pants), a base layer top, a long sleeve top to go over, then a water/windproof jacket. Add a merino wool buff and some light gloves and you will be warm enough for most circumstances. Plan to wear that every day.

Have some rainpants that can be pulled over your walking pants in case of rain or really chilly weather. Have another long-sleeved shirt in your evening collection (see next paragraph) that can be added if necessary, or if you prefer it to the wind/waterproof jacket.

I take an outfit that is used for evenings and sleeping, including pants, a very light long sleeved base layer, a light fleece or merino sweater for warmth, and a sleeveless down vest for cold evenings. Those items are always available to layer on during the day, if the weather is unusually cold.

My experience in October is that some mornings can be chilly but the afternoons are often very warm, and that it rains in Galicia. My understanding is that September can be very hot.
 

Tim Floyd

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017
TDMB 2016
Cotswold Way 2018
We walked CF from SJPP to Santiago from Sept 11-Oct 16 last fall. Weather was wonderful. Cool mornings. Comfortable days. Some days a little warm actually. Of course weather can vary from year to year, and in a space of 5 or 6 weeks it changes. The advice you already got is good. Comfortable and flexible clothing. Layers. My wife did as suggested by C clearly and used her rainpants as a warmth layer on a few cooler days. Merino wool is warm and hand washes easily. We both used buffs both to keep warm some days and to protect from sun on others. Light gloves came in handy. Your husband may like zip offs - I did - for those cool mornings. Nice to be able to shed a shirt and the legs around 10 once it warms up. Good quality clothes, layers, flexible. Rain is unpredictable - we only had three days of it (the first three) on our whole trip. I understand that was unusual.
 

HeidiL

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2004-), Portugués, Madrid, 4/5 Plata, 1/8 Levante, 1/8 Lana, Augusta, hospitalera Grado.
I'm Norwegian and rather like Spain in October - it's like July at home...

But I do get cold in albergues some times, and I'll tell you what has worked for me.

Shower the moment you walk in the door. No exceptions. If you think you'll just rest a little first, the hot water may be gone, your sweat from walking will have dried on your body, and you'll feel icky all evening. And undressing is sooo hard when the batroom is chilly and you're NOT overheated from your walk.

If there's a choice, don't sleep next to the window. Double glazing is not a Spanish phenomenon.

If you need to wash your hair (less often than at home, we're not doing this to look good!), bring something you can wrap around your head while it dries. I have a large, thin wool square that serves for just about everyting, and that really helps.

A zippered fleece (or wool) jacket works better than a sweater, because you can do microadjustments to maintain the perfect temperature instead of always being a little to hot or too cold.

And sometimes, if it has been raining and you're wet and cold and everything is horrible, splurge. Get a hotel room (check if they have "calefacción" first) with a bath tub ("bañera") and just soak up the heat - and do all your laundry after you're finished. I still remember that hotel room in Ponte de Lima on the Portuguese - I was so cold and miserable, and then I got warm and clean and everything was PERFECT.

Camino walking does help you to enjoy the small pleasures in life...
 

RENSHAW

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks every year on CF reaching Burgos or Leon. Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
A good Beanie - that is the secret to regulating your body temperature - Just take it off when you get too hot.
 
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surya8

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues Central and Coastal 2017 & 2019; Portugues Interior, Sanabres, Fisterra & Muxia 2018
Depends on what route you are planning to take. I walked betwen Lisbon and Porto at the end of Oct. Was warm during the day, sometimes hot and I wished I took shorts. Chilly in the mornings untill the sun got up on several days, but bearable without a buff or gloves, just keep walking, it takes about 10-15 mins for the circulation to catch up and make you warm. In your case it might be slightly unpleasant in the albergues at night, take a light but warm sleeping bag, some soft and warm socks to sleep in and use at the end of the day after the walk. Cotton med sleeve t-shirt to sleep in worked for me as I tend to feel cold sleeping in synthetics. I also took a very thin and light dawn jacket that I used in the afternoons/evenings after the walk, also during the day as an extra layer and it even made a pillow at the end of the day. And if you are a tea drinker get some tea bags for the road - they'll keep you warm and happy when you are cold/on a rainy day - in the land of coffee drinkers :)
 

Isca-camigo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Various ones.
As suggested above layering is a good solution, merino wool is quite good at keeping you warm when it's cold and cooling you when it gets warmer through the wicking process. Evenings are the difficult ones for me, usually you have arrived, had a shower then are possibly going out to meet walking friends for a meal, some people keep a very warm fleece for the cool evenings which can serve for inside and outside of the Albergue.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
I have 2 sets of the following for walking in:- long sleeved shirt and zip off trousers, which I have never walked in as shorter length, and a medium weight fleece. If I am cold I can wear both fleeces, one of which is slightly heavier and windproof.
I carry 2 sets of lightweight longjohns and long sleeved vest. These are to wear under my clothes in the evening and use the same set as pyjamas. First year I only took one set, a mistake as I struggled to get them dry quick enough. Enough socks to keep feet warm in my crocs after walking as well as for wearing with my boots. Silk gloves, a very light weight scarf and a tilley hat.

Cold mornings I started off with my rain trousers over my walking trousers, easy to remove as soon as I warmed up, I never walked with the longjohns on. I made sure that the rain over-trousers went on and off without having to remove my boots. Poncho for rain and if it is cold as a windbreak and fits over my pack.

We walked in early May with cold weather and I was fine with this set-up and I too feel the cold.
 
D

Deleted member 12253

Guest
HI! My husband and I will be walking the Camino in September and October. This is my first time. I get cold easily. (My fingers and toes get painfully cold!) He does not. He's been on the Camino before during the same months. What he recommends as far as clothing may not be warm enough for me. I could use advice on what to pack.
I'm a woman in my early 60's, slightly overweight, but steadily losing weight. I expect to lose that weight by the time I am through with the walk, which also presents a problem. I will need clothing that has elastic and/or drawstrings in the waist and can adjust to weight loss.

Thanks!
L. J.

Listen to your nearest and dearest. He will see you bring the right gear. We don’t understand fall in Europe. It’s autumn buen camino
 

L. J.

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2018
I'm Norwegian and rather like Spain in October - it's like July at home...

But I do get cold in albergues some times, and I'll tell you what has worked for me.

Shower the moment you walk in the door. No exceptions. If you think you'll just rest a little first, the hot water may be gone, your sweat from walking will have dried on your body, and you'll feel icky all evening. And undressing is sooo hard when the batroom is chilly and you're NOT overheated from your walk.

If there's a choice, don't sleep next to the window. Double glazing is not a Spanish phenomenon.

If you need to wash your hair (less often than at home, we're not doing this to look good!), bring something you can wrap around your head while it dries. I have a large, thin wool square that serves for just about everyting, and that really helps.

A zippered fleece (or wool) jacket works better than a sweater, because you can do microadjustments to maintain the perfect temperature instead of always being a little to hot or too cold.

And sometimes, if it has been raining and you're wet and cold and everything is horrible, splurge. Get a hotel room (check if they have "calefacción" first) with a bath tub ("bañera") and just soak up the heat - and do all your laundry after you're finished. I still remember that hotel room in Ponte de Lima on the Portuguese - I was so cold and miserable, and then I got warm and clean and everything was PERFECT.

Camino walking does help you to enjoy the small pleasures in life...
Thanks! I need to remember that if I am miserable, we can always try to rent a room in a hotel.
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Frances (2015)
HI! My husband and I will be walking the Camino in September and October. This is my first time. I get cold easily. (My fingers and toes get painfully cold!) He does not. He's been on the Camino before during the same months. What he recommends as far as clothing may not be warm enough for me. I could use advice on what to pack.
I'm a woman in my early 60's, slightly overweight, but steadily losing weight. I expect to lose that weight by the time I am through with the walk, which also presents a problem. I will need clothing that has elastic and/or drawstrings in the waist and can adjust to weight loss.

Thanks!
L. J.
You will not freeze in September October. September is still as warm as summer, in fact, September 2016 was warmer than summer. Mornings can be a little chilly late September into October but once the sun comes up, it is fine. Main problem to me is the time the sun comes up. Every morning is darker than the one before and into October, it can be 8:30 ish before it gets light. Clothing choices I will leave to others to advise but generally, it can be quite warm through to November
 

Charles Zammit

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
St Jean Pied de Port - Finisterra 2017
GR70 France 2018
[ Via Francigena 2019]
At the top of most hills you will most likely be stripping layers off , no matter how quick or slow your accent was .

As suggested Merino wool is your best friend , it stretches and contracts , is light and comfortable , doesn't stink and of course keeps you really warm . Shorts over Merino wool tights or long johns are particularly comfortable and versatile .
Keep a good fleece handy for when you stop and put it on immediately if the weather is cold , preserving your excess heat from walking is easier than producing new heat while sitting about .
 

HeidiL

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2004-), Portugués, Madrid, 4/5 Plata, 1/8 Levante, 1/8 Lana, Augusta, hospitalera Grado.
Nights can be cold, and there may be rain - but the days tend to be quite warm.

Have a lovely walk!
 

martyseville

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
a/a
many good replies above. Thanks all.

HEAD: I always take a wool night watch cap. As stated above, head cover is essential for body heat retention.

HANDS: I also take a pair of smart wool light weight gloves. They work wonders. Will keep working to keep hands warm even when wet.
And for cold rainy days a pair of light weight rain gloves. Walked first camino without such and fingers were so wet and cold. Rain gloves combined with the above smart wool glove liners make a great team to keep hands warm and dry.

NECK/FACE: I also take a smart wool neck gaiter (BUFF). After the head piece this is the next best thing to keep body warm.

NECK/FACE: In addition to the above items, I started carrying a sun/wind protection neck gaiter (BUFF).
Great for blowing sand. Sun on neck/face etc.

Add/remove items as needed.

These small things make a difference.

Got all of these from REI. See on rei.com

BODY CORE: I always take a smart wool long sleeve shirt (light weight) and a smart wool short sleeve smart wool (light weight) shirt.
When it gets too cold I can wear both of them at the same time.
Or mix and match as needed.

Of course the usual rain gear, light weight jacket, two sets of clothes, sun hat.....etc etc.

Don't get wet! Be it from rain, perspiration, etc. WET = COLD.
If your base layer gets wet and damp. You dont have enough venting.
Vent the vapor off your body.
 
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rorerich

CaminoLifer
Camino(s) past & future
2015, 2016, 2017, (2018)
HI! My husband and I will be walking the Camino in September and October. This is my first time. I get cold easily. (My fingers and toes get painfully cold!) He does not. He's been on the Camino before during the same months. What he recommends as far as clothing may not be warm enough for me. I could use advice on what to pack.
I'm a woman in my early 60's, slightly overweight, but steadily losing weight. I expect to lose that weight by the time I am through with the walk, which also presents a problem. I will need clothing that has elastic and/or drawstrings in the waist and can adjust to weight loss.

Thanks!
L. J.
Hi L.J. I would like to recommend hiking pants that I love: North Face Aphrodite 2. Why? They are pull on style with a drawstring waist, fabric is soft and lightweight enough for hot days, but the cut accommodates leggings underneath, handy pockets, AND, oddly enough, the lightly puckered seaming is flattering on my slightly fuller figure. It appears NF has moved on to a new style, but these are still available if you do a little shopping on the web.
 

Suzanne H

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Baztan and Frances 2017
Hi LJ! All of the above comments are great. I used gloves nearly every morning last year, and our group used buffs and beanies for extra warmth, as needed. Your husband will know better how to guide your trip, but I’d like to mention that I ran into a couple last year who each carried a lightweight daily pack and sent a duffel forward to their next destination each day. This allowed them to carry heavier gear for their use when the weather warranted and allowed them to pack a bit heavier to meet their needs, allowed them a lighter daily pack, and is reasonably cost effective. Correos offers a good price for the full length of the Camino. I used a variety of bag forwarding services at the end of my Camino, and they all served me well. Just another option for you. Buen Camino!
 

zrexer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, 15,16 & 19 Camino Frances
2017 Camino Portuguese
2018 Camino Primitivo
If you were sitting on a stool next to the trail and not walking, you would most likely feel cold on a typical fall morning.
The fact you are walking with a back pack up and down hills exerting yourself you will find this keeps you warm.
If you do tend to get cold easily the key is warm head, hands and feet. I would suggest a light wool knitted ski cap as well as light gloves. Take socks of a few different weights. My preference is the 'Wrightsock' brand. I carry a few different weights of them.
 

kdespot

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés SJPP-SdC Sept-Oct 2016
You have plenty of good advice here. I did the Francés in Sept-Oct and had an amazing experience. However, if I were to do it again I would go two weeks later. The mornings were cool, the mountains were, too, but that amount of time was minor. Most of my 34 days were warm to hot. The issue was protecting myself from the sun's rays. As Zrexer says, you won't be cold for long walking with a pack. Five or six days from Santiago it got quite cold in the mountains but it wasn't worth schlepping heavy clothing for 30 days to have it then. I bought gloves and a hat in Rabanal, wore them for an hour in the mornings and then they were in the pack. Unless la diosa del clima raro sends you something crazy, it's just not that cold in October in northern Spain.
 

oldskills

Pam
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2018)
Hmmm, just stumbled across this older thread.
I will be walking the CF at the same time and was worried about being cold and wet towards the end.
After keeping an eye on the weather over there recently I am thinking I might ditch the rain skirt and long sleeve merino for bathers and an umberella.
 

AndreaCT

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Fall 2016 Camino Frances to Leon
Fall 2017 Camino Frances to Finisterre
May 2019 Portuguese
Bundle up as you need to on some of the cool/very cool mornings. DON'T start walking quickly to try and warm up because you run the risk of injury to your muscles (been there and done that). Before you know it you'll be shedding layers and toasty again.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
Having spent years walking to work at temperatures in the minus twenties I hope to speak with some authority..... lightweight gloves and a woolen hat (watch cap, etc) will help greatly. If you are wearing a brimmed hat, such as a Tilley, a bandana wrapped around your head and under the hat will conserve warmth greatly. Others have given advice on the excellent qualities of merino wool. Wearing layers rather than heavy or bulky garments is much more effective, and allows you to adjust to the changing temperatures of the day, and your changing body temperature at different times. The advice to take a room with a bathtub is golden as long as your budget allows it (unless, of course, your confessor binds you to suffer in the albergues!).
 

Anne Measures

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Santiago - twice
Via Francigena - Canterbury to Rome (2017)
Rome to Jerusalem (2017)
HI! My husband and I will be walking the Camino in September and October. This is my first time. I get cold easily. (My fingers and toes get painfully cold!) He does not. He's been on the Camino before during the same months. What he recommends as far as clothing may not be warm enough for me. I could use advice on what to pack.
I'm a woman in my early 60's, slightly overweight, but steadily losing weight. I expect to lose that weight by the time I am through with the walk, which also presents a problem. I will need clothing that has elastic and/or drawstrings in the waist and can adjust to weight loss.

Thanks!
L. J.
I lost 1 stone 6lbs as I walked the Camino all I needed was a belt and pulled in the notches.
Take 2 emergency blankets one to lie on and one to put over you. The type they wrap marathon runners in. The other possibility is heated pads for the hands. Can be found in walking shops and on line. Buen Camino
 

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