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Sheets, Packs, and Shoes

#1
Hi all,

I leave in less than two weeks and have some lingering questions. Should I bring a small flat sheet for the cots? I have a sleeping bag and am wondering if the churches/refugio provide a sheet to cover the cot, and if this is even necessary?

Also, I would love a few recommendations for a pack. I am only doing the walk for 2-3 weeks. I was hoping to use a very small day pack (used to be my backpack for school) but am afraid that after packing it with my sleeping bag and other things, I won't have room for water and any food. Any advice?

Also, I know I am in a pickle for not having my shoes picked out. I have literally been trying to find the right pair for the past month, but each time I bring home a new pair and try them something is wrong, they are either too loose on the heel or pinch the width. The best shoes are my running shoes. Will these hold up? Should I keep looking for better xtrainers or boots?

Thanks for your help...just got a pinch of anxiety & excitement.
Besos!!

Stefanie
 

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#2
Hi Stefanie

No need to take separate sheet to cover the bed. You will be sleeping in your sleeping bag so don't actually get to touch the bed. Not to worry you but there has been some discussion of bed bugs (see other posts) doesn't seem to be a problem yet this year. Some people do take a special bed bug sheet to cover the bed with.

For 2-3 weeks walking you really need the same size pack as for 6 weeks walking. Minimum 35 litres but consider up to 50 litres. You will know yourself whether you are happy to take the bare minimum and possibly strap stuff to the outside or whether you want a bit of extra room to be able to fit food in the pack without struggling.

You have my sympathy with the shoes/boots. I too find it difficult to get ones to fit. I find Merrell's have a nice wide fitting. I would have bought the Merrell Chameleon Wrap Slam either with Goretex or without - but found that they pressed on my ankle bone. I have gone with Mizuno Wave Inspire 3 which are running shoes but the only footwear I could find that are actually comfortable to walk in. (a half size bigger and making sure I lace them properly to stop the heel lifting)

I leave on 19th of May myself - getting very excited/anxious and can't really believe it.

Buen Camino

Mercury
 

lckgj

Active Member
#3
Hi Stefanie

I found a very thin sarong-like thing which I used to cover the bed under my sleeping bag. (Some of the mattresses are non too savoury to look at!) It hardly weiged anything and it doubled up as a wrap if it was chilly in the evenings and also for wrapping around me in the sometimes communal shower areas so as I could use my only towel to dry my hair. I am back on the road from Burgos on 4th June so will definately take it again.
I also took a bed bug proof net (again v light) and in November I did encounter people who had been badly bitten although I was ok. Whether this was due to the net or not I dont know but again I will definately take it again.
With regards to back packs, think finding a perfect one is as important as the comfy shoes. I took a Lowe Alpine 55 litre pack and bought it after trying HUNDREDS. It was not full but I could distribute the weight more evenly and move things around if my back or shoulders started to feel sore at all.
Last weekend I did a 35mile walk over 2 days with a 35 litre pack and found the weight more of a problem though I was carrying much less stuff. I think stuffing a smaller pack too full causes more problems and generally the smaller the pack the less adjustment straps it has to get the perfect fit. Also the frames tend to be flimsier.
It really is difficult to know what to take but hope this is food for thought for you.
Buen Camino!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#4
Hello

Some people do take a special bed bug sheet to cover the bed with.
Can u please elaborate on this?

For 2-3 weeks walking you really need the same size pack as for 6 weeks walking. Minimum 35 litres but consider up to 50 litres.

Mine is 30 L ... :?
 

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#9
The bed bug sheet is just a rectangle of fine mesh impregnated with an insecticide (Permethrin)

The idea is that the bugs in the bed stay on the underside of it and presumably if they come in contact with it they die.

It weighs 95g so quite light. I guess whether you take one depends on how much you want to be prepared for all enventualities or stripped down to essentials

Regards

Mercury
 
#10
The best shoes are my running shoes. Will these hold up? Should I keep looking for better xtrainers or boots?
I think running shoes are fine. I walked from SJPP to Santiago in good quality running shoes. If they're the most comfortable, I'd say go for it. Mine were thoroughly worn out, though, by the time I finished (and were almost new when I started), so you might want to get a new pair of the same style you have now if the treads are getting a little thin.
 

Minkey

Active Member
#12
Mercury, sometimes even sooner than that. I run in racing flats and they die within about 300 miles.

Anyway... That was a bit off topic.
 
#14
Stefanie,

I wore: Merrell Mesa Ventilator and my town/shower shoes were Crocks. My wife wore Women's Saucony Grid Trigons – and her town/shower shoes were OP (Ocean Pacific) Sandals. A friend wore Vasque hiking boots. None of us had any foot problems, we took breaks where we took our shoes and socks off and massaged our feet every hour or so. Get something comfortable and break them in, is most important.

For a pack mine was 44 L and my wifes was 40 L (weighing in at 2 lb 12 oz.). My total carry weight was 20 Lbs. including her pillow and hers total weight was 15 lbs. Both packs were from REI and were Lookout models. ($80). They had outside pockets and three compartments. I am going to have mine bronzed. . . :)

The biggest thing in our pack was our fleece sleeping bag liners (about 2lbs and $10 U.S.). We also had silk sleep sacks, about 12 oz and $50.

We walked in September 2007, which included meeting Hurricane Charles hitting as we left O Cebreiro.

Ultrea,
Jerry
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#15
mercury:

The bed bug sheet is just a rectangle of fine mesh impregnated with an insecticide (Permethrin)
Am terribly allergic to smells particularly insecticides. Does this smeall at all? Best, xm 8)
 
#16
Well XM........

I have only sniffed the sheet briefly but I think it does smell a bit - not really stink. I guess it will wear off as I use the sheet. I do also worry about what the insecticide chemical does to humans.

My town/shower shoes are Teva Voltera

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Teva-Womens-Vol ... B000MV7O38

Very light, reasonably rugged sole if I need to walk in them, quick drying and comfortable.

2 more sleeps to go!

Mercury :roll:
 

Ulysse

Active Member
#18
Jerry,

We walked in September 2007, which included meeting Hurricane Charles hitting as we left O Cebreiro
On September 21, 2006 ( :wink: ) to be precise.

Hurricane Gordon, I believe, was the reason why the albergue on O Cebreiro shook on its foundations. I also left on that miserable morning... thought I was going to fly all the way back to France.
 
#19
Ulysse,

My bad, it was Gordon. We saw trees fall, limbs whizz by, and had no idea it was a Hurricane.

We stopped at Linares and the power was off in the Bar/cafe. Quite a day. The alburge in Tricastela never looked so good.

Thanks for the revision....

Ultrea,

Jerry
 
#20
Re: bed bug sheet. How do you deal with the underside of it the next morning? Do you shake it out and make sure you always use the same side, or what? Does this offend others at the albergue? Would love any pointers on this since I've decided to get one. (If nothing else it will make me feel better.)
 

lckgj

Active Member
#21
Hi Keilnirby

Im just back from Camino again and used a bed bug sheet for second time.

Last November I met people who had been bitten by bedbugs and it was very unpleasant so Im in the "better safe than sorry" camp. The only problem I heard of this time was in France but I did see someone whose legs looked like they had been bitten by the nasty critters but didn't ask. Several people commented on how flea ridden the beds were at Terradillos de los Templarios but I dont know if the sheet prevented me from experiencing this or whether my room was ok. This is a shame as I liked this albergue and the hospitaleros were very pleasant and made provision in various nooks and crannies for all the people who arrived after the albergue was full. I suppose any bed is only as clean as the last person who slept in it.

I didn't think anyone took offence to my using the sheet - on arrival at the albergue everyone is too busy sorting out their own space to be overly interested in what you are doing. I didnt think it necessary to shake out the sheet- my feeling was that the bugs (if there were any) stayed away from it rather than came there to die! I also used an insecticide spray on the bed when I could but was a little more discreet about this if there were any people around. The beds in the very basic albergue at Villabilla were particularly gruesome looking!

The sheets have no real smell that I was aware of and weigh very little. On the corners there are metal rings to which I attached loops of lightweight elastic as without this I imagine it is difficult to keep them in place on the mattress. I didnt see anyone else using one but like I said nobody really looks at other peoples space - despite the sleeping proximity to total strangers everyone is pretty respectful of your privacy.

Have a great (and bug-free) time!

Laura
 
#22
Ulysse said:
Jerry,

We walked in September 2007, which included meeting Hurricane Charles hitting as we left O Cebreiro
On September 21, 2006 ( :wink: ) to be precise.

Hurricane Gordon, I believe, was the reason why the albergue on O Cebreiro shook on its foundations. I also left on that miserable morning... thought I was going to fly all the way back to France.
We did the Sarria-Santiago portion of the CF in September 2006, too. We left Santiago the day Gordon hit. All the flights to Madrid were cancelled, so while stuck at the airport we did some quick calculations and rented a van, then drove all the way from Santiago to Madrid instead. It was fun, actually... nice change of pace.

PW
 
#23
I used a permethrin spray on my sleeping bag that treats fabric for up to 2 weeks and kills bugs (including mosquitos) on contact (the details are under the posting 'BUGS, BUGS, BUGS), then took insect repellant wipes 'just in case', but no bites in spite of one or two unsavoury-looking mattresses.

The spray did not have any significant smell when being applied, and none when dry.

My (incomplete) understanding of the habits of bed bugs, is that they tend to slip back into the mattress when they have had their fill, but they must have some ability to travel from place to place, so I hoped that the fabric spray would also put them off hitching a lift to the next albergue on my bedding!

Pip
 
#24
Thanks for the great info Laura.

One more thing...the "loops of elastic" -- did they come with your bed bug liner or is that a separate item you bought? Did you use the elastic to fit under the bed corner?

Permethrin spray I will probably buy as well once I get to Spain.
 

lckgj

Active Member
#26
The bed bug sheet did not have the elastic loops attached when I bought it - I had to add these myself. I just tied a piece (about the width of the sheet- 30 inches maybe) between the top two rings and then another between the bottom two rings. This seemed to keep it place ok.

The sheet comes in a little plastic bag inside a nylon drawstring bag. I didn't take the drawstring bag as this seemed unnecessary weight and the sheet still fitted inside the plastic bag with the elastic attached.

Another item I found useful was an elasticated travel washing line as the drying lines at the albergues are often full. These washing lines are twisted so you don't need clothes pegs which are often also in short supply. It also means you can rig it up indoors when the weather is wet. It occurred to me that you could use two of these washing lines to keep the bed bug sheet in place and thereby give them a dual purpose. The washing lines are available from millets, blacks, cotwold outdoor etc and are £3.50 each.

I bought the bed bug spray online from a company called Pest Control Direct based in Hailsham. It came in a 1 litre trigger spray and I decanted about a quarter of it into a small pump action spray container. It cost £18.22 including delivery. The name of the product is Protector C and is manufactured by a company called Agropharm Ltd based in Penn, Bucks. None of the insecticides I looked at in the shops seems to be specific as to whether they dealt with bedbugs or not whereas this product lists bedbugs as something it kills.

The active ingredient is cypermethrin. On reading the small print it actually says do not apply to human clothing or bedding but Im afraid I ignored this advice and had no problem- there is not even a smell to it.

Wish it was me preparing to set off again - what fun!

Laura
 
#27
Thanks Laura, these were exactly the details I was looking for.

By the way I looked up "travel washing line" and found the item you describe. In the US I've heard people refer to these as bunjee cords, for anyone who knows them by that name.

--Neil
 
#28
Dear John,

The bug spray is called Bugproof Clothing Treatment from Nomad Medical, 3-4 Wellington Terrace, Turnpike Lane, London N8 0PX. No telephone or website listed on the pack, alas. I bought it in an independent pharmacy in Weymouth, but presumably the company would be able to give you a supplier near you. It cost £5 for a 100mL pump spray. It claims to treat clothing/fabric for up to 2 weeks, killing biting insects on contact. It contains permethrin, which is one of the treatments for head lice - and whatever your feelings about chemical treatments, is licenced for use in children, so not too unlikely to cause terrible harm. It didn't smell much when wet, and not at all when dry.

I treated my sleeping bag with it, and it left a slightly glittery effect, that was still there when I got home after a 10-day trip...not the most scientific support for its durability, but it reassured me.

Best wishes,

Pip
 

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