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Shirts and underwear

2020 Camino Guides

Long Hiker

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Del Norte
Ok, this may seem like a strange question but I'm getting ready to hike the Camino Norte in mid-June. I have convertible pants and a good pair of hiking shoes (Alta trail shoes). Any suggestions on shirts and underwear. It seems a lot of people swear by anything made with merino wool but its terrible expensive. I've seen merino wool underwear for $60. I can't imagine everyone walking is wearing something so expensive. Are there good alternatives? I did get a couple of Columbia shirts made with polyester. Is this a good choice?
 

Iriebabel

Iriebabel & the cyborg turtle
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2018
Camino Del Norte & part of Lebaniego 2019
I don’t think you need merino wool underwear. I don’t know where you live but I went to Target...you can do walmart too and I bought some Hanes breathable (Jockey does them too) sport mesh quickdry underwear. By the way I am female but I am sure they have the same for males. If you are not in the US I’m sure you can find a simular brand. They are quick drying and don’t ride up. Very cheap and 4 or 5 comes in the pack. Reasonable cost. You can get any cheap quick dry sport shirts at your local sport shop.
The reason so many buy the merino wool is because it’s great and practical and over the long term it will pay for itself, it is warm in winter and cool in summer but it not a required item. Use what’s comfortable for you,easy to use, long lasting, easy on your budget and quick dry
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
I brought two pairs of ExOfficio briefs bought at Eastern Mountain Sports. Not cheap but I thought they were well worth it. Some prefer the boxer briefs to prevent chaffing. I heard some women raving about their versions of ExOfficio also.

Edit: After writing the above I found Costco selling a package of three ExOfficio boxer briefs for less than what I pay for one brief at EMS.
 
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Paul McAmino

Blue Ridge
Camino(s) past & future
2012 SJPP-Burgos, 2014 Burgos-Leon, 2018 Leon-Santiago
Yes, what iriebabel said.
I brought one long sleeve merino shirt for a May/June pilgrimage. I mostly wore synthetic, i.e. quick-drying, athletic tee shirts while walking, and wore synthetic mesh underwear.
When it was cold I put on the merino, and used a primaloft sweater over it, but it could have been any type of layering, as long as it’s lightweight and effective.
Cheers,
Paul
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
Those merino underpants certainly are expensive, but if they prevent chafing, maybe they're worth it. There are cheaper ways to keep things running smoothly, though - If I'm expecting hot weather, I apply suncream in the morning and during the day to places where the sun shines and talcum powder to places where it doesn't.
 

J F Gregory

Portugal Central - October 2019
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (March-April,2016) finished, (October 2019) Portuguese Central Route.
Ok, this may seem like a strange question but I'm getting ready to hike the Camino Norte in mid-June. I have convertible pants and a good pair of hiking shoes (Alta trail shoes). Any suggestions on shirts and underwear. It seems a lot of people swear by anything made with merino wool but its terrible expensive. I've seen merino wool underwear for $60. I can't imagine everyone walking is wearing something so expensive. Are there good alternatives? I did get a couple of Columbia shirts made with polyester. Is this a good choice?
Merino wool is worth the expense and I have seen them as low as $40.00 a pair, well worth the cost. They hide hiking odors and are quick drying. A pair to wear and a pair to carry.
 

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés
I'm getting ready to hike the Camino Norte in mid-June
Hi, merino clothing is not sold where I live, so, as everyone on this forum raves about the stuff (quite justifiably I imagine), I decided to buy some when I was in Europe . . . until I saw the prices. I can manage quite well without it thank you. Besides, you won’t need anything special if walking in June.
 

alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
April 2019-Camino de Invierno
I only use merino wool in winter when it's below 10F. My husband and I both hike in REI t-shirts that are made from a wicking, fast drying material. As long as it's not cotton any fast drying/wicking shirt is fine. I'm a huge fan of ExOfficio underwear. It's the only thing I wear on a daily basis as well as for hiking.
It will be hot on the Camino in June.
 

Mugatu

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Finisterre, Muxia (2018)
Camino Frances or Norte (2019 , June 27-Aug 8)
Ok, this may seem like a strange question but I'm getting ready to hike the Camino Norte in mid-June. I have convertible pants and a good pair of hiking shoes (Alta trail shoes). Any suggestions on shirts and underwear. It seems a lot of people swear by anything made with merino wool but its terrible expensive. I've seen merino wool underwear for $60. I can't imagine everyone walking is wearing something so expensive. Are there good alternatives? I did get a couple of Columbia shirts made with polyester. Is this a good choice?
I would recommend against it, and don’t subscribe to the absolute notion that it’s this holy grail material. Merino is great as a travel material where high contact/abrasions is not in the picture, layering, it has its place and specific climate where it out performs.

You’ll discover they don’t hold up to long term use, areas under your pack straps (if worn as a single layer) will begin pilling and deteriorate quickly; I have had luck with Patagucci capilene daily shirts with polygiene, plus they’re an ethical company. As far as underwear, use what you have.

See ya on the Norte this summer


YMMV
 
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RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
Any of the various brands of breathable, synthetic, quick dry tech/athletic undergarment companies works great and you can purchase quite reasonably. Under Armour, Nike, Adidas are a few that come to mind. I have used them on every Camino and was quite happy with them.
To the OP, if you have already purchased some Columbia brand synthetic shirts and such, you will be fine. No need to spend money any anything else.
 
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domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020? Hopefully Via de Bayona/Burgos to Ponferrada/Camino de Invierno
Ok, this may seem like a strange question but I'm getting ready to hike the Camino Norte in mid-June. I have convertible pants and a good pair of hiking shoes (Alta trail shoes). Any suggestions on shirts and underwear. It seems a lot of people swear by anything made with merino wool but its terrible expensive. I've seen merino wool underwear for $60. I can't imagine everyone walking is wearing something so expensive. Are there good alternatives? I did get a couple of Columbia shirts made with polyester. Is this a good choice?
You don’t need merino wool nor anything expensive. Really.
For my first camino, I only bought new what I didn’t already own ie a rucksack, walking boots, walking sticks and a poncho. Apart from the boots, everything was from Lidl. Trousers, shorts, T-shirts and underwear were old. I had a wonderful time and didn’t suffer any inconvenience from it.
Now I am older, my kids are out of Uni (yeah!) and I have walked thousands of kms and hope to walk some more. So yes, I treat myself from time to time with an expensive item (usually in the sales). But it is my little luxury, not a necessity.
I don’t know where you are but if in Europe go to a decathlon or a big sports chainstore. The ‘budget’ buys are perfectly adequate for walking a Camino. :)
 
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Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
For my first camino, I only bought new what I didn’t already own ie a rucksack, walking boots, walking sticks and a poncho.
Same here for tshirts and underwear. I don´t like the feel of merino and never use it, and thinking of it in underwear make me itchy already! :p I know it works for a lot of people, but not for me.

I take quickdrying underwear I already own. Same for my husband. They are made of microfiber and I bought them cheap at Bonds and Target. My tshirts are quickdrying ones from Decathlon. And my ultra light puffy jacquet comes from Uniqlo - I got it on special.
 
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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (2020)
There is a lot of hype about merino and other fine wools, and there are some advantages like its ability to absorb odours. But it is generally not as strong or durable as synthetics, and otherwise I find it doesn't perform any better than equivalent weight materials in clothing.

That said, my favourite base layer tee shirts are a wool blend, and I do have woollen mid-layers that I use in cooler conditions. I buy these when they are on special. I have the same approach to socks. I now have some wool blend socks in my collection, but my go-to socks for multi-day walks have no wool in the mix. The wool blend socks that I own have rarely dried overnight, and that is only after machine washing with a good spin cycle. I cannot wring enough water out when hand washing to make that happen.
 

Loretta O'Sullivan

Blueskywa
Camino(s) past & future
CF April 2016 April - Jun
Del Norte, Finesterre 2018 May - Jun
Columbia shirts made with polyester. Is this a good choice?
I always wore one of these shirts over a merino t shirt for sun protection and extra warmth. Also they are so quick drying and sturdy. Underwear: nothing expensive but light, comfy and quick drying as I didn't want to display that on my pack while drying
 

GraemeHall

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: St-Jean-PdP - Santiago dC - Muxía - Fisterra (Aug 2017 and March/April 2018)
A couple of years ago I saw a suggestion on here about UniQlo Airism underwear for men. I bought some Airism boxer briefs and have never looked back ...walked 920km on them on the Camino, and the Lord only knows how many km at home. Not once any chaffing, and the fastest drying things known. And they are very inexpensive.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
People often mention using wool and synthetics over cotton material because, although cotton is inexpensive, once wet it stays wet. Synthetics are chosen to avoid this problem. They dry quicker and will also help keep you warm even if worn wet. Wool also has insulating properties when wet. Merino wool is usually the choice for for clothing worn next to the skin because of its softness. It is more expensive than synthetics but does not smell as bad.

I recently had luck getting mildew odor out of some cotton sweatshirts by washing them in water mixed with vinegar and then hanging them in the sun to dry. I just got the idea to see if this would work with getting body odor out synthetic material and did an internet search. One person tried a number of odor remedies and reported the results on this page:

Vinegar did seem to work for him (but elsewhere I read that it does not always work or be only partly effective.) This may be worth a try on the camino as it should be fairly easy to find vinegar and it would be cheap (and can be left behind in kitchens.)

On a US National Public Radio website there was an article on polyester stinking so badly. They reported on a small scientific study. Here's a quote:
It turns out the bugs on the shirts are different from the bugs in the pits. While Corynebacterium is thought to be the main cause of armpit body odor, there was no Corynebacterium on the clothes. Instead, Staphylococcus flourished on cotton and poly, and Micrococcus, bacteria also known for making malodor, loved polyester.
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2014/09/05/346055067/stinky-t-shirt-bacteria-love-polyester-in-a-special-way
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
This is a question with two major answer categories. The one group swears by anything made of merino wool.

I love merino wool for outerwear. I have several sweaters made of merino wool, and some with possum in a wicked soft and lightweight blend. Personally, I cannot abide any sort of wool, no matter how soft and non-smelly, directly on my skin. The exception is hats, gloves, and maybe socks.

I am a sweaty person. Not a smelly person mind you. I just sweat a lot, even in cool weather.

For me, fast drying synthetic fabrics work best. This is what I was alluding to when I said this question has two distinct families of answers.

So, I rely on Exofficio boxers, the loose fit type. Three pair, rotated are plenty...period.

For shirts, I use Underarmour brand, t-shirts or polo shirts in 100% synthetic blend. The patented UA fabric has hollow threads. This provides superior insulation, both from heat and cold. I do not profess to understand how this works. But it does. I live in South Florida and I wear UA t-shirts daily. I also travel north in the winter (yuk) and use these same t-shirts as an underlayer. Works great!

I usually wear one short sleeve tee or polo, pack two, and take one long sleeve polo in place of a fleece for May Caminos. It works as well as fleece but is lighter and smaller to pack in warmer weather. The turned up ribbed collar on the polo helps keep my neck warm and layers nicely with a rain parka and/or poncho.

This said, you can easily find lesser expensive t-shirts and polos made by Champion or other makers that will work as well. I use what works best for me. I have tried and liked Decathlon branded synthetic tees and polos, as well as other no name makes. I have also gone to my local Target store and obtained Champion brand tees and polos... Whatever works...

It is the layering that is the miracle of being comfortable at changing temperatures while on Camino. Just be sure that whatever you decide on wool or synthetic, hand washes well, and dries on a line, fast, after only hand-wringing.

Hope this helps.
 

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ),Via San Francesco, Italy (2017 )Camino Portugese (2018 )Camino Ingles(
If you do go the expensive undies way...look for past season and clearance colors...I've always told packers to go 'loud and pround' with undies. On my first camino, I bought 5 pr of all black panties, thinking modesty. Four out of 5 were taken from the line one afternoon and no one cared to check if they had taken them by mistake. I had to buy a few pr of cheap awful fitting undies at the Asian Dollar Store that were dissolving before I finished walking. Now, I pack loud and proud colors and wild prints that I don't think anyone would mistaken for their own, and the bonus is, they are usually on sale as the colors nobody wants! Win-Win!
 

willydp

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
C Inglés June 2019
To do: C Primitivo June 2020
I use synthetic briefs but merino Icebreaker summer (print on them) t-shirts.
They are soft to the skin, no smell and temperature regulating, cold in summer and warm in winter.
First hand experience during 3 years of use :)
I bought a Jack Wolfskin long sleeve t-shirt, but that was itching!
So try before buying to see if it is comfortable.
I use merino wool socks too (Smarthwool).
I had a crack in one my walking shoes sole and water entered (wintertime), but although wet, my foot stayed warm.
So I'm in favour of Merino.
The life expectancy of the socks is short, after 3 years regular use good for the wastebin.
T-shirts are still OK.
I bought the t-shirts in a sale 50€ in stead of 79€ in 2015.
Last year December winter sale for 50% (37,5€).
So you have to pick your moment.
Before I used synthetic and I did survive too.
You can use your clothes during your training and see what works best for you and adapt accordingly 😉
Buen Camino 👣
 
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SuperPilgrim

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF June 5, 2013
CF June 5, 2015
CF June 3, 2017
I brought two pairs of ExOfficio briefs bought at Eastern Mountain Sports. Not cheap but I thought they were well worth it. Some prefer the boxer briefs to prevent chaffing. I heard some women raving about their versions of ExOfficio also.
I've done three caminos with exofficio give-n-go sport. For guys it is hands down my ideal choice for the Camino. Reduces chaffing and you can wash and dry incredibly fast.
 

Coffee Bean

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Will be traveling El Camino with friend the first week of June. We are very exited.
Ok, this may seem like a strange question but I'm getting ready to hike the Camino Norte in mid-June. I have convertible pants and a good pair of hiking shoes (Alta trail shoes). Any suggestions on shirts and underwear. It seems a lot of people swear by anything made with merino wool but its terrible expensive. I've seen merino wool underwear for $60. I can't imagine everyone walking is wearing something so expensive. Are there good alternatives? I did get a couple of Columbia shirts made with polyester. Is this a good choice?
Ok, this may seem like a strange question but I'm getting ready to hike the Camino Norte in mid-June. I have convertible pants and a good pair of hiking shoes (Alta trail shoes). Any suggestions on shirts and underwear. It seems a lot of people swear by anything made with merino wool but its terrible expensive. I've seen merino wool underwear for $60. I can't imagine everyone walking is wearing something so expensive. Are there good alternatives? I did get a couple of Columbia shirts made with polyester. Is this a good choice?
Buen camino! Curious where you staring, my girlfriend and I will be traveling the first 12 days in June (Georgia 🇺🇸) we are looking at airfare, train from Madrid, accommodations etc love to know how you are progressing with it, please keep in touch. I will do the same.
Bendiciones en el Camino!
 

SuperPilgrim

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF June 5, 2013
CF June 5, 2015
CF June 3, 2017
I'm also planning a June Camino. Starting around June 1st in Irun and planning 32 days on Norte.
 

Bill Krueger

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Portugues (June-2018)
dri-fit is a great material...also check out a company called 32 degrees...lots of option, relatively inexpensive.
 

Craig Towers

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Santiago
Ok, this may seem like a strange question but I'm getting ready to hike the Camino Norte in mid-June. I have convertible pants and a good pair of hiking shoes (Alta trail shoes). Any suggestions on shirts and underwear. It seems a lot of people swear by anything made with merino wool but its terrible expensive. I've seen merino wool underwear for $60. I can't imagine everyone walking is wearing something so expensive. Are there good alternatives? I did get a couple of Columbia shirts made with polyester. Is this a good choice?
Until you use Merino garments you won’t really get how practical they are. Warm when you need them cool when you need them. Dry in half or less time. Don’t need to wash them everyday. I’ve done 5 caminos. If you can try it. Look on line for sales. Don’t get them too thin. Good luck.
 

H Richards

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 Francés, Le Puy / Francés (parts), 2018 Norte (Biarritz), Francés, 2019 Portuguese (Lisbon)
Okay, I've got a comprehensive answer for you, that should cover all bases. I'm assuming you're a guy, by the way.

Firstly, for underwear, I wouldn't bother with Merino. Too expensive on the cost-benefit scale, plus it could be rather itchy. The best camino underwear I've found is Uniqlo AIRism - a synthetic. It's dries super quick, really easy to wash, and incredibly light. Really, just the perfect hiking / travel underwear. Make sure you go for the AIRism, which is a special synthetic, and not the plain cotton, which would be terrible to hike in.
You can find Uniqlo in the US too.

However, as far as shirts / tops go, Merino should be your choice for day-to-day wear. Merino needs to be washed once every few days; synthetics, daily. Consider this has an impact on your camino washing costs, plus free time. Then add in all the known benefits of cooling, warmth, wicking, etc. You need merino next to your upper body.

Yes the prime brands are expensive BUT ... Decathlon! Yes, Decathlon do their own brand Merino wear and it's totally affordable and every bit as good as the top brands. Less than 20 Euros a piece. If you don't have a decathlon where you are, locate the first one in France / Spain and make that your first stop. There are actually Decathlons on the Camino. There's one in Irun and another in San Sebastian, for instance.


For sleeping, if you're like me, you'll find merino too itchy, so I would bring a plain polyester or polycotton T-shirt for night times so you're not scratching yourself all night long!
 
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Delphinoula

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C Franconia 2019
Camino desde Algeciras Sevillia (2019)
Well wool for me is a no go. Cotton staying wet, well plastic call it what you will is usually a no go. My advise is try it out. What I did . I got a moister wicking t shirt second hand or on sale and saw how my skin would reacted and that was the winner. Naturally undies you may like new. Get a pair of moisture wicking and see if they work for you. Same for the socks. There are Sports stores in bigger towns on the Camino, like Dekathlon where you can get maybe not so ultra but workable gear. Columbia on sale worked for me.
 

Gcmacrae

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
Ok, this may seem like a strange question but I'm getting ready to hike the Camino Norte in mid-June. I have convertible pants and a good pair of hiking shoes (Alta trail shoes). Any suggestions on shirts and underwear. It seems a lot of people swear by anything made with merino wool but its terrible expensive. I've seen merino wool underwear for $60. I can't imagine everyone walking is wearing something so expensive. Are there good alternatives? I did get a couple of Columbia shirts made with polyester. Is this a good choice?
I did it last June/July with breathable synthetic underwear and T Shirts from Costco. Washes and drys fast. Adidas, Columbia, jockey, Nike all good.
 

Scott Fraser

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017, 2018
Le Puy - SJPdP 2019
Ok, this may seem like a strange question.....
Long Hiker, Given the social sensitivities of the present age, it is with trepidation that I ask: "Are you a boy or are you a girl?"

(When I was younger it wasn't an issue to ask such things:
) 🆒

If you're a boy, I second the recommendations above for Ex Officio briefs. Very comfortable and they dry very quickly.

If you're a girl, my wife swears by Icebreaker's ladies underwear -- she claims it's the most comfortable she's ever worn.
 

Tertia B

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2018 - next stop Port 2020?
Ok, this may seem like a strange question but I'm getting ready to hike the Camino Norte in mid-June. I have convertible pants and a good pair of hiking shoes (Alta trail shoes). Any suggestions on shirts and underwear. It seems a lot of people swear by anything made with merino wool but its terrible expensive. I've seen merino wool underwear for $60. I can't imagine everyone walking is wearing something so expensive. Are there good alternatives? I did get a couple of Columbia shirts made with polyester. Is this a good choice?
 

MenyoG

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning (2018)
I wore addidas synthetic boxer briefs for my camino.

Worked wonderfully for me.

Just last week I found and bought a 3 pack of ex officio give and go boxer briefs at Costco for $25. Haven't put any miles on them but, they feel confy.
 

Tertia B

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2018 - next stop Port 2020?
You cannot go wrong with cotton underwear. I would only consider woolen underwear if I were walking in winter. Yes, polyester type shirts are great, we used those on Kokoda and also the Fish River canyon. Quick drying and super light .... but don’t forget the deodorant!
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (2020)
You cannot go wrong with cotton underwear.
This is not particularly good advice. The range of conditions when cotton underwear might be considered to be safe is very narrow - basically when it won't get very wet and it isn't going to be very cold. Otherwise pure cotton and high cotton content blends would undesirable.
 

Long Hiker

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Del Norte
Any of the various brands of breathable, synthetic, quick dry tech/athletic undergarment companies works great and you can purchase quite reasonably. Under Armour, Nike, Adidas are a few that come to mind. I have used them on every Camino and was quite happy with them.
To the OP, if you have already purchased some Columbia brand synthetic shirts and such, you will be fine. No need to spend money any anything else.
I went to a Outlet store yesterday and bought 2 pair of Under Armour compression shorts that are made of the same kind of polyester/spandex material. I'm thinking they will work just fine.
 
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RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
I went to a Outlet store yesterday and bought 2 pair of Under Armour compression shorts that are made of the same kind of polyester/spandex material. I'm thinking they will work just fine.
Good choice.
Another reason I like the various mainstream synthetic tech under garments is price. I never bring anything with me on the Camino that is so expensive it would bother me to lose it, forget it an albergue or have it pinched by a not so nice person. I have walked off from albergues forgetting synthetic t-shirts (and other times a pair of rubber sandals and a pair of tech hiking shorts) on the drying line or next to a bed, not realizing it until that afternoon, 25 km away. Fortunately not that expensive and I replaced it at the first shoppe I encountered that sells them.
If I left/lost woolen shirts/underwear that cost 40-50 euros apiece, that would bother me.
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Camino(s) past & future
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
Since 2012, I have worn merino, close to my body and as secondary layer.
Merino as underwear is indispensable; winter and summer.
My experience is that Icebreaker briefs wear out too fast, due to the low content of strengthening synthetics ( 4 % elashtan)
My ideal brand is Swedish Woolpower Lite, which is strong, and- wait, - can be washed at 60 Celcius if needs be!
It will not chafe and not get too hot in the summertime, which cotton briefs will do.
I am prostae operated and use inlays and cannot afford to get cold in that dept.

top: merino mix is best, my system is - pure propylene tee shirts/ longsleeve (Helly Hansen) at temps over 7-10 dgr Celcius; merino/ propylene ( Helly Hansen) mix under 7c to Oc, pure merino Helly Hansen) as first layer below zero...

Secondary layer, I have stuck to Woolpower fleece, 200 grams quality is light, has looped frotté inside and my longsleeve fleece weighs only 265 grams..!

Odour : Merino, I am being told is positively charged and will not accepts bad odours the same way synthetics will. Time in a fitness center will tell you!
My woolpower fleece being drenched under my running vest every day on the cold mornings in April on the Camino, would be turned at 10 oclock and would then dry out, would not wash it for a month.. threw it to my wife at my arrival home and asked if she could smell me in it - No. That is my only solid proof...
Socks, Icebreaker merino, three qualities according to season,
Buff , woolpower merino
gloves merino..
brimmed hat, Stetson , wool !
 
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H Richards

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 Francés, Le Puy / Francés (parts), 2018 Norte (Biarritz), Francés, 2019 Portuguese (Lisbon)
@H Richards Indeed, Decathlon has a whole series of t-shirts short and long sleeves for a very nice price.
Will have a look one of these days ;)
My Icebreaker top, six months old has a hole in. My Decathlon merino top, 18 months old, has none :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Wear whatever shirt you want and take the same underwear you use at home.
You don't need special clothes to walk the Camino.
However, that said, I do love merino wool teeshirts and macabi skirts! ::chuckle:::
 

NomadBoomer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (September 2017), Vdlp (April 2018)
I am a big fan of the uniqlo gear. I did splash out for some merino tops the first walk but I found it was expensive and wore out after one or two caminos. Now I use uniqlo dry-ex polo tops, I find similar to the merino but much cheaper and more durable. Currently on sale in Australia for $20. They are my everyday wear too, look smart.
Also uniqlo airism mesh jocks are the most comfortable I have found and cheap particularly when on sale.
If decathlon or similar were handy here in Australia I would check them out as usually excellent value.
 

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ),Via San Francesco, Italy (2017 )Camino Portugese (2018 )Camino Ingles(
Wear whatever shirt you want and take the same underwear you use at home.
You don't need special clothes to walk the Camino.
However, that said, I do love merino wool teeshirts and macabi skirts! ::chuckle:::
I think it at least has to pass the quick dry test. I live in organic cottons at home...that would never dry in any reasonable amount of time on the camino. Just something to consider. Having said that, I don't recommend looking for logos and brand names...the same quick dry, odor blocking qualities can be found off brand.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2015 entire CF, Porto and CF again in Feb 2020
Merino wool is worth the expense and I have seen them as low as $40.00 a pair, well worth the cost. They hide hiking odors and are quick drying. A pair to wear and a pair to carry.
I agree. No need to have more than 2 pair - of anything - can even use Tshirt as a towel. Merino wool is nice, but there's other hi-tech clothing on sale with similar properties (i found some along the CF at Lidl, Decathlon. where i don't skimp is SOCKS... just paid $25 for one pair of Darn Tough hiking socks.
 

J F Gregory

Portugal Central - October 2019
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (March-April,2016) finished, (October 2019) Portuguese Central Route.
For years I have wearing Ex-Officio traveling internationally 2-3 times a year. Pack one, carry one and if I not hiking the undershirt. Undershirts for hiking I have used merino wool. I have changed my underpants, finally, to Duluth Trading Post underwear, it is the same material but more comfortable and also has a pocket on each leg (?) I haven't figured out what to carry there maybe extra cash in a water proof pouch.
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Camino(s) past & future
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
I am a big fan of the uniqlo gear. I did splash out for some merino tops the first walk but I found it was expensive and wore out after one or two caminos. Now I use uniqlo dry-ex polo tops, I find similar to the merino but much cheaper and more durable. Currently on sale in Australia for $20. They are my everyday wear too, look smart.
Also uniqlo airism mesh jocks are the most comfortable I have found and cheap particularly when on sale.
If decathlon or similar were handy here in Australia I would check them out as usually excellent value.
Helly Hansen has a series of shirts 57% Merino and 43% polypropylene.
PP is the best wick, and the shirt lasts longer than Icebreaker.
I buy on sales and buy doublets, so always stocked up...
 

Mark Barnes

Old Engineer
Camino(s) past & future
Frances - September - November (2017)
Hanes X-Temp underwear. Shirt - polyester shirts from Columbia are fine as you stated you have. I wore Dewalt polyester 40upf shirts I got in Amazon, and still wear them. I also wore Columbia PFG Backcast shorts as these are shorts with mesh like a swim suit so no underwear needed, very light.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, May-June (2017)
Ingles, June (201
Leon-Sarria, June (2019)
Le Puy-Santiago (2023)
Agree wholeheartedly with Alaskadiver above, Ex Officio skivvies and if you’re in the US, REI T-shirts, depending upon when you walk, a long sleeve as base is recommended, would have frozen on the Inglés in early June last year. About $20 each, wicking and the dry fast.
 

NomadBoomer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (September 2017), Vdlp (April 2018)
finally, to Duluth Trading Post underwear, it is the same material but more comfortable and also has a pocket on each leg (?) I haven't figured out what to carry there maybe extra cash in a water proof pouch.
Hmm wondering what a small pocket on a guys underpants was designed to hold ;):eek:
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I think it at least has to pass the quick dry test. I live in organic cottons at home...that would never dry in any reasonable amount of time on the camino. Just something to consider. Having said that, I don't recommend looking for logos and brand names...the same quick dry, odor blocking qualities can be found off brand.
The OP is walking in mid June.
I've worn plenty of cotton in the months from May-September with no problems drying.
 

ranthr

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
What you invest in is dependent on whether you are going to need the clothes in your daily life after your camino.
I bought my first merino t-shirts in 2010. Some people from Finland convinced me that I should have taken them om Via de la Plata in 2011. I did not, but ever since, and I would never change back to a polyester shirt again. Those I bought in 2010 is still in use after many caminos and everyday use on my walking at home every day.
Merino gets wet as well as other cloths but it does not look wet, does not feel cold and wet, you do not have to wash it every day, you can have a walk in with menu del dia in a restaurant without feeling terrible wet as in sythetic t-shirt.
Since I walk every day throughout the year at home my camino clothes is what I use every day and to me the cost of a merino t-shirt is worth the price.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
There is merino, and there is merino. A huge difference between long fibres and short ones. Brand is not always a good indicator. I've bought merino several times from Aldi, with wildly varying properties - a couple lasted a very short time, quickly went out of shape and went into holes. But the motorcycle top goes on and on and on... As do a couple of T shirts.
 

H Richards

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 Francés, Le Puy / Francés (parts), 2018 Norte (Biarritz), Francés, 2019 Portuguese (Lisbon)
I am a big fan of the uniqlo gear. I did splash out for some merino tops the first walk but I found it was expensive and wore out after one or two caminos. Now I use uniqlo dry-ex polo tops, I find similar to the merino but much cheaper and more durable. Currently on sale in Australia for $20. They are my everyday wear too, look smart.
Also uniqlo airism mesh jocks are the most comfortable I have found and cheap particularly when on sale.
If decathlon or similar were handy here in Australia I would check them out as usually excellent value.
Hey NomadBoomer, I have a question about the Uniqlo dry-ex. Are they as anti-bacterial as a merino top? My merino top I can comfortably wear for three or four days without it getting too smelly!

Thanks!
 

NomadBoomer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (September 2017), Vdlp (April 2018)
Hey NomadBoomer, I have a question about the Uniqlo dry-ex. Are they as anti-bacterial as a merino top? My merino top I can comfortably wear for three or four days without it getting too smelly!
Thanks!
They do have anti-microbial and anti-odour properties. I wash my gear every day if I can, but in wet weather I have worn them 2 or maybe 3 days without getting smelly. They may not be quite as good as good merino but at quarter the price worth considering. I may have been unlucky but I don't want to splash out again for expensive gear which gets holes after one walk.
 

H Richards

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 Francés, Le Puy / Francés (parts), 2018 Norte (Biarritz), Francés, 2019 Portuguese (Lisbon)
They do have anti-microbial and anti-odour properties. I wash my gear every day if I can, but in wet weather I have worn them 2 or maybe 3 days without getting smelly. They may not be quite as good as good merino but at quarter the price worth considering. I may have been unlucky but I don't want to splash out again for expensive gear which gets holes after one walk.
Thanks! Definitely sounds like they're worth trying at the price.

With merino shirts it seems to be a lottery. I've had Icebreakers that have lasted four caminos and ones that lasted just one. What I will say is that being wool, they're actually easily darnable with a thin yarn. Repair, don't throw away!
 

Delphinoula

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C Franconia 2019
Camino desde Algeciras Sevillia (2019)
Any recommendation for no wool and no plastic undergarments?
 

MikeJS

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis (2011), Norte (12), VdlP (16). Sureste/Invierno (17). Olvidado/San Salvador/Primitivo (19)
For undergarments I just wear what i normally wear day to day. I use cheap polyester t shirts for tops. Easy to wash and dry. The only clothes I fuss about are my hiking shoes and socks!
 

Shinobi42

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de la Costa from Irun to Nueva 2018
Camino de la Costa from Nueva to Muxia (2020)
I used quite cheap Kalenji runner underpants from Decathlon on my Camino del Norte in a warm September. Funny thing was, that I have shared a washing machine with another pilgrim in Santillana del Mar and when we took out our cleaned clothes we figured out that we had the same underpants with the same size. It was not possible to distinct the ownership of them again. So it seems that I have shared something intimous with a fellow pilgrim without a substantial certainty. Maybe I am wearing now his underpants and he wears mine, but we are not sure. Nevertheless we both agreed that this underwear was and is really appropriate for the camino.
 

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