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Should I bring a computer?

2020 Camino Guides
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Long Hiker

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Del Norte
I am use to traveling with a computer but not use to long distance hiking. My computer weighs 3 lbs. I would use it for booking the next night's stay or finding places to eat and maybe blogging. My wife and I are traveling in Europe before we do the walk so it would be nice to have but wondering if it would get too cumbersome and heavy on the Camino. What about trying to keep up a blog? Is it just as easy on a phone. I have an iPhone, iPad and a MacBook Air. Thanks.
 

tomnorth

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015)
Good God no, don’t bring a laptop! You can download the Booking.com app for your iPhone. The popular blog sites also have iPhone apps. I’ve used the Wordpress and Weebly apps on my iPhone and they’re great. The one thing I will bring to help with blogging is a super small foldable Bluetooth keyboard that connects up with the iPhone.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
I am use to traveling with a computer but not use to long distance hiking. My computer weighs 3 lbs. I would use it for booking the next night's stay or finding places to eat and maybe blogging. My wife and I are traveling in Europe before we do the walk so it would be nice to have but wondering if it would get too cumbersome and heavy on the Camino. What about trying to keep up a blog? Is it just as easy on a phone. I have an iPhone, iPad and a MacBook Air. Thanks.
I would not take my MacBook Air, nor even my iPad. Just my iPhone. With the right connections, you have enough technology to survive, in my opinion and experience. So, there you go, but in the end, whatever will give you peace of mind is worth putting into the backpack. As long as you don't have to leave it behind in an albergue gift box!
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
One option you could consider if you feel it is a must have is to take it with you for your pre-travels and then mail it to the hotel you plan to stay at when you leave Spain. Generally there is a charge at the hotel to hold a box or bag, but you would not have to carry it while walking.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
One option you could consider if you feel it is a must have is to take it with you for your pre-travels and then mail it to the hotel you plan to stay at when you leave Spain. Generally there is a charge at the hotel to hold a box or bag, but you would not have to carry it while walking.
Hotel would most probably keep it in hold without any additional fee if you book a room for a night or two with them. Especially in Santiago if you explain that you are a pilgrim (= walking with a backpack).
 

martyseville

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
a/a
Leave it.
Sure you know all the reasons...
-theft magnet
-bulk in bag
-keeping it dry/clean
-loss of interaction with others while you on PC in your world of pc
-weight
-cord/charger forgotten at a place
-time? If walking Camino after shower, clothes, eat, etc not much time to use

my iPhone (using T-Mobile 55 plus plan) gives me all I need

As told above, use Booking.com app to find places to stay.

You could have it, with other stuff, transported to next stop/place. But, that creates other issues.

Who is going to watch PC while you eat/bathe?

Good luck
 
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Geodoc

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (crossed Pyrenees then Sarria to SdC) 2018, Frances & Ingles Summer, 2019.
I'll be the token contrarian :)

If you must have a laptop, get a lighter one (e.g., SurfaceGo or Asus) or, better yet, a tablet. I have to carry mine (due to work - so for those who want to jump on me about the additional weight and not working while doing the Camino, please don't - it's unavoidable) and did so last year. It adds, as all the others have pointed out, a lot of issues (theft, bulk, weight, etc.) plus you have to keep it dry during rainstorms.

I carry an Asus with a keyboard (27.5 oz - about 800 gm) and mouse - my charger also works with my phone (which I also carry). I put it in a 2 gallon ziplock bag in the small pocket inside my Osprey pack (the pocket is most likely for a water bladder, but I use it for a tablet). I made the decision to carry the additional weight, and I'm okay with it. It would be nice not to have, but I found I can't work with my smaller tablet (and definitely not with my phone - been there, done that, ain't going back).

If you don't have a real need for it beyond booking beds/rooms and reading maps, then leave it behind. I would :)

Evidence of working on the Camino in the photo (it can be done).
52802
52802
 
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martyseville

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
a/a
I'll be the token contrarian :)

If you must have a laptop, get a lighter one (e.g., SurfaceGo or Asus) or, better yet, a tablet. I have to carry mine (due to work - so for those who want to jump on me about the additional weight and not working while doing the Camino, please don't - it's unavoidable) and did so last year. It adds, as all the others have pointed out, a lot of issues (theft, bulk, weight, etc.) plus you have to keep it dry during rainstorms.

I carry an Asus with a keyboard (27.5 oz - about 800 gm) and mouse - my charger also works with my phone (which I also carry). I put it in a 2 gallon ziplock bag in the small pocket inside my Osprey pack (the pocket is most likely for a water bladder, but I use it for a tablet). I made the decision to carry the additional weight, and I'm okay with it. It would be nice not to have, but I found I can't work with my smaller tablet (and definitely not with my phone - been there, done that, ain't going back).

If you don't have a real need for it beyond booking beds/rooms and reading maps, then leave it behind. I would :)

Evidence of working on the Camino in the photo (it can be done).
View attachment 52802
View attachment 52802
Sorry you must work when doing Camino.
Enjoy life. Give it a break. Get away.
Work will be there when you return.

Point of view from 75 yo walker. Still walking

Hope no offense taken
 

Leibniz

Peregrina
Camino(s) past & future
Frances from Astorga (2018)
Frances/Invierno from SJPP (2019)
Just take your phone. 3lbs is a lot in your rucksack. And completely unnecessary if you have a smartphone.
 

H Richards

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 Francés, Le Puy / Francés (parts), 2018 Norte (Biarritz), Francés, 2019 Portuguese (Lisbon)
There's no way you need a PC just for booking and navigating, but for times when you can't avoid doing a small amount of work on the camino, I have a neat solution...

You can leave your home PC turned on and connect to it from the Camino using VNC on a small tablet (or large phone). I have Jump Desktop on my ipad mini for such eventualities, but shhhhhh.... don't tell the purists! ;-)
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
I'll be the token contrarian :)

If you must have a laptop, get a lighter one (e.g., SurfaceGo or Asus) or, better yet, a tablet. I have to carry mine (due to work - so for those who want to jump on me about the additional weight and not working while doing the Camino, please don't - it's unavoidable) and did so last year. It adds, as all the others have pointed out, a lot of issues (theft, bulk, weight, etc.) plus you have to keep it dry during rainstorms.

I carry an Asus with a keyboard (27.5 oz - about 800 gm) and mouse - my charger also works with my phone (which I also carry). I put it in a 2 gallon ziplock bag in the small pocket inside my Osprey pack (the pocket is most likely for a water bladder, but I use it for a tablet). I made the decision to carry the additional weight, and I'm okay with it. It would be nice not to have, but I found I can't work with my smaller tablet (and definitely not with my phone - been there, done that, ain't going back).

If you don't have a real need for it beyond booking beds/rooms and reading maps, then leave it behind. I would :)

Evidence of working on the Camino in the photo (it can be done).
View attachment 52802
View attachment 52802
We have the same Asus tablet and also took it to Spain. Phil needed it for his month of language study in Santiago last winter. We did carry it with us when we were walking, but I could have mailed it to the hotel in Madrid along with all his school papers when we started walking. (We were charged 3 Euros per day at our Madrid hotel to hold things until we arrived there on our last days in Spain.) We put the tablet in a sea to summit sil nylon dry bag and also carried it in the water bladder pocket. I think it really depends on circumstances of the person who is walking.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
At the most, and I have done it, is bring a tablet. Works great for booking hotels, etc. I kept mine in a padded neoprene sleeve. Only reason I brought it is because I continued non-walking travels after the Camino.
 

Ahhhs

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Santiago, May 2015
Porto to Santiago, April 2016
Muxia-Finisterre-Santiago, April 2016
Camino Del Norte, April 2017
You will not enjoy those extra three pounds day after day after day.
It might just become an anchor.

Your phone will do everything you need.

Buen lightweight Camino. ;)
 

KentuckyJay

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Hiked Leon to Santiago in May, 2014.
Hiked Porto to Santiago in May, 2016.
I am use to traveling with a computer but not use to long distance hiking. My computer weighs 3 lbs. I would use it for booking the next night's stay or finding places to eat and maybe blogging. My wife and I are traveling in Europe before we do the walk so it would be nice to have but wondering if it would get too cumbersome and heavy on the Camino. What about trying to keep up a blog? Is it just as easy on a phone. I have an iPhone, iPad and a MacBook Air. Thanks.
Forget a computer, especially since you describe yourself as a novice long distance hiker. An iPhone will suffice.
 

cathn

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Completed one 550 Miile and six partial caminos
I am use to traveling with a computer but not use to long distance hiking. My computer weighs 3 lbs. I would use it for booking the next night's stay or finding places to eat and maybe blogging. My wife and I are traveling in Europe before we do the walk so it would be nice to have but wondering if it would get too cumbersome and heavy on the Camino. What about trying to keep up a blog? Is it just as easy on a phone. I have an iPhone, iPad and a MacBook Air. Thanks.
Definitely NO
You will appreciate why we say no when you finish.
Buen Camino
 

c0484

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013
I am use to traveling with a computer but not use to long distance hiking. My computer weighs 3 lbs. I would use it for booking the next night's stay or finding places to eat and maybe blogging. My wife and I are traveling in Europe before we do the walk so it would be nice to have but wondering if it would get too cumbersome and heavy on the Camino. What about trying to keep up a blog? Is it just as easy on a phone. I have an iPhone, iPad and a MacBook Air. Thanks.
You are not on the Camino to do business as usual. Computers detract from the Camino experience. Some will argue, but I have walked the Camino twice without a computer and not only survived but enjoyed the experience and friendships I was able to make along the way as well, both of which take time, time that your computer will detract you from. I do everything I need to do on a cell phone.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances ('10), Portugues ('11), Promitivo ('13), VdlP ('14), Ingles ('16), Torres ('17), Litoral '19
I have had laptops since 1989 and never travel without one (I'm currently on the train Dublin to Galway) EXCEPT WHEN ON THE CAMINO. I limit myself to a 7" Android tablet on the Camino.
 

Rover

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis, Fall 2016
I am use to traveling with a computer but not use to long distance hiking. My computer weighs 3 lbs. I would use it for booking the next night's stay or finding places to eat and maybe blogging. My wife and I are traveling in Europe before we do the walk so it would be nice to have but wondering if it would get too cumbersome and heavy on the Camino. What about trying to keep up a blog? Is it just as easy on a phone. I have an iPhone, iPad and a MacBook Air. Thanks.
Are you daft, man? Why on earth would you tote a PC with you? Ask yourself this questions, "why do I want to spends weeks on an uneven hiking trail, nursing blisters, walking more miles in a day than you ever had before, be miserable at times but happy at the same time . . . and the list goes on. Don't get it? Leave your PC behind, along with all your other troubles and prepare to be transformed. That's when you "get it." Have fun.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I think there are less insulting ways to express opinions than asking the OP if he or she is crazy. That's the kind of thing that you can say in person without insulting anyone, perhaps, but in writing without the body language context, it's rude. Taking off my moderator hat, my own opinion is that if you only need the device for booking and blogging, then a phone is sufficient. If you don´t like the small keyboard, I remember that @Kiwi-family got a foldable keyboard that she could use with her phone.

Buen camino, and welcome to the forum, Laurie
 

Jeff Titelius

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (León to Santiago) 2018
I'll be the token contrarian :)

If you must have a laptop, get a lighter one (e.g., SurfaceGo or Asus) or, better yet, a tablet. I have to carry mine (due to work - so for those who want to jump on me about the additional weight and not working while doing the Camino, please don't - it's unavoidable) and did so last year. It adds, as all the others have pointed out, a lot of issues (theft, bulk, weight, etc.) plus you have to keep it dry during rainstorms.

I carry an Asus with a keyboard (27.5 oz - about 800 gm) and mouse - my charger also works with my phone (which I also carry). I put it in a 2 gallon ziplock bag in the small pocket inside my Osprey pack (the pocket is most likely for a water bladder, but I use it for a tablet). I made the decision to carry the additional weight, and I'm okay with it. It would be nice not to have, but I found I can't work with my smaller tablet (and definitely not with my phone - been there, done that, ain't going back).

If you don't have a real need for it beyond booking beds/rooms and reading maps, then leave it behind. I would :)

Evidence of working on the Camino in the photo (it can be done).
View attachment 52802
View attachment 52802
Couldn't agree with you more. Do you like the ASUS tablets? Would you recommend them? Thanks,Jeff
 

Geodoc

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (crossed Pyrenees then Sarria to SdC) 2018, Frances & Ingles Summer, 2019.
Couldn't agree with you more. Do you like the ASUS tablets? Would you recommend them? Thanks,Jeff
Very much so. The keyboard can be a bit tight, but it's a lot better than a smaller tablet (and not as heavy as a regular laptop). I replaced the mobile Word with the full thing and added Scrivener (writing software - along with online teaching and running a business, I'm also a novelist), which it handles nicely. Battery life is excellent, and my charger works for both the tablet and the phone (one less thing to carry).
 

Rover

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis, Fall 2016
I think there are less insulting ways to express opinions than asking the OP if he or she is crazy. That's the kind of thing that you can say in person without insulting anyone, perhaps, but in writing without the body language context, it's rude. Taking off my moderator hat, my own opinion is that if you only need the device for booking and blogging, then a phone is sufficient. If you don´t like the small keyboard, I remember that @Kiwi-family got a foldable keyboard that she could use with her phone.

Buen camino, and welcome to the forum, Laurie
No one is insulting anyone. Saying "daft" or "crazy" is a mere expression of incredulity akin to someone asking about bringing their boombox.
 

JuanaPow

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
March (2019)
No offense taken martyseville. It is what it is, and as is so often said, we each do our Camino our own way. That is my way :)
If it allows you enough time away to walk the Camino, it is certainly worth it! 👍
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2018)
minority here please don't judge. I'm a self employed cpa and need to stay in touch. I brought a surface pro but found it was too heavy to carry. used transport services for the laptop and a few other things, carried the rest. I won't be retiring for at least another 5 years. If I'm lucky enough to go back I'll have to do the same until I do retire.
 

Geodoc

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (crossed Pyrenees then Sarria to SdC) 2018, Frances & Ingles Summer, 2019.
minority here please don't judge. I'm a self employed cpa and need to stay in touch. I brought a surface pro but found it was too heavy to carry. used transport services for the laptop and a few other things, carried the rest. I won't be retiring for at least another 5 years. If I'm lucky enough to go back I'll have to do the same until I do retire.
Have you considered a lighter one? Mine weighs about 27.5 ounces. I'm sure it could probably handle QuickBooks or other accounting software (I haven't put QB on mine, though). I'm pretty much the same place as you - another 5-7 years to go. Only way I can do the Camino is to bring work with me. Better a working Camino than no Camino (or waiting for whenever, which sometimes turns into never).
 

Walking Lover

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CdS from Leon to Santiago, June 16, 2016 to June 30, 2016.
I am use to traveling with a computer but not use to long distance hiking. My computer weighs 3 lbs. I would use it for booking the next night's stay or finding places to eat and maybe blogging. My wife and I are traveling in Europe before we do the walk so it would be nice to have but wondering if it would get too cumbersome and heavy on the Camino. What about trying to keep up a blog? Is it just as easy on a phone. I have an iPhone, iPad and a MacBook Air. Thanks.
NO!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Le Puy (2016)
Vézelay (2019)
Norte (2019)
Do what you’ve got to do. But.
On Camino (2) my iPhone does: mail, write and send invoices, negotiate agreements, find accommodation and transport, communicate pictorially, read books, scan, sign documents, do the banking, file tax returns, maps, gps, read newspapers, listen to the radio or blogs, read books etc. (even follow this forum!)
I haven’t found anything that the appropriate app can’t handle. My wife thinks I’m addicted to my iPhone. And I don’t have twitter or Facebook. And I rarely use the telephone.
You can scan in Your guidebook, complete with your comments.
Weight is everything. No paper, no computer, but watch your phone and remember your charger.
Just find the right apps and use your mobile. Or carry a laptop.
FWIW.
John
 

ShaunKevin

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2015)
Portuguese (2018)
I am use to traveling with a computer but not use to long distance hiking. My computer weighs 3 lbs. I would use it for booking the next night's stay or finding places to eat and maybe blogging. My wife and I are traveling in Europe before we do the walk so it would be nice to have but wondering if it would get too cumbersome and heavy on the Camino. What about trying to keep up a blog? Is it just as easy on a phone. I have an iPhone, iPad and a MacBook Air. Thanks.
No. You should not. Try some tech free living!
 

Long Hiker

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Del Norte
Hey everybody, thanks for the input on this question. I figured that your responses would be what they were but thought I would pose the question anyway. Based on your responses, I will try going it without a computer. I may if anything bring a tablet but probably not. By the way, no, I'm not daft and I don't think bringing a lightweight computer is any comparison to bringing a boombox.
 

Iriebabel

Iriebabel & the cyborg turtle
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April (2018)
Camino Del Norte 26 March 2019
Hey everybody, thanks for the input on this question. I figured that your responses would be what they were but thought I would pose the question anyway. Based on your responses, I will try going it without a computer. I may if anything bring a tablet but probably not. By the way, no, I'm not daft and I don't think bringing a lightweight computer is any comparison to bringing a boombox.
I say bring whatever you want if you are willing to carry it after all it’s your backpack. Go for the tablet as it is lighter and if it becomes necessary you can send it forward to Ivar if you complete your work or if it becomes too much to carry. It’s always good to get the opinion of others but your own best judgement is the one worth following, and remember no one know your needs better than you. Buen Camino!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
I brought a very small tablet on my first Camino, and I think that I used it maybe twice. I was able to blog, make reservations, etc. with my smartphone.
 

Howie Peterson

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte from Santander and Primitivo, 2017. Portuges from Porto 2017. Le Puy starting May 28, 2019
I brought my Ipad mini, carried in a pouch on my belt. It took great photos and I like being able to edit my photos and label them before posting them. And the screen size was better for my older eyes.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF & C.Ingles, 2014
C.Port, 2015
C.Primitivo & C.Finisterre, 2016
C.Invierno 2018,
VdlP 2019
I’ve carried on different caminos a MacBook and an iPad. I’ve found the IPad to be good enough and it has the big advantage of sharing a charging cable and plug with my iPhone. The MacBook charger is a pain to lug several hundred km. If like me you do need to stay connected for work reasons, one trick I learned was to try and do without my laptop for a couple of days before travelling just to make sure every app I needed was on the IPad. I am looking forward to the day when I retire and I can walk without so much technology - but until then the added weight is going to be part of my pilgrimage 😀
 

Arctic_Alex

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Finished: Camino Frances April/May 2019
Considering: Primitivo May 2020
If I was not lucky enough that someone else will take over all business communication and decisions for the company (I might only get the occasional phone call on complicated urgent issues) ... then I would bring a lightweight MacBook.
But never for private email and booking, there a smartphone does the job :)
Travel light if you can afford!
 

Redvespablur

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte/Primitivo April/May 2016
Voie Littorale May 2020
there are handy folding Bluetooth keyboards that can turn a larger phone into a better tool for blogger.

Carry what you want - try to keep to 10% of body weight
 

Montana Bill

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017
I am use to traveling with a computer but not use to long distance hiking. My computer weighs 3 lbs. I would use it for booking the next night's stay or finding places to eat and maybe blogging. My wife and I are traveling in Europe before we do the walk so it would be nice to have but wondering if it would get too cumbersome and heavy on the Camino. What about trying to keep up a blog? Is it just as easy on a phone. I have an iPhone, iPad and a MacBook Air. Thanks.
Why would you defeat the very purpose of your EXPERIENCE? At most, cellphone with maps.
 

Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Via Podiensis 2015
I've walked with a laptop a couple of times. Sometimes, the work keeps going in your absence and it's better to have Camino+work than no Camino at all. The main thing I learned: don't bring a Mac. On one trip, my Macbook stopped working at some point and it was pretty much impossible to get it serviced. Small tech shops on-route couldn't touch it. The lone Mac shop anywhere near me, in Oviedo, said they'd still have to ship it off and face a one-week turn-around.

On the bright side, I did find a number of libraries along the way where I could get computer access for a while...
 

Montana Bill

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017
I've walked with a laptop a couple of times. Sometimes, the work keeps going in your absence and it's better to have Camino+work than no Camino at all. The main thing I learned: don't bring a Mac. On one trip, my Macbook stopped working at some point and it was pretty much impossible to get it serviced. Small tech shops on-route couldn't touch it. The lone Mac shop anywhere near me, in Oviedo, said they'd still have to ship it off and face a one-week turn-around.

On the bright side, I did find a number of libraries along the way where I could get computer access for a while...
divest yourself. Leave it all behind. If you can't....you're not ready.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Why would you defeat the very purpose of your EXPERIENCE? At most, cellphone with maps.
Maybe a personal example will explain why I am so bothered by these kinds of comments. (And the two subsequent ones you posted). When I was planning to walk the Camino Olvidado, at the time there was a 55 km stretch without any accommodations. I posted something on the Spanish language Camino forum, asking for help trying to find a bus or a taxi or someway to get from the Camino to some nearby accommodations and then back again the next day to continue walking.

The response was exactly the question you just asked, with a comment telling me that if I wasn’t prepared to sleep in the church doorway, I should not walk this camino. My response was not to explain myself, to say that I was in my 60s walking alone, blah blah blah. Instead, this response was one of the main reasons I just left that forum.

I also have my own strongly held beliefs about which way is the best way (for me) to walk a camino. But I think there is a big difference between giving opinions and being judgmental, and I think the forum does a pretty good job of staying off the judgment train.

So I think I will close the thread, since the OP seems to have gotten the info he needed.
 
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