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Sleeping bag for a march camino


New Member
Still undecided on type of bag to bring. Want to avoid excessive weight, but having a hard
time deciding to go with my thinner spring/summer bag or my cozier/warmer/heavier winter bag ?
My lightweight bag is not meant for sub 0 temps and will be slightly uncomfortable in temps under
5-7 celcius. Would really love to shave the 1,5 kilo difference. Any chance Albergues have spare blankets ? What % of albergues have heating ?
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New Member
One alternative is to pack thermal underwear which would be less bulky and lighter than the winter bag. It could also be used for an unusually cold day on the camino.


Year of past OR future Camino
September 2006
August - September 2017

It was our experience that every albuge had extra blankets. I don't remember anything about heating, as we did our walk in September. But they had extra blankets.

Buen Camio,


another alternative, go to a good outdoors shop and get a t-shirt and shorts made of silk. Super light weight and just enough warmth quotient to keep you snug.. don't forget a loose fitting pair of socks. The key here is "loose fitting", if you wear your hiking socks, they are heavy and constricting ad there fore uncomfortable.

Buen light weight Camino

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Crazy Chicken Lady with the Camino on my Mind!
Year of past OR future Camino
Apr-Jun 2009 - I solo walked from Roncesvalles to Santiago. I hope to return as a hospitalera in 2016.
I sing the praises of silk thermals.

Though I have not yet walked the Camino (next year!), I lived in Spain for ten years and camped in the area arund Leon and Santiago ge Compostela and Pamplona....

I recently spent a few years in Ukraine (Peace Corps). My silks went on in September and stayed on through May...they are light wieght and dry very quickly. They are sleek, wiegh NOTHING and wick moisture. I also took them to the mountains of northern Malawi and they were wonderful under clothes and as night wear. They actually wok as a great summer t-shirt to.

Silk is great. I've retied cotton thermals (and my cuddle-duds)permanently - bulky, slow to dry and ugly...I wore them when I was an avionics tech in the Air Force up in the UP of Michgan (400 inches of snow the first year!)

Layering clothes makes sense and allows you to carry a lighter wieght sleeping bag...

And, there are stores and rastros in Spain...for a few bucks you can purchase a blanket or soc, etc if needed and abanon it later (someone else will be gratefu ti find it...)

LIfe is good....

Read my Journals:


Active Member
In cold weather, I'd heartily recommend a down sleeping bag. Mine packs down to larger than a slimline bag, but it is noticeably lighter, so if you're prepared to concede to the fact that you'll have marginally less space in your pack in order to do this... Then I'd say it's worth it.


Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
Minkey said:
In cold weather, I'd heartily recommend a down sleeping bag. Mine packs down to larger than a slimline bag, but it is noticeably lighter, so if you're prepared to concede to the fact that you'll have marginally less space in your pack in order to do this... Then I'd say it's worth it.

Minkey.... re sleeping bags. I am interested by your comments for a March departure in Spain, and wonder what your opinion would be for mid-April in France.

I leave for a mid-April start from Le Puy. I have two sleeping bags, both down. One is summerweight, weighs about 1kg, and is very compact. I had just about decided against taking it when one night camping in January (summer here), it simply was not warm enough. But I have since talked to someone in Oz who says there are always plenty of blankets in gites in France.
My other bag weighs 1300g, is reasonably compact, but about twice the volume of the lighter one... is three seasons so is often way too hot in hostels and in summer, but I have still been too cold in it occasionally in cold weather in unheated hostels.

I would prefer to take the lighter bag, and am hoping that in France, with a sleeping sheet, blankets, all my dry clothes if the worst comes to the worst, I will be warm enough. But I am hoping I will not regret this decision in a few weeks time! (Buying another bag is not an option: I have researched the NZ market for lighter, warmer, more compact bags... but they are prohibitive in cost.)
I was just wondering what you think about a summerweight down bag for mid-April in French gites?


Veteran Member
Go with the lighter one - weight and space are more important that the tiny possibility of severe cold at that time of year


Active Member
Look at the "Snow and Mist in Navarra" posting! Some kind of warm bag looks like a must!

My only contribution on the matter concerns the unwelcome subject of those nasty bedbugs...
Having been badly bitten last year I treated all my kit with the sprays I could buy in Spain and washed everything in very hot water. I repeated this when I got home to ensure there were no stowaways who wanted to live in my nice warm house.
The hardest thing to treat effectively was my down sleeping bag. I couldnt put in a hot wash and I couldn't soak it in Jeyes fluid as I did with my backpack. The best I could do was put it in my freezer for a while! Anyway, the whole 'bedbug' thing was very stressful - the bites were really nasty and I would hate to have brought them home with me as bb infestation becoming a real problem in the UK (as it is in New York and other cities) and eradicating them from your home is nigh on impossible.
For these reasons I will ,in future, only take a synthetic bag which can be thrown in a washing machine if needs be.
I dont know how bad the bb problem is at the moment but it is unrealistic to think that it does not exist in some places.
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On cleaning a down sleeping's a few tips from Thru-hiker:

Down bags that use a tricot mesh for baffling material can be safely washed in a front-loading washing machine. I don't recommend washing a bag with no-see-um netting baffles in an machine, though, as the netting is a lot more delicate than the tricot. If you're not sure if you have tricot mesh or no-see-um netting, hand wash your bag.

Hand washing is safest of all. In fact it is nearly impossible to damage a bag in hand washing. Use a down cleaning product or a mild shampoo. Use a bathtub, or sometimes you can get away with washing your bag in the laundromat sink. It can be hard to soak your bag, especially if you have a DWR finish on the fabric. I recommend filling the sink and putting the bag into the soapy water in its stuff sack. Slowly work the water and soap into the bag as you pull it out of the stuff sack. Leaving it to soak for up to an hour helps to remove more thru-hiker grime. Rinse the bag several times until no more soap comes out. Be very gentle when you lift out the bag. Don't wring it out! Your bag will be really heavy, and it can tear the delicate baffles under its own weight. If your Laundromat has an "extractor", use it to remove most of the water left in the bag. Alternatively you can carefully arrange the bag in an upright washer for a spin cycle. If you skip this step it will take forever to dry out your bag.

Use a medium heat. Be skeptical of public Laundromats. I nearly cooked a bag because the dryer was stuck on High no matter what the knob said. Some tennis balls thrown in with the bag will help to break up the down clumps. When I'm on the trail I use rocks stuffed into sock rolls. Take the bag out every dry cycle to feel the bag over. Gently breaking up the clumps a little helps to speed up the drying process. Dry it over and over again until it is bone dry. Now revel in the sweet smell and high loft of your clean sleeping bag!

Buen "light weight bags" Camino,



Active Member
Thanks for this info Arn, I shall save it for future reference.

Unfortunately it still doesn't help with bed bugs as it is only a really hot wash which will kill them - 60 degrees+ I think.




Roncesvalles, in late August, really wanted a sleeping bag. Because I started there, everyone on bus was put army tents (happy to have those), but I was by the flap and it was stormy all night. I had a sheet, which was pretty much fine everywhere else. Coldest I have ever been. They did not have blankets, although someone offered me a sleeping bag for 40 euro. For some reason Burgos was also quite chilly, but they had blankets.

March is still winter, maybe you can find a good lightweight down bag. I'm thinking of walking during Lent next year, seriously considering bringing a sleeping bag.

Buen Camino,


Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Listed in my signature
There is nothing worse than being freezing cold at night and not able to sleep! And you do not need any competition with the snorers in trying to get a good night's sleep - rest is so important for your body's recovery from a long day's walking and to prepare mentally for the following day. Go for the warmer bag for this time of year, you can always unzip the bag if you are too warm... You can't count on the refugios having enough blankets for everyone...

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