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Sleeping outside

Christopher Hegan

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Portugese Camino (March 2014)
In 2016 I had to find somewhere outside to spend the night because I took my time and arrived to find the albergués full. And my budget doesn't run to hotel rooms. Has anyone done this recently on the Francés? Planning to start about 600 kliks out, maybe Logroño, next week.
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Year of past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
I have slept outside multiple times and on multiple occasions, including my current one.

It's a LOT less necessary on the Francès than elsewhere.

Laws in place are against wild camping, which isn't the same as just sleeping out.

Don't light a fire, and don't set up a tent in one place for multiple nights.
 

Isca-camigo

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Various ones.
I have slept outside in a tent on several occasions and also just slept outside on a church portico in January. If I get to go in August Im going to take a bivvy bag with me instead of a tent, my reason is I don't want to book ahead all the time, I expect it to be busy as I will mainly be walking in Galicia in the busiest period of this year and will find it hard to turn up late( as is my practice) and get a place.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
2012
Church porches tend to free of Bed-bugs. As do Hay-lofts, Cattle Byres and those Inviernos, the stone shelters built for the cattle & sheep when they are brought down from mountain pasturage. Wood sheds and tractor sheds are useful too but make sure you've introduced yourself to the owner and the yard-dogs. I try to avoid Al-fresco sleeping in cities & larger towns - there is usually a resident homeless population that has laid bagsy to all the better spots. Motorway overpasses tend to be dry but noisy. Avoid culverts.
 

Mickblack

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2000 - 2004
I regularly sleep outside (live in Spain). By far and away the best method is a light weight groundsheet and a mosquito net draped from a tree or something.
If you have to ask, why sleep outside, then you've never tried it! Happy stargazing. Tent or a roof if raining.
 

Old Bamboo

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF, Francigena, KumanoKodo,Benedetto, Iseji, Assisi, Kunisaki, Shikoku 88 (1~24), Kohechi,Dajia Mazu
I predominately sleep outside with the occasional refugio to take advantage of what they offer. Set up late as secluded as possible, no fires & leave before dawn. No problem other than bathing issues.
 
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jjp

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2017
I’m starting the frances in a few days in Pamplona. I refuse to book ahead and don’t want to rush and worry about not getting a bed.

This is therefore very encouraging to read! This will be my backup for when albergues are full.

This option never occurred to me before, so I haven’t packed anything needed for sleeping outside. All I have is a large sheet. Is a sleeping bag necessary? What, in your opinions, is the minimum I’d need to purchase for sleeping outside (I want to keep the weight of my pack down). One tarp or lightweight tent?
 

jjp

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2017
Also, how cold does it get at night in July on the Frances? I walked the frances in August a few years ago but never slept outside.
 

martin1ws

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Somport to Finisterre Jul-Aug 2018; Munich to Lindau (Germany) Sep 2020
I’m starting the frances in a few days in Pamplona... What, in your opinions, is the minimum I’d need to purchase for sleeping outside (I want to keep the weight of my pack down)...
In 2020 on a Camino in Germany I took a tarp and minimal equipment for sleeping outside with me. Just in case because of corona. I did not need it... so I tried it in the last night... because it added weight to my backpack (which is uncomfortable and may increase the risk of injury ).
Sleeping outside with my gear was rather uncomfortable for me.
On the other hand, my sister slept in a hammock in the forest for the first time last month, just for fun, and it was great for her.

So my recommendation would be to try it out at home where you can experiment and improve your gear and your sleeping technique without carrying it hundreds of miles... and next time if I can't test my sleeping outside gear successfully at home, I'll leave it at home.
 
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Opa Theo

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francais to Santiago
No annoying snoring if you sleep outside. Going to the bathroom responsibly will be a challenge. Homeowners would be furious to find toilet paper and feces on their land.
Ted
 

Tina B.

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
26.6.2018. Camino Frances
Is it possible to sleep only in a sleeping bag liner outside? Is it enough? I would take something like bivy bag and maybe some inflatable mat with me.
 
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Isca-camigo

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Various ones.
Compared to the "wild camping" threads, this is a very uplifting one. Glad to read it. Since I plan to walk in November, there will be not many options to sleep under the stars, but just reading that there are alternatives is a good thing.
I would add a caveat to sleeping out regularly in late autumn or winter and that is your chest/lungs could be adversely affected, I have met two people whose thing is sleeping out on Camino, and they both had hacking coughs from the damp cold conditions at night even when undercover.
 

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