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sleeping pad or not?


New Member
Hi everyone,

I am getting ready for my 2nd camino (leaving in 2 weeks) and although I already have a packing list from last time (one I know works for me), I will be adding a few things this time, so I have a few questions for those of you who have done the camino already.

To add or not to add:

1. a sleeping pad (didnt need it last time but from what I hear about the refugios filling up, I need advice on whether to take it or not)
2. poncho that covers me and my pack, or a pack cover with a $1 plastic poncho.
3. cell phone (also didn't have it last time - in fact very few did, but this time I feel like I should take one for emergencies from home).
4. my old walking stick - a wooden one I had on the camino last time but feel very sentimental about - but not sure the airlines will allow it even if I check it in.

Any thoughts or suggestions on these 4 things would be great (especially the first 2).

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Past OR future Camino
First one Frances 1999 (from Burgos), since then...over 100 in Galicia, Portugal, Basque....
Hello Sue,

- Are you starting from SJPP? If so, in the 2nd week of September, you should be ok at the refugios in that area. Worst case, you can always buy one here.

- I think a poncho that covers both you and the pack are the best. Although it is raining, it can still be warm in the fall and it will be nice to have some air between you and your pack. The $1 plastic ponchos turn into a sauna pretty quickly.

- In Spain, you don't pay to receive calls on a cell phone, so if you are looking for a solution so that people can get in touch with you I'd get one. Buy it here - for less than $50, you can get a basic phone with about $30 of credit.

- Not sure about the walking sticks on airlines.....

Good luck and buen camino.


New Member
Hi there, I'll just put in my two cents on one of your topics, the poncho. I think ponchos are great. They are very cheap, light, provide full coverage, including your pack, they breathe while walking, and I also found a new use for mine last year during my second camino; as a bed protector. Having been eaten alive by bed bugs for a few days I took to laying the poncho down first, then the sleeping bag. This keeps a nice plastic layer between you and the beds!


Deleted member 397

I walked the via de la plata last may-no one used a sleeping mat. As for the walking sticks-unless you are a senior citizen and unsteady on your feet why bother?


New Member
I'm still oscillating on whether to take a sleeping mat. Pros - extra comfort for those tough,lumpy mattresses and cold floors one might end up sleeping on after late arrivals at albergues, light-weight to carry. Cons - no real need if mattress situations are adequate and use only on infrequent occasions, bulky to carry. Any thoughts from veteran peregrinos to push me off the fence on this issue would be much appreciated. thanks.
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Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
I am a grizzled camino veteran. I never carried a sleeping mat, and never have needed one. (much.)

Of all the equipment I´ve seen abandoned at albergues and here at my house, the sleeping mat is right up in the top five. We have about 10 of those babies out in our barn, waiting for a good use to be found for them.



Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
Keith..I too am sitting on the fence...or perhaps more aptly..jumping over from side to side!! Depends on the day of the week! Guess I'll decide after ALL else is packed and weighed...or rather weighed and the packed!

Rebekah...what about the other 4 things in that top 5 list??? Enlighten us please!! Really it might help my beloved little group decide on items to leave...although I think the threat of a hair dryer is gone by!! as well as a few other odd weighty items ! Yeah!!

So let us in on the secret stash of discarded you don't wind up with more in the barn!!



New Member
Hi Everyone ... :D

With regards to the sleeping pad I would say that one can easily do without. Last year i started from ST Jean Pied de Port during the 2nd week of September!! I actually never used my pad - unfortunately i decided to carry it becuase i decided not to leave it behind because it was a present!!!

I never had any problems to find a good sleeping place up to Leon. Then after Leon it started to be a little bit difficult but never acutally slept outside or on the floor!!! However, one has also to take in consideration that by then it was October, and there are less people on the Cammino in those days.

I would also suggest - keep your food at home - you will never die of hunger on the Cammino - there are people who start from St. Jean with their bag full of food!! I think it is the hardest part, so do not go with the hassle of carrying extra food .... Menu della diaz is excellent and gives you the opportunity to meet other pilgrims and fill the evening.

I wish I am on the fence too ..... but i think i got to wait for the next ýears to go back !! :arrow:

Buen Camino


Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
omar504 said:
I walked the via de la plata last may-no one used a sleeping mat. As for the walking sticks-unless you are a senior citizen and unsteady on your feet why bother?

Ok sweet old are you????? Some of us...aint find for the downs esp. that those joints we so blissfully beat up in earlier years need a tad bit of help!! I'm wolloping 51.5 ..but honey these knees have taken a beating from ice skating, running, biking and hiking and gymnastics and all that what! I use a walking stick too sometimes...AND, comes in real handy for beating the younguns...which is a raft load of fun too!! J/K After all someone's gotta keep'em in line!! :wink:

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
Things Left Behind

By popular demand, here are the top ten items I´ve noticed people leaving behind on the Camino, some times on purpose, often by accident:

1. Shampoo/liquid soap (I rarely need to buy any for myself.)
2. towels
3. socks (always just one)
4. sleeping mats
5. walking sticks or poles
6. bluejeans
7. Nalgene drinking bottles/canteens
8. Swiss Army knives or ´multi-tools´
9. mobile phone chargers/battery chargers
10. flip-flops or sandals.

My favorite left-behind item is a pair of white patent-leather go-go boots. My most despised is the plastic spring-water bottle casually thrown into the weeds along the path. We also have a couple of passports!

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New Member
Hi everyone,

I asked the question about bringing a sleeping pad back in 2006, and I guess I should have mentioned back then, that I ended up NOT taking one and I'm really glad I didn't.

I never needed it as somehow, there was always a bed for me, or a mattress on the floor, or in some cases if there was absolutely no room for me anywhere, I simply walked on to the next albergue!

In my opinion, do not take anything you absolutely do not need - take ONLY the essentials. Trust me, you will not only regret taking too much but you will feel worse discarding things along the way.

It's only 1 month of walking - this is a great time to have as little as possible to be responsible for in our lives.

I'm going to be leaving for my third camino in exactly 8 days and I can't wait!!!

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