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Spending night outdoor?

Julien Maier

New Member
I will do the camino in July; starting point will be SJPP. Because I am planning to walk until evening, I am a little bit worried to get no sleeping place in the refugios at night. So I want to know, if it is possible, because of temperature during night, security etc., to spend the night outdoor, equiped with a isomat and a sleeping bag? What do you think about it? Has anyone of you already had experience with sleeping outdoorduring the camino?

Buen Camino,
Julien (Salzburg/Austria)
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Active Member

I've asked the same question on several forums. I've gotten replies from several people who have slept outdoors. YThere are not a lot of campgrounds. You just have to take care where you camp, be very low-key, and be sure to clean up after yourself. You probably cannot have a campfire... just lay down and sleep.

My understanding also is that many of the refugios will give you a mattress to take to the floor or outside if they are full. Maybe someone who has been there can answer this? Sometimes they have overflow in churches and other buildings too. I just don't think I'm going to worry about it too much.

Joe and I plan on taking sleeping mats and a featherweight tarp to cover up with and we actually hope to get some nights outside if the weather permits. Nice to sleep under the stars...

Julien Maier

New Member
Hi Deborah,
Thank you very much for your reply. It was very helpful.

I wish you and Joe a Buen Camino and enjoy sleeping under the stars :)



New Member
sleeping outside is not a problem on el camino. i've walked the trail a few times and spend the majority of my nights under the stars. i've slept outside in groups as small as one and as large as 14. the key is to be respectful of the local population, but also to know that as a human you do have the self-given right to sleep outside.

i've slept in a variety of locations including an empty sheep pen in SJPP, church steps, porticos, public parks, farmer fields, random wooded areas, refugio yards. the possibilities are nearly endless.

one suggestion is to not carry a tent. what i use is a one person bivuoac sack. Make sure though that when you lie down to sleep that you have tied your back pack to your sleeping bag or bivvy sack or that you are sleeping with your legs propped on top of your backpack. although it is rare i've know a couple of people whose backpacks were stolen from them while sleeping. there are heavy penalties for crimes against pilgrims, so please don't be over worried about being victimized.

just choose an out of the way place, and lie down and you should be fine.

good luck on your caminos

Julien Maier

New Member
yeah, you were right, sleepingh outdoor wasn't a real problem for me. I just come back from my unbelievable camino, and I slept two times outdoor (without tent, only saco de dormir). the first time, I spent the night outdoor at the Cruz de Ferro. It was a magical moment for me, giving me many responses on some questions and much energy for the last km to santiago. I was alone there, and the night was simply "woooow!" (I admit, I was a little bit afraid this night). The second time was in Ferreiros (Galicia) because of a full albergue. I prefered sleeping outdoor having my silence and not like pulpo in the conserves in the albergue.

after my experiences concerning sleeping outdoor, I would recomand every peregrino to spend at least one night outdoor. You will love it...

Buen Camino,
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