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Spring weather CF

JessArmstrong

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances End of March/April 2020 from SJPDP to Santiago de Compostela
Hello new Camino Friends,

I'll be commencing my first Camino Journey from St Jean on the 25/03/2020 through to SdC arriving around the 2/5/2020. I am finalising my pack list and would like to know if I should bring my down jacket or not ? Interested to know other people's experiences over the years traveling around these dates in spring. I will be wearing merino base layer t shirt, lightweight Kathmandu fleece and I have waterproof North Face nylon rain jacket if windy/rainy. Just not sure if these 3 layers will be enough and to also bring the down jacket as well?

I have read so much useful info on the forum over the years and thanks to all that contribute.

Jess from Australia
 

SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
Hello new Camino Friends,

I'll be commencing my first Camino Journey from St Jean on the 25/03/2020 through to SdC arriving around the 2/5/2020. I am finalising my pack list and would like to know if I should bring my down jacket or not ? Interested to know other people's experiences over the years traveling around these dates in spring. I will be wearing merino base layer t shirt, lightweight Kathmandu fleece and I have waterproof North Face nylon rain jacket if windy/rainy. Just not sure if these 3 layers will be enough and to also bring the down jacket as well?

I have read so much useful info on the forum over the years and thanks to all that contribute.

Jess from Australia

Hi Jess, I think you will be ok with the three layers.
But if your down jacket is lightweight you could think about bringing it with you. Could be handy for the evenings. I walked twice in this period and I tend to cool down quickly after walking and not all albergues have sufficient heating. So for this I always pack a second lightweight fleece but your down jacket would do the trick as well.
 

JessArmstrong

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances End of March/April 2020 from SJPDP to Santiago de Compostela
Hi Jess, I think you will be ok with the three layers.
But if your down jacket is lightweight you could think about bringing it with you. Could be handy for the evenings. I walked twice in this period and I tend to cool down quickly after walking and not all albergues have sufficient heating. So for this I always pack a second lightweight fleece but your down jacket would do the trick as well.
Thanks Sabine, I actually have another LW fleece here so I could bring that too. Hmmm 🤔
 

OxFyrd

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese 2018, voie d'Arles 2019 (Arles -Santiago)
Scheduled : Le Puy-Bilbao - Primitivo
Hi,
Just to clarify, the 3 layers are ok when hiking...

the O Cebreiro (1300m), weather for the month of may (based on 30 years of computated history) :
Cold nights -1°C . Average daily temp. 5°C, Average max 14°C. You should have 15 days of rain. However you may face some wind > 30 km/h. Based on the above, down jacket is overkill but a (dry) thermal vest is required for safety reason. For lower altitudes ADD to the above 6° to 10 ° C per 1000m of altitude. Example Pontferrada (500m ), difference 800m, then add 4 to 8°C, says 6°C . Therefore cold nights is -1+6°C.= 5°C
I will go for a light fleece vest (100gr/m², roughly weight 200grms) and a wind shirt (120grms) or use the rain vest (when raining )

Note: Average April cold nights -3°C ; May cold nights -1°C . June 2°C Should your down jacket weight average 300/400 grms, I would take it for the late afternoon (when not walking) instead of fleece for a small weight penalty 100/200 gms.

Hope this helps.
 

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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
I think your 3 layers will be plenty for walking, provided you have gloves, buff and hat. However, a down vest or jacket can be very cosy in the evenings or even at night to supplement your sleeping bag.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Future
Hello new Camino Friends,

I'll be commencing my first Camino Journey from St Jean on the 25/03/2020 through to SdC arriving around the 2/5/2020. I am finalising my pack list and would like to know if I should bring my down jacket or not ? Interested to know other people's experiences over the years traveling around these dates in spring. I will be wearing merino base layer t shirt, lightweight Kathmandu fleece and I have waterproof North Face nylon rain jacket if windy/rainy. Just not sure if these 3 layers will be enough and to also bring the down jacket as well?

I have read so much useful info on the forum over the years and thanks to all that contribute.

Jess from Australia
Hi JessArmstrong.
From my experience fleece and layers are your the best bet.
Springtime is quite variable north there in Spain, warm at times, turning chilly just around the corner.
Best wishes.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
I will be wearing merino base layer t shirt, lightweight Kathmandu fleece and I have waterproof North Face nylon rain jacket if windy/rainy. Just not sure if these 3 layers will be enough and to also bring the down jacket as well?
I wouldn't describe this as a three-layer system if the rain jacket has no insulation. If that outer layer was a soft-shell, it might work. I walked at a similar time of year, and wore a base layer wool blend tee shirt, mid layer trekking shirt and my outer warm-layer was a mid-weight fleece. I didn't count my rain jacket as part of my warmth layering, although it was essential if I needed wind protection as well as warmth.

On using down, I avoid it during the walking day because I sweat profusely when I am pushing out, and in those circumstances, prefer fleece over down. I take the approach of having a lightweight rain jacket, currently the Patagonia Houdini, that serves as a reasonable option for evening wear instead of having to wear a bulky rain jacket. It also serves as a reasonable windproof and rain-resistant option for light early morning showers.
 

JessArmstrong

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances End of March/April 2020 from SJPDP to Santiago de Compostela
I wouldn't describe this as a three-layer system if the rain jacket has no insulation. If that outer layer was a soft-shell, it might work. I walked at a similar time of year, and wore a base layer wool blend tee shirt, mid layer trekking shirt and my outer warm-layer was a mid-weight fleece. I didn't count my rain jacket as part of my warmth layering, although it was essential if I needed wind protection as well as warmth.

On using down, I avoid it during the walking day because I sweat profusely when I am pushing out, and in those circumstances, prefer fleece over down. I take the approach of having a lightweight rain jacket, currently the Patagonia Houdini, that serves as a reasonable option for evening wear instead of having to wear a bulky rain jacket. It also serves as a reasonable windproof and rain-resistant option for light early morning showers.
Thanks dougfitz, I think you are right - the waterproof NF jacket isn't insulated and not quite a third layer :). Luckily it's not too bulky so I could definitely get away with wearing it in the evenings if needed. I too don't really feel the cold and get quite sweaty so I'm leaning towards an extra light weight fleece as suggested by Sabine to keep clean for evening wear/sleep or an extra layer on cold days . The down jacket is a bit overkill and mine is quite old and bulky. I will also be bringing a quick dry Arcterx long sleeve sun shirt for those warmer days towards the end of April so that could also be added as a layer I guess. I don't have a lot of experience with "cold " weather as I'm from sunny NQ in Australia so thanks for sharing your thoughts :)
 

RuthMB

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC (April 2020)
Hi Jess, great question! I start the CF on 1st April and was wondering about layers also. I have a warm merino base layer, one short sleeve merino t-shirt, a long sleeve sun shirt, a lightweight Kathmandu fleece hoody and North Face rain jacket which provides no warmth whatsoever. I have a second lightweight fleece (Cederberg from Anaconda) for evenings/sleep. Best wishes for your camino!
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia (May 2016)
C. Frances (Sept 2017)
Camino Portugues (June 2019)
I usually bring a thin base layer (Merino wool is itchy for me, so a synthetic of some sort) a lightweight fleece vest, down jacket and my rain jacket for the outer layer. While walking, the fleece vest is usually enough, once I warm up. A down jacket can squish down much smaller than a fleece jacket in your pack. I think down is more comfortable in a wider range of temperatures than fleece, too. As long as it's not going to get wet, I think a down jacket can't be beat.
 

tjz

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP - Santiago: March-April 2014, 2016, 2018
Bayonne - Santiago: March-April 2020, 2022, 2024
I'll chime in here much the same - my wife and I have these layers - synthetic tee shirt, synthetic long-sleeve shirt, (new, not worn out) fleece jacket, raingear jacket for top layers. Synthetic pants, raingear pants for lower layers. Warm socks and boots (waterproof for my wife, not for me). If it looks like a super cold day, we will add a second long-sleeve shirt as we carry 2 so we always have a clean one. We have gloves and warm hats and my wife brings a buff too. The usual underclothes. You could substitute merino for the synthetic, but stick with something warm if it gets wet.

In three March-April Caminos this has always been sufficient, even in falling snow and driving rain. Once you get walking, you'll be plenty warm, and maybe one of those layers will be coming off even if it does seem cold at the beginning. It probably helps that we are from Colorado and used to hiking in challenging weather. :)

The worst of it was almost a solid day of driving "needle" snow one day in 2018 where I was pretty envious of my wife's buff that she had pulled up over most of her face. We are always walking west towards Santiago, and that is the direction the nasty stuff comes from most times on the CF, so it can be pretty in your face!

Buen Camino!

Tom
 

RuthMB

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC (April 2020)
Thank you JillGat and Tom! This has been such a useful thread. Keeping my fingers cross for NO driving "needle" snow...I'm prepared for some suffering but that sounds just too painful!
 

JessArmstrong

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances End of March/April 2020 from SJPDP to Santiago de Compostela
Hi Jess, great question! I start the CF on 1st April and was wondering about layers also. I have a warm merino base layer, one short sleeve merino t-shirt, a long sleeve sun shirt, a lightweight Kathmandu fleece hoody and North Face rain jacket which provides no warmth whatsoever. I have a second lightweight fleece (Cederberg from Anaconda) for evenings/sleep. Best wishes for your camino!
Thanks Ruth, and a Buen Camino to you too :)
 

JessArmstrong

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances End of March/April 2020 from SJPDP to Santiago de Compostela
I'll chime in here much the same - my wife and I have these layers - synthetic tee shirt, synthetic long-sleeve shirt, (new, not worn out) fleece jacket, raingear jacket for top layers. Synthetic pants, raingear pants for lower layers. Warm socks and boots (waterproof for my wife, not for me). If it looks like a super cold day, we will add a second long-sleeve shirt as we carry 2 so we always have a clean one. We have gloves and warm hats and my wife brings a buff too. The usual underclothes. You could substitute merino for the synthetic, but stick with something warm if it gets wet.

In three March-April Caminos this has always been sufficient, even in falling snow and driving rain. Once you get walking, you'll be plenty warm, and maybe one of those layers will be coming off even if it does seem cold at the beginning. It probably helps that we are from Colorado and used to hiking in challenging weather. :)

The worst of it was almost a solid day of driving "needle" snow one day in 2018 where I was pretty envious of my wife's buff that she had pulled up over most of her face. We are always walking west towards Santiago, and that is the direction the nasty stuff comes from most times on the CF, so it can be pretty in your face!

Buen Camino!

Tom
Thanks so much Tom for sharing your March/April Camino experiences. I’m now feeling more confident in my gear list thank to your post. By the way it’s 35 deg Celsius here in OZ, a world away from Colorado and needle snow :)
 

Dadhairday

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte (2020)
Quandary for me setting out from Irun on 21st March. I have a compact down jacket and man-made fibre equivalent. I’ve decided on the latter as I’m expecting significant wet weather and down + wet = chill. My man-made fibre equivalent is almost as light, almost as packable, almost as warm so seems a versatile compromise for chillier evenings.
 

Br. Dick Tandy ofm

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
El Ingles - Finisterre . 2017
Hi Jess, I think you will be ok with the three layers.
But if your down jacket is lightweight you could think about bringing it with you. Could be handy for the evenings. I walked twice in this period and I tend to cool down quickly after walking and not all albergues have sufficient heating. So for this I always pack a second lightweight fleece but your down jacket would do the trick as well.
Yes, the down jacket would work well IF it doesn't get wet. So be sure to keep your down jacket dry.
 


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