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starting el camino next week


New Member
Hey everybody-
My cousin and I are starting our camino at the end of next week (arriving in pied de port oct 2). From now until then we are both gathering our gear and making sure we have everything we need. I saw the post about the cold weather and plan to pack some warm clothes! If anyone has any advice it would be appreciated as we are both first timer's to the trail. Thanks.

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New Member
Advice.. where to start haha. From my experience the most important thing is being comfortable with the weight of your pack and not pushing yourself too hard. On my first camino I failed on both these points, packing way to much and walking close on 40km the second day, it pretty much crippled me for nearly a week.. You'll make plans and quickly break them, the good thing about the camino is you have a month to iron out the chinks!


Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
yes, it will be cold and wet and windy at times, but please do keep your rucksack weight low, do not forget there are washing machines along the way!

in my opinion, a good hat, a fleece and raingear should be enough protection, a rain jacket acting as windstopper if needed too.

do keep an eye on the weight you are punishing your back with!


Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Hi Andrew,
How exciting to be planning your first camino!
You won't need heavy, winter gear. A couple of warm but lightweight fleece tops will keep you warm but you will need rain gear. If you have 25 euro to spare you could buy an ALTUS raincoat in Spain. It covers you and your pack and has long sleeves to keep your arms dry.
Most of the albergues have blankets - not Roncesvalles though - and a full dormitory soon warms up with all the heavy breathing peregrinos!
Walking from St Jean Pied de Port means that you will go across three high places and some very low places, with resultant temperature changes. Be prepared for icy winds one day and sun stroke the next as you walk from from 163m at St Jean to 1440m - then down to Pamplona 415m - up again to San Juan 1040m - then the highest point after Manjarin 1517 - down to Ponferrada 543m and up again to O Cebreiro 1300m.
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Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Time of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
We´re already getting some pretty nippy nights. Wear thin layers, and don´t forget it doesn´t have to rain for you to make use of the poncho/raincoat as a heat-trapping outer layer. You can buy cheap t-shirts and extra socks at decent-size grocery stores if you find you don´t have enough insulation. Or just use old newspapers.
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Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
I brought silk long underwear and a silk long sleeved undershirt. They are extremely light weight yet really add a layer of warmth when needed. They also doubled as pajamas. In addition to my fleece jacket the other item I brought was a fairly lightweight wool/poly blend shirt--I think it was from the long underwear department. It was very warm yet not too bulky or heavy. I see that Smartwool (I love their socks) has VERY lightweight 100% wool , thin undershirts. They are pretty expensive but I think I'll probably get one in the future. I think it would be a great piece to have.


Crazy Chicken Lady with the Camino on my Mind!
Time of past OR future Camino
Apr-Jun 2009 - I solo walked from Roncesvalles to Santiago. I hope to return as a hospitalera in 2016.
When I was living in Ukraine, I wore my black silk 3/4 lenth sleeved undershirt every day for two winters - that extra insulation was perfect and it added no bulk. The silk is strong (don't wring it or twist it when wet!) and dried really fast too. I plan to wear it on the Camino in May...

In Sunny Santa Fe


New Member
wow thanks for all the great insight. Its comforting to hear from trail veterans. I plan on finishing the trail in 5-6 weeks and continuing on to finisterre, as I hear it is well worth it. Also I hear there is a bus if you don't feel like walking? how is finisterre this time of year?


Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (2007), Camino Francés (2008), Camino Portugués (2010), Camino Aragonés - from Lourdes (2012)
I would agree that my silk thermals were the single best piece of clothing I brought with me. They weigh nothing, dry quickly and I wore them many mornings even in July and August on both my Caminos. I put the top on under my short sleeved shirt and it kept me toasty until it got warm (around 10 am). Then it was easy to shed and keep on going...I highly recommend it.
Buen Camino,


New Member
Hey andrew and cous,
we are leaving st jean on 14th of oct. It seems we can expect all weather conditions (our 1st time as well) but we have decided to travel as light as possible with the best socks and boots and a great deal of adrenalin. This website has been very helpful.Have you decided to take napoloeon route to roncevalles?
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Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
Hi Paul and Sandy,

When you get to St Jean, I would imagine your first port of call will be the Pilgrim Office. They are amazingly helpful there, and I strongly reccomend that you leave decisions about which route you might take till you get there as it should be dependant on the weather conditions of the day. They will give you advice on where to go, and what to do if it is wet when you reach the top.

Hope you see lots of birds of prey when you make the crossing - they are a fantastic sight circling high above in the thermals.

Buen Camino, Janet

Javier Martin

Veteran Member
aoconn08 said:
...Also I hear there is a bus if you don't feel like walking? how is finisterre this time of year?

Yes, there's a bus, but if you don't arrive walking you can't stay in the albergue.

Finisterre is always an incredible place, you will enjoy it. but, if you have enough time, better walk it!

Buen Camino,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.


Active Member
When I was in Finisterre in early June (having walked there) there was a sign in the albergue window saying you couldn't stay there unless you had walked there. Fair enough as the camino Fisterra was very busy at that time. I chose to stay in a hotel anyway.

When I returned to Finisterre in September (this time by bus) I didn't think to try the albergue and checked into a hotel. However later that day I met several people who had travelled on the bus with me from Santiago who were staying at the albergue. The sign had gone from the window. I think it is probably another example of different hospitaleros - different rules. Also, I'm sure it must depend on how busy the camino is at any time, there would not be any point in turning people away and keeping open a near-empty albergue.

I would suggest asking at the albergue and see what the current situation is but be prepared to be turned away.

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