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Tent - uk readers


Active Member
If you are looking for a very lightweight, cheap tent then Wilkinson's are currently selling one for only eight pounds. It's a bit flimsy and goodness knows how it would cope in heavy rain or very hot sun but if you want one as an insurance it IS very light - not a lot over a kilo.


My daughter has just finished the camino (http://www.suzielda.com/camino/readblogtwo.php?id=39) and although she always got a bed in the end, she found it quite stressful- it meant you often had to stop before you really wanted to - and she said she would seriously think about a tent another time.
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Deleted member 3000

While the bed race is an aggravation, carrying a tent is not necessary. In two and one-half months of being a pilgrim, I always had a bed, and only one was a mattress on the floor. There are new albergues opening all the time. Check with the Pilgrim Welcome Office in St. Jean Pied de Port for the latest list of places and their number of beds. Even their updated list won't show all the accommodations. Hostals abound. They cost a bit more, though they are almost the same for two people as two beds in an albergue, but an occasional night of comfort and privacy is a welcome event. The Red de Albergues network of private albergues is constantly expanding. Pick up their brochure early on the pilgrimage. They are a cut above the municipal albergues.


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Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
You don't need a tent on the camino Frances........

But you might elsewhere!


Active Member
Re: Tent

Hmm . . . I dunno . . . my daughter said that quite a lot of people had to walk from Roncevalles to Pamplona (some 40 km?) to get a bed this year! Not a good way to start off if you are unused to walking those distances. And also some people can't afford the more expensive options.

P.S. By 'bed' I also include this to mean 'mattress on the floor'. It was so busy at the start of May this year that some people were sleeping outside on the grass. My daughter and friend often had to stop walking by 10 or 11 to be sure of getting somewhere to sleep under a roof. By doing this and by choosing to stay at the smaller places rather than the big stops they managed ok - but, as I say, they had to get up much earlier and stop much sooner than they would have wished if they hadn't had to worry about accommodation.


Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
I don't think you ever really need a tent, but if going in July and August a thermarest mat or similar would be a good insurance in case you have to sleep on the floor.
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notion900 said:
I don't think you ever really need a tent, but if going in July and August a thermarest mat or similar would be a good insurance in case you have to sleep on the floor.

I found it interesting to reflect on this whole question of tents after finishing my marathon walk from Worcester to Finisterre recently, as I started with a tent (and particularly needed it in France, due to shortage of affordable pilgrim accommodation) but posted it back to Barbara Reed, who had lent it to me, when I arrived in SJPP. That had been the plan all along, and I cannot see how a tent can be of any possible value on the Camino Frances.

There were one or two occasions, when I was in the race for the albergues in July, when I wavered and thought, "Maybe I should have kept the tent?" But the immediate following thought was always a question of where would one camp? There aren't many places on the route that you can legally camp and the Spanish are not to keen on people camping in unofficial places: you are likely to get a visit from the Policia Municipal if too close to an urban setting or the Guardia Civil in the countryside. I saw a German fellow camping in the huerta at the CSJ refuge in Rabanal, but even then we had two beds spare, so it was pointless. He was carrying 25 kilos on his back, so clearly he wasn't taking a particularly well-considered approach to the practicalities anyway!

However, I will say this: there are nearly always rough and ready shelters to be found, all along the Camino Frances. On top of - or under - concrete picnic tables (there's a huge nine-foot long picnic table in the corner of a wood on the way out of Ponferrada!); bus shelters; barns; ruined buildings; in church porches; under bridges; and - if you have the nerves for it - in the corner of some country cemetery. As long as you arrive at dusk, and get up early enough to be gone before anyone knows you were ever there, the traditional haunts of wayfarers are the places to seek out when the albergues are full.

In this photo, I am about to spend the night in a barn near to Portomarin, sleeping on a bed of concrete bricks. As I wrote in my blog: "Sometimes you can be pleasantly surprised when something quite unsuitable looking turns out to be very comfortable. I was not surprised: it was indeed quite uncomfortable."



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Deleted member 397

Last year from Le Puy I took a tent but never used it. I did meet one bloke who camped occasionally but came to realise that it was pointless as he often paid as much or more for a square of dirt to pitch his tent in a camping ground.
As for the camino frances and the rampant stupidity of the bed race-why dont people try a different route-or is the sheep mentality alive and well?

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Year of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
There´s a spot near us that is popular with tent-campers... it is near a little waterway, under a sheltering tree, surrounded by fields, just off the Camino.

Unfortunately, all those things also make it a popular Pilgrim Toilet.
Be very careful to stake up your tent when there´s still enough daylight to see what´s been left behind by the last person!

(there are TONS of pilgrim toilet papers scattered hither and yon these days, all along the path. I wonder who is supposed to pick up all that crap.)



New Member
I would suggest whoever does the 'crap' should pick up that crap!! In Australia we have the Tread Lightly motto for being out in the bush - take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints. I always try to leave a campsite cleaner than when I arrived.
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Deleted member 397

There was a post a while back about "women peeing". My distinct impression on the CF was that the tissues were 99% the result someone having a wee....and there's only one sex that seems to be unable to have a leak without littering the countryside.


Active Member
It is disgusting and quite unecessary. I belong to a walker's group back home and we have regular "ladies' stops" BUT NO-ONE EVER LEAVES TISSUES BEHIND in the countryside. If you are worried about drips there are disposable panty liners for that sort of thing (32 thin ones take up no more space than a handy packet of tissues).


windeatt said:
It is disgusting and quite unecessary.

Hear, hear! Stop all that peeing, you naughty pilgrims. (Wild bleats and applause from the Sheep Mentality.) :lol:

Deleted member 397

Amazing! This topic is supposed to be about tents-I always thought tents and peeing didn;t go together

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