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What are the advantages and disadvantages of taking a small, lightweight tent on the Camino? Also, can you pitch tents anywhere in Spain or do they have to be in designated sites?


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Year 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:

There aren't many oportunities for wild camping but you can order the book "Guia Oficial de Hoteles y Campings del Camino de Santiago". It is available in French, German, Spanish and English and lists all accommodation authorized by the appropriate municipal and national tourism authorities You can obtain the booklet free of charge in any tourist office or from TOURSPAIN E-mail:

If you are in a hurry - mail me at sillydoll(at) and I will send you a list of campsites only taken from that book.



I took a tent when I traveled by myself for 200 k's and used it once. I DID enjoy my complete privacy, I admit. But frankly, I don't believe I really NEEDED it. Mine was the lightest I could find. But believe me and I know others will agree.....if you carry "extra" weight you really want to make sure it is something important to you. A tent is "romantic" in a camping sort of way. But not really necessary. Now, when I want privacy...I'll "splurge" and spend the 20 or 30 Euros and stay in a hostel. That way I also get a HOT shower!!!!!!

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Matt, depending on when you're going, it might be prudent to think more along the lines of a nysil tarp you can set up with your trekking poles? I took a featherweight screen tent and slept outdoors at several of the auberges.. just pitched my tent in the yard. It meant a good night's sleep (no snoring), privacy (often missed), and beauty (full moon is incredible). There will probably be mosquitos, but you won't have to worry about not having a bed. On the other hand, if it's not raining, you could just toss your bag on the ground outside, if the places are full or too busy for your liking. But a full tent just seems like too much weight to carry. Most people only will use it once or twice, if at all, as others have said.


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Would it depend on the chosen camino? It seems on the Camino Frances, there are a lot of albergues, but much less on the Camino del Norte, and other type of accomodations on this last one seems to be more expensive (more touristic places along the cost, I guess). So wouldn't it make more sense to take a small tent on the Camino del Norte, to be able to use the campings and avoid having to do long days walk?

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