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The Best Clothing ? And the winner is....

BombayBill

Still Learning
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Since we can't go anywhere let me obsess, even more than usual, about gear. I'm one of those guys who loves to waste endless time making sure I've chosen exactly the right thing to take with me. We are all familiar with the endless debate about shoes and ponchos. So let's talk about the rest of our clothing...

I like to experiment and trial my clothing with many training hikes. I wear them in the sun and rain, wash them in a bowl with trail soap, and hang them them outside to dry. I then think about how they hold up to the testing. Do they stink? ( a big factor in crowded albergues). Do they dry easily in damp weather? Do they keep me cool in hot weather and dry in wet? Over 3 years and several thousand kilometers on the Camino trail I have a winner.

I wear LuluLemon brand shirts, underwear and socks. I even have a super lightweight Lululemon sports coat for post Camino relaxing. Socks, shirts, and underwear have all performed superbly and continuously for many years. The socks show no sign of wear. I usually rotate through 4 sets while walking. Never had a blister.

Some people may say their gear is too expensive. My argument is that cheap gear is exactly that, cheap. It doesn't last or fails you you when you need it most. We all know the cost of bad choices in footwear and socks.

As always there is no one right answer for the Camino. You should make your choices based on anticipated weather, route, and your needs. I'm staring at my Camino socks right now just dying to pack them up and head out to SJPP.
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
@BombayBill Whatever works for you.... I have never worn Lululemon so can’t comment on their products. Generally, I wear ultra lite Patagonia clothing for any weather condition and layer accordingly. Their products are excellent and last for many years. In the long run, Padagonia products are economical if one can afford the initial price of the gear.
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
Since we can't go anywhere let me obsess, even more than usual, about gear. I'm one of those guys who loves to waste endless time making sure I've chosen exactly the right thing to take with me. We are all familiar with the endless debate about shoes and ponchos. So let's talk about the rest of our clothing...

I like to experiment and trial my clothing with many training hikes. I wear them in the sun and rain, wash them in a bowl with trail soap, and hang them them outside to dry. I then think about how they hold up to the testing. Do they stink? ( a big factor in crowded albergues). Do they dry easily in damp weather? Do they keep me cool in hot weather and dry in wet? Over 3 years and several thousand kilometers on the Camino trail I have a winner.

I wear LuluLemon brand shirts, underwear and socks. I even have a super lightweight Lululemon sports coat for post Camino relaxing. Socks, shirts, and underwear have all performed superbly and continuously for many years. The socks show no sign of wear. I usually rotate through 4 sets while walking. Never had a blister.

Some people may say their gear is too expensive. My argument is that cheap gear is exactly that, cheap. It doesn't last or fails you you when you need it most. We all know the cost of bad choices in footwear and socks.

As always there is no one right answer for the Camino. You should make your choices based on anticipated weather, route, and your needs. I'm staring at my Camino socks right now just dying to pack them up and head out to SJPP.

Splendid. This one will pass the long dark winter evenings.

I applaud your focus on value over price and dedication to testing your gear in ‘field’ conditions.

I’m something of an old-school British traditionalist, so lightweight Zamberlan boots, Ron Hills and gaiters see me OK from the ground to what I still fondly refer to as my ‘waist’. The ‘Rons’ are a fashion crime and verge on indecent; but they’ve worked for the last 40+ years.

Merino base layers - smart wool if I’m feeling flush; mountain warehouse if not. Ancient Lowe Alpine jacket with all the pockets in the right places.

I’ve got a wardrobe full of Arc’teryx and Patagonia, but still default back to the old favourites.

I generally take nothing on Camino which I’m not familiar with, but equally wouldn’t break my heart to lose.
 
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Canada Wanders

Lost, but making great time...
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2015
CP 2018
I am a little like Bill, and the details fascinate.
I found in the end my socks: Wright double layer Escape, take a bit longer to dry, but so comfortable, and not one blister on two Caminos! Love these socks. Wish I had them when I was in the Army.
Ex-Officious ‘Give and go’ sports briefs, wash and dry very quick, no chafe.
North Face paramount conversion pants. Nice bit of water resistance.
Lululemon metal vent tech ‘anti-stink tech’ t shirts. My wife suggested, and I was amazed! Kept their shape pretty well despite all those hand washing’s.
Neck buff, works to keep your neck warm, or sun off your neck while marching westwards, or as eye covers! red ‘Canada’ buff of course.
I also had a pair of running arm sleeves, a compression, uv sleeve that gave nice soft warmth on the early morning, and slide off as you warm up.
Marmot minimalist gortex jacket.
North Face Fastpack gortex hiking boots.
Every bit worked beyond expectations, and with the exception of the boots, I still use all of the gear.
I had spent many happy hours packing, unpacking, weighing, testing...
In the end, not one item needed I didn’t have, not one item I had I regretted. 88F4D604-74BB-40C1-ADF5-3E967C01CDC2.jpeg
 

evanscl

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Oct 2016
In my humble view you cant beat icebreaker for tops. Rohan is expensive stuff however it lasts years-but you need to choose carefully. Their silver tech underwear and merino fusion gear is excellent, also stretch bags trousers. Cost per use of quality gear makes it well worth the investment and i scan the sales and buy things for future walks. My expensive Tilley hat has done a few thousand miles service too and still going strong, if rather battered - a bit like me.
 

Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Year of past OR future Camino
"Portuguese Camino"
"Slow Camino"
"The First Pilgrim"
All on Amazon
Alpaca Socks
Frog Togg Rain Gear - ultra-light- like tyveck
Columbia Water-Proof Sneakers
Eddie Bauer Polar Fleece Top
Always bring button-down Brooks Brothers dress shirt for dinner - don't want to look like a "jogger".
 
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Scott Fraser

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018
Le Puy - SJPdP 2019
Since we can't go anywhere let me obsess, even more than usual, about gear. I'm one of those guys who loves to waste endless time making sure I've chosen exactly the right thing to take with me. We are all familiar with the endless debate about shoes and ponchos. So let's talk about the rest of our clothing...

I like to experiment and trial my clothing with many training hikes. I wear them in the sun and rain, wash them in a bowl with trail soap, and hang them them outside to dry. I then think about how they hold up to the testing. Do they stink? ( a big factor in crowded albergues). Do they dry easily in damp weather? Do they keep me cool in hot weather and dry in wet? Over 3 years and several thousand kilometers on the Camino trail I have a winner.

I wear LuluLemon brand shirts, underwear and socks
Bill, I agree completely about LL shirts...five years ago my daughter started giving me LL tee shirts for Christmas. I’m wore them on three Camino’s and still have them in the drawer. They’re perfect for walking. I haven’t tried their underwear or socks but I have had great luck with ExOfficio men’s underwear and Darn Tough merino wool socks. My wife loved her Icebreaker merino undergarments on her walks with me.

All these brands are expensive but from my experience their performance on the trail (and off) has been exceptional. While they cost a lot, you only need two sets of shirts and underwear and three pairs of socks.
 

SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Year of past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
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Mark B

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF & Fin (4-5/2011); R'valles to SDdlC, CdN-Prim'o (2-4/2014).
Darn Tough Micro Crew Midweight hiking socks; North Face TKA Glacier ¼ Zip Fleece (100 weight); and Smartwool and Woolpower base layers.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
Great thread and can't say that I haven't been doing a bit of daydreaming and planning in the same fashion as the OP... per usual, by the time I get around to things, I'm in the back of the pack. :>)

Outdoor Research (OR) or Mountain Hardware (Columbia brand) base layer shirts, $10 rain poncho (REI),
Ex-Officio zip leg trousers (with Insect Repellent finish) - my first two pair are now 8 years old, veterans of CF and CP and still looking good, Columbia Splitter 38L pack, Ex-Officio underwear (quick dry and no odors), Wright Socks or Road Runner Dry Max 5.0, Salomon Trail Runners (non-goretex), OR Cap with snap on neck protector for the hottest days (my Italian friends say it "does not" make me look like Lawrence of Arabia :>( , 15 oz (1000mg) North Face sleep sack, 2 meters NiteIze nylon rope w/ carabiner for hanging gear or wet clothes.
I'm working on the other stuff... booklets/maps, power supply (solar or no), dark chocolate (normally carry at least 1lb for emergency (or sharing)).
More daydreaming ahead, after my daily run.
Thanks for the prompts and great ideas.
Buen Camino
 
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André Walker

Never loosing my way: always standing on it
Year of past OR future Camino
Holland-St.Jean, Frances, Del Norte, VdlP.
On my 1st Camino I met a young Japanese woman. Each morning she wrapped her feet in ducttape.
She never had blisters.

I stuck to wearing high quality socks, but every now and then I do have a blister.
Nevertheless, I just can't force myself to trying duct tape.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I love Frogg Togg ultra lite rain gear.
For other items I have many brands that have all served me well on a variety of five Caminos.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
Planning for 2021
Ahhh, Aldi merino base layer are the bees knees. Because mine are not 100% merino (sometimes they also sell 100%Merino) , boy do they take some stick.
For socks I wear any old bamboo socks next to my daily well oiled feet (olíve oil, with a spot of T tree oil), and on top some karrimor heavy merino socks. M&S undies (Elastane), I have an excedingly cheap fleece bought in Asda for less than a fiver and carry one long sleeve craghoppers 100% polyester shirt, usually for evenings but also to layer up with if very cold. Trousers are Craghoppers Kiwi pro stretch convertíbles. I have a baseball cap with a detachable bit of cloth for the sun at the back of my neck. Next year I will use an Altus coat poncho.
I once lost a toenail before I was shown how to lace and tie my boots to stop that happening. Never yet had a blister yet, touch wood.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
My designer label gear all comes from Aldi.
For me too; and Costco or Big W or Target or K Mart. But a few select things that are made locally with craftsmanship are worth it. Nothing like a silk dress to slip into after a shower at the end of a hard day's walk!

I'm curious to hear about things that have not worked. Perhaps without using trade names because it is not fair to demolish reputations without a right of reply.

I'm thinking particularly of my first pair of boots that were simply wrong for my feet; too inflexible and set up horrible internal pain. And my husband's well known and very popular shoes that he finished up destroying by cutting off the toe box because he had horrible blisters. Then there is the expensive silk/wool shirt that came apart at the seams...and the hat that kept blowing off or slipping sideways when I tried to secure it - isn't that a pain?
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
Since we can't go anywhere let me obsess, even more than usual, about gear. I'm one of those guys who loves to waste endless time making sure I've chosen exactly the right thing to take with me. We are all familiar with the endless debate about shoes and ponchos. So let's talk about the rest of our clothing...

I like to experiment and trial my clothing with many training hikes. I wear them in the sun and rain, wash them in a bowl with trail soap, and hang them them outside to dry. I then think about how they hold up to the testing. Do they stink? ( a big factor in crowded albergues). Do they dry easily in damp weather? Do they keep me cool in hot weather and dry in wet? Over 3 years and several thousand kilometers on the Camino trail I have a winner.

I wear LuluLemon brand shirts, underwear and socks. I even have a super lightweight Lululemon sports coat for post Camino relaxing. Socks, shirts, and underwear have all performed superbly and continuously for many years. The socks show no sign of wear. I usually rotate through 4 sets while walking. Never had a blister.

Some people may say their gear is too expensive. My argument is that cheap gear is exactly that, cheap. It doesn't last or fails you you when you need it most. We all know the cost of bad choices in footwear and socks.

As always there is no one right answer for the Camino. You should make your choices based on anticipated weather, route, and your needs. I'm staring at my Camino socks right now just dying to pack them up and head out to SJPP.
I think what everyone buys is up to the individual person. You are in a very good position to be able to afford good gear and yes good gear that is well taken care of can last a very long time. I am a "budget" pilgrim and I do think there is a good middle ground between paying alot to buy top quality gear and buying cheap gear that probably will not last very long. What I do is go to a few different websites like REI in the United States (I see you are Canadian, don't know if REI has stores in Canada). I check out the REI Outlet and other websites that have closeout and discontinued Backpack, socks and clothes. I have been able to buy gear that is of excellent quality at a fraction of their original price. For example on my Camino last year that I walked in November and December, I bought a buff, beanie hat, gloves quick dry smart wool long sleeve shirts that were fantastic and never smelled after numerous wearings all for under $90. I still wear a few things I bought on my first camino. When Spain says we can walk again, and I am so happy to say I just had my first of two vaccines I will start my 6th camino with some of the same gear I used on my first one. I will also use all that stuff I just bought on my next camino. I usually have to replace my gear because I leave things in albergues, or bars or in the dryer way, way too long. It really can be a great compromise. I may not get the colors I like or the style I want, but how often does one get chastised by the fashion police on a camino????:);):)
 
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Keith H

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
😱
Rhone shorts. i very rarely wear long pants so these are paired with a rain kilt. I wear them daily for everything and they just hold up year after year and are comfy as heck with 4-way stretch.
I also have rhone shirts but I don’t think they’ll dry fast enough. My 1 Lulu shirt isn’t as comfortable for me but it’s a close 2nd and dries really well.
I also wear Ice Breaker low merino socks daily. Very comfortable and seem to be wearing well but not 100% on it yet. I’ll check out Lulu’s ones. I have Darn Tough no-see-em light hiking socks but I find them fiddly to put on and they’re kinda tight. I can see how that would be good for blister prevention so I’ll see on that.
Exofficio Grab and Go boxers. Dry really well, no chaffing etc etc. I’ll grab a pair of Lulu’s though to check them out.
 

motero99

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2019
Camino Norte (2020)
The best clothing I took on the Camino Frances in May to early June 2019 was a Patagonia 1/4 zip better sweater. I wore it almost every day to begin the hike. It even served as a pillow at times.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
Preparing for my first Camino, I ordered some leather boots. My feet, who prefer nothing more than socks, totally rebelled. Sent them back and went to REI. A most patient salesman helped me get outfitted with Keen sandals which I still wear all the time even now. Merino long sleeved shirt, nylon short sleeves, heavy nylon pants with a section that can be unzipped, light weight Marmot water proof jacket and a long sleeved fleece jacket, wool socks. Worked well in May when I began, and October when I went back to complete the Frances after coming back to help my sister move. Silk longjohns. Wear some of this gear out here in the Northwest. I began sort of thinking I had to have a whole new/different wardrobe; learned that's not so. Also realized that as the path goes through or near many cities, there is very little that one couldn't get in Spain - or Portugal. Oh, most important, that REI salesman helped me get, and adjust, the appropriate backpack!
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
That's the term I was looking for "economical". Better to buy the right item that serves you best over the long term. The upfront cost is not the true cost.
I think I have to completely disagree. When you live on a fixed income the upfront costs are without a doubt not just the true cost but automatically decides any purchase. You should consider yourself blessed that you can make that statement. No criticism but not everyone can say that. As I said in another post you can buy good quality and durable clothes and gear for a fraction of the price for the products you and others have mentioned and they last with a little care a very long time.
As a person who never cared about clothes and even before I was forced because of circumstance and choice I had to roll back and live a far simpler and “economic” life. It blows me away when I see what some of these websites charge for shirts, underwear and jackets. Yes you and some others are lucky you have the luxury of buying what you want. Yea I am sure they do last a long time. So do the $12 quick dry shirts that I have worn since 2012. For others you can outfit a Camino for so much less and the lessons we learn teaches us that each one of us can get a different meaning from things like the Camino gives us what we need not what we want and all you truly need is family, friendship, love and what you carry on your back. That the true burdens of life is everything else you own or want. Again not a criticism but my feelings and beliefs. Buen Camino and stay safe
 
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BombayBill

Still Learning
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I think I have to completely disagree. When you live on a fixed income the upfront costs are without a doubt not just the true cost but automatically decides any purchase. You should consider yourself blessed that you can make that statement. No criticism but not everyone can say that. As I said in another post you can buy good quality and durable clothes and gear for a fraction of the price for the products you and others have mentioned and they last with a little care a very long time.
As a person who never cared about clothes and even before I was forced because of circumstance and choice I had to roll back and live a far simpler and “economic” life. It blows me away when I see what some of these websites charge for shirts, underwear and jackets. Yes you and some others are lucky you have the luxury of buying what you want. Yea I am sure they do last a long time. So do the $12 quick dry shirts that I have worn since 2012. For others you can outfit a Camino for so much less and the lessons we learn teaches us that each one of us can get a different meaning from things like the Camino gives us what we need not what we want and all you truly need is family, friendship, love and what you carry on your back. That the true burdens of life is everything else you own or want. Again not a criticism but my feelings and beliefs. Buen Camino and stay safe
Yes of course you’re right. I would return to the Camino in 2nd hand clothing if need be because I found the walk so fulfilling.

For those who are researching their first walk please don’t be misled by my arrogant obsessions. The walk not the gear is most important thing.
 
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Ian L

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances summer 2017 (SJPP to Fromista)
Camino Frances summer 2019 (Fromista to Santiago)
Most of my Camino/hiking gear has become my everyday clothing due to the comfort and allows me to be ready to take a long walk whenever I get the chance.

Socks - The Wrightsock coolmesh socks have worked the best for me in hot weather. They are double layer but still very cool. For colder weather, I like the Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew. They are Merino wool and come with a lifetime warranty.

Underwear - David Archy Mesh Quick Dry Boxer Briefs

Pants/Shorts -I like Columbia or Prana convertible pants and for shorts Prana Zion. The Prana Brion pants are made of the same material as their hiking shorts & pants and are acceptable for a business casual look.

Shirts - I'm not very picky as long as the shirt fits and it drys quickly. For warm-weather shirts, the Columbia Slack Tide Camp Shirts or Marmot Windridge have worked well.

Hat - True-Spec Boonie









 

BombayBill

Still Learning
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I've done some more pondering on the thread I started regarding the best clothing.

It's true any old shirt will do. But there's something to be said for crafts(wo)manship. In a previous time there was great reverence for the artisan who crafted the perfect product that performed as you wanted. Then as now you had to pay dearly for that craft(wo)manship. 300 years ago I'm sure there were pilgrims who valued their well-made cloak or staff. Nowadays we're less likely to have reverence for a billion dollar company with glossly ad campaigns.

So when I natter on about some brand and how great their product is it's because I appreciate that they turned out a great product. I think they should be recognized for that value. The companies that produce well crafted items should be be lauded over those that produce "cheap" things. If I can make an imperfect analogy think of it this way... there are endless threads about that one great place that gave you a great meal. Sure you could still walk the Camino eating nothing but mediocre meals. It's the one great meal that causes you to feel appreciation for the good things in life. Surely that's the vaunted Camino spirit. No one says avoid the great meal; it's only an indulgence of the privileged.

So please indulge my tiny anal compulsive thoughts about buying the perfect shirt. It's all I have in a long bleak winter.o_O Those of you who say anything will do please tell me that is true of shoes...... Ha!
 

PlutseligPilegrim

Rota Vicentina, fisherman’s trail, is sweet...
Year of past OR future Camino
St Olav’s way Novgorod - Åbo
- Stiklestad - Nidaros (2019)
Via del a plata from Cadiz (2019)
I think correlation between price and quality often gets delluted....mostly because we pilgrims as individuals are very biased most of the time.....closed up in our own corner of the world. Outlook is depending heavily on income, experience and grade of detail orientation.....

So, in meta perspective, I think Decathlon as a franchise is peculiar.....they sell known brand models until they are able to outperform with own products/models....often to a fraction of brand cost...just sayin....

My clothing “collection” is 95% of it bought on sale. Favorite in every category is thin layers of running gear combined with cross -country gear for warmth. ( Examples are gloves and vest)

Ultreia.

 
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Anhalter

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019 CF
In my opinion there are few items, where investing money gets a "real" advantage.

- Sleeping Bag - A high quality down sleeping bag will weigh a lot less than a cheap synthetic one and pack a lot smaller. This can save quite some weight.
- Backpack - Higher End materials do actually have some advantages. My 38l backpack is practivally waterproof, very durable and has nicely padded straps. In its minimal configuration without a hipbelt it weighs 265g. In my "camino configuration" it weighs 500g, thats with lots of options on it. But it was almost 300€.

On clothing, i think its mostly personal preference. I have great items from Decathlon, including merino stuff, which have by now lastet for a seriously long time (and i love them). I also have higher tier clothing items that did cost quite a lot more. To be honest, theres not much difference.
Maybe in terms of rain jackets, money can be spent. Theres some nice, very light ones out there. But then, the 200€ one might save you 30-40g compared to the 50€ one from Decathlon while being equally waterproof.
Also a maybe is insulation. For winter i wear a lot of down, and warmth to weight ratio it is incredible. However, it does not breath well as synthetic. So for my next camino i'll not be using down as an insulation piece but rather a significantly cheaper synthetic one. (or maybe i'll bite the bullet and get my a Atom LT which is rather pricey again)

In regard to shoes, i would say that its way more important that they fit you well than what they did cost. If thats the 200€ Meindl boots, great. If its the 30€ pair of runners from some noname brand of amazon, also great.

Poles maybe a thing where money can bring comfort, since weight is very important with them and theres nothing lighter than carbon fibre. But its expensive and it can break if treated wrong. I use a pair of aluminium poles that are almost as light (160g each) and did only cost me shy of 70€.

So in regards to camino: I do not think, overly expensive gear is essential. There may be a few items where spending more might be helpful, but thats not a neccessity. Im sure that its perfectly possible to get everything you need for less than 500€, and if buying smart, you'll still be packing less than 5kg.
 

Jbirk

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, SJPP to Finesterre April (2018)
Via Francigena Sept (2018)
Del Norte Aug (2019)
3 Caminos and I have come down to this ensemble
Everything I use is Quick drying and will not shrink or fade in European Dryers (I wash my clothes almost every day unless I can't find a laundromat)

Shirt - Is a Dickies Performance DLL60 (Long Sleeve with a collar so it can be used in a church for mass)
Shirt Link

Pants - Kuhl Renegade Cargo Convertible (Fantastic pants with hidden zippers and the side pocket fits a large iPhone). I have used the same two pair of pants on all three caminos. I only bring one pair of the zip in bottoms as both pair are the same color.
Pants Link

Underwear - David Archy Mesh Quick Dry Boxer Briefs
Underware Link

Socks are Darn Tough mid-weight "Tactical". (I get "tactical" because they are solid colors and I don't have to match them up)
Socks Link

Shoes Altra Lonepeak mids any type I used from 3.0 to 4.5 with no issues.

Hat- Sun day Afternoons Bug free Adventure Hat. It has a visor only on the front only and it does not interfere with my backpack.
Hat Link
 

RemysMimi

Hooked on the Camino!!
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2018)
Frances or Portuguese (2020)
I think I have to completely disagree. When you live on a fixed income the upfront costs are without a doubt not just the true cost but automatically decides any purchase. You should consider yourself blessed that you can make that statement. No criticism but not everyone can say that. As I said in another post you can buy good quality and durable clothes and gear for a fraction of the price for the products you and others have mentioned and they last with a little care a very long time.
As a person who never cared about clothes and even before I was forced because of circumstance and choice I had to roll back and live a far simpler and “economic” life. It blows me away when I see what some of these websites charge for shirts, underwear and jackets. Yes you and some others are lucky you have the luxury of buying what you want. Yea I am sure they do last a long time. So do the $12 quick dry shirts that I have worn since 2012. For others you can outfit a Camino for so much less and the lessons we learn teaches us that each one of us can get a different meaning from things like the Camino gives us what we need not what we want and all you truly need is family, friendship, love and what you carry on your back. That the true burdens of life is everything else you own or want. Again not a criticism but my feelings and beliefs. Buen Camino and stay safe
I have to agree. I have several of the name brand items mentioned here. Ice breaker, Patagonia, Smartwool, etc. because I liked them for the fit and comfort for certain items. I, fortunately, am able to fork out the money and considered myself blessed. But I also have some very inexpensive gear (Costco) that has lasted me years as well. And though I can afford to does not mean I want to make these companies even richer. LOL
 

BombayBill

Still Learning
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Here's a last word on value. On the CP several years ago I met 2 Spanish gentlemen. They were repeat hikers and they were both carrying wooden poles as walking sticks. I asked where they got them. They told me that walking poles were essential on the Camino but otherwise a nuisance before and after. So they both bought wooden mop handle replacements as aids at the beginning and gave them away when they they were no longer needed.

Now there's value!
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
@BombayBill : you described it perfectly.

What also is important for me when buying clothes and shoes is the fact that I can trace if they are ethically manufactured and the people who make them get a decent pay.
May I recommend, I’d they are sold where you live Toms shoes. Not for walking everyday but for albergues and at night. Super light and I did wear them for 6-8 k stretches ehrn I had a blister once. They also do great humanitarian work:

 
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Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
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My daughter in law loves Tom's and their purpose in helping underprivileged. In addition, she also purchases them as gifts for several family members at Christmas.
 

RemysMimi

Hooked on the Camino!!
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2018)
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Hat Link
Curious. How did your hat work for bugs? The flies about drove me crazy.
 

P Rat

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino VDLP/Sanábres April 2019
Camino Mozárabe when we can again...(2021?)
Love, Love my Icebreaker Merino. They have done me proud over many Caminos
Big fan of Icebreaker brand. Wear them (nearly) all year round, including the underwear. We're in Queensland, Australia, so height of summer it's only the underwear that gets any use. I love how they have the different weights, so good for layering.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
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CF 2020
On my 1st Camino I met a young Japanese woman. Each morning she wrapped her feet in ducttape.
She never had blisters.

I stuck to wearing high quality socks, but every now and then I do have a blister.
Nevertheless, I just can't force myself to trying duct tape.
Yes the right tape is good, the wrong tape will pull off a layer of skin or a layer of toenail surface. 5FA50B31-9704-4A16-B099-C4784CEE3B1D.jpeg Yikes!
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Yes the right tape is good, the wrong tape will pull off a layer of skin or a layer of toenail surface.
Is your tape in the picture the right tape...or wrong tape? It would seem on any true blisters that any tape would be bad...ouch! I've only used duct tape on a hot spot on my toe with good results.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
Planning for 2021
On my 1st Camino I met a young Japanese woman. Each morning she wrapped her feet in ducttape.
She never had blisters.

I stuck to wearing high quality socks, but every now and then I do have a blister.
Nevertheless, I just can't force myself to trying duct tape.
I've never had a blister. Walked thousands of miles. Never used tape either. I do use one sponge toe sleeve due to previous damage to one toe which causes it to rub against its neighbour. I use olive oil and a spot of t tree oil daily, walking or not, on my feet. When walking, bamboo socks next to my feet and merino socks above. My full on boots were bought using a trained boot fitter after a five mile walk late in the afternoon allowing the boots to correctly match the circumstances of my feet if they were to swell with that type if use.
There are not many large studies into blisters for walkers etc, but there are a number of studies into bed sores which are similarly friction sores, they made interesting reading

I had PF but have solved that with the given exercises and use of supafeet green insoles.
They take a bit if getting used to but they do the job.
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
I've never had a blister. Walked thousands of miles. Never used tape either. I do use one sponge toe sleeve due to previous damage to one toe which causes it to rub against its neighbour. I use olive oil and a spot of t tree oil daily, walking or not, on my feet. When walking, bamboo socks next to my feet and merino socks above. My full on boots were bought using a trained boot fitter after a five mile walk late in the afternoon allowing the boots to correctly match the circumstances of my feet if they were to swell with that type if use.
There are not many large studies into blisters for walkers etc, but there are a number of studies into bed sores which are similarly friction sores, they made interesting reading

I had PF but have solved that with the given exercises and use of supafeet green insoles.
They take a bit if getting used to but they do the job.
Are not bed sores more related to pressure than friction?

I second your recommendation of superfeet green, specifically for mild over-pronation.
I’ve had PF in the past and experienced excruciating pain, but would caution that the solutions - or alleviations - do vary. considerably between patients.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I've never had a blister.
I know that quite a few people have said this on the forum. I just find it hard to believe - seriously, never had a blister (on your foot)? If so, it surely means that your skin is different in some way from mine. I guess that should not be a surprise, given all of our individual differences, but it probably isn't just our different sock or footcare practices.
 

Anhalter

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019 CF
I know that quite a few people have said this on the forum. I just find it hard to believe - seriously, never had a blister (on your foot)? If so, it surely means that your skin is different in some way from mine. I guess that should not be a surprise, given all of our individual differences, but it probably isn't just our different sock or footcare practices.

"Never" is one of those big words... i have not had a blister for two years now, including my camino. With my old socks and shoes, i ocasionally got them, even on day hikes. Changing shoes and socks seemed to do the trick. Theres a footbalm in germany called "Hirschtalg" (deer tallow?) which was recommended to me and i use for my feet when hiking, but honestly i am not sure how much that helps.
So for me it actually seems to not be some magical foot skin but the stuff I'm using.
 
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Camino Frances 2017
Planning for 2021
Nope never had a blister.
I have been "skinned" a few times, usually with new shoes that get my ankle bone or trainers that skin me at the achilles area. Usually new footwear and truly aggravating. Strangely never occurred with full on walking boots. I have had hotspots, always in the same place, big joint on big toe right foot. I have found a foot oiling and a change of inner socks controls that.

As for bed sores, yes they are pressure sores, the pressure causes friction shearing in the layers of skin, which is what also causes blisters so actually they are much the same thing, though causes may differ. There are plenty of great papers published free on the Web. It's a pity some of the large boot and shoe manufacturers don't fund large scale studies into blisters caused through walking.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
So for me it actually seems to not be some magical foot skin but the stuff I'm using.
Yes, as with most such issues, it is likely a combo. Some people are very vulnerable to blisters and even the "best" practices won't always work. Other people are not vulnerable, and don't need special practices. Then there is a big range of people in between!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2019
CF 2020
Is your tape in the picture the right tape...or wrong tape? It would seem on any true blisters that any tape would be bad...ouch! I've only used duct tape on a hot spot on my toe with good results.
This tape was okay, problem tape was a type of super strong Leuko tape, which I plied before blisters appeared. Disaster hit after this, I took off a Compeed bandage which wrapped a blister on the bottom of a toe and all the skin came with it. I was kindly treated at a Fromista clinic with Betadine gel, soft Spanish “second skin” and gauze. Can’t say enough good about the kind treatment I received. Volumes could be written about blisters, feet and treatment of. 🚶🏼‍♀️
 

Packinglight

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2014)
July-August 2019, Pamplona-Santiago
I lurvve equipment/clothing discussions, because it's fun for me to read about everyone's experience. However, since I am short and fat there's next to no options for me that are not wildly expensive if available at all. When I still lived in Canada I could pop down to the outlets across the border and find a much better selection of large sized women's clothing, but alas, not available here where the women are lean mean skiing machines. (Austria). Obviously, shipping is prohibitive from the US and Canada. I don't have the money to spend on that.
Since I walked in the summer, I was starting to panic about not having the right clothing. Then I got over myself and decided to just wear what I would normally walk in at home, in the heat. So that meant ancient 10-euro cotton capris, an old icebreaker t-shirt that my late husband had bought for me years before, complete with a few tiny holes and stains here and there, ancient tennis socks still stained from clay tennis courts. I had a cheap fleece that I have had for a hundred eleventy years. I wore my normal everyday bra and undies. I borrowed a backpack from a friend, which he had bought at Hofer (like Lidl) years before for 20 euros. I did buy new runners for the walk, but sent them home (soles too soft for the sharp stones) after I walked into Lidl in Estella on my way to Decathlon to buy poles and spotted men's running shoes for 15 euros. They lasted from Estella to Santiago with no issues nor did I get blisters. 3X /day I massaged my feet with a foot lotion and that was that!
I am dearly hoping to be able to walk again this summer (but we all know how that can change in a pandemic) and I think I will do pretty much exactly the same as before. Except those old capris are way too big now and I tossed them. Also, I was heartily sick of them by Santiago. No worries--I have another pair on tap for this summer, 11 euros...
 

NualaOC

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few and hopefully lots more. See signature.
Since we can't go anywhere let me obsess, even more than usual, about gear. I'm one of those guys who loves to waste endless time making sure I've chosen exactly the right thing to take with me. We are all familiar with the endless debate about shoes and ponchos. So let's talk about the rest of our clothing...

I like to experiment and trial my clothing with many training hikes. I wear them in the sun and rain, wash them in a bowl with trail soap, and hang them them outside to dry. I then think about how they hold up to the testing. Do they stink? ( a big factor in crowded albergues). Do they dry easily in damp weather? Do they keep me cool in hot weather and dry in wet? Over 3 years and several thousand kilometers on the Camino trail I have a winner.

I wear LuluLemon brand shirts, underwear and socks. I even have a super lightweight Lululemon sports coat for post Camino relaxing. Socks, shirts, and underwear have all performed superbly and continuously for many years. The socks show no sign of wear. I usually rotate through 4 sets while walking. Never had a blister.

Some people may say their gear is too expensive. My argument is that cheap gear is exactly that, cheap. It doesn't last or fails you you when you need it most. We all know the cost of bad choices in footwear and socks.

As always there is no one right answer for the Camino. You should make your choices based on anticipated weather, route, and your needs. I'm staring at my Camino socks right now just dying to pack them up and head out to SJPP.
For camino repeat-offenders, there's a potential problem with Lululemon T-shirts (and purple rain skirts, for that matter. All your camino photos will look the same as they're indestructible!
 
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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
@Packinglight I love your attitude and everyone looks much the same after 5 weeks on the Camino. My contribution is that when I buy new underwear now (and it is necessary sometimes) I go for grey. Grey bras are great!
 

tweekes

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Since we can't go anywhere let me obsess, even more than usual, about gear. I'm one of those guys who loves to waste endless time making sure I've chosen exactly the right thing to take with me. We are all familiar with the endless debate about shoes and ponchos. So let's talk about the rest of our clothing...

I like to experiment and trial my clothing with many training hikes. I wear them in the sun and rain, wash them in a bowl with trail soap, and hang them them outside to dry. I then think about how they hold up to the testing. Do they stink? ( a big factor in crowded albergues). Do they dry easily in damp weather? Do they keep me cool in hot weather and dry in wet? Over 3 years and several thousand kilometers on the Camino trail I have a winner.

I wear LuluLemon brand shirts, underwear and socks. I even have a super lightweight Lululemon sports coat for post Camino relaxing. Socks, shirts, and underwear have all performed superbly and continuously for many years. The socks show no sign of wear. I usually rotate through 4 sets while walking. Never had a blister.

Some people may say their gear is too expensive. My argument is that cheap gear is exactly that, cheap. It doesn't last or fails you you when you need it most. We all know the cost of bad choices in footwear and socks.

As always there is no one right answer for the Camino. You should make your choices based on anticipated weather, route, and your needs. I'm staring at my Camino socks right now just dying to pack them up and head out to SJPP.
Thank you for your recommendation! And hiking pants? What are your thoughts on the zip-off pants that turn into shorts? Has anyone thoughts to offer on these for the variable weather on the trail?
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I've worn the zip-off pants on my early walks but found the zip annoying and never wore them as shorts anyway. I wear a skirt now. For women, consider the advantages when you have to have a "technical stop". A skirt is much easier.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I wear a skirt now. For women, consider the advantages when you have to have a "technical stop". A skirt is much easier.
Yes, a skirt or dress is easier, and cooler when you walk in warm weather. In variable weather you can put a pair of leggings on underneath in the morning, and take them off as the day gets warmer. Some women wear skorts, but they don't have the same advantages as skirts and dresses, since they are just shorts with a skirt attached.
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
My contribution is that when I buy new underwear now (and it is necessary sometimes) I go for grey. Grey bras are great!
If you are having trouble finding the grey colour in the stores, it is easy enough to create at home. I am far less fussed about separating whites from coloured now, than I used to be.
What are your thoughts on the zip-off pants
I virtually never wear shorts at home, and I don't want them on the camino. I wear long pants - the most comfortable that I can find. The idea of a skirt has some merit, in my mind, but I don't think I could carry off the "look."
 

tweekes

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
If you are having trouble finding the grey colour in the stores, it is easy enough to create at home. I am far less fussed about separating whites from coloured now, than I used to be.

I virtually never wear shorts at home, and I don't want them on the camino. I wear long pants - the most comfortable that I can find. The idea of a skirt has some merit, in my mind, but I don't think I could carry off the "look."
Thanks, C clearly. I get super hot in the warm weather, so I thought a "shorts" option might be good. Are there (specific) reasons why you wouldn't bring shorts on the Camino? Maybe there's something else that I need to know...?
 

JMac TO

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2017)
On my 1st Camino I met a young Japanese woman. Each morning she wrapped her feet in ducttape.
She never had blisters.

I stuck to wearing high quality socks, but every now and then I do have a blister.
Nevertheless, I just can't force myself to trying duct tape.
Try Vick’s between your toes everyday. Works like a charm! And washes away.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
On my 1st Camino I met a young Japanese woman. Each morning she wrapped her feet in ducttape.
She never had blisters.

I stuck to wearing high quality socks, but every now and then I do have a blister.
Nevertheless, I just can't force myself to trying duct tape.
I use tape on my blister prone areas, but not duct tape! I like Omnifix tape, which is thin, soft and slightly stretchy, which helps it to conform to the count ours of my feet. It, and the similar Hypafix are widely available in farmacias in Spain.
 
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Portugues (2015)
Frances (2014)
On my 1st Camino I met a young Japanese woman. Each morning she wrapped her feet in ducttape.
She never had blisters.

I stuck to wearing high quality socks, but every now and then I do have a blister.
Nevertheless, I just can't force myself to trying duct tape.
Try paper surgical tape. Put onto the hot spots in the morning. Accept that foot perspiration will have ruined the glue by the time you take a shower in afternoon, and accept that you will buy more than one roll. If you begin to develop a blister away from the known hot spots, clean with alcohol (hand sanitizer), put some gauze, and cover with the tape.
This setup after more than one Camino...and the first one, before I knew anything at all, was miserable. But one lives and learns.
Buen Camino to all
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
Planning for 2021
Zip offs are OK. If you wear long trousers anyway. I usually have two pairs of zip off trousers but usually just wear the one pair. I swap the lower portions daily as it is easier to wash and dry those than a whole pair of trousers. Last ldw I did I took the trousers I was wearing, with two sets of the lower portion. I have found over the years that the upper portion rarely gets muddy and rarely gets wet under the rain skirt. The bottoms take hardly any time to dry when washed but the upper takes into the next day. This means I only need to do clothes wash at most every other day.

I am very self conscious in shorts and although I see the benefits of skirts (kilts?), I don't think they are for me at all. My wife has been telling me recently that if I don't do a lot more exercise during lockdown I may need a bra, grey or otherwise, that has inspired me to watch my eating and do a lot more exercise. Can't face all that extra washing. 😁😁
 

tweekes

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Good ideas! I haven't committed to buying a pair of the zip-offs yet but was curious to know if the zipper seem rubs on your thighs. They can be so expensive, so maybe I'll head to a thrift store and see if I can find cheaper ones to try out, before committing to a higher quality pair. Thank you!
 

tweekes

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Try paper surgical tape. Put onto the hot spots in the morning. Accept that foot perspiration will have ruined the glue by the time you take a shower in afternoon, and accept that you will buy more than one roll. If you begin to develop a blister away from the known hot spots, clean with alcohol (hand sanitizer), put some gauze, and cover with the tape.
This setup after more than one Camino...and the first one, before I knew anything at all, was miserable. But one lives and learns.
Buen Camino to all
I just found out about an awesome (product) from another gentleman on this site (thank you, Rob) - it's sheep's wool or hiker's wool, as some call it. It's very light, so you can get a bag of it and tote it with you. Whenever you feel a hotspot or a blister forming, you simply ball up a bit of wool and place it in between the tender spot and your sock...and it sticks in place! You can even wrap it around your toes, etc...
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
Planning for 2021
Good ideas! I haven't committed to buying a pair of the zip-offs yet but was curious to know if the zipper seem rubs on your thighs. They can be so expensive, so maybe I'll head to a thrift store and see if I can find cheaper ones to try out, before committing to a higher quality pair. Thank you!
Hi Tweekes
My zip offs' seam comes to just below the knee, I never notice them. Mind you I do have very long legs. But you could go to an outdoor shop and just try some on for "size", a walk up and down to the mirror or to see what a friend thinks if them will give you a more personal idea as to whether they suit you or not. That way no need to spend anything until you make your mind up. Charity shops are a great idea. Recycling at its most useful.
 
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BombayBill

Still Learning
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
My view on zip offs is that when something goes wrong with the zip you have neither pants or shorts...hopefully you have underwear. Moreover when they are wet you have no alternative. My preference is shorts and pants and sometimes belts and suspenders :)
 

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Alison
Year of past OR future Camino
Norte,primitivo,francés,portugués
I just found out about an awesome (product) from another gentleman on this site (thank you, Rob) - it's sheep's wool or hiker's wool, as some call it. It's very light, so you can get a bag of it and tote it with you. Whenever you feel a hotspot or a blister forming, you simply ball up a bit of wool and place it in between the tender spot and your sock...and it sticks in place! You can even wrap it around your toes, etc...
Yes, it's wonderful stuff, I just pick a bagful of fallen wool in the local sheep field wash and dry it well and keep for using while walking long distances, make a pad and stick it with medical tape on any pressure points. ( I think lambs wool is better if you can get it)😁
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
Thank you for your recommendation! And hiking pants? What are your thoughts on the zip-off pants that turn into shorts? Has anyone thoughts to offer on these for the variable weather on the trail?
I really like the zip-off hiking pants (trousers for the British in the audience) that I wore on my 2016 and 2018 Caminos. I believe they are the Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pants. They would be my candidate for "best clothing I've worn on Camino".

Personally, I tended to wear them long, without turning them into shorts. The ones that I had were khaki and they were light, loose and wicking, so I found that it was just as cool to wear them long in the hot Spanish summer, as they shaded my legs (and provided SPF 50 sun protection). With lots of good pockets, they were very light and dried quickly after washing or rain.

I did find the zipper at the knee really handy in my 2016 Camino as it made it much easier to put on and take off a knee brace without taking off the pants entirely after I developed knee issues on the Camino.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
No. I rarely wear them at home either, so I'd want alternative long pants anyway. Other people wear shorts, depending on season, of course.
I love wearing shorts, but notice that the older I get, the longer they get.😉
 
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Anhalter

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019 CF
For camino repeat-offenders, there's a potential problem with Lululemon T-shirts (and purple rain skirts, for that matter. All your camino photos will look the same as they're indestructible!
Unfortunately the kilts are out of stock atm, but i will get myself one once they are back. Thanks for the recommendation!
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
I love wearing shorts, but notice that the older I get, the longer they get.😉

Also on men, short shorts are a bit 1970’s. There’s nothing wrong with a good solid pair of ‘Empire Builders’ shorts - thick cotton drill down to the knees.

I suppose it depends on your cultural frame of reference. I’d cite Eric Morecambe - but there’s only Doughnut in the land of the long white cloud who I’m certain would get the correct mental image, and he’ll be asleep
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
Planning for 2021
My view on zip offs is that when something goes wrong with the zip you have neither pants or shorts...hopefully you have underwear. Moreover when they are wet you have no alternative. My preference is shorts and pants and sometimes belts and suspenders :)
Truly don't understand that. If you have zip problems they are quite easy to either stich up "solid" or rip the remainder of the zip through and you'll have a pair of shorts.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few times
Personally I like Kuhl brand for outer clothing, underarmour for inner clothing and Oboz footwear. Mind you, pricey stuff there. I never like to come across on this forum that one needs expensive equipment to walk the Camino. You most definitely do not. You can easily kit yourself out to walk it with stuff you can purchase at stores like Decathlon, Walmart, Target and the like. Also Amazon is a great place to get reasonably priced clothing and equipment.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Personally I like Kuhl brand for outer clothing, underarmour for inner clothing and Oboz footwear. Mind you, pricey stuff there. I never like to come across on this forum that one needs expensive equipment to walk the Camino. You most definitely do not. You can easily kit yourself out to walk it with stuff you can purchase at stores like Decathlon, Walmart, Target and the like. Also Amazon is a great place to get reasonably priced clothing and equipment.
You can also make your own. I made my own silk sleep sack, rain gear, and merino wool hiking dresses.
 
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Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Yes, it's wonderful stuff, I just pick a bagful of fallen wool in the local sheep field wash and dry it well and keep for using while walking long distances, make a pad and stick it with medical tape on any pressure points. ( I think lambs wool is better if you can get it)😁
If you are going to wash it then just use plain, cold water. No soap or detergent or you will wash out the natural lanolin. The lanolin is the main reason for using raw wool.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few times
Simply out of curiosity I looked at the price of a lululemon t-shirt. I’m now trying to mop my mouthful of tea out from between the keys on my laptop.
lol .... I have reacted the same way myself when I see the prices of some of the gear recommended here.
I have a terrible habit of absent mindedly leaving gear at albergues and not discovering I did so until 25 kilometres later lol. I have done it with socks and shirts. Inexpensive synthetic tech material. Stuff for running and working out. No heartbreak for loss of a shirt costing under ten dollars. A fifty dollar smart wool shirt? Oh my. That would bother me. lol
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
A fifty dollar smart wool shirt? Oh my. That would bother me.
Fifty dollars would be a bargain for a Smart Wool shirt. This long sleeve t-shirt is $85!

 

RJM

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few times
Fifty dollars would be a bargain for a Smart Wool shirt. This long sleeve t-shirt is $85!

85 bucks... wow. Too rich for my blood in terms of a shirt. I also look at it in terms of nights at albergues. That's about ten nights worth in one shirt. About a third of my average Camino.
 
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Anhalter

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019 CF
Just wanted to let you know, adventure kilts are back in stock and i just ordered mine. Honestly stoked about it and will give feedback once it arrives.
Price is a bit tough, almost 100$ with shipping, and likely another 40 in import tax and VAT, but you only live once.
 

Eaa802

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances September 2019
Primativo October 2019
Since we can't go anywhere let me obsess, even more than usual, about gear. I'm one of those guys who loves to waste endless time making sure I've chosen exactly the right thing to take with me. We are all familiar with the endless debate about shoes and ponchos. So let's talk about the rest of our clothing...

I like to experiment and trial my clothing with many training hikes. I wear them in the sun and rain, wash them in a bowl with trail soap, and hang them them outside to dry. I then think about how they hold up to the testing. Do they stink? ( a big factor in crowded albergues). Do they dry easily in damp weather? Do they keep me cool in hot weather and dry in wet? Over 3 years and several thousand kilometers on the Camino trail I have a winner.

I wear LuluLemon brand shirts, underwear and socks. I even have a super lightweight Lululemon sports coat for post Camino relaxing. Socks, shirts, and underwear have all performed superbly and continuously for many years. The socks show no sign of wear. I usually rotate through 4 sets while walking. Never had a blister.

Some people may say their gear is too expensive. My argument is that cheap gear is exactly that, cheap. It doesn't last or fails you you when you need it most. We all know the cost of bad choices in footwear and socks.

As always there is no one right answer for the Camino. You should make your choices based on anticipated weather, route, and your needs. I'm staring at my Camino socks right now just dying to pack them up and head out to SJPP.
I was extremely grateful for my toe socks and bucket hat.
 

Amused212

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Great thread and can't say that I haven't been doing a bit of daydreaming and planning in the same fashion as the OP... per usual, by the time I get around to things, I'm in the back of the pack. :>)

Outdoor Research (OR) or Mountain Hardware (Columbia brand) base layer shirts, $10 rain poncho (REI),
Ex-Officio zip leg trousers (with Insect Repellent finish) - my first two pair are now 8 years old, veterans of CF and CP and still looking good, Columbia Splitter 38L pack, Ex-Officio underwear (quick dry and no odors), Wright Socks or Road Runner Dry Max 5.0, Salomon Trail Runners (non-goretex), OR Cap with snap on neck protector for the hottest days (my Italian friends say it "does not" make me look like Lawrence of Arabia :>( , 15 oz (1000mg) North Face sleep sack, 2 meters NiteIze nylon rope w/ carabiner for hanging gear or wet clothes.
I'm working on the other stuff... booklets/maps, power supply (solar or no), dark chocolate (normally carry at least 1lb for emergency (or sharing)).
More daydreaming ahead, after my daily run.
Thanks for the prompts and great ideas.
Buen Camino
If you are sharing chocolate, I want to walk with you!
 

Rusty walker

Walking is traveling at the Speed of Life.
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Spring 2018
Via de Francesco, Rieti to Assisi, Sept-Oct. 2019
Thanks for starting this. I can vouch for the fact that wick-ability, wash-ability and comfort are worth the price. It also means you need to spend less, if you can pack less.
 

Forestgirl

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2016 Frances
2017 Portuguese, Muxia y Fisterra,
Ingles, Primativo
2018 Frances
2019 Norte
Here's a last word on value. On the CP several years ago I met 2 Spanish gentlemen. They were repeat hikers and they were both carrying wooden poles as walking sticks. I asked where they got them. They told me that walking poles were essential on the Camino but otherwise a nuisance before and after. So they both bought wooden mop handle replacements as aids at the beginning and gave them away when they they were no longer needed.

Now there's value!
Wow. That’s genius. I swear every hike I go I scan the terrain for thee perfect walking stick. Straight, strong, lightweight, and smooth on the hands. Imagine that, I could’ve saved time spent looking for flowers or mountains instead of foraging through woodland debris!! Still some habits are hard to break, but it’s great knowing that a simpler option is available when you need it. Plus I could mop up the next mess I make. Thanks for sharing.
 
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