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The color of safety

Year of past OR future Camino
2013 Camino Frances SJPP / 2014 Camino Portugues / 2015 Camino Ingles / 2015 Hospitalero Training
2016 (fall) Camino Sanabre / Hospitalero?
This is not meant to start the rain jacket or poncho debate again, (I use a jacket). What I have reconsidered is the color, because in rain and fog pilgrims are less visible. I looked gallant, suave, overweight but cool in my black jacket but no one could see me. My new gear is safety yellow (green-yellow) and I feel comfortable leading the parade when road walking. My small light also flashes to alert vehicles ...... Ultreya.... Willy/Utah/USA
 
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Waka

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Some but not all, and other routes too.
Really good point about being seen, also correct me if I'm wrong but I think it's a requirement in Spain when walking on the highway. Myself I have a very lightweight windproof cycling yellow jacket that i wear one the top, when I say light I mean light, it only weighs 30grams. having said that I like the idea of incorporating that into the main jacket. Think I might have a look around.
 
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t2andreo

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
Being conscious of added weight...ANY added weight...I try to swap out subdued clothing colors for bright, contrasting colors where possible.

So, my rain parka is bright orange. My fleece cap is safety lemon-lime. My poncho is either a sky blue or lime color. My t-shirts or polo shirts (mood dependent) are bright safety colors. I also have several reflective stripe bands on each walking pole.

As I am wont to say, the oncoming drivers may die of laughter, but they WILL see me first...:D

Worn together, I rather look like a tropical fruit basket.:eek: But, I typically try to use these "wake the dead" colors for my outermost layer. The benefit is to alert oncoming drivers, not to generate a comedy parade.;)

I hope this helps.
 

Ribeirasacra

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
the highway
When walking along roads in Spain one is supposed to use reflective jackets in poor weather or at night time.
Be Bright be Seen!
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
You are correct. Local law requires safety vests when walking in early morning or at dusk, when daylight is not full, and visibility is limited.

However, I avoid walking at these times anyway. Plus, the vest adds weight.

I have not had a problem in five Caminos in both Portugal and Spain. When I see a police car, I wave in greeting. They typically beep the horn... All is good.

Hope this helps.
 

Charles Zammit

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
St Jean Pied de Port - Finisterra 2017
GR70 France 2018
Via Francigena 2019
T2andreo,
you make me laugh and think of Carmen Miranda at the same time :)

For added visibility in difficult conditions consider wearing a head torch backwards , directed immediately behind you at following traffic .
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
April 2015
Reflective gear: I have a great light vest I wear when walking at home, but my pack would cover up most of it. I'm wondering why Osprey/Dueter hasn't picked up on this and incorporated reflective strips into the shoulders and backs. I do have reflective tape that I can sew on. Maybe I'll sew it on the pack cover?
 
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David

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Seems to be true that road walking in Spain a hi viz of some sort is required - all of us who are drivers may have had the adrenaline rush sick feeling of just missing someone dressed all in black on a dark or misty road!

The hi viz waistcoats one can buy in any car spares shop such as Halfords (in the UK) that one keeps in the car for breakdowns (compulsory to have one for each vehicle seat in Spain and France) are gauzy breathable, extremely light, and fold away small - they may do the job.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
I try to wear colors that will contrast with the surrounding environment. This creates high-visibility (or hi-viz). It is true that most folks think international orange or the neon yellow of road workers, etc. The background color changes from season to season. So, you need to learn ahead what to expect and plan accordingly.

But, in truth, any color that creates a high-level of contrast, and helps an oncoming driver or a hunter see you and avoid you will work. Hence, my rain ponchos are brights shades of green or even sky blue, to contrast against the local color palette. My basic palette, as explained above is Carmen Miranda of "dancing fruit basket lady fame from the 1930s." You get the idea.

This is also why I counsel against ponchos or outer parkas in subdued colors, like: black, brown, olive, forest green, navy blue, bordeaux or wine color, etc. I also counsel wearing really bright hats, or headlamps, even mounted backwards, as someone suggested above.

I recall that some years ago, like several decades, Mercedes Benz mounted an epic study to determine the best car paint color for safety / visibility in low light conditions. Surprisingly, white was the runaway winner in all weather. Except in a white-out snow storm (one would not normally be walking anyway), this would create optimum contrast.

Hope this helps.
 

Ribeirasacra

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
the highway
You are correct. Local law requires safety vests when walking in early morning or at dusk, when daylight is not full, and visibility is limited.

However, I avoid walking at these times anyway. Plus, the vest adds weight.

I have not had a problem in five Caminos in both Portugal and Spain. When I see a police car, I wave in greeting. They typically beep the horn... All is good.

Hope this helps.

It is not the "police" car you will worry about. It will be the car that does not see you in the headlights.
 

David

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
It is not the "police" car you will worry about. It will be the car that does not see you in the headlights.

I was thinking about that. If a car on a twilight and wet evening comes round a bend at 50 mph then it is travelling at 73 feet per second. If you are on the road about 100 feet away, which is over three bus lengths, the driver has not much over a second to see you, react, brake or drive around you - there is almost no time, your life depends upon those one or two seconds - there isn't much leeway for error - so I go with a Hi-Viz (and lights - one can pin bicycle flashing front and rear lights to your pack or straps or headgear).

oh - and walk single file and facing traffic, if in the lead or the rear call out when you here a vehicle coming to warn the others - and, you may be surprised at just how quickly you can jump off a road!
 
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