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Camping Thinking about tents

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Hi – I have been thinking about tents for Camino - idle thoughts

Now, I don’t want to get into the rights or wrongs nor the legalities or illegalities, would rather leave that out for this thread … but, when the Camino does open again I do think that there will be more tenting pilgrims. I will certainly be packing one onto my first aid trailer.

So – to me there are a few main requirements - I would be interested to hear other views

1. It has to be light – for obvious reasons really.

2. It will be a dome or pop-up tent as it has to be free-standing, that it will stand up without pegging down.

There are many refugios with concrete/wooden verandahs, porches outside churches with stone floors. There are countless businesses along the way with car parks that close early evening and don’t open again until 8 or 9 the next day. There are tarmac Pelota squares in many villages ...
Again – this is not about the legality, but thinking about it, not camping on farmland could be a much better way forward. And something like a dome tent doesn’t have to be pegged unless there is a strong wind.

3. It has to be cheap.

The reason I have for this is that it will only be used for, what, 35 days max? And in Santiago could be given to a homeless person. Also, if it is is damaged, lost, stolen – who cares if it is cheap?

4. As it has to be both cheap and light I think that a single skin tent would do – if it gets a little cold and this causes condensation for a few nights .. is that important?

5. It will be small (to be light) but has to be big enough to keep footwear and pack inside.

And that is it really

Oh, 6. It should be blue with yellow waymarker signs spray-stencilled onto it.

I could be completely wrong here but I don’t think anyone has to spend a fortune on a tent with all gizzmos and super strong Himalayan waterproofing and maybe half a kilo, a pound, lighter – but can one can budget this? And how light is ‘light’?
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
Have a look in Decathlon, I bought some 1 man, 2 man and 3 man tents there over the last few years for camping during canoe trips. Not too heavy, easy to erect and plenty room for me at 6' 4"


 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
I used to have a cycling tent that would be almost perfect. Sadly, I gave it away years ago as I couldn’t envision needing it again. I have a larger tent that goes with me on road trips, but would not want to carry.

Decathlon made a tent that is easily set up, and I’ve seen others carrying it on the camino. I went to their Spain website and they seem to have a wide selection of fairly inexpensive tents
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Decathlon do have a variety of good quality tents and some are free standing, but their lightest tent is 2.4kgs - nearly six pounds - which I don't consider to be anywhere near 'light'.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Currently on a "Virtual" Camino and striding out across Castile y Leon!
3. It has to be cheap.

The reason I have for this is that it will only be used for, what, 35 days max? And in Santiago could be given to a homeless person. Also, if it is is damaged, lost, stolen – who cares if it is cheap?
Who cares? We all should. One man's solution is oft-times another man's problem.

Abandoning tents.

Galicia 2120,

Archaeologist 1: "Wow look at this artefact! It's just like new, there's no damage to the cloth at all and look, the stitching is still intact!"

Archaelologist 2: "Looks like early 21st century Pilgrim to me - they were a profligate lot back then but those sweatshops were keen to maintain output so it seemed logical to use it a few times and then throw it away. Now put on your bio-hazard mask and keep sifting!"

edited by moderator to remove racial reference
 
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biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
I will first readily admit I am in the camp of using local hostels and hotels. Just to help with the economy of those who have put their lives and savings into providing amenities to pilgrims for years. That being said I also think you are going to stuck with carrying a small camp stove and provisions to cook at night and breakfast. I don't see carry-out every evening as viable option. So now the Camino is sounding more like the AP of PCT. Someone recently posted a photo of a poncho set up as an bivy, that's okay unless it is cold or rainy. Don't get me wrong but I personally want to provide support to the life in the villages where I stay and relish the regional dining.🍷🥪🥘
 

good_old_shoes

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
Hello David,

so sorry for the negative responses :-( Your question is not a bad one and you have every right to post it here.

To get back on topic and a bit more positive:

With tents you pay for weight - the lighter, the more expensive. Free standing, cheap and light won‘t be easy to get. If you find a cheap very light one, it‘s likely not even close to rainproof or with loads of condensation, which basically feels the same. Even if you‘re not on Everest, if you wake up in a soaked through sleeping bag on a not so warm summer morning, you‘ll be very unhappy. Probably for the rest of the day and maybe the next. Especially if you‘re not the camping type person already. Bad quality tents and sleeping bags are probably #1 reason people hate camping!

Now the good news:

You can make an ok but not so light tent like those from decathlon (even their cheapest ones are are at least more or less rainproof!) lighter if you want to.

Just leave all the stuff you don‘t need for summer time porch camping at home. That is pegs (with cheap tents come heavy steel pegs!), guy lines and the bag the tent is packed in.

If you really want pegs, Decathlon has cheap aluminium ones that weigh next to nothing. For a small, free standing dome tent you won‘t need more than four of those.

That way you can have a cheap, reasonably leightweight, but still useful shelter.


@biarritzdon Pilgrims in tents still spend money in the towns. They eat and drink just as everyone else. If albergues would allow camping, they could charge the same price for the camp spot as for a bunk. Pilgrims then still can go for a pilgrim's menu, a beer, or simply go shopping in town. I certainly did when I camped in Germany and France.
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I do not tent camp (any more), but I say "good" for those who are trying to come up with alternatives to find a way to enjoy the caminos in these uncertain times in history. It is fun to hope, daydream, and use our minds for potential solutions to get us out doing what we love a little sooner. I love reading these camping threads...they have been a nice diversion, including @David's thread.
 

Dromengro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP - Leon 1984
Frances (2021)
If it's unlikely to be used much other than a summer Camino in Spain, then there's absolutely no need for an expensive tent.
Argos in the U.K usually have a range of adequate single skin tents. for around £20 as well as most supermarkets in the summer.
It's quite easy to find tents around 1.6kg. To make them lighter, discard the pegs, dome tent doesn't need them and most places you won't get them in the ground anyway, your gear inside will stop it blowing away and once your inside it won't blow away even in the strongest gale also discard the guy lines as well as the pole bags and any other stuff sacs. Cheap tents have heavy groundsheets which don't roll up small and in the past I've cut it off and replaced it with a piece of lightweight nylon fabric, or poncho although this adds to the cost it's still a lot cheaper.

Always check the zip has some kind of rain shield that covers it, as this is the main point of water ingress, all the cheap tents I've ever used have been as waterproof and no more condensation than more expensive ones, (good ventilation prevents condensation) and have lasted well, often used constantly for 2-3 months at a time and for multiple trips.
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
@Good olds shoes - thanks .. I have almoast no true knowledge of tents and that is good info and makes sense straight away ... no, never have woken up soaked from condensation (or leaking tent) but can see how horrid it could be - perhaps I was a little glib about that in the OP!
I like the idea of stripping down a good tent to the lightest personal version - I like a project!

@Don - I was expecting that any tenters (if there are any) would be stopping at refugios - many already accept tents and I had just sort of hoped that if Camino opens and sistancing is still there that others would adapt and take tenters onto verandahs, porches, hard standing, etc, for the refugio fee.

And don't forget - even tenting pilgrims eat and drink and therefore spend locally every day!
 

Dromengro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP - Leon 1984
Frances (2021)
I forgot to mention that cheap dome tent normally have longer poles that can sometimes be a bit of a packing problem but can easily be adapted by getting a spare section which can be bought separately and then cutting each section a bit shorter plus a section of the spare one and re-assembling.
 

jcat

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria - Santiago 2016
Camino Ingles 2019
Never camped on the Camino but do plenty of backpack camping closer to home.

My favorite tent is the Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2. Total weight is 2lbs 5 ounces (just over 1kg). Leave off a few stakes or the rain fly and get it under 2 pounds.

Not the cheapest but quality barely used tents pop up on Ebay all the time.
 

martin1ws

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Somport to Finisterre Jul-Aug 2018
I want to try it with a tent as well. Staying in the albergue if possible or in the garden of an albergue and paying the normal rate... if the albergue allows it.

I have (not tested in real life, only bought or in the process of buying... ):
* a mesh tent: 642gr
* a tarp: 508gr.
* sleeping pad: 432 gr.
* sleeping bag: about 900 gr. (or about 600gr heavier then my last one for the albergues in the summer)
* heavier backpack because larger backpack is necessary: about 500gr additional weight.
So it is more than only the weight of the tent or mesh tent + tarp...

My idea is: if it looks very good... albergues are open in the end of August / September... no beginning of a second wave in the numbers... almost everything is allowed as in the years before: I want to use my normal backpack and only the new sleeping bag and sleeping pad. With some weight reductions somewhere else on my packing list the additional weight compared to my last camino would be below 1 kg and I could sleep at many places where it does not rain.

More realistic: If it does not look that good... travelling is allowed, but albergues have still restrictions... I want to be able to use the tent. Then I have got the additional weight of almost 3,0 kg. That seems not to be that much... but even after my small training walks of only 30-45 minutes I feel the difference the next morning after waking up. So I will try very hard to reduce some weight somewhere else and train regularly with the heavier backpack. But even then it will be much more weight on a long walking day.
 
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dgallen

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (6), Primitivo(3), Finisterre/Muxia (3), Aragones, Norte, Portuguese, Camino del Rey
Quick two cents worth. Now is an excellent time to buy a quality tent at significant discounts as retailers try to get rid of inventory to bring out new models, while sales are lacking due to COVID. My criteria for a lightweight tent includes: tents that ventilate well, have a fly and waterpoof seams, quick to pack or setup, are somewhat durable and have enough room for me and my pack under cover.

Often the lighter the tent, the more fragile the screen, poles and material may be, so I always look at the reviews of others to see how the tent measures up. Most UL (ultralight) tents really require a 2 man size for a single person, or 3 man size for two. Note I didn't mention a footprint as requirement, since footprints are typically heavy. Go to any hardware store (or find some used at a building site) and get 7 foot square sheet of Tyvek "building wrap". Strong and super light and will protect your tent floor from sharp rocks etc.

My favourite two tents I own are my Hubba Hubba (2 man) from MSR and Copper Spur UL2 from Big Agnes. Both tents can be pegged down of set up standalone on a platform. Setup in under 5 minutes. Both have thousands of popular reviews online. I'm 6' 2" and fit comfortably with room to spare. Both weigh in at around 1.3kg, and pack up very small (size of 2 litre bottle). Should last many years of caminos or hikes.
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I personally want to provide support to the life in the villages where I stay and relish the regional dining.🍷🥪🥘
Me too, Don! But some folks may not be as well funded as you and I for guest houses/hotels. We may have to wait longer than the camping community who may prefer to deal with those inconveniences rather than waiting for things to improve for indoor sleeping arrangements.
 
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good_old_shoes

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
I honestly don't understand how paying 10 Euros for an Albergue bed is better for the local economy than paying 10 Euros to an albergue for a camping spot in their garden. Is there something I'm not getting?
 

futurefjp

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
The Way is swiftly becoming my reason for existence.
I've camped in the past on some of the Camino routes, but I usually mixed it up with a real bed... I was willing to carry all that "excess baggage" to use it occasionally until something broke and I sold my one man Vango Blade.

With the current situation I am sure a tent is the best way forward to maintain social distancing rules, etc, so I bought another one man tent

Snugpak Ionosphere

A toast:

here's to many more grumbles about excess baggage in the months to come as I am slowly losing the will to live...
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
A toast:

here's to many more grumbles about excess baggage in the months to come as I am slowly losing the will to live...
I understand where you are coming from.
I think said with a little truth...a little "tongue in cheek".
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
There is some good tent info coming in ( I honestly don't know much at all) .. ventilation, altering poles .... and of course - a sleeping bag and mat - coo, that adds up!!
... am I wrong or does it seem that Americans produce the best lightweight hiking tents??
 

good_old_shoes

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
@futurefjp I have got the snugpak ionosphere. It's not free standing but a very nice tent. I used it on the way from Le Puy and also in Germany. Go outside and test it if the Covid rules at your local area allow it. Or hell, put it up at home. Nothing like a night in a tent, even inside, to lift the mood :)

@David a good lightweight and not too expensive sleeping mat is the thermarest z-lite. Very lightweight and also durable. Not inflatable, good old foam.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Hi – I have been thinking about tents for Camino - idle thoughts

Now, I don’t want to get into the rights or wrongs nor the legalities or illegalities, would rather leave that out for this thread … but, when the Camino does open again I do think that there will be more tenting pilgrims. I will certainly be packing one onto my first aid trailer.

So – to me there are a few main requirements - I would be interested to hear other views

1. It has to be light – for obvious reasons really.

2. It will be a dome or pop-up tent as it has to be free-standing, that it will stand up without pegging down.

There are many refugios with concrete/wooden verandahs, porches outside churches with stone floors. There are countless businesses along the way with car parks that close early evening and don’t open again until 8 or 9 the next day. There are tarmac Pelota squares in many villages ...
Again – this is not about the legality, but thinking about it, not camping on farmland could be a much better way forward. And something like a dome tent doesn’t have to be pegged unless there is a strong wind.

3. It has to be cheap.

The reason I have for this is that it will only be used for, what, 35 days max? And in Santiago could be given to a homeless person. Also, if it is is damaged, lost, stolen – who cares if it is cheap?

4. As it has to be both cheap and light I think that a single skin tent would do – if it gets a little cold and this causes condensation for a few nights .. is that important?

5. It will be small (to be light) but has to be big enough to keep footwear and pack inside.

And that is it really

Oh, 6. It should be blue with yellow waymarker signs spray-stencilled onto it.

I could be completely wrong here but I don’t think anyone has to spend a fortune on a tent with all gizzmos and super strong Himalayan waterproofing and maybe half a kilo, a pound, lighter – but can one can budget this? And how light is ‘light’?
Dave. . I can suggest tents that meet your requirements for 1, 2, 5 OR 2, 3, 5. In either case, you cannot have 4 and have it survive 35 days. :)

Inexpensive lightweight tents are cheap because they sacrifice either material quality and strength, plus they are of shoddy manufacture.

Inexpensive tents which are decent, and may hold up to moderate and limited use (not a thru hike on the PCT or CDT) such as a Camino, will be heavy The reason for this is that moderately durable materials for tents, which are inexpensive, are heavy They are going to be nylons and polyesters and and rayons and blends of those materials. But the material will also be thicker. . . . and that means weight.

A gear manufacturer cannot afford to produce a tent that is lightweight using material that is both Durable and Lightweight. Durable and lightweight fabrics for tents cost much more per yard /meter, than low cost durable fabrics.

But, wait, there's more.

You also have the aspect of what it takes to manufacture a durable and lightweight materials to produce a durable and lightweight tent. With the durable and heavy fabrics, normal threads and sewing can be used to make the tent durable.

You cannot use the same seam construction and sewing techniques and materials for the durable and lightweight fabric tents.

Dyneema (cuben fiber) is an example. The cost of my zPacks Duplex tent is not due to just the Dyneema fabric, although it is expensive compared to ristop nylons. The biggest cost is in the time it takes to employ the construction methods that must be used to put together the zPacks Duplex.

And that same issue also comes up with the other most common material for lightweight tents, Silnylons (silicone impregnated nylon). Silnylons aren't normal ripstop nylon. It is far stronger by weight than a ripstop, which means it can be much thinner, and therefor much lighter. But the type of construction and sewing used requires different threads and more time and care in sewing one together.

THEN you through in another big weight addition to tent wishlist - - self-standing.

The materials for the framework used in a lightweight self standing tent are more expensive, because they have to be strong, flexible, and durable AND light. Then you have to have the tent body itself able to withstand the stresses to itself when under tension of that framework, so that adds additional costs to the tent's construction.

So. . cheap and light and durable and freestanding? My Gosh man, what is this? A modern quest of Argonauts searching for the Golden Fleece? :) In all seriousness, you might consider:
  • Eliminate 'freestanding', and the other options open up. While porches and carparks are obvious issues, I would not consider that as my reason to eliminate a pitched tent. If a porch is an option, a legal dirt patch will likely be able to also be nearby :)
  • Eliminate time-use limits. Extend your use for a tent by two or three Caminos, and re-adjust budget. Define you planned cost by the total number of nights used, at X number of dollars per night.
    • For instance, as an accommodation, are you willing to price the tent budget at, say, 7 dollars USD per night, x 70 nights?
Just some thoughts, David.

Also, to help with the tent sizing concerns, you can use a tent vestibule (the extension part of a tent's structure, which extends out and away from the door opening) to house your extraneous gear and clothing. That stuff does not need to share your sleeping space. It is a normal part of the tent's body or rainfly, and it is usually quite sizeable. In fact, during rain when backpacking, I'll use that area to set my stove and cook.

Stick to tents which are spec'd for 2-person use. A lot of tents, in order to get great ratings in the lightweight department, can be quite small. Less materials, less weight. I find most tent novices fare better, in both comfort and anti-claustrophobic considerations, in two-person variations of backpacking tents.
 
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David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
I would like to withdraw some of my OP - not knowing enough I thought that a really cheap tent would be a good way to go - from the above I realise now that it would be more trouble than it is worth and that investing in a good quality tent is a better way to go - comfort, reliability, build quality and would avoid the necessary loss of it early into landfill. Also that my suggestion that a cheap tent would be a good gift for a homeless person was also wrong- it would be a poisoned gift - apologies. xx
 
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David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
@David I'm not sure what your threshold for "cheap" is, but one tent that I've seen recommended for people getting into backpacking with a tent as relatively inexpensive, lightweight and of good quality is the NatureHike Vik 1. May not be in the price range to leave behind, depending on your personal financial situation, though.
 

Dromengro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP - Leon 1984
Frances (2021)
For those worried about weight, then you could maybe use a baggage service if you knew where you would be staying. Not something I'd want to do myself (yet), just a thought.

Obviously a more expensive tent is better for many reasons, but for those who can't afford it then a really cheap tent can be a viable alternative, my last one lasted 3 two month summer trips, so that 6 months of camping for £25 only leaked slightly in one top corner easily fixed and survived a massive hail shower which broke a pole, again easily fixed, The only reason I got rid of it was because mice ate it when it was stored in the attic.
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
This I find fascinating - thanks all of you, I'm really increasing my knowledge here ... but please remember that this isn't about what tent I should get but an open discussion on what would be the best backpacking tent for Camino - and hopefully why (legalities and morality of tenting on the Camino aside for this thread).

Re cheapness - I just naively assumed that being budget conscious would somehow be the equivalent of being eco conscious but I now see that the opposite is strue.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
I was searching (even some weeks before CoViD-19) for almost exactly the same tents as @David : lightweight/cheap/using walking poles/free-standing and found these two favorites:

At 300 USD (275€) and 595g:
(This one was already mentioned by @davebugg in another thread I think)

At 250 GBP (280€ -free UK & EU shipping) and 680g:

Coming from EU the second one might be cheaper for me and I kind of like it more. Don't know why exactly though :D
 

Helen1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
London to Santiago (2014)
Narbonne to Oloron (2015)
Camino Portugues (2016)
Sentier Cathar (2017)
Fascinating discussion, agree with @davebugg you'll have to compromise on something from your wish list. I love Decathlon but their gear, whilst cheap can be really heavy.

I have a https://www.terra-nova.co.uk/all-tents/2-man-tents/laser-competition-2-tent-16/ (although mine must be getting on for 15+ years old and still going strong). I love this tent. Mine is just under 1kg, not quite freestanding but will more or less stand up by itself, you could use a rucksack to prop an end which is fine in dry weather. Experience has shown that it does cope well with gales/heavy rain but it doesn't cope well with the weight of heavy snow but that's unlikely to be a problem on the camino! Plenty big enough and very comfortable for 1 but very cosy for 2 and your gear is in the porch. It's small enough to easily pack inside a rucksack and has just about enough ventilation for a hot camino - theoretically you could sleep in just the inner. At the time I bought it (on sale as last year's model I suspect) it wasn't cheap but it was nowhere near as expensive as now, My friend has a Hubba Hubba tent we've used a number of times (including on the sentier cathare), loads more space than the Laser so works better for 2 and really is free standing, but it's a lot heavier and on the dusty, end of summer, French campsites we really needed the porch groundsheets/improvised bin bags to stop gravel puncturing the main groundsheet which were added weight.

I would think v carefully about bivy bags if there is any chance of rain, I have done it and I thought the whole bivy experience was thoroughly miserable and wasn't worth the weight saving/my inability to sleep in that kind of set up - but YMMV!

I get why people are talking about camping on this forum but I really don't think camping is the answer for most people. You haven't mentioned the ease of getting into the tent when stiff and sore (or if you have any kind of physical impairment). Something like a Hubba Hubba wins hands down on this because of the height but is still not always easy after a long day. After a long day just getting a tent up is a challenge, the Laser is quick and simple with one pole, the Hubba Hubba is much more complex with lots of poles. Sleeping on the ground, even with an inflatable mat is also not for everyone and it's not uncommon for people to struggle with hip pain after walking/camping.

I have camped a lot and enjoy it but camping in the wet can be really miserable even in the summer. A wet tent seems to weigh double and then the next night it will still be sopping wet when you put it up, if the weather is still bad you and your gear are now wet so nothing dries. It's not a problem if you get some dry days but if you have a wet week it's miserable. As others have said on the CF I think it makes a lot more sense to mix and match with nicer accommodation.
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Morning all! I have been reading all the posts, looking at the links - coo, some beautiful tents out there!
But I don't think I had the primary needs right as I hadn't thought about all the extras one needs to make tenting experience comfortable and it is, of course, weight on the back, that has to be the priority?

So I think one needs a trailer instead of a backpack. As most of you know, I use a trailer as I carry extra baggage - first aid kits - and the weight is too much for ancient me to lug around on my back. I like my trailer, the difference between backpacking and trailering is immense and one can pull heavier loads without stress.
American army tests show that using a trailer uses 80% less energy than carrying the same weight on the body.

So ... with a trailer an extra 5 kilos or so doesn't mean that much (still have to roll it all to the tops of hills of course but even that is a fraction of the effort compared to a backpack). All up my trailer is about 18 kilos - it gets less as I use things up ... so I know that putting camping equipment and a backpack into a trailer is a viable option.

Which means that - if any pilgrim is thinking of tenting on return, to use a trailer means wider choice - a better sleeping mat, better tent, why, even a little stove and kettle!

This would also allow the less fit to be included, to be more free.

This the trailer I made for myself - quite a few designs out there to buy - but stay away from the Travois system of one wheel at the back and angled up to the waist - half the weight rests on the body, not good (the design comes from the travois that were originally dragged by Plains Indians ponies) - weight has to be balanced over the axle - and if anyone wants to make their own do message me and I can send lots of close up pics of mine with instructions and suggestions

trailer a.jpg

So - tents .. widens the range a bit doesn't it!! Or am I a heretic??? :eek::D;)
 
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Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
I am thinking along these lines, too. I want to try tenting along the camino before the floodgates open, and I have answered the weight problem by deciding to use my bicycle.
But there are some unanswered questions still.
1. If I am staying in the yard of an albergue, will I have access to the bathroom/shower facility? None of the guidelines I have seen for post-Covid accommodation has addressed this. People staying inside are limited to on-suite kind of bathrooms that isolate groups from one another. No mention of people coming in from the yard to use the facility.
2. I hope to NOT have to carry cooking gear. Where this will leave me coffee-wise each morning will be another challenge. I am ready to eat out of boxes and tins if I have to, but I will whine.
3. I still have second thoughts about being a solo woman sleeping in a tent, bathing and laundering in a catch-as-catch-can manner, shlepping a ton of equipment around on a bike. I am not a scaredy person, but I don't want to make myself a target, either.
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Good point re a bike, Rebekkah - I missed that one!
my view
1. I think it is the dorms that will be the main problem .. all snugged in, someone closes the window - a possibly fearful environment ... without thinking about it I had assumed that the facilities would be there to use. Camping Apostol at Puente la Reina - the one with the pool and separate campsite - always seem to have tents in their garden and they use all the facilities.

2. Yes, agree with that too ... and there is the isolation too .. Camino is community after all .... if you carried one of the small espresso coffee makers

z-002076__6 (600 x 600) (200 x 200).jpg



and a tiny stove - like this one, uses meths


... there could be the dawn hit! I have never used one though and would be wary where I lit something like that, especially in summer.

3. I agree, being alone is a problem - higher risk for females but still potentially dodgy for males .. any solos .. predators abound as we know, especially after the bars close. A female friend of mine lives on a canal boat alone and has always been nervous. She cycles so I suggested that she bought a 2ndhand men's bike and kept that next to hers as predator would assume two people on board, one male - she feels better now - won't work on Camino of course.
I really don't know the answer ... if tenting does become more popular could a buddy system be started? some Camino app? Or is that silly?
Re washing away from a refugio - I have found that a slightly soapy flannel and then a rinsed flannel easily takes care of that - a wipe all over and then the three areas that have scent glands .. have done it sitting down inside a tent quite a few times .. Now, I haven't had long hair since the 60's but my memory is that if you don't ewash long hair but give it a really good brush every day the body produces oils and keeps it really healthy ... oh dear, those days long gone.

Hang on! Borrow a dog!! No one will go near a tent with a dog inside. There is a Camino plan for you - dog hire!! :D

I tried to visit you once, some years ago, but couldn't find you (my bad) - do you have land at your refugio? Or a barn? and do you ever have tenters asking to stay? If so has that been a problem at all? Would be great to get a veteran first-hand epxerience.
 
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Davidmm

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
Hi – I have been thinking about tents for Camino - idle thoughts

Now, I don’t want to get into the rights or wrongs nor the legalities or illegalities, would rather leave that out for this thread … but, when the Camino does open again I do think that there will be more tenting pilgrims. I will certainly be packing one onto my first aid trailer.

So – to me there are a few main requirements - I would be interested to hear other views

1. It has to be light – for obvious reasons really.

2. It will be a dome or pop-up tent as it has to be free-standing, that it will stand up without pegging down.

There are many refugios with concrete/wooden verandahs, porches outside churches with stone floors. There are countless businesses along the way with car parks that close early evening and don’t open again until 8 or 9 the next day. There are tarmac Pelota squares in many villages ...
Again – this is not about the legality, but thinking about it, not camping on farmland could be a much better way forward. And something like a dome tent doesn’t have to be pegged unless there is a strong wind.

3. It has to be cheap.

The reason I have for this is that it will only be used for, what, 35 days max? And in Santiago could be given to a homeless person. Also, if it is is damaged, lost, stolen – who cares if it is cheap?

4. As it has to be both cheap and light I think that a single skin tent would do – if it gets a little cold and this causes condensation for a few nights .. is that important?

5. It will be small (to be light) but has to be big enough to keep footwear and pack inside.

And that is it really

Oh, 6. It should be blue with yellow waymarker signs spray-stencilled onto it.

I could be completely wrong here but I don’t think anyone has to spend a fortune on a tent with all gizzmos and super strong Himalayan waterproofing and maybe half a kilo, a pound, lighter – but can one can budget this? And how light is ‘light’?
It is not really the cost of the tent but the cost of camping. It would be a great way for the Spanish to open up the Camino again to provide abolition blocks and a place to pitch a tent
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
There is a tenting site 'refugio' in Rabanal del Camino - wouldn't be surprised if more open up.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Hang on! Borrow a dog!! No one will go near a tent with a dog inside. There is a Camino plan for you - dog hire!! :D
Unless it's mine (playing in my soon to be vegetable bed);)

DSC_5280.JPG

I have also been looking around for a reasonably price, lightweight tent for me and Bea. Many of those mentioned I do not consider inexpensive although I do know that they can run into hundreds and hundreds of euros. This is what I have come up with for a 1 person tent. Both are around the 1 kg range. Could someone with some knowledge look at the specs? They are not freestanding.

https://www.trekkinn.com/montana/ferrino-lightent-1/136997543/p

https://www.trekkinn.com/montana/ferrino-sintesi/136997555/p

Cheers
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019)
I applaud anyone who wants to camp and carry the extra weight etc. I know once down for the night on a hard floor, even with a mat the getting up would be pretty painful. I think it is feasible in towns that have Refugios or albergues with yards to allow people to camp.
I have just one question. Where do you go to the bathroom at night? Or in the morning when many people have to go pretty strongly? Even in an albergue that may allow camping, do they keep doors to the albergue open if nature calls? Also where do you go if you are in a public square or a car park? Finally do you think townspeople would want people camping in public spaces? What about "pilgrims" who may decide that they want to make that public square home for a while? Everything else you write about is fine and I am sure there is lots of excellent camping information. I just think the location of where to camp still remains an issue. I think public spaces would be a non-starter. But maybe if albergues see that there are many people who would prefer to camp more of them will open to having some campers based on the size of their property.
Me, I am going to wait for a vaccine and get back into my bunk bed, put on my ear plugs and count sheep.
Buen camino.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Currently on a "Virtual" Camino and striding out across Castile y Leon!
Good point re a bike, Rebekkah - I missed that one!
my view
1. I think it is the dorms that will be the main problem .. all snugged in, someone closes the window - a possibly fearful environment ... without thinking about it I had assumed that the facilities would be there to use. Camping Apostol at Puente la Reina - the one with the pool and separate campsite - always seem to have tents in their garden and they use all the facilities.

2. Yes, agree with that too ... and there is the isolation too .. Camino is community after all .... if you carried one of the small espresso coffee makers

View attachment 75792



and a tiny stove - like this one, uses meths


... there could be the dawn hit! I have never used one though and would be wary where I lit something like that, especially in summer.

3. I agree, being alone is a problem - higher risk for females but still potentially dodgy for males .. any solos .. predators abound as we know, especially after the bars close. A female friend of mine lives on a canal boat alone and has always been nervous. She cycles so I suggested that she bought a 2ndhand men's bike and kept that next to hers as predator would assume two people on board, one male - she feels better now - won't work on Camino of course.
I really don't know the answer ... if tenting does become more popular could a buddy system be started? some Camino app? Or is that silly?
Re washing away from a refugio - I have found that a slightly soapy flannel and then a rinsed flannel easily takes care of that - a wipe all over and then the three areas that have scent glands .. have done it sitting down inside a tent quite a few times .. Now, I haven't had long hair since the 60's but my memory is that if you don't ewash long hair but give it a really good brush every day the body produces oils and keeps it really healthy ... oh dear, those days long gone.

Hang on! Borrow a dog!! No one will go near a tent with a dog inside. There is a Camino plan for you - dog hire!! :D

I tried to visit you once, some years ago, but couldn't find you (my bad) - do you have land at your refugio? Or a barn? and do you ever have tenters asking to stay? If so has that been a problem at all? Would be great to get a veteran first-hand epxerience.
Alcohol stoves work well - if you don't fancy making one Trangia do a mini version like THIS

The alcohol can be bought in most Spanish supermarkets - try the cleaning goods section.

Beware using it in bright sunshine though - you can't see the flames and NEVER add fuel to an already burning stove!
 

Isca-camigo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Various ones.
Hi Dave you could have a look through this website.


Their tents dont compare to some of the US manufacturers for weight, they are just an option for a more durable, lighter and cheaper tent.
 

Shaun-Castaneda-Rio

Shaun@Feebird-Castaneda
Camino(s) past & future
Francais 2014
About tents :- I bought these tents from Decathlon when I was renovating, yes I know the photo shows they are in the house but with no windows mosquitoes, and cold winter months were a big problem living near the stream and a wet grassy area 20m away.

They were from Decat_____n. for around 20Euro and were lightweight easy to set up easy to take down, and I slept in them for just over two years. When I had finished I made them avilable in the garden and in the end gave them away to Pilgrims who were on their way to Finisterre. They served me well for nearly two years very good value for money and if you were to give them up to those less fortunate at the end of you caminio I am sure they would be grateful,

I think if you are walking in the warmer season they would make a good travelling companion.

Things have since much Imporoved now :):):)
Buen Camino Renovations.jpgBedroom Finished 2.jpg

Renovations.jpgBedroom Finished 2.jpg
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
In general, I think there is a lot to be learned from the through-hiking community here. The tent I recommended above was from a video by a through-hiker that was basically "How to kit yourself out for your first through hike for under $500 all in because you don't yet know if you are going to enjoy it so you don't want to invest in the expensive equipment, but you don't want something that will prevent you from enjoying it, too". It seems to me that through hikers probably have a lot of experience in finding the right amount and types of equipment for camping that (a) isn't too terrible to carry all day walking and (b) isn't too hard to set up in potentially inclement weather when you are very tired at the end of the day. Might as well learn from that experience.

Of course, someone doing the Camino won't necessarily need everything a through-hiker needs. We likely won't need cooking gear, for example (although some through-hikers also travel without cooking gear). We can generally expect to be in a populated community with restaurants, bars, washrooms, etc. at the end of the day. But I think it is likely to be a good taking off point.

(Written as someone who has not through hiked, although he has watched some YouTube videos by through-hikers.)
 

Viggen

Vigo
Camino(s) past & future
CF June 2015
CP June 2017
Del Norte, Finisterre / Muxia Oct 2017
VDLP 2018
VF, SBP to Rome 2019
Hi – I have been thinking about tents for Camino - idle thoughts

Now, I don’t want to get into the rights or wrongs nor the legalities or illegalities, would rather leave that out for this thread … but, when the Camino does open again I do think that there will be more tenting pilgrims. I will certainly be packing one onto my first aid trailer.

So – to me there are a few main requirements - I would be interested to hear other views

1. It has to be light – for obvious reasons really.

2. It will be a dome or pop-up tent as it has to be free-standing, that it will stand up without pegging down.

There are many refugios with concrete/wooden verandahs, porches outside churches with stone floors. There are countless businesses along the way with car parks that close early evening and don’t open again until 8 or 9 the next day. There are tarmac Pelota squares in many villages ...
Again – this is not about the legality, but thinking about it, not camping on farmland could be a much better way forward. And something like a dome tent doesn’t have to be pegged unless there is a strong wind.

3. It has to be cheap.

The reason I have for this is that it will only be used for, what, 35 days max? And in Santiago could be given to a homeless person. Also, if it is is damaged, lost, stolen – who cares if it is cheap?

4. As it has to be both cheap and light I think that a single skin tent would do – if it gets a little cold and this causes condensation for a few nights .. is that important?

5. It will be small (to be light) but has to be big enough to keep footwear and pack inside.

And that is it really

Oh, 6. It should be blue with yellow waymarker signs spray-stencilled onto it.

I could be completely wrong here but I don’t think anyone has to spend a fortune on a tent with all gizzmos and super strong Himalayan waterproofing and maybe half a kilo, a pound, lighter – but can one can budget this? And how light is ‘light’?
Could this work? only 1.61 lbs. Including the mat.
Other than color, It checks all your points :).
Therm-a-Rest LuxuryLite Cot Bug Shelter
price $90.73
Cot.jpg
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Well, this info is fab - many links and gorgeous tents .. Iska put up the Alpkit link ... Alpkit do the freestanding two skin Jaran 2, which looks like an utterly beautiful engineered tent - weighs 1.8kgs - for £229 that would last for years and I think survive most weather conditions.

On the other hand Decathlon sell a 'festival' tent, the Quechua MH100 - 2 person .. for £24.99 :eek:... as per Shaun (above) who lived in them (indoors) for two years, then used them in his garden and then finally gifted them to pilgrims on their way to the end of the world, Finisterra - and who knows where they are now - the Andes?? it is also double skin, free standing and weighs 2.4 kilos ....

hhmmm ... 2.4 kilos, sooo same as 2.4 litre bottles of wine - opps, sorry, water .... but only £24.99, freestanding dome ..... 3 year back to store repair guarantee ... this is becoming such an interesting thread, with input from all over and this thread isn't about finding a tent for me but finding out what makes the perfect-ish Camino tent, but if it were, well, at the moment for me it would be the Decathlon

how is everyone else getting on?

@It56ny - good thought re toilets. Being male it is easy for me. I keep a wide necked plastic 1 litre container with me and use that in privacy, emptying it somewhere discreet the next day, a drain or similar so no problem there. Females could add a Feminal, that would work.
and although this thread isn't about permissions and legalities, etc, but about what would be the ideal Camino tent - I think it would be rather rude not to ask for permission before occupying a space for the night - unless one were some miles from habitations.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
1. If I am staying in the yard of an albergue, will I have access to the bathroom/shower facility? None of the guidelines I have seen for post-Covid accommodation has addressed this. People staying inside are limited to on-suite kind of bathrooms that isolate groups from one another. No mention of people coming in from the yard to use the facility.
@Rebekah Scott I haven't seen this requirement in the governmental guidelines for albergue. I'm wondering where you read this.
 

Mandygoingplaces

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CdN Aug 2019 Irun - Bilbao
CdN Aug 2020 Bilbao - Santander
After a few hours of research this afternoon I've just ordered this https://www.msrgear.com/ie/tents/backpacking-tents/freelite-2-ultralight-backpacking-tent/10326.html based on mainly weight and the hope that I will continue to backpack for years to come to offset the cost.

I'm hoping my week this Aug will go ahead and having had to borrow a tent last year on my first night (a large albergue in San Sebastian on CdN was closed for refub and there were no beds to be had) I'm now actually quite excited to camp every night if necessary this time. My experience was that you're never alone camping, probably more so this year, so I feel OK as a single woman, but also for me, noisy packed dormitories was the only bit of the Camino that spoiled the freedom I felt the rest of the time.
I'm just hoping as others have said that I can use the facilities of an albergue (of course happy to pay same price as a bed). I might have to get well prepared in terms of eating and research where I can shop / get meals during the day.
All part of the adventure for me!
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
It seems to me that what would be ideal for the multi-purposing, casual pilgrim who wants to carry a shelter only for occasional use, would be something that can also be used as a poncho, and uses only one walking stick as pole. 😉
 

Lynn C O'Hara

Mainelynn
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2016) Norte, Primitivo (2017), Portugues (2018), Finisterre/Muxia (2016)
Quick two cents worth. Now is an excellent time to buy a quality tent at significant discounts as retailers try to get rid of inventory to bring out new models, while sales are lacking due to COVID. My criteria for a lightweight tent includes: tents that ventilate well, have a fly and waterpoof seams, quick to pack or setup, are somewhat durable and have enough room for me and my pack under cover.

Often the lighter the tent, the more fragile the screen, poles and material may be, so I always look at the reviews of others to see how the tent measures up. Most UL (ultralight) tents really require a 2 man size for a single person, or 3 man size for two. Note I didn't mention a footprint as requirement, since footprints are typically heavy. Go to any hardware store (or find some used at a building site) and get 7 foot square sheet of Tyvek "building wrap". Strong and super light and will protect your tent floor from sharp rocks etc.

My favourite two tents I own are my Hubba Hubba (2 man) from MSR and Copper Spur UL2 from Big Agnes. Both tents can be pegged down of set up standalone on a platform. Setup in under 5 minutes. Both have thousands of popular reviews online. I'm 6' 2" and fit comfortably with room to spare. Both weigh in at around 1.3kg, and pack up very small (size of 2 litre bottle). Should last many years of caminos or hikes.
I, too, love the Hubba Hubba tent. I used my one-person Hubba on my Appalachian Trail trek and it was as convenient and lightweight as could be. Survived many freezing nights in it while staying dry. Set up is super fast and plenty of room for me, my 60L backpack, and then some.
 

dgallen

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (6), Primitivo(3), Finisterre/Muxia (3), Aragones, Norte, Portuguese, Camino del Rey
2. I hope to NOT have to carry cooking gear. Where this will leave me coffee-wise each morning will be another challenge. I am ready to eat out of boxes and tins if I have to, but I will whine.
Take a look at a jetboil (goggle search and you'll find almost every outdoor retailer has them or something similar). Quite light with Integrated cup/pot, stove and fuel. You can get a cheap coffee press for it. Also good for soups, stews, pasta, ramen anything that can be boiled. You'll find fuel canisters available all along the way.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Take a look at a jetboil (goggle search and you'll find almost every outdoor retailer has them or something similar). Quite light with Integrated cup/pot, stove and fuel. You can get a cheap coffee press for it. Also good for soups, stews, pasta, ramen anything that can be boiled. You'll find fuel canisters available all along the way.
If referring to the Jetboil 'systems', like their Flash, I always have preferred the much lighter styles of stoves like the MSR Pocket Rocket or Kovea Supalight models (11 to 14 ounces, compared to 1 to 3 ounces. Both weights not including the fuel canister). Their Jetboil MightyMo is more like the Pocket Rocket, and about the same weight at around 3 ounces.

The Kovea and Pocket Rocket also are a lot less expensive.

Even adding my Toaks cooking/eating mug, which adds 2 ounces (total weight minus fuel of 3.5 ounces), it is still much more lightweight and flexible than the Flashboil-type systems. My stove and cartridge fit right inside the mug taking up less space than my Jetboil.

I never saw many Jetboil stoves on any of my thru-hikes, outside of the first week or so. I saw a lot more of them at base camps when climbing, where altitude performance was somewhat better with that style of stove. Of course with hardcore Stupidlight backpackers, I never see them with any stoves other than maybe the 'cat-food can alcohol stoves'. :)
 

Dromengro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP - Leon 1984
Frances (2021)
Would this make a good Camino tent for pilgrims??
I think for the price it's an almost perfect choice. Free standing, and on warm dry night could be used without the flysheet, if your not worried about privacy and just want to keep mozzies out. Being double skinned also helps to prevent touching the sides and breaching the outer and away from condensation. Good ventilation openings with their own little hoods. Good choice of 2 types of door on opposite sides, good if you want to open both sides on a warm night, or if sitting in the tent away from the wind and it changes direction. Good head height to sit up in, and easier to access than end entry tents. Doors have zip covers but if they do leak a bit it will leak into the porch and not into the sleeping area unlike in Shaun's ones in the photo above. A porch is handy as extra storage for things you don't need or want in the sleeping area, and it has two. Packs down shorter than many cheap tents only 40cm. Looks well made with reinforced corners. Hopefully the seams are well sewn which might be it's only major fault but could be re-sealed. O.K it weighs 600g more than some lightweight models but it is around £300+ less.
I wouldn't like to trust my life on it in the mountains in gale force winds and lashing rain, but for a Spring/Summer/autumn Camino in Spain next to an Albergue I'd certainly have no doubts about using it.
I might have to save up for one!
 
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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
... am I wrong or does it seem that Americans produce the best lightweight hiking tents??
Yes, you are wrong. This is a discussion that we have already had in another context. When I looked at this then, it was clear that there are makers out there in most countries producing lightweight tents that are the equivalent or better, on the spec sheet, than some of those already mentioned in this thread. Mont is one such company in Australia, but there were many others. Many of them are clearly more focussed on the needs in their local markets, with designs and materials that will better suit those conditions.

The market break point seems to me to be around the 2 kg mark for a reasonable two-person tent or around 1.5 kg for a single person tent for three season use. Getting under that becomes increasingly more expensive, and the thinner fabrics involved become increasingly less waterproof. The amount of material in a good three season design is greater than for one and two season designs, adding to the weight challenge. Clearly some of the lighter 'three season' tents already mentioned have trimmed down in areas like the fly and vestibule sizes to reduce the amount of material needed to make the tent.

Other design features, like being able to just pitch the fly, or pitch the fly first to quickly create a shelter in which to work out of the rain probably don't add much to weight, but do go to the overall usability of the tent in inclement weather.

There is always the old argument about whether there is enough space in a one person design for both the one person and their gear. My take is there never is quite enough, just the same as if you really wanted to shelter two people, most two person designs are marginal. However, I have walked with people who have used one-person designs who have made them work, so it isn't completely impractical. If you going to be carrying a tent for thirty days, you are more likely to make the one person design work, compared to camping for a long weekend, where the additional weight burden might be tolerable.
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
1. It has to be light – for obvious reasons really.
2. It has to be free-standing - no pegs
3. It has to be cheap.
4. It has to have a single skin
5. It has to be big enough to keep footwear and pack inside.
@David, thanks for starting this: I note that most have engaged in the discussion in a thoughtful manner.

In my searching in early 2015 your criteria 1 (light) and 5 (big) above were uppermost in my mind.

1) I found just about all tents in 2015 weighed around 2 kg or more and a significant number were approaching my all-up target weight of around 7 kg (? 15 lb).

2) While hard surfaces do exist, in my experience there is normally a suitable surface nearby. And, in light winds any tent would need pegging at the corners, at the very least.

3) I did not expect light to be cheap. I did expect the tent to last many years.

4) Whether it had one or many skins was subsumed in the search for 1) light and 7) weatherproof.

I chose a 2-person tent (me and my pack etc) that weighs 0.685 kg (? 1 lb 7 oz) including 8 pegs and one pole (I use a trekking pole for the second). This equates to about 10% of my target weight.

As a result of this thread I have considered some of the suggestions above. Nearly all come in at twice the weight of my purchase, now entering its 6th year of use.

PS: Your criteria 6 I achieved naturally - the cheapest colour from my manufacturer was blue. However, in addition to your yellow arrow I would require the iridescent colours of a paua shell and the outside of a scallop shell, all of which would add extra weight !!!

PPS: If searching now, based on the remarks above, I would stay with my manufacturer and take their latest version (this time with a bath-tub ground sheet in place of the poncho ground sheet I chose last time). All up weight is ever so slightly less and cost a little more than in 2015.
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
Yes, you are wrong.
@dougfitz, I am sorry but you the one that is wrong. The first criteria of @David was light. And lightness would be considered in relation to the nominal suggested all up pack weight of 7 kg (15 lb).

I have scanned the manufacturer you quote for 2 person tents. The lightest of four currently in stock is 2.2 kg with the other three approaching 4 kg each. By any measure these are heavy in relation to the nominal all up suggested weight to be carried.
 

dgallen

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (6), Primitivo(3), Finisterre/Muxia (3), Aragones, Norte, Portuguese, Camino del Rey
If referring to the Jetboil 'systems', like their Flash, I always have preferred the much lighter styles of stoves like the MSR Pocket Rocket or Kovea Supalight models (11 to 14 ounces, compared to 1 to 3 ounces. Both weights not including the fuel canister). Their Jetboil MightyMo is more like the Pocket Rocket, and about the same weight at around 3 ounces.

The Kovea and Pocket Rocket also are a lot less expensive.

Even adding my Toaks cooking/eating mug, which adds 2 ounces (total weight minus fuel of 3.5 ounces), it is still much more lightweight and flexible than the Flashboil-type systems. My stove and cartridge fit right inside the mug taking up less space than my Jetboil.

I never saw many Jetboil stoves on any of my thru-hikes, outside of the first week or so. I saw a lot more of them at base camps when climbing, where altitude performance was somewhat better with that style of stove. Of course with hardcore Stupidlight backpackers, I never see them with any stoves other than maybe the 'cat-food can alcohol stoves'. :)
Jetboils not the best solution for through hikes because they rely on propane fuel canisters, but perfect for well supplied walks like the camino.

I use my MSR pocket rocket when canoe tripping, and my MSR Whisperlite Universal in countries where disposable propane canisters are not easily obtainable (e.g. Turkey), since it uses regular unleaded gasoline, alcohol or kerosene. It also works well at high altitudes if I'm over 10,000 feet, or sub zero winter camping. If motorcycle camping where space is limited, my Jetboil works great.

Jetboils are good for something like the camino since they are a fairly inexpensive all-in-one solution, safe and fuel easily obtainable. They are great when you have limited space as the fuel canister, stove, spoon etc. fit in the cup. I love the coffee press since it fits perfect in the cup and I can drink my coffee with the press in place, without needing a separate pot/cup. No need for cooking or coffee pots, kettle, separate stove, issues with balancing etc. For those eco-conscious, there is a Jetboil tool that removes the propane stopper and canisters can be thrown into recyclable bin
 
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D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Jetboils not the best solution for through hikes because they rely on propane fuel canisters, but perfect for well supplied walks like the camino.
Jetboils uses the same type of canisters and fuel that the pocket rocket, Kovea, and other similar stoves use.

I saw lots of the Kovea/Pocket Rocket style stoves on both my PCT thru-hike and Colorado Trail thru hike. Personally, I could get by on one medium sized canister between my 7 to 10 day resupply points. I also have the little tool that helps collapse canisters.

I do not understand about the separate pot, etc. Jetboil stoves do have a separate pot. The difference is that the pot has a proprietary connector device as part of the system, in order to connect it to the stove. Lot's of folks like them, but I never cared for it even after a few weeks of use.
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
... many [hostels] already accept tents ...
@David, you are right. Then first person I spoke with the morning I started from Le Puy-en-Velay in early April 2016 was camping. I encountered him many times between there and Burgos and each time he pitched his tent in the hostel's ground and used their facilities, paying about half-rates.

Not all hostels provide meals.

Many hostels do provide kitchens and these tend to be in villages with a grocery store.
 

Trude

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais 2013 Finnestere, Muxia 2013, 2017
Norte 2014, Francais, 2015, 2016, VDLP 2017
Hi – I have been thinking about tents for Camino - idle thoughts

Now, I don’t want to get into the rights or wrongs nor the legalities or illegalities, would rather leave that out for this thread … but, when the Camino does open again I do think that there will be more tenting pilgrims. I will certainly be packing one onto my first aid trailer.

So – to me there are a few main requirements - I would be interested to hear other views

1. It has to be light – for obvious reasons really.

2. It will be a dome or pop-up tent as it has to be free-standing, that it will stand up without pegging down.

There are many refugios with concrete/wooden verandahs, porches outside churches with stone floors. There are countless businesses along the way with car parks that close early evening and don’t open again until 8 or 9 the next day. There are tarmac Pelota squares in many villages ...
Again – this is not about the legality, but thinking about it, not camping on farmland could be a much better way forward. And something like a dome tent doesn’t have to be pegged unless there is a strong wind.

3. It has to be cheap.

The reason I have for this is that it will only be used for, what, 35 days max? And in Santiago could be given to a homeless person. Also, if it is is damaged, lost, stolen – who cares if it is cheap?

4. As it has to be both cheap and light I think that a single skin tent would do – if it gets a little cold and this causes condensation for a few nights .. is that important?

5. It will be small (to be light) but has to be big enough to keep footwear and pack inside.

And that is it really

Oh, 6. It should be blue with yellow waymarker signs spray-stencilled onto it.

I could be completely wrong here but I don’t think anyone has to spend a fortune on a tent with all gizzmos and super strong Himalayan waterproofing and maybe half a kilo, a pound, lighter – but can one can budget this? And how light is ‘light’?
I have done a combination of camping and accomodation on 5 Caminos and the 88 Temples in Japan. We never cook and try to camp where there is running water. Always take your rubbish with you and leave the site as you find it.
My advice to you is to buy a cheap lightweight 2 man dome tent that you can throw at the end. I pay $12-$15 in Australia at Kmart or Woolworths and they are about 800gms definitely under a kilo.
We buy food along the way as usual and set up our tent out of sight on the Camino. Some Albergues will allow you to set up outside and pay for a shower. The 88 temples in Japan is nearly all camping and have facilities for you. It was my favourite. I use a lightweight air mattress that is tiny expensive and very comfortable Decathalon sells these. Same for Pillow.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
@dougfitz, I am sorry but you the one that is wrong. The first criteria of @David was light. And lightness would be considered in relation to the nominal suggested all up pack weight of 7 kg (15 lb).

I have scanned the manufacturer you quote for 2 person tents. The lightest of four currently in stock is 2.2 kg with the other three approaching 4 kg each. By any measure these are heavy in relation to the nominal all up suggested weight to be carried.
You are correct, the Mont Moondance, a tent that I consider to be one of the best hiking tents available on the Australian market, is listed as 'sold out'. I didn't realise that I was going to be judged on the the current availability of stock from a company's product catalogue! Your criticism might be justified if is was shown as a discontinued line, which it isn't.

As for whether it meets @David's orginal criteria, rather than your rather liberal re-interpretation of those in an earlier post, not many do. On the balance, the Quecha MH100, available here in Australia from Decathalon for AUD 49, would be a far better overall balance of @David's requirements, not tents that might be lighter, have technically better waterproofing, etc, etc but costing so much more.

But that is my assessment. Clearly not yours, and perhaps not @David's.

As for my response to @David's later question,
... am I wrong or does it seem that Americans produce the best lightweight hiking tents??
my answer is still that @David is wrong, but that is my personal opinion based on my own criteria which might be largely similar to his, although clearly I am prepared to pay somewhat more for a better technical solution that is somewhat lighter.
 

dgallen

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (6), Primitivo(3), Finisterre/Muxia (3), Aragones, Norte, Portuguese, Camino del Rey
I do not understand about the separate pot, etc. Jetboil stoves do have a separate pot. The difference is that the pot has a proprietary connector device as part of the system, in order to connect it to the stove. Lot's of folks like them, but I never cared for it even after a few weeks of use.
To each their own. I like how it all connects together and balances, without fear of tipover. Great for novices like me. There is even a hanging attachment, useful in deep snow or even "somewhat" safely and using in a tent (high winds, torrential rains with tent - note when tent will not be blown over!)

Totally off on a tangent but when canoe or backcountry camping I prefer a stove like a pocket rocket, but a separate real metal pot, since it can be used to scare black bears, (or other such Ursus or Canis) etc. at night. Banging a pot at night with my metal spoon, echoing on a lake sounds pretty intense and send most bears running. Tough to aim bear spray at 2 in the morning. Not sure I want to try it with a grizzly though... I generally go where they are not. Banging on the side of a Jetboil cup might encourage the bear more and invite him/her for dinnertime :)
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
@dougfitz, I am sorry but your arguments do not address weight.

Light [weight] was the first criteria of @David.

Neither the Quecha MH100 at 2.4 kg or the Mont Moodance at 1.91 kg are lightweight in relation to the nominal suggested all up carry weight of 7 kg (15 lb).

Have a good day.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
@dougfitz, I am sorry but your arguments do not address weight.
@AlwynWellington, I made a semi-serious response to a comment from @David that I assessed was also only semi-serious. For those who have been watching recently, we have had similar discussions over whether US sourced camping products are 'best', and like a similar discussion on footwear, I think people accept that both our evaluation criteria and the weightings we place on those are matters of individual taste. If you set up the criteria differently to @David, which you have done, one might expect different outcomes. Getting excited about whether sub 2 kg is or isn't lightweight compared to, say the Z-packs tent @davebugg is using is really splitting hairs when one cannot really afford the nearly AUD 1000 it would cost to bring into Australia. It looks like it would be a good tent, but it won't matter how good, even on a cost/use basis, if the purchase cost is more than some of us are prepared to spend.
 
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dgallen

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (6), Primitivo(3), Finisterre/Muxia (3), Aragones, Norte, Portuguese, Camino del Rey
As someone who has way too many tents, I've discovered you can get really good tents retailed at major outlets in North America, Europe and Asia at the $300-$400 mark (watch for those sales!), that are very light but also durable. Plus tents in this range typically have colour coded poles that snap together by themselves, even an idiot like me can put them up quickly (handy in the rain!). You can spend a lot more to get the Zpacks or other boutique tents of that ilk that are light as a feather, but can be a PITA to set up... don't get me wrong, excellent tents, but hard on the pocket book if you want the freestanding variety. For me in Canada, in my Canadian dollars it amounts to well over $1000.00 and 13% tax plus shipping on top of that when purchasing direct from the manufacturer.

An excellent 2020 review/comparison of tents, with weights, dimensions, features and costs is at switchbacktravel dot com /best-tents-backpacking. I have no affiliation with them or any manufacturer, retailer or publication. I just buy a lot of tents.
 
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Barbara

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
I bought a Jack Wolfskin Exo light 2. Tried it in the garden one cold rainy night. I'm very happy to carry it on my bike.
You can access a number of American made cottage manufacturer's tents from Gossamer Gear, MLD, zPacks, TarpTent, Big Agnes (although I do not like some BA tents for several reasons), HMG, etc.

Here is their offering of the zPacks Duplex.

I encourage people, who can afford the expense, to never consider the price of a piece of gear or clothing as the primary factor in determining actual value. My criteria is based on Cost Per Mile (kilometer).

If I am needing gear to ONLY walk a 500 mile Camino, ultra lightweight clothing and gear become much more expensive to me, than if I need that same clothing and gear to last for 5,000 miles.

Suddenly, that $125.00, two ounce cuben fiber poncho not only contributes to an ultralight load, but it goes from costing about 0.25 cents per mile, to costing only 0.025 cents per mile. That $600.00 tent goes from costing $1.20/mile to costing 0.12 cents/mile.

As with everything, each person's budget will determine how much one can invest in equipment. It does help to consider that a less expensive tent that needs replacing every three years, can be far more expensive than a more expensive tent that will last for 6 years.
Davebugg has other posts on this, all well worth reading.
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Lots of great info but nearly all from experienced hikers who know and use hi tech sophisticated gear and are willing to spend on it .. would be nice to see some "non tenters" coming on who are wondering if they should take a tent and what they would need (need, not desire) .. there have even been some arguments about the 'bestest ''lightestest' stove to take and which country makes the best tents (it is branding, they are nearly all made in China!) :D

... when I put the post up I was thinking about pilgrims preparing to go when it is open and wondering if a tent would be a good idea .. and as we know, a high percentage of pilgrims are not even walkers, let alone hikers, and have no experience of the outdoors!

I may be wrong (I so often am!) but I think 'they' would most likely want to stay down the budget end, thinking "it is just for one Camino, as long as it is fairly cheap, pretty light, and keeps me dry, that will do".

Does a one-time, first-time, pilgrim really need a super tech tent? Really? Surely just a budget light dome would do .. the chances are high that they wouldn't be used every night anyway.

Look at Dromengro (posted above) - who buys the cheap - £16-20 single skin dome tents that weigh about 1.6kgs and has had no problem with them, using them for two to three months at a time and staying dry, condensation not more of a problem than expensive tents (ventilation being the answer) .. and I think that is the way novice pilgrims and pilgrims on a budget will go.

As we all know, many companies out-source their manufacturing to China and those Chinese companies also produce their own tents and at a fraction of the price paid over here (and they ship worldwide for peanut costs).

Try going to AliExpress and putting in "self-standing tents" into the search box .. you can then click an 'up' arrow to start with the cheapest - some pretty good looking and light tents on there you know.

https://www.aliexpress.com/
 
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Dromengro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP - Leon 1984
Frances (2021)
My advice to you is to buy a cheap lightweight 2 man dome tent that you can throw at the end. I pay $12-$15 in Australia at Kmart or Woolworths and they are about 800gms definitely under a kilo.
Only 800gms that's light! I looked on the Kmart website and there is a one for $12 doesn't mention the weight though, but looks O.K especially for the money and the weight. I've used similar but not so light.

In the summer unless you're unlucky to have a wet spell then most of the time the tent will be used for privacy more than anything so although uncomfortable not life threatening if it did leak, plus a lightweight polythene sheet, bin bags or your poncho can be rigged over the top in emergencies. Not ideal but what do you expect for a fistful of Dollars.
Talking of cowboys you could get away without one at all and just sleep outside cowboy style and use accommodation if there's a chance of rain. Just have an emergency bivvy or poncho handy in case of unexpected heavy showers.
When I did the Frances I took the flysheet from my lightweight Saunders Jetpacker, a good tent but needed a lot of staking out, impossible in many places in the summer so I had to use stones, or extend the guy lines to attach to trees etc, most of the time it wasn't worth the hassle and I just slept on the groundsheet and had the tent handy to pull over if needed.
I prefer to sleep that way most of the time, even in Scotland and have gone off for weeks at a time with no tent, usually with a tarp but often overnight or for a few days in a dry summer spell (yes we do have them, occasionally) with nothing other than an emergency bivvy.
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
@Dromengro - interesting, the no tent idea ... I use the SnugPak jungle bag and that has a zipped insect net to cover the face .... sooo ... one could indeed just have a good sleeping mat? now there is a thought!! Would just have to sleep under a roofed area if wet ... hhmm .. church porch? etc? (or bivvy sort of thing ... or take one of those light super cheap domes just in case ..
 

Dromengro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP - Leon 1984
Frances (2021)
The SnugPak looks a great bag. Thought about getting one for a while.
Although going tent less is certainly possible, many people prefer the privacy/safety of an enclosed space. However some Albergues or other permitted places might not find it acceptable to have people dossing in their grounds like homeless bums. Personally I don't see the difference whether you sleep in a tent or without but I have known some campsites where it would not be acceptable, or at least frowned upon even with a tarp. East European campsites don't seem to have a problem with it and is still quite common, even more so in the past.
Obviously it would be better suited to wild camping or more correctly overnight bivouacking but we won't go there.
 

Stroller

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte (2015), Frances (2016)
It seems to me that what would be ideal for the multi-purposing, casual pilgrim who wants to carry a shelter only for occasional use, would be something that can also be used as a poncho, and uses only one walking stick as pole. 😉
There is one called the Gatewood cape from Six Moon Designs. I've not tried it so cannot comment on it as either a tent or poncho.
 
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Barbara

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
It's easy to be uncomfortable. Personally I think it's worth the money to be dry, on a good mat, warm, with a decent sleeping bag and enough room inside a tent to sit up to get dressed.
Light, quick to put up, robust enough not to rip itself to shreds in a bit of a wind. Not a good idea to rely on your weight to keep your tent in place.
Light is relative, but anything below 2kg for a two person (nominal) tent will not be cheap if you want it to last the whole Camino from anywhere beyond 200km. Below 1.5 will be serious money.
I've used a tonic can stove, btw. Works but the fuel is actually no lighter than a gas canister. Make sure you choose one available EASILY in the country of use. Be prepared for confiscation on Spanish main line trains.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
In the summer unless you're unlucky to have a wet spell then most of the time the tent will be used for privacy more than anything so although uncomfortable not life threatening if it did leak, plus a lightweight polythene sheet, bin bags or your poncho can be rigged over the top in emergencies. Not ideal but what do you expect for a fistful of Dollars.
I was camping with my wife and then quite young children on the west coast of Mull on the night of 13-14 Aug 1979 in a 'K-mart summer tent'. We had used that tent for a couple of years summer camping in Australia before going to England and then holidaying in Scotland. Up to then it had been fine, but it didn't survive that night. We had the most uncomfortable time before dawn breaking camp in the worst wind and rain conditions I had ever experienced with two absolutely sodden children shivering and at risk of exposure. I have for ever after been prepared to invest in something much more robust to use for camping and hiking.
 

Dromengro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP - Leon 1984
Frances (2021)
I was camping.... in Scotland. Up to then it had been fine, but it didn't survive that night. We had the most uncomfortable time before dawn breaking camp in the worst wind and rain conditions I had ever experienced .....after been prepared to invest in something much more robust to use for camping and hiking.
Sounds like a normal night on the west coast. 🤣 I wouldn't advise anyone to use anything but a well made tent in Scotland at anytime, certainly not in mountain areas. Even an expensive mountain tent wouldn't stand up well to much of the weather I've experienced, which is partly why I started using a tarp as it is more adaptable, as I can use large boulders or rocky cave areas to camp in or under, or use other natural features, like woods, walls or sheep pens, bridges etc if lower down or be sensible and head to a bothy.
Fortunately Spain has a lot more agreable climate, although it too can have very heavy rain showers, at least they don't last for months on end.

Not a good idea to rely on your weight to keep your tent in place.
It's always handy to have a peg or two but your gear should keep in place in light wind. I wouldn't like to be out in a wind that could lift both you and your tent off the ground. Although I have often been out in winds over 100mph and experienced 160-170mph winds on the top of the Cairngorms, holding on to the ground not daring to let go, with my legs blowing about like a wind sock, while being pelted with ice and gravel.
Funny looking back but not at the time.
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
There is one called the Gatewood cape from Six Moon Designs. I've not tried it so cannot comment on it as either a tent or poncho.
Thank you this tip. It gets good reviews. It provides some privacy, shelter from a light rain, and since it has no ground cover, ventilation isn’t likely a big issue. large garbage bag would make a floor.

On further reflection, I’m not sure it is quite satisfactory for me. I want my shelter to at least give me the illusion that creepy crawlies won’t be joining me in my sleep.

But something to consider!
 

good_old_shoes

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
There surely is no right and wrong here, not "THE" best tent for pilgrims. You can always look at what others prefer, but you have to find out what works best for you and at which points you're more willing to compromise and where you don't want to or can't compromise at all.

For me, weight is not number 1 priority. Expensive ultralight gear is not necessary at all if you're healthy/fit/well trained - it might result in a slightly lighter pack, but one or two kilos more don't make a difference for me, personally, and I'm not willing to pay double the price for 500grams or a kilo less. That is one bottle of water! My current "full package" (tent, sleeping bag and mat) for temperatures down to about -5 degrees (comfortably, not barely surviving!) weighs about 2,9-3,4kg (depending on which tent I carry). The ultralight people will laugh about that. For me it just means I'll walk a bit more slowly than without camping gear, but it doesn't affect my walking comfort or the amount of kms I walk per day. This is about the weight I'll happily carry extra.

For me, reliability is more important than weight. I don't want to wake up soaked or freezing, the tent should keep bugs and rain outside, be well ventilated and stand tight in windy conditions, and the sleeping bag should not only feel good (fabric) but most importantly hold up to the temperature rating (it is the most expensive part of my kit for that reason). Sleeping mat is a good old classic foam one that will never deflate because of a hole.

Someone else might need a completely different kit. A good start to find out what works for you and what doesn't, is to borrow tent, sleeping bag and so on from friends and try it, or to buy second hand and resell if you don't like it.

And then, before you start walking, thoroughly test your gear. Set up your tent in the garden and pack it up again so often that you can do it half asleep. Hold the garden hose over it and see what happens. Leave it standing during a storm. Put it up while it's raining. Put it up during a storm. Try how it is to pack and carry a wet tent. Try what happens if your sleeping bag gets a bit wet. Sleep on the porch or balcony with your mat and sleeping bag at the coldest temperature you're expecting for your walk. And so on.

It is not that different from finding out which backpack, shoes or walking poles are best for you, really! and it's fun!
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
There surely is no right and wrong here, not "THE" best tent for pilgrims. You can always look at what others prefer, but you have to find out what works best for you and at which points you're more willing to compromise and where you don't want to or can't compromise at all.
It is not that different from finding out which backpack, shoes or walking poles are best for you, really! and it's fun!
Exactly!
 

gerip

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
CF, Burgos to Santiago, May 2019
Ingles, Sep - Oct 2019
I was searching (even some weeks before CoViD-19) for almost exactly the same tents as @David : lightweight/cheap/using walking poles/free-standing and found these two favorites:

At 300 USD (275€) and 595g:
(This one was already mentioned by @davebugg in another thread I think)

At 250 GBP (280€ -free UK & EU shipping) and 680g:

Coming from EU the second one might be cheaper for me and I kind of like it more. Don't know why exactly though :D
My plan is to try to sleep outside the very crowded albergues, but if an albergue isn’t crowded, then I’d choose the bunk option. I usually walk in October, when things are winding down and many albergues are less than half full. So being that my tent would not be getting nightly use, I wouldn’t mind cheap ultralight.
Currently I’m looking at the Lanshan 1 and the Naturehike Vik 1, both available at AliExpress (40 day delivery times!).
Here’s the video on YouTube with the one guy who compares the two (in German, but by this time other languages don’t phase me).
They’re both just below 1kg and around 125 USD. The Vik is freestanding, meaning it can set up on a porch on a rainy night, the Lanshan needs to be anchored with pegs and walking pole, so at this point I’m leaning towards the Vik.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
I don't have any suggestions for a camino tent as, until recently, I've always picked a tent that can handle high winds and rain. I do have a tent pitching tip though that may prove useful to a poster or two on this thread.

Our last tent purchased was a Hubba Hubba NX picked partly for backpacking and partly for car camping. One thing I did not like was staking the tent down through the webbing loops because the loop would either slide over the top of the stake or I would have to tie the loop to the stake. I rigged something up that made staking much easier. I bought a bunch of small split rings usually used for key rings. They were all the same size. Half went into the hole in the stake that originally had a small loop of cord. The other half were attached to the webbing loops for staking. Now I only had to push a stake through the ring attached to the webbing. Since the inside of the webbing's ring is smaller than the outside of the stake's ring the webbing can't slide off the stake.

IMG_20200527_131300.jpgIMG_20200527_131217.jpg

You may want to enlarge the pictures from thumbnails to larger size and then some more.
 

FooteK

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to SdC, 2013; Lourdes to SdC, 2015; ??? to SdC (2020)
As I write this, my Decathlon tent is still set up from our backyard camping this past weekend. We love camping and, although I only use my lightweight sleeping bag and a self-inflating mattress, I never sleep better than when I am in a tent.

I think that a person should be experienced at camping and backpacking before considering tenting on the Camino.
OR . . .
A person should already be familiar with the Camino before considering camping on it.

I think the newness of camping, the newness of backpacking, AND the newness of the Camino might be too many new things at once for a first-time camper or first-time pilgrim.

Remembering my first Camino, I made mistakes and much was unexpected. I was glad I only had to think of putting one very muddy, slightly blistered foot in front of the other and keeping my eyes out for the yellow arrow, knowing that when I finally arrived at my daily destination, I could drop my backpack and lay for a short, refreshing siesta before starting the daily "shower-laundry-explore-eat" routine.

I am intrigued by the idea of tenting every night on the Camino and am enjoying the discussion of the many options.

BTW, I am a mother of four and I am NOT, under any circumstances, bringing a stove so I can cook my own meals. I am shelling out those euros so that I can enjoy this tiny luxury while I walk. Someone else is cooking for me, dammit!!

😇
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
My plan is to try to sleep outside the very crowded albergues, but if an albergue isn’t crowded, then I’d choose the bunk option. I usually walk in October, when things are winding down and many albergues are less than half full. So being that my tent would not be getting nightly use, I wouldn’t mind cheap ultralight.
Currently I’m looking at the Lanshan 1 and the Naturehike Vik 1, both available at AliExpress (40 day delivery times!).
Here’s the video on YouTube with the one guy who compares the two (in German, but by this time other languages don’t phase me).
They’re both just below 1kg and around 125 USD. The Vik is freestanding, meaning it can set up on a porch on a rainy night, the Lanshan needs to be anchored with pegs and walking pole, so at this point I’m leaning towards the Vik.
Lanshan is definitely my choice of all the one-person-tents I've seen so far. Thanks for the suggestion :)

I won't need it for any thru-hike but could be very handy in post corona circumstances and especially on less walked Caminos (warmer months only) which I'm interested in. Also I don't plan to sleep in it in bad weather especially in rain or after walking whole day in rain with all the gear and clothes wet. Nope :D
 

Barbara

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
BTW, I am a mother of four and I am NOT, under any circumstances, bringing a stove so I can cook my own meals. I am shelling out those euros so that I can enjoy this tiny luxury while I walk. Someone else is cooking for me, dammit!!
Also I don't plan to sleep in it in bad weather especially in rain or after walking whole day in rain with all the gear and clothes wet. Nope :D
Think morning coffee while still snug in your sleeping bag. 😁
As for not using your tent in bad weather, things may conspire against that laudable aim. 😟
 

dgallen

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (6), Primitivo(3), Finisterre/Muxia (3), Aragones, Norte, Portuguese, Camino del Rey
I think the newness of camping, the newness of backpacking, AND the newness of the Camino might be too many new things at once for a first-time camper or first-time pilgrim.

😇

I think you make an excellent point not only for the newbies, but experienced camino addicts and long distance hikers/campers as well. Two years ago I had decided to do a early spring (end of February through March) camino on the CF as a tune up to do the Lycian Way in Turkey through April, onward in May to hike to Petra in Jordan, some walking in Israel, before coming back up through the Greek Islands, Croatia and finally Italy before coming back home by June.

For this adventure I had packed my tent, pad, cooking gear and essentials I'd need for 3 months of combo camping (mostly in Turkey), albergues, hostels and guest houses. That was the year Europe had a deep freeze and had some significant snow on the CF, so I was glad to have my down sleeping bag and clothes necessary for the temperature variance. With all my gear I decided to use my 85 litre Osprey backpack and thought I would get in shape for the ups and downs on the Lycian. That said, I planned on albergues only on the camino, but would just carry all my gear, as I was worried about shipping ahead and losing some prized equipment via the Correos (which had happened to me in the past).

The problem is that I was doing my normal pace and km on the CF, while carrying quite a bit of extra weight. Just after Burgos, I felt a twinge in my knee. Another 15 minutes and around 1km to Tardajos I could hardly take two steps without wincing in pain. I practically crawled to La Fabrica albergue, which if there is a silver lining to this story I discovered an amazing place with wonderful host. Two days there, resting with ice and ibuprofen lineament, I decided to train it to Leon for extended rest, with the intent to continue from there to Santiago and make my connections to Turkey. My tendinitis just got worse however, such that I realized that my injury was serious enough to cancel my next 2 1/2 month journey. After a short onward trip to Seville to drown my sorrows at the Easter celebrations I limped back home (or at least to the airport).

The moral of the story is that even those of us who think we are experienced hikers, need to adjust our pace and plans when taking on extra weight. Instead of my normal 25-30km over 7-8 hours, I should have reduced my distance by 5km daily and increased my resting and overall time to compensate for the extra stress on my body. My recommendation is that you are planning a 30 day camino, add another 5 days and take the time to smell the roses.
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Some really good points being made - possibly the most important to adapt pace and distance to the extra weight.

I don't think one can come up with the 'best' tent for Camino .. each to their own and each will have their own requirements.

Mine? I won't pay more than £70 and, for me (as in the op) it would have to be free standing - I suspect that there would be many times where a perfect night pitch is available but is on hard standing - a wooden refugio verandah or their concrete car park for instance, so that is my primary attribute.

Then - light - by this I don't mean super-light, just not heavy!

Then, bug screens and built in groundsheet .... knowing this my search is narrowed down and, like buying a bicycle or tv or table lamp, brand choice would be down to "which one I like best" which could be something like colour or name! :D .

Doug had an interesting and challenging bad weather experience some decades ago and these things do happen - I was also washed out camping with family when the children were young - we all found it rather exciting, a real adventure (afterwards).

But .. spring to autumn on Camino? with weather updates now freely available via smartphone? Nah .. I don't see that as a problem - have seen bad weather on Camino in the last fifteen years of going there but nothing severe, nothing to cause worry - the worst, tenting, would be a week of rain .. but then if the Camino is open then also guest houses, cheap hostals, and refugios will be too - .
 

Dromengro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP - Leon 1984
Frances (2021)
if the Camino is open then also guest houses, cheap hostals, and refugios will be too - .
Exactly no point in suffering if you don't have to. With the money you save buying a cheaper tent, you can easily afford other accommodation if it's really bad for a few nights, rather than having to endure it because you spent all your money on an expensive tent or too proud to admit you would rather be tucked up in bed on a wild night rather than worrying that your expensive tents not going to survive..

Good luck on your next camping adventure and let us know how it works out. I like your trailer by the way.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Currently on a "Virtual" Camino and striding out across Castile y Leon!
I have done a combination of camping and accomodation on 5 Caminos and the 88 Temples in Japan. We never cook and try to camp where there is running water. Always take your rubbish with you and leave the site as you find it.
My advice to you is to buy a cheap lightweight 2 man dome tent that you can throw at the end. I pay $12-$15 in Australia at Kmart or Woolworths and they are about 800gms definitely under a kilo.
We buy food along the way as usual and set up our tent out of sight on the Camino. Some Albergues will allow you to set up outside and pay for a shower. The 88 temples in Japan is nearly all camping and have facilities for you. It was my favourite. I use a lightweight air mattress that is tiny expensive and very comfortable Decathalon sells these. Same for Pillow.
Because what Spain needs right now is more garbage to fill up their landfill sites?
 

FooteK

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to SdC, 2013; Lourdes to SdC, 2015; ??? to SdC (2020)
I would be sad and, yes, a little bit bummed, if I got to an albergue only to find that the last bed had been taken by someone who had a tent but had just decided to sleep inside that night, maybe it was raining. They could have just parked outside, but now I have to schlep another bunch of kilometers before I can rest..
I know, I know, unfair. Tenters have the same right to a bed as me, perhaps the tenter had an injury, it's karma, etc., etc. I didn't say I liked myself for feeling put out, I just said I would feel resentment - you brought a tent, use it!
*sigh*
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
I would be sad and, yes, a little bit bummed, if I got to an albergue only to find that the last bed had been taken by someone who had a tent but had just decided to sleep inside that night, maybe it was raining. They could have just parked outside, but now I have to schlep another bunch of kilometers before I can rest..
I know, I know, unfair. Tenters have the same right to a bed as me, perhaps the tenter had an injury, it's karma, etc., etc. I didn't say I liked myself for feeling put out, I just said I would feel resentment - you brought a tent, use it!
*sigh*
Odds are good you wouldn’t know they had a tent, it being buried inside their pack.

I recall being at the albergue in Pieros, enjoying a beverage in the garden, when a couple arrived in want of beds. Some other folks who had already checked in, gave up their beds and set up their tent in the back garden. They had hoped for a nice mattress, but were cheerfully willing to make sure everyone had a place to sleep.

Many tenters will want a softer sleeping surface from time to time and the camaraderie of communal living. Give thanks that they aren’t competition for those beds every night? 🍷

(edited to correct grammar)
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
I would be sad and, yes, a little bit bummed, if I got to an albergue only to find that bed had been taken by someone who had a tent but had just decided to sleep inside that night, maybe it was raining.
This makes no sense at all from a "fairness" perspective 🤔. That person took no advantage of others by carrying the extra weight. They would have released a bed for others, every time they slept outside. They might think "Why should I give up my occasional bed to someone who insists on one every night just because they don't want to come more prepared?"

When an albergue fills up, there are infinite ways to judge needs and fairness.
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
I would be sad and, yes, a little bit bummed, if I got to an albergue only to find that the last bed had been taken by someone who had a tent but had just decided to sleep inside that night, maybe it was raining. They could have just parked outside, but now I have to schlep another bunch of kilometers before I can rest..
I know, I know, unfair. Tenters have the same right to a bed as me, perhaps the tenter had an injury, it's karma, etc., etc. I didn't say I liked myself for feeling put out, I just said I would feel resentment - you brought a tent, use it!
*sigh*
Yes, I see your point and commiserate with you, 'sigh' indeed - why on earth should they think they can have a bed even if it is a howling storm outside - I mean, they did choose to bring a tent so obviously they should use it.

But it isn't just pilgrims with tents, is it. Think of pilgrims who earn more money than us, why, their pockets are probably full of Euros, what on earth are they doing in a refugio taking the last bed when a Parador is only a few yards away - so selfish. Why are they clogging up the Camino by walking anyway? Surely they can afford a taxi?

Then! Think of the unfair advantage tall pilgrims have! As they have longer legs they have a naturally longer stride so tend to arrive earlier than short people - is this fair? Seems to me that if a refugio becomes full then tall pilgrims should be asked to leave - anyway, with their long strides they will get to the next place much easier than a short person would.
and then - what if the tall pilgrim is of normal healthy weight? and what if the short person is not just short but fat as well? Is this fair?
My idea is to stop tall normal weight pilgrims leaving a refugio for at least an hour after short pilgrims and two hours after short fat pilgrims have left - surely this would be much more fair?

Top tip for pilgrims carrying a tent: - tent bags tend to be roundish, long, and narrow - before leaving home have a local artist paint it to look like a large loaf of bread - this way if your tent bag is discovered when you are in a refugio the other pilgrim will just think that you like bread - oh, though that may become a problem if they are hungry and ask for some of it. *sigh*
 
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gerip

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
CF, Burgos to Santiago, May 2019
Ingles, Sep - Oct 2019
Mine? I won't pay more than £70 and, for me (as in the op) it would have to be free standing - I suspect that there would be many times where a perfect night pitch is available but is on hard standing - a wooden refugio verandah or their concrete car park for instance, so that is my primary attribute.
All those festival tents will fit the bill, the only thing Is that they don’t usually pack them to be carried in a rucksack, at lest the ones that I’ve seen.
 

gerip

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
CF, Burgos to Santiago, May 2019
Ingles, Sep - Oct 2019
Many tenters will want a softer sleeping surface from time to time and the camaraderie of communal living. Give thanks that they aren’t competition for those beds every night? 🍷
Yes. I’m only thinking about tenting at an albergue, so I’ll still be around other pilgrims. Not really interested in camping at sites with regular holiday makers.
 

FooteK

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to SdC, 2013; Lourdes to SdC, 2015; ??? to SdC (2020)
Yes, I see your point and commiserate with you, 'sigh' indeed - why on earth should they think they can have a bed even if it is a howling storm outside - I mean, they did choose to bring a tent so obviously they should use it.

But it isn't just pilgrims with tents, is it. Think of pilgrims who earn more money than us, why, their pockets are probably full of Euros, what on earth are they doing in a refugio taking the last bed when a Parador is only a few yards away - so selfish. Why are they clogging up the Camino by walking anyway? Surely they can afford a taxi?

Then! Think of the unfair advantage tall pilgrims have! As they have longer legs they have a naturally longer stride so tend to arrive earlier than short people - is this fair? Seems to me that if a refugio becomes full then tall pilgrims should be asked to leave - anyway, with their long strides they will get to the next place much easier than a short person would.
and then - what if the tall pilgrim is of normal healthy weight? and what if the short person is not just short but fat as well? Is this fair?
My idea is to stop tall normal weight pilgrims leaving a refugio for at least an hour after short pilgrims and two hours after short fat pilgrims have left - surely this would be much more fair?

Top tip for pilgrims carrying a tent: - tent bags tend to be roundish, long, and narrow - before leaving home have a local artist paint it to look like a large loaf of bread - this way if your tent bag is discovered when you are in a refugio the other pilgrim will just think that you like bread - oh, though that may become a problem if they are hungry and ask for some of it. *sigh*
Yes, yes, all points well taken. You are correct.
Now I have to resent people who are in better shape than me, too. My stride is pretty long, so I can't resent anyone for that. Thanks for pointing that out.
Ugh. Now I'm getting angrier and angrier as I think about getting back on the Camino. GRRRRRRR!!!!
🤪
I hate myself. I need to get out more.
 

FooteK

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to SdC, 2013; Lourdes to SdC, 2015; ??? to SdC (2020)
This makes no sense at all from a "fairness" perspective 🤔. That person took no advantage of others by carrying the extra weight. They would have released a bed for others, every time they slept outside. They might think "Why should I give up my occasional bed to someone who insists on one every night just because they don't want to come more prepared?"

When an albergue fills up, there are infinite ways to judge needs and fairness.
Yep, you're right. I didn't say I was proud of it.
 

FooteK

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to SdC, 2013; Lourdes to SdC, 2015; ??? to SdC (2020)
I would be sad and, yes, a little bit bummed, if I got to an albergue only to find that the last bed had been taken by someone who had a tent but had just decided to sleep inside that night, maybe it was raining. They could have just parked outside, but now I have to schlep another bunch of kilometers before I can rest..
I know, I know, unfair. Tenters have the same right to a bed as me, perhaps the tenter had an injury, it's karma, etc., etc. I didn't say I liked myself for feeling put out, I just said I would feel resentment - you brought a tent, use it!
*sigh*
Yes, I know. I have revealed that I am a jerk.
 

Helen1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
London to Santiago (2014)
Narbonne to Oloron (2015)
Camino Portugues (2016)
Sentier Cathar (2017)
Mine? I won't pay more than £70 and, for me (as in the op) it would have to be free standing - I suspect that there would be many times where a perfect night pitch is available but is on hard standing - a wooden refugio verandah or their concrete car park for instance, so that is my primary attribute.
Is getting a second hand tent and then selling the tent after the camino an option? Looking on eBay expensive lightweight tents seem to keep their value pretty well. I think dgallen makes a really good point about weight. Maybe not an issue if you have a trailer but a 2kg tent, plus a sleeping mat (I think you're seriously hardcore if you can survive on one of those thin foam mats), plus a warmer sleeping bag, possibly plus a larger/heavier rucksack and a stove, is probably going to be double the weight that most people on this forum walk with. I wouldn't underestimate how much of difference this is going to make.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Hola David - WOW 96 responses!!!
Whilst I do not think the "tented brigade" will include myself I think this post has or will raise the level of concern about how to handle the "overflow pilgrims" when albergues open but have their accommodation numbers reduced by 25/35/50% (based on what I have read in the media - sometimes official others social comment).
I believe that having lost the majority of the 2020 Camino season the number of pilgrims who will want to walk in 2021 will far exceed normal accommodation levels, let alone any probable reduced numbers. Might be time to start contacting albergues that have "space" to see if they will accept self-contained pilgrims!!
(Mods - sorry if this looks like hijacking this existing post theme - cheers).
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Is getting a second hand tent and then selling the tent after the camino an option? Looking on eBay expensive lightweight tents seem to keep their value pretty well. I think dgallen makes a really good point about weight. Maybe not an issue if you have a trailer but a 2kg tent, plus a sleeping mat (I think you're seriously hardcore if you can survive on one of those thin foam mats), plus a warmer sleeping bag, possibly plus a larger/heavier rucksack and a stove, is probably going to be double the weight that most people on this forum walk with. I wouldn't underestimate how much of difference this is going to make.
The weights quickly add up. From my current equipment collection:
  • tent, mat, pillow - 2.7 kg
  • cooking stove, pot and fuel ~800 gm
  • tarp rigged to create an open sided hootchie with mat and pillow ~ 850 gm
  • bivvy bag ~ 700 gm
None of these are anywhere near the absolute minimum. While I am not planning any new purchases here, it would still be interesting to see what others, including serious ultra-light practitioners, would need to add to their normal camino load.

Edit: the tent, tarp and bivvy are options I have, and only would be carried.
 
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FooteK

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to SdC, 2013; Lourdes to SdC, 2015; ??? to SdC (2020)
The nicest part of camping is sleeping in a tent when it is raining. Incomparable. The worst part of camping, however, is setting up or taking down your tent when it is raining (by raining, I mean pouring).
I would never, ever, deny a tenter access to a warm, dry albergue, in bad weather.
Remembering how much rain there was during my first Camino, perhaps colors my reaction.
If I was backpacking on the Appalachian Trail, I would be mentally and physically prepared to set up and take down my tent in all kind of weather and enjoy it. But thinking of how much rain I encountered on the Camino makes me think how I would feel after just 6 straight days of setting up and packing again in pouring rain.
If I decided to bring a tent, I would be committing to staying in my tent each night on the Camino unless there was unusual weather (climate change is making this more likely).
I think that's just me and that's why I probably wouldn't do it.
BTW, according to my journal, that first Camino had 11 straight days of rain, 2 days of no rain, then 5 more days of rain.
Finish subject. I love camping!!! Carry a tent and enjoy!! I will happily share a bottle of wine with you!
🙏 👣
🏕
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
The weights quickly add up. From my current equipment collection:
  • tent, mat, pillow - 2.7 kg
  • cooking stove, pot and fuel ~800 gm
  • tarp rigged to create an open sided hootchie with mat and pillow ~ 850 gm
  • bivvy bag ~ 700 gm
None of these are anywhere near the absolute minimum. While I am not planning any new purchases here, it would still be interesting to see what others, including serious ultra-light practitioners, would need to add to their normal camino load.
If I were taking a shelter, it would be a tarp-based shelter and not a tent, but that's because I am comfortable with rigging one up quickly. However, using a tent (which would be the Gossamer Gear The One model at $245 usd):

Tent – 21 oz / 595 gm Gossamer Gear, The One (Using a tarp shelter, would save about 6 oz/170 gm)
Quilt - 11 oz / 311 gm Enlightened Equipment Revelation: to my specifications
Mattress - 13 oz / 368 gm Nemo Tensor
Stove - 2 oz / 57 gm Kovea
Fuel - 4 oz / 113 gm Various, Isobutane canister
Mug - 3 oz / 85 gm Toaks mug. Cooking and eating

Totals: Around 1.3 Kg / 3.4 pounds

I would not plan on doing any cooking, though. I would be eating and drinking at bars, restaurants, etc like I would on any Camino. So I would skip taking cooking-related gear which would decrease the weight carried. I just included them to keep things "what if" consistent.
 
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