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Camping Thinking about tents

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia (May 2016)
C. Frances (Sept 2017)
Camino Portugues (June 2019)
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
View attachment 75809
Except it isn't waterproof, which - to me - is one of the main reasons to have a tent.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Well said David - from what I remember when staying in small towns (eg Hontanas) the night sky is impressive, (for Europe).
 

good_old_shoes

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
Since there seem to be a lot more people interested in camping on the Camino than before Corona times, I have been thinking about ways to make the Camino more tent-friendly - without the negative impact some would expect. With this I mean no loss for local business, no littering problem, and still keeping the "pilgrim spirit" / "Camino feeling".

Would anyone be interested in a seperate thread for that? Like, for collecting ideas about how this could be done without too much effort, and as inexpensive as possible for those who would have to make the changes (albergues, towns), so that there might be a real chance of it happening some day...? (One can dream!)

Then I'd start one.
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Since there seem to be a lot more people interested in camping on the Camino than before Corona times, I have been thinking about ways to make the Camino more tent-friendly - without the negative impact some would expect. With this I mean no loss for local business, no littering problem, and still keeping the "pilgrim spirit" / "Camino feeling".

Would anyone be interested in a seperate thread for that? Like, for collecting ideas about how this could be done without too much effort, and as inexpensive as possible for those who would have to make the changes (albergues, towns), so that there might be a real chance of it happening some day...? (One can dream!)

Then I'd start one.
I'm in!
 

OxFyrd

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese 2018, voie d'Arles 2019 (Arles -Santiago)
Scheduled : Le Puy-Bilbao - Primitivo
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.🍷🥪🥘
In my opinion, goal is to avoid virus especially in dormitory. And to book a full room when single is expensive. The main problem with camping is water (beverage, rope cleaning, hygiene). For equipment, have a look to PCT hikers on YouTube. Everything explained by pros. But, camp is a lonely experience...
 

gerip

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
CF, Burgos to Santiago, May 2019
Ingles, Sep - Oct 2019
Since there seem to be a lot more people interested in camping on the Camino than before Corona times, I have been thinking about ways to make the Camino more tent-friendly - without the negative impact some would expect. With this I mean no loss for local business, no littering problem, and still keeping the "pilgrim spirit" / "Camino feeling".

Would anyone be interested in a seperate thread for that? Like, for collecting ideas about how this could be done without too much effort, and as inexpensive as possible for those who would have to make the changes (albergues, towns), so that there might be a real chance of it happening some day...? (One can dream!)

Then I'd start one.
Some input from albergue owners would be very helpful as well. Maybe getting as many as possible to agree to host tenters (not campers) on their grounds.
To be clear, by “tenters” I mean those who intend to be fully involved in the whole albergue “experience”, but who for some (or much) of the time will be sleeping outdoors.
Owners/hospitallers may want to work out a way for tenters to access facilities like nighttime access to toilets (after all, the idea is to maintain a higher level of hygiene).
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
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.
Hey Doug - nice list. What is the deal with a tent and also a bivvi bag??
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Rather than write a list this is my future Camino equipment for relaxing after walking. You will notice the free standing dome. (I don't know who the other three pilgrims are).

tenor.png
 

alipilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Listed in my signature
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 963 g / 34 ounces

Just to play with Dave's numbers a bit... he mentioned he wouldn't probably bring a stove so one can eliminate that weight, and if he stayed at albergues he'd probably need a sleeping bag/quilt of some kind anyway as I don't think many will have blankets in the near future, so really he'd be only adding just over 2 pounds to have the ability to sleep outside whenever he chose. Seems like a very acceptable weight penalty to me!
 

Henm2

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
camino de frances
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.
I have been doing the camino frances in week long stages. Started SJPdP October 2017 and on my last trip reached Villafranca del Bierzo. I have wild camped a few times following LNT principles. Most times I used the albergues. For wild camping my 3F UL poncho is also great as a tarp. I also use a thermarest xtherm sleep pad, a light ice flame down quilt and a very light tyvek bivy bag. I have had no problem setting up late and leaving early from rest areas on the camino. I am hoping to be back in September to carry on from where I left off.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
:) You crossed out my sleeping quilt, which would add 11 more ounces to the total. So, excluding cooking stuff, the total for tent, mattress, sleeping quilt would be 45 oz / 2.75 pounds / 1.3 kg.

That would bring my total backpack weight to around 12 pounds / 5.5 kg, all-in.
 
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D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
I have been doing the camino frances in week long stages. Started SJPdP October 2017 and on my last trip reached Villafranca del Bierzo. I have wild camped a few times following LNT principles. Most times I used the albergues. For wild camping my 3F UL poncho is also great as a tarp. I also use a thermarest xtherm sleep pad, a light ice flame down quilt and a very light tyvek bivy bag. I have had no problem setting up late and leaving early from rest areas on the camino. I am hoping to be back in September to carry on from where I left off.
For tarp-based shelters, using my trekking poles, I use polycro sheets, which are tough as nails. A full sheet of 96" x 120" weighs about 3.5 ounces, and costs about $12.00 usd. I have a sheet that I've used off and on for 3 years now.

I've attached stick on tapes with rivet openings ($2.50), for locations where I use micro tent pegs ($15.00) and trekking poles, and a length of dyneema-core guyline cord (2.0 mm, $15.00). With pegs, line, permanently attached rivet tapes, and a silnylon stuff sack for it all, it all weighs around 8 ounces. As packed, it takes up no more space than a sport drink bottle.

I do not include the weight of trekking poles or poncho-groundcloth, as I carry those anyway for use in their normal roles.

Because of the existing laws, I would not wild camp in Spain, but utilize available yards and garden spaces at alburgues, hostals, and other permitted sites. That would give me plenty of access to toileting and washing facilities.

I do my backpacking at home. For Camino, I prefer to sleep indoors along the way. Private rooms in alburgues or at casa rurals, hostals, or hotels suit me just fine. :)
 
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AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
interesting to see what others ... would add to their normal camino load
At the start of each day my all up weight, including camping gear, is around 7.6 kg.

The camping gear totals 0.9 kg and comprises:
570 g tent 2 person (me and my pack) - 2015 Zpacks
115 g pegs and pole - 2015 Zpacks (second pole is a trekking pole repurposed)
220 g inflatable sleep pad - 2015 Therm-A-Rest

Without this my start of each day all up weight is 6.7 kg.

This gear has seen me doss down in quite a few places (churchyards is the most common). As the alternatives were B&B or hotels I think the savings amount to about as much as the cost of that gear.

This gear was not used between Le Puy and Compostela. But I did meet a guy on that route who often set up his tent in the grounds of gite / albergue paying a lesser fee to use kitchen and toilets.

If walking from anywhere along the south coast of Spain, with many longer stages, I would expect to use this gear quite often.

I considered carry cooking equipment and food. For me the number of times I would expect to cook was quite low - too many cafe and restaurants to be encountered each day. So, after some experiments decided no.

I do carry some sachets of ready to eat meals (totaling less than 500 g and included in my all up weight) in case of emergency.

For me I believe I have made a good trade-off and have quite a bit of flexibility as a result.
 

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
This is the 3rd thread I've posted this picture on as it seems to apply to each of them. I walked past these guys on the Primitivo in May of 2016 and had a chat. They also sleep under church porches, and an ocassional albergue thrown in for a good clean-up. They look very happy!
Screenshot_2020-05-30-06-01-00.jpg
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017 Burgos to SDC April 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.)
As someone who has through hiked the Appalachian Trail and various trails in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, I would like to draw attention to an issue, other than the tent, which may be a problem for some here.

I have an excellent Big Agnes single person light weight tent but have not used it for a few years. My problem, as I age through my seventies, is what do I rest my weary bones on in the tent. I have tried to consider the weight, size, comfort of different materials. I find, increasingly, that I cannot walk required distances over a number of days while sleeping on a camp mat, be it inflatable or foam. Quite quickly my old body says: "you need to stop this and find a mattress". Maybe just my problem, but I think not.
 

Undermanager

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid (x2)
VDLP
Salvador
Primitivo
Finisterra / Muxia
Lana
There are enough 1 man tents around the 1 kg mark, or even lighter a bivvy - but bivvies aren't everyone's cup of tea. If you want to carry 2kgs, then you have a lot of choice but unless planning to cross mountains or walk in the worst seasons, I don't think it's necessary. Personally, I wouldn't take any cooking gear as there are (were) plenty of opportunities to eat in cafes and I'd just carry cold food for the evening and small breakfast. Besides, however careful, it is another fire risk. Add a foam sleeping mat for 300g (I wouldn't use an air one - too many thorns and sharp bits on the ground!) You carry a sleeping bag anyway, just get a good lightweight one like a Cumulus for three seasons. If you don't go crazy, camping could add just an extra 1.3kg to the walk - doable even at my age if your pack like mine is around the 7- 8kg mark normally. It would give you that extra flexibility on when to stop, and you don't have to camp all the time - mix up the stays between hostels, camping and pubs. What I would want though is a 'right to camp' with a code of conduct on all caminos. That would swing it for me.
 

kelleymac

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017, April 2019.
[ 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.

Our scout troop bought a role of TYVEK, and cut footprints (groundsheets) for each of our backpacking tents. The TYVEK is strong, lightweight, and can be tossed in the washing machine and dryer.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
@davebugg I checked out the Gossamer Gear the one a while back when you mentioned it in another thread. At that time they were out of stock but I received an email this week that they are available again. You can pre-order now and it will be shipped by June 15th. That's unfortunately too late for me I'm afraid. I was thinking about walking a week or so before I open up the albergue in July. And the 595 gr you mention is only for the shelter, not for the stuff bag, stakes, etc. One thing I do like about The One is that you can use your walking poles to set it up.

https://www.gossamergear.com/products/the-one
 

anthikes

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 SJPdP > SdC
2018 Porto > SdC
2019 Sevilla > SdC
I have done a ton of camping around the world and have even managed it on all my caminos. Yes, always legally too! I think it is definitely a good way forward and perfect in these times.

The issue with weight is that you have to spend a lot to get a decent lightweight tent. My current one cost over $500 (BA Copper Spur UL2) but is worth every penny to me because I have used it loads and even been big enough to share. Only weighs 1.2kg. My sleep pad and bag weights a combined 800g, making an extra 2kg.

I did have a much smaller Vango tent which was only 800g that I actually used on the CF a few times with an even lighter pad. It is possible to get even lighter, but then you are looking at mega bucks.

I have also owned the Naturehike Cloud Up 2 on the VDLP. 1.4kg and much cheaper around $100 - I ordered it direct from Aliexpress China. They are very good tents that basically rip off the expensive US ones (as China does!).

Not sure about Decathlon tents but they will be heavy. I'd really try and aim for less than 1.5kg if possible.

I am about to cycle the length of Portugal and then hopefully into Spain in July and do the CF in reverse, so plan to see how many albergues are open and where it's possible to camp too and I hope to put some kind of guide together.
 

Aralim

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (16) Norte (17) Portuguese (18, 19)

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
From my post #116 above:
The camping gear totals 0.9 kg and comprises:
570 g tent 2 person (me and my pack) - 2015 Zpacks
115 g pegs and pole - 2015 Zpacks (second pole is a trekking pole repurposed)
220 g inflatable sleep pad - 2015 Therm-A-Rest
And now here in mid August 2018, as the cow shed (local expensive hotel) was full, the owner of a nearby creperie (closed for summer) alongside the Marne River (two days on from Rheims) gave me the backyard to pitch my tent. This also gave me toilets and a hot point to recharge my tablet.

IMG 2018 09 12 @ 18h00 - TabSx 22701.jpg

IMG 2018 09 12 @ 18h00 - TabSx 22702.jpg

IMG 2018 09 12 @ 18h01 - TabSx 22703.jpg
 
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Hansel

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances and Fisterre (2018,08) ,Camino Primitivo, and Fisterre,(2019,04)
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.
 

Angela H.

Peregrina/Hospitalera
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2015)
Meseta (2016)
Aragonés(2019)
Piamonte (post-COVID)
I am also thinking about bringing a camping solution on my next camino. But the shelter will be determined partially by the route. I have a Hennessy Hammock - a great camping hammock that is heaven to sleep in - but that requires trees (or other vertical supports) to attach to, so the arid areas of Spain are out of the question. The one I have is too heavy to carry long distances. I'm looking at all the tent suggestions posted here.

As a woman, I agree with Rebecca Scott that safety would also limit my locations. Having been a Hospitalera and with current COVID considerations, I'd think most albergues with a garden or courtyard would be happy to accommodate campers in order to keep pigrims apart at night.
 

Hansel

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances and Fisterre (2018,08) ,Camino Primitivo, and Fisterre,(2019,04)
As Dromengro mentions the way to go might be the carrier service,
In Scotland it's not uncommon to walk the West highlands way and have your baggage transferred then weight is not such an issue,
This may have been mentioned already,
Plus on the Portuguese Camino I came across a field with donativo camping,
Before Porto,
Before lock down I was planning on cycling to Lisbon from Scotland staying in albergues,now camping seems an option once ferries are open to tourists.
 

Dromengro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP - Leon 1984
Frances (2021)
In Scotland it's not uncommon to walk the West highlands way and have your baggage transferred then weight is not such an issue.
Really! Well you learn something new every day.
The last time I was on the WHW was in 1980 with a cotton tent, wooden tent poles, an old frying pan and a wool army blanket, my rucksack weighed more than me. Folk have it so easy today.
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
Quite quickly my old body says: "you need to stop this and find a mattress". Maybe just my problem ...
@Bumpa, I am sure I am at least a day or two older than yourself. It is, of course, your right to tell us what your camino problems are. But it is not your right to project your problems onto others.

I was very much looking forward to returning to la-haut-Marne in north-east France in early April and continuing my trek to Rome. Not only did I have a list of hostels but also a list of camp-grounds along my route and would prospect towards the end of each day's march when necessary. For the latter two instances the tent, coat, mattress etc you can see in post #124 above are always in my pack, even for training trips around my region.

And so I wish you kia kaha (take care, be strong, get going when you can).
 

Hansel

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances and Fisterre (2018,08) ,Camino Primitivo, and Fisterre,(2019,04)
Really! Well you learn something new every day.
The last time I was on the WHW was in 1980 with a cotton tent, wooden tent poles, an old frying pan and a wool army blanket, my rucksack weighed more than me. Folk have it so easy today.
I might have seen you,!
I walked it in '79 ,and then again for charity in '95 with a support crew,I have more recently ran parts of it,but I know there are companies who specialise in carrying your baggage,similar to Correos on the Camino,
I trecked in Morocco with Exodus,they use mules to carry tents etc,not sure if that would be an option on the Camino!
Bill
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
Really! Well you learn something new every day.
A digression I hope the moderators will gloss over.

My four Glasgow rellies have also walked the West Highland Way. At least three of them have, in what seems to be true British styles. The fourth is the driver. She takes them to the days start point, then drives on to the agreed end point for the day and reads from the veritable library assembled for the purpose. On pick up she drives them to the B&B booked several months before. The next day she drives them to yesterday's stopping point, then drives on ... . That days B&B may be the same as yesterday's. And a mobile phone allows them all to change some details on the fly.

As I understand it the walkers carry no more than a rain coat and maybe one extra layer and a few sandwiches for lunch. And, of course, a mobile phone.

It would not have done for the Duke, sir.
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
@Bumpa, I am sure I am at least a day or two older than yourself. It is, of course, your right to tell us what your camino problems are. But it is not your right to project your problems onto others.

Steady now! Keep it fluffy, we are all friends here and it is a forum for views. Surely Bumpa was only mentioning his particular sleeping problem? I too have the same problem. I'm ok on an inflatable for a couple of nights and then I start to get achey ... hardly projection, surely only observation?
As mats have been mentioned a few times I think starting another post re sleeping mats and comfort, weight, durability, and so on could be interesting - especially if users who rave about one let us know their age and weight (and possible disabilities) ;).

I am 72 and 'normal' weight ... but from an earlier life of being both very stupid and happy to do slightly dangerous things have broken about twelve bones over those younger years - twelve incidents, all broken singly! ... as well as rips and stitches and so on .. yes, I know, I never moved fast enough :D - and now, well, unless it is high barometeric pressure, they ache - and they really ache after a couple of nights if I don't get a good support under me for sleeping - so, yes, let us have a post on sleeping mats - I would love to hear of one that packs down small, is fairly light, and really does the job - and on this one I might be happy to drop my budget conscious brain from interfereing!
 
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D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
@davebugg I checked out the Gossamer Gear the one a while back when you mentioned it in another thread. At that time they were out of stock but I received an email this week that they are available again. You can pre-order now and it will be shipped by June 15th. That's unfortunately too late for me I'm afraid. I was thinking about walking a week or so before I open up the albergue in July. And the 595 gr you mention is only for the shelter, not for the stuff bag, stakes, etc. One thing I do like about The One is that you can use your walking poles to set it up.

https://www.gossamergear.com/products/the-one
Hey, you'll like the tent, and it is a breeze to set up. :)

Weights: I have been gear testing this tent for Gossamer Gear for the last two months. It is the newest updated version to this model, and is going to be released in a couple of weeks for shipping. What I am measuring for weights is with their newer changes. It is possible that you are seeing the listed weights for the older version.

For what I have at home, my measurements at home showed 528 grms. The the website currently shows it to be 540 grms.

My total tent stake weight is 17 grams. I use Toaks titanium pegs/stakes, rather than the ones supplied by Gossamer Gear.

I use a 3 gram stuff sack for the tent and pegs.

So what I am testing actually comes to a total weight of around 550 grams.

The 595 grms weight I stated was to allow for discrepancies in the choices folks will make for products and materials, like pegs and stuff sacks, or extra pegs and extra guyline. On average, though, the tent weight will be below 600 grms even if using the Gossamer Gear supplied accessories.

As I mentioned, I think you will like your choice. :)
 

Henm2

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
camino de frances
For tarp-based shelters, using my trekking poles, I use polycro sheets, which are tough as nails. A full sheet of 96" x 120" weighs about 3.5 ounces, and costs about $12.00 usd. I have a sheet that I've used off and on for 3 years now.

I've attached stick on tapes with rivet openings ($2.50), for locations where I use micro tent pegs ($15.00) and trekking poles, and a length of dyneema-core guyline cord (2.0 mm, $15.00). With pegs, line, permanently attached rivet tapes, and a silnylon stuff sack for it all, it all weighs around 8 ounces. As packed, it takes up no more space than a sport drink bottle.

I do not include the weight of trekking poles or poncho-groundcloth, as I carry those anyway for use in their normal roles.

Because of the existing laws, I would not wild camp in Spain, but utilize available yards and garden spaces at alburgues, hostals, and other permitted sites. That would give me plenty of access to toileting and washing facilities.

I do my backpacking at home. For Camino, I prefer to sleep indoors along the way. Private rooms in alburgues or at casa rurals, hostals, or hotels suit me just fine. :)
I've just sorted myself out with a polycro groundsheet. I've reinforced the edges. Duct tape applied to the corners and rivet openings put through them. That groundsheet will be used with a light tyvek bivy bag, down camping quilt, thermarest xtherm pad and if necessary I will use my 3F UL poncho as a tarp. Poncho supported by the trekking poles.
 

Hansel

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances and Fisterre (2018,08) ,Camino Primitivo, and Fisterre,(2019,04)
A digression I hope the moderators will gloss over.

My four Glasgow rellies have also walked the West Highland Way. At least three of them have, in what seems to be true British styles. The fourth is the driver. She takes them to the days start point, then drives on to the agreed end point for the day and reads from the veritable library assembled for the purpose. On pick up she drives them to the B&B booked several months before. The next day she drives them to yesterday's stopping point, then drives on ... . That days B&B may be the same as yesterday's. And a mobile phone allows them all to change some details on the fly.

As I understand it the walkers carry no more than a rain coat and maybe one extra layer and a few sandwiches for lunch. And, of course, a mobile phone.

It would not have done for the Duke, sir.
On the Camino I started from StJ ,and walked with two Portuguese ladies part of the way,one of the ladies husband drove the car to the next stop,then cycled back to meet them,they walked all the way to Burgos like this!
 

ken2116

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Someday. But have hiked the Sierra and the Pyrenees.
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.
Have had 10+ years of great experiences backpacking in the Sierra with 2 Big Agnes tents and inflatable pads, they're very good quality and hold up well but are on the expensive side, which pays for their excellent post-purchase customer service. During a month's cycling trip in Ireland we carried a very basic single wall urethane coated tent, using it 5 nights including in rain, when we couldn't get B&B's - we were comfortable, no show-stopping condensation. If going cheap, beware coarse seams - slack tension or less than 8 stitches per inch won't remain water proof, even if seam sealed.

Tyvek for ground sheet: it comes in many weight grades and you may need to search for the lightest, we found some on eBay.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
I've just sorted myself out with a polycro groundsheet. I've reinforced the edges. Duct tape applied to the corners and rivet openings put through them. That groundsheet will be used with a light tyvek bivy bag, down camping quilt, thermarest xtherm pad and if necessary I will use my 3F UL poncho as a tarp. Poncho supported by the trekking poles.
Sounds great, and you are getting well sorted out.

I do not know how large your poncho is, so I have no ability to determine if it will give you the amount of overhang needed to allow rainwater to shed far enough away from your sleeping area to keep it from running back in. That is why, when I use a tarp shelter when backpacking (of if I used on on Camino) I don't double up my poncho as a tarp, but only use it as a ground cloth.

Polycro can be a bit slick and cause sleeping bags, mats, etc to slid around while moving in your sleep. If that is a problem for you, try spraying a light coating of an anti-slip coating onto your groundsheet. I've used this product before, but there are other products that will work as well. Again, just a thin spray of film. And the spray doesn't have to be even. Even spraying a grid pattern, with a checkerboard pattern will work.
https://www.amazon.com/Performix-075815100139-Super-Fabric-Spray/dp/B000UDCC8K
 

Henm2

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
camino de frances
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
I own a Lanshan 2 tent. Great tent. However for the camino I prefer the lighter option of a poncho tarp. I can usually keep my overall pack weight under 8kg. For food I use local cafes/bars and shops. Every few nights I stay in an albergue.
 
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Henm2

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
camino de frances
Sounds great, and you are getting well sorted out.

I do not know how large your poncho is, so I have no ability to determine if it will give you the amount of overhang needed to allow rainwater to shed far enough away from your sleeping area to keep it from running back in. That is why, when I use a tarp shelter when backpacking (of if I used on on Camino) I don't double up my poncho as a tarp, but only use it as a ground cloth.

Polycro can be a bit slick and cause sleeping bags, mats, etc to slid around while moving in your sleep. If that is a problem for you, try spraying a light coating of an anti-slip coating onto your groundsheet. I've used this product before, but there are other products that will work as well. Again, just a thin spray of film. And the spray doesn't have to be even. Even spraying a grid pattern, with a checkerboard pattern will work.
https://www.amazon.com/Performix-075815100139-Super-Fabric-Spray/dp/B000UDCC8K
Great tip. I will try that.
 

pmw

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 & 2005 Camino Frances and Finisterre. 2013 via de la plata
2014 del Norte, Ingles, Finisterre
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*
Excellent!🤣🥾
 

gerip

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
CF, Burgos to Santiago, May 2019
Ingles, Sep - Oct 2019
and now, well, unless it is high barometeric pressure, they ache - and they really ache after a couple of nights if I don't get a good support under me for sleeping
But sometimes those albergue mattresses are not as supportive as we need them to be.😬
 

Nev Sheather

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walking now (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’?
Pop up tents usually have rigid fiberglass poles or similar, so don't fold small! And having a single skin, no peg, cheap tent to my way of thinking is just asking for miserable nights. Better to spend money on a good quality lightweight tent. I do have a lifetime of bushwalking experience!
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Nev - why would that be miserable? It isn't outback trecking, just a long stroll along civilised paths with a village or town always nearby. Late spring to early autumn so pleasant weather usually. Has to be free-standing as the possibilities of pitching on hard ground, paving slabs, concrete, timber decking, are very high - so no pegging in those situations.
But why miserable? No extremes, cafes and refugio bathrooms nearby (for a small fee) .... and the problem is?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017 Burgos to SDC April 2018
@Bumpa, I am sure I am at least a day or two older than yourself. It is, of course, your right to tell us what your camino problems are. But it is not your right to project your problems onto others.

I was very much looking forward to returning to la-haut-Marne in north-east France in early April and continuing my trek to Rome. Not only did I have a list of hostels but also a list of camp-grounds along my route and would prospect towards the end of each day's march when necessary. For the latter two instances the tent, coat, mattress etc you can see in post #124 above are always in my pack, even for training trips around my region.

And so I wish you kia kaha (take care, be strong, get going when you can).
Dear AlwynWellington, please forgive me if you feel "projected upon" with my problems. It was simply an attempt to add to the conversation. Not a bad idea, surely
 

Undermanager

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid (x2)
VDLP
Salvador
Primitivo
Finisterra / Muxia
Lana
"Better to spend money on a good quality lightweight tent."

Got to agree here. Weight is really important and you have to spend money to keep the weight down and to stay comfy. Caminos are long, can be really hot and sticky, are prone to downpours, and carrying more than you absolutely need to is not sensible over hundreds of miles.
 

Tone-Lise

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
The Way of Geneva (2021)
Haven't read all the info above, so this may have been mentioned already...but have decided to go for this 28oz tent that packs down to 12 by 5 inches. It uses trekking poles, which I wanted to bring anyway and I will use my rain poncho as a footprint. It's not the cheapest, but at $200 it beats some of the ultralight alternatives. And it's not a stand alone. https: https://drop.com/buy/massdrop-x-dan-durston-x-mid-1p-tent
 

Faith Walker

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 Frances
2020 will cancel
I think paying an albergue to tent in their garden is very reasonable. You are supporting them and helping their social distancing requirements. Maybe email a couple albergues to see how well the idea is received.

When I walked a third of Japan's Shikoku pilgrimage I used a tarp, mosquito net, sleeping pad, and cut-flat trash bag for a ground cloth. It is a couple of pounds, but the camino pack is so much lighter than a wilderness pack (which includes food and water). You don't need to carry cooking equipment. Just grocery store food am and pm with a good, hot meal at lunch.

I am supposed to be on the Portuguese Camino right now, bummer. Instead I am Google street viewing and drawing a faux travel journal.

If you want to sleep outside, looking into Japan's Shikoku pilgrimage. It is mostly road walking. There are free open-air pilgrim shelters for overnight. Mask wearing is normal so I would be fairly comfortable with the public transportation that it takes to get to the pilgrimage route. The language is doable since a pilgrim's life is so simple: walk, eat, clean, sleep. I learned the alphabet so I could read the street signage and could could say "Hello, goodbye, excuse me, thank you." Google Translate took care of the rest. It is a very doable alternative, says the obese grandma that did 270 solo miles in 2018. Just avoid the summer humidity.
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
It was simply an attempt to add to the conversation.
@Bumpa, thank you. I believe it is absolutely OK for you to tell us you have used a tent for a while, but your bones (for whatever reason) now prefer something else.

For me your last sentence was a form of ageism and was the basis of my concern.

I sincerely hope you are able to enjoy going on camino for many years yet using whatever accommodation you prefer.

So I say to you, kia ora (be healthy) and kia kaha (take care, be strong, get going when you can).
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
As someone who has through hiked the Appalachian Trail and various trails in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, I would like to draw attention to an issue, other than the tent, which may be a problem for some here.

I have an excellent Big Agnes single person light weight tent but have not used it for a few years. My problem, as I age through my seventies, is what do I rest my weary bones on in the tent. I have tried to consider the weight, size, comfort of different materials. I find, increasingly, that I cannot walk required distances over a number of days while sleeping on a camp mat, be it inflatable or foam. Quite quickly my old body says: "you need to stop this and find a mattress". Maybe just my problem, but I think not.
Absolutely, camping isn't for everyone. Heck, albergues are not for everyone. Just as you can't get the rest you need on an inflatable mat, others find they can't get the sleep they need in a dorm. Ours is not to judge them. I think the issue that you raise hasn't been discussed here because the thread is primarily of interest to and aimed at those for whom camping is a possibility. It is generally only those who find camping an acceptable alternative who will be considering which tent to bring.

That said, I know people who have camped and slept in beds in their tents. Obviously, those were larger tents. Even more obviously, they weren't carrying bed and tent on their backs walking all day.
 
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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
I think the issue that you raise hasn't been discussed here because the thread is primarily of interest to and aimed at those for whom camping is a possibility. It is generally only those who find camping an acceptable alternative who will be considering which tent to bring.
Exactly.
 

Barbara

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
I can sleep on a yoga mat if it's in a quiet place. No problem. Got plenty of natural padding. Have big problems in a noisy dorm, and have never found earplugs that are comfortable and stay in place.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
I wrote this on the "How To Make the Camino Tent Friendly" thread, I think it applies here, too.

I am the hospitality coordinator for the FICS (International Fraternity of the Camino de Santiago.) We run the donativo Albergue Villa de Grado on the Camino Primitivo, and participate in a lot of policy chatter in the Camino world. I have brought up this great upsurge in interest in tent camping to the people who run albergues on the caminos as well as those who write policy... Everyone says Yes, Yes, Ain't it the Truth? It will be so much better if more people bring tents! But so far, the post-Covid government guidelines for albergues (not specific to camino shelters) has absolutley no advice or guidance at all for camping or tenting at albergues, or the use of albergue sanitary facilities by people not sleeping inside. I think it has not occurred to them that this might happen.
There are tons and tons of things for them, and us, to consider in coming days, and as real pilgrims and volunteer hosts make use of adapted facilities.
At this point, accommodating tents is very much a sidelight, footnote, and detail. Don't take it personally. The next few months are going to be a learning curve to compare with the climb up O Cebreiro. Pilgrims who arrive had better be ready for that.
(Villa de Grado doesn't have tenting space, but pilgrims sometimes pitch tents in the park across the street and use our washing facilities.)
 

Henm2

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
camino de frances
A lot of ponchos can also be used as tarps. The 3f ul poncho is a good example. Then all you need also is your trekking poles as support, a sleep pad and your sleeping bag.
 

peregrino_tom

Member
Camino(s) past & future
.
I've really been enjoying the development of the tent hypothesis over the last couple of months. I started as a naysayer concerned that people would just camp anywhere, wreak havoc on the environment and contribute little back to the camino hospitality community.
Now I like the idea of albergue garden and courtyard camping and hope it continues to progress:
Albergues get paid by pilgrims, pilgrims get restricted access to cleaning, toilets and some of the magic of the communal albergue way of life.
As some commentators have noted though, you're really going to need a freestanding tent for this to work for a lot of people, allowing you to pitch on hard surfaces where necessary, in places like courtyards. I think this rules out all the lightweighters, intending to use shelters that depend on trekking poles and stakes to keep them upright. (Or maybe it'll just turn into a 'pitch race' instead of a 'bed race' for those requiring a little patch of grass...). Plus, having used various set-ups like the Gatewood Cape (a poncho that's also a minimalist tent), I'd say they're not designed for night-after-night use unless you are really young and hardcore. And being made out of silnylon or other low-breathability fabrics, they're actually rubbish as rain-wear. Frankly, why make the camino double the endurance test that it already is?
There are the almost-freestander tents like those that Big Agnes provide, but even these need some pegs to hold out their side porches. But I guess they'd do in most situations. The true freestanders are usually heavier (because of the pole set up) and the technical ones are expensive. The cheap ones rarely come in at less than 2kg. However I like the look of the Big Sky Soul tents, where both the one and two-person come in at about a kilo.
As for getting a good night's sleep - if you're bedding down on hard ground I'd suggest you'll need something a bit more comfortable than a glorified yoga mat. But it won't need to be full-length, so you can save a little weight there.
All in all, it means more weight. If you're hardy, that might be fine and you can always just walk a few less km each day. Otherwise as has been mentioned somewhere above, if you're going from albergue to albergue, you could use the camino transport service to move your kit.
Cheers, tom
 

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