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To sleeping bag or not to sleeping bag?

Camino(s) past & future
Walking the Camino Frances August 29 2018!!
#1
Hi all, I'm super excited to be walking the Camino Frances in September this year (2018 - starting August 29th and ending around the first week in October). Should I bring a sleeping bag? Or perhaps a sleeping bag liner?(I've seen a couple of microfiber fleece liners that provide a little warmth and are very light). I will be staying in the albergues. Thank you!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances/Finest September 2013
VDLP September 2016
Salamanca to Santiago/Finesterra/Muxia 2017
#2
Hi all, I'm super excited to be walking the Camino Frances in September this year (2018 - starting August 29th and ending around the first week in October). Should I bring a sleeping bag? Or perhaps a sleeping bag liner?(I've seen a couple of microfiber fleece liners that provide a little warmth and are very light). I will be staying in the albergues. Thank you!
I used the fleece liner as you described. It was more than adequate for me, and very light. As far as I am concerned, when the sleeping bag exceeds 2.5 lbs, it is a burden.
 

Kurt5280

Crazy Enough To Try It Again!
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: SJPDP to Finisterre & Muxia 9/15 (MTB) - Norte: Bayonne to Muxia & Finisterre 9/18 (MTB)
#4
There were about two or three nights I could have used a sleeping bag...mostly slept in basically a jogging suit and a silk bed sack that I bought on eBay...in my experience sleeping bags were in the top three most tossed items right after sleeping pads and large cloth towels.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walking the Camino Frances August 29 2018!!
#5
There were about two or three nights I could have used a sleeping bag...mostly slept in basically a jogging suit and a silk bed sack that I bought on eBay...in my experience sleeping bags were in the top three most tossed items right after sleeping pads and large cloth towels.
OK, thanks
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#8
When I walked in September I took a 5 ounce silk liner, and a small down blanket that weighs 7 ounces that's just big enough to tuck inside the silk liner. On the hot nights I put the down blanket between the silk liner and the plastic covered mattress, which can be sticky when it's hot.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Walking the Camino Frances August 29 2018!!
#9
When I walked in September I took a 5 ounce silk liner, and a small down blanket that weighs 7 ounces that's just big enough to tuck inside the silk liner. On the hot nights I pit the down blanket between the silk liner and the plastic covered mattress, which can be sticky when it's hot.
Thanks for the advice
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times, but soon again I hope....
#10
If you do bring a sleeping bag, make sure it is one that weighs less than 680 grams/24 ounces/1-1/2 pounds.
Anything heavier than that you will regret and want to discard.
If you are on a budget, or just do not want to spend a lot on a sleeping bag, there are inexpensive ones out there. You do not need an expensive, high-tech one to sleep indoors on a bunk.
good luck
 

m.stace

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
August 2017 (Leon to Santiago)
#12
I walked the Camino last August/half September. I brought only a silk sleep liner, a few nights I shivered the whole night through. Personally I wished I had brought a blanket or at least something else warmer. Most private alburgues had blankets but the public ones didn't.
 

WGroleau

Wandering Weirdo
Camino(s) past & future
2015 & 2016 (partial)
#14
I retired 41 months ago and hit the road. I have used my sleeping bag only four nights, and none of those were in Spain. I have used my sleep sack (basically a cotton sheet made into a bag) hundreds of times.
 

Karl Oz

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
Portuguese
Piamonte
Aragones
Elizabethpfad
#15
I retired 41 months ago and hit the road. I have used my sleeping bag only four nights, and none of those were in Spain. I have used my sleep sack (basically a cotton sheet made into a bag) hundreds of times.
What a Moniker!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walking the Camino Frances August 29 2018!!
#16
I used the fleece liner as you described. It was more than adequate for me, and very light. As far as I am concerned, when the sleeping bag exceeds 2.5 lbs, it is a burden.
Yup, I think the fleece liner is the way to go. Thanks
 
Camino(s) past & future
never hiked any part. Anticipating the first walk sometime in the fall of 2018
#17
A follow up question if that is permissible? Has anyone ever just used a sheet or is that too little cover. Maybe a sheet weighs more also. I will be traveling for the first time this late august / September.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times, but soon again I hope....
#18
A follow up question if that is permissible? Has anyone ever just used a sheet or is that too little cover. Maybe a sheet weighs more also. I will be traveling for the first time this late august / September.
Most bed sheets weigh as much, if not more than a sleeping bag liner, and I suppose that is due to the cotton content of the average bed sheet.
 

Mackie

Roncesvalles - SDC 2011; Ponferrada - SDC 2016
Camino(s) past & future
Roncesvalles-Santiago (2011); Ponferrada-Santiago (2016)
#19
Both times I walked the Camino, I used a sleeping bag. Worked well for me.
 

Bobolink

Time well spent pays dividends.
Camino(s) past & future
Walking the French Way Sept.-Oct. (2017)
#20
I walked the Camino Frances Sept.- Oct of 17 and stayed in alburgues. They had blankets and sheets. Worried about should I or should I not begin a sleeping bag. I didn't bring one and glad I didn't. Did not need and rather bring an extra shirt and pants in stead of the weight of the Sleeping bag.
 

Jo Jo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, July 2014
Via di Francesco (Italy), July 2015
Frances, Sept-Oct 2016
Portugues Oct. 2017
#22
Kate,
We've walked the CF (Sept 15-Oct 15) with just a liner bag. But we also carry very light down jackets (for the evenings), which we slept in a couple of times when it got chilly and the pilgrims were not packed in close enough to generate enough heat (and there was no blankets. Pro tip: ask for blankets; sometimes the alburgues have them, but not right on the beds). Look at Montbell for good, ultralight jackets.

We need to talk about those microfiber liner bags. That stuff is heavy. Most I see are over a pound (20 oz or so). Ridiculously heavy. That is the weight of 20-degree backpacking quilt I use for fall in the American mountains.

For less than the weight of a microfleece lince, I can carry a silk liner bag (4oz, Cocoon expedition) AND a down backpacking quilt (50 degree (more than enough) 12 oz, Enlightened Equipment), that is a far more flexible system (covering a greater range of possible temperatures--it was hot in Sept. 2016). Personally, I think the backpacking quilt would be overkill for Sept (it was necessary in the end of October on the CP) and would just go with the down jacket, but the point is you could do that and still save a quarter pound off the microfiber fleece.

Buen Camino,
Jo Jo
 

Jodean

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
22 Sept. to 21 Oct. 2015, Pamplona to Santiago
6-23.04 Porto to Santiago 2018
17.09-30.09 CF 2018
#23
Took a sleeping bag that weighs 830gr. in Sept. and Oct. and was very happy I did. Taking it to Portugal in 3 weeks and again on the CF in Sept. There were some really, really chilly nights in some of the albergues. Saw a lot of blankets I wouldn't want to use and I am not going to sleep in my clothing as that is very uncomfortable to me.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Autumn, 2015
#24
I dumped my cloth sleeping bag by the time I got to Pamplona, and bought a superlight bag that was fine for that time of year (I walked Sept-Oct 2015). I've used it for some summer camping since. It was pricey at the time (about 50 Euro as I recall) but an investment that paid off. It was dryer-friendly, and I'd cycle it once every two weeks or so in case of bed-bugs (I did get bit one time, but I think it was actually in a carpeted lounge where I was drinking wine). Everything went into the dryer the next night!
David
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
#25
I believe a lot of the above depends on "how" one sleeps......Hot, cold etc...
 

WGroleau

Wandering Weirdo
Camino(s) past & future
2015 & 2016 (partial)
#26
Pro tip: ask for blankets; sometimes the alburgues have them, but not right on the beds).
Second that. We had them on the beds when we expected it to be cold; otherwise, we brought them out when pilgrims asked.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#27
I walked the Camino Frances Sept.- Oct of 17 and stayed in alburgues. They had blankets and sheets. Worried about should I or should I not begin a sleeping bag. I didn't bring one and glad I didn't. Did not need and rather bring an extra shirt and pants in stead of the weight of the Sleeping bag.
I saw blankets in lots of albergues, but rarely saw sheets.
 

Jen Marsden

Charging The Globe
Camino(s) past & future
Sept 2016 (Walked Frances)
Sept 2019 (Planning Norte or Via De La Plata)
#28
Take the sleeping bag! A super lightweight one will be enough but you can spend more than a few nights at higher altitudes and it can get cold. I started 9th September 2016 and initially didn't have a sleeping bag and that very first night in Roncesvelles I was sorry. I had a thermal liner and then in Pamplona bought a gorgeous cashmere wrap from Zara, and used that with the liner and I was fine for a few weeks. In saying that though I would have to wake up a few times a night cold because turning over I'd kicked my wrap off. The wrap was the best thing I took. Early morning when it was cold I could get ready and then envelope myself and my pack in my wrap for an extra layer of warmth and then when it got warmer I could just unwrap myself and throw it over my pack which protected my neck from sunburn.

Around Astorga I was just getting too cold at night so I bit the bullet and bought a lightweight sleeping bag. It was super easy to just tie it on the outside of my pack and it wasn't any different weight wise. You might feel like you are carrying it for nothing early on if its still hot but believe me you will love it some nights!

I am prone to feeling the cold (live in northern Australia) but its a real challenge some days walking on no sleep if you are cold the night before. You want every second of every day with the ability to just absorb the countryside and enjoy what you are doing and doing it on 2 hours sleep makes that hard.

Buen Camino - you will love it.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
April/May 2018
#29
Perfect timing on this topic.
I leave SJPdP on 12 April and have a very light sleeping bag because that’s what I was told to bring. However, I’m starting to doubt myself.
For April/May would you guys still advise just a silk liner bag?
Thanks, Jim
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2003) Francés, (2014) Francés, (2016) Portugués , (2016) Aragonés, (2018) del Norte to Primitivo
#30
I didn't find one albergue on the CF that didn't have blankets, although sometimes I might have had to ask where they were. I didn't take a sleeping bag. I didn't have a clue when I first went, I just assumed that as I wouldn't be camping I wouldn't need one. I also assumed that albergues would have beds with sheets and blankets, even if in dormitories. Sheets were a bit of an exception, however, but many places provided disposable sheets (only to lie on, not to lie under) and disposable pillow cases. If you worry about the environment, you could take the sheet and pillowcase with you, rather than using a new set every time. If you are a bit 'sensitive', you may prefer to have something between you and a blanket that probably hasn't been washed for a long time. On the Portugués there were several albergues that did not have blankets. As I wasn't prepared for that (assuming they would be the same as on the CF), I just slept in all my clothes.
 

anacheka

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April 20-June 8 2017
#31
Perfect timing on this topic.
I leave SJPdP on 12 April and have a very light sleeping bag because that’s what I was told to bring. However, I’m starting to doubt myself.
For April/May would you guys still advise just a silk liner bag?
Thanks, Jim
This is almost exactly the same timing for when I did my camino last year. I was often cold at night, even though I had a sleeping bag. Yes, many places had blankets -- but many places didn't (although I see in the thread above that perhaps I should have asked for them.) I often slept with my sleeping bag *and* the provided blanket.
 

Scramies

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Burgos, Leon to Santiago April/May 2017; Pamplona to Logrono, Sarria to Santiago (May 2018)
#32
I agree with anathema, walked the CF April 25-June 3 and was happy to have a light sleeping bag. I also used a silk liner to put on the mattress and it had a pillow pocket to keep me away from the well used pillows.. I never found the need to ask for a blanket with I think don't get cleaned very often.. I'm returning to walk the CF again at the same time this year and will be using liner and sleeping bag once again...
 

Zordmot

First timer Spring 2019
Camino(s) past & future
April-May 2019
#33
Perfect timing on this topic.
I leave SJPdP on 12 April and have a very light sleeping bag because that’s what I was told to bring. However, I’m starting to doubt myself.
For April/May would you guys still advise just a silk liner bag?
Thanks, Jim
Hi Jim!! I will be walking in your footsteps—exactly one year later. Will you write a blog or have an email list? I’d love to have your suggestions and impressions in mind as I prepare for my Camino. Thanks, Tom
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walking the Camino Frances August 29 2018!!
#34
Kate,
We've walked the CF (Sept 15-Oct 15) with just a liner bag. But we also carry very light down jackets (for the evenings), which we slept in a couple of times when it got chilly and the pilgrims were not packed in close enough to generate enough heat (and there was no blankets. Pro tip: ask for blankets; sometimes the alburgues have them, but not right on the beds). Look at Montbell for good, ultralight jackets.

We need to talk about those microfiber liner bags. That stuff is heavy. Most I see are over a pound (20 oz or so). Ridiculously heavy. That is the weight of 20-degree backpacking quilt I use for fall in the American mountains.

For less than the weight of a microfleece lince, I can carry a silk liner bag (4oz, Cocoon expedition) AND a down backpacking quilt (50 degree (more than enough) 12 oz, Enlightened Equipment), that is a far more flexible system (covering a greater range of possible temperatures--it was hot in Sept. 2016). Personally, I think the backpacking quilt would be overkill for Sept (it was necessary in the end of October on the CP) and would just go with the down jacket, but the point is you could do that and still save a quarter pound off the microfiber fleece.

Buen Camino,
Jo Jo
Thanks very much Jo Jo
 

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