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Towel - Help!

David

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2005
Hi all - have been going to Camino for years and just have never ever been able to work out the towel thing - something that actually dries you without sticking to you, is long enough for the sudden modesty need, and is light.

I have tried so many different things. My best was an old well-washed and worn towel that because it was old and thin, but still 100% cotton, was quite the thing - that sort of worked (wore out though, was too old).

Have tried micro-fibre towels before - but what on earth are they about? You stay damp, they stick to you .. what is the point?

The reason I am posting is that I accidentally bought a new travel towel (accidentally as I was in a trekking shop and it was half price - can't resist a bargain, me).

Is a Summit Microfibre Travel Towel - Large, 120 x 60 cms. Apparently it is 'compact and super soft'. I just tried it at home and to be fair it is the best micro-fibre I have yet used - but I still ended up damp, and it still sort of stuck to me unless I really pulled it. I have put it in the washing machine and it will stay there and go through loads of cycles each time I do a laundry, in the hope that it will improve in some way.

So - my post - towel - Help! what have you come up with that works? Actually dries the body, doesn't stick, is light??
 
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jsalt

Jill
Past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
After much trial and error I now take a tiny old well-worn normal hand towel. How much towel do you actually need to dry yourself? And those techy things are like chamois rags one washes the car with. Yeuk.
 

Anhalter

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2019 CF
I use a 40x50cm microfibre towel. Yes, i does not get one completely dry and feels weird on the skin, but i does the job well enough and is light. I wouldnt dream of taking a cotton towel with me. Partly because of the weight and partly because of the interesting development it will likely make being still wet when it gets put in the backpack.
As for modesty.. we had that discussion already. Lets skip it. Just a hint: I think the product called packtowl offers the largest "area covered" for weight. No idea how comfortable they are, but my guess is "just the same" as every other microfibre towel geared towards low weight.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I like the Packtowl Ultralite. It's different from other microfiber type towels. It doesn't have that same grabby, sticky quality. The texture is quite different, and they are rather stiff at first - they should be washed before first use.
The weight and size are great - the body size towel measures 54" x 25"/137 cm x 64 cm, and weighs 3.4 oz/100 grams.

 

mmmmartin

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Santander-SdC bici '14
Plata bici '17
1/2 Plata bici '18
Frances a pie '18
(Porto a pie '19)
I use a nylon cycling cap. Rub your hands against your skin to get rid of most of the water then use the nylon cycling cap to absorb more water and then squeeze it to dry it a bit, repeat. When you're nearly dry, squeeze the cap almost dry then put on your head where it will dry. You can wear it in the evening to keep the sun off your head or to help keep your head dry.
You can of course luxuriate in a nice fluffy big towel. But you have to carry it every inch of 500 miles.
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
I’m in a minority, I liked and took the large quick dry towel I bought at REI (don’t recall brand); my second favorite thing I tried was a waffle weave quick dry towel they sell for drying long hair—I passed it over because it took longer to dry but it was light weight, good sized (although not wrap around you when an Italian bicigrino walks into the wrong shower sized), and felt more like a regular towel
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Peshtow or foutah (same thing). 100% cotton, they come in various weights and weaves… they are sometimes called a “Turkish towel” (not to be confused with the terry cloth variety under that name). They are a flat, tight weave that I’ve known some to manage to use as a shawl or sarong when not in use as a towel.
I have a very very light weight one that is my favourite for the camino, for the beach… dries fast, works great as a privacy curtain when required. And I have worn it around my shoulders though I felt I ws less convincing in that mode than some are.
Available from loads of online sellers. Google is your friend on this.
*Never again* with the pack towel. I use my old one from camino #1 to wipe down my bike chain!!
 
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015, 2018, 2022
Peshtow or foutah (same thing). 100% cotton, they come in various weights and weaves… they are sometimes called a “Turkish towel” (not to be confused with the terry cloth variety under that name). They are a flat, tight weave that I’ve known some to manage to use as a shawl or sarong when not in use as a towel.
I have a very very light weight one that is my favourite for the camino, for the beach… dries fast, works great as a privacy curtain when required.
I use the same. 100% cotton, dries me off, large enough to wrap around me toga-style, and I could hang it from an upper bunk for privacy and to block light. I got it from Amazon and will try to post a link, or at least a more specific description.
 
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debra

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
VdlP 2010, Frances 2010
Via Francigena 2014 bicigrino
Way of St. Francis 2017 bicigrino
I use one I picked up at decathlon. A bit heavy and larger than some but drys fast and dries me. about 30x50 inch
 

chinacat

Veteran Member
@David

How about this one?

I’ve purchased cheaper peshtemals but they might be heavier.
This one is stated to be 90gr … not sure that’s accurate 😉


PS I also like an old, worn, towel … I’ve probably got one you could have in the depths of my airing cupboard 😄
 
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Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Past OR future Camino
2022
Hi all - have been going to Camino for years and just have never ever been able to work out the towel thing - something that actually dries you without sticking to you, is long enough for the sudden modesty need, and is light.

I have tried so many different things. My best was an old well-washed and worn towel that because it was old and thin, but still 100% cotton, was quite the thing - that sort of worked (wore out though, was too old).

Have tried micro-fibre towels before - but what on earth are they about? You stay damp, they stick to you .. what is the point?

The reason I am posting is that I accidentally bought a new travel towel (accidentally as I was in a trekking shop and it was half price - can't resist a bargain, me).

Is a Summit Microfibre Travel Towel - Large, 120 x 60 cms. Apparently it is 'compact and super soft'. I just tried it at home and to be fair it is the best micro-fibre I have yet used - but I still ended up damp, and it still sort of stuck to me unless I really pulled it. I have put it in the washing machine and it will stay there and go through loads of cycles each time I do a laundry, in the hope that it will improve in some way.

So - my post - towel - Help! what have you come up with that works? Actually dries the body, doesn't stick, is light??
Tea towel?
 

Pilgrim9

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPdP-SdC (2017)
SdC-Muxia-Fisterra-SdC (2017)
Lisboa-SdC (2018)
Ferrol-SdC (2018)
How about a large cotton tea towel, the type made of basket-weave cloth? Too small to provide any modesty but will dry you effectively, and one can hang it on the outside of one's pack to air dry. Cheap and can buy them almost anywhere.
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I was given a tip by @Anniesantiago a few years ago...I use an infant's flannel 100% cotton receiving blanket. They are lightweight, soft, absorb very well, dry quickly, weigh nearly nothing and fold up tiny. I pick them up at Goodwill or the Salvation Army for $1. The size is perfect for me, but two could be quickly sewn together if needed.
 

André Walker

Never losing my way: always standing on it
Past OR future Camino
2018
can't resist a bargain
You must have Dutch ancestors....

I've also struggled with this problem in the past, but finally settled for the sticky thing. I used to have a real small microfiber towel. A terrible thing to use, but extremely small and light. On the Via de la Plata I lost it (was left behind in an albergue).

When walking into a larger town the next day I walked into a shop where they sell sport garments. I ended up buying a towel which is used by swimmers (the ones that are involved in competitions). I thought that swimmers get really wet and if this is what they use, it must be sufficient for a humble pilgrim.

And it is. I'm not sure what it's made of. But when dry, it's hard. Not hard enough to smash someones brain with it, but still hard. Before use I have to make it wet. Then it becomes soft. Finally squeeze the water out and it's ready to use. It still feels damp and -on the skin- like a mop, but it absorbs water like I've never seen before. If the towel is 'full': squeeze the water out and it's ready for another go.

Depending on your body type this might be necessary.
 

pererin

Pererin profiadol
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (May 2014)
Camino Portugues and Finisterre (June 2015)
Del Norte by bike planned.
I used a Lifeventure Trek Towel, xl size. Says it’s “Hydro fibre ultralite” on the cover/carrier.

It worked fine for me, I also take it on cycling and motorcycling tours. Packs small, it dries out quickly and is big enough to wrap round.

Admittedly not as nice as the conventional towels at home etc. But it works fine.

Having said that, for long adventures it’s nice to allow yourself a luxury, so that might be a towel for some folks. It just isn’t my luxury item.

Buen Camino to pilgrims new and old.
 
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Fred Gaudet

Member
Past OR future Camino
1341
I've used a Sea To Summit travel towel for many caminos. Its 100% polyester and weights 4.86 ozs in its case or 138g. It does the job of drying and it dries fast.
 
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017 Burgos to SDC April 2018
Hi all - have been going to Camino for years and just have never ever been able to work out the towel thing - something that actually dries you without sticking to you, is long enough for the sudden modesty need, and is light.

I have tried so many different things. My best was an old well-washed and worn towel that because it was old and thin, but still 100% cotton, was quite the thing - that sort of worked (wore out though, was too old).

Have tried micro-fibre towels before - but what on earth are they about? You stay damp, they stick to you .. what is the point?

The reason I am posting is that I accidentally bought a new travel towel (accidentally as I was in a trekking shop and it was half price - can't resist a bargain, me).

Is a Summit Microfibre Travel Towel - Large, 120 x 60 cms. Apparently it is 'compact and super soft'. I just tried it at home and to be fair it is the best micro-fibre I have yet used - but I still ended up damp, and it still sort of stuck to me unless I really pulled it. I have put it in the washing machine and it will stay there and go through loads of cycles each time I do a laundry, in the hope that it will improve in some way.

So - my post - towel - Help! what have you come up with that works? Actually dries the body, doesn't stick, is light??

I am with you David. I feel that the micro fiber travel towels feel somewhat slimy and just move the moisture around on my body. I have used, for years, a small, old, cotton towel. It rolls up into nothing and packs well. It dries me to my satisfaction and dries well on either the clothes line of the albergue or on the back of my pack on a sunny day. It is also an ugly colour and so no one takes it off the line by mistake. ;)
 

JamesVT

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2019
Hi all - have been going to Camino for years and just have never ever been able to work out the towel thing - something that actually dries you without sticking to you, is long enough for the sudden modesty need, and is light.

I have tried so many different things. My best was an old well-washed and worn towel that because it was old and thin, but still 100% cotton, was quite the thing - that sort of worked (wore out though, was too old).

Have tried micro-fibre towels before - but what on earth are they about? You stay damp, they stick to you .. what is the point?

The reason I am posting is that I accidentally bought a new travel towel (accidentally as I was in a trekking shop and it was half price - can't resist a bargain, me).

Is a Summit Microfibre Travel Towel - Large, 120 x 60 cms. Apparently it is 'compact and super soft'. I just tried it at home and to be fair it is the best micro-fibre I have yet used - but I still ended up damp, and it still sort of stuck to me unless I really pulled it. I have put it in the washing machine and it will stay there and go through loads of cycles each time I do a laundry, in the hope that it will improve in some way.

So - my post - towel - Help! what have you come up with that works? Actually dries the body, doesn't stick, is light??
I used a microfiber towel from the Dollar Store. It cost $1.00 USD. Definitely not a luxury, but it was light, dried me off enough to get dressed, and dried fast. It think it compared in use to a lot of expensive camping and hiking towels. I’d put it in the category of “good enough”, especially for the Camino where one can’t expect everything to be perfect.
 
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017 Burgos to SDC April 2018
I am with you David. I feel that the micro fiber travel towels feel somewhat slimy and just move the moisture around on my body. I have used, for years, a small, old, cotton towel. It rolls up into nothing and packs well. It dries me to my satisfaction and dries well on either the clothes line of the albergue or on the back of my pack on a sunny day. It is also an ugly colour and so no one takes it off the line by mistake. ;)

Here in Canada we have a brand of paper towel called "Bounty" which has a moto of "the quicker picker upper" Very absorbent and the roll gets smaller each day and so less weight. Also could be used for other "emergency" uses when caught out on the trail. I feel the need to advise that this post is "tongue in cheek" :rolleyes:
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Clearly, selecting a towel is a highly personal decision. Everyone has their preference. Ask two veteran pilgrims and you will get five answers.

My towel of choice is a microfiber yoga floor towel - the plain towel with NO anti slip dots. I think it is a Giaim (sp) branded towel. My wife had one for yoga. - to lay atop her padded mat.

I tried it for shower and clothing drying use. It worked brilliantly. So I bought a bright orange one.

It is long enough to comfortably wrap and fasten around my 105 cm waist. That takes care of modesty, including changing under the wrapped towel.

It is large enough to “roll and stomp” my hand washing - even after drying me. To dry it, use as a privacy divider between bunk beds in an albergue. I fasten it with clothes pins/pegs. Or hang anywhere - it will dry by morning.

I buy the brightest color I can find. I now have an orange towel with pink piping. This enables it to be used for emergency signaling, or to fold and hang on my rucksack if road walking - or during hunting season.

Finally, it makes a handy expedient floor covering if you have to spend the night on an airport terminal floor.

I understand the weight conundrum. But, having done six Caminos and experimented with a wide variety of towel alternatives, my PERSONAL assessment is that, in this case, the extra grams are worth the utility - bigger is sometimes better.

I hope this helps,

Tom
 
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NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
I got some double muslin cloth in a bright colour at a fabric store and sewed a hem along the edges (to stop fraying). It can serve as my towel, a sarong, a scarf, a light blanket, and by hanging it to finish drying on my bunk it serves as a privacy screen (assuming a lower bed). 3 ounces.
 

gollygolly

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2000/13/14/15/16/17/18/19/2021
Hi all - have been going to Camino for years and just have never ever been able to work out the towel thing - something that actually dries you without sticking to you, is long enough for the sudden modesty need, and is light.

I have tried so many different things. My best was an old well-washed and worn towel that because it was old and thin, but still 100% cotton, was quite the thing - that sort of worked (wore out though, was too old).

Have tried micro-fibre towels before - but what on earth are they about? You stay damp, they stick to you .. what is the point?

The reason I am posting is that I accidentally bought a new travel towel (accidentally as I was in a trekking shop and it was half price - can't resist a bargain, me).

Is a Summit Microfibre Travel Towel - Large, 120 x 60 cms. Apparently it is 'compact and super soft'. I just tried it at home and to be fair it is the best micro-fibre I have yet used - but I still ended up damp, and it still sort of stuck to me unless I really pulled it. I have put it in the washing machine and it will stay there and go through loads of cycles each time I do a laundry, in the hope that it will improve in some way.

So - my post - towel - Help! what have you come up with that works? Actually dries the body, doesn't stick, is light??
My own exprience with micro-fibre towels is that they improve with use, and your putting your new towel through many wash cycles is almost certainly going to improve the absorbancy of your new towel.... good luck.
 

Mera

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino France, Camino del Norte, Camino de Madrid
Camino Porto, Camino Primitivo
Hi all - have been going to Camino for years and just have never ever been able to work out the towel thing - something that actually dries you without sticking to you, is long enough for the sudden modesty need, and is light.

I have tried so many different things. My best was an old well-washed and worn towel that because it was old and thin, but still 100% cotton, was quite the thing - that sort of worked (wore out though, was too old).

Have tried micro-fibre towels before - but what on earth are they about? You stay damp, they stick to you .. what is the point?

The reason I am posting is that I accidentally bought a new travel towel (accidentally as I was in a trekking shop and it was half price - can't resist a bargain, me).

Is a Summit Microfibre Travel Towel - Large, 120 x 60 cms. Apparently it is 'compact and super soft'. I just tried it at home and to be fair it is the best micro-fibre I have yet used - but I still ended up damp, and it still sort of stuck to me unless I really pulled it. I have put it in the washing machine and it will stay there and go through loads of cycles each time I do a laundry, in the hope that it will improve in some way.

So - my post - towel - Help! what have you come up with that works? Actually dries the body, doesn't stick, is light??
How about meditating for 5 minutes after your shower? For sure you will be dry to your satisfaction, I think.
 

Eddiebee

Eddiebee
Past OR future Camino
Frances SJPDP to SDC May & June 2017
I have decided that any cotton towel that weighs less than a ton is worth the extra weight. I was not a fan of micro-fiber. I had a private room in an albergue in the small town with a golf course and it came with a cotton towel. I still feel that I should be sainted for the miracle that occurred when that towel was still there after I left.
 
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Mera

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino France, Camino del Norte, Camino de Madrid
Camino Porto, Camino Primitivo
Hi all - have been going to Camino for years and just have never ever been able to work out the towel thing - something that actually dries you without sticking to you, is long enough for the sudden modesty need, and is light.

I have tried so many different things. My best was an old well-washed and worn towel that because it was old and thin, but still 100% cotton, was quite the thing - that sort of worked (wore out though, was too old).

Have tried micro-fibre towels before - but what on earth are they about? You stay damp, they stick to you .. what is the point?

The reason I am posting is that I accidentally bought a new travel towel (accidentally as I was in a trekking shop and it was half price - can't resist a bargain, me).

Is a Summit Microfibre Travel Towel - Large, 120 x 60 cms. Apparently it is 'compact and super soft'. I just tried it at home and to be fair it is the best micro-fibre I have yet used - but I still ended up damp, and it still sort of stuck to me unless I really pulled it. I have put it in the washing machine and it will stay there and go through loads of cycles each time I do a laundry, in the hope that it will improve in some way.

So - my post - towel - Help! what have you come up with that works? Actually dries the body, doesn't stick, is light??
Actually in my case, a thin 100% cotton kitchen towel worked, not perfect but better than the microfiber texture, which I hate passionately.
 

Robert B.

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Madrid - May (2017)
Hi all - have been going to Camino for years and just have never ever been able to work out the towel thing - something that actually dries you without sticking to you, is long enough for the sudden modesty need, and is light.

I have tried so many different things. My best was an old well-washed and worn towel that because it was old and thin, but still 100% cotton, was quite the thing - that sort of worked (wore out though, was too old).

Have tried micro-fibre towels before - but what on earth are they about? You stay damp, they stick to you .. what is the point?

The reason I am posting is that I accidentally bought a new travel towel (accidentally as I was in a trekking shop and it was half price - can't resist a bargain, me).

Is a Summit Microfibre Travel Towel - Large, 120 x 60 cms. Apparently it is 'compact and super soft'. I just tried it at home and to be fair it is the best micro-fibre I have yet used - but I still ended up damp, and it still sort of stuck to me unless I really pulled it. I have put it in the washing machine and it will stay there and go through loads of cycles each time I do a laundry, in the hope that it will improve in some way.

So - my post - towel - Help! what have you come up with that works? Actually dries the body, doesn't stick, is light??
When I forgot my micro fibre towel at an albergue early on in my Camino, a kind hospitalier at the next albergue gave me a clean, but worn thin cotton towel from a pile that had been left behind. I used it for the remainder of my walk, then left it in Finisterre. (I think I may have left the micro fibre behind half on purpose because I disliked it so much!) Next Camino, I will buy a thin cotton towel from the Salvation Army.
 
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2015, 2017, 2019) and plans for 2021 (Sept, Oct)
My wife and I both had quick wicking fiber towels for our first two caminos. They worked great for us. In addition to drying us off, they compact into a small size. And we could use these day after day without a smell developing, so didn't need to wash for 10 days to two weeks. Last camino we left the travel towels at home since we had private rooms every night. Same plan this fall. Bob
 
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urbanmamma

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Cacala Soft Cotton Beach Quick Dry pestemal Bath Travel, Pool, Swim, Yoga, hammam peshtemal and Bathroom Paradise Large Turkish Towels, 37" x 70", Lt Brown Dark Pink https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LQHQJI...abc_RDPDTJ3CR0XSXY33C4PS?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

I bought this year's ago and always bring it when I travel. Headed on the Camino in a few weeks and it is coming with. Easily covers for modesty, drys well and fast. I would wash and dry it several times before you go to break in the fibers a bit. Mine is from 2017 and going strong. I use it as a pareo at the beach too.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I think meditating outdoors in the sunshine for 10 minutes is the lightest solution of all and most practical. 😎. & and economical,
All the summer pilgrims can take advantage, but the winter walkers will have to give your tip of air drying a miss.🤣
 
Past OR future Camino
2017
Hi all - have been going to Camino for years and just have never ever been able to work out the towel thing - something that actually dries you without sticking to you, is long enough for the sudden modesty need, and is light.

I have tried so many different things. My best was an old well-washed and worn towel that because it was old and thin, but still 100% cotton, was quite the thing - that sort of worked (wore out though, was too old).

Have tried micro-fibre towels before - but what on earth are they about? You stay damp, they stick to you .. what is the point?

The reason I am posting is that I accidentally bought a new travel towel (accidentally as I was in a trekking shop and it was half price - can't resist a bargain, me).

Is a Summit Microfibre Travel Towel - Large, 120 x 60 cms. Apparently it is 'compact and super soft'. I just tried it at home and to be fair it is the best micro-fibre I have yet used - but I still ended up damp, and it still sort of stuck to me unless I really pulled it. I have put it in the washing machine and it will stay there and go through loads of cycles each time I do a laundry, in the hope that it will improve in some way.

So - my post - towel - Help! what have you come up with that works? Actually dries the body, doesn't stick, is light??
I used a baby bath sheet which is basically Turkish towel. They are coton, loose weave and can wrap around you like a pareau. You find them in the baby section, usually a three pack. They dry fast, work reasonably well and offer a modesty wrap as necessary.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Here's a very comprehensive video review of some of the lightest weight towels available. Or, if you would prefer to read the information here's the log post from the video maker.

 
Last edited:

GuyA

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Was chuckling as I was reading various responses and my wife asked me what was so funny so….

i quickly learned that the towel I see hanging everywhere…used for gym etc would be perfect Norwex Sports Towel.

AND NO Guy you may not have it for your next Camino. Must get my own…probably costs a fortune! 😊

However will look into it!

Guy

p.s. Such a welcome relief to see posts like this! Thanks David!

http://www.fastgreenclean.com/2013/10/norwex-sport-towel.html?m=1
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
How about this? 100% cotton. I plan to bring one on my next camino.
Absolutely hilarious video! I would choose to cut one in half, but think I'll stick with my baby towel.😁
I'm not sure you will have room in your backpack for anything else.🙂
 

Wendy Werneth

Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
2020
After much trial and error I now take a tiny old well-worn normal hand towel. How much towel do you actually need to dry yourself? And those techy things are like chamois rags one washes the car with. Yeuk.
Yes, I also use a very tiny but real towel. It's the kind used in thermal springs (onsen) in Japan, which is actually where I bought it. Ticks all the boxes except modesty. It's definitely not big enough for me to wrap around my body, so I just wear my clothes on the way to and from the shower.
 
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Yes, I also use a very tiny but real towel. It's the kind used in thermal springs (onsen) in Japan, which is actually where I bought it. Ticks all the boxes except modesty. It's definitely not big enough for me to wrap around my body, so I just wear my clothes on the way to and from the shower.

You don't need to be completly covered Wendy. Just shut your eyes when walking back to your bunk.
 

Moorwalker

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
The Saint's Way, Cornwall
I use Turkish hamam type towels. They are thin, unbleached cotton often hand woven, very light, very absorbent, dry faster than the microfibre ones and are remarkably cheap. I buy from an Ebay vendor and they come direct from Turkey, cost is about £10-12 each for one that's big enough to wrap as a sarong. Buy from the Turkish or other eastern vendors rather than from a posh reseller in your own country, they ae the same towels but half the price.
 

Moorwalker

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
The Saint's Way, Cornwall
Here's a very comprehensive video review of some of the lightest weight towels available. Or, if you would prefer to read the information here's the log post from the video maker.

But al of those are microfibre towels, and all with therefore have the ecological problem that they shed large amounts of fibres. They are also far more expensive than my choice which is a Turkish style cotton towel.
 

Chris Gi

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2018
Hi all - have been going to Camino for years and just have never ever been able to work out the towel thing - something that actually dries you without sticking to you, is long enough for the sudden modesty need, and is light.

I have tried so many different things. My best was an old well-washed and worn towel that because it was old and thin, but still 100% cotton, was quite the thing - that sort of worked (wore out though, was too old).

Have tried micro-fibre towels before - but what on earth are they about? You stay damp, they stick to you .. what is the point?

The reason I am posting is that I accidentally bought a new travel towel (accidentally as I was in a trekking shop and it was half price - can't resist a bargain, me).

Is a Summit Microfibre Travel Towel - Large, 120 x 60 cms. Apparently it is 'compact and super soft'. I just tried it at home and to be fair it is the best micro-fibre I have yet used - but I still ended up damp, and it still sort of stuck to me unless I really pulled it. I have put it in the washing machine and it will stay there and go through loads of cycles each time I do a laundry, in the hope that it will improve in some way.

So - my post - towel - Help! what have you come up with that works? Actually dries the body, doesn't stick, is light??
Bar towels work well. I know they are cotton but they are very thin terry cloth - the thinner the better, they dry you really well, they also dry out pretty quickly, they are really cheap and you could join a couple together if you want them a bit bigger.
 
Past OR future Camino
Portugues '15, '16, & '19
Via Francigena '17
Frances '18
Muxia & Finisterre '18
Tahoe Rim Trail '19
I get dressed wet and I am dry within ten minutes. I did carry a BP towel and rarely used it and when I did I had to deal with yet another item, a soggy one at that. To further my effort to simplify on the trail I stopped carrying a comb, shampoo, camera, iPod, cup, etc. This probably saved me an insignificant pound or two but reduced the clutter and I did not miss any of these items.

Upon return from a Camino I would separate my belongings into what I used, what I didn't use, and emergency things I should carry. On subsequent Caminos I did not carry the set of what I didn't use previously. The towel was the first to go
 
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Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2018
Hi all - have been going to Camino for years and just have never ever been able to work out the towel thing - something that actually dries you without sticking to you, is long enough for the sudden modesty need, and is light.

I have tried so many different things. My best was an old well-washed and worn towel that because it was old and thin, but still 100% cotton, was quite the thing - that sort of worked (wore out though, was too old).

Have tried micro-fibre towels before - but what on earth are they about? You stay damp, they stick to you .. what is the point?

The reason I am posting is that I accidentally bought a new travel towel (accidentally as I was in a trekking shop and it was half price - can't resist a bargain, me).

Is a Summit Microfibre Travel Towel - Large, 120 x 60 cms. Apparently it is 'compact and super soft'. I just tried it at home and to be fair it is the best micro-fibre I have yet used - but I still ended up damp, and it still sort of stuck to me unless I really pulled it. I have put it in the washing machine and it will stay there and go through loads of cycles each time I do a laundry, in the hope that it will improve in some way.

So - my post - towel - Help! what have you come up with that works? Actually dries the body, doesn't stick, is light??
Agree with everything said about peshtamal/hamman towels - spell it as you will.

I've bought several from this guy

Towelland

Once they've been washed a couple of times they come up really soft. Multi-usage too.

If you search you'll find smaller sizes but I find this perfect and less than 250gm (dry)
 

HPered

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I bought one of those lightweight microfiber towels. I don't like it to dry myself off with, but I'm thinking of taking a piece of it to roll my wet clothes in after washing. Haven't tried it yet. A terry facecloth will work fine to dry myself.
 

Annlill Lilli

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
Hi all - have been going to Camino for years and just have never ever been able to work out the towel thing - something that actually dries you without sticking to you, is long enough for the sudden modesty need, and is light.

I have tried so many different things. My best was an old well-washed and worn towel that because it was old and thin, but still 100% cotton, was quite the thing - that sort of worked (wore out though, was too old).

Have tried micro-fibre towels before - but what on earth are they about? You stay damp, they stick to you .. what is the point?

The reason I am posting is that I accidentally bought a new travel towel (accidentally as I was in a trekking shop and it was half price - can't resist a bargain, me).

Is a Summit Microfibre Travel Towel - Large, 120 x 60 cms. Apparently it is 'compact and super soft'. I just tried it at home and to be fair it is the best micro-fibre I have yet used - but I still ended up damp, and it still sort of stuck to me unless I really pulled it. I have put it in the washing machine and it will stay there and go through loads of cycles each time I do a laundry, in the hope that it will improve in some way.

So - my post - towel - Help! what have you come up with that works? Actually dries the body, doesn't stick, is light??
Hola, I´ve been out since 2012 and always caring a silky towel, a big sheet of silk (not raw silk, it sticks) and that is enough for me. Dries very fast and no weight. Try it and Good Luck :)
 

Erin R

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2014)
Hi all - have been going to Camino for years and just have never ever been able to work out the towel thing - something that actually dries you without sticking to you, is long enough for the sudden modesty need, and is light.

I have tried so many different things. My best was an old well-washed and worn towel that because it was old and thin, but still 100% cotton, was quite the thing - that sort of worked (wore out though, was too old).

Have tried micro-fibre towels before - but what on earth are they about? You stay damp, they stick to you .. what is the point?

The reason I am posting is that I accidentally bought a new travel towel (accidentally as I was in a trekking shop and it was half price - can't resist a bargain, me).

Is a Summit Microfibre Travel Towel - Large, 120 x 60 cms. Apparently it is 'compact and super soft'. I just tried it at home and to be fair it is the best micro-fibre I have yet used - but I still ended up damp, and it still sort of stuck to me unless I really pulled it. I have put it in the washing machine and it will stay there and go through loads of cycles each time I do a laundry, in the hope that it will improve in some way.

So - my post - towel - Help! what have you come up with that works? Actually dries the body, doesn't stick, is light??
I use a sarong. Lightweight, dries me well, dries quickly when hung up after use, can be used as as a wrap skirt or hung up between those too close for comfort bunk beds to get a little privacy. Magic, multi use piece of kit.
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
“My own personal experience,” has been using a big microfibre tool as you have just explained. But, once the towel has been used, that dampness left behind, for me, disappears before I get dressed again. If the air feels expressly humid, it may take a few more minutes to completely dry, so, I will continue with my various and sundry things until I am dry enough to get a shirt on without a fight. Skirt or pants, as is understood, is never a problem.
 
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makingtrax

Member
Past OR future Camino
El norte2010
Portuguese 2014
Primativo 2016
Frances sept 2017!
Hi all - have been going to Camino for years and just have never ever been able to work out the towel thing - something that actually dries you without sticking to you, is long enough for the sudden modesty need, and is light.

I have tried so many different things. My best was an old well-washed and worn towel that because it was old and thin, but still 100% cotton, was quite the thing - that sort of worked (wore out though, was too old).

Have tried micro-fibre towels before - but what on earth are they about? You stay damp, they stick to you .. what is the point?

The reason I am posting is that I accidentally bought a new travel towel (accidentally as I was in a trekking shop and it was half price - can't resist a bargain, me).

Is a Summit Microfibre Travel Towel - Large, 120 x 60 cms. Apparently it is 'compact and super soft'. I just tried it at home and to be fair it is the best micro-fibre I have yet used - but I still ended up damp, and it still sort of stuck to me unless I really pulled it. I have put it in the washing machine and it will stay there and go through loads of cycles each time I do a laundry, in the hope that it will improve in some way.

So - my post - towel - Help! what have you come up with that works? Actually dries the body, doesn't stick, is light??
I find the travel towels from Decathlon perfect. I have used many different brands over past 20 years and never found them a problem.
 

sfdithomas

Member
Past OR future Camino
2015
Hi all - have been going to Camino for years and just have never ever been able to work out the towel thing - something that actually dries you without sticking to you, is long enough for the sudden modesty need, and is light.

I have tried so many different things. My best was an old well-washed and worn towel that because it was old and thin, but still 100% cotton, was quite the thing - that sort of worked (wore out though, was too old).

Have tried micro-fibre towels before - but what on earth are they about? You stay damp, they stick to you .. what is the point?

The reason I am posting is that I accidentally bought a new travel towel (accidentally as I was in a trekking shop and it was half price - can't resist a bargain, me).

Is a Summit Microfibre Travel Towel - Large, 120 x 60 cms. Apparently it is 'compact and super soft'. I just tried it at home and to be fair it is the best micro-fibre I have yet used - but I still ended up damp, and it still sort of stuck to me unless I really pulled it. I have put it in the washing machine and it will stay there and go through loads of cycles each time I do a laundry, in the hope that it will improve in some way.

So - my post - towel - Help! what have you come up with that works? Actually dries the body, doesn't stick, is light??
On my first two trips I took a thin light weight cotton cloth. I hesitate to say it was kente cloth because technically it probably was not, however an African student assistant at my old job gave it to me as a gift. You can find inexpensive ones like it if you live in a large metro area at African shops. It was big enough for modesty ( I’m 5’4” & overweight, covered my whole body) & drying me off. When traveling it also acted as a blanket, pillow or scarf if needed and once I used it as a “daypack” when I sent my mochila ahead. It packed up small and didn’t weigh much. It was very distinctive so it couldn’t be mistaken for someone else’s. Because it was thin it dried quickly.

On subsequent trips, in colder weather I used a large inexpensive (20€ ) scarf that I got at Zara in Bilbao. It had basically everything the other cloth had but was warmer and less flamboyant looking. Packed up pretty small, not as small as the other.
 
Last edited:

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
You don't need to be completly covered Wendy. Just shut your eyes when walking back to your bunk.
So what you’re saying is, just put the small towel over your face when returning to bunk. You won’t see them, they won’t see your face. Brilliant.
 
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Hi all - have been going to Camino for years and just have never ever been able to work out the towel thing - something that actually dries you without sticking to you, is long enough for the sudden modesty need, and is light.

I have tried so many different things. My best was an old well-washed and worn towel that because it was old and thin, but still 100% cotton, was quite the thing - that sort of worked (wore out though, was too old).

Have tried micro-fibre towels before - but what on earth are they about? You stay damp, they stick to you .. what is the point?

The reason I am posting is that I accidentally bought a new travel towel (accidentally as I was in a trekking shop and it was half price - can't resist a bargain, me).

Is a Summit Microfibre Travel Towel - Large, 120 x 60 cms. Apparently it is 'compact and super soft'. I just tried it at home and to be fair it is the best micro-fibre I have yet used - but I still ended up damp, and it still sort of stuck to me unless I really pulled it. I have put it in the washing machine and it will stay there and go through loads of cycles each time I do a laundry, in the hope that it will improve in some way.

So - my post - towel - Help! what have you come up with that works? Actually dries the body, doesn't stick, is light??
A cotton scarf or a sarong works great.
 
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But al of those are microfibre towels, and all with therefore have the ecological problem that they shed large amounts of fibres. They are also far more expensive than my choice which is a Turkish style cotton towel.
Thanks, Moorwalker. On two of my Caminos, I used microfibre towels and was hugely grateful on the last one in Portugal; in most of the Albergues/Pensions, we were given actual towels. I took a soft cotton sarong on my 2019 Camino because it's so versatile and drys quickly. It was great until the temperatures dropped. Then, I started to wish that I'd ignored the weight issues and packed my Turkish towel.
 
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Frances. 2001
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I use a nylon cycling cap. Rub your hands against your skin to get rid of most of the water then use the nylon cycling cap to absorb more water and then squeeze it to dry it a bit, repeat. When you're nearly dry, squeeze the cap almost dry then put on your head where it will dry. You can wear it in the evening to keep the sun off your head or to help keep your head dry.
You can of course luxuriate in a nice fluffy big towel. But you have to carry it every inch of 500 miles.
I use exactly the same system but with an old cotton bandanna rather than a cycling cap. I find endless ways to use the bandana, from a fashion statement to tying on hat in a genuine hundred kilometer breeze on the GR10 in the Pyrenees.
 
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CatherineAnn

CF summer 2016
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2012)
Camino Frances (2016)
Hi all - have been going to Camino for years and just have never ever been able to work out the towel thing - something that actually dries you without sticking to you, is long enough for the sudden modesty need, and is light.

I have tried so many different things. My best was an old well-washed and worn towel that because it was old and thin, but still 100% cotton, was quite the thing - that sort of worked (wore out though, was too old).

Have tried micro-fibre towels before - but what on earth are they about? You stay damp, they stick to you .. what is the point?

The reason I am posting is that I accidentally bought a new travel towel (accidentally as I was in a trekking shop and it was half price - can't resist a bargain, me).

Is a Summit Microfibre Travel Towel - Large, 120 x 60 cms. Apparently it is 'compact and super soft'. I just tried it at home and to be fair it is the best micro-fibre I have yet used - but I still ended up damp, and it still sort of stuck to me unless I really pulled it. I have put it in the washing machine and it will stay there and go through loads of cycles each time I do a laundry, in the hope that it will improve in some way.

So - my post - towel - Help! what have you come up with that works? Actually dries the body, doesn't stick, is light??
If you can find a light weight linen fabric it works wonderfully. It absorbs doesn’t stick and dries quickly on the line after your shower. Mine is 45 x 36 and I love it.
 

Mera

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino France, Camino del Norte, Camino de Madrid
Camino Porto, Camino Primitivo
Yeah, I know it works well. My daughter used one as her face protector from the sun during the day, and used the other as a towel in the evening. It is very light.
 

debbijstevenson

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy (2021) del norte (2021)
Hi all - have been going to Camino for years and just have never ever been able to work out the towel thing - something that actually dries you without sticking to you, is long enough for the sudden modesty need, and is light.

I have tried so many different things. My best was an old well-washed and worn towel that because it was old and thin, but still 100% cotton, was quite the thing - that sort of worked (wore out though, was too old).

Have tried micro-fibre towels before - but what on earth are they about? You stay damp, they stick to you .. what is the point?

The reason I am posting is that I accidentally bought a new travel towel (accidentally as I was in a trekking shop and it was half price - can't resist a bargain, me).

Is a Summit Microfibre Travel Towel - Large, 120 x 60 cms. Apparently it is 'compact and super soft'. I just tried it at home and to be fair it is the best micro-fibre I have yet used - but I still ended up damp, and it still sort of stuck to me unless I really pulled it. I have put it in the washing machine and it will stay there and go through loads of cycles each time I do a laundry, in the hope that it will improve in some way.

So - my post - towel - Help! what have you come up with that works? Actually dries the body, doesn't stick, is light??
Hi, i use a PackTowl (correct spelling😊) a beach size one, its light, super quick drying, fully covers up a lady, dries my medium hair and me. When I do hand washing (all the time) i wrap everything in it for a few minutes and it absorbs lots of water so everything dries quicker. I think you have to remember it isn't like the towels at home but this one i use by rubbing and patting. Good luck.
 

andylm65

Member
Past OR future Camino
2018
I used a very light very cheap cotton scarf. Worked as a scarf and towel and privacy screen. Got it at a box store somewhere cause ti was light. Also had a big silk scarf to wrap the plastic pillow in and use for sun shade. Made a reasonable towel for hair and body in a pinch. Very light,!did have to wring a bit.
 

Helena la Inglesa

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Vdlp starting this weekend
Hi all - have been going to Camino for years and just have never ever been able to work out the towel thing - something that actually dries you without sticking to you, is long enough for the sudden modesty need, and is light.

I have tried so many different things. My best was an old well-washed and worn towel that because it was old and thin, but still 100% cotton, was quite the thing - that sort of worked (wore out though, was too old).

Have tried micro-fibre towels before - but what on earth are they about? You stay damp, they stick to you .. what is the point?

The reason I am posting is that I accidentally bought a new travel towel (accidentally as I was in a trekking shop and it was half price - can't resist a bargain, me).

Is a Summit Microfibre Travel Towel - Large, 120 x 60 cms. Apparently it is 'compact and super soft'. I just tried it at home and to be fair it is the best micro-fibre I have yet used - but I still ended up damp, and it still sort of stuck to me unless I really pulled it. I have put it in the washing machine and it will stay there and go through loads of cycles each time I do a laundry, in the hope that it will improve in some way.

So - my post - towel - Help! what have you come up with that works? Actually dries the body, doesn't stick, is light??
On the Plata last year I took a microfibre cloth 12"x12". Didn't see the need for modesty coverage (no communal showers). The weather was hot and dry so a quick wipe-down and a bit of air did the trick. Easy to rinse and dry item. Weighed 30g - important as I didn't want to carry a scrap of extra weight.
 
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sfdithomas

Member
Past OR future Camino
2015
On the Plata last year I took a microfibre cloth 12"x12". Didn't see the need for modesty coverage (no communal showers). The weather was hot and dry so a quick wipe-down and a bit of air did the trick. Easy to rinse and dry item. Weighed 30g - important as I didn't want to carry a scrap of extra weight.
I should (lol?) have specified modesty *outside* the shower. Sometimes my towel served as a dressing room. There were several young men just walking around nude in my first couple albergues. While that’s fine for them I have no desire to walk around the dormitory nude.
 
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Lifesastitch

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances - Sept/Oct (2015)
Portugues Coastal Route - Sept/Oct (2016)
Muxia - Oct (2016)
Hi all - have been going to Camino for years and just have never ever been able to work out the towel thing - something that actually dries you without sticking to you, is long enough for the sudden modesty need, and is light.

I have tried so many different things. My best was an old well-washed and worn towel that because it was old and thin, but still 100% cotton, was quite the thing - that sort of worked (wore out though, was too old).

Have tried micro-fibre towels before - but what on earth are they about? You stay damp, they stick to you .. what is the point?

The reason I am posting is that I accidentally bought a new travel towel (accidentally as I was in a trekking shop and it was half price - can't resist a bargain, me).

Is a Summit Microfibre Travel Towel - Large, 120 x 60 cms. Apparently it is 'compact and super soft'. I just tried it at home and to be fair it is the best micro-fibre I have yet used - but I still ended up damp, and it still sort of stuck to me unless I really pulled it. I have put it in the washing machine and it will stay there and go through loads of cycles each time I do a laundry, in the hope that it will improve in some way.

So - my post - towel - Help! what have you come up with that works? Actually dries the body, doesn't stick, is light??
Three Caminos, ditched the microfibre for the most recent one and took a thin hand towel from the dollar store for drying and a very thin lightweight sarong for coverage. This also serves as clothing while doing wash, a shawl when cold, a lightweight extra blanket..,
 

Mycroft

Active Member
You must have Dutch ancestors....

I've also struggled with this problem in the past, but finally settled for the sticky thing. I used to have a real small microfiber towel. A terrible thing to use, but extremely small and light. On the Via de la Plata I lost it (was left behind in an albergue).

When walking into a larger town the next day I walked into a shop where they sell sport garments. I ended up buying a towel which is used by swimmers (the ones that are involved in competitions). I thought that swimmers get really wet and if this is what they use, it must be sufficient for a humble pilgrim.

And it is. I'm not sure what it's made of. But when dry, it's hard. Not hard enough to smash someones brain with it, but still hard. Before use I have to make it wet. Then it becomes soft. Finally squeeze the water out and it's ready to use. It still feels damp and -on the skin- like a mop, but it absorbs water like I've never seen before. If the towel is 'full': squeeze the water out and it's ready for another go.

Depending on your body type this might be necessary.
I have an artificial chamois to dry my car which is hard when dry. Maybe the same material?
 
Last edited:

patgreen

Member
Hi all - have been going to Camino for years and just have never ever been able to work out the towel thing - something that actually dries you without sticking to you, is long enough for the sudden modesty need, and is light.

I have tried so many different things. My best was an old well-washed and worn towel that because it was old and thin, but still 100% cotton, was quite the thing - that sort of worked (wore out though, was too old).

Have tried micro-fibre towels before - but what on earth are they about? You stay damp, they stick to you .. what is the point?

The reason I am posting is that I accidentally bought a new travel towel (accidentally as I was in a trekking shop and it was half price - can't resist a bargain, me).

Is a Summit Microfibre Travel Towel - Large, 120 x 60 cms. Apparently it is 'compact and super soft'. I just tried it at home and to be fair it is the best micro-fibre I have yet used - but I still ended up damp, and it still sort of stuck to me unless I really pulled it. I have put it in the washing machine and it will stay there and go through loads of cycles each time I do a laundry, in the hope that it will improve in some way.

So - my post - towel - Help! what have you come up with that works? Actually dries the body, doesn't stick, is light??
I sometimes use a sarong. It's 140cm x 90cm so very good for modesty. Not brilliant for drying but it will do. It's very thin so it drys out really well. It also has a number of other uses. Weight 98 grams.
 

Ann laydon

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
Hi all - have been going to Camino for years and just have never ever been able to work out the towel thing - something that actually dries you without sticking to you, is long enough for the sudden modesty need, and is light.

I have tried so many different things. My best was an old well-washed and worn towel that because it was old and thin, but still 100% cotton, was quite the thing - that sort of worked (wore out though, was too old).

Have tried micro-fibre towels before - but what on earth are they about? You stay damp, they stick to you .. what is the point?

The reason I am posting is that I accidentally bought a new travel towel (accidentally as I was in a trekking shop and it was half price - can't resist a bargain, me).

Is a Summit Microfibre Travel Towel - Large, 120 x 60 cms. Apparently it is 'compact and super soft'. I just tried it at home and to be fair it is the best micro-fibre I have yet used - but I still ended up damp, and it still sort of stuck to me unless I really pulled it. I have put it in the washing machine and it will stay there and go through loads of cycles each time I do a laundry, in the hope that it will improve in some way.

So - my post - towel - Help! what have you come up with that works? Actually dries the body, doesn't stick, is light??
I only ever take a sarong.
I use it as a towel, a scarf, dress or long skirt, sheet or pillow cover. Best bit....it dries really quickly and is lightweight.
 

chinacat

Veteran Member
So many mention a sarong.

It‘s taken me a while to remember that I took a fine lawn cotton sarong with me but I never did even unfold it 🤔

I took a new ‘modern’ (in 2009) backpacking towel (plush on one side) but it was no better than my old mid 80s one.

Far more useful was a tiny 30cm square towel, that came in a mini ‘stuff sack’ on a tiny crab, from Milletts, and hooked onto a belt loop.
It was used and washed every day.
 
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2014, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Various routes...
A cotton nappie/diaper (new and unused, of course.:oops:) makes a fine towel. Soft, light, absirbent, quick to dry. But it's not so great as a wrap-around. But it doesn't matter: I dress in the shower area, out of both modesty and compassion.

I sure wish everyone else did too. I am still recovering from being the only woman in a room full of middle aged German men at the albergue in Carrion de los Condes (the nuns were having their retreat, and the volunteer hospis didn't/couldn't open a separate dorm room to segregate genders). It was pretty unsightly. 😱
 

Happy Penguin

Rainy day in Castilblanco
Past OR future Camino
2021
My best was an old well-washed and worn towel that because it was old and thin, but still 100% cotton, was quite the thing - that sort of worked
That's me 100% :)
I refuse to leave my old cotton towel behind:) that's this one single item in my backpack that I love and don't care that it adds a few hundred grams to the weight. I tried microfiber and never liked it. To reduce the weight of my backpack, you can find me sometimes walking in the summer without any rain gear (hoping it won't rain) but my cotton towel is always with me. If it rains, at least I have something to dry myself with. :)
 

David

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2005
So - from all of the above it would appear we are in two camps -
those who don't mind a towel sticking to the skin, nor actually not properly drying the body so a microfibre is the way to go.
those who can't stand microfibre and prefer the real towel feel and action and qualify that with it being a thin (or worn) 100% cotton towel - or other products same thickness and material (I won't mention silk).

Then there is lightness and size - with some super-weird (to me) possibilities further up the thread such as chamois leather as used on polishing cars dry ..

So - 100% cotton, light, packs small?? .... seems to me that I should just dry myself with my 100% cotton underpants and then wash them afterwards when doing my mini hand laundry ;)
 

Happy Penguin

Rainy day in Castilblanco
Past OR future Camino
2021
My neverending cotton love (120x65 cm) now weighs just 300 grams (just checked). It must have been twice as much when I bought it a few years ago!
Nowadays I use it exclusively for my hiking trips. Not at home. It's too precious!
 
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Roland49

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
I had two very lightweight microfiber terry towels 50x90cm with me.
They do not stick to your body. Those kind often are used by hairdressers.
They dry very quick, after the shower they are dry in an hour, sometimes less.
Used them on my tour through the Alps last week, too.
 
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sfdithomas

Member
Past OR future Camino
2015
Honestly? No it's not.
It's thoughtless rudeness in a mixed and multigenerational crowd of strangers.
While I’m by no means a prude, I was shocked and surprised. I am from the US, and believe it or not, was essentially raised to be a nun. It definitely was a mixed multigenerational crowd. However I did read in multiple places that facilities might even have co-ed showers and that it might not be uncommon. And, since I was a stranger there and no one else appeared to be disturbed at all, and they weren’t otherwise behaving oddly I simply looked elsewhere
 

sfdithomas

Member
Past OR future Camino
2015
A cotton nappie/diaper (new and unused, of course.:oops:) makes a fine towel. Soft, light, absirbent, quick to dry. But it's not so great as a wrap-around. But it doesn't matter: I dress in the shower area, out of both modesty and compassion.

I sure wish everyone else did too. I am still recovering from being the only woman in a room full of middle aged German men at the albergue in Carrion de los Condes (the nuns were having their retreat, and the volunteer hospis didn't/couldn't open a separate dorm room to segregate genders). It was pretty unsightly. 😱
I found a lot of those shower areas to be tiny and humid, not really conducive to drying off and dressing, plus other people are often waiting to get in.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
those who don't mind a towel sticking to the skin, nor actually not properly drying the body so a microfibre is the way to go.
My Packtowl doesn't stick to me and dries me completely. It's some type of microfiber, but a very different texture than standard microfiber towels.
 

dick bird

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles

“A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-boggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.” Douglas Adams 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy'

 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Another towel option that I don't think has been mentioned yet is a "waffle weave" version. They are used for drying off after swimming at a relatives. Hers are small, lightweight cotton, absorb well, and dry fast. I just looked online and prices are all over the place from $10-$95, so not sure which ones she purchased. I did notice that the cheapest ones say microfiber. All I know is that they work great and are very soft.
 

chinacat

Veteran Member
A cotton nappie/diaper (new and unused, of course.:oops:)

It wouldn’t have to be new and unused 😉
Old fashioned Terry nappies were usually boiled a hundred times or more and can remain useful for many, many years after their initial purchase, not least for subsequent babies.
As the numbers left start to dwindle, they become precious, as their owners have often found the perfect use for them. I have known women go ballistic if their partners have ‘misused‘ them, eg for drying off the motorbike .. 😄
 
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