Search 59,165 Camino Questions

A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it


Advertisement
Camino Magnets
A collection of Camino Fridge Magnets
Donation to the Forum
A donation to this forum helps it continue to exists and also removes all ads for you.

Visibility in bad weather?

pudgypilgrim

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
voie de tours 2015
Espero's post about adding SOLAS tape to his pack (in the lightweight backpack thread) got me thinking. I'm aware of all the usual doodads for improving your visibility, like reflective tape, the much-debated safety vest, the blinky lights, and so on, but it seems to me that it's when the weather is really bad that visibility is also the worst.

What do y'all do about that when you're wearing a poncho or a rain jacket and pack cover?
 
A thought-provoking Camino memoir. This day-by-day account will inspire you.
John Brierley 2022 Camino Guide
The most selling Camino Guide is shipping November 1st. Get your today and start planning.

pudgypilgrim

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
voie de tours 2015
Sorry, I guess I wasn't clear. I don't see how you can use the blinky on a poncho with the hood up, and the tape on the backpack is covered up, so do you add tape to the back of your poncho, or what? That's what I'm wondering about.

EDIT I'm wondering about this particularly since I'm considering the packa, which only comes in gray, dark gray, or forest green these days, none of which seem like a great choice for helping passing drivers see that you're there.
 
Last edited:
Past OR future Camino
2012
A blinky on your traffic side wrist is relatively easy to keep exposed, and Solas tape can be fixed to the back of your poncho. But, while your caution is understandable, and the risks are real, your chances of prolonged exposure to the combination of traffic and poor visibility are limited to a few well known stretches of the Camino and well publicised in guides and this forum. My best advice, and the advice I give myself frequently, is if you don't feel safe don't walk - wait for the conditions to change (they will) or find an alternative path, there often is one.

Buen, and safe, camino
 

pudgypilgrim

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
voie de tours 2015
Thanks, Tincatinker. I should maybe have mentioned that I'm planning to do the Voie de Tours via Chartres and I think there's a lot more road walking on that route than on the Frances, unless you like those long looping detours the French randonneurs seem so fond of.
 
Camino Magnets
A collection of Camino Fridge Magnets
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.

haikutaxi

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Portugués (May 2012)
Coastal Camino Portugués (October 2013)
Camino Inglés (planning for ?)
We completed the coastal Portuguese Caminho this October and endured some very heavy rain. Our Altus ponchos kept us and our packs dry and we used large size (but very lightweight) reflective vests over the ponchos. The vests fastened in the front with Velcro and performed admirably ... made us feel much more secure when the visibility was poor.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
On my Camino in April and May 2013, I experienced a lot of rain and cloudy, poor visibility days. I also had to do a fair bit of road-walking.

My solution was to wear a narrow (1/2" 15-20 mm) bicycle pants cuff, ankle reflector strip with Velcro around each upper arm between the elbow and shoulder. As I was wearing a Ferrino trekking poncho with sleeves, this was easy. If wearing a traditional poncho, I think I would serious consider reflective tape at visible points.

I also had bicycle "blinky" lights, one on each trekking / hiking pole. They are a variety made to fit on bicycle seat posts or handle bars, are waterproof, and have a silicone sling, stretchy closure. They fit perfectly on the upper-most section of the hiking poles, riding just above the highest ferrule / tightening bushing. That puts them about 18 inches 55 cm from my hands. This made for a very visible arc of movement that can be easily seen.

The blinky lights can be on-solid, blink, or off. I used one in white and another in red. I usually put the red one on the right pole - traffic side, and the white one on the left pole - off-side.

Both my trekking poles also had 1 inch - 30 mm, 3M reflective tape at every ferrule. That gave each pole three, bright white reflective patches. These reflectors, combined with Mr. Blinky and the shoulder reflectors made me very visible.

The other thing I did, in conjunction with these efforts is that, when I would hear an approaching tractor trailer truck or other traffic after a lull, I would swing my right-hand pole, with the red blinky in a 90 degree arc by the wrist from straight down (six o'clock) to the three o'clock position and back a couple of times to get the driver's attention. It NEVER failed. The oncoming traffic always moved closer to or over the center line to give me and my trailing companions a safe clearance.

I hope this helps someone...
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
A fine idea! I have these blinky lights and have usually just put them on my pack, but in severe weather such as you describe, having them on your poles is just sensible, isn't it. (And having them on the back of my pack doesn't exactly make me visible to oncoming traffic, does it?!:oops:)
Thanks for this!
 

pudgypilgrim

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
voie de tours 2015
That's a great idea about putting the lights on the poles! Thanks very much for that, t2nadreo, and thanks for the suggestion about putting a big vest over a poncho, haikutaxi.
 
W

whariwharangi

Guest
Making yourself visible is only a part of the equation. The other part is being aware of your surroundings. When you see or hear traffic coming your way find a place to be out of the way and wait there till the traffic goes by. There are lots of pathways that share a road built before vehicles existed ... narrow twisted streets overdriven by drivers all too often on the assumption there is no other traffic. It only gets worse when visibility is poor. If you do this you can get by wearing camoflage ... which by no means recommends that you don't do what you can to make yourself visible.
 
Donation to the Forum
A donation to this forum helps it continue to exists and also removes all ads for you.
Camino Socks
Browse the Camino Socks collection on the forum shop

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Here is further information regarding the availability of "blinky lights." As I reside in the US, most of my Camino gear purchases are made there. However, I just returned from a quick trip to visit friends in Belgium and happened to do some further field research on the availability of similar, suitable blinking LED lamps, at least in a representative European country. I also took photos.

N.B. - All the lights below have either stretchy silicone rubber or twisty rubber coated wire attachments. So they can attach readily to a bicycle handlebar, seat post, or other location, a rucksack strap or daisy chain, or a trekking / hiking pole (as I opted to do). I have either owned or handled each of the items personally, other than the Canada sourced items.

In my personal opinion, the final item, the Seattle Blazer LED is the brightest of the bunch. All have a steady on, blinking once per second, or off. All of the lights are available with one or two white LEDs. Some are also available as a separate, one or two LED red light. I have one each red and white of my preferred light. NOTE –

Two LEDs are usually always brighter than one. Also, most any of these lights can do double-duty as a small flashlight / torch in an albergue.

Here goes:

European sourcing - Belgium (but likely in other countries as well)

Source: BLOKKER store (looks like one each red and white - and cheap too):
Blokker blinky light.jpg

Source Decathlon sports superstore (I only saw WHITE LED lights on offer):
Decathlon V100 blinky light.jpg

Source HEMA store (similar to the Blokker offering):
HEMA blinky light.jpg

US / Canada sourcing:

Source: Niteize.com - http://www.niteize.com/product/TwistLit.asp ALSO at REI
NiteIze Twistlit LED Bike Lamp.jpg

Source: Seattle Sports Products - http://www.seattlesportsco.com/productcart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=2065&idcategory=111
Seattle Sports Blazer LED Lamps.jpg
Or - REI - http://www.rei.com/product/847023/seattle-sports-blazer-white-front-bike-light

Seatttle Sports Blazer LED.jpg

MEC – (Canada) N.B. These have not been touched and reviewed as I have not been to Canada recently. :-(
Also, I could not get the images to download, so you need to follow these links to see the lights.

This item looks promising for ankle or forearm mounting – Planet Bike Bright LED Strap Light – but do check the mixed reviews first.

http://www.mec.ca/product/5008-385/planet-bike-brt-led-strap-light/?h=50002+50037&f=10+50002+50513

These items (below) are roughly the same as the Seattle Sports light, but the mounting appears less “grippy” at least IMHO.

RED - http://www.mec.ca/product/5014-662/mec-turbo-turtle-red-led-rear-light/

WHITE - http://www.mec.ca/product/5014-661/mec-turbo-turtle-white-led-front-light/

I hope this helps someone...
 

pudgypilgrim

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
voie de tours 2015
Thank you so much for taking so much time and trouble to write this up, t2andreo! I'm sure it will help many people here.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Okay, my final research on the subject of blinky lights for increased visibility in bad weather. Today, I was in my local Container Store (www.containerstore.com) - a U.S. chain of store selling organizational stuff. They carry a white and red set of LED bicycle safety flasher (blinky) lights for only USD 2.99 + sales tax. The product SKU number is 10055298. You can search this number on their web site.

The lights are produced by Kikkerland (www.kikkerland.com). They appear to be a Netherlands company. This might explain why this photo looks identical to both the Blokker and Hema lights I mentioned in my previous post. The lights appear identical with only slight packaging differences. See this photo taken today, after I bought the LED lights for this post. Sorry, the package is laying down... ;)

Kikkerland Blinky LED.JPG
Again, I hope this helps someone.
 

jl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
For those in Aust / NZ - Kathmandu have similiar torches / blinky lights, several versions, as well (as in previous post). I use the red light at night so as not to disturb sleeping pilgrims, though I also intend to use it (in blinker mode) when walking in poor light on the camino this winter. Janet
 

pudgypilgrim

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
voie de tours 2015
Hey, thanks for that, t2andreo. REI is all the way at the opposite end of the state but there's a Container Store about an hour and half away from me.
 
John Brierley 2022 Camino Guide
The most selling Camino Guide is shipping November 1st. Get your today and start planning.
Fine art photography from the Camino Ways.

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Pudgypilgim... If your nearest Container Store is 90 minutes away, unless you want to go broke buying all manner of cool things you never realized you "needed" to organize your home and your life, I advise an online order. Yes, you pay tax and shipping, but it has got to be kinder to the environment than driving all that distance. Even if the shipping costs exceed the cost of the item, it still winds up being far cheaper than paying for the fuel to get there and back.

I am not joking about going broke. I've been a fan of the Container Store for more than 20 years. Over the years, they have been the source of many an closet, organization and storage solution for me in various homes I have owned. This September, they opened a store in a former Barnes and Noble bookstore five minutes from my home, literally just across the street. This is one of those places where your eyes glaze over after five minutes because there is so much "cool" and novel stuff and thousands of good ideas for sorting, storing, organizing and ordering your home.

On the other hand, if you have other reasons to justify the journey, go for it!
 

pudgypilgrim

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
voie de tours 2015
Thanks, t2andreo. I wouldn't make a trip just for that, but I do have to go to the big city a couple of times a year. In any case, at the moment I'm so focused on stuff for the camino that I don't think I would be in trouble unless they sell hiking poles or stuff sacks. :)
 

Did not find what you were looking for? Search here

Popular Resources

“All” Albergues on the Camino Frances in one pdf ivar
  • Featured
“All” Albergues on the Camino Frances in one pdf
4.95 star(s) 102 ratings
Downloads
15,341
Updated
A selection of favorite albergues on the Camino Francés Ton van Tilburg
Favorite Albergues along the Camino Frances
4.83 star(s) 35 ratings
Downloads
8,002
Updated
Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances ivar
Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances
4.88 star(s) 24 ratings
Downloads
7,768
Updated

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Updates on YouTube

Camino Conversations

Most downloaded Resources

Top