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water sources on route

NANINACAMINO

New Member
We will be doing the camino Frances in September and would like to know re: water supply. If we carry 2 bottles with us , is there places where we can refill on route? Or do we make sure we have enough to last us for the whole day? We will be bringing stainless steel bottles with us.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Hi NANINACAMINO ,

We carried 2 bottles each (Steel .6Ltr & 1Ltr last year) and found that was just about right for us. Had no problem with refilling. Just take care to refill at all oportunities, particularly before any long stretches.

Good idea (I know it sounds basic) is to have one of your bottles on your pack belt (Some packs have them in hard to reach places) .

Buen Camino

Col
 
NANINACAMINO said:
We will be bringing stainless steel bottles with us.
I bought 2 (separate) 1/2l plastic water bottles and refilled along the way at numerous fountains and in albergues. Save yourself the weight of steel bottles. You will most likely leave them behind after a few days :wink: Water is found all along the Camino Frances, unless marked "non potable" (non drinkable), which is not often.
 
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I bought 2 x 600ml ordinary plastic bottles from a local shop in SJPDP and simply re-filled them as needed - in albergue bathrooms, fonts along the way etc etc. The same two bottles lasted 35 days and were still quite good.

Personally, I would not bother with "proper" metal or plastic hiking water bottles - they cost more and weigh more than supermarket bottles.

Also, it is important that the bottles be accessible on the go, without having to remove the pack. You will go crazy if you have to stop, take off the pack and get out a water bottle every time you want a drink.

That is something to look for when choosing a pack - easily accessible pouches/brackets for bottles. If you already have a pack, a "camelback" pouch is an alternative if the pack is lacking.

Last year I travelled super-light on the Le Puy Route and my little 11-litre pack had no pouches for bottles. So I bought a cheap "waist bag" that had side pouches for my plastic bottles. That worked well.

Hope this helps.

Bob M
 
I couldn't tell you about the availability of drinking water in Galicia as I didn't see any signs to say if it was drinking water or not so I didn't risk it, especially when I saw the green slime on many of them. If you walk on to Finesterre using the instuctions from the tourist office in Santiago then the water fountains they mention are very well hidden, if they exist at all as I couldn't find any of them. I agree with the others about keeping your water accessible. I saw many people struggling to reach theirs from the side of their packs whilst walking or carrying them because they couldn't reach to put them back again. I used an army surplus water bottle attached to a webbing belt so I could reach it and to keep the weight off of my back.
 
Water is readily available along the route, I have found fountains in towns that the book (Brierley's guide) did not mention that there were, which has been nice. I took two Platypus 1L bladders and wish I would have used a Cambelbak bladder instead for ease of access, thus making me drink more often. The other side of that is that you have to take it out of your pack to fill it up....anyways, I haven't been drinking as much water the past few days because it's been so darn cold and wet.
 
...and ship it to Santiago for storage. You pick it up once in Santiago. Service offered by Casa Ivar (we use DHL for transportation).
I did not worry too much about drinking only from "official" fountains, but also topped up in toilets (from the tap, not the bowl :) ), albergue bathrooms.

If a public tap was explicitly labelled "non potable", or was being used by animals (other than me :) ) I did not drink from those.

In towns, the reality is that there is probably only one water distribution system, so the water in fountains will be the same everywhere else in that town.

There are also country springs and I used them as well - if they were in hills, where the water is unlikely to be contaminated by animals.

Once or twice I asked a local if a particular tap was OK to drink from.

Anyway, I survived without stomach upsets.

Bob M
 
there are plenty fuentes on route but keep topping up. One scary thing though i had a bath at my hostel in logrono and the water was browny, be careful with tap water
 
We get "browny" water here in Portland, Oregon... mostly when it rains hard.

Color does not indicate potability.
Sometimes it's iron in the water.

There is PLENTY of good clean water all along the Frances.
No need to carry heavy water.
Just take a bottle or two.
I took one small bottle and filled it at each fountain.
The fountains are generally right along the path.
 
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I've often seen locals drinking from water fountains marked "non potable" along the route. Not sure whether they're simply immune or if they don't want tourists using the fountains? :s
It depends how strong your stomach is I guess, some people are fine from any old toilet tap and some people need to be more careful.
 
elzi said:
I've often seen locals drinking from water fountains marked "non potable" along the route. Not sure whether they're simply immune or if they don't want tourists using the fountains?
This usually means that the local government has not tested the water and can not guarantee that it is drinkable. It may or may not be. :)

Greetings from a rainy Santiago,
Ivar
 
The brown colour referred to is almost certainly iron oxide - ie rust.

It can form quite easily in older style iron plumbing, especially if there has not been a flow in the piping for some time, thus allowing a looose film of new oxide to form in the stagnant section that will easily be dislodged when a tap is next turned on. Also, maintenance on the system can also dislodge rust films.

Normally what happens is that the initial flow is brown, but quickly becomes clear as the tap is left to run.

Plumbing made from copper or plastic is free from such effects, although copper will give a metallic taste to the water if it is on the acidic side on neutral.

Of course, one has to hope that there is no lead plumbing left over from ancient times. Lead is a very nasty metal that is known to damage intelligence in children. The Romans used lead in their plumbing, and some of the crazier historians attribute the fall of the Roman Empire partly to a decline in the intelligence of the Romans due to chronic lead poisoning.

Rusty water is perfectly safe to drink. The contaminant, iron, is one of the most common substances on the planet, not a bacteria or any other "nasty" Just let it run till it is clear. Or even drink a little rusty water to get your daily iron supplement for free!

Salud!


Bob M
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
ivar said:
Greetings from a rainy Santiago,Ivar

The Camino might be a little cooler and wetter than usual this spring. That big volcano in Iceland is putting a lot of sulfates and particulates into the atmosphere.

Those contaminants are known to cause cooling and possibly also more clouds/rain. Have a look at the weblink below for some background:
http://www.scientificamerican.com/artic ... s-affect-w

Anyway, it is worth pilgrims giving a little extra thought to their preparations for rain.

Regards

Bob M
 
ivar said:
elzi said:
I've often seen locals drinking from water fountains marked "non potable" along the route. Not sure whether they're simply immune or if they don't want tourists using the fountains?
This usually means that the local government has not tested the water and can not guarantee that it is drinkable. It may or may not be. :)

Greetings from a rainy Santiago,
Ivar

Ah! Thanks Ivar that makes sense!
 
This might be obvious but I will share it anyways: be careful about water! If it doesn't say that it safe don't risk it! I know things change and, since the last time I did the camino (4 years!), things have probably changed a lot! However, during my last trek I remember certain places (the leg coming into triacastela) where pilgrims would be violently ill from drinking at certain taps. This made me nervous so I started taking a lot more water with me (from the hostels) than I probably needed -- but I didn't want to chance anything! A lot of the pilgrims who became ill had to take 2-3 days to recover fully! I carried two nalgene bottles (1 liter each) and this was good for about 5-15KM. I drink a lot of water... :) I'm also a bit of a pack mule, so I never minded carrying a lot of water with me during the days. I'd rather ditch an article of clothing or haul less snacks than reduce my water-load. I also took a months supply of vitamin/electrolyte packets for proper (re)hydration!
Water = Life! :lol:
 
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"Or even drink a little rusty water to get your daily iron supplement for free!"

:) This made me laugh! Thank you!
 
el nadador del sol said:
"Or even drink a little rusty water to get your daily iron supplement for free!"

:) This made me laugh! Thank you!

I was being a little frivolous. It's the nature of the beast, I am afraid :)

Last summer I also used re-hydration salts on my camino on the Le Puy route. But I made my own to save money. There are numerous recipes on the web. Have a look at:
http://rehydrate.org/solutions/homemade.htm

My recipe was 1tspn of "low sodium" salt, 6 tspns of sugar, 1 litre of water. That might sound horrible to taste, but it was actually slightly sweetish and not bad at all to drink.

Low sodium salt is available in large supermarkets (at least in Australia). It is simply salt with potassium chloride as well as sodium chloride. Potassium is important to cell metabolism.

I used sugar, but glucose would be better if available cheaply from health stores.

Every morning I filled my two 500ml bottles and added the salt/sugar mixture. When that water ran out, I just drank normal water. I did try to make one of the bottles last through the day.

Making your own saves a lot of money, Those commercial salts are quite expensive and their extra ingredients are useful, but not essential for moderate intensity activity - despite all the impressive advertising. Sure, if you are performing at peak intensity in some elite sport or marathon you need magnesium and all that other stuff you see on the labels.

Bob M
 
Be careful where you get your water. We filled our bottles at a public fountain along the route and it ended our Camino in 2012. We became very ill and spent 2 days laid out in a hotel. When we recovered we were weak and didn't much feel like walking. Whenever possible refill your bottles at cafes, bars, hostels, etc., with municipal drinking water (or buy bottled water). Be very cautious about fountains along the camino, in parks or anywhere the source is not known.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
The first edition came out in 2003 and has become the go-to-guide for many pilgrims over the years. It is shipping with a Pilgrim Passport (Credential) from the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.
With this bottle you can get your water from anywhere - including a dirty puddle!

LifeSaver Bottle Link - but at £120 GBP it is probably a little too expensive :)
Mind you it will do you 4000 litres of water, so that is only 3p per litre, so very worthwhile in the long run, and then you only need to replace the filter.
 
With this bottle you can get your water from anywhere - including a dirty puddle!

LifeSaver Bottle Link - but at £120 GBP it is probably a little too expensive :)
Mind you it will do you 4000 litres of water, so that is only 3p per litre, so very worthwhile in the long run, and then you only need to replace the filter.

It weighs at least a kilogram and your use of it will be very limited. Safe drinking water is available in any community in Spain.
 
Technical info on the bottle - LINKY

Yes, it weighs 635g, empty - so 1.385kg when full with 750ml of water.
A 750ml plastic water bottle would weigh under 900g :)
 
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