• Missing the daily forum e-mail? Subscribe again.
  • All Wise Pilgrim Guides now come with a free Finisterre/Muxia Guide.
    Order online or pick one up at Casa Ivar in Santiago if that is easier.
A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement

Wearing a Kilt on the Camino

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Camino(s) past & future
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
the female in skirts problem may also be a function of sweating under skirt, and cotton/cotton blend/nylon underwear. Good sports wear is designed to wick moisture away from the body, keeping it dry, and hopefully chafe-free. Plain old synthetic or nylon clothing designed for fashion, not wicking, just traps heat and moisture. And cotton clothing, somewhat counter intuitive and not what our mothers taught us, is justa big sponge. Its the wet skin rubbing against skin, wet clothes, etc....like wet socks and foot problems. being 'open' to the air doesn't help if the poly-blend material is trapping heat and moisture, and the clothing under it is holding said moisture against skin.
 

Advertisment

Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
There is also the obvious question - do you commando
Or with boxers?
If it's windy, no commando!

Twill only be newbies who you terrify by getting into the top bunk - the rest of us are inured to the sudden appearance of intimate body parts...!
That's one way of guaranteeing the bottom bunk!

Those blokes not keen on revealing their knees should consider a tupenu.

If it's good enough for Richie McCaw, it should be good enough for anyone.
 
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
I wear a plain longyi as the lower part of my nuns's robes (tied a bit differently) and have walked 2 caminos in it. SO comfortable!
Viranani, hi.

I purchased some cotton jersey(?) fabric earlier today (2.500 m by 1.200 m). Grey/blue in colour. It has a slight give. Weighs about 180 grams per square metre.

I expect to wear to to just below the knee.
And I would expect to tie the knot above the belt-line.
For me this suggests an 0.600 m drop?

I am 1.070 m (43 in) around the hips (and not much less around the waist)

Are you able, please, to arrange advice on:
1) The length I should have the cloth cut to?
2) Should I get a lighter fabric? Or even try silk?
3) If the drop of 0.600 m is likely to be OK?
4) Anything else I should to know?

As ask you as I know no Burmese and cannot find a pattern to give to a person who does clothing alterations.

Blessings.
 
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
The kilt (no matter the material) is probably causing sweating.
I wear a traditional kilt in all weathers and do not experience the condition you are suggesting. My kilt is warm in winter and cool in summer.

There is an apocryphal story that goes something like this. In World War 1 some/all highland troops were required to exchange their kilts for trousers and very soon after began getting colds. When they were reunited with their kilts the colds disappeared.
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Camino(s) past & future
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
I wear a traditional kilt in all weathers and do not experience the condition you are suggesting. My kilt is warm in winter and cool in summer.

There is an apocryphal story that goes something like this. In World War 1 some/all highland troops were required to exchange their kilts for trousers and very soon after began getting colds. When they were reunited with their kilts the colds disappeared.
I wonder if your traditional kilt is wool, which I would think would be less of a problem than synthetic material. Irregardless, the issue is wicking of sweat experienced during heavy physical exercise especially in hot weather. As I said, air flow is probably adequate to dry skin during day to day wear. If kilts were the best choice for heat/wicking during heavy physical exercise, they'd be the wear of choice in Olympics and World Cup matches (IMHO). Again, don't wear a kilt, don't have boy parts...but I do know where chafing comes from.
 

Advertisment

Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
If it's good enough for Richie McCaw, it should be good enough for anyone.
Modesty prevents me from suggesting, had the yellow shirted gentlemen worn a lavalava (as in Samoa) they might have done just that wee bit better recently.

Regrettably, from my first hand observations, the lavalava is not much suited to active pursuits as it is wrapped tightly around the waist.

Compare that to the Longyi that Viravani (see post #77 above) wears which is wrapped, as best I can tell, to give room for the knees to move forward quite actively.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
1) The length I should have the cloth cut to?
2) Should I get a lighter fabric? Or even try silk?
3) If the drop of 0.600 m is likely to be OK?
4) Anything else I should to know?
What you have sounds good, Alwyin.
Men's longyi here are lightweight cotton, not too tightly woven, with a certain amount of give. They dry very fast. Silk? I would say no. You want something that sticks to itself a little bit so that it doesn't slip and become untied. Men work and play very hard in them, but if slippage is a concern, a discretely tied piece of parachute cord around the waist will be all the insurance you require--and voila, you have a clothesline too.
The drop...to me a very short longyi--like the lavalava--would look completely weird. But it would work, I guess. But I'd suggest trying the slightly longer version, because it protects the legs form sunburn better. The way men tie them here (practice using the video) is a learned skill, but it really allows for a long stride.
Length is basically the standard width of a bolt of cloth--mine here are 3'6''. And no need for a pattern--it's simple and elegant--just sew it into a tube with a strong double or triple seam and bob's your uncle.
Chaffing between the thighs is a common problem for women wearing skirts and walking long distances, so I imagine it would be the same for men. It is not the underwear that rubs, it is the thighs themselves. There have been a few threads on the forum discussing it. The consensus seems to be to wear longer leg boxer style undies - the sort that look like bike shorts.
One wouldn't wear shorts under a kilt - so is 'shorts' American for 'underpants'? If it is for shorts shaped underpants perhaps briefs would be better then there would be no riding up.
I have never had this thigh problem ... is it heavier people whose thighs rub together? for those who do would some slidey cream on there help - so there is no friction?
Ah finally something I have a lot of expertise in. :confused: Chub rub.
Big legs and/or a feminine shape help. I used run marathons a lot and my friends and I tried everything--really that was more painful than the blisters and black toenails. It was the era before silicon skin lubricants, which work fabulously--so on the Camino I've had no trouble, even on hot days. But ventilation is important, so just say no to underpants. (Personally I go for the less the better under my longyi (skirt)--and it makes unexpected 'pit stops' much easier and more discrete.)
Modesty prevents me from suggesting, had the yellow shirted gentlemen worn a lavalava (as in Samoa) they might have done just that wee bit better recently.
Not to get in the middle of this little trans-tasman rivalry--but...:D:D:DWhat a thought.
 
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
No trans-Tasman rivalry here - the best team won! (Can you tell I travel on a passport with a silver fern on the cover?). And I find it very interesting that the coaches of the All Blacks AND of the Silver Ferns both grew up on the Taieri Plains. The latter was in the same class as me from the day we started primary school to the day we finished high school, and her Dad was my teacher for 5 years straight. It's great to see her do so well.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
the best team won! Can you tell I travel on a passport with a silver fern on the cover?
I am inclined to agree (I have one of those silver ferns too), but don't want to not rub it in too much.
There are many Aussies here. Nice folks. They tell great stories. And some of them are mods.:D
 
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid to Santiago (May 2016)
My chafing was caused more by bunched-up underwear (merino wool) rubbing against slightly chubby thighs. The Elkommando kilt aired wonderfully in my experience (so wonderfully that my sister, who was walking with me, insisted I walk behind her during ascents).

One other minor problem I experienced with my kilt was that it sometimes got tangled with my hiking poles when the wind was very strong. Then again, this caused less annoyance than the zipped vents on the sides of my hiking shorts do when they catch on the tip butlers on my poles.
 
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
Cotton or cotton blends (most common boxer/brief material) gets wet with sweating and causes chafing. maybe not when walking around town in one's kilt, but go for a 10-15 mile hike in the sun with a pack....
I did get chafing when wearing cotton boxers and also when wearing a synthetic athletic support. So I switched to a cotton brief type product normally used to hold continence pads in place. They are very light, wash and dry easily. This thread covers this and other issues.
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...e-pro-support-nsfl-not-safe-for-ladies.35925/

And because I continue to generate quite a lot of heat around the midriff I dispensed with shorts about six months ago and currently use a cuben fibre rain kilt.

However, as a result of this present thread, I intend to try a lightweight sports kilt and a Burmese/Myanmar longyi.
 

hampshire!tim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2013), Ingles (2014), Finisterre (2015)
So ... I just completed my Camino Finisterre using a TREK kilt.

1 day was awful weather so I resorted to trousers with built-in waterproof (Rohan Dry Requisites - bit pricey but very effective and far better than over-trousers which annoy me intensely).

But other 3 days were all kilted. Including 2 days with frequent showers and bit worse.

Awesome !! Made lots of new friends and more conversations than in previous caminos. It's definitely an ice-breaker.

I'm definitely a convert. Comfortable, exceeded expectations.

I'll post a picture when retrieved from camera.
 

tyrrek

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SdC (4-5/2011), Ferrol-SdC (9/2011), Pamplona-SdC (3-4/2012), Camino Finisterre (10/2012), Ourense-SdC (5/2014)
Awesome !! Made lots of new friends and more conversations than in previous caminos. It's definitely an ice-breaker.

I'm definitely a convert. Comfortable, exceeded expectations.

I'll post a picture when retrieved from camera.
Glad it went so well! I'm looking forward to giving it a try next week!
 
Camino(s) past & future
we are due out Jan 2016
So ... I just completed my Camino Finisterre using a TREK kilt.

1 day was awful weather so I resorted to trousers with built-in waterproof (Rohan Dry Requisites - bit pricey but very effective and far better than over-trousers which annoy me intensely).

But other 3 days were all kilted. Including 2 days with frequent showers and bit worse.

Awesome !! Made lots of new friends and more conversations than in previous caminos. It's definitely an ice-breaker.

I'm definitely a convert. Comfortable, exceeded expectations.

I'll post a picture when retrieved from camera.

when I had my kilt made by a women who took private orders from the kilt shop in Inverness Scotland. Took 3 months. collecting it I remarked about
"munro bagging"("munro bagging"claiming all the summits of a certain height in Scotland ) in my kilt. when she said to me these kilts would not stand up to prolong rain......and that the shop has walkers kilts for trekking "off the peg"ready made, they had two pockets . did not look right to me..that was a while ago now.so maybe they have improved I know the whole kilt saga is moody anyway.

she said to me she wold box my ear if she found out I had worn it up the hill,she was 90.

beside she said mine was dry clean only.
imagine on a camino "do you have a dry cleaners"

Edited by moderator
 
Last edited by a moderator:

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Camino Inglés 2018

Now: http://egeria.house/
Or contains TMI :rolleyes: Buen Camino! SY
 

hampshire!tim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2013), Ingles (2014), Finisterre (2015)
image.jpeg I apologise that I am not photogenic and so do not show the kilt in a good light.

The TREK kilt has 2 side pockets, each with an inner larger and outer smaller. I don't like things in my trouser pockets when hiking. So my first reaction was "I won't be using those" : WRONG !! for me the perfect height to just drop hand into either inner or outer, and because they 'float' on top of the kilt, and are not inside it, they don't intrude. I used them a lot for quick access, phone/camera, tissues, trail mix.

I was initially unsure of the higher waist placement of kilt vs trousers. But turned out that the kilt being higher is much more flattering of my reducing but still protruding belly, as it holds it in a little and creates a better line. Of course the rucksack waist belt still cuts in low, but at least there is just the rucksack waiststrap without trouser belt. The one day wearing trousers in very bad rain, I really noticed the difference.

The days with showers, the kilt kinda just brushed them off. And dried out faster than I expected.

None of the places I stayed had appropriate hangers for the evening, and of course I didn't bring one. So overall I am surprised how much it stood up to wear and use.

As I said in previous post, many more conversations started with other walkers and with locals than I recall when being "just another walker". The TREK being plain solid colour, I was able to answer questions about my origin easily on the basis that it is "clan-less" and open to anyone, even a Brit with tenuous Irish connection.

Calls of nature were easily handled, either straight lift or the TREK has poppers on front material which can detach and re-attach without removal of the kilt.

All in all, very impressed with the overall experiment and the TREK.

I thought I might use leggings, for warmth and maybe initial modesty and protection of the public. But they were gone in half a day. I guess they might be useful in colder seasons/regions. But down to around 8degcel, no need. Not encountered any colder yet

My only real complaint is that my legs are too short - I'm sure it would cut more a dash if they were even a couple of inches longer. Sadly there's little I can do to change this !
 

tyrrek

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SdC (4-5/2011), Ferrol-SdC (9/2011), Pamplona-SdC (3-4/2012), Camino Finisterre (10/2012), Ourense-SdC (5/2014)
Great picture hampshiretim! I've been muddling through the 'pocket issue' recently, and hoping to get by with sporran, fleece pockets and a neck wallet. I'm trialling a different rucksack this time - it's more of an alpine than trekking pack and only has one outer pocket, which doesn't help.:eek:

I have some knee length socks for warmth if required, but I'm hoping to get away with regular hiking socks as you appear to have worn because they're better quality. Very encouraging - thanks for posting!
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
While I understand the need to ask for and give practical advice, please do not tell gratuitous obscene anecdotes or make gratuitous obscene comments (see rule 4). This is a public forum.
 

hampshire!tim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2013), Ingles (2014), Finisterre (2015)
While I understand the need to ask for and give practical advice, please do not tell gratuitous obscene anecdotes or make gratuitous obscene comments (see rule 4). This is a public forum.
Did I or anyone ? I'm not picking a quarrel, just seeking to understand, I cannot see anything gratuitous or obscene
 

hampshire!tim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2013), Ingles (2014), Finisterre (2015)
what does the Trek kilt weigh?
My TREK kilt in 34in waist is 900gms
This compares well to my Dry Req waterproof trousers which weigh 520gms and lighter walking trousers at 400gms

So I feared a weight penalty but in practice I don't feel it is significant
 

hampshire!tim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2013), Ingles (2014), Finisterre (2015)
I'm hoping to get away with regular hiking socks
Yes this worked well
Until my white legs get a tan, I may use longer socks (err, catch 22) but I was intrigued by a leaflet with details of a 7 stage walk around the Fisterra area of 200km which advises long trousers to avoid tick issues. The perils of Lyme disease are serious so I am thinking bit more
 
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
"It's a hard road finding a perfect woman"
caption in a Speights beer add c 1990

How to decide between a cotton Trek Kilt weighing around 900 g with an all nylon Elkommando weighing 417 g.

Not forgetting the Burmese longyi (make one yourself) or the Sport Kilt at around 350 g.

Nor the Rain Kilts from ULA or zPacks both weighing around 50 g and very compact for packing, and both can be worn as a garment of choice. (Being on a Camino is not like being in a fashion parade, is it?)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid to Santiago (May 2016)
To champion the Elkommando, I need to point out that the material actually feels more like cotton than nylon.

The biggest drawback, I felt, was the cost: I had to order mine from the US and pay a chunk in shipping, plus around €35 in import duties. All in all I think the total spend was somewhere around €160.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
Not to hijack the thread, but @Rob the Slob that is my problem too, with the Macabi skirt. I bought a second hand one from a forum member and would love to get a new one but just can't justify the cost when freight is taken into account. The fabric is nylon but it feels quite soft and cottony and was quick drying, shed dirt - fantastic.

I've tried to source Supplex nylon fabric locally so I could make something myself, but it is impossible to find.
 

Devon Mike

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Finisterre & Muxia (2014, 2015, 2016 & 2018), Primitivo & Ingles (2017)
I also met Manni from Germany many times on the Camino Frances in May/June this year.

DSCF8818er.jpg
 

mabhera

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Im planning on going june 2016. Camino frances.
Kanga, I found the fabric online and in good price.I got it at rockywoods.com and the price for the SUPPLEX was 7.79 per yd. The shipping was 15.22 to Puerto Rico. I also got another nylon fabric( taslan) ..Over did it because I got more fabric than needed but still way under the price of only one macabi. (Have enough fabric for maybe 4 long skirts) I plan to sew my own clothes for my summer camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2018 I hope.
I also want to wear my kilt to walk the Camino de Santiago. (Canadian with some Scottish blood)
There have been lots of comments about weight when wet and so on. One of the great properties of wool is that it sheds water quickly. It does not remain wet for long. The other amazing quality of wool is that—unlike cotton—it does not lose its insulating qualities when wet.
Kilts are brilliant garments. The thickness of the layers around the body provide warmth, even if your knees feel cold. Overall because your core is kept warm you’ll feel less cold than in, say, jeans. Kilts are cool when it is warm, and warm when it is cool. They allow lots of wicking and air circulation.
The ancient kilt might be an even better idea as it can double as a blanket at night, and also works well as a hood and cape against wind and rain while walking.
Wool is nature’s “high tech” material.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2018)
Interesting to see this old thread revived! Watch the date of the post, members, or you may find you are answering a question that is several years old.
Indeed, will see if some of the websites for buying a hiking style kilt are still on the go.
I did hitch hike with my kilt many moons ago, no chance of just having a quiet coffee with the kilt on, ;)
 

Daxzentzu

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
FRANCES (2018) in planning
I will be wearing a kilt, for practicality

I'm entitled to wear the Robertson tartan on my father's side

but ill probably go for an Irish style kilt - my mammy is from the Kells clan and a Shaw also
 

anthonymhughes

Irish lad heading back for more Camino!
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Frances & Camino Portuguese (Aug-? 2018)
OMG! YES! Wear a kilt! I'd totally high-5 that!

Do wear underwear though, sometimes that gust of wind can come out of nowhere
 
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
I head off this Sunday with my walking kilt in my fathers clan tartan. I also use long hose over compression hose. So the look is not unlike the usual, except no sghian dubh. This is made of "polyester wool" with pressure closures, so not metal: food at airports.
 

OLDER threads on this topic




Advertisement

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 8 1.1%
  • February

    Votes: 4 0.6%
  • March

    Votes: 32 4.6%
  • April

    Votes: 106 15.2%
  • May

    Votes: 172 24.7%
  • June

    Votes: 51 7.3%
  • July

    Votes: 14 2.0%
  • August

    Votes: 10 1.4%
  • September

    Votes: 200 28.7%
  • October

    Votes: 85 12.2%
  • November

    Votes: 10 1.4%
  • December

    Votes: 5 0.7%
Top