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Weather in May

Joni

Member
Past OR future Camino
Walked in May 2010.
Hello,
I plan to begin my walk in St. Jean on May 22, 2010. Can any experienced pilgrims tell me what to expect for weather? Will there be snow in the Pyrenees? What type of jacket do you recommend? Should I just bring layers, like silk undies, t-shirt, long sleeve shirt and light jacket? Or will there be a need for a heavier type like a parka? Do I bring a rain jacket AND poncho for the rain? I also am planning to walk in leather trail runners as opposed to hiking boots. Has anyone done this? As I prepare to pack I am so full of questions. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much.
Joni
 
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JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Hola Joni - welcome to the forum.

Who can predict the weather these days - there are blizzards in Scotland and snow expected in the part of England today! However it would be a surprise if it was snowing in May on the Route Napoleon. Have a look here for some report of May last year:

el-camino-frances/topic7119.html#p42025

Layering rather than weight is the answer imho - and you've listed the essentials. Whether a rain jacket or poncho is a purely personal choice - I mostly use a rain jackets and waterproof trousers when it is more likely to rain. The good thing about a poncho is that it covers your pack too.

I've seen lots of people walking in training shoes and trail shoes - but somepeople prefer something more robust. Again it is personal preference.

Just keep asking the questions as they come up!

Best wishes

John
 

cecelia

Wandering for the love and growth of it
Past OR future Camino
2013
Hello Joni,
I support what Johnnie says about it being your choice. In an attempt to be helpful, many people will tell you you have to wear boots or never wear boots or you have to wear wick-away socks or wool or whatever. It would be nice if there were one easy answer for all but it's just not that way. We can only tell you what worked for us but your feet are unique and you can make the best decision for them.
On my first time on the camino I started from SJPP on April 8th. There was no snow (although there had been a blizzard the day before) but the mud in some areas was so deep it was over my boot tops and there was no way to walk around it. Now most of that area has been paved over. You will almost certainly run into mud in some places in May but it will also likely be extremely hot at times so it's always a bit of a compromise. I think the question to ask yourself is how your shoes will be if they're soaking wet and there's no way to dry them. Can you treat them well for waterproofing ahead of time? And on the opposite side - if they're made of something else other than leather (Gortex) will that promote blisters because they don't breathe? The answer for you is unfortunately not necessarily the same as the answer for someone else. Try it all out as much as possible ahead of time until you find what works for you.
For me - I generally wear leather boots and very fine cotton socks. I take my boots off for 5 or 10 minutes several times a day and sometimes alternate between two pairs of socks to make sure they're completely dry. I also rub my feet with a lavendar foot cream that contains arnica (L'Occitane) every time I take my boots off. I've walked the full Camino Frances twice and spent two weeks two other times on the camino and so far - the blessing of no blisters. I usually walk in the spring but my last session was two weeks October 2009 when I wore running shoes. They were wonderful since there was no rain.
As Johnnie does - I bring rain coat and pants - both as light as I can find.
Buen camino, Cecelia (Vancouver Canada)
 

elzi

Active Member
I think the rule for May is to plan for all weathers! Sorry if that doesn't help! Basically it could be blazing sunshine or drenching rain, I'd say snow is unlikely but not impossible. I wouldn't count on making it along the camino in May without encountering at least some pretty deep mud at some point. I've seen people happily wading in mud with socks and sandals and people miserable in mud in ankle height boots. Whatever makes you comfortable! I get pretty hot walking even in cold weather, it's when I stop that I wish I'd brought some heavy extra layers.
Also shouldn't this thread be in Frequently Asked Questions or the Weather section I'm wondering...
Buen Camino! :)
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
HI, if you have a look at my posts there is a packing list which I have refined after 3 long walks in May/June and September. I feel what I have on the list works for me perfectly. I certainly did not need anything other than what was on my list and everything on the list was essential for me. Regards, Gitti
 
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gittiharre

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
HI,here is a packing list which I have refined after 3 long walks in May/June and September. I feel what I have on the list works for me perfectly. I certainly did not need anything other than what was on my list and everything on the list was essential for me. Regards, Gitti
 

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Joni

Member
Past OR future Camino
Walked in May 2010.
Thanks so much for all the information. I feel more prepared now.
 

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