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Weather; thinking of October, November or April?

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#1
I'm wondering if we, on this forum, are doing people a disservice by encouraging them to walk off season. Maybe we need to do more to stress the intemperate climate that is northern Spain, and particularly the potential for extreme weather conditions. Obviously some people get lucky and have glorious weather, but that cannot be relied on. I noticed from the latest Cathedral statistics the drop in the percentage of Spanish walkers during October. Maybe they know something about their own country!
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#3
Well yes, and that is another aspect of extremes.

My concern is that there seems to have developed an expectation that there will be a full range of facilities to keep people comfortable during the low season. Clearly that is not the case. I walked the last 100km twice this year, once in June and once in October. In June there was an open bar every couple of kilometres, not so in early October by which time many had shut up shop. Many albergues, pensions and casa rurals also close while the owners take a break. Those that stay open may not offer full service (see the thread about heating).

It also concerns me that, in an effort to keep pack weight low, some don't have adequate clothing for extremes of cold.
 

Marc S.

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012-2018 Frances, Norte, Salvador, Aragones, Portuguese, Via Regia, Elisabethpfad, Jakibspaad.
#4
I don't know. I think that for planning your camino - including off season walking - you basically need some common sense. I have always assumed that most people understand that in Spain it is generally colder in November than in July. If people lack that common sense, they will find out while walking & buy warmer clothes on the way - life is not so complicated. Nevertheless, I guess we have to accept that the weather is just something we can never completely rely on.

As for facilities off season. If you do a little preparation, you will soon discover that not all albergues are open off season and less bars are open. Still I think that it is impossible to complain about the number of facilities of Frances off season. Well, maybe it is possible to complain, but those persons should prepare better or do something else instead of walking a camino off season.

As for people whose expectations are not met about the number of facilities off season. Well, maybe the camino is about dealing with (in this case: minor) disappointments and changing your expectations.

I know this may sound a bit rude (believe me, I am not a rude person in general) but this is how I feel about this.
 
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Dutch

Straightforward
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SdC sept '13
Porto-SdC May '14
SdC-Finis/Muxia May '14
SJPP-Finisterre sept '14
Pamplona-Burgos march '15
Porto - Sdc may '15
Camino salkantay june '15
SJPP - SdC aug/sept '15

Pacific Crest Trail april thru sept 2016
#5
I think this is an unfortunate characterisation of the motives behind running this particular or any other private albergue.
I live in a world where starting a business very often is about just that....money. And like it or not, the camino is not some alternate fairytale universe for the people living on the camino compared to the feelings many pilgrims walking the camino have, myself on occasion included. Otherwise we all would not not consider it to be such a special place.
 

MTtoCamino

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
#6
Kanga

After talking with 2 forum members on the Camino Francis currently I would say there are locals who definitely need some time off.

I think you are correct for those of us that have walked in the off seasons or close to the off seasons it is good to put info out for those who may be planning a walk. During the times you mentioned. Mark S makes a very good point this needs to be thoughtfully planned. The weather gets rough quick & for days or weeks.

If someone is planning from Oct thru April please create a thread with questions so those on the forum with experience can help with questions. Heck for that matter any time of year.
Keith
 

MTtoCamino

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
#7
I live in a world where starting a business very often is about just that....money. And like it or not, the camino is not some alternate fairytale universe for the people living on the camino compared to the feelings many pilgrims walking the camino have, myself on occasion included. Otherwise we all would not not consider it to be such a special place.
Lol Well I like the fairytale universe:)
 

MTtoCamino

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
#8
Me = confused about this thread. I am not sure if it still clear what this thread is about, since some posts from another thread have been moved here.....
Weird much like a different dimension, or universe:)
Ok it's just Kanga showing off her techy skills!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF April/May (2016), starting in St. Palais, France
#9
Kanga

After talking with 2 forum members on the Camino Francis currently I would say there are locals who definitely need some time off.

I think you are correct for those of us that have walked in the off seasons or close to the off seasons it is good to put info out for those who may be planning a walk. During the times you mentioned. Mark S makes a very good point this needs to be thoughtfully planned. The weather gets rough quick & for days or weeks.

If someone is planning from Oct thru April please create a thread with questions so those on the forum with experience can help with questions. Heck for that matter any time of year.
Keith
I start mid-april, but I had thought the Albergues would be open by then. Should I be prepared for some to still be closed? Will the list at SJPDP show which ones are not yet open?
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
#10
I'm wondering if we, on this forum, are doing people a disservice by encouraging them to walk off season. Maybe we need to do more to stress the intemperate climate that is northern Spain, and particularly the potential for extreme weather conditions. Obviously some people get lucky and have glorious weather, but that cannot be relied on. I noticed from the latest Cathedral statistics the drop in the percentage of Spanish walkers during October. Maybe they know something about their own country!
Kanga - as you are well aware there is an increasing number of pilgrims/camino walkers who are trying to get away from the now ever-present crowds especially on the Camino Frances. A little investigation of the weather will reveal that it can (and often does) rain over 250 days per year in Galicia and snow is not unknown on the mountains from Rabanal to Samos as late as May. Your concern (I believe) is duplicated by the local government authorities move to close the "Napoleon Track" between St Jean and Roncesvalles between Nov and March). Maybe w need something similar for the mountains around the Cruz.

So whilst it may not actually be a "disservice" what you and Rebekah and Laurie and other very experienced Camino walkers may need to do is "tell it like it really is" as concerns weather, availability of accommodation etc. I seem to have a recollection that there was a post on this subject a few weeks a back (Walking in November I think it was) so maybe someone with moderator access (and yes the time) might put together some of the more relevant posts on this subject. (If someone wants me to do some leg work I will try to identify relevant posts and also look into the weather conditions). Cheers
 

MTtoCamino

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
#11
I start mid-april, but I had thought the Albergues would be open by then. Should I be prepared for some to still be closed? Will the list at SJPDP show which ones are not yet open?
By then you will have no issues finding a bed. The pilgrim office in SJPDP will still give you a list. I am not in the least picky if it was a mattress on the ground I was good! Everyone makes there own rules to what they will deal with as some folks stay in some very nice digs. Overall you will not have any issues with finding a bed. Also if you wait until mid April you should not need a sleeping bag. Just a light liner. What you will need is rain pants, a fleece coat & a good rain coat. Rain/ sun hat.
 
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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#12
I've just re-read the "best time of the year to go" thread in the FAQ (above). There are several posts warning about how cold it can get in May. The information on weather is not hard to find.
 
Camino(s) past & future
April, May 2016
#13
I've just re-read the "best time of the year to go" thread in the FAQ (above). There are several posts warning about how cold it can get in May. The information on weather is not hard to find.
My GF and I are planning on starting our Comino in Early April from SJPP we were going to start mid March. This forum and its contributors helped us decide on a later start date. Even though average temps only vary 1 or 2 degrees from March to April. We live in the Pacific Northwest and I whole heartdly agree if you wait for the weather to clear you may wait a very long time to start an activity.

That being said we are taking a few extra items to ensure a better experience: superior rain gear to stop wind as well as water back up by an altus poncho, thinner waterproof gloves for the same reason, good sleeping bags not to warm but adequate, good boots for the ankle deep mud days, warmer hat and baseball hat, thin wool under layers, even a jet boil for hot water. It added a less than 2 pounds or a kilo still keeping our packs under 16-18lbs so we figure it may be worth it?

As far as the Allbergues offering basic elements like heat, warm water, etc that would be great too>
 

MTtoCamino

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
#14
My GF and I are planning on starting our Comino in Early April from SJPP we were going to start mid March. This forum and its contributors helped us decide on a later start date. Even though average temps only vary 1 or 2 degrees from March to April. We live in the Pacific Northwest and I whole heartdly agree if you wait for the weather to clear you may wait a very long time to start an activity.

That being said we are taking a few extra items to ensure a better experience: superior rain gear to stop wind as well as water back up by an altus poncho, thinner waterproof gloves for the same reason, good sleeping bags not to warm but adequate, good boots for the ankle deep mud days, warmer hat and baseball hat, thin wool under layers, even a jet boil for hot water. It added a less than 2 pounds or a kilo still keeping our packs under 16-18lbs so we figure it may be worth it?

As far as the Allbergues offering basic elements like heat, warm water, etc that would be great too>
That is very good. I would also avoid any boot/shoe with Gortex or like water proofing. I carried extra wool socks. Your boots will never dry regardless when it rains for days. you need them to breath. It won't take long to figure out what equipment you take works but if you get the chance to take 10-15 mile hikes on consecutive days in pouring rain, you can test before you leave. Your pack cover is just as important.
The variation in temps can be extreme to -0 to 90+ so breathable zip clothes & rain Gear that breaths is very nice. But good breathable rain gear is $$. You can get by with garbage bags if you needed to
 

Dutch

Straightforward
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SdC sept '13
Porto-SdC May '14
SdC-Finis/Muxia May '14
SJPP-Finisterre sept '14
Pamplona-Burgos march '15
Porto - Sdc may '15
Camino salkantay june '15
SJPP - SdC aug/sept '15

Pacific Crest Trail april thru sept 2016
#15
Camino(s) past & future
Mar 2010, May/Jun 2016, Sep 2011, 2012, Apr 2014, St Olav's Way 2018
#16
In another thread, @Tincatinker pointed to the Spanish met agency info:
This site has a wealth of climate data as well, starting here. Some, but not all, of the information is available in English. It includes summary statistics for
  • mean, minimum and maximum temperature;
  • precipitation;
  • days that it rained, snowed, where it was stormy, there were frosts or fog; and
  • hours of sunshine.
There are the usual difficulties that statistical summaries bring, but the site also has the data on the weather extremes. For example, at Ponferrada in May, it rains on average for 12 days. But the maximum number of rainy days in May is 28, ie one year, it rained for almost all of May.

Clearly some people could walk through the Ponferrada area in fine weather. But it would be reasonable to expect there to be rain on one out of every two or three days, and in the extreme, to rain pretty much every day.

At this time of year (Nov) the mean minimum temperature at Ponferrada is 8.7C, but the lowest monthly average minimum temperature is 0.0C, and the absolute lowest minimum temperature was -8.6C.

So there is a wealth of climate data for the whole of Spain available that points to the challenges for those walking outside of the summer months. But I rather suspect that most people will either not access it, or even if they do, they will still need to have it interpreted into the practical realities of what to pack and wear. As @Kanga has hinted, providing advice in that instance carries a responsibility, not necessarily to discourage potential walkers, but to make sure they are properly informed about the conditions they might face.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
#17
At the moment Spain is enjoying (or suffering from) an unusually mild veranillo. I have five different layers of merino tops in my backpack, 3 of which have been completely unnecessary this year, but which probably saved my life (perhaps not quite, but certainly my comfort) a couple of years ago when I went through 5 days of freezing fog on the Levante and where the temperature hit a maximum of -8 one day and the water in my bottle froze as I was walking along.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#18
@alansykes your experiences exactly mirrors the difficulties! Lol - I love the Camino. If nothing else, expect the unexpected. It is interesting that although it is, as you say, a very mild autumn, apparently some are having difficulties with the cold. So maybe we do need to be a bit more active in warning prospective walkers.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
#19
Hola Doug - an excellent summary of the situation. Yes you are correct that (imho) 75% of those who end up in "trouble" will be those who did not read or did not understand what the weather reports & summaries were saying. It's really a bit like the saying about bringing a horse to water (it will not always drink). Still as is the philosophy of the Camino - offer help whenever you think its needed. If the offer is rejected/refused then that is the pilgrims right.
Hopefully the rescue does not endanger others!!!
Cheers
 
C

Castilian

Guest
#20
So there is a wealth of climate data for the whole of Spain available that points to the challenges for those walking outside of the summer months.
...and in summer too. The lowest temperature in July in Burgos was 0.1ºC (BTW, on a Holy Year, 1993). How many summer pilgrims are well-equiped for such temperatures?

It is interesting that although it is, as you say, a very mild autumn, apparently some are having difficulties with the cold.
Maybe because they come from areas where that sort of temperatures aren't considered mild but cold. That's a point we shouldn't overlook when talking about weather and climate. The concept of cold isn't the same for someone used to winters with bellow zero temperatures than for someone used to winters with minimum temperatures well above zero.

P.S.: Another point we shouldn't overlook is the possibility of finding fogs along the route.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF April/May (2016), starting in St. Palais, France
#21
By then you will have no issues finding a bed. The pilgrim office in SJPDP will still give you a list. I am not in the least picky if it was a mattress on the ground I was good! Everyone makes there own rules to what they will deal with as some folks stay in some very nice digs. Overall you will not have any issues with finding a bed. Also if you wait until mid April you should not need a sleeping bag. Just a light liner. What you will need is rain pants, a fleece coat & a good rain coat. Rain/ sun hat.
Thanks -- that's good to know. I expect to accept whatever I can find, but started to worry that I wouldn't find anything! I have all the rain and warm gear I think I'll need. And based on my reading in this forum about whether a sleeping bag would be needed, I finally decided to bring a 400g packable down quilt, in addition to a liner. I may be among the many who mail or discard along the way, but it seems prudent for April.
 

MTtoCamino

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
#24
The more experience one has had in all types of weather the better prepared they will be. Since that is really the thing none of us know of each other it is very important to simply ask questions of each other. That is what makes this forum so useful.
We all may think our individual kit is best but I certainly have found better ideas. The one thing that stands out is we should never assume the new walker will take the essentials of equipment if for some reason they get stuck in a bad storm. So we simply continue to ask what time of year & a list of their kit.
Keith
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF April/May (2016), starting in St. Palais, France
#25
The more experience one has had in all types of weather the better prepared they will be. Since that is really the thing none of us know of each other it is very important to simply ask questions of each other. That is what makes this forum so useful.
We all may think our individual kit is best but I certainly have found better ideas. The one thing that stands out is we should never assume the new walker will take the essentials of equipment if for some reason they get stuck in a bad storm. So we simply continue to ask what time of year & a list of their kit.
Keith
Thanks, Keith. I will take advantage of that invitation and will soon expose my kit to the collective peregrino wisdom.
 

MTtoCamino

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
#26
Thanks, Keith. I will take advantage of that invitation and will soon expose my kit to the collective peregrino wisdom.
I just want to know where a person finds a down quilt that takes up less space than a sleeping bag... That is a great idea. It seems the smaller the packing size the more $$ for equipment. Maybe we start a thread & see what others have figured out.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF April/May (2016), starting in St. Palais, France
#27
I just want to know where a person finds a down quilt that takes up less space than a sleeping bag... That is a great idea. It seems the smaller the packing size the more $$ for equipment. Maybe we start a thread & see what others have figured out.
I found this packable down travel throw on Amazon. See https://www.amazon.com/dp/B015D47MVW/?tag=camiforu-20. It seems warm enough for me. And it's only $43, comes with a stuff sack, and weighs 450 grams. I've attached a picture of it on top of a piece of paper for scale.
 

Attachments

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)
#28
I suppose anyone predicting the weather with confidence should be challenged, but we can only really talk in terms either of statistical averages, our own experience, or (my personal but not very helpful favourite) 'be prepared for anything'.

Dougfitz points out clearly the limitations of detailed weather stats - the Ponferrada minimum ranges from an average of 8 degrees to -8 degrees in extremes. What if we take into account a better than average minimum temperature or even, God forbid, a range of daily maximums?! It quickly becomes too much to be useful.

It's often a trade off between good weather and how busy it will be. One thing I think we could all tighten up on is really applying our advice to the individual situation rather than the general rule. For example, May is generally considered a 'not too hot or too cold' month. As a result if you leave SJPP in May you'll be riding the busiest wave of the year. However if you leave Leon, Sarria etc in May it will only be moderately busy for that part of the route. The opposite would be true in July. I know this doesn't help much at the real edges of the walking season, which I'm personally lucky to think of as 'a bit like being at home'.

One final thought is about weather 'stability'. Is this ever measured? When I've been on the Meseta in winter it's generally been freezing in the morning, warming up a bit by lunchtime, with clear skies. All day. No hint of storms, wind etc suddenly appearing. A bit of stability, be it summer or winter, has a lot going for it.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (October 3-18, 2015)
Frances w/2 Daughters (Sept 22 - Oct 20)
#29
I just got back from walking in October and the weather was literally PERFECT for me and I had no problems with too many services being closed. I come from northern New England and am used to rapidly changing weather and was prepared for anything.

I think using a typical backpacking layering approach can really make a variety of weather easy to withstand without a lot of weight in your pack.

For those interested in details the only layers I took for October are as follows:
- athletic running shorts and long sleeve lightweight shirt (sun protection for arms). I wore this attire for 2/3 of the time once it hit about 10am.
- mountaineering fleece layer for warmth in the morning or during breaks
- running pants - never wore them as it wasn't cold enough
- rain jacket and pants
- wool running hat and gloves
- wool running socks
- sun hat

I did have a ultralight weight down jacket that I used after stopping at night.

With the right series of layers you can make infinite combinations of these for warmth as needed and they all retain heat IF wet...key thing there

If you are interested in a more thorough system of layering for outdoor adventures check out Andrew Skurka's well written clothing system for backpacking in three seasons at all elevations (anything except deep winter). It is very detailed with a lot related to being prepared for changing conditions.

http://andrewskurka.com/tag/core-13/

I personally could not stand the heat of walking in the more popular times of year...

Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Mar 2010, May/Jun 2016, Sep 2011, 2012, Apr 2014, St Olav's Way 2018
#30
I suppose anyone predicting the weather with confidence should be challenged, but we can only really talk in terms either of statistical averages, our own experience, or ( my personal but not very helpful favourite) 'be prepared for anything'.
I think we can make the distinction between packing for the climate and dressing for the weather. Clearly one doesn't not need to be prepared for absolutely everything, but it might pay to be at least prepared for the average minima and maxima temperatures, not just the median or average temperatures.

Take Pamplona as an example. It has an average April temperature of about 11 degC. But in April the average minimum temperature for the month is 5.3 degC, and the lowest monthly average minimum has been 2.4 degC. Someone prepared walk in 11 degC conditions would not be well equipped for the mornings, but someone who is prepared walk in temperatures a bit under 5 degC will be suitably equipped for all but a few extremes.

On the other side, the average maximum is about 16.4 degC, with the highest average maximum 21.1 degC. So one might need to be prepared to walk in around 5 degC conditions in the morning, and during the day adjust to around 16-20 degC.

Clearly, knowing that one is going to walk in temperatures between 5 degC and 16 degC gives a better understanding about the conditions one might face than thinking the average temperature is around 11 degC.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Planning to start Camino Frances end of September.
#31
That is very good. I would also avoid any boot/shoe with Gortex or like water proofing. I carried extra wool socks. Your boots will never dry regardless when it rains for days. you need them to breath. It won't take long to figure out what equipment you take works but if you get the chance to take 10-15 mile hikes on consecutive days in pouring rain, you can test before you leave. Your pack cover is just as important.
The variation in temps can be extreme to -0 to 90+ so breathable zip clothes & rain Gear that breaths is very nice. But good breathable rain gear is $$. You can get by with garbage bags if you needed to
I disagree about the boots . A few days ago I went up to O'Cebreiro in pouring rain that turned the paths into small brooks. Waterproof Salomon boots helped tremendously and the slight damp was helped by newspaper overnight with soles removed. I do not have sweaty feet, however.
Raingear is another problem as body moisture condenses under it, clothes get wet and when I stopped I got quite cold. My advice for that: take clothes that can go into a hot dryer. Mine could not and dried in a nice and warm hotel room.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#32
To solve the body moisture causing cold after stopping, I rely on fine merino wool, or a mixture of merino and silk. It is warm even when wet and has amazing temperature regulating properties. Won't go in a dryer (it would shrink) but it dries quickly.

For really cold and wet weather I have found Sealskinz waterproof socks invaluable. Normally I wear sandals with no socks, but in terrible weather on the mountains on the Norte, I used the Sealskinz, with a pair of fine merino socks underneath. The down side is that they very, very expensive. They are also thick, a bit like wearing a wetsuit over the feet, so not sure how they would be inside shoes or boots. Their gloves have also become a vital bit of kit for me.
 

TerryB

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte/Primitivo (April/May) 2009: Norte/Primitivo (parts) (April/May) 2010: Inglés (May) 2011: Primitivo (April/May) 2012: Norte / Camino de La Reina (April/May) 2013: Camino del Mar / Inglés (May/June) 2015
#33
I disagree about the boots . A few days ago I went up to O'Cebreiro in pouring rain that turned the paths into small brooks. Waterproof Salomon boots helped tremendously and the slight damp was helped by newspaper overnight with soles removed. I do not have sweaty feet, however.
Raingear is another problem as body moisture condenses under it, clothes get wet and when I stopped I got quite cold. My advice for that: take clothes that can go into a hot dryer. Mine could not and dried in a nice and warm hotel room.
Gortex versus no Gortex will depend on the individual's feet! For my 6 years on the Northern Caminos (Norte/Primitivo/Inglés) I have worn waterproof boots. I had trouble with one make because of the design - a let-in patch on the top above the toe crease which was an entry point for water on a pouring wet day. Otherwise I have found that a combination of rain pants, reaching down over the top of waterproof boots means dry feet :). If you are buying, go for rain pants (over-trousers) that have a double side zipper. Worn under a poncho they can then be ventilated at the top of the leg = less sweat. We were on the Primitivo in May 2010 when there was snow down to 500 meters and the high passes were blocked! Back on the coastal Norte it was like spring should be. You just cannot tell for sure what the weather will be like from one week to another, let alone one year to another.

If you can keep dry in these conditions you can keep dry anywhere :)
154.JPG

Blessings on all "winter" walkers
Tio Tel
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
#34
On another forum, not here, a pilgrim stated that s/he will not take any hat for her/his Camino in April despite several of us pointing out that even in April it can get sunny/hot enough to get a sun/heat stroke. Sigh.
I guess what I want to say is that most pilgrims equip themselves responsibly but there is always a small minority that doesn't listen to the experience of those that have already survived their own mistakes no matter how much information is available to them ...

Buen Camino, SY
 
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk the Camino in the beginning of April 2016
#35
Thanks -- that's good to know. I expect to accept whatever I can find, but started to worry that I wouldn't find anything! I have all the rain and warm gear I think I'll need. And based on my reading in this forum about whether a sleeping bag would be needed, I finally decided to bring a 400g packable down quilt, in addition to a liner. I may be among the many who mail or discard along the way, but it seems prudent for April.
would you mind sharing about your rain and warm gear I can´t decide what to bring, don´t know what kind of clothes or rain gear to wear. For now I´m thinking about walking in my training tights and have rain pants over them to protect for wind and rain and to keep warm (need to figure out what rain gear to buy though).
 

Lachance

Me llamo Deb
Camino(s) past & future
Part Francese 2016
#36
For really cold and wet weather I have found Sealskinz waterproof socks invaluable. Normally I wear sandals with no socks, but in terrible weather on the mountains on the Norte, I used the Sealskinz, with a pair of fine merino socks underneath. The down side is that they very, very expensive. They are also thick, a bit like wearing a wetsuit over the feet, so not sure how they would be inside shoes or boots.
@Kanga I got Sealskinz from your advice in another thread and they are estupendo. I've tried out the 'light' version with sneakers, stomping through deep enough water to saturate the shoes, but the socks kept my feet bone dry. No liner, not cold. V comfortable to wear. Not cheap, but these are rolls royce socks.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#37
Oh good Deb - another friend bought them, at great expense, and did not like them at all, so I'm being a bit careful now. I don't know how they will wear because I only wear mine when needed, i.e. when on camino and it is cold and wet.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF April/May (2016), starting in St. Palais, France
#38
would you mind sharing about your rain and warm gear I can´t decide what to bring, don´t know what kind of clothes or rain gear to wear. For now I´m thinking about walking in my training tights and have rain pants over them to protect for wind and rain and to keep warm (need to figure out what rain gear to buy though).
Oh yes, it's so hard to make those final decisions, isn't it? Just remember to plan for your needs and that there will be plenty of chances to augment/discard along the way (or so I've been told, since my Camino is next year!). So, what I finally decided on:
1. Poncho, not a rain jacket. I have a lovely Gortex rain jacket, in which I'm uncomfortably warm after just a bit of walking. So I opted to buy a cheap poncho that also covers my pack. I can always buy the more expensive Altos poncho over there if mine isn't adequate. Here's the link to the one I bought: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KSVHPKO/?tag=camiforu-20
2. Rain pants with zip lower legs. I've had these for a while, and they seem comfortable to walk in. I'll also use them for wind if needed.
3. I plan to buy some gaiters, to keep rain from going into my boots.
4. Salomon mid-height gortex boots. The boots were one of those major decisions. I knew I wanted the added protection of a mid-height boot. And finally decided to go with waterproof ones.
5. Pants: one pair long trekking pants and one pair calf-length. The long ones can be rolled up if too hot. Both are by Millet.
6. Tops: two long-sleeved wicking front-butt0ned shirts over sports bras. I like the sun protection on my arms, but I can be roll up the sleeves and unbutton them if needed. Also have a short-sleeved smartwool shirt and a smartwool cami for extra warmth and for night shirts.
7. warm layers: Arteryx fleece jacket, North face windbreaker. I might also bring a Patagonia Nanopuff jacket, depending on forecasts for the early part of my trip.

Hope this helps. And Buen Camino!
 

JMac56

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2015)
CF+Fis(2016)
CP:Porto-SdC-Mux-Fis(2017)
CF:Leon-SdC(2017)
CF+Mux+Fis(2018)
#39
would you mind sharing about your rain and warm gear I can´t decide what to bring, don´t know what kind of clothes or rain gear to wear. For now I´m thinking about walking in my training tights and have rain pants over them to protect for wind and rain and to keep warm (need to figure out what rain gear to buy though).
Hola Johanna, I started from SJPdP on April 8, 2015 and encountered quite a range of weather conditions along the Way. Please note that I didn't walk the Meseta so cannot comment on that part. When you say "training tights" are you talking about proper compression tights? I can highly recommend full length compression tights for walking. They help with fatigue and also seem to help with temperature regulation. Even when my pants got soaked in rain I still felt comfortable as the tights seemed to repel the water. My lightweight Goretex jacket was adequate protection for cold and rain, with a light merino fleece for additional warmth when needed. Some water did get through though where the straps of my backpack rubbed on the shoulders, so a pancho might be better. I also wore a long sleeved compression top under my T shirt for sun / rain protection and comfort, although this would not be for everyone. I only wore my rain pants a couple of times, and they got very hot. I picked up a cheap pair of very light gloves at the last minute in SJPdP and was glad I had them. It was freezing on the Route de Napoleon! Buen Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
English Camino (2013)
Portuguese Camino (2014)
French Camino (2016)
Way of Saint Francis April 2017
#40
I just want to know where a person finds a down quilt that takes up less space than a sleeping bag... That is a great idea. It seems the smaller the packing size the more $$ for equipment. Maybe we start a thread & see what others have figured out.
Sea to Summit Traveler TR1 compresses to size of grapefruit weighs less than a pound
 
Camino(s) past & future
English Camino (2013)
Portuguese Camino (2014)
French Camino (2016)
Way of Saint Francis April 2017
#41
I spent a week in Lisbon then took 2 weeks and walked from Porto to Santiago last September and October. It rained 2 out of three weeks. I used a Ferrel zip up poncho. Except for my shoes, hands, and lower pant legs I stayed dry. Next year I'm going to use high top shoes and add some light weight gaters.

My next camino is the French way and I'm starting the first week of April. Having lived in the Pacific Northwest and on the eastern slopes of the Cascades and Sierras, I know how the weather can change rapidly. If I tried to pack for possabilities I would be caring about 35 to 40 pounds of gear, totally impractical. So this is my list of 3 season clothing for my April/May camino, long sleeve tee shirts, heavy and light bike sleeves, lightweight base layer, long sleeve shirts and pants, ultra lite down vest, technical fleece, waterproof wind breaker, rain gaters, and a long zip up poncho. With the exception of my socks and down vest, everything's synthetic. Any suggestions or observations, or criticisms.

Buen Camino

Happy Trails
 

JMac56

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2015)
CF+Fis(2016)
CP:Porto-SdC-Mux-Fis(2017)
CF:Leon-SdC(2017)
CF+Mux+Fis(2018)
#42
So this is my list of 3 season clothing for my April/May camino, long sleeve tee shirts, heavy and light bike sleeves, lightweight base layer, long sleeve shirts and pants, ultra lite down vest, technical fleece, waterproof wind breaker, rain gaters, and a long zip up poncho. With the exception of my socks and down vest, everything's synthetic. Any suggestions or observations, or criticisms.
Hi Urban Trekker. Sounds like you know what you are doing! Can't tell from your avatar pic if there is any "thatch on the roof", but for me a beanie or similar was essential for the cold bits. I used a comfy cotton skullcap that I bought ages ago in Toronto. I hope to be on the CF about the same time as you next year. Buen Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
English Camino (2013)
Portuguese Camino (2014)
French Camino (2016)
Way of Saint Francis April 2017
#43
Hi Urban Trekker. Sounds like you know what you are doing! Can't tell from your avatar pic if there is any "thatch on the roof", but for me a beanie or similar was essential for the cold bits. I used a comfy cotton skullcap that I bought ages ago in Toronto. I hope to be on the CF about the same time as you next year. Buen Camino.
It's my trusty Tilliy hat with a head lamp. I do carry a be beanny for cold weather. I've had cold weather training in the Navy and with the Marines. Gear was outdated then but the layering concept was the gospal. Buen Camino
Happy Trails

P.S. keep a eye out for 2 old guys having way too much fun.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - April-June, 2016
Portuguese Lisbon-Santiago - October, 2017
#44
Oh yes, it's so hard to make those final decisions, isn't it? Just remember to plan for your needs and that there will be plenty of chances to augment/discard along the way (or so I've been told, since my Camino is next year!). So, what I finally decided on:
Johanna,
When in April are you going? We plan to leave from SJPDP aroung April 20th.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#46
...and in summer too. The lowest temperature in July in Burgos was 0.1ºC (BTW, on a Holy Year, 1993). How many summer pilgrims are well-equiped for such temperatures?



Maybe because they come from areas where that sort of temperatures aren't considered mild but cold. That's a point we shouldn't overlook when talking about weather and climate. The concept of cold isn't the same for someone used to winters with bellow zero temperatures than for someone used to winters with minimum temperatures well above zero.

P.S.: Another point we shouldn't overlook is the possibility of finding fogs along the route.
I absolutely agree with this assesment. I live in a city at the bottom of the jet stream, and it gets really cold here, and humid cold as well. And by cold I mean that a day at 10C below I consider fine for winter. 15 below and I am not very happy, 20 below is cold. So when I read about the Camino winter temps I mever really know what to expect.

What is clear to me is that warm comfy albergues are likely to be a luxury, unlike the standard 23 degrees for North Amrerican homes.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#47
Sea to Summit Traveler TR1 compresses to size of grapefruit weighs less than a pound
Thought this was too good to be true, and it's only rated for 10 C. Good for your typical late spring or early fall camino, but would it be enough in colder seasons?
 
Camino(s) past & future
English Camino (2013)
Portuguese Camino (2014)
French Camino (2016)
Way of Saint Francis April 2017
#50
Thought this was too good to be true, and it's only rated for 10 C. Good for your typical late spring or early fall camino, but would it be enough in colder seasons?
Keep the thermastat set at 18.5c at time of year. Plan is to wear base layer, socks and watch cap if needed at night. Buen Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
English Camino (2013)
Portuguese Camino (2014)
French Camino (2016)
Way of Saint Francis April 2017
#52
Have you tried it on a winter Camino?
No I have not done a winter camino and after reading all the feedback I have decided it would be prudent to bring my camino sleeping bag and augment it with my down blanket. I think April there is simular to where I live in the Sierras and like the camino, very fickle. I also have trouble with mind set and tunnel vision. Thats why I use this forum to plan my camino. Buen Camino

Happy Trails
 

CathyJ

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - April 2016
SJPP to SDC
#53
No I have not done a winter camino and after reading all the feedback I have decided it would be prudent to bring my camino sleeping bag and augment it with my down blanket. I think April there is simular to where I live in the Sierras and like the camino, very fickle. I also have trouble with mind set and tunnel vision. Thats why I use this forum to plan my camino. Buen Camino

Happy Trails
I am starting my Camino on April 14 and like Urban Trekker I think this will do if wearing some thermal layers/socks/etc. Is it likely to be much lower than 10C indoors? I'm also taking a silk liner. It feels beautiful, light and snuggly. I love the fact that it opens up to a 'blanket' and that I can get my feet out at the bottom and that 389 gms is very appealing.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#54
No I have not done a winter camino and after reading all the feedback I have decided it would be prudent to bring my camino sleeping bag and augment it with my down blanket. I think April there is simular to where I live in the Sierras and like the camino, very fickle. I also have trouble with mind set and tunnel vision. Thats why I use this forum to plan my camino. Buen Camino

Happy Trails
I think thermostats and theor setting are thebiggest difference between Nevada and Spain. May 2013 I remember so many albergues where you could not warm up. But love the idea of such a small and compact bag.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk the Camino in the beginning of April 2016
#55
Hola Johanna, I started from SJPdP on April 8, 2015 and encountered quite a range of weather conditions along the Way. Please note that I didn't walk the Meseta so cannot comment on that part. When you say "training tights" are you talking about proper compression tights? I can highly recommend full length compression tights for walking. They help with fatigue and also seem to help with temperature regulation. Even when my pants got soaked in rain I still felt comfortable as the tights seemed to repel the water. My lightweight Goretex jacket was adequate protection for cold and rain, with a light merino fleece for additional warmth when needed. Some water did get through though where the straps of my backpack rubbed on the shoulders, so a pancho might be better. I also wore a long sleeved compression top under my T shirt for sun / rain protection and comfort, although this would not be for everyone. I only wore my rain pants a couple of times, and they got very hot. I picked up a cheap pair of very light gloves at the last minute in SJPdP and was glad I had them. It was freezing on the Route de Napoleon! Buen Camino.
Hi and thanks for the tips. I don´t have the compression ones but I work out a lot so the ones I have are good quality and material. So maybe if I decide on the tights and go for rain pants over (will buy high quality and light weight so they are easy to move around in). Compression top or something similar, a fleece and a rain jacket, would that be enough you think? And yes I will also bring my gloves =)
 

jumpingin2014

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2013
#56
I'm wondering if we, on this forum, are doing people a disservice by encouraging them to walk off season. Maybe we need to do more to stress the intemperate climate that is northern Spain, and particularly the potential for extreme weather conditions. .......!
Yes a colleague of mine was just there in September and was quite shocked at the winds and weather as she crossed the Pyrenees. I think some people too just underestimate the physical toll of a long journey and the weather is just one more thing. I don't think I would recommend a off season Camino - particularly for a first Camino.
 

JMac56

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2015)
CF+Fis(2016)
CP:Porto-SdC-Mux-Fis(2017)
CF:Leon-SdC(2017)
CF+Mux+Fis(2018)
#57
Hi and thanks for the tips. I don´t have the compression ones but I work out a lot so the ones I have are good quality and material. So maybe if I decide on the tights and go for rain pants over (will buy high quality and light weight so they are easy to move around in). Compression top or something similar, a fleece and a rain jacket, would that be enough you think? And yes I will also bring my gloves =)
I'm sure you will be OK Johanna. Just remember, as many on this forum have said, you can always find what you need in Spain.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#58
@JohannaTogelid it is all about layering - I can be freezing cold, but when I walk (especially uphill) it is amazing how the body heats up, and then when I stop I get very cold again. For that reason I like a fine merino base layer. Have a look at the Altus type raincoat/ponchos (do a search on this forum) before you commit to rain pants and jacket.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk the Camino in the beginning of April 2016
#59
Johanna,
When in April are you going? We plan to leave from SJPDP aroung April 20th.
I haven´t decided yet but I think it´ll be the 1st of April if not sooner around easter but I heard something about the albergues not being open until the 1st of April?
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances [08 ]Portuguese [09 ]Le Puy[10] Norte[ 11] Madrid [12] Figeac - Pamplona [13] Mont Saint Michel - Bordeaux / St Palais - Pamplona [14] Moissac -Burgos [15] , Norte to Oviedo and then Primitivo [16]
Le Puy to Moissac and Dax to Santo Domingo
#60
I've just re-read the "best time of the year to go" thread in the FAQ (above). There are several posts warning about how cold it can get in May. The information on weather is not hard to find.
Commencing the first camino in May 08 ................ terrible , all ferries from UK cancelled .
Planes on wrong runways with people perishing.
Airports around the world closed.
Two years later no problems in May.
All people from Europe surely know the local weather and if its too bad.... home they go ...to continue at a later date.
For people outside the EU do the homework guys and prepare...how many P's are there?
We are all big boys and must make decisions in life...........the Camino is surely one
 

sharon w

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2007
Camino Portugues 2009
Via Podiensis, Camino Frances, Camino Finisterre 2012
Cammino di Assisi 2014
Via Podiensis, Camino del Norte, Camino Frances(Astorga to Santiago) 2015
Aussie Camino 2016
#61
Just returned from walking in France and Spain. October/November is a lovely time to walk in Spain. Much quieter and no race for accommodation. Also, the weather was great for walking. Much better to walk when it is cooler.
 

sabbott

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (SJPP to Ponferrada) 2016
Camino Invierno 2016
#63
I just want to know where a person finds a down quilt that takes up less space than a sleeping bag... That is a great idea. It seems the smaller the packing size the more $$ for equipment. Maybe we start a thread & see what others have figured out.
I have a Revelation quilt from Enlightened Equipment. Expensive but very light and warm, a good camping alternative to a mummy bag.
 

CaminoDebrita

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPP to SdC Oct/Nov 2015
Frances Burgos toSdC March/April 2016
W. Highland Way August 2016
Camino Somewhere September 2017
#65
This is a really good idea. I think I have a single down quilt, and could pack it into one of my waterproof bags (Sea and Summit, referenced above). By the way, those bags are invaluable. I found that packing all clothes in those, along with anything else I wanted to keep dry, meant that my backpack could be soaked and those items were fine. This means that any problems with a less than perfect pack cover are mitigated.

I'm also exploring options other than the altus poncho, as I occasionally found it to be pretty uncomfortable.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#66
Oh, I love love love my down blanket!
I even use it at home.
I guess I'm just used to the ALTUS - I've used it more than once for shelter and to keep warm at night.
I wouldn't go without it myself.
The first year I walked in rain gear and it wasn't as warm for me.
But everyone is different.
I think the key to the ALTUS is to leave it open at the top so you don't get condensation?
 

sabbott

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (SJPP to Ponferrada) 2016
Camino Invierno 2016
#67
This is a really good idea. I think I have a single down quilt, and could pack it into one of my waterproof bags (Sea and Summit, referenced above). By the way, those bags are invaluable. I found that packing all clothes in those, along with anything else I wanted to keep dry, meant that my backpack could be soaked and those items were fine. This means that any problems with a less than perfect pack cover are mitigated.

I'm also exploring options other than the Altus poncho, as I occasionally found it to be pretty uncomfortable.
I'm also taking a Cocoon silk liner, since the quilt is supposed to be used open-side down, unlike a mummy bag, and when camping in cold weather outdoors (which I'm not doing on the Camino) is wrapped around a pad for maximum warmth. The Enlightened Equipment bags are made to order and take about 5 weeks. This is a splurge, but I'm hoping to use it many times in the future.

Instead of a poncho, I'm taking rain pants and a good quality, breathable (Aspire model by Outdoor Research) rain jacket. My thinking is that both pants and jacket can do double-duty as layers. I'm starting mid-April, and it will probably be chilly and wet at times.

I think I've settled on a Gregory Z40 pack. It's more comfortable than the Ospreys for me.

I've finally decided on shoes, after reading so much information here and trying many pairs on my difficult feet: New Balance 1080v5 (Thanks for the recommendation, Anniesantiago.) They are very wide and soft, like bedroom slippers...but with good treads and support. Bringing a pair of waterproof socks also, for rainy days. Sounds like the trick with these is to keep water from going over the top of the sock.

Also have a pair of Ecco Yucatan walking sandals on order, as alternate walking shoes. (Thanks for the info on these, Kanga.)

I'll be glad to have my kit assembled, so I can quit obsessing about this gear and start using it!
 

MTtoCamino

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
#68
I took rain pants that were not breathable my Rei Event coat was. I was soaked in sweat on my lower half, so when I got home I purchased Event fabric rain pants. Huge comfort difference. In England I found a company that makes a poncho using Event fabric cost is 278 pounds! I have never priced an Altus poncho
 

CaminoDebrita

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPP to SdC Oct/Nov 2015
Frances Burgos toSdC March/April 2016
W. Highland Way August 2016
Camino Somewhere September 2017
#69
I'm also taking a Cocoon silk liner, since the quilt is supposed to be used open-side down, unlike a mummy bag, and when camping in cold weather outdoors (which I'm not doing on the Camino) is wrapped around a pad for maximum warmth. The Enlightened Equipment bags are made to order and take about 5 weeks. This is a splurge, but I'm hoping to use it many times in the future.

Instead of a poncho, I'm taking rain pants and a good quality, breathable (Aspire model by Outdoor Research) rain jacket. My thinking is that both pants and jacket can do double-duty as layers. I'm starting mid-April, and it will probably be chilly and wet at times.

I think I've settled on a Gregory Z40 pack. It's more comfortable than the Ospreys for me.

I've finally decided on shoes, after reading so much information here and trying many pairs on my difficult feet: New Balance 1080v5 (Thanks for the recommendation, Anniesantiago.) They are very wide and soft, like bedroom slippers...but with good treads and support. Bringing a pair of waterproof socks also, for rainy days. Sounds like the trick with these is to keep water from going over the top of the sock.

Also have a pair of Ecco Yucatan walking sandals on order, as alternate walking shoes. (Thanks for the info on these, Kanga.)

I'll be glad to have my kit assembled, so I can quit obsessing about this gear and start using it!
This is all great to read. I would also mention that if you are using SmartWool socks, while you feet and ankles will get wet, you will never be cold.

One of the reasons I fell in LOVE with my Vasque boots---aside from no back problems, no ankle rolls, and only two short excursions with blisters--was that they were light, padded inside around the ankle, and VERY waterproof. My feet only felt wet in the toes once, and my little Camino daughter pointed out that I had just walked through a pretty big puddle, ha ha!
 

CaminoDebrita

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPP to SdC Oct/Nov 2015
Frances Burgos toSdC March/April 2016
W. Highland Way August 2016
Camino Somewhere September 2017
#70
Oh, I love love love my down blanket!
I even use it at home.
I guess I'm just used to the ALTUS - I've used it more than once for shelter and to keep warm at night.
I wouldn't go without it myself.
The first year I walked in rain gear and it wasn't as warm for me.
But everyone is different.
I think the key to the ALTUS is to leave it open at the top so you don't get condensation?
My ALTUS was my sleeping blanket, so I completely get how helpful it is! I also wore it open at the top, and that worked fine unless it was torrential, but if it's torrential, you're gonna get wet.....

I love love love the idea of your down blanket though! I'm going to check check check out using one too, sweet lady of the road!

Good heavens, you're such a world walker.
 

sharon w

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2007
Camino Portugues 2009
Via Podiensis, Camino Frances, Camino Finisterre 2012
Cammino di Assisi 2014
Via Podiensis, Camino del Norte, Camino Frances(Astorga to Santiago) 2015
Aussie Camino 2016
#71
Congratulations Sharon and welcome home!
Thanks Mike. I am missing the walking but it was good to return home after almost 3 months away.
 

mla1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2000); Ch St. Giles (2013); Le Puy to SJPP (May/June 2015); vdlp 2016
#72
Is it warm enough for a winter Camino? Love how compact it is.
I used the Sea to Summit Traveler Tr I sleeping bag on the LePuy route last May. I also carried a silk liner and had merino wool long underwear to sleep in. There were nights when I wore all of these and was still chilly. But, the bag is super compact, and in gites that weren't in glacially cold ancient buildings, it was great. The combination of the silk liner and the bag zipped open like a blanket worked really well. It is made of very nice fabric - much better than other sleeping bags I've had. But, for me, I don't think it would be warm enough for a winter camino if I were staying in albergues or gites without heat.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#73
For those in Canada, and perhaps also available in the US, this weekend I found a duvet quilt for camping at Costco. Brand is Double Black Diamond, size is 70x60 inches, weight of 400 grams and a 700 loft.

For those who are short (I'm 5'4"), the length is fine, and with the 60" width you could even have it sewn up to make a sleeping bag.

The best feature? It was 29.99C$!

The duvet is so light that I didn't even feel it on me when I used it to test it here at home, with the window open. It comes with its own carrying bag, but could be compressed even further is a smaller bag or with straps.
 

errol

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
planned (2016)
#74
I'm wondering if we, on this forum, are doing people a disservice by encouraging them to walk off season. Maybe we need to do more to stress the intemperate climate that is northern Spain, and particularly the potential for extreme weather conditions. Obviously some people get lucky and have glorious weather, but that cannot be relied on. I noticed from the latest Cathedral statistics the drop in the percentage of Spanish walkers during October. Maybe they know something about their own country!
I am coming for my first Camino, arriving at Pamplona on 12th October and booked to fly out of Santiago on 21st November. I hope to walk a significant portion but as I am 70 and traveling alone (by choice) I am not going to be rigid about this. I also have a limited budget so I will be sparing of the luxuries of a single room and restaurant food but I have lived well on the simple things before and accept that this is part of my journey. The one plan that I have allowed myself thus far is to walk 10 k by 0900 and let the rest of the day look after itself. Your advice will be most welcome.
 

Buz Radican

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances May / Jun 2015
Camino Frances 2016 Oct / Nov 2016
Camino Frances May June 2018
#75
I'm wondering if we, on this forum, are doing people a disservice by encouraging them to walk off season. Maybe we need to do more to stress the intemperate climate that is northern Spain, and particularly the potential for extreme weather conditions. Obviously some people get lucky and have glorious weather, but that cannot be relied on. I noticed from the latest Cathedral statistics the drop in the percentage of Spanish walkers during October. Maybe they know something about their own country!
I checked the weather averages, temps and rainfall, for the months of May and October for about 20 locations across the CF. Over a 15 year sampling period they are the same.
 

Buz Radican

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances May / Jun 2015
Camino Frances 2016 Oct / Nov 2016
Camino Frances May June 2018
#76
I am coming for my first Camino, arriving at Pamplona on 12th October and booked to fly out of Santiago on 21st November. I hope to walk a significant portion but as I am 70 and traveling alone (by choice) I am not going to be rigid about this. I also have a limited budget so I will be sparing of the luxuries of a single room and restaurant food but I have lived well on the simple things before and accept that this is part of my journey. The one plan that I have allowed myself thus far is to walk 10 k by 0900 and let the rest of the day look after itself. Your advice will be most welcome.
I was 70 last year when I walked from Roncesvalles to Santiago. This year I am walking from SJPDP starting on 4 October, and will celebrate my 72nd birthday somewhere around Estella. Buen Camino.
 
C

Castilian

Guest
#77
I checked the weather averages, temps and rainfall, for the months of May and October for about 20 locations across the CF. Over a 15 year sampling period they are the same.
Excuse me, English isn't my native language and I'm having problems to understand your post. What do you mean? Do you mean the averages in each location are the same every year during a 15 years period? Do you mean the averages of a 15 years period are the same in each location? Do you mean the averages of one location on a given year are the same than the averages of the last 15 years period on that location? Do you mean any other thing? BTW, What standard deviation do you consider puts the limit between same and different?
 

jirit

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2007,
Via Francigena Italy, 2008,
Jakobsweg Austria 2010,
Camino Frances 2011,
Le Puy to Lourdes 2012,
Via de la Plata 2013,
Future:
Ökumenischer (Via Regia), Germany,
Lycian Way, Turkey
#78
I've just re-read the "best time of the year to go" thread in the FAQ (above). There are several posts warning about how cold it can get in May. The information on weather is not hard to find.
May is a great time to go!
 

jirit

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2007,
Via Francigena Italy, 2008,
Jakobsweg Austria 2010,
Camino Frances 2011,
Le Puy to Lourdes 2012,
Via de la Plata 2013,
Future:
Ökumenischer (Via Regia), Germany,
Lycian Way, Turkey
#79
I have a friend starting her walk on the VdlP in Zamora at the end of September.

Every time she goes anywhere "stuff happens" like snow, rain, riots, strikes, etc

I am predicting massive snow falls, followed by even more flooding in October in Galicia (its a La Nina year too) ;)
 

Buz Radican

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances May / Jun 2015
Camino Frances 2016 Oct / Nov 2016
Camino Frances May June 2018
#80
Excuse me, English isn't my native language and I'm having problems to understand your post. What do you mean? Do you mean the averages in each location are the same every year during a 15 years period? Do you mean the averages of a 15 years period are the same in each location? Do you mean the averages of one location on a given year are the same than the averages of the last 15 years period on that location? Do you mean any other thing? BTW, What standard deviation do you consider puts the limit between same and different?[/QUOTE
I typed in weather averages for the locations in Google. Here is an example https://weatherspark.com/averages/32040/Leon-Castilla-y-Leon-Castille-and-Leon-Spain. This page gives a tremendous amount of information, including deviations of temperatures. This is not the only web site to give such information. Looking at the various locations on the CF I found the average temperatures and rainfall to be the same for May and October. Yes, there are significant differences year to year but averages are useful in helping to prepare.
 

Buz Radican

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances May / Jun 2015
Camino Frances 2016 Oct / Nov 2016
Camino Frances May June 2018
#81
May is a great time to go!
Absolutely. Started last year on 1 May. Wanted to go again this year in May but had to delay until 4 October.
 
C

Castilian

Guest
#82
Oh, I see, @Buz Radican , you meant the averages in May are the same than in October. More or less that's right. They aren't exactly the same but they are similar. (Max) Temperatures in May are a bit hotter. Rain... it depends on the specific location. Some places are rainier in October while others are rainier in May. But, overall, yes both months are similar weather wise. However, there are nuances. For example, in May the weather is getting hotter while in October is getting colder...

Averages may be useful but be aware in May and in October it can be relevant differences between the temperatures at the start of the month and at the end of the month what may give a misleading average. Another point to have in mind is that months aren't regular with the average what means you'll have days above (and/or well above) the average as well as days below (and/or well below) the average.

P.S.: A difference between May and October is that in May there's more daylight time if that was any relevant for you.
 

Buz Radican

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances May / Jun 2015
Camino Frances 2016 Oct / Nov 2016
Camino Frances May June 2018
#83
Yes, Castilian, we are in agreement.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Portuguese (2017)
#86
I have a friend starting her walk on the VdlP in Zamora at the end of September.

Every time she goes anywhere "stuff happens" like snow, rain, riots, strikes, etc

I am predicting massive snow falls, followed by even more flooding in October in Galicia (its a La Nina year too) ;)
Haha, love this! It is so me, glad to know there are others!
 

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