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Weather?

Rassors

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(Looking forward to it inJune 2018)
We are starting in a week on Camino Frances the Valcarlos route, and have been watching the weather that indicates rain,rain and more rain. Two questions is it true? Is it raining? And any advice on how to make this work in the rain. We have Pancho's but shoes may not be water proof although we plan to spray them to make them so.
 
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Rick M

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
April ('16,'18, '19, 21)
On my first Camino, it rained every day for the final two weeks. One fellow I was walking with would bellow in his Texas drawl "You're not made of sugar, get out there....."

Your poncho is your friend. It keeps your upper body and your pack dry. As for shoes, no amount of spray is going to help very much. Your feet will get wet. The trail will also get muddy in spots. People use different strategies. Some walk in waterproof footwear or sandals. Its really too late for you to be experimenting with new footwear, so go with what you trained in. Take some extra socks and change them every few hours, as this will buy your wet feet some respite, and ward off blisters. A first priority when you finish for the day is drying shoes and socks for tomorrow, since it can be damp even in the albergue.

This time of year, its generally thunderstorms that produce the most rain, as opposed to a day-long drizzle that you might get in the winter. You can see these storms coming miles away, sit them out in the comfort of a bar, shop, or shelter. They are mostly late in the day anyway, and you will be safely drying out in your albergue when the real rain happens.

Be flexible. Most "rain" days have only an hour or two of actual rain. Good time to take an early, and long lunch, or quit a little early, or set off a little late. If a day is really a rain out, spend it in the village exploring, reading, or encouraging other soggy pilgrims. Rest days are welcomed by the body. Tomorrow will be nicer. Alternatively, anyone can walk 10K to the next village in the worst of conditions. Yeah, you'll be a drowned rat when you pull in, but its still a short time to be miserable.

The full Frances takes most people more than a month. You were always going to get rained on at some point. As an unlucky break, you are going to get rained on at a number of points. See paragraph 1.......get out there!

Buen Camino

PS...Oh yeah....Welcome to the forum!
 

wanderfrau

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
May 2018 Camino Frances
May 2019 Camino Portugués
Started in SJPdP mid-May and I just passed the Cruz de Fero. Had lots of rain all along the way so far and it gets quite cold in the evening. Unseasonably wet and cold according to the locals. So layers is what you most probably want.
 
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MikeyC

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF - September 2016
CF - April May 2017
Shikoku - October 2017
Kumano Kodo - October 2017
CF - 2019
In the albergue balled up newspaper inserted in your wet boots will absorb a lot of the moisture. Roncesvalles had a stack of old newspapers for this purpose.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I've also read that merino wool socks are the best to wear when your feet might get wet.
 

Debra Garcia

The Garcias
Year of past OR future Camino
Plan to walk with my husband June 2018
We are starting in a week on Camino Frances the Valcarlos route, and have been watching the weather that indicates rain,rain and more rain. Two questions is it true? Is it raining? And any advice on how to make this work in the rain. We have Pancho's but shoes may not be water proof although we plan to spray them to make them so.
We have been walking for 8 days so far and it has been drizzly in the mornings, then sunny and then rains just when you need to bring your clothes off the line in the evenings An umbreall will come in handy
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few times
Just bring ponchos and no need to waterproof your shoes. It is summer already. You will be just fine. Your clothes dry out. Your shoes dry out. Your body dries out.
 

Rick Chollett

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Spring of 2018.
We are starting in a week on Camino Frances the Valcarlos route, and have been watching the weather that indicates rain,rain and more rain. Two questions is it true? Is it raining? And any advice on how to make this work in the rain. We have Pancho's but shoes may not be water proof although we plan to spray them to make them so.
I arrived in Barbadelo and it's been raining pretty much the past three days and more expected.
 
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easygoing

Camino Sharon
Year of past OR future Camino
I have walked the Camino Francis 7 times, twice in 2017 and 2018. (2019)
I also am in Barbadelo and it's pouring on and off. During walking it's been misty, brief large rain drops and a few cloudy sun breaks. The walking keeps you warm but it is cold and windy. The next ten days forcast rain. My shorts lay forgotten at the bottom of my pack.
 

HedaP

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances starting SJPdP Sept/Oct 2015, April/May 2017
A pair of waterproof socks kept my feet dry in early spring when it rained for days in a row and was bitterly cold. A few drawbacks...
  • When washed, these socks take forever to dry. Next time I would wear a pair of thin liner socks underneath the waterproof socks to get extra wear between washes.
  • They are expensive.
  • They weigh more than normal socks.
  • If the weather is warm they would make your feet sweat.
But it was sooo nice to have dry feet.
Buen camino
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
We are starting in a week on Camino Frances the Valcarlos route, and have been watching the weather that indicates rain,rain and more rain. Two questions is it true? Is it raining? And any advice on how to make this work in the rain. We have Pancho's but shoes may not be water proof although we plan to spray them to make them so.

Here is something I have posted before which may help.

Water can enter trail shoes or boots through any opening during a rainstorm or while walking through dew-covered grass or pour into it as happens when you walk through puddles or other standing water along the Camino.

There are two potential remedies to this problem, neither of which is effective. First, you can try keeping rain pants over the tops of shoes, so the water runs down the pants past the opening. But this system is uncomfortably hot in warmer and rainy temperatures, and it offers no protection for puddles or having to cross water runoffs on the pathway.

Or you can try using a shoe with a waterproof gaiter or some other waterproof cobbles -- like thick plastic bags. I have not seen a gaiter or other waterproof type accessory that would both keep the water out, and keep the feet dry.

“Waterproof” shoes fail is because the materials simply don’t work over the near and long term. Lightweight, leather and fabric trail boots, for example, where some manufacturers have tried treating with a coating, don’t last. It also keeps sweat in the shoe and your feet get soaked in sweat. Fairly quickly, coatings break down and will no longer be waterproof.

When I’ve tested so-called waterproof / breathable fabrics in shoes, their actual performance never matched what was claimed.

Waterproof/breathable membranes, like Goretex, are only marginally breathable—water vapor from perspiration does not pass through the fabric as efficiently as is claimed. So on warm days the experience of having sweat being trapped in the shoe is common. Combined with the fact that the fabric waterproofing is quickly damaged by dirt, sweat, grime, and abrasion and it’s only a matter of time before exterior moisture begins penetrating the fabric and allowing feet to get wet.

That’s why serious trekkers and backpackers no longer go to great lengths to keep feet dry. They accept that when the weather is wet, feet will also get wet. Even the US military uses footwear for wet conditions which is not waterproof. The strategy is how to minimize any problems when feet are wet.

I’ve heard a potential footwear customer ask, “Are the shoes / boots waterproof?” while in the footwear department of an REI / outdoor type store. “You bet,” the customer service guy will say.

A couple of times I’ve softly interrupted by asking why they wanted, or thought they needed, waterproof shoes. Usually, the potential buyer looked at me as if I had spaghetti sticking out of my nose. Like most everyone, their answer was about thinking their feet would stay dry, and that wet feet is akin to getting into horrible trouble.

This post is meant to help inform and give a different line of thought and reasoning.

I have tried many ways to keep my feet dry:

1. “Waterproof” shoes, which, as I’ve said, don’t work well.

2. “Waterproof” socks, which don’t work for similar reasons.

3. Wearing multiple pairs of socks, which eventually all get wet.

4. Multiple pairs of shoes, which eventually all get wet too.

Since keeping my feet dry never worked, I decided to develop effective strategies so that the bad things that could occur to my wet feet when walking were either waaaaaay minimized or eliminated. Some of these lessons I learned while in Vietnam…. Like the fact that our boots had fabric tops and numerous holes in the thin leather bottom portions so that water drained out quickly and never sat in the boots.

What are the bad things?

1. Maceration, or pruning, where the skin’s outer layer absorbs and gets “soggy” from moisture. The skin gets sore and extremely soft, which makes it prone to blistering and can develop other problems.

2. Cracking of the skin when it dries. The natural moisture and oiliness of the skin is gone. The severity depends on how much stress the skin is exposed to after it is dried out.

So, what does work? For me, if I am going to be walking or backpacking in wet weather:

1. Apply a good coating of salve or balm to my feet before putting on socks and shoes. This helps protect from external moisture.

2. Wear non-waterproof shoes, which drain and dry out quickly. This minimizes the amount of puddling in the shoe that bathes the feet in moisture. Modern trail shoes have nice open mesh fabric which is terrific for draining water.

3. Non-waterproof shoes will also eliminate moisture from sweaty feet. Remember, it doesn’t matter what the source of the moisture is that feet are exposed to; rain or sweat, each can cause the same problems.

4. Wear thinner, lightly padded/cushioned merino wool socks, which don’t absorb as much water as thicker socks. Merino wool will keep wet feet warm unless the weather is winter-cold.

5. Take off my shoes and socks to let my feet air dry during any mid-day rest stop that will be longer than 20 minutes. During that time, I will wring out any excess moisture from the socks, but I will not put on either of my dry pairs (I take three). I will also reapply a good amount of balm or salve to my feet to help keep them from becoming macerated.

6. Apply a salve or ointment to the bottoms of my feet when I have stopped for the day both before and after I shower.

7. Carry an extra pair of insoles. These are lightweight and will be the barrier between your wet footwear and your dry socks when you are done for the day and if your shoes are a bit damp come morning.

8. I found that at days end, I can remove the wet insoles and use absorbent paper or toweling to sop up as much moisture as is possible while I am showering and dealing with end of the day chores. Then, when I get ready to go to dinner or wander around town, I put on a pair of dry Merino wool socks, insert the extra pair of dry insoles into my shoes, and put them back on to walk around in. Within a couple of hours, the shoes are mostly dry.

9. At bedtime, I remove the insoles and stuff absorbent material into the shoes to continue the drying out process during the night.

10. Apply more salve or ointment and wear dry and warm socks at night, to give my feet 8-9 hours of recovery time.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

AndreaCT

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2016 CF
2017 CF and Finnisterre
2019 CP and Muxia
I love this and thanks for posting! A neat package on the reality of wet feet. I used to use goretex hiking shoes and found that my feet were hot in the sun and when it rained, they got wet. I'm a convert for mesh hiking shoes now.
 

fransw

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2012; Le Puy - Conques 2014;Camino Aragonese Oloron Ste Marie - Puenta la Reina 2018
10 days ago I finished the Aragonese when arriving at Puente la Reina. I started in Oloron-Ste-Marie on the 14th of May. I found the "run up" to the Somport, through the narrow Aspe Valley, hard and due to bad weather conditions, permanent rain, muddy and slippery and by times dangerous for a solo walker. During the second week the weather improved and the landscapes in Spain were great. I had chosen this Way to visit Canfranc estation and the Monastery of San Juan de la Pegna. This Way is also an exercise in solitude. They were more days I didn't met one single pilgrim! I was always worrying if I was defintively on the right Way;-)))
For me it was a tough Way, the Frances is gentler and more "socializing". In these circumstances I would not do it again. Maybe, it is a pity , because it feeds a vicious circle for the Aragonese: less pilgrims, less infrastructure, lesser pilgrims and so on....
 
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easygoing

Camino Sharon
Year of past OR future Camino
I have walked the Camino Francis 7 times, twice in 2017 and 2018. (2019)
I've also read that merino wool socks are the best to wear when your feet might get wet.
Wool keeps your feet warm when wet. Gortex socks keep your feet dry. I walk in synthetic double layer socks rain or shine. They dry fast
 

easygoing

Camino Sharon
Year of past OR future Camino
I have walked the Camino Francis 7 times, twice in 2017 and 2018. (2019)
The reports of constant rain are not exaggerated. I walked from Portamarin to Sales de Naron today in cold windy rain. If the rain stopped at all it was to let the wind blow the wet drops into my face.
The best part of my day was passing the smiling face of a young woman being pushed in a wheelchair. She beamed and shouted Santiago to me and the rain seemed to stop for a moment.
It is so true that our expectations change our perception of joy. I have walked before in the sun but not smiled as bright as that young woman in the wheelchair.
Rain seems so unimportant now. And my rain coat does not leak.
 

mary_mh

Buen Camino
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Sept (2019)
Here is something I have posted before which may help.

Water can enter trail shoes or boots through any opening during a rainstorm or while walking through dew-covered grass or pour into it as happens when you walk through puddles or other standing water along the Camino.

There are two potential remedies to this problem, neither of which is effective. First, you can try keeping rain pants over the tops of shoes, so the water runs down the pants past the opening. But this system is uncomfortably hot in warmer and rainy temperatures, and it offers no protection for puddles or having to cross water runoffs on the pathway.

Or you can try using a shoe with a waterproof gaiter or some other waterproof cobbles -- like thick plastic bags. I have not seen a gaiter or other waterproof type accessory that would both keep the water out, and keep the feet dry.

“Waterproof” shoes fail is because the materials simply don’t work over the near and long term. Lightweight, leather and fabric trail boots, for example, where some manufacturers have tried treating with a coating, don’t last. It also keeps sweat in the shoe and your feet get soaked in sweat. Fairly quickly, coatings break down and will no longer be waterproof.

When I’ve tested so-called waterproof / breathable fabrics in shoes, their actual performance never matched what was claimed.

Waterproof/breathable membranes, like Goretex, are only marginally breathable—water vapor from perspiration does not pass through the fabric as efficiently as is claimed. So on warm days the experience of having sweat being trapped in the shoe is common. Combined with the fact that the fabric waterproofing is quickly damaged by dirt, sweat, grime, and abrasion and it’s only a matter of time before exterior moisture begins penetrating the fabric and allowing feet to get wet.

That’s why serious trekkers and backpackers no longer go to great lengths to keep feet dry. They accept that when the weather is wet, feet will also get wet. Even the US military uses footwear for wet conditions which is not waterproof. The strategy is how to minimize any problems when feet are wet.

I’ve heard a potential footwear customer ask, “Are the shoes / boots waterproof?” while in the footwear department of an REI / outdoor type store. “You bet,” the customer service guy will say.

A couple of times I’ve softly interrupted by asking why they wanted, or thought they needed, waterproof shoes. Usually, the potential buyer looked at me as if I had spaghetti sticking out of my nose. Like most everyone, their answer was about thinking their feet would stay dry, and that wet feet is akin to getting into horrible trouble.

This post is meant to help inform and give a different line of thought and reasoning.

I have tried many ways to keep my feet dry:

1. “Waterproof” shoes, which, as I’ve said, don’t work well.

2. “Waterproof” socks, which don’t work for similar reasons.

3. Wearing multiple pairs of socks, which eventually all get wet.

4. Multiple pairs of shoes, which eventually all get wet too.

Since keeping my feet dry never worked, I decided to develop effective strategies so that the bad things that could occur to my wet feet when walking were either waaaaaay minimized or eliminated. Some of these lessons I learned while in Vietnam…. Like the fact that our boots had fabric tops and numerous holes in the thin leather bottom portions so that water drained out quickly and never sat in the boots.

What are the bad things?

1. Maceration, or pruning, where the skin’s outer layer absorbs and gets “soggy” from moisture. The skin gets sore and extremely soft, which makes it prone to blistering and can develop other problems.

2. Cracking of the skin when it dries. The natural moisture and oiliness of the skin is gone. The severity depends on how much stress the skin is exposed to after it is dried out.

So, what does work? For me, if I am going to be walking or backpacking in wet weather:

1. Apply a good coating of salve or balm to my feet before putting on socks and shoes. This helps protect from external moisture.

2. Wear non-waterproof shoes, which drain and dry out quickly. This minimizes the amount of puddling in the shoe that bathes the feet in moisture. Modern trail shoes have nice open mesh fabric which is terrific for draining water.

3. Non-waterproof shoes will also eliminate moisture from sweaty feet. Remember, it doesn’t matter what the source of the moisture is that feet are exposed to; rain or sweat, each can cause the same problems.

4. Wear thinner, lightly padded/cushioned merino wool socks, which don’t absorb as much water as thicker socks. Merino wool will keep wet feet warm unless the weather is winter-cold.

5. Take off my shoes and socks to let my feet air dry during any mid-day rest stop that will be longer than 20 minutes. During that time, I will wring out any excess moisture from the socks, but I will not put on either of my dry pairs (I take three). I will also reapply a good amount of balm or salve to my feet to help keep them from becoming macerated.

6. Apply a salve or ointment to the bottoms of my feet when I have stopped for the day both before and after I shower.

7. Carry an extra pair of insoles. These are lightweight and will be the barrier between your wet footwear and your dry socks when you are done for the day and if your shoes are a bit damp come morning.

8. I found that at days end, I can remove the wet insoles and use absorbent paper or toweling to sop up as much moisture as is possible while I am showering and dealing with end of the day chores. Then, when I get ready to go to dinner or wander around town, I put on a pair of dry Merino wool socks, insert the extra pair of dry insoles into my shoes, and put them back on to walk around in. Within a couple of hours, the shoes are mostly dry.

9. At bedtime, I remove the insoles and stuff absorbent material into the shoes to continue the drying out process during the night.

10. Apply more salve or ointment and wear dry and warm socks at night, to give my feet 8-9 hours of recovery time.
Sounds very sensible - thanks for sharing
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I’m ignoring the weather forecasts because it has said “rain” for almost every day for the last three weeks - and apart from today (it poured) each day has only been cloudy, with the occasional light sprinkle. Not enough to worry about. You takes your chances!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
In the albergue balled up newspaper inserted in your wet boots will absorb a lot of the moisture. Roncesvalles had a stack of old newspapers for this purpose.

As a follow-up to this good advice, remove the inner soles/orthotics if included. This allows the whole inner part of the boot/shoe to dry.
BTW do not place the boot very close to fires or on very hot heaters. My method was to place them in a warming room (say one that has a drier) and to change the paper a couple of times, especially if the boots were very wet. Cheers
 
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Chris Gi

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
We are starting in a week on Camino Frances the Valcarlos route, and have been watching the weather that indicates rain,rain and more rain. Two questions is it true? Is it raining? And any advice on how to make this work in the rain. We have Pancho's but shoes may not be water proof although we plan to spray them to make them so.
We left Pamplona a few days ago and we are now on our 2nd day on the Meseta and it has rained every day. Not all day but our ponchos have been a blessing. It is not cold and it is so very beautiful here - I can never understand why people say that it is boring. Maybe the time of year? The poppies are amazing and everything is so green and fresh. Just the sound of the birds, hardly any motorists and great little places to stop for a snack between one Aubergue and your next home for the night. Don’t worry about a few drops of rain or even a downpour
 

Walking Lover

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CdS from Leon to Santiago, June 16, 2016 to June 30, 2016.
We crossed on Wednesday. Rain was mild but lots of mud. We had running shoes, Asics and Hokas. Be prepared for the mud.
We are starting in a week on Camino Frances the Valcarlos route, and have been watching the weather that indicates rain,rain and more rain. Two questions is it true? Is it raining? And any advice on how to make this work in the rain. We have Pancho's but shoes may not be water proof although we plan to spray them to make them so.
 

DebraS.

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances June/ July (2015) - incomplete
Frances June (2018)
I’m on the frances Camino now in Boente. It is very muddy and rainy but not constantly raining. Plan to wear a pancho and rain gear but it is also not that cold when walking. Your shoes will get muddy because of the trails but Marino wool socks really help. I wear the hiking sandals that are closed on the sides and toes and have had no trouble with wet feet.
 

calamity37

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Planning to walk Camino Frances
I am in Sarria....I can confirm it’s rsining every day! Started in SJPP on 17th May and it’s been very cold and on/off rain the whole time. I am very glad I have waterproof shoes which I agonised over as I thought it would be hot. It’s nowhere near, nor ever has been hot! I have not needed shorts that’s for sure!!!

Buen Camino!
 

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