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Wet weather clothing

Ross Sheeran

New Member
Past OR future Camino
November 2015
We are starting the Camino in late October and expect to encounter rain at times. We can't decide whether we should buy wet weather ponchos or complete waterproof pants and jackets (rain suits). We would appreciate any advice and suggestions from prilgrims who have experienced the Camino during wet weather.
 
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wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
2012
My advice would be rain pans and jacket, both these can also be worn in very cold mornings to stay warm. I used rain pants and jacket as much for the cold as for the wet weather in April 2012. The poncho will not keep your legs dry and water will run down into your shoes, get the pants long enough to cover your boot tops. I also carried an Altus Poncho that year as it was a VERY wet Spring. On the second Camino I just used the pants and jacket. This subject has been debated many times and you will get lots of different advice so in the end you will have to go with what suits you.
Buen Camino.
 

nidarosa

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
I am firmly in the poncho camp - as long as you buy a decent one like a Ferrino or Altus with sleeves and space for your pack underneath. No flimsy open sided ones, Galicia laughs at them! One reason why a poncho beats a rain suit is that you can pull it over yourself in seconds, rather than having to stop (in the rain), possibly take shoes off to get the rain pants on, and protect the pack with a potentially not well fitting cover which still lets water in between your pack and your back. If you have a poncho ready in an accessible pocket you or your walking partner can get it out and pull it over you so quickly, protecting aganist rain and wind. It's a personal choice though.
 

Waka

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Some but not all, and other routes too.
Al

Did you have any rainy days on your recent camino?
 
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MichaelSG

Retired member
Past OR future Camino
Not enough
My opinion: Whether you wear a rain suit, poncho or nothing, you will get wet. Walking so far in rain gear, you will sweat so much that you will be just as wet as if you didn't use anything at all or you used a poncho that flaps in the wind. My advice is to use the gear to keep yourself warm and keep your backpack dry.

The best way that I have found to do that is:
1) to use only a backpack cover for light brief sprinkles. You and your clothes will dry out quickly when the sun returns.
2) For heavier rains when it is not too cold, use the backpack cover and something like the Altus jacket (http://www.egruta.com/ponchoatmosphericaltus-p-817.html?language=en) that covers you and your pack. Wear shorts or quick-dry pants and you will be warm and your gear will be dry.
3) On mountaintops, in strong wind storms and cold rains, only then add the rain pants. There MAY BE days that you will need the warmth to enable you to walk, if not to survive. In my three Caminos in September and April, I only needed the pants once but they saved the day (and maybe me).

Edited to add: I found one trick on my last Camino that made life more pleasant using my system. I wear short-sleeved shirt while walking but when I have the rain jacket on, I hated the clammy feeling of the coat against my arms. I tried adding arm warmers (motorcyclist sleeves) and that issue disappeared.

Buen Camino!
 
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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Ah rain gear - one of those hiking problems that has not been satisfactorily solved.

I use an umbrella in rain plus an Altus in heavy rain and/or wind. The umbrella I love, but it is no good in wind.

The big problem, as pointed out by @MichaelSG , is that all waterproof rain gear will cause sweating. Don't believe the marketing hype about so-called "breathable" fabrics - if it's waterproof, it's going to get hot inside. The minute someone invents a truly fully breathable waterproof fabric, I'll be buying it.

For now my Altus will do. It is at least loose, and merino clothing underneath helps.

I've tried various Goretex jackets (and rain pants) but got too hot, and also found them harder to use. The Altus hangs off the back of my pack if rain is threatening and is easy to pull on and off.

The not-so-satisfactory part is the sleeves - I'd love pit zips like in the Packa. I've considered the Packa - I like how it stays on the pack, like the two way zips, like the pit zips. Don't like how fitted it seems, how short, and the cost. So sticking to the Altus for now.

I've never needed rain pants with an Altus - but I'm not tall and the Altus comes to below my knees.
 
W

whariwharangi

Guest
We are starting the Camino in late October and expect to encounter rain at times. We can't decide whether we should buy wet weather ponchos or complete waterproof pants and jackets (rain suits). We would appreciate any advice and suggestions from prilgrims who have experienced the Camino during wet weather.

The secret to staying dry is: Don't Get Wet.

I like ponchos. They can be obtained cut so as to cover the pack and me. There is usually enough of a breeze to reduce condensation due to sweat. Its ideal in conditions where the weather can't decide if its going to rain or not. The disadvantage is keeping it in place in windy conditions

I like rain jackets. They work well to cut cold wind (even when its not raining). When it rains hard a poncho sometimes isn't enough, particularly if it is windy. The disadvantage is condensation particularly if it is raining so hard as to block the pores in fabrics such as gortex.

When it rains really hard (as it does in Galicia) I wore the rain jacket under the poncho. Even then the condensation was causing wetness under the gear.

I usually wear shorts and gaiters. I carried a pair of rain pants and never wore them even when it was soaking rain.

The best option is to find a dry place and wait it out. The squalls in Galicia were often predictable by the black clouds rolling in, giving as much as a half hour notice. I found bus shelters to be handy places to wait till the worst was over. Heavy pine trees and overhangs of buildings work too.
 

rector

ONE HALF
Past OR future Camino
SJ-Sdc MAY (2011)
SJ-Sdc MAY (2014)
Sar-Sdc Oct (2015)
Pon-Sdc Ju (2016)
SJ-Log (2018)
For us there is only one answer for the camino Poncho. Back here in Ireland wet gear suits fine but some of the rain in Spain is of a totally different nature. Our solution, for what it is worth, is an ultra light jacket (which is good for heat and fine in misty/drizzle conditions, only weighs a few grams and rolls up about the same size as your fist £70, coupled with a poncho for those very special days, but each to their own. Kanga is right and an umbrella is something I will have this year it is not fashionable or manly, but hey 3 billion Chinese can't be wrong.
 

Arminius

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances may 2016
Ah rain gear - one of those hiking problems that has not been satisfactorily solved.

I use an umbrella in rain plus an Altus in heavy rain and/or wind. The umbrella I love, but it is no good in wind.

The big problem, as pointed out by @MichaelSG , is that all waterproof rain gear will cause sweating. Don't believe the marketing hype about so-called "breathable" fabrics - if it's waterproof, it's going to get hot inside. The minute someone invents a truly fully breathable waterproof fabric, I'll be buying it.

For now my Altus will do. It is at least loose, and merino clothing underneath helps.

I've tried various Goretex jackets (and rain pants) but got too hot, and also found them harder to use. The Altus hangs off the back of my pack if rain is threatening and is easy to pull on and off.

The not-so-satisfactory part is the sleeves - I'd love pit zips like in the Packa. I've considered the Packa - I like how it stays on the pack, like the two way zips, like the pit zips. Don't like how fitted it seems, how short, and the cost. So sticking to the Altus for now.

I've never needed rain pants with an Altus - but I'm not tall and the Altus comes to below my knees.
Hi Kanga,
For me, it is still too early to make a decision (beginning april SJPP-Santiago-Finisterre-Muxia). Must still buy my equipement. Thanks a lot for your good advice!
Regards, Armin.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Someone I met just recently, who does a lot of long distance hiking and camping, told me, a bit smugly, that any long distance hiker knows that rain gear's main purpose is not to keep you dry but to prevent hypothermia. I was already on to that insight, since my Ferrino trekker poncho, with its inside metallic lining, made me sweat as soon as I put it on. SYates explained on the forum that its function was in fact -- preventing hypothermia! (which means I left it behind this year). The risk of hypothermia is unlikely to be a problem for me since I walk in warmer months. Anyway, this somewhat smug hiker told me I should find out what "wet out" means, so with a little googling, I came up with this:

http://sectionhiker.com/why-does-rain-gear-wet-out/

I guess the lesson is that we can stay on the dry side with any kind of rain gear, but only until the rain gets to a certain level of intensity and duration. I think Altus and Ferrino and all those expensive rain gear companies are getting the last laugh on this one! Buen camino, Laurie
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
2012
I experienced this day after day during the wet weather in 2012 and as you say the only difference between wearing wet gear or not was staying warm. As we hiked in the pouring rain we got wet inside from perspiration/condensation but we stayed warm. That was the great thing about Merino T-shirts, they keep you warm even when wet.
 
Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I've done both and they both work fine.
I like the pants because they keep my hips warm.
But I also love my ALTUS poncho and would never walk without it.
It goes over my pack and down to my ankles nearly, and keeps me toasty as long as I leave the top unzipped a ways.

I'd say do what feels best for you.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Unfortunately when you are soaked you can be doomed! Thus always carry a second set of winter underwear!!
Mid March 2006 leaving Ruitelan since all was slick with sleet and snow I followed the old N VI road and not the trail to O Cebreiro. Higher and higher I climbed in the cold air as wet snow and heavy sleet blew across the route. I could hardly see. Soaked and freezing after 9 k at last I reached the tiny hamlet of O Cebreiro on the mountain, altitude 1300 m. The few dark structures all appeared to be shut. No one else was about. Afraid of hypothermia I stripped, toweled dry and quickly changed into that second set of winter undies sheltered within the church entrance porch. During past centuries I might have been called a witch for such a brazen act. Nevertheless it was truly necessary to get dry!

MM
 
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jsalt

Jill
Past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
Unfortunately when you are soaked you can be doomed! Thus always carry a second set of winter underwear!!

And ALWAYS have a comfy pair of dry socks in your pack, to put on for when you are out of the rain. If it’s still raining next morning, and your gear is not all dry, put your DAMP socks back on again, as they will get wet again anyway. You will then have DRY socks in your pack still, for when it FINALLY stops raining. Jill
 
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movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2015
Ah rain gear - one of those hiking problems that has not been satisfactorily solved.

I use an umbrella in rain plus an Altus in heavy rain and/or wind. The umbrella I love, but it is no good in wind.

The big problem, as pointed out by @MichaelSG , is that all waterproof rain gear will cause sweating. Don't believe the marketing hype about so-called "breathable" fabrics - if it's waterproof, it's going to get hot inside. The minute someone invents a truly fully breathable waterproof fabric, I'll be buying it.

For now my Altus will do. It is at least loose, and merino clothing underneath helps.

I've tried various Goretex jackets (and rain pants) but got too hot, and also found them harder to use. The Altus hangs off the back of my pack if rain is threatening and is easy to pull on and off.

The not-so-satisfactory part is the sleeves - I'd love pit zips like in the Packa. I've considered the Packa - I like how it stays on the pack, like the two way zips, like the pit zips. Don't like how fitted it seems, how short, and the cost. So sticking to the Altus for now.

I've never needed rain pants with an Altus - but I'm not tall and the Altus comes to below my knees.
Kanga what about something to tie around the poncho in the event of very high winds? I'm thinking a bungie cord?? I would think it wouldn't take up any more space than regular cord.
 

EMILE M

Member
Past OR future Camino
I WALKED THE ENTIRE CAMINO FRANCES IN FALL 2011, ALSO I WALKED FROM LE PUY EN VELAY TO CAHORS, FRANCE IN MAY, 2013 (About 350 Km) I PLAN TO WALK THE CAMINO DEL NORTE IN MID SEPTEMBER (2015)
Ah rain gear - one of those hiking problems that has not been satisfactorily solved.

I use an umbrella in rain plus an Altus in heavy rain and/or wind. The umbrella I love, but it is no good in wind.

The big problem, as pointed out by @MichaelSG , is that all waterproof rain gear will cause sweating. Don't believe the marketing hype about so-called "breathable" fabrics - if it's waterproof, it's going to get hot inside. The minute someone invents a truly fully breathable waterproof fabric, I'll be buying it.

For now my Altus will do. It is at least loose, and merino clothing underneath helps.

I've tried various Goretex jackets (and rain pants) but got too hot, and also found them harder to use. The Altus hangs off the back of my pack if rain is threatening and is easy to pull on and off.

The not-so-satisfactory part is the sleeves - I'd love pit zips like in the Packa. I've considered the Packa - I like how it stays on the pack, like the two way zips, like the pit zips. Don't like how fitted it seems, how short, and the cost. So sticking to the Altus for now.

I've never needed rain pants with an Altus - but I'm not tall and the Altus comes to below my knees.


I saw many people who wore ponchos get soaked on windy , stormy weather, especially in Galicia-O'Cebreiro area. The ponchos blew off up high, allowing rain underneath.
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2015
Ah rain gear - one of those hiking problems that has not been satisfactorily solved.

I use an umbrella in rain plus an Altus in heavy rain and/or wind. The umbrella I love, but it is no good in wind.

The big problem, as pointed out by @MichaelSG , is that all waterproof rain gear will cause sweating. Don't believe the marketing hype about so-called "breathable" fabrics - if it's waterproof, it's going to get hot inside. The minute someone invents a truly fully breathable waterproof fabric, I'll be buying it.

For now my Altus will do. It is at least loose, and merino clothing underneath helps.

I've tried various Goretex jackets (and rain pants) but got too hot, and also found them harder to use. The Altus hangs off the back of my pack if rain is threatening and is easy to pull on and off.

The not-so-satisfactory part is the sleeves - I'd love pit zips like in the Packa. I've considered the Packa - I like how it stays on the pack, like the two way zips, like the pit zips. Don't like how fitted it seems, how short, and the cost. So sticking to the Altus for now.

I've never needed rain pants with an Altus - but I'm not tall and the Altus comes to below my knees.
another one….can you carry an umbrella and use walking poles at the same time??
 

EMILE M

Member
Past OR future Camino
I WALKED THE ENTIRE CAMINO FRANCES IN FALL 2011, ALSO I WALKED FROM LE PUY EN VELAY TO CAHORS, FRANCE IN MAY, 2013 (About 350 Km) I PLAN TO WALK THE CAMINO DEL NORTE IN MID SEPTEMBER (2015)
another one….can you carry an umbrella and use walking poles at the same time??
I usually fold my walking sticks and put them away in my backpack when holding my umbrella. Otherwise you can squeeze one stick in your underarm and keep using the other stick. It's a balancing act!
 

EMILE M

Member
Past OR future Camino
I WALKED THE ENTIRE CAMINO FRANCES IN FALL 2011, ALSO I WALKED FROM LE PUY EN VELAY TO CAHORS, FRANCE IN MAY, 2013 (About 350 Km) I PLAN TO WALK THE CAMINO DEL NORTE IN MID SEPTEMBER (2015)
I use black diamond 'long distance' trekking poles, they are ultra light, sturdy and they fold, allowing them to pack small. I use a Montbell trekking umbrella, very sturdy,ultra light and wind-resistant. My umbrella survived a full Camino Frances and a 350km trek of constant rain from le Puy to Cahors in France. Highly recommended. I favor rain pants and a goretex rain jacket. No poncho, as stated earlier, they will not be useful on very windy weather.
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
I vote for rain pants and jacket - good for rain and cold. The poncho seems like an extra hassle to me, as I need the jacket and pants for October-November anyway. This time I'm taking a small umbrella as well, expecting to use it mainly "after hours" but maybe I'll try it out while walking too.
 

Walking Viking

New Member
Past OR future Camino
El Camino de Santiago del Norte (2015)
We are starting the Camino in late October and expect to encounter rain at times. We can't decide whether we should buy wet weather ponchos or complete waterproof pants and jackets (rain suits). We would appreciate any advice and suggestions from prilgrims who have experienced the Camino during wet weather.

Ross

I too was puzzled over this issue while planning for my April 28 (this year) del Norte. I asked my neighbor what he would suggest for wet weather gear, he having been a boy scout leader who went on many overnight hiking trips in California's Sierra Madre Mountains, said "lightweight and waterproof, keeping in mind that the jacket will mostly be used to help keep you warm as an outer garment windbreaker." I settled on a Marmot rain jacket and pants. The jacket has a foldable hood and the pants have snap cuffs with a long zipper that allow puuting on/taking off without removing shoes/boots. As I said in other posts on this forum, I only had one day of showers from April 28 to June 3, this year. There was rain though, ahead of, and behind me.

My rain jacket was in fact mostly used as a windbreaker. I did not pack my rain jacket in the backpack, but had it tucked under a strap at the top of my backpack and under my backpack rain cover, being immediately available if needed. I also had a collapseable umbrella available, bought at REI. The umbrella came in handy during the day of showers, sometimes being the only rain protection I needed, at other times, I put on the rain jacket. One time, on the rain shower day, I left the rain pants off. The shower became very heavy at one point, just outside Soto de Barco. From the thighs up I was dry. From the knees down, I was soaked to the skin, socks, feet and toes included. The pants and rain gaiters were in my backpack. From then on, I told myself that if rain was expected, jacket, pants and umbrella would be immediatly available.

On my next Spring camino, I will take the rain jacket and pants and the umbrella. I watched several people use the ponchos, some very expensive, and prefer the jacket and pants with the jacket serving multple purposes. If you take a poncho, you may still need to take a windbreaker jacket. Also, most of the really good ponchos were bulky and took up a failr amount of room when packed away.

As far as actually walking/hiking the in rain; light to moderate showers, yes. Heavy showers and continous rain, no! The del Norte has many ups and downs on the initial 6-7 stages. At the lower elevations the rain creates some significant obstacles, mud being a really big issue. On several days, after rain, the lower lying trails/path had edge to edge mud bogs. Some I saw were 10 to 50 meters in length. In some of those bogs I could see the tops of boots, sneakers and socks and other articles of gear, but mostly foot wear. On days with heavy rain, or continous light rain, the water does not drain very well from low lying dirt/mud. One day just outside Villaviciosa, about 3-4 days after any rain, there was a local municipal work crew creating drainage on the trail with a tractor and shovels. The way was almost impassable. With treeking poles being used to locate shallow water and hidden stones, I was able to make my way through about 4-5 areas otherwise impassable. I couldn't imagine trying to go through, or finding a way around, those same areas, during rain!

At this point, it becomes a matter of choice driven by necessity. What worked well for me may not work for you, but I hope this discussion will help in making your choice.

Buen Camino.

WV
 
Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I saw many people who wore ponchos get soaked on windy , stormy weather, especially in Galicia-O'Cebreiro area. The ponchos blew off up high, allowing rain underneath.

I have worn an ALTUS poncho every year and they do not blow off.
They zip up the front and are quite sturdy.
They keep me dry from head to ankle and even my feet rarely get wet when I'm using mine.

I wouldn't bother with a regular poncho - with that I agree - but the ALTUS works great for me.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
I opt for a combo of rain pants, jacket, Altus and umbrella.

Jacket for light drizzle, or when chilly and anticipating rain. If I think it may rain I will put on my back pack cover on so I have time to get to a cafe to put on the Altus.

Pants worn over leggings when leaving the albergue in the rain, or changing into them at a cafe after it starts to rain.

The Altus get thrown on mostly to protect the backpack and its staps. I tend to wear it open unless in a lot of wind and use an umbrella. On thing I would improve on the Altus is the zipper: it's flimsy but I suppose it has to be if tue poncho is to be light.

The umbrella has the added bonus of helping with condensention on eye glasses.

Euroshim handsfree silver umbrella is going on the list for Santa this year.
 
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Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
We are poncho wearers but also carry lightweight rain pants. On cold days I have walked in them until it warmed up enough to remove them. Just make sure that they will go on easily over your boots. That means wide enough at the bottom or zip side seams, which weigh more.
With a poncho the pack and its straps are also kept dry but are exposed to the rain if wearing a jacket.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
another one….can you carry an umbrella and use walking poles at the same time??

Yes, you can either buy a "hands free" umbrella (there is at least one on the market) or use an ordinary umbrella. To use a normal umbrella as handsfree it needs an elasticised fabric loop coming out of the bottom of the handle. All hiking umbrellas seem to have the elasticised loop.

Put the umbrella up. Thread the handle and shaft down through the carrying loop at the top of your backpack, directly behind your head, at the back of your neck. Pull the handle round to the front over one shoulder. Then secure the umbrella by tieing the fabric loop to your waistband. You can make adjustments to suit; it can go under your sternam strap or fixed with a gear tie in various ways. A bit of experimenting is needed.

Here's a YouTube showing how
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2015
Yes, you can either buy a "hands free" umbrella (there is at least one on the market) or use an ordinary umbrella. To use a normal umbrella as handsfree it needs an elasticised fabric loop coming out of the bottom of the handle. All hiking umbrellas seem to have the elasticised loop.

Put the umbrella up. Thread the handle and shaft down through the carrying loop at the top of your backpack, directly behind your head, at the back of your neck. Pull the handle round to the front over one shoulder. Then secure the umbrella by tieing the fabric loop to your waistband. You can make adjustments to suit; it can go under your sternam strap or fixed with a gear tie in various ways. A bit of experimenting is needed.

Here's a YouTube showing how
how very clever. Thanks
 

MichaelSG

Retired member
Past OR future Camino
Not enough
Please note that there may be some confusion in this thread because people have different definitions of what a poncho is. I believe to some people, a poncho is basically a flat piece of material that has a hole (and often a hood) in the middle where your head fits through. It may also have snaps or something similar to attempt to close the sides around your body and most ponchos are used to cover your backpack as well.

Altus makes a "poncho" that many people would actually call a jacket because it has sleeves and is not open at the sides. Because of its design with extra material in the back, it also covers your backpack.

I'm not trying to change people's definition of a poncho. I just want to clear up some confusing messages. Buen Camino!
 
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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Yes, good point @MichaelSG - the Altus (and there are other brands that are similar) is more like a raincoat with a hood that covers the backpack. This photo of my husband on an awful day makes me laugh - a turtle?

image.jpg
 

Mike Savage

So many friends to meet . . . so little time
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Português Coastal
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Sanabrés
I've opted for pants and jacket which has worked best for me before. If I were going in the summertime I would probably go for an Altus poncho which would be a little cooler in the heat.
 

Magwood

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
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I've just posted this video in a thread about the route into O Porrino on the camino Portuguese, but it could also be useful here. The first few seconds show pilgrims wearing a variety of ponchos. The video is also an excellent advertisement for one of the lovely stages on the CP.
 
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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Never tried chaps but in the "turtle" photo above Ian is wearing Sealskinz (trade name, no animal involved) waterproof socks with sandals - worked very well to keep out the cold and water. They come a fair up the legs. It's a bit like wearing a wetsuit on ones feet and lower legs.
 

gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CFx2, CPx1
Never tried chaps but in the "turtle" photo above Ian is wearing Sealskinz (trade name, no animal involved) waterproof socks with sandals - worked very well to keep out the cold and water. They come a fair up the legs. It's a bit like wearing a wetsuit on ones feet and lower legs.
Thanks a lot. That's another option to try. We get a few don't we!
Regds
Gerard
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2015
I've done both and they both work fine.
I like the pants because they keep my hips warm.
But I also love my ALTUS poncho and would never walk without it.
It goes over my pack and down to my ankles nearly, and keeps me toasty as long as I leave the top unzipped a ways.

I'd say do what feels best for you.
Annie IYO, what would be the best type of liner for my bag? Some have mentioned trash bags, but I find them very flimsy..I hope to keep my pack as dry as is possible
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
@movinmaggie If you are looking for something to go inside your back pack, you might consider this pack liner from MEC. The medium size weighs 88 g and nicely fits inside my Osprey Talon 33. (It should be a bit bigger than the inside of the pack, so it can "flow" into the internal shape of the pack and fill it completely.) I also have a pack cover. I am a bit obsessive about organizing my things, so I am willing to carry dry bags that others could consider unnecessary.
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2015
@movinmaggie If you are looking for something to go inside your back pack, you might consider this pack liner from MEC. The medium size weighs 88 g and nicely fits inside my Osprey Talon 33. (It should be a bit bigger than the inside of the pack, so it can "flow" into the internal shape of the pack and fill it completely.) I also have a pack cover. I am a bit obsessive about organizing my things, so I am willing to carry dry bags that others could consider unnecessary.
Thanks so much Cclearly. MEC has become my home away from home here in Victoria. It never occurred to me that they had such a thing. Brilliant…..
 
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Pilgrim Pouch carry bags with different designs
A lightweight carry bag handy for walking, biking, traveling, & Caminos
Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Annie IYO, what would be the best type of liner for my bag? Some have mentioned trash bags, but I find them very flimsy..I hope to keep my pack as dry as is possible

Maggie, if you use an ALTUS, you do not NEED a liner for your bag. My pack has never gotten wet, even in the strongest downpours.
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2015
Maggie, if you use an ALTUS, you do not NEED a liner for your bag. My pack has never gotten wet, even in the strongest downpours.
Annie it's not an Altus. I got it locally here in Victoria. It's JR Gear, but it is the type that covers your backpack. I just thought if there might be a few days where I wouldn't be wearing the poncho. I'm taking a rain jacket that will also service to keep me warm. In that case, I just wanted some extra protection for the backpack if it were a light rain...
 

LauraK

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Leon-Santiago (2004) Roncesvalles-Leon (2006) Camino Frances (2012) Kumano Kodo-Japan (2014) Camino Sanabres/Salamanca-Santiago (March 2015) Camino Del Salvador and Camino Primativo (Oct 2015)
Annie IYO, what would be the best type of liner for my bag? Some have mentioned trash bags, but I find them very flimsy..I hope to keep my pack as dry as is possible[/QUOTE

I have found trash-compactor bags work better than regular trash bags. They are thicker than regular trash bags and hold up well as a liner for a backpack. You can find them at grocery and hardware stores. I use them all the time and have never had one tear.
 

jmcarp

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, 2013
Camino del Norte a Chimayó (USA), 2015
Camino Portugues, 2017
Of course you could just walk on warm dry days?
Nobody ever believes this when I say it, but my wife and I walked from SJPP to Santiago 16 Aug through 25 Sep, 2013, and never got rained on until we reached the outskirts of Santiago. Yes, there were foggy, misty mornings in Galicia, a light shower or two along the Meseta (none of which required donning rain gear), and one terrific thunderstorm at night after we were in bed at the albergue in Villarmentero, but it was not until we crossed the bridge over the motorway at the foot of Monte de Goza that we actually used our rain gear for anything other than warmth on a couple of cool mornings. For that reason -- which is probably not a good reason due to those unusual circumstances -- I place myself in the rain jacket and pants group. Oh yeah, we stayed in Santiago for four days and used our rain gear everyday we were there.
 
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Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
To clarify:- our ponchos are rectangular, side poppered and no sleeves. The latest Rohan poncho is more like the Altus with one significant drawback, the poppers are still there but in such a way that they let water run inside when worn over a rucksack. We bought new ones in the sale last year (planning to wear up the old ones training over the winter) but have made them 'home wear' instead after modifying them. We have drawn Rohan's attention to the problem as the only solution is to carefully stitch the flap-over to seal it, so making a pull-over-the-head style jacket. At present they are not really Camino wear :(, glad we still have our old ones which have been wonderful. If we needed new then we too would probably go for the Altus.
 

krazeekuban

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2012 , 2013 , 2014 , 2015 , 2017 , voluntaria
I like having my ultra light umbrella,rain jacket and rain pants. It rained a lot for me last year on the Ingles and it was so much better to be dry. The year before It seems I was not dry most days. I shall see how it goes next week until mid Oct!
 

Jovita_Maria

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Primitivo (Aug/Sept 2015)
To clarify:- our ponchos are rectangular, side poppered and no sleeves. The latest Rohan poncho is more like the Altus with one significant drawback, the poppers are still there but in such a way that they let water run inside when worn over a rucksack. We bought new ones in the sale last year (planning to wear up the old ones training over the winter) but have made them 'home wear' instead after modifying them. We have drawn Rohan's attention to the problem as the only solution is to carefully stitch the flap-over to seal it, so making a pull-over-the-head style jacket. At present they are not really Camino wear :(, glad we still have our old ones which have been wonderful. If we needed new then we too would probably go for the Altus.
Thanks for sharing your experiences - I am leaving on Sunday for Irun (starting Norte and changing to Primitivo at Oviedo) and have found so many of your post very helpful. As an experienced hiker in South Africa, we are used to the debates about ponchos vs rain jackets! The Altus sounds great - we don't have anything like the Altus available here, so I am going to buy it in Irun.
 
Fine art photography from the Camino Ways.
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This book's focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared.

ShellsG

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (Sept/Oct. 2015)
It has been an unusually hot and very very dry summer here. I think that should I come across rain in Spain I shall dance in it with glee, no umbrella, no rain jacket and most certainly no poncho. (for a few moments at least !!)
 

Mike Savage

So many friends to meet . . . so little time
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francés,Inglés
Muxia/Finisterre
Português Coastal
Português Central
Sanabrés
Thanks for sharing your experiences - I am leaving on Sunday for Irun (starting Norte and changing to Primitivo at Oviedo) and have found so many of your post very helpful. As an experienced hiker in South Africa, we are used to the debates about ponchos vs rain jackets! The Altus sounds great - we don't have anything like the Altus available here, so I am going to buy it in Irun.

Buen Camino Jovita Maria!
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
Just want to acknowledge the availability of silnylon rain chaps. For an Altus wearer like me who hates getting his feet wet from the rain wicking down his socks, they appear a cooler alternative to rain pants.
Advice from chaps wearers please?

I have worn rain chaps, as an alternative to full rain pants. They were an an attempt to avoid heavy sweating through lack of ventilation. They didn't work, any more than the rain pants. I quit wearing them. Excess perspiration is also why I use an open-sided poncho (with a light jacket to keep my arms dry, left open at the front) as my raingear. If I have to get wet, I prefer from the outside in rather than from the inside out.
 

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