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What do you do with your bag once you're at your destination?

alxis

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning for Camino Frances May-June 2019
#1
What do people do with their bags once they get to an albergue and want to look around the town? How do you secure it and try to avoid it from being stolen or gone through? Do you bring locks, lock it to the bed and lock pockets shut?
 
#4
I agree with Tinca as well. Actually, I think that having locks on your pack will just make it more of a target. And slicing open a backpack hunting for those locked-up valuables may sound extreme, but since the average unlocked pack contains the items Tinca described, it would be the one to go for.

Some albergues now have lockers, but I rarely see them used by more than a few.
 

Shazenalan

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2018
#7
I concur with all the above, there is always a risk of theft I guess. I never felt a concern about the integrity of fellow pilgrims, I saw more giving than taking, more trust than suspicion. Overall, most people wanted to support the spirit of the Camino. Once I saw all that in action around me any fears or suspicion seemed misplaced, but I still wore a moneybelt with my cash, cards, phone and passport in it. Trust in God and tether your horse. Buen Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis " 2018"
#8
Nope. I carry my valuables, my money and my ID documents with me at all times - even to the showers and the toilets. If anyone wants my battered pack, sweaty sleep-sack, yesterday's socks and that half-eaten bocadillo, well, they're welcome.
Yes ageee . Had not problems
 

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
#9
I think it is also important not to bring anything that looks too expensive if you think it is too heavy to carry around town. I carry a tiny backpack or string backpack that folds into a tiny pouch. I can use it for shopping in town and laundry or I can put my kindle in it if I am walking around town. This year I'm ditching the kindle though.
 

Mark T17

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Sept 2017 (bike)
#10
Agree with everything above, I think its a different mindset - I dont think people want to steal things because it means they will have to carry it and add to their pack weight. I used free lockers in about half the private albergues I stayed in. Do take a small valuables bag to take everywhere.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#11
What do people do with their bags once they get to an albergue and want to look around the town? How do you secure it and try to avoid it from being stolen or gone through? Do you bring locks, lock it to the bed and lock pockets shut?
Ehhh, I just put almost everything out of it and lay it on my bunk and go for a beer. Who cares...

PS (Of course I have all my valuables (whatever they might be) on me all the time)
 

alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
April 2019-Camino de Invierno
#12
We just put our passports in our pockets. My husband had his wallet in his pocket as well. I had a little wallet with a few bucks and a credit card also in my pocket along with my cell phone. All pockets are zippered. Left the backpacks in the albergue unlocked. Never owned money belts and never will. Everyone deals with their perceived fears in different ways. You’ll have to figure out your own comfort level.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#14
It's unanimous! Keep all your valuables (passport, money, credencial, cards) and expensive stuff (cell phones, cameras, watches) on you at all times.

Leave everything else. DO NOT place your rucksack on your bunk, it's dirty and spreads insects and ick!

Many of us either just stuff these items in our cargo pockets, OR we use a super lightweight 'possibles bag.' An example might be:

http://seatosummitusa.com/collectio...nd-shopping-bags/products/ultra-sil-sling-bag

When collapsed, it is the size of a kiwi fruit. When open, it holds 16 liters. Great for enroute carry-on, shopping, laundry, day touring, picking up necessary items on entering a new village or town.

FYI and BTW, Decathlon has a similar bag that is not as small when closed but it only costs € 8, or USD $9. Decathlon is now in the US, so those of us living there can benefit from their selection of good products at reasonable prices.

If you Google "Decathlon 8356618" the bag will come up in your local Decathlon store. The numbers are the UPC on the bar code attached to the bag.

I use this bag to go to and from public showers as well.

Hope this helps.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Invierno (2019)
Camino Frances (2021)
#15
What do people do with their bags once they get to an albergue and want to look around the town? How do you secure it and try to avoid it from being stolen or gone through? Do you bring locks, lock it to the bed and lock pockets shut?
Totally agree with Tink 😁 always have your valuables with you. Leave your jewellery at home 🤔😊
 

martin1ws

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Somport to Finisterre Jul-Aug 2018
#16
I agree with Tincatinker as well.

I saw so many pilgrims in the albergues who charged their smartphones and left the room... I personally never heard that something was stolen. After some days on my camino I trusted the other pilgrims very much as well.

After talking to pilgrims who had worked as hospitaleras who said that some things get stolen sometimes... I would not charge my smartphone again if I leave the room... but only charge a cheap powerbank if I am not there.

I think that pilgrims would never steal... but albergues are "open" houses where everyone can go in and out. Especially in the bigger albergues in the bigger cities. So I would keep my valuables... but I do not think that it is helpful or necessary to worry about anything else.

One of great things of my pilgrim's life was that I could really trust the other pilgrims.
 
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Felice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Santiago Sept 2014
#17
The vast majority of pilgrims are probably trustworthy, and if you do happen to lose a shirt/walking pole/shoes it's probably because they looked just like someone else's and they were half asleep in the morning.
I still never put temptation in anyone's way. So that expensive merino top, or that clever water bottle or whatever - don't leave them around, tuck them away out of sight in your rucksack.
And once in a blue moon - like every year or two, there has been a spate of thefts somewhere along the Frances. An individual or gang posing as pilgrims, but going through rucksacks at night. Thankfully they are usually caught fairly soon, if the reports on here are anything to go by.
Use your common sense: leave valuables at home and keep essentials close to you at all times.
 

FourSeasons

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Sept/Oct 2013
CF April/May 2016
del Norte (July/August 2019)
#18
While on both my Camino's on the Frances there was a robbery in an albergue during the middle of the night. It was early on from SJPdP within the first week or so. The thief or thieves had unzipped the bottom of pilgrims sleeping bags and unzipped pockets in backpacks and got away with a good amount of cash. This is not to alarm anyone but to show the reality that sometimes it happens. The word was they were not pilgrims but disguised as such and knew where pilgrims hide their valuables.

What I use for my valuables is first and foremost Faith that all pilgrims are good and look out for each other but I do my due diligence to protect what is valuable to me with a money belt for my extra cash, credit card and passport. I sleep with it on, it is with/on me 24/7 with no worries. I also have a fanny pack that has a few things in it. I also have this with me at all times. When I sleep, I will strap it to the bed railing at the head of the bed then put it under my pillow. The other things in my pack are well, just like everyone else's. I leave it at my bunk when out on the town. I realize everyone has their own way of feeling secure, this is mine and I hope it helps.

God Bless and remember to trust in the arrows. :cool:
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, (2013)
Camino Frances, (2014)
Camino Frances, (2015)
#19
After being on the Camino for a few days you will find the only things (or possessions) that are truly valuable is your passport, your pilgrim’s credential, your cell phone, your credit cards, and your money.

Protecting these valuables is extremely easy: they never leave the cargo pockets on your hiking pants.

I do not recommend you use a fanny pack for two reasons. The first is that wearing one silently marks you as an American.

The second is that a fanny pack can be easily left behind. While I’ve encountered pilgrims frantically running backwards up the Camino to retrieve their fanny pack from the hook on the door of the last toilet they used, I’ve never encountered a pilgrim frantically running backwards up the Camino in their underwear because they left their pants behind.
 

FourSeasons

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Sept/Oct 2013
CF April/May 2016
del Norte (July/August 2019)
#20
I do not recommend you use a fanny pack for two reasons. The first is that wearing one silently marks you as an American.
Who cares if you're an American. OMG I can't believe you said that. I am a proud American, sorry you feel differently. Fanny pack all the way for me!!! WooHoo, crazy American on the Camino, look out. LOL hahahahaha LOL :eek::D:D:D:D:cool:
 
Camino(s) past & future
May and October 2015
(2015 October)
June 2018 Portuguese
#21
What do people do with their bags once they get to an albergue and want to look around the town? How do you secure it and try to avoid it from being stolen or gone through? Do you bring locks, lock it to the bed and lock pockets shut?
This issue reminds me of advice from a friend's husband way back when I was living in NYC. Eddie was an officer in the NYPD. He didn't mention backpacks, but advised us to carry our handbag on a short strap so it was right up under our elbow. Have purchases delivered so we weren't carrying them around. If we had a car, it would be wise to have a nondescript one, without hubcaps or arial, and if/when we parked it on the street we should leave nothing in view inside.
His plea: "don't tempt people to a life of crime!" Not quite in jest.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF15, CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF17, CP17, CdN, CM, CF18, LePuy19
#22
Like Tinc suggests, I carry my valuables in separate small ziplock bags in my front pockets. I change into an old pair of shorts at night and sleep in them with everything in my pockets.
The only burglary I ever heard about that got my antennae up was a pilgrim who stay at a muni in large city. He was pretty sure he had seen some "faux" pilgrims check in and walk around casing the place. He carried his valuable in one of those passport packets that was on string around neck, he told me he slept soundly. He woke up in the morning and it was gone along with his money and passport.
 

Karl Oz

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
Portuguese
Piamonte
Aragones
Elizabethpfad
#23
I agree with Tinca as well. Actually, I think that having locks on your pack will just make it more of a target. And slicing open a backpack hunting for those locked-up valuables may sound extreme, but since the average unlocked pack contains the items Tinca described, it would be the one to go for.

Some albergues now have lockers, but I rarely see them used by more than a few.
I stayed in a long-established albergue in Santiago a few years back. Stuff was stolen while people slept, but more to the point, lockers were also broken into and the contents pilfered. I concur that keeping valuables about your person is the best method.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
#24
I agree with Tinky like most everyone else.

I love using my fanny pack! After four caminos it's still a favorite piece of gear and never had any problems leaving it behind. I do not wear zippered cargo pants, but if I did my valuables would still need to be removed on wash day.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
#25
And as a bonus I’ll suggest what NOT to do with your pack: put it ON the bed.
Absolutely never put your backpack on your bed. At the albergue in Ponferrada the hospitaleros saw backpacks on two bunks in my room and took them. When the owners of the backpacks returned they got a stern talking to about not putting backpacks on the beds.
 

kdespot

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés SJPP-SdC Sept-Oct 2016
#26
Yep. This pretty much sums it up. Theft in albergues just rarely happens. We’re all on the same path. Anything valuable is with us and the rest... who would want it?
 

Jodean

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
22 Sept. to 21 Oct. 2015, Pamplona to Santiago
6-23.04 Porto to Santiago 2018
17.09-30.09 CF 2018
#27
BumBags/Hip/Waist packs do NOT mark you as an American! They are extremely popular in Germany since several years.

Have worn one on 3 Caminos and can't imagine not wearing one. I also wear a silk money belt that has my bank card, ins. card and big money in it. They come everywhere with me.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Will walk the camino francés in October 2018 and beginning of November
#28
What do people do with their bags once they get to an albergue and want to look around the town? How do you secure it and try to avoid it from being stolen or gone through? Do you bring locks, lock it to the bed and lock pockets shut?

Same as Tincatinker. I keep my valuables with me at all time (shower included) and leave my bag in dorm.
 

Ernesto.IT

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
#29
What do people do with their bags once they get to an albergue and want to look around the town? How do you secure it and try to avoid it from being stolen or gone through? Do you bring locks, lock it to the bed and lock pockets shut?
To mine everyone was welcome, especially if they in the process of searching did the washing to all my smelly things, course all the important thing they would be always with me.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Via de La Plata (spring, 2019)
#30
My passport and money is always in one pocket of my cargo shorts and my phone in the other. I just drop my pack next to my bed. And I have a New Mexico flag patch on the back of my pack that makes it distinctive, if some pinche cabron is considering walking off with it.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
#31
What Tincatinker said.
I never take anything I can't afford to lose, and I carry my valuables with me at all times.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
#32
After being on the Camino for a few days you will find the only things (or possessions) that are truly valuable is your passport, your pilgrim’s credential, your cell phone, your credit cards, and your money.

Protecting these valuables is extremely easy: they never leave the cargo pockets on your hiking pants.

I do not recommend you use a fanny pack for two reasons. The first is that wearing one silently marks you as an American.

The second is that a fanny pack can be easily left behind. While I’ve encountered pilgrims frantically running backwards up the Camino to retrieve their fanny pack from the hook on the door of the last toilet they used, I’ve never encountered a pilgrim frantically running backwards up the Camino in their underwear because they left their pants behind.

I’m an Aussie and we call them bum bags. Used 1 all the time for valuables and never left behind. It went under the pillow of a night. Your jack will be safe
 

Mazzy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2019)
#33
Nope. I carry my valuables, my money and my ID documents with me at all times - even to the showers and the toilets. If anyone wants my battered pack, sweaty sleep-sack, yesterday's socks and that half-eaten bocadillo, well, they're welcome.
As attractive as you make that sound....... think I'll pass thanks!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances summer 2017 (SJPP to Fromista)
Plan on returning in 2019 (Fromista to Santiago)
#34
I’m an Aussie and we call them bum bags. Used 1 all the time for valuables and never left behind. It went under the pillow of a night. Your jack will be safe
I refer to my fanny pack/bum bag as a "utility belt", it makes me feel less self conscious about wearing it. LOL :D
 

Debora

Beautiful Burgos
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Santiago May (2016)
#35
I was traveling with 2 other people. so, that helped. If I showered they stayed in the room with my backpack. However, keep in mind that all pilgrims help each other out and watch for people doing something suspicious. If even one pilgrim is in the room your stuff is probably safe because no one knows who is traveling with who so a thief is less likely to take a chance. I never heard anything while I was on the Camino of people stealing from backpacks at night. I slept with my passport in my pillowcase (pillowcase-which I brought from home and used every night (fav thing I brought-it felt like a piece of home). Also if you have your valuables with you...then, all the things in your bag can be replaced. When I walked I heard of problems only minimally. I Buen Camino
 
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Camino(s) past & future
walk or bike in spring of 2018
#36
I did have my poles "stolen" from in front of the only open café in O'Cebreiro at 6:30AM while I was inside having a café con leche. When I left, there was one pair of poles that looked kind of like mine, but were much nicer, lighter, two color, with curved grips on the other side of the front door, but mine were nowhere in sight. I took the nice ones inside the café, asked if they belonged to anyone there, and when no one claimed them I took them and started walking. About an hour later, in daylight, I arrived at Alto San Rogue where there were several peregrinos posing for pics next to the Monumento do Peregrino. Resting nearby was an old guy (even older than me) who looks at me and asked if those nice, shiny poles were my poles! Then he said he thought he had mine, by accident and wanted his back! Truth is I was glad to get my old cheap ones back and we parted camino amigos. About another hour went by and we met up again. This time his friend insisted we get a picture together with a pole exchange. Last time I saw him. Otherwise, I'm with all the above comments - camino is pretty safe.
 

Mick McQueen

https://www.facebook.com/groups/
Camino(s) past & future
I am escorting the Roll of Honour (Afghanistan) on Camino France on 20 May from SJPDP
The Roll of Honour details the 41 young Australians who died on Active Service in Afghanistan. In the centenary of the ANZAC’s, the Roll of Honour will be escorted to 41 prominent places and events around the World, laying 41 Poppies at each location.
#37
What do people do with their bags once they get to an albergue and want to look around the town? How do you secure it and try to avoid it from being stolen or gone through? Do you bring locks, lock it to the bed and lock pockets shut?
Just don’t leave it on the bed or a chair. Take your valuables with you... deadset easy
 

J F Gregory

Portugal Central - October 2019
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (March-April,2016) finished, (October 2019) Portuguese Central Route.
#40
The only thing that ever went missing on one of our walks was a pair of my wife's panties off of the clothes line, easily replaceable.
 

MicheleK

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning first one, Camino Frances, in September 2018.
#41
Before I left for my first Camino someone suggested that I bring an S shaped hook to hang over the shower door to hang my light waterproof bag with my valuables in it. Passport, money, credit card. Many showerstalls along the way are very small with no hooks or bench to hang the little bag on. That hook came in handy so many times! I was grateful for the tip!

Another tip is to tie a ribbon or in some manner put an identifying mark on your shoes. Twice I came across pilgrims whose shoes were taken by mistake (so many identical shoes) and they ended up with identical shoes that were too small... or too big! All the shoes have to be placed on a rack outside the dormitories and it's easy enough to make that mistake when you leave early and before your first con Leche to fully wake you up😊
Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
#42
Another tip is to tie a ribbon or in some manner put an identifying mark on your shoes.
If you snake the ribbon through the laces of both boots not only do you identify them as yours but you can tie them together so your boots don't get separated.

As Peg and I walked together we tied our left boots together as one pair and our right ones as another. No one mistook our boots for theirs, especially with the size difference.
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Camino(s) past & future
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
#43
I have a short strap and I tie my sack to the back end of the bunk to keep it off the ground.
Don´t want any critters on board and it looks a bit more tidy, my sack always seems to collaps like a drunk beggar, no matter what I do....
I have never been ransacked or anything....I sleep ON top of my valuables in the night and I weigh a lot !
 

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