Search over 55.000 Camino Questions

A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it


Advertisement
Silver Oxide Camino de Santiago pendent
Camino de Santiago pendant that has a shell on the front, and "Camino de Santiago" engraved on the back. Comes with a black cord. Pendent is slightly larger than a 50 euro cent coin, about 25mm.
Camino Magnets
A collection of Camino Fridge Magnets

Which clothes/garments to wear during /buy for the Camino?

sugargypsy

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2019
In progress: CP 2020 and/or CI
Hi,

my question is not really about the number of garments that you take with you. Nor which ones you take with you. Everyone has to decide that for themselves.

But I would be interested - 5 weeks before my flight to Pamplona and start my walk to SdC - whether you buy & wear special garments for the Camino or take whatever is in your closet.

I’ve bought a rain-poncho and gaiters, because so far I had no real need for those.

But since one can only carry a limited change of clothes, has to wash them daily and therefore the clothes must dry quite quickly, I’m not sure about my underwear, trousers, longshirts etc. Do I need to buy special functional clothing or is it also o.k. and no problem to use my regular shirts, trousers etc.?

So: I'm interested in whether you buy (and test) extra or special functional clothing before you walk the Camino or do you simply rely on tried-and-tested everyday clothing items - which are not super-light / quick-drying, etc.?

Looking forward to answers,

Sugargypsy
 
Camino Socks
Browse the Camino Socks collection on the forum shop
Holy Year Credential
Get the HOLY YEAR Camino Credential (Passport) here.

Caligal

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF April 4- May 12, 2018
CF Sept 10-27 2019
CP Sept 28- Oct12 2019
C Finisterre Oct 16-Oct 20
I bought quik dry everything however on my 1st day of walking I wore the jeans I traveled in from the US. MISTAKE 15 minutes in it rained, rained hard. Heavy, cold stuck to my legs causing thigh cramps I left them in the albergue. IMHO quik dry the way to go.
 

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 wear my normal underwear but have two sets of specific “Camino clothes”. Quick dry and purpose bought. I do tweak them from time to time, but I’ve been wearing pretty much the same clothes for many camino walks. I watch out for specials and sales of those items and buy replacements as they come up.
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
I'd take the most likely of what I had in my closet, preferably something I wouldn't care if I abandonned at an albergue if it wasn't working. If I was going to spend money on new stuff this close to departure, I would wait and head to the decathlon store in north Pamplona (assuming Frances) to buy something cheap and toss what wasn't working.

I met a Dutch guy in jeans -they were what he had. He did concede to the heat and cut off the legs.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Hi,

my question is not really about the number of garments that you take with you. Nor which ones you take with you. Everyone has to decide that for themselves.

But I would be interested - 5 weeks before my flight to Pamplona and start my walk to SdC - whether you buy & wear special garments for the Camino or take whatever is in your closet.

I’ve bought a rain-poncho and gaiters, because so far I had no real need for those.

But since one can only carry a limited change of clothes, has to wash them daily and therefore the clothes must dry quite quickly, I’m not sure about my underwear, trousers, longshirts etc. Do I need to buy special functional clothing or is it also o.k. and no problem to use my regular shirts, trousers etc.?

So: I'm interested in whether you buy (and test) extra or special functional clothing before you walk the Camino or do you simply rely on tried-and-tested everyday clothing items - which are not super-light / quick-drying, etc.?

Looking forward to answers,

Sugargypsy

There are a few ways to consider your questions.

1. It is not unusual to purchase special clothing for differing activities. For example: more formal wear for weddings, church, parties, etc. Or uniforms or specific clothing for a job or profession. One may also have clothing specific for outdoor activities like running, jogging, tennis, bike riding, etc.

2. The clothing I use for backpacking do have attributes which make that activity more enjoyable and comfortable. These are the same attributes that are good for Camino, or walking on day hikes, or long walks around a recreation area. The clothing may also be worn shopping or just dinking around the house while doing chores outside.

3. My backpacking clothing can be used for all sorts of wardrobe needs when I am not backpacking, but my non-backpacking clothing may not be really suitable for backpacking or outdoor recreation. The trick is to do what you are thinking on. . . what article of clothing which I have now will work for Camino, and what will be better to purchase.

4. If there is clothing that will be better suited for Camino, then I would make that purchase knowing that when I am off of Camino I can still use it. So, if purchasing Merino wool socks or shirts, or synthetic shirts and pants, and walking or running shorts will make for a more enjoyable and easier Camino, the investment won't be wasted by needing to store those purchases away between Caminos.
 
Original artwork based on your pilgrimage or other travel photos.
Unique engravings about the Camino de Santiago from Gabriel and other art objects.

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Quick drying underpants, good socks & shoes are essential of course.

Some people walk in yoga pants/leggings. You may already have gym clothes that might work.

I once met a lady from Oz who had one set of walking clothes and then had lightweight chiffon blouses and skirts for evening. She didn't want to look like a pilgrim and her chiffon clothes were very lightweight.
 
Year of 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
If you are walking in the summer, I'd just wear what's in your closet. There is no reason to spend money on extra special clothing. The only thing I WOULD buy is a good pair of trail runners. I've always worn New Balance Trail Runners with no foot issues. I wear a Macabi skirt because I don't have to wash it more than every two weeks. I wear regular underwear (boy cut), regular bra, regular socks, though I love merino socks. In the beginning I bought all sorts of gear, but after all these years, I just wear what is in my closet.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I wear my normal underwear but have two sets of specific “Camino clothes”. Quick dry and purpose bought. I do tweak them from time to time, but I’ve been wearing pretty much the same clothes for many camino walks. I watch out for specials and sales of those items and buy replacements as they come up.
Hi Kanga,
Are you one who had to fight @gerardcarey when Aldi's had one of their special sales in Australia last year? ☺ The long, detailed post he wrote was a hoot! Priceless forum entertainment!
And yes, I too, have two basic changes of Camino clothes, all quick dry wicking fabrics. They don't all need to be the most expensive, top brands either. I've had good luck with some less well known brands.
 
Last edited:

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I make merino wool "hiking dresses" to walk in. Because I like to sew, and create new things I make two new ones for each Camino.
Can I buy your last year's dresses?
I'm a size 8 and am happy to pay for shipping! 😉
 
2021 Camino Guides
Most all Camino authors have decided to use 2020 guides for 2021, with free PDF files with updates coming in the spring. Get yours today.
Holy Year Credential
Get the HOLY YEAR Camino Credential (Passport) here.
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2011), Camino Frances (2015), Camino Ingles (2017), Camino Muxia (2017), LePuy(2019)
I make merino wool "hiking dresses" to walk in. Because I like to sew, and create new things I make two new ones for each Camino.
Trecile, I have been meaning to ask you a question. Do you think a merino dress could multi-purpose as a towel?
 

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 been walking the Camino every year for the past 6 years. And what I have seen change is the number of pilgrims wearing street clothes because they're having they're wheeler bag transported by luggage service everyday. Well there is nothing basically wrong with this I feel that their missing an important lesson. The Camino teaches you the difference between what you really need in life and what you want.
But to answer your clothes question which sounds like it's based on not spending money for something that's not needed. Think about this. You're carrying your backpack everyday and when you get to the albergue you wash out your clothes. The clothesline is crowded and there aren't any clothes pins do you drape your cotton pants over a bush. They're not dry before you go to bed and still damp in the morning no problem you've brought an extra pair of pants. But the damp pants are draped over the back of your pack and are much heavier. I suggest you purchase a food scale and roll your clothes and weight them. They're often is a half a pound or more difference in quick-drying hiking pants and regular pants not to mention the sun protection factor and the moisture control. So go to your local outdoor store or even a workout store and buy a couple of synthetic tops and some loose pants that are quick drying and lightweight. Your back will thank you and you will enjoy the time saved socializing and sightseeing. And isn't that more important than saving a few pennies 😁
 

Roland49

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Hello fellow pilgrim,

as I'll walk in mid-summer I bring 2 Trekking-trousers (1 short (unbranded), 1 convertible (branded)) 2 T-Shirts (Merino, unbranded), 2 Pair of Socks (Wrightsocks), 2 fastdry briefs (branded), sports trousers (unbranded), a rain poncho (Decathlon) and a woven fleece jacket (unbranded) as 2nd layer. As optional mid-layer I will carry a longsleeve trecking shirt (branded).

For the Camino I spent ~140€ (pack included) on new clothing and sandals.

The most important thing are good shoes / boots. Do not to try to save money on your footwear!

My Camino-ready pack will be under 5k w/o water and food.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Trecile, I have been meaning to ask you a question. Do you think a merino dress could multi-purpose as a towel?
I suppose that it could, but which one would you use as a towel? The one that you just took off, or that one that you'll be wearing after your shower?
 
2021 Camino Guides
Most all Camino authors have decided to use 2020 guides for 2021, with free PDF files with updates coming in the spring. Get yours today.
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.

easygoing

Camino Sharon
Year of past OR future Camino
I have walked the Camino Francis 7 times, twice in 2017 and 2018. (2019)
Although wool takes longer to develope oder I vote for using the clean Merino wool. My hiking partner last Camino dried off with the clothes she had worn that day. Gross! And she complained her clothes always smelt funky-- go figure.
 

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
Apart from my Camino kit, I also set aside during the year a T-shirt, set of underwear etc that are well past their use by date.
I wear these as we position to our starting point. They then get binned as we start our Camino so that I set out with fresh clothing and no need to do laundry the night before.
 

Shades of Narnia

Sandi, Shades of Narnia
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francis, 2014
Camino Portuguese 2015
Camino Francis, 2016 & Hospitalera in Viana Spain
(etc)
I wear my normal underwear but have two sets of specific “Camino clothes”. Quick dry and purpose bought. I do tweak them from time to time, but I’ve been wearing pretty much the same clothes for many camino walks. I watch out for specials and sales of those items and buy replacements as they come up.

Same.
 

J F Gregory

Portugal Central - October 2019
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (March-April,2016) finished, (October 2019) Portuguese Central Route.
Both my wife and pack one set: underwear, socks. 'T' shirt, shorts or pants. And wear a set, doing laundry daily or every other day seems to work. You don't need expensive brand shop around. My quick dry pants and shorts $35 at Bass Pro Shop if there is one near you.
 

roving_rufus

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2013-2015) Portugues (2017-2019) Via Francigena (2018-??) Camino from Ireland (2020-??)
I have a mix of things that I use for camino - I discovered that my normal everyday underwear caused me issues on longer walks I did before I went on the camino and I switched out for a different fabric but not special sportswear.
I had some wicking t-shirts ( cheap non-brand) that I used for gym which were useful as quick drying but one year I took a turquoise one but hand washing it still left a dirt mark were the hip belt was - but it was all clean again when it went through a machine wash. (But had no problems with light pink one!)
The best advice is to make sure you have a trial run of long walks with the clothing you are thinking of and then try hand washing it! Some fabrics deal better with hand washing. Some fabrics just take way too long to dry.
 
Original artwork based on your pilgrimage or other travel photos.
Holy Year Credential
Get the HOLY YEAR Camino Credential (Passport) here.
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2011), Camino Frances (2015), Camino Ingles (2017), Camino Muxia (2017), LePuy(2019)
I suppose that it could, but which one would you use as a towel? The one that you just took off, or that one that you'll be wearing after your shower?
I would not use the dress for hiking. It would double as a nightgown or dress or extra layer. It seems a towel has less versatility. Some people use sarongs but I always wonder what type of material and absorbency. My dress dries quickly but it isn't as absorbent as a towel.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2012
A good question @sugargypsy but hard to answer. I haven't ever bought anything specific to camino other than the Forum patch that I stitched to my pack. But then I've spent most of my life hiking and backpacking whenever the opportunity arose. My investments in "special" clothes have been in formal suits and "dinner" jackets and stuff I had to wear to look like a respectable civil servant even when I wasn't.

Modern "technical" gear can make life easier on camino: lightweight, easy-wash, easy-dry. Not compulsory. Denim Jeans, quilted cotton, nylon socks - not advised.

As my old Sergeant said "Look after your feet & they'll look after you". Camino is camino but its only a walk along a path through a civilised country. Camino is camino and all the rest is just "stuff".
 

sugargypsy

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2019
In progress: CP 2020 and/or CI
Hi,
thanks very much for your answers.

Quick drying underpants, good socks & shoes are essential of course.
Good socks (wrightsocks) and shoes I've got. I'm already walking with those for about two or three months by now and so far everythings just fine.

Underpants I will have to get or try the ones I've got and handwash them at home, to see how fast they are going to dry.

Apart from my Camino kit, I also set aside during the year a T-shirt, set of underwear etc that are well past their use by date.
Same here, when going off somewhere. The clothes that I will sort out during the year will then serve their purpose one last time.

The best advice is to make sure you have a trial run of long walks with the clothing you are thinking of and then try hand washing it!
Yes, I guess I have to do that, especially the latter.

But to answer your clothes question which sounds like it's based on not spending money for something that's not needed.
No, not really, I just want to find out what's really necessary and what's superfluous.

Though there's also another point for me to consider: Since I am overweight, it is not always that easy to get functional clothing in the appropriate size needed, because the manufacturers somehow seem to assume that people in a higher weight class won't go walking or do any outdoor activities therefore don't manufacture that kind of clothes in larger sizes :confused:.

Therefore, I may have to simply wear everyday clothes, if I don't get anything suitable my size.
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
When I started training for my first camino, I got 2 quick drying t-shirts (one from Aldi, one from Kmart) and a pair of quick drying knee-zipped pants. I also borrowed a cap with a cover in the back as well (not sure how that is called).

As I got used to those things, I bought 2 nicer (and lighter) quick drying t-shirts from Decathlon, which I have since then used in 2 caminos and will use in my third one in two weeks time.

Everything else (leggings, underwear, backpack) I already had. Must say I deliberatly chose my microfiber quick drying underwear to take with me, even though it was not bought for the camino.

My camino backpack for the first two trail was actually a laptop backpack, ultra light and with many pockets. I love the little thing and still use it for short trips, but after many years with me it is too loose and torn to be reliable in the camino. So I got a hiking backpack from decathlon for camino purposes and will give that a go this time.
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
I was a fan of charity shops for finding camino clothes, until over the years I'd accummulated enough gear on sale that I don't really need more. I figured for the investment, leaving it behind while on camino wouldn't be painful.

You may drop some weight and by Burgos, feel some retail therapy at Decathlon is in order.

Jockey makes quick drying underwear. It's just some kind of polyester. Regular stuff.
 
John Brierley Camino Frances Guide
This guide is one of the ones that has been around for over 15 years. Updated yearly. Please read the reviews.
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
please see signature
@sugargypsy , good question

When I started training wore what was in my wardrobe. This cotton and I soon found it didn't dry quickly enough.

So bought merino wool and polyester tops. For me the polyester tops did not breathe adequately and I was overheating. So merino tops only now. In my pack I have one short sleeve and one long sleeve and wear one.

For underwear I also found cotton chafed when walking long distances didn't dry quickly. So moved to microfibre.

I now wear a hiking kilt of polyester wool as my shorts chafed over long distances.

Now these things are prt of my wardrobe.

Hope that helps.

Kia kaha (take care, be strong, get going)
 

New York Peregrina

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
4 caminos total completed - 3 Camino Frances, 1 Camino Portugues from Porto
With 5 weeks to go, you still have time to geartest your clothes, so my top suggestion is to start with what you have in your closet and wear on all training walks, wearing your loaded pack. Often you will think a top works well until you wear the pack for 10km and realize a seam is chafing you. Try out everything you’re considering, I have completed 4 caminos and still geartest before every walk. Also read ‘To Walk Far Carry Less’ for more ideas, great book. Hope this helps and have a good walk
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
I have found a lot of the clothes I am taking with me in thrift shops and on Ebay. I love the REI sahara convertible pants, but at $80 each, it gave me a pause. I lucked onto a pair at a thrift store for less that $10 and since have bought a few more pairs on Ebay for $10-20 each. I have found some great deals in light weight, quick dry tops, leggings, fleece jackets, vests and rain gear at thrift stores. They also have larger sizes for us gals who need them. All gear is getting the walking work out before making final cut.
 

sherrykirkham

Canadian Chick Walking Clicks
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances - June 2018
Camino Portuguese - June 2019
Hi,

my question is not really about the number of garments that you take with you. Nor which ones you take with you. Everyone has to decide that for themselves.

But I would be interested - 5 weeks before my flight to Pamplona and start my walk to SdC - whether you buy & wear special garments for the Camino or take whatever is in your closet.

I’ve bought a rain-poncho and gaiters, because so far I had no real need for those.

But since one can only carry a limited change of clothes, has to wash them daily and therefore the clothes must dry quite quickly, I’m not sure about my underwear, trousers, longshirts etc. Do I need to buy special functional clothing or is it also o.k. and no problem to use my regular shirts, trousers etc.?

So: I'm interested in whether you buy (and test) extra or special functional clothing before you walk the Camino or do you simply rely on tried-and-tested everyday clothing items - which are not super-light / quick-drying, etc.?

Looking forward to answers,

Sugargypsy
I'm a big fan of Icebreaker - tank tops, light 150 weight long sleeve, socks and I even have the shorts and one dress. You can wear the dress out at night and go straight to bed in it. Icebreaker can be worn multiple times before it needs to be washed (doesn't smell), dries quickly and holds up well and the new stuff they are coming out with is great for hot weather as well! They added eucalyptus?? I am taking everything I wore last camino again this late spring when I return for my second Camino! Icebreaker is Amazing. Oh and clothing that I love for day to day at home for gym stinks after one wear on the Camino !
 
Silver Oxide Camino de Santiago pendent
Camino de Santiago pendant that has a shell on the front, and "Camino de Santiago" engraved on the back. Comes with a black cord. Pendent is slightly larger than a 50 euro cent coin, about 25mm.
Create your own ad
€1,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.

messa777

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Future: Mid - late September
@sugargypsy I will have to also give a vote to merino clothing. The good ones will be comfortable (as opposed to itchy wool), does not retain odour as much as other material (the quick dry material can still have a real pong smell) and generally achieves its acclaimed temperature regulation.
Some caveats or downsides though, they are on the more expensive side (for me who likes hiking, and at times may have to go days in the bush without a shower, they're a great investment!), they develop little holes over time (maybe from moths or general wear) and if they are of the medium or heavy weight (eg. 260+) are not very quick drying.

If anyone has a tip on how to avoid or preserve Merino clothing from those little holes, please please please share your secret!
 

gerip

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF, Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
CF, Burgos to Santiago, May 2019
Ingles, Sep - Oct 2019
Hi,
thanks very much for your answers.


Good socks (wrightsocks) and shoes I've got. I'm already walking with those for about two or three months by now and so far everythings just fine.

Underpants I will have to get or try the ones I've got and handwash them at home, to see how fast they are going to dry.

Same here, when going off somewhere. The clothes that I will sort out during the year will then serve their purpose one last time.

Yes, I guess I have to do that, especially the latter.

No, not really, I just want to find out what's really necessary and what's superfluous.

Though there's also another point for me to consider: Since I am overweight, it is not always that easy to get functional clothing in the appropriate size needed, because the manufacturers somehow seem to assume that people in a higher weight class won't go walking or do any outdoor activities therefore don't manufacture that kind of clothes in larger sizes :confused:.

Therefore, I may have to simply wear everyday clothes, if I don't get anything suitable my size.

Where do you live? Here in the UK there's Mountain Warehouse, that carries up to UK women's 22, prices quite low compared to other outfitters. In the US I get a lot of my gear from Columbia, they always have sales on their website, and carry women's plus sizes.
 

Did not find what you were looking for? Search here

Popular Resources

“All” Albergues on the Camino Frances in one pdf ivar
  • Featured
“All” Albergues on the Camino Frances in one pdf
4.95 star(s) 100 ratings
Downloads
14,989
Updated
A selection of favorite albergues on the Camino Francés Ton van Tilburg
Favorite Albergues along the Camino Frances
4.83 star(s) 35 ratings
Downloads
7,652
Updated
Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances ivar
Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances
4.88 star(s) 24 ratings
Downloads
7,512
Updated

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Updates on YouTube

Camino Conversations

Most downloaded Resources

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 16 1.1%
  • February

    Votes: 10 0.7%
  • March

    Votes: 61 4.3%
  • April

    Votes: 212 15.0%
  • May

    Votes: 346 24.4%
  • June

    Votes: 104 7.3%
  • July

    Votes: 27 1.9%
  • August

    Votes: 30 2.1%
  • September

    Votes: 409 28.8%
  • October

    Votes: 173 12.2%
  • November

    Votes: 19 1.3%
  • December

    Votes: 11 0.8%

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store
Top