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Winter - night temperatures in albergues

Time of past OR future Camino
booked to do Lugo-Santiago June 2018
A few weeks ago I created a post asking about winter Caminos. May I thank everyone who replied, they were so helpful that I have booked my flights 😃.
In a nutshell: a few months ago I started my walk from SJPDP but 16 days later gave in and flew home. This was due to extreme temperatures at night in the alberges which was unbearable for me, it was during the heat wave this July, together with a massive blister on the ball of my left foot, which I ended up going to hospital with upon my return.
Anyway, I have booked a flight from London to Asturias on 21st November and a return flight from Santiago 3 weeks later. I have booked Alsa buses from OVD to Leon and another from Leon to Mansilla de las Mulas (which is where I finished in July). I am sleeping in Leon for the first 2 nights to enable me to get to Mansilla after the first night and walk back to Leon. After the 2nd night I will start my walk to Santiago and Finistere.
MY QUESTION : on my previous caminos I have only taken a bag liner to sleep in, obviously and fortunately it will be somewhat cooler in November/December so will take a sleeping bag.
Those of you who have walked the Camino Frances at that time of year are you able to advise me as to just how cold does it get in the alberges at night, as im unsure which bag i need to take ???
(I currently have 2 sleeping bag options :

1- Snugpak Softie Expansion 4 Sleeping Bag, Weight: 1850g / 65oz
Comfort Rating: -10°C / 14°F
Low Rating: -15°C / 5°F
Packsize: 28cm x 24cm / 11" x 9".

2 - A Snugpak Jungle lightweight bag Comfort Temperature 7°C / 44.6F
Low Temperature 2°C - / 35 6 F
Weight 900 grams / 32oz. (With this bag I would also take a Sea to Summit thermolite Reactor bag liner which claims to give an extra 15 degrees centigrade (25F) ?? W
eight 451 gram / 15.9oz.
So bag and liner total weight 1351 grams /47.6 oz.)

Option 1 is a struggle to get into my 50lt back pack so would take my 70lt backpack if this sleep system was needed.

Thank you again, Ian
 

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The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Down bag (90/10 duvet) of 700 fills with 180 g (6.34 ounces) of filling. Mummy-shaped structure, ideal when you are looking for lightness with great heating performance.

€149,-
There is no norm; some places are heated others not. Your option 2 with a sleeping bag plus liner will be useful as is a set of dry clean clothes to wear to bed/bunk including a knitted cap for really cold nights.
Also check
this post re using blankets
Check this earlier post re pleasures/difficulties of staying warm.
 
Last edited:
HI,
use your Snugpack as a quilt. Enforce the footbox with blanket of albergue if available or necessary.
See that you have woollen socks and beanie. Improvize and have as little to carry as possile.
Many garments may be used several ways. Even winter coat as a night cover is a plus.
You may test your variations at home.

Benny
 
I found a great deal of variety in March which I suspect is similar to winter. Some albergues were unheated and very cold. Others were fine. Oddly (to me) some that were heated remained cold all day and only turned the heat on at 10pm for the night when we were all snug in bed. Personally, I needed the heat for my awake time there!! I bring a silk liner and a down throw. It’s lighter than a sleeping bag and more versatile. And wool long johns! Worse case scenario you can add your down coat and a hat. I never had to.
 
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
What is your sleeping comfort level? If you are a warm sleeper, the lighter bag would probably work. If you are a cold sleeper - that heavier bag might still be too much is there a 30 degree (F) bag?

Also - have you looked into down sleeping bags? They are lighter in weight and more compressible to fit into your pack better.

I am a cold sleeper so in the winter in an albergue I would probably still do my silk liner and perhaps a 30 degree bag. But I find the lightest down sleeping bag that I can afford. There are some budget versions on Amazon that don't break the bank and are just a little heavier than the top of the line bags. For my Camino bag I go for something cheap from Amazon, for wilderness hiking I go for the more expensive brands that are higher quality and lower weight.
 
I walked last year on the Via De la Plata. To Astorga and then onto Santiago. When it got cold heat was just on for a couple of hours or not at all. I am getting ready to walk another Camino right now. I am in Barcelona. The rates for heating are just going up and up. In fact in the hostel I’m staying at today in Barcelona They didn’t put the lights on until the sun started to go down. I think it’s going to be cold. How cold I can’t answer that. It all depends on your tolerance
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
together with a massive blister on the ball of my left foot, which I ended up going to hospital with upon my return.

Lots of sound advice here @Ian Salsbury .

My bigger concern though, would be the blister. As a recurrence might potentially end your next Camino.

Do you know what caused it? Footwear, socks, foot care?
And have you taken precautions to avoid it in the future?
 
Lots of sound advice here @Ian Salsbury .

My bigger concern though, would be the blister. As a recurrence might potentially end your next Camino.

Do you know what caused it? Footwear, socks, foot care?
And have you taken precautions to avoid it in the future?
Hi Robo, yes I know exactly what caused it. Over the years I have managed to hone my blister management so that I never get them, however what does happen is through the constant pounding of the floor when averaging 18+ miles a day the balls of my feet feel bruised. On this last camino on day 8 I decided to try some silicone gel metatarsal pads, never again ! One hurt almost straight away so I took it out, the other was fine. By the end of that day's hike the remaing pad had literally eaten the ball of that foot. It created a blister as big as the metatarsal pad. So, lesson learnt. So it shouldn't happen again and is fully healed now 👍
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
Better being prepared is my motto Looking at it rather than looking for it lower altitude is warmer than staying in alberques at higher mountain regions depending on your preference warm / cold sleepers but look on it as experience and enjoy stay in Motels or hotels if it gets too cold alternate as previous posters say it may be a choice that only you can make Buen Camino
 
A few weeks ago I created a post asking about winter Caminos. May I thank everyone who replied, they were so helpful that I have booked my flights 😃.
In a nutshell: a few months ago I started my walk from SJPDP but 16 days later gave in and flew home. This was due to extreme temperatures at night in the alberges which was unbearable for me, it was during the heat wave this July, together with a massive blister on the ball of my left foot, which I ended up going to hospital with upon my return.
Anyway, I have booked a flight from London to Asturias on 21st November and a return flight from Santiago 3 weeks later. I have booked Alsa buses from OVD to Leon and another from Leon to Mansilla de las Mulas (which is where I finished in July). I am sleeping in Leon for the first 2 nights to enable me to get to Mansilla after the first night and walk back to Leon. After the 2nd night I will start my walk to Santiago and Finistere.
MY QUESTION : on my previous caminos I have only taken a bag liner to sleep in, obviously and fortunately it will be somewhat cooler in November/December so will take a sleeping bag.
Those of you who have walked the Camino Frances at that time of year are you able to advise me as to just how cold does it get in the alberges at night, as im unsure which bag i need to take ???
(I currently have 2 sleeping bag options :

1- Snugpak Softie Expansion 4 Sleeping Bag, Weight: 1850g / 65oz
Comfort Rating: -10°C / 14°F
Low Rating: -15°C / 5°F
Packsize: 28cm x 24cm / 11" x 9".

2 - A Snugpak Jungle lightweight bag Comfort Temperature 7°C / 44.6F
Low Temperature 2°C - / 35 6 F
Weight 900 grams / 32oz. (With this bag I would also take a Sea to Summit thermolite Reactor bag liner which claims to give an extra 15 degrees centigrade (25F) ?? W
eight 451 gram / 15.9oz.
So bag and liner total weight 1351 grams /47.6 oz.)

Option 1 is a struggle to get into my 50lt back pack so would take my 70lt backpack if this sleep system was needed.

Thank you again, Ian
Be interesting to know what you settled for and if you can let us know how you get on Buen Camino Mo Chara
 
Be interesting to know what you settled for and if you can let us know how you get on Buen Camino Mo Chara
Just purchased 2 more recommended bags from Gooutdoors which I can try at home for size and comfort and take back if not suitable. I will update when I get back middle December which sleep system I used and how I got on. 👍
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
1666262547010.png
Just purchased 2 more recommended bags from Gooutdoors which I can try at home for size and comfort and take back if not suitable. I will update when I get back middle December which sleep system I used and how I got on. 👍
Keep Safe on your Journey Ian God Bless
 
Hi Robo, yes I know exactly what caused it. Over the years I have managed to hone my blister management so that I never get them, however what does happen is through the constant pounding of the floor when averaging 18+ miles a day the balls of my feet feel bruised. On this last camino on day 8 I decided to try some silicone gel metatarsal pads, never again ! One hurt almost straight away so I took it out, the other was fine. By the end of that day's hike the remaing pad had literally eaten the ball of that foot. It created a blister as big as the metatarsal pad. So, lesson learnt. So it shouldn't happen again and is fully healed now 👍

Ouch !! :oops:
 
I've written about winter walks. There are some tricks to maximize the heat, but at bare minimum, a warm sleeping bag and long Johns should do in most albergues.
 
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
A few weeks ago I created a post asking about winter Caminos. May I thank everyone who replied, they were so helpful that I have booked my flights 😃.
In a nutshell: a few months ago I started my walk from SJPDP but 16 days later gave in and flew home. This was due to extreme temperatures at night in the alberges which was unbearable for me, it was during the heat wave this July, together with a massive blister on the ball of my left foot, which I ended up going to hospital with upon my return.
Anyway, I have booked a flight from London to Asturias on 21st November and a return flight from Santiago 3 weeks later. I have booked Alsa buses from OVD to Leon and another from Leon to Mansilla de las Mulas (which is where I finished in July). I am sleeping in Leon for the first 2 nights to enable me to get to Mansilla after the first night and walk back to Leon. After the 2nd night I will start my walk to Santiago and Finistere.
MY QUESTION : on my previous caminos I have only taken a bag liner to sleep in, obviously and fortunately it will be somewhat cooler in November/December so will take a sleeping bag.
Those of you who have walked the Camino Frances at that time of year are you able to advise me as to just how cold does it get in the alberges at night, as im unsure which bag i need to take ???
(I currently have 2 sleeping bag options :

1- Snugpak Softie Expansion 4 Sleeping Bag, Weight: 1850g / 65oz
Comfort Rating: -10°C / 14°F
Low Rating: -15°C / 5°F
Packsize: 28cm x 24cm / 11" x 9".

2 - A Snugpak Jungle lightweight bag Comfort Temperature 7°C / 44.6F
Low Temperature 2°C - / 35 6 F
Weight 900 grams / 32oz. (With this bag I would also take a Sea to Summit thermolite Reactor bag liner which claims to give an extra 15 degrees centigrade (25F) ?? W
eight 451 gram / 15.9oz.
So bag and liner total weight 1351 grams /47.6 oz.)

Option 1 is a struggle to get into my 50lt back pack so would take my 70lt backpack if this sleep system was needed.

Thank you again, Ian
I would invite you to do some research to determine what the average temperatures for the time of the year that you are going so that you can properly determine what kind of sleeping system you should bring. For example, In Roncesvalles (In the mountains), the average high-temperature in December is practically the same as in November - a chilly 8.9°C (48°F). The average low-temperature, in December, is 2.5°C (36.5°F).

Now, since Spain does not have the Canadian winters, I will omit some explanations and go straight to the point: Sleeping in a sleeping bag + a sleeping liner + your wool base layers amd socks + your clothes should be sufficient if not more than sufficient. So your sleeping bag should be rated for the lowest average temperature mentioned above and if it gets colder then you can put a liner and wool base layer and clothes and even your coat if need be. But I would not bring such a heavy bag with you. Also you can also throw an albergue supplied blanket on top of your sleeping bag to increase the warmth level.
 
I have walked a few times in Winter, including the Baztan in 2nd week of Jan where there was no heating in 2 places (there was snow and ice).

I've been using a Warmpeace Viking 600, down, which is rated T-limit at -9C for men and T-comfort for women at -3, I find the comfort rating optimistic (😂), this weighs 1110gr, I use the version for people up to 180cm in height. I also carried a Thermarest reactor, which states it increases temp with up to 8 degrees (also optimistic😂), weighs 248grams.

I walk with "Summer" hiking trousers in Winter, and use either wool shorts or leggings/longjohns under, normally carry 2 long ones, sleep in one - walk in the other.

Carry two wooly hats, a thinner for walking, and a wool/silk/mohair blend for sleeping when it's cold.

In addition; if I know there's no heating/expect it to be cold I keep 2 empty 1/2 L bottles (of the sturdier variety(😂), fill them with warm water and put them in my sleeping bag before going to bed (obviously make sure they are not leaking....).

If the albergue has blankets and bunk beds - you're still cold; pick a bottom bunk, sleep on top of a blanket (avoids having sleeping bag directly onto a cold , freezing plastic covered mattress). Still cold; find more blankets, hang them from top bunk and create a "tent" around bottom bunk... Only made a bunk bed tent once, in Samos - and a decade later I am still grateful to the pilgrim that wrote this suggestion in the visitors book- it's the reason why I had a good nights sleep😍🤩 I have used blankets to cover mattresses with several times; obviously when there were plenty available/ I was only person staying.

Enjoy your walk❤️
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-

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