Winter Camino – 20 tips

snow-spain
A pilgrim that have walked the Camino in Winter shares 20 tips for walking in this time of the year:

Winter Camino: 20 tips

  1. You don’t need a lot of clothes, but the ones you have need to be very functional. (I like ultra fine merino wool, my husband likes hi tech synthetics)
  2. Two full outfits plus jacket, gloves and headband is enough. Use one for day (if you get sweaty there aren’t many people around to be bothered by it) and one for evening after your shower. This minimizes washing – you can wear them for days.
  3. Walking makes you warm, even in the winter.
  4.  A twisted elastic travel washing line is invaluable. After you wring out your washing roll it in a towel to get more moisture out.
  5. Heaters are mostly turned off during the night – get your socks on it as early as possible, and hang your line close to it.
  6. Between Christmas and 6 January lots of places are closed. Don’t count on finding bars open in villages to have a coffee or buy food during the day. More things open up after 7 January.
  7. If you are on a tight budget, plan to arrive in time to hunt for open albergues. There are usually hostals or rooms for rent but they will sharply escalate your expenditure. You may need to walk on to the next town.
  8. However if there is accommodation, there are always plenty of vacancies! We always found a bed.
  9. Newspaper stuffed in your boots will dry them out.
  10. No need for sunglasses.
  11. Learn some basic Spanish. You can go days without finding anyone to speak any English, and there are no other pilgrims to help you out.
  12. The solitude is wonderful, you have it all to yourself.
  13. Chocolate is great.
  14. The hours of darkness are very long, and the evenings are too cold and dark for sightseeing. Take something light to amuse yourself, such as a pack of cards, crossword book, sudoku etc.
  15. The bleak winter landscape is very beautiful.
  16. Change your socks in the middle of the day. Soft, warm, no blisters…lovely!
  17. A good attitude makes it a fantastic adventure.
  18. Walking in snow makes you feel so tough.
  19. A glass of wine never tasted so good.
  20. Did I say chocolate is great?

More in the Winter Camino Tips in the forum.

  • Chris Riding

    Myself and a friend walked between Pamplona and Burgos in Feb 2010. There was snow, rain, wind, minus temps, cloud and glorious sunshine. We wild camped twice, and stayed in Alburgues for the remaining ten, and it remains one of the best experiences of my life.

  • Roald

    My equipment (winter) Walking Goretex (run) 4 pairs of hiking socks 4 pairs of underwear 1 long underwear first hiking pants thin one hiking pants thicker Rainpants Raincoat 3 T-shirts (quick drying) 1 T-shirts long sleeve one wandeljas hooded one windstopper or scarf one hat glove 1x very thin 1x waterproof 2 microfiber towel (1 x is fine to use on the pillow) Slippers second pair of hiking boots lightweight (for after running in the evening) Canes (a must in winter / mountains) Rubber anti-slip for under your shoes. Caps for your shins (with snow and lots of mud) Walking Book by route Pen & Paper Headlamp Mobile Camera (or the two combined with phone) Phone Charger with GPS! Great place for you to determine if you get lost zijn.Medische Blister plasters (compeed) Dressing Gauze and tape wound disinfectant Needle Painkillers Feet cream (there are also painkiller) Scissors Safety Pins PlijstersToilettas (all mini-pack) Shampoo and Toothpaste Brush Swabs Shaving Soap and knife Deodorant Comb Sudocreme Sunmilk high factor then you lubricate only 1 time Lip Protection High factor, bottle water (if you have a water use freezes spout) Sleeping bag (there since 700gr) Silk lightweight indoor sleeping bag against the cold ( not used) Lightweight something to eat (like cracker energy bar) Passport, debit card and credit card and cash. http://www.geefliefde.nl

  • Caminante

    Boots: Gore-Tex or “waterproof”?

  • Jeff

    I walked from Pamplona to Leon in December 2004. Absolutely loved it. Weather was cold but never challenging. Never had a problem finding a place to stay – combination of albergues and cheap hotels. I loved the solitude, the sense of hospitality and seeing all the nativity scenes in the town squares and churches. I want to go back right now!

  • Mischa

    Yes, you did. Thanks for sharing the same old joke yet one more time (Why does everyone think he has to be funny?1-19 seem quite helpful, however.