I'm planning to do the Camino de Santiago Frances trek next Spring or Fall. I understand that keeping weight to a minimum is paramount and I wonder if I should take a sleeping bag or quilt, and for other equipment suggestions from experienced Camino hikers.
I’m glad you started this thread. I am also planning on doing the Camino de Santiago trek. But I’m planning on the Portugal section. I’m even considering doing the trek with France first and then ending in Portugal (Lisbon). I will be very interested to see what everyone else has to say.
You have mentioned hiking the Camino de Santiago here in the community in the past so I wanted to bring this post to your attention in case you have any tips or equipment suggestions you'd like to pass along. Thanks!
Congrats! You're going to love the Camino. I've done it both in the Spring (2007) and the Fall (2002) - I think I preferred the Spring. Walking the Camino is way different than hiking some other trail like the AT. A light sleeping bag, quilt or even a sleeping sack is a good idea but the exact time you travel will determine how warm or cool you need it to be. No need for any camping gear. Just some spare clothes and some rainwear. If you keep in light, you definitely don't need hiking boots. Basically you are walking a nice multiuse track between refugios (hostels). It's been a while since I was on the Camino but a good place to start is https://americanpilgrims.org and https://www.csj.org.uk Good luck! Buen Camino!!!
I have walked the Camino Frances and the Camino del Norte, both in the fall. Beautiful time of year to walk! I carried a lightweight down blanket instead of a sleeping bag. The whole thing fit in a gallon size freezer bag. Worked great! I encourage you to check out the chapter of American Pilgrims on the Camino in your state and the facebook pages. Lots to learn there, and pilgrims are a terrific bunch of people! The local chapters do not have any fees. Great place to meet like-minded people.
My husband and I had the most fabulous Camino experience in October 2018. We did not have time to walk the entire most popular Frances route, and had been waiting for years to go ... but, we also wanted to avoid the crowds, so we researched and chose to walk the Camino Ingles [English Way] which was the perfect Camino for us at this stage that took only 1 week and we earned our Compostella. [we plan to return to Spain and walk another Camino in the future] Because our route was shorter, we chose to pre-book all of our rooms in small hotels, hostels, and B&Bs so that we had a guaranteed bed waiting and there was no reason to feel 'rushed'. We did not have to carry any sleeping or toiletry items, as everything was provided. Please note: during COVID times, many hostels, refugios and some hotels have been closed so lodging is a serious concern currently and must be carefully planned. You will want to stay current on the local situation of your chosen route so that you can be prepared and have some contingency plans. If you will be sleeping primarily in group lodging / refugio, donativo and hostel / it is recommended to bring a silk sleep liner and a small inflatable travel pillow. Sheets/blankets are always provided. We thought we had packed VERY light, but we still took a bit too much. My advice is to pack light, then take at least 50% out! @jimbagsh has given you some great advice, and I second that you join the American Pilgrims Facebook group! Any question you post will gain dozens of responses in a few minutes. 🙂 Camino pilgrims are a very passionate global family! ¡Buen Camino! ♥