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Backpack Etiquette

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Rainyday woman, Mar 28, 2017.

  1. Rainyday woman

    Rainyday woman Member

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    Hello everyone! I am wondering what you do with your backpack when you go into stores, cafes and bars? What is the protocol for backpacks in churches? Kind of hesitant to leave it outside. Should I bring a lock? Sorry if I sound a little paranoid but where I live, things left outside of stores etc seem to not be there when you come out. Thanks in advance for all your advice :)
     
  2. Tina-Marie Brownie

    Tina-Marie Brownie Active Member

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    Good question - following this thread for sure.
     
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  3. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

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    Hi there RainyDay Woman. Maybe someone else could address leaving packs out in front of albergues to mark your place in line - I don't do it. With regard to stores: wear it. Cafes: set it next to you or ask someone you trust to watch it (for instance, when you go to check what the WiFi contrasena - password - for the place is). Bars (you probably know that bars are also restaurants and sometimes little groceries/tiendas in Spain as well) - wear it or set it next to you or have someone watch it. To wander through a church, if it's a tiny chapel, I just wear it. If it's someplace rural where it's just pilgrims, sometimes people leave them inside the entrance against a wall for a short time while they're looking around (I don't do this either, because I'm sure someone with a similar backpack will walk off with it by mistake, as once had to convince a guy at baggage claim in Nice that he had my suitcase).

    Albergues usually have a system whereby only those signed in can go back to the dorm areas, so that keeps your pack a bit safer once you're registered. That way, if you've registered and want to wander around town or go to a church service or go to dinner, you can go without your pack. I keep anything valuable next to my body at all times.
     
  4. Rainyday woman

    Rainyday woman Member

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    Thanks Crepes4Zuzette, what a relief! I'm afraid I would knock more stuff over carrying it in my hands lol Buen Camino :)
     
  5. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Rainyday Woman - C4S has really summed it up very well. I, too, have marked my place in line at an albergue with my backpack, but I have not ventured far from it unless I knew someone reliable who would keep an eye in it. To leave it unattended for any length if time invites trouble.

    At cafe/bars where I have stopped to rest, I have both left my bag outside wear I was sitting or taken it off and brought it inside with me setting it down next to the table. Again, I don't let it out of my sight even when just ordering a coffee. Many stores are too small or cramped to wear your pack inside. In that case, take it off and carry it around with you so as not to knock anything over.

    When you do leave your pack in the albergue, as we all do, don't leave any valuables unattended. Thinking that you're hinding them deep inside your pack doesn't necessarily make them safe. Money, passport, credit cards, and electronics should stay with you all the time. Buen Camino!
     
  6. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Some good info already posted :)



    I tend to do differing things depending on the occasion – With shops, I usually leave my rucksack outside when I pop in to buy supplies – In most shops it simply isn’t conducive to take a rucksack inside.



    Bar’s & Cafes – It really depends on the cafe, but most times I will take my rucksack inside and find a suitable corner to put it.



    Albergue’s, I always take it inside and try to store it as close to by bed as possible, I Never put it on my bed (This was once described to me as bad Etiquette) and if I am able to snag the bottom bunk, I take the things out that I need (Sleeping bag, towel, wash gear and my change of clothes) and (When lockers aren’t available) put my camera and semi valuables in the top pocket and secure this with a small padlock then, if possible, store the rucksack under my bed so no one trips over it in the night ;-(As already mentioned, I keep my most valuable possessions (Money Passport, Credentials and credit/debit cards in a pouch on my person)



    Most times your possessions are very safe on pilgrimage, but there can still be the occasional bad apple in the barrel, so it’s best not to put temptation on people’s way



    Good Luck and Buen Camino

    Rob
     
  7. Rainyday woman

    Rainyday woman Member

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    Thank you for the advice. Hopefully I will have someone to watch my pack if I have to go into the small shops. I'm kind of clumsy :) I do have a waist pouch (worn under clothes) to keep all of my valuables in. The clasp is very thin so it should be comfortable to sleep with it on.
     
  8. Rainyday woman

    Rainyday woman Member

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    More great advice, thanks Rob :)
     
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  9. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

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    Forgot to say if you're touring a big monastery or museum they like to keep your backpack, but will indicate that using the word "mochila" (backpack) and they secure them behind the desk or in an office area for you. Also, you'll get a sense of how much space you're taking up with your pack on after awhile. I don't know if you're taking a sleeping bag or liner, but you can always stuff whatever you're keeping your valuables in in your bag with you.
     
  10. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Many bars / restaurants do not allow backpacks inside. A few times, we placed on the floor just inside the entrance. There is more flexibility outside. Oftentimes my wife and I had a café con leche or beer / wine outside at a table with seats for four. We placed our backpacks on the chairs next to us. One time a grumpy bartender came outside and asked us to take our backpacks off the chairs even though we were the only ones outside!
     
  11. Rainyday woman

    Rainyday woman Member

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    To bad its not possible for every place to have checked bags :) have noted "mochila" in my Spanish phrase notes. Great idea about just stuffing val bag in with me instead of wearing it, high five! I'm starting from SJPP on Aug 27th. Do you think a silk liner will be enough? I have a fleece liner also but didn't want to carry it if I don't have to.
     
  12. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey All - It's often difficult to know exactly the right thing to do. Different places/people have different expectations. With regards to cafe/bars, I generally take my pack off before entering the establishment and carry it inside with me. I then place it on the floor rather than a chair. No one has ever asked me to move my pack. Such was the case this very morning as we stopped for coffee in Ponte de Lima before leaving town. Chairs are understood as places for people to use, not backpacks.

    Whether you see signs or not, most albergues do not want packs on the beds. It's best to keep them on the floor or possible a chair if one is available. On the Camino, one quickly learns the general rules of etiquette which will work for you most of the time. Buen Camino!
     
  13. Rainyday woman

    Rainyday woman Member

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    Hi Bob, I read an article about albergue etiquette and it said that backpacks are never to be put on beds or chairs because they are dirty. After being put on the ground everywhere. It reminded me of my mom "get those shoes off the bed!" Good idea about leaving just inside door. At least that way I can still watch it. Buen Camino :)
     
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  14. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Rainyday Woman - Pilgrims seem split on this issue - sleeping bag or liner! It's going to come down to an individual preference regarding your late August Camino. For me, I'd bring along my sleeping bag. As it only weighs 1.1 pounds, it's hardly heavier than some liners people carry. But, it would give me the needed warmth on chilly nights. Although many private albergues offer blankets, not all do. If you were unfortunate to get stuck outside for an evening or even have to sleep on a church floor, you'd appreciate having the bag. Do some online research and find a lightweight one-season bag to take with you. Better warm than sorry. Buen Camino!
     
  15. Rainyday woman

    Rainyday woman Member

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    Hi Wily, thanks again for your advice. You all have made my anxiety about this drop drastically :) and I'm very grateful. I think my only obstacle now is the plane ride! Lol
    Peace and Buen Camino
     
  16. Rainyday woman

    Rainyday woman Member

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    Researching now. Going to see if I can find one that's lighter than my silk and fleece liners together.
     
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  17. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    Last year I took a liner only. This year I am going to take a liner and a down throw that I got at Coatco. I think that this will provide enough warmth and lack of weight.
     
  18. Rainyday woman

    Rainyday woman Member

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    Just bought an ultralight all season bag with compression sack. Weighs 17 ounces which is a smidge more than my liners but is a smaller package. And it was only 20 bucks! ;)
     
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  19. Rainyday woman

    Rainyday woman Member

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    When are you going?
     
  20. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

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    Wow, you did well! That's around what I paid for mine, and I loved crawling into it at night. If you have good bedding, you can also unzip it and feel like you've got a huge duvet.
     
  21. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    I leave Saint Jean on May 13.
     
  22. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Great weight! Same as mine! My bag also compresses down into a very small package. I think you've made a good decision. I know last May, I needed more than a liner on a number of nights! As C4S said, you'll love crawling into it (particularly on a chilly or damp day). Buen Camino!
     
  23. Rainyday woman

    Rainyday woman Member

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    Thank you for the advice Wily. It is sky blue and I can't wait to crawl into it
     
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  24. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    I just arrived in Spain today. It's raining again. My sleeping bag is already rolled out at my albergue. After a little more wine and tapas, I'll be crawling into mine. So far this trip, I've found the use of heat minimal! You'll enjoy your bag!
     
  25. Rainyday woman

    Rainyday woman Member

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    I'm envious :) August seems so far away. Sounds like my kind of weather lol. Enjoy your tapas, wine and comfy warm bag!

    Buen Camino
     
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  26. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Hindsfeet - Sorry to rub it in! It tastes as good as it looks!

    IMG_0242.JPG
     
  27. hindsfeet

    hindsfeet Donating Member Donating Member

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    Wily.......ha! Is it WRONG to already look forward to EATING in Spain??? "More Tapas and wine for
    everyone!!!!" Por favor!! Don't get me wrong, I do not want the reputation of eating my way thru
    the countryside. Oh, so what.........it is MY Camino, right? LOL
     
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  28. Josh unçu

    Josh unçu Member

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    You´re being a naughty boy showing us, all that food of poor Pilgrim Eh! Can you spell table´s components ?: Pan, nueces, cecina, queso, mermelada,....
    Enjoy you two!!!!
    Ultreia!!!
    J.Ç.
     
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  29. Amys3dogs

    Amys3dogs New Member

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    I'm looking for a light and inexpensive sleeping bag for my son. May I ask where you got yours or the brand? Thanks!
     
  30. Amys3dogs

    Amys3dogs New Member

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    Wily, I love following your blog! Thanks for posting and sharing pictures. We're down to 66 days!!
     
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