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Cleaning/drying Clothes

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Chuck, Aug 26, 2017.

  1. Chuck

    Chuck New Member

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    As I have never backpacked even for one day much less 33 days I had to buy pretty much everything. Most of the items I bought was based on advice from all of you so thank you, thank you all. As I believe I'm now done Amazon & LL Bean will probably send out search parties to make sure I'm ok.

    I thought I wouldn't have to post again but I do have questions about doing laundry. In the hundreds of videos that I have watched on the Camino people talk about washing clothes daily but they never show the actual process. So my question on the washing is there a particular detergent you like (I have heard a lot about Lush bars) and my question on the drying end is should I take a clothes line and if so how (or where) did you hang it? I was also wondering if I could just hang things from the hooks I have on my pack.

    3 weeks from today! Yikes!
     
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  2. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Chuck - With only three weeks to go, you must be most excited! I'm sure many folks have perspectives on doing laundry, but let me share a couple of my ideas. You will often have several options on the Camino. Many of the private albergues offer laundry services either where they will do laundry for you or have machines for you to use. One of my few indulgences on the Camino was to machine wash my clothes every few days. Frequently, although it was only a minimal cost to wash clothes, several pilgrims and I would join together to have one full-size load. Worked out quite nicely and by sharing, cost almost nothing. Most albergues also have wash tubs for you to use. Because I'd encounter mud from time to time, I washed out pants and socks using Campsuds that I carried with me. A small 4 oz. bottle was more than enough as it is very concentrated. Every place where I did wash clothes offered a clothes line so I see no need to carry one with you. However, I did bring along some large safety pins to use to hang up clothes. No weight nor space taken up by them. As I arrived early most afternoons to where I was staying, clothes dried by the time I took them off the line, so I didn't need to hang wet clothes off my backpack. So, for a couple Euro every so often, using machine washers and dryers was a small luxury that I believe was well earned. Buen Camino!
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2017
  3. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Much depends on where you chose to stay – But assuming that you are staying in Refugio’s (Either Municipal or Privately owned) there there will always be some sort of “Lavandería”.
    Facilities can range from a simple outdoor washing sink to an automatic washing machine – But one thing to be aware of is that Hospitalario’s don’t like pilgrims doing their washing in either the bathrooms or in the kitchen sinks – So please try to use the facilities provided.


    The washing “System” that I tended to use myself was wash and go – I took 3 pairs of liner and outer socks, 3 wick-away type T-Shirts and 3 pairs of underpants (One for wearing, one in the wash and one spare) and I washed these every night (In wet times not always the outer socks) and tried to get them as dry as I could (Initially hanging them on the Refugio washing line, or improvising one myself, then bringing them indoors when the sun went down) and then, the next morning I tied them securely to by rucksack to finish drying as I walked.



    Walking Trousers and jumpers were only washed when they got very dirty and I had to pick my time carefully as I only carry the one pair but also have a pair of shorts, so I tended to wash these when I finished walking earlier in the day when the weather was really good.



    You will soon come up with a system that works well for yourself – Everyone else does :)

    Good Luck and Buen Camino

    Rob
     
  4. Daniel Bowater

    Daniel Bowater Member

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    Like the guys have said above each albergue has a range of different facilities. Interestingly some of the most basic ones had washing machines and some of the bigger/newer ones didn't at all. Often when I asked for 'lavandaria' they would just point at a tap. Alot of the young pilgrims were simply using a bit of soap and a tub or sink full of water. I was able to get a wachine machine about 3/4 of the time. Soap was available either free, or 50 cents. But I would advise having duplicates of all clothing items (except raincoat), that way you only wash once every couple of days. Not every day! Also, get some cheap washing bags, the type you throw in a machine. They are very cheap, very light, and very useful. This way you can easily combine your loads of washing. Those big machines easily take an amount from three pilgrims. A washing bag keeps things organised, and nothing gets mixed with others! By combining loads you only pay 1€ per wash compared to 3€ (or more). It adds up over 30+ days. Lastly, I'd recommend getting a portable clothes line, the stretchy type that can clip anywhere...they are so good! In the below short clip I've gone into a fair bit of detail on these items (and some others). This is what worked for me.
     
  5. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Daniel - Really informative video! It, along with your others, should be most helpful for folks getting ready for their Camino. It sounds like our laundry experiences were very similar. I, too, carried a small laundry bag both for depositing dirty clothes and then to use washing them which made it very convenient when sharing a machine with fellow pilgrims. We all figure out a system that works for us pretty quickly. Nicely done! Buen Camino!
     
  6. Daniel Bowater

    Daniel Bowater Member

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    Thanks Wily, I appreciate the feedback! Mine probably aren't the best ever compared to some made more professionally... but I really think they could genuinely help people. Before I began my Camino I got tired of seeing all the packing lists on youtube. In most of them theres just a big heap of items on a table with no real explanation on why the items are needed. I figured when I got back to Australia I could try it a different way. If I broke down my packing list into ten x ten minute clips people can digest/understand the importance/logic for the items. Also I don't see the point in watching packing lists that are made by people before they've started their first Camino, makes no sense to me!
     
  7. James Orrock

    James Orrock Active Member

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    Thanks for taking the time to explain / demonstrate your packing and sorting ideas, Daniel. It makes a lot of sense to me. I will definitely incorporate your systems into my Camino journey which begins on September 29. I'm starting to feel the excitement levels rise. Btw, where did you purchase the laundry bags from?
     
  8. Daniel Bowater

    Daniel Bowater Member

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    Hi James, thanks for the compliment mate! I'm glad my tips will help you on your upcoming journey. Those laundry bags were just ebay items from China. They are literally $1 items, so they pay for themselves after one combined wash! There are dozens of them on there. I found alot of small things were good to purchase online (torches/lights, waterproof bags too), but the main items (e.g. boots, pack, raincoat etc) it was better to pay more, get fitted correctly, and buy in a local shop.

    Here's a link to one of those laundry bags you might like, go for the larger sizes:
    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Zipped-L...05&rk=1&rkt=1&&_trksid=p2045573.c100505.m3226

    Here's a couple of other items you might find useful:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/3-Pcs-New-W...039700&hash=item51f3e77e48:g:cLMAAOSwTA9X12pU

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/5x-Mini-Sup...535982&hash=item4aec43319c:g:SAIAAOSwDNdVi2aD

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Travelon-Tr...026249&hash=item33cec34634:g:RxMAAOSwX61ZGbbf

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/3X-Underwat...d=292211310620&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851

    Hope this helps, cheers
     
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  9. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Good points already covered. Before our first camino, we were uninformed about this topic and brought woolite soap packets with us thinking we'd have to wash our clothes in sinks like we did when we travelled as students. Virtually every place we stayed had washing machines (easy to check for sure by looking at albergue data on Gronze.com). When in doubt, you can check with the albergue. For example, I just learned that the Gite we are staying at in St Jean has a washing machine. Since the majority of clothes we are bringing are quick wicking, we only washed our clothes - we never placed them in the dryer. Some places require the hospitalero to wash your clothes. It is worth keeping an eye on things. At Roncesvalles we instructed them to only wash and they were putting our clothes in the dryer just as I was checking status. Also, some places are quirky. In Ponferrada we stayed at Albergue San Nicolas de Flue. They didn't open their doors until 2 pm and I was one of the first to ask about washing our clothes. I was told there is only one person at the albergue that is authorized to wash clothes and he was busy moving furniture - at the albergue! I literally camped out in front of the washing machine waiting for him. After asking several times over close to an hour, he finally came, collected my clothes and washed them. Ridiculous!

    One thing to keep in mind is that there may be other pilgrims ahead of you waiting to wash their clothes. Also, you need to consider when you will arrive at the albergue and what the weather is like outside to decide whether to wash your clothes. If you don't arrive until mid or late afternoon, there probably won't be enough sun to dry your clothes. And if it is raining outside, you can hang them inside but they probably won't be dry by the morning. We are bringing a "stretchy" clothes line and plastic clips. Last time I brought safety pins, but they weren't that effective and can create holes in your clothes when you hang them on the line, particularly if it is windy outside.

    This camino we plan to wash our clothes every three or four days and the four of us will share one wash load together. Bob
     
  10. Nan

    Nan New Member

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    Looking at your profile picture, all I can think of asking is however did you manage to get so close to Lord Stanley?
     
  11. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Nan, I retired at the end of 2014 (at age 57) and I grew the long, grey beard as a combination retirement and camino gesture. My wife said it made me look very old so I shaved it off at the end of 2015. My mustache remains, but no beard for me this time on the camino. Bob
     
  12. Rainyday woman

    Rainyday woman Member

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    Hi Chuck, welcome to the forum. I started my walk on the 27. It has rained everyday since I started. I had hung my clothes on the line outside then went to eat. After eating I went to check my clothes and heard thunder! To my dismay it was pouring and my clothes were soaking wet. I did bring a small bit of parachute cord and strung it on my bunk and hung my clothes on it. Unfortunately it did not work because it was like 100 % humidity. I wouldn't worry about bringing a clothes line the albergues all have them. I would suggest if it is raining to find an albergue that has a dryer. Carrying wet clothes is no fun
     
  13. James Orrock

    James Orrock Active Member

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    Hola, Rainyday woman. Hope the weather brightens up for you and your fellow pelegrinos real soon. I begin my camino late September from SJPdP so hope the sun returns to the Pyrenees and northern Spain by then. Dryers are great in rainy weather but they can cause technical fabrics like polyester and nylon some grief if the temperature setting is too high.
     
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  14. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    As I remember wearing wet clothes isn't much fun either.
     
  15. hindsfeet

    hindsfeet Donating Member Donating Member

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    Oh Rainyday woman.....you need to change your name to Sunnyday woman!! I know that walking several days in the rain gets a bit disappointing. I hope sunny days are ahead for you.
    Excited to hear more of your Camino! Buen Camino!
     
  16. James Orrock

    James Orrock Active Member

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    The most dismal experience possible in multi-day trekking (after getting hopelessly lost) is having to put on damp clothes and socks in the morning before setting off. Very dismal but very character-building!
     
  17. Rainyday woman

    Rainyday woman Member

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    Lol! Don't get me wrong I love the rain, just don't like putting cold wet clothes on in the morning. The storm that night was awesome
     
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  18. hindsfeet

    hindsfeet Donating Member Donating Member

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    Ha...Oh, I know Rainydaywoman....cold wet clothes starting a new walking day doesn't sound so cozy to me either! I am sure that I might be experiencing that in the future as well! Hope that you are enjoying your Camino!! Keep us posted! Buen Camino!
     
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  19. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Me, not so much with the liking the rain :)

    Last week I did four 20 km walks in a row as part of my prep. On the third day I decided to try a different route from my usual one for a change of scene. This involved 14kms of walking alongside a busy dual carriageway and a very busy country road with little or no margins and certainly no pathways. As I got half way along the 5km stretch of country lane the heavens opened and within minutes I was soaked through. My top half was ok as I had my rain jacket but my shorts, socks and boots were sodden (and the boots were Merrell GTXs!). Typically here it had been a bright clear morning when I set out so I hadn't taken my gaiters! I had to keep jumping onto ditches to avoid the cars and trucks but still managed to get soaked as trucks drove through the floods. When the rain eventually stopped I still had 7kms to walk and it really wasn't pleasant. In future I will be sticking to my tried and trusted routes :).

    Heres a couple of pics I took just after the downpour stopped:-

    IMG_2767.JPG

    IMG_2768.JPG

    Ah well it's all part of the Camino experience!!!

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
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