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Sleep Bag or No?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by jake, Sep 23, 2009.

  1. jake

    jake Guest

    I will be starting the Camino at St. Jean on/about 15 Oct '09 and expect to take ~ 5 weeks to finish, i.e. approx 19 November.

    a. Should I bring a sleeping bag?

    b. If I don't bring one, what's "the price" of being wrong?

    c. If I don't and find that I need one, are there appropriate ones to be had in the larger towns/cities?
     
  2. Covey

    Covey Active Member

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    You need a sleeping bag!!

    In June - September a sleeping bag liner will be all you need, but once past mid September a sleeping bag is essential.

    You do not need a bag you could climb Everest with, but a warm indoor bag is fine. There is no chance that you will have to sleep on floors or outside, so don't bother with the "all weather" bags.

    Virtually all albergues will have blankets you can use, BUT at the end of the walking season they may not be as clean and free of bed bugs as you might wish!

    There are shops in the major cities such as Pamplona, Burgos and Leon where you can buy a bag if needed, but the range might be limited.
     
  3. Kay

    Kay New Member

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    My husband and I also are beginning our camino October 15, but starting in Sarria due to time constraints. Will a 55+ bag be sufficient? We bought 32L packs to enforce discipline (I also have neck and back issues and plan to keep my load to 15 pounds) and will not have much room for a large bag. When we bought the packs, we thought a liner would be sufficient.
     
  4. Covey

    Covey Active Member

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    Not sure I understand the question.

    A 32L pack will be fine for Sarria to Santiago but if you are carrying a sleeping bag, that will probably have to strap on on top of the pack. A sleeping bag liner is about 10% of the space taken up be a sleeping bag and will fit inside your pack OK. All things being equal, it should not get cold in mid Oct but if you feel chilly in a liner, then just pull on a fleece. A fleece is a good idea as it can be cool/chilly in October at dawn when you will be starting your days walk.

    It is the bit asking if a 55+ bag is OK which I don't understand.
     
  5. Kay

    Kay New Member

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    I am new to the lingo of camping equipment, but as I understand it, it is the warmth rating of the bag. I think 55+ would be 55 degrees at its lowest temperure for comfort. I think the next warmer would be something like 40 or 45 degrees. Since we aren't campers (we are sailers) we don't want to invest in any more of a bag than we have to. REI has what REI terms a 55+ bag for about $60US. Thank you for your reply. I think that answers my question anyway.
     
  6. HuskyNerd

    HuskyNerd Super Moderator

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    All this talk of pounds and temps Farenheit may be confusing to a modern Anglo-European like Covey. Personally I think a 55 degree F bag is marginal for an Oct-Nov camino, mostly because I've even been cold in June in Montes de Oca and August in O Cebreiro. I have a 45 degree REI down sleeping bag and I would not choose any less. I think my bag was $90, so yep, it's a little more expensive, but it's also super light. If you find yourself cold at night you can put clothes on inside your bag. Also, a few albergues do have blankets for cold weather, but as Covey says, there may be a price paid in bed bug bites.

    A 35L pack with 15 pound load should be fine, unless you're a very large person. Fifteen pounds will require some real discipline. You'll be surprised how the weight adds up.

    Glad to meet another sailor on the Forum!
     
  7. johnp

    johnp New Member

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    I was on the Camino Del Norte last October (got there on the 11th). I found a sleeping bag liner was perfect.
    I'm going back at the end of September, and am not even contemplating bringing a sleeping bag.
     
  8. alichka

    alichka New Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I will be doing the Camino Frances for the first time this September and I still can't decide what type of sleeping bag to take, especially given the circumstances - crowded Camino because of the Holy Year. I have a micro-phaser inlet and a warm (5 °C / 0 °C / -16 °C) but heavy (1580gr) sleeping bag. I would rather not take it, but at the same time I am really concerned as to where I might have to sleep. I've been reading about people sleeping on benches, church stairs etc. So I am now considering buying a light-weight summer sleeping bag (17 °C / 12 °C / 2 °C), it only weights 600gr. Is it a good idea? Would it be enough?

    Any advice will be highly appreciated!

    Greetings from Sofia,
    Kalina
     
  9. Covey

    Covey Active Member

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    I am starting from St Jean on the 4th September and will be taking just my silk bug treated sleeping bag liner rather than a sleeping bag. I have done the trip twice before in September and the bag liner worked out just fine.

    I also take a set of cotton "Long Johns" to sleep in and in the event it gets really cold in mid October I can use them as a base layer to keep warm. If I feel chilly at night, I put on my fleece and sleep in that as well.

    You will not be sleeping on park benches (unless you want to for some strange reason!!). At the end of August the Camino Frances gets less crowded because in Europe, the schools and Universities go back in the first week of September so those teachers (there are a lot!) and students have been aiming to get to Santiago by the last week in August.

    Even at peak times on the Camino Frances, finding a bed has not been a problem this year if you follow Covey's Golden Rule. Start walking at day break and finish walking around 2pm. If you follow this routine you will not have a problem. If however you wander along and start looking for a bed at 5pm, you may well have a problem!
     
  10. HuskyNerd

    HuskyNerd Super Moderator

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    Welcome to the Forum, Alichka. I stand by my contention that a lightweight sleeping bag is a good idea. Others (presumably more warm blooded than I) get by with liners. I have a bag about like the one you're considering and feel it's priceless -- very light, yet warm when you need it. It's been with me in Caminos during May, June, July, and Aug, so I'm presuming it'll serve you well in September and October.
     
  11. alichka

    alichka New Member

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    Thank you so much, Covey and HuskyNerd, for the useful information. Reading your posts, I felt quite relieved about the accommodation situation. As for the sleeping bag, I consider myself relatively warm blooded, but on the female warm bloodedness scale :) so I think I will go for the lightweight sleeping bag after all, even at risk of being a little overcautious.
     
  12. Tanya Yaksich

    Tanya Yaksich New Member

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    Hello All,
    I suppose it all depends where you come from. I walked the Camino from Leon this july and had very varied temperatures. Even on over 40% centigrade, i felt it cool at night. I live in The midwest of Western Australia and my average winter temp. here is 8% at night and 20% centigrade daytime. That was often the summer temp. in Galicia ! So i was thankful for my sleeping bag and silk liner.
    Covey doesn't feel the cold so much,he uses antifreeze, aka G&T to keep warm. I used that too, it just made me happier.
    Cheers Tanya
     
  13. Gazza

    Gazza Member

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    I think women feel the cold more then us red blooded males. Silk liner was fine for me (also in July) but Sept/October will be a little different I should think.
     
  14. andrewd

    andrewd New Member

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    We hiked Camino Francais in June 2010 and took thermal sleeping bag liners. They weighed only 350gm and added 8c to outside temperature. Considering the number of bodies in close proximity within a dorm we found this to be very adequate.

    You can also get thermal liners that add 14c and only weigh 400gm. Highly recomend these rather than taking a sleeping sheet as they give you both protection from bed bugs and warmth and don't weigh much. I carried 4 for my family (wife and 2 kids) plus clothes for us all and kept weight to under 7kg without pack weight.

    Do a search on google or look here - Travel Gear: Travel Equipment, Cases and Accessories
     
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