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Too Big For Sleeping Bags!

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Serenity, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. Serenity

    Serenity New Member

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    I am a 62 year old woman, planning to walk the Camino Frances next April, with my 27 year old, autistic, intellectually disabled son. Our problem is that we are too big to comfortably fit into a lightweight sleeping bag. I found bigger ones, but they are almost as big as our backpacks and weigh heaps too much. I was wondering if anyone could advise me of what I could get instead, that would both cover us okay, yet be light and small enough to take on our Camino. Has anyone used a quilt of some kind and if so, what was it and can I purchase it in Australia? I am getting desperate, as nothing seems to be suitable.
     
  2. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

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    Hello Serenity - It's good that you're trying to arrange something comfortable for yourselves because crawling into a comfortable sleeping bag at the end of a day is a pleasure when on Camino. The albergue in Roncesvalles doesn't have blankets, but many any other lodging options/albergues along the rest of the way will have blankets. At places you find sheets (most places except some municipals, it seems), you can unzip your sleeping bag and use it as a blanket so that the zipped size won't matter that much. Many places are underheated that early in the year.

    Yes, people use quilts, usually inside liners. Amazon.com has extra-large sized liners, and they say they ship to Australia. Also, it looks like Costco is in Australia and their lightweight down throws/blankets are popular. https://www.costco.com/Double-Black-Diamond-Packable-Down-Throw-2-pack.product.100314979.html People do all sorts of modifications for quilts/lightweight blankets, sometimes sewing or fitting them inside a liner. If you sew, you could buy an extra inexpensive regular liner and expand those for you and your son if no extra-large liner is possible. Another option is a fleece/felt-like "liner". They're lightweight, warmer than a thin, silk-like liner, and if you have to in the occasional place that doesn't have blankets, you can sleep in your warm hiking clothes/jacket for that night inside the fleece liner. You could probably sew an extra-large fleece bag also.

    Hope that helps. The best to you and your son on your upcoming Camino Frances!
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
  3. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    I recommend that whatever you plan using to test it at home for several days IN A ROW. That way you will have a good idea if whatever you plan to use will work for you.

    The most common choices seem to be:
    1. Using whatever the place you stay in provides.
    2. Carry a bag.
    3. Carry a silk, or other, liner and a down cover (Costco down throw are popular for this.)
    4. Almost any thing else that isn't too heavy.

    Part of the trip is in the planning. Have fun.

    Burn Camino.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
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  4. Serenity

    Serenity New Member

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    Thanks so much for the replies! After reading them, I have asked one of my sons who has a Costco membership, to check if they have the throws here. They sound like they would be the best bet. I am quite prepared to sleep in my clothes and make do, but my walking partner is a bit more fussy, being autistic. It seems to be a huge, expensive undertaking, getting together all the gear for the trip, but I have been slowly collecting things for two years to spread the load a bit. The next step is to book the plane flights. Then it will be really happening. Exciting, but scary!
     
  5. alisa

    alisa New Member

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    Hi, I used a silk liner and a lightweight down throw on top if I needed it (I walked late August through September). Except for the occasional slip of the comforter off the bed, it was perfect and very warm. I would do the same thing over again except I think I would safety pin the comforter to the top of the liner. Wish I thought of it then!
     
  6. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    I tried several ways of keeping the down throw on top of my liner and gave up and went with a bag. Testing before I went was critical here.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
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  7. Serenity

    Serenity New Member

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    Thanks Alisa and Unkle Hammy. I have found double sized liners which I think will work well for each of us, but so far have been unable to locate a throw that will actually fit in our backpacks. I had high hopes of the Costco ones, but they are not in the Melbourne store. I guess I just have to keep searching. As an aside, could I ask another question? My son has no shyness in changing his clothing in front of others. Are people likely to be offended in the albergues if he strips off in front of them to put his night attire on?
     
  8. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

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    Serenity, I've been thinking about your question. I've worked with autists on inpatient units, so am familiar with the main issues, but not your son's specifics. None of us, of course, can speak for how others from all over the world who are sharing space in albergues would respond. Although I assume that many people understand about autism, I'm not sure all do. If he keeps his boxers/briefs on, plenty of others change this way and probably few would even notice. If he strips off completely, some might be concerned if they don't understand that he's autistic. If you're comfortable offering the explanation that he's autistic if anyone shows alarm, that might help. If he strips off completely, you could try carrying a very light sarong (also good to use as towels and privacy screens on the sides of bunks) and attempt to screen him off while he's changing, thus indicating to others that you're with him and helping him. As people get to know you and your son along the way, you'll run across many of the same people staying in albergues who will understand. I'm not sure that's much help, but all the best to you and your son for your Camino!
     
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  9. Ampiji

    Ampiji New Member

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    Hi everyone,
    I'm having a lot of fun organising everything but am still undecided about purchasing a light weight sleeping bag as they are so expensive. I never thought about a quilt until I read this thread so many thanks for the valuable information re Costco quilts which I have just found on the net, thanks Crepes4Suzette. I am going to buy one but can anyone tell me if it will be warm enough in April/ May Norte ? I am a silk liner but am confused about people saying put the quilt into the liner. I would have thought laying it on top would be the way to go ? Just had a thought-maybe I'll buy two and sew them together ! Any comments / thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
     
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  10. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    If you can’t find a suitable lightweight sleeping bag then a quilt could well be an alternative, but I also can’t see how this would work inside your silk liner ???

    As to whether you would be warm enough while walking the Camino Norte in April and May – I would say that it would certainly be a lot warmer than taking nothing but your silk liner :) – But seriously, I think you would be OK as most places will provide extra blankets and you can also keep your clothes on – BUT – If you end up in a Municipal Refugio overflow room and don’t even have a mattress on the floor, it will be then you will be Very happy to have brought it with you !!



    Good Luck and Buen Camino

    Rob
     
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  11. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

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    You're very welcome, Ampiji. I think the weather on the coast is a little more mild, but am glad you're opting for the extra warmth of a lightweight bag or quilt. Mine weights 1.8# and gave enough insulation to be comfortable through the Pyrenees in hail and sleet in the third week in May, enough when the blankets in the albergues were "iffy", and enough when it was very cold and rainy in October in Galicia. Are you heading over to the Primitivo? I ask because the weather will likely be colder in April/May there than on the coast. Then again, last year they had a heat wave in May and people were roasting. The bag I take is so cheap that I left one behind at an albergue once during that last few days when the weather had consistently warmed up.
     
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