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Trekking Umbrella On The Camino

Discussion in 'What equipment should you use and take' started by BROWNCOUNTYBOB, Aug 21, 2016.

  1. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    I watched a video on YouTube and a pilgrim referenced a "German Trekking Umbrella". There was a photo of her husband using one of these "hands free" so he could walk in the rain, using the trekking umbrella and still use his trekking poles. I looked at a few brands on line, such was the Euroshirm Swing Handsfree by Eberhard Gobel. The trekking umbrella is very sturdy, light weight and can be attached to the backpack. Does anyone have experience with these? I'd love to hear comments. During our last camino my wife and I both had Goretex rain jackets which did a pretty good job keeping us dry. However, there were days of pounding rains in which a handsfree umbrella would have helped keep us dry. Gracias.
     
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  2. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Hi Bob

    All I can say is that I have walled quite a few Camino’s, several long distance paths in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland (All noted for rain) as well as quite a few treks in Nepal and several other walks around the world and have never seen the like of the "German Trekking Umbrella" – I Googled it and found this image just to see exactly what it was and although I could see it having a limited use on days with No Wind, I could see some major issues on even slightly windy days, so for that reason, would probably give it a miss and stick to my tried and tested waterproofs :)

    Best Regards

    Rob

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  3. Hobbler

    Hobbler Active Member

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    Bob, I agree with Rob. Wind would be the big problem and I certainly experienced very strong winds on the camino. Squalls, which come at times if you're unlucky, bring heavy rain and strong wind so the brolly would be useless. I don't like wearing extra layers so, before walking on to Finisterre, I did buy an ordinary umbrella in Santiago as I expected showers in that part of the country. I got them, without wind, and so found the umbrella very useful particularly as the showers came and went quickly so I was saved the trouble of donning and doffing rainwear. But earlier on the way to Santiago the umbrella would have been useless because the rain came with a gale. My umbrella was a very ordinary one with a crook handle that enabled me to hang it from my pack. Don't know if that's of any help.
     
  4. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Rob and Hobbler. During our last camino, for the first 4 weeks, we only had rain once per week, but it rained most of the day and a few times it was a real downpour. Then in Galicia, it rained almost every day. Our goretex jackets kept us mostly dry, and our raincovers kept things inside our packs mostly dry. Our shoes and socks were drenched. So we'll skip the trekking umbrella and might consider buying a simple one. We are planning to purchase Outdoor Research Wrapid Gaiters, which should reduce the amount of rain flowing down our legs to our socks and shoes. We both are not interested in rain pants. The extra layer would be too warm for us and we don't want to hassle with putting them on and taking them off during intermittent rains.
     
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  5. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey Bob - I agree with you on the rain pants issue. Too warm! I took a pair with me last May, but only wore them once due to the heat and moisture they generated. I, too, like the gaiter idea for keeping shoes and sicks a bit dryer. Even though I also dealt with some significant rain in Galicia, the wind would have been problematic for perhaps any umbrella. Having grown up in Oregon, I actually enjoyed the Galician rain although dryer feet would have been nice.
     
  6. Randy Dickow

    Randy Dickow Donating Member Donating Member

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    14 days until departure from LAX. 16 to beginning of Camino in SJPdP. I'll just be relying on my poncho and gaiters. I have a light water "resistant" windbreaker that will probably only see duty on early mornings if it's chilly (which is what I wore a few times last year.) An umbrella sounds unwieldly in any kind of breeze.
     
  7. stevelm1

    stevelm1 The Happy Peregrino Donating Member

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    Late note: I have two friends that just returned from the Camino Frances. They trained and took "hands-free trekking umbrellas" with them. After their first strong wind they decided the umbrellas were not worth the weight and dumped them in a donation box at one of the albergues.
     
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  8. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for posting this info Steve – It confirms what I suspected and although these might look like a good idea on paper, when it comes to practicalities, they are a bit on the useless side ;-)

    Best Regards

    Rob
     
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  9. stevelm1

    stevelm1 The Happy Peregrino Donating Member

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    They might be good for blocking the sun on a hot day, but not very good for rain protection if the wind is blowing at all.
     
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  10. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    No umbrella, just pack a good sun screen!
     
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  11. Dominique

    Dominique Member

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    Hi! I have one of those 'German trekking umbrellas' , the Euroschirm... Bought the silver one originally for sun protection on the Via de la Plata in June/July last year. It really helped.
    Used it in England on training walks against the rain and again it worked beautifully.
    Took it on the Camino francés this Summer and I too wondered how it would perform in the wind, especially on the Meseta. Well, even in VERY strong winds, walking to Boadilla in particular, it didn't budge! I am very pleased with it and would recommend it.

    It does get you funny looks mind you and I was called Mary Poppins quite a few times! :D:rolleyes::D
     
  12. HamishDylan

    HamishDylan New Member

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    After a day of light rain around Logrono I bought the cheapest folding umbrella I could find - only a couple of euros. I then fixed it between the top strap of my pack and the top of the pack itself, using an elastic bungie and a piece of soft wire wrapped around the handle and the strap. Perfection! Protection from rain and yet no increase in heat and clamminess, and both hands free to keep using my walking poles.

    I used it intermittently when the rain was light over the next 10 days or so (September). My last 3 days across Galicia were torrential but I still used the umbrella and my rain gear - it meant that I didn't need to have my hood up so it helped me to regulate my temperature. I would now never go on a trek again without some form of umbrella (and it proved handy in the odd damp evening too when going out for supper).

    Don't knock it until you've tried it!
     
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