Camino Preparation 1

It has been decidedly pluvial here of late, so today was a good day to test out my wet weather gear. Around the middle of the day I went for a 3 hour walk along the Portobello Road (the road in the photo behind the title of this blog) stopping only to help a woman whose car had hit a falling rock and burst a tyre. It rained. A lot.I came back over the hill so had quite a good workout and am quite confident that my fitness level is up to the mark, but the weatherproofing is not so hopeful.

After an hour my goretex shoes began to admit a little water, though the woolen socks absorbed it and warmed it up satisfactorily. By the time I got home they were sodden but I expected that. After an hour and a half my overtrousers began to leak and after two hours my faithful old Macpac jacket began to show signs that it might be getting past its use by date. It's a simple Goretex rain jacket that is probably about 7 years old now. I have waterproofed it twice in the past few weeks, but it still becomes saturated after a half hour or so, and begins to leak at the seams after a couple of hours. I'm told that it is possible to get rain for a week in the mountains of Galicia. Of course no raincoat yet invented will stand up to that but I might need something that keeps out la agua for more than a couple of hours.

My Osprey pack was brilliant. The Kathmandu rain cover kept it perfectly dry, and it was so light on my back that I was half way through changing the damsel in distress's tyre before I realised that I had forgotten to take it off. Not so brilliant was the Lowepro "All Weather" camera case. As long as your definition of "All" doesn't include rain, then the description is perfectly accurate, but I will be needing to resort to a plastic bag, I think. And the merino gloves? What was I thinking?

It was good to get home, shower, eat something and then hand wash stuff in cold water to see how long it will take to dry when hanging up inside on a wet day. Then, settle down with a nice cup of tea and brush up on my Spanish.

Mi bolsa está mojado. My pack is wet
Mis zapatos están muy mojadas. My shoes are very wet.
Lo siento por el charco en el suelo. Sorry about the puddle on your floor.
¿Tiene una toalla? Do you have a towel?
Tal vez será soleada mañana. Maybe it will be sunny tomorrow.


Wynston said…
Did you use a silicone spray on your parka? I have found them very satisfactory.

VenDr said…
That's the next thing to try. I used the wash in solutions. Kind of worked.
VenDr said…
I'm actually SERIOUSLY ticked off about the Lowepro case. It's A normal sort of camera case but with a little rain cover, like a pack cover. I had my new Nikon p7100 in it, didn't take it out at all, and when I got home the camera was wet and there is water in the LCD screen. It still works, and I will get the water out (blow dryer and cotton balls) but it could have caused expensive damage. I was silly enough to believe the blurb on the packaging despite my misgivings about the look of the whole thing.

I'll silicon spray the case and the little rain cover, but also have a ziplock plastic bag for the camera on rainy days.
Elaine Dent said…
So smart to try stuff in the rain. Plastic bags, I hear, are an AT hikers best friend. Never leave home without them.
Wynston said…
If anything overdo the silicone spray a bit to the extent that it is not quite running off the item and pay particular attention to all seams.
Spraying the camera case and cover is an excellent idea.
Plastic bags are an essential part of walking/tramping and, even though your pack handled the rain the other day, having all your clothes inside a plastic bag is an extra safeguard.
VenDr said…
I've been into Macpac and the general consensus is that my parka is stuffed. At about 7 years old, that's about par for the course; I haven't washed it enough and the inner waterproof layer, the one that counts, will have degraded. So now the big question. A new Goretex ($400-700)? A poncho- $100 for a high end Spanish one? A goretex replica- $200-$500?

The ponchos are good for the Camino but of limited use afterward. The goretex option will be pricy, bearing in mind that Clemency's jacket should be replaced too. The alternatives are, some of them, reputed to be just as good and some of them lok really well made. Decisions, decisions!
Wynston said…
If they are still making them Have a close look at Macpac's Reflex parkas. I have both a Reflex (the "Aspiring")and a Goretex one and overall found the Reflex a better performer than the Goretex, although the latter is slightly heavier and is a bit warmer especially in a cold wind.
VenDr said…
I have gone for a cheap option. A Mountain Designs melaleuca Jacket at $200. It's made from MD's own Goretex knock off, is extremely well designed but at 740 Grams is heavier than I wanted. It is very very robust, and if it can hold the rain out for a couple of weeks it will have earned its keep. Clemency will buy hers this weekend. I think she will prefer light weight and Goretex and probably Macpac
VenDr said…
....mind you, the old Macpac was 540 g so I'm only toting another 200. And why should I make a fuss over 200 g when I'm carting around an unnecessary 10 kg around my waist?
Wynston said…
And don't forget to get Clemency sign up to the (free) Macpac Wilderness Club as members get a 25% discount this week.
Anonymous said…
Your pack and shoes are gender-confused. Otherwise OK! & remember:

El hace que salga el sol sobre malos y buenos, y que llueva sobre justos e injustos.

Vaya con Dios.

VenDr said…
Muchos gracias por el leccion Espanol. Y el leccion Biblico.
Anonymous said…
De nada, padre. Prefiero la traduccion del juez Charles Bowen:

“The rain it raineth on the just
And also on the unjust fella;
But chiefly on the just, because
The unjust hath the just’s umbrella.”

Katherine said…
I love the sentence "Your pack and shoes are gender-confused". I intend to drop it randomly into everyday conversations whenever I remember.