Packing for The Camino de Santiago

 mino De Santiago Packing List

Progress is man’s ability to complicate simplicity
-Thor Heyerdahl

This list was updated on 7/3/17 indicating (in red) what worked and what didn’t work.

 

How much time can one person spend on a packing list for a 14 day walk on The Camino de Santiago in Spain?

If you had asked me a year ago I would have said no more than an hour or two. Boy was I wrong. Very wrong. I have never been more wrong in my life. Ever. My very elaborate and formal East Coast wedding took less time to plan than this list.

8 months ago…

Laying the groundwork

As soon as we decided to walk the Camino de Santiago I began to scour the Internet for information and resources. I binge watched dozens of YouTube videos and spent hours on the Camino de Santiago Forum. It was immediately obvious that the one thing most people had in common was their obsession with packing light. The general advice is to keep your backpack to about 10% of your ideal body weight. It seems to almost be a challenge: How low can you go? I can go lower!

Keeping my pack this light comes with a price. It means that I can only carry one set of clothes and wear one set. We’ll be sleeping in albergues (pilgrim hostels) where there are one or more rooms with multiple bunk beds. Unlike wilderness backpacking, where I can wear the same clothes for a couple of days since I’m sleeping in a tent, I will have to do laundry every night. Therefore, the clothes I’m packing have to be not only comfortable for long distance walking, but also quick drying.

Billy and I have a great deal of experience backcountry backpacking and carrying the equivalent of 20-25% of our body weight is the norm. I do intend to try to keep my pack weight as light as possible and I’m planning for 10-15% total weight. For me that would be a pack that weighs between 13-19lbs. I’m shooting for 13lbs of base gear (does not include water).

There are days on the Camino Primitivo where I expect to only need 1-1.5 liters of water since fountains and cafes are frequent enough to resupply. However, there are also several days where we need a lot more water since the route passes through more remote areas without water sources or services. On those days I will need 3 liters of water. Therefore, my pack will vary in weight between 15.5-19.5lbs. The majority of the 2 weeks I expect it will stay around 16lbs.

There are plenty of pilgrims who only carry 10lbs. Our friend who is meeting us there is packing only 8lbs. The average seems to be right around 13lbs, though. I could have gone with a lighter backpack and a down sleeping bag. That would have saved me a total of 1.7 pounds. I explain the reasons why I chose the heavier items below.

My Camino de Santiago packing list

The following is my packing list for a May 14th, 2017 start on the Camino Primitivo. Looking at historical weather data, it appears that daytime temperatures may be between 50-60F.  Night time lows around 40F. A comfortable range for me and not something that I’d even remotely consider cold. A lot of rain is the norm since half this route is in the region of Galicia which averages a lot of precipitation. It’s known as green Spain for a reason. I get very hot when I hike, especially with a pack, and prefer to wear one layer of clothes in these mild temperature ranges.

I have spent the past 8 months trying to decide exactly what I am going to pack. I’ve packed and unpacked at least 5 times. I’ve purchased and returned 2 different sets of pants, underwear, shoes, and bras. Agonized over soap, shampoo, conditioner, a wool base layer, etc. I don’t expect any changes to my list at this point, but I will be checking the weather the week of our departure and will make any adjustments at that point.

 

Equipment

 

Backpack

Osprey Kyte 46Osprey Kyte 46L (3.55lbs): At 46 liters, this women’s specific backpack is bigger than is needed for the Camino, but I wanted to be able to use it for wilderness backpacking as well. The straight jacket design allows me to pack the bag to 3/4 capacity and cinch it down to reduce the size. Bill is taking the Osprey Kestrel 48L which is the men’s version and identical to mine. Except, of course, his hip pockets are bigger. The manufacturers seem to think that women don’t need big pockets. It should be no problem to take these packs on board the aircraft as carry-on luggage. We are not flying any budget airlines so the weight of the pack is not a concern.

There are several features that I really like about these packs. They both have sleeping bag compartments that are big enough to fit a one season sleeping bag. Trekking pole straps located on the side that makes it easy to stow and deploy the poles without taking off the pack. They have a side zip on one side that lets you access the contents of the bag without having to unbuckle and open the main compartment. It’s designed for quick removal or insertion of items. A zippered pocket on top that comfortably fits a light weight rain jacket. It also comes with a compartment for inserting a water bladder. Very good suspension and hip straps. I added a matching teal colored bungee to the back loops and the top. This will make lashing items to the pack a lot easier.

This is a heavy pack empty and Osprey, as well as the other pack manufacturers, do make lighter packs. This one was more comfortable for me and sat better on my hips and shoulders. Everyone is different, that’s why it’s important to try on packs in the store and make sure you get the one that is right for you.  I could easily have lightened my load by a pound if I’d gone with a smaller or a lighter pack. I didn’t want to compromise for the sake of a pound.

We have both an Osprey Hydraulic bladder and a Camelbak bladder. We’ll decide which one of us takes what later. They are both 3 Liter bladders so it doesn’t matter. The Osprey is nicer because it opens at the top, horizontally, which makes it easier to refill.

The Osprey Backpack was the perfect choice. It was very comfortable and held up like a champ. Not so much as a scratch and it got thrown on the ground a lot. I was suffering from some pretty bad shoulder and neck pain prior to my Camino and it never flared up. Zero back or neck pain and no shoulder bruising. I definitely take this again on my next Camino.

 

Sleeping bag

REI Helio Sack 55REI Helio Sack 55: This is a synthetic, rectangular sleeping bag that is rated to 55F degrees. Bill’s sleeping bag is almost identical except it’s a North Face brand and is no longer sold. Mine is a regular length and weighs 1.9 lbs. There are lighter sleeping bags on the market but those are made of down. I prefer not to use down because when it gets wet it loses it’s insulation and takes forever to dry. Plus, synthetic bags can be thrown in a washing machine if you come across bed bugs. Not to mention cost. Down sleeping bags cost a fortune. This is the second place where I could have shed half a pound. But it wasn’t worth it for another hundred or so dollars. I also really wanted a rectangular bag that opened up into a quilt.

Perfect for a spring Camino. I wasn’t particular cold on any night and only really used it as a sheet to cover me for modesty. I would take it again in winter or late fall, but for a summer Camino I would only take a sleeping bag liner like the kind Sea to Summit makes. The temperature was comfortable inside all the Albergues along the Primitivo in May. They also all had heat and plenty of thick blankets that were in great condition.

 

Hiking Shoes

Merrell Moab Hiking Shoe Merrell Moab WP Hiking Shoe: I literally tried on every pair of hiking shoes in REI. After nearly 2 hours, I settle on this low cut pair from Merrell. I originally thought that I would buy a pair of mid cut shoes (ankle height) since my backpacking boots have always been above the ankle. My reasoning was that I would want a higher cut for walking across mud or puddles. But after walking around with the ankle height boots in the store, I decided against them. Why? because unlike my heavier weight Raichle (now branded as Mammut) backpacking boots, the mid height ones don’t go over the ankle. Instead, they sit right across my Achilles. This is problematic for many people but especially for me. I injured my Achilles tendon while carrying dive gear a few years ago and I still occasionally get pain. The last thing I need is a boot that puts repetitive pressure on that tendon.

Additionally, since I’m going to be carrying less than 20 lbs there is no need for ankle support. I purchased the shoe a half size larger than my regular size and in a wide width. I know from experience that my feet swell in hot climates, and that I need a bit of extra room in the toe for those long downhill stretches. I also need the room to fit my custom orthotics. My shoes are actually a full size larger than what my feet measure.

Epic fail. Even though I purchased a wide shoe it still wasn’t wide enough when my feet swelled in the heat. I would have needed an even wider shoe. The toe box ended up becoming too tight and caused a Morton’s neuroma in my right foot. The lack of ankle support and not very stiff soles caused a severe case of plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis.

My podiatrist, who I ended up having to visit after my Camino for Cortisone shots, told me to stick with hiking boots. It turns out that I have a Morton’s Foot (my second toe is slightly longer than my big toe and causes those metatarsal bones to press together) People with plantar fasciitis and any history of Achilles problems should not be wearing light weight shoes on long distance hikes. Especially hikes with rough terrain such as pavement. So going forward I will stick with my tried and true boots. I should never have listened to the forum members who push their shoe preference. Not everyone has my foot problem and I took the advice of people with no knowledge of different foot issues. They all meant well, but let this serve as a cautionary tale to those of you reading this.

My podiatrist also prescribed a new set of custom orthotics. I’d also listened to all the hype about the expensive Super Feet insoles and of course, they were useless. I can’t even wear these Merrel shoes now just to stand in. They instantly cause pain in my neuroma. What a shame because they did stay perfectly waterproof during some down pours and deep puddles. So if you know that you don’t suffer from plantar fasciitis I’d recommend these shoes. Otherwise, stick with a boot that has a stiffer mid sole and wide toe box. Better yet. Go see a podiatrist and make sure that your aching feet, and whatever else you have going on, isn’t going to negatively impact your Camino.

 

 

Merrell Phaserbound Mid WP Hiking BootMerrell Phaserbound Mid WP Hiking Boot: This s the boot that Billy chose. He prefers over the ankle boots for hiking, as opposed to low cut shoes. This is what has always worked for him and he has over 30 years of experience. He really likes them and just like my Merrell shoes, the insoles come out and can be replaced with custom or store bought orthotics. We both use custom made orthotics so this feature was important. But all good hiking shoe manufacturers now have removable insoles for this reason.

Billy like these boots. They aren’t his favorite but he had no issues with them. He used his custom orthotics in them. He bought them in wide. He really liked the wide toe box and how easy they were to clean. Just used a little Danner boot cleaner and rag and he was good to go. Yes he sneaked in a little brush and boot cleaner and was glad her did. He will wear them again on our next Camino.

 

Trekking Poles

Black Diamond Trail Pro Shock Trekking Poles Black Diamond Trail Pro Shock Trekking Poles : Ultralight aluminum with Dual Flick-lock mechanisms. Padded Wrist Straps are Left and Right hand specific for added comfort. They have progressive four-stage shock absorption within the grip. The Control Shock Technology that these poles employ prevent them from bottoming out when planted. It feels much smoother and is barely noticeable; unlike the Leki poles that I’ve had for 15 years. I am leaving the carbide tips on. Some people like to switch to rubber tips when walking on the Camino to reduce noise when going through small towns early in the morning. I see no need for this. I can just as easily not use my poles in those situations.

That’s it for the big ticket items. On now to clothes. This is where things got tough for me. I pride myself on being a light packer, but only taking one change of clothes was a challenge for me. I’m listing mostly my items because that’s what I am most familiar with at this point. The majority of the posts that I read on the Camino forum regarding packing lists are from women. We inherently have more issues with clothing and sizing.

These trekking poles were great. Took a lot of my weight on steep downhills and stood up to daily use. Didn’t cause any soreness or hand blisters. Definitely a keeper. Except, next time I will look at putting rubber tips on them. The metal click clack did get annoying.

 

Clothes

  • 1 REI Sahara long sleeve nylon hiking shirt: I love the hidden side pockets that fit my passport. It was too hot to wear this shirt. Comfortable, but for me, hiking in temps around high 60F and 70F it was just way too hot. I sent it to Santiago with the rest of the unneeded items. Will consider for winter Camino and definitely for Alaska hiking.
  • 2 REI short sleeve Tech  T-shirts: Blue and green-super comfy, wicking, quick drying, and long so they don’t bunch up with the hip belt. Perfect choice. They held up well to frequent washing and kept me comfortable. Wicked well and dried fast. Will take again.
  • 1 REI Sahara Roll-up Pants: Nylon and spandex material make these stretchy and somewhat form fitting in a good way. They roll up to ankle and capri length. No leg zippers to contend with either. I only used them a couple of times during the day because the weather was just too hot. But they are comfortable to hike in and I used them in the evenings and over the Hospitales Route. Keepers for sure.
  • 1 Purple Rain hiking skirt in Teal. This is a mid-weight nylon/lycra skirt handmade by Purple Rain (Mandy) in Portland, Oregon. Large pockets at a good height, and a yoga style waistband. Perfect alternative to shorts. Okay, I wore this skirt EVERY DAY! I never needed to do more than give it a rinse on day when I got a little dirt on it. But it is super comfortable. I sat down on the ground (gravel, dirt, grass, etc) and it never got dirty or damaged. HIGHLY recommend. I wish I could hike in it in Alaska but the mosquitoes would eat me alive!
    Purple Rain Hiking Skirt

    Purplerainskirts.com

     

  • 2 Buffs: Only needed one but I fell in love with 2 and couldn’t decide. Used this once when I got cold going over the hospitales. Didn’t need 2 of them. Would still take on the next Camino but only one.
  • 1 Bandana: Use as a pee rag instead of toilet paper. An old trick used by women on the Appalachian and Pacific Coast Trails. Environmentally friendly option. Came in handy as a pee rag. No need for toilet paper. Will use again.
  • Tiva Terra Sandals: These were a little heavier than I would have preferred (1 lb), but I’m glad I had them. Stiff enough to wear when my plantar fasciitis acted up. Wore them with socks in the evenings to give my aching feet a rest. Would never walk on the trail with them but for around the villages and short walks in Santiago and Lugo they were good. Comfortable and can use them for other trips.
Tiva Terra Sandals

Tiva Terra Sandals

 

Inclement Weather Gear

  • 1 North Face Venture Rain Jacket: Yes it’s light blue as well. Coincidence. They come in a bunch of different colors. I’ve had this jacket for almost 2 years and it’s super light weight and waterproof. Bill just bought the men’s version. Amazon seems to always have the lowest price. I bought mine at a retail store for twice as much! Yeup, worked like a charm. Kept me dry on the few days that I wore it. Will take with me again.
  • 1 pair Outdoor Research Rocky Mountain Low Gaiters: Made of nylon/spandex and helps keep water and rocks out of my shoes. A saving grace with low shoes. I walked through a lot of deep mud and these helped keep water and mud out of my shoes.
  • 1 REI Revelcloud synthetic puffy jacket: This is my insulating layer. In the event that I should need warmth. Ultra lightweight, windproof and warm. I’m comfortable down to 15F degrees wearing just a t-shirt underneath. Mine is black. I wore this one or two days. It was too hot in May for this jacket. But I did need it going over the high sections of Hospitales route where it was raining, windy, and the temps had dropped to the low 50s. I wore it one night in Campiello whe it was a bit chilly. I would take again and just send it forward to Santiago after the Hospitales. It’s lightweight and warm, So a good choice for those of you who get cold easy.
  • 1 REI Blast Cap: This is a lightweight, packable ball cap with mesh sides for cooling. It’s not really inclement weather gear. I plan to wear it for sunny days as well. Mine is in Titanium (aka off white). It worked well when it was raining and it kept the rain off my glasses. But I personally can’t walk with a hat when it’s hot. Definitely lightweight, though. Fit into the hip pocket of my Osprey. In colder, wetter weather I would opt for the OR waterproof sombrero.
  • 1 Wander Wrap Rain Skirt: This is another handmade item. Jen at Wandergoods out of Seattle makes these. They are such a great alternative to rain paints since they still let air in and I can put it on and off without having to take off shoes or sit down. Waterproof nylon with snaps down the side. Big pockets on both sides and it has a reflective strip along the bottom. Not the kind of thing you’d wear to go mountaineering, but for walking and hiking in easy terrain I think it works well. I bought the shorter length (Wander Wrap) because at my 5’3″ height it falls at my shins instead of lower on the ankle. Perfect for those downpours. I will never wear rain pants. These produced no condensation and lots of airflow. SO much more comfortable than pants and when it was time to take it off, I just unbuttoned it. No need to take shoes off.
Wander Wrap

http://www.wandergoods.com

 

 

Underwear and Socks

  • 2 ExOfficio Crossover Bras in black: Offers zero support so it’s a good thing that I’m walking and not running. However, this bra is super light, comfy, wicks moisture and dries incredibly fast. It has no buckles to get pinched under straps and is not a racerback style, which I despise. Easy to put on over my head thanks to the lack of compression. In black these are great under light colored thin shirts for modesty. Perfect choice. Comfy and dried fast. Support wasn’t needed even for my C cup since I did no running 🙂
  • 2 ExOfficio Give-N-Go Sport Mesh Bikini Briefs: The Sport Mesh Briefs are the only style that I like. The are mid-rise and not as low as the other styles. The pictures make them look like they are very low rise, but they aren’t. If you prefer a higher rise, they also sell a high cut brief that is also very comfortable. I wore the original style on my trek to Nepal years ago and they worked fabulously. Wicks moisture away and dries quickly. Perfect Choice. Super comfortable and dried fast. Will definitely take again.
  • 1 Men’s ExOfficio Give-n-Go Boxer Briefs: Yes, men’s. This is for when I wear the hiking skirt to prevent chafing. I bought the men’s because it has a fly and I’m also taking along a Pibella urinary device so that I can pee standing up along the side of the road. Yes I have penis envy. Don’t judge me. I have priorities. I ended up not using the pibella as much as I thought I would but these were perfect for wearing with my skirt. Very light feeling and lots of airflow. Plus they provided modesty when I was sitting on the ground with my skirt. Will take again for sure. They are also comfortable with the pants.
  • 3 Darn Tough Micro Crew Cushion Hiking Socks: Bill bought some for himself as well. They are well made and don’t get all stretchy and bunch up under my feet. Wicks away sweat very nicely. Worked well and will wear them again. NO blisters. Just wish they came in a wider size. When my feet swelled up they felt tight. I might try the men’s socks. They might be wider.
  • 1 pair of REI Silk Long Underwear: Super lightweight (and a bit see through to be honest) and comfortable to sleep in. Coed dorms pose a problem unless you want to sleep in your panties. Which given the right temperature (hot) I’m totally prepared to do. But these long johns can also be worn under my skirt and hiking pants in the unlikely event that I run across cold weather. Which for me to wear these hiking will have to be in the 20F range. Never used this and ended up sending it forward to Santiago when we got to Lugo. It just never got cold enough in May for long johns. Would take again for a winter Camino, though. I slept in my boxer briefs and t-shirt every night. So did most other women. In the dark nobody cares what you wear to bed.

 

Stuff Sacks

All of these stuff stacks worked perfectly. Would definitely use them again. Nothing in my pack got wet and I never used a pack liner. Just the cover that came with my Osprey pack. However, Billy set his pack down on the ground at an outdoor bar just before a torrential down power hit. The place got swamped fast and by the time he got to his pack, the bottom compartment was soaked. His sleeping bag was a little damp when he took it out that afternoon. Dried fast enough because it wasn’t down. But it might be worth investing in a waterproof compression sack if you have a down bag. Neither of us bothered with trash liners and nothing got wet.

 

Toiletries

  •  Less than half a bar of Dr. Bronner’s Lavender and Hemp soap: To hand wash laundry and my body. My husband is taking the other half for his needs. REI sells these for about $5 and they have other scents. But I’ve been told that the peppermint one will sting if you have cuts or abrasions on your skin. The scent doesn’t linger so don’t worry about smelling like perfume afterwards. We found that we only needed one half between the two of us. We used washing machines several times and just didn’t need so much soap. We sent the other half forward to Santiago.
  •  About 10 Freshscent conditioning shampoo packets : These weigh the same as carrying a small travel size bottle. But without the plastic bottle to add to the weight. I just need to take 1 packet into the shower with me and then pitch it when I’m done. Solves the issue of conditioner/shampoo. Perfect choice. Definitely will buy again. There was enough gel that could also use it to wash my body so I used the soap even less.
  • a small razor: I can use the Dr. Bronner’s soap as shaving cream. I plan to wax my legs and underarms so this will only be for a touch up toward the end, if needed. I did wax the day before I left and typically it lasts 2-3 weeks. I used it once towards the last couple of day when my legs needed a mild touch up. I would still take again because it weighs almost nothing. It was nice to touch up those stray leg hairs that had grown out. I wore a skirt every day and going hairy legged is not my thing.
  • Comb
  • 2-3 Hair ties: To put my hair in a pony tail when I get hot. My hair is long right now (past my shoulders) and I will cut it shorter prior to leaving but still leave enough to put in a pony tail. The reason being that there are no hair dryers at the albergues. My hair takes well over an hour to dry naturally if there is no sun. If it’s warm and sunny then it’s not a problem. But I don’t want to take the chance. I just don’t want to wander around the villages or go to bed with damp hair. I cut 4 inches off my hair the day before I left, so my hair was just touching my shoulders. I only used scrunchies instead of rubber ties. It was gentler on my hair. I only needed one but would still take a second just in case I lose one. I tended to misplace them.
  • Travel sized hand/body lotion: I just buy one at the travel section of the Safeway. St. Ives is my favorite. I don’t need much and I can always buy more there. Didn’t really need it. Send it forward to Santiago when we got to Lugo. The humidity was enough that it kept my legs from getting dry.
  • 2 Nivea Soft Cream Tin: I only need 2 for 2 weeks I think. Might take a 3rd. You get buy these at Walgreen’s. They are tiny and light weight. I only needed 1 tin for using in the evenings.
  • Sunblock stick: I just bought the travel size stick that they sell at the local grocery store. I don’t use a lot of it. I got a good tan prior to leaving and since I tan quickly, I ended up using very small amounts on my face and shoulders. Used it on Billy’s arms and legs. Sunblock is ridiculously expensive in Spain. Just be aware of that if you need to resupply. 1 stick barely got us through the 2 weeks. Literally just enough. So if you aren’t tanned prior to leaving and burn easy, take a second stick.
  • .35oz Bodyglide balm
    Used it on my feet every morning and my thighs. No chafing problems at all. Got the tiny tube and it was enough for a 2 week hike.
  • Travel Toothbrush
  • 1 oz of toothpaste We had 3 little grocery store travel tubes between us and that was enough.
  • 1 PackTowl Perfect size and felt nice and soft. So glad I decided to buy the larger size and not take one of my smaller ones.
  • Pibella Female Urinary Diverter:  This is the smallest and easiest to use on the market. It’s a small tube that fits snugly and let’s a women urinate standing up. Very good for those crowded trails when there isn’t much tree coverage to go hide behind. Wiping with the bandana is a breeze since it’s just a trickle. Just like the guys do, but without the “shake” part. I believe in providing as much information as possible for the ladies. 🙂 Hardly used it, to be honest. It was just faster to drop my drawers since I was wearing a skirt. Sent it forward to Santiago when we got to Lugo.

 

 First Aid

  • A few band-aids
  • 1  small bottle of Naproxen (Naproxen did nothing for my Achilles pain or my plantar fasciitis. I got a COX-2 inhibitor in the local pharmacy that worked better (like Celebrex but a different brand. I carried a bunch of these as I was taking them every 8 hours. Easy to buy in Spain over the counter. Unlike the US where you need a prescription.)
  • 1 Blister pack of Benadryl (Never used it and will not take again)
  • 1 Blister pack of Loperamide (Definitely needed it one day in a location where there was no pharmacy, ie the middle of the woods. Will take again)
  • 1 Blister pack of Zyrtec Allergy tablets. (Probably won’t take again. We discovered my husband had no allergies in Spain)
  • 1 Package of Compeed blister pads (Definitely take one multiple size pack with you. You can buy more on the way. I only need one pack for a couple of hot spots and Billy bought another pack for his small blister)

 

Miscellaneous Items

  • Sea to Summit Al Spork
    Never used it.
  • 10 Diaper sized safety pins: To safely attach drying clothes to the bungee on my pack. Used these every day. Very necessary.
  • 2 Kleenex packs-purse size (I actually forgot them at home. never missed them)
  • iXpand Flash Drive for my phone 7 Plus: This tiny flash drive connects to any iPhone and lets you download photos so that you don’t fill up your phone’s hard drive. No need to worry about having WiFi or Internet connection to backup to the Cloud. Used it and will take it again.

 

SanDisk iSpand Flash Drive

 

  • Mophie Power Reserve 1x: The only phone we are taking is my iPhone 7 Plus. I decided to take a portable charger because I will also use it as my camera and to read the guide books. I can easily run out of power during a long day. This gives my iPhone 7 Plus a 50% charge. I bought it in pink just so that it would match the red 6ft long charging cord. Harder to miss than black when packing up in low light. This little baby is small. Unlike my Mophie Power Bank. This weighs just 62 grams! If you want to be able to charge to 100% and you have a 7 Plus, You will need to get the larger Reserve 2x. Weight on that one, as I recall is twice as much. Never needed it. Send forward to Santiago when we got to Lugo. The iPhone 7 Plus batter was enough to last the entire day even with GPS turned on. Won’t take again.mophie Power Reserve 1X

 

  • 1 iPhone Charger: EU charger so that I don’t need a separate adapter plug. Similar to this one. Very useful in a couple of albergues where I shared outlets.

 

iPhone charger for the EU

Well, that’s pretty much the whole Camino packing list. I’m also taking my iPhone 7 Plus in an , 6ft long red charging cord and the above mentioned EU charger, US Passport, Pilgrim Credential, tiny wallet with credit cards and cash, a bunch of Ziploc bags (I keep my passport and credencial in a quart sized one), my sunglasses and regular glasses (with a soft case each). About 13 pounds without the water bladder filled. Just as I planned. The 3 liter bladder was definitely needed by me. The long 10 ft charging cord is a necessity.

 

 Billy’s Packing List

If you are wondering what Billy’s packing list looks like here it is. It’s pretty similar to mine.

 

  • 1 LS Royal Robbins Expedition Stretch Shirt: A shade of blue/violet. I bought it for him. He like it. Worked well.
  • 1 REI Sahara Long Sleeve nylon shirt: Some shade of grey. He like it. Worked well.
  • 1 Long sleeve Merino t-shirt He never wore it walking. Just to bed at night because he didn’t take a short sleeve one. But he really, really liked this shirt.
  • Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Nylon Pants He has a bunch of hiking pants but these are the likely ones. He’ll decide which ones to take the night before we leave. That’s how he rolls. I’ betting he’ll take a beige pair and dark grey pair. He took 2 pair of convertible pants. but only one set of legs. He wore the legs in the evenings when we went for dinner or church.
  • Socks and Rain Gear: As I mentioned above, we both have the same Darn Tough socks, RevelCloud Puffy jacket, Packtowl, and rain jackets.
  •  1 Outdoor Research Rocky Mountain Low Gaiters: He’s not taking rain pants. He walked in shorts even over the Hospitales. He’s a tough Alaska man. Don’t use him as a guide.
  • 1 North Face Horizon Breeze Brimmer hat: To protect his Irish skin from burning to a crisp. He liked his hat and wore it almost every day.
  • 1 Pair of light weight nylon shorts: To sleep in and can be used for swimming when we move on to the touristy part of our trip after the trek. Worked fine.
  • His half of the Bronner’s soap. I carry the medicines and he carries the blister and first aid supplies.
  • Since he’s a former Army Ranger he goes commando in the underwear area. Nothing left to say there…
  • 1 Snow Peak LiteMax Stove: It weighs 54 grams. He really wants to take a little camping stove to make me hot tea and soup along the way. Many long stretches on this Camino route that we can just sit on the grass and take in the view. How can I argue with that? The fuel canister will be purchased when we arrive in Oviedo at the local Decathlon store. We had plans to use this over the Hospitales to have a warm lunch. But it was too windy and rainy and there was no shelter. We did use it afterwards when we made dinner on the beach after our walk. I would convince him not to take this next time.

Billy’s packing list was perfect.

Are you walking the Camino or have you walked in the past? What did you carry that is different from my list? Advice?

Please comment below.

14 Responses

  1. Cath Halley says:

    It sounds like a good list. I love the idea of the male shorts for peeing-ease! I might have to steal that for my trail rides! Too bad you camera gear is to heavy but I’m looking forward to seeing the mobile pix!

  2. Daniel Barry says:

    I’m a guy, so I won’t comment on the personal clothing, but I’ve done a couple of caminos and … like most hikers … am opinionated! So here are my opinions: 1. Basically a great light kit 2. Kind of pricey. 3 The pack weighs a pound or even two more than you really need. I get your explanation for that, but I’d buy (or make) a separate
    Camino pack just to cut a couple of pounds. 4. You’re right about wet down being trouble, but we took down on the Camino x 2 and it didn’t get wet. Just sayin’ you could save a half or even another full pound going with a down bag. You can get 1 lb Chinese down bags on E-bay for less than $100. Plus, you could stuff it inside your jacket for insulation if it gets cold and then you wouldn’t need a puff jacket, too. 5. Other little stuff I’d take: A small headlamp, a plastic spoon to eat yogurt with, a plastic knife to cut bread with, some safety pins to hang up clothes to dry with, 20 feet of strong string for clothesline, ear plugs, a little scissors, needles and dental floss to sew with (also good for teeth!), a tiny tube of super glue gel, maybe some duck tape, a whistle, some rubber bands, one big (30 gallon) plastic bag, maybe some 2 oz. dollar store flip-flops, light weight gloves, money belt. 6. Luxury items: I take a home-made ultra thin nylon sheet and pillow case. These can also be stuffed inside a jacket for extra warmth. I also take a (cut-down) guide book, in case the digital one craps out. Also a xerox copy of my passport, credit cards, etc. Finally, I like to have a little notebook and pen in my pocket.

    We all do it differently and your gear list is fine: Light and safe…you’re going to have a great trip. BUEN CAMINO!

  3. Daniel Barry says:

    PS I’m leaving for the Primitivo on April 19th.

  4. Daniel Barry says:

    Comment on hiking shoes: I also like Merrells and have the non-water-proof Moabs. I also carry a pair of gortex socks to wear inside them when it gets really wet! Sorry for blathering on…..

    • Irene says:

      Your NOT blathering on Daniel! I really appreciate your input. Thank you for taking the time to share your list with me. I have a pretty nifty journal app on my phone. I was going to bring a little Moleskin notebook but I haven’t decided. The app is called Travel Journal and let’s me take pictures and write an entry. Geo-locates too so it’s a great way for me to write my thoughts so that I can later post them on the blog. I hope to write as I walk-cell coverage permitting.
      Hope you come back and read my entries! I’d love to compare to your experience since you are going a couple weeks before us. Buen Camino.

  5. Daniel Barry says:

    OK..so you motivated me to look through my pack again and I notice a few other things you might consider: 1. A camping towel (I cut and sewed mine into a band shape: 4 x 40 inches so I can get it around my back) 2. A little bottle of potable aqua pills…which I did use before both on the Frances and the Portugues when a fuente looked dubious or I was dry and filled up from a creek and finally 3. A little metal lock with keys. Some Albergues have little lockable drawers or boxes you can use, which help when it’s shower time. I have taken my passport and money into the shower with me, but it’s a bit odd…especially if there are no hooks within the cubicle.

    • Irene says:

      I left things out of my list by accident. I do have a camping towel, flip flops, a spork, and safety pins. They are on my spreadsheet so I don’t know why I forgot them 🙂 I will add them shortly. And there are things that husband Bill will carry. The little roll of duck tape and more of a first aid kit are a couple of those things. He’s also taking a tiny, ultralight camping stove and a titanium cup so that he can make us tea or soup on a whim. He insisted so who am I to argue.
      Thanks for reviewing my list. A second set of eyes always helps!

  6. Lannette Nickens says:

    I didn’t see Europran/Spanish electric power adapters for your phone charger on the list.

    • Irene says:

      I have one. Left it off the list. It’s a charger that already has a plug for the EU so I don’t even think about it. Thanks for pointing it out. 🙂

  7. Daniel Barry says:

    Something else I carry is a 3-way European electric outlet…which cost me about 2 Euros in a Chinese store there…because the wall outlets or power strips in albergues are often full. With a 3-way I can share someone else’s outlet, plug them in too, and still provide an extra pair of holes for somebody else’s plug.

  8. zimmerslanding says:

    Irene. Thanks for your list list, it’s always interesting to see where others are planing to save and sacrifice for minimal weight. I’m taking off for the CF in two weeks and am still agonizing about what to bring. I’m still stuck around 22 pounds – way too much. Part of the challenge is that I intend to walk the entire route to Finnisterre and then spend another 2+ weeks traveling around Spain where it will be less casual (2 months total). But, I may drop the 3d set of clothing and buy an extra, decent set of trousers and shirt after the walk. I too am probably bringing too much inclement weather kit as I’ve been training in AK’s 0-15 deg temps for the past three month – I suspect I’ll overheat there if I actually wear what we’ve brought. Much of the rest of our lists is about the same (to include the spork! :}). I wish you both well, buen camino

    • Irene says:

      We’re spending an additional week in Spain, too. What we’re doing is taking a medium bag with our poles and Swiss Army knife. In that bag we are also putting a few articles of clothing for the last week. When we get to Oviedo we will send that bag to Ivar in Santiago to store until we arrive. That way we aren’t carrying extra clothes we don’t need during the walk.
      Spain is hot compared to what we are used to here in Alaska. We were there last May, albeit in the South, and it was very hot. Madrid was mild but still pretty warm. Safe travels to you and Buen Camino.

  9. Susan Alcorn says:

    We hiked both the Primitivo and our remaining miles/km of the Norte last year in the spring. I won’t go through my entire list, but have a couple of comments about traveling elsewhere before or after the Camino if you are not able to leave extra items in a hotel to which you will return. For looking a bit more put together while in cities, I carry my black Smartwool top (which is also my long underwear/extra layer/sleepwear if necessary), a skirt (could be my hiking skirt), a lightweight scarf, and sandals. My Mephisto black suede Sandals are heavier than necessary (and were pricey), but they look pretty dressy and have accompanied me for probably 15 years to many continents when I didn’t want to trek around in either boots or trail runners (and I don’t take flip flops).
    I think I first heard about the pee rag from a book entitled “How to xxx in the Woods,” or maybe the Leave No Trace people. One could tear the bandanna in half and use half for that need and the other half for nose wipes instead of tissues.
    I know that you don’t want to go to the expense of down at the moment, but as you said down is lighter than synthetic fills. My down jacket has a water-resistant (not proof!) filling. I carry my down sleeping bag and everything I really need to keep dry in extremely lightweight turkey baster bags. My backpack is lined with a trash compactor bag (also pretty light). We have used this system throughout many Camino trails and on the entire Pacific Crest Trail and have never gotten anything important wet.
    Good luck on the Primitivo–enjoy the challenges of the route, the beauty of the countryside, and the history and cultural experiences of the cities. We had pretty good weather on this route–many days that started out overcast, with rain forecast, but actually had very few days of rain.

    • Irene says:

      Good advice Susan! Thank you. I want to use a trash compactor bag but I can’t find them in boxes with less than 20. I may just give some away at the next Camino meeting in my town.

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