Well, the time has come to browse through my existing gear and see if it is adequate for an August Camino. August is a tricky month to plan for as you can’t predict the weather in Galicia. One day could give you the brightest of sun and the next could give you a year’s worth of rain. That said, I really enjoy shopping for Camino gear and have started browsing through eBay, Amazon and other retailers to see if I can find any gems. I’ve always been a May peregrino, save for September 2014 when I went up and over the Pyrenees. I brought along a May packing list and was quite happy with it. I was actually too warm and if I was walking for longer, I would have sent some items home.
At present, most of my Camino gear is lying in the bottom drawer of a wardrobe as I don’t wear them for the most part. The last item I have purchased was a Berghaus fleece, which I don’t think I will bring as it is too heavy. Weight means everything on the Camino, you know? So I have ran through the items I own, and apart from items from the pharmacy and footcare, I need to buy the following:
- A lightweight sleeping bag
- A 2nd Merino base layer t-shirt
- And a soft shell wind breaker.
The last two have been answered quite easily and hopefully will be purchased by the end of the week. However, it has taken me quite a while to decide on what sleeping bag I will bring along on my next Camino. The crux of the decision was weight. In 2012, I bought a Tesco own-brand sleeping bag which was low on quality and low on price. It was awful to be honest. It weighed 1.2kg and was a pain to roll back into it’s compression sack each morning. I used this bag on my 2012 and 2013 Caminos and while I was warm at night and did the job, it was a pain to maintain it. On my 2014 and 2015 Caminos I brought along the Snugpak Travelpak 1 bag, which weighed a much lighter 850g. It was so handy to maintain; it was small and for walking in May, I was always warm at night. However, I chose to leave it behind in Albergue Santamarina in Molinaseca, so my backpack could be a little lighter. Shame, as I liked that.
For my potential 2016 Camino, I have been browsing and with help from L from somewhereslowly.com, I have chosen the Ayacucho Lite 700 bag. I had never heard of the brand until a few days ago, but the bag itself is highly recommended. First of all, it is lightweight at 680g and secondly it packs down well. Some of the negative feedback states that it is not warm enough. However, it does advertise itself as a bag for the summer months. I do intend to bring a long a liner as well if the weather is chilly at night, but the other option is sleeping in the following day’s clothes which I normally do. The Ayacucho bag is also listed in the Independent’s Top Ten Sleeping bags for backpacking so that is high praise indeed.