I wrote a post similar to this in January but I have changed my kit slightly since then. You can download my packing list here.
The list is divided into 5 sections:
I’m going to start with a few general items, some I had from September and some I bought after September. First off the bat is footwear. I had been to-ing and fro-ing about shoes since I returned from the meseta and learned that my beloved Salomon GTX Ultra are not being sold any more. So I bought a pair of Meindl Respond Goretex. I took them out on a few walks and they were too flimsy so went back to Salomon – Salomon X Ultra Pioneer. I have taken these out on three walks since and just love them. They are probably a little heavier than I am used to but we will see if this will be a problem on the Camino. Alongside the shoes, I have a pair of Swiftwater River Sandal that will keep the feet comfortable once I am in the albergue. No change here and I love these guys.
For the main pack, I made the jump to Osprey before Christmas – Osprey Talon 33 and I am happy with it so far. If you are looking for a new pack, you should look to visit a store and ask to get fitted. Over the course of my Caminos, I have been carrying 30 litre – 45 litre packs so really less is more. For rain gear, I carry a combination of a Helly Hansen Rain Jacket and a pair of Marmot rain pants. I have been very lucky when it comes to rain with less than 10 days rain during all my Caminos. That said, it is important to be ready for all eventualities. It’s important to note that the Osprey pack does not contain a rain cover so you will need to buy one, which I have done.
And just to finish off this section, I have the following items:
- Sleeping Bag – Sea to Summit Silk Stretch Liner – Mummy – when it comes to sleeping bags, there are so many options. Your choice of sleeping bag will depend on the time of year. If you are walking in the summer months, a liner will be fine, however if you are walking in the winter months, a sleeping bag might be needed.
- Dry Bags – these dry bags are great – I have been using them for years. I usually bring 4 and have different items in them.
- 500 ml water bottle – there are plenty of places to top up with water and the tap water is drinkable.
Next up, I talk about what I wear on a day to day basis and it is all about keeping things to a minimum. What you bring you will be carrying so your knees will thank you when you arrive in Santiago if your pack is lightweight. First off, zip off trousers have always been a sign of a pilgrim. I have always worn zip off trousers – there are so many brands. For my upcoming Camino, I have a pair of Craghoppers Noslife Zip off trousers. Perfect for the hot day and cold day, alike. If you are walking during the summer months, you will find you are walking without the leggings, just make sure you don’t lose them like I did in 2019 in Belorado. I am bringing a pair of shorts if they need to be washed – nothing fancy.
I generally would wear a long shirt and a t-shirt but I will mention the full sleeve shirt now. Craghopper has a great full sleeve shirt. I love to wear this when it is too warm as I burn easy, and they are insect-repellent too. I wear a light fleece for those cold mornings and when I finish up after a day’s walk – RAB are great but honestly. any fleece will do the job. And finally, I wear a hat more out of habit than anything else. (Yes, I know the sun rises from behind me!) So that is everything what I wear and now we move to the more important parts of the pack. A buff is recommended if the weather is hot.
I have three pairs of Merino wool socks, and three pairs of merino underwear. They are quick dry and are very comfortable. I have been wearing Merino for years and I don’t plan on changing.
Having electronics with you on the Camino tend to take you away from the moment. That said I try to capture video and photos for this blog. Below is a list:
- Mobile phone, plug and charging cord
- Fitbit and charging cable
- Selfie stick
- Spanish adaptor plug
I would buy most of this list in Spain or Portugal as I need them. Don’t forget there are plenty of pharmacies along the Camino so you can buy what you need as you pass a town. That said, there are some things that I just can’t leave home without:
- Microfibre Travel Towel (photo below) – The towel is 130cm x 70cm and is really light and fast drying. You hang it on the end of your bunk when you are done in the shower and in a few hours it will be dry.
- All Purpose Soap (photo below) – It fits in your luggage and cleans everything. I have brought it on 2-week Caminos before and had some left over. It’s great!
- Travel toothpaste – I usually buy when I arrive
- Cream for feet – I was recommended Gehwol by a Podiatrist and I haven’t looked back since.
- Cream for aches and pains – Biofreeze was recommended to me.
- I bring several clothes pegs for hanging laundry in the albergue.
- Earplugs – for the albergue – essential
- Prescription details – in case of lost meds
There are some things that are more important than others. If you were to lose them, it may make or break your Camino. I always like to take particular care over certain items.
- Cash with Debit Card
- Credencial from Camino Society Ireland
- Flight details
- EU Covid Digital Cert – until restrictions are fully lifted.
- Spork – great to use while having a snack during the day
- Journal and Pen – I like to write once my day is over in the albergue – other pilgrims should do so too.
- Scallop Shell – so others know you are a pilgrim
- I carry a small over-the-shoulder bag at all times which includes my credencial, passport, a small amount of money, debit card and phone.
- In my backpack, I have a clear plastic pocket envelope which contains a copy of my prescription, flight details, contact details if my phone is lost/stolen. I usually scan all these details to my email address in case I lose them.
- Recommended Phone App: AlertCops – AlertCops can be downloaded to your smartphone when in Spain and will notify of any safety or security concerns while you are on your Camino. It operates on GPS and sends you a SMS so you don’t need to worry.
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