Preparation for a Camino

Here I will talk about where to start when you are preparing for your Camino – what to bring and where to find the right information. I found that everything that you need is online but it is important to speak to people who have walked the Camino before. Being badly prepared is not somewhere you want to be. I have been in that position. Joining your local Camino association (in my case Camino Society Ireland) is a good starting point. You meet other pilgrims who will be more than happy to answer any questions. It is also a good place to get your first sello or stamp for your pilgrim passport. You can find the answer to every question on Ivar’s forum (www.caminodesantiago.me/forum) or on a Facebook group like this one.

a) Useful Planning Links

You can find a number of resources that I have used to plan my various Caminos throughout the years. Some may prove worthwhile to you. If you know of others, please let me know. I can add them to the list for others to view. You can let me know by emailing me at clearskiescamino@gmail.com.

b) Packing Lists

Having the right kit is essential for your Camino. It is the difference between not having an enjoyable time and wanting to return again. I made many mistakes in 2011 and had decided not to returned. However with plenty of research and with help from friends in Santiago, I returned in 2012 to walk from León to Sarria. Over the years, I have been constantly chopping and changing the items in my pack so now my pack size is lower than it has ever been. 

Here are some of my packing lists from my previous Caminos, some to Santiago. I hope they prove useful to you. My friend Linda has written extensively about her pack from a female point of view, on her site, details below.

Linda from SomewhereSlowly.com has posted her packing list. You can check that out here.

c) Camino de Santiago Guidebooks

Below are a list of books I own and links who where you can purchase them. These editions may have been updated:

  • The Camino Portugués – A Wise Pilgrim Guide (link for purchase)
  • The Camino Francés – A Wise Pilgrim Guide (link for purchase)
  • A Pilgrim’s Guide to the Camino de Santiago – John Brierley (link for purchase)
  • A Pilgrim’s Guide to the Camino Portugués – John Brierley (link for purchase)
  • St Jean Pied de Port – Finisterre – Maps Only – John Brierley (discontinued)
  • Michelin Camino Frances Maps 2014 edition (link to 2018 edition)
  • Camino de Santiago – Way of St James from the Pyrenees to Santiago (Rother Walking Guide) (link to purchase)
  • Camino de Madrid – CSJ Guide by Johnnie Walker (link for purchase)
  • The Northern Caminos – Laura Perazzoli and Dave Whitson (link for purchase)
  • Camino Ingles – CSJ Guide by Johnnie Walker (link for purchase)

c) Useful information before you go