Hi folks, I’ve slightly updated my packing list for my meseta Camino in just over 20 days. The main additions are new trail shoes and a change in rain gear. I’ve changed my blister kit too. Check it out in the “Packing List” tab above.
It is quite normal to change your packing list if you are one to return to the Camino frequently. There may be items that just don’t work for you or a better item might be available for sale. So I’m just going to post what I have scribbled down for my Camino in September. I weighed this at 7kg last week, the lightest pack I have brought so far. This is without water and snacks.
Pack – 33 litre Osprey pack
North face microfleece 1/4 zip
Craghopper trail trousers
1 under armour underwear
Salomon trail shoes with superfeet insoles
1 baseball cap
Small over the shoulder bag containing the following: Phone and Earphones, Passport, Flight details, Debit card, Small amount of money, Camino Society Ireland Credential
Within the backpack:
Vaude Backpack raincover
1 pair of Sandals
700ml Water bottle – attached to pack with carabiner
Small plastic folder containing: – Flight details – Prescription – E111 card
Top pocket of pack:
Craghopper Kiwi Classic Jacket – Hooded rain/wind jacket (replacing the Helly Hansen Loke Jacket)
Berghaus Rain trousers
Within a Compression sack:
1 pair of shorts
Helly hansen t shirt
Icebreaker coolmax t shirt
2 under armour underwear
2 pair of bridgedale socks
Within a dry sack:
First aid kit (ibuprofen, motillium, etc – includes blister kit, germoline, small swiss knife with scissors)
Within a dry sack:
Toiletry kit (Travel toothbrush/toothpaste, roll on deodorant, Lifeventure all purpose soap 100ml, disposable razor, hand sanitiser)
Quick-drying REI packable towel
Within a dry sack:
12 safety pins for drying clothes
Phone charger / lead / Adapter
Power bank for phone
(Still debating whether to bring my action camera with strap attachment)
Camino Shell (take out when I start walking)
Backpack Waist pockets
Headlamp / tiny torch
If you have any questions about my packing list, please feel free to ask in the comments below.
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you will already know that I am returning to Spain on September 1st to walk the Camino a Finisterre. This route takes me from Santiago de Compostela, where I will see plenty of pilgrims finish their own caminos, to Finisterre and then further north to Muxia. I have set aside 5 walking days and that will be more than enough to reach the edge of the world and the sea.
However, the point of this post is to give you a few details about what will be in my pack for this particular journey. My previous Caminos varied from 2 to 3 weeks, but as this trip is relatively shorter, you may ask will that have an effect on my packing list. The answer is no as I have always kept my kit down to a minimum, regardless of the length.
So here goes:
- Lowe Alpine Airzone Pro 35:45 Backpack – What I will be carrying each day. I have worn this pack on two previous Caminos now and love it so much that there is no point making a change. It may actually be too big as it is really a 45l pack but as long as I am not filling up this empty space I will be ok. The pack I own is blue and I have the Irish Camino Society patch sewn on the front for good measure. The straps are ideal and there is a great front zip for easy access. I would recommend this. There is actually a great review of it on YouTube here.
- Sea to Summit Cotton Sleeping Liner – One of the great advantages of walking a short Camino is you see the weather forecast for that week before you go and you can get an indication if there will be cold weather in store. This liner was bought for that. I will be using it alongside my sleeping bag or not at all. And hey! I’m going to Galicia in September; it’s not a case that it will be warm. I have tried this a few times and it’s a good buy.
- Ayacucho Lite 700 Sleeping Bag – Pictured on the left above, the Ayacucho Lite 700 has been voted one of the top 10 sleeping bags for backpackers in the Independent. So, that was enough reason to buy it. Ideal for backpacking across warm countries, it packs down to take up just 2.5 litres of space in your pack and weighs just 680 grams. As I have said above, if the weather is foul, i’ll bring along the liner!
- Brooks Cascadia 10 Trail Shoes – Another piece of kit that can make or break your Camino. I actually won these in a raffle and have loved them ever since. I am definitely bringing them along. It’s worth pointing out that no matter what shoe / boot you choose to wear, that you are comfortable with them.
- Bridgedale Men’s Coolfusion Run Speed Demon Socks x 3 – I’ve toyed around with socks since I took my first steps on the Camino back in 2011. Every year a better pair is manufactured or better material is used. I’ve worn nylon socks (never again!), wool (nope!) and last year, 1000m socks. However, I seem to have found a sock that makes my feet and me happy! I’ll bring 3 of these along.
- Under Armour Original Boxerjock 6 Inch Extended Boxer Brief x 3 – Another piece of underwear that doesn’t need any introduction. These have caused me no problems at all.
- Craghopper Mens Basecamp Convertible Zip Off Trousers – The ultimate Camino item of clothing! Most pairs of convertibles have pockets further down the leg to put money in, or, your credencial, let’s say. They are extremely handy, and I rarely wear them with the lower section on. I will also bring along a spare pair of shorts in the event of a downpour and they need to dry.
- Craghopper Kiwi Mens Long Sleeved Shirt – I wore a Craghoppers shirt on my 2015 Camino and am bringing the same one along this time. It is perfect for warm days and perfect for not-so-warm days. The collar saved my neck many a time last year. Plus if it is too cold, you can layer with a fleece or a wind breaker. And it’s lightweight, which is the main thing!
- Helly Hansen Lightweight Fleece (below) – For those cold mornings! I’m a big fan of Helly Hansen and wear their fleeces anywhere I can, the Camino included. But seriously, a good lightweight fleece is essential.
- Helly Hansen Men’s Driftline Polo Shirt – Cobalt Blue (above)- Another item that will be making a re-appearance from last May. I loved this polo. It’s superquick-dry and lightweight. And no, I don’t have a “thing” with the colour blue 🙂
- Beechfield Baseball Hat – For the sun!
- Rain gear – A lot of people choose to buy a rain jacket, but I am planning for the worst. I have an Altus Atmospheric Poncho added to my kit from last year. I am bringing a pair of waterproof Half Leg Gaiters which you can buy in most outdoor stores. The key here is keeping your feet dry and not getting blisters, or flu for that matter.
So that’s the clothing part of my kit in detail. Of course, there are a few other things that need to be mentioned.
Electronics – I try to avoid the over use of electronics and just use my Samsung phone to blog and take photos. I also intend to bring along my Fitbit Charge. Of course, this is all optional. I met people with Kindles, iPads, etc..I have no idea how they charged them all.
Blister kit & First Aid – I usually carry a small selection for ailments all in a dry bag. If you do need more, there will be a pharmacy close by. On this Camino, I am taking Blistermedic and Bodyglide Anti Chafing stick for feet, Victorinox Classic SD Swiss Army Pocket Tool, a Needle and thread and 5-10 Ibuprofen tablets. If you take medication, make sure you carry a copy of your prescription in your backpack.
Toiletries – Again, keep everything to a minimum as there are plenty of stores in Spain. Travel size toothpaste and soap lasts a while. While last May, I brought All Purpose Soap by Lifeventure, I will bring Dr. Bronner’s Castille Soap. It is an all-in-one soap. It is highly recommended so I thought I would try it out. A microfibre quick dry towel is essential also. So on this Camino, I will be taking: Osprey carry on washbag, Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castille Bar Soap, Antiseptic wipes, Trespass Antibacterial Microfibre Towel – Quick dry, Toothbrush and travel size toothpaste, Disposable razors x 2
Side Bag While Walking – A side bag comes in many different shapes and sizes. There are large bum bags with holders for water containers, over-the-shoulder bags, while some pilgrims don’t find it necessary to carry one. I prefer an over-the-shoulder bag that has room for money, my phone, my passport and credencial…the important things!
And the others that I can’t place under any category:
Sandals – when not walking
5-6 breakfast snack bars – for the morning
Safety Pins x 6 – great for hanging up clothes for drying.
Plastic bag for rubbish
4-5 Different coloured dry bags for inside your rucksack– various sizes
Flents Ear plugs x 1
Light My Fire Spork
One piece of kit that I have not mentioned however, is left until last. It’s the humble scallop shell. You see, after the death of Denise Thiem, a memorial tree was planted outside of Astorga. I won’t pass this tree but I’ve been told that if I bring along the shell to the Pilgrim House in Santiago, they will do for me. So in a way, that is the most important piece of kit for this trip.
Just a quick post.
I want to post my packing list so you get an indication what I carry on my Caminos. This has been updated to include the items bought this weekend. I have made notes and included links to where I have purchased the items. Also, reviews from Youtube have been included which have helped me choose them.
If you click on the link, an excel spreadsheet will open.
I’m smiling as I write this.
I hope (and want) to be back in Spain in September but I have nothing planned…no leave booked, no flights tickets bought, nothing. In previous years, I would have everything arranged and would only be counting down the days on my Camino-themed laptop desktop! (Yes, I’m obsessed!) It’s actually the least prepared I’ve ever been for a trip. But does it bother me? Nope! I have a feeling it will work out fine. I might have to pay a little bit extra for flights but that’s not a problem.
However, the one thing that I have prepared is my kit. Over the last few weeks, I have been putting together my packing list for the next time I put my feet on Spanish soil. I haven’t given my kit much thought since I returned last May and now is an ideal time to do that. I was given vouchers by family and friends for my favourite store, Great Outdoors and bought 2 items there. I also bought 2 items on Amazon, which I have used over the years. So I may as well get started:
Helly Hansen Velocity Fleece – I have worn light fleeces since I started out on the Camino.
My favourite brand would be Helly Hansen but Berghaus are pretty good too. Last year, I bought a Helly Hansen Daybreak Quarter Zip, but what I have chosen is a full-zip. Ideal for cold mornings.
Bridgedale Men’s Coolfusion Run Speed Demon Socks – I have been a big fan of 1000 mile fusion socks since 2012. I never saw the need for a change.
But, I just decided to give these a go. I haven’t actually tested them out on a long walk, but I will do so soon. I have never worn short socks either, so I’m in the deep end here. They look great though!!
Craghoppers Kiwi Men’s Long Sleeved Shirt – I’m a big fan of shirts while on the Camino. You have the collar if it is too warm, and you can roll down the sleeves if it is too cold / warm.
Last year, my brand of choice was Columbia but it is just a little worn so I’ve bought a Craghoppers to bring the average age of my kit down a little. Here’s hoping it lasts a little longer. It’s quick dry also which is a plus in my books.
And finally, I bought an Icebreaker Tech Tee Lite Shortsleeve. I has got to be merino for me. It is red – meh..the colour is not a problem, but I bought it as there was a sale on 🙂 I still have a Helly Hansen Polo neck tee shirt which is perfect..light, quick dry. I wore it last year and it caused me no problems. So I guess I will wait until closer to the day before I decide which of those I choose. Maybe both!
So I don’t think I will add to my kit until closer to the time. I’m quite happy with what I have now.
Shoes…they always need to be changed and I found that today was the best time to do it. My trusted pair of Jack Wolfskins that I bought in June last have served me well over two Caminos in September and May and the sole is well worn. Secondly, I have a voucher that is due to go out of date if not used! And lastly, I am walking two legs of the Lough Derg way next weekend. I would love some time to get used to them before then.
I went to Great Outdoors in the morning. Town was full of tourists plus there was a rugby game on. I probably would have chosen a less busier time if I knew about that. Anyway, I arrived there and had a look at what they had in stock. Plenty of Meindl, Saloman, North Face, Merrell and Colombia. No Jack Wolfskin however. Hmm. I like the pair I own but I didn’t want to leave the store empty handed. I have previously worn Colombia and North Face and I liked them so I took a look at those.
In the end, I chose a pair of Colombia Conspiracy Outdry. I’m looking for a lightweight shoe and one that dries quickly. I was told by the assistant that this is a great all round shoe. I’m happy with that. I’ll take it with me to Limerick and see how I get on over the two days. YouTube reviews are positive on the whole and the only concern I have is what would happen if it is hot. I’ll take them out tomorrow and see how I get on.
So one of the downsides of postponing any trip is it gives you leeway to change or rejig what you are packing. Well, I’ve just gone and bought a rain jacket to add to my pack. So, out with the poncho and in with the rain jacket. The debate over rain gear on the camino (I’m not going to even start linking to these articles!) has been going on for years and for the last few years, I have swore by my poncho. This time I’m going to ditch it. I reckon the Marmot Precip is a good buy. It is breathable, lightweight and is pretty waterproof. All I need to do is give it a test run. I promise to leave my rest of my list as it is!! (although I said that before I bought the Precip!). I am the worst when it comes to gadgets however, so don’t be surprised if I bring more than my iPhone and charger.
I’ve started to get in some kms over the last week. I try and get in 10km during the weekend and maybe 5km each working day. Not running. I don’t think I’ll ever run..not sure why? I hope to do a long distance walk (maybe 2) before I go..there are a few trails along the west coast I want to take in.
I have also been quietly reading up on the Camino Portuguese for the future. One of my blog followers has just completed her Camino from Lisbon to Santiago and she gave some great tips that I will take note of. I don’t think I will start in Lisbon though, but Porto. You can read the blog here from day one. Another follower, Natasha Murtagh has started from Porto with her father and are both making their way to Santiago. You can read their story on natashamurtagh.wordpress.com. Natasha and her father have previously walked the French Way a number of years ago (I think it was 2011?) and wrote a very successful book called “Buen Camino!”.