What to Pack For the Camino
What to pack-Less is more
The Camino de Santiago is one long, incredible journey that is likely to turn into one of your fondest memories. You will need to know what to pack and be well-prepared if you want to make your journey easier and experience it fully.
Whether you are going to be on the Camino for two or six weeks, you will pretty much need the same clothing for the cold, rain, and hot temperatures, as well as toiletries, first aid, and medications. However, having said that the general rule of thumb is “less is more” when packing for your Camino. In the end, you will be surprised at how little you actually “need” and how grateful you are not to have more “stuff” with you.
Our list of what to pack for the Camino might seem long but it is pretty much everything you will need. You will most likely add to or remove a few items from the list but do so carefully. Consider the weight first and foremost and remember to factor in a few pounds of water when weighing everything in.
RULE OF THUMB
10% of your body weight.
- Your body is better able to withstand the stress and strain of the long journey if you ONLY carry 10% of your body weight. So if you weigh 150 lbs then you should carry only 15 lbs.
- 10% includes water and the weight of your backpack.
- On the days you pack extra food you will exceed the weight suggestions, but the bag will lighten as you eat your food.
- Only your filled backpack is considered in the 10% rule, NOT the clothing or items you are wearing and carrying in your pockets and on your body.
What to pack for…
AVOID COTTON, it takes too long to dry, if it gets wet you will be cold and it is heavy.
USE technical fabrics that wick perspiration, are quick-dry and lightweight.
NOTE: my clothing is in the lime green bag, except for what I was wearing.
- Hiking boots or shoes.
- Lightweight sandals for the end of the day and showers.
Long johns or leggings, doubles as pyjamas.
Long-sleeve top, doubles as pyjamas.
1 long sleeve shirt with a collar. Great sun protection, dinner attire and layering piece.
2 pair of pants with zip-off legs. The legs can be removed and washed if they get dirty. Just bring one set of bottom legs. Belt.
3 pairs of socks. Cushioned sole and heel, seamless toe, moisture-wicking, quick-dry.
- 3 underwear, not cotton.
Hat with a brim.
Buff for cold and windy days under your hat and for bad hair days.
Scarf. Lightweight cotton blend. Good for keeping you warm, protection from the sun on your neck and side of your face, wrap around your pillow in albergues.
- lightweight fabric waterproof bag for your clothing.
- Cycling gloves if using poles.
TIPS AND HINTS about what to pack
- Take one lightweight luxury item. Choose wisely. See Safety and Healthcare for proven preventive blister tips.
- Every night after you wash and ring out your clothes, lay them out flat on your microfibre towel. Roll the towel and the clothing up like a sausage, then ring it out tightly. This removes a large portion of excess water and your clothes should be dry by the next morning.
- Rinse and ring out your microfibre towel after each use. Hang to dry.
- Use your safety pins to hang wet items from your backpack to dry out (like socks during the day), and to pin your luggage transport envelope to your backpack (you never know if you might need a day or two off from carrying your pack).
- If you are starting in Saint Jean Pied de Port there is a fantastic Pilgrim shop there that features a large variety of gear. Visit La Boutique du Pelerin on line.
- If starting in Pamplona Caminoteca also has a large variety of pilgrim-focused products and is around the corner from Jesus y Maria Albergue.
equipment and accessories
Toiletries: SMALL TRAVEL SIZES as they weigh less and can be easily replenished along the way.
- Toiletries: Shampoo, soap, shower puff, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant (please), skin cream, hand sanitizer, moist wipes, razor and a lightweight waterproof toiletry bag.
- Quick-dry microfiber towel. Not too big!
- First aid: Ibuprofen, sunscreen, a few bandaids, foil mylar survival blanket, tweezers, nail clippers, Polysporan spray, rubbing alcohol wipes. Medications or vitamins.
- Foot care kit: A tube of Vaseline, paper surgical tape, or flocked Omnifix tape (our favourite)needle and white thread wrapped around bristol or cardboard.
- Laundry soap either bar or small bottle of suds.
Sunglasses and prescription glasses.
Microfiber eyeglass carry pouch that doubles as a lens cleaner. The ties can attach to your pack.
- 30 to 35 litre backpack, lightweight and proper fit with a waterproof cover.
Lightweight sleeping bag with waterproof stuff sack.
- Water bottle or water bladder. 2-litre size.
Earplugs for the snoring.
Clothes pegs 4 to 6.
- Large safety pins 2.
- 2 -4 lightweight carabineers.
Phone, earphones, and charger. Optional but very useful and doubles as a camera. You can get a SIM card in Spain at the Orange store.
- 4 lightweight fabric waterproof bags for your electronics, toiletries, clothing, and first aid.
- Pocket knife. One can be bought at a good pilgrim store along the way. You’ll need it, especially the kind with scissors.
Headlamp. Super lightweight and it’s great to have when searching in your pack in the dark and nighttime bathroom visits.
Guidebook with maps and accommodations.
- Passport, driver’s license, identification and emergency contact numbers, debit and credit cards.
- Passport holder/wallet.
Waterproof pouch for pilgrim credentials.
Lightweight microfiber change purse for your daily cash allotment to carry in your pocket.
A plug adapter for Spain/Europe.
Pen and a few pieces of paper folded in your guidebook.
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