How to know what to bring with you on the Camino de Santiago

Camino de Santiago Backpack
Camino de Santiago Backpack

Step 1- How to train for the Camino
Step 2 – What to bring with you?
Step 3 – More questions? Ask in our Camino Forum

Step 2 – What to bring with you?

Once you have decided that you would like to walk the Camino de Santiago, and done some basic training, usualyy the 2nd question that you need to figure out is: What do I bring with me in my backpack?

Since each person has their own preferences of what they “need”, there is no “correct” answer to this question. Let me suggest a few things that our Veteran Pilgrims have suggested, so that you can make up your own decision.

What backpack should I choose?

Sillydoll wrote the following in this topic:

I’ve got a post on my blog devoted to ‘Weight-watchers for Back Packs” that might help you in your research for packs and lightweight clothing. … kpacks.php

There are many websites devoted to Ultralight backpacking with reviews on different packs and it will be worth reading a few of these.

A few things to bear in mind when shopping around:

1) Packs come in different lengths – make sure that the one you buy fits your torso and doesn’t drag down off your shoulders.
2) Many packs are made of sturdy, heavy duty fabrics for mountaineer campers who cart tents, poles, spikes, stoves etc. and can weigh over 2kg empty. Most camino pilgrims only need a pack to carry their clothing and toiletries so you don’t need a heavy duty, inner frame army type backpack.
3) New generation backpacks are made of ultra-lightweight, rip-stop fabrics with features like foam backing for comfort and rigidity, hip belts that can be stuffed with socks, towels etc.
4) Take a digital scale with you when you go shopping so that you can weigh the packs before you buy.

The Gossamer Gear Murmur ultralight pack is for loads of 9 kg (20 lbs) or less and for trips of 1,000 miles/50 trail days or less. It sports a webbing only hip belt, is a one size fits most pack and weighs in at a paltry 212g (7.5 oz) fully loaded with all its features. The Murmur has side pockets, side compression straps, a pad holder pocket, an adjustable sternum strap and a minimal hydration bladder shelf. (They have a sale on at the moment)

The GoLite Jam weighs 1 lb 6 oz. | 620 g – … PA5951&s=2

I started off hiking with a school satchel – and it served me well on 3 long distance hikes – including two caminos – until it started to perish and tear. I then progressed to a ‘proper’ backpack. A 35L Karrimor two compartment, sturdy hip belt pack that weighs 1.45kg empty. It hurt my shoulders, rubbed on my hips and was just too heavy. They now have ultralight packs – a 30L that weighs 600g and a 45L ladies that weighs 710g. Check their website at:

I have now progressed to a 32L OMM (Original Mountain Marathon) pack that weighs 575g and has everything I need including side mesh pockets, large mesh pocket on the back, lid pocket, double inner section, hip belt with zips and soft, wide shoulder straps. … on32L.html

Good luck with your shopping!

What should I bring with me?

As mentioned earlier, each person have their own preferences on what to bring, but the following packlist could be used as starting point for your list.

atlanticheart wrote the following:

I’m planning on walking the camino in April/May next year (starting around April 15th). At the moment I’m trying to compile a packlist, and I’ve weighed a bunch of things and gotten close to 7kg in weight (incl water). It’s a little too heavy, as 10% of my bodyweight would be closer to 5,5kg. So, if you have any thoughts on what I should bring that I haven’t, what I won’t need…etc. Please let me know.
Weight is in (grams).

Backpack (1050)
Raincover (100)
Sleepingbag (400)
1 T-shirt (180)
1 pair of zip-offs (314)
Underwear (90)
2 pairs of thick socks (80)
2 pairs of thin socks (40)
1 very light rainset (500)
1 fleece (400)
1 pair of sandals + flipflops for the shower (450)
1 quick-drying towel (100)
1 litre water (1000)
some food, snacks (300)
toothbrush, toothpaste (40)
schampoo bar (60)
basic medical kit (120) incl. plaster, compeed, sportstape, bandage and various pills I take, like multivitamins, Fortodol (which is an anti-inflamatory made from turmeric), aspirin, travel sickness pills (for train/bus rides to and from the camino)
muscle rub (40)
sun block (75)
safety pins (-)
small flashlight (80)
charger for mobile (160)
bellypouch (300)
purse, passport, tickets (180)
swiss army knife (50)
camera (140)
charger for camera (125)
mobile (80)
notebook+pen (240)
pilgrim guidebook (152)

In addition to this, i’ll be wearing an extra set of clothes, hiking boots and a hat.

In backpack, I’ll be carrying 5,7 kg
and in the bellypouch 1,2 kg
So, all in all that’s 6,9 kg…
The clothes I wear come up to 1,6 kg

If you still have equipment questions on the Camino de Santiago, visit the equipment question area in the Camino de Santiago forum. We have questions and answers from veteran pilgrims there to hundreds of questions.

Do you have more questions?

Camino de Santiago Forum