This guidebook was designed to give clear, up to date and honest information about how to successfully prepare your belongings for the Camino de Santiago. I found that other guidebooks don’t provide enough information. There is too much guesswork involved.
If you are timid or uneasy about the journey ahead, you are not alone, so are the majority of others out there. Don’t worry; you’re going to do great.This guide will maximize your experience by teaching you how to pack for your specific needs. I’m excited for you! Are you ready to get started?
As you can already tell, I’m an avid Camino supporter. There’s not much like it in today’s super-fast paced world. Where else are you able to toast wine glasses with friends that you feel like you’ve known for your entire life, who you really only met the day before? Where else can you look deep inside your soul and realign your priorities? Where else can you enjoy the beauty and volatility of nature so personally? Where else can you restore your innate love and optimism for the human condition and the future of our world? Don’t worry, I didn’t go off the deep end—I just want you to recognize how incredible this experience can be.
This is why I’ve got to help others embark on the journey.
This is why I’ve written this guide for you.
While the Camino is very accessible to the beginning backpacker turned pilgrim, there are specific preparations that you need to consider. The vast majority of problems people had while walking to Santiago were physical ones—specifically with boots, backpacks, and clothes. With just a little more insight and proper planning, most of these ailments could have been prevented.
My former boss and best friend just turned 60, and she’s decided to walk the 500 miles (800 km) to Santiago, in part, to celebrate her birthday. Her name is Annie and I couldn’t be happier for her decision. I wrote this gear guide for people like her. She’s committed to going, but feels nervous and second guesses her preparations. If you are timid or uneasy about the journey ahead, you are not alone, so are the majority of others out there. Don’t worry; you’re going to do great.
This guidebook was designed to give clear, up to date and honest information about how to successfully prepare your belongings for the Camino de Santiago. I found that other guidebooks don’t provide enough information. There is too much guesswork involved. Annie wants the facts, so I’ll assume you do, too. That’s what you will find inside—nothing but comprehensive equipment and gear knowledge specific to you. I want to help maximize your experience. You will learn exactly what you need and what you don’t after reading this guide.
Just remember that the Camino has been the most profound and influential focus of my adult life. It’s my duty—no, my purpose—to help you on yours. From one pilgrim to the next, I want to wish you a Buen Camino!
Sections two through four are to help you differentiate among the essential items (the bare minimum), important items (that many pilgrims use), and helpful items (gear that can make your trip better).
This guide also highlights what items you should leave at home so you don’t pack anything that’s unnecessary. Find that in section five.
Next, section six teaches you how to create a backpacking system. This will teach you how to pack your backpack efficiently and effectively, while also demonstrating some organizational tips and tricks so you remember where everything is. One of the common problems on the Camino was improperly packed backpacks; learn how to do it right by reading this section.
To finish up, there is a “Final Checklist” in section seven so you can double check everything that you have and make sure you are fully prepared for the adventure.
Basically, this guidebook will walk you through the mental thought process of why each piece of equipment is both necessary and important while on the Camino. Learning the function of your equipment and creating a system around it will help you reach your destination. Awareness will lead you to success.
After reading this guide you will be able to find the perfect footwear, learn how your gear works, pack like a minimalist, and organize like a seasoned backpacker. Personal stories have been added for an enriching reader experience.
And if you have any further questions about preparing for the Camino, or if something is not clear in this guidebook, I’ve left my personal contact information in section eight. You can call me or send me an email and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. That’s just how I roll. I want to help you, and this is another way of doing it.
1. QUICK PICK LIST
- Your 60 Second Packing List
A. Footwear: Boots, Shoes, Sandals, Barefoot?
- What Should I Choose: boots, shoes, or sandals?
- Narrowing Down Your Choices
- Boots Overview
- Shoes Overview
- Sandals Overview
- Modifying the Fit: Socks, Insoles, Etc.
- Sleeping Bags
- Outerwear: Rain Jackets, Pants, and Ponchos
- Neck Wallet/Money Belt
- Trekking Poles
- Waist Pack
- Medical Kit
- Wrist watch
- Cell Phone
- Calling Card
- Water Bottles/Canteens
- Water Bladders
- Misc. Equipment
- Sleeping Pad
- Ear Plugs
- Sleep Mask
- Journal for self-reflection
- Spanish phrase book
- Packing “Tools”
- Ziploc bags
- Space saver bags
- Camping “stuff sacks”
7. FINAL CHECKLIST
8. CONTACT AND FURTHER INFORMATION