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A secret in your pack!

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
#1
Ok...While I was up on the AT today, I was having a problem with some gear. I kept going thru all the "important...got to haves" and was trying to decide if I was carrying something I really didn't need.

Well, we have all made tons of comments/recommendations to fellow peregrinos as to what IS and ISN't needed on the Camino. We, some of us, are merciless when it comes to telling another to "drop that" you don't need it. But I'm sure we all carry something extra...Just be cause!"

I want to know what that "personal" item is.

For example: When I did the AT, I was often the first one out of the shelter and on my way. My fellow travelers appreciated my leaving (no not what you're thinking Vinotinto), but because they knew the secret in my pack. I carried a six pack of Coors Lite beer!

Here's why, they knew that if they came to a fast running stream, that had no man made bridge...and they faced upstream...walked about 6-10 paces and looked back at the trail...they might well find a "silver bullet Cool one" resting in the cool refreshing water.

Now, some folks carried a special book, some a teddy bear...what are you not willing to give up and, what is it?

Arn
 

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A

Anonymous

Guest
#2
You North Americans are quite mad ... I just realised what the 'AT' is - Bill Bryson wrote a book about it? The Appalachian Trail? Carry all you really need - food for a week, stove, etc etc ... anti-bear spray (you don't need it do you? Just need to walk with someone who runs slower than you?) and now a six-pack of beer, and to leave for others - fantastic! (though quite eccentric)...
So, sorry, nothing as magnificent as that. It used to be a real wine glass, wrapped in a napkin - wine tastes so much better - now it is just the napkin. Though I always carry a copy of the Imitation by Thomas a Kempis.

a six-pack of beer! really!
 
#3
Funnily enough I am reading the Bryson book at the moment - he talks about carrying 40lbs and then later carrying 50lbs - no wonder some of the distances he mentions are quite short! These seem incredible amounts to us but of course they carry tents, cooking gear + stove and food with them. When shelters are available they appear to be 3 sided shacks with a sleeping platform that hold about 8 people - albergues are starting to sound like 5 star alternatives!

It is interesting that the vision of the the creator was that the AT would become much like our beloved pilgrimage routes in Spain with a support structure - but not yet!
 
Camino(s) past & future
2002-2004-2006-2008-2011-2015
Cycled from Scotland,walked Francias, walked V.D.L.P, winter on Francais, stroll on Englaise
#4
My "Must Have" is a plastic bottle of pouring honey.
There always comes a point when I really really need something sweet. Then apart it doubles as coffee sweetner and its lovely mixed with porridge.
Dael
 

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#6
Whenever backpacking I always carry a good pair of long trousers (microfibre) and a smart non iron shirt. I'm usualy near civilisation not a wilderness trail like the AT and it is amazing how often people invite you into their homes or to functions, one time it was a wedding. Its always good not to look too out of place.

Arn when are you walking? Now the news is out there will be plenty of us from the forum following you to pick up the bounty.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#7
Yes, neat idea - and light too. We all carry a flannel I suppose? You can scrub-up really easily and quickly with a wet flannel.

Arn - yes, so April .... and where are you starting from?

Would be quite interested to see your packing list and weights ...
 

vinotinto

Active Member
#8
Arn said:
Now, some folks carried a special book
Well, I always had to have a book or two - I'm an avid reader, and despite their weight I still kept a couple with me in addition to my guidebook...I usually picked them up in one albergue, and dropped them off in another when I'd had enough of them... :arrow:
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#9
I always carry an airline-style sleeping mask. I can go to sleep with all manner of noise going on around me, but if there is a bright light intruding, whether from an outside street lamp, or someone up late in a hostel room, I find it really hard to sleep. I am certain that people seeing it on may think it is ridiculous, but a sleeping mask has helped me sleep well many a time when I might otherwise have struggled to sleep ;-)
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
#10
Br David said...Arn - yes, so April .... and where are you starting from?

Would be quite interested to see your packing list and weights ...
Hiking the AT is much different than the Camino...especially on two counts: Distance 2164 miles and outside support every 6-7 days or so. That means, you carry more "weather wise" clothes and about 2 lbs of food per day. My initial pack with gear (I started in March in the snow) and food weighed in at 65 lbs...my tent weighed 4 lbs and my sleeping bag 8lbs.

For my Camino...my pack is but 18lbs total. This includes: my sleeping bag at 1lb 6 oz and an Insul Seat at 1lb. 8oz. Particulars: 3 pair of socks w/two pair liners; two pair shorts; two polypro shirts 1 long sleeve, 1 short; 1 washable "nice" shirt and trousers w/zipper legs; medical kit; bag for a hard sausage/hard cheese for lunch; a camp towel; a sleeveless fleece; rain proof Columbia jacket...to be swapped out when my Altas poncho arrives; two drinking bottles, one w/fiter capability, krock slippers; toilet paper; knife, camera.

That's about it...I intend to get a proper peregrino walking stave.

Arn
 

vinotinto

Active Member
#12
I also made sure I had at least one primo cigar along at all times, protected by a metal or glass tube. I never had a problem lighting one up at any of the bars I hit in Spain. Of course, in a couple the owners had their kids pouring wine and collecting money. So, I guess Spain is a bit lax when it comes to enforcing certain laws...not that I have a problem with that... ;-)

I've also heard of a metal thermos-like wine container specially made for campers - if I do the Way again, I may shlep one of those along... :arrow:
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
#14
OK with Christmas nearly here...

What present may Santa give you, that you hadn't expected and WILL carry in your pack if you get it?

After Christmas...What DID Santa give you that you will carry?

To all you hopefuls out there:

Merry Christmas and Happy Holy Days!

Arn
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
#16
Jeff001,

This is way cool...as my students say.

I've been looking for something that I could carry that didn't require a lot of work on my part. This may just be the key...my Daughter would probably pay for the subscription...just to know I was all right. Isn't she sweet!

Thanks,

Arn
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
#17
Well Santa didn't bring me a SPOT...guess he's using it so Mrs Claus knows where he is when he's out late at night.

They are easy to find thou...REI, Dick's, Sport's Authority all have them for $149.99. There's also a $99 connection subscription.

My Daughter is always pestering me when ever I go out on my own. Like I've never done that before...up on the mountain, kayaking down small rivers in the back country, sailing up and down the coast in a 20 ft sloop. She's on me about checking in.

The SPOT seems the best of all worlds right now. Before I start my Camino, while out training (oops...I said the "T" word again), on the Camino (it will be great that they can track me on Google world), and send emails and, upon my return when I'm up in Maine/NovaScotia sailing/kayaking around.

SO, it looks like SPOT will be the secret in my pack!

Arn
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
#18
It might sound a bit prosaic or mundane but I would not leave without a book.There are many down times on the camino which a book fills nicely.I read over 2500 pages from Le puy to SDC this year.Next year I'm taking war and peace from Granada.Others who didn't take a book said they ended up reading their clothing labels!
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
#19
Right you are Omar...a book is a must for me. I try to find historical books about the area I'm traveling in that's in paperback. As I digest the pages I tear them out and deposit appropriately.

I've been looking into books on Templars on/near the Camino (all routes) and have found some pretty good options. We'll see!

Buen Camino

Arn
 

vinotinto

Active Member
#20
Arn said:
Right you are Omar...a book is a must for me.
At some albergues, you'll find a small bookshelf with various leavings from past pilgrims (some have more books than others, and English books may be in the minority). I found Moby Dick in one, and a recent non-fiction book about India in another. When I'd had my fill, I left them behind at whatever albergue I happened to be at.

But go easy on the books - they are heavy and take up room. I brought a couple too many on the outset, and ended up leaving them or giving them away to pare down my weight... :arrow:
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
#21
Vinotinto wrote: But go easy on the books
I'm only into lite reading....goes right next to my lite beer!

Now, I just need to find out how many fast rushing streams I'll pass that have no man-made walk way across...so I can lighten my load a can at a time.

VT...I know you'd rather a Vino, but is it possible to buy lite-beer by the can on the Camino? I'd hate to lug a case at a time!

Arn
 

vinotinto

Active Member
#22
Arn said:
but is it possible to buy lite-beer by the can on the Camino?
Gosh, I'm not a beer drinker, so I can't give specifics. But if you do find beer, I'd go for the full-octane stuff vs. lite - trust me, you'll need the carbs! :wink:
 
#23
Spanish beer is pretty tasty, I jsut ordered a caña. Very good. An Irishman who happened to know me through this forum, turned me on to Shandy, which I had never heard of, but the Spaniards seem to know it. I found it the most refreshing drink on the Camino. And you don't have to carry either the caña or the Shandy.
Lillian
 

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