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About the Rucksack.



I want to thank all of you for being so hospitable and generous with your information to help the rest of us doing our first camino. There are a few things that I need advice on and therefore, please be patient with me.
The rucksack that is recommended from Nepal what is your opinion on it and do you have any other alternatives. About the boots, it has been recomended that leather ones are the best, what is your take on this. I do not have an REI store available in by area and am reluctant to shop on line and buying something I cannot try in the store. Any other store that you can suggest would be appreciated, I do have a Mountain equipment coop store in my area anyone hear of it. Thats it for now please be free to make suggestions I will be grateful forever.
I am going on this camino with a sense of adventure and will throw all caution to the wind. I plan on throughly enjoying the walk and meeting many people who will enlighten and inspire me with a sense of community.

Many thanks.

John Brierley 2023 Camino Guide
Get your today and start planning.
Hi Niel! LIke you, I have no REI store near me, so I just got as much advice as I could & purchase my backpack & boots online. I got the New Balance 976, which have now been replaced by the 977s. I like them. They are a cross between shoes & boots (but more closely related to boots), fit very well & I had no problems walking in them. My pack is an Aarn Freedom Featherlite, which I got on Ebay.

If you don't want to purchase something sight unseen, go to the local store you mentioned & tell them what you are going to do. If they are knowledgeable, they should be able to give you some really good pointers & help you out with selecting your equipment.

I would say spend as much as you can on your boots & your pack. You can cut corners on almost everything else, but without boots & a pack, you're sunk. :)



New Member
I have bought lots of things online but there are two things I wouldn't buy sight unseen and untested:

The first is a backpack -- unless I had tried on and tested the absolutely IDENTICAL model.

The second is boots or walking shoes. In the case of boots/shoes, even trying on an identical model wouldn't satisfy me. There are hand made processes involved in shoemaking and you never know when you might get a shoe that bites. Remember the photos of feet that Lil posted a few days back? Nasty!

Mountain Equipment Co-op is a good store. I would recommend taking your specs in to them and see how you make out.


Wandering for the love and growth of it
Time of past OR future Camino
HI Nathanael,
The back pack that is perfect for you is the one that fits and the same goes for your boots. People are suggesting certain brands to be helpful but they aren't trying to suggest theirs is the best or the only kind. There is no one brand that is the right brand. I recommend that you go into Mountain Equipment Coop since you have that available and try on several backpacks with about 20 # of the weights they have available and wander around the store getting the feel of each pack. The staff are usually fairly well informed and are quite helpful. You'll soon know which pack is best for you. There are a couple of things to consider - weight (obviously the lighter the better but put comfort first). Also - the heaviest thing you will be carrying is water. You need to be able to carry at least a liter and I prefer two. How will you carry that water? I prefer a pack that has an inside carrying compartment with a tube that comes out so I can sip at it. That keeps the water in the center of the pack and fairly. Think about it and see what you think. For me, balance is quite important. Make sure your pack is fitted properly for the length of your back. Most of the weight should be carried on your hips not your shoulders.
About the boots - again fit is the most important factor. There will be times when you're walking through puddles and even small streams (with an inch or so of water). There will likely be a lot of mud in some spots unless you're going in mid summer. So waterproof is also important. But get the right fit and avoid blisters. I got my boots at MEC. They are leather with leather lining. 3 caminos and no blisters so obviously that's what's right for me - but it may not be for you. Socks are also really important and there are lots of theories about what type are best. Walk around in your boots and try out different socks. It's really worth it to get what your feet feel comfortable in. There's no one kind that's right for everybody.
Buen camino

joe cardenas

New Member
HI I have walked the Frances and the Plata both times used GO LITE backpack which I bought via On-Line. Its very light and durable. the avg pack I think weights 2 or 3 pounds. The GO LITE weights less thann a pound. And drys very quickly.
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Active Member
cecelia said:
Walk around in your boots and try out different socks. It's really worth it to get what your feet feel comfortable in.

Be careful with the boots. I bought a pair at REI that was discounted (a lure that ultimately proved more costly in the long run). They felt good walking around town, but were too heavy for the trail. Those boots, combined with the too-hard Superfeet insoles, hammered my feet bigtime - pain and blisters.

I finally abandoned them in Logrono and bought a lighter pair of Spanish boots at the Planeta Agua outdoor store (they specialize in Camino outfitting, and they're a good pit-stop to make at that point on the Way because by then you'll have first-hand knowledge of what you actually need). I also got a softer pair of inserts as well. Together, they made my feet feel a lot better - and my feet aren't so great for walking as they are (flat, crampy, and with a couple of old bone breaks that pained me on the Way).

I've heard that each pound of weight on your feet is like having a couple of pounds extra in your pack, so don't get heavy boots. Light ones are OK, as long as they are well-made, shed water, have a good sole, and provide good ankle support. Inserts are helpful, especially when you line them with maxipads (which reduce moisture and provide a bit more padding). Good luck! :wink: :arrow:

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