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Absolute Bare Minimum Packing List

2020 Camino Guides

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
It seems to me that one should start with an Absolute Bare Minimum packing list, then add in "extras" that might make them more comfortable.

Here's what I've come up with so far (though I'm sure that some people could get more minimalist than this)

Clothes
2 bottoms​
2 tops​
2 pair socks​
2 pair underwear​
2 bras (women)​
1 warm layer - fleece, etc​
rain gear - either poncho or rain jacket + pack cover​
1 pair boots, shoes, or sandals​
Sleeping bag liner (Or just sleep in clothes on mattress)
Lightweight towel
1 bar soap for hair, body, and laundry
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Water bottle - buy a bottle of water and refill
Passport
Pilgrim credential
Money

Did I miss anything on the Absolute Bare Minimum Packing List?
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
I see that this list includes the items that are worn. Personally I would want to guarantee some extra warmth (buff, gloves, extra layer), but I'll play along. I wouldn't consider going without:
  • hat
  • alternate foot wear (plastic slip ons)
  • phone and charger
  • 2 bandages and/or tape
  • Dental floss
  • Tissues/kleenex/handkerchief
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I see that this list includes the items that are worn. Personally I would want to guarantee some extra warmth (buff, gloves, extra layer), but I'll play along. I wouldn't consider going without:
  • hat
  • alternate foot wear (plastic slip ons)
  • phone and charger
  • 2 bandages and/or tape
  • Dental floss
  • Tissues/kleenex/handkerchief
Now, you are adding on "extras" beyond the bare minimum. 😜
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017, 2018, 2019
You need to include a backpack in the list. Sunhat and suncream (for my easy to burn skin). I would always want a mobile phone too. YMMV.
I think a lot depends on the season. For example, in cool weather I carry one pair of pants and one pair of runners' tights (running base-layer) . In warm weather, one pair of long pants and one pair of shorts. In cool weather I would want a wool hat in addition to the sun hat. I might leave the wool one behind in warm weather.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Of course I take a lot more than the "bare essentials". I was just thinking of the list as an exercise to help people think about what they really need to walk the Camino.
I see lots of first timer's packing lists here and on Facebook with things like 4 pairs of socks, 3 pairs of pants, 4 shirts (2 short sleeve/2 long sleeve), an extra pair of shoes and sandals, a poncho and a rain jacket (just in case), facial cleanser and moisturizer, shampoo, conditioner, hair de-frizzer, a complete pharmacy, and on and on.
So, rather than trying to pare down such a huge list, perhaps it's better to start with the absolute bare essentials and work up from there.
 

Geodoc

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2018 (across Pyrenees, then Sarria to SdC), CF 2019 (SJPdP to Finisterra & Muxia), CI 2019
Dental floss.
 

Lucho

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Apr/May '18
Of course I take a lot more than the "bare essentials". I was just thinking of the list as an exercise to help people think about what they really need to walk the Camino.
I see lots of first timer's packing lists here and on Facebook with things like 4 pairs of socks, 3 pairs of pants, 4 shirts (2 short sleeve/2 long sleeve), an extra pair of shoes and sandals, a poncho and a rain jacket (just in case), facial cleanser and moisturizer, shampoo, conditioner, hair de-frizzer, a complete pharmacy, and on and on.
So, rather than trying to pare down such a huge list, perhaps it's better to start with the absolute bare essentials and work up from there.
Ah, yes, the fear of not being prepared enough.

I think for many people who haven't done anything like this, there's the understandable concern that they'll be unprepared. Thus many bring too much. The thing that I think people don't realize is that the Camino (the Frances at least) is a bustling tourist path in a developed nation. Literally every day on CF you'll pass through a town/city that has some option, however basic, for socks, ponchos, band aids, etc. This is not hitchhiking through South America in 1950.

I think if first-timers grasped that they might not worry as much in the preparation.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (2020)
It seems to me that one should start with an Absolute Bare Minimum packing list, then add in "extras" that might make them more comfortable.

Here's what I've come up with so far (though I'm sure that some people could get more minimalist than this)

Clothes
2 bottoms​
2 tops​
2 pair socks​
2 pair underwear​
2 bras (women)​
1 warm layer - fleece, etc​
rain gear - either poncho or rain jacket + pack cover​
1 pair boots, shoes, or sandals​
Sleeping bag liner (Or just sleep in clothes on mattress)
Lightweight towel
1 bar soap for hair, body, and laundry
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Water bottle - buy a bottle of water and refill
Passport
Pilgrim credential
Money

Did I miss anything on the Absolute Bare Minimum Packing List?
Well, you've got too much for an Absolute Bare Minimum list! As far as clothing is concerned, one only needs what one needs to walk, keep warm and keep dry. Add a tee-shirt and shorts to wear while washing your day gear, and perhaps add a spare pair of socks. If you must, take a change of underwear, but not bottoms or tops.

I need to care for dentures, so would add denture cleaning tablets and floss. And I still have enough hair to comb and cover, so a comb and my Tilley!

I would add a very simple first aid kit - enough to get one to a town with a pharmacy. I also tape my toes and known blister spots, so I would have tape for that, but in recent pilgrimage walks haven't used anything else from my current first aid kit.

Is this approach risky? Sure is! But I have shared a room with one pilgrim who took this approach, and met others who seemed to be carrying little more than a changes of underwear and socks as spare clothing.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Currently on a "Virtual" Camino and striding out across Navarra!
I like your approach. You might need some tickets to get home, and a key to get back into your house!
I thought I could manage on one bra which would wash and dry overnight, but it didn't and after an uncomfortable bra-less afternoon bought another from a Chinese shop.
You carry your house keys with you when you go on a Camino? Why? Do you take your car keys with you too?
My EDC ones go in a safe place and, to get in my house on my return, my neighbour has a set and so do my eldest brother and my daughter.
 

Dromengro

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP - Leon 1984
Frances (2021)
Apart from a hat that looks like all I take for summer travelling. I can't think of what else I'd really need.
I've used a scarf as a towel which which doubles as a blanket or can wrap around shoulders or neck.
No need for the sleeping bag liner if you're warm enough in clothes or use the covers provided.
If you're washing clothes every day you don't need underwear and could lose a sock and rotate if you really want to be minimalist.
No need for a backpack as you can put it all inside your spare trouser's leg, tie the legs together and use the other leg as a shoulder strap, although you might need to use a piece of string to tie the legs together..
 
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Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Currently on a "Virtual" Camino and striding out across Navarra!
I have a "thing" about having long fingernails (on me that is and even then not if I'm in one of my Spanish guitar phases) so would have to include nail clippers

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😉 Otherwise yes, I could get along with your list - would substitute boonie hat/buff/bandana for the bra of course. "Any fool can be uncomfortable" but a Wise Pilgrim could manage well enough with this.
 

Aidan21

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to SDC 2013/14
SJPP to SDC 2016
Porto to SDC 2017
VdlP Sevilla/Salamanca 2018
Shaving kit, if you are a man....
 
D

Deleted member 29041

Guest
Wearing:
  • Pants
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • T-shirt or shirt (NB: some will need long sleeves against the sun)
  • Footwear of choice
  • Hat (against the sun)
Carrying (in a plastic bag, shoulder bag, bumpack, day pack or in a basket on your head):
  • Fleece (warm layer)
  • Extra underwear
  • Extra socks
  • Extra T-shirt/shirt
  • Rain gear
  • Toothbrush (toothpaste is strictly not needed)
  • Small bar of soap (for body, hair, and laundry
  • Lightweight towel
  • Sleeping bag liner (Hygenic requirement - that or a bedsheet)
  • Water bottle - buy a bottle of water and refill
  • Passport
  • Pilgrim credential
  • Money
  • Prescription medicine
  • (EU citizens) Blue health card
  • Health insurance (you'd be an utter fool to leave home without it)
Essentials:
  • Sense of humor
  • Open mind
  • Humility
  • Respect for the locals and for their customs (you are a guest in their country)
Not strictly needed:
  • Phone
  • Extra footwear
  • Dental floss
  • Overclothes for use when washing - hang up your quick-drying pants before you go to bed
  • Tissues - especially not without a bag to carry the used tissues back out in
  • Pain medication
  • Earplugs - even though it may feel that way, initially. If you're tired enough, you'll sleep. Longer stages may help.
 

Derrybiketours

A journey of 500 miles begins with one step!
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdeP-SANT-FIN (09/2018)
PORTO-SANT (11/2018)
Caminho Da Fe, BR (01/2019)
SJPdeP- SANT (09/2019)
Clothes
2 bottoms2 tops2 pair socks2 pair underwear2 bras (women)1 warm layer - fleece, etcrain gear - either poncho or rain jacket + pack cover1 pair boots, shoes, or sandalsSleeping bag liner (Or just sleep in clothes on mattress)
Lightweight towel
1 bar soap for hair, body, and laundry
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Water bottle - buy a bottle of water and refill
Passport
Pilgrim credential
Money
A interesting idea and think its pretty much complete as a foundation kit. The size of pack focuses the attention on what you need to carry as opposed to what you want to carry. I choose a 22 litre Osprey Talon pack that guided my kit priorities and its amazing how much it can hold.

I would differentiate between two bottoms, one would be zip off treking trousers, the other a pair of shorts which can be used as swimming trunks.

I would suggest two long sleeve merino wool tops too protect arms from uv rays and doubles as insulation if required

I wear 2 pairs of socks at once so would bring another advise 4 pairs, two pairs medium weight merino wool long sock and two pairs light weight merino ankle.

Choice of footwear is most important item and mine is one size bigger pair of Merell Moab Ventilator 2 (non goretex) plus I'd include a pair of Toms or other as essential to use in shower area and help feet to breath and more dressy of an evening out.

I've never needed a first aid kit but can appreciate some believe its essential as is nail clippers and ear defenders but I would add foot barrier cream such as Gehwol before these as in over 2,000 km this coupled with extra sock and one size bigger in shoes has resulted in problem free feet

The fleece could be replaced with light weight waterproof puffer jacket with hood and add a waterproof cover for pack

I prefer hygiene of having a sleeping bag liner and the weight is minimal

I'd include a 100% cotton Turkish towel which has multiple uses as picnic blanket, head scarf and sarong.

I agree one bar of soap, black african soap works well.

Like others have mentioned for protection and anti-glare and trail cred I'd include my Tilley.
🤠
 
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Eibhlís

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2000 I walked 300km of the Camino Frances.
2020 I plan to walk the whole 800km.
It seems to me that one should start with an Absolute Bare Minimum packing list, then add in "extras" that might make them more comfortable.

Here's what I've come up with so far (though I'm sure that some people could get more minimalist than this)

Clothes
2 bottoms​
2 tops​
2 pair socks​
2 pair underwear​
2 bras (women)​
1 warm layer - fleece, etc​
rain gear - either poncho or rain jacket + pack cover​
1 pair boots, shoes, or sandals​
Sleeping bag liner (Or just sleep in clothes on mattress)
Lightweight towel
1 bar soap for hair, body, and laundry
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Water bottle - buy a bottle of water and refill
Passport
Pilgrim credential
Money

Did I miss anything on the Absolute Bare Minimum Packing List?
Sunscreen
 

Eibhlís

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2000 I walked 300km of the Camino Frances.
2020 I plan to walk the whole 800km.
Whatever prescription medicine you need.

My personal (very detailed) 'minimum' packing list has around 60 single items in it! :rolleyes: but still the total weight is slightly less than 6.5 kilos including backpack weight.
Would you be willing to share it? I could do with some help 🙄
 

Lunchmeat337

Submariner
Camino(s) past & future
2015, Camino Frances, May
2017, Camino Frances, May
2018, Camino Portuguese, May
It seems to me that one should start with an Absolute Bare Minimum packing list, then add in "extras" that might make them more comfortable.

Here's what I've come up with so far (though I'm sure that some people could get more minimalist than this)

Clothes
2 bottoms​
2 tops​
2 pair socks​
2 pair underwear​
2 bras (women)​
1 warm layer - fleece, etc​
rain gear - either poncho or rain jacket + pack cover​
1 pair boots, shoes, or sandals​
Sleeping bag liner (Or just sleep in clothes on mattress)
Lightweight towel
1 bar soap for hair, body, and laundry
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Water bottle - buy a bottle of water and refill
Passport
Pilgrim credential
Money

Did I miss anything on the Absolute Bare Minimum Packing List?
Hat.
 

Turga

Camino tortuga
Camino(s) past & future
CF (Aug/Sep 2017)
CF (Aug/Sep 2018)
Would you be willing to share it?
Yes, but it is all written in my own language so I’d have to translate it and also it is in the form of an Excel-sheet which I don’t think I can post.

If you go to the ‘Resources’ tab and the ‘Miscellaneous’ category you will find examples of packing lists.
 

Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Camino(s) past & future
"Portuguese Camino - In Search of the Infinite Moment" Amazon/Kindle books authored
"Slow Camino"
The underlying philosophy of the "bare minimum" had been around since the Benedictines.
I like it.
Contemptus Mundi - detachment from worldly things.
Leaving our "monkey mind" at home.
The physical exercise we do is metaphorical for the spiritual emptying out.
Enlightenment is not an adding to.
It is a winnowing out.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Camino Frances SJPP / 2014 Camino Portugues / 2015 Camino Ingles / 2015 Hospitalero Training
2016 (fall) Camino Sanabre / Hospitalero?
It seems to me that one should start with an Absolute Bare Minimum packing list, then add in "extras" that might make them more comfortable.

Here's what I've come up with so far (though I'm sure that some people could get more minimalist than this)

Clothes
2 bottoms​
2 tops​
2 pair socks​
2 pair underwear​
2 bras (women)​
1 warm layer - fleece, etc​
rain gear - either poncho or rain jacket + pack cover​
1 pair boots, shoes, or sandals​
Sleeping bag liner (Or just sleep in clothes on mattress)
Lightweight towel
1 bar soap for hair, body, and laundry
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Water bottle - buy a bottle of water and refill
Passport
Pilgrim credential
Money

Did I miss anything on the Absolute Bare Minimum Packing List?
Backpack / Hat / Smile
 

Sue127

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
French Camino in 2020
Of course I take a lot more than the "bare essentials". I was just thinking of the list as an exercise to help people think about what they really need to walk the Camino.
I see lots of first timer's packing lists here and on Facebook with things like 4 pairs of socks, 3 pairs of pants, 4 shirts (2 short sleeve/2 long sleeve), an extra pair of shoes and sandals, a poncho and a rain jacket (just in case), facial cleanser and moisturizer, shampoo, conditioner, hair de-frizzer, a complete pharmacy, and on and on.
So, rather than trying to pare down such a huge list, perhaps it's better to start with the absolute bare essentials and work up from there.
This is going to be my next task!
 

Sue127

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
French Camino in 2020
Wearing:
  • Pants
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • T-shirt or shirt (NB: some will need long sleeves against the sun)
  • Footwear of choice
  • Hat (against the sun)
Carrying (in a plastic bag, shoulder bag, bumpack, day pack or in a basket on your head):
  • Fleece (warm layer)
  • Extra underwear
  • Extra socks
  • Extra T-shirt/shirt
  • Rain gear
  • Toothbrush (toothpaste is strictly not needed)
  • Small bar of soap (for body, hair, and laundry
  • Lightweight towel
  • Sleeping bag liner (Hygenic requirement - that or a bedsheet)
  • Water bottle - buy a bottle of water and refill
  • Passport
  • Pilgrim credential
  • Money
  • Prescription medicine
  • (EU citizens) Blue health card
  • Health insurance (you'd be an utter fool to leave home without it)
Essentials:
  • Sense of humor
  • Open mind
  • Humility
  • Respect for the locals and for their customs (you are a guest in their country)
Not strictly needed:
  • Phone
  • Extra footwear
  • Dental floss
  • Overclothes for use when washing - hang up your quick-drying pants before you go to bed
  • Tissues - especially not without a bag to carry the used tissues back out in
  • Pain medication
  • Earplugs - even though it may feel that way, initially. If you're tired enough, you'll sleep. Longer stages may help.
I think that your ESSESNTIALS are most important.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019)
It seems to me that one should start with an Absolute Bare Minimum packing list, then add in "extras" that might make them more comfortable.

Here's what I've come up with so far (though I'm sure that some people could get more minimalist than this)

Clothes
2 bottoms​
2 tops​
2 pair socks​
2 pair underwear​
2 bras (women)​
1 warm layer - fleece, etc​
rain gear - either poncho or rain jacket + pack cover​
1 pair boots, shoes, or sandals​
Sleeping bag liner (Or just sleep in clothes on mattress)
Lightweight towel
1 bar soap for hair, body, and laundry
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Water bottle - buy a bottle of water and refill
Passport
Pilgrim credential
Money

Did I miss anything on the Absolute Bare Minimum Packing List?
That pretty much lookslikemy list if I am walking in September/October when I generally go. My last Camino was in November/December. I plan to do the VDLP in March/April so it could have some more warm weather things. On a crowded camino I would include clothes pins to hang laundry and I use a money belt also.
There is always the chargers for your phone and medicine if needed. I do take Voltaren 2.3% for my old bones, which is available in Mexico over the counter. The only caveat is that you shouldn't use Votaren if you are taking a blood thinner like warfarin. But as I always say ask your doctor he knows better than an old drug rep like me.
 

Island

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues 2019
Pilgrims' Way 2020
Via Francigena 2020
California Mission Trail 2020
In terms of absolute bare minimum, Tim Evans at www.roadwalking.com is an excellent example of "how low can you go". Here's my take on bare minimum - meaning I could cut everything else but not that I would:

CARRY
  • 6L Fanny pack to carry all gear - backpack is too much
  • Dr Bonners Soap 2oz (shampoo, soap, laundry)
  • Toothbrush + Toothpaste (dr bonners works but tastes awful)
  • Medication
  • 10" of KT tape for blisters
  • Passport
  • Cash / Card

WORN
  • 1 merino wool shirt (smells less, dries fast, can go without while washing)
  • 1 underwear
  • 1 nylon water resistant pants
  • 1 hat (sun / rain protection)
  • 1 merino wool socks
  • 1 pair walking shoes
 

Charbias

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
St James Way ( 2011)
Portuguese Way - Lisbon to Porto ( 2020)
Ah, yes, the fear of not being prepared enough.

I think for many people who haven't done anything like this, there's the understandable concern that they'll be unprepared. Thus many bring too much. The thing that I think people don't realize is that the Camino (the Frances at least) is a bustling tourist path in a developed nation. Literally every day on CF you'll pass through a town/city that has some option, however basic, for socks, ponchos, band aids, etc. This is not hitchhiking through South America in 1950.

I think if first-timers grasped that they might not worry as much in the preparation.
I agree - rather buy stuff along the way than carry for "maybe" I also take small toothpaste tube and small 3 in one wash (hair, body and clothes) and fill up along the way.
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
It seems to me that one should start with an Absolute Bare Minimum packing list, then add in "extras" that might make them more comfortable.

Here's what I've come up with so far (though I'm sure that some people could get more minimalist than this)

Clothes
2 bottoms​
2 tops​
2 pair socks​
2 pair underwear​
2 bras (women)​
1 warm layer - fleece, etc​
rain gear - either poncho or rain jacket + pack cover​
1 pair boots, shoes, or sandals​
Sleeping bag liner (Or just sleep in clothes on mattress)
Lightweight towel
1 bar soap for hair, body, and laundry
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Water bottle - buy a bottle of water and refill
Passport
Pilgrim credential
Money

Did I miss anything on the Absolute Bare Minimum Packing List?
Don't need raincover for pack, if you have a cape that goes over the pack. I took my raincover off.
Add sunblock/moisturizer and sunhat.
 

Derrybiketours

A journey of 500 miles begins with one step!
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdeP-SANT-FIN (09/2018)
PORTO-SANT (11/2018)
Caminho Da Fe, BR (01/2019)
SJPdeP- SANT (09/2019)
Don't need raincover for pack,
Think the Op was referring to options:
Poncho no pack cover needed
Or
Rain jacket + cover for pack recommended
🤠
 

Eibhlís

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2000 I walked 300km of the Camino Frances.
2020 I plan to walk the whole 800km.
Yes, but it is all written in my own language so I’d have to translate it and also it is in the form of an Excel-sheet which I don’t think I can post.

If you go to the ‘Resources’ tab and the ‘Miscellaneous’ category you will find examples of packing lists.
I'm new to this forum and keep forgetting about the resources page. Thanks for the reminder.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
But I have shared a room with one pilgrim who took this approach, and met others who seemed to be carrying little more than a changes of underwear and socks as spare clothing.
I'll bet they were all men. 😛
 

jennysa

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2011,2012 2013,2014, 2015 Aragones 2012, 2017 2018 Via Francigena 2016,2017 Primitivo 2018,2019
I have learned from experience - in additional to trail shoes, which I walk in, I now always carry a pair of sandals that I can walk in - in case of blisters etc. Last year I damaged my toe so badly on the Primitivo that I could not walk in my shoes so I left my Addidas shoes on top of a marker and walked the last 125 kms in my sandals. A couple of years ago I had to buy a pair of sandals in Leon because of blisters.
 

Island

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues 2019
Pilgrims' Way 2020
Via Francigena 2020
California Mission Trail 2020
A couple of years ago I had to buy a pair of sandals in Leon because of blisters.
I think your comment illustrates the point of the ABSOLUTE BARE MINIMUM. From an absolute perspective, you don't need to pack something you ((( could ))) need if it can be picked up along the way ((( if ))) you need it. Just as I wouldn't back a tuxedo; I can pick that up along the way if I need it.
 

jennysa

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2011,2012 2013,2014, 2015 Aragones 2012, 2017 2018 Via Francigena 2016,2017 Primitivo 2018,2019
I think your comment illustrates the point of the ABSOLUTE BARE MINIMUM. From an absolute perspective, you don't need to pack something you ((( could ))) need if it can be picked up along the way ((( if ))) you need it. Just as I wouldn't back a tuxedo; I can pick that up along the way if I need it.
That depends where you pick up the injury. I had to hobble to Leon for a couple of days and ended up buying a very expensive pair of sandals, way beyond my budget because that was the only suitable pair.
 

Island

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues 2019
Pilgrims' Way 2020
Via Francigena 2020
California Mission Trail 2020
That depends where you pick up the injury. I had to hobble to Leon for a couple of days and ended up buying a very expensive pair of sandals, way beyond my budget because that was the only suitable pair.
We likely have different opinions on the applicability of the OP's question then: the absolute bare minimum.
 

Turga

Camino tortuga
Camino(s) past & future
CF (Aug/Sep 2017)
CF (Aug/Sep 2018)
Just a little inspiration:

And don't spend your time lookin' around
For something you want that can't be found
When you find out you can live without it
And go along not thinkin' about it
I'll tell you something true
The bare necessities of life will come to you

(Baloo / "The Jungle Book")
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances part (2019)
You carry your house keys with you when you go on a Camino? Why? Do you take your car keys with you too?
My EDC ones go in a safe place and, to get in my house on my return, my neighbour has a set and so do my eldest brother and my daughter.
I didn't want any anyone to be obliged to be around at whatever time I arrived back in x weeks time. And have no immediate family to come home to. Thinking about possible alternatives.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Currently on a "Virtual" Camino and striding out across Navarra!
I didn't want any anyone to be obliged to be around at whatever time I arrived back in x weeks time. And have no immediate family to come home to. Thinking about possible alternatives.
A fair point and personal circumstances prevail. It's just never occurred to me to carry my keys with me on a long walk.
 

Pscarmen

My Way is better than any highway!
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Santiago (2019)
Whatever prescription medicine you need.

My personal (very detailed) 'minimum' packing list has around 60 single items in it! :rolleyes: but still the total weight is slightly less than 6.5 kilos including backpack weight.
Man! That’s awesome. I’m a first timer & my pack weighs in just under 4#. I’m struggling with what little I’ll be able to have on the flight over that I’d really like/need to take with me.🤷🏼‍♀️
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
In terms of absolute bare minimum, Tim Evans at www.roadwalking.com is an excellent example of "how low can you go". Here's my take on bare minimum - meaning I could cut everything else but not that I would:

CARRY
  • 6L Fanny pack to carry all gear - backpack is too much
  • Dr Bonners Soap 2oz (shampoo, soap, laundry)
  • Toothbrush + Toothpaste (dr bonners works but tastes awful)
  • Medication
  • 10" of KT tape for blisters
  • Passport
  • Cash / Card

WORN
  • 1 merino wool shirt (smells less, dries fast, can go without while washing)
  • 1 underwear
  • 1 nylon water resistant pants
  • 1 hat (sun / rain protection)
  • 1 merino wool socks
  • 1 pair walking shoes
But what do you wear when you wash your clothes ???
Or do you?
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Just a little inspiration:

And don't spend your time lookin' around
For something you want that can't be found
When you find out you can live without it
And go along not thinkin' about it
I'll tell you something true
The bare necessities of life will come to you

(Baloo / "The Jungle Book")
Now Imma gonna sing that ALL DAY LONG! lol! :::beating the air drum:::
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (2020)
But what do you wear when you wash your clothes ???
Or do you?
One Canadian I shared a room with wore his rain jacket. Later, there was an Englishman who wore a strip of cotton cloth just long and wide enough to maintain his decency as he relaxed in the sun. I suspect he used this as a towel as well.
 

Gingerseed

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances July-Aug 2011
Camino Portugues Oct 2012
Camino Frances starting in Pamplona 2017
It seems to me that one should start with an Absolute Bare Minimum packing list, then add in "extras" that might make them more comfortable.

Here's what I've come up with so far (though I'm sure that some people could get more minimalist than this)

Clothes
2 bottoms​
2 tops​
2 pair socks​
2 pair underwear​
2 bras (women)​
1 warm layer - fleece, etc​
rain gear - either poncho or rain jacket + pack cover​
1 pair boots, shoes, or sandals​
Sleeping bag liner (Or just sleep in clothes on mattress)
Lightweight towel
1 bar soap for hair, body, and laundry
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Water bottle - buy a bottle of water and refill
Passport
Pilgrim credential
Money

Did I miss anything on the Absolute Bare Minimum Packing List?

Aside from a small fist aid kit, dental floss, I would add 2 large safety pins attached to my back pack to dry my socks and underwear along the way.
Scarf to wrap around my neck and head to protect against the sun.
Flip flops to give my feet a break, air out and to shower in to avoid foot fungus from all the communal showers.
 

Jackieduda

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF September (2018)
It seems to me that one should start with an Absolute Bare Minimum packing list, then add in "extras" that might make them more comfortable.

Here's what I've come up with so far (though I'm sure that some people could get more minimalist than this)

Clothes
2 bottoms​
2 tops​
2 pair socks​
2 pair underwear​
2 bras (women)​
1 warm layer - fleece, etc​
rain gear - either poncho or rain jacket + pack cover​
1 pair boots, shoes, or sandals​
Sleeping bag liner (Or just sleep in clothes on mattress)
Lightweight towel
1 bar soap for hair, body, and laundry
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Water bottle - buy a bottle of water and refill
Passport
Pilgrim credential
Money

Did I miss anything on the Absolute Bare Minimum Packing List?
Yes, pack a small jar of Vaseline for your feet. Bring 4 pair of socks, not two, bring two lightweight towels, not one, and not terry cloth...spend the money to buy a backpacking shami-type towel. I purchased two and they were costly and I grumbled about the cost, but ooooh, was I ever happy about that decision. They are light, quick drying, and if you soak one and it is too wet to use, you can hang it Uo to dry while you use the dry one for your shower that night. Which brings me to the MOST versatile light weight things I brought: lots of zip loc bags. A couple gallon sized and about 6 quart sized. You will be amazed how many times you will use these. Trust me!
 

Jackieduda

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF September (2018)
Yes, pack a small jar of Vaseline for your feet. Bring 4 pair of socks, not two, bring two lightweight towels, not one, and not terry cloth...spend the money to buy a backpacking shami-type towel. I purchased two and they were costly and I grumbled about the cost, but ooooh, was I ever happy about that decision. They are light, quick drying, and if you soak one and it is too wet to use, you can hang it Uo to dry while you use the dry one for your shower that night. Which brings me to the MOST versatile light weight things I brought: lots of zip loc bags. A couple gallon sized and about 6 quart sized. You will be amazed how many times you will use these. Trust me!
Oh, and don’t bring heavy rain gear, instead buy a couple of those emergency raincoats which are actually just large clear plastic bags with armholes and a hood. It is very light and small. It will fit over you and your backpack. I stayed dry in a pouring rainstorm all the way into santiago in one of those ( until I stupidly stepped into a puddle, that is!).
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF Sep/Oct 2015
C Primitivo Sep / Oct 2016
Portugese Sep/Oct 2017
VdlP, Muxia 2018
It seems to me that one should start with an Absolute Bare Minimum packing list, then add in "extras" that might make them more comfortable.

Here's what I've come up with so far (though I'm sure that some people could get more minimalist than this)

Clothes
2 bottoms​
2 tops​
2 pair socks​
2 pair underwear​
2 bras (women)​
1 warm layer - fleece, etc​
rain gear - either poncho or rain jacket + pack cover​
1 pair boots, shoes, or sandals​
Sleeping bag liner (Or just sleep in clothes on mattress)
Lightweight towel
1 bar soap for hair, body, and laundry
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Water bottle - buy a bottle of water and refill
Passport
Pilgrim credential
Money

Did I miss anything on the Absolute Bare Minimum Packing List?
Money or Credit Card. EHIC for EU citizens
 

sojourners

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015
In terms of absolute bare minimum, Tim Evans at www.roadwalking.com is an excellent example of "how low can you go". Here's my take on bare minimum - meaning I could cut everything else but not that I would:

CARRY
  • 6L Fanny pack to carry all gear - backpack is too much
  • Dr Bonners Soap 2oz (shampoo, soap, laundry)
  • Toothbrush + Toothpaste (dr bonners works but tastes awful)
  • Medication
  • 10" of KT tape for blisters
  • Passport
  • Cash / Card

WORN
  • 1 merino wool shirt (smells less, dries fast, can go without while washing)
  • 1 underwear
  • 1 nylon water resistant pants
  • 1 hat (sun / rain protection)
  • 1 merino wool socks
  • 1 pair walking shoes
Thanks for that link. Makes me think.
 

lady danglebury

Louise Edinburgh
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015; finnesterre 2015; CP from porto 2016; Frances 2017; Mozarabe Feb 2018; CP Sept 2018;
It seems to me that one should start with an Absolute Bare Minimum packing list, then add in "extras" that might make them more comfortable.

Here's what I've come up with so far (though I'm sure that some people could get more minimalist than this)

Clothes
2 bottoms​
2 tops​
2 pair socks​
2 pair underwear​
2 bras (women)​
1 warm layer - fleece, etc​
rain gear - either poncho or rain jacket + pack cover​
1 pair boots, shoes, or sandals​
Sleeping bag liner (Or just sleep in clothes on mattress)
Lightweight towel
1 bar soap for hair, body, and laundry
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Water bottle - buy a bottle of water and refill
Passport
Pilgrim credential
Money

Did I miss anything on the Absolute Bare Minimum Packing List?
So, I would take 2 dresses rather than tops and bottoms I actually take 3. A light scarf instead of towel is more versatile. Cashmere cardigan, and a light tourist poncho. No way would I sleep without a liner, myself and out of respect to others. If you have a silk liner, you can put a drawstring in bottom and wear in an emergency
 

cmjcod

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Hopefully (2020)
It seems to me that one should start with an Absolute Bare Minimum packing list, then add in "extras" that might make them more comfortable.

Here's what I've come up with so far (though I'm sure that some people could get more minimalist than this)

Clothes
2 bottoms​
2 tops​
2 pair socks​
2 pair underwear​
2 bras (women)​
1 warm layer - fleece, etc​
rain gear - either poncho or rain jacket + pack cover​
1 pair boots, shoes, or sandals​
Sleeping bag liner (Or just sleep in clothes on mattress)
Lightweight towel
1 bar soap for hair, body, and laundry
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Water bottle - buy a bottle of water and refill
Passport
Pilgrim credential
Money

Did I miss anything on the Absolute Bare Minimum Packing List?
Is this in addition to what you are wearing?
 

Joanneendres

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning ( April/May 2020)
It seems to me that one should start with an Absolute Bare Minimum packing list, then add in "extras" that might make them more comfortable.

Here's what I've come up with so far (though I'm sure that some people could get more minimalist than this)

Clothes
2 bottoms​
2 tops​
2 pair socks​
2 pair underwear​
2 bras (women)​
1 warm layer - fleece, etc​
rain gear - either poncho or rain jacket + pack cover​
1 pair boots, shoes, or sandals​
Sleeping bag liner (Or just sleep in clothes on mattress)
Lightweight towel
1 bar soap for hair, body, and laundry
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Water bottle - buy a bottle of water and refill
Passport
Pilgrim credential
Money

Did I miss anything on the Absolute Bare Minimum Packing List?
I’m adding a ultralightweight set of long johns (32 degrees brand) to layer if cold or to sleep in. I’m also bringing rain pants again as another wind proof layer if it’s cold. And ultralight flip flops for shower. Just some suggestions.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
So, I would take 2 dresses rather than tops and bottoms
Yes, I take dresses rather than tops and bottoms too. 😊
Is this in addition to what you are wearing?
No.
You are wearing
One top
One bottom
One pair of socks
One pair of underwear
One pair footwear

As I said - this list would be the starting place for planning what to bring. Pack up these items and see how comfortable it is to carry, and add to it according to your specific needs, provided that you can still comfortably carry it.
 

motero99

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2019
Camino Norte (2020)
Why bring soap? Use shampoo. You can purchase small bottles at many albergues if needed. I use it to wash my hair and then my body. It is also great to wash clothes. It got a wine stain out of my clothes from the wine fountain. A bar of soap is inconvenient.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Why bring soap? Use shampoo. You can purchase small bottles at many albergues if needed. I use it to wash my hair and then my body. It is also great to wash clothes. It got a wine stain out of my clothes from the wine fountain. A bar of soap is inconvenient.
The point is actually to bring one thing to wash body, hair and clothes. Soap or shampoo, your choice. 😊
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Why bring soap? Use shampoo. You can purchase small bottles at many albergues if needed. I use it to wash my hair and then my body. It is also great to wash clothes. It got a wine stain out of my clothes from the wine fountain. A bar of soap is inconvenient.
Me, too..."one for all and all for one".😄
 

motero99

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2019
Camino Norte (2020)
treacle - the point I was making is that there is an alternative to a bar of soap. I for one never thought of shampoo as a multipurpose alternative to the way we have been indoctrinated to have a separate product for our body, hair, and clothes. I did start my camino with both a hotel size bar of soap and shampoo. When the soap was gone I was happy as I knew there was a more convenient alternative.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
I walked the Frances once in the height of summer. Very warm and very dry...as in no rain for 34 days. I carried the least I possibly could.
A frameless ruckbag with no hip belt that weighed very little. I would guess it is about 25L-30L in size.
Two pairs of tech shorts.
Two short sleeve tech t-shirts.
One long sleeved synthetic fishing shirt.
Two pairs of tech underwear boxer briefs.
Four pairs of running socks.
nylon belt for shorts
One baseball style running cap.
One medium size hiker's towel.
One large cotton bandana (multi-use including wearing with cap to cover ears and neck).
sunglasses
bar of soap
toothpaste
toothbrush
deodorant
3-4 disposable razors
nail clippers
sunscreen
aspirin and vitamins
smartphone with charger cord
cheap rubber sandals...did not bring home
Merrell hiking shoes
Camino Frances guidebook
I carried no rain gear and no sleeping gear, no trekking poles. There were a couple of nights I wished I had a bag liner, but really not that big a deal and I survived! lol
I had a pair of cotton long pants when I started, but about half way I left them in an albergue. A couple of evenings it got fairly cool and I layered up. A fleece pullover would have been nice, but not a necessity and I would have worn it less than ten times in 34-35 days. Rain gear would have been a total waste to carry.
A good sun hat may have been a better choice than a ball cap and bandana. Either way, need to block that sun.
I carried with me 1-2 half litre water or soda bottles. Refilled them as I walked and used multiple days. They rode in an outside pocket of the pack.
I never weighed the ruck, but it was very light when packed. Really the heaviest thing in it was when I carried two 1/2 litre bottles of water. Otherwise my guess would be 3-4 kilos?
Really light traveling like that on the Camino can be quite liberating in its own way. You quickly realize how few things you need to carry.
 

Mycroft

Active Member
It seems to me that one should start with an Absolute Bare Minimum packing list, then add in "extras" that might make them more comfortable.

Here's what I've come up with so far (though I'm sure that some people could get more minimalist than this)

Clothes
2 bottoms​
2 tops​
2 pair socks​
2 pair underwear​
2 bras (women)​
1 warm layer - fleece, etc​
rain gear - either poncho or rain jacket + pack cover​
1 pair boots, shoes, or sandals​
Sleeping bag liner (Or just sleep in clothes on mattress)
Lightweight towel
1 bar soap for hair, body, and laundry
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Water bottle - buy a bottle of water and refill
Passport
Pilgrim credential
Money

Did I miss anything on the Absolute Bare Minimum Packing List?
Like others, I require hat, sunscreen, dental floss, credit card and debit card for the ATM. A comb is nice. I got this really thick, rough emery board from a beauty supply shop that I can use to file down nails and buff down calluses. I do like to take a compact shopping bag, and I do squeeze in extra pairs of socks, but I suppose those are beyond essentials.
 

Mycroft

Active Member
I am reminded that last year when I was packing, I repeatedly said to myself 'Oh that doesn't weigh much,' and added it to the pack. Later I decided that next time I am packing, I will put into a pile all those things that 'don't weigh much,' and see what that weight actually is! LOL
 

M and M

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
After June, 2017
Of course I take a lot more than the "bare essentials". I was just thinking of the list as an exercise to help people think about what they really need to walk the Camino.
I see lots of first timer's packing lists here and on Facebook with things like 4 pairs of socks, 3 pairs of pants, 4 shirts (2 short sleeve/2 long sleeve), an extra pair of shoes and sandals, a poncho and a rain jacket (just in case), facial cleanser and moisturizer, shampoo, conditioner, hair de-frizzer, a complete pharmacy, and on and on.
So, rather than trying to pare down such a huge list, perhaps it's better to start with the absolute bare essentials and work up from there.
😆😂 Hair de-frizzer!!!!!
 

gerip

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
CF, Burgos to Santiago, May 2019
Ingles, Sep - Oct 2019
To assume makes an ass out of u and me, I paid for my treatment and was grateful 🤠
I've used my EHIC more than once in different city clinics. I still purchase travel insurance just in case I fall and break a leg and have to get evacuated from some remote spot. Someone I know allowed his card to expire and was hiking in the Pyrenees without any insurance when he tore & dislocated his shoulder. Immediate treatment was so expensive he chose to wait until he returned to the UK, which didn't help the situation.
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
Hi Trecile,

If I may offer an alternative, outside of these items mentioned;

Passport
Pilgrim credential
Money

I am looking to add two more items;

1 - Free Spirit 30 L pocketable pack from Gobi Gear. It is kind of like a Hoboroll with shoulder and waist straps.
1 - Debit / Credit Card. (One that gives me 5% back on all purchases.

Buy what you need, when you need it. The pack is to carry toiletries along the way, maybe a sweater.

Some may say, "Well what about rain gear? What about a sleeping bag?" For me, when it rains, I can turn a garbage bag into a rain jacket. As the pack is small, it fits in there with me.

When going, "Minimalist," it can take your mindset into a whole new world of letting go of what we are expected to to and therefore what we think we need, to an area rarely explored.

It has taken me about 5 years to evolve to this point. Will it cost more? Maybe a bit. I know my shoulders and feet will appreciate the weight difference.
 

P Rat

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino VDLP/Sanábres April 2019
Camino Mozárabe October 2020
It seems to me that one should start with an Absolute Bare Minimum packing list, then add in "extras" that might make them more comfortable.

Here's what I've come up with so far (though I'm sure that some people could get more minimalist than this)

Clothes
2 bottoms​
2 tops​
2 pair socks​
2 pair underwear​
2 bras (women)​
1 warm layer - fleece, etc​
rain gear - either poncho or rain jacket + pack cover​
1 pair boots, shoes, or sandals​
Sleeping bag liner (Or just sleep in clothes on mattress)
Lightweight towel
1 bar soap for hair, body, and laundry
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Water bottle - buy a bottle of water and refill
Passport
Pilgrim credential
Money

Did I miss anything on the Absolute Bare Minimum Packing List?
Could I add walking poles, diary and phone inc charger, small first aid kit? Otherwise bang on. At least, we didn’t have much more if I remember well.
 

Mike Blackard

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF -Sept.-Oct 2018 , CF Aug- Oct 2019
(CF or VdlP summer/fall 2020)
Hi Trecile,
I like your "bare minimum" concept. I walked the Frances in fall of 2018 & 2019. There are a couple of items which at least for me were mandatory:
1) small tub of VASAELINE. Replaced when empty. Used religiously in morning before Merino socks went on. No BLISTERS
2) I Never wear a hat, but wife made me take a light weight 'French foreign legion' hat. Kept sun off neck.
3) I wear glasses, mine have "transitions lenses" so automatic sunglasses. Glad I had the eye protection
4) Telescoping light weight hiking poles. Stolen but replaced in Astorga. At my age (68-69) they kept me
upright.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Just to be clear. I'm not a minimalist packer. But, I think that a good place to start is to ask yourself "what are the bare essentials that I need to bring?" It helps to clear out a lot of clutter.
 

Old Kiwi

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016
Camino Frances 2019
SdC to Muxia and Fisterra 2019
Camino Portuguese "2020"
Trecile's "minimum" list is pretty much the same as mine but I add in a hat, band-aids, hanky and medications. I must admit that on my camino last year I needed to by some sunscreen but that was because of the sun on the back of my legs for a month of walking westward all day on the CF. I am doing the Portuguese this time which is mostly to the north so I might get away with not having it. If I need it, I will buy it.
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Trecile's "minimum" list is pretty much the same as mine but I add in a hat, band-aids, hanky and medications. I must admit that on my camino last year I needed to by some sunscreen but that was because of the sun on the back of my legs for a month of walking westward all day on the CF. I am doing the Portuguese this time which is mostly to the north so I might get away with not having it. If I need it, I will buy it.
The right side of your legs will thank you for having it....
 

Old Kiwi

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016
Camino Frances 2019
SdC to Muxia and Fisterra 2019
Camino Portuguese "2020"
We will see. I am 76 and that was the first time I have ever needed to use sun-screen in my life. I don't burn easily. Us Kiwis spend a lot of time in the sun and seem to have some sort of immunity. My daughter who is coming with me will have some so it will be available in an emergency.
 

anthikes

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 SJPdP > SdC
2018 Porto > SdC
2019 Sevilla > SdC
I can see why most pilgrims over pack now judging by some of the items on this list!!

I would only add a mobile phone and charger.
 

anthikes

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 SJPdP > SdC
2018 Porto > SdC
2019 Sevilla > SdC
We will see. I am 76 and that was the first time I have ever needed to use sun-screen in my life. I don't burn easily. Us Kiwis spend a lot of time in the sun and seem to have some sort of immunity. My daughter who is coming with me will have some so it will be available in an emergency.
Eeek! Last time I checked NZ had one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world - not sure this backs up your immunity theory!
 

SafariGirl

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Vía de la Plata, Primitivo, Norte, Lebaniego & Vadiniense,
Aragonés
The underlying philosophy of the "bare minimum" had been around since the Benedictines.
I like it.
Contemptus Mundi - detachment from worldly things.
Leaving our "monkey mind" at home.
The physical exercise we do is metaphorical for the spiritual emptying out.
Enlightenment is not an adding to.
It is a winnowing out.
A lifetime’s work...for me, at any rate :)
 

Eibhlís

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2000 I walked 300km of the Camino Frances.
2020 I plan to walk the whole 800km.
I walked the Frances once in the height of summer. Very warm and very dry...as in no rain for 34 days. I carried the least I possibly could.
A frameless ruckbag with no hip belt that weighed very little. I would guess it is about 25L-30L in size.
Two pairs of tech shorts.
Two short sleeve tech t-shirts.
One long sleeved synthetic fishing shirt.
Two pairs of tech underwear boxer briefs.
Four pairs of running socks.
nylon belt for shorts
One baseball style running cap.
One medium size hiker's towel.
One large cotton bandana (multi-use including wearing with cap to cover ears and neck).
sunglasses
bar of soap
toothpaste
toothbrush
deodorant
3-4 disposable razors
nail clippers
sunscreen
aspirin and vitamins
smartphone with charger cord
cheap rubber sandals...did not bring home
Merrell hiking shoes
Camino Frances guidebook
I carried no rain gear and no sleeping gear, no trekking poles. There were a couple of nights I wished I had a bag liner, but really not that big a deal and I survived! lol
I had a pair of cotton long pants when I started, but about half way I left them in an albergue. A couple of evenings it got fairly cool and I layered up. A fleece pullover would have been nice, but not a necessity and I would have worn it less than ten times in 34-35 days. Rain gear would have been a total waste to carry.
A good sun hat may have been a better choice than a ball cap and bandana. Either way, need to block that sun.
I carried with me 1-2 half litre water or soda bottles. Refilled them as I walked and used multiple days. They rode in an outside pocket of the pack.
I never weighed the ruck, but it was very light when packed. Really the heaviest thing in it was when I carried two 1/2 litre bottles of water. Otherwise my guess would be 3-4 kilos?
Really light traveling like that on the Camino can be quite liberating in its own way. You quickly realize how few things you need to carry.
Did you manage ok without poles? Everyone I speak to insists I need to bring them when I do the Camino Frances in the middle of the year, but I really don't want to.
Also what is your preferred guide book?
 

swilcox

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Norte (2019)
It seems to me that one should start with an Absolute Bare Minimum packing list, then add in "extras" that might make them more comfortable.

Here's what I've come up with so far (though I'm sure that some people could get more minimalist than this)

Clothes
2 bottoms​
2 tops​
2 pair socks​
2 pair underwear​
2 bras (women)​
1 warm layer - fleece, etc​
rain gear - either poncho or rain jacket + pack cover​
1 pair boots, shoes, or sandals​
Sleeping bag liner (Or just sleep in clothes on mattress)
Lightweight towel
1 bar soap for hair, body, and laundry
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Water bottle - buy a bottle of water and refill
Passport
Pilgrim credential
Money

Did I miss anything on the Absolute Bare Minimum Packing List?
suntan lotion, ear plugs, phone charger and adapter and lip gloss
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I just packed up for the VDLP.
My loaded pack weighs 12 pounds.
I was soooo happy until I realized 2 liters of water weighs another 4.5 pounds.
I may need that much on some of the longer stretches.
Ouch.
I don't think there's anything I can drop. Dang.
 

Derrybiketours

A journey of 500 miles begins with one step!
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdeP-SANT-FIN (09/2018)
PORTO-SANT (11/2018)
Caminho Da Fe, BR (01/2019)
SJPdeP- SANT (09/2019)
I've used my EHIC more than once in different city clinics. I still purchase travel insurance just in case I fall and break a leg and have to get evacuated from some remote spot. Someone I know allowed his card to expire and was hiking in the Pyrenees without any insurance when he tore & dislocated his shoulder. Immediate treatment was so expensive he chose to wait until he returned to the UK, which didn't help the situation.
And you throw the dice you take your chances and accept that there's no certainty in life apart from taxes and death. I do have a European health card but must've lost it when I was mugged. Personally I don't carry travel insurance. I sold life insurance for ING life and if you knew what I found out it may impact on your choice. Everyone has anecdotal evidence that supports their agenda and we all make our own way and pay 🤠
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Did you manage ok without poles? Everyone I speak to insists I need to bring them when I do the Camino Frances in the middle of the year, but I really don't want to.
Also what is your preferred guide book?
Lots of people walk without poles. I like having one pole, but I’ve done some stretches without. If you decide you want them while out there, ask at an albergue or bar if there are any left behind. Try them, and you can abandon them at another albergue or bar.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
Did you manage ok without poles? Everyone I speak to insists I need to bring them when I do the Camino Frances in the middle of the year, but I really don't want to.
Also what is your preferred guide book?
Trekking poles are great, but not a necessity. I have walked the Camino with and without them. You will see that a great many pilgrims do not use them and arrive in Santiago just fine.
If you have your doubts don't bring any and if while walking you decide you want to try them, buy a set from a shoppe along the Camino. About twenty euros a pair.
I have found the Brierley maps only guidebook of the Frances to be perfect and you can purchase one here from this forum.
 

Eibhlís

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2000 I walked 300km of the Camino Frances.
2020 I plan to walk the whole 800km.
Lots of people walk without poles. I like having one pole, but I’ve done some stretches without. If you decide you want them while out there, ask at an albergue or bar if there are any left behind. Try them, and you can abandon them at another albergue or bar.
That is a good idea.
 

Eibhlís

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2000 I walked 300km of the Camino Frances.
2020 I plan to walk the whole 800km.
Trekking poles are great, but not a necessity. I have walked the Camino with and without them. You will see that a great many pilgrims do not use them and arrive in Santiago just fine.
If you have your doubts don't bring any and if while walking you decide you want to try them, buy a set from a shoppe along the Camino. About twenty euros a pair.
I have found the Brierley maps only guidebook of the Frances to be perfect and you can purchase one here from this forum.
Thank you for that.
 
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Marie_pri

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2018 Camino Frances
Wearing:
  • Pants
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • T-shirt or shirt (NB: some will need long sleeves against the sun)
  • Footwear of choice
  • Hat (against the sun)
Carrying (in a plastic bag, shoulder bag, bumpack, day pack or in a basket on your head):
  • Fleece (warm layer)
  • Extra underwear
  • Extra socks
  • Extra T-shirt/shirt
  • Rain gear
  • Toothbrush (toothpaste is strictly not needed)
  • Small bar of soap (for body, hair, and laundry
  • Lightweight towel
  • Sleeping bag liner (Hygenic requirement - that or a bedsheet)
  • Water bottle - buy a bottle of water and refill
  • Passport
  • Pilgrim credential
  • Money
  • Prescription medicine
  • (EU citizens) Blue health card
  • Health insurance (you'd be an utter fool to leave home without it)
Essentials:
  • Sense of humor
  • Open mind
  • Humility
  • Respect for the locals and for their customs (you are a guest in their country)
Not strictly needed:
  • Phone
  • Extra footwear
  • Dental floss
  • Overclothes for use when washing - hang up your quick-drying pants before you go to bed
  • Tissues - especially not without a bag to carry the used tissues back out in
  • Pain medication
  • Earplugs - even though it may feel that way, initially. If you're tired enough, you'll sleep. Longer stages may help.
nailed it
 

mvanert

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Bits and pieces - 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020?
It seems to me that one should start with an Absolute Bare Minimum packing list, then add in "extras" that might make them more comfortable.

Here's what I've come up with so far (though I'm sure that some people could get more minimalist than this)

Clothes
2 bottoms​
2 tops​
2 pair socks​
2 pair underwear​
2 bras (women)​
1 warm layer - fleece, etc​
rain gear - either poncho or rain jacket + pack cover​
1 pair boots, shoes, or sandals​
Sleeping bag liner (Or just sleep in clothes on mattress)
Lightweight towel
1 bar soap for hair, body, and laundry
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Water bottle - buy a bottle of water and refill
Passport
Pilgrim credential
Money

Did I miss anything on the Absolute Bare Minimum Packing List?
Nope, spot on.
 

LakeMcD

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 15' Portuguese 16' GR10/Norte/Primitivo 17' Chemin LePuy 18' Salvador/Prim/Kerry Way 19'
Something to put your passport, credential, credit card and money in. I generally have a small zippered coin pouch a little bigger than a credit card with the funds I need for the day and the rest in a money belt.
 

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