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Backpack weight... too little or too much??

utopiansky

New Member
We are leaving for the Camino on May 10th for 2.5 weeks and I have been working on my backpack since I bought it in November. I have been packing it with my essentials, feeling it out, seeing what clothes I will be wearing and needing and unpacking and repacking.
We will be staying in Spain and around Europe for 2.5 more weeks after completing the Camino and we decided the best thing to do would be buy a duffel bag and pack that with things we will buy (such as clothes or other toiletries, etc) after the Camino. Smart... but expensive! So I am trying to pack my necessities for the Camino, along with some touring around/going out for meals/etc clothes I may want for after the Camino so I don't have to spend money!!
So I am in sort of a stalemate in trying to keep my pack weight low (I have heard 15lbs and under is ideal) while still bringing with me what I will need for the Camino and later so I dont spend more money then I need to. I am scared I am going to be cutting things out that I really wish I brought with me.
So far I have...
(((for walking)))
-2 bras
-3 underwear
-3 tank tops
-1 t shirt
-2 spandex capris
-2 pair socks
-thin fleece
-thin rainjacket
-1 pair all purpose flipflops
-my boots (which I'll be wearing of course, along with 1 of everything above-duh :D )
(((for post camino)))
-1 pair of my favorite pants
(((others)))
-small sleeping bag
-platypus
-tiny inflatable pillow
-toothbrush,toothpaste,sunscreen,deodorant,2in1 shamp/cond
-pack cover for checking my bag at airport (my pack is 65 liters! so we have to check it but I wish I didnt have to bring this because it takes up SO MUCH SPACE! We are just concerned about zippers or straps getting caught in conveyor belts and hurting out packs... is this a dumb concern?? Could we eliminate these???)
-pack rain cover
-campers towel


Sooooo... thats everything so far... and I havent got my first aid kit, safety pins, earplugs, or rain pants yet... which some are pretty small besides my pants... but when we weighed my pack on our practice hike several weeks ago, my pack was already at 15lbs!!! Am I going to be completely miserable with over 15lbs?? I weigh 168lbs. I'm sure I wont get to over 20lbs... at least I hope I won't!

Sorry this is a mile long post, I just really would like some insight and thoughts about this, because its making me really concerned with our Camino being 18 days away!!!!!

Thank you!!! :)
Buen Camino!
 

Arn

Veteran Member
Hi,

You will get many comments on this topic and there are already significant musings on the right "stuff" to take and, or, discard.

May I suggest you go to the top right of this page and type in 'pack weight' you will see many threads from those that have already walked the Way and what they carried.

My rule of thumb is: if you ask yourself...should I take this...just in case. Don't take it. You will hit an albergue that has washing capabilities nearly every day...drop the extra.

Buen lite weight Camino,

Arn
 

TerryB

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte/Primitivo (April/May) 2009: Norte/Primitivo (parts) (April/May) 2010: Inglés (May) 2011: Primitivo (April/May) 2012: Norte / Camino de La Reina (April/May) 2013: Camino del Mar / Inglés (May/June) 2015
Here is my final list of equipment and weights, not in order of importance!
Towel (large)- 300gms; sleeping bag- 1k 75gms;bag liner -375gms; First Aid/Medical- 450gms; soap/toothpaste etc -300gms; bowl, cup, socks, tel charger+cable- 400gms; trousers(1), shirt(1), vest(1), pants(3), T-shirt(1) -1k 100gms; fleece - 350gms; camera and case - 250gms; waterproof poncho -340gms and trousers -350 gms Crocs - 220gms; . Plus weight of my rucksack and 'snack bars'. Total weight 7k (without water in my bottles).
I trained with much of this in my rucksack, staring with about 5k total and then building up. Also I asked the shop where I bought my rucksack (The Moorland Rambler, Exeter) to make sure it was right for me, and they also part loaded it with the sleeping bag etc to make sure it was comfortable. They were very helpful.
Hope this helps and God bless you as you prepare. I am on my way to Buckfast Abbey today.
Tio Tel
 

Dale

Active Member
Certainly looks reasonable to me. As a general rule of thumb 10% of your body weight should be your ideal pack weight including water and food items.But as light as you can make it is the best way.

Make sure you buy some honey at Buckfast Abbey. :p
 

Bridget and Peter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Home to Reims 2007
Reims to Limoges 2008
Camino Ingles 2009
Limoges to Gernica 2009
Gernica to San Vicente de la Barquera 2010
San Vicente to La Isla 2012
La Isla to Santiago Sept/Oct 2014
Dale said:
Make sure you buy some honey at Buckfast Abbey.

But that would be at least another 500g - unless they do a mini-plastic tube or something?

Seriously,utopiansky, don't forget that you will be carrying food and water as well.

It seems sensible to take two of things - but try to take one thing of each - eg 1 longer trousers/pants, and 1 shorts. If it's hot for days on end you will either have to wash them, one evening, wearing the longer ones, or wear them dirty for several days. Actually, if you have rain pants/waterproof trousers, wouldn't they do, over the shorts on colder day, even if it's not raining?
Or what about things that will do more than one job - eg a long sleeved shirt - good for a cooler day, or a hot day to keep the sun off the shoulders, would do with the sleeves rolled up almost as good as a short sleeved top, and as a layer on a very cold day.

If you start thinking like that, you may be able to reduce your list quite a lot. Or maybe you already have done all that -- I don't want to preach!
 

TerryB

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte/Primitivo (April/May) 2009: Norte/Primitivo (parts) (April/May) 2010: Inglés (May) 2011: Primitivo (April/May) 2012: Norte / Camino de La Reina (April/May) 2013: Camino del Mar / Inglés (May/June) 2015
My trousers zip off to make long shorts. I am wearing 1 set of clothes and carrying the spares. Honey, tempting, also Buckfast Tonic wine, 3 tanker loads here tonight!!!
Tio Tel
 

TerryB

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte/Primitivo (April/May) 2009: Norte/Primitivo (parts) (April/May) 2010: Inglés (May) 2011: Primitivo (April/May) 2012: Norte / Camino de La Reina (April/May) 2013: Camino del Mar / Inglés (May/June) 2015
There are so many questions about weight and clothing! A good site to look at is Rohan at http://www.rohan.co.uk/ . This gives technical details about their clothes plus their weight, packing size and drying time. Terry's shirts, liner socks, pants and 'vests' (core Ts) came from Rohan as well as his poncho (use the search box on site for this item). His outer socks came from Corrymoor (see https://www.corrymoor.com/default.html ) they are mohair, hard wearing, wash well and do not smell. I don't know if these on-line retailers send overseas from the UK but hope this might be helpful. Terry is certainly happy with all he has had from them. Other equipment came from various sources including M&S (trousers bought in 2008 so not sure if they are available this year)
Happy planning as you search for the right equipment
Tia Valeria (Tio Tel's 'other half')
 
Weight is really difficult to cut when you have what you consider essentials and your pack is at 15 lbs. Consider the material of the items you are taking. I learned from another female pilgrim to use the synthetic materials instead of natural ones like cotton. It will cut down on your weight and may keep you from getting chafed as well.

Prior to our trip I spent lots of time shopping for clothing that was light weight and breathable. Go online and look at the shirts considered "performance" wear and you can compare the weight with a plan T-shirt.

Also remember you are not in the wilderness. You can always buy something if you need to. We walked last fall at the end of October and we got caught in a freak snow storm. We stopped at a shop and I bought a great hat that will always remind me of that trip. I can't think of a nicer souvenir.
 

colinb

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
camino (September 2012) Ponderrada to Santiago
(May 2013) St. Jean to Santiago
(June 2014) Assisi to Rome. The St. Francis Way
(2015) Portuguese Camino. Lisbon to Santiago.
( Easter 2016) King Ludwig Way.
(Summer 2016) Ignatian Way. Loyola to Manresa.
My wife and I walked from St Jean to Santiago, May 2013, and we encountered snow, sleet, rain,cold, mud and heat. We wrote a daily blog, candmcamino.blogspot where you can find details of our preparations including what we packed.
 

saltwaterpearl

Here kitty, kitty.....
Don't worry about taking the duffel. When you check your bag, ask for a pack sack. The airlines usually have clear plastic bags for awkward items that they will tape up at the top.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2013), Primitivo (2015), Muxia/Fisterra (2015), Haervejen (2017)
We are leaving for the Camino on May 10th for 2.5 weeks and I have been working on my backpack since I bought it in November. I have been packing it with my essentials, feeling it out, seeing what clothes I will be wearing and needing and unpacking and repacking.
We will be staying in Spain and around Europe for 2.5 more weeks after completing the Camino and we decided the best thing to do would be buy a duffel bag and pack that with things we will buy (such as clothes or other toiletries, etc) after the Camino. Smart... but expensive! So I am trying to pack my necessities for the Camino, along with some touring around/going out for meals/etc clothes I may want for after the Camino so I don't have to spend money!!
So I am in sort of a stalemate in trying to keep my pack weight low (I have heard 15lbs and under is ideal) while still bringing with me what I will need for the Camino and later so I dont spend more money then I need to. I am scared I am going to be cutting things out that I really wish I brought with me.
So far I have...
(((for walking)))
-2 bras
-3 underwear
-3 tank tops
-1 t shirt
-2 spandex capris
-2 pair socks
-thin fleece
-thin rainjacket
-1 pair all purpose flipflops
-my boots (which I'll be wearing of course, along with 1 of everything above-duh :D )
(((for post camino)))
-1 pair of my favorite pants
(((others)))
-small sleeping bag
-platypus
-tiny inflatable pillow
-toothbrush,toothpaste,sunscreen,deodorant,2in1 shamp/cond
-pack cover for checking my bag at airport (my pack is 65 liters! so we have to check it but I wish I didnt have to bring this because it takes up SO MUCH SPACE! We are just concerned about zippers or straps getting caught in conveyor belts and hurting out packs... is this a dumb concern?? Could we eliminate these???)
-pack rain cover
-campers towel


Sooooo... thats everything so far... and I havent got my first aid kit, safety pins, earplugs, or rain pants yet... which some are pretty small besides my pants... but when we weighed my pack on our practice hike several weeks ago, my pack was already at 15lbs!!! Am I going to be completely miserable with over 15lbs?? I weigh 168lbs. I'm sure I wont get to over 20lbs... at least I hope I won't!

Sorry this is a mile long post, I just really would like some insight and thoughts about this, because its making me really concerned with our Camino being 18 days away!!!!!

Thank you!!! :)
Buen Camino!
You will get tons of advice! We did exactly what you are doing last year -- walked and then continued on. Here's my input:

1. 1 tank not two and 1 pair of shorts/1 pair of pants not two shorts and one pants. Don't take your favorite pants unless they are quick dry. Think about pants that are zip off or, if you want something more normal appearing for touring, think about pants that roll up to a capri. The Marmut Nomads or the pRana Halle pants both look nice and roll up into capris. Even when you are touring you can wash out your clothes at night in a hotel. Often they have a laundry service that is cheap so you don't need multiples.

Use a plastic bag or plastic wrap (that saran stuff) to cover you pack in the airplane and throw it out when you get here. Buy another bag or re-wrap at the airport before going home. (Most offer this wrapping service).

You really don't need a sleeping bag -- a sleeping bag liner will work well. If you are worried you can buy a liner that adds about 15 degrees of warmth. The albergues are heated and most have blankets. I walked in April and thought my bag (rated down to 40) was too warm.

Do you need the pillow? I ask because I do. I have an old injury and need a pillow I know will work in order to sleep, but every albergue had pillows so if you aren't picky you don't need it.

Here are some things on my list that are not on yours:
Bras, ear plugs, eye shade, hair brush all purpose soap (I like Dr. Bronner's for laundry skin and hair), toothbrush & paste, other tiletries, sunscreen/lotion, scarf/buff/bandana/sarong (Just an all purpose item -- I took a scarf and used it all the time and then wore it when touring to add a bit of pizzazz to my look!). Lightweight bag/travel pack to carry things in when not using the pack. Check out the Sea to Summit ultra sil stuffable backpack -- 2.4 oz. you can use it when touring and it will be handy on the camino for shopping and carrying laundry.

You will probably get more great advice from others! Hope this helps.

Liz
 

paul.ferris

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011 Camino Frances
2013 Camino Frances
2015 To be decided
Two suggestions. Can you get a smaller pack? A 35 l. pack could weigh as much as a kilo lighter than yours (my wife got by with 30l.
Take a lightweight poncho instead of rain jacket and pants. Otherwise your list looks very sensible. Cheers.
 

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