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Luggage Transfer Correos

Best packing practice - what to keep in easy* reach?

Camino Badges
Camino(s) past & future
September 2019 - 1st Camino - CF, Burgos to Astorga
Every other aspect of my practice walks for my first camino in September are going great. The only thing I find myself impatient with is the process of getting stuff in and out of my pack during the walk - it just feels awfully clumsy and awkward.

Experienced pilgrims: what have you learned to pack deep in the bag vs what to have in an exterior pocket or clipped and hanging from the pack?

If details are helpful, I have the Osprey Tempest 30 with 1.5L hydration bladder. There are several different styles of clips, straps, fasteners and other whatcha-mahoosits on the outside of the pack, along with a few exterior pockets of various sizes. My bulkiest thing is my lightweight sleeping bag and my heaviest thing is an older manual 35mm film camera.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
Other than damp socks that need to dry, I don't like to have anything hanging off my pack. The things that I keep in outside pockets or at the top of the pack are things that I might need while I'm walking. Rain poncho, gloves, a buff, sunscreen, first aid items, etc. If the forecast is sunny and warm I can leave rain gear and warm layers at the bottom.
You'll figure out in a few days which things you want to keep handy.
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
Every one seems different on this, and it also depends on the weather.

I have a cross-shoulder pouch/bag with phone, documents and money - it is removed only for the shower.

Within reach - attached to the front/side of the pack are: gloves, buff, snack, lip gloss, sunscreen, folding knife, sunglasses, water.

In pocket at top of pack - pack raincover, phone power bank, first aid.

Near top of top loading pack - rain jacket and pants. Also slip-on shoes for easy access upon arrival at albergue. Sometimes these items end up in the stretchy pouch on the body of the backpack.

I organize things inside my pack by using dry bags so I know where everything is. It is not hard to go into the pack if I need to. At the bottom are my sleeping bag and also emergency drink (500 mL).
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés
Also slip-on shoes for easy access upon arrival at albergue.
Ah, yes, the first thing I do at the overnight stop is pull off my boots and put my crocs on – so they need to be near the top too. In fact, they are usually the LAST thing to go into the pack because I might wear them to breakfast AFTER packing my pack but before I start walking.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
Agree with this. It depends on the weather, but keep the most necessary things handy so you can reach them while walking. I use an Osprey too. In the left side pocket on the hip belt I keep my sun glasses. In the right some snacks, a small insect net and a smalle bottle of hand sanitizer.
In the left side pocket of the pack itself my hat. In the right pocket spare dry socks. In the top pocket rain cover for the pack, pocket knife, headlamp, additional snacks, bandana and toilet paper plus empty bags for the spent paper. I do not leave "my dirty paper" in the field or along the track but always carry it to the next bin (wish other pilgrims would do the same......😐). When I carry it it will be in the pocket on the back of the pack well away from food and other things.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Ingles Sept. 18? or Easter 19
Lots of good advice in all these posts. But you must try your own system and experiment on practice walks. Explore all the pouches inside and outside your Osprey and aim to give things a permanent home and stick to it. My tips are: use dry bags to keep stuff together I.e. Spare clothes, toiletries; one draw string bag for all small essentials i.e. Mini torch, keys, charger, mini first aid kit, etc. Always keep these bags in the same position in your pack. Best tip I got was USE YOUR POCKETS! Chose shorts/trousers with roomy and secure pockets ( before starting re-enforce buttons and Velcro fasteners). Carry all valuables (wallet containing bank cards & cash, passport, travel tickets, credential etc.) in waterproof bags/envelopes/wrappers, in a designated trouser pockets. Chose other pockets for your phone & guidebook. The secret is to always replace stuff in the same place. These will be safe and secure on your person at all times, ware your trousers to and from the shower, hang them up while you wash & dry, put trousers back on before leaving the cubicle. A bum bag or shoulder bag or jacket pocket can accidentally be put down, be left behind, and is a target for thieves. Use a trouser money belt for spare/emergency cash and use pouches with belt loops for penknife or whatever. At night roll up your trousers put them in your sleeping bag.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
You have been given some good advice but I have one little observation to make. You may find the logistics become less important if you can surrender to slowing down. The time it takes to fossick about might even become completely inconsequential.
Enjoy your journey.
 

nidarosa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
I have used a Tempest 30 for years and always keep my water bottle in one of the side mesh pockets where I can easily reach and replace it, my plastic Birkenstocks in the other so I can put them on straight away when I arrive at the accommodation, wet/sweaty/discarded layers and my daily banana in the front mesh 'kangaroo' pocket and my poncho in the top lid pocket, where I can get it out without taking my pack off and quickly swing it over myself. Tiny first/foot aid goes in the zipped pocket under the lid since I have to stop to use it anyway. Sleeping bag and toiletries at the bottom, then fresh clothes and additional layers in case it gets cold, and on the top of the main bag snacks etc. In my crossbody bag I keep all valuables plus some toilet paper. Works well for me.
 

Nekodemus

Certified insane
Camino(s) past & future
Been there, done that. Keep coming back.
Most likely addicted.
On my pack, I carry my water bottle in the left side pocket and my rain gear on the right.
Sunscreen, wallet pouch and sundries in my left belt pocket, first aid stuff on the right.
Fleece strapped to the bottom of my pack.
The top pocket contains my wind breaker, my buff, my glasses, my phone and various other items I want to have easily accessible, as well as my papers - the latter ONLY when I'm wearing the pack.
My crocs I sometimes strap to the outside, sometimes carry internally (in separate plastic bags (those noisy shopping ones).
Sleeping gear on the bottom (in a dry bag), then clothing items (in another dry bag), toiletry pouch and possibles are usually next to the dry bags. Whatever is left is placed on top of that, with any groceries at the very top.
My fiber towel is clipped to a compression strap - if wet, left hanging out of the mesh bag for easy drying.
I have some lightweight carabiners for attaching my hat and any shopping bags I don't want to carry inside the pack.
If I carry a camera, I have it in a pouch on my left shoulder strap. Plus a loud whistle on the right.
 

linkster

Nunca dejes de creer!
Camino(s) past & future
CF (17) Sarria - Portomarín
CF (17) SJPdP - SdC
CF (18) SJPdP - Fisterra
CP (19) Porto - Muxia
Gossamer Gear Gorilla 40 The Gorilla's main compartment is 28 liters. I am right handed.
  • Right Side Pocket - SmarTube attached to a 20oz. Smartwater bottle nested in my Snowpeak mug, and glass case. I can easily fit another water bottle if necessary.
  • Left Side Pocket - 20oz. Smartwater bottle (usually empty). I can easily fit another water bottle if necessary. I will stow my gloves, and beanie in this pocket as I warm up.
  • Right Hip Pocket - Spain Type C Dual USB Charger, charging stick and iPhone Lightning cable wrapped with a hair bungee, head light, and a small Swiss Army knife.
  • Left Hip Pocket - TP Kit (toilet paper, tushwipe, hand sanitizer, extra ziplock bag), Voltadol Forte, card of Ibuprofen, sunscreen.
  • Left Shoulder Pocket - iPhone, and credencial.
  • Right Shoulder - small carabiner clipped to D ring.
  • Top Pocket - Dry rain gear.
  • Rear Pocket - Crocs, chocolate bar, and apple. I will stow my wet rain gear here if needed.
  • Main Compartment Top - first aid kit, dry socks, and puff jacket. 12" loop of tach cord with a small carabiner clipped to the metal frame, so I can hang my pack on anything with a larks head knot.
¡Buena suerte! 👣 :D :cool:
 

Glamgrrl

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Travel318
I use lightweight packing cubes. One for clothes, one for first aide (top pocket of pack), which is also where I keep my toilet items in grab and go plastic bag - tp and doggie waste bags -just a couple for emergencies, and a small wet wipe packet. I use a small cube for underwear, socks, hat, buff (I’ll probably elimate this one next Camino and put all in clothes), and one for all the misc stuff. I keep my shower essentials in a kit. So four cube/kit items.
Outside small pocket - phone charging cord, music headphones. Other pocket, chapstick, gloves, buff while walking.
In my sleeping bag compartment: bag, liner, headlight, towel, raincoat. My pack has a rain cover so I don’t use dry bags. Find cubes easier. Side pockets - water bottles, pole bag and extra pole tips. Pants pockets when walking - tp in two individual use pieces - left pocket clean, right pocket soiled. Have doggie waste bag (see above) for emergencies) , I use a crossbody, to carry my credentials, phone, passport and coin/daily cash purse. Also last thing I use is a drawstring backpack to carry food or put clothes in for showering. I have a couple carabiners.

I don’t use the bladder, find it difficult to get in and out when pack is full to add water.

When you get to your evening destination 1st thing you do is set your stuff down, put your shoes away and get ready to shower. Have your sandals and kit/towel easy to access. I use clips to hang my towel to bed for privacy/dry. I pull out my three cubes, put them on the bunk get what clothes I need out, shower.
Then I wash clothes (mostly by hand) if necessary.
Sometimes I set up my bed then, and sometimes I naps or eat.
It becomes really obvious what order you want to access your things.
First aide / blister kit/foot cream is always outside top pocket because when you need it walking you don’t want to unpack, and addressing your feet for me is last thing in morning before socks and shoes. It’s a hassle if you have to wait to pack everything or unpack everything.

Hope this helps
 
Camino(s) past & future
Spring 2016: Camino Frances, Finisterre and Muxia
April 2019: Frances, Salvador, Primitivo
I have a Z-Pack top loader that I love. But I don't like to schlep it on and off, so I utilize my pants pockets (one reason why I don't like to walk in yoga pants/leggings). Phone, handkerchief, necessities like that are in pockets. I also have a bum bag/fanny pack where I carry hand sanitizer, foot tape, money, other necessities that don't go in my pocket. Water and maybe a snack go in the mesh side pockets.

(Always important docs and extra money go in my very inner money belt).

My rain jacket is often strapped to the top of my pack, or inside on top.

This way I don't have much need to go inside my pack until I get to the albergue.

You've gotten a lot of good advice, just use what you think will work for you and then, if you find a better way, you can always change it.
 

NancyLee

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
First Camino Mar-April 2018
I am packing for September too - Camino frances. Arrive Madrid on sept 1st train to Logrono where I stopped 18 months ago. I have everything that I will pull together the last day before leaving. IKEA plastic bags are great for separating items inside.
Buen Camino -
 

easygoing

Camino Sharon
Camino(s) past & future
I have walked the Camino Francis 7 times, twice in 2017 and 2018. (2019)
I have a great system and my pack weights 10 pounds. My Zpack has a large outside pocket in the back and two pouches on waist belt. I carry a separate Gossamer waist pack or a Montbell pouch. I wear the pouch cross body and in it is credential, passport, money pen paper and lip sunscreen. In the outside pocket are my flip flops, snack items, and emergency bathroom stuff. I put each item in dark bags so my pack keeps it's beautiful look. I only carry a small silk sleeping bag liner so I often put it on the outside too.
I keep my pack cover and sit pad clipped to the upper side pocket.
Lower left pocket holds my water bottle, lower right pocket holds my Montbell umbrella and Zpack 2 oz. Windbreaker. Phone charger and Sunscreen go in the left waist pouch and my phone in the right waterproof side if it's raining.
When stopped at a cafe I can take my pack off and my credential and money is in the crossbody bag and I am good to go. At the albergue I grab my shoes, spread my silk liner on the bunk and all without opening my pack. I can then put my pack in a locker and I am free to explore. I have my quick bag at the top of my pack in one of those yellow shopping bags they give out on the Camino. In it is shower stuff and clean underwear,socks,teeshirt and shorts.
I never have to unpack my whole pack unless the forecast is lots of rain.
I then take the raincoat, rain skirt bag and place at the inside top of the pack.
I have a stick on pouch inside my pack at the top back. It these is first aid and duct tape, and other repair gear.
The only other gear I carry is a town teeshirt, jean tights, and a silk 2 oz dress. My husband carries instead a short sleeve shirt and shorts.
If you don't have the big back pocket I suggest putting those items in a net reusable produce bag ( I added ziplocks) at the top of the pack.
After multiple long hikes and 8 caminos I never have to unpack my whole back. But after a few days on the Camino you'll know what you like to have handy. Buen Camino
PS in my left skirt pocket is 1/2 of a yellow handkerchief I call my pee rag( yes yellow is the original color) and in my right pocket is a reusable shop towel for drying hands.
 
Last edited:

Mycroft

Member
Every other aspect of my practice walks for my first camino in September are going great. The only thing I find myself impatient with is the process of getting stuff in and out of my pack during the walk - it just feels awfully clumsy and awkward.

Experienced pilgrims: what have you learned to pack deep in the bag vs what to have in an exterior pocket or clipped and hanging from the pack?

If details are helpful, I have the Osprey Tempest 30 with 1.5L hydration bladder. There are several different styles of clips, straps, fasteners and other whatcha-mahoosits on the outside of the pack, along with a few exterior pockets of various sizes. My bulkiest thing is my lightweight sleeping bag and my heaviest thing is an older manual 35mm film camera.
Sounds like you and I have similar packs, but I no longer carry a heavy camera, and in warmer weather I only take a sleeping bag liner. Everything I use at night (sleeping bag or liner, sleep shirt, etc) I put at the bottom. For me the 2 most critical things to have handy are the mouthpiece that goes to my water bladder and a wad of toilet paper. Third is some form of chocolate! These latter two I have in the little zip pocket on the hip belt. Depending on the season, I may have a rain jacket (or poncho) strapped to the outside of the pack. I have a small amount of money easily accessible in a pocket. Pocket camera hooked onto one of those whatcha-mahoosits. Sun hat on my head. My general philosophy is if there's something more I need to get out of the pack at some point, it's probably time to stop anyway and take a break.😅
 

Dinah Shaw

Volcano Climber
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Norte and Frances Sept 6 - Oct 11, 2016
Every other aspect of my practice walks for my first camino in September are going great. The only thing I find myself impatient with is the process of getting stuff in and out of my pack during the walk - it just feels awfully clumsy and awkward.

Experienced pilgrims: what have you learned to pack deep in the bag vs what to have in an exterior pocket or clipped and hanging from the pack?

If details are helpful, I have the Osprey Tempest 30 with 1.5L hydration bladder. There are several different styles of clips, straps, fasteners and other whatcha-mahoosits on the outside of the pack, along with a few exterior pockets of various sizes. My bulkiest thing is my lightweight sleeping bag and my heaviest thing is an older manual 35mm film camera.
I use a fanny pack that has a place for two water bottles and a lot of other stuff. Easy access
 

TAF

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
July/Aug 2019
Every other aspect of my practice walks for my first camino in September are going great. The only thing I find myself impatient with is the process of getting stuff in and out of my pack during the walk - it just feels awfully clumsy and awkward.

Experienced pilgrims: what have you learned to pack deep in the bag vs what to have in an exterior pocket or clipped and hanging from the pack?

If details are helpful, I have the Osprey Tempest 30 with 1.5L hydration bladder. There are several different styles of clips, straps, fasteners and other whatcha-mahoosits on the outside of the pack, along with a few exterior pockets of various sizes. My bulkiest thing is my lightweight sleeping bag and my heaviest thing is an older manual 35mm film camera.
I have just returned from my first Camino, I too have an Osprey tempest pack and it was brilliant. The best thing I did, apart from separating items into different coloured drysacks according to their use (i.e. Clothing, medical, toiletries etc) was to keep a spare pair of socks and foot cream in the top pocket of the rucksack so that I could change my socks and re cream my feet halfway through the day. I had no blisters or hot spots at all so I guess this worked well. Buen Camino
 

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