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Favorite gear items

m2m4christ

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spring 2023
I’ve posted a few times in the last few days just to offer the few valuable tips that I’ve learned along the way so far. I’m not even sure I’ve ever formally introduced myself. I’m Melissa from Virginia and a mom of ten. I’m here with two of my sons and our Camino has not gone perfectly. But it’s still been an amazing adventure filled with unforgettable moments and some stretching ones. This community is amazing. Thank you for helping us along the way with sickness etc. Anyway, I’ve been thinking about this post for a while but honestly didn’t know if I could add anything new but being here has shown me how important sharing information and resources are. I thought I would share a few of my favorite gear things.

1) Somewhere I read to bring zip lock bags. So I did. The post that I read said bring more than you think you will need you will use them for anything and everything. They were right. Make sure you bring a stash of quart and gallon size zip lock bags. You will use them for everything from organization to storing food or liquid items or dirty laundry. We’ve used all of ours.

2) A down vest- I have loved mine on these cool days but I love wearing mine at home too. You can get a really light one but I brought my regular north face one and it’s almost always on my body. While the boys have to stop to take their jacket off or put it on I just wear my vest and stay comfortable heating up or cooling down.

3) A scarf that doubles as a hair towel after bathing.

4) A packable towel. Has been useful for so many things. Like I said earlier I’m a mom of 10 kids cleanliness is important but not just for bathing. If you want to sit somewhere and it’s slightly wet or dirty toss down the pack towel. One day my shoes were absolutely soaked. We stuffed the pack towel down. You can use it for a million things that I never thought of before this trip. It washes up and of course dries easily.

5) Bring a regular mask and N95. Even if you just need to run into the pharmacy to buy band aids you have to wear a mask before entering. If you in up in Burgos ER like we did an N95 is great to have. Nothing political just our genuine experience. We were glad to have packed one of each.

6) Duct tape. I researched, and I’ve hiked and even worked for the Appalachian trail conference. I never in a million years thought I would get blisters. Our friend is an expedition doctor and looked at our packs before leaving and said here is some duct tape. I half brought it to appease him. Lo and behold I had horrific blisters that had busted wide open after hiking Roncesvalles to Zubiri in the snow. The next day I put on antibiotic gel cut a gauze pad to fit over the blisters the duct taped the heck out of my heels. It kept me walking pain free. At night I pulled them off cleaned them and replaced them the next day. My blisters were protected and healed very quickly. When I began to run low I started looking around town for duct tape. Just bring it. It worked wonders over leukotape. There is another blister preventer made by KT that is also amazing. Once it goes on it is almost impossible to get off. That worked for me after my blister healed up but I still wanted light protection. It just works.

7) Nuun tablets with caffeine. I’ve loved my little stash of Nuun. Replaces electrolytes has vitamins and minerals and caffeine for extra boost in those early days. Also good if someone get sick and your not sure where else to find electrolytes.

8) oh the things I thought before coming on the Camino. Two pairs of underwear. Totally fine make at least one quick dry. But I was so glad I brought different types of socks fully padded smart wool, darn tough runners, even a thin liner sock. Remember this one thing- you are relying on your feet. Keep your pack light but socks are important I was glad I’ve had a variety. What I wouldn’t leave without, a thin liner sock. Works great to act as another barrier over duct tape and keep all that from moving.
9) What I wouldn’t bring again. Rain pants. For me they are too hot. I would bring a longer rain jacket and buy some calf snow gators. They are lighter faster to get on and off and not as hot.

That’s my list! Hope this helps someone.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Down bag (90/10 duvet) of 700 fills with 180 g (6.34 ounces) of filling. Mummy-shaped structure, ideal when you are looking for lightness with great heating performance.

€149,-
Three loops of strong string; two about four inches long when doubled, so 8” of actual string), the third 12” when doubled.

The first two allow me to attach an anti-theft coat hanger to a shower rail to assist drying of laundry. The third attaches any key with which I have been entrusted to a belt loop. Cost and weight virtually zero.

You’re a mom of 10! I’ve got one dog and the responsibility crushes me. If I had a hat on, I’d take it off to you.
 
Three loops of strong string; two about four inches long when doubled, so 8” of actual string), the third 12” when doubled.

The first two allow me to attach an anti-theft coat hanger to a shower rail to assist drying of laundry. The third attaches any key with which I have been entrusted to a belt loop. Cost and weight virtually zero.

You’re a mom of 10! I’ve got one dog and the responsibility crushes me. If I had a hat on, I’d take it off to you.

Here in France we can say “chapeau” whether we are wearing a hat or not. Therefore CHAPEAU, Madame!!!
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
My buff. So versatile. It’s a scarf. It’s a hat. It’s a sleeve to keep the sun off my left arm when walking East to West. It’s a scrunchie. It’s a sun guard for the back of my neck. It’s a basic face covering just in case. I love my buff.
 
My buff. So versatile. It’s a scarf. It’s a hat. It’s a sleeve to keep the sun off my left arm when walking East to West. It’s a scrunchie. It’s a sun guard for the back of my neck. It’s a basic face covering just in case. I love my buff.
A Buff is a fantastic Catalonian bit of kit! I just picked up a limited edition Barcelona Buff. The ‘left arm’ comment really cracked me up
 
I’ve posted a few times in the last few days just to offer the few valuable tips that I’ve learned along the way so far. I’m not even sure I’ve ever formally introduced myself. I’m Melissa from Virginia and a mom of ten. I’m here with two of my sons and our Camino has not gone perfectly. But it’s still been an amazing adventure filled with unforgettable moments and some stretching ones. This community is amazing. Thank you for helping us along the way with sickness etc. Anyway, I’ve been thinking about this post for a while but honestly didn’t know if I could add anything new but being here has shown me how important sharing information and resources are. I thought I would share a few of my favorite gear things.

1) Somewhere I read to bring zip lock bags. So I did. The post that I read said bring more than you think you will need you will use them for anything and everything. They were right. Make sure you bring a stash of quart and gallon size zip lock bags. You will use them for everything from organization to storing food or liquid items or dirty laundry. We’ve used all of ours.

2) A down vest- I have loved mine on these cool days but I love wearing mine at home too. You can get a really light one but I brought my regular north face one and it’s almost always on my body. While the boys have to stop to take their jacket off or put it on I just wear my vest and stay comfortable heating up or cooling down.

3) A scarf that doubles as a hair towel after bathing.

4) A packable towel. Has been useful for so many things. Like I said earlier I’m a mom of 10 kids cleanliness is important but not just for bathing. If you want to sit somewhere and it’s slightly wet or dirty toss down the pack towel. One day my shoes were absolutely soaked. We stuffed the pack towel down. You can use it for a million things that I never thought of before this trip. It washes up and of course dries easily.

5) Bring a regular mask and N95. Even if you just need to run into the pharmacy to buy band aids you have to wear a mask before entering. If you in up in Burgos ER like we did an N95 is great to have. Nothing political just our genuine experience. We were glad to have packed one of each.

6) Duct tape. I researched, and I’ve hiked and even worked for the Appalachian trail conference. I never in a million years thought I would get blisters. Our friend is an expedition doctor and looked at our packs before leaving and said here is some duct tape. I half brought it to appease him. Lo and behold I had horrific blisters that had busted wide open after hiking Roncesvalles to Zubiri in the snow. The next day I put on antibiotic gel cut a gauze pad to fit over the blisters the duct taped the heck out of my heels. It kept me walking pain free. At night I pulled them off cleaned them and replaced them the next day. My blisters were protected and healed very quickly. When I began to run low I started looking around town for duct tape. Just bring it. It worked wonders over leukotape. There is another blister preventer made by KT that is also amazing. Once it goes on it is almost impossible to get off. That worked for me after my blister healed up but I still wanted light protection. It just works.

7) Nuun tablets with caffeine. I’ve loved my little stash of Nuun. Replaces electrolytes has vitamins and minerals and caffeine for extra boost in those early days. Also good if someone get sick and your not sure where else to find electrolytes.

8) oh the things I thought before coming on the Camino. Two pairs of underwear. Totally fine make at least one quick dry. But I was so glad I brought different types of socks fully padded smart wool, darn tough runners, even a thin liner sock. Remember this one thing- you are relying on your feet. Keep your pack light but socks are important I was glad I’ve had a variety. What I wouldn’t leave without, a thin liner sock. Works great to act as another barrier over duct tape and keep all that from moving.
9) What I wouldn’t bring again. Rain pants. For me they are too hot. I would bring a longer rain jacket and buy some calf snow gators. They are lighter faster to get on and off and not as hot.

That’s my list! Hope this helps someone.
Hola

My 58 L backpack.
I like to have space to spare - until I fill it up on the way..

Buen Camino
Lettinggo
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Totally agree about the plastic Ziploc bags. One will always appreciate having a clean dry pair of socks stashed.

My go to item is a small waist pack for the items I need every day, and sometimes more than once a day: credenciale (in a Ziploc bag of course!); knife; reading glasses; mask also in a Ziploc bag; pen; EU phone charger; and some tissues in a Ziploc bag as emergency toilet paper!; a few analgesics in a watertight container sometimes they are for me, sometimes for other pilgrims in need.

I have also taken to wearing a slim waterproof plastic pouch around my neck and under my shirt that holds my passport, credit card, extra cash etc. and that never leaves my neck, even in the shower. I tried a money belt once, but found it was too bothersome.

A note about analgesics: I tend to respond well to Naproxen (i.e. Aleve). In Spain Naproxen is available over the counter as it is in North America, however imagine my surprise when I was in France and found that a prescription is needed for Naproxen! Do not assume your favorite analgesic is readily available.

A last hint is to upload copies of your important papers (passport; ID; credit card cancellation number; emergency contacts; prescriptions, albergue reservations, etc. etc.) into a cloud storage of some type such as Google Drive.
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
For me, (1) walking poles (2) vaseline/ talcum powder (3) toe socks! Absolute life savers. And I didn’t get one blister.

Almost everyone used walking poles on the Camino. Being from Australia, I thought it was superfluous at first, but boy did I change my mind pretty quick! I leaned on those babies going uphill, steadied my footing with it going downhill and used it as a twirling baton on the flat messetta stretches.

And Vaseline/ talcum powder and toe socks, perfect combo for avoiding blisters. I always massaged my foot and tendons in the morning and the vaseline helped. Then talcum, then toe sock, then another sock. I saw some very awful blisters on other pilgrims. And also lots of foot problems, tendinitis etc. With just a few mins prep, most of these could have been avoided.
 
I’ve posted a few times in the last few days just to offer the few valuable tips that I’ve learned along the way so far. I’m not even sure I’ve ever formally introduced myself. I’m Melissa from Virginia and a mom of ten. I’m here with two of my sons and our Camino has not gone perfectly. But it’s still been an amazing adventure filled with unforgettable moments and some stretching ones. This community is amazing. Thank you for helping us along the way with sickness etc. Anyway, I’ve been thinking about this post for a while but honestly didn’t know if I could add anything new but being here has shown me how important sharing information and resources are. I thought I would share a few of my favorite gear things.

1) Somewhere I read to bring zip lock bags. So I did. The post that I read said bring more than you think you will need you will use them for anything and everything. They were right. Make sure you bring a stash of quart and gallon size zip lock bags. You will use them for everything from organization to storing food or liquid items or dirty laundry. We’ve used all of ours.

2) A down vest- I have loved mine on these cool days but I love wearing mine at home too. You can get a really light one but I brought my regular north face one and it’s almost always on my body. While the boys have to stop to take their jacket off or put it on I just wear my vest and stay comfortable heating up or cooling down.

3) A scarf that doubles as a hair towel after bathing.

4) A packable towel. Has been useful for so many things. Like I said earlier I’m a mom of 10 kids cleanliness is important but not just for bathing. If you want to sit somewhere and it’s slightly wet or dirty toss down the pack towel. One day my shoes were absolutely soaked. We stuffed the pack towel down. You can use it for a million things that I never thought of before this trip. It washes up and of course dries easily.

5) Bring a regular mask and N95. Even if you just need to run into the pharmacy to buy band aids you have to wear a mask before entering. If you in up in Burgos ER like we did an N95 is great to have. Nothing political just our genuine experience. We were glad to have packed one of each.

6) Duct tape. I researched, and I’ve hiked and even worked for the Appalachian trail conference. I never in a million years thought I would get blisters. Our friend is an expedition doctor and looked at our packs before leaving and said here is some duct tape. I half brought it to appease him. Lo and behold I had horrific blisters that had busted wide open after hiking Roncesvalles to Zubiri in the snow. The next day I put on antibiotic gel cut a gauze pad to fit over the blisters the duct taped the heck out of my heels. It kept me walking pain free. At night I pulled them off cleaned them and replaced them the next day. My blisters were protected and healed very quickly. When I began to run low I started looking around town for duct tape. Just bring it. It worked wonders over leukotape. There is another blister preventer made by KT that is also amazing. Once it goes on it is almost impossible to get off. That worked for me after my blister healed up but I still wanted light protection. It just works.

7) Nuun tablets with caffeine. I’ve loved my little stash of Nuun. Replaces electrolytes has vitamins and minerals and caffeine for extra boost in those early days. Also good if someone get sick and your not sure where else to find electrolytes.

8) oh the things I thought before coming on the Camino. Two pairs of underwear. Totally fine make at least one quick dry. But I was so glad I brought different types of socks fully padded smart wool, darn tough runners, even a thin liner sock. Remember this one thing- you are relying on your feet. Keep your pack light but socks are important I was glad I’ve had a variety. What I wouldn’t leave without, a thin liner sock. Works great to act as another barrier over duct tape and keep all that from moving.
9) What I wouldn’t bring again. Rain pants. For me they are too hot. I would bring a longer rain jacket and buy some calf snow gators. They are lighter faster to get on and off and not as hot.

That’s my list! Hope this helps someone.
mobile phone waterproof case!
Remember, the duct tape is used on the hot spot and can prevent blister from forming. Carry alcohol in small dropper bottle to clean the area so it will stick. You are gonna feel the hot spot while hiking and your grimy feet are sweating. No time to waste walking to the next foot bath to clean them before applying tape.
 
For me, (1) walking poles (2) vaseline/ talcum powder (3) toe socks! Absolute life savers. And I didn’t get one blister.

Almost everyone used walking poles on the Camino. Being from Australia, I thought it was superfluous at first, but boy did I change my mind pretty quick! I leaned on those babies going uphill, steadied my footing with it going downhill and used it as a twirling baton on the flat messetta stretches.

And Vaseline/ talcum powder and toe socks, perfect combo for avoiding blisters. I always massaged my foot and tendons in the morning and the vaseline helped. Then talcum, then toe sock, then another sock. I saw some very awful blisters on other pilgrims. And also lots of foot problems, tendinitis etc. With just a few mins prep, most of these could have been avoided.
By "toe socks", do you mean the socks that have 5 separate toe sections?
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
By "toe socks", do you mean the socks that have 5 separate toe sections?
Yep, the ones that look weird. Separates the toes and avoids blisters. And then another sock on top. (Oh! And taking off socks/ shoes once or twice during the walk (every time you have a coffee/ meal/ snack)).
 
I really like my Altus Poncho. It keeps everything in my pack dry so I don't need to use any kind of dry sacks or rustling plastic bags.
Mesh bags to organize all my stuff (like you get for produce at the store instead of plastic bags)
Bandanas instead of tissues. This past spring, the huge fields of flowers had my nose running all day long, plus I ended up catching a cold twice. It was easy to wash them out each night with my laundry. They can also take the place of emergency TP.
The plastic cover sold by Ivar here on the forum. It keeps my credential nice and it is big enough for my passport and my money for the day.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
My buff. So versatile. It’s a scarf. It’s a hat. It’s a sleeve to keep the sun off my left arm when walking East to West. It’s a scrunchie. It’s a sun guard for the back of my neck. It’s a basic face covering just in case. I love my buff.

And safety pins for hanging not quite dry clothing on pack, PLUS:
Buff + safety pins on ends + puffy/insulated down jacket inside = pillow! 🤩😍
 
Down bag (90/10 duvet) of 700 fills with 180 g (6.34 ounces) of filling. Mummy-shaped structure, ideal when you are looking for lightness with great heating performance.

€149,-
And I also am super appreciating the flexibility and pack weight friendliness of UV arm sleeves. I really dislike sunscreen lotions. The sleeves I have are warm for cool mornings, easy to take on/off without stopping or taking my pack off, and also highly breathable when it gets hot too - when the breeze kicks up I can feel it through the sleeve.
 
Crocs. In the evening walking around town, in the shower, on the last bit of the day's walk if I fear a blister is coming.

Immersion water heater - hot drinks, soup, noodles, even warm water for washing in an albergue where the hot water tank wasn't working.
 
I’ve posted a few times in the last few days just to offer the few valuable tips that I’ve learned along the way so far. I’m not even sure I’ve ever formally introduced myself. I’m Melissa from Virginia and a mom of ten. I’m here with two of my sons and our Camino has not gone perfectly. But it’s still been an amazing adventure filled with unforgettable moments and some stretching ones. This community is amazing. Thank you for helping us along the way with sickness etc. Anyway, I’ve been thinking about this post for a while but honestly didn’t know if I could add anything new but being here has shown me how important sharing information and resources are. I thought I would share a few of my favorite gear things.

1) Somewhere I read to bring zip lock bags. So I did. The post that I read said bring more than you think you will need you will use them for anything and everything. They were right. Make sure you bring a stash of quart and gallon size zip lock bags. You will use them for everything from organization to storing food or liquid items or dirty laundry. We’ve used all of ours.

2) A down vest- I have loved mine on these cool days but I love wearing mine at home too. You can get a really light one but I brought my regular north face one and it’s almost always on my body. While the boys have to stop to take their jacket off or put it on I just wear my vest and stay comfortable heating up or cooling down.

3) A scarf that doubles as a hair towel after bathing.

4) A packable towel. Has been useful for so many things. Like I said earlier I’m a mom of 10 kids cleanliness is important but not just for bathing. If you want to sit somewhere and it’s slightly wet or dirty toss down the pack towel. One day my shoes were absolutely soaked. We stuffed the pack towel down. You can use it for a million things that I never thought of before this trip. It washes up and of course dries easily.

5) Bring a regular mask and N95. Even if you just need to run into the pharmacy to buy band aids you have to wear a mask before entering. If you in up in Burgos ER like we did an N95 is great to have. Nothing political just our genuine experience. We were glad to have packed one of each.

6) Duct tape. I researched, and I’ve hiked and even worked for the Appalachian trail conference. I never in a million years thought I would get blisters. Our friend is an expedition doctor and looked at our packs before leaving and said here is some duct tape. I half brought it to appease him. Lo and behold I had horrific blisters that had busted wide open after hiking Roncesvalles to Zubiri in the snow. The next day I put on antibiotic gel cut a gauze pad to fit over the blisters the duct taped the heck out of my heels. It kept me walking pain free. At night I pulled them off cleaned them and replaced them the next day. My blisters were protected and healed very quickly. When I began to run low I started looking around town for duct tape. Just bring it. It worked wonders over leukotape. There is another blister preventer made by KT that is also amazing. Once it goes on it is almost impossible to get off. That worked for me after my blister healed up but I still wanted light protection. It just works.

7) Nuun tablets with caffeine. I’ve loved my little stash of Nuun. Replaces electrolytes has vitamins and minerals and caffeine for extra boost in those early days. Also good if someone get sick and your not sure where else to find electrolytes.

8) oh the things I thought before coming on the Camino. Two pairs of underwear. Totally fine make at least one quick dry. But I was so glad I brought different types of socks fully padded smart wool, darn tough runners, even a thin liner sock. Remember this one thing- you are relying on your feet. Keep your pack light but socks are important I was glad I’ve had a variety. What I wouldn’t leave without, a thin liner sock. Works great to act as another barrier over duct tape and keep all that from moving.
9) What I wouldn’t bring again. Rain pants. For me they are too hot. I would bring a longer rain jacket and buy some calf snow gators. They are lighter faster to get on and off and not as hot.

That’s my list! Hope this helps someone.
Super advice. I trust the advice of anyone with 10 kids!
 
Very light, comfortable and compressible poncho. Specially designed for protection against water for any activity.

Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.

€60,-
One of my favorite items is a tiny keychain flashlight. Almost weightless and just bright enough to get me to the men's room in a crowded albergue. Also good for digging earplugs out of my shave kit in the dark but noisy night. Oh wait -- ear plugs. My favorite item is earplugs!!!
 
Mine is from zPacks of Florida.

It is shaped as a skirt: not pleated as you might expect. Weighs 68 grams and folds up nicely.

Here is the detailed link

Kia kaha (take care, be strong, get going when you can)
Are you still out hiking, Alwyn? I live in Levin and would be glad to accompany you on perhaps the Southern walkway in Welly?
 
- my buff
- my walking poles
- Injinji toes socks
- Fanny pack
- puff jacket
- hero Clip (to hang my clothes bag while showering)
- my $5 Walmart foldable bag that I used for grocery shopping, laundry, shower bag. Used it every day.
- my scarf used after walking
- my ugly sun hat lol
- Osprey water bladder. The best. And the BōnDry Hydration Pack Bladder Dryer. Bladder stayed clean and water always tasted good. Put in bladder every night after emptying it.
- icebreaker 100% merino wool short and long sleeve shirts. Dried easily. Never smelled.

So much research that paid off
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.

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This company has helped people with foot problems for many a long year.. A human story still connects, doesn't it?
I’m leaving in a week and the weather through the Meseta looks pretty cool at night 45 to 50°F. Is that too cold for a sleeping bag liner?

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