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Filling backpack guidelines?

Causa-Mortis

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April 2020
Hi there,
Are there general guidelines to pack your backpack? The heaviest items (sleeping bag) at the bottom, or raingear on top?
Just looking for some advice from experienced hikers.

What soap is the "best" to do my handwash?

Tx !!
 

nidarosa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
Hi, I am sure there are some who know of rules regarding packing, but when you pack light, I am not sure how much of a difference it makes. My own rule is to keep stuff I might need during the day - rain gear, snacks, fleece, hat, gloves - at the top or near zips/opening, while things I won't need until I get there - toiletries, sleeping bag, second set of clothes - go down the bottom. Just pack up your stuff, go for a long walk and unpack when you come home, repeat until you find a routine that suits you.
 

koilife

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016); Portugues w/ son #3 (2020)
Agreed with @nidarosa, especially if you are keeping the entire pack (including pack and water) under 7 kilo. Things you might use during the day ought to be easily accessed. Hip belt pouches can be useful here.

Be sure to carry 80-90% of the weight on your hips rather than your shoulders, and keep it packed "high and tight". The farther your pack's center of gravity (CoG) is from your body's CoG, the more you have to lean forward to stay balanced over your hips and legs, which stresses muscles you're not used to using and changes the way you walk, including greater risk of tendinitis and blisters.

Another point, keep your weight evenly balanced as much as possible. Even small imbalances (4 kilo on one side, 3 kilo on the other) can change the way you walk. Thus, you want to keep your CoG centered with your spine and probably about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way up the pack.

For instance, I'll put my 650g sleeping bag below my 1700g clothing roll to push the heavier item higher, as this keeps my pack's CoG higher.

Another thing is to keep things as flat against your back as possible. Use side straps on your pack to cinch the load tight to the frame, along with the load lifter straps over your shoulders. This again keeps the pack CoG as close to your body as possible. Thus, a larger cavity packed tight against the back is better than a smaller cavity that packs outwards from the body (one of the arguments for why a larger pack can be better if you have good packing discipline).

Finally, beware having lots of "danglies" (shoes, food bags, and such like). They may be light enough not to cause you any perceived discomfort, but the constant sway does require more energy from you compared to if they were packed in "high and tight". Plus, they can more easily snag on branches or hit other pilgrims. Some will dry their damp clothes (esp socks) on the outside of their pack as they walk, and these are typically not the problem (except for snags).

Regarding soap for "handwash", do you mean handwashing your clothes? Or washing your hands? Soap is a highly discussed and highly individual topic. What is loved by some is despised by others. This is a topic where it would pay for you to do some searching in the forum threads.
 
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Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
What soap is the "best" to do my handwash?
The type of soap is immaterial; specifically, you do not need "antibacterial" soap (it's only 10% more antibacterial than regular soap). The important thing is the scrubbing. Scrub your hands like you've just cut up a jalapeno pepper and now you have to take out your contact lens. Scrub while you sing "Happy Birthday" twice. Scrub between your fingers. Scrub under your nails. Scrub your thumbs and your wrists. Rinse thoroughly. Turn off the faucet with your elbow or a clean paper towel.
 

nidarosa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
And tighten your load lifters! That's the strap from the top of the pack's back system to the top of the shoulder strap. Amazing what a difference it makes in pulling the pack closer to your back and stabilising it.
And re handwashing, if you mean handwashing laundry, most soap will do, even shampoo, which you'll be carrying anyway.
 

koilife

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016); Portugues w/ son #3 (2020)
oh,my mistake :)
I ment laundry soap
One good quality in a soap you use for handwashing is its ability to rinse out easily. The more caustic the soap, the more irritation to your skin if it's not well rinsed, especially in your private areas or over your shoulders where your straps sit. It pays to experiment here.

To minimize risk of groin, foot, and armpit rashes (plus it's gentler on my merino base layer), my preference is a natural, vegetable-oil-based soap. Thus, I don't use my shampoo, unless I also use the oil-based soap for shampoo.
 

Derrybiketours

A journey of 500 miles begins with one step!
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdeP-FIN(09/2018)
PORTO-SANT(11/2018)
Caminho Da Fe(01/2019)
SJPdeP- SANT(09/2019)
Madrid(7/2020)
My 22 litre pack holds 25 litre dry bag which makes it easy to pack and unpack plus keeps contents dry. The total weight with 500 ml water is 7kg that sits snug on my hips, all straps pulled so bag sits level with my back and snug at chest and waist. The items I'll need access to after my walk are easily accessible at top such as pair of Toms, turkish towel and toiletry bag. Plus towel hangs outside pack on hot day that removes beads of sweat from my brow. The toiletry bag sometimes hangs outside my pack to free up space for food items so recommend couple of carbineers attached to outside of pack and tuck into pouch to minimise sway movement. Makes for easy access to foot creams and dental hygiene items. I wear a bumbag that contains items of value buckled and straps tied to loops in my walking trousers. Black African soap, full bar does 500 miles for hair, body and clothing that I keep inside an onion bag. Poncho stored in front pocket for easy and quick access which also doubles as tarp or picnic blanket 🤠
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
Are there general guidelines to pack your backpack? The heaviest items (sleeping bag) at the bottom, or raingear on top?
Your sleeping bag is only your heaviest thing because it is the largest. It is not any denser than your various clothes all stuffed together in a bag.

With the amount of stuff that you carry on the camino, the main consideration is convenience. Sleeping bag will not be needed during the day, so put it at the bottom, along with your evening/night clothes and perhaps toiletries that you will use only at the albergue. Some first aid items, sunscreen, knife, etc. should be easily accessible in side pockets or near the top. Same for an extra layer or rain gear, depending on weather. There isn't really much more to go in the middle!

Your water is the only thing that is significantly heavy, and likely will go in side pouches, bladder, or some other carrier. I always keep an emergency 500 mL bottle in the bottom of my pack.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2013), Primitivo (2015), Muxia/Fisterra (2015), Haervejen (2017)
Hi C -- When I first walked someone on this forum recommended Dr. Bronners for laundry, hair and body. I tried it and have used it ever since. I use the bar. And be sure to get the basic stuff and not the fancier stuff with added oils! Liz
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)

Meara

It's only rock n' roll but I like it
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles May 2020
The type of soap is immaterial; specifically, you do not need "antibacterial" soap (it's only 10% more antibacterial than regular soap). The important thing is the scrubbing. Scrub your hands like you've just cut up a jalapeno pepper and now you have to take out your contact lens. Scrub while you sing "Happy Birthday" twice. Scrub between your fingers. Scrub under your nails. Scrub your thumbs and your wrists. Rinse thoroughly. Turn off the faucet with your elbow or a clean paper towel.
The jalapeno pepper example is perfect. It really drives the point home 🌶🌶🌶👀🖐
 

NYSE

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances & Camino Finisterre/Muxia April 2019
Ok, maybe I was a lucky one as I had Merino wool underware and shirts, so, I never used any soap to wash my clothes. Just a good rinse, squeeze and another rinse. Honestly, the worst smell on my Camino Frances was the laundry fragrance left on other pilgrim's clothes from low water consuming washing machines. Stinky!
 

Sharry

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2020)
Hi C -- When I first walked someone on this forum recommended Dr. Bronners for laundry, hair and body. I tried it and have used it ever since. I use the bar. And be sure to get the basic stuff and not the fancier stuff with added oils! Liz
That's what I'll be taking in May - the lavender scent. I'll cut the bar in half for my 16 day trek. I've used liquid Dr. B's for years. It's what I use now to bathe.
 

JanelMcB

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2018)
Hi there,
Are there general guidelines to pack your backpack? The heaviest items (sleeping bag) at the bottom, or raingear on top?
Just looking for some advice from experienced hikers.

What soap is the "best" to do my handwash?

Tx !!
Castile soap works for body, hair, and laundry. It's natural. Bar or liquid.
 

Sixwheeler

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Arles Route (2013/2014 onwards)
If your sleeping bag is your heaviest item you might want to look at that, mine weighs 250gms. Convention says heaviest items near the top and closest to your back but it makes sense to have things you are likely to need during the day on top for ease of access. Also make sure it's balanced left to right or youll6tend to walk in circles.
Ultreïa!
 

FooteK

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to SdC, 2013; Lourdes to SdC, 2015; ??? to SdC (2020)
The best personal/laundry soap I found was soap I got on the Camino, (locals will laugh) - Lagarto and/or Froiz. Share the bar with your Camino family - don't tell them how much they REALLY need it.
As for packing, I kept my sleeping bag, sleeping clothes, and my sandals for walking around town in the sleeping bag area at the bottom of my pack. My emergency kit bag (scissors, moleskin, etc.) went in the bottom of main compartment of my backpack, but near one of the zippers so if I needed to get to it in a hurry, I could. Rain jacket or fleece packed on top, when it wasn't wrapped around my waist. I carried my money, phone, passport and credencial in a fanny pack.
 

RRat

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning 2017
Hi there,
Are there general guidelines to pack your backpack? The heaviest items (sleeping bag) at the bottom, or raingear on top?
Just looking for some advice from experienced hikers.

What soap is the "best" to do my handwash?

Tx !!
Hi there,
Are there general guidelines to pack your backpack? The heaviest items (sleeping bag) at the bottom, or raingear on top?
Just looking for some advice from experienced hikers.

What soap is the "best" to do my handwash?

Tx !!
Just about every store on the Camino has it. Inexpensive.
 

Attachments

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
There are no rules in loading a backpack, just common sense. Heaviest gear at the bottom (and nothing you carry should weigh more than about 500 grams alone anyway). Gear you need more frequent access to at the top. That's about it.
One thing to keep in mind, if you are carrying so much gear you need a schematic as to where to place it in your backpack, you may be carrying too much.
Remember, walking the Camino is not a hike by any stretch of the imagination.
Also, soap is soap. Do not overthink it. You can buy it many places along the Way.
 

koilife

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016); Portugues w/ son #3 (2020)
Sorry to disagree, but . . .

Unless you move to only a liner or a high-end down quilt, a normal hiker's sleeping bag will be above 500g. One's clothing roll for the next day (shirt, pants, tee, socks, underwear) will likely be 1-2 kg. Sufficient water will likely vary from 1-2kg as well.

Also, there are no reputable sources that I have ever seen that recommend putting heaviest items at the bottom. All of them (from boy scouts, to military, to backpacking experts) recommend packing heavier weight in the middle to top, with the lightest high bulk items on bottom. This has to do with reducing the impact on one's center of gravity to minimize walking distortion. At lower weights, it's less of an issue than at higher weights, but the guidance still appears even in ultralight backpacking forums and resources.

And not all soap is made equal. Real and material differences do exist.
 

Donjek

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012 SJPdP - Fisterra
Hi there,
Are there general guidelines to pack your backpack? The heaviest items (sleeping bag) at the bottom, or raingear on top?
Just looking for some advice from experienced hikers.

What soap is the "best" to do my handwash?

Tx !!
The bigger the pack the more stuff you can get into it.

So get a huge pack.

Actually ... no. Get one that is adequate for your needs. It should be large enough that you aren't straining the seams and zippers. But it likely won't give much options about where the items go.

Sleeping bag goes in first (make sure its in a waterproof stuff sack) and everything else gets stuffed in around it.

Rain Gear goes on top or in an accessible pocket where you can get at it when you need it. The secret to staying dry is don't get wet so put it on when it starts raining instead of after you are already soaked.

The best soap is the cheapest smallest bar you can find. Its for daily shower. 'Handwash' isn't going to happen because there will only be water available for that purpose at the albergues and restaurants. Don't be using soap in outdoor areas and make sure you never contaminate fountains that are someone else's drinking supply.
 
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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Sorry to disagree, but . . .

Unless you move to only a liner or a high-end down quilt, a normal hiker's sleeping bag will be above 500g. One's clothing roll for the next day (shirt, pants, tee, socks, underwear) will likely be 1-2 kg. Sufficient water will likely vary from 1-2kg as well.

Also, there are no reputable sources that I have ever seen that recommend putting heaviest items at the bottom. All of them (from boy scouts, to military, to backpacking experts) recommend packing heavier weight in the middle to top, with the lightest high bulk items on bottom. This has to do with reducing the impact on one's center of gravity to minimize walking distortion. At lower weights, it's less of an issue than at higher weights, but the guidance still appears even in ultralight backpacking forums and resources.

And not all soap is made equal. Real and material differences do exist.
@koilife, I'm sorry, but I have to agree with you here. There are two key issues for me, reducing the leverage on my shoulders by packing heavier items close to my back, and ensuring the things I will need during the day or in an emergency are accessible.

An added complexity is the structure of the pack. I know my packing plan varies a little depending on the pack I am using. A single bag design with just a 'brain' presents a few more challenges than the packs that I have with seperate bottom pockets and those with side pockets as well.

I use a water bladder, so it gets into my pack first, closest to my back. I have walked with my water bladder in a day pack attached to my main pack. This did make my water more accessible, but as you observe, increased the distance from my back, adding to the leverage it exerted on my shoulders and back. I won't do that again.

After water, my wet bag is the next heaviest and densist item, and it is always a bit of a conundrum. I have actually taken to leaving it until late in the sequence, but also getting it as close to my back as possible. This allows me to attend to thinks like dental hygiene right up to when I leave an albergue. The other heavy item is my support pack - chargers, spare batteries, power bank, and spare cord, a few cable ties. This can go anywhere, and normally gets packed pretty early in the sequence - I hope not to need this during the day.

After dealing with dense/heavy items, the remainder is really a matter of accessibility, and packing things that I will want to use while walking in the more accessible parts of the pack. I pack clothing into large plastic ziploc bags or some of the new, very light half-size packing cubes. My sleeping bag and liner get scrunched into a waterproof compression sack, and my 'evening shoes' are left loose. I might use a ziploc bag for my fleece, but normally wear that in the morning anyhow, and just shove it into the top of the pack when I take it off.

On that basis, if I am using a single compartment pack, I would normally pack in the sequence:
  • water bladder in the sleeve inside the pack,
  • non essential documents (in a large ziploc bag) also in the sleeve
  • spare shoes at the bottom
  • sleeping bag, etc in a compression sack
  • support bag close my back, held there by
  • clothing bags
  • wet bag close to my back, with my food bag outside it
  • rain jacket and rain pants
  • fleece if I am not wearing it to start the day
  • rain cover pushed into a space but still accessible without having to unpack
  • first aid kit also pushed into a space but still accessible
  • sunscreen, insect repellant, torch, snack bars, hydration salts, gloves, buff/beanie, head net, guidebook/credencial all go into the pack 'brain' if possible. If the waist belt has side pouches, I use one side for snacks.
When I have bought more than one day's snacks or other food, I will normally distribute the individual items around the pack where there is a convenient gap between larger items.

As for soap, I normally bring a bar of laundry soap for clothes and a small bottle of wilderness wash for myself. I also know that one or other, or both, will get left behind at some point, and I will try and find a bar of plain, non-scented soap. I cannot abide the idea of artificially making myself smell like I have been rolling around in a pine forest or a field of frangipanies, nor am I in favour of anti-perspirants clogging up my sweat glands.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
Sorry to disagree, but . . .

Unless you move to only a liner or a high-end down quilt, a normal hiker's sleeping bag will be above 500g. One's clothing roll for the next day (shirt, pants, tee, socks, underwear) will likely be 1-2 kg. Sufficient water will likely vary from 1-2kg as well.

Also, there are no reputable sources that I have ever seen that recommend putting heaviest items at the bottom. All of them (from boy scouts, to military, to backpacking experts) recommend packing heavier weight in the middle to top, with the lightest high bulk items on bottom. This has to do with reducing the impact on one's center of gravity to minimize walking distortion. At lower weights, it's less of an issue than at higher weights, but the guidance still appears even in ultralight backpacking forums and resources.

And not all soap is made equal. Real and material differences do exist.
I have never carried any type of sleeping bag or liner on any of the Camino's I walked that weighed more than 500 grams, and mind you dude, that's eight Camino's in Portugal, France and Spain from June-November all together about 180 nights I imagine. I do not even know. I always just stuffed the bag at the bottom. Not a big deal.
In the infantry? Hmmm, all the crap we carried was heavy, lol. I do not remember any scientific approach to arranging what we humped in the rucks. I just remember carrying it. A lot. lol :D Of course one had some idea how they wanted the equipment carried on their body or in the ruck. Of course I was a lot younger then. Also smoked cigarettes and drank a lot more then, lol.
When I used to wilderness backpack with friends? I cannot say I can remember spending much time planning how I loaded my pack. Just kind of loaded it to where it was comfortable and ergonomic, and didn't look like a bag of laundry from the exterior. Poking out here and there.
As far as water is concerned I always carry mine on the outside. So that I do not count it as part of my pack load in the traditional sense. I have even carried it (1/2 litre bottle) in the cargo pocket of my shorts when walking the Camino.
As far as soap goes...I just do not want any prospective pilgrims out there thinking it is that important an issue, because it is not and you can purchase it along the Way.
 

koilife

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016); Portugues w/ son #3 (2020)
@dougfitz, I'm NOT sorry you have to agree with me. Arguing with a hyper-rational person such as yourself takes a lot of energy and stretches my poor brain to its limits!

You raise a couple really good points that I think are worth spotlighting further. There are lots of pro/con arguments for water bladders vs. bottles. The single strongest pro (IMO) for an integrated bladder system is that the weight is held high up and close to the body.

The structure of the pack itself affects the way we interact with it. Easy access to all essential day items on the hike is key, as is predictability of placement (a place for everything, and everything in its place). The packing cubes you mention are quite handy, as are dry bags and stuff sacks, even if not strictly necessary. They allow easy compartmentalization of lots of small, loose items into a handful of thoughtfully-organized packages. This makes it easier to pack, to unpack, and to minimize sprawl and accidental loss of items at the albergue (although my sons seem hellbent on disproving the later point).

My "camino pack" zips open like luggage to expose the entire, single interior cavity without having to unpack and repack. This access is very handy because I don't use a brain (take that however you want). I pack everything horizontally in layers (bottom is bedding in a single dry bag, middle is clothing in a second dry bag, and top is personals, first aid, electronic, and other miscellanies in a third "waterproof" bag (not an actual dry bag). I also keep my evening shoes up top since I need easy access when I arrive at the albergue. Compression cords allow me to cinch this central cavity down so all this forms a single, tight, inner layer with 80-90% of the non-water weight directly against my back. The side pockets hold water bottles, umbrella, stowed walking poles, etc., and roomy waist belt pockets hold those items I use interactively during the walk (ear buds, sunscreen, camera, snacks, etc.). My earlier camino pack had a kangaroo pouch and my current has a zip pouch on the back in which I keep any added protection (rain gear, Houdini, fleece, etc. all of which are bulky but lightweight).

And soap is such a personal thing. I too can't abide scented body soaps, laundry detergents, etc. (they give me headaches). I have the advantage of needing very little shampoo (a drop suffices when one has as glorious a pate as mine). And I am quite particular about the soap I use with my merino base layer due to rash and care of the merino itself.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
Sorry to disagree, but . . .

Unless you move to only a liner or a high-end down quilt, a normal hiker's sleeping bag will be above 500g. One's clothing roll for the next day (shirt, pants, tee, socks, underwear) will likely be 1-2 kg. Sufficient water will likely vary from 1-2kg as well.

Also, there are no reputable sources that I have ever seen that recommend putting heaviest items at the bottom. All of them (from boy scouts, to military, to backpacking experts) recommend packing heavier weight in the middle to top, with the lightest high bulk items on bottom. This has to do with reducing the impact on one's center of gravity to minimize walking distortion. At lower weights, it's less of an issue than at higher weights, but the guidance still appears even in ultralight backpacking forums and resources.

And not all soap is made equal. Real and material differences do exist.
I 100% agree that making a pack as ergonomic as possible is important, especially if it is heavy, and even more if it is too heavy, filled with unused gear as so many inexperienced pilgrims do.
 

koilife

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016); Portugues w/ son #3 (2020)
I have never carried any type of sleeping bag or liner on any of the Camino's I walked that weighed more than 500 grams, and mind you dude, that's eight Camino's in Portugal, France and Spain from June-November all together about 180 nights I imagine. I do not even know. I always just stuffed the bag at the bottom. Not a big deal.
In the infantry? Hmmm, all the crap we carried was heavy, lol. I do not remember any scientific approach to arranging what we humped in the rucks. I just remember carrying it. A lot. lol :D Of course one had some idea how they wanted the equipment carried on their body or in the ruck. Of course I was a lot younger then. Also smoked cigarettes and drank a lot more then, lol.
When I used to wilderness backpack with friends? I cannot say I can remember spending much time planning how I loaded my pack. Just kind of loaded it to where it was comfortable and ergonomic, and didn't look like a bag of laundry from the exterior. Poking out here and there.
As far as water is concerned I always carry mine on the outside. So that I do not count it as part of my pack load in the traditional sense. I have even carried it (1/2 litre bottle) in the cargo pocket of my shorts when walking the Camino.
As far as soap goes...I just do not want any prospective pilgrims out there thinking it is that important an issue, because it is not and you can purchase it along the Way.
I've never seen a liner over 500g, and I've only seen one-season down or synthetic-down quilts that get under the 500g mark. While that's all one needs on the camino, they're bloody expensive compared to a one season synthetic bag in the 600-700g range. I'm curious what you use to consistently stay under that mark.

If you're ex-infantry, your experience and fitness is likely atypical for the typical person walking the camino. In the end, proper fit and correct weight transference to the hips makes a bigger difference than weight placement.

You've likely never had eczema from soap or migraines from perfumes. When you do, your view of soap changes rather quickly. That being said, a wide variety of options are absolutely available along the way, and we make do with the reality we find rather than the ideal we wish we had. Improvise, adapt, and overcome.
 
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RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
I've never seen a liner over 500g, and I've only seen one-season down or synthetic-down quilts that get under the 500g mark. While that's all one needs on the camino, they're bloody expensive compared to a one season synthetic bag in the 600-700g range. I'm curious what you use to consistently stay under that mark.

If you're ex-infantry, your experience and fitness is likely atypical for the typical person walking the camino. In the end, proper fit and correct weight transference to the hips makes a bigger difference than weight placement.

You've likely never had eczema from soap or migraines from perfumes. When you do, your view of soap changes rather quickly. That being said, a wide variety of options are absolutely available along the way, and we make do with the reality we find rather than the ideal we wish we had. Improvise, adapt, and overcome.
I have only actually carried an actual sleeping bag on one Camino and that was one from late September to mid November. It was a sort of homemade one I stitched up by turning an inexpensive down quilt to a sack. I weighed it and it weighed about one US pound or 450 grams. It worked really well, but no zipper, so a minor inconvenience.
The other times I walked the Camino I carried only a synthetic bag liner (less than a pound in weight) or carried no sleep system at all and merely used albergue blankets when I could, or just slept on top of the mattress in my shorts and shirt. One time that did bite me on the ass, as the albergue I was staying in, Galicia, was cold that night and no blankets available. The hospitalero (God bless him) knew I would freeze me ass off, so he scrounged up a sleeping bag for me. One that someone had left there as donativo. Mind you, just one night out of over thirty on that Camino is not bad batting average. 😎 Also that was a summer Camino. Very very warm dry weather and downright stifling warm albergue sleeping quarters filled with pilgrims too afraid to leave windows open at night. Lol
Now I carry that synthetic bag liner on all my Camino. Cost six euro and the size of a beer can in its stuff sack.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
The Costco down blankets weigh just 425 grams (15 ounces). I use a down blanket about half the size of the Costco blanket, which I tuck inside my silk liner. The silk liner and the blanket weigh less than 400 grams together.
 

koilife

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016); Portugues w/ son #3 (2020)
The Costco down blankets weigh just 425 grams (15 ounces). I use a down blanket about half the size of the Costco blanket, which I tuck inside my silk liner. The silk liner and the blanket weigh less than 400 grams together.
Very efficient system, and it allows you to adjust based on albergue conditions (which can range from a fridge to a sauna).

I've avoided bringing my expensive 330g hammocking down quilt on Camino because I'd rather not have to put it through the extremes of bedbug treatment. I don't mind doing that to a cheap synthetic that weighs twice that amount.

I've never seen the Costco down blanket, although I've seen you mention it several times and I keep my eyes open at my local store.
 

koilife

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016); Portugues w/ son #3 (2020)
Now I carry that synthetic bag liner on all my Camino. Cost six euro and the size of a beer can in its stuff sack.
That makes much more sense given the weights to which you alluded.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
Very efficient system, and it allows you to adjust based on albergue conditions (which can range from a fridge to a sauna).

I've avoided bringing my expensive 330g hammocking down quilt on Camino because I'd rather not have to put it through the extremes of bedbug treatment. I don't mind doing that to a cheap synthetic that weighs twice that amount.

I've never seen the Costco down blanket, although I've seen you mention it several times and I keep my eyes open at my local store.
That Costco down blanket is what I made into a sleep sack. Was given to me by an in law after they saw me sizing it up on their couch and making comments what a great sleep sack it would make for the Camino lol
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Very efficient system, and it allows you to adjust based on albergue conditions (which can range from a fridge to a sauna).
Exactly. And on really hot nights on one of those vinyl covered mattress I put the down blanket between the mattress and the silk liner to keep from being so close to the sticky vinyl mattress.
 

Lady M

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September - October (2019)
Hi there,
Are there general guidelines to pack your backpack? The heaviest items (sleeping bag) at the bottom, or raingear on top?
Just looking for some advice from experienced hikers.

What soap is the "best" to do my handwash?

Tx !!
i agree with all the suggestions to put heavier stuff on the bottom and easy access for stuff you may need during the day. One thing I found very helpful is to sort my stuff by category...toiletries, electronics, clothes, etc....and pack them in separate stuff sacks. Easy to unpack, easy to find what I need, and easy to repack.
 

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Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017, 2018, 2019
Walk for a day and see what ends up at the top. Next time, pack that stuff at the top.
 


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