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Guidance on back pack weight

2020 Camino Guides

jostony

Camino del Vino
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015
Finisterre/Muxia 2015
Portugues/F'tre 2017
Ingles 2018
Primitivo 2019
Norte 2020
As a newbie to the idea of walking, let alone the actual commitment I have made to walking the Camino next year, I have just about bought all the gear I think I need and compiled a spreadsheet which tells me that total weight is 7.75 kilos so it will end up at 8 kilos. Once I add in 2.5 kilos for water/food this brings up weight to 10.5 kilos. I currently weigh 86 kilos so I am at 12% backpack weight. Don't want to obsess at the 10% rule. So question is am I good to go at 12%?
 

xin loi

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked May 14, 2014 from St Jean France

starting to walk again August 25, 2016 --SJPDP to Finisterre
I carried 12 kilos last month and ended up losing 10 kilos of body weight. Guess I only carried 2 kilos? Don't believe BS about 10% rule. The pack gets lighter as you walk-- I was putting rocks in my pockets after third week. Wait until you see what the Koreans bring--earmuffs? If I do it again, I'm carrying more, not less. And lot of people carry NOTHING! They use the vans and taxis to carry their packs for 5 euros each day. It really is an Intelligence Test! Taxi won't care what your pack weights.
 
P

PANO

Guest
The 10% rule should not overly concern you, other important criteria such as age, physical condition, weather and temperatures must be weighed in, of course. Not knowing the details of your list, I'd be willing to bet a bottle of tinto that you would be able to shave off half- to one kg. if you really wanted to. (I weight same as you and managed to get my pack to less than 6.5 kg (dry, w/o food, PM me if you want to look at my list).
As for water, I never took more than 2 half-litre mineral water bottles along, most of the time one bottle was just fine. (In September) Either I was able to refill on the way, but mostly I stopped a couple of times at one of the zillion bars along the Camino for a little rest and a drink. Same with food, although I rarely ate anything other than a picked-up fruit during walking time. (Consider that leaving around 8am, you typically arrive at around 3pm at your next stop, leaving you plenty of time for a late lunch, an early dinner, or both.) Your allocated 2.5kg for water+food sound a tad sumptuous to me.
Enjoy your adventure and a buen Camino.
 
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annelise

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past
My philosophy was like: pack 'what you need to have' and not as in 'what is nice to have'. - I have read so many accounts by now of pilgrims sending items back home after the first few days. - Anyway, if you find you need to have something ('nice to have'), it is easy to buy ... - less easy to post it back home ... - or forward ...

annelise
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (2020)
As a newbie to the idea of walking, let alone the actual commitment I have made to walking the Camino next year, I have just about bought all the gear I think I need and compiled a spreadsheet which tells me that total weight is 7.75 kilos so it will end up at 8 kilos. Once I add in 2.5 kilos for water/food this brings up weight to 10.5 kilos. I currently weigh 86 kilos so I am at 12% backpack weight. Don't want to obsess at the 10% rule. So question is am I good to go at 12%?
The first thing to ask yourself is if 86 kg is your ideal weight. If its not, you should base any pack weight calculations on whatever you ideal weight is, not your current actual weight. The second thing to ask yourself is how far and fast you want to walk each day. I met people who wanted to walk 30+km every day, and do that in around six hours of walking. You don't do that with a heavy pack. To travel far, fast or both, you need to travel with a lighter pack. If, like me, your prepared to average a bit less, or spend a bit more time on the road, carrying a little more might be okay.

I recommend using a from the skin out target, rather than just pack weight. This includes everything. Your pack, your worn clothing and footwear, food, water - the works. Assume for a moment that your ideal weight is 86kg, a 20% FSO target would be 17.2 kg. If your worn clothing and footwear was around 2.5 to 3 kg, your base pack around 8 kg and you carried 2.5 kg of food and water, this would be a total of 13-13.5 kg, well within target.

My other observation is that the 10% target is for the pack without food or water, so you are currently under the 10% target at present, not over it as you suggest.

Regards,
 

jostony

Camino del Vino
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015
Finisterre/Muxia 2015
Portugues/F'tre 2017
Ingles 2018
Primitivo 2019
Norte 2020
The first thing to ask yourself is if 86 kg is your ideal weight. If its not, you should base any pack weight calculations on whatever you ideal weight is, not your current actual weight. The second thing to ask yourself is how far and fast you want to walk each day. I met people who wanted to walk 30+km every day, and do that in around six hours of walking. You don't do that with a heavy pack. To travel far, fast or both, you need to travel with a lighter pack. If, like me, your prepared to average a bit less, or spend a bit more time on the road, carrying a little more might be okay.

I recommend using a from the skin out target, rather than just pack weight. This includes everything. Your pack, your worn clothing and footwear, food, water - the works. Assume for a moment that your ideal weight is 86kg, a 20% FSO target would be 17.2 kg. If your worn clothing and footwear was around 2.5 to 3 kg, your base pack around 8 kg and you carried 2.5 kg of food and water, this would be a total of 13-13.5 kg, well within target.

My other observation is that the 10% target is for the pack without food or water, so you are currently under the 10% target at present, not over it as you suggest.

Regards,
Thanks for your help here and useful way of calculating. You are right - clothing with boots & poles is 3.3kg so with backpack at 8kg and water/food at 2.5kg this does all come in at 13.6kg. In my unfit state I don't think I am able nor currently willing to push myself to walk 30km with a heavy backpack. Also as I have time I would like to enjoy it at my pace so with a more manageable 20-25km p/day.
 

jostony

Camino del Vino
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015
Finisterre/Muxia 2015
Portugues/F'tre 2017
Ingles 2018
Primitivo 2019
Norte 2020
My philosophy was like: pack 'what you need to have' and not as in 'what is nice to have'. - I have read so many accounts by now of pilgrims sending items back home after the first few days. - Anyway, if you find you need to have something ('nice to have'), it is easy to buy ... - less easy to post it back home ... - or forward ...

annelise
Thanks - good philosophy
 

jostony

Camino del Vino
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015
Finisterre/Muxia 2015
Portugues/F'tre 2017
Ingles 2018
Primitivo 2019
Norte 2020
I carried 12 kilos last month and ended up losing 10 kilos of body weight. Guess I only carried 2 kilos? Don't believe BS about 10% rule. The pack gets lighter as you walk-- I was putting rocks in my pockets after third week. Wait until you see what the Koreans bring--earmuffs? If I do it again, I'm carrying more, not less. And lot of people carry NOTHING! They use the vans and taxis to carry their packs for 5 euros each day. It really is an Intelligence Test! Taxi won't care what your pack weights.
I am sure I will end up losing weight along the way! Good mantra "pack gets lighter as I walk" tell you how that one goes after my walk!
 

jostony

Camino del Vino
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015
Finisterre/Muxia 2015
Portugues/F'tre 2017
Ingles 2018
Primitivo 2019
Norte 2020
The 10% rule should not overly concern you, other important criteria such as age, physical condition, weather and temperatures must be weighed in, of course. Not knowing the details of your list, I'd be willing to bet a bottle of tinto that you would be able to shave off half- to one kg. if you really wanted to. (I weight same as you and managed to get my pack to less than 6.5 kg (dry, w/o food, PM me if you want to look at my list).
As for water, I never took more than 2 half-litre mineral water bottles along, most of the time one bottle was just fine. (In September) Either I was able to refill on the way, but mostly I stopped a couple of times at one of the zillion bars along the Camino for a little rest and a drink. Same with food, although I rarely ate anything other than a picked-up fruit during walking time. (Consider that leaving around 8am, you typically arrive at around 3pm at your next stop, leaving you plenty of time for a late lunch, an early dinner, or both.) Your allocated 2.5kg for water+food sound a tad sumptuous to me.
Enjoy your adventure and a buen Camino.
Thanks. Water weight based on 2 litres. Sure that will vary on each days planned length of walk. Will review what I plan to carry once I have done some actual real practice walks in Uk over next few months.
 

cornishtim

Member
Suggest you do a couple of day walks carrying the pack as it is and covering the kind of distances you are aiming for. If you can manage - you are fine. And it will get easier as you get stronger.
 

jostony

Camino del Vino
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015
Finisterre/Muxia 2015
Portugues/F'tre 2017
Ingles 2018
Primitivo 2019
Norte 2020
By the way, Jostony, remember to pack some safety pins :) - came in handy for me when I had to tighten my waistband! It is so embarassing if your pants kind of start falling down :) - almost happened for me ... - so had to take a tight grip ...

annelise
Added to the list - thanks
 

cathal Ferris

Member
Camino(s) past & future
29th April to May 31 2014
April to May (2015) starting in Burgos on the (27th April 2015) completing in Santiago on the 10th May flights booked from Dublin into Madrid and alsa bus up to Burgos
12th August 2015 Starting at Croagh Patrick Clew Bay to Downpatrick known as Camino Way of St Patrick
The 10% rule should not overly concern you, other important criteria such as age, physical condition, weather and temperatures must be weighed in, of course. Not knowing the details of your list, I'd be willing to bet a bottle of tinto that you would be able to shave off half- to one kg. if you really wanted to. (I weight same as you and managed to get my pack to less than 6.5 kg (dry, w/o food, PM me if you want to look at my list).
As for water, I never took more than 2 half-litre mineral water bottles along, most of the time one bottle was just fine. (In September) Either I was able to refill on the way, but mostly I stopped a couple of times at one of the zillion bars along the Camino for a little rest and a drink. Same with food, although I rarely ate anything other than a picked-up fruit during walking time. (Consider that leaving around 8am, you typically arrive at around 3pm at your next stop, leaving you plenty of time for a late lunch, an early dinner, or both.) Your allocated 2.5kg for water+food sound a tad sumptuous to me.
Enjoy your adventure and a buen Camino.
Yip totally agree with loss of body fat specially on loaded feet can cause stress fractures definetly got faster as you get into the camino due to fitness levels picking up. would love to see your packing list Buen Camino
 

jstorybook

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
October-November 2013
As a newbie to the idea of walking, let alone the actual commitment I have made to walking the Camino next year, I have just about bought all the gear I think I need and compiled a spreadsheet which tells me that total weight is 7.75 kilos so it will end up at 8 kilos. Once I add in 2.5 kilos for water/food this brings up weight to 10.5 kilos. I currently weigh 86 kilos so I am at 12% backpack weight. Don't want to obsess at the 10% rule. So question is am I good to go at 12%?
I recommend you carry only what you need and you are the only one who can figure this out. However, carrying a heavy backpack is not fun.
 

xin loi

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked May 14, 2014 from St Jean France

starting to walk again August 25, 2016 --SJPDP to Finisterre
"Heavy" is specific to the walker. I frequently walk local hills carrying a daypack with 30 pounds of sand in it and don't feel it is very heavy. On the other hand one of the neighbor kids walks up and down our hills carrying 50 pounds of sand in his day pack and says he plans on adding more. Met lot of small women on the Camino carrying heavy packs with no complaints--love those BIG stuffed animals tied to outside of their packs. And look at those huge packs being carried by hikers who plan on traveling the rest of Europe after the Camino.

But the people having the most fun on the Camino were the ones with their packs in vans while they walked in small groups, drinking wine and singing as loud as they could.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (2020)
I am sure that there will be research into what is a heavy load, largely done I suspect by various armed forces. Certainly some of the older US Army research appears in the public domain. Perhaps more relevant is the advice in the US trekking classic, The Complete Plain Walker IV, which is that a load of 20% FSO can be carried comfortably, whereas a load of 30% FSO is the practical limit for trekking. I know that for me, the 20% FSO can be achieved with a pack weight around 12.5% of my ideal walking body weight, about 25% more than the 10% often quoted on this forum, but never traced to a reputable source. Suffice to say that travelling with a lighter load will allow you to walk faster and further - less is always better once you have the basics sorted out.
 

Diefenbaker

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2010 SJPdP to Finesterre
SJPdP or Hendaye Via Camino Vasco and CF to SdC 2016
Paris to SDC 2018
I wore a military webbing belt around my waist with a pouch for the water bottle on one side of me and another slightly larger pouch for my poncho and snacks on the other side. This took some of the weight off my shoulders and made getting to my food and water a lot easier than trying to reach the sides of my backpack whilst I was wearing it if I wanted a drink or some chocolate as I walked. If your water is awkward to reach you may find you'll start to think you'll wait until the next convenient place to stop and then become dehydrated. Mind you, depending when in the year you walk you can just tilt your head back and open your mouth, the rain will soon quench your thirst.
Enjoy your planning, it's nearly as much fun as doing the actual camino. I've already started and I've still got 20 months to go.
 
My advise is to leave behind as much as possible. It does make a difference at the end of the day.
Why risk injury because some luxury items ?
Just buy yourself an awesome expensive meal from time to time and that's all you will need
 

WalkMWalk

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2014 - God willing
We did a full dress rehearsal for the first time yesterday. Fully loaded packs with water and food (about 18 pounds) for a 7 mile hike at a nature area here in South Texas. The hike included steep inclines and declines on rocks! We know the Camino Frances will not have this kind of terrain but we enjoy being mountain goats on occasion. My friend and I are both carrying the Osprey Aura 50L. We tried many packs and were fitted by the nice people at REI. The packs felt very heavy lifting them out of the car but once we had them on and correctly tightened down, the weight was not noticeable. The only time I remembered it was on my back was climbing a steep incline from rock to rock and then only because of the shift in my hips. So my advice ~ take the time and spend the money to get the right pack for your body. After yesterday I am not stressing over a 10% rule, a few extra ounces or kilos!

Buen Camino!
 

obinjatoo@yahoo.com

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012 Dieppe, FR Bici CF.
2014 Ruta Vasco/CF/Primativo
Suggest you do a couple of day walks carrying the pack as it is and covering the kind of distances you are aiming for. If you can manage - you are fine. And it will get easier as you get stronger.
Did you walk with that ukulele in your photo? I'm bringing mine. It's so much lighter than a guitar....
 

JP

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014 & 2017
Camino Portuguese 2016
Camino Del Norte 2019.
Large pack is a mistake I would not repeat! If possible keep it at 8 Kilos maximun.
 

Denisealldridge

Camino Frances 2014- 2015 Camino Portuguese 2017
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014 first half
2015 Camino Frances Completed -
Camino Portuguese 2017.
I leave on the 4th September , I weighed my pack today and it weighs 13 pounds .. I thought that was too much , but after reading I think I am doing well .. Though I have decided to take only my liner and leave my sleeping bag at home.. So I did not weight that .. But it only weighs 2lbs. So stressful.
 

xin loi

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked May 14, 2014 from St Jean France

starting to walk again August 25, 2016 --SJPDP to Finisterre
Don't get paranoid about weight! In May & June we had the privilege of walking with two young women carrying heavy packs AND babies less than 6 months old. Met lot of women carrying more than 12 kilos. You can always put your pack on a taxi like a lot of the light weight packers do.
 

Sheesh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2009, 2013);
? (2020)
There are so many factors that will influence how well someone carries a load: their age, their health, their body weight, their fitness level, their nutrition, what they ate or drank the night before, how they slept, the fellow walker they feel they must keep up with, the weather, the terrain conditions, their mental state...

The less weight you carry the more likely you will be able to put one foot in front of another in front of another in front of another.

Anyone who gives you a flippant reply verging on ‘oh piffle don’t be so stupid as to worry about weight, in fact carry more’ is not your friend.

If you can’t get your pack weight down and it does prove to threaten your ability to continue on the Camino, be prepared to jettison items along the way or ship them home (as I did in 2009 in Estella).
 

Magnara

Maggie Ramsay
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago de Compostela (2005) Via Francigena (2010) Le Puy to St Jean (2014)
As a newbie to the idea of walking, let alone the actual commitment I have made to walking the Camino next year, I have just about bought all the gear I think I need and compiled a spreadsheet which tells me that total weight is 7.75 kilos so it will end up at 8 kilos. Once I add in 2.5 kilos for water/food this brings up weight to 10.5 kilos. I currently weigh 86 kilos so I am at 12% backpack weight. Don't want to obsess at the 10% rule. So question is am I good to go at 12%?
You can always give some things away or post some on as you go - the post offices along the way actually sell what are called Pilgrim Boxes, and you send what you discover is superfluous to your needs on to Santiago and pick it up there. It's amazing what you learn about your real needs when you are actually carrying it all on your back. The camino is a great adventure, you can sort this out as you go along.
Maggie Ramsay
(The Italian Camino - Amazon)
 

tploomis

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept. to Nov., 2013
I expect that opinions about pack weight follow a normal distribution bell-shaped curve.
 

pdxjxm

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
August-Sept. 2014
Probably depends somewhat on the time of year that you go too.
 

obinjatoo@yahoo.com

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012 Dieppe, FR Bici CF.
2014 Ruta Vasco/CF/Primativo
Probably depends somewhat on the time of year that you go too.
True dat. Cooler seasons require more clothing. I was a little chilly in late October. I always carry a very light down hoody. Doubles as a pillow and can be very comforting after a hard days walk. My pack is currently at 9 K with water and full camping kit. But that's me. I'm shaving more off all the time. But the camping kit stays. That's without a cook set up. If I have to I can build an alcohol stove from a beer or soda can. Lord knows there are plenty of those along the way.
 

Mr.Bill

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Live in Spain
As a newbie to the idea of walking, let alone the actual commitment I have made to walking the Camino next year, I have just about bought all the gear I think I need and compiled a spreadsheet which tells me that total weight is 7.75 kilos so it will end up at 8 kilos. Once I add in 2.5 kilos for water/food this brings up weight to 10.5 kilos. I currently weigh 86 kilos so I am at 12% backpack weight. Don't want to obsess at the 10% rule. So question is am I good to go at 12%?
I started preparing for the walk in May 2014-always with the pack I believe has all items I will actually carry on the camino. I have narrowed down, added, cut back and refined items until I am pretty close to where I want/need to be. I have no idea what it weighs and could care less..I can walk 20 kilometers with it no problem. My advice is simply pack up and take off...when you figure out what it takes, that will be the correct weight.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (2020)
I started preparing for the walk in May 2014-always with the pack I believe has all items I will actually carry on the camino. I have narrowed down, added, cut back and refined items until I am pretty close to where I want/need to be. I have no idea what it weighs and could care less..I can walk 20 kilometers with it no problem. My advice is simply pack up and take off...when you figure out what it takes, that will be the correct weight.
@Mr.Bill, this is an interesting approach, and might well work for you. That said, I think that many new forum members are seeking more definitive advice than you have provided here, whether it is as an indicative packing list or a weight target.

Why? They are going to undertake what for many will be something quite unusual - not everyone walks 100km regularly, let alone the 800km or more that long distance pilgrims attempt. They will be doing it in an foreign country, where they are unfamiliar with everything from the climate to local customs. And they want to start their camino with the best chance of success that they can muster. There may be many more good reasons to seek good advice on pack weight as well as many other aspects of preparation. This forum provides a place they can get that.
 
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Mr.Bill

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Live in Spain
@Mr.Bill, this is an interesting approach, and might well work for you. That said, I think that many new forum members are seeking more definitive advice than you have provided here, whether it is as an indicative packing list or a weight target.

Why? They are going to undertake what for many will be something quite unusual - not everyone walks 100km regularly, let alone the 800km or more that long distance pilgrims attempt. They will be doing it in an foreign country, where they are unfamiliar with everything from the climate to local customs. And they want to start their camino with the best chance of success that they can muster. There may be many more good reasons to seek good advice on pack weight as well as many other aspects of preparation. This forum provides a place they can get that.
I agree that a specific list would be great if that was possible, but you did not apply the (duh) factor. My toothpaste is probably 60 militootoos less than yours, and my shirt, (that thing I'm considering for covering my pectorals) might be wool instead of silk. Each persons' specific capabilities and tastes differ considerably from others. I am simply saying this: know your capabilities through actual practice and trial runs. Don't wait until the day before you leave to start thinking about (what should I bring?).
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (2020)
@Mr.Bill, I am now really confused about your point. In your first post you suggest 'simply pack up and take off...when you figure out what it takes, that will be the correct weight' and in your next you suggest 'know your capabilities through actual practice and trial runs'. If the latter is the point you were originally trying to make, I am sorry to have misunderstood that, because I agree that knowing both one's personal capabilities and that of one's gear is a good foundation for any endeavour like the camino.

It doesn't address my concern that when forum members seek advice, they are seeking something definitive, whether it is where might be the best place to start, food issues or bed bugs. Pack weight just happens to be one of the many different concerns people have. The fact that your gear might weigh a little more or less is neither a surprise nor all that relevant. What is more relevant is that they are carrying the right gear to safely complete their camino without overloading themselves for the conditions, how best to avoid bed bugs or how to get to Roncesvalles, SJPP, Ferrol or any of the other places they might want to start from.
 

MichaelSG

Retired member
Camino(s) past & future
Not enough
I think I get what Bill is saying. Try packing what you think you want to take and do some trial walks. Subtract things if you think you would be more comfortable, keeping in mind what you have learned are your priority items. When you are comfortable with both carrying the weight and what is in the pack, that is what you take, no matter the weight. I sort of figured it out that way for myself and ended up carrying about 14kg including food and water. I was quite happy with it. Carrying more would mean I'd have physical problems. Carrying less would mean that I would have had to do without something that I really wanted with me. If I followed strict advice from people on the forum, I would have not been as happy with what I carried as I was.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (2020)
I think I get what Bill is saying. Try packing what you think you want to take and do some trial walks. Subtract things if you think you would be more comfortable, keeping in mind what you have learned are your priority items. When you are comfortable with both carrying the weight and what is in the pack, that is what you take, no matter the weight. I sort of figured it out that way for myself and ended up carrying about 14kg including food and water. I was quite happy with it. Carrying more would mean I'd have physical problems. Carrying less would mean that I would have had to do without something that I really wanted with me. If I followed strict advice from people on the forum, I would have not been as happy with what I carried as I was.
I would still be concerned about this advice. I walked last weekend with about 18 kg, and that was comfortable too. It was for an overnight camp, so there was a tent, cooking equipment, water collection and purification, and two days food in my pack. I was much slower than I would expect to be with my lighter camino pack - averaging around 3 km/hr overall. I need to be stopping at every bar on the camino to be getting my overall average speed that low. I walked St Olavs Way in Norway with a similarly heavy pack. Much more food needed and I carried more warm clothing than I would have for walking in Spain in summer. The effect on my walking speed was very similar. Just because those loads were comfortable in the right pack, doesn't make them right for walking the camino.

While those of us who participate regularly in pack weight discussions might have different views about how to express weight targets, eg I advocate using a from the skin out (FSO) measure rather than just pack weight, there is pretty universal agreement that keeping one's pack weight down is one of the best measures one can take in preparation for the camino. In my view, that involves not only testing the gear, but weighing it as well. It may not be a problem to miss a weight target by a little. Clearly it is if you miss it by a lot, and the extra weight becomes an impossible burden.
 

november_moon

Veteran Member
Water weight based on 2 litres. Sure that will vary on each days planned length of walk.
That's probably more water than you need to carry. There will be places to top off on your way, so you don't need to carry an entire day's worth of water with you. I started off carrying more water, but after a while of realizing that my bottles never got more than half empty. I started filling them half way to save a little weight. It really did make a difference.
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Levante-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
England Camino routes ?2024
Probably depends somewhat on the time of year that you go too.
Absolutely! Summer - you probably carry less in clothes but more in water. The route is important too. I did the VDLP and some stages require you to carry all of your food and water for the day with no towns inbetween. In a Spanish heatwave that meant carrying 3 litres minimum to be on the safe side.

That's probably more water than you need to carry. There will be places to top off on your way, so you don't need to carry an entire day's worth of water with you. I started off carrying more water, but after a while of realizing that my bottles never got more than half empty. I started filling them half way to save a little weight. It really did make a difference.
It all depends where you are. In Galicia I could get away with carrying about 1 litre at a time in fluids because there are plenty of towns and fuentes. Extremadura can be quite different. Hence the 3+ litres. If it is too heavy, you drink the excess sooner.
It is really unpleasant to reach the end of your water. It was about 35 deg C that day. We got to Caparra to find that the vending machines were INSIDE the building, the visitor centre had closed 10 minutes early and my friend had completely used up his water and I had 200 ml left. The nearest accommodation was 6 km away. Which is why we called the Hostal Asturias who do pickups and stayed there.
So you have to have a fair idea of what you are likely to come across as far as topping up goes.
 

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    Votes: 54 4.3%
  • April

    Votes: 188 15.1%
  • May

    Votes: 310 24.9%
  • June

    Votes: 89 7.2%
  • July

    Votes: 23 1.9%
  • August

    Votes: 27 2.2%
  • September

    Votes: 353 28.4%
  • October

    Votes: 150 12.1%
  • November

    Votes: 17 1.4%
  • December

    Votes: 6 0.5%
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