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Less baggage for second camino Frances? (backpack stories please!)

T-Camino

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016
#1
In 2016 me and my partner walked the Camino Frances. As first time pilgrims, we were both worried about how much to take on our journey and took 34l and a 36l osprey packs. Our bags worked well for us at the time. As I lost more garments of clothes I had some space in my bag for wine picked up on each days wonderings (I know, the weight :eek: etc etc but it was always worth it). I took a sleeping bag because I get cold and quite frankly too much other tatt I didn't really need.

As I reflect on my Camino and contemplate my next I've started to wonder if I could, or want to, take a smaller pack. Apart from the fact that I think it will make a world of difference for my feet, less space to store rubbish = less rubbish, right?

I'm turning to my fellow pilgrims to find stories of you, or people you met on the way managing to walk with smaller packs? I'm thinking sub 30l (maybe 24-26l) and for walking the full France-Muxia way? P.s if you have any funny stories of pilgrims taking excess baggage on their Camino I would like to hear those too please! :p

My birthday is coming up and I've been looking into some of the other osprey packs. At the moment the 24 and 26l Sirrus and the 26l hikelight packs have caught my eye

26 Hikelight
https://www.ospreyeurope.com/shop/gb_en/hikelite-26-2018
24 Sirrus
https://www.ospreyeurope.com/shop/gb_en/sirrus-24-17
26 Sirrus
https://www.ospreyeurope.com/shop/gb_en/sirrus-26-17
IMG_1508.JPG
Thank you!
 

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Maybee

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk Camino del Norte in May
#2
Weight rather than size is the important thing. I walked the Le Puy route in September last year with a 45l rucksack which was not full. When packed it weighed 6.5kg including full water bottle. Weighed everything before packing & took the lightest options with the exception of wool socks (my favourites). No sleeping bag, just a liner (silk, very light).
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#3
I would gently suggest that it is not the size of the pack that determines it's load, it is discipline, knowledge, and organization. Knowledge allows for assessing and choosing from a wide source of gear and clothing to pick the lightest weight item that will last yet meet budget constraints. It also helps one decide what is not needed, avoiding packing something out of one's fear of the dreaded "just in case".

Organization helps one to avoid taking items with duplicate functions and to be efficient with packing so that one doesn't waste time either searching for an item or accessing that item. Packing items that one might frequently need in outside pockets, such as rain-gear when the weather is threatening, is one example.

Discipline in choosing what to take and what NOT to take is possibly the biggest factor in determining load. Many believe that a smaller pack can replace discipline in this instance, but that isn't necessarily the case. How many times have we seen fellow pilgrims with bunches of clothing, sleeping gear, or hardware strapped to and dangling from a small pack? Or the pilgrims that are carrying some sort of bag, sometimes in both hands?

My Gorilla Gear Mariposa can be a 60 liter pack with its collar extended, but the main pack body is 40 liters. Compression straps can snug down the empty space of the pack if loaded with small loads. it weighs just under 2 pounds (0.91kg). My base weight (all gear including the Mariposa, without water or food) was 9 pounds (4.1kg).

One of the many functions of this forum is to provide knowledge, to instill a sense of discipline, and to help novice pilgrims gain the tips and insights, from those with experience, to become better organized.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times, but soon again I hope....
#4
You did not make mention as to what time of year you wanted to walk the Camino Frances again. Which months.
I know one thing. If I were to walk it again during the months of July and August, my pack would be no more that 30L in size and weigh no more than 5 kilos with water. I did it before during those months and neither time I needed a sleeping bag or a rain jacket, or even a fleece pullover. It never rained on me, was never cold (even in the mornings) and the days were very hot (35 degrees C). The albergues were very warm and downright stuffy at times. I could not imagine even crawling into a sleeping bag. By the time I reached Santiago I had only one pair of long convertible trousers with me, one pair of shorts, a cap, undershorts, two short sleeve t-shirts and one long sleeve. My backpacking towel, toiletries and flip-flop sandals (binned in Santiago). Everything else I wasn't using I abandoned in albergues. I did buy a cheap synthetic sleep bag liner just to have something to lie on in the bunk, not to keep me warm.
You really do need so little to make the walk.
 

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T-Camino

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016
#6
Hello people. I sussed this weight stuff the first time ;) We definitely worked towards packing lightweight gear (although a few little unnecessary bits). I would like walk from May, which is what we did before. When we went if was a little cold at times (got absolutely frozen and drenched in France and in later soaked in Glacia!). I love the variety of packs and what people feel they need to take on the way. Perhaps walking in the Summer months would make it that much easier to take a smaller pack and pass on the sleeping bag!
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#7
Hello people. I sussed this weight stuff the first time ;) We definitely worked towards packing lightweight gear (although a few little unnecessary bits). I would like walk from May, which is what we did before. When we went if was a little cold at times (got absolutely frozen and drenched in France and in later soaked in Glacia!). I love the variety of packs and what people feel they need to take on the way. Perhaps walking in the Summer months would make it that much easier to take a smaller pack and pass on the sleeping bag!
Hmmm... I guess I misunderstood the context of the post.

The size of the pack is only important if a smaller size is adequate for the load and it is going to save weight. Of course, this is given that whatever pack that is chosen is comfortable and fits well. My pack weight on my thru hikes of the PCT and Colorado Trail was about 22 pounds. That included consumables like 7-10 days of food per re-supply, water, fuel, and clothing to deal with cold and wet conditions. The pack I used for the Colorado Trail thru-hike is the same one I used to carry 9 pounds on the Camino. On the Colorado trail, I used a bit less than 40 Liters of its capacity, on the Camino my load took up maybe a bit more than half the space if I packed sloppy after getting up in the morning :)

I guess I don't fully 'get' the focus on using the smallest pack possible. For day hikes and conditioning hikes, I use a Stratos 24. It weighs more than my Gossamer Gear Mariposa which I used on Camino and multi-day backpacking trips. In fact, for my day and conditioning hikes, I would use the Mariposa if not for the fact that I want to save it from additional wear and tear.

Get the new pack if it works for you and makes you feel good and perform well. :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#8
I own the Osprey Sirrus 36L (the exact one you are wearing in your avatar photo) and love it. I replaced my older Osprey Atmos 25L after two Caminos because it was a pain to deal with. It was too small even though I pack quite minimally. My walking companion had to carry my sleeping bag as I had absolutely no extra room.
 

Ahhhs

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Santiago, May 2015
Porto to Santiago, April 2016
Muxia-Finisterre-Santiago, April 2016
Camino Del Norte, April 2017
#9
I started with an Osprey Kestrel 38L for my first couple of Caminos and then got a Tempest 30L.
I'm very happy with the lighter weight of the smaller pack. The pack itself weighs about a pound and a half less when empty than my previous pack.
There is more than enough room for everything including the small lightweight sleeping bag that I always carry as I prefer to sleep in or on my own bedding.
I make a list of everything I bring on each Camino (admitted gear head here) and then review it when I get home and eliminate anything I didn't really use or could do without.
We all figure it out eventually. ;)
 

J F Gregory

Portugal Coast - March 2019
Camino(s) past & future
March-April,2016 finished
March 2019 the Portugal Coastal Route
#10
We just from a 3 week walk where we used our new Exos 38. Our base weight was 7 lbs. Total with water and snacks was 11 lbs. The larger the pack the more we tend to take. Our 1st Camino our kits weighed 21 pounds in my Kestral 48.
 

Prentiss Riddle

Aprendiz de todo, maestro de nada
Camino(s) past & future
Poco a poco: we're nibbling away at the Francés. (2015, 2016 & 2017)
#11
My wife has been very happy with her Deuter ACT Trail 28 SL. We didn’t carry sleeping bags but she felt like it had more than enough room - maybe a little too much, as she keeps talking about carrying fewer clothes next time.

https://www.rei.com/product/880701/deuter-act-trail-28-sl-pack-womens

(I have the comparable 32L and feel the same. I’m bigger than she is so my clothes are bulkier.)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (Spring '17)
Primitivo (Spring '18)
Portugués / Mozárabe (2019)
#12
My wife and I carried 30L (Quechua) and 35L (North Face) bags respectively on the CF last June and we were happy with that and surprised that most pilgrims we saw had bigger packs, often quite a bit bigger. We had no sleeping bags and no jackets but did bring ponchos (worth it for Galicia!). For clothes, we each had two walking shirts, one pair of walking 'bottoms' (zip-off hiking pants for me, leggings for her), one light hiking fleese and one non-walking shirt/trousers. I had some extra room in my bag but that was nice as we often bought food in the morning and picnicked a lot for lunch when we found a nice spot and/or needed a break.
 

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davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#13
My wife and I carried 30L (Quechua) and 35L (North Face) bags respectively on the CF last June and we were happy with that and surprised that most pilgrims we saw had bigger packs, often quite a bit bigger. .....
I like the Stormbreak, it is a comfortable pack. :) My Gossamer Gear Gorilla Mariposa is one of those "bigger packs" at 40 Liters, but with the collar extended can hold 60 Liters. Still, it weighs 11 ounces less than the 35 liter Stormbreak. As I had mentioned previously, I used about half of its 40 liter volume -- if I just threw things in the bag willy-nilly when I got up in the morning. Despite the size of a pack, the volume doesn't dictate the load, discipline and knowledge do. This same pack carried a 22 pound load during a thru hike of the Colorado trail where 7-10 days of food and fuel had to be included, along with my tent, sleeping quilt and sleeping pad and additional cold weather clothing. On Camino, the Mariposa carried a bit less than 9 pounds, with water and snacks. :)

What I usually find is that many smaller packs, including my Osprey Stratos 24 liter, can typically weigh more than many of the newer generation multi-day sized framed ultralight packs which use the newest and strongest lightweight materials --- unless they are the newer frameless variety. A lot of it has to do with the thicker weight of last generation bag materials, along with a heavier, though smaller metal frames, rather than the newest generation carbon fiber or fiberglass. The support harness and hipbelt materials are also heavier in weight due to heavier older generation materials.

Folks should use whatever backpack suits them, but there is no inherent advantage to using a small vs. a large pack; unless the smaller pack is lighter in weight while being comfortable carrying the required load. ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (Spring '17)
Primitivo (Spring '18)
Portugués / Mozárabe (2019)
#14
Folks should use whatever backpack suits them, but there is no inherent advantage to using a small vs. a large pack; unless the smaller pack is lighter in weight while being comfortable carrying the required load. ;)
I take your point regarding the weight of the packs, but I still see having a smaller bag as an advantage over a larger bag, all else being equal. Firstly, if you're flying to/from the camino with only hand luggage as we did last year, a larger pack might not fit on the plane. Secondly, having 'less pack' stuck to your shirt and generating sweat while walking seems like a good thing. Although maybe carrying a tall pack could serve as a good back-of-the-neck protector from the morning sun! :cool:
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#15
I take your point regarding the weight of the packs, but I still see having a smaller bag as an advantage over a larger bag, all else being equal. Firstly, if you're flying to/from the camino with only hand luggage as we did last year, a larger pack might not fit on the plane. Secondly, having 'less pack' stuck to your shirt and generating sweat while walking seems like a good thing. Although maybe carrying a tall pack could serve as a good back-of-the-neck protector from the morning sun! :cool:
Whether a large capacity backpack can be used as a carry on has more to do with how the bag is designed and constructed rather than a measure of capacity. My Gossamer Gear Mariposa, for example, can hold 60L worth of gear with it's collar extended, 40L in the main bag with the collar collapsed. With its 40 liter configuration it fits the carry-on dimensions for domestic and international flights, and easily fits in the overhead bin. It's smaller than a lot of 'carry on' luggage that I've seen get hauled aboard. :) Another favorite of mine, the ULA Circuit does the same. A large backpack is not necessarily a 'tall' backpack :)

As to the point about pack sweat :), and oh, I hate a soaking back, it is again dependent on design rather than size. The actual amount of contact with the back panel varies greatly, depending on how much back panel the manufacturer uses for support. The Zpacks Arc Hauler and Arc Blast, for example, have much less actual back panel contact area than many 28 to 38 liter backpacks. Technology also makes the contact area of the back panel far less 'sweaty' in some pack models; the use of expanded mesh ventilation in a 'trampoline' panel which keeps the pack bag away from the body means that a large bag with this feature causes less sweating than a small bag without such a feature.

The pack I use now provides no sun protection on my neck, I have to wear a 'flappy' hat for that. ;)
 

Anamiri

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
#16
After my first Camino, I decided to replace my pack, downsize, get a better fit for me, and look for one with more pockets on the front. I only needed to take 6kg.
It took me months, literally two months. Trying different packs on in every outdoor/adventure place. I thought I was never going to find the right one, and was going to have to take my old Osprey again. The shop staff must have thought I was this crazy woman. Anyway I eventually bought a new one, a couple of days before we were due to fly out and was really happy with it.
But I made a massive mistake in not trying all my actual gear in it, and when I came to packing, I couldn't fit in my favourite walking poles. Not at all. No matter how I packed them. They were only about 2 cms too long, but too long is too long. They only needed to fit in for the flight, once in Spain I carried them.
I was so lucky my friend had room in her pack.
Otherwise I would have bought new poles in Spain.
So now I have a comfortable pack that feels good on, but I'm planning another Camino, what to do with my poles, as I'm planning to go alone this time.
I love those poles, they have done 3 Oxfam 100km trailwalks and 2 Caminos, they are super light, and the handles are just right for me.
My friend thinks I should convince my husband to come, and put them in his pack. (My husband not so keen)
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times, but soon again I hope....
#17
To the pilgrims reading this on tighter budgets and not able to afford the various packs being mentioned in this thread, most of which cost at least over 100 euros, don't be put off. Don't be put off by any of the expensive items of Camino kit recommendations on this forum. You don't need an expensive gear kit to walk the Camino. You can easily walk it with an entire gear kit that costs less than just one of the backpacks mentioned in this thread alone. I saw all manner of gear and clothing worn by fellow pilgrims that were in no way the latest and greatest (and most expensive).
 
Camino(s) past & future
Northern Way (2017)
#18
I borrowed a huge pack (65L), and cinched it tight. I wanted to buy a new one, because this was a new adventure - but a freebie that reminded me of my family was too lovely to pass up.

I saw people with super light and tiny tiny packs; people with 65L packs that were filled and overflowing; people with book-bag style backpacks that were held together with string; and a plethora of other variations.

The smaller packs are lighter - but they often don't include as many adjustments, so getting the right fit is arguably more important. The bigger packs are designed to transfer larger loads more efficiently to the centre of gravity. The larger pack I used ended up being brilliant for my body, at the tradeoff of being heavier. I never had stress on my shoulders or back, something I was initially quite concerned about. Because it was only 1/3 full, I could carry it on the plane without issue.
 
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#19
Spring or autumn, sleepingbag or not : Osprey Talon 33. (First Camino Gregory Jade 45 and proven too much space for my needs).
Ample space in the Osprey.
As in life : less is more.
Spanish towns have everything to stock up on necessities.
 

Anamiri

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
#21
any problems with getting walking sticks (collapsing( on plane ?
curry on in osprey 36 or check in ?
I think it depends on the airline. I checked, and was told they wouldn't accept them. But other pilgrims (from different countries travelling on different airlines) did take theirs as carry-on.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Northern Way (2017)
#23
Aaaah no, members! Please, do not get side tracked into the poles-in-cabin-or-not debate again. Please see this thread instead. Scroll to the last post for a complete synopsis of the situation.
Thank you Kanga for keeping us on track ;) rather like herding a large (and ever increasingly larger ) group of pilgrims to a restaurant for dinner at the same time in Arzua...
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times, but soon again I hope....
#24
any problems with getting walking sticks (collapsing( on plane ?
curry on in osprey 36 or check in ?
Sometimes yes, and sometimes no. Unfortunately there's no way to predict how the security screening will deal with it. I have seen people carry them on in backpacks, and other times they had to check them on.
Personally if I had a set I wanted to bring with me on the Camino, I would assume they will not be allowed in my backpack as a carry-on item. I would check them on in a box or tube, or at least be prepared to do that.
I now simply skip that possibility by buying an inexpensive set of trekking poles when I arrive in Spain or France. I find that for me, the inexpensive poles work well.
I hope this answer was some help to you in your question. It was no problem for me to answer it on this thread. Really no need for you to be redirected to another thread. Ask away.
 
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davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#25
I'm with RJM... Be prepared to check your poles if security denies you access to bring them along.
 
Camino(s) past & future
none
#26
Thanks for the suggestions. Easy to Check in and include some other items.
Arriving May 10 Porto,Portgal
Heading to Porto to get euros etc.
any suggestions on location for euros and supplies
as well as a starting point for the northern coastal journey ?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#27
Sometimes yes, and sometimes no. Unfortunately there's no way to predict how the security screening will deal with it. I have seen people carry them on in backpacks, and other times they had to check them on.
Personally if I had a set I wanted to bring with me on the Camino, I would assume they will not be allowed in my backpack as a carry-on item. I would check them on in a box or tube, or at least be prepared to do that.
I now simply skip that possibility by buying an inexpensive set of trekking poles hen I arrive in Spain or France. I find that for me, the inexpensive poles work well.
I hope this answer was some help to you in your question. It was no problem for me to answer it on this thread. Really no need for you to be redirected to another thread. Ask away.
I do as you do and now purchase inexpensive poles upon arrival. Security measures are "up for grabs" depending on who is screening and their mood! I've experienced both!
 

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