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My 3.9kg Packing List (and opinions/thoughts on each item)

0 Euro Camino Bank Note
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2018)
Hello! I walked in 2018. My primary goal while packing for this journey was to minimize pack weight. I was coming off of a multi-month bike-packing trip, and was not in the best ‘walking shape’ (bike fitness does not equal walking fitness as far as joints are concerned!). The biggest advantage I thought I could give myself was a lightweight pack. I spent a lot of time in preparation really thinking of how to reduce my pack weight. I wanted to be as light as possible, but without buying too much new gear (I tried to use as much of my 'already own it' stuff as possible).

The majority of my previous nomadic experiences were bike packing or backpacking; and for all of those adventures I brought a complete wilderness setup. I had to really break out of my established norms when packing for the Camino, as it is fundamentally different than a wilderness camping experience.

In the end, I had a 3.9kg (~8.6lb) pack. This is inclusive of everything I brought (including my phone, wallet, etc. as I kept those in my pack, not my pockets), but not inclusive of the clothes I wore while hiking (I called these ‘walking clothes’ in my pack list), and any food or water. This weight will fluctuate as you carry more or less food or water, or as you wear more or less layers. The point is to get your base weight as low as possible and add things as needed – not to carry ‘everything you might possibly need even for just one day’ right from the start. If I went again, I think I could reduce it even more, but I was happy with how I did, considering this was all new to me!

Complete pack list located here. Including descriptions of why I brought each item, and how I used (or didn't use it!) on the journey. This turned into a website because when I tried to write out my pack list in response to a question on another forum, it got really long, and became a total 'wall of text' that was really hard to navigate. Hopefully this website format (with pictures!) makes it a little easier to navigate/reference/read. Buen Camino!

(also happy to answer any questions people may have!)
(also, I'm from Canada, so most of this stuff is North American sourced/brands).
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
Thank you for sharing your insights and inventory list. I find your gear and clothing inventory to be a useful guide, and the list is reasonable. . . there are no big holes of needed items missing. Very well done :) Of course, individual ideas of what is needed and essential will greatly vary, but we seem to be of like mind in that regard. :)

My gear and closet list for my Caminos is also based around backpacking. In fact, it is the same basic inventory of items that I used thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. . . after tossing out things like food, fuel, cooking mug, tent, air mat, etc.

With my Gossamer Gear Mariposa backpack, base weight is 7.7 pounds. Total pack weight with consumables (water, snacks, gels, etc) of 11.8 pounds.

Preferences and choices always inform ounces :) Some differences in my gear or clothing, from what you chose, saved some ounces for me. For instance, 4 ounces saved by choosing a poncho instead of rain jacket. Or using a hydrophobic down-filled vest for an insulating layer rather than the synthetic-fill jacket you use. Your sleep system is 9 ounces heavier because of the extra socks and pillow, which again are simple differences in preferences. I just use my clothing stuff sack as a pillow. I use only one soap for showering and also for doing laundry.

Let me comment on the Permethrin, even though it adds no weight to a load. If used with the idea of keeping bedbugs at bay so one isn't a blood meal, then using it is not necessary, as Permethrin is not a repellent to bedbugs. It does kill them as an insecticide, though. But most bedbugs will still have plenty of time to get their meal, and then crawl away before dying.

The effect means that Permethrin is a good strategy for killing bedbug hitchhikers, especially by spraying the inside of one's backpack.
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
Impressive....but why inflatable pilows?.. the pen knife will be a problem if flying
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, Madrid (2019) Portuges (2020)
Hello! I walked in 2018. My primary goal while packing for this journey was to minimize pack weight. I was coming off of a multi-month bike-packing trip, and was not in the best ‘walking shape’ (bike fitness does not equal walking fitness as far as joints are concerned!). The biggest advantage I thought I could give myself was a lightweight pack. I spent a lot of time in preparation really thinking of how to reduce my pack weight. I wanted to be as light as possible, but without buying too much new gear (I tried to use as much of my 'already own it' stuff as possible).

The majority of my previous nomadic experiences were bike packing or backpacking; and for all of those adventures I brought a complete wilderness setup. I had to really break out of my established norms when packing for the Camino, as it is fundamentally different than a wilderness camping experience.

In the end, I had a 3.9kg (~8.6lb) pack. This is inclusive of everything I brought (including my phone, wallet, etc. as I kept those in my pack, not my pockets), but not inclusive of the clothes I wore while hiking (I called these ‘walking clothes’ in my pack list), and any food or water. This weight will fluctuate as you carry more or less food or water, or as you wear more or less layers. The point is to get your base weight as low as possible and add things as needed – not to carry ‘everything you might possibly need even for just one day’ right from the start. If I went again, I think I could reduce it even more, but I was happy with how I did, considering this was all new to me!

Complete pack list located here. Including descriptions of why I brought each item, and how I used (or didn't use it!) on the journey. This turned into a website because when I tried to write out my pack list in response to a question on another forum, it got really long, and became a total 'wall of text' that was really hard to navigate. Hopefully this website format (with pictures!) makes it a little easier to navigate/reference/read. Buen Camino!

(also happy to answer any questions people may have!)
(also, I'm from Canada, so most of this stuff is North American sourced/brands).
Excellent post - thank you.

Have a look at the link from your ‘wrist wallet’ I think that may be an error.

Still - a great resource, thanks again.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2018)
Impressive....but why inflatable pilows?.. the pen knife will be a problem if flying
Pillows are really, really not required for most people. I thought I mentioned it in the description - I sleep with like 4 pillows at home. The single pillow provided wasn't necessarily going to be sufficient. I also wasn't 100% sure we'd get a pillow every night (though in the end, I did).
I actually bought the knife in SJPDP (thought I mentioned that as well in the description). I could not fly with a knife so I bought one in town. =)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2018)
Thank you for sharing your insights and inventory list. I find your gear and clothing inventory to be a useful guide, and the list is reasonable. . . there are no big holes of needed items missing. Very well done :) Of course, individual ideas of what is needed and essential will greatly vary, but we seem to be of like mind in that regard. :)

My gear and closet list for my Caminos is also based around backpacking. In fact, it is the same basic inventory of items that I used thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. . . after tossing out things like food, fuel, cooking mug, tent, air mat, etc.

With my Gossamer Gear Mariposa backpack, base weight is 7.7 pounds. Total pack weight with consumables (water, snacks, gels, etc) of 11.8 pounds.

Preferences and choices always inform ounces :) Some differences in my gear or clothing, from what you chose, saved some ounces for me. For instance, 4 ounces saved by choosing a poncho instead of rain jacket. Or using a hydrophobic down-filled vest for an insulating layer rather than the synthetic-fill jacket you use. Your sleep system is 9 ounces heavier because of the extra socks and pillow, which again are simple differences in preferences. I just use my clothing stuff sack as a pillow. I use only one soap for showering and also for doing laundry.

Let me comment on the Permethrin, even though it adds no weight to a load. If used with the idea of keeping bedbugs at bay so one isn't a blood meal, then using it is not necessary, as Permethrin is not a repellent to bedbugs. It does kill them as an insecticide, though. But most bedbugs will still have plenty of time to get their meal, and then crawl away before dying.

The effect means that Permethrin is a good strategy for killing bedbug hitchhikers, especially by spraying the inside of one's backpack.
Thank you for the insight on Permetherin, it is possible I was misinformed of it's use/purpose.

Definitely I am starting to move towards a lot of the suggestions you mention in your thoughts. Thanks for sharing your ideas! (this Camino was last year for me, and was my first real intentional 'going light' excursion where I thought hard about it). At the time I had a priority of not buying new things, so I used my synthetic jacket, and other such clothing items over purchasing newer, lightweight ones. (I'm shopping for a down puffy right now!). I think I mentioned it in my descriptions of the items, but I basically said that I would not bring the sleeping socks again, and that for most people the pillows are wildly unnecessary.

Interesting that you mention the poncho over jacket - I use my jacket as both a rain layer and a warmth/wind layer. I wear it a lot on hikes/trips just 'around camp' (or, in this case, around the Albergues) because it is my 'next logical warm layer' after I've got my puffy on. I didn't find myself to be cold very often on this walk though, so it would be worth considering a lighter 'emergency rain layer' - especially if one were to go in the warmer months (I did use all my layers near the end, in October, out by the coast towards Muxia).

I recently acquired the Mariposa - how funny you mention that! I've got through-hiking on the brain now and I am trimming/refining my gear for next summer....
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2018)
Excellent post - thank you.

Have a look at the link from your ‘wrist wallet’ I think that may be an error.

Still - a great resource, thanks again.
Thanks for letting me know! Makes me wonder where you are located? It works in Canada (and when I'm logged into a US VPN). I wonder what could be causing an error when you click it? I'll have to dig.
Best,
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, Madrid (2019) Portuges (2020)
Thanks for letting me know! Makes me wonder where you are located? It works in Canada (and when I'm logged into a US VPN). I wonder what could be causing an error when you click it? I'll have to dig.
Best,
The text under ‘wrist wallet’ On ‘my camino pack’ refers to your length of cord. It’s duplicated from elsewhere.
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
Interesting that you mention the poncho over jacket - I use my jacket as both a rain layer and a warmth/wind layer.
A lot of folks prefer a rain jacket for that reason as well. No argument from me :) I would like to mention alternative thinking here as my consideration on the issue.

I moved away from rain jackets to a poncho for its ability to allow air movement in addition to the ability for water vapor to more readily escape (that last bit depends a lot on how a poncho is configured and worn). It will also serve as a wind shell if I am at rest.

Even when I carried a rain jacket as a weather shell, I always carried a separate windshell to use to shed wind in non-raining conditions. I would not use the rain jacket for that purpose because If I am moving, the rain jacket inhibits the escape of water vapor far too much for my comfort.

The windshell is very breathable, even though it keeps outside wind movement from penetrating. Mine weighs about 2 ounces, so there is not a huge weight penalty. Plus using a poncho means that my backpack is covered from rain, so that mostly offsets the additional weight of the windshell by eliminating the need for a rain cover for the pack.. Plus, I have a ground sheet to sit on, emergency shelter, sun awning for shade, and a number of other things.

But the biggie for me is that it much easier to put on, and take off a poncho. I do not have to stop and remove my pack to put it on. I keep the poncho in a side pocket that I can reach, and if it starts to rain I can grab it and slip it on. Removal is just as easy.

And when the day is filled with off and on rainy periods, being able to quickly put on the poncho allows me to quickly adapt to the weather. When I used a rain jacket, I would balk at wanting to put it on when it started or stopped raining because of the time spend doing so. I would tend to delay doing either, waiting to see if the rain would stop or start.

Anyway, that is what evolved my choice toward the poncho. :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2018)
A lot of folks prefer a rain jacket for that reason as well. No argument from me :) I would like to mention alternative thinking here as my consideration on the issue.

I moved away from rain jackets to a poncho for its ability to allow air movement in addition to the ability for water vapor to more readily escape (that last bit depends a lot on how a poncho is configured and worn). It will also serve as a wind shell if I am at rest.

Even when I carried a rain jacket as a weather shell, I always carried a separate windshell to use to shed wind in non-raining conditions. I would not use the rain jacket for that purpose because If I am moving, the rain jacket inhibits the escape of water vapor far too much for my comfort.

The windshell is very breathable, even though it keeps outside wind movement from penetrating. Mine weighs about 2 ounces, so there is not a huge weight penalty. Plus using a poncho means that my backpack is covered from rain, so that mostly offsets the additional weight of the windshell by eliminating the need for a rain cover for the pack.. Plus, I have a ground sheet to sit on, emergency shelter, sun awning for shade, and a number of other things.

But the biggie for me is that it much easier to put on, and take off a poncho. I do not have to stop and remove my pack to put it on. I keep the poncho in a side pocket that I can reach, and if it starts to rain I can grab it and slip it on. Removal is just as easy.

And when the day is filled with off and on rainy periods, being able to quickly put on the poncho allows me to quickly adapt to the weather. When I used a rain jacket, I would balk at wanting to put it on when it started or stopped raining because of the time spend doing so. I would tend to delay doing either, waiting to see if the rain would stop or start.

Anyway, that is what evolved my choice toward the poncho. :)
You have clearly thought a lot about this! I love how people's thoughts on gear and packing evolves with different experiences =) I was researching minimal/ultralight rain coats (for thru-hiking) but will now be considering a poncho for the reasons you mention. I can heavily relate to the 'don't want to bother putting it on or taking it off' in intermittent weather!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis SJPP April 2016,
August 2017, May 2018
Camino Portuguese
2019, May Porto, Sept Lisbo
I loved your comprehensive and well thought out list. I like my two sports bras as I can slip a credit card in through the side holes.
I bring walking shoes, thongs and sandles in case of sore feet and a swop day is needed. I like the blow up pillow idea. Everyones' list has to have the little luxury item . I bring a soft scarf for my pillow which weighs nothing.
Just got my Lisboa cathedral stamp for tomorrow's 2nd attempt this year at the Lisbon/Portuguese camino. This will be my 6th Caminho.....guess I'm also addicted.
Love
 

Portia1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2009, Portuguese 2012
Frances 2016, (Frances 2019)
I'm always fascinated as to why people take carabiners with them.
A place to attach a trash bag when I am collecting pilgrim debris along the way. Can also be where I put wet, muddy sandals to dry.
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
I'm always fascinated as to why people take carabiners with them.
I take a couple, and always find them useful. For example...
  • Attach my cross body phone/valuables pouch to my pack straps to lift the weight from my neck and also to keep the pouch from bouncing while I walk.
  • Attach my hat/visor when I want to remove it (I sewed a loop on it for this purpose)
  • Hook my money pouch inside the waist of my pants, so it is removable (again I sewed a loop in my pants). When I remove it for some reason, I then hook it on the strap of my cross body pouch, which does not leave my body except in the shower.
 

Bodi

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Najera Sept. 2017; Najera to Astorga Oct. 2018; SJPP to Pamplona May 2019
Thank you for posting such a thoroughly researched packing list, @spreadsheetdirtbags. This is going to be my new Camino go to packing list.
 

Old Kiwi

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Last walked St Francis "2016"
Walking St Francis again "2019"
While walking the CSF in June-July this year my pack and contents weighed 6kg including water. The pack, which is very old started coming apart after Burgos. When I got to Leon it was unusable, so I sent it with some of my gear, on to Santiago. I bought a cheap day pack and took only the following with me to all the way to Fisterra.
1 pair shorts,
1 tee shirt,
1 long sleeve tee shirt,
1 light non lined nylon jacket,
2 pairs underpants,
1 pair Icebreaker marino socks,
1 very light thin plastic poncho,
1 small kitchen knife,
1 silk sleeping bag liner,
12 safety pins for hanging up laundry (Better than pegs),
A few band-aids,
1 pair light sandals
1 toothbrush,
1 cake of soap,
1 small microfibre towel,
1 very small torch,
1 very small toilet roll.
1 330mm soft drink bottle as a water bottle.

I wore shorts and tee shirt, underpants, socks and boots and a sun hat.

That was everything, no phone or electronic stuff, in fact nothing else was necessary.

I do not know what this weighed as I had no means of doing so, but I do know that it was a lot better than my original pack and made walking a lot better and more comfortable. It made 35k days a reasonable walk.
I will probably take pretty much the same next time but I would get a better fitting pack.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2018)
A place to attach a trash bag when I am collecting pilgrim debris along the way. Can also be where I put wet, muddy sandals to dry.
I used them for both of these reasons! I also used one to clip my hat to the strap of my backpack if I wanted to take a break from wearing it for a bit and let my head breathe. They are lightweight plastic carabiners as well (not rated for climbing). If you had a different style of pack along, you may not need them. My pack was 'single compartment' so muddy sandals would have made a mess if I could not clip them to the outside. My backpacking pack I have not has a mesh pocket and a few side pouches so things like that, so I wouldn't bring carabiners in that case.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2018)
Thank you for posting such a thoroughly researched packing list, @spreadsheetdirtbags. This is going to be my new Camino go to packing list.
Glad to hear it! As I was reviewing it to put it together I was realizing where I could have trimmed even more - but that came from the experience of doing it (no way I could have known everything before going!) I plan to write a page or post that specifically lists 'things from my list that I would not bring if I went again' as right now that info is in there if you read all the descriptions, but is not 'quickly available' on a second read through.
 

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