• Remove ads on the forum by becoming a donating member. More here.

Search 69,459 Camino Questions

My first Camino gear list

CamisMors

Camilla
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés - September/2023
I'm sure there's a ton of similar posts, but I'd really appreciate any insights of more experienced pilgrims. I'm doing Camino Frances from SJPP for the first time starting September 1st (it's just 3 days away from now! I'm equal amounts excited and terrified).
  • Backpack: 50L Forclaz Travel 100: I actually regret buying this. It was the first item I bought for my Camino before doing a proper research, it’s too big, weighs 1,5kg, and it's half empty now. I would've been just fine with a smaller one. But, it is what I have now, and I can’t afford another one.

  • Shoes: Columbia Plateau waterproof hiking trainers (I bought it at an outlet for a great value and I’m in love with them, I've been wearing them around and they’re super comfortable)

  • Clothing:
1 pair of leggings and 1 cotton t-shirt (this is what I'll be wearing when I leave so I'm not counting it for the total weight)
1 pair of lightweight hiking pants
2 lightweight hiking shorts
1 lightweight hiking t-shirt
1 tank top
1 long sleeve thermal t-shirt
1 jumper (the lightest one I had in my wardrobe)
1 lightweight rain jacket
3 pairs of anti blister socks (wear 1, pack 2)
4 pairs of underwear (wear 1, pack 3)
2 sports bra (wear 1, pack 1)
1 lightweight hiking hat
Sunglasses
Flip flops
Sleeping bag liner
1 small fleece blanket
Microfiber towel

  • Toiletries: This was the hardest part for me, I don't care that much about the clothing, but I'm a girly girl and I like to smell good, so leaving behind all the things I love was difficult: perfume, the skincare products, the 18 different creams for each body part... But, I think I got a little bit of everything I like to use.
Sunscreen
Solid shampoo bar
Conditioner - Travel size
Shower gel - travel size
Moisturiser - travel size
Toothpaste - travel size
Toothbrush
Floss (out of the container, already cut and stored in a tiny plastic bag)
Small comb
Couple of hair ties
Roll on deodorant
Nail clippers
Nail file
Earplugs
Blister plasters
Vaseline - travel size
Small roll of surgical tape
Small bunch of cotton pads and swabs
2 packs of paper tissues (pocket size)
Feminine hygiene products
Electrolyte tablets
Paracetamol
Bottle of vitamins I take regularly
Small bottle with some laundry detergent


Other items:

Walking poles
Water bladder (empty)
Backpack rain cover
Safety pins
S hook
Set of bamboo knife, fork and spoon
Couple of Ziplock bags and trash bags
Tote bag
Phone
Phone charger
Powerbank
Headphones
Passport and cards (bank, health insurance and etc)
Couple of Polaroid pictures of my husband and the cats :)

Total weight: 5.8 kg, which gives me 11.6% of my bodyweight! It doesn't feel too heavy the way it is now and I feel like I'm prepared to both cold and hot weather. It's been hard to think about what I'll need for cold weather because it's currently really hot where I live, but I already know it's going to be cold and rainy when I arrive at SJPP. The only thing I'd like to carry a few more would be a couple of t-shirts, but I guess I can always buy one If feel like I need it and can pull the extra weight, specially considering I have a lot of empty space in my backpack now.
Any comments or ideas? Thanks in advance!
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
The only things that jump out at me are 2 pairs of shorts and a pair of pants. You can only wear one at a time, so leave one pair of shorts behind. You can use the shampoo bar to wash your body, so you don't need the shower gel. There's no reason to have three extra pairs of underwear. Three pairs total are enough.

Backpack: 50L Forclaz Travel 100: I actually regret buying this. It was the first item I bought for my Camino before doing a proper research, it’s too big, weighs 1,5kg, and it's half empty now. I would've been just fine with a smaller one. But, it is what I have now, and I can’t afford another one
Can you still return it to Decathlon and exchange it for a smaller, lighter backpack?
 
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

€46,-
Hi Camilla - I see you are in Madrid? How lovely to have the Camino in your home country!!

Hey - really nice list! Looks like you are used to travelling.

You shouldn't need two pairs of shorts as you have a pair of longs as well, so you could drop one pair.

Re the underwear ... I am not female so this might be a blokey thing but I only take two - one on, one packed. and if the washed one hasn't dried I just pin it to my pack.

I am intrigued by the small fleece blanket - I quite like that .. is big enough to keep you warm should it get cold? - If it does get cold in the mornings socks make great mitts!

Re the earplugs - do take more than one pair as is so easy to lose one of them.
Safety pins - pop into the baby section of your supermarket and buy some nappy pins (diaper pins) as they lock, which is much better.

If you look through the forum there is a lot of stuff about bladders over bottles - my preference is two 750ml bottles from a shop, balanced either side. This means you can stop, shuck off the pack, take a drink, look around, take your shoes off and wiggle your toes, share it, water some dry plants, pour water over your head when hot .. pour some into a dog's mouth, etc, etc whereas with a bladder it can easily become a habit not to stop but guzzle as you go - were it me I would ditch the bladder - but this is personal preference.

Can't do this with a bladder (though to be fair, not many koalas on the Camino)

R.jpeg

You may want to add a needle and some strong thread - takes up little room but if a seam or button goes?

Re poles ... do you use poles walking around at home? There is a lot to be said for one pole to stabilise on ascents and descents - tripod being better than biped in those places ... but two poles? (You can see that I am not in the useless two-poles camp!).

Last thing - I get your rucksack situation, have been there myself - (my first Camino pack weighed 2kilos!!!) - but better half empty than overfull. Decathlon packs tend to be heavier than many other brands ... you have a few days .... any friends with an Osprey Talon 33 in their wardrobe? If not? Take your pack and enjoy - is a good pack!

Oh my - Sept 1st???? Fantastic!! Enjoy!!!!

By the way - "excited and terrified" is normal. Front chattering brain desires safe and normal tomorrows so it gets scared and throws up all the fear based "but what ifs", it can even throw up the "why am I even doing this?" - ignore all that - everyone is nervous on day one ... day three? all is well.
 
Last edited:
I'm sure there's a ton of similar posts, but I'd really appreciate any insights of more experienced pilgrims. I'm doing Camino Frances from SJPP for the first time starting September 1st (it's just 3 days away from now! I'm equal amounts excited and terrified).
  • Backpack: 50L Forclaz Travel 100: I actually regret buying this. It was the first item I bought for my Camino before doing a proper research, it’s too big, weighs 1,5kg, and it's half empty now. I would've been just fine with a smaller one. But, it is what I have now, and I can’t afford another one.

  • Shoes: Columbia Plateau waterproof hiking trainers (I bought it at an outlet for a great value and I’m in love with them, I've been wearing them around and they’re super comfortable)

  • Clothing:
1 pair of leggings and 1 cotton t-shirt (this is what I'll be wearing when I leave so I'm not counting it for the total weight)
1 pair of lightweight hiking pants
2 lightweight hiking shorts
1 lightweight hiking t-shirt
1 tank top
1 long sleeve thermal t-shirt
1 jumper (the lightest one I had in my wardrobe)
1 lightweight rain jacket
3 pairs of anti blister socks (wear 1, pack 2)
4 pairs of underwear (wear 1, pack 3)
2 sports bra (wear 1, pack 1)
1 lightweight hiking hat
Sunglasses
Flip flops
Sleeping bag liner
1 small fleece blanket
Microfiber towel

  • Toiletries: This was the hardest part for me, I don't care that much about the clothing, but I'm a girly girl and I like to smell good, so leaving behind all the things I love was difficult: perfume, the skincare products, the 18 different creams for each body part... But, I think I got a little bit of everything I like to use.
Sunscreen
Solid shampoo bar
Conditioner - Travel size
Shower gel - travel size
Moisturiser - travel size
Toothpaste - travel size
Toothbrush
Floss (out of the container, already cut and stored in a tiny plastic bag)
Small comb
Couple of hair ties
Roll on deodorant
Nail clippers
Nail file
Earplugs
Blister plasters
Vaseline - travel size
Small roll of surgical tape
Small bunch of cotton pads and swabs
2 packs of paper tissues (pocket size)
Feminine hygiene products
Electrolyte tablets
Paracetamol
Bottle of vitamins I take regularly
Small bottle with some laundry detergent


Other items:

Walking poles
Water bladder (empty)
Backpack rain cover
Safety pins
S hook
Set of bamboo knife, fork and spoon
Couple of Ziplock bags and trash bags
Tote bag
Phone
Phone charger
Powerbank
Headphones
Passport and cards (bank, health insurance and etc)
Couple of Polaroid pictures of my husband and the cats :)

Total weight: 5.8 kg, which gives me 11.6% of my bodyweight! It doesn't feel too heavy the way it is now and I feel like I'm prepared to both cold and hot weather. It's been hard to think about what I'll need for cold weather because it's currently really hot where I live, but I already know it's going to be cold and rainy when I arrive at SJPP. The only thing I'd like to carry a few more would be a couple of t-shirts, but I guess I can always buy one If feel like I need it and can pull the extra weight, specially considering I have a lot of empty space in my backpack now.
Any comments or ideas? Thanks in advance!
Welcome Camilla! You’ve got all the basics youll need and maybe a bit more on the clothing side. Everyone here will nit pick according to their personal preferences (I don’t think you’ll need /use the bamboo knife/fork/spoon - Spain has cutlery), but at the end of the day, you’ll make your own choices and find the best combination of weight and comfort Don’t pay attention to the “10% of body weight” guideline….it‘s not applicable for everyone. It’s misleading for lighter weight, and bad advice for over-weight pilgrims (a 50K person would only be allowed 5K of gear?! They have to bring the same gear as an 85K person!). Your pack is a little over-kill, but if that’s all you can use for now, then you’ll have to make it work. If you stay in the albergues, youll occasionally have the opportunity to scrounge through left-behind gear and MAY find a smaller pack. But before trading out yours, be sure to take it on a couple of trials…ship your current pack forward (so you don’t lose it) and walk a couple of days with the new pack. The key to successful gear: Test it before you take it.

The singularly most important piece of equipment are your shoes. You mentioned some trainers you’ve been “wearing them around”, but you’ve not talked about training in your walking shoes, with full pack, outside, on varied terrain, for some reasonable distances (10-20K). If you’re not physically prepared, and wearing foot gear that is broken-in, you’re not giving yourself the full opportunity for a successful Camino experience. Since you've not addressed this, I assume you’re physically prepared for a 1.5 month, ~800K walk up & over some tall hills/mountains, and long stretches of hot, dry trail. Contrary to some popular beliefs, the Camino is NOT a cakewalk for the unprepared. It’s an intense, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually challenging life changing adventure…but only if you give yourself the opportunity to fully experience it.

I’m always envious of pilgrims preparing for their fist Camino, as it was not so long ago that I experienced mine. I wish you all the wonderful enlightenments the Camino can offer.

Buen Camino!
 
We all have different needs, but since you asked for advice -

a) backpack

Sounds alright to me. I used a 70l Decathlon one (one of the cheaper models) for years, and was very happy with it. The weight of the pack is not as important as the fit. So if it feels good, no need for a different one. Should you ever walk in off-season, you'll be happy to have a pack that has more room for warm clothing and a warmer sleeping bag.

b) shoes

If they feel good, they're good. It's not high alpine hiking so no special foot wear required, unless you walk in a season with a possibility of snow falling.

c)

Underwear: one on person, one in the pack. Three max. Four is not needed. Most pilgrims have a set of two. But:

Your overall packweight is very good. Don't worry too much. You'll be fine!

Buen Camino!
 
Very light, comfortable and compressible poncho. Specially designed for protection against water for any activity.

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

€60,-
Thank you all for the shared knowledge. You have no idea how much I appreciate this forum, It's been invaluable to me while planning for the Camino. I was part of the Scouts movement for many years of my life, so I'm not a total newbie in terms of camping gear and hikes - of course, it's been a while now and not comparable to walking 800km, but I believe it won't be that much of a shock to me. My plan is to start slowly - I have reservations for the first days until Pamplona, so I can take as much time as I need to get to the albergues.
I did remove the extra pair of shorts and the extra underwear as it seemed to be the general consensus, and added thread and needle. I guess every gram counts. Luckily, I live in Spain, so shipping a box back home will be easy if the need arises. Muchas gracias for the suggestions!

Can you still return it to Decathlon and exchange it for a smaller, lighter backpack?
Unfortunately I did try to do that, but I seem to have lost the receipt - sigh. I called the store and they won't take it without one.

Can't do this with a bladder (though to be fair, not many koalas on the Camino)
This is adorable! I thought the water bladder would help me drink more water, I have a tendency to forget to hydrate. About the poles - I never used walking poles before! I thought they were inexpensive so I just bought a pair, and in fact I felt very clumsy trying to use them so far. Maybe I'll donate it or mail one of them back home at some point, I'll have to try and see how it goes.

The singularly most important piece of equipment are your shoes. You mentioned some trainers you’ve been “wearing them around”, but you’ve not talked about training in your walking shoes, with full pack, outside, on varied terrain, for some reasonable distances (10-20K). If you’re not physically prepared, and wearing foot gear that is broken-in, you’re not giving yourself the full opportunity for a successful Camino experience.
I'm reasonably fit - I hope. I do walk every day but I haven't exactly trained for this, I wore the shoes for work for the last 2 months and I think they're sufficiently broken-in (I'm a sports/event photographer, so part of my work is basically staying on my feet all day, moving a lot and carrying a backpack of similar weight, if not heavier, with my lenses and cameras). I'm aware the first week will be really difficult, I'll have to start walking to know for sure.

I used a 70l Decathlon one (one of the cheaper models) for years, and was very happy with it. The weight of the pack is not as important as the fit. So if it feels good, no need for a different one. Should you ever walk in off-season, you'll be happy to have a pack that has more room for warm clothing and a warmer sleeping bag.
I picked a backpack thinking of the ones I had in the past when I used to go camping often. Then only weeks later it occurred to me I wouldn't need to carry 80% of the stuff you need for camping... I guess I'll have to start planning a winter Camino now. :)
 
I thought the water bladder would help me drink more water, I have a tendency to forget to hydrate
I prefer a water bladder for ease of use. It's much easier for me to sip from the tube than to wrestle a water bottle out of the side pocket of my pack, but everyone has their own preference.
About the poles - I never used walking poles before! I thought they were inexpensive so I just bought a pair, and in fact I felt very clumsy trying to use them so far.
I also felt clumsy when I first used poles, but now I wouldn't walk a Camino without them. They are very helpful for many things, like alleviating stress on your knees, stopping potential falls, keeping your fingers from swelling, and keeping your arms toned. I would give them a try for a few days, and if you truly think that they aren't helpful you can leave them on a dontativo table at an albergue. And remember, that they are more useful in your hands than strapped to your pack adding to its weight.

When you want to stop to take a picture you can use the straps to keep them looped around your wrists and let them dangle while you take a picture.
 
"It's much easier for me to sip from the tube than to wrestle a water bottle out of the side pocket of my pack, but everyone has their own preference."

and that is exactly the point .. if one is single-mindedly walking, sucking at a tube as they go? Sure, they should use a bladder for "ease of use"
but if they are instead strolling through a new landscape, unhurried, relaxed, responding to all around them and they stop to take regular breaks? Drop the rucksack, take off shoes and socks, stretch, sit on a rock or similar, wriggle toes, be amazed at where they are and how far they have come, smile and say Buen Camino to other pilgrims as they pass whilst drinking from their bottle? ... each to their own.

I know which I prefer .... and you never know, I may just meet a thirsty Koala! ;)
 
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

€46,-
and that is exactly the point .. if one is single-mindedly walking, sucking at a tube as they go? Sure, they should use a bladder for "ease of use"
but if they are instead strolling through a new landscape, unhurried, relaxed, responding to all around them and they stop to take regular breaks? Drop the rucksack, take off shoes and socks, stretch, sit on a rock or similar, wriggle toes, be amazed at where they are and how far they have come, smile and say Buen Camino to other pilgrims as they pass whilst drinking from their bottle? ... each to their own.
Using a water bladder doesn't stop me from doing any of those things. Why would it?
 
The good thing about a bigger backpack is that you don't need to play Tetris when packing. Saves time and nerves.

Also, should you realize while walking that you need an additional layer of warm clothing, a warmer sleeping bag, another pair of shoes, ect., or need/want to carry more food/water during the day, you'll still have enough room.

While in this forum you'll often read that a 20/30 l bag is enough, on the Camino you'll probably see *many* pilgrims with much larger backpacks than that (and happy with it).

For camping, a 50l pack is on the smaller side. For a camino, unless you're into ultralight gear, stay mainly in private rooms/hotels or plan to ship a bag with the rest of your gear to your next destination each day, it is a totally okay size - as long as it feels comfortable.
 
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

€46,-
Hi Camilla - I see you are in Madrid? How lovely to have the Camino in your home country!!

Hey - really nice list! Looks like you are used to travelling.

You shouldn't need two pairs of shorts as you have a pair of longs as well, so you could drop one pair.

Re the underwear ... I am not female so this might be a blokey thing but I only take two - one on, one packed. and if the washed one hasn't dried I just pin it to my pack.

I am intrigued by the small fleece blanket - I quite like that .. is big enough to keep you warm should it get cold? - If it does get cold in the mornings socks make great mitts!

Re the earplugs - do take more than one pair as is so easy to lose one of them.
Safety pins - pop into the baby section of your supermarket and buy some nappy pins (diaper pins) as they lock, which is much better.

If you look through the forum there is a lot of stuff about bladders over bottles - my preference is two 750ml bottles from a shop, balanced either side. This means you can stop, shuck off the pack, take a drink, look around, take your shoes off and wiggle your toes, share it, water some dry plants, pour water over your head when hot .. pour some into a dog's mouth, etc, etc whereas with a bladder it can easily become a habit not to stop but guzzle as you go - were it me I would ditch the bladder - but this is personal preference.

Can't do this with a bladder (though to be fair, not many koalas on the Camino)

View attachment 155308

You may want to add a needle and some strong thread - takes up little room but if a seam or button goes?

Re poles ... do you use poles walking around at home? There is a lot to be said for one pole to stabilise on ascents and descents - tripod being better than biped in those places ... but two poles? (You can see that I am not in the useless two-poles camp!).

Last thing - I get your rucksack situation, have been there myself - (my first Camino pack weighed 2kilos!!!) - but better half empty than overfull. Decathlon packs tend to be heavier than many other brands ... you have a few days .... any friends with an Osprey Talon 33 in their wardrobe? If not? Take your pack and enjoy - is a good pack!

Oh my - Sept 1st???? Fantastic!! Enjoy!!!!

By the way - "excited and terrified" is normal. Front chattering brain desires safe and normal tomorrows so it gets scared and throws up all the fear based "but what ifs", it can even throw up the "why am I even doing this?" - ignore all that - everyone is nervous on day one ... day three? all is well.
David, I love how encouraging you are. 😍
 
"It's much easier for me to sip from the tube than to wrestle a water bottle out of the side pocket of my pack, but everyone has their own preference."

and that is exactly the point .. if one is single-mindedly walking, sucking at a tube as they go? Sure, they should use a bladder for "ease of use"
but if they are instead strolling through a new landscape, unhurried, relaxed, responding to all around them and they stop to take regular breaks? Drop the rucksack, take off shoes and socks, stretch, sit on a rock or similar, wriggle toes, be amazed at where they are and how far they have come, smile and say Buen Camino to other pilgrims as they pass whilst drinking from their bottle? ... each to their own.

I know which I prefer .... and you never know, I may just meet a thirsty Koala! ;)
I made elastic cord loops on the front of my pack shoulder straps for two bottles and it is very convenient to remove and replace the bottles. Can't even feel them there while walking. You can see one in my photo there. I don't like bladders for a variety of reasons, but everybody's different!
 
I made elastic cord loops on the front of my pack shoulder straps for two bottles and it is very convenient to remove and replace the bottles. Can't even feel them there while walking. You can see one in my photo there. I don't like bladders for a variety of reasons, but everybody's different!

Neat idea and a good place for that weight, but could I ask why? I only ask as I prefer to stop quite often and take my pack off, drink, and stretch and so on, look back where I was, things like that ... seems to me that any 'tube' system would mean that one drinks as one walks and I wonder if people who choose such systems do stop to enjoy where they are ...
 
Ideal pocket guides for during & after your Camino. Each weighs only 1.4 oz (40g)!
Neat idea and a good place for that weight, but could I ask why? I only ask as I prefer to stop quite often and take my pack off, drink, and stretch and so on, look back where I was, things like that ... seems to me that any 'tube' system would mean that one drinks as one walks and I wonder if people who choose such systems do stop to enjoy where they are ...
For me, water systems are not just about “Stop and smell the flowers“. Bladders are very difficult to clean, you never know the water level in the bladder, you can’t share (if necessary), the water is always smelly (I don’t know of a BPH bladder), and the only thing you can do is drink from them - no pouring for hand washing, wound cleansing, etc. I’m not a fan of bladders…no matter wh they’re called.
 
Neat idea and a good place for that weight, but could I ask why? I only ask as I prefer to stop quite often and take my pack off, drink, and stretch and so on, look back where I was, things like that ... seems to me that any 'tube' system would mean that one drinks as one walks and I wonder if people who choose such systems do stop to enjoy where they are ...

They do.........often. :)
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.

Most read last week in this forum

Greetings! In preparation for my first Camino ever this coming August, I bought a pair of Hokas back in January. I’ve been using them for short walks so as break them in. I would take them off as...
Buenas tardes amigos and fellow perigrinos. My wife and I are set to walk Norte from Santander to SdC onwards to Muxia and Finisterre leaving Toronto on Sep 26. We are both big fans of merino wool...
In preparation for our first Camino in spring/summer or fall 2025, my wife and I have been "testing" different gear - particularly shirts - for our trek. We understand and acknowledge weight...

❓How to ask a question

How to post a new question on the Camino Forum.

Similar threads

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Updates on YouTube

Camino Conversations

Most downloaded Resources

This site is run by Ivar at

in Santiago de Compostela.
This site participates in the Amazon Affiliate program, designed to provide a means for Ivar to earn fees by linking to Amazon
Official Camino Passport (Credential) | 2024 Camino Guides
Back
Top