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My March/April packing list - opinions welcome!

Stellere

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
March 2014 - con mi padre
#1
I'm heading out for my very first camino in three weeks. I'll be walking with my dad from mid-March until the end of April. I'm nervous and excited, and I'd love some opinions from the experts on my packing list!

I haven't yet decided if I'm going to bring my slightly heavier 40l bag (which weighs 1244 grams and fits very comfortably) or my ultralight 32l bag (which weighs only 594 grams, doesn't fit quite as close to my body, but feels light as a feather). I'm going to do some test walks over the next few days.

Wearing (not weighed yet):
liner socks, wool socks, Keen mid hiking boots
underwear, quick-dry hiking pants
sports bra, merino wool t-shirt, merino wool long-sleeved zip-up shirt
glasses

On cold days, I expect to be wearing more layers, which means that my bag will be lighter!

Currently, my big bag (plus waistpack) fully loaded weighs 5.1 kg and my small bag (plus waistpack) fully loaded weighs 4.5 kg. This does NOT include food, water or an altus raincoat (450 grams?), which we'll pick up in SJPP. So I figure I'll add another 2000ish grams to my total weight. I tried to strike a balance between weight and warmth when packing. I don't like to be cold. At all.

Anyway, here's my packing list (minus the backpack), which weighs in at 3906 grams:

sleep - total 1068 grams:
silk sheet (106)
10l dry sack (45)
down blanket (708)
down jacket w/ mesh bag (209)

extra clothing – total 1049 grams:
merino t-shirt (94)
long-sleeved merino shirt (145)
wool hiking socks (80)
liner socks (37)
liner socks (37)
underwear (33)
polypro long johns (117)
running pants (197)
silk scarf (43)
packing cube (19)
crocs (fake ones; the real ones weren't comfortable) (191)
baseball cap (56)

clothing for wet/cold weather – total 682 grams:
light fleece sweater (198)
windshirt (152)
rain pants (167)
fleece toque (30)
merino buff (41)
wool gloves (58)
latex gloves (as rain/wind stopper) (17)
packing cube (19)

First aid kit - total 58 grams:
12x advil, 2x benadryl, 2x anti-diarrhoea, 4x anti-nausea
2x antiseptic towelettes
6x alcohol pads
8x blister pads
6x bandaids
2x moleskin
packed in ziplock bag

toiletries – total 384 grams:
ziplock (6)
deodorant (37)
toothpaste (26)
toothbrush (19)
floss (1)
face cream (26)
hand cream (26)
1 pad and 1 tampon (12)
vaseline for feet (63)
3 sets of earplugs (4)
birth control pills (12)
towel (50)
soap for self and clothes (in mesh bag, in ziplock) (102)

miscellaneous – total 149 grams:
small packing cube (13)
laundry (nylon cord, 5 safety pins, 4 clothespins) (29)
needle and thread (1)
keychain flashlight (18)
clip-on light (for cap) (11)
charger, wire and adapter for phone (71)
ziplock (6)

waist (not in main backpack) – total 516 grams:
waist pack (129)
nylon grocery bag (28)
1/4 roll of toilet paper (17)
sunblock stick (35)
chapstick (9)
hand sanitizer (36)
phone (which will also be my camera) (127)
small notebook + 2 pens (49)
moneybelt with passport, boarding passes and cards (86)

Am I forgetting something important? I'm sure that I must be forgetting something important! Or - more likely - I'm bringing some stuff that's completely unnecessary.

Thanks in advance for any help, suggestions, or eyerolls! ;)

I'm so excited and nervous! Thanks for indulging my loooooooong post. Wordiness is a vice of mine.
 

Stellere

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
March 2014 - con mi padre
#2
A FEW NOTES:

* I realize that the down jacket probably isn't necessary, but it will be cold when we leave Canada in March. I figured that it might come in handy along the way if it's cold in the evening. I can also use it when sleeping if the down blanket isn't warm enough. (In the perfect world, I would have bought an ultralight down sleeping bag. In the real world, I'm going to stick with what I already own: a down throw that's smaller than twin size, but large enough to completely cover me.) The jacket also makes a perfect pillow stuffed into the mesh bag.

* the face cream isn't strictly necessary, but I like wearing a light SPF on my face during the day. The hand cream is more necessity than luxury. I get eczema on my hands. It's easily controlled with a thick hand cream, and is very uncomfortable if left on its own.

*
I realize that it might seem a bit silly to have two small flashlights. But they don't weigh much. One I'll clip to my pack in case I need it on a day to day basis. The other one attaches to the peak of my baseball cap and is for emergencies, in case I ever find myself walking in the dark (*not* planning on it!).

* missing from my pack that I see on a lot of other people's lists: cup and spoon (I'm not sure if I need to carry these), knife (I might pick one up there, or I might just share my dad's), guidebook (my dad's bringing his), poles (I don't hike with poles. I might pick something up along the way if I feel a need, but I expect that I'll be fine). Am I making a bad decision in leaving any of those things behind?
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#3
Would you consider dropping one of the merino long sleeved shirts and the long sleeve fleece? That still leaves you with two merino t-shirts, 1 merino long sleeve shirt, 1 wind shirt and 1 down jacket. Plus the Altus.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#5
PPS what are you using to carry water? I buy a couple of 600 ml bottles of water and refill those.
 
M

Metropolly

Guest
#6
The problem with a down jacket is you can't wash it at 60 degrees to obliterate bed bugs, should you encounter any, and it may also not be very practical in the rain. That is the only item that jumps out as unnecessary on your list. Whatever you decide, you can always buy more things as you go, or send home those you find you don't need
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#7
The problem with a down jacket is you can't wash it at 60 degrees to obliterate bed bugs, should you encounter any, and it may also not be very practical in the rain. That is the only item that jumps out as unnecessary on your list. Whatever you decide, you can always buy more things as you go, or send home those you find you don't need
March/April - do you think there will be bed bugs? My Spanish hosts assure me they all travel from France, and they don't arrive till later with more pilgrims and when the weather is warmer (thinks of a bedbug wearing a leetle French beret, sunglasses an ze leetle swimmers).
Anyway, a good spray of powerful Spanish insecticide will kill 'em. The down jacket doesn't have to be washed as long as the insecticide gets in all the crevices. As one would treat a down sleeping bag.
It is a point that rain is almost inevitable in March April - and one can't wear a down jacket if there is any rain about - for that there are the 2 merino T- shirts, merino long sleeve shirt, wind shirt and Altus. I'd keep the down jacket for inside albergues, or clear dry days. But I would take either the fleece or the 2nd merino long sleeve or the down jacket, not all three.
Personally I understand the desire to take a down jacket. It's unbeatable for warmth/weight. As long as it's kept dry.
Really important to make sure the pack is completely waterproof - consider a waterproof liner - fabulous. Together with an Altus or other waterproof pack cover, everything inside should stay dry.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
#8
If you want a spoon then a plastic 'spork' is useful. A spoon at one end and a fork with one serrated edge at the other. Great for eating peaches out of a tin.
I too really dislike being cold, the rest of your list looks fine. If you are concerned about weight then take the lighter rucksac, if you need the space then the larger might be better. Our packs have covers, but if yours doesn't then they are worthwhile, or the liner as Kanga suggests.
I take 2 long sleeved vests, 2 fleeces (1 light, 1 midweight reversible and windproof) and 2 long sleeved shirts; plus 2 pairs of longjohns for evening or sleeping in. When walking, if it is cold, I wear my rain trousers as I can take them off when I warm up.
Buen Camino
 

backpack45

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Vezelay (2017, in progress); Primitivo & Norte; Geneva/LePuy; Arles; Portuguese; Francés + more
#9
A FEW NOTES:

* I realize that the down jacket probably isn't necessary, but it will be cold when we leave Canada in March. I figured that it might come in handy along the way if it's cold in the evening. I can also use it when sleeping if the down blanket isn't warm enough. (In the perfect world, I would have bought an ultralight down sleeping bag. In the real world, I'm going to stick with what I already own: a down throw that's smaller than twin size, but large enough to completely cover me.) The jacket also makes a perfect pillow stuffed into the mesh bag.

* the face cream isn't strictly necessary, but I like wearing a light SPF on my face during the day. The hand cream is more necessity than luxury. I get eczema on my hands. It's easily controlled with a thick hand cream, and is very uncomfortable if left on its own.
* I realize that it might seem a bit silly to have two small flashlights. But they don't weigh much. One I'll clip to my pack in case I need it on a day to day basis. The other one attaches to the peak of my baseball cap and is for emergencies, in case I ever find myself walking in the dark (*not* planning on it!).

* missing from my pack that I see on a lot of other people's lists: cup and spoon (I'm not sure if I need to carry these), knife (I might pick one up there, or I might just share my dad's), guidebook (my dad's bringing his), poles (I don't hike with poles. I might pick something up along the way if I feel a need, but I expect that I'll be fine). Am I making a bad decision in leaving any of those things behind?

Not sure why the packing cubes, but you can substitute turkey baster bags (yes, noisy, but much lighter). Agree with others that you have more extra clothes than needed (and I don't like to be cold either). Finally, wondering why the extra bag around your waist. Is your backpack that difficult to access? You can carry sunscreen, tiny flashlight, bit of cash, comb, etc. in you pockets. Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
C. Francés (2004-), C. Portugués, C. de Madrid, 1/2 V. Plata, 1/8 Levante, hospitalera Grado 2016.
#10
I'd add more clear plastic bags, bread size. Great for separating clean and dirty clothes, for food you buy on the road (a bag of salted mixed nuts broke in my backpack on a rainy day, fortunately all my clothes were in separate bags, but scraping mashed, slightly moist peanuts out of the bottom of my bag was less than fun), for ensuring that everything in your backpack stays dry. And for bringing used toilet paper to your next stop, of course - you're not planning to leave it?

Compeed makes a great stick for areas that might blister, both feet, inner thighs and area where your bra strap end up getting rubbed into your shoulder by the insufficiently well padded backpack strap.
 

Stellere

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
March 2014 - con mi padre
#11
Would you consider dropping one of the merino long sleeved shirts and the long sleeve fleece? That still leaves you with two merino t-shirts, 1 merino long sleeve shirt, 1 wind shirt and 1 down jacket. Plus the Altus.
Thanks for the feedback! I'm honestly not sure I'd be willing to leave behind any of my warm layers (merino long-sleeved base layer, fleece). I'd probably be more likely to leave behind the down jacket, one of the t-shirts or the wind shirt. Hmmmm…food for thought. As for water, I'll use 500ml bottles and refill them.
 

Stellere

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
March 2014 - con mi padre
#12
The problem with a down jacket is you can't wash it at 60 degrees to obliterate bed bugs, should you encounter any, and it may also not be very practical in the rain. That is the only item that jumps out as unnecessary on your list. Whatever you decide, you can always buy more things as you go, or send home those you find you don't need
I'm *hoping* that bedbugs won't be a problem in early Spring. I guess I'll find out soon enough! I'm still not 100% sure about the down jacket.
 

Stellere

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
March 2014 - con mi padre
#13
If you want a spoon then a plastic 'spork' is useful. A spoon at one end and a fork with one serrated edge at the other. Great for eating peaches out of a tin.
I too really dislike being cold, the rest of your list looks fine. If you are concerned about weight then take the lighter rucksac, if you need the space then the larger might be better. Our packs have covers, but if yours doesn't then they are worthwhile, or the liner as Kanga suggests.
I take 2 long sleeved vests, 2 fleeces (1 light, 1 midweight reversible and windproof) and 2 long sleeved shirts; plus 2 pairs of longjohns for evening or sleeping in. When walking, if it is cold, I wear my rain trousers as I can take them off when I warm up.
Buen Camino
I remember reading a post from you where you mentioned purchasing another fleece because it was surprisingly cold in the spring. That's one of the reasons why I decided to bring an extra long-sleeved shirt. I don't have a rain cover - I was hoping that the altus would be enough. I might line my bag with a garbage bag. Whether I bring the lighter or the heavier bag, I still have room to spare. I'm going to bring the same amount of "stuff" either way, so I really just have to figure out which one is most comfortable to carry over long distances.
 

Stellere

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
March 2014 - con mi padre
#14
Not sure why the packing cubes, but you can substitute turkey baster bags (yes, noisy, but much lighter). Agree with others that you have more extra clothes than needed (and I don't like to be cold either). Finally, wondering why the extra bag around your waist. Is your backpack that difficult to access? You can carry sunscreen, tiny flashlight, bit of cash, comb, etc. in you pockets. Buen Camino!
Turkey baster bags? I would never have thought of that! :) Thanks for the suggestion! I'm not completely attached to the packing cubes, but they make packing *very* easy. Everything fits perfectly, and they slide into the bag like blocks. I'll try out lighter plastic bags, and see if the weight saved seems worth it.

As for the waist pack, I figured that I might want my camera at my fingertips. I also figured that it would be easy to keep with me when going into cafes or hanging out in common areas in the albergues. Did you bring a bag with you to carry around your valuables?

re: clothes, I think I do have too many coats: altus, windshirt, down jacket. When I write it out, I realize that it's overkill! I'm going to have to do some culling. But with regards to clothes (one set to wear, one set to carry, a pair of long-johns and a fleece in case of cold), I figured that I was following the common advice in the forum.
 

Stellere

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
March 2014 - con mi padre
#15
I'd add more clear plastic bags, bread size. Great for separating clean and dirty clothes, for food you buy on the road (a bag of salted mixed nuts broke in my backpack on a rainy day, fortunately all my clothes were in separate bags, but scraping mashed, slightly moist peanuts out of the bottom of my bag was less than fun), for ensuring that everything in your backpack stays dry. And for bringing used toilet paper to your next stop, of course - you're not planning to leave it?

Compeed makes a great stick for areas that might blister, both feet, inner thighs and area where your bra strap end up getting rubbed into your shoulder by the insufficiently well padded backpack strap.
You're right…I'll slide a few extra ziplocks into my bag. Thanks!
 
W

whariwharangi

Guest
#16
Bring the 40 liter bag. ... Your pack should be equipped with internal frame and hip belt ... it sounds like the 32l pack has neither.

Wool gloves will suffice to protect hands from wind and rain. Latex gloves by themselves will get wet from condensation and hands will get cold due to impaired circulation due to compression and poor thermal properties of latex gloves.

I like cup and spoon. Most albergues have neither. Lots of people do without. You can purchase enroute if you decide not and change your mind. I like a cup of tea and cereal for breakfast before setting out. It was nice to have a cup at the wine fountain.

You need at least one large water bottle.

The down jacket and light fleece should be sufficient for warmth at evening. You won't need the down jacket while walking though it might be nice to have on during a long break. Don't get the down wet.

Key chain flash is no value. One good headlamp is sufficient. It doesn't weigh much but by day 3 you will be wanting to lighten your load to its barest minimum.

You need a waterproof rain jacket or poncho. A rain jacket makes a good wind break. Get it before you leave; SJPdP is not cheap and its supplies are limited.

Re-assess your clothing. What will you wear when you walk? A change of clothes is needed for evenings. A nightshirt. And what will you wear on laundry days? Socks can be worn max 2 days and sometimes you won't be able to do a good wash for a week. If your boots fit you shouldn't need liner socks. Polypro stinks like dead after a day or two unless its washed and dried properly.

A waterproof stuff sack is suggested for your clothes.

Keep your passport in its own ziploc ... always. Same for anything else that can be damaged by water.

1 pen is enough ... if you lose it buy another.

A full bog roll doesn't weigh much more than 1/4 roll ... this is something else you want to keep in a large ziploc. Nothing worse than a bad day with not enough and soggy toilet paper.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#17
I've encountered much more rain (lots) and wind (lots) than sub-zero temperatures and snow. In every one of my five spring caminos I've had rain and wind, only once snow.
 

Stellere

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
March 2014 - con mi padre
#19
Bring the 40 liter bag. ... Your pack should be equipped with internal frame and hip belt ... it sounds like the 32l pack has neither.
Thanks so much for all of the suggestions! You've given me a lot to think about! The 32l pack doesn't have an internal frame, but it does have a hip belt. I'll decide before next weekend which one I'm bringing.
 

Stellere

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
March 2014 - con mi padre
#20
I've encountered much more rain (lots) and wind (lots) than sub-zero temperatures and snow. In every one of my five spring caminos I've had rain and wind, only once snow.
Thanks for the info Kanga!
 

tyrrek

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SdC (4-5/2011), Ferrol-SdC (9/2011), Pamplona-SdC (3-4/2012), Camino Finisterre (10/2012), Ourense-SdC (5/2014)
#21
Looks like a great list to me. Gloves of any description would have been a good idea when I walked in March! Doh! :oops: The thing that really struck me about walking then as opposed to when it's warmer is how rapidly my body cooled down when I stopped for a break. You're wearing sensible skin layers so that's good, but still be aware of it, and it can sometimes be better to have your coffee indoors rather than on the terrace, for example. Have a wonderful Camino!
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
#22
I remember reading a post from you where you mentioned purchasing another fleece because it was surprisingly cold in the spring. That's one of the reasons why I decided to bring an extra long-sleeved shirt. I don't have a rain cover - I was hoping that the altus would be enough. I might line my bag with a garbage bag. Whether I bring the lighter or the heavier bag, I still have room to spare. I'm going to bring the same amount of "stuff" either way, so I really just have to figure out which one is most comfortable to carry over long distances.
Those who don't feel the cold often wonder why the 2 fleeces etc. Buying the extra in Spain worked, but that fleece weighs at least 100gms more than my UK reversible one which I bought for subsequent Caminos. My lighter fleece is 300gms, the reversible 400gms, and I still have 2 long sleeve vests and shirts too.
I find the pack cover works well as it keeps the pack itself dry, also a good thief deterrent in crowded places as it covers the side pockets. It actually came with the pack, but it is easy to buy one - just get a generous size. I have some very thin plastic bags in my pack for damp clothes, dirty socks etc if washing or drying is difficult. I reckon that the pack cover weighs the same or less than a rubbish bag and it doesn't make a noise. :) I can put the cover over the pack if it is just damping but I am not really needing the poncho. Just pack the poncho where it is easiest to get at.
my total pack weight is 5.5kg without water but including the pack weight and some snacks. I have been trying to find where I posted my list, but might PM it to you later if I can't find the post here.
 

backpack45

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Vezelay (2017, in progress); Primitivo & Norte; Geneva/LePuy; Arles; Portuguese; Francés + more
#23
Turkey baster bags? I would never have thought of that! :) Thanks for the suggestion! I'm not completely attached to the packing cubes, but they make packing *very* easy. Everything fits perfectly, and they slide into the bag like blocks. I'll try out lighter plastic bags, and see if the weight saved seems worth it.

As for the waist pack, I figured that I might want my camera at my fingertips. I also figured that it would be easy to keep with me when going into cafes or hanging out in common areas in the albergues. Did you bring a bag with you to carry around your valuables?

re: clothes, I think I do have too many coats: altus, windshirt, down jacket. When I write it out, I realize that it's overkill! I'm going to have to do some culling. But with regards to clothes (one set to wear, one set to carry, a pair of long-johns and a fleece in case of cold), I figured that I was following the common advice in the forum.
I actually carry a 35 mm digital camera with a long lens--usually around my chest and around my neck (hope that makes sense!); when I carried a small one, (Canon), I carried it in my pocket. I wear a Packa (combo packcover and rainjackets; rain jacket and pants; down jacket. I used to bring fleece, but Smartwool long-sleeved top and other layers under either a down jacket or rain jacket is almost more heat build up that I can bear :) I carry extras, too, like a paperback (my husband likes his Kindle, but I don't), but I keep the total to 15 pounds or less. That might be your approach--how much do you want to carry maximum and what is necessary and what is luxury? (Keep in mind, Spain and other countries with Camino routes have places to buy needed supplies; all in all, I think more people suffer from too much gear than too little.
 

CISSA69

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
I have walked the Camino de Santiago many many times, volunteered as a hospitalaro and at the CSJ offices in London and have presented on "Camino and Equipment" .
#24
  • Put everything into an Excel Spread Sheet and get an accurate picture of how much weight you have exactly. It is amazing how the weigth creeps up. However I think that you need not worry too much about weight and focus on warmth and weather protection as the weather could be very challenging in March April. I think that rain gear is the most important thing to get right. You should be able to get access to blankets so sleeping gear not so much an issue. Keeping dry and warm will be a key.
  • Pick up an old newspaper and use it to dry your boots every night. Remove your insoles and stuff the boots with paper. Replace the paper a few times before going to bed. Don't leave boots on radiators or boots may shrink.
  • Isotonic tables eg Nuun or Zero tablets or drink Aquarias drink (made by Coke Cola).
  • Communication strategy between you and your Dad as you may have different objectives, before and during; speeds etc which could cause conflict. Start the conversation now, considering scenarios involving potential conflict and how you would approach the issue. You can then fall back on these when you are walking.
  • Two way radios / walkie talkies; which would enable you both to walk separately if you so desire but stay connected. They are also great fun and playful.
  • Two guide books eg just bring two copies of the Brierley map book and leave a copy of his big guide book at home with your loved ones. So when you contact them in the evening etc. you can bring them into your Camino by telling them what Map Number you are on. They can a sense of where you are, what you are doing, experiencing etc and help reduce any anxiety. Managing the relationships with the people left behind can be a big issue unless it has been thought through and they feel included. Again start talking now and find ways to include them in your Camino even if that means you do not communicate during your walking!!!
  • I would choose a comfortable bag over an uncomfortable bag. Ultra bags carry the weight on your shoulders so more pressure on your spine. I have walked with both. To be honest the ultra bag was more comfortable (Raidlight 30l) than my normal (Osprey Tallon 44). I think that my Tallon was too light at 1KG and too ridged, (an Atmos or Kestrely are heavier but more comfortable harness)
  • Eagle Creak Stuff sack as other stuff sacks are not always waterproof. Eagle creek sacks are great as they negate the need for stuff sacks, make for better bio security against bed bugs and make for finding gear really easy as you can see everything in the bag http://shop.eaglecreek.com/packit-compression-sac-large/d/1064
  • You do not need deodorant on the Camino esp in March April.
  • I would bring Shampoo as it is nice to feel clean at the end of the day.
  • Bring a tea towl or a long narrow towel in preference to a normal towel or fancy travel towel (useless)
  • Consider bringing at least a small pair of yack tracks as the Way can be very sticky in wet conditions
  • Walking poles .... I never walk the Camino without them. I have walked with ultra light racing poles (perfect and I was at least a 1kph faster with light poles)
  • Zinc Tape is great for blisters and hot points, you can buy it in pharmacies along the way.
  • Head torch with a red filter so that your hands are free and you can do things in the hostal at night without annoying people
  • Spare batteries
  • A lunch box for carrying food as not all the resturants and cafes will be open until later in March possibly April..... depends on when Easter falls as that tends to kick off the Camino Season
  • Cereal bowel, cereal and milk as Spanish breakfasts are pretty non existant
  • Good gloves as the weather could be miserable. I came across overgloves like over booties which would be waterproof and keep your hands warmer. I am no expert on gloves but it is an area to get right for this time of the year http://www.cotswoldoutdoor.com/moun...ell-mitt-without-liner-1c310719?id_colour=124 these are very expensive
  • Consider wearing a cycling or running "headband" as the wind will be hitting you head on so your ears and forehead will be exposed
  • Nail clippers with a nail file as I find that sizzors are less useful for cutting toe nails.
 

Stellere

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
March 2014 - con mi padre
#25
Looks like a great list to me. Gloves of any description would have been a good idea when I walked in March! Doh! :oops: The thing that really struck me about walking then as opposed to when it's warmer is how rapidly my body cooled down when I stopped for a break. You're wearing sensible skin layers so that's good, but still be aware of it, and it can sometimes be better to have your coffee indoors rather than on the terrace, for example. Have a wonderful Camino!
Coffee indoors or on the terrace…sounds like just the kind of decision that I'm ready to make. ;) Thanks for the tips about body temperature - definitely something to keep in mind!
 

Stellere

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
March 2014 - con mi padre
#26
Those who don't feel the cold often wonder why the 2 fleeces etc. Buying the extra in Spain worked, but that fleece weighs at least 100gms more than my UK reversible one which I bought for subsequent Caminos. My lighter fleece is 300gms, the reversible 400gms, and I still have 2 long sleeve vests and shirts too.
I find the pack cover works well as it keeps the pack itself dry, also a good thief deterrent in crowded places as it covers the side pockets. It actually came with the pack, but it is easy to buy one - just get a generous size. I have some very thin plastic bags in my pack for damp clothes, dirty socks etc if washing or drying is difficult. I reckon that the pack cover weighs the same or less than a rubbish bag and it doesn't make a noise. :) I can put the cover over the pack if it is just damping but I am not really needing the poncho. Just pack the poncho where it is easiest to get at.
my total pack weight is 5.5kg without water but including the pack weight and some snacks. I have been trying to find where I posted my list, but might PM it to you later if I can't find the post here.
Thank you Tia! I dug through my old gear and found a pack cover. It's got a big obnoxious Roots logo on it - but it's free! It weighs 62 grams, and - while it's big - it fits both bags.
 

Stellere

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
March 2014 - con mi padre
#27
I actually carry a 35 mm digital camera with a long lens--usually around my chest and around my neck (hope that makes sense!); when I carried a small one, (Canon), I carried it in my pocket. I wear a Packa (combo packcover and rainjackets; rain jacket and pants; down jacket. I used to bring fleece, but Smartwool long-sleeved top and other layers under either a down jacket or rain jacket is almost more heat build up that I can bear :) I carry extras, too, like a paperback (my husband likes his Kindle, but I don't), but I keep the total to 15 pounds or less. That might be your approach--how much do you want to carry maximum and what is necessary and what is luxury? (Keep in mind, Spain and other countries with Camino routes have places to buy needed supplies; all in all, I think more people suffer from too much gear than too little.
I was hoping for 14 pounds maximum, including 2x 5000ml water and snacks (about 500 grams). Right now, I'm at 14.6 pounds (6.6 kg) with my ultralight bag and 15.8 (7.1 kg) pounds with my more structured bag if I leave the waist pack behind. If I bring the waist pack, it will redistribute a bit of that weight and only add 120ish grams. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to bring a novel…I'd love to have a paperback. But I went through all of my stuff last night, and only managed to lower the weight by about 75 grams. Another cull is in store for tonight!
 

Stellere

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
March 2014 - con mi padre
#28
  • Put everything into an Excel Spread Sheet and get an accurate picture of how much weight you have exactly. It is amazing how the weigth creeps up. However I think that you need not worry too much about weight and focus on warmth and weather protection as the weather could be very challenging in March April. I think that rain gear is the most important thing to get right. You should be able to get access to blankets so sleeping gear not so much an issue. Keeping dry and warm will be a key.
  • Pick up an old newspaper and use it to dry your boots every night. Remove your insoles and stuff the boots with paper. Replace the paper a few times before going to bed. Don't leave boots on radiators or boots may shrink.
  • Isotonic tables eg Nuun or Zero tablets or drink Aquarias drink (made by Coke Cola).
  • Communication strategy between you and your Dad as you may have different objectives, before and during; speeds etc which could cause conflict. Start the conversation now, considering scenarios involving potential conflict and how you would approach the issue. You can then fall back on these when you are walking.
  • Two way radios / walkie talkies; which would enable you both to walk separately if you so desire but stay connected. They are also great fun and playful.
  • Two guide books eg just bring two copies of the Brierley map book and leave a copy of his big guide book at home with your loved ones. So when you contact them in the evening etc. you can bring them into your Camino by telling them what Map Number you are on. They can a sense of where you are, what you are doing, experiencing etc and help reduce any anxiety. Managing the relationships with the people left behind can be a big issue unless it has been thought through and they feel included. Again start talking now and find ways to include them in your Camino even if that means you do not communicate during your walking!!!
  • I would choose a comfortable bag over an uncomfortable bag. Ultra bags carry the weight on your shoulders so more pressure on your spine. I have walked with both. To be honest the ultra bag was more comfortable (Raidlight 30l) than my normal (Osprey Tallon 44). I think that my Tallon was too light at 1KG and too ridged, (an Atmos or Kestrely are heavier but more comfortable harness)
  • Eagle Creak Stuff sack as other stuff sacks are not always waterproof. Eagle creek sacks are great as they negate the need for stuff sacks, make for better bio security against bed bugs and make for finding gear really easy as you can see everything in the bag http://shop.eaglecreek.com/packit-compression-sac-large/d/1064
  • You do not need deodorant on the Camino esp in March April.
  • I would bring Shampoo as it is nice to feel clean at the end of the day.
  • Bring a tea towl or a long narrow towel in preference to a normal towel or fancy travel towel (useless)
  • Consider bringing at least a small pair of yack tracks as the Way can be very sticky in wet conditions
  • Walking poles .... I never walk the Camino without them. I have walked with ultra light racing poles (perfect and I was at least a 1kph faster with light poles)
  • Zinc Tape is great for blisters and hot points, you can buy it in pharmacies along the way.
  • Head torch with a red filter so that your hands are free and you can do things in the hostal at night without annoying people
  • Spare batteries
  • A lunch box for carrying food as not all the resturants and cafes will be open until later in March possibly April..... depends on when Easter falls as that tends to kick off the Camino Season
  • Cereal bowel, cereal and milk as Spanish breakfasts are pretty non existant
  • Good gloves as the weather could be miserable. I came across overgloves like over booties which would be waterproof and keep your hands warmer. I am no expert on gloves but it is an area to get right for this time of the year http://www.cotswoldoutdoor.com/moun...ell-mitt-without-liner-1c310719?id_colour=124 these are very expensive
  • Consider wearing a cycling or running "headband" as the wind will be hitting you head on so your ears and forehead will be exposed
  • Nail clippers with a nail file as I find that sizzors are less useful for cutting toe nails.
Lots of food for thought here! And the best thing about advice is that it weighs nothing! ;) I'm going to do some incline walking on the treadmill to simulate hills (I live in a valley; everything here is FLAT) with each bag, and see if one is really much more comfortable than the other. If the comfort level is equal, I'll go with the ultralight OMM 32l, but if I can really feel the difference then I'll definitely go with the heavier MEC Aria 40l.

My packing cubes are from the Eagle Creek pack-it line, but they have zippers and aren't waterproof. They're light, though, and I figure that with an Altus and a pack-cover, I should be safe. My towel is a tea towel - I bought a super expensive and high-tech (ha!) micro fibre tea towel for a dollar. It works well.

I'll keep all of your food advice in mind! I may end up bringing a 50 gram plastic cup that can double as cup and bowl, along with a spork.

My dad and I have already talked a bit about sticking together but going at our own pace. I expect that we'll separate from time to time, but we'll meet up along the way - either in a cafe, in the albergue, or at the top of a hill. I'm going to carry a phone. I think that he'll have to as well, so that we can text one another if need be. Thanks for bringing this up - I think that a good pre-camino talk is really important.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
#29
I carry a waist bag for my passport etc and my camera round my neck/arm (across my body) forward of my pack straps. I find that is OK as total weight and saves a little on my back
Re walking with your Dad check out the thread Walking with a Companion, you might have something to add as you are obviously already talking about it.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP - Santiago (2007)
Le Puy - Finisterra (2009)
#30
I know that keeping weight down is important, and that the 10% rule is a great guidance. I sometimes follow this rule, but more often not. I keep my "walking" gear down to the minimum of what I need, but I normally have a camera, used to have a couple of books (now a kindle), those to me are "luxuries" worth the extra weight. I feel the cold, a lot, so will rather carry 500g/1kg extra of warm clothes than risk being cold for a day.

I also like my food and my coffee (so have a small thermos)... If I know that there will be cooking facilities for the next few days and/or that there are limited options for "eating out" I'll do a shop somewhere that has a nice selection. Whilst a tortilla/baguette/bocadillo and a coffee/beer/coke is my "staple" in a bar, I tire of it... Also means that I do not need to rely on lunch stops in places that have an open bar/restaurant.

Depending on how far I'm walking, I might also have a 2nd pair of trailrunners, especially if I know that my starting pair won't last the journey. Some might find it preferable to ship a replacement pair, or buy new ones along the way. I don't

I've often been told that I carry too much, that it's over 10% etc etc, to which I smile and nod.

Some are happier when they have managed to shave off every excess gram from what they carry. I'm happier after I've eaten well, put my feet up and can read a good book:)
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
#31
Lots of food for thought here! And the best thing about advice is that it weighs nothing! ;) I'm going to do some incline walking on the treadmill to simulate hills (I live in a valley; everything here is FLAT) with each bag, and see if one is really much more comfortable than the other. If the comfort level is equal, I'll go with the ultralight OMM 32l, but if I can really feel the difference then I'll definitely go with the heavier MEC Aria 40l.

My packing cubes are from the Eagle Creek pack-it line, but they have zippers and aren't waterproof. They're light, though, and I figure that with an Altus and a pack-cover, I should be safe. My towel is a tea towel - I bought a super expensive and high-tech (ha!) micro fibre tea towel for a dollar. It works well.

I'll keep all of your food advice in mind! I may end up bringing a 50 gram plastic cup that can double as cup and bowl, along with a spork.

My dad and I have already talked a bit about sticking together but going at our own pace. I expect that we'll separate from time to time, but we'll meet up along the way - either in a cafe, in the albergue, or at the top of a hill. I'm going to carry a phone. I think that he'll have to as well, so that we can text one another if need be. Thanks for bringing this up - I think that a good pre-camino talk is really important.
One thing I've added after several caminos is a proper pack liner. All of my stuff sacks are mesh, so I feel the need to protect the contents of my pack. It's relatively inexpensive, and comes from MEC. (Reviews are positive). Have a wonderful camino!
http://www.mec.ca/product/5016-043/mec-pack-liner/
 

CISSA69

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
I have walked the Camino de Santiago many many times, volunteered as a hospitalaro and at the CSJ offices in London and have presented on "Camino and Equipment" .
#32
I have yet to see a treadmill on the Camino ..... I think that would be a cool way to do the Camino and possibly a claim to some Camino record in the same way as people run marathons and ultra marathons on treadmills (I know a few World Record holders in this area). You have got me thinking .... thank you. That said I would not be surprised to find a travellator installed on say the hill leading up to Cruiz De Herro at some time in the near future, given the local authorities desire to increase tourist numbers!!!!

Any training that one can fit in, the better, be it on a treadmill, swimming pool, gym etc ........ and it does not all have to be about walking and hiking, just as sports people spend as much time in gyms as they training in their sport. However I am not sure that walking on a treadmill will replicate the conditions on a typical day in a way that will help choose the right bag. However it will help a huge amount for day 1 when you climb just under 1 KM and descent .5KM over 25 KMs on Day 1/ Day 2.

I would recommend taking your gear out for a two or three day training hike on an undulating trail, staying in hostals and or huts overnight. I would add a few extra KGs of gear and equipment so simulate how you might feel after say 5 days on the Camino when many pilgrims are likely to hit the Camino Wall and when they are at risk at developing a love hate relationship with their pack and discovering that their pack is not as perfect as they first thought ..... possibly a metaphor for life/marriage/love etc. Such an experiment over two weekends or so would also provide an ideal opportunity to discover how good your rain gear is, how warm your sleeping bag is in damp cold conditions, how your boots are in muddy conditions and whether walking with poles would have made life easier ......... how your body is in cold and wet conditions etc. I find that when I do this kind of training that when I then compete that I am at peace regardless of what turns out because I know I have done all I could have done to train for as many eventualities as possible.

I also use the Eagle Creek pack it bags; which I think are great as there is noting worse than rummaging around a pack getting snarled up in kit. I have one that stores my diary, maps, tennis ball (for massaging my feet), emergency blanket, first aid kit, spare laces, electrolytes, magic tape, spare batteries. I have a separate box for my electronics - garmins x 2, adaptors, HRM straps, USB dongles .......
 

Stellere

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
March 2014 - con mi padre
#33
I carry a waist bag for my passport etc and my camera round my neck/arm (across my body) forward of my pack straps. I find that is OK as total weight and saves a little on my back
Re walking with your Dad check out the thread Walking with a Companion, you might have something to add as you are obviously already talking about it.
I read that thread with interest. I was actually a bit surprised by how anti-companion many threads on this forum seem to be. I love the idea of walking with my Dad, and I think that it will be a great experience for us! :)
 

Stellere

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
March 2014 - con mi padre
#34
I'm happier after I've eaten well, put my feet up and can read a good book:)
Love this! I'm trying to find the happy medium: not too much weight, but not a cranky cold pilgrim either. I like being warm, and I like words, so a notebook and an extra layer seem like reasonable compromises.
 

Stellere

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
March 2014 - con mi padre
#35
One thing I've added after several caminos is a proper pack liner. All of my stuff sacks are mesh, so I feel the need to protect the contents of my pack. It's relatively inexpensive, and comes from MEC. (Reviews are positive). Have a wonderful camino!
http://www.mec.ca/product/5016-043/mec-pack-liner/
Thanks for the suggestion! My MEC budget is blown. (Ha!) But I saw some lightweight 20l dry sacks at Canadian Tire…maybe I'll take a look. That would protect everything nicely, and it would easily fit everything but my crocs and my down blanket (which is already in its own dry sack).
 

Stellere

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
March 2014 - con mi padre
#36
I have yet to see a treadmill on the Camino ..... I think that would be a cool way to do the Camino and possibly a claim to some Camino record in the same way as people run marathons and ultra marathons on treadmills (I know a few World Record holders in this area). You have got me thinking .... thank you. That said I would not be surprised to find a travellator installed on say the hill leading up to Cruiz De Herro at some time in the near future, given the local authorities desire to increase tourist numbers!!!!

Any training that one can fit in, the better, be it on a treadmill, swimming pool, gym etc ........ and it does not all have to be about walking and hiking, just as sports people spend as much time in gyms as they training in their sport. However I am not sure that walking on a treadmill will replicate the conditions on a typical day in a way that will help choose the right bag. However it will help a huge amount for day 1 when you climb just under 1 KM and descent .5KM over 25 KMs on Day 1/ Day 2.
r now, I'll have
I would recommend taking your gear out for a two or three day training hike on an undulating trail, staying in hostals and or huts overnight. I would add a few extra KGs of gear and equipment so simulate how you might feel after say 5 days on the Camino when many pilgrims are likely to hit the Camino Wall and when they are at risk at developing a love hate relationship with their pack and discovering that their pack is not as perfect as they first thought ..... possibly a metaphor for life/marriage/love etc. Such an experiment over two weekends or so would also provide an ideal opportunity to discover how good your rain gear is, how warm your sleeping bag is in damp cold conditions, how your boots are in muddy conditions and whether walking with poles would have made life easier ......... how your body is in cold and wet conditions etc. I find that when I do this kind of training that when I then compete that I am at peace regardless of what turns out because I know I have done all I could have done to train for as many eventualities as possible.

I also use the Eagle Creek pack it bags; which I think are great as there is noting worse than rummaging around a pack getting snarled up in kit. I have one that stores my diary, maps, tennis ball (for massaging my feet), emergency blanket, first aid kit, spare laces, electrolytes, magic tape, spare batteries. I have a separate box for my electronics - garmins x 2, adaptors, HRM straps, USB dongles .......
Thanks for the response!

While these are lovely ideas, they're in no way realistic for my situation right now! I hiked a lot in the summer, and would have been ready for the Camino then, but right now all of the steep, hilly trails within an hour from here are covered in 2 feet of snow. So it'll just have to be long walks on the very flat sidewalk, and walking on the treadmill at a 10% incline. I know that that won't really replicate a true camino - but it's better than nothing!

As for weekend treks…see the point above the snow. And then add in the fact that I only have 2 weekends left before I take off for seven weeks, and my husband is already sad that I'm leaving. And then on top of that, add in the fact that finding hut hiking would require travel, which costs money that I don't have. But yes, you're right, under the perfect conditions, a few weekend hikes would be great preparation for the camino!
 
#37
I'm heading out for my very first camino in three weeks. I'll be walking with my dad from mid-March until the end of April. I'm nervous and excited, and I'd love some opinions from the experts on my packing list!

I haven't yet decided if I'm going to bring my slightly heavier 40l bag (which weighs 1244 grams and fits very comfortably) or my ultralight 32l bag (which weighs only 594 grams, doesn't fit quite as close to my body, but feels light as a feather). I'm going to do some test walks over the next few days.

Wearing (not weighed yet):
liner socks, wool socks, Keen mid hiking boots
underwear, quick-dry hiking pants
sports bra, merino wool t-shirt, merino wool long-sleeved zip-up shirt
glasses

On cold days, I expect to be wearing more layers, which means that my bag will be lighter!

Currently, my big bag (plus waistpack) fully loaded weighs 5.1 kg and my small bag (plus waistpack) fully loaded weighs 4.5 kg. This does NOT include food, water or an altus raincoat (450 grams?), which we'll pick up in SJPP. So I figure I'll add another 2000ish grams to my total weight. I tried to strike a balance between weight and warmth when packing. I don't like to be cold. At all.

Anyway, here's my packing list (minus the backpack), which weighs in at 3906 grams:

sleep - total 1068 grams:
silk sheet (106)
10l dry sack (45)
down blanket (708)
down jacket w/ mesh bag (209)

extra clothing – total 1049 grams:
merino t-shirt (94)
long-sleeved merino shirt (145)
wool hiking socks (80)
liner socks (37)
liner socks (37)
underwear (33)
polypro long johns (117)
running pants (197)
silk scarf (43)
packing cube (19)
crocs (fake ones; the real ones weren't comfortable) (191)
baseball cap (56)

clothing for wet/cold weather – total 682 grams:
light fleece sweater (198)
windshirt (152)
rain pants (167)
fleece toque (30)
merino buff (41)
wool gloves (58)
latex gloves (as rain/wind stopper) (17)
packing cube (19)

First aid kit - total 58 grams:
12x advil, 2x benadryl, 2x anti-diarrhoea, 4x anti-nausea
2x antiseptic towelettes
6x alcohol pads
8x blister pads
6x bandaids
2x moleskin
packed in ziplock bag

toiletries – total 384 grams:
ziplock (6)
deodorant (37)
toothpaste (26)
toothbrush (19)
floss (1)
face cream (26)
hand cream (26)
1 pad and 1 tampon (12)
vaseline for feet (63)
3 sets of earplugs (4)
birth control pills (12)
towel (50)
soap for self and clothes (in mesh bag, in ziplock) (102)

miscellaneous – total 149 grams:
small packing cube (13)
laundry (nylon cord, 5 safety pins, 4 clothespins) (29)
needle and thread (1)
keychain flashlight (18)
clip-on light (for cap) (11)
charger, wire and adapter for phone (71)
ziplock (6)

waist (not in main backpack) – total 516 grams:
waist pack (129)
nylon grocery bag (28)
1/4 roll of toilet paper (17)
sunblock stick (35)
chapstick (9)
hand sanitizer (36)
phone (which will also be my camera) (127)
small notebook + 2 pens (49)
moneybelt with passport, boarding passes and cards (86)

Am I forgetting something important? I'm sure that I must be forgetting something important! Or - more likely - I'm bringing some stuff that's completely unnecessary.

Thanks in advance for any help, suggestions, or eyerolls! ;)

I'm so excited and nervous! Thanks for indulging my loooooooong post. Wordiness is a vice of mine.
Hi Stellere!
I don't know what a torque is but if it isn't a warm hat or a sun hat you could add those perhaps. Also is soap intended for your hair and you don't plan on a conditioner ( a must have for my curly hair)? Do your pants convert to capris or shorts?
I do have a question for you as well. What brand etc. are your fake crocs? The weight is good so I might check them out.
Thanks
Stefania
 
#38
I actually carry a 35 mm digital camera with a long lens--usually around my chest and around my neck (hope that makes sense!); when I carried a small one, (Canon), I carried it in my pocket. I wear a Packa (combo packcover and rainjackets; rain jacket and pants; down jacket. I used to bring fleece, but Smartwool long-sleeved top and other layers under either a down jacket or rain jacket is almost more heat build up that I can bear :) I carry extras, too, like a paperback (my husband likes his Kindle, but I don't), but I keep the total to 15 pounds or less. That might be your approach--how much do you want to carry maximum and what is necessary and what is luxury? (Keep in mind, Spain and other countries with Camino routes have places to buy needed supplies; all in all, I think more people suffer from too much gear than too little.
Hi Backpack 45!
I'm with you. I have yet to start my first CF (Mid May this year) but I tried my clothes out to determine what clothes I needed for what temperatures. I found that my soft sided jacket ( great for wind and mild rain) along with one long sleeve smartwool crew tee shirt and hiking pants (quick dry convertible type) keep me warm to about 40 degrees F. If I add a short sleeve top under that and add light weight wool baselayer bottoms (Icebreaker 200) I am good to about 30 degrees F or O degrees C. Oh also add Omniheat type skull cap, original Buff for my neck and gloves and don't forget wool socks and liners ; )
Stefania
 

Stellere

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
March 2014 - con mi padre
#39
Hi Stellere!
I don't know what a torque is but if it isn't a warm hat or a sun hat you could add those perhaps. Also is soap intended for your hair and you don't plan on a conditioner ( a must have for my curly hair)? Do your pants convert to capris or shorts?
I do have a question for you as well. What brand etc. are your fake crocs? The weight is good so I might check them out.
Thanks
Stefania
Brand? Hmmm…I'm honestly not sure. They're the el cheapo ones from Canadian Tire. I think they were five dollars. You could probably get something similar at Walmart etc. Please keep in mind - they aren't as indestructible as crocs, they aren't as cushioned, and they don't have the "odour repellant" reputation. I used a pair throughout a whole summer of camping, though, and found them more than adequate. I also have a pair of real crocs, but I find them much bulkier, and they rub uncomfortably at a spot on the top of my foot.

A toque is a hat - mine is just a fleece beanie. I also have thick curly hair, but it's currently too short to tie up and too long to let dry without product. So…I'm going to let my husband attack my head with his clippers! I'm going to go very, very short. I won't need conditioner, since I won't have much hair. ;)

My pants don't convert, but I don't figure I'll need shorts in March/April. If it's warm, I can always roll my pants up and wear a t-shirt.
 

CISSA69

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
I have walked the Camino de Santiago many many times, volunteered as a hospitalaro and at the CSJ offices in London and have presented on "Camino and Equipment" .
#40
Thanks for the suggestion! My MEC budget is blown. (Ha!) But I saw some lightweight 20l dry sacks at Canadian Tire…maybe I'll take a look. That would protect everything nicely, and it would easily fit everything but my crocs and my down blanket (which is already in its own dry sack).
Given the time of year you plan to wall then a little over kill in relation to waterproofing your gear is not a bad idea. Nothing worse than getting into your albergue to find that your sleeping bag is wet or even damp.

Buen Camino

C
 

Stellere

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
March 2014 - con mi padre
#41
Given the time of year you plan to wall then a little over kill in relation to waterproofing your gear is not a bad idea. Nothing worse than getting into your albergue to find that your sleeping bag is wet or even damp.
Thanks! My sleeping gear is in a dry bag. I might do the same with my clothes.
 

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