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My Pack Is Too Heavy: Woe Is Me!


2018 edition Camino Guides
Camino(s) past & future
May 1, 2017
#1
Ok, I have taken the bare minimum that I think I can live with for 6 weeks and my pack is too heavy. I don't even want to admit to how heavy it is. I really, really don't want to travel across the world and not have everything I need. I have taken out things that I don't think are important but really don't think I have that much stuff. It sure adds up, doesn't it! You will know me when you see me from my monster pack!!!!! I know I'm going to regret it but I just can't seem to get it lighter. My damn cosmetic 3 liter bag weighs 3 pounds itself. If I could just reduce it by 5 lbs, I would be happy....I know I'm going to get a ration, but I probably need it.
 

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scruffy1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
#3
You are not off for a desert trek to Timbuktu, Spain IS a modern country, open air markets, shops, pharamacies, supermarkets everywhere! Anything you might need, cosmetics, clothing, unmentionables, sports equipment, snacks, medicines, health food, soaps or shampos, tooth paste, hair/tooth brushes, war colors whatever you think you may need are all readily available there. Take the smallest packaging of whatever you desire and restock on the way. Cut down on spare clothes to a minimum and should you tire of the choice or just fed up with washing clothes? Chunk them and buy new!
 

trecile

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aug - Sept (2016) SJPDP - Finisterre
July - Aug (2017) SJPDP - Muxia - Finisterre
#5
Are you packing for just the Camino, or are you packing things for traveling afterwards? If there are things in your pack that you don't need for the Camino, but want for after, send them on to Santiago. If this is just Camino stuff you are going to have to get tough with yourself and get rid of all the things you "might" need.
 

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Saint Mike II

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
#6
I support @trecile & @scruffy1: Spain (and Spanish women) buy what they need - when they need it. Whilst to offer a woman make-up advice is risky may I suggest that other than the female necessaries - the only make-up you need is a good moisturiser and Factor 50 sun-block. As you are on a 6 week trip - work out what you need for the Camino and then bring a smaller (5-7lb/ 3 kg) bag with your other "glad rags" and send it to Ivar. Spanish Post (Corres) will send from Pamplona in 3 or 4 days. Have a look at the Resources page for the address and charges. Buen Camino.
 

RobertS26

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Oct 2013
Camino Frances, Aug 2014
Camino Frances, Apr 2015
#7
First time pilgrims pack about 5 pounds of fear in their backpacks. The albergues from SJPP to Pamplona are littered with things that people thought were essential but soon realized were complete folly to pack. You should pack for the best case scenario. If necessary, you can buy your way out of a worst case scenario. The Camino goes past store after store. If you need something, you can buy it there. The people of Spain have been hosting pilgrims for over 1200 years. They are prepared for you. They want you to come, enjoy yourself, and return.
 
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#8
For a start, that cosmetic bag should go - yes ALL of it - I always say that the best cosmetic for a woman is a smile!! 2 sets of walking wear - one on one in the wash! then take it from there, be absolutely ruthless, a 3lb cosmetic bag will feel like an elephant on your back after a few kms! as they say, it's the North of Spain not the Gobi desert! if you dont pack something you feel you need later, there's shops everywhere, buen camino
 

SabineP

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#9
Ok, I have taken the bare minimum that I think I can live with for 6 weeks and my pack is too heavy. I don't even want to admit to how heavy it is. I really, really don't want to travel across the world and not have everything I need. I have taken out things that I don't think are important but really don't think I have that much stuff. It sure adds up, doesn't it! You will know me when you see me from my monster pack!!!!! I know I'm going to regret it but I just can't seem to get it lighter. My damn cosmetic 3 liter bag weighs 3 pounds itself. If I could just reduce it by 5 lbs, I would be happy....I know I'm going to get a ration, but I probably need it.
It is marvellous to experience how less you need when on a Camino/pilgrimage.
The more you take with you , the more risk you have too you will loose something. Unless you are taking a Cpap machine, life saving medication everything else is to be bought in Spain. It really is a first world country.
The shops and pharmacies ( especially on the Frances ) will have ALL you need.
And do believe me : no one gives a toss if you wear make -up or not. And after some hard days of walking : you will not mind either. Just some decent soap and like other posters already said a sunblock and maybe some moisturising you are good to go.
The glow on your face after a day's walking is more natural than some artificial colour from your make-up.
I know some ladies who treated themselves to a Spa or a hairdresser appointment when in a bigger city. Now that does sound like a treat.
Oh and another thing : unless you stay in private accomodation the time you will be able to spend in a communal bathroom is short : trust me you don't want ten other pilgrims waiting till you are finished.

Hope you will rethink the content of your pack.

Ultreïa!

PS : actually in daily life less is more too...that is what I find out after every Camino...
 
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onwayhome

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Ponferrada-Santiago,(c1986)
Frances SJPP-Santiago (2011)
Portuguese Porto- Finisterre (2016)
St Michaels Way (2016)
#10
Lots of good suggestions. Those long days on the Way gave me a lot of thinking time about what was strapped to my back and my pack has got lighter with each Camino as I redefined what was essential and what was 'just in case'. Everyone does this in their own way, some people file down a toothbrush to save 50grammes, others decide they need more to feel safe and at ease and use one of the many pack transport services. Walking with a pack that is too heavy is not much fun and increases the possibility of strains and injury. Hope you find the balance that works for you, there are plenty of sample packing lists if you search the forum.
 

trecile

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aug - Sept (2016) SJPDP - Finisterre
July - Aug (2017) SJPDP - Muxia - Finisterre
#12
Ok, I have taken the bare minimum that I think I can live with for 6 weeks and my pack is too heavy.
Forget about the six weeks. You basically just need to carry the same things that you need for a weekend. Things that you use up, such as toothpaste and soap can be replaced.
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), Primitivo(13), Norte(14), Madrid (16)
#13
Ok, I have taken the bare minimum that I think I can live with for 6 weeks and my pack is too heavy. I don't even want to admit to how heavy it is. I really, really don't want to travel across the world and not have everything I need. I have taken out things that I don't think are important but really don't think I have that much stuff. It sure adds up, doesn't it! You will know me when you see me from my monster pack!!!!! I know I'm going to regret it but I just can't seem to get it lighter. My damn cosmetic 3 liter bag weighs 3 pounds itself. If I could just reduce it by 5 lbs, I would be happy....I know I'm going to get a ration, but I probably need it.
Debbye Jean:

Like most of us, the first time we brought too much stuff. In the meantime, the only advice I will offer you is that you will be carrying that pack everyday for over a month. You will learn from the Camino how little you really need.

Ultreya,
Joe
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte (Sept/Oct 2016) + Finisterre leg
Primitivo (Sept/Oct 2017)
#15
Please, please don't start with a heavy pack, or you will either 1) fail, 2) resent it or 3) dump half of it. I saw all 3 in my 5 weeks on the Camino.

Heed the advice of others. Don't take a set of underwear or shirt for every day of the week... the albergue's have washing facilities. The important stuff is what keeps you comfortable, warm and dry, so boots or shoes that are properly worn in, a good poncho or wet weather jacket, and one warm top for cool days and evenings.

If you do start with too much gear, here's the details of the postal service, to send on to Santiago all the items you will just want to dump after the first day!! http://www.elcaminoconcorreos.com/en/envio-paquetes.php

Good luck and Buen Camino!
Pete
 
Camino(s) past & future
Starting April, 15, 2017
#16
Ok, I have taken the bare minimum that I think I can live with for 6 weeks and my pack is too heavy. I don't even want to admit to how heavy it is. I really, really don't want to travel across the world and not have everything I need. I have taken out things that I don't think are important but really don't think I have that much stuff. It sure adds up, doesn't it! You will know me when you see me from my monster pack!!!!! I know I'm going to regret it but I just can't seem to get it lighter. My damn cosmetic 3 liter bag weighs 3 pounds itself. If I could just reduce it by 5 lbs, I would be happy....I know I'm going to get a ration, but I probably need it.
Wayyyyyyy back in the day when I hiked the AT with the class of '93 I didn't have internet, hardly any resources and knew not what I was getting into. I think I took at least 2 prs. of Levis, a very heavy Slumberjack synthetic sleeping bag, a Coleman gas stove, you name it. I left with my Jansport external frame pack with all kinds of optional gear tied on. My pack had to weigh at least 65 lbs. I hiked the approach trail to Springer Mtn. Met a local gal there who was only weekend hiking and agreed to ship a bunch of my gear home, that started my weight reduction process. In no time my pack was down to a handable 20+ lbs and I was a happy camper.

In summary, it is very hard for anyone on this list not seeing your gear to tell you what you will need and what you won't. But if you can tough it out for a few days I think you will self correct your problem. If all else fails you can take out what you need for that day and send the rest on via a baggage transfer to your next hostel. I don't think it's that expensive.
 

Bala

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Oct 2015, SJPdP-Burgos)
Camino Frances (Burgos-Santiago 2018)
#17
Load your pack with what you're planning to take, and then go walk 14 miles. Then do the same thing the following day. Then think about doing that for another month. You will probably end up with a new definition of essential.:D
 

cher99840

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013, 2017 Camino Frances SJPP-Santiago
2015 St. Olav's Way Oslo-Trondheim
2017 VdlP Seville-Merida
#19
@Debbye Jean , what @Bala said. And I'll add live with the contents those few days. Use your liner/sleeping bag, your shower essentials, undies, socks, etc. wash dirties every night. This will require packing/unpacking your "necessities" and I think you will find that the less you carry is not only beneficial weight wise, but also in convenience.
 
Camino(s) past & future
May 1, 2017
#21
Before we can help, we will need to know what exactly is in your cosmetic bag that makes it so heavy. 3 lbs. does seem excessive.
A bar of soap with a soap container, travel-sized toothpaste and toothbrush brush
Just an FYI, my cosmetic bag is only filled with toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, conditioner, small packet of facial wipes, small comb,and a couple other travel sized stuff. Not makeup. Typically I wear very little to no makeup in my home life. I will take what u all have told me and rethink my pack.
 

Patch

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Leon to Santiago (June 2014)
St Jean to Leon (Sept 2015)
Burgos to Santiago (June 2016)
Porto to Finisterre (June 2017)
#22
I am about to do my third Camino and my pack weight will be 5kg (about 11 lbs). I carry wash kit, spare clothes (extra underclothes of course), water proofs, sleeping bag liner , 6 inch tablet plus charger, very small first aid kit, bivi bag in case of emergency, towel with swimming costume and some evening light weight shoes. It is a ll packed in small light weight bag. I wash clothes regularly as most Albergues or towns have washing machines. Everything else that I needed I simply bought on the way.
 
Camino(s) past & future
May 1, 2017
#23
I am about to do my third Camino and my pack weight will be 5kg (about 11 lbs). I carry wash kit, spare clothes (extra underclothes of course), water proofs, sleeping bag liner , 6 inch tablet plus charger, very small first aid kit, bivi bag in case of emergency, towel with swimming costume and some evening light weight shoes. It is a ll packed in small light weight bag. I wash clothes regularly as most Albergues or towns have washing machines. Everything else that I needed I simply bought on the way.
My problem with buying along the way is I don't really have extra money to be buying things I already have.
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-18
#24
Empty the pack. Get one of those digital kitchen scales and weigh everything going into your pack. It's amazing how heavy even the most innocuous things can be. Then find lighter-weight alternatives.

Lurking failures: a pack that is heavy itself, too many/too heavy container-bags, the non-walking pair of shoes, the jacket, personal electronics that are too many/too large, books (paper is the heaviest substance known).

The good news is that you've recognized the problem!
 

tillyjones

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances June 2015
VDLP May 2017
#25
Oh Debbye.

Nothing is worth the misery of trying to trudge along with a bag too heavy. And you will save yourself more money by not taking stuff than wasting the money on it and possibly paying to ship it home.

I started with what I thought were the bare necessities and found myself sitting in Pamplona cutting tags off of underwear and going to two pairs of underwear instead of three.

Swap your bar of soap and container with all purpose camp soap (soap, detergent, shampoo). You don't need shampoo and conditioner. My toiletry bag including some first aid stuff weights 12 oz.

You don't need 'different' outfits. Indeed, I'm sure you don't need much of what is in that bag.

I encourage you to take the advice on here as we want to save you the misery of the consequence. Of course, you will otherwise figure it out on the road which is all part of the fun.
 
Camino(s) past & future
May 1, 2017
#26
Oh Debbye.

Nothing is worth the misery of trying to trudge along with a bag too heavy. And you will save yourself more money by not taking stuff than wasting the money on it and possibly paying to ship it home.

I started with what I thought were the bare necessities and found myself sitting in Pamplona cutting tags off of underwear and going to two pairs of underwear instead of three.

Swap your bar of soap and container with all purpose camp soap (soap, detergent, shampoo). You don't need shampoo and conditioner. My toiletry bag including some first aid stuff weights 12 oz.

You don't need 'different' outfits. Indeed, I'm sure you don't need much of what is in that bag.

I encourage you to take the advice on here as we want to save you the misery of the consequence. Of course, you will otherwise figure it out on the road. I
I am trying. It is hard for me. I feel ready to cry right now but im hoping to do the right thing.
 

trecile

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aug - Sept (2016) SJPDP - Finisterre
July - Aug (2017) SJPDP - Muxia - Finisterre
#27
A bar of soap with a soap container, travel-sized toothpaste and toothbrush brush
Just an FYI, my cosmetic bag is only filled with toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, conditioner, small packet of facial wipes, small comb,and a couple other travel sized stuff. Not makeup. Typically I wear very little to no makeup in my home life. I will take what u all have told me and rethink my pack.
So, were you exaggerating when you said it weighs 3 pounds? Or are you taking full sized shampoo and conditioner bottles? Have you tried using a shampoo bar that you can also use on your body and laundry? You can also leave the facial wipes behind.
 
Camino(s) past & future
May 1, 2017
#28
So, were you exaggerating when you said it weighs 3 pounds? Or are you taking full sized shampoo and conditioner bottles? Have you tried using a shampoo bar that you can also use on your body and laundry? You can also leave the facial wipes behind.
No I wasn't exaggerating, and everything is travel size. I will whittle it down.
 

Patch

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Leon to Santiago (June 2014)
St Jean to Leon (Sept 2015)
Burgos to Santiago (June 2016)
Porto to Finisterre (June 2017)
#29
My problem with buying along the way is I don't really have extra money to be buying things I already have.
I gave some thought to what I actually bought on the way during three Caminos - pair of flip flops, toothpaste, bar of soap, boot laces, sun block, medicine for diabetes(which I forgot),some socks, underpants and a couple of T shirts ( I am ignoring food and drink). I usually throw away my daily walking clothes after a long hike as they aren't in the best of condition. The only quality stuff I take is the bivi bag my water proofs and walking trousers. I have met so many people on the Camino walks with injuries directly attributable to the loads they were carrying. I would seriously give some thought to your bag weight or use one of the many bag transfer services if its heavy. Enjoy your Camino :)
 

CdnDreamer

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012), Frances (2015)
#30
Don't get too stressed out over what you are taking. It is definitely not worth crying over. If you take too much, you will probably get rid of some of it - if you take too little, there are stores in Spain. I took a travel size bottle of shampoo, that I used as soap, shampoo and to wash my clothes in. I chose to take the shampoo I use, because I know I'm not allergic to it. When the travel size bottle was used up I was able to buy another travel size bottle of the same shampoo in Spain. It was really inexpensive. Sometimes the albergues sell items, and stores in the smaller towns catered to pilgrims.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Starting April, 15, 2017
#31
Oh Debbye.

Nothing is worth the misery of trying to trudge along with a bag too heavy. And you will save yourself more money by not taking stuff than wasting the money on it and possibly paying to ship it home.

I started with what I thought were the bare necessities and found myself sitting in Pamplona cutting tags off of underwear and going to two pairs of underwear instead of three.

Swap your bar of soap and container with all purpose camp soap (soap, detergent, shampoo). You don't need shampoo and conditioner. My toiletry bag including some first aid stuff weights 12 oz.

You don't need 'different' outfits. Indeed, I'm sure you don't need much of what is in that bag.

I encourage you to take the advice on here as we want to save you the misery of the consequence. Of course, you will otherwise figure it out on the road which is all part of the fun.
"found myself sitting in Pamplona cutting tags off of underwear" LOL now this IS good. You sound like an AT ultralight tramper sometimes referred to as a "gram weenie"... been there done that..
 
Camino(s) past & future
May 1, 2017
#32
Don't get too stressed out over what you are taking. It is definitely not worth crying over. If you take too much, you will probably get rid of some of it - if you take too little, there are stores in Spain. I took a travel size bottle of shampoo, that I used as soap, shampoo and to wash my clothes in. I chose to take the shampoo I use, because I know I'm not allergic to it. When the travel size bottle was used up I was able to buy another travel size bottle of the same shampoo in Spain. It was really inexpensive. Sometimes the albergues sell items, and stores in the smaller towns catered to pilgrims.
So I do have a windbreaker, a fleece and a Merino wool sweater for cooler weather. Will I not b needing all three to walk starting may 3.
 

Oppis

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF -15, VdlP -15, Sanabres-16. Portugues -17, Norte/Primitivo -17, Mozarabe/Torres-18
#33
Currently on our 4'th camino and still too heavy packs. Wondering how many caminoes You need to learn.
Though, You never know the weather. They say it's raining all the time in April in Portugal. This year not a single drop so far ( 11days).
 

VNwalking

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2014, 2015)
St Olav/Francés (2016)
Baztanés/Francés (2017)
Ingles (July 2018)
#34
I am trying. It is hard for me. I feel ready to cry right now but im hoping to do the right thing.
Take a long deep breath, Debbye Jean. And maybe a few more.
Really, trust us. You'll be fine without all that stuff!
Ditch the makeup and see how you go--the freedom of not needing to add anything to your face in the morning besides a smile is delicious. Besides, no-one on the Camino cares how your face looks--on the road, what shines out from your heart matters a whole lot more.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Arrive in Biarritz on June 25, 2017
#36
I am trying. It is hard for me. I feel ready to cry right now but im hoping to do the right thing.
Hang in there. I have been right where you are thinking if I have it I should take it. You will find you really don't need it.
I am trying. It is hard for me. I feel ready to cry right now but im hoping to do the right thing.
I am trying. It is hard for me. I feel ready to cry right now but im hoping to do the right thing.
 

CaptBuddy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Fall 2012, again Fall 2014.
#37
Debbye, I feel your pain. If only we could have the experience before we go...
I understand the money issue, but how will you feel when you abandon that stuff somewhere in the first 3 days. Trust me, you will.
This is a lesson only learned by the doing (I was just like you, heck most of us were).
Best of luck to you. You'll be fine.
 
Camino(s) past & future
May 1, 2017
#38
Take a long deep breath, Debbye Jean. And maybe a few more.
Really, trust us. You'll be fine without all that stuff!
Ditch the makeup and see how you go--the freedom of not needing to add anything to your face in the morning besides a smile is delicious. Besides, no-one on the Camino cares how your face looks--on the road, what shines out from your heart matters a whole lot more.
That's really a lovely way to think about it.
 

VNwalking

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2014, 2015)
St Olav/Francés (2016)
Baztanés/Francés (2017)
Ingles (July 2018)
#39
It's amazing how tied we are to stuff!
Yup. Lesson number 1.
Your camino is already well underway.;)
If there's any anxiety, stuff won't solve that. It just makes the body hurt.
Most everyone goes through this, so gently gently...we can all say "You won't need it'" but that's not your experience, yet. So whatever you feel about stuff now, feel it. And know that's part of the process.
The thing that's completely optional is acting on that feeling by loading the pack down with heavy 'security blankets.' The 'in case' stuff. One compromise is to take the absolute bare minimum, and give yourself permission to buy what you might have left behind if you find after a few days that you really need it. (And don't worry. You won't.)
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
#40
So I do have a windbreaker, a fleece and a Merino wool sweater for cooler weather. Will I not b needing all three to walk starting may 3.
ummm, no....
Bring either the fleece or the merino wool. Ditch the windbreaker.
If you have more that one layer of rain gear (for instance a poncho and a rain jacket) ditch one, and bring only one.
The same goes for all your gear.
 

trecile

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aug - Sept (2016) SJPDP - Finisterre
July - Aug (2017) SJPDP - Muxia - Finisterre
#41
Take a long deep breath, Debbye Jean. And maybe a few more.
Really, trust us. You'll be fine without all that stuff!
Ditch the makeup and see how you go--the freedom of not needing to add anything to your face in the morning besides a smile is delicious. Besides, no-one on the Camino cares how your face looks--on the road, what shines out from your heart matters a whole lot more.
Debbye has already said that she is not carrying makeup. I think the confusion stems from her calling what is actually a toiletry bag a "cosmetic" bag, which is how many women refer to it.
 

CaptBuddy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Fall 2012, again Fall 2014.
#42
It's amazing how tied we are to stuff!
Oh, so true, so true.
When we got home from our first Camino, the neighbors must have thought we were moving.
We threw out, or gave away, all the non-essential essentials that cluttered our home life. I need to do it again.
Amazing how little you really need to have a full experience.
I'm reminded of the old saying, "a truly free man carries all his belongings on his back".
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
#44
@Debbye Jean - I just wanted to say I feel your pain! I have tried to reduce my pack weight and I know I take more gear than many folks recommend but over the years I've tweaked my contents and searched for lightweight/small options so that now my pack weight is just 6.4 kilos... and it's currently packed and ready to go to St Jean in a few weeks.

But shhhh... I'll let you into a secret... I carry 3 complete changes of clothes + a long sleeve (under armour) top layer + a waterproof jacket and scarf + toiletries/conditioner/moisteriser/make-up/sunscreen/bug spray and a towel that will wrap around me + silk liner and a lightweight quilt... and I have a bag of stuff that includes phone charger/clothes pegs/washing line/first aid/tiny pair of scissors and silicone toe protectors... and I carry essential medication in a staycool pack... and emergency t-bags... oh yes and a glasses case, purse and small shoulder bag and sandals... I'm sure there's more :D

I should stress that I'm not saying don't listen to all the brilliant advise above... indeed do listen because it's great advise... but I also am saying don't get disheartened. Everything I take (and buy now) is lightweight, I weigh EVERYTHING that goes in my bag. I have minitures of all my toiletries... travel toothpaste, tiny sample size perfume... my make-up actually only weighs 68gm in total (that's a saving for you as you dont wear any). I made a list of every item in my pack, down to the last pin (and I shared it) and over time I've crossed things off that list are not 100% what I need.

I cut out labels, only take the smallest quantities of things like first aid (literally enough for a day as I know I can buy more)... did I say I weigh EVERYTHING? And I always search for bargains... a lightweight bag in Ikea and a cheap scarf in Lidl... it doesnt have to be high-tec and expensive... my comb and toothbrush were free... from in a hotel we stayed in!

I practice walking with my full pack and like today, I came back hot and tired and took out a spare pair of socks and some gloves... they won't be coming with me and I saved 80gms.

It takes a bit of time to get the pack right... but the biggest lesson I learned since my first camino has to be that you should pack and unpack and repack your gear... look at it, handle it, consider every last detail. Make a list and did I mention weight everything :) Use the things you're taking and see how they work for you. I used my camino toiletries at home to see how long the toothpaste/soap/conditioner would last... I cut the soap in half and wondered if I still liked the smell after 3 weeks :rolleyes:.

Anyway... I'm rambling... but just wanted to say... we've all been there! You'll master this!

Have a great walk :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017
#45
So I do have a windbreaker, a fleece and a Merino wool sweater for cooler weather. Will I not b needing all three to walk starting may 3.
No, you only need one fleece - easy to wash. Use your raincoat as a windbreaker if required.
Forget facial wipes. Use tissues and moisturiser instead of cleanser and toner or just soap and water.

The other heavy thing people often carry are long pants (trousers). You can buy super light hiking ones from goodwill shops. They weigh 200-300g and air dry in 1 hr. Wear one and one spare for night.

Shoes: 1 pair hiking shoes and 1 pair of flip-flops and nothing more.
 
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alaskadiver

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
Won't be returning in 2018 going on a dive trip instead.
#47
My problem with buying along the way is I don't really have extra money to be buying things I already have.
What exxactly is in your cosmetic/toiletry bag? Mine only weighs about 300gr with half a bar of soap in it. No make up even though I wear makeup everyday at home. I'm getting a tan before I leave and after that no make up is needed. Please post your list so the experts can help you.
 

tillyjones

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances June 2015
VDLP May 2017
#48
Ok. So thinking about it more. If you are feeling too overwhelmed to make cuts now, then don't do it if it's going to make you feel unsure and uncomfortable when you start. Once you get going, you will undoubtedly decide you need to ditch stuff and then can make a more informed decision about what to ditch. (It will just be a shame to ditch stuff of much value) I would suggest, though...even of the stuff that you're presently convinced you 'need', look at it all and ask yourself can you make that thing lighter in any way - can I cut the tag off, can it go in a lighter 'container', etc.

And some extra thoughts of some of the things you've mentioned. No to the fleece and wool shirt. Do you NEED a comb? Definitely get rid of the soap container - zip lock bag. It is truly a question of NEED vs want. We truly need very little to survive.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
#49
Simple rule: If you KNOW you will use it, pack it. If you THINK you will use it/come in handy, ditch it.

Ditch toiletry bag: Soap, tooth paste, brush, comb is enough. No conditioner etc.

If you find that you ditched something you need after all, buy it in Spain. They have shops there.

You can find ditched hair dryers all along the Camino, f.ex. :):):)
 
Camino(s) past & future
May 1, 2017
#50
Simple rule: If you KNOW you will use it, pack it. If you THINK you will use it/come in handy, ditch it.

Ditch toiletry bag: Soap, tooth paste, brush, comb is enough. No conditioner etc.

If you find that you ditched something you need after all, buy it in Spain. They have shops there.

You can find ditched hair dryers all along the Camino, f.ex. :):):)
Haha that's funny. Even I wouldn't think of taking a hairdryer.
 

Kiwi-d

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sep/Oct 2014
#51
Hairdryer? No, I didn't take one but I did take (whispers) travel hot irons for my so difficult frizzy Afro hair. And Argan oil. And shampoo. And conditioner. I NEEDED them. I KNEW I would use them..... :D

Luckily, I also brought a buff. Because I very quickly ended up posting the hot irons, the argan oil and the conditioner ahead - the shampoo I used to wash my socks. I pulled the buff over my unwashed hair instead, and every time I arrived in any city, headed straight to the hairdresser and let them work their magic. Best Euro 20 ever spent.

And forget the cosmetic bag, a ziplock plastic bag will do the job and save more weight.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
#55

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
#57
Seen them in concert..

Let's get back on track: I think the OP will carry her needed luggage no matter what we say. This is normal for first-time pilgrims, it's understandable, and it's good learning on the way. Just make sure you don't bring too expensive items to throw away.

All this said tongue in cheek, but with a level of experience added.
 

Texas Walker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte (2017 summer)
Portugues (2015)
Frances (2014)
#58
Ok, I have taken the bare minimum that I think I can live with for 6 weeks and my pack is too heavy. I don't even want to admit to how heavy it is. I really, really don't want to travel across the world and not have everything I need. I have taken out things that I don't think are important but really don't think I have that much stuff. It sure adds up, doesn't it! You will know me when you see me from my monster pack!!!!! I know I'm going to regret it but I just can't seem to get it lighter. My damn cosmetic 3 liter bag weighs 3 pounds itself. If I could just reduce it by 5 lbs, I would be happy....I know I'm going to get a ration, but I probably need it.
Hi Debbye! I got most of the way down the discussion and realized that there is one thing not being talked much about: a "cosmetic bag" that weighs 3 pounds. If you put your toiletries (perhaps skipping the wipies?) into a ziplock bag, how much do they weigh?
And I second the advice to ditch all the duplicate stuff. I have been quite content to use liquid dish soap for body, hair, and laundry. (I ran out of the shampoo that I had been using for all 3, went into a Parfumeria shop, got the smallest dish liquid in there, and when we flew home from Madrid, I left a mostly full bottle behind in the room for staff to use as they wished.) I am now looking at what to pack again, and since in the past few years almost everything I buy to wear is lightweight and quick drying it's a struggle to remind myself that I don't need both the hiking skirt and the Icebreaker dress-that-was-on-sale, and I don't need both zip off pants and roll up pants and shorts to boot.

As I don't hold heat well and chill easily, I'm probably going to pack or wear: 1 pair yoga pants (snug, but not painted on I hope!), 1 pair zip off pants, and the aforementioned skirt or dress but not both. A sleeveless knit top that can be either by itself or under something. A fleece. A buff, either a regular one or the "infinity" type one that the Christmas angels gave me. The hat--movable shade is good. A woven shirt and probably a knit long sleeved thing that could be under or by itself. And will decide at the last minute what goes on me in the plane and what goes into the pack. That doesn't include other stuff, like toothbrush, tiny toothpaste, comb, passport and credencial, TP, pen, paper, camera. (It's my 12 ounces.) 3 or 4 pair of sox, 3 or 4 pair undies, 2 light yoga type bras. Oh, and the sticks, which go into the pack for the airplane flight, and come out if there is slippery stuff or a scary dog. The sticks paid for themselves both times for me, between wind in 2014 and dogs in 2015.
Added weight, new this time: a 7 3/4 ounce bag to put the pack into for the flight, which will fold into itself and could conceivably be a pillow. A small water resistant bag to carry into the shower with clothes inside as some of the showers splatter all over the stall. And since I have learned that having a stuff type sack to put the clean clothes mostly into is a sanity saver, by saving and using a sturdy plastic bag from a pharmacy purchase, a ripstop small bag of the "reusable grocery bag" shape, roughly 8 inches wide and the bottom corners boxed to make it about 2 inches the other way. I already have a mesh bag with a zipper that hangs inside the pack and holds the bandages, the Pepto Bismol, the aspirin. (Made that before the 2015 pilgrimage. Very handy not to have to dig into the very bottom to find one bandage for a blister in the morning.) Not bringing the Kindle this time, but bringing a tablet that will take photos and make blog posts for my nervous relatives. Spouse gets to carry guidebook which probably equals weight of the tablet. He also gets to carry the Spanish flip phone and I'm hoping I can sneak the sink stopper into his bag too. Maybe even the 10 foot long paracord and clothespins? But we'll see.
I put my loaded pack, with the belly bag and camera, onto the scale in the bathroom and it needs to not cross over 20 pounds. That does, obviously, exclude water and food but I'm okay with that inaccuracy. (Pack is a Deuter, so it's not weightless. I weigh it all together because that's what I will be carrying.)
This is not a 6 week trip into the trackless wastes of upper Canada. This is a series of day walks across a civilized country, and you will encounter food stores, pharmacies, parfumerias in all of the good-sized towns, plus bars selling cafe leche and bocadillos all over the place. Even if the place you stay doesn't have an automatic washing machine, it will have a sink. You will be fine. And you can buy more socks if needed, in the probably 3-5 outdoor/hiking stores scattered along the way. One is in Pamplona which if you go from St Jean on the Frances route is only about 3 days into the path.
Buen camino.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
#59
...And you can buy more socks if needed, in the probably 3-5 outdoor/hiking stores scattered along the way.
The best socks I have ever bought was in Castrojeriz. Brand name is Lorpen. It is a tiny shop near the plaza in town. Run by a very old man I hope will live much longer. I do not find similar quality in Norway. Advice: Take essentials and stock up what you really need en route. Cheaper than throwing away unneccesary, second-grade stuff brought from home.
 
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alaskadiver

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
Won't be returning in 2018 going on a dive trip instead.
#63
A bar of soap with a soap container, travel-sized toothpaste and toothbrush brush
Just an FYI, my cosmetic bag is only filled with toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, conditioner, small packet of facial wipes, small comb,and a couple other travel sized stuff. Not makeup. Typically I wear very little to no makeup in my home life. I will take what u all have told me and rethink my pack.
That can't weigh 3 lbs? Can it? Maybe it's the facial wipes. I opted out of bringing any of those because they feel so heavy. I agree with what someone else said that a ziplock bag (what I'm using) will reduce quite a few grams.
Try not to stress. This is supposed to be fun right ?
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
#64
He just doesn't understand the importance of conditioner for some ladies with special hair needs :)
Well, being an old man, I can relate to the use of conditioner, makeup, cosmetics and lots of other female stuff in the morning. I have seen some scary female examples in my lifetime by not using them...;)

But back on track: What is the OP really bringing on that is weighing so much? And is it really needed? What is the real need?
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
C. de Salvador/Primitivo (2018)
#65
Haha that's funny. Even I wouldn't think of taking a hairdryer.
I have a photo I took from a top bunk of a bald French guy sitting on the lower bunk, using a hairdryer to dry each page of his guidebook. It had not rained. Somebody else suggested that maybe he thought bedbugs were hiding in his book. Mind you, a bald guy packed a hairdryer.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid.
#66
@Debbye Jean it will all be fine. Don't get too stressed. If you can, look at your pack and its contents with new eyes. I try to do this every time I walk a camino. Fear=weight.
Anything that has been invented in the last 60 years, is probably unnecessary. For instance you mentioned facial wipes. What is wrong with water out of a tap? Sometimes this forum makes decisions too difficult. I'm always fascinated by the threads that run on "what soap/shampoo/conditioner/clothes washing" etc etc is best. Go simple. Washing requires one small cake of soap. That takes care of body, hair and clothes - I understand people (usually women) agonise over their hair - but really, if the worst comes to the worst, a pinch of olive oil out of the albergue kitchen and rubbed through will come to the rescue!
It is a matter of being creative, thinking on the spot, - in another thread I've just emphasised the pleasure out of finding creative solutions. Problems do arise, it is not Disneyland, but have faith in your ability to cope.
I remove everything that is there attempting to make me look good. And try not add them back in again. Those things are for other people, the Camino is something we do for ourselves.
Concentrate on what is really, really needed, always, to be comfortable walking. Not glamorous, not looking good, just comfortable. Everyday. What do you need to walk at home? Basic clothing, one set, a pair of shoes. Then add one warm sweater, and something in case it rains - either a jacket or a poncho. You also need to be decent (i.e. nakedness covered) while you wash your clothes every night. Don't take things that are alternatives.
Having said that, if you get too upset discarding things (and for some people it is like cutting off a limb), then take the lot but anticipate spending time at the post office sending things on to Ivar in Santiago. And don't beat yourself up. I give this good advice, but know I'm as guilty as anyone of carrying too much.
 

tomnorth

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, September 24 - October 31 (2015)
#67
A bar of soap with a soap container, travel-sized toothpaste and toothbrush brush
Just an FYI, my cosmetic bag is only filled with toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, conditioner, small packet of facial wipes, small comb,and a couple other travel sized stuff. Not makeup. Typically I wear very little to no makeup in my home life. I will take what u all have told me and rethink my pack.
Forget the shampoo and conditioner, just use a bar of soap. That way you're not carting around all that water. Also, get a small tube of toothpaste. You can always buy more. These things should save you a lot of weight.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2018
#69
Wayyyyyyy back in the day when I hiked the AT with the class of '93 I didn't have internet, hardly any resources and knew not what I was getting into. I think I took at least 2 prs. of Levis, a very heavy Slumberjack synthetic sleeping bag, a Coleman gas stove, you name it. I left with my Jansport external frame pack with all kinds of optional gear tied on. My pack had to weigh at least 65 lbs.
Hahaha! reminds me of my hiking trips waaaay back too.
 
Camino(s) past & future
May 1, 2017
#70
Hello Everyone and Thanks for the Great Advice,

I couldn't wait to get home from work today and whittle down my pack. It was actually 24-25 pounds to start with. Today, I went through it for the first time and removed about 7-8 pounds of stuff, including taking stuff out of the toiletry bag. When I went hiking today, it weighed 17 pounds, which is about 10% of my body weight. I am 5'8" and the pack felt like nothing on my back. I will continue to revise it until the day I leave, April 27th. I am going to Paris first for a couple of days then starting my walk on May 3rd. I thank you all for your thoughtful replies and hope everyone who responded doesn't mind that I didn't answer everyone directly. There were so many responses it would have taken me all day. At any rate, I am grateful for the advice.
 
Camino(s) past & future
May 1, 2017
#71
Well, being an old man, I can relate to the use of conditioner, makeup, cosmetics and lots of other female stuff in the morning. I have seen some scary female examples in my lifetime by not using them...;)

But back on track: What is the OP really bringing on that is weighing so much? And is it really needed? What is the real need?
I went through my pack today and lightened it.
Well, being an old man, I can relate to the use of conditioner, makeup, cosmetics and lots of other female stuff in the morning. I have seen some scary female examples in my lifetime by not using them...;)

But back on track: What is the OP really bringing on that is weighing so much? And is it really needed? What is the real need?
I lightened my pack today by 7-8 pounds, but keeping the conditioner!
 
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017
#72
Hello Everyone and Thanks for the Great Advice,

I couldn't wait to get home from work today and whittle down my pack. It was actually 24-25 pounds to start with. Today, I went through it for the first time and removed about 7-8 pounds of stuff, including taking stuff out of the toiletry bag. When I went hiking today, it weighed 17 pounds, which is about 10% of my body weight. I am 5'8" and the pack felt like nothing on my back. I will continue to revise it until the day I leave, April 27th. I am going to Paris first for a couple of days then starting my walk on May 3rd. I thank you all for your thoughtful replies and hope everyone who responded doesn't mind that I didn't answer everyone directly. There were so many responses it would have taken me all day. At any rate, I am grateful for the advice.
Congratulations! You have done really well. If there are some clothes that you need for Paris or going on to somewhere after your walk then think about posting them onto Santiago. You will really appreciate a lighter pack!

Good luck with your revising. Have a wonderful trip. We might meet along the way.
Don't despair I take a tiny amount of conditioner too! Only frizzy haired people will understand. : )
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Donating 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
#73
Forget about the six weeks. You basically just need to carry the same things that you need for a weekend. Things that you use up, such as toothpaste and soap can be replaced.
:) Our only problem is that we seem to 'need' more for a week-end than for a Camino :). Probably because we don't expect to 'wash and wear' on a week-end away.

For the Camino it is one set of clothes on including boots, one set in the pack plus extra socks and undies, thin longjohns, waterproofs, travel towel, hat, crocs. Then a comb, small shampoo, toothpaste and brush, small soap, small suncream, lip salve, nail clippers and nail file. Less is so much better for carrying. My pack, without sleeping bag or water comes to 5kg and is fine for all I feel that I need and is a comfortable weight for me.
Hope you can make yours a manageable weight for you @Debbye Jean, your last post looks as though you have done. :)
Buen Camino
 

VNwalking

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2014, 2015)
St Olav/Francés (2016)
Baztanés/Francés (2017)
Ingles (July 2018)
#74
Way to go, @Debbye Jean! Well done.
You won't regret it. Simplicity is light, fear is heavy. And the body does so much better with simple.
 
#76
I am trying. It is hard for me. I feel ready to cry right now but im hoping to do the right thing.
Packing your bag is all part of the Camino, like a lot of replies you've had, it shows you just what is essential in your life! and believe me it isn't a lot! Treat it as a look at yourself and an excercise in self cleansing, a stripping off all that's not required in your life! Be harsh and get yourself back to basics buen camino
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), Primitivo(13), Norte(14), Madrid (16)
#77
Hello Everyone and Thanks for the Great Advice,

I couldn't wait to get home from work today and whittle down my pack. It was actually 24-25 pounds to start with. Today, I went through it for the first time and removed about 7-8 pounds of stuff, including taking stuff out of the toiletry bag. When I went hiking today, it weighed 17 pounds, which is about 10% of my body weight. I am 5'8" and the pack felt like nothing on my back. I will continue to revise it until the day I leave, April 27th. I am going to Paris first for a couple of days then starting my walk on May 3rd. I thank you all for your thoughtful replies and hope everyone who responded doesn't mind that I didn't answer everyone directly. There were so many responses it would have taken me all day. At any rate, I am grateful for the advice.
Debbye Jean:

Please do not feel bad in any way. Almost everyone who did or did not respond to your post has gone through the same exercise. Either at home before they left or on the Camino.

You will find a similar support system on the Camino. So have no fear and enjoy the discovery of learning more about yourself and your abilities.

Start slow, listen to your body and let the Camino be your guide.

Ultreya,
Joe
 
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Shston Girlfd

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spring of 2017
#78
Ok, I have taken the bare minimum that I think I can live with for 6 weeks and my pack is too heavy. I don't even want to admit to how heavy it is. I really, really don't want to travel across the world and not have everything I need. I have taken out things that I don't think are important but really don't think I have that much stuff. It sure adds up, doesn't it! You will know me when you see me from my monster pack!!!!! I know I'm going to regret it but I just can't seem to get it lighter. My damn cosmetic 3 liter bag weighs 3 pounds itself. If I could just reduce it by 5 lbs, I would be happy....I know I'm going to get a ration, but I probably need it.
I also have struggled to get my pack down to a sustainable weight and it is a tough personal compromise. I like to look nice so I have a couple of compromises packed - I found a lovely little sport dress (4oz) and some croc mary janes (6oz, which are my shower and evening shoes) as well as a pashima scarf. All of my clothing except my socks and panties I have found in charity shops this last few months - cheap, appropriate and without history; easy come easy go. I am packing high quality sunscreen and my good moisturizer but shipping Ivar my lipstick, as well as a complete outfit. Do not give up - you can do this.
 

tomnorth

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, September 24 - October 31 (2015)
#79
Hello Everyone and Thanks for the Great Advice,

I couldn't wait to get home from work today and whittle down my pack. It was actually 24-25 pounds to start with. Today, I went through it for the first time and removed about 7-8 pounds of stuff, including taking stuff out of the toiletry bag. When I went hiking today, it weighed 17 pounds, which is about 10% of my body weight. I am 5'8" and the pack felt like nothing on my back. I will continue to revise it until the day I leave, April 27th. I am going to Paris first for a couple of days then starting my walk on May 3rd. I thank you all for your thoughtful replies and hope everyone who responded doesn't mind that I didn't answer everyone directly. There were so many responses it would have taken me all day. At any rate, I am grateful for the advice.
That's great. Your body will thank you.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: 2013, 2014
Madrid: 2016
Portuguese: 2015, 2017
Voluntario: 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
#80
A bar of soap with a soap container, travel-sized toothpaste and toothbrush brush
Just an FYI, my cosmetic bag is only filled with toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, conditioner, small packet of facial wipes, small comb,and a couple other travel sized stuff. Not makeup. Typically I wear very little to no makeup in my home life. I will take what u all have told me and rethink my pack.
Your list of cosmetics sounds about right. HOWEVER, what size are the liquid containers? Liquids weigh the most, per volume. Get small, NLT 3 ounce (@ 100 ml) bottles. Try the travel sample bins at a local store. Use a quart size ziplock to travel with the smaller bottles...this is you 3-1-1 bag for airport security as well, if not checked.

Personally, my shampoo is a 2-part shampoo conditioner for men made by Dove. They have similar products for women.

Yesterday, I decanted the 16 oz bottle into a couple of 1.25 ounce "GoToobs." See here for example: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01L9BXS0W/?tag=casaivar-20

One GoToob starts with me at Lisbon on 27 April. The other is being mailed ahead with a kilo or more of vitamins, nutritional supplements, OTC medicines, and my required protein powder supplements, to my reserved hotel stay at Porto, about halfway to Santiago.

This cuts my starting rucksack weight down to a more manageable amount and allows me to refill my consumable supplies from the down-the-road cache. If you book a stay similarly, contact the venue by e-mail (use a translator like Bing or Google to make yourself understood and include the English original text below) to ask them for permission to send a small parcel ahead. I usually describe the box as about the size of a man's shoe box. This equates to a "Cabo Verde - Mediana" form the Spanish post office.

This weight-shaving includes things like toothpaste and any ointments or gels you may feel you need. Anything more than a travel size to start is too much, as you can find just about anything along the way. Buy a tube of toothpaste as you go along. You may have to choose a different brand, but that is part of the experience. All moisturizing, body, feet, and face, can be done with petroleum jelly. A lot of folks swear by Vicks Vapo-Rub for preparing feet for the day...

As others have said, Spain has EVERYTHING you find you NEED. Try not to spoil the experience by starting out with too much.

I hope this helps.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: 2013, 2014
Madrid: 2016
Portuguese: 2015, 2017
Voluntario: 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
#84
I think that you mean a Caja Verde.
View attachment 33064
Yup, you are correct. Thank you for the correction.

Another point, someone went green in the Correos and decided to make the Caja Verde boxes in plain brown corrugate to save on the green ink. They are still called Caja Verde, but are standard corrugated cardboard brown.
 

alipilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2005), Frances (2007), Madrid/Frances (2011), 1/2 VdP (2012),
#85
Maybe it's the facial wipes. I opted out of bringing any of those because they feel so heavy.
One 'cheat' that long-distance hikers use for taking along heavy hand wipes is to dehydrate them before leaving. Just take each one out of the package and lay them out to dry. Miraculously, just adding a couple of drops of water to a dehydrated wipe restores it's sudsy-ness and it's good to go! Just pile all the dried out wipes into a little ziploc and you have your package at a much reduced weight. If facial wipes are important to you you might try this trick and see if it works on them....
 

Glenn Rowe

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
.
#87
No I wasn't exaggerating, and everything is travel size. I will whittle it down.
As a brief introduction, I have not yet walked the Camino but I have considerable experience carrying packs -- sometimes very heavy packs -- thru many places in this World.

I think you may have already come to understand this, but just in case: Carrying multiple "travel-sized" items adds considerable weight -- the bottles -- to your load without adding any benefit. If you have access to a simple postal scale, you may wish to weigh an empty travel-sized bottle and then multiply by however-many travel-sized bottles of stuff are currently in your bag. It won't be completely accurate, but it'll be close. :eek::eek::eek:

You hinted at limited financial resources. I also understand this, on a deep/personal/experiential level. There was a time in my life when I was so broke I couldn't even pay attention. (The fact that I'm still phrasing it as a joke should speak volumes....)

I would simply ask that you consider the personal and financial "cost" of a miserable and possibly failed experience due to excessive pack weight, as opposed to the cost of purchasing only what you absolutely need along the way. One VISA card, particularly one that has a small credit limit, weighs considerably less than a bagful of travel-sized toiletries.

Whatever you do, know that we're all right here, standing ready to be of whatever assistance you may need or request.

-- Glenn
 
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ellie03

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
French Way (2011), Portuguese Route (2017)
#89
Ok, I have taken the bare minimum that I think I can live with for 6 weeks and my pack is too heavy. I don't even want to admit to how heavy it is. I really, really don't want to travel across the world and not have everything I need. I have taken out things that I don't think are important but really don't think I have that much stuff. It sure adds up, doesn't it! You will know me when you see me from my monster pack!!!!! I know I'm going to regret it but I just can't seem to get it lighter. My damn cosmetic 3 liter bag weighs 3 pounds itself. If I could just reduce it by 5 lbs, I would be happy....I know I'm going to get a ration, but I probably need it.
Hi. If you join CAMIGAS ~ A Buddy System for Women on the Camino on facebook - the women there have posted great advice and examples of what they are taking according to which Camino, and for how long their travels will be. It may be helpful to you! Buen Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
May 1, 2017
#90
Debbye Jean,

Sounds like your Camino has already begun.

-- Glenn
I think you are right. I am struggling with a lot of loss, like I think many people are. On my training walks I have touched the surface of these multiple losses and started to cry. Then I choke it back down and contain myself and walk on. It's quite interesting to me and I just wonder where im going to be on the trail when I finally come face to face with it all.
 

JulieandPeter

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (April/May 2015)
Frances (May/June 2017)
Planning Le Puy to SJPDP (August/September 2018)
#92
Sorry to hear you are dealing with loss. I loved reading this thread and all of the great advice. All I would add after reading your concerns about costs is to NOT carry with you anything that you cannot afford to leave behind. I left behind expensive long underwear, boots, and a really nice down jacket after a long walk in snow on day one in April (I did not use any of those items in the snow, however, I was grateful to have gloves). Peter left behind his Scientific American magazine (and long underwear).

Physically and metaphorically this is easier said than done: learning how to carry what you must is a great lesson.

I will leave you with a photo taken in Fromista of someone who was looking a bit sheepish without her "cosmetics" along the way. :) IMG_9891.JPG
 
Last edited:

Hutton24

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances October 2013
Camino Frances April 2017
#94
Forget the shampoo and conditioner, just use a bar of soap. That way you're not carting around all that water. Also, get a small tube of toothpaste. You can always buy more. These things should save you a lot of weight.
That's easy to say when you are a man and you have not much hair! We girlies with long hair would end up with a frizzed and dried mat of hair on our heads if we did that. Me? I am taking shampoo and conditioner, small tubes tho :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
May 1, 2017
#95
Seen them in concert..

Let's get back on track: I think the OP will carry her needed luggage no matter what we say. This is normal for first-time pilgrims, it's understandable, and it's good learning on the way. Just make sure you don't bring too expensive items to throw away.

All this said tongue in cheek, but with a level of experience added.
No that's not true. I replied to the the posts telling everyone I already lessened my load by 7 pounds. I will continue to whittle it down. I very much am listening to everyone's advice
 
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017
#96
No one ever mentions deodorant on these threads of what to take.
I am definitely taking deodorant. :)
I am currently working out exactly how much I need of one of the solid types in a screw up plastic container.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances , St Jean Pied de Port - Finisterra May/ June 2017
Le Puy en Velay - Ales [2018]
#98
I take anti-perspirant deodorant. It doubles as anti-chaffing cream - exactly the same active ingredient (aluminium chlorohydrate).
Good tip Kanga , another thing that has a double use . Various parts of me will thank you I have no doubt ;)
 

tomnorth

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, September 24 - October 31 (2015)
#99
That's easy to say when you are a man and you have not much hair! We girlies with long hair would end up with a frizzed and dried mat of hair on our heads if we did that. Me? I am taking shampoo and conditioner, small tubes tho :)
Small tubes are good. You can always buy more along the way.
 

Glenn Rowe

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
.
... and I just wonder where im going to be on the trail when I finally come face to face with it all.
Perhaps it will come out in "dibs-and-dabs", as my late mother-in-law used to say, rather than all at once.

I'm thinking it may be a good idea for you to talk things over with a professional before you begin the physical Camino.
 

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