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Packing hack and List for the VDLP March/April

Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
After using packing cubes all these years, I learned something today.
Recently I bought a 36L pack, but after using it here on a hike, decided it was too large and bulky.
So I bought a 28L pack last week, and was struggling this morning to get all I need into it.

The problem was my down sleeping blanket, which when stuffed into its sack, was about 7 x 16" - I thought about buying a compression sack, but didn't want to crush the down so much. So I got online and started looking and found a thread where people said all they did was stuff the sleeping bag into the bottom of their pack, then packed on top of it.

Sooo.... this morning, I dumped ALL the packing cubes.
I stuffed the sleeping bag into the bottom and on top packed:

2 pair panties
1 bra
2 pair wool socks
1 extra Macabi skirt
1 merino wool long sleeved shirt
1 short sleeved shirt
1 silk undershirt
Puff Jacket
Deodorant
bath/shampoo bar (about a 1/2 inch slice)
cold water clothes wash bar (1/2)
travel toothbrush/paste
dental floss
featherweight flip flops for afternoons & showers
ALTUS poncho goes into the front elastic pocket
Fleece hat, gloves, wool buff go in the top lid pocket
small binoculars in the waistbelt pocket
hydration bladder

With all this, I ended up with plenty of space in the pack.
I was really surprised!

I'll wear on the plane:
Macabi skirt
short sleeved shirt
cashmere/merino pullover sweater
merino wool leggings
panties
bra
socks
shoes

I'll carry in my Macabi pocket:
chlorox wipes
hand wipes
iphone
change purse
chapstick
earphones (for movies on the plane)

I think that's it.
I realize this will make packing less convenient each morning, but the space saving is worth it.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
After thinking about it, I'm going to try putting all else on the bottom and putting the sleeping bag on top.
It's not heavy at all.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
My pack is 31 L, but I still have that problem trying to decide how to stuff the sleeping bag in. I really like to have things organized, but a hard sausage-shaped bundle is awkward. Sometimes I put the sleeping bag in a roll-top dry sack, sit on it to compress, and then roll the top. I do the same with my bag of spare clothes. That method makes two flatter pancake-shaped bundles that seem to use the backpack space more efficiently.
 

Colette Z

Happy Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
CF- Finisterre-Muxia 03/17; Camino SK 10/17; Norte 03/18; Ingles 11/18; Augusta 03/19
After using packing cubes all these years, I learned something today.
Recently I bought a 36L pack, but after using it here on a hike, decided it was too large and bulky.
So I bought a 28L pack last week, and was struggling this morning to get all I need into it.

The problem was my down sleeping blanket, which when stuffed into its sack, was about 7 x 16" - I thought about buying a compression sack, but didn't want to crush the down so much. So I got online and started looking and found a thread where people said all they did was stuff the sleeping bag into the bottom of their pack, then packed on top of it.

Sooo.... this morning, I dumped ALL the packing cubes.
I stuffed the sleeping bag into the bottom and on top packed:

2 pair panties
1 bra
2 pair wool socks
1 extra Macabi skirt
1 merino wool long sleeved shirt
1 short sleeved shirt
1 silk undershirt
Puff Jacket
Deodorant
bath/shampoo bar (about a 1/2 inch slice)
cold water clothes wash bar (1/2)
travel toothbrush/paste
dental floss
featherweight flip flops for afternoons & showers
ALTUS poncho goes into the front elastic pocket
Fleece hat, gloves, wool buff go in the top lid pocket
small binoculars in the waistbelt pocket
hydration bladder

With all this, I ended up with plenty of space in the pack.
I was really surprised!

I'll wear on the plane:
Macabi skirt
short sleeved shirt
cashmere/merino pullover sweater
merino wool leggings
panties
bra
socks
shoes

I'll carry in my Macabi pocket:
chlorox wipes
hand wipes
iphone
change purse
chapstick
earphones (for movies on the plane)

I've sewn my moneybelts into my skirts.
My moneybelt holds my credit card(s) and cash and passport

I think that's it.
I realize this will make packing less convenient each morning, but the space saving is worth it.
I use a cheap wet sac for my down quilt and a second wet sac for all else with toiletries in a large zip lock bag. My 30L pack is never full. The wet sacs are for isolating sleep ware plus add extra protection against rain under my pack rain cover. My Total pack weight is 5kg.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I use a cheap wet sac for my down quilt and a second wet sac for all else with toiletries in a large zip lock bag. My 30L pack is never full. The wet sacs are for isolating sleep ware plus add extra protection against rain under my pack rain cover. My Total pack weight is 5kg.
Including water?
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Not sure shoving everything in the bag can really be called a hack though!
lol! For me it is a hack if it gets everything in.
Because it's likely to be colder than I'm used to (I usually walk in May), I'm having to take a few more cold weather items. I'm usually super organized with packing cubes and stuff sacks.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Sounds great. Just a question...how do you protect your valuables whilst showering? (I used a small ultralight dry sac.)
When I'm walking with Joe, he watches my things.
When I'm walking alone, I take my moneybelt into the albergue shower with me in a ziplock bag.
In private lodgings with a bathroom, I take things into the bathroom but otherwise don't worry much about it.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I used a compression sack for my down quilt and found that this did not cause any problems or compromise use of the quilt in any way.
Yes, I thought about that but it's just too late now to order one and have it arrive in time.
I leave Wednesday morning.
I may go to the Decathelon if I can find one, and look for a compression sack there.
I know there is one in Merida. Not sure about Zafra.
 

NJohn

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept/Oct 2020
After using packing cubes all these years, I learned something today.
Recently I bought a 36L pack, but after using it here on a hike, decided it was too large and bulky.
So I bought a 28L pack last week, and was struggling this morning to get all I need into it.
Can I ask which 28L bag you bought? I have a Kelty 28L, but it lacks compartments like the top one (what someone described to me as the ‘brain’) and load adjuster straps. I’m having a hard time making it feel comfortable with everything in it.
Thanks!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Can I ask which 28L bag you bought? I have a Kelty 28L, but it lacks compartments like the top one (what someone described to me as the ‘brain’) and load adjuster straps. I’m having a hard time making it feel comfortable with everything in it.
Thanks!
I bought the Gregory Jade 28L.
The small size is actually more like a 26L but it's big enough for me.
I have used this bag before and liked it a lot.
It's a top loader and sleek.
It's the closest thing I've been able to find to my Arcteryx 30L that I dumped after walking from Malaga.
It stunk and I was "finished" with the Camino. ::::maniacal laughter::::
and have regretted it ever since.
Screen Shot 2020-03-02 at 6.32.19 AM.png
 

Shades of Narnia

Sandi, Shades of Narnia
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis, 2014
Camino Portuguese 2015
Camino Francis, 2016 & Hospitalera in Viana Spain
(etc)
I bought the Gregory Jade 28L.
The small size is actually more like a 26L but it's big enough for me.
I have used this bag before and liked it a lot.
It's a top loader and sleek.
It's the closest thing I've been able to find to my Arcteryx 30L that I dumped after walking from Malaga.
It stunk and I was "finished" with the Camino. ::::maniacal laughter::::
and have regretted it ever since.
View attachment 70436
I love my Gregory 28L and am planning my Camino#5 with it right now. My only unknown is how/where does the Platipus water bag go? (inside pack or on outside). I will go to an outfitter today to ask around :) Buen Camino!
 

chinacat

Veteran Member
@Anniesantiago

“cashmere/merino pullover sweater”

That’s the second time in a few days I’ve read about cashmere on here.
I took a thin cashmere sweater and it was great ...until I had to have all my clothes treated after bed bugs!
It was lovely and cosy, though.

I compressed my down bag (very lightweight) in one of those noisy bags that allow you squeeze air from one end ... (so I’d better not use it again 🤭)
It slipped down the back of my pack and it remained dry in wet weather.

I’ll try the same thing with a dribag next time (thank you @C clearly 😉)

Annie - those pack cubes are so handy but I wondered why I wanted to carry anything that increased the weight on my back. So I left them behind and use them mainly for storage now 😉
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
@Anniesantiago

“cashmere/merino pullover sweater”

Annie - those pack cubes are so handy but I wondered why I wanted to carry anything that increased the weight on my back. So I left them behind and use them mainly for storage now 😉
My cubes weigh literally nothing, but I don't think I'll use them this year.
My cashmere/merino wool sweater has already been washed in hot water to shrink it so it's ok if I have to wash it. I buy extra large ones at Goodwill then felt them in the machine to fit.
 

Simon B

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles and Camino Frances. VDLP Spring 2019
After using packing cubes all these years, I learned something today.
Recently I bought a 36L pack, but after using it here on a hike, decided it was too large and bulky.
So I bought a 28L pack last week, and was struggling this morning to get all I need into it.

The problem was my down sleeping blanket, which when stuffed into its sack, was about 7 x 16" - I thought about buying a compression sack, but didn't want to crush the down so much. So I got online and started looking and found a thread where people said all they did was stuff the sleeping bag into the bottom of their pack, then packed on top of it.

Sooo.... this morning, I dumped ALL the packing cubes.
I stuffed the sleeping bag into the bottom and on top packed:

2 pair panties
1 bra
2 pair wool socks
1 extra Macabi skirt
1 merino wool long sleeved shirt
1 short sleeved shirt
1 silk undershirt
Puff Jacket
Deodorant
bath/shampoo bar (about a 1/2 inch slice)
cold water clothes wash bar (1/2)
travel toothbrush/paste
dental floss
featherweight flip flops for afternoons & showers
ALTUS poncho goes into the front elastic pocket
Fleece hat, gloves, wool buff go in the top lid pocket
small binoculars in the waistbelt pocket
hydration bladder

With all this, I ended up with plenty of space in the pack.
I was really surprised!

I'll wear on the plane:
Macabi skirt
short sleeved shirt
cashmere/merino pullover sweater
merino wool leggings
panties
bra
socks
shoes

I'll carry in my Macabi pocket:
chlorox wipes
hand wipes
iphone
change purse
chapstick
earphones (for movies on the plane)

I think that's it.
I realize this will make packing less convenient each morning, but the space saving is worth it.
I have just done about half of the VDLP and took my trusty sleeping bag but never took it out of my rucksack. Every albergue supplied blankets and in many cases nice clean sheets.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I have just done about half of the VDLP and took my trusty sleeping bag but never took it out of my rucksack. Every albergue supplied blankets and in many cases nice clean sheets.
Really? Did you walk up past Salamanca to Astorga?
 

Simon B

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles and Camino Frances. VDLP Spring 2019
I have just done about half of the VDLP and took my trusty sleeping bag but never took it out of my rucksack. Every albergue supplied blankets and in many cases nice clean sheets.
No I stopped at Salamanca.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
No I stopped at Salamanca.
I'm concerned in Salamanca and above, as the weather appears to be colder up there.
But thanks for the info.
Any suggestions as to albergues to avoid or those not to miss?
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I have just done about half of the VDLP and took my trusty sleeping bag but never took it out of my rucksack. Every albergue supplied blankets and in many cases nice clean sheets.
Joe is asking if you used the municipals or just privates?
 
Camino(s) past & future
in fall 2017
lol! For me it is a hack if it gets everything in.
Because it's likely to be colder than I'm used to (I usually walk in May), I'm having to take a few more cold weather items. I'm usually super organized with packing cubes and stuff sacks.
I made a few ultra light drawstring bags out very lightweight woven fabric. If you dont sew try using those new recyckable produce bags. They may not be strong, but would keep your socks and underwear together so they dont hit the floor when you unpack. A large ziplock bag works well to keep toiletries together and wer things seperated. The little drawstrinng bags also work to hold stuff n shower.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I made a few ultra light drawstring bags out very lightweight woven fabric. If you dont sew try using those new recyckable produce bags. They may not be strong, but would keep your socks and underwear together so they dont hit the floor when you unpack. A large ziplock bag works well to keep toiletries together and wer things seperated. The little drawstrinng bags also work to hold stuff n shower.
Thanks Julie. I have plenty of nysil stuff sacks. Everything just fits better in the 26L bag without them.
 

Gail Dickson

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances April 2016
Portugese from Lisbon 2018
Via Francigena (2020)
After using packing cubes all these years, I learned something today.
Recently I bought a 36L pack, but after using it here on a hike, decided it was too large and bulky.
So I bought a 28L pack last week, and was struggling this morning to get all I need into it.

The problem was my down sleeping blanket, which when stuffed into its sack, was about 7 x 16" - I thought about buying a compression sack, but didn't want to crush the down so much. So I got online and started looking and found a thread where people said all they did was stuff the sleeping bag into the bottom of their pack, then packed on top of it.

Sooo.... this morning, I dumped ALL the packing cubes.
I stuffed the sleeping bag into the bottom and on top packed:

2 pair panties
1 bra
2 pair wool socks
1 extra Macabi skirt
1 merino wool long sleeved shirt
1 short sleeved shirt
1 silk undershirt
Puff Jacket
Deodorant
bath/shampoo bar (about a 1/2 inch slice)
cold water clothes wash bar (1/2)
travel toothbrush/paste
dental floss
featherweight flip flops for afternoons & showers
ALTUS poncho goes into the front elastic pocket
Fleece hat, gloves, wool buff go in the top lid pocket
small binoculars in the waistbelt pocket
hydration bladder

With all this, I ended up with plenty of space in the pack.
I was really surprised!

I'll wear on the plane:
Macabi skirt
short sleeved shirt
cashmere/merino pullover sweater
merino wool leggings
panties
bra
socks
shoes

I'll carry in my Macabi pocket:
chlorox wipes
hand wipes
iphone
change purse
chapstick
earphones (for movies on the plane)

I think that's it.
I realize this will make packing less convenient each morning, but the space saving is worth it.
Yes, always put sleeping bag in first without a sack. Makes HUGE difference!
 

Bagobev

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Lisbon to Santiago (2017)
I bought the Gregory Jade 28L.
The small size is actually more like a 26L but it's big enough for me.
I have used this bag before and liked it a lot.
It's a top loader and sleek.
It's the closest thing I've been able to find to my Arcteryx 30L that I dumped after walking from Malaga.
It stunk and I was "finished" with the Camino. ::::maniacal laughter::::
and have regretted it ever since.
View attachment 70436
I used and loved this same bag on the Portuguese Camino and will use it again on the French next fall. I put my sleeping bag loose in the bottom of my bag and my clothes in a "travel shoe bag" on top. By some miracle I only had three hours of light rain in 40 days so did not have to be concerned about keeping things dry. I know this miracle is unlikely to happen a second time and I am not a parka user, so I have to be concerned about water collecting in the bottom of the rain cover and soaking my gear. My solution; I purchased a 15 litre light weight wet sac that will hold my clothes but also is big enough to stuff in my sleeping blanket (going with a blanket not a bag this time). My total pack weight was 6.2kg without water.
 

Shades of Narnia

Sandi, Shades of Narnia
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis, 2014
Camino Portuguese 2015
Camino Francis, 2016 & Hospitalera in Viana Spain
(etc)
I used and loved this same bag on the Portuguese Camino and will use it again on the French next fall. I put my sleeping bag loose in the bottom of my bag and my clothes in a "travel shoe bag" on top. By some miracle I only had three hours of light rain in 40 days so did not have to be concerned about keeping things dry. I know this miracle is unlikely to happen a second time and I am not a parka user, so I have to be concerned about water collecting in the bottom of the rain cover and soaking my gear. My solution; I purchased a 15 litre light weight wet sac that will hold my clothes but also is big enough to stuff in my sleeping blanket (going with a blanket not a bag this time). My total pack weight was 6.2kg without water.
This Spring I will use a 'compactor bag', inserting like a liner before placing all my items into my Gregory.....an added protection to the rain cover. You fill it and then fold the edges downwards....perfect and without undue extra weight!
 

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