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Packing List Question

Anna Machial

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015
I've been looking through the many packing lists and am wondering if there is a specific one for the Primitivo for the beginning of May. I know the weather can be unpredictable and probably still cold at higher elevations. It will also be wet. What's the minimum I need to pack given all the weather variation? I don't know if just any packing list would do. Does someone have a link to an appropriate one? I'm overwhelmed. Thanks.
 

mralisn

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-SdC (2005), Camino Norte-Fisterra (2010), SJPdP-Muxia-Fisterra (2012), Camino Norte w/Primitivo-Muxia-Fisterra (2014), Camino Portuguese (2016)
Hi Anna,

No need to feel overwhelmed. By reading your post, it seems like you are very much in the right mind to think of a packing list.

After spending many nights resting on the Caminos in June and July months, it seems a packing list is modified by each person. You are correct, the higher altitudes will be cooler and wetter by nature on the Primitivo. With this idea, go with what warmer clothes works for you while keeping in mind that these clothes will need to be "easy" to dry out. Also, many ask of sleeping gear. This would depend if one is a cold sleeper or a warm sleeper. For example, I am a warm sleeper, so I might have next to nothing in covers while another might always be cold and need something much more significant. Have a feeling this doesn't help much. In short, use a "packing list" as suggestions and adjust to your liking.

The Primitivo brings such an awesome experience. I hope you enjoy every step.

Keep a smile,
Simeon
 

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" .
Maybe bring an emergency blanket, whistle and always carry food eg biscuits and more biscuits ....
 

Anna Machial

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015
I've printed off a list that I will tweak using your suggestions. Actually, you both helped a lot. Now I know what clothes and what type (probably synthetic) I need to add. And the emergency blanket was not on the list. Thanks.
 

Dreamwalker33

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Aug. to Oct. (2014)
I've printed off a list that I will tweak using your suggestions. Actually, you both helped a lot. Now I know what clothes and what type (probably synthetic) I need to add. And the emergency blanket was not on the list. Thanks.
Didn't see your list, but I would recommend gaiters.. Having waterproof Keen's and water proof pants, after 3 days of rain and wind and wearing a full length poncho, my boots were soaked throughout. They don't dry out if that nights lodging doesn't have heat. We were walking in rain 2 days prior and in pouring rain into Santiago the first week of October-2014.
 
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lettinggo

Active Member
I've printed off a list that I will tweak using your suggestions. Actually, you both helped a lot. Now I know what clothes and what type (probably synthetic) I need to add. And the emergency blanket was not on the list. Thanks.
Personally I think an emergency blanket is not needed for a May Camino.
You may want to bring one if it is during a cold and snowy winter Camino.

Regarding a whistle, this thread has an interesting information about build-in whistles in some back packs.
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/not-many-people-know-that.25521/#post-207373

Lettinggo
 

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" .
Seemingly a refuse bag will work as an emergency blanket quite effectively.

Travel insurance, the one think to bring that you hope will never have to use. Make sure it covers the Camino as some policies like to exclude certain "extreme" activities.
 

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" .
Personally I think an emergency blanket is not needed for a May Camino.
You may want to bring one if it is during a cold and snowy winter Camino.

Regarding a whistle, this thread has an interesting information about build-in whistles in some back packs.
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/not-many-people-know-that.25521/#post-207373

Lettinggo
Like travel insurance an emergency blanket is an item that you hope never to have to use but worth having all the same. Agreed, one would not expect to have to use one in May but the weather at higher altitudes can change very quickly. I used one to very good effect last year in the Pyrennes between 6 people, helping to protect their midrifts in challenging conditions, challenging enough for one pilgrim to express that she wanted to die!!!! I kid not ... I thought the weather was great fun buy changed my tune and approach when my fellow pilgrim uttered those words.

One never knows fully what to expect at higher altitudes at any time of the year and one never knows how they will react in such conditions. I was fine on that day but on another snowy day in the Pyrennes I noticed that my reaction times slowed considerably. Sewmingly large bin liners/refuse sacks perform a similar function. In the old days cyclists used newspaper stuffed down their their tunicks to keep yhe wind and cold at bay.

Some biscuits and other easy to consume food also great. I carry cereal and milk, again using it to good effect when I discovered that a fellow pilgrim had not eaten any breakfast before heading into the Pyrennes .....
 
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Anna Machial

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015
I asked specifically about the Primitivo because I have hiked in falling snow in early summer in other mountains. I have also gotten extremely cold when I have stopped due to the right combo of air temperature and evaporating sweat. I also find that cold rain can sap a lot of energy out of me even though I'm wearing rain gear and I'm completely dry inside. Are the mountains I'll go through similar to the Pyrennes? CISSA69, what time of year did you help out the 6 people? Did this happen in May? I've been looking at average historical temperatures but they are for towns not mountain passes.
Thanks again for all the info.
 

lettinggo

Active Member
Hola

I walked a Primitivo a couple of years ago in May, and the weather was mixed with some rain, some days with heavy fog and mostly spring/summer days.
Walking over the passes were the parts when there were fog or a little snow on the ground.
I used the standard three layers for clothing and was never cold.
Compared with the Pyrennes the weather was different which I think had to do with Primitivo being much more West and closer to Galicia and the coast.
That said, I walked Frances in winter and that makes it difficult to compare them.
The only place on Primitivo I would urge carefulness is regarding Hospitales, which is a day walk in solitude without population, and this route should not be undertaken alone or if weather is bad. Get the proper advice from the locals whether to walk it or not, as it is an optional route.

Primitivo is up and down hill a lot so you will probably be challenged with fatigue and sweating, but numerous pilgrims in all ages and shapes walk it most of the year (if not all) so I don't think it is generally problem.
You may want to equip yourself with outer shell with zippers under the arms for ventilation, a head lamp for foggy days, get a wooden staff from nature or bring your own poles.
Gear wise I think one should prepare as any other Camino.

Happy planning and
Buen Camino
Lettinggo
 

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" .
Lettingo makes lots of really good points above about whay to expect and what to do.

Knowledge and experience us what is required in challenging conditions. We can give you some knowledge but onlu you csn get experience from walking in challenging conditions.

An experienced walker will intutively make many decisions as they walk in order to identify, avoid and or manage risks, like when to put onmor take off a layer, when to stop and hunker down, when to walk alobe and when to buddy up.

I walked in early Nov but weather at higher altitude is less predictable and mor extreme than at lower altitude. Fog is my biggest fear as it is impossible to see. Deep snow is a killer and it takes polgrims every year in the Pyrennes, despite all the warnings.
 
Firstly let me say that I am hardly qualified to comment as the only caminos I have walked in early May were both from SJPdP. The only reason I can think of for an emergency blanket is if stranded overnight on a mountain top in bad weather. Listening to locals should help minimise this risk along with good preparation and planning. A bin bag works pretty good, weighs little, takes little room and is disposable. Just don't use an emergency blanket in an albergue! I would not like to see that someone has killed you for making a rustling racket in the night! Good luck with your planning. Who knows I may be around then as I am still undecided the where and when for next years Camino(s).
 

Jabaldo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
My wife and I are training to walk this September 2014
My wife and I just returned from the Camino, we used everything in our pack and yes our pack was over the 10% suggestion. Just deal with it and you will be fine.
Buen Camino
 

Gail Theal

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
First camino in the Spring of 2015!!!!! WoooooHooooo!
Al the Optimist....I like you! Your comments on this forum are very positive and motivating. I do my first Camino in May of 2015 and wish I had someone like you to walk with!
 

Anna Machial

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015
Al, not sure who your questions are aimed at, but, no I haven't walked a camino before. I heard about the Frances 20 years ago from an employee that planned to go, and have researched the caminos ever since. Its hard to explain why the Primitivo is calling me but if I have to rationalize it may be that I picked the Primitivo after reading a number of blogs and was attracted because it was the first camino, it has a lower numbers of pilgrims, it has a mountain pass, and the fact that it can be completed in the 14 days without it being chopped up or shortened, unless for some reason I can't walk it all. Getting there is no problem. There are many alternatives but we'll be flying.
Thank you for all the responses. I've been trying to stick with below the 10% of body weight limit but realize that a priority is having the needed layers which I had been tempted to leave behind.
 
Thanks for answering Anna. I am leaning towards starting in Madrid and after Leon going up the Salvador to Oviedo, spend my birthday (May 20th) with friends who live near there and to then walk the Primitivo. I guess I will be way behind you.
 

Anna Machial

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015
Al, I'd love to do what you are doing but have limited time. Anyway, shorter is probably better for the first time. God willing, we're getting to Oviedo on May 2, so we will definitely miss you. You made me realize that I will be celebrating my birthday somewhere along the way. Buen camino and a very early Happy BD.
 

calmeg

New Member
We are starting el camino del norte in MAy and plan to switch to el primitivo. We have packs (14 lbs) and everything ready. Are these routes walkable with hiking sandals? This would allow us to switch from our regular footwear to sandals to rest and air out the feet. If so what brands styles have you used before? Or should we just use one pair of walking boots?
 

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
If weight is not a concern then the sandals as a change of footwear would be OK in some places and also for post walking. We prefer to walk in our boots and with Crocs for post walking so have no experience of sandal types, however some change of footwear is needed to let the boots air too after a days walk.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2013), Primitivo (2015), Muxia/Fisterra (2015), Haervejen (2017)
We are starting el camino del norte in MAy and plan to switch to el primitivo. We have packs (14 lbs) and everything ready. Are these routes walkable with hiking sandals? This would allow us to switch from our regular footwear to sandals to rest and air out the feet. If so what brands styles have you used before? Or should we just use one pair of walking boots?
Calmet -- I suggest you start a new thread with this question in the primitivo forum. I'm not sure folks will find your question din this thread. I haven't hiked in sandals and I haven't done the primitivo yet. As Tia suggests, there may be some parts that require a more substantial shoe... Liz
 

giedre

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk Camino Primitivo in May.
Hello! Me and my husband are planning to walk Camino Primitivo starting in May 2nd, including walking to Finisterre and Muxia. The thing that's really bothering us is sleeping bags, whether it is necessary on the Camino? Our sleeping bags are rather big and we can not decide if we should take it or not... :confused: We are planning to stay only in albergues.
And one more question. I'm planning to buy a 33litres backpack, whereas my husband's backpack is about 55 litres. Isn't 33 litres backpack too small?

I will be grateful for your answers :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2013), Primitivo (2015), Muxia/Fisterra (2015), Haervejen (2017)
Hello! Me and my husband are planning to walk Camino Primitivo starting in May 2nd, including walking to Finisterre and Muxia. The thing that's really bothering us is sleeping bags, whether it is necessary on the Camino? Our sleeping bags are rather big and we can not decide if we should take it or not... :confused: We are planning to stay only in albergues.
And one more question. I'm planning to buy a 33litres backpack, whereas my husband's backpack is about 55 litres. Isn't 33 litres backpack too small?

I will be grateful for your answers :)
Hi Giedre --

Regarding the sleeping bag: I have not walked the Primitivo yet so other's might know more, but here is my take. The albergues on the Primitivo are more basic. Some may not have heat or may not have good heat and some may not have blankets. Average low temperatures in the mountains can be in the 40's in May and into mid June. The trail is at a relatively high elevation at some parts and this means its cooler at night. So what did this cause me to conclude? I'm taking a travel bag (Sea to Summit TrL) that weighs in at 13 oz, is rated down to 50 for women, and compresses small and I am taking a pair of long underwear. With the long underwear I can get a bit more warmth if I need it and an albergue does not have blankets or good heating. If I need more, it will liely be only for one or two nights and I'll wear more clothes to bed.

Regarding the pack, it just depends on what you take :). I use a 32 liter Osprey Kestral. Its a men's pack and I have it in a small so it fits my back length and my (wide!) hips. I have plenty of room -- I should have about 5.5 kilo in my pack plus 2 liters of water. So I suspect your 33 liter pack is fine. But I would recommend getting as much of your gear as possible and packing your pack to see if it fits.

Buen Camino,

Liz
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
I use a 32 liter Osprey Kestral. Its a men's pack and I have it in a small so it fits my back length and my (wide!) hips. I have plenty of room
Liz, you are able to fit a sleeping bag in a 32? I must be doing something wrong. As for a sleepingbag in May, to answer Giedre's question, I will be there in May and will be bringing one (hence the Tempest 40 I now carry ;0) ) My bag is a Northface Mercurial. It's supposed to be a liner, but it is a thick liner, and depending on how you use it is supposed to give you 3 different degrees of warmth.

Elevation, rain, more exertion than on the Frances: you want a good night's sleep. Use your 33, but since your husband has room to spare in his bag ... make him carry some of your stuff. You will be fine with a 33 with 10l sent to the walker next to you, even with sleeping bags.
 

Anna Machial

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015
Hello! Me and my husband are planning to walk Camino Primitivo starting in May 2nd, including walking to Finisterre and Muxia. The thing that's really bothering us is sleeping bags, whether it is necessary on the Camino? Our sleeping bags are rather big and we can not decide if we should take it or not... :confused: We are planning to stay only in albergues.
And one more question. I'm planning to buy a 33litres backpack, whereas my husband's backpack is about 55 litres. Isn't 33 litres backpack too small?

I will be grateful for your answers :)
We haven't walked the Primitivo yet either but I kept track of the weather along the route early last May and decided to bring a sleeping bag rated at 0. I use a compression bag to squeeze it down, not to fit in my 45 l pack, but so that I can make my pack more compact. I have a 45 l, because when I tried packs on, it was the most comfortable. I'm also bringing tights that can second as long johns and will sleep in them if I'm cool. The weather may be warm but spring is always unpredictable.

We will be just behind you. We will start walking the afternoon of the 3rd or on the 4th, late morning.
 

Anna Machial

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015
We haven't walked the Primitivo yet either but I kept track of the weather along the route early last May and decided to bring a sleeping bag rated at 0. I use a compression bag to squeeze it down, not to fit in my 45 l pack, but so that I can make my pack more compact. I have a 45 l, because when I tried packs on, it was the most comfortable. I'm also bringing tights that can second as long johns and will sleep in them if I'm cool. The weather may be warm but spring is always unpredictable.

We will be just behind you. We will start walking the afternoon of the 3rd or on the 4th, late morning.
I also want to add that I now have all the things I will carry and my pack has lots of room even with an uncompressed sleeping bag. I think your 33 l will be fine.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2013), Primitivo (2015), Muxia/Fisterra (2015), Haervejen (2017)
Anemone, My sleeping bag is a light weight Sea to Summit travel bag rated to 50 degrees F. It compresses really small. I'll take some long johns for extra warmth. The sea to summit was fine on the Frances in April, so I think I'll be ok on the Primitivo in June.

I don't know that I could fit a regular sleeping bag inside my 32 L pack without compressing it significantly.

Liz
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2013), Primitivo (2015), Muxia/Fisterra (2015), Haervejen (2017)
We haven't walked the Primitivo yet either but I kept track of the weather along the route early last May and decided to bring a sleeping bag rated at 0. I use a compression bag to squeeze it down, not to fit in my 45 l pack, but so that I can make my pack more compact. I have a 45 l, because when I tried packs on, it was the most comfortable. I'm also bringing tights that can second as long johns and will sleep in them if I'm cool. The weather may be warm but spring is always unpredictable.

We will be just behind you. We will start walking the afternoon of the 3rd or on the 4th, late morning.
Hi Anna -- I thought it might help you on the pack decision if I posted my packing list for my 33 L pack -- you can compare and see if you have more/bigger stuff! Hope this helps. This list is from skin out so it includes every single thing! It totals 17.1 lbs or 7.7 kilos. I calculated what will likely be inside my pack and that comes to 12.19 lbs or 5.53 kilos. I hope you find it helpful.

Liz

Outerwear
Osprey Kestral men's small Backpack 42 oz
REI Rainwall Pants 9 oz
North Face Venture Waterproof jacket w/ pit zips 11.3 oz
Fleece Vest Homemade PolarTech 100 8.5 oz
Marmot rain/sun Hat 2.7 oz
Manzella convertible running gloves 1.4 oz
Merrill Moab hiking shoes 29 oz
New Balance Minimus trainers 8 oz
REI Trekking Poles 15.5 oz
Dirty Girl Gaiters 1 oz

Sleeping/ Eating/ Drinking
Platypus Water system for backpack 5.4 oz
Sea to Summit Traveler TrI Sleeping Bag 13.7 oz
Sea to Summit Aeros Ultralight Inflatable Pillow 1.5 oz
spork 0.6 oz
cup 1.3 oz
Ear plugs (2 pair) 0.3 oz
sleeping eye mask 0.9 oz

Clothes
2 REI short ankle socks 3.2 oz
2 feetures regular socks 4 oz
1 Lands End long sleeve turtleneck base layer shirt 5 oz
2 Patagonia cami-bras quick dry 6.4 oz
3 Ex Officio underpants quick dry 3 oz
1 Lolë quick dry sleeveless top 4.8 oz
1 Lolë quick dry short sleeve top 6 oz
1 Montbell OD Shorts 5.1 oz
1 pRana roll up stretch convertible pants 10 oz
1 Long sleeve button wind/sun vented shirt (homemade) 4 oz
1 pair soft draw-string gym shorts (for sleeping) 4.3 oz
1 Montbell Zeo-line light weight long john/tights 4.1 oz
Sunglasses & protective cover 1.5 oz
Bandana 1 oz

Toiletries & Laundry
Packlite Ultra light camp towel 1.8 oz
1 Dr. Bronners Soap Bar (person, hair, laundry) 4.6 oz
Soap Case 1 oz
small hair brush 1.9 oz
small toothpaste 2.5 oz
toothbrush w/cover 0.9 oz
small deoderant 2.5 oz
spf 50 lip balm 1 oz
sunscreen/lotion 4 oz
razor 0.8 oz
Sink stopper 2 oz
8 small clothes pins 1.2 oz
shower shoes 3 oz

Miscellaneous
sea to summit ultra light stuffable daypack 2.4 oz
1 small LED flashlight 2 oz
1 homemade 1st Camino stuff bag (for electronics & misc small stuff) 0.6 oz
1 Sea to Summit ultra sil medium stuff sacks (for clothes) 0.45 oz
1 sea to Summit ultra sil small stuff sack (for toiletries) 0.3 oz
Pilgrim Credential + small journal 3 oz

Technology
iPad mini 7.5 oz
Logitech ultralight keyboard/cover 4.5 oz
tech cords: camera card reader, keyboard cord, ipad cord 1.4 oz
iPad/Keyboard neoprene protective case 1.3 oz
camera & small neoprene protective carrying case 7.1 oz
 

aerdna

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ingles (2013), Norte/Primitivo (2014)
We are starting el camino del norte in MAy and plan to switch to el primitivo. We have packs (14 lbs) and everything ready. Are these routes walkable with hiking sandals? This would allow us to switch from our regular footwear to sandals to rest and air out the feet. If so what brands styles have you used before? Or should we just use one pair of walking boots?
I brought my chakos, last October, and wore them a few times, for parts of the day only. I switched into my hiking shoes when it looked like I was entering the more rugged areas. There are plenty of times on the Primitivo where it would be ok for hiking sandals (in my opinion), and lots more where it wouldn't be ok. At least, not for me, as I tend to stub toes and poke myself with sticks. I also used the sandals in the shower and while around the albergues at night. Very nice way to let my feet breathe.
 

aerdna

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ingles (2013), Norte/Primitivo (2014)
Hello! Me and my husband are planning to walk Camino Primitivo starting in May 2nd, including walking to Finisterre and Muxia. The thing that's really bothering us is sleeping bags, whether it is necessary on the Camino? Our sleeping bags are rather big and we can not decide if we should take it or not... :confused: We are planning to stay only in albergues.
And one more question. I'm planning to buy a 33litres backpack, whereas my husband's backpack is about 55 litres. Isn't 33 litres backpack too small?

I will be grateful for your answers :)
I used a 30L pack last fall and it worked, though I did use all the pockets and hung my sandals/shoes (whichever I wasn't wearing) outside my pack.

I also brought a sleeping bag - a mummy bag bought of Amazon - rated to 30 degrees and weighing 3lbs. It originally hung outside my pack because I couldn't fit it in, but another pilgrim helped me learn how to pack smaller :) I definitely used the sleeping bag on the Primitivo, and we were walking in the warmest October on record (beautiful days at least in the 60s, but nights still dropped to 40s)! Some albergues do not come with blankets, others didn't have enough for everyone, some blankets looked sketchy, and some albergues were just plain cold!

I do not have a liner, though some have said that a silk sleep sheet works for most temperatures. However, one lady I was walking with had one of those and still used her sleeping bag at times.

Enjoy your Camino! I loved it!
 

Anna Machial

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015
Liz, thank you for the list. The total weights and items are very similar to what I have though I haven't compiled a finished list. You have a bit more than me e.g. sleeping shorts which I considered and discarded for tights which will second as long johns. I'm printing off your list so I can compare while I pack.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2013), Primitivo (2015), Muxia/Fisterra (2015), Haervejen (2017)
I'm still thinking about the shorts and tights. I think I'll often be too warm in tights. But I often have to get up in the night. On the Frances, I found I would have kicked so me light shorts to wear in bed so I could just get up and make my midnight run! Liz
 

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