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Post Camino Equipment Routine


in our minds, we're vagabonds, you and I
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés 2017, Inglés 2019, Aragónes 2024
There are a lot of discussions about preparing for a Camino. What boots? Waterproof? Do I need poles? What's the best pack, size, brand? All good questions and there's a lot of information on all of those subjects here.

What I've not seen is information about what do I do with all my well used clothing and equipment once I've completed my Camino and returned home. In most cases we've made significant investments in our gear so how do we maintain it. So, I've attached a PDF with my routine which I've followed and amended as needed over the years. There are some very experienced people here and I'm sure they have thoughts as well, the Forum is a place to share and learn. If you have thoughts, ideas or additions please add them.

Finally, please excuse any typos, the doc was created on my phone, not a great place to edit.


  • Post Camino Routine.pdf
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The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
One thing one might consider if the means are available: When being picked up from the airport, have them bring a big trash bag with them. The complete backpack goes inside there, maybe minus the electronics. Once at home, the complete trashbag goes into the freezer for 2 weeks which should kill pretty much anything potentially living there. Then you can go on with the wash and clean routine...
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

Upon arrival home my shoes and pack go into the (empty) bathtub. I then immediately shower and put on 'civilian clothing'. If it's late it all goes into a large plastic bag, given a few squirts of permethrin for luck, and I deal with it the next day.

I unpack everything into the bath, check everything carefully, & like @dreaming, machine wash anything machine washable and hand wash my backpack (and shoes, if they are not going directly into the bin outside). Everything is then Air-dried on the balcony.

However I do not then repack my pack - with the exception of my money belt, all of my clothing is also worn regularly. True, some things generally only make an appearance when I'm out walking, but that's part of my normal life.

My poles are cheap decathlon ones, as are the tips. I've done about a thousand kilometers with this pair of poles and still have yet to replace the tips.
(the first pair I left in Santiago due to the security restrictions).
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The post camino routine for me:
At first: all photos and videos are saved on my computer.
All washable clothes will go in the washingmachine, if machine wash is possible.
All other washable items go into the tub (backpack, bumpack, etc.) and are washed and dried there.
Never had bedbugs, so no actions on this special topic.
Shoes are cleaned outside, washed and dried in tub.
Electronics are checked, reloaded and stored.
All documents go where they belong (ID, banking- and creditcards, EHIC, etc.).
I too have never had bedbugs. I wash and dry everything. The only thing I wear is my down jacket and not very much. I stick everything back in my backpack and use it the next year. Oh yea my wife washes my trail runners and I still wear those during the year on my daily walk until my next camino. I will do my 9th camino in October and about 50% of what is in my pack I wore on my first camino. I guess you could call me lazy. Also everything I buy except my trail runners are either close out or off brand. I have a great backpack that @davebugg highly recommended that I bought from the REI outlet about 4 years ago for $60US and a fleece jacket that was originally about $130 for $50US. On a budget, just spend some time surfing the net and you will find great stuff at great prices.
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Lots of good ideas here.

My approach is... assume bed bugs, even if I have no bites.

1) Wash and dry everything I can immediately when I come home. Nothing sits inside until it's been washed and dried (in a long cycle).

2) Everything else (except electronics) never comes in the house until I've put it in a sealed black garbage bag, and I let that bake in the sun for several days. If it's winter, then I leave it out in the cold.

I don't bring the backpack in the house until I'm 100% sure there are no living bugs.

I have had bed bugs, and while having them on the Camino is an annoyance, having them at my house would be horrendous. So I figure better safe than sorry.

Thanks for your post.
Home is the US, and I’ve usually had a couple days after a Camino to toodle around Madrid. I figure I’d know then if I had bedbugs and would treat my stuff before carrying it on the flights home…Never had bedbugs as pilgrim or hospi…but appreciate the suggestions for treating them. I dump my bag of clothing in the washer and start the load, my backpack and shoes (sneakers) in the washing sink, start the soak there, and head indoors to the shower and bed. After everything is clean and dry (and rested), the pack remains accessible for local hikes and other long distance travel. Year round, I wear the clothes I bring on pilgrimage, and use most of the items (quilt, liner, even headlamp!) so very little gets “put away till next time.” The only electronic is my cell phone; I’ve used a SIM card while overseas so on the overseas flight I carefully replace SIM cards. (Note: I keep the US card taped to the inside of my passport while walking Caminos.) Other items specific to Camino that won’t be used (adapter, poncho, extra sheep’s wool, etc) go in a smallish box in my closet. Periodically I pull out the box and look through things and dream…(c’mon, you KNOW I’m not the only one who does that!)…which is of course the most important aspect of the post-Camino routine…
I simply hand wash my backpack and sleeping bag, machine wash my clothes etc and decide if my shoes are garden, bin or wear around. I then repack it ready for my next dream camino.
My shoes from my 1st Camino I decided were for the garden. The flowers were as near to blue and yellow as I could get. I realised how extremely well made the shoes were when my little electric drill had trouble trying to make drainage holes in the soles, and even then they kept closing up. My sharpest knives struggled to cut through the side mesh. No sharp stones or spikes were ever going to have endangered my feet.
I didn't leave my poles there for long, but they were all fun talking-points for passers-by & memories for me


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Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

We put black plastic garbage bags and a change of clothes in the garage before we leave. When we return home, we put everything but electronics in the bags and put them in a car that is parked outside in the California sun. After several hot days, any hitchhiking critters/eggs are long dead.

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