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shoes and sleeping bag?

We are planning to do the walk from the end of June.

Could someone recommend what kind of footwear to have during the walk. Is it enough with trainers (Gore-Tex) type of shoes or is proper hiking boots preferable? This would help a lot.

Also, is there any need for a sleepingbag or is it enough with a travel sheets?

Any need for insulating mat, is it often hard to find a mattress in the refuge:es?

This would help a lot and thank you in advance.





Staff member
Donating Member
Hi there Daniel,

Have a look in our "Equipment Questions" section (I moved this post there as well), you will find several post related to sleeping bags, shoes and much more equipment related stuff you may (or may not) want to bring.

Equipment Questions:

Santiago greetings,


Active Member

I'm also planning my Camino and had the same questions.
I've searched this board and others and have come up with the following answers:

Shoes - Half say boots, half say trainers. I'm choosing New Balance runners. They're heavy duty, lightweight, and VERY comfortable. I have had begun my training in them and have had no problems. Go to the New Balance store - they will fit you correctly. Buy a pair 1 size larger than normal shoesize because your feet will swell and to accomodate heavy socks.

Sleeping Bag - If you're going in summer, many people just take a very lightweight bag or even just a liner. I'm going both seasons. I tried the Marmot Pounder 45 degree bag. It was wonderfully lightweight (one pound) but I didn't feel it would keep me warm in October so I ordered their pounder plus which is a 25 degree bag.

Mat - I still haven't made a decision on this one. Most people say don't carry one, but I read one post which made me think harder. She said she only needed it two nights and did NOT take one and would have if she'd known she had to sleep on cold, hard floor. I'm 53 and don't think I'd like this situation, so I'mjust not sure. There is a very nice lightweight foam mat made by the ThermaLite people. It is orange and waffled foam. It folds rather than rolls up. It is exceptionally lightweight and has the nice option of using it for a seat or to put your feet up on if you fold up the end. If I take a mat, this will be the one I take. I slept on it one night and was comfortable.

Good luck. I think part of doing the Camino is figuring out all these questions.

Bottom line I hear over and over is... LESS is more.
Take no more than 10% of your total body weight and you'll have a comfortable camino.

Have fun!


Thank you very much for the information, this helped a lot. I think I also go for the trainer style shoes with gore-tex. I hope a travel sheet will be enough and to put my fleece jacket on me if it's cold. The mat is still something to think about..

Cheers, Daniel


New Member

I have been wondering about shoes too. I have some very good trainers that I also used for running and I have walked a lot in them too. I am planning to walk the camino in them, because they are so lightweigt and great to wear.
I have tried hiking in the past where I had some really good walking boots but I ended up buying some trainers because the high quality walking boots gave me blisters.
However this is my first camino, and I don´t know what the arguments against trainers are?



Active Member

Hi Majse,
I think it's just a matter of preference. There are two camps... one group loves boots.. one group loves trainers. I've been training for the trek in both and I've decided on trainers. I got some nice New Balance 766 trainers for about $90 - then bought another pair when they went on sale for $69 last month. I LOVE them.. And try on different sizes.

I generally wear a 6.
I first purchased a 7 EE because people said your feet will swell so get larger size. Those fit very comfortably with 2 pair of socks (liner and heavy wool).

Then, when they went on sale, they didn't have the 7EE but they did have a 7.5 D so I tried it and VOILA! It fit very nicely too. So don't let them tell you they don't have your size.. Try various combinations. One thing I love about the New Balance is that they come in various widths.

They also come on different forms. These are coded with AL1, AL2, SL1, SL2, etc.

Basically the ones with a 1 at the end are wide in the heel and narrow at the toe. The ones with a 2 at the end are narrower at the heel and wide at the toe. Those are the ones that I got -- lots of nice space in the toe so the toes don't rub together.

Next, I spent $39 on really nice inserts that cause my toes to spread when I walk. I love them. I've hiked many miles training with no blisters and no fatigue at all. They are called Motion Control by New Balance and you simply take out the old insert and cut this one to fit. It's amazing how much support they give.

The other things I love about the New Balance 766 is that it is not gortex (too hot) but is water resistant, lightweight, good tread on the sole, and good support. Lastly, it has laces that don't slip and a top hole to lace when you're going downhill so your feet don't slip forward (blisters).

The hiking boots, to me, were overkill. Too heavy, too stiff. But like I said, some people swear by them.

Lastly, take a pair of Tevas to wear when you get to each refugio to give your feet some air and rest.

Have fun! I've only got 5 weeks to go.. I'm so excited!


New Member

Hi guys,
I couldn't decide between the boots or shoes either. I'm walking in July and August so didn't fancy boots at all in the heat but the shop assistant told me that support for ankles is necessary for mountains etc. So I found a compromise with the 'North Face' mid-cut shoe which is perfect... not quite shoe or boot!!! They are the most comfortable footwear ever and they did not need to be broken in at all. I did a practise walk of 25km with my back-pack at the w/e and although my legs ache today there were no problems with the footwear.

Details below: :D

Re: Footwear.

Jane said:
Hi guys,
I couldn't decide between the boots or shoes either. I'm walking in July and August so didn't fancy boots at all in the heat but the shop assistant told me that support for ankles is necessary for mountains etc. So I found a compromise with the 'North Face' mid-cut shoe which is perfect... not quite shoe or boot!!! They are the most comfortable footwear ever and they did not need to be broken in at all. I did a practise walk of 25km with my back-pack at the w/e and although my legs ache today there were no problems with the footwear.

Details below: :D

the reason to break in boots/shoes is not to avoid blisters. it is to avoid extra strain on your legs, back etc. when you first get shoes they dont have the wear that your worn in shoes have. there are other problems, like are the boots laced to tight or do your toes wiggle side to side. do you have the correct sock and insole. Your legs aching could be a problem with your footwear. im not saying you dont know, but i am saying be careful when you break in shoes. if they pinch your foot, it is hard to feel it and you can do damage to the sensitive parts of your foot.
glad to hear your north face shoes are working out.

i always find that shoes are the single most difficult piece of equipment to buy. they alone have the chance to stop your walk.


New Member
Hi all,

I recently bought a pair of Teva hiking boots that are a mid cut. I have only worn them twice on a few samll 10km walks and found them very light and comfortable, with great angle support. Iam planning my walk in October and are expecting to incounter some rain, so I made sure that my boots where gotex lined aswell. I know that Asics do a fantastic gortex cross trainer and if i did not purchase my Tevas i would have gone for those.

The aching legs I'M GUESSING is from a 25 Km walk!!!!! I've had my boots for a few months now. they are fine and please spare me the wriggling about feet lecture... I know this... which is why Northern Face are working out really well. Getting the boots right is the most important thing in my opinion. :wink:
Jane said:
The aching legs I'M GUESSING is from a 25 Km walk!!!!! I've had my boots for a few months now. they are fine and please spare me the wriggling about feet lecture... I know this... which is why Northern Face are working out really well. Getting the boots right is the most important thing in my opinion. :wink:
no worries,
i was just blathering on. ive been reading so many journals about people that go hike with brand new boots and hurt themselves because of the fit. just trying to help is all, sorry to sound condescending. i will spare you from any further remarks.
take care,
Yes please - do let the advice keep coming!

It is useful and just what I need to make my own judgements!

Now I have one question though: I have decided to go for trainers and bring the good ones I have maybe get another pair and try to break them in.
But I am going in a week - so I guess it is not time enough for that?

The reason for me to maybe want another pair is that the ones I have are not very waterProof!

Thet are Asics and I wore them in heavy rain yesterday and they are still wet today!
Are those other ones yor mentioned waterproof enough so that you only have to bring one pair?
hi all,

just in reply to people questioning the break-in of trainers. If you purchased a pair of Asics trainers with gortex lining you would not need to break them in as most asic trainers do not need to be broken in. I am a personal trainer and i swear by them. Asics have a wonderful range of trail shoes some water proof and some not. if you go to http://www.asics.com they have a wide selection of shoes for trail walking. I highly recommend this brand.

goretex is an evil fabric. absolutely the worst thing on the market on so many levels. I took a pair of goretex boots on a 300 mile hike from MA to Canada and i will never buy goretex again, not at least for another 5 years id say. first off goretex fabric does not breath. they say it does, but they lie. it is not that spiffy yet. It keeps your feet very hot. when your feet get hot they sweat, when they sweat there is no place for the water to go because your boots are waterproof. so your foot gets very sweaty and you have the start of blister city. Once water gets inside your boot, and it will within 8km or so of hiking in rain, you will be walking with a puddle inside your boot. very very bad for your feet as the water will soften all your skin and any friction inside can cause havoc, the only solution is to stop and empty the chalice boot of the water. If having wet shoes is a problem here is a solution. when you get to town at night grab a local paper if you can, take out the insoles and insert newspaper into boot and change it once it absorbs the water. Take out your insoles and let those dry seperately. lay them out in the sun, never place them near an oven or near a fire. Lastly if wet feet really bother you, pick up a pair of aqua (neoprene like) sock. Its like a wetsuit sock. but this is really not needed.

The camino is not a "wet" trail and doesnt require proprietary fabrics like goretex. Dont buy a goretex jacket either, just get a cheapo emergency pocnho for a dollar. heck a plastic bag is better than a goretex anything.

with the trail about 500 or so miles there is no need to have a 2nd pair of shoes, any quality shoe you buy should most definately last you the month of walking. if it doesnt, give the customer service folks a call, you may get a free pair of shoes out of it, aka a sponsor for your walk.

goretex = marketing strategy = we take your money.

Vibram soles are not needed either, they increase the price of your shoe by about 20 or so dollars. It all comes down to fit. Hi- Tec makes a very lightweight boot that also comes in wide, is made of leather (waterproof AND breathable) no vibram sole for about 65 dollars. they actually weigh about 200g more than a cross trainer and much more durable. Very impressed with this boot.

whatever you do, dont pack two pairs of shoes, just your hiking shoes and your lightweight flip flop town clogs or whatever. If you really need a 2nd set you can have them sent to you. eek i cant imagine carrying .5 kilo or what not on an extra pair of shoes sitting in a pack.

Plastic Garbage Bag: The Best Piece of Equipment you can Take! waterproof your entire backpack with it, use it as an emergency pocnho (cut holes for head and arms) Use it as a Groundcloth to add insulation if you sleep outside. many many reasons to take 2 trash bags and they can really save your life.

oh about blisters: they dont happen because of a boot or a sock or a pebble. they happen because a person doesnt pay attention to the "hot spot." right when you are aware of the hotspot you need to stop walking. talk off your shoes let your feet get some air. turn your socks inside out and let them dry out while you have a snack, read a book, look at things. Single best way to stop blisters. I do this everyday, in the middle of the day. You will be amazed at how good the ground beneath bootless feet can feel. Use it as a chance to clean up your feet, examine, wash off, dry up, massage, etc.

buen camino!
Hi Chris,

cheers for the info on the gortex, unfortunately I have already bought a pair of Teva Gortex boots, very comfortable but I am a bit concerned now about the breathability of the gortex. Do you think I will be ok to use them in October as I think the weather might be slightly colder? Or would you recommend to invest in another pair of boots or trainers? What would be the worst case senario, in your opinion?

When you go to these hiking shops the sales person always pushes you to by the gortex saying how wonderful the product is, but when you hear from others who have used it, they never recommend it. I wish i had of heard about this site earlier, dam. The advice on this site is very helpful in all aspects.

Just wondering what the average weight is for your pack? I am struggling to get it under 10 Kgs. and also what size pack do you use?

Josh, from Australia
hey josh,

yep, those salesfolk are downright demons! they always goto the most expensive thing first! if i ever had a outdoor shop i would purposefully stock crappy items to tell people that this is crap and dont get it! its much better to have a relationship to a customer over daily sales.

have you worn your goretex boots alot already? broke them in? either save them or return them. hehe goretex boots are great if you step in one puddle and then you climb into your car to drive somewhere else.. hehe

i would recomend shopping in all outdoor shops, finding the shoe manufacturer that fits your foot. try out different shoes from different shops and discover what works best for you. try on the shoe with the sock you like.

different manufacturers have different boot models. Salamon has wider shoes and they run about .25 larger than regular sizes. Merrel also is larger. Both are expensive with vibram soles and goretex/non goretex variety. Hi Tec is a "cheap boot" but for me is the most comfortable ones ive found. i have a high instep and a wide ball of the foot. northface is a little slimmer. unfortunately all shops carry a finite amount of equipment so to get other brands you have to goto other shops. id call ahead and ask what brands they carry. moreover, if you can fight a GOOD outfitter, a salesman that wants you to succeed in your trip, stick with that salesman, they can probably give you good advice! if they dont tell you something is crappy then they probably dont give a damn about wwhat you do. Ie you tell them you go for a day hike on tarmac and they give you a mountaineer boot, you know to forget the place.

if your goretex shoes fit, you will be fine. worst case scenario is probably some stinkier than normal feet. wont have to worry about your feet being cold regardless of your footwear (for october.) On the camino frances (from what ive read) i would go with some trainers, heck you could probably goto a payless shop (cheapo cheapo store) and get $20 shoes and be fine. The camino frances does not require "hi tec" gear, nothing fancy is needed. you could put an entire kit together very very cheaply.

my pack right now weighs 13.5 pounds about 6.1 kilos
i have a REI UL 30. a 30 liter pack. 2100 cubic inches about 2lbs 9oz or 1035g or so. i still have some extra room. my heavy items include a pocketmail and camera (both half a pound) and my hammock (more for france than spain) 880g. ill probably send the hammock home once i reach spain though ill keep the fly. once im in france ill have a search and rescue operation for a lil french 1/2 size guitar and ill make a case for it out of my hammock/groundsheet/ and sleeping pad/cord. this is not including food or water in my calculations.

what are you carrying right now? or thinking about? its always possible to slim down a load.

buen camino!
Hi Chris,

cheers for all the info, it is much appreciated. Just wondering how you got your overall pack weight down to 6kgs. that amazing, what are you taking, if you dont mind me asking?

I cant seem to get my pack weight bellow 10kgs. My pack without anything inside it weighs 2.2kg, a little on the heavy side although it should last 20 years or so seeing as it is a macpac made of a material similar to canvas, but not as heavy. It is a 47 litre pack as well.

My clothes in total weigh about 2.3 kgs

I have not bought a sleeping bag yet, but i think i will allow about 1kg for that.

the rest is one spanish english dictionary (very very small), camal back with 1 litre of water, tolitries and first aid which is about 2kgs, i think i might have to re-think that aswell, and my dig camera which weighs about 0.5 kg with charger.

So my pack at the moment ways about 9kgs or so.

What do you think i should reconsider?
hi hi,

I've heard good things about macpac. never actually seen one though, im from the states and its an aussie company and where im from they dont import them. 47 liters is big! you probably wont need all that space.

what clothing are you taking?
for 3 months im taking 1Xpants 1xShorts 1xbathingsuit (maybe, maybe not, though super light and dries super fast) 2xtshirts(1hiking 1town) 2xunderwear and 2xsocks (depending on shoes) I dont have final weights but the pant/shirt weighs 440g need to still weigh undies/socks/bathingsuit...
Still considering some long undies for cold nights in mountains.

are you taking a tent?
im bring hennessey hammock, in all about 870g including fly/tarp, 2 stakes, treehugger straps.

For sleeping?
i have silk travelsheets. goto ebay and search travelsheets and find TurbanJungle. i got some great sheets (they are handmade by him i believe) for $22, much cheaper than cocoon or sea to summit. actually about 70% less expensive. they weigh 220g and cinch down to tiny.
im also bringing a Lafuma 600 sleeping bag, rated 45F about 575g
i think id recomend it to you as well, check it out at http://www.moosejaw.com or any outfitter, it runs $56 or so. if its colder i can add the travelsheet inside for more warmth and i have a sleeping pad that weighs 245g plus some garbage bags and ill be plenty warm.

what is in your first aid kit?
i think an ace bandage may be the best thing along with ibuprofin. my kit has some immodium tabs (anti poops) bandages, sterile gauze. weighs about 150g i think this might be the biggest difference between you and i.

for soap i have doc bronners 145g, biodegradeable. ill use it for my body, hair, and clothes. of course travel toothepaste and thoothebrush. and the tiny purell hand sanitizer, for post potty and pre eating. small micra leatherman for repairs, cutting etc 50g petzle tika headlamp at 80g 4AA batteries 65g sunblock75g pocketjournal95g ViaGebGuid 95g phrasebook145g

luxury items are the camera and pocketmail which weigh about 235g each, they are the same weight weird enough. so total 470g for gadgetry.

ill forego any sort of super "raingear" silly stuff. Ive hiked in the rain down to 40s in shorts and tshirt, in rain. after a while i threw on the $1 emergency ponch. or you could just go with a garbage bag if you really need it. might look silly but it functions. you have two choices, either get wet from the rain, or get wet inside your raingear from your sweat, practically bake yourself.

ill also have a cup/pot for cooking and dfrinking at 155g and since i cant carry a stove or fuel on an airline ill get an esbit stove in geneva 105g and some fuel for 18+burns at 255g reflector at 15g

i havent added up the weight of a couple garbage bags or the ziplocks for my clothes, guidebooks,gadgets etc. i wont take a packcover because everything inside will be waterproofed. oh yea, tyvekgroundcloth, cheap and superdurable at 145g tyvek is pretty waterproof too, though seams leak. wash in cold water to soften it up nice x3 before you go.

i have some nylon bags that weigh some od 20-30g, too heavy and ill probably just use ziplocks instead. lil mesh bags for things that dont need waterproofing at 5g.

my clothes seem to add up to 1kilo total... dont know for sure yet, waiting on some new stuff!

havent added in a passport either (waiting for mail) French guidebooks weigh les than CSJ books and seem to have far better info even though they are french and i speak, well.. i had 1 semester in college. but with some research the books are easy to follow. its not a novel, just basic info.

maybe maybe not, AquaMira100g, water pruification super stuff! used it all last year on the LT.
still need to weigh my nylon cord which will act as clothesline,shoelaces and anything cord can be used for.
a couple lighters at 50g and probably a candle for ambience... and light.

ill have some room for the longjohns if i need em and a hat/balaclava/gloves as october approaches.

i didnt count the clothes i will be wearing as weight in the pack, or the shoes/staff etc.

somewhere in france i hope to find a lil 1/2 guitar which will weigh about 1 kilo and ill make a case for it out of my hammock/groundcloth/and sleeping pad.

then it will bounce up a kilo for water and a bit more once i stuff food inside... but at the start, i should be moving pretty lightly and slowly.

so what are your clothes youa re bringing and what is in your first aid kit?

in packs mine is a bit lighter, about 800g or so. is yours stuffed to the gills? toiletries and first aid. what are you taking for that, looks like a lil bit too much? add in water at the end of it all.

even still though, 9kilos is quite nice and will be very very light. considering you wont need to carry too much food you should be fine! when i went on the long trail i carried some 33lbs of gear and your pack is at about 20lbs. which is still sweet!

oy vey, my posts get longer and longer!

ps does your camera need a charger or can you just buy some batteries along the way? how heavy is the charger?


Veteran Member
Donating Member
i walked in april/may with the dawn pack from golite - it weighted just under a pound - and i carried 14-15 pounds plus 2 litres liquid (say 4lbs) in the side pockets - the pack needs to last just a month not 20 years
just read chris' list and couldn't resist adding my own
this is after two june/july caminos

external frame backpack
rain cover for back pack
polar fleece sleeping bag
u-shaped inflatable pillow
walking stick (ideally a gift)
rayon sarong (use as towel, groundcloth, sunshade, sheet, curtain, shawl, bathrobe, skirt)
.75 liter aluminum water bottle
picnic knife
zippered plastic bags for packing clothes (no grocery bags please!!!!!)
travel packs of tissues
tiny led flashlight
walkman and tapes
travel alarm
6 large safety pins
waist pack with passport, driver's license, atm card, credit card, pen, pencil
photocopies of documents
addresses and phone numbers of friends, family, banks, credit card providers
business cards (mine)
very large brimmed straw hat with ties

2 pairs cotton bicycle shorts
2 cotton tee shirts
1 lightweight cotton sweater
1 dress or skirt that folds flat
2 pairs dark colored underpants
2 bras
2 pairs thin seamless cotton socks (buster brown)
2 pairs thick wool socks (champion)
1 bathing suit
1 travel raincoat (totes)
1 pair leather (no mesh) running (not walking) shoes (new balance)
1 pair slip-on wettable sandals

hanging cosmetic bag
bar of soap
soap container
lavilin deodorant
nail clippers
nail file

upholstery needle
upholstery thread
foil packs of povidine-iodine pads
gauze pads
roll of paper tape

insect repellant
lavendar oil (for itches and burns)
imodium tables (just in case)
sleeping pills (xanax)
travel packs of powdered laundry detergent

however, having said all that, let me also say--
camino frances in the summer?--
never again!


Staff member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid.
You don't need water purification (Spain has beautiful water!), you don't need stoves or lighters or cooking pots or nylon cord or GPS gear....... Guys! you are not camping! Spain is a civilized place and you will just be walking from one shop, bar, hotel or albergue to another! Think of it as a series of day walks, rather than a camping trip.

Josh, if your Macpack proves too heavy, you can buy yourself a cheap lightweight Spanish one instead - I did. I had a beautiful Paddy Pallin backback on my first camino - it was way too big and heavy. I purchased a replacement in Burgos for about $Aus30, posted the Paddy Pallin plus unnecessary gear to myself at Santiago, and I was fine.

No-one ever gets it right, but after three caminos from SJPP to Santiago, my packing list is pretty set. I've posted it on this site before but, for what it is worth, here it is again:
Trekking sticks (I use two, but then I'm old with decrepid knees).
Passport and credential inside a plastic sandwich bag with a ziplock top (i.e. waterproof) in the Velcro pocket of my pants. My wallet goes inside another pocket in my trousers, along with a travel pack of tissues (emergency loo paper).

An Aarn Featherlight Freedom backpack. It has a waterproof inner canoe bag and a place for a camelbak type water pouch.

Zipped Nylon (i.e. not noisy) cosmetic bag containing:

Tiny towel (some miracle fibre, dries instantly)
6 nappy pins (better than pegs)
Sample sized toothpaste & brush
Neat 3B Action Cream (small tube) - a cream to prevent prickly heat rash but mainly used as a deodorant/antiperspirant (active ingredient is aluminium chlorohydrate)
Lustre-cream shampoo; in a tube. Doubles as body soap and clothes washing detergent.
Canestan antifungal cream.
Ibuprofen tablets (painkillers - cheaper here than in Spain).
Nivea Visage moisturiser with 15 plus sunscreen (it comes in a small tube)
Nail sissors, airline sewing kit (including needle & thread for piercing blisters), earplugs, tiny LED lightweight torch, tiny hairbrush.
One size larger than normal ASIC trainers (i.e. shoes) to walk in, with mesh uppers and NOT goretex lined - they do not retain moisture and seem to walk dry instantly.
3 pairs socks (washed daily) plus Coolmax liners
1 pair Zero G sandals (shower & evenings)
Zip off legs quick drying walking trousers (to walk in, washed daily)
1 ultra fine woollen short sleeve T-shirt (to walk in, washed daily)
1 singlet top (evenings, or if the T shirt does not dry overnight)
1 long sleeve fine woollen cardigan (evenings, cold)
1 sarong (skirt for evenings, cover for bed, modesty wrap from shower)
Something light and cool to sleep in at night; current favourite is a cotton nightshirt.
3 pairs underpants, 2 bras.
Thermal longjohns and long sleeved top (lightweight, quickdrying, doubles up as outer wear and pyjamas if there is a cold snap).

1 lightweight windproof jacket (cheap nylon folding thing)
1 poncho; long
1 ultra-light folding umbrella (instead of a sunhat).

1 silk sleeping sack
1 down-filled sleeping bag liner (instead of a sleeping bag)



Staff member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid.
Pretty sure it is under 6 kilos. Don't know exactly.
listen up guys

stop obsessing about how much your pack weighs and start obsessing about how well it fits

if your pack doesn't fit five pounds is too much; if it does fit you can carry thirty-five pounds and never even notice

after all tiny little southeast asian ladies routinely carry enormous bundles of firewood up and down mountain on their backs

take it from someone who was backpacking before some of you were born...

an external frame backpack is better for hiking than an internal frame back

first, they transfer almost all of the weight of the pack to your hips, the shoulder straps are there merely keep the load in place
second, they allow air to circulate between the pack and your back--you will never take your pack off and find your shirt soaked with sweat
third, they function as a kind of back brace, keeping your spine straight and your shoulders back

internal frame packs were never meant for hiking, they were developed for mountaineers who needed packs that didn't extend beyond their shoulders so they wouldn't get snagged in crevices and that kept the center of gravity close to the body so climbers wouldn't fall backwards off of mountains

someone gave me a kelty internal frame pack this spring and i started doing training walks with a twelve pound load in it. after three miles my back is screaming at me. i use it for going to the farmers market cuz it's easier to get on and off the bus with it, but i wouldn't take it on the camino

of course you will have to put up with ignorant yahoos giving you pitying looks and saying, oooh, your pack must be s-o-o-o-o heavy

hey kanga

thanks for posting your packing list

i was thinking about taking a tube of concentrated shampoo--we used to have something called prell but it seems to have disappeared from the stores while i wasn't looking. luster creme brought back memories though, my gramma used to use it, haven't seen in decades

have been looking into bar shampoos. most of them are made from castile soap which leaves my hair gummy but i've found a company called lush that makes detergent bars. very very expensive detergent bars

i'm fascinated by the idea of a wool shirt that's comfortable in hot weather
i don't think i've ever seen anything like that over here

i actually think cashmere would be the best choice for the cardigan--best warmth to weight to bulk ratio--but they're expensive and the last sweater i took got chewed up by my pack

hey ivar if you haven't snoozed off from boredom yet, how about starting a section for packing lists?
yea lelsie,
i agree about the external frame packs, they can be quite excellent. i have an old old jansport external frame with the absolute crappiest suspension but its my baby. im actually trying to figure out how to reuse it but i think its met its end. Over in the eastern part of US most everyshop carries internals since that has become the "cool" things since late 80s and early 90s...

so do you all think i wouldnt need the esbit stove/tilite pot and the aqua mira? im starting out from geneva and im hoping to do quite a bit of camping along the way in france. Then again im also planning on buying a 1/2 size guitar in france and using my sleeping pad and hammock to make a travel case for it.. It is nice to know how much things weigh in order to make life easier along the road.

do you all think that camping along the GR65 is a bad idea or do people actually camp there? All of my experience for long distance hikes are through the mountains and hills of VT, MA, NH, PA etc... mostly new england area with a touch of colorado. Is the GR65 basically a path where people take a series of day hikes and land in a comfy gite? hehe that would be so nice, almost comical! Forget worrying about backpacks! all you would need is a travel sheet, an extra set of clothes, a trash bag, and some sunblock and soap... oh yea earplugs to i guess. you could carry some odd 3kilos tied in a bandanna at the end of a walking stick!

does anyone go the the camino with practically nothing?
i'm guessing you haven't been to europe before?

europe, at least western europe, doesn't have wilderness the way the u s

most of the land in france has been owned, occupied, and farmed for at least a thousand years

it's very very tame
beautiful, but tame

what passes for a national forest in france would make a good sized municipal park over here

most of the time, when you're not walking thru towns and villages, you'll be passing thru farmland

can you sling up a hammock and sleep under the stars? i don't know. however, there are parts of the meseta central where you can hardly find a bush to pee behind, let alone two trees in proximity to each other

you could take a stove, but you could also buy bread, cheese, and sausage and make picnics, and you could disinfect water (i would think you would need to given the aforementioned farms) if you happen to come across a stream, but wouldn't it be easier (and safer) just to buy a bottle of evian?

medieval pilgrims walked the camino in sandals and woolen gowns carrying nothing but a staff, a gourd, and a leather shoulder bag

peace pilgrim (who was also the first woman to thru-walk the a t) walked back and forth across the u s seven times carrying nothing but a ballpoint pen, a toothbrush, and a comb
hi there!

correct, ive never been to europe before and it can be quite scary and exhilirating all at once. I love backpacking and have spent a good time sleeping outside. Is it possible? ive read some people camp out and im thinking it would be great for france to sleep out and then once i get to spain start staying in the refugios and send the hammock on to santiago to grab before i fly home. Is it illegal to camp along the GR65 in france? Ive read many different opinions about it and even in the CSJ guidebooks they say two different things. Sure ill love the company of the people in the area but i also know i love to have the peace of mind by having the self reliance and knowledge i can bed down along the way.. im really judging by the pictures of the path ill be taking. Ill be spending most of my trip in france, would there be a better web site to ask this question if anyone here isnt sure?

thanks for the advice too. are ther fountains in france like there are in spain? that will make it easy to drop the aqua mira and drink for the fountains. Everything i have is basic and light enough, i have 30l pack and it still isnt "full" well, i guess the best way to find out is to show up in Geneva and start walking. Im sure ill figure it out very quickly if it looks like a suitable place to camp. of course i would be very gentle on the land and would practive "leave no trace" ethics. Hoping i can be a little field mouse!

thanks again all,
one thing you could do is start a new thread called something like "seeking information on geneva route"
otherwise your questions are buried here in this section on equipment and might not catch the eye of the people who know the answers


Active Member
Good point. It took me ages to find the right pack. Tried one on in a shop, then went off to think about it and predictably it wasn't there when I got back! Had to order it in from Europe, but who cares.

I think ideally (and correct me if I'm wrong!) your pack should be as light and as well fitted as possible... as you say, fit is important, but surely the lighter the load, the better off you are?

RE: sleeping bags, I've got a down bag and it's great. Small, light and easy to pack.

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