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Luggage Transfer Correos

Smart Packing and Unexpected Backpack Items

2020 Camino Guides

markvanoss

New Member
OK peregrinos, this first-time pilgrim (leaving SJPdP on May 19) hopes to learn from your experience. What was the SINGLE smartest "unexpected" item you included in your backpack? Keep it to one item, please, and (may I suggest?) skip the basics. I hoping for examples of items I would NEVER have considered taking! Maybe even little "luxury" items that weigh essentially nothing but that greatly enhanced your Camino experience. Be creative, now!
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
A spiral immersion heater to make tea, coffee, cup-of-soup etc. Never travel without it.
 

dutchpilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002, 2005, 2008, 2012
Not in my backpack, in my pocket: a whistle.
Weighs nearly nothing, hopefully will never be used.
But if you fall down a ravine, you might be able to shout for an hour or so, leaving you without a voice. A whistle goes on and on.
Or to attract attention in other nasty situations.

Ultreya,
Carli Di Bortolo
 

MikeB

Member
For me, a needle, polyester thread, and a thimble, all in an old film cansiter - total weight about 20g. Saved my pilgrimage to St Davids (SW Wales) when the strap over my left shoulder snapped on my rucksack.



dutchpilgrim said:
Not in my backpack, in my pocket: a whistle.
Totally agree, and on the same day my rucksack snapped, I needed to use it. Why? To scare off a herd of very inquistive, even agressivly inquisitive, bullocks who were only a couple of metres from me as I crossed a field, even by keeping close to the hedge. Waving arms, stick, shouting did nothing - but on the first short blast of the whistle they flinched, the second longer blast, they bolted.

sillydoll said:
A spiral immersion heater to make tea, coffee, cup-of-soup etc. Never travel without it.
Sorry Sil, but I have taken this on two winter pilgrimages of two weeks each, and used it just once - and that was to try to make Glühwein! Otherwise it was just 125g of weight.


Just my observations
Mike
 

Attachments

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
That's OK Mike - I don't drink Glühwein so I wouldn't have used it at all for that!
But, we found it very useful to make a hot drink before we left in the morning, especially in albergues with no electricity or no kitchens. Also when the kitchens were busy with people waiting to use a pot on the stove to boil water. I often had other pilgrims cups lined up next to mine wanting a cup of coffee before they left.
As a vegetarian I often bought a box of soup and heated it for supper, with cheese and bread it made a nourishing meal. And so quick to prepare.
Very countries in Europe provide a kettle and cups in the Hotel rooms (as they do in England) and I have always used it to make my own hot drink when staying in a hotel.
I also carry a whistle - with a little led torch attached.
 

Attachments

annakappa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
An umbrella! My poncho ripped open in many places in a storm. I already had a mini super lightweight umbrella with me, but my husband decided that we needed something a bit bigger. It proved to be a god-send - both against the rain and against the sun over a couple of long treeless stretches. Anne
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
LePuy, Frances, Aragones, Ingles, Vezelay, Toulosana, Muxia, Fisterra, Portugues, Sanabres
Twisted elastic clothes line. No clips are necessary; clothes are slipped into the line gaps for drying. There is a lot of competition for drying lines at albergues, and the clothes clips provided are used up fast (and if you supply your own, they will be gone by the end of the trip). In the U.S., AAA stores have an excellent line with suction cups for attaching to windows.

A sink stopper would have been handy in all the places where they were gone. It is hard to wash clothes in running water. $8.50 at Amazon.com.
 

Attachments

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
Falcon, I have this clothesline and it has been invaluable! I use a couple of carabiners to attach it to whatever I can

The sink stopper has been on my mind each camino, then it slips out, but once I'm in Spain, I sure wish I had it in many albergues and hostals. Washing clothes in running water is pretty inefficient alright, but also very wasteful.

To add to the list, one of my favorite items is the cooling neck tie. On 30+ days, this kept me going.

lynne
 

Portia1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2009, Portuguese 2012
Frances 2016, (Frances 2019)
A reuseable grocery bag--weighs 2 oz with the plastic bottom removed. I used it to take my stuff to/from the showers, for grocery shopping, for deloading my pack of fluffy items (fleece) so the size would fit in the airline overhead bins with no problems, for taking laundry to the laundromat, and a myriad of other uses. I kept it in my pack lid at the ready. It is washable (though probably wouldn't want to do it too often) as well. I was shocked at how useful it turned out to be!
 

Sheesh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2009, 2013);
? (2020)
My top picks have already been mentioned, so here's another little item that I liked: A sheet of sticky labels, pre-printed with my name and email address. I carried them in a plastic sheet protector and the weight was 10g. Made it very easy to share my information with all the kindred spirits I met on the trail. I can't claim this as my own idea though, I'm sure I read it on this forum in the year I was preparing for and dreaming of and longing for my journey to begin.

Sheesh
 

mrbillyto

Member
Out of all the items listed so far, for me Portia's reusable shopping bag would have been an excellent item to have had. I saw other pilgrims with them and although I have tons at home, it's something I never thought to take and quite honestly didn't see them in Spain. They were no doubt there, I just failed to find them.
My 2 "must" items that some folks might consider the basics were my Spork and my trusty Swiss Army knife. I learned about the Spork (from this forum) just before I left on my Camino and I had planned to take my basic Swiss Army knife but I upgraded it just before I left with several more accessories (that corkscrew on the new one came in handy many times along the way). These are 2 items were very useful and I carry them both on my daytrips even now.
Bill
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
Well, if we're talking luxury: a small tube of eye cream. Every camino it has soothed me morning and night and made me think/hope that I wasn't turning into a hag from the ravages of daily sun and wind. :)

lynne
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Jacki Dufty said:
For a universal sink stopper my husband cut a 75mm diametre circle out of a piece of heavy duty innertube - in fact we took a few to share around. They weigh practically nothing and work a treat.
Jacki.
I think this is a fantiastic idea. Simply taking a couple of "squares" would work then cutting them to size would also work too.

Thanks.

John
 

Mountainman

El Croco loco
Camino(s) past & future
Past: Camino Frances
(StJ-Santiago) 2007, 2009
(StJ-Fisterra) 2011, 2012
Future:
Camino del Salvador 8/2014
Camino Primitivo 8/2014?
Camino del Norte 9/2014,
and hopefully many more yet unplanned
I keep thinking what my favorite item was... I have taken and will take again, both the spork, a kind of shopping bag and needle and thread without question.

I guess my favorite item would be my pair of crocks!

Weighing virtually nothing, they keep my feet clean in dirty showers, quick-dry and serve as shoes for walking after hours in the towns, so your feet can air out when not carrying a backpack.
Off course, the downside is they are butt-ugly, but then, who cares when you are a pilgrim? :mrgreen:


[Edit] PS Look, I just saw them in my picture after pressing 'Submit' :lol:
 

TerryB

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte/Primitivo (April/May) 2009: Norte/Primitivo (parts) (April/May) 2010: Inglés (May) 2011: Primitivo (April/May) 2012: Norte / Camino de La Reina (April/May) 2013: Camino del Mar / Inglés (May/June) 2015
The USB lead for my camera - other things already mentioned on this thread (spork, Crocs etc)
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
LePuy, Frances, Aragones, Ingles, Vezelay, Toulosana, Muxia, Fisterra, Portugues, Sanabres
Hand Wipes by Purell. I have a supply of small but sturdy Purell hand wipes from Chick-fil-A that weigh less than the ones found in pharmacies. The hand wipes from KFC are a bit too fragile, but are still light weight. They work on a lot of body parts, are invaluable when the toilet paper supply is inadequate, can clean hands before and after a trail-side lunch of hand food, and 50-60 of them only weight about seven ounces. I use Breathe Right strips to control snoring, and they adhere better when I clean away the nose oils with a wipe. Of course, dispose of them in the next garbage can, not on the ground. They are not biodegradable or septic tank friendly.
 

Bridget and Peter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Home to Reims 2007
Reims to Limoges 2008
Camino Ingles 2009
Limoges to Gernica 2009
Gernica to San Vicente de la Barquera 2010
San Vicente to La Isla 2012
La Isla to Santiago Sept/Oct 2014
Falcon's hand-wipes made me think of something - although I would not consider it a luxury - a good sturdy flannel (facecloth). When cycling we hang it on one of out front baskets with a spring clip so it dries without going smelly. Neither of us really feels clean if we haven't had a good scrub with a flannel - wipes just wouldn't have the same exfoliating effect. And if you want to wash up during the day there it is, all ready to take into a loo with a hand basin, or to wet from the water bottle.

So no you know how to recognise us - we're the ones with the grubby looking facecloth.
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
I am so with you on this. I took one of those little baby face cloths - I love to wash with it, and it went quite a long ways on the Madrid, but alas I left it drying in some little corner somewhere. I will take another one on my next camino though! And oh yes, they do get quite grubby after awhile when we don't have the advantage of super-detergents. bleaches or soda washes.

lynne
 

Sansthing

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
French Camino (May 2009), French Camino (May 2011), Via de la Plata (April/May 2012)
Babies safety/nappy/diaper pins (I'm trying to cover all optional names in English!). Use them instead of clothes pegs for drying your washing, also for pinning damp washing to your pack so it dries as you go along.
Sandra :arrow:
 

nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
A small square of soft chamois leather used after showering to absorb most of the moisture (wipe and wring technique) this means your travel towel hardly gets damp at all when 'toweling off' (and I did still use a towel as well). This is really useful when walking in Winter or Spring when towel drying can be a bit tricky.
The chamois square can air on your pack to avoid getting whiffy but it actually seems more effective when damp (unlike synthetic chamois cloths). Also good for cleaning glasses!
Nell
 

skilsaw

Veteran Member
I found rocket booster boots in an army surplus store.
Very efficient for climbing big hills, but I only get them out when I am alone.
Don't want others to know how I reach the top of hills feeling and looking so fresh.

Unfortunately they are noisy and smell of jet fuel.

David, Victoria, Canada
 

bachstwin

New Member
A pair of slippersocks: so nice to walk around the albergues in these after a day in boots. I agree about the safety pins and the needle and thread too. Actually the reverse of this question is: what am I glad I did not take? Make-up. All I took was a combined moisturiser/sunblocker. I have invisible blond eyebrows which I use pencil on every day as I feel insipid without this minimum bit of cosmetic help, but I decided to leave it behind. Hardly looked in a mirror for days and just didn't care, and neither would anyone else. Did anyone else see all the hairdryers that came out, especially when the gorgeous Spanish girls were up for an Easter weekend's walking this time last year? I can honestly say I did not pack one superfluous thing.
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
For me it was a ecosack shopping bag, rolls up to finger size and weighs next to nothing, I had a reusable shopping bag first time, but found ecosack better, smaller.
1.5 metres of muslin, this is my towel, it weighs next to nothing, dries in minutes and does not smell.
A spork with serrated part on handle, found I did not need a knife at all.
A lightweight lavalava/sulu wrap. Slept in this, wore it to bathroom, used it a skirt/wrap with just my fleece over it when I washed everything at laundromat.Got dressed under it, it is my single favourite piece of gear. Most other things have been mentioned. Gitti
 
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
Some great ideas here... good thread!
I agree on the ecosack... no sacks are provided in many European stores. You must bring your own.

I like the idea of the chamois, but it just didn't dry me very well. I ended up using the torn off end of a worn out cotton towel... very lightweight, dried fast, and very absorbant. Ugly as sin, so nobody would dream of stealing it, but it worked great for me.

You can purchase travel packages of baby wipes there which are nice for on the trail use.

The sink stopper is a good thing.

The nose stoppers cracked me up.

The cigars were a disgusting addition.. please don't smoke them in my air space! :mrgreen:

The clothesline was something I used OFTEN. There is a thread on here somewhere telling you how to make one simply with elastic cording.

The cup heater is a brilliant idea! The little packages of Nescafe you can buy in the markets are very good!

You can buy tiny little lightweight LOUD whistles on the Hoods Woods website. These are good.

The BEST thing I took was a tiny LED light on a lanyard that I'd wear around my neck at night. Great for trips to the toilet without blinding people with those danged headlamps!
 
A pareo.

Used it (1) as a wrap to the bathroom (2) to provide some privacy drapped by the side of my bunk (3) covers my modesty when I needed to change/put on clothes in the albergues (4) as a pillow case (5) as a skirt for the evenings (6) as a scarf/shawl when I needed some extra warmth for the evenings out (7) as a blanket on warm nights, over my sleep sack

A laundry net.

Used it (1) as a carry all to the bathroom (2) to separate my laundry from others when we share a wash
 

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
LTfit said:
..........
2) Square piece of bubble wrap to sit on during rest/lunch breaks. Weight/space/cost next to nothing!
..........
Cheers,
LT
Great idea. We are planning to use a square of foil-faced radiator reflector with thin backing, so slightly less bulky than bubble wrap and also very light weight. Cost nil, we already had it to use as an insulation layer on our camp beds over here. We'll let you know if it works well.
Tia Valeria
 

belevume

New Member
I absolutely LOVE this thread! I've written down a dozen items that I previously hadn't thought of, or had thought of but didn't have quite the same ingenuity (buying one of those small 'super-absorbant' travel towels as opposed to a chamois - as a competitive swimmer throughout my youth I have several "shammies", which I KNOW work, but for whatever reason never would have thought to dig them up to bring one along!). I will definitely keep checking back before my June departure, so if there are more items, keep posting them! :D

Thanks!!

Sara
 
S

susiew

Guest
Met Sillydol in a Confraternity of St James meeting in Jhb South Africa and she has got smart packing done to a T.....She was both entertaining, dynamic and full of knowledge...
I am debating taking a portable 10l basin made by Sea to Summit to avoid the washing queue, any thoughts??? :!:
 

+@^^

Active Member
the Kitchen Sink is made by Sea to Summit
the 10l version weighs 124g
and is ideal for sitting outside, away from the crowds and washing your clothing as the sun sets
also, it looks good for foot care - soak your feet in this with a soothing salt and vinegar mix or some soothing stuff
real luxuary when theyre few and far between
 

squirepeter

New Member
Anniesantiago said:
Some great ideas here... good thread!
You can buy tiny little lightweight LOUD whistles on the Hoods Woods website. These are good.

What will I need a whistle for? :idea:
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
squirepeter said:
What will I need a whistle for? :idea:
You might not need a whistle, but I took one to start with. I had had two previous very scary experiences in Europe, once on a walking track in Switzerland, and once on a cycle track in the Loire Valley. So I took a small whistle with me when I started from Le Puy for personal security, in case I wanted to scare someone off, or alert others to a problem. The day I decided I could throw that whistle away was a good day, because it was the day that I decided my personal safety was not threatened on the Chemin/Camino.
In more remote/mountainous trails here in New Zealand I take a whistle in case I get lost/injured and want to alert someone.
Margaret
 

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
Tia Valeria said:
We are planning to use a square of foil-faced radiator reflector with thin backing, so slightly less bulky than bubble wrap and also very light weight. Cost nil, we already had it to use as an insulation layer on our camp beds over here. We'll let you know if it works well.
Tia Valeria
At the last minute we left these behind but wished we had had them. We need to think out where to carry them
 

vinotinto

Active Member
Anniesantiago said:
The cigars were a disgusting addition.. please don't smoke them in my air space! :mrgreen:
How ironic, considering that my favorite cigar bar is in Portland (one of the few places in the US where one can still enjoy a nice stogie and port in public)...but as long as you avoid the seedier bars on the Way, you won't inhale any of my smoke! :p :arrow:

VT
 

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
Jacki Dufty said:
For a universal sink stopper my husband cut a 75mm diametre circle out of a piece of heavy duty innertube - in fact we took a few to share around. They weigh practically nothing and work a treat.
Jacki.
Thanks for this one Jacki, we took 2 out with us and they work better than the bought universal plugs.

By way of a further contribution - an unusual use of a basic item:

My Rohan poncho, which fortunately is very quick drying. I used it to roll myself in one night, like a survival blanket, when I had a cold damp bed. I think it was Annie who suggested using it as a blanket layer on another thread. Thanks Annie, it was a life-saver as I was just getting colder and colder. Soon warmed up and kept it round me all night.
Tia Valeria
 

+@^^

Active Member
dental floss
.
you can do running repairs to your pack, boots, clothing, and use it as a clothes line, and maybe keep your teeth sparkling as well
.
the tech guys i spoke to have had undersea and snow expeditions saved from disaster by humble floss
2 or 3 loops of this stuff and you can use it as lashing to strap a sleeping bag to the top of your pack
you've already got the needle for piercing your blisters
.
don't leave home without it
you've been warned
 

CaroleH

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP 2006, Portugues 2007;Madrid 2009, Finisterre 2009; Sur and VdlP 2011,2013; Manchego and Madrid 2014; VdlP (parts) 2016; Hospitalero plan 2017.
This is a wonderful stream . . . lots of brilliant ideas. I already use some of them, and always look for items that are multi useful eg safety pins, needle and thread etc. My best item has just been mentioned . . . . sarong/ lavalava/ piece of cloth.. . . so many uses . . . . body wrap of course but also picnic mat, curtain, bed cover, towel, sleep in, sleep on, sleep under . . . Each camino I leave behind one or more items, but the sarong stays.

Saw a hair dryer on the VdlP . . . . a French couple took it. . . . to dry their boots!!
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
Yes the lavalava is my best pick too. I would never leave it out. Gitti
 

CaroleH

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP 2006, Portugues 2007;Madrid 2009, Finisterre 2009; Sur and VdlP 2011,2013; Manchego and Madrid 2014; VdlP (parts) 2016; Hospitalero plan 2017.
Forgot to mention . . . ear plugs . . . essential.

Also . . . . . tiny, tiny pot of lavendar oil .... relaxing, aid to sleep, and covering over those pilg smells!
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
I took 2 cotton diapers instead of a travel towel. Paid about 2 euros for a pack of 3. As 1 was enough ended up giving 1 away to a woman with a regular towel.

Diapers are small (no can't wrap it around you like a sarong), absorbant and dry extremely quickly.
Would definately use it on my next camino.

What I didn't use and threw away after a week was a square of bubble wrap. Sounded like a good idea to use to sit on but weather in July was wonderful and never had the need.

Sink plug a definate (unfortunately left mine somewhere...). Took an elastic clothes line but only used it once when arrived late at the Estella auberge and line was already full.

A fold-up shopping bag (someone called it an ecobag) was SO HANDY. Mine rolled up the about 3 cm. I used it every dag. I would dump my backpack at the auberge, put my valuables in the shopping bag with camera, guide book and journal and would go off to explore the surroundings. Also handy when taking a shower- was big enough to fit my clean clothes, valuables and toiletries.

By the way earplugs didn't work for me...after about 2 weeks I just got used to the noise.

Cheers,
LT
 

PilgrimChris

Active Member
Hi
The one item I would never go without, that weighs nothing, doesn't have to be packed, is always available, will help your fellow pilgrims enjoy their own journey more and will make your camino ultimately the best experience you will have is a smile and an open mind :)
 

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
:) in agreement.
Another practical idea for 'free'. Terry's rucksack rain-cover wore out and he bought a new one. We cut the old one in half and used it to sit on in damp places. Worked really well and very lightweight.
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Camino(s) past & future
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
Since everyone agrees a laundry stopper of some sort is needed I'm thinking of taking one (I also cut a small one of thin silicone before reading of the inner tube) just in case but had been planning on using what served me well for 3 weeks camping Africa--a zip lock bag---which also served as bathtub-- I assume since no one mentioned that there's a reason (drawback)-- could someone tell me what it is?
 

Ria Mattheus

New Member
What a absolutely interesting posts! We can all learn from the posts!!! Thank you. We also had the so called grocery bag you all are talking about - but it got cotton strings, so you can hang it at your shoulders as a rucksack when you go for shopping or to the bathrooms. Keep on posting - we ENJOY! :D
 
I've not gone on my Camino just yet, but one thing I never travel without, a permanent marker. In normal hostels it comes in very handy to mark your stuff so it is less likely to go missing. Is this something that may be useful on the camino?
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
LePuy, Frances, Aragones, Ingles, Vezelay, Toulosana, Muxia, Fisterra, Portugues, Sanabres
A couple of 18" cable (electrical) ties are handy and light. You can attach your pack strap to your chair or a post to slow down someone trying to take it. You can hang your pack away from bed bugs. And they have many other uses.
 

fraluchi

RIP 2019
Camino(s) past & future
One every year since 2007
Rebekah Scott said:
And a bit of duct tape, wrapped around my ink pen. Gotta have duct tape, it repairs everything from busted backpacks to blisters.
Depends upon how much your backpack got busted, of course!. The blisters? Might need some other interventions after a provisional patch-up.
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
falcon269 said:
A couple of 18" cable (electrical) ties are handy and light.
I don't know what this is, but it sounds really useful! What do I ask for at the hardware store?
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
LePuy, Frances, Aragones, Ingles, Vezelay, Toulosana, Muxia, Fisterra, Portugues, Sanabres
Ask for an 18" cable (electrical) tie.
 

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
A clever idea, thanks.
Plant ties would work the same and most twist and pull apart so are re-usable. From any garden centre and many hardware stores.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011 (2019)
Tia Valeria said:
A clever idea, thanks.
Plant ties would work the same and most twist and pull apart so are re-usable. From any garden centre and many hardware stores.
NO NO NO! The whole point of using cable ties is that they don't pull apart, so if they are used to hold something together that has broken, there is really little chance that the repair will fail.

I carried a pack of the smallest that I could find at my local hardware store. They can be daisy chained together to make a longer tie if necessary.

In 2010, they were use to repair my own pack where one of the plastic strap tensioners had broken, and to help another pilgrim walking with a mono-wheel trailer to secure a spacer to the trailer to balance the load.

Regards
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
LePuy, Frances, Aragones, Ingles, Vezelay, Toulosana, Muxia, Fisterra, Portugues, Sanabres
Plant ties would work the same and most twist
Functionally, twist ties are completely different and become twisted wire and shredded paper after a few uses. They also will unravel quickly at the tug of a sneak thief, providing little security. The electrical ties require a toothpick or small screwdriver to release the clamp mechanism, but can be re-used hundreds of times. I agree that shorter ones can be daisy-chained to expand their uses.
 

andy.d

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Levante 2009
Camino Ingles (Coruna) 2011
Camino Ingles (Coruna) 2014
Pilgrims Way Winchester - Canterbury
Camino Ingles (Ferrol) 2015
Cistercian Way (Wales) 2016
if it's something you can can get a needle through, dental floss is very strong and works really well for on the road repairs to rucksacks, etc

Andy
 

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
dougfitz said:
Tia Valeria said:
A clever idea, thanks.
Plant ties would work the same and most twist and pull apart so are re-usable. From any garden centre and many hardware stores.
NO NO NO! The whole point of using cable ties is that they don't pull apart, so if they are used to hold something together that has broken, there is really little chance that the repair will fail.

I carried a pack of the smallest that I could find at my local hardware store. They can be daisy chained together to make a longer tie if necessary.

In 2010, they were use to repair my own pack where one of the plastic strap tensioners had broken, and to help another pilgrim walking with a mono-wheel trailer to secure a spacer to the trailer to balance the load.

Regards
Ours are not paper and wire but rubber/plastic. Terry will take a photo and post it later. Good for keeping the pack safer in a cafe etc. We would use linen thread (or dental floss) for repairs. Might take a couple of the cable ties too for emergencies.
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
Adding 18" cable ties to my packing list!

Thanks for the information.
 

TerryB

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte/Primitivo (April/May) 2009: Norte/Primitivo (parts) (April/May) 2010: Inglés (May) 2011: Primitivo (April/May) 2012: Norte / Camino de La Reina (April/May) 2013: Camino del Mar / Inglés (May/June) 2015
These are the plant ties that Valerie means. Can be obtained in either rubber or plastic. Unlike cable ties they are re-usable if you wanted to strap your pack to a seat in the bus station etc. They would avoid the scenario in "The Way" where his rucksack was grabbed in the cafe.

Blessings
Terry

P.S. I have a goodly supply of different cable ties - I used to run a Morris Minor!!!!
 

Attachments

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011 (2019)
TerryB said:
snip
They would avoid the scenario in "The Way" where his rucksack was grabbed in the cafe.

Blessings
Terry

P.S. I have a goodly supply of different cable ties - I used to run a Morris Minor!!!!
Terry, thanks for the photo.

I must admit I thought that scene lacked credibility, but it did allow a nice gypsy interlude. Unfortunately, there have been several posts here recently inferring that there is a security risk from gypsies. When I walked in 2010, I felt that the greater risk was from some self styled mendicant pilgrims and the like. The couple of 'reports' of incidents were about thefts that took place within albergues, not in public places.

That said, I haven't bothered to find out what information is available on this, and where the risks really are.

Finally, my first motor car memories are of my father's Morris Minor van. It must have been built in the late 1940s or very early 1950s. We had many wonderful and exciting trips in that car.

Regards,
 

jujuaway

Member
Hi there, i took a small tube of super glue, that ended up holding my boot together for the final legs.

I also used tape for blisters to patch my money waist strap and to mark my pole that looked like everyone else's.

But my all time favourite was my Chux super wipe that i used as a towel. So light, did not smell and worked like a charm.

happy packing jujuaway
 

Lydia Gillen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2007/8/9 2011 (C.F 2015)
A knowledge of Spanish is most useful and weighs nothing, and can be so enriching of the whole Camino.

I also bring a tiny booklet with the prayers and responses of the Mass in Spanish which enables me to participate more fully in the Mass each evening. If anyone wants a copy I will send it to them if they P.M. their email address to me.

Buen Camino,

Lydia
 

Attachments

k1ypp

Member
I carried a business card, I find it easier than trying to have someone write down email or web site info. It is especially nice if it is raining. I included the line in my talents, "Dragon Slayer." I figured it was a medieval route and there was always a chance of a dragon popping up. When people would see how old I looked they would usually draw the conclusion that I must be a retired dragon slayer. it was a great conversation starter, I never had difficulty engaging people. Hint: don't print cards on ink jet printers, the colors run if wet, use a laser printer.



Other useful things we carried was a three way power-outlet adapter so we could share outlets for charging things. (If you do carry one, be sure to carve your initials into it so everyone knows you're not stealing it.) Also, be sure to carry a headlamp, having a hands-free flashlight is a must.

In places that had "questionable" pillow cases we would use a spare tee shirt as a pillow case over the pillow.

Lots of good ideas in this forum, keep it up!

Dennis, "K1"
 

neilesperanto

New Member
Hi Everyone,
my first post on this forum, I am walking the VDLP in September, my first Camino. Firstly, thanks for all the advice and suggestions on here, I don't think I have a single question that is not well covered by you folks.

A useful thing to take is a paracord bracelet, my own one has a buckle with a whistle built into it and is made up of 15 foot of cord. If you need to use it, just unravel it. Paracord has 1000s of uses and is light and has a breaking strain of 550 lbs. Hence it is often reffered to as 550 cord. Apparently paracord was used to fix the Hubble Space Telescope (not sure how true that is).

There are loads of videos on youtube of how to make your own bracelet and lots of different weaves and knots you can use and comes in different colours for the more artistic among you or you can just buy one on ebay for a few pounds. They are sometimes called 'survival bracelets' as well.

Buen camino,
Neil
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
LePuy, Frances, Aragones, Ingles, Vezelay, Toulosana, Muxia, Fisterra, Portugues, Sanabres
Bonvenon al la Forumo. Estas plena de informoj, kaj mi dankas vin pro aldon via valora konsileto. Mi povus havi uzitan iuj ekstra ŝnureto kiam mi lasis miajn elastajn vestojn linion en albergue. Demandi iu demando vi eble; estas multajn tenaditajn informojn en la spertoj de Forumo membroj. :D :D
 

Toobizy

Member
Comment was:
Other useful things we carried was a three way power-outlet adapter so we could share outlets for charging things. (If you do carry one, be sure to carve your initials into it so everyone knows you're not stealing it.) Also, be sure to carry a headlamp, having a hands-free flashlight is a

My question:
Anybody know where I can get a three way power-outlet adapter for US chargers/plugs? I have bought adapters for trips in the past, to various countries, and I have yet to have brought one that worked! Always the wrong kind...
 

BlackDog

Older Peregrino
Camino(s) past & future
Francés part 2012, Francés 2013, Inglés 2014, Muxía 2014, Fisterra 2012, 2014, Portugués 2016, 2018
Toobizy said:
Anybody know where I can get a three way power-outlet adapter for US chargers/plugs? I have bought adapters for trips in the past, to various countries, and I have yet to have brought one that worked! Always the wrong kind...
You need to be careful on voltage. If your item is multi-voltage (110V to 240V) then you only need an adapter but if you have a 110V only item then you need a step-down voltage transformer and that will be too heavy. A standard US to Euro adapter will suffice for multi-voltage items. Check the power requirement for voltage.
 

Toobizy

Member
BlackDog said:
Toobizy said:
Anybody know where I can get a three way power-outlet adapter for US chargers/plugs? I have bought adapters for trips in the past, to various countries, and I have yet to have brought one that worked! Always the wrong kind...
You need to be careful on voltage. If your item is multi-voltage (110V to 240V) then you only need an adapter but if you have a 110V only item then you need a step-down voltage transformer and that will be too heavy. A standard US to Euro adapter will suffice for multi-voltage items. Check the power requirement for voltage.
Thanks very much for that info. I will use it!
 

neilesperanto

New Member
falcon269 said:
Bonvenon al la Forumo. Estas plena de informoj, kaj mi dankas vin pro aldon via valora konsileto. Mi povus havi uzitan iuj ekstra ŝnureto kiam mi lasis miajn elastajn vestojn linion en albergue. Demandi iu demando vi eble; estas multajn tenaditajn informojn en la spertoj de Forumo membroj. :D :D
Saluton Falcon, pardonu min, mi ĵus vidas vian replikon al mian komenton, estas plezuro konatiĝi kun vi. Mi ofte pensas se mi renkonti kun aliaj samideanoj ci-tie aŭ en la Camino. Ĉu vi konas multajn esperantistojn kiu surtreti la Camino?
Kore
Neil
 

fraluchi

RIP 2019
Camino(s) past & future
One every year since 2007
neilesperanto said:
falcon269 said:
Ĉu vi konas multajn esperantistojn kiu surtreti la Camino?
Probably not. Depending upon the month of walking the Camino, you may be enticed to speak German (spring time), Portuguese (loads of Brasilians once in a while), French (at any time), Spanish (particularly at week-ends and the last 100 kms to Santiago), South Korean (in waves - watch the use of kitchens and garlic), and English (of course!) when nothing else seems to work. :|
 

neilesperanto

New Member
fraluchi said:
neilesperanto said:
falcon269 said:
Ĉu vi konas multajn esperantistojn kiu surtreti la Camino?
Probably not. Depending upon the month of walking the Camino, you may be enticed to speak German (spring time), Portuguese (loads of Brasilians once in a while), French (at any time), Spanish (particularly at week-ends and the last 100 kms to Santiago), South Korean (in waves - watch the use of kitchens and garlic), and English (of course!) when nothing else seems to work. :|
Thanks Fraluchi
Esperanto is very popular in Brazil, being taught in schools and universities as well as many clubs in towns and cities. I believe there is a fair bit of interest in South Korea too. I may find a few 'samideanoj' with the Brazilians and South Koreans to practice with, it's a minority interest so won't know until I open my mouth and speak it. I will put a badge next to my pilgrim forum one on my backpack and see what happens, it may or may not be useful to have. Will keep you posted.

Neil
 

MCVet

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked (2012)
I don't remember where I read about this, maybe on this very forum, but I made this clothesline and clipped two carabiners on the end of it. Total cost was $3 and 15 minutes of work (plus 5 minutes learning to braid).

Works well and no clips required. Can only hold about two things of clothes without bowing but you really shouldn't need much more I wouldn't think.
 

na2than

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2012)(2013)
a small atomiser of after shave...it makes me feel good in the evening. in the bars the locals always seem well dressed...and a little sqirt helps.

i never travel anywhere without "wet wipes"...a hangover from being a parent
 

camelle

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept. 14 - Oct. 18 (2012); Finisterre/Muxia April (2016)
Well, I made my way to the bottom of this awesome list and have added a few things to my packing list. Thanks again, Pieces!!

Ellen (Camelle)
 

jeffnd

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2014
k1ypp said:
I carried a business card, I find it easier than trying to have someone write down email or web site info. It is especially nice if it is raining. I included the line in my talents, "Dragon Slayer." I figured it was a medieval route and there was always a chance of a dragon popping up. When people would see how old I looked they would usually draw the conclusion that I must be a retired dragon slayer. it was a great conversation starter, I never had difficulty engaging people. Hint: don't print cards on ink jet printers, the colors run if wet, use a laser printer.



Other useful things we carried was a three way power-outlet adapter so we could share outlets for charging things. (If you do carry one, be sure to carve your initials into it so everyone knows you're not stealing it.) Also, be sure to carry a headlamp, having a hands-free flashlight is a must.

In places that had "questionable" pillow cases we would use a spare tee shirt as a pillow case over the pillow.

Lots of good ideas in this forum, keep it up!

Dennis, "K1"
Before deciding to do the Camino, I had planned on taking a motorcycle trip around America. I read about someone who handed out business cards to people with his contact information and I think this is an excellent idea. There are a few websites that you can get free business cards from.
 

ward4e

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
APR 2012... Future APR 2014?
When I started Walking my pack including my food was 14kg+ its hard to give you an exact figure but it was hurrendous and I will never do the camino again with this much weight with a tiny backpack.

Yes, i had the wrong back pack. Yes, It was overloaded. Yes, it broke repeatedly and i was repairing it nightly with dental floss and a needle but it inspired me to start throwing out items to the point where my pack without food was only 7kg and I could run to catch up to friends on the way into Cee and Finisterre.

Most Usless item: LED torch. I never used this item ever and i got it free from a friend in SJPdP! I still carried it all the way! Why? god knows... its 85g of pure pain as far as i can remember.
Most Useful Item: Bear Toilet paper. Either Cleaning my glasses after rain, wiping camera lenses, wiping my nose from the cold, drying my headphones & ipod, stiffing my shoes at night or its intended use i was constantly using it.

Books; leave at home, please for the love of your back leave them at home. If its your family bible please just send it to someone at santiago and pick it up. I carried Ayn Rand's Atlus shrugged from day one reading as I went and in Leon I finished it and was then able to carry my sleeping bag INSIDE my back pack... yes the book was way too large.

Zip Lock bags; A must! air in your clothes is dead weight that you have to carry and by placing your clothes in a zip lock bag you can compress the air out of them AND make them water proof. Trust me after walking in rain for the first weeks and sleet over the Pyrenees not having to panic and rip out your rain cover ever time is a godsend!

BUFF; buy one, wear it constantly over your neck not only will you avoid sunburn you will also be able wear it as a half balaclava in wind, a under cap thermal and when you hands are really really cold you can take it off and use it as a hand thermal wrap... I lost mine on the bus back from Finisterre and its been a sore point ever since

Remember please remember if your not wearing it your carrying it. I can't stress this enough so please limit your "incase items". Trust me when you look at the gift table at the Roncesvalles Abbey people are sheadding items like mad! and it doesn't stop! nearly every albergue has unoffical donations of random things pilgrims "forgett".

Also as far and as dangerous as it seems remember its just a string of day walks from accomodation to accomodation.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011 (2019)
Sojourner47 said:
Good advice. I've been flogging this particular horse on forum for over a year, without much success, I fear. :D
You underrate the influence of your message. Just don't expect others to be as fanatical about getting their pack weight down as you are.

Regards,
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
LePuy, Frances, Aragones, Ingles, Vezelay, Toulosana, Muxia, Fisterra, Portugues, Sanabres
Get perspective -- send your pack ahead on one stage. You will then realize what even a 7kg pack does! (Unless you carry a 7kg daypack that day ...)
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011 (2019)
WayWalker63 said:
What is a buff? I have seen this item mentioned in several posts but have never heard of it.
From Wikipedia:
Buff may refer to:

Buff (colour), a pale yellow-brown colour
Buff (headgear), a multifunctional article of clothing produced by Original Buff, a Catalan company
Buff (turkey)
A form of Status effect, a temporary beneficial effect in some video games
The opposite of Nerf, an update to rules in a video game which strengthen an attribute
British Urban Film Festival, formed in July 2005 to showcase urban independent cinema in the UK
BUFF (Malmö Film Festival), a film festival in Malmö, Sweden, held in March
Buff coat, a garment of military clothing
B-52 Stratofortress, a military aircraft
Buff, a character in Generation X
The act of buffing, a metal finishing process
Colloquialism for a muscular physique
You can probably take it that in context, its a reference to the headgear.

Regards,
 
S

Sojourner47

Guest
A buff is a tube of thin material which can be used as a hat, scarf, hand warmer, towel, etc. Most useful piece of kit, and even available in camino design... (search for Camino Buff on here, which will take you to Beverley's post, on the Pilgrim Books board. There's a picture of one)
Most camping stores stock them.
 

vagabondette

Active Member
ward4e said:
Zip Lock bags; A must! air in your clothes is dead weight that you have to carry and by placing your clothes in a zip lock bag you can compress the air out of them AND make them water proof. Trust me after walking in rain for the first weeks and sleet over the Pyrenees not having to panic and rip out your rain cover ever time is a godsend!
Not to nit-pick, but air in your clothes doesn't *weigh* anything. It may increase the amount of space the clothes take up, which could cause weight distribution issues, but it doesn't increase the weight. So, ziplock bags are great for keeping things dry and organized but not for making them weigh less - unfortunately. ;)
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
LePuy, Frances, Aragones, Ingles, Vezelay, Toulosana, Muxia, Fisterra, Portugues, Sanabres
Well, water is 8 lbs. per gallon, and it is H2O. Since air has a lot of O and the N in it weighs about the same, it just seems reasonable that the two light H's and and one heavier O would weight less than air, so am willing to go with the 10 lb. per gallon estimate...
 

andy.d

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Levante 2009
Camino Ingles (Coruna) 2011
Camino Ingles (Coruna) 2014
Pilgrims Way Winchester - Canterbury
Camino Ingles (Ferrol) 2015
Cistercian Way (Wales) 2016
If my brain is working properly, this must mean that we are carrying vast weight with the amount of air on top of our rucksacks. Is there any way of reducing this? Does this means attempts at ultra light are in vain?

Andy
 

vagabondette

Active Member
Oy. I didn't realize were were on a physics forum. Ok, yes, technically air has weight. However, the weight of the amount of air saved by using a ziplock bag is counteracted by the weight of the bag itself. So, while I haven't done the actual weighing because I don't have access to equipment that sensitive - and I just don't care that much - I would suspect when comparing the weight of clothes out of a bag vs the weight of clothes in a ziplock with the air removed the clothes in the ziplock would likely weigh more. The point though was that using ziplocks are good for organization, water proofing and capacity issues but not really to save weight. Now, hopefully the pedantic portion of the day is over.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
LePuy, Frances, Aragones, Ingles, Vezelay, Toulosana, Muxia, Fisterra, Portugues, Sanabres
pedant: a formalist or precisionist in teaching
Accuracy can be valuable. :mrgreen:
 

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