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Things I'd bring, who cares about the weight

Time of past OR future Camino
See signature. Too many to list here.
So I like to walk the Camino. I first walked with my mom, then my sister, solo so many times. Here is a list of things I'd bring despite the added weight:

1) playing cards. Don't worry about chips, just use skittles. And be weary about buying decks in Spain, I mean, they are different sometimes. So much fun with friends when you are out in the middle of nowhere. Old maid and Texas hold'em are great.

2) heating coil. I stay at cheap hotels mostly and the coffee is not so readily available. So like you have this little device and you get boiling water in your cup. Throw in some instant, and I'm ready to go. I know, controversial.

Darn it I can't think of anything else worth the weight, What would you add?
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
See signature. Too many to list here.
Woo hoo, another member of the Electric Coil Club. @Damien Reynolds, it took me about ten years to realize how much I needed it, but it looks like it took you a few years longer! Welcome to the club, which we celebrate on this thread.
Yah I'm a slow learner, sometimes. Nice to hear from you again.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
1. I always carry a shopping bag made out of recycled water bottles. Use to carry groceries, laundry, etc.

2. Tiny notebook and a pen: I keep track of spending, use it for scratch paper, addresses. ect.

I could be a coil convertee, but have burned up a couple in some preCamino adventures. May try to find one in my Spanish travels this week and try it again.

Have also found the "capachino" instant coffee packets at the store here are a reasonable substitute for coffee since it is hard to find coffee creamer. The packets are bigger than regular instant coffee packets, but worth it.
 
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LavanyaLea

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (May/June 2022)
I love the coil too! But actually quite a few places I passed by had a kettle of even a pod coffee machine in the kitchen! But I did use up all the ground coffee I brought from home.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2017), Primitivo (2019), CF/del Norte ‘21
Is the coffee substandard? Or not available (perhaps on some routes lacking infrastructure).
There is some excellent coffee available to bring…
 

Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Time of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
I usually carry a bivi bag and a short self-inflating mat even on routes where I expect to find albergues at reasonable intervals. I like having the option to choose my own stages by spending the odd night outdoors if the weather is good. Walking quieter routes in winter sometimes means finding places are unexpectedly closed. I find the fairly small weight penalty well worthwhile.
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
1. I always carry a shopping bag made out of recycled water bottles. Use to carry groceries, laundry, etc.
I have a bag I got from Decathlon for my groceries.

"Swiss army" knife.
I used to buy a Swiss Army knife but since I carry my backpack on the plane. I never check it, I can't take my knife. Now when I arrive in Madrid or Barcelona to start a camino I do three things immediately. I get a sim card from Vodafone, pick up a pair of cheap hiking poles and if it is in Decathlon and they have a cheap knife I buy one there or go to a cuchilleria. I can pick one up for 6 or 7 euros and it does the trick for whatever I need. I basically need just a decent cutting knife and a scissor in the knife.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
Since an overhead announcement at the Calgary airport stated that a very small knife (of a specific size) is permitted to carry, I take my tiny Swiss Army knife with me when I fly to Spain. It is just convenient to have until I can buy something larger and with more uses after I arrive. I do not check my pack and I have never been questioned about the knife. I would cheerfully surrender it if required to do so.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
I usually carry a bivi bag and a short self-inflating mat even on routes where I expect to find albergues at reasonable intervals. I like having the option to choose my own stages by spending the odd night outdoors if the weather is good. Walking quieter routes in winter sometimes means finding places are unexpectedly closed. I find the fairly small weight penalty well worthwhile.
would replace the bivvy bag with a tarp, but the mat definitely, as it comes in handy at bus stations, rail stations, and airport floors ! :)

samarkand.
 

lindam

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, VDLP, Invierno, Portuguese, Madrid, Ingles, Fisterra, Muxia, Catalan/Aragones/Loyola Norte
We always prepare our own food despite the added weight penalty. This means that we carry a small camping burner along with fuel for times when the albergue is without a kitchen, a couple of light weight pots, dishes and basic utensils. Add to that a small bottle of cooking oil, a spice kit, salt, garlic, dried hot peppers and some dish soap.
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I brought a small, lite pairing knife with blade cover for 7 years but suddenly the self-same knife was confiscated by the train security screeners because the blade is now too long? So I have reverted to a Swiss Pen knife. We use a knife in private rooms for preparing veggies, fruits, desserts, etc.

We each carry two sets of plastic silverware (courtesy of Wendy’s) and each have an heating coil. We have been using them for over 30 years. We each have a small plastic bowl with plastic cover. It doubles as a container to hold small loose items when we walk, but use it also as a bowl to eat cereal, or hold a small salad, etc. Lastly a titanium cup.
 
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NM99

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés - StJPP-Santiago May-June 2022
Since an overhead announcement at the Calgary airport stated that a very small knife (of a specific size) is permitted to carry, I take my tiny Swiss Army knife with me when I fly to Spain. It is just convenient to have until I can buy something larger and with more uses after I arrive. I do not check my pack and I have never been questioned about the knife. I would cheerfully surrender it if required to do so.
Here are the Canadian (CATSA) regulations re. knife lengths permitted in carry-on luggage: https://www.catsa-acsta.gc.ca/en/sharp-objects#measure
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
I buy a small Opinal Inox (stainless steel version) folding knife (applewood handle, made in France) at the first ferreteria (hardware store) I see, for less than 10 euro. If I check a bag on my return flight home I bring it back. Very light and great for slicing anything. Buen Camino
 

Shirley1957

Slowly slowly…
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino de Frances
So I like to walk the Camino. I first walked with my mom, then my sister, solo so many times. Here is a list of things I'd bring despite the added weight:

1) playing cards. Don't worry about chips, just use skittles. And be weary about buying decks in Spain, I mean, they are different sometimes. So much fun with friends when you are out in the middle of nowhere. Old maid and Texas hold'em are great.

2) heating coil. I stay at cheap hotels mostly and the coffee is not so readily available. So like you have this little device and you get boiling water in your cup. Throw in some instant, and I'm ready to go. I know, controversial.

Darn it I can't think of anything else worth the weight, What would you add?
Nylon portable foot soaking bag. Bliss.
 
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Don's Brother

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2017)
So I like to walk the Camino. I first walked with my mom, then my sister, solo so many times. Here is a list of things I'd bring despite the added weight:

1) playing cards. Don't worry about chips, just use skittles. And be weary about buying decks in Spain, I mean, they are different sometimes. So much fun with friends when you are out in the middle of nowhere. Old maid and Texas hold'em are great.

2) heating coil. I stay at cheap hotels mostly and the coffee is not so readily available. So like you have this little device and you get boiling water in your cup. Throw in some instant, and I'm ready to go. I know, controversial.

Darn it I can't think of anything else worth the weight, What would you add?
I have done 6 Caminos and have never carried (nor do I plan to carry) any of the items mentioned in this thread thus far. Every pilgrim has certain items that they “need” and I respect all for what they have in their packs. Diversity is one of the things I like most about the Camino. Walk on (with whatever), my fellow pilgrims.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
please see signature
despite the added weight ...What would you add?
Right, here goes

900 grams - 2 place tent, stakes, sleep pad​
600 grams - sleeping bag- 5 Celsius​
400 grams - power bank 20k mAh​
_60 grams - kitchen sink / hold all / foot bath​

All up starting weight each day (including a litre of water, change of quick dry clothes, rain/wind protection, 11" tablet - and the 2 kg list above) is comfortably under 8 kg.

For me, the 2 kg added weight has provided so much flexibility on both my local training routes and in Europe.

If I didn't have that 2 kg my starting pack weight would be comfortably under 6 kg. If that were so I would anticipate achieving 40 km (or more) each day 🤣😇😂
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
Many great ideas on this thread. I have said this before, but bears repeating. I have had a plastic knife from a fast food vendor confiscated at security. Another time I had to open and remove the contents of my backpack at security so they could take a look at a tiny pair of rounded edge scissors normally used for pre-school children, which I was then allowed to keep after having them scrutinized. It was a nuisance to take the time to dig in my backpack to remove them.
My suggestion is if you take any item that in any way may be be considered "questionble", pack them on top for easy access.
 
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taigirl

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2019
So I like to walk the Camino. I first walked with my mom, then my sister, solo so many times. Here is a list of things I'd bring despite the added weight:

1) playing cards. Don't worry about chips, just use skittles. And be weary about buying decks in Spain, I mean, they are different sometimes. So much fun with friends when you are out in the middle of nowhere. Old maid and Texas hold'em are great.

2) heating coil. I stay at cheap hotels mostly and the coffee is not so readily available. So like you have this little device and you get boiling water in your cup. Throw in some instant, and I'm ready to go. I know, controversial.

Darn it I can't think of anything else worth the weight, What would you add?
Sleeping bag. Such a luxury to snuggle achy muscles into. A liner doesn't cut it. Also a pillow case - bright red do I don't leave it behind . Hate those paper pillow cases. Stuffed my jacket in it on the plane for an extra cushion.
 

makingtrax

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
El norte2010
Portuguese 2014
Primativo 2016
Frances sept 2017!
So I like to walk the Camino. I first walked with my mom, then my sister, solo so many times. Here is a list of things I'd bring despite the added weight:

1) playing cards. Don't worry about chips, just use skittles. And be weary about buying decks in Spain, I mean, they are different sometimes. So much fun with friends when you are out in the middle of nowhere. Old maid and Texas hold'em are great.

2) heating coil. I stay at cheap hotels mostly and the coffee is not so readily available. So like you have this little device and you get boiling water in your cup. Throw in some instant, and I'm ready to go. I know, controversial.

Darn it I can't think of anything else worth the weight, What would you add?
Yep always carry my heating coil everywhere in the world.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
See signature. Too many to list here.
I have a bag I got from Decathlon for my groceries.


I used to buy a Swiss Army knife but since I carry my backpack on the plane. I never check it, I can't take my knife. Now when I arrive in Madrid or Barcelona to start a camino I do three things immediately. I get a sim card from Vodafone, pick up a pair of cheap hiking poles and if it is in Decathlon and they have a cheap knife I buy one there or go to a cuchilleria. I can pick one up for 6 or 7 euros and it does the trick for whatever I need. I basically need just a decent cutting knife and a scissor in the knife.
I do the same things except for the SIM card part. I have never even tried it. And last two walks friends had trouble doing it. Like imagine "Damien, can you call you the Alburgue for me." Instead I just go with Att international plan.
 
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handzondeck2

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF (x2); VdLP (x4); Portuguese (x2); Madrid (x2); S/Salvador, Primitivo, Ingles ('17) Camino 19 tba
Here's my list of what I take when I walk the Camino:
1. Heating coil (with appropriate adapter)
2. Playing cards (weigh nothing)
3. Dice to play yahtzee (weigh nothing).
4. Mini sewing kit (3 needles and small black /white cotton on cardboard piece) fits in a film canister (weighs nothing)
5. Small foldable lightweight backpack for shopping (Get the type that fold up the size of your palm as you can load things in it for your small side trips - saves lugging around a heavy backpack after a long walk)
6. Small cup for soups and coffees, etc (microwave suitable and you can stow small things in it)
7. Plastic knife, fork and spoon (can pick them up at a Decathlon store)
8. GPS for geocaching on the way (saves phone battery and has a compass)
9. Portable solar battery charger (Small to recharge phone) and spare cables (one x long and one x small length).
10. Don't forget a basic first aid kit (fits in a 13.34x12.79x2.54cm pouch) - weight 65gm
All if this fits into one small drawstring bag.

Take care and Enjoy your travel planning.

Sharon
 
So I like to walk the Camino. I first walked with my mom, then my sister, solo so many times. Here is a list of things I'd bring despite the added weight:

1) playing cards. Don't worry about chips, just use skittles. And be weary about buying decks in Spain, I mean, they are different sometimes. So much fun with friends when you are out in the middle of nowhere. Old maid and Texas hold'em are great.

2) heating coil. I stay at cheap hotels mostly and the coffee is not so readily available. So like you have this little device and you get boiling water in your cup. Throw in some instant, and I'm ready to go. I know, controversial.

Darn it I can't think of anything else worth the weight, What would you add?
I always bring a heating coil / immersion heater plus a few packages of cup-a-soup. At the end of an exhausting day it is a simple and delicious meal.
 

Richard Smith

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2016
Kumano Kodo 2014
Take care and Enjoy your travel planning.

Sharon
>>
3. Dice to play yahtzee (weigh nothing).
4. Mini sewing kit (3 needles and small black /white cotton on cardboard piece) fits in a film canister (weighs nothing)
5. Small foldable lightweight backpack for shopping
>>

+1 from me
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
So I like to walk the Camino. I first walked with my mom, then my sister, solo so many times. Here is a list of things I'd bring despite the added weight:

1) playing cards. Don't worry about chips, just use skittles. And be weary about buying decks in Spain, I mean, they are different sometimes. So much fun with friends when you are out in the middle of nowhere. Old maid and Texas hold'em are great.

2) heating coil. I stay at cheap hotels mostly and the coffee is not so readily available. So like you have this little device and you get boiling water in your cup. Throw in some instant, and I'm ready to go. I know, controversial.

Darn it I can't think of anything else worth the weight, What would you add?
Don't forget the coffee 😉
 
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USMC-Pilgrim

I learned, the hard way!
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (SJPDP to Santiago) May-Jun 2022
Woo hoo, another member of the Electric Coil Club. @Damien Reynolds, it took me about ten years to realize how much I needed it, but it looks like it took you a few years longer! Welcome to the club, which we celebrate on this thread.
Tickled to see the coil mentioned. I finished the CF on June 22 from SJPDP. My coil, an REI cup and instant coffee packets were a "must have" to get me ready for the challenges of the day. I got home, cleaned up, did the laundry and the same setup is ready to roll for the Portuguese next Spring!
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
I do the same things except for the SIM card part. I have never even tried it. And last two walks friends had trouble doing it. Like imagine "Damien, can you call you the Alburgue for me." Instead I just go with Att international plan.
If that works for you using the AT&T plan that is great and one less thing to do when you arrive. I live in Mexico and the cost of international plans for a few months is way more than the 40 Euros I pay for 2 months in Spain, I usually walk about 1,000K and that takes me about 55 days between my arrival, starting my camino and getting back to Madrid or Barcelona to go home. It is super easy to get the sim at Vodafone (Orange has good plans to but Vodafone's work better for me). To recharge is also super easy as I just get a message from Vodafone when to recharge and do it on my phone, You can even change the website to English. It takes about 90 seconds to recharge.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
See signature. Too many to list here.
If that works for you using the AT&T plan that is great and one less thing to do when you arrive. I live in Mexico and the cost of international plans for a few months is way more than the 40 Euros I pay for 2 months in Spain, I usually walk about 1,000K and that takes me about 55 days between my arrival, starting my camino and getting back to Madrid or Barcelona to go home. It is super easy to get the sim at Vodafone (Orange has good plans to but Vodafone's work better for me). To recharge is also super easy as I just get a message from Vodafone when to recharge and do it on my phone, You can even change the website to English. It takes about 90 seconds to recharge.
Ok, so like the ATT International plan is way more expensive then... like it's $10 a day but you only pay for 10 days in a billing cycle, so that works out to be like $100/month.... ouch! But like I said, my friends seem to sometimes have problems with their sims... you are probably smarter than my friends! I like one less thing to think about but now I'm thinking!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
See signature. Too many to list here.
I have done 6 Caminos and have never carried (nor do I plan to carry) any of the items mentioned in this thread thus far. Every pilgrim has certain items that they “need” and I respect all for what they have in their packs. Diversity is one of the things I like most about the Camino. Walk on (with whatever), my fellow pilgrims.
Totally agree. Just saying, you want to meet friends? Bust out playing cards. Or not.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
Oh shoot, I forgot one more thing... this one I learned this last Norte... from a first timer from Canada...

A Tent Footprint.

Not the tent. Just the footprint. Light and convenient place to sit down, lay down, be clean. I was a little jealous.
I use a 3'x3' piece of tyvek as a sit pad when I want a little snack or a rest. A 3'x6' piece would work well for a quick siesta. Tyvek weighs practically nothing and folds up to nothing.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
I use a 3'x3' piece of tyvek as a sit pad when I want a little snack or a rest. A 3'x6' piece would work well for a quick siesta. Tyvek weighs practically nothing and folds up to nothing.
I have not used Tyvek but I believe that it is a type of plastic, likely to be hot and sticky in humid summer weather, compared to the dryness of my 135 g. tent footprint. But I already have too much to carry and will only collapse on dry grass, maybe with my lightweight polyester jacket underneath. I am amazed at the variety of items listed above which "weigh nothing." This is a form of magic which I would love to master.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
See signature. Too many to list here.
I have not used Tyvek but I believe that it is a type of plastic, likely to be hot and sticky in humid summer weather, compared to the dryness of my 135 g. tent footprint. But I already have too much to carry and will only collapse on dry grass, maybe with my lightweight polyester jacket underneath. I am amazed at the variety of items listed above which "weigh nothing." This is a form of magic which I would love to master.
If you use a footprint already that is way good enough. Tyvek is just a backpacker's trick.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
Tyvek is awesome and I would not say it weighs practically nothing, and folds up to nothing if it were not true...yes, like magic.🙂 It absolutely does not feel like sweaty, hot plastic either, but I have googled a bit of info.
That said, I will google "tent footprint" as I am curious and have never heard of it.
Screenshot_20220710-151747~2.png
 

henrythedog

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
X
Here's my list of what I take when I walk the Camino:
1. Heating coil (with appropriate adapter)
2. Playing cards (weigh nothing)
3. Dice to play yahtzee (weigh nothing).
4. Mini sewing kit (3 needles and small black /white cotton on cardboard piece) fits in a film canister (weighs nothing)
5. Small foldable lightweight backpack for shopping (Get the type that fold up the size of your palm as you can load things in it for your small side trips - saves lugging around a heavy backpack after a long walk)
6. Small cup for soups and coffees, etc (microwave suitable and you can stow small things in it)
7. Plastic knife, fork and spoon (can pick them up at a Decathlon store)
8. GPS for geocaching on the way (saves phone battery and has a compass)
9. Portable solar battery charger (Small to recharge phone) and spare cables (one x long and one x small length).
10. Don't forget a basic first aid kit (fits in a 13.34x12.79x2.54cm pouch) - weight 65gm
All if this fits into one small drawstring bag.

Take care and Enjoy your travel planning.

Sharon
Nothing weighs nothing. Everything else weighs something.

We have people on here obsessing about weight savings which (excuse me) a short visit to the bathroom might resolve
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
Well, I googled "tent footprint" and it is nothing more than a generic term for material used to protect the bottom of tents as a ground cover. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Tyvek was listed often and gets great reviews. I find it totally suitable for a sit pad and appropriate for taking a nap using a larger piece.
 
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chris_yyc

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2022)
- A golf ball or lightweight "Trigger Point" massage ball - works wonders on the feet / legs / shoulders and helps you make friends quick!
- A very small and slim metal insulated flask (355ml / 12fl oz) to take a hot drink with me on a cold morning, a cold drink with me on a hot afternoon, and to fill up at the airport going to and from the Camino
- A sun reflecting umbrella to create insta-shade in the sun and to stop me getting soaked in the rain
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Haha. Usually the Supermercados have the Nestle ones. Sometimes they only have decaf tho, which blows my mind.
I find the problem with decaf is that it doesn't blow my mind!! Or even get it just a little stimulated :).
 

like a rhino

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning early 2023 start
I was discussing this thread when out walking with my wife yesterday. She had a great idea re “luxury’s”. I am in addition to a marked increase in physical preparation for a April:May 2023 Camino starting a diet. She suggested that for each stone, 14lbs (6,35 kg), I loose I award myself 1 or 2lbs (453/906g) in luxury weight to be spent as I want not necessarily what I need. Please forgive me if my metric conversions are wrong. A kindle is favourite at the moment but I’m just about to research a heating coil. Pounds make Prizes.
 

SkyDancer

Camino dreaming
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2021, Portuguese Central 2022,
CF 2023? :)
Oh shoot, I forgot one more thing... this one I learned this last Norte... from a first timer from Canada...

A Tent Footprint.

Not the tent. Just the footprint. Light and convenient place to sit down, lay down, be clean. I was a little jealous.
I use my rain poncho for picnics and siestas. :)
 
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Cleigh

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2019
CF 2021, Portuguese 2021, Le Puy 2022
If that works for you using the AT&T plan that is great and one less thing to do when you arrive. I live in Mexico and the cost of international plans for a few months is way more than the 40 Euros I pay for 2 months in Spain, I usually walk about 1,000K and that takes me about 55 days between my arrival, starting my camino and getting back to Madrid or Barcelona to go home. It is super easy to get the sim at Vodafone (Orange has good plans to but Vodafone's work better for me). To recharge is also super easy as I just get a message from Vodafone when to recharge and do it on my phone, You can even change the website to English. It takes about 90 seconds to recharge.
Do you buy the Vodaphone SIM once your arrive in Europe?
 
Time of past OR future Camino
See signature. Too many to list here.
Well, since @Left Coaster is dealing with all the squeaks, none of the rest of us need to. Gracias!!!
He was just being funny, right? His way of saying you don't really need extra stuff... I mean there is no way you could carry that on a plane.... poles are one thing, petroleum based products in aerosol containers I "guess" would be another.
 
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Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2022
Have also found the "capachino" instant coffee packets at the store here are a reasonable substitute for coffee since it is hard to find coffee creamer. The packets are bigger than regular instant coffee packets, but worth it.
I’m a coil club member! And I love those cappuccino packets, as well. Although I found them a little weak, so I would also have some NesCafé to add a teaspoon to each cup.
 

Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2022
Do you buy the Vodaphone SIM once your arrive in Europe?
I bought a Vodafone Sim at just a cheap phone store in Madrid. €15 a month for unlimited calls and texts +20 gigs of data. Mine was actually designed for Romanian expats, so I also free calls to Romania…. But I’m sure you can get something similar if you walk into a real Vodafone store.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
I bought a Vodafone Sim at just a cheap phone store in Madrid. €15 a month for unlimited calls and texts +20 gigs of data. Mine was actually designed for Romanian expats, so I also free calls to Romania…. But I’m sure you can get something similar if you walk into a real Vodafone store.
Was it easy to top it off at the end of the month?
 

Katherine Radeka

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (2022, 2023)
I think I will never travel or backpack again without my cold brew coffee sock, widemouth bottle and a small plastic scoop to fill it.

The coffee grind they have in Spain for mocha pots is not ideal, but it still tastes much better than instant coffee.
 

Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2022
Was it easy to top it off at the end of the month?
There’s a Vodafone Spanish app. It was all in Spanish language, of course, but you can Pay each month directly through the app. It also gives you an option to set up an automatic payment with a credit card, which is what I did. Just remember to cancel it when you are finished with the phone number!

I was able to use the app with my basic knowledge of Spanish and by selectively translating some words.
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
Do you buy the Vodaphone SIM once your arrive in Europe?
Yes without a doubt. In fact (like I always do), I have already planned getting from the Barcelona airport to my albergue which is very near to the train station to take me to Zaragoza. I have a screenshot on my phone with directions to a Vodafone store between the station from the airport and my albergue. I will go there first then use my data to get to the hostel. Check into the hostel and use google maps again to walk to Decathlon (also close by) to buy my hiking poles. I will also get a pocket knife there if they have a decent cheap on. I always carry my backpack so I sure don't want to spend alot on poles or a knife. A simple 5 or 6 Euro knife is fine for me and last year I paid 18 Euros for my poles. When I am done I always can find someone to give my poles and knives to. I know it adds up but it makes for one less worry if I have to wait around the baggage carousel for my box of poles and knife. I am tired and want to get out of the airport ASAP. One of the few luxuries I indulge myself.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
Was it easy to top it off at the end of the month?
It couldn't be easier. I do not have the app but you will receive a text message when to renew your plan. I put a reminder on my phone when the 28 days is up. When I wake up I click on the link, it gives you the option to put the webpage in English. Better than using Google translate if you are not sure of your Spanish and recharge. It takes about 90 seconds. You will not have service so you need to be connected to WIFI. So it is important to have Wifi. Also it must be done the day the service ends because if you renew before the date the top off only lasts until your original 28 days is up. It does not let you change plans either. I know it sounds a little complicated but it really isn't I may try the app this time and make sure I cancel the plan before I go.

There’s a Vodafone Spanish app. It was all in Spanish language, of course, but you can Pay each month directly through the app. It also gives you an option to set up an automatic payment with a credit card, which is what I did. Just remember to cancel it when you are finished with the phone number!

I was able to use the app with my basic knowledge of Spanish and by selectively translating some words.
Question for you Stephan. My Spanish is good enough so using the app will not be a problem. Do you know if after i get the auto recharge if I can immediately cancel the recharge? Will that have any effect on my recharge and will I be able to use my phone without a problem? Or should I wait until after I return home to cancel the plan? I understand if you are not sure. So no problem with not knowing. Thanks
 

Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2022
Question for you Stephan. My Spanish is good enough so using the app will not be a problem. Do you know if after i get the auto recharge if I can immediately cancel the recharge? Will that have any effect on my recharge and will I be able to use my phone without a problem? Or should I wait until after I return home to cancel the plan? I understand if you are not sure. So no problem with not knowing. Thanks
I canceled my automatic recharge after the last payment that I was going to use it . So I definitely used the phone for about 10 days with the automatic payment canceled.

In the app there was still a button that I could press to make a payment, Which I think is in 28 day increments. You had to let them keep a credit card on file.

As a matter fact, I just looked at the app, and the phone number is still functional until July 21. But it says “pago facil no activo,” so I should be fine.

In retrospect, it probably wasn’t necessary to have the automatic plan. A reminder on the phone would’ve been fine. It probably wasn’t even necessary to put a credit card on file. Probably I could’ve manually entered it each time. But since I don’t read Spanish very well it took me a while to get it all set up, Translating and double checking that I understood everything.
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
I canceled my automatic recharge after the last payment that I was going to use it . So I definitely used the phone for about 10 days with the automatic payment canceled.

In the app there was still a button that I could press to make a payment, Which I think is in 28 day increments. You had to let them keep a credit card on file.

As a matter fact, I just looked at the app, and the phone number is still functional until July 21. But it says “pago facil no activo,” so I should be fine.

In retrospect, it probably wasn’t necessary to have the automatic plan. A reminder on the phone would’ve been fine. It probably wasn’t even necessary to put a credit card on file. Probably I could’ve manually entered it each time. But since I don’t read Spanish very well it took me a while to get it all set up, Translating and double checking that I understood everything.
Like I said if you do it on your phone, you will get a reminder to recharge and a link. Remember to wait untll the date that your 28 days expires. Click on the link and you can go to the English language webpage.Very easy to recharge. I think all they asked for was my Name, phone number and credit card. It takes about 90 seconds. Thanks for your help. But remember you can't change your plan you have to keep the one you got originally.
 

EL LECHERO

Friends no Strangers
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2016 PRIMITIVO 2022 LE PUY 2023
So I like to walk the Camino. I first walked with my mom, then my sister, solo so many times. Here is a list of things I'd bring despite the added weight:

1) playing cards. Don't worry about chips, just use skittles. And be weary about buying decks in Spain, I mean, they are different sometimes. So much fun with friends when you are out in the middle of nowhere. Old maid and Texas hold'em are great.

2) heating coil. I stay at cheap hotels mostly and the coffee is not so readily available. So like you have this little device and you get boiling water in your cup. Throw in some instant, and I'm ready to go. I know, controversial.

Darn it I can't think of anything else worth the weight, What would you add?
So I like to walk the Camino. I first walked with my mom, then my sister, solo so many times. Here is a list of things I'd bring despite the added weight:

1) playing cards. Don't worry about chips, just use skittles. And be weary about buying decks in Spain, I mean, they are different sometimes. So much fun with friends when you are out in the middle of nowhere. Old maid and Texas hold'em are great.

2) heating coil. I stay at cheap hotels mostly and the coffee is not so readily available. So like you have this little device and you get boiling water in your cup. Throw in some instant, and I'm ready to go. I know, controversial.

Darn it I can't think of anything else worth the weight, What would you add?

I liked my "S" hooks to hang my backpack up at the end of my bunk. One of my friends along the Primitivo this year did bring a small camping french press and special coffee from El Salavador. He would ask for hot water and drink his coffee. But after a while he quit doing this as he said it was too much of a hassle. But I see the French Press coupled with your coil might work out to make some pretty descent coffee....but the clean up would be the down side. Cheers
 
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Telboyo

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
I intend to leave the UK the day Before Brexit and walkMarch -April 2019 Camino Frances
A small can of WD 40. Solves the incessant squeaking of doors and makes albergue life much more enjoyable.
I've found that using regular cooking oil did hinges squeaking. It may need re doing dinner rather than later but you will be gone.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2023
You will not have service so you need to be connected to WIFI. So it is important to have Wifi. Also it must be done the day the service ends because if you renew before the date the top off only lasts until your original 28 days is up. It does not let you change plans either.

If you are talking about these types of prepaid accounts
Screenshot_20220714-131949.png

Then your advice is incorrect. It is possible to top up at any time before the 28 days runs out and your plan will automatically renew. It is even possible to top up the extra 28 days when you first get the SIM in the Vodafone store.

These are typical Vodafone prepay accounts and work the same way but with different costs/amounts of data/minutes in the different countries where Vodafone operates. I have one of these types of accounts here in ANZ and I regularly top it up a couple of days before it expires and I keep an extra running balance in the account just in case I forget to top it up so that I don't lose service.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Please don't derail the thread - it seems likely there are several different types of Vodaphone accounts.
If you are talking about these types of prepaid accounts
Let us leave it at that.

Back to the original post please - what would you take, regardless of the weight?
 

William Garza

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, The Jakobsweg
Sadly..My big ugly heavy companion of many adventures..
My camera and 2 lenses...or 3...idk

A wee dram or more of Nicaraguan 25 yr old rum if i could find it over there.
A warm something to cover my legs at nite to stave off apocalyptic leg cramps
Knee wraps/braces/cane or "canadian crutches"👈?
Something to caffinate by in the mornings

Of all these?
Camera and blanket
 
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linkster

¡Nunca dejes de creer!
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
Most albergues are emphatic about no backpacks on bunks. Not sure how they may apply that rule to S hooks. Have you asked? Buen Camino
Some albergues have a designated place for backpacks (lockers, etc.), but most did not. I always hung my pack from the end of the bunk to keep it off the floor. Some would use the only chair and I would politely put their pack on the floor, so that I could sit. I never asked permission for either.;)

Here is a POST on my pack hanger (non S hook). I think it is a little more versatile and lightweight.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
I have a bag I got from Decathlon for my groceries.


I used to buy a Swiss Army knife but since I carry my backpack on the plane. I never check it, I can't take my knife. Now when I arrive in Madrid or Barcelona to start a camino I do three things immediately. I get a sim card from Vodafone, pick up a pair of cheap hiking poles and if it is in Decathlon and they have a cheap knife I buy one there or go to a cuchilleria. I can pick one up for 6 or 7 euros and it does the trick for whatever I need. I basically need just a decent cutting knife and a scissor in the knife.
Fitted with a corkscrew - just in case!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
Linkster, I like your posted photo of the line with carabiner, but why the need to keep your backpack off the albergue floor? I spray mine with permethrin before I fly to Europe -- and now will also apply bug dope. But, when I stop at a bar/cafe (hopefully, several times a day) it goes on the pavement outside (or inside if not too crowded), hopefully avoiding dog poop and urine and mud. I do try to keep it clean. In the albergue, it goes on the floor. Inside bar/cafes on a rainy day, it is the backpacks taking up chairs that bug me. Buen Camino
 

linkster

¡Nunca dejes de creer!
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
Linkster, I like your posted photo of the line with carabiner, but why the need to keep your backpack off the albergue floor? I spray mine with permethrin before I fly to Europe -- and now will also apply bug dope. But, when I stop at a bar/cafe (hopefully, several times a day) it goes on the pavement outside (or inside if not too crowded), hopefully avoiding dog poop and urine and mud. I do try to keep it clean. In the albergue, it goes on the floor. Inside bar/cafes on a rainy day, it is the backpacks taking up chairs that bug me. Buen Camino
I lay my pack down outside as well. I also spray with permethrin before I leave; however, permethrin is not protection against chinches. Albergues do not want us to put our packs on the bed to limit the transmission of bedbugs. Chinches do not fly they climb (floors, walls ...). I have seen some albergues with square plastic cups under the corners of the bedframe as an inspection point or "tell tale" for chinches. So could they climb up the bedframe an into my pack ... yes. I want them to at least work for their meal. 🤣

Here is an example of the cup for a bedframe.
 
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Suz2022

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Sept 2022 del Norte
I think I will never travel or backpack again without my cold brew coffee sock, widemouth bottle and a small plastic scoop to fill it.

The coffee grind they have in Spain for mocha pots is not ideal, but it still tastes much better than instant coffee.
My world is ROCKED by the idea of a cold brew coffee sock. I don't live in a fancy urban area, so am relegated to online shopping and they all seem pretty big. I'll likely have to add something bigger than the bike bottles that I planned for hydration. Are you willing to share details of your setup?

Also, does anyone know if it's okay to carry some ground coffee into Spain from the US? I might bring some to get me started, and buy more as I go along. (I've run into trouble with customs/agriculture inspections at more borders than this forum has the space or interest to hear about!)
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
I know it''s old school, but journals. I don't travel anywhere without one. I've kept journals since 1968. On the Camino Frances in 2017, I brought four which, when I transcribed them back home, turned into a draft 345 page manuscript. I ran out of Pilot V-5 pens in Carrion de los Condes, but found a stationery store that sold the exact pens I needed. As writers, we must have the correct paper and pen. Right?
 
Time of past OR future Camino
See signature. Too many to list here.
I know it''s old school, but journals. I don't travel anywhere without one. I've kept journals since 1968. On the Camino Frances in 2017, I brought four which, when I transcribed them back home, turned into a draft 345 page manuscript. I ran out of Pilot V-5 pens in Carrion de los Condes, but found a stationery store that sold the exact pens I needed. As writers, we must have the correct paper and pen. Right?
Omg. Inspiration. But... I use my phone for the same purpose. Just "notes".
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
2023
Also, does anyone know if it's okay to carry some ground coffee into Spain from the US? I might bring some to get me started, and buy more as I go along. (I've run into trouble with customs/agriculture inspections at more borders than this forum has the space or interest to hear about!)

One of the reasons that customs are interested in ground coffee is because passengers taking their marijuana with them sometimes think that it will overpower the scent of the marijuana for the drug dogs.

Usually results in you getting lots of extra attention. But not speaking from personal experience.

Getting back to the topic on hand, if you are considering a coffee sock and a bag of ground coffee (what ever country you bought it in) then perhaps also consider coffee bags.

The benefit I see with coffee bags is that each bag is individually foil sealed until you open it and so the coffee grounds stay a little fresher.

Here is an article that discusses using coffee bags whilst traveling, https://www.consumer.org.nz/articles/bags-of-flavour

The trick might be finding them in Spain. Here they are called coffee bags or coffee bean bags see
140814302.jpeg

https://images.app.goo.gl/yo13tTMZxxxv8MGQ8 and are often sold in outdoor shops as well as in supermarkets but when I did a search for "bolsas de café Madrid" on Google all I got was packaging for the 250-300 grams of ground coffee that typically sell in the supermarkets not the coffee equivalent of the tea bag.

Anyone know if they sell coffee bags in Spain and what they call them?
 
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Suz2022

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Sept 2022 del Norte
The benefit I see with coffee bags is that each bag is individually foil sealed until you open it and so the coffee grounds stay a little fresher.

Here is an article that discusses using coffee bags whilst traveling, https://www.consumer.org.nz/articles/bags-of-flavour

https://images.app.goo.gl/yo13tTMZxxxv8MGQ8 and are often sold in outdoor shops as well as in supermarkets but when I did a search for "bolsas de café Madrid" on Google all I got was packaging for the 250-300 grams of ground coffee that typically sell in the supermarkets not the coffee equivalent of the tea bag.
thanks. I'm doing my Camino with a 25L Osprey pack so space is limited, but this is a good option since I want my coffee to taste good. My comment about space is because I assume foil wrap packs are bulkier than a small bag of coffee, but that may not be true.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
Is the coffee substandard? Or not available (perhaps on some routes lacking infrastructure).
There is some excellent coffee available to bring
I am sure others have said this but the coffee in Spain, France and Portugal is excellent. 99% of the time it is better than a Starbucks for sure and far less expensive. Of course, every once in a while you may get a stinker but it is rare. I think generally speaking it is 1 and 1a in France and Portugal and a close 2 in Spain. I do not know what the prices are now from even last November but I often paid in Portugal (albeit it was 3 years ago) 1 Euro.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
For this year's camino, I have packed Starbucks small individual servings, and some powdered milk, to heat with my electric coil, for those mornings when I don't think there is anything open. This is a preference to start my day with coffee, not a preference for Starbucks. I have heard on this forum that the instant coffee available in Spain is of poor quality, and besides, I have seen it in glass jars and prefer individual servings.
 
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