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Travelling light - Backpack vs Daypack


New Member
I know equipment questions can open up a can of worms ref advice, but I'll ask for some advice anyway. I have a medium backpack that is ample for my Camino (SJPDP to Santiago in June / July). Having done a reasonable amount of backpacking, I know what is essential and what is only 'nice to have'. With microlite clothing and micro sleeping bag, the most room in the pack seems to be a fleece jacket and therma-rest mat, leaving some of empty room in the pack (but still too pig for aircraft carry on). I am now considering repacking all into a Berghaus 25litre daypack as carry on luggage, thus avoiding airport baggage waiting and the risk of a lost pack. I can (just) fit everything in, provided I carry the fleece in my hand on the plane (this will be rolled into a waterproof bag and strapped to outside of the pack with the mat when I commence walking), and either mail my poles and swiss army knife to the start point, or just buy new ones there. I did a short trip overseas this lightweight way last year without any problems, but that was a world apart from my Camino.

While repacking this way does make for a lighter travelling experience, I'm worried I may be doing it too light considering the distance. Has anyone completed with full SJPDP to Santiago route with only a daypack? Was it user friendly, or would you opt for the larger pack if you did it over.
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Veteran Member
Go for the daypack, as long as you can carry at least 2L of liquid in the side pockets and, for the very warmest bits, maybe an extra 1L - unless you're sleeping outside, the fleece jacket seems over the top

Deleted member 397

I didn't realise it at the time but when I walked the VDLP lasst year I took a daypack. Some in this forum have debated as to whether they should takea 70lt pack-I was horrified when I saw one a few weeks ago-what on earth are they taking?! My pack was adequate with a few things attached to the outside-it also had the advantage of carry on luggage for the plane.
BUT my big mistake was that it did not have the wide hip strap which put pressure on my shoulders-I now have a slightly bigger pack with a wide hip strap.


New Member
Ditch the thermarest???

My preference is still with the daypack - as you said ease of taking it as carry on luggage is the big winner. I've packed and repacked over the last few days, and I can just squeeze it all in - however the pack it totally full (and I mean totally - no spare room at all) which will obviously mean that repacking ever time I stop is going to be a real pain. As mine is only a 25l, upgrading to a 35l that still falls within airline specs for carry on is an option. The greatest bulk is my 3/4 size thermarest, which I am loathe to travel without as it has been a great comfort over the years for short comfort breaks in the middle on nowhere. Upsizing the daypack and leaving the thermarest should easily fix my problem, so I may have to do this. I've seen all the matress posts on the forum, so at the end of the day it;s lust a matter of personal preference as with everything else.

Deleted member 397

I never used a thermarest on the VDLP-and never needed one. I didn't see anyone else with one either so leaving that behind should free up space. Paradoxically I recently bought a 3/4 length thermarest as I'm expecting full refugios in France (I'm starting from Le Puy) and Spain so have a very small tent too.
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New Member
The full refugios possibility on the CF is another one of the reasons I'm still swinging towards taking the thermarest - I've also been known to just 'roll out the swag' (in aussie speak - i'm sure you know what i mean) during my travels just for a change, weather dependant, but wouldn't do this without the thermarest. No doubt I'll weigh up the daypack size and change my mind several times before i actually depart. Interesting comments from you about the 70+ litre packs. I'm the last person to criticise anyone for equipment choices, but as I also own an 80L pack (great size in most travels) I personally think this is way too big for me on the Camino. Even my mid size Macpac (around 60L - hence just a tad too big for aircraft carry on unfortunately) is ample for the minimal amount of gear I have. But everyone to their own - as we all know what works well for some is unsuitable for others. No doubt I'll journal my post Camino pack report here for all to see when I get back.

Dawn of a new Day

Active Member

My first thoughts on the day pack - DOES IT HAVE a good hip strap. If not it is not worth taking!!!!! i had a 30L pack, it weighs abit at 4 1/2 pounds but it fits like a glove. i will have one last look around, i found a gregory "daypack" , it had a good hip strap but the fit and material were worthless.
I took my pack on the plane, it needs to be under 10kg. I bought my knife in St.JPP. Do you really need a thermal rest.? when are you going. i went may june and didn't have a bed problem.
come on up to camino norte, seems like lots of beds up there.

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