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Useful item but hard to justify in your pack

Gillean

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Seven
#1
I'm doing a little talk on packing for the camino and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for any quirky items to talk about that are useful but borderline justifiable in terms of pack weight. For example this is one item I have carried (up until I left it behind in an albergue). It's a suction cup hook/hanger that uses a camming action to hold like iron to any flat smooth surface and means that you are never without a place to hang your stuff in the shower for example. The suction cup is about 3 inches in diameter and it's plastic so pretty light - at least that's what I tell myself:

upload_2017-2-9_8-38-18.png
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2015
#2
I'm doing a little talk on packing for the camino and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for any quirky items to talk about that are useful but borderline justifiable in terms of pack weight. For example this is one item I have carried (up until I left it behind in an albergue). It's a suction cup hook/hanger that uses a camming action to hold like iron to any flat smooth surface and means that you are never without a place to hang your stuff in the shower for example. The suction cup is about 3 inches in diameter and it's plastic so pretty light - at least that's what I tell myself:

View attachment 31775
 

fenix

Nevertheless, she persists
Camino(s) past & future
Several, since 1999
Upcoming: Almeria to Muxia, Summer 2017
#9
Oh, yes; there is also a thread going on now called Umbrella or not?
Hey! There is nothing borderline about my umbrella! :p

I love my Scrubba. I do. It makes laundry time much more efficient & effective, and less stressful to me and my ADD brain. Worth the 5.2 oz in my book. But I think I'm in the minority on that.
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Seven Compostelas in Three years and counting......
#10
Beer cooler bag. I carried one on last years camino. Useful, but wont be taking it this year! (I always carry either a few tins of beer or a bottle of wine)
 

Eve Alexandra

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning my first in March '17
#14
I'm doing a little talk on packing for the camino and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for any quirky items to talk about that are useful but borderline justifiable in terms of pack weight. For example this is one item I have carried (up until I left it behind in an albergue). It's a suction cup hook/hanger that uses a camming action to hold like iron to any flat smooth surface and means that you are never without a place to hang your stuff in the shower for example. The suction cup is about 3 inches in diameter and it's plastic so pretty light - at least that's what I tell myself:

View attachment 31775
That is pretty cool... me/wonders if she should add it to her list. :p
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#15
I love my Scrubba. I do. It makes laundry time much more efficient & effective, and less stressful to me and my ADD brain. Worth the 5.2 oz in my book. But I think I'm in the minority on that.
I bought a Osprey 12 liter ultralight dry sack which weighs 1.2 ounces that I plan to use in the same way as a Scrubba. I've tested it at home, and it works well.

Edit: How about a Spanish/English dictionary? Or James Mitchner's 818 page book, Iberia?
Both of which you can download to a smart phone for no extra weight!

A decent sized towel instead of the tiny, flat, non-absorbent travel towel.

Little luxury!
I have a travel type microfiber towel, but mine is extra large so that I can actually wrap it around my body. I've bought a cotton turkish towel to try out. It is even larger and weighs a bit more, so I'll see if it works better for drying off. I can always cut off a bit of it, and hem the edges to reduce weight. I'll definitely remove the fringe if I use it. :)
 

Gillean

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Seven
#16
You might want to put your packing list into a separate thread to get help with that ;-) 25 lbs are a bit OTT
You know if I got my tech weight down I think I'd be happy. Have travelled in the past with an iPad, Canon point and shoot, phone, chargers, cables, adapters, etc. If I can make do with just the phone I should be good.
 
C

Camino Chris

Guest
#17
I'm doing a little talk on packing for the camino and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for any quirky items to talk about that are useful but borderline justifiable in terms of pack weight. For example this is one item I have carried (up until I left it behind in an albergue). It's a suction cup hook/hanger that uses a camming action to hold like iron to any flat smooth surface and means that you are never without a place to hang your stuff in the shower for example. The suction cup is about 3 inches in diameter and it's plastic so pretty light - at least that's what I tell myself:

View attachment 31775
Well, that certainly is a quirky little item for sure! I've never seen anything quite like it. I bring a simple little S hook to hold my showering bag as it's flat and weighs next to nothing. The only truly quirky thing I bring on the Camino is...myself!
 
C

Camino Chris

Guest
#18
Well, that certainly is a quirky little item for sure! I've never seen anything quite like it. I bring a simple little S hook to hold my showering bag as it's flat and weighs next to nothing. The only truly quirky thing I bring on the Camino is...myself!
Oh, someone mentioned towels. I really dislike the travel towels, too. Instead I use a simple, rather quirky, old fashioned, infant baby towel. It weighs very little, takes up almost no room in my pack, absorbs very well, and dries by morning. I give credit to Annie, a member of this forum, who recommended this towel a long time ago. I picked mine up for a buck at a local resale shop. Love it!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Spring (2016)
Camino Frances Spring (2017)
Camino Frances Autumn (2018)
#20
I'm doing a little talk on packing for the camino and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for any quirky items to talk about that are useful but borderline justifiable in terms of pack weight. For example this is one item I have carried (up until I left it behind in an albergue). It's a suction cup hook/hanger that uses a camming action to hold like iron to any flat smooth surface and means that you are never without a place to hang your stuff in the shower for example. The suction cup is about 3 inches in diameter and it's plastic so pretty light - at least that's what I tell myself:

View attachment 31775
Two items I took and will take again - 2 small put-together plastic wine glasses which packed into each other and a light weight cork screw wine opener. They got lots of use late afternoon in several shady alburgues while awaiting dinner time :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
C. Francés (2004-), C. Portugués, C. de Madrid, 1/2 V. Plata, 1/8 Levante, hospitalera Grado 2016.
#22
I have started carrying a little nylon bag for my toiletries. It has a hook at one end and is basically three zippered mesh pockets that fold up into a zippered nylon pouch. I know a plastic bag would be lighter, but it's so nice to be able to pull out just a hair elastic, not having to empty the whole bag to find one thing every time, and I can hang it up instead of putting it on the edge of the wet sink....

I have also bought a bigger and heavier sleeping bag, because it keeps me warmer in unheated albergues, without the nasty blankets that may or may not be available, and I sleep better when I can turn around in my sleep.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#23
I have started carrying a little nylon bag for my toiletries. It has a hook at one end and is basically three zippered mesh pockets that fold up into a zippered nylon pouch. I know a plastic bag would be lighter, but it's so nice to be able to pull out just a hair elastic, not having to empty the whole bag to find one thing every time, and I can hang it up instead of putting it on the edge of the wet sink....
I have three of these triple zipper bags. They are really lightweight. I use them for toiletries, charges and cables, and first aid/foot stuff.
baggie all.jpg
 
Camino(s) past & future
question?
#24
By a long way.................... My Camping Gaz Stove :D Hot tea , coffee , soup .................... wherever I am , whenever I want?!
Yup, Jet boil coffee press for me! Makes a full quart of freshly brewed coffee. Use it to boil eggs in the morning for a quick breakfast and snack that isn't just bread and can also be used to heat up soup or just about anything else. Sure it is a bit heavier than some people like to carry, but that isn't the point for me.
 
C

Camino Chris

Guest
#26
Two items I took and will take again - 2 small put-together plastic wine glasses which packed into each other and a light weight cork screw wine opener. They got lots of use late afternoon in several shady alburgues while awaiting dinner time :)
I bring two small, sturdy, unbreakable clear plastic cylinder shape glasses. They stack together nicely and take very little room. I think they hold 6 oz. And found them at a thrift shop. That's where i found a great plastic plate for my outdoor tienfa lunches. Makes a great surface for cutting that crusty Spanish bread. I enjoy looking for many of those simple type Camino items at thrift stores. I love saving $ when I can!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
#27
I am absolutely LOVING this thread - quirky items indeed ... no one has mentioned a universal sink plug ... so many sinks without plugs and one can use it in the shower to build up the water so that one soaks one's feet.

my quirkies? a universal sink plug, a flannel (face flannel? washcloth?), and a linen napkin (dyed brown of course ;) )

The baby towel is a great tip! - didn't know about that. I have tried the microfibre travel towels and they seem to stick to my skin and not dry me properly so I usually carry a worn 'normal' towel - but am off to Mothercare to look at these baby towels today!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
#28
The towel

Extracted and edited from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Towel_Day


A towel, [The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy] says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth ... you can lie on it ... you can sleep under it ... use it to sail a miniraft ... wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes ... you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost." What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.
 

fenix

Nevertheless, she persists
Camino(s) past & future
Several, since 1999
Upcoming: Almeria to Muxia, Summer 2017
#29
I bought a Osprey 12 liter ultralight dry sack which weighs 1.2 ounces that I plan to use in the same way as a Scrubba. I've tested it at home, and it works well.
Great tip, thanks! I got the Scrubba as a gift a couple years ago, and have used it traveling, on road trips, weeklong backpacks, and car camping. The little air valve and the washboard nubbies are great features.

But I do already own a Sea to Summit View dry sack (8 liters, with a transparent window) that should work similarly, and is only 1.5 oz. Better for camino!

I'm having a "duh" moment here. Thanks for saving me a quarter-pound!


I have started carrying a little nylon bag for my toiletries. It has a hook at one end and is basically three zippered mesh pockets that fold up into a zippered nylon pouch. I know a plastic bag would be lighter, but it's so nice to be able to pull out just a hair elastic, not having to empty the whole bag to find one thing every time, and I can hang it up instead of putting it on the edge of the wet sink......
That's not at all borderline in my opinion. I've got one too. Things jammed in one bag you have to dig for (and wasted bags that get all torn up) drive me nuts. I have the Sea to Summit small hanging toiletry bag. It's only 2.8 oz, and it fits/organizes my toiletries, first aid, and "repair" supplies (like needle & thread and duct tape).

(I swear I don't work for Sea to Summit. :))


The Towel

Extracted and edited from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Towel_Day

A towel, [The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy] says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth ... you can lie on it ... you can sleep under it ... use it to sail a miniraft ... wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes ... you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost." What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.​
^^^ This! ^^^​

I am just giddy to have now discovered that me and my XL (but still microfiber) towel are actually starting our camino on Towel Day - May 25th!
Life is good.

 
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Gillean

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Seven
#31
Here's one more item that I picked up in a Spanish hardware store after being frustrated by the lack of power outlets in some of the albergues. It turns one outlet into three so I always seem be able to find a place to charge my phone/camera. But with my 220 volt adapter it weighs 128g or 4.5 oz and it's a bit bulky.
upload_2017-2-10_15-2-13.png
 

Gillean

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Seven
#32
I saw a middle age couple carrying a complete tea kit -with a generously sized teapot and nice mugs, too. I liked it. It was soooo British....
Seems like we will go the extra mile to indulge our tea/coffee/beer/wine habits!
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013, 2017 Camino Frances SJPP-Santiago
2015 St. Olav's Way Oslo-Trondheim
2017 VdlP Seville-Merida
#34
I have three of these triple zipper bags. They are really lightweight. I use them for toiletries, charges and cables, and first aid/foot stuff.
View attachment 31780
I love these things. I have them packed for my next future adventures. I ordered 3 after you spoke of them a short time ago. Unbelievable how light they are.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances - 2009
Portuguese Interior (2014)
Hadrian's Wall (2017)
Porto to SdC ( Sep 2018)
#35
I, too, don't travel without my microfiber towel (30" x 50" / 76 x 127 cm). Quite large, very light (4 oz) and it doubles as a night cover in addition to a body cover! I never have considered that it doesn't dry well - shucks, I walk in sweat (oops, perspiration) all day long!:rolleyes: Oh, and weight, on the Interior route (Portugal) someone thoughtfully gave me a special bottle of port which I proceeded to carry all the way back to the states.... it is aging, still.... :cool:
 

Lance Chambers

Lance Chambers
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria (2015) SJPdP (2016) Burgos (2017) SJPdP (2018)
#37
I take a few draw-string bags to separate items (clothes to be washed, toiletries, cables, power plugs + rechargers, etc.) and I have them because using plastic bags wake people up early in the mornings because they make so much noise.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#38
I have used ine of these for my 2nd Camino. Made it easy to find every item. I would hang it off the bunk and voila, everything at my fingertip, from shamppo to blister and sewing kits.

https://www.amazon.ca/WODISON-Transparent-Toiletry-Cosmetic-Organizer/dp/B00QGKFKU8

Now replaced by the Sea to Summit hanging toilettery bag. Alas on three sections and not transparent, but very light, bit it does mean having to look for items more. It worked well when I carried my old Osprey with the zipper all around as I would put it in first, along the back of the pack.
 

kayagee66

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016)
Le Puy - Roncesvalles (2016)
Figeac - Cahors (2017)
Stevenson Trail (2018
#40
I bought and took an 'S' shaped hook that painters use. One end goes on the rung of a ladder and the other end is used to hang a paint pot from.
I would hang it from the top of a shower door and hang my washbag etc on it.
50p from a diy store.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2014 and 2015 and 2016
#41
I'm doing a little talk on packing for the camino and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for any quirky items to talk about that are useful but borderline justifiable in terms of pack weight. For example this is one item I have carried (up until I left it behind in an albergue). It's a suction cup hook/hanger that uses a camming action to hold like iron to any flat smooth surface and means that you are never without a place to hang your stuff in the shower for example. The suction cup is about 3 inches in diameter and it's plastic so pretty light - at least that's what I tell myself:

View attachment 31775
I bought and took an 'S' shaped hook that painters use. One end goes on the rung of a ladder and the other end is used to hang a paint pot from.
I would hang it from the top of a shower door and hang my washbag etc on it.
50p from a diy store.
I bought and took an 'S' shaped hook that painters use. One end goes on the rung of a ladder and the other end is used to hang a paint pot from.
I would hang it from the top of a shower door and hang my washbag etc on it.
50p from a diy store.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2014 and 2015 and 2016
#42
If I can add a small bag that can be put on the shoulders. I use it to put the food. I used it once since i had a problem one day and i made carry my big bag. I use this small one for the day. Also a small battery for recharging the phone. ( 250gr) I can leave it charging safely in the albergue and use it later on to charge my phone. Just to make life easy but not necessary.
 

fenix

Nevertheless, she persists
Camino(s) past & future
Several, since 1999
Upcoming: Almeria to Muxia, Summer 2017
#45
If I can add a small bag that can be put on the shoulders. I use it to put the food. I used it once since i had a problem one day and i made carry my big bag. I use this small one for the day.
I have something similar, very useful.

I use a Sea to Summit 16L sil-nylon slingbag, just 2.2 oz, as an organizing bag in my pack. It contains my sleepsack, laundry washbag, toiletry bag, and towel. Arrive at the refugio, remove the sleepsack, put in my valuables "bum bag" and my change of clothes, and I'm off to the shower.

In the evenings it's a crossbody "purse", roomy enough for food shopping. If I need to have my pack transported for whatever reason, it's a daybag, roomy enough for a jacket, water bottle & snacks.

Also a small battery for recharging the phone. ( 250gr) I can leave it charging safely in the albergue and use it later on to charge my phone. Just to make life easy but not necessary.
Me too. I'm debating switching my current one (which charges only by plugging in an outlet) for one that can also solar charge. It would be nice, for convenience and security reasons, to not always have to rely on wall outlets.
 

Gillean

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Seven
#46
What do you need the adapter for?
All my electronics have CAN/USA plugs. I have one of the smaller 2 prong EU 220 volt adapters which I normally use but the one you see in the photo will take 3 prong plugs as well. Probably overkill. That's how I get in trouble.
 

fenix

Nevertheless, she persists
Camino(s) past & future
Several, since 1999
Upcoming: Almeria to Muxia, Summer 2017
#47
"Or James Mitchner's 818 page book, Iberia?"

You mean this:

View attachment 31806

Mine seems to be 960 pages with the index!
Haha! My first camino in 1999 - no Internet resources to speak of - was my first real long-distance, solo backpacking experience. I was completely self-taught, which is a nice way of saying "I learned everything the hard way, over the course of several years, and I'm just lucky it didn't kill me or cause permanent bodily injury".

I carried a frickin' library in my pack. Not just a paper guide, but like 3 other books about Camino and Spanish history. No idea what my pack weighed. Yes, I made it from SJPDP to Fisterra, all the way, no idea how.

I think I'll load that Mitchner book in my Kindle for this year's trek. :D
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#48
All my electronics have CAN/USA plugs. I have one of the smaller 2 prong EU 220 volt adapters which I normally use but the one you see in the photo will take 3 prong plugs as well. Probably overkill. That's how I get in trouble.
Almost all modern devices are good for 110-220V. The tiny adaptor relates to the plug shape and not the voltage. Are you taking a laptop that has 3 prongs?
 
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MeganG22

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-->SdC
(Oct3-Nov3 2012)
Pamplona-->SdC
(Oct1-Oct29 2014)
Upcoming!
Pamplona-->SdC
May 1-? 2017
#49
My "Stick"! To roll out sore muscles-- I use it each morning before walking and usually after stopping for the day. I credit it with getting me through the first week of my first Camino. Took it on the second, and will pack it once again in a few months for the third. Many many other pilgrims have enjoyed using it along the Way, too ;)
 

Attachments

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#50
My basic principle has always been -- take at least one item just for yourself and against the weight "rules".

On my second Camino from Paris, I took a multi-volume paperback edition of Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu, and I also discovered & picked up my hardback Camino classic Barret/Gurgand Priez pour nous à Compostelle at a rural flea market in the Bordelais, where I had finally been forced to take a day of rest -- as well as a very memorable vineyard worker's menu, far more copious and brutal than any pilgrim one !!

Some kilos of books.

In the Camino family of my first Camino, someone had his guitar, and so on and so forth.

Not unlike the stone from home for the Cruz de Ferro, I think it's good to bring something a little weighty just for oneself, a piece of home to bring along the Way, and for solace and memory in the strange places that the Way of Saint James will lead us to, far from our ordinary selves ...
 
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SabineP

Camino is about empathy. Not about entitlement.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#51
My basic principle has always been -- take at least one item just for yourself and against the weight "rules".

On my second Camino from Paris, I took a multi-volume paperback edition of Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu, and I also discovered & picked up my hardback Camino classic Barret/Gurgand Priez pour nous à Compostelle at a rural flea market in the Bordelais. Some kilos of books.

In the Camino family of my first Camino, someone had his guitar, and so on and so forth.

Not unlike the stone from home for the Cruz de Ferro, I think it's good to bring something a little weighty just for oneself, a piece of home to bring along the Way, and for solace and memory in the strange places that the Way of Saint James will lead us to, far from our ordinary selves ...

Did you also pack some madeleine cakes? ;)
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#52
Did you also pack some madeleine cakes? ;)
Good guess, and close -- my Camino actually took me, quite by surprise, to Illiers-Combray, the village that served as the inspiration for the fictional setting of Un amour de Swann, where of course I took tea and madeleines (just in the local workers' bar, not the snobby Proust museum tea room), the madeleines themselves of course having being deliberately modelled after the Santiago scallop shell by a local hospitalera of that village, given that Illiers-Combray is on the Camino route on the Chartres variant.

The discovery of all these links was a delightful surprise on that particular Camino.
 

SabineP

Camino is about empathy. Not about entitlement.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#53
Good guess, and close -- my Camino actually took me, quite by surprise, to Illiers-Combray, the village that served as the inspiration for the fictional setting of Un amour de Swann, where of course I took tea and madeleines (just in the local workers' bar, not the snobby Proust museum tea room), the madeleines themselves of course having being deliberately modelled after the Santiago scallop shell by a local hospitalera of that village, given that Illiers-Combray is on the Camino route on the Chartres variant.

The discovery of all these links was a delightful surprise on that particular Camino.
That is a wonderful story.
Aha I know that tea-room. I remember them indeed as very snobby ;). And a local workers' bar or resto in France is always better per definition than a more upmarket French établissement.
 
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C

Camino Chris

Guest
#54
Hi Favid,
I am absolutely LOVING this thread - quirky items indeed ... no one has mentioned a universal sink plug ... so many sinks without plugs and one can use it in the shower to build up the water so that one soaks one's feet.

my quirkies? a universal sink plug, a flannel (face flannel? washcloth?), and a linen napkin (dyed brown of course ;) )

The baby towel is a great tip! - didn't know about that. I have tried the microfibre travel towels and they seem to stick to my skin and not dry me properly so I usually carry a worn 'normal' towel - but am off to Mothercare to look at these baby towels today!!
Hi David, I hope you have some success finding the baby towels. They seem to be made from kind of flannel and are not the newer microfiber baby towels. That's why thrift stores work well for finding the older ones. Beware though, some of them may have infant patterns on them, but at least no one in the albergues will want to grab your towel. ;)
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#55
One more quantifiable benefit that I had from bringing that particular extra weight on that Camino is that I ended up top in the Proust final at the Sorbonne a year later after my first University year, out of about 1,500 first year undergraduates.

The Camino provides.
 

SabineP

Camino is about empathy. Not about entitlement.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#56
One more quantifiable benefit that I had from bringing that particular extra weight on that Camino is that I ended up top in the Proust final at the Sorbonne a year later after my first University year, out of about 1,500 first year undergraduates.

The Camino provides.
That is more than impressive!

Discussing Proust on a Camino website ;) : the man hardly left his house and with his poor health long walks would have been out of the question. But I digress and will stop hijacking this thread.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#57
Discussing Proust on a Camino website ;) : the man hardly left his house and with his poor health long walks would have been out of the question. But I digress and will stop hijacking this thread.
And yet with his inability to either walk or directly help, for ill health reasons, Proust has nevertheless contributed in his own way to the Way itself.

All I'm saying from this is that we should bring some part of who we are along the Way, not in the form of some trivial useful item, but in the form of some weighty memory of the home we belong to, and times past, present, future, and hoped for.
 
C

Camino Chris

Guest
#58
The towel

Extracted and edited from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Towel_Day


A towel, [The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy] says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth ... you can lie on it ... you can sleep under it ... use it to sail a miniraft ... wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes ... you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost." What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.
A very interesting and informative post. However as I was reading it, I was envisioning a gargantuan towel that would take up all the space in my backpack to be able to do all those awesome things. ;)
On the Camino I think less is more! Just my opinion.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, fall of 2015
#60
I did carry a decent sized bottle of conditioner for my long hair that gets tangly and I may consider bringing a very light-weight blow dryer on my next Camino, which, I've heard, is also a great way to dry damp socks in the morning. We had two rest days where we stayed in proper hotels and it was heaven to take a bath and use the blow dryer! Or, I could do as my friend did, and just treat myself to a good blowout at the salon every week?! Oh, and I did bring my iPad mini that's a tad heavy, but worth it as it takes amazing pics and I had downloaded about 30 books onto it so I could read every night before sleep!

Buen Camino!
 

fenix

Nevertheless, she persists
Camino(s) past & future
Several, since 1999
Upcoming: Almeria to Muxia, Summer 2017
#61
A very interesting and informative post. However as I was reading it, I was envisioning a gargantuan towel that would take up all the space in my backpack to be able to do all those awesome things. ;)
On the Camino I think less is more! Just my opinion.
Well yes, less is more. But multipurpose is even more more.

Whatever size towel you decide on is beside the point. Just remember, Don't Panic. :eek:

(Side note to all: if you come across a peregrina with a "Don't Panic" button on her purple pack, say hi. Yeah, that's me.)
 

fenix

Nevertheless, she persists
Camino(s) past & future
Several, since 1999
Upcoming: Almeria to Muxia, Summer 2017
#62
..... I may consider bringing a very light-weight blow dryer on my next Camino, which, I've heard, is also a great way to dry damp socks in the morning.
Hmmmm..... I guess it depends on which is your greater priority. Perfectly dry socks, or actual camino friends. You know, fellow pilgrims who don't chuck things at your head in the morning for running a %#! $&€ hair dryer.

This could be a plus for the early morning bag rustlers though. They'll no longer be the most unpopular peregrinos in the albergue!

:D Buen camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CP, Porto to SdC, May/June 2016
#64
That's not at all borderline in my opinion. I've got one too. Things jammed in one bag you have to dig for (and wasted bags that get all torn up) drive me nuts. I have the Sea to Summit small hanging toiletry bag. It's only 2.8 oz, and it fits/organizes my toiletries, first aid, and "repair" supplies (like needle & thread and duct tape).
Great piece of gear! My daughter and I each used one on our CP last year. And got a plastic over the door hook to hang in from in the showers that lived in the bag when not it use.
And, similar to your S2S sling pack, packed it, towel and "valuables" bag (a chest bag) in a mini-backpack from S2S when heading to the shower, and that was used other wise for water, fleece, groceries, etc. as "around town" back after. It too is 2.4 oz. Here is is: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B006CG2TZU/?tag=camiforu-20
 
Camino(s) past & future
Fall (2017)
#65
A flowered sundress. I live in them in mild weather and love to hike in them here in Colorado. My warmer clothes just stay in my pack whenever possible. I never go anywhere in mild weather without a lightweight, easily washed sleeveless or short sleeved, knee-length sundress with deep pockets. Makes me feel beautiful and so alive. It's a thousand times more comfortable and far more protective from the sun than shorts and it's SO EASY TO PEE when you're in a dress. No crotch rot on sweaty days due to great ventilation. A few ounces of weight and it's a whole outfit on mild days.
 
C

Camino Chris

Guest
#66
Hmmmm..... I guess it depends on which is your greater priority. Perfectly dry socks, or actual camino friends. You know, fellow pilgrims who don't chuck things at your head in the morning for running a %#! $&€ hair dryer.

This could be a plus for the early morning bag rustlers though. They'll no longer be the most unpopular peregrinos in the albergue!

:D Buen camino!
I had the exact same thoughts as Fenix!
Waking up to a blowing hairdryer trying to get socks dry at the plugins in the sleeping room or hogging the mirror and counter space with it in the bathroom, not to mention the added noise...just sounds awful! ;)
 
C

Camino Chris

Guest
#67
A flowered sundress. I live in them in mild weather and love to hike in them here in Colorado. My warmer clothes just stay in my pack whenever possible. I never go anywhere in mild weather without a lightweight, easily washed sleeveless or short sleeved, knee-length sundress with deep pockets. Makes me feel beautiful and so alive. It's a thousand times more comfortable and far more protective from the sun than shorts and it's SO EASY TO PEE when you're in a dress. No crotch rot on sweaty days due to great ventilation. A few ounces of weight and it's a whole outfit on mild days.
I'm glad the sundress works for you (I picture myself peeing on it. :) I always thought they were made of cotton, but not so? I picture them being pulled out of the pack with many wrinkles. Being a little older I'm sure I'd end up looking like a bag lady! Lol.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#68
A flowered sundress. I live in them in mild weather and love to hike in them here in Colorado. My warmer clothes just stay in my pack whenever possible. I never go anywhere in mild weather without a lightweight, easily washed sleeveless or short sleeved, knee-length sundress with deep pockets. Makes me feel beautiful and so alive. It's a thousand times more comfortable and far more protective from the sun than shorts and it's SO EASY TO PEE when you're in a dress. No crotch rot on sweaty days due to great ventilation. A few ounces of weight and it's a whole outfit on mild days.
I wear mostly tank style dresses in warm weather, so made a couple out of merino wool t shirt weight fabric to wear on the Camino. I extended the shoulder to create a cap sleeve, and added zippered pockets. They were the perfect thing for me to walk the Camino in. Merino leggings underneath kept me warm on cooler days.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Fall (2017)
#69
I'm glad the sundress works for you (I picture myself peeing on it. :) I always thought they were made of cotton, but not so? I picture them being pulled out of the pack with many wrinkles. Being a little older I'm sure I'd end up looking like a bag lady! Lol.
Ha! Occasionally, but it's a quick skill to learn to tuck and pee. Enlarge my profile pic. That's up in the tundra at over 11,000' in the mountains. That dress is nylon; bright and uplifting as sunshine itself, has huge pockets, NO confining features like waistbands on pants, is loose enough to allow me to abandon a miserable bra, is already a crinkly material that shows no wrinkles and it dries in no time!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Fall (2017)
#70
I wear mostly tank style dresses in warm weather, so made a couple out of merino wool t shirt weight fabric to wear on the Camino. I extended the shoulder to create a cap sleeve, and added zippered pockets. They were the perfect thing for me to walk the Camino in. Merino leggings underneath kept me warm on cooler days.
BRAVA!!! Yes, I like and will steal your ideas to improve my own! Thank you.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, fall of 2015
#71
I had the exact same thoughts as Fenix!
Waking up to a blowing hairdryer trying to get socks dry at the plugins in the sleeping room or hogging the mirror and counter space with it in the bathroom, not to mention the added noise...just sounds awful! ;)
Like I said....it would be used in the washroom! Jeez....
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, fall of 2015
#72
Hmmmm..... I guess it depends on which is your greater priority. Perfectly dry socks, or actual camino friends. You know, fellow pilgrims who don't chuck things at your head in the morning for running a %#! $&€ hair dryer.

This could be a plus for the early morning bag rustlers though. They'll no longer be the most unpopular peregrinos in the albergue!

:D Buen camino!
Well it would be used in the bathroom! Jeez....
 

fenix

Nevertheless, she persists
Camino(s) past & future
Several, since 1999
Upcoming: Almeria to Muxia, Summer 2017
#73
I wear mostly tank style dresses in warm weather, so made a couple out of merino wool t shirt weight fabric to wear on the Camino. I extended the shoulder to create a cap sleeve, and added zippered pockets. They were the perfect thing for me to walk the Camino in. Merino leggings underneath kept me warm on cooler days.
I'm so jealous of your sewing skills!

That's up in the tundra at over 11,000' in the mountains. That dress is nylon; bright and uplifting as sunshine itself, has huge pockets, NO confining features like waistbands on pants, is loose enough to allow me to abandon a miserable bra, is already a crinkly material that shows no wrinkles and it dries in no time!
I enlarged your profile pic, and now I've got the Sound of Music soundtrack stuck in my head. Love your style!
 
C

Camino Chris

Guest
#75
I wear mostly tank style dresses in warm weather, so made a couple out of merino wool t shirt weight fabric to wear on the Camino. I extended the shoulder to create a cap sleeve, and added zippered pockets. They were the perfect thing for me to walk the Camino in. Merino leggings underneath kept me warm on cooler days.
Do you take orders? I need a size medium. :)
 
C

Camino Chris

Guest
#76
Ha! Occasionally, but it's a quick skill to learn to tuck and pee. Enlarge my profile pic. That's up in the tundra at over 11,000' in the mountains. That dress is nylon; bright and uplifting as sunshine itself, has huge pockets, NO confining features like waistbands on pants, is loose enough to allow me to abandon a miserable bra, is already a crinkly material that shows no wrinkles and it dries in no time!
Sounds really great. I just like to tease!
 

AmandaM

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
July 2016
#78
I carried a travel neck pillow that folded into a small regular pillow. Several people laughed at my luxury but I was happy to have it along every night!

Also carried a small tin of Nivea creme which was the perfect remedy for the sunburn I got on day 1 ;)
 

GlenysP

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances from St Jean Pied de Port "April 2011" and plan to walk Camino Frances from SJPdP "September 2015"
#79
I bought and took an 'S' shaped hook that painters use. One end goes on the rung of a ladder and the other end is used to hang a paint pot from.
I would hang it from the top of a shower door and hang my washbag etc on it.
50p from a diy store.
Made mine from a broken wire coathanger...free.
 

GlenysP

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances from St Jean Pied de Port "April 2011" and plan to walk Camino Frances from SJPdP "September 2015"
#80
I carried a travel neck pillow that folded into a small regular pillow. Several people laughed at my luxury but I was happy to have it along every night!

Also carried a small tin of Nivea creme which was the perfect remedy for the sunburn I got on day 1 ;)
I did also. But it was to support my neck and right shoulder better after a car accident years ago. I do Pilates a few times a week and it's MUCH better than it was, but due to the added weight of backpack and weeks without my weekly treatments, it was taken as a preventive to bigger issues. But it's light and takes up lots of space therefore limits how many other 'things' that I think I need. Minimises items.
 
Camino(s) past & future
There are many different Pilgrim Routes and Caminos in life.
#81
I love my Scrubba. I do. It makes laundry time much more efficient & effective, and less stressful to me
I also carry a Scrubba in my backpack. I don´t know if it makes my laundry time more efficient or not, but it for sure saves my hands (having eczema).
was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for any quirky items to talk about that are useful but borderline justifiable in terms of pack weight.
I don´t know if I can count as an item.. otherwise I would say you discribed me perfect :eek::D:D
 

Mike Savage

So many friends to meet . . . so little time
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés,Inglés
Muxia/Finisterre
Português Coastal
Português Central
Sanabrés
#82
Useful but hard to justify in my pack? I take Dave. He speaks Portuguese and English and walks a bit slower than I which helps me remember to slow down and enjoy the journey. He can be quirky but there is no way I could justify putting him in my pack though.:D
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
#83
The question was: Useful item but hard to justify in your pack?

This is something that is either a totally worthless item hard to justify carrying or a wonderful surprise easy to justify carrying. We don't know which yet.

Peg volunteered years ago for a five year medical study on vitamins and (fish?) oil. I tease her by saying that she walked for months across Spain carrying cardboard card blister packs of placibos. There's about a year left to the study.
 
Last edited:
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#84
Peg volunteered years ago for a five year medical study on vitamins and (fish?) oil. I tease her by saying that she walked for months across Spain carrying cardboard card blister packs of placibos.
I hope it was krill oil as that's the one that has the best effect, and by a long shot. ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Fall (2017)
#86
I'm so jealous of your sewing skills!



I enlarged your profile pic, and now I've got the Sound of Music soundtrack stuck in my head. Love your style!
That's SO funny. I love it! I was up there at Paradise(its actual name) singing those songs at the top of my lungs at that very time! The tundra is my HAPPY PLACE, probably from having seen the opening scene in that movie a hundred times growing up. I have always fantasized of a way to bottle and give away the passion and enthusiasm I have for life. For years now other struggles have too often pressed down that joy, but it ALWAYS returns when I get away and reconnect with the beauty of the world and the basic goodness of humanity. I can hardly wait for my time on the Camino this fall. Buen Camino in April! Can I find you on Facebook?
Cheers, Cheri
 
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk the trail in Portuguese in 2017
#91
I always carry a sarong. It works as towel, blanket, cover up, something to sit on and dries quickly. My hard to justify item though would be my giant beach hat. The brim is quite large and would ensure that not an ounce of my face will get burnt. I'm sure though it would look ridiculous but I hate getting burnt and I have fair skin.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2017
#92
Hi kisskiss (love the name) the sarong is a great idea. As for big hats, it really depends on your temperament. They're a great idea but I've seen people spending more time trying to keep an unruly hat blowing all over the place in a stiff breeze than seems worth it. Fortunately, I have a big chunk of Spanish/Italian somewhere in my DNA and just go brown in the sun. I use what we call a 'giggle' hat or pork pies style hat made of cotton (it's what soldiers use in the field), which covers the face and neck with shade and can be easily folded and put in the pack. Plus, of course, sunscreen. I've seen people, with fair skin, us the same style hat in combination with a lightweight long sleeve shirt. They flip up the collar to provide more protection from the sun on the back of the neck and have protection all the way down to their hands. Some of these clever shirts can also be purchased with an SPF sun block rating.

Happy trails
 
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk the trail in Portuguese in 2017
#93
Hi kisskiss (love the name) the sarong is a great idea. As for big hats, it really depends on your temperament. They're a great idea but I've seen people spending more time trying to keep an unruly hat blowing all over the place in a stiff breeze than seems worth it. Fortunately, I have a big chunk of Spanish/Italian somewhere in my DNA and just go brown in the sun. I use what we call a 'giggle' hat or pork pies style hat made of cotton (it's what soldiers use in the field), which covers the face and neck with shade and can be easily folded and put in the pack. Plus, of course, sunscreen. I've seen people, with fair skin, us the same style hat in combination with a lightweight long sleeve shirt. They flip up the collar to provide more protection from the sun on the back of the neck and have protection all the way down to their hands. Some of these clever shirts can also be purchased with an SPF sun block rating.

Happy trails
Yes wind was the other concern. Thanks for the tips :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017
#94
I bought a Osprey 12 liter ultralight dry sack which weighs 1.2 ounces that I plan to use in the same way as a Scrubba. I've tested it at home, and it works well.


Both of which you can download to a smart phone for no extra weight!


I have a travel type microfiber towel, but mine is extra large so that I can actually wrap it around my body. I've bought a cotton turkish towel to try out. It is even larger and weighs a bit more, so I'll see if it works better for drying off. I can always cut off a bit of it, and hem the edges to reduce weight. I'll definitely remove the fringe if I use it. :)
@trecile , My towel does not wrap all the way around me. Will I be able to dry off and get dressed before leaving the shower area in privacy? Or do I need to get a towel that covers? Thanks for your help!
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#95
@trecile , My towel does not wrap all the way around me. Will I be able to dry off and get dressed before leaving the shower area in privacy? Or do I need to get a towel that covers? Thanks for your help!
You should be able to dry off and get dressed in the shower area. Each one is set up a little differently. It's pretty common for the shower stall to have a small space outside the "splash area" where you can dress. I have just bought an Ultralite PackTowl that is huge. I got the beach size, which only weighs 5.1 ounces. The standard body size is 25" x 54" and only 3.4 ounces, and would still be plenty big to wrap around your body. I got mine on sale, so that's why I got the really big one. I think that I'm going to cut about 6" off of it, because it's way bigger than I need, and I'll probably save an ounce. :)
The texture is kind of weird, but I tried it out after my shower the other day, and I think that it worked better at drying me off then my Sea to Summit Pocket Towel that I used last year. And it weighs less, even at this large size.
 

fenix

Nevertheless, she persists
Camino(s) past & future
Several, since 1999
Upcoming: Almeria to Muxia, Summer 2017
#96
@trecile , My towel does not wrap all the way around me. Will I be able to dry off and get dressed before leaving the shower area in privacy? Or do I need to get a towel that covers? Thanks for your help!
You will, no worries. Sometimes the space is very cramped, and it's hard to keep everything dry - there's not always a bench or such - hence the usefulness of a hanging toiletries bag, or a portable s-hook or suction hook

But you will have private shower space. A wrap around towel is nice, but not essential.

However..... a XL microfiber towel is very useful for laundry. After a handwash & wring, lay your clothes on your towel, roll it up, and then twist hard in both directions. This will half-dry your clothes before you even hang them.
 

fenix

Nevertheless, she persists
Camino(s) past & future
Several, since 1999
Upcoming: Almeria to Muxia, Summer 2017
#98
Usually. At the municipal albergue in O Cebreiro there are separate stalls, but no door or curtain on them. But don't worry, they aren't co-ed. :p
My one time in the O Cebreiro municipal albergue was my very first camino in 1999. I walked through a near-blizzard (trail route, not road route) to get there. The entire evening was spent huddling in the kitchen, watching our boots dry by the lone heater and roasting chestnuts. No shower happened that night! :confused:


Oh, and another use for an oversized towel besides laundry, is as a privacy screen across that doorless shower! (Or over your bed, while it's hanging to dry off your bunk.)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Usually. At the municipal albergue in O Cebreiro there are separate stalls, but no door or curtain on them. But don't worry, they aren't co-ed. :p
In that same O Cebreiro women's shower-room the windows behind the sinks look directly out onto the camino path while those passing on the path can look directly into the loo! Thank goodness for the hot water steam partially screening the view.
 

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