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VdlP: Drafting my equipment list

Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata (september - october 2016)
#1
1. sorry for yet an other newbie's packing list
2. thanks to all peregrinos/as who post on this forum: reading your posts has been a great help over the past few months!

I'm leaving for Spain on september 4th (first a week in Jerez de la Frontera, then off to Sevilla to start the VdlP). If everything goes well, I'll be arriving in SdC end of October, so I should be prepared for both hot and dry as for wet and colder weather. Equipent for the first week in Spain will be sent home before I start the Camino, and some clean clothes and other stuff will be sent to Ivar for safekeeping before I start walking.

I am planning to stay in albergues when/where possible, and to occasionally splurge on a decent hotel room (there are quite a few paradores along the Via). I'd welcome the forum's thougts on my packing list below. It will all have to fit in my Deuter Fox backpack, and as per the 10% rule it shouldn't be much over 7 kgs (I did some one-day "training hikes" with 9-10kgs in it, and I survived about 30km without ill effects, but I have never tried 40 one-day hikes in a row, with or without backpack...)

I'll be using a waterproof liner for my pack, and will be putting spare clothes and sleeping stuff in their own drysack/compression sack.

I'll also be carrying a small, super light-weight man-purse just big enough for my valuables and gadgets.

Thanks again.
Buen Camino
Miguel de Flandes

My list so far (this includes what I will be wearing/carrying on my person):

2 t-shirts (Icebreaker)
1 shirt (JW El Dorado)
1 pair of zip-off hiking trousers (Fjallraven)
1 pair of hiking shorts (Fjallraven)
1 belt
2 underpants (quick-dry synthetics)
3 pairs of hiking socks (Falke Cool)
1 hat (Tilley)
2 pairs of prescription glasses (transitions)
1 pair long johns (merino wool - for sleeping or extra layer up north)
1 rain jacket (TNF)
1 umbrella
1 fleece jacket (light-weight)
1 pair of boots (Lowa Renegade - non GTX)
1 pair shoes (Ecco Terracruise Lite) (for evening wear mostly)
First aid kit (band-aids, compeed, ibuprofen, high-UV sunscreen, all-purpose skin care cream)

Silk liner
fleece blanket
travel pillow

toothpaste + brush
bar soap (suitable for body, hair and clothes)
anti perspirant (cristal)
comb
talcum powder
shaving oil
razor + spare blades
washcloth (2)
travel towel (2 small ones 1 by 0,50m)
clothespins
rope
sewing kit
nailclippers
Victorinox Swisscard

Plastic food storage box (2 L) (the lid can serve as plate/cutting board)
Knife (Opinel), spork, corkscrew, cup
zip loc baggies (a few of each 1l and 3l - easy enough to restock when necessary)
Platipus 2L bladder

Debit card, credit card, card reader (to log on to internet banking)
ID, driver's license
Insurance documents
Cash
Camino passport, Camino guide

Camera + battery charger + spare battery + spare memory card
cellphone + charging cord
ipad mini + charging cord + earbuds
6 port USB charger
Journal / notebook + pen
flashlight, lighter
wristwatch
small pewter shell necklace
 
#2
Hola - seems comprehensive to me - but no matter what exact items you take the objective imho is the overall weight. 7kgs is very good if you can keep to that. Temperatures will be cooler as you head north and I personally would take a sleeping bag but you have said you have a base layer you can use to layer up if needs be.

Buen Camino

John
 
Camino(s) past & future
2016
#3
Only a few changes I would make. Leave camera at home. Use cellphone. Leave bludder out, two kilograms! Rather buy small bottles of water and refill them at one of the many water points. No washcloth. One travel towel. No shaving oil no razor. No silk liner no travel pillow. No long johns and no umbrella.
 
Camino(s) past & future
August 2016 - Primitivo
#4
Could I suggest instead of merino long john's a pair of merino track suit bottoms are more convenient. I have a pair of Janus of Norway design wool track suit bottoms that only cost £35.00
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF
#5
A couple minor things I noted.

First, you have a rain jacket but no rain pants or poncho or gators. How are you planning to keep the bottom half dry (pretty normal to have rain in Galicia any time of the year)?

Second, if you have zip off pants you can save some weight by ditching the shorts.

Just feedback: I like the bladder option myself but do recommend you get used to not filling it on days you don't need to as 1 litre = 1 kg and usually pretty easy to refill somewhere during the day.

2L food storage box is pretty big and if you actually filled it, would weigh a lot. If you are cooking extra at night you might want to consider only cooking enough extra for a small bite during the next day.

Not sure about long johns either. I'd be pretty surprised if you need them in Sep/Oct in any part of the country unless you get chilled very easily.

Last thing. I see you've got a 6-port USB charger for what looks like two items to charge by USB. Those multi-chargers usually weigh a lot more than the plug ends for the phones and iPads. I know it doesn't seem like a big deal at home but when you can shave easy weight with no loss, your feet, ankles, knee and hips will thank you in Santiago!

Enjoy the planning... it's a fun part of the lead up!
Buen Camino,
Jordon
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata (september - october 2016)
#6
Hola - seems comprehensive to me - but no matter what exact items you take the objective imho is the overall weight. 7kgs is very good if you can keep to that. Temperatures will be cooler as you head north and I personally would take a sleeping bag but you have said you have a base layer you can use to layer up if needs be.

Buen Camino

John
Thanks John. I'll try to fill my backpack with the stuff on my list this week-end so I know the real total weight.

The sleeping bag is a real head-scratcher for me. A summer weight sleeping bag seems too hot for the first 3 weeks, and the liner too cold for the last 2 weeks. Maybe I could buy a sleeping bag somewhere around Salamanca, and ditch the liner and fleece blanket? Weight should be about the same...

Buen Camino
Miguel
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata (september - october 2016)
#7
Only a few changes I would make. Leave camera at home. Use cellphone. Leave bludder out, two kilograms! Rather buy small bottles of water and refill them at one of the many water points. No washcloth. One travel towel. No shaving oil no razor. No silk liner no travel pillow. No long johns and no umbrella.
Thanks for your comments, Danie.
The cellphone I'll be taking is just that: a cellphone. I'll get plenty of frustration using my compact camera instead of a 'real' camera (i.e. dslr)

Half a bladder only weighs 1,1 kg, as mutch as 2 small bottles. A full one will allow me not to depend on opening hours of bares and tiendas, let allone on their presence.

Longjohns might be overkill, as might be a second towel, but not shaving for 40 days is too scary a thought for me, I'm afraid .

Buen Camino
Miguel
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata (september - october 2016)
#8
Could I suggest instead of merino long john's a pair of merino track suit bottoms are more convenient. I have a pair of Janus of Norway design wool track suit bottoms that only cost £35.00
Thanks for the suggestion. Would be more versatile too: sleeping + possibly walking

Buen Camino
Miguel
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#9
I agree the sleeping bag question is hard. Maybe your liner+blanket would work. That is one more reason to keep the merino long johns, as they are a good extra layer. It sometimes gets quite chilly in Galicia in October, and you always need to keep one warm layer dry for the evenings.

I am a fan of rain pants for wind, cold and rain. I wear them over my hiking pants or my long johns, or both if necessary. I even use them as the spare when the rest of my clothes are being washed. For you, your zip-off hiking pants provide the shorts option, so you could consider taking rain pants instead of the hiking shorts.

Do you need 2 wash clothes plus 2 towels? I would take 1 of each. Use diaper pins (large safety pins that lock closed) instead of clothes pins. The diaper pins are very useful in many ways and weigh almost nothing, so I take about 10.

The 2 L food container does seem a bit large, and you might find it awkward to pack, depending on the size of your back pack. However it would be an easy item to discard or change, so I wouldn't worry about it.

It seems like you are on the right track with your packing.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata (september - october 2016)
#10
A couple minor things I noted.

First, you have a rain jacket but no rain pants or poncho or gators. How are you planning to keep the bottom half dry (pretty normal to have rain in Galicia any time of the year)?

Second, if you have zip off pants you can save some weight by ditching the shorts.

Just feedback: I like the bladder option myself but do recommend you get used to not filling it on days you don't need to as 1 litre = 1 kg and usually pretty easy to refill somewhere during the day.

2L food storage box is pretty big and if you actually filled it, would weigh a lot. If you are cooking extra at night you might want to consider only cooking enough extra for a small bite during the next day.

Not sure about long johns either. I'd be pretty surprised if you need them in Sep/Oct in any part of the country unless you get chilled very easily.

Last thing. I see you've got a 6-port USB charger for what looks like two items to charge by USB. Those multi-chargers usually weigh a lot more than the plug ends for the phones and iPads. I know it doesn't seem like a big deal at home but when you can shave easy weight with no loss, your feet, ankles, knee and hips will thank you in Santiago!

Enjoy the planning... it's a fun part of the lead up!
Buen Camino,
Jordon
Thanks for your comments, Jordon.

Just keep in mind my list includes what I'll be wearing, so what do I wear while my zip-off pants are drying after laundry?

I took rainpants a couple of years ago on the Cotswolds Way in England, but about half way found out that I was just as wet with or without them. Might have been a quality issue, but for the rest of the hike my rain protection mostly consisted of quick-dry hiking pants and dry pair of socks for when the rain stopped, or when I got to the b&b at the end of the day.

Foodbox: not only for left-overs, but also to avoid crushing things like tomatoes and other fresh fruit.

6 usb-port charger might indeed be overkill for 3 devices (phone, camera battery and tablet). Will consider seperate wallplugs, or look out for a smaller multi-port charger

Buen Camino
Miguel
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Camino Inglés 2018

Now: http://egeria.house/
#11
... The sleeping bag is a real head-scratcher for me. A summer weight sleeping bag seems too hot for the first 3 weeks, and the liner too cold for the last 2 weeks. Maybe I could buy a sleeping bag somewhere around Salamanca, and ditch the liner and fleece blanket? Weight should be about the same...
Easy solution - just open the sleeping bag and use it as blanket if it is too warm ;-) I personally would just go for a light weight summer sleeping bag as a sole solution and leave liner and blanket at home.
Buen camino, SY
 

Bajaracer

Camino Frances 2013 Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013) Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
#12
Ditch the Victorinox Swisscard, get an Opinel No.10 with corkscrew, get a 3 port EU USB charger, it is not much bigger than a single USB charger.
 

Latecomer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
VDLP (Sept 2015)

CF SJPDP-SdC+
(Sept/Oct 2018)
#13
Leave bludder out, two kilograms! Rather buy small bottles of water and refill them at one of the many water points.
I am indifferent on the bladder, but some days on the VdlP you may want to carry 3 litres of water (adding a couple of 500ml bottles is no problem). There are NOT 'many water points' on the VdlP.

I walked from Sevilla at virtually the same time as you a year ago. It was fairly hot early on. By early October, it was quite cold walking in the morning. I bought some cheap gloves and a knit hat in Mombuey, on about October 2 (and I would have been miserable without them). Note: I have spent most of my life in warm climates, so your mileage may vary.

It does seem like you have a lot of electronics. A smartphone with a decent camera would reduce some complexity. Also, a wristwatch may not worth the trouble.

Here is youtube video of the equipment I used on the VdlP (I am using a url shortener to save bandwith): http://bit.ly/29z1FcN

Don't miss: Me Gusta Comer Restaurant in Rionegro del Puente, Zamora (visible from steps of the albergue) for an excellent Pilgrim's Menu.

¡Buen Camino!
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
#14
With the exception of one of the towels and wash cloths and possibly the ipad, and swapping the clothespins for diaper pins, I like your list! Just make sure one of your tshirts is long-sleeved. Now you'll have to weigh up all these different opinions!

But DO make sure you go to Me Gusta Comer. You will not be disappointed. Promise.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF
#15
Thanks for your comments, Jordon.

Just keep in mind my list includes what I'll be wearing, so what do I wear while my zip-off pants are drying after laundry?

I took rainpants a couple of years ago on the Cotswolds Way in England, but about half way found out that I was just as wet with or without them. Might have been a quality issue, but for the rest of the hike my rain protection mostly consisted of quick-dry hiking pants and dry pair of socks for when the rain stopped, or when I got to the b&b at the end of the day.

Foodbox: not only for left-overs, but also to avoid crushing things like tomatoes and other fresh fruit.

6 usb-port charger might indeed be overkill for 3 devices (phone, camera battery and tablet). Will consider seperate wallplugs, or look out for a smaller multi-port charger

Buen Camino
Miguel
Hi Miguel - It was pretty rare I ever needed to wash/dry my entire pants (once or twice a Camino) but did zip off the legs a few more times as that was where the mud splashed up so I'd just wear the long johns you've got in your bag if I was drying the pants. Albergues get pretty informal! However, you may be that your pants get wet often if you're not taking any rain protection for the lower half so your idea of shorts is working for you there. There are lots of options (and opinions!) for rain pants, ponchos or gators that will keep you dry but if you're comfortable with a bit of wetness then it's all good. I met some people this April that didn't even bother with a rain jacket and they still had big smiles during the rainy days! Same for the food box, if you're good with carrying extra weight that's good too. Most people I walked with carried a minimal amount of food (cookies, chocolate bar or a piece of fruit, etc) for those times they don't come across Tiendas or Bars around lunch time but the great thing is that we all get to do the Camino our own way so wishing you a great time and hope you post about your experiences when you're done.
Cheers.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2004 and Via de la Plata 2015
#16
It has been my antidotal observation that the number one problem knocking people off the Camino is foot problems, second is back problems generally associated with pack issues. The VdlP is long, my advice is to keep your pack weight (excluding water) to 10lbs to 15lbs. I have put in italics the things I think you can do without.

Silk liner (should be enough as most albergues have blankets and pillows)
fleece blanket
travel pillow


washcloth (2) 1 wash cloth, can also be used to wipe sweat from your face and one medium sized towel
travel towel (2 small ones 1 by 0,50m)
clothespins
rope (Use thin nylon twine)

Plastic food storage box (2 L) (the lid can serve as plate/cutting board) (Unnecessary IMO)
Knife (Opinel), spork, corkscrew, cup
zip loc baggies (a few of each 1l and 3l - easy enough to restock when necessary)
Platipus 2L bladder (few watering opportunities between destinations in the south so 2 liters to me is the minimum, 3L even better.)

Debit card, credit card, card reader (to log on to internet banking)
ID, driver's license
Insurance documents
Cash
Camino passport, Camino guide (Load something on to your smart phone)

Camera + battery charger + spare battery + spare memory card (use smart phone)
cellphone + charging cord
ipad mini + charging cord + earbuds (Make your cell phone a smart phone)
6 port USB charger
Journal / notebook + pen (you could dictate into your smart phone)
flashlight, lighter
wristwatch

I agree that long johns are a bit much. I would suggest a light weight down vest, rain pants, watch cap and wool gloves.
You may find this helpful

https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/via-de-la-plata-and-the-camino-sanabres.41690
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#17
I like your choices of leggings, merino Ts and umbrella. I also like your idea of a silk bag and a blanket: it's what I usd to do until May 2013 when I froze on the Frances. As long as the blanket is ultra thing. The umbrella is a must have for me, especially since I wear glasses all day. I would look into a breathable pain of rain pants if your last pair had you sweating. Try the Mac in a Sac: super affordable and light, and breathable.

I would bring one towel, no wash cloth, grow a beard, leave the knife and Victorinox home, take a much smaller plastic box for left overs.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo
#18
Camera + battery charger + spare battery + spare memory card (use smart phone)
cellphone + charging cord
ipad mini + charging cord + earbuds (Make your cell phone a smart phone)
Hi, what @Old Gringo said
My smartphone has replaced my:
Camera
Cables
Chargers
Book
Head Lamp
Watch
Alarm Clock
Maps
and Guide Book
:):):)
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
#19
What? NO JOURNAL? You've got to be kidding! That absolutely is An Essential Item!!!!!!
That said, this last camino I did was the first that I did not write in a notebook - kept a daily blog, which I did on my phone with the assistance of a wee fold-out keyboard. I did, however, still take a journal. A.d pencils, and pens and watercolours!
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
#20
Thought I'd just add....the first six days of our VdlP it rained. We walked in sandals and socks, shorts, a long-sleeved hiking shirt, scarf, gloves and thigh-length raincoat and we often had to keep moving to stay warm. If I did it again I would also take a fleece vest to wear whilst walking and not worry if it got wet. I still wouldn't bother with rain pants. We were very grateful to have our thermal long johns and long-sleeved tops and bundled up in them with our fleece jackets and long pants that were deliciously dry after taking a shower (which on some days was cold). Sometimes we wanted to wear our fleece jackets while walking but practiced delayed gratification and saved them for when we had arrived. Getting into still-damp clothes the next day was never fun, but it was great to know we had a complete dry set for post-arrival. Take that second pair of pants and the long johns! And add some merino gloves. Mine had short fingers and a flap like mittens so could be worn fully closed or partly open.
We had silk liners and lightweight sleeping bags and used both. Plus the supplied blankets sometimes. I wouldn't ditch your fleece blanket. You'll always get a pillow though so that might be overkill.
Food stops on the VdlP are less frequent than on the Frances and so your box is not a bad idea if you want to keep soft things whole. Just make sure it is lightweight. Then again, a banana or tomato actually carries not badly at the very top of your pack. Alternatively , we took a small plastic bowl which was great for having chocolate muesli with yoghurt for breakfast or making emergency cup-a-soup when shops are not open and you've taken longer to walk than expected. That worked well for protecting a lone tomato too.
And as others have said maximise your phone capabilities!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata (september - october 2016)
#22
Thank you all very much for your suggestions.

I stuffed (almost) everything on my list in my pack this week-end, and ended up at about 5,7 kg (mind you, that's carrying my camera and most of the paperwork in my pants pockets, as I am planning to do most of the time).

Went by the traveller's store in town, and took a look at their light-weight sleeping bags. My liner + blanket + stuffsack weighs about the same as the only light-weigt summer sleeping bag they had (700 grams) - so if I go for the sleeping bag option I gain some simplicity, but the bag would be harder to wash after a couple of weeks. I could have it washed and dryed during a rest day, of course.

Oh, well, I still have about 6 weeks to think about it...

Buen Camino
Miguel
 
Camino(s) past & future
August 2016 - Primitivo
#23
Hi, when you did your test packing did you remember to exclude only the basic items of clothing ie shorts and t-shirt. The weather where I am is cold enough to want to wear a fleece all day, but when I do my test packing I would remember to pack it so I know what the total weight was and there was room for it. Does you pack leave you enough room to carry food. Remember the most food carried could be an evening meal, breakfast and food for the next day. For storage of your camera and paperwork have a look at a front pouch like the omm trio pouch or ZPacks make a nice one ( my preference) . They act as a counterbalance to your pack and hold your daily essentials like camera, maps, phone, food, gloves and hat etc.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2014 Camino Frances: Burgos to Santiago
#24
A few thoughts:
  • The food box seems bulky. I just used a combo of grocery bags, ziploc bags and duct tape (to seal up the bags). That worked OK for me.
  • Rather than clothespins, consider a caribiner or large twisty tie things (in my link below), they work on laundry but do double duty for other things
  • small manpurse or bag for carrying valuables around at night
Here's my packing list (it's for chicks but you can adapt). Buen Camino
http://wayfaringviews.com/camino-de-santiago-packing-list-women/
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata (september - october 2016)
#25
Hello all

Thank you very much for your insights.
Will be "running some tests" this week-end.
I hope to be posting my final packing list sometime next week.

Buen Camino,
Miguel.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata (september - october 2016)
#26
After extensive testing and some soul searching this week end: iphone + lightning cable + wall plug will replace all other electronics (I might need new prescription glasses after consulting the Camino guides on that screen for 40 days). I'll write my journal on paper, and take pics of that with my phone. Roaming costs should be ok just for the occasional phone call when there's no wifi for facetime available.

Will be missing a good camera, but it's not a photography expedition, after all.

Buen camino
Miguel
 

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