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Luggage Transfer Correos

Weight, and how its discussion is terrifying me.

Kaiso

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2019
I arrive in Spain Apr26, visit cities for 20 days, then begin my Camino from Pamploma May 11-12th.
In my daily life, I walk more than average, and my usual cycle rides are 25miles/40km and up. I've been walking longer lengths preparing for this, and researching what to expect. Probably too much research, as the info and discussions are starting to terrify me. Especially talk about pack weight. The general consensus seems to be 10% of body weight. 10% for me is 21lbs/9.5g. (I understand that is relative as to the actual body makeup). That said, the discussion here about cutting weight has me worried. (someone is even down to 4.5 lbs/2kg) My pack without water is 17lbs/7.7kg. I expect it to be closer to 10% when completed. So my question is, are there average fit people walking with 10% weight OR MORE packs?
 

Phil71

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese (2014,2016),Primitivo (2015), San Salvador (2017), Norte (2018), Ingles (2018)
Yes. Don't panic. The 10% is a guide and not a rule. Your pack is fine. I'm 75kg. My pack with food and water is 10kg. Obviously the lighter the better but after a few days your pack is just another part of you and you will feel weird without it. Later this year I'm doing a thru hike (with tent stove 2 weeks of food) and my pack will be about 16kg. Yeah it feels heavy now but I know with practice and mileage even that will feel normal. Don't stress over this. It's not an issue. Buen camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
somewhere between "not enough" and "way too many"
@Kaiso -

There are many people with more expertise likely to chime in.

My first point is to dump the "10% of body weight" rule. Try "FSO or From Skin Out".

I tend to walk in the cooler months (Oct-Nov, Feb-Mar, Mar-Apr) so have heavier jacket, rain gear, and a sleeping bag in the pack. My FSO after adding Food (a little) and Water (1.5 L) is between 16-17%. Not very athletic, could get lighter but don't want to spend money on new gear and no problem through several Caminos during my late 50's through early 60's.

Your personal weight and numbers seem pretty much spot on with mine though you will be walking in a warmer/drier time. Perhaps evaluate if you really need protection from "the cold" in your pack if it is there. (Hint: You don't.)

No need to stress...and you can always post your pack list to have experts dissect it.

B
 

NorthernLight

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Welcome to the forum where we perseverate about details while waiting for our next camino to start.

If you feel comfortable with your load, then carry it!
 

FourSeasons

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Sept/Oct 2013
CF April/May 2016
del Norte (July/August 2019)
I've seen pictures posted on Instagram of pilgrims with packs half their size, even women carrying these huge packs. It's all a matter of personal preference. What feels right to you may be too too heavy for someone like me. You're the only one who knows how much you can carry and what you will need/want on the Camino. Just don't pack your fears. Oh and there is no pack envy on the Camino. Rest assured. 😂

I'm so excited for you - Buen Camino
:)👣
 
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davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
I arrive in Spain Apr26, visit cities for 20 days, then begin my Camino from Pamploma May 11-12th.
In my daily life, I walk more than average, and my usual cycle rides are 25miles/40km and up. I've been walking longer lengths preparing for this, and researching what to expect. Probably too much research, as the info and discussions are starting to terrify me. Especially talk about pack weight. The general consensus seems to be 10% of body weight. 10% for me is 21lbs/9.5g. (I understand that is relative as to the actual body makeup). That said, the discussion here about cutting weight has me worried. (someone is even down to 4.5 lbs/2kg) My pack without water is 17lbs/7.7kg. I expect it to be closer to 10% when completed. So my question is, are there average fit people walking with 10% weight OR MORE packs?
The 10% rule is nonsense. It was developed at a time when backpacking equipment and clothing weighed far more than it does today. The rule is to carry as light a weight as possible without being stupid.

For example: Up till the early 1980s, my backpack weight for a 10 day wilderness trip with food, fuel, tent, etc, would come in at around 56 pounds or so. Today the same inventory of gear will weigh 22 to 23 pounds.

For Camino, my total backpack weight is around 9 to 10.5 pounds, depending on how much water I carry. Since Camino is walking town to town, and not wilderness camp to wilderness camp, I can shed a whole lot of stuff that is not needed. PLUS, I do not have to 'be prepared' as I do when out solo in the Sierra's or Rockies. If I need something, there are shops along the way.

The lighter the weight carried, the less correlation there is to various types of musculo-skeletal injuries and things like blisters and tendonitis. I wouldn't give myself ulcers over cutting weight, but the Forum can help with information.

Post a list of what you are packing, it helps to know brands and weights, and folks on the Forum can help with suggestions.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Just weighted my pack before setting out tomorrow. 7.6 kgs, a little more than 10% of my body weight. Add to that my shoes and clothes. I don't care much. It will be fine.

OTOH, one could shave legs/arms/head to cut weight, as well as saw off half of the toothbrush, etc. More tips wanted. :cool::D

This is overkill, though...

Thi55773
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France (2012 and 2014)
Leon- Finisterre- Muxia, (May 2016)
Camino Primitivo - Finisterre (May 2017)
For me, male and 61 years, 10 % vould be 6.5 kg/14,3 lbs.
Last yeat i walked the camino Invierno. My pack was 9.8 kg/21.6 lbs With food but without water.
I didn't have any problem carrying it.
 

GrahamS

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (March 2018)
Camino Finisterre (April 2018)
Camino Frances (September 2018)
I arrive in Spain Apr26, visit cities for 20 days, then begin my Camino from Pamploma May 11-12th.
In my daily life, I walk more than average, and my usual cycle rides are 25miles/40km and up. I've been walking longer lengths preparing for this, and researching what to expect. Probably too much research, as the info and discussions are starting to terrify me. Especially talk about pack weight. The general consensus seems to be 10% of body weight. 10% for me is 21lbs/9.5g. (I understand that is relative as to the actual body makeup). That said, the discussion here about cutting weight has me worried. (someone is even down to 4.5 lbs/2kg) My pack without water is 17lbs/7.7kg. I expect it to be closer to 10% when completed. So my question is, are there average fit people walking with 10% weight OR MORE packs?
Kaiso, I find the weight issue tiresome sometimes. Don't let it get you down :) You and I seem to be a similar weight. I am about 6'2" - 187cm. I also have a size 14 boot. My clothes are big, and my shoes are big - meaning they weigh more, and that is just how it is. There also seems to be a competition to have the world's smallest pack. If I carried a 35L pack it would be impossible to fit it to my frame and I would have issues with weight on shoulders no matter the weight. My latest pack is an Osprey Aether Pro 70L. It fits me. There is no weight on my shoulders - it is all at the hips as it should be. And I don't fill it. I carried too much weight my first Camino from St Jean to Finisterre. I unloaded weight along the way. My important tip is to have the pack fitted by an expert. If you bought it online and are not sure of fitting it, find someone to help. My set up for my next Camino is weighing in just under 5kg. I have 500gm max to add. I am happy with that weight. I'm walking in winter later in the year. And yes, I already have packed and weighed! Of course water and food for the day will be on top of that. To your questions: An average fit person can carry 10%. But you need to be better than average-fit to enjoy your whole journey. I'd suggest you use those 20 days in cities to walk as much as possible - and wear your Camino footwear. 20 days in the cities of Spain sounds great. And I'd suggest you will pick up souvenirs. Mail them home before you start your Camino! But make sure that pack is fitted professionally. There is a saying I like - "Focus on the grams and the kilograms will look after themselves". The charging cable that came with my phone is 12gm. I got a shorter one that is 7gm. Cut the labels of clothes etc. Have a great trip.
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
Welcome Kaiso, don't worry about the 10% rule or any other rule for equipment, carry what YOU are comfortable with. I like to cover all eventualities but that is just me, hope for the best prepare for the worst and my pack came in at 10 kilos.
 

Jo Jo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, July 2014 & Sept-Oct 2016
Via di Francesco (Italy), July 2015
CP Oct. 2017 & Sept. 2019
My suspicion is that you are going to wish you were carrying less once you start walking. You probably have a bunch of things you want for your touristing that will become unnecessarily heavy once you start walking. Above all, the Camino taught me flexibility and a willingness to let go. Ordinarily, I'd suggest you weigh every item in grams, post it on lighterpack.com and let us shake you down. But you are leaving in three days. So I'd probably take what you have, take Ivar's address for if/when you need to post your extra gear to him to hold so you can pick it up in SdC. And just get it in your mind that your pack will change mid-route. I think by Logrono (or Pamplona) you will have figured out what is not useful enough that it deserves a ride on your back across Spain. Buen Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF
I’ve not yet heard about the 1st time Pilgrim who packed less than he/she needed. As the cliche goes, we pack our fears... and the prospect of walking a long distance without the rice cooker seems inconceivable (review posts from @Robo for this to make any sense at all...), until you do it.

I was an experienced back country hiker used to carrying what I needed for safety contingencies and total self-reliance (food, shelter, etc). I ended up carrying over 30lbs of gear for my first winter walk from SJPDP. That is until I reached Logrono where I sent 12lbs of gear forward to Ivar in SdC. By then I’d learned that this is most definitely not a back country hike...

Pack as modestly as you can. You can easily forward gear from any post office to Ivar should you come to find you are carrying dead weight. A few days like this never killed anyone and it will be just one of the many lessons you will learn along the way.
 

Kaiso

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2019
Thanks for the replies. The two heaviest items are the pack itself (Osprey Kestrel 48) at 3.59 lbs/1.63kg, and my 55+ degree sleeping bag at 1.7 lbs/.77kg. No time to return or replace so I'm going with them.
I not carrying much more than what I see in lists here other than an extra T-shirt and underwear. (I am going to be a tourist for 20 days before the walk.)

5 days ago as a test, I added my things to the pack, 2L water and snacks, dressed as I would on the Camino, (including poles) and did a short 5 mile/8km walk--flat terrain, but in California noonday sun. I didn't really feel the pack but I expect on a longer walk with grade I would. Still, the replies have assuaged my fears. Thanks all.
 

ManyMiles2Go

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
I remember getting ready for my Camino and reading everything on this forum. When I read about the 10% rule, I knew I was over that, so I just ate alot before I left. Problem solved :) Seriously, I did not concern myself with the 10% rule, I just took what I thought was needed. After 5 days, if I hadn't used something, I just posted it forward to Ivar. Have a great trip !!
 

Jo Jo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, July 2014 & Sept-Oct 2016
Via di Francesco (Italy), July 2015
CP Oct. 2017 & Sept. 2019
I think you are going to mail that sleeping bag ahead (personally, I'd mail it from Pamplona, just after you are out of the mountains--I think you will not really need it after then, and most alburgues have blankets anyway). To make that possible, the one item I might acquire if you don't already have one (and, yes, I realize the irony of suggesting that you add weight) is a sleeping bag liner. You might also want the sleeping bag if you end up staying in the Fonfria (just before the Cruz) or the Xunta alburgue in O'Ceribro (where, like Roncevalles, they also do not have blankets), but that is awfully heavy to carry for one or two nights. A sleeping bag liner and a warmish jacket got us through a night at O'Ceribro mid-October. Buen Camino.
 

Telboyo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
I intend to leave the UK the day Before Brexit and walkMarch -April 2019 Camino Frances
The weight of the pack is less important than how well it fits. If you are a tall person make sure you adjust your pack so the belt is around your hips. When you put the pack on tighten the hip belt followed.by the shoulder straps a d finally the sternum strap. Walk for 5 minutes and adjust again. Even if your pack feels heavy when you hoist it on to your back after half an hour ( if fitted correctly) you will not realise it is there. If you find yourself tugging on shoulder straps or putting hands behind your back to lift your pack you need to adjust it properly. Check out some you tube videos.
 

tangata hikoi

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Pamploma (April/May 2014)
VDLP March 2019 Sanabres April 2019
Finisterre/Muxia April 2019
On the VLDP recently a Hospitelario carried my pack - unrequested by me - into the dormitory and pronounced "it's too heavy".
I won't write what I felt like saying but it wasn't very polite.
I am a large person with big everything. I'm walking for 4 months and have a few extras (2 passports, 2nd pair of shoes, a book, a few embroidery cottons, a reflective umbrella, a water bladder). I also have a merino jumper and merino jacket which are quite heavy. I debated about leaving one behind but once I hit the rain and snow in Galicia I was VERY glad to have carried them and needed to wear both to keep warm on several occasions. I also felt VERY sorry for quite a few other people who obviously had few clothes other than the ones they walked in which had got soaked in the continual rain and, on arrival and after their shower, were in shorts, sandles and not much else. The Albergues were often cold some with no heating.
I had no problem carrying my pack with up to 3 litres of water some days. I have no blisters and made it all the way to SDC, Finisterre and Muxia. I don't exactly know what it weighs. When I left home it was around 10kg without water or food. But I'm comfortable with it and that's what matters.

If you have too much you can post it home or give it away but even in summer it can be cold and wet and I choose to carry enough to always keep myself warm and dry. I'd be happy to have carried my merino and to never have needed it - like insurance. You have it in case but ideally you don't use it.
 

cbacino

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte - Primitivo (2018)
Via Francigena (2017)
Appalachian Trail (2016)
I arrive in Spain Apr26, visit cities for 20 days, then begin my Camino from Pamploma May 11-12th.
In my daily life, I walk more than average, and my usual cycle rides are 25miles/40km and up. I've been walking longer lengths preparing for this, and researching what to expect. Probably too much research, as the info and discussions are starting to terrify me. Especially talk about pack weight. The general consensus seems to be 10% of body weight. 10% for me is 21lbs/9.5g. (I understand that is relative as to the actual body makeup). That said, the discussion here about cutting weight has me worried. (someone is even down to 4.5 lbs/2kg) My pack without water is 17lbs/7.7kg. I expect it to be closer to 10% when completed. So my question is, are there average fit people walking with 10% weight OR MORE packs?
The consensus here seems to be that folks are satisfied/comfortable with their pack weight, whatever that may be. Trust me, it’s a lot more satisfying/comfortable with a few less pounds on your back all day. You need less than you think.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
The weight of the pack is less important than how well it fits.
You have a good point about the former.

I will say, though that a pack's weight, and how well a backpack fits are not mutually exclusive. Finding a backpack that fits well and how much weight to put into it are two separate things :)
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Cut the bristles on the toothbrush in half as well. ;)
Certainly one possibility. But a little lateral thinking might suggest an alternative. If the most important thing in gear selection is to keep your pack load under a certain % of body weight then that could also be achieved by piling on a few extra pounds/kilos around your waistline. A high-fat high-calorie low-exercise regime. What I think of as "the foie-gras plan". If you are having trouble slimming down your load under the magic 10% figure then simply add 10kg to your body mass and then you can happily add an extra 1kg to your rucksack too. If that seems a ridiculous notion then I would suggest it is no more nonsensical than making the guiding principle for your packing choices some arbitrary "rule" and the read-out from your kitchen scales rather than a careful and considered selection of gear based on your specific needs.
 

november_moon

Veteran Member
I never weighed my pack or anything I took. I have a nice-sized pack (36L Gregory) that fits well and that I like. I decided what I wanted to take, packed it up to see how it was. I felt my pack was too full, so I re-evaluated - took out a couple things, swapped a few other things out for lighter/smaller things. When I was happy with how everything felt, I was ready to go.
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
While the 10% "guidance" has little basis in science, it is not a bad thing to consider. Of course, it should not be considered a rule of any sort. Before my first camino, I had done no long distance walking, I was 64 years old, not a large/strong person, and I had no idea how I would do. Packing only 10% of my weight was a good piece of guidance, as a starting point. Coincidentally, it corresponds to what I need and can comfortably carry.
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Seven Compostelas in Three years and counting......
I weigh 8.5 stone (I'm English), thats just under 54 kilos for johnny foreigner! I am tiny. I am ex military and fit. But as I walk very long distance (5 to 6 months each camino) and freecamp often, including winter, the 10% rule is ludicrous. I need more kit than 5 kilos. Also, if you are six foot, overweight and unfit you can carry more? I don't think so! The 10% rule is wrong and can be dangerous.

I carry 16 kilo very happily every camino I do.

I still agree less is best, and you don't need 16 kilo's unless you are camping, walking in winter or are daft like me.

Davey
 

Flig

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo (2020)
Just remember that 120 lbs of lightweight equipment still weighs 120 lbs! I am trying to reset my instincts and internalize the fact that this is a trip from one town to the next and that I don’t need to carry most of my “what if” gear and that the gear does not need to be as robust, i.e. near indestructible, as a saunter in the Hindu Kush might require.
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Seven Compostelas in Three years and counting......
If you really need it, take it. If you might need it, leave it.

And Spain has shops, if you need something when you are there, buy it. And it is often cheaper.

Just a generalization, but it works.
 

ouroboros

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012) (2019)
Camino Portuguese (2017)
I arrive in Spain Apr26, visit cities for 20 days, then begin my Camino from Pamploma May 11-12th.
In my daily life, I walk more than average, and my usual cycle rides are 25miles/40km and up. I've been walking longer lengths preparing for this, and researching what to expect. Probably too much research, as the info and discussions are starting to terrify me. Especially talk about pack weight. The general consensus seems to be 10% of body weight. 10% for me is 21lbs/9.5g. (I understand that is relative as to the actual body makeup). That said, the discussion here about cutting weight has me worried. (someone is even down to 4.5 lbs/2kg) My pack without water is 17lbs/7.7kg. I expect it to be closer to 10% when completed. So my question is, are there average fit people walking with 10% weight OR MORE packs?
Yes, I’m average fitness, female, 170 pounds and my pack is usually 15-17 pounds depending on how much food carrying. That includes 1 1/2 liter of water. Don’t you worry you’ll be fine!
 

Tachi

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Kumano Kodo Nakahechi (June 2018)
Camino Portugues (May 2019)
I have never heard the 10% rule, in my case it would be a bit hard (5.8 kilos?)

I spent 6 months backpacking around Asia with a pack weighing 25+ kilos to my 58. The first month I felt great! I was gaining muscle! My body was adapting! By the 5th month, though, my knees were killing me like I was 50 (I was 23), and I couldn’t even properly enjoy Mt. Huashan (which is beautiful!), so I vowed to give up the heavy packs. This time I’m aiming for 10 kilos.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
The 10% rule is nonsense. It was developed at a time when backpacking equipment and clothing weighed far more than it does today. The rule is to carry as light a weight as possible without being stupid.
I take a different view on the 10% 'rule of thumb' or guidance, and believe it is still valuable for a variety of reasons. The first of these is that it is about the person's ability to carry a load, not whether they can afford the lightest, most expensive gear. While gear might have changed, people really haven't, and the rule goes to ensuring that people don't overload themselves, and can walk the distances required to successfully complete their pilgrimages. The guidance is about the strength of one's body, not the strength of one's wallet.

That said, @davebugg's advice to carry as light a weight as possible is absolutely correct. To go further or faster, carry less. Which does mean that if you do make weight savings by careful gear selection, you should think carefully before adding things back into your packing list just because it can now be fitted into your 10% target.

My own view is that the 10% target is about right for a summer pilgrimage, and you should accept that you will need more if you are walking in autumn, winter or spring.
 

Tachi

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Kumano Kodo Nakahechi (June 2018)
Camino Portugues (May 2019)
Thanks for the replies. The two heaviest items are the pack itself (Osprey Kestrel 48) at 3.59 lbs/1.63kg, and my 55+ degree sleeping bag at 1.7 lbs/.77kg. No time to return or replace so I'm going with them.
I not carrying much more than what I see in lists here other than an extra T-shirt and underwear. (I am going to be a tourist for 20 days before the walk.)

5 days ago as a test, I added my things to the pack, 2L water and snacks, dressed as I would on the Camino, (including poles) and did a short 5 mile/8km walk--flat terrain, but in California noonday sun. I didn't really feel the pack but I expect on a longer walk with grade I would. Still, the replies have assuaged my fears. Thanks all.
20 days is a long time with only a few t-shirts! If you are going back the same way to fly out, consider packing more and asking your last lodging if they can keep some of your things. I was able to leave about half of my stuff in the owner’s closet at my guesthouse before the Kumano Kodo, on the promise that I would stay there again on my way back. (Of course, this is more likely to work at a hostel/guesthouse than at a big hotel...)
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
I have never heard the 10% rule, in my case it would be a bit hard (5.8 kilos?)

I spent 6 months backpacking around Asia with a pack weighing 25+ kilos to my 58. The first month I felt great! I was gaining muscle! My body was adapting! By the 5th month, though, my knees were killing me like I was 50 (I was 23), and I couldn’t even properly enjoy Mt. Huashan (which is beautiful!), so I vowed to give up the heavy packs. This time I’m aiming for 10 kilos.
I wouldn't dismiss achieving a 10% goal too quickly, although it is going to be a bit more difficult if you are lighter because some things don't scale evenly. Look that what some other, lighter, pilgrims can achieve. @C clearly comes to mind as someone who has put a lot of thought into her packing list, and is always willing to help on this matter.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
20 days is a long time with only a few t-shirts!
Many of us walk with the gear we are in and a spare set of base and mid-layer gear, and one set of outer wear (warm fleece and rain gear). We wash clothes daily. Carrying 'a few' of anything is normally not on our agenda.
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Seven Compostelas in Three years and counting......
I take a different view on the 10% 'rule of thumb' or guidance, and believe it is still valuable for a variety of reasons. The first of these is that it is about the person's ability to carry a load, not whether they can afford the lightest, most expensive gear. While gear might have changed, people really haven't, and the rule goes to ensuring that people don't overload themselves, and can walk the distances required to successfully complete their pilgrimages. The guidance is about the strength of one's body, not the strength of one's wallet.

That said, @davebugg's advice to carry as light a weight as possible is absolutely correct. To go further or faster, carry less. Which does mean that if you do make weight savings by careful gear selection, you should think carefully before adding things back into your packing list just because it can now be fitted into your 10% target.

My own view is that the 10% target is about right for a summer pilgrimage, and you should accept that you will need more if you are walking in autumn, winter or spring.
I disagree Doug. People come in different sizes and fitness/health. Sticking to the 10% rule is daft when like me you are tiny and fit - I should 'only' carry 5.4 kg! And it is dangerous if you are a tall/large person who happen to be obese and unfirm/unfit - they think because of this they can carry a lot more. Strength of ones body does not come about by body weight. It is nonsense in my opinion. We should give guidance on carrying as little as possible, regardless of body weight.

Davey
 

Tachi

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Kumano Kodo Nakahechi (June 2018)
Camino Portugues (May 2019)
I wouldn't dismiss achieving a 10% goal too quickly, although it is going to be a bit more difficult if you are lighter because some things don't scale evenly. Look that what some other, lighter, pilgrims can achieve. @C clearly comes to mind as someone who has put a lot of thought into her packing list, and is always willing to help on this matter.
Thanks for the tip! I may look into it more when I’m closer to leaving. As it is I’m still waiting for my trusty bag and walking stick to arrive via post, so all weighing is off until then.

I’m not looking to buy new gear, and I’ll only be on the trail for 6 days, so I won’t be in terrible either way.

Many of us walk with the gear we are in and a spare set of base and mid-layer gear, and one set of outer wear (warm fleece and rain gear). We wash clothes daily. Carrying 'a few' of anything is normally not on our agenda.
For walking, obviously, but he was talking about 20 days of touristing, and in Europe, too. It’s one thing on the trail, but it’s another thing to be That One Tourist who wears the same slightly stained T-shirt to every restaurant and art gallery across Italy. I’m of the opinion that you should always have at least one, probably two, genuinely nice outfits while travelling (not backpack-hiking).
 
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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
I disagree Doug. People come in different sizes and fitness/health. Sticking to the 10% rule is daft when like me you are tiny and fit - I should 'only' carry 5.4 kg! And it is dangerous if you are a tall/large person who happen to be obese and unfirm/unfit - they think because of this they can carry a lot more. Strength of ones body does not come about by body weight. It is nonsense in my opinion. We should give guidance on carrying as little as possible, regardless of body weight.

Davey
@Davey Boyd, I guess that I was not expecting someone who was obese to base their pack weight on their actual weight, rather than a reasonable weight for their height. That would be just plain stupid, and if anyone in that situation thinks that this is what the guidance means, they need to rethink that. I have made this point several times in previous posts over the years, and didn't think that it was a point that needed to be repeated, but clearly it does if you are under the mid-apprehension that the 10% guideline applies to your actual weight if you are overweight or obese. It doesn't make any sense to me that one would think that, but maybe I see things differently to you on this.
 
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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
For walking, obviously, but he was talking about 20 days of touristing, and in Europe, too. It’s one thing on the trail, but it’s another thing to be That One Tourist who wears the same slightly stained T-shirt to every restaurant and art gallery across Italy. I’m of the opinion that you should always have at least one, probably two, genuinely nice outfits while travelling (not backpack-hiking).
And I don't think is is realistic to suggest that the OP would carry that gear while walking the Camino. The last time I was in the situation, I forwarded what I needed for my other travels to Ivar in Santiago.
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Seven Compostelas in Three years and counting......
@Davey Boyd, I guess that I was not expecting someone who was obese to base their pack weight on their actual weight, rather than a reasonable weight for their height. That would be just plain stupid, and if anyone in that situation thinks that this is what the guidance means, they need to rethink that. I have made this point several times in previous posts over the years, and didn't think that it was a point that needed to be repeated, but clearly it does if you are under the mid-apprehension that the 10% guideline applies to your actual weight if you are overweight or obese. It doesn't make any sense to me that one would think that, but maybe I see things differently to you on this.
You can compare it to the Bierely guide. It is only a guide, but over time it becomes more like gospel. 'These are the days distances one should accomplish'. Most of us know it is just a guide and treat it as such, and it is remarked upon frequently here on the forum. The problem in my mind with the 10% guide is that it is frequently touted here on the forum as gospel (even referred to as the 10% rule). If you don't want inexperienced people basing pack weight with their body weight then why recommend the 10% guide. People come in all shapes and sizes, with different levels of fitness. It really is bad advice in my opinion. And to be honest I doubt if it has any basis in truth. If anything it would apply to only a narrow portion of walkers. Just pack as light as you can, and train with that weight so you do not get any uncomfortable surprises whilst on camino.

I beg to differ Doug
Respect
Davey
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
We should give guidance on carrying as little as possible, regardless of body weight.
So that would be the "as-little-as-possible rule" which would be equally daft, wrong and dangerous. I would be forbidden to carry many things that I like to carry, and can do comfortably.

I get annoyed every time I read the advice/rule to "buy shoes 1-2 sizes larger than normal," as if it were that simple. My reaction is similar to yours to the 10% guide. We should both stop rising to the bait.

Coincidentally, 10% of the average healthy weight of most adults would be in the 5-10 kg range. Maybe the advice should be to say "Most people are happy carrying a weight that lies 5 and 10 kg. You need to find a weight that is comfortable. If you are small or weak, carry at the low end. If you are large or strong, you can consider the higher end." But that is not as much fun for those of us who are goal or target oriented and enjoy arithmetic.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
Welcome to the forum where we perseverate about details while waiting for our next camino to start.

If you feel comfortable with your load, then carry it!
Thanks for the first new learning of the day. I am afraid I am guilty of perseverating in respect to peeking in to this forum. It doesn’t weigh too much, though.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
You can compare it to the Bierely guide. It is only a guide, but over time it becomes more like gospel. 'These are the days distances one should accomplish'. Most of us know it is just a guide and treat it as such, and it is remarked upon frequently here on the forum. The problem in my mind with the 10% guide is that it is frequently touted here on the forum as gospel (even referred to as the 10% rule). If you don't want inexperienced people basing pack weight with their body weight then why recommend the 10% guide. People come in all shapes and sizes, with different levels of fitness. It really is bad advice in my opinion. And to be honest I doubt if it has any basis in truth. If anything it would apply to only a narrow portion of walkers. Just pack as light as you can, and train with that weight so you do not get any uncomfortable surprises whilst on camino.
Davey,
I don't think you have given sufficient weight in your analysis to the impact of the many forum members who actively reject the notions that Brierley is some sort of gospel or that the 10% 'rule' is writ large in stone. The fact is that any attempts to tout either of these notions are routinely rejected by a variety of forum members, as we are doing here. I really don't believe your line of reasoning on this is in any way sustainable - it just isn't a fact that this happens without being objected too.

Further, the suggestion that one should pack pack as light as possible is just bad advice. People do need specific and measurable targets. The phase 'as light as possible' doesn't do that at all. You talk about people coming in all shapes and sizes - well that's how nebulous advice like this will be interpreted.

You ask 'If you don't want inexperienced people basing pack weight with their body weight then why recommend the 10% guide. (sic)'. I have always suggested that those that are overweight or obese should not be using their current weight in setting that target, but a realistic 'ideal' walking weight, eg based on the weight they might be if they had a BMI around 25 if they are over that. That together with the notion that individuals might not meet these targets but in trying to achieve them will actively reduce their load seems to me to go a lot further to helping inexperienced pilgrims than offering vague platitudes.
 
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Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
That together with the notion that individuals might not meet these targets but in trying to achieve them will actively reduce their load seems to me to go a lot further to helping inexperienced pilgrims than offering vague platitudes.
I do follow your reasoning @dougfitz and to a certain extent I agree that some more specific and targetted advice might be helpful. My own particular concern is that like many other very simplistic pieces of advice the "10% rule" is subject to so many exceptions and special cases that it lacks credibility and tends to becomes an end in itself rather than a tool for a more pleasant and trouble-free journey. As you point out it is a nonsense to argue that those who are obese can carry a heavier load and that it really should be applied to an "ideal" weight range. The "10% rule" as generally presented also makes no allowance for general fitness and prior training and experience of weight bearing. Ask a serving infantry soldier if 10% of his or her body weight is the maximum practical load for walking perhaps 20km on reasonable ground over six hours and you are likely to get a laugh in reply. I tend to agree with @Davey Boyd that the important question is "do I need this?" and that it should be asked for this particular journey at this particular time. So many factors are involved in that judgment: likely weather, choice of accommodation, availability of resupplies and so on. My fundamental objection to the "10% rule" is that it puts the cart before the horse and favours a overly simplistic numerical formula over personal considered judgments which are necessarily specific to the person, time and place.
 
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BlaBlah

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014
I was happy to find most albergues have wash/dry service, so i was able to walk through in a single set of walking clothes/did not use my spare except for sock change., Thus I could have saved weight. The amazing infrastructure along the camino makes it possible to walk with a minimum of spares/ just your daily outfit + add protection against the environment (sun/rain/sometimes cold nights off-season)
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
My fundamental objection to the "10% rule" is that it puts the cart before the horse and favours a overly simplistic numerical formula over personal considered judgments which are necessarily specific to the person, time and place.
And for the experienced pilgrim who will make well founded judgements, that is fine. But I would not like to see us stop offering good advice to the many based on the exceptions of a few. I cannot see how that would be a good outcome for the forum.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
I tend to agree with @Davey Boyd that the important question is "do I need this?"
One piece of good camino packing advice I read on this forum was to hold each potential item up and ask "When will I use this?" If the answer starts with "when" it goes into the maybe pile. If the answer starts with "if" it goes into the discard pile. Then start reconsidering the things in the maybe pile.
 

walkingstu

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino SJPP to SDC 2007 Frances
Camino Aragon Pau Fr. to Pamplona 2010
Camino Burgos to SDC 2012
Camino Porto to SDC 2015
Camino VDLP Seville to SDC March 2016
The question as to "How much should a pack weigh?" is akin to, "How fast should I walk?" The proper approach is, what is essential? The rule of " Less is more " applies.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Completed March/April (2019) Planning Via De La PLata Sept/Oct (2019)
Hi,
Stop worrying. I just finished the Frances carrying 8.5/9kg and am 65kg myself and 68 years old. I trained for a few months ( 1 or 2 days a week) before going but am not a 'fit young thing'. I completed the walk in 32 days, no blisters and no broken back either! Your pack should be lighter than mine...I waked from early March and was prepared for snow and cold nights! Relax and enjoy your Camino...the fears go once you start....providing you have the right, but not too much, equipment.
 

Thomas1962

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2010: Porto - SdC - Finisterra 2011: E4 on Crete 2012: Le Puy - SJPdP 2013: Camino Madrid -> Del Salvador -> Primitivo 2014: European Peace Walk. 2015: Amsterdam - SdC & Barcelona -Burgos. 2016:Norte & hospitalero
On my first camino I took a terrible backpack which I once bought for complete different reasons, the total weight was 14 kgs. After a while it felt like a lot, and I learned from it.... On my second camino I took about 8 kgs, now I do with 6.5 kgs. So don't worry, you will be fine and give yourself space to learn and improve.

Just also know that in any bigger village or city there is a post office. You can send items home or forward to Santiago. If you 'reserve' €25 for it already it will be just part of your camino. My basic rule for is that if I didn't need an item for the past three days (except 1st aid en rain gear) it is not a necessary item. 😄
And another thing, in any bigger village or city there are also plenty of shops (I especially like the 'chino's'), if you miss something, you can always buy it. Don't be too afraid of having forgotten something.
 

easygoing

Camino Sharon
Camino(s) past & future
I have walked the Camino Francis 7 times, twice in 2017 and 2018. (2019)
Apparently you are unfamiliar with carrying a pack a long distance or you wouldn't need to ask the question. A lighter pack feels better and is easier on your feet. Any weight backpack feels light when you pick it up and walk around the neighborhood.
Try wearing it all day climbing a few hills and if when you take it off you don't feel like you are floating it's not too heavy. There is no magic pack weight number so carry what you need. What you need is something b you learn on the Camino. And you can always send any items you don't use to Ivar and pick it up in Santiago. It is said some people pack their dreams and some pack their fears.
Bottom line is:. Pack weight doesn't matter because you can mail extras home or donate them in the many donation boxes along the way. My daughter got a whole new outfit from a donation box in Granon.
 

hughb

Member
Camino(s) past & future
C del Norte June 2013 plus Finisterre.
Part of Camino del Norte July 2015
Hopefully the Camino Ingles 2016
I arrive in Spain Apr26, visit cities for 20 days, then begin my Camino from Pamploma May 11-12th.
In my daily life, I walk more than average, and my usual cycle rides are 25miles/40km and up. I've been walking longer lengths preparing for this, and researching what to expect. Probably too much research, as the info and discussions are starting to terrify me. Especially talk about pack weight. The general consensus seems to be 10% of body weight. 10% for me is 21lbs/9.5g. (I understand that is relative as to the actual body makeup). That said, the discussion here about cutting weight has me worried. (someone is even down to 4.5 lbs/2kg) My pack without water is 17lbs/7.7kg. I expect it to be closer to 10% when completed. So my question is, are there average fit people walking with 10% weight OR MORE packs?
On my first Camino 10 years ago I happily walked the Camino Norte with a 60 litre pack weighing 12 kg before food and water. Now I walk with a 35 litre pack, that even with winter gear weighs less than 5kg. Guess which I would rather do. Whatever weight your pack is, enjoy your Camino.
 

Peadarmac

Irlandes Pedro
Camino(s) past & future
Astorga-Santiago '11 & '18
St Jean-Belorado '13 & '17
Belorado-Astorga '15
Fisterra-Muxia '11 & '18
I arrive in Spain Apr26, visit cities for 20 days, then begin my Camino from Pamploma May 11-12th.
In my daily life, I walk more than average, and my usual cycle rides are 25miles/40km and up. I've been walking longer lengths preparing for this, and researching what to expect. Probably too much research, as the info and discussions are starting to terrify me. Especially talk about pack weight. The general consensus seems to be 10% of body weight. 10% for me is 21lbs/9.5g. (I understand that is relative as to the actual body makeup). That said, the discussion here about cutting weight has me worried. (someone is even down to 4.5 lbs/2kg) My pack without water is 17lbs/7.7kg. I expect it to be closer to 10% when completed. So my question is, are there average fit people walking with 10% weight OR MORE packs?
Hola Pilgrim, no need to fret about your backpack weight. Anything from 7kg to 11kg will not be a problem. The most important part is that your backpack is fitted correctly and ‘sits’ properly and snug against your back. I return to the Camino in September for the sixth time and in all my previous adventures I made a rough record in my journal of what people were carrying. My rough calculations show that over 80% of Pilgrims I met and who carried their rucksack for Caminos of greater than 300kms actually averaged rucksacks around 11.5kgs in weight. It’s not a scientific study but I’m confident it’s fairly accurate.
Hope this eases any concerns you might have.
Buen Camino 😀
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
I was happy to find most albergues have wash/dry service, so i was able to walk through in a single set of walking clothes/did not use my spare except for sock change., Thus I could have saved weight. The amazing infrastructure along the camino makes it possible to walk with a minimum of spares/ just your daily outfit + add protection against the environment (sun/rain/sometimes cold nights off-season)
Just out of curiosity, what did you wear while you were washing? If you had a separate set of "albergue clothes", when did those get washed?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Nord
I arrive in Spain Apr26, visit cities for 20 days, then begin my Camino from Pamploma May 11-12th.
In my daily life, I walk more than average, and my usual cycle rides are 25miles/40km and up. I've been walking longer lengths preparing for this, and researching what to expect. Probably too much research, as the info and discussions are starting to terrify me. Especially talk about pack weight. The general consensus seems to be 10% of body weight. 10% for me is 21lbs/9.5g. (I understand that is relative as to the actual body makeup). That said, the discussion here about cutting weight has me worried. (someone is even down to 4.5 lbs/2kg) My pack without water is 17lbs/7.7kg. I expect it to be closer to 10% when completed. So my question is, are there average fit people walking with 10% weight OR MORE packs?
See
I went through this same thing. My pack is about 9.5 kgs all up. Its not the lightest but i know its ok for me. Can always get rid of stuff if i have to.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
I arrive in Spain Apr26, visit cities for 20 days, then begin my Camino from Pamploma May 11-12th.
In my daily life, I walk more than average, and my usual cycle rides are 25miles/40km and up. I've been walking longer lengths preparing for this, and researching what to expect. Probably too much research, as the info and discussions are starting to terrify me. Especially talk about pack weight. The general consensus seems to be 10% of body weight. 10% for me is 21lbs/9.5g. (I understand that is relative as to the actual body makeup). That said, the discussion here about cutting weight has me worried. (someone is even down to 4.5 lbs/2kg) My pack without water is 17lbs/7.7kg. I expect it to be closer to 10% when completed. So my question is, are there average fit people walking with 10% weight OR MORE packs?
Don't worry. It sounds okay. If you do worry then go out and test your pack and it's weight during your hikes so you can get used to it - or adjust it. A place to save weight is water. There is plenty of water on the Camino Francés and you won't ned to carry a lot. Another place is food. The Camino is a running buffet. Weigh your stuff and discard what you dont really need. And once started you will soon discover that on the Camino you need very little and and a lot less than you think. Buen Camino!
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Just out of curiosity, what did you wear while you were washing? If you had a separate set of "albergue clothes", when did those get washed?
Walking on Shikoku last year I met a number of Japanese pilgrims walking wearing the traditional white pilgrim costume and carrying little more than their staff, hat and a small shoulder bag containing the items such as incense and a prayer book needed for temple rituals. No spare clothes. They were staying in traditional Japanese minshuku and ryokans where on arrival they would bathe and change into the yukata always provided for guests for the rest of their stay. Meanwhile their clothes would be washed and dried and returned to them ready for wear the next morning.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Walking on Shikoku last year I met a number of Japanese pilgrims walking wearing the traditional white pilgrim costume and carrying little more than their staff, hat and a small shoulder bag containing the items such as incense and a prayer book needed for temple rituals. No spare clothes. They were staying in traditional Japanese minshuku and ryokans where on arrival they would bathe and change into the yukata always provided for guests for the rest of their stay. Meanwhile their clothes would be washed and dried and returned to them ready for wear the next morning.
That would be a great experience. Unfortunately, while I am certainly not knocking the hospitality of the Camino, some of which has been exceptional, I don't think we can count on similar levels of support for our washing and wearing needs.
 
Camino(s) past & future
May and October 2015
(2015 October)
June 2018 Portuguese
Just weighted my pack before setting out tomorrow. 7.6 kgs, a little more than 10% of my body weight. Add to that my shoes and clothes. I don't care much. It will be fine.

OTOH, one could shave legs/arms/head to cut weight, as well as saw off half of the toothbrush, etc. More tips wanted. :cool::D

This is overkill, though...

ThiView attachment 55773
This photo, in the attachment, is my very favorite. Can't really comment on this thread properly as I sent my pack with jacotrans, or correos, every day. Have a nylon bag, which I use here at home, to carry water, hanky, maybe a sandwich...
 
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Stephen S

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona to Burgos - April 2018
Burgos to Santiago - March/April 2019
I arrive in Spain Apr26, visit cities for 20 days, then begin my Camino from Pamploma May 11-12th.
In my daily life, I walk more than average, and my usual cycle rides are 25miles/40km and up. I've been walking longer lengths preparing for this, and researching what to expect. Probably too much research, as the info and discussions are starting to terrify me. Especially talk about pack weight. The general consensus seems to be 10% of body weight. 10% for me is 21lbs/9.5g. (I understand that is relative as to the actual body makeup). That said, the discussion here about cutting weight has me worried. (someone is even down to 4.5 lbs/2kg) My pack without water is 17lbs/7.7kg. I expect it to be closer to 10% when completed. So my question is, are there average fit people walking with 10% weight OR MORE packs?
 

Stephen S

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona to Burgos - April 2018
Burgos to Santiago - March/April 2019
I just got home from walking to Santiago from Burgos this year. When I started I was carrying about 10 kgs including water. By the time I reached Sahagun I knew I was carrying too much. The good news is that I lightened my pack by 2.5 kgs and posted the excess contents to Santiago where the post office will hold it for 20 days. It cost me 22 euros and made the rest of the walk far more enjoyable. I'm 64 and consider myself fit for my age. Remember, on the Camino, minimalism is best.
 

Deputy Dan

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Logrono to Burgos in week of October (2017); Camino Frances in 2019 or 2020
Whatever weight you think best, get used to it before your Camino by taking a similarly (or more!) weighted pack on your training walks. I did that, and but since my training walks were only one day a week I was STILL unprepared for the wear and tear of a too-heavy load on my body on a multi-day hike. Add in a few blisters (that also never manifested themselves in training!) and I've now cut the weight of my next-Camino gear in half!
 

Antonius Vaessen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte (to Sobrado)
2019 Norte again
I think the importance of weight is much overrated in many posts. Of course it is a good idea to lighten your burden as much as possible and the idea that walking a camino (or other trek)lets you discover how you really need only a few things is very valid. Reading many posts you get the impression that it is impossible to walk a camino with more than let's say 7 kilos on your back. That is really nonsense. Most fit people would probably be able to carry up to 20 percent of their bodyweight if needed and still find pleasure in walking
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
I think that there are two different issues being commented upon in this thread.

The first issue is about the actual weight of the load carried. Which brings up the question: Why spend time looking at the weight going into a backpack?

Let me start by stating that it is pointless to argue that people CANNOT carry a lot of weight. The fact is, folks in generally good health can carry fairly heavy loads if they choose to do so.

It is equally pointless to argue against the fact that it is far more enjoyable to carry less weight, than it is to carry more. Aside from the aspects of enjoyment, there are some great reasons why one should carry the lightest backpack load available to themselves.

1. There are correlations seen regarding the frequency of specific types of injuries and strains, including blisters, tendonitis, shin splints, ankle injuries, etc, as weight loads increase. That does NOT mean that everyone who carries a heavy backpack will suffer such occurrences; only that the chances of such things happening go up.

2. The reason Ray Jardin and other backpackers evolved the world of backpacking into the direction of the lightweight and ultra-lightweight backpacking movements PRIOR to the existence of today's high tech gear and clothing, is precisely because of the fact that it is far more enjoyable to carry less rather than more.

The lighter the weight carried, the less energy it takes to reach one's destination for the day. Aches and pains are lessened. At the end of the day, the amount of time it takes to recuperate and then go out to enjoy the surroundings is shorter.

How much weight is carried in a backpack does matter. I very much disagree with a notion which implies that carrying of 20 or 25 pounds uphill and downhill is not more noticeable than is carrying 11 or 15 pounds. . . . that the 11 or 15 pounds is not far easier and more pleasant to carry.

The second issue in this thread: Focusing on backpack weight to such an extent that it causes anxiety and worry. Yikes!!!

While the amount of weight does matter, obsessing over weight for a Camino, as opposed to simply being discerning about choices, is silly and pointless.

On Camino, if someone becomes tired and frustrated with hauling too much weight, and s/he finally figures out they don't need a 5 pound sleeping bag in July, stuff can always be mailed home or ahead. Unlike being in the middle of a wilderness backpacking trip, you are not stuck with having no other recourse but to live with the decisions made while still at home.

So do not develop ulcers and worry lines over your backpack's weight.

A sort of connected issue is about the role of the experienced members of the Forum in relating information to the inexperienced about such things as equipment choices. There are a lot of wonderful and experienced members who can offer excellent advice. Threads, like this one here, are thick with viewpoints and practical information. Sometimes, but with exceedingly less frequency than I would have imagined, those viewpoints and tips might seem to conflict. But is that something to be concerned about, as I've heard made mention?

I would be disappointed if there was a singular, homogenized viewpoint. The level of experience and knowledge on this Forum is fathoms deep, and it comes from proven and practical implementation and use. If I post something like an equipment list, I do it as an example of a possible choice; sometimes I have related the 'why' of those choices. I do so with a viewpoint of a long-distance backpacker.

Someone else might offer similar advice, but with different practical choices. Such a viewpoint may come from experiencing the practical logistics available while walking on Camino; logistics which are very different from wilderness backpacking.

These different viewpoints are oftentimes complimentary. If viewpoints seem in conflict, like choosing heavier boots as footwear as opposed to trail runners, it is often based on personal bias, comfort, and preference . . . and this includes the fact that changing a method, or a piece of gear or clothing, can be 'mentally' uncomfortable. Not liking change can be a very valid reason for making a choice.

Geez, that was long-winded. For those that read this entire post, you have great tenacity :)
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
KAISO....WAIT!!!! Oops, you left yesterday. I hope everyone here convinced and helped you reduce your pack weight. Honestly, the 10% rule is false. I cannot tell you it is an old wives tale because I know of no old wife that would tell anyone this.

However, if the pre trip training included carrying the 17 to 20 lb pack and all went well, hey, it may work. From several years of observation and a couple of personal Camino attempts, too much weight will be the source of decisions, needing to quit before getting to where you wanted to go, and injury. So weight is very important.

Maybe 4.5 lb is not achievable but that is ok. It is the weight on your back that will force truth upon you. Be very vigilant of the details that, "Weight," is trying to tell you. Let's face it, that weight will literally be sitting on both of your shoulders and tell you what needs to be done, and when. Heed its wisdom. Send stuff home or give it away. Your body will respond and thank you for the reduction.

Hoping you get to where you want to go.
 

Jiff

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2019)
When I first thought of doing the Caminó over Christmas I weighed 75kg. My pack weighed 7.3kg. Now I'm about to start the walk on Tuesday I weigh 69kg the pack still weighs 7.3kg. It still feels OK, though I think I could & probably will reduce the weight once I start walking, I've never done a long multi day walk before so some items are my comfort blanket.

I take comfort from the fact that even carrying the pack, I still weigh less with it than I did 6 years ago when I retired 😉

The 10% "rule" I'd say is just a guesstimate for a starting point.
 

Evvie

Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2019
Welcome Kaiso, don't worry about the 10% rule or any other rule for equipment, carry what YOU are comfortable with. I like to cover all eventualities but that is just me, hope for the best prepare for the worst and my pack came in at 10 kilos.
I'm also an "all eventualities" person. I'm going in Sept/Oct so I think I'll need both warm and cool weather clothing (throw in a jacket, poncho, gloves, warm hat, and a long sleeve shirt) as well as a sleeping bag. Am I right? If I take a jacket, what is recommended?
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
I'm also an "all eventualities" person. I'm going in Sept/Oct so I think I'll need both warm and cool weather clothing (throw in a jacket, poncho, gloves, warm hat, and a long sleeve shirt) as well as a sleeping bag. Am I right? If I take a jacket, what is recommended?
I carry stuff that will get me through any weather I might expect, even in a bad year, any time of the year. I would make only slight adjustments for July-August as different from December-January. For October, I'd recommend light gloves and hat. Any time of year, I carry a couple of long-sleeve layers, in addition to a rain layer. I prefer a light weight rain jacket to a poncho since it is more versatile as a wind-breaker and insulation in chilly weather. Don't take a "heavier" jacket for October - just plan to put a light layer or two underneath. You won't need much layering during the day for walking, but the evenings can be chilly.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
I'm also an "all eventualities" person. I'm going in Sept/Oct so I think I'll need both warm and cool weather clothing (throw in a jacket, poncho, gloves, warm hat, and a long sleeve shirt) as well as a sleeping bag. Am I right? If I take a jacket, what is recommended?
Hi, Evvie. Generally, that time of year is warm during the day (can get near hot sometimes) to cooler mornings as October progresses.

Maybe this will give you an idea of what will work during your time on Camino. Below is a list of my "closet" that I carry in my pack. Besides it being used during the Fall on the Camino last year, it is about the same as what I used to thru hike the Pacific Crest Trail and the Colorado Trail (most of which sits above 9,000 feet / 2743 meters in elevation. And for the thousands of other backpacking miles I have done.
  1. Pants -- REI, Classic Sahara Convertible, Zip-Off Legs
  2. Base-layer Top -- Smartwool, Lightweight, Long-Sleeve x 1
  3. Base-layer Bottom - Smartwool, Lightweight
  4. Hat - wool beanie
  5. Windshell Jacket - MyTrailsCo
  6. Insulating Layer -- Hydrophobic down Vest
  7. Socks -- Smartwool PhD, Crew, Light Padding x 2
  8. Extra insoles x 1
  9. Poncho --- Frogg Toggs Ultralite
  10. Gloves -- North Face, polartec
The total weight is around 3.4 pounds.

The clothing that I wear usually consists of running shorts and a long sleeved synthetic and lightweight shirt. All of the clothing can be used in various layering configurations to provide a comfort range from 25F/-4 c to very hot. This is just an example of how a layering system can be flexible and cover a wide temperature range which is more than sufficient for the time of year you are going over the Pyrenees and Galicia.

You mention a jacket. In considering my clothes, for an insulating layer at that time of year, I prefer a vest rather than a jacket. It saves weight, effectively insulates your core, and is an ideal when used with the long sleeve shirts already part of the closet.

You generally won't need a sleeping bag that is designed for cold weather. Something rated above 40F/4.5c will be plenty warm. For my choice, it will be a down sleeping quilt rated at around 45 to 50 F /7.2 to 10 c. Keep in mind that if you do get a bit cold, you can add your vest.
 

Evvie

Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2019
Hi, Evvie. Generally, that time of year is warm during the day (can get near hot sometimes) to cooler mornings as October progresses.

Maybe this will give you an idea of what will work during your time on Camino. Below is a list of my "closet" that I carry in my pack. Besides it being used during the Fall on the Camino last year, it is about the same as what I used to thru hike the Pacific Crest Trail and the Colorado Trail (most of which sits above 9,000 feet / 2743 meters in elevation. And for the thousands of other backpacking miles I have done.
  1. Pants -- REI, Classic Sahara Convertible, Zip-Off Legs
  2. Base-layer Top -- Smartwool, Lightweight, Long-Sleeve x 1
  3. Base-layer Bottom - Smartwool, Lightweight
  4. Hat - wool beanie
  5. Windshell Jacket - MyTrailsCo
  6. Insulating Layer -- Hydrophobic down Vest
  7. Socks -- Smartwool PhD, Crew, Light Padding x 2
  8. Extra insoles x 1
  9. Poncho --- Frogg Toggs Ultralite
  10. Gloves -- North Face, polartec
The total weight is around 3.4 pounds.

The clothing that I wear usually consists of running shorts and a long sleeved synthetic and lightweight shirt. All of the clothing can be used in various layering configurations to provide a comfort range from 25F/-4 c to very hot. This is just an example of how a layering system can be flexible and cover a wide temperature range which is more than sufficient for the time of year you are going over the Pyrenees and Galicia.

You mention a jacket. In considering my clothes, for an insulating layer at that time of year, I prefer a vest rather than a jacket. It saves weight, effectively insulates your core, and is an ideal when used with the long sleeve shirts already part of the closet.

You generally won't need a sleeping bag that is designed for cold weather. Something rated above 40F/4.5c will be plenty warm. For my choice, it will be a down sleeping quilt rated at around 45 to 50 F /7.2 to 10 c. Keep in mind that if you do get a bit cold, you can add your vest.
Thanks, that really helps!
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
Always an interesting debate :)

In my view the 10% rule is not a bad 'yard stick' for new Pilgrims to aim for.
It's useful to have a specific number.

Some Pilgrims are capable of carrying more, some less.
And we are all different sizes and have different needs. (Yes even a Rice Cooker)
It's only through experience and training walks that we get to figure this out.

For me at 95kg body weight, 10% is too heavy. For me at least.

I now take another approach.

I know that my body, joints and tendons, will now struggle if my 'all up weight' is above 95kg.
All up weight is me, what I'm wearing and my pack!

So I'm now focused for #4 Camino on achieving that.
The pack is almost the easy bit. I have that down to 7.5 Kg (16.5 lbs) including food and water.
So that leaves 87.5 kg to go.
My boots, clothing, poles etc weigh 2.15 kgs. (4.75 lbs)
That leaves 85.35 KG as my target body weight.

If I can lose 10 kgs in 9 months I'm good to go ;)

Note. my 95 kg upper limit is determined due to pre existing injuiries.
Achilles Tendonitis, and the latest Camino 'damage' a torn miniscus in my knee.
All caused by too much 'total weight'.
Under 95 kgs I have a chance of making it...............
 

Terri B

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
1998 St Cuthberts Way, 1999 West Highland Way
2016 & 2019 Camino Frances SJPDP to Santiago
I carried 14kg, well above 10% of my body weight. I trained with this weight and had no issues. When I go again this year there are a few things I will not be taking so anticipate it will be less than 14kg. But again I will be training with this weight.
 

Tucan_learn_english

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked the full camino in 2002. Planning to do it again next year
I arrive in Spain Apr26, visit cities for 20 days, then begin my Camino from Pamploma May 11-12th.
In my daily life, I walk more than average, and my usual cycle rides are 25miles/40km and up. I've been walking longer lengths preparing for this, and researching what to expect. Probably too much research, as the info and discussions are starting to terrify me. Especially talk about pack weight. The general consensus seems to be 10% of body weight. 10% for me is 21lbs/9.5g. (I understand that is relative as to the actual body makeup). That said, the discussion here about cutting weight has me worried. (someone is even down to 4.5 lbs/2kg) My pack without water is 17lbs/7.7kg. I expect it to be closer to 10% when completed. So my question is, are there average fit people walking with 10% weight OR MORE packs?
Hi there, I just came back from a week on the Camino. I'm 76 kgs and my back was 6.8kgs without water. I did some walking before I went but not with the full weight so probably not as fit as you. I found this to be a perfectly comfortable weight. The important thing is that everything you take should be useful and try not to go over the top with clothes, they can be washed. Also keep toiletries to a minimum. The first time I did it in 2003 I had around 10kgs and it was too much, I sent things home.
 

kelleymac

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017, April 2019.
Make sure your pack is adjusted properly. I just got back from Santiago-- and for the first three days on this Camino, the right side of my back was cramping up every afternoon. It made the last few miles hellish. This had not happened at all with this pack on previous camino. -- I wondered if my pack were too heavy, or if I'd just gotten old, or if I just hadn't been mucking out stalls regularly enough (we have horses at home). Finally, at one rest stop, I was lying on the ground trying to relax my back, and I looked over at my pack and noticed the waist belt was not cinched as tightly as before on the right side. ah ha! As soon as I fixed that, the weight in the pack fell more straight onto my hips. And voila!-- No more back pain. (Thank goodness!)

Another thought-- mentioned somewhere above. The 10% guideline is also used in boy scouts (I'm a scoutmaster). It's a guideline that works when people are not overweight. If a person is overweight, they are already hauling extra weight-- I met a woman in Orrison once, who was having her pack transferred-- and I had no qualms with that, for although she was otherwise healthy, she was carrying at least 60 pounds extra. I arrived in Roncevalles about 1pm-- I watched for her throughout the day. Finally she arrived at about 9pm, exhausted and in tears. I was impressed that she had made it, that was a hard climb for her.-- I don't know if she continued walking. But she remained in my prayers for the rest of my camino.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
Another thought-- mentioned somewhere above. The 10% guideline is also used in boy scouts (I'm a scoutmaster). It's a guideline that works when people are not overweight. If a person is overweight, they are already hauling extra weight--
Likewise, if a person is very thin - under normal weight for their height, they can often easily carry more than 10% of their body weight. I don't fit into the very thin category, but I easily carry about 11% of my body weight.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
Don’t worry about the weight. There are lots of garbage cans along the way when you find you are not using something!
I’ve thrown out about a dozen items and only had to repurchase one. You can always ship stuff to Ivar if you think it’s valuable.
Please, don't throw things away! Most albergues have a donativo table where you can leave items that you noonger need, but that another pilgrim can use.
 

Dandabika

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Completed GR65 (2016)
I arrive in Spain Apr26, visit cities for 20 days, then begin my Camino from Pamploma May 11-12th.
In my daily life, I walk more than average, and my usual cycle rides are 25miles/40km and up. I've been walking longer lengths preparing for this, and researching what to expect. Probably too much research, as the info and discussions are starting to terrify me. Especially talk about pack weight. The general consensus seems to be 10% of body weight. 10% for me is 21lbs/9.5g. (I understand that is relative as to the actual body makeup). That said, the discussion here about cutting weight has me worried. (someone is even down to 4.5 lbs/2kg) My pack without water is 17lbs/7.7kg. I expect it to be closer to 10% when completed. So my question is, are there average fit people walking with 10% weight OR MORE packs?
Wow, 17 lbs is exceptionally light. You'll be just fine. You don't need to carry more than one and a half litre of water because there is water available along the way. My rule of thumb was to refill my water jug whenever I saw the opportunity.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France's (2016) Portuguese 2017
Yes. Don't panic. The 10% is a guide and not a rule. Your pack is fine. I'm 75kg. My pack with food and water is 10kg. Obviously the lighter the better but after a few days your pack is just another part of you and you will feel weird without it. Later this year I'm doing a thru hike (with tent stove 2 weeks of food) and my pack will be about 16kg. Yeah it feels heavy now but I know with practice and mileage even that will feel normal. Don't stress over this. It's not an issue. Buen camino.
No worries. If the worse happens get you pack moved on.
 

taigirl

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2019
@Kaiso -

There are many people with more expertise likely to chime in.

My first point is to dump the "10% of body weight" rule. Try "FSO or From Skin Out".

I tend to walk in the cooler months (Oct-Nov, Feb-Mar, Mar-Apr) so have heavier jacket, rain gear, and a sleeping bag in the pack. My FSO after adding Food (a little) and Water (1.5 L) is between 16-17%. Not very athletic, could get lighter but don't want to spend money on new gear and no problem through several Caminos during my late 50's through early 60's.

Your personal weight and numbers seem pretty much spot on with mine though you will be walking in a warmer/drier time. Perhaps evaluate if you really need protection from "the cold" in your pack if it is there. (Hint: You don't.)

No need to stress...and you can always post your pack list to have experts dissect it.

B
No worries. If the worse happens get you pack moved on.
 

taigirl

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2019
I am 155cm tall and weigh 54kg. So 10% weight doesn't give me much lee way. Also having a lot of trouble finding a backpack to fit my narrow shoulders and short frame. Might just carry a plastic bag!!!
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
I am 155cm tall and weigh 54kg. So 10% weight doesn't give me much lee way. Also having a lot of trouble finding a backpack to fit my narrow shoulders and short frame. Might just carry a plastic bag!!!
My wife Pat is your size.
She carries a 24L Osprey that is very comfortable.......
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. Next: Gd St Bernard to Rome
I am 155cm tall and weigh 54kg. So 10% weight doesn't give me much lee way. Also having a lot of trouble finding a backpack to fit my narrow shoulders and short frame. Might just carry a plastic bag!!!
I weighed 55 kg on my first camino and my pack weighed under 5 kgs. It can be done, without any expensive gear either as I had none then.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
Last edited:

taigirl

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2019

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