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What did you bring on the Camino that you wound up not using?


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Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#2
Not Used?

A couple of meds that my doctor suggested taking along for 'emergencies'. I could have bought them locally. Though I might take a couple of tabs of each. Imodium for example (used to stop diarrhea) . I needed it once in the middle of nowhere!

And before the amateur medics weigh in ...............;);)

No I would not normally use them either as it is better to let the bad stuff flow! :eek:

But if you are still a 10 km walk from a bathroom............... :p:p

Headlight? I only used that a couple of times on roads before dawn as a safety measure. I wore one facing forwarss and Pat one facing backwards. I would still take one though.

This year we have added reflective patches on our packs and poles.


Wish I had Taken?

A trekking umbrella or Shemagh. To keep the sun off.

I walk late April through May to early June)
Sun burn was always a risk. Even though I wear long pants, long sleeves, wide brimmed hat with neck flap!
The side of my face and my hands got a bit burned. (Hands were exposed as I use poles all the way)
I now wear light weight gloves........

Other than that? I think obsessing over packing lists and trying out gear avoided any big issues.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-SdC (2017)
SdC-Muxia-Fisterra-SdC (2017)
Lisboa-SdC (2018)
Ferrol-SdC (2018)
#4
I never needed my emergency bivi bag.

[Edit:]

Upon reflection, I should have added the word “Luckily” in front of my comment.

The high alpine route from SJPdP to Roncesvalles is an area where IMO it would be prudent to take at least a lightweight emergency bivi bag.

I walked it a few days after it opened for the 2017 season. The weather was cold and damp, most of the route was fog-bound, and there was ground snow in the higher altitudes. Had it snowed, it might have been easy to stray off of the route. Presumably it can be windy, though not when I was there. Had I or someone else become injured/immobile, a bivi bag would have been of great use to preserve body heat.

The cold rainy heights in Galicia (e.g. the high alpine route from Villafranca del Bierzo westwards to Pradela, and the high areas around O Cebreiro & Padornelo, etc.) are other legs where a bivi bag might suddenly be needed should an injury occur.

If and when I do it again I will definitely take my lightweight emergency bivi bag for those legs of the pilgrimage, and then probably mail it ahead once I am out of the alpine areas.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#5
I never needed my emergency bivi bag.
I bought one in the early stages of planning, but never took it, after reading advice here ;);)
Same reason I did not take sleeping mats, space blanket, stove (brew kit), rice cooker.............etc etc
 
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Jodean

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
22 Sept. to 21 Oct. 2015, Pamplona to Santiago
6-23.04 Porto to Santiago (2018)
17.09-31.10 CF (2018
#6
Never used my Swiss Army knife, bathing suit, or extra plastic bag to be used for transporting my pack on the plane.
Wished for a fitted sheet for the beds so I could unzip my sleeping bag and use it as a blanket.
 

Rick M

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
April ('16,'18)
#7
Never used (and am not taking next time)

#1 Headlamp- Who walks in the dark anyway? My phone is fine for finding the facilities at night
#2 Emergency kit- Next time its tape, two bandaids, and ibuprofen
#3 Clothseline- Just drape the four wet things over a rail or chair where there isn't a line available
#4 Inflatable pillow- Jacket way more comfy

#5, 6, and 7 A couple other things- Things I don't even want to admit to!
 
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RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times, but soon again I hope....
#8
The last time I walked it, it was very warm weather and never rained once in 35 days. I had a poncho I never used. About day 25 I left it an albergue along with the cheap fleece pullover I brought and a small flashlight I had. I wish I hadn't brought any of them. Would have left my long hiking pants too, but I did need them for the flight home.
I wish I had brought a smaller backpack because by the time I got rid of items it had a lot of excess room in it. Got even emptier just before I flew home as I threw out the rubber flip flop sandals, remaining toiletries and even socks and underwear. Even left my trekking poles behind.
 

Anamiri

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
#9
Glad I took a bigger towel the second time around, the first time I took one of those crazy little microfibre things not much bigger than a facecloth. And then could hardly get my clothes on as I was still so damp and they stuck to me. Bigger towel was worth it.
Had to buy a cheap knife for cutting bread cheese melon etc. Then we could have little picnic stops occasionally, or if the albergue had nothing we could still slice stuff. It was a bit cheap and nasty, should have taken one.
 

fb1

faisalb.com/camino
Camino(s) past & future
frances 2017
portugues 2017
shikoku henro 2018
#12
i posted a summary of my gear and what i would do differently here, but main points below:

the items i would likely not bring again are mainly electronics:
  • kindle - usually too tired to read, and kindle app on phone is sufficient
  • usb battery pack - outlets were plentiful
  • fancy camera - camera on newer phones is great
  • bluetooth keyboard - thought i would be blogging from trail but didn't
  • headlamp - phone light was sufficient in albergues, and i never walked before sunrise
next time, i will considering bringing:
  • swiss army knife for cutting cheese, salami, etc - ended up buying a cheap kitchen knife
  • guidebook or maps - considering taking paper version instead of constantly checking phone
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (Spring '17)
Primitivo (Spring '18)
Portugués / Mozárabe (2019)
#15
Cool thread! I brought a solar USB charger which I didn't need and bought a rain cover for my backpack which was unnecessary because we also brought ponchos that go over the pack. Otherwise I was pretty happy with the way I packed.

A Swiss army knife (mentioned by a couple of posters) was a must for us, as we had picnic lunches a lot. We had to buy one in SJPdP because we couldn't bring ours on the plane, but we can bring one with us for the Primitivo this year because we're arriving in Oviedo by train.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2017); Finisterre (2018)
#17
Sent my solar charger home. Used my iPhone flashlight for the one time we were in the dark. I wore a neck pack with phone pocket and the light was perfect. Brought camping wine glasses and used them every day - good for brushing teeth and a road side nip along the way. Who’d have thought they would be important!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago to Finisterre to Muxia 2013
Camino Frances May 2015
Camino Frances July 2017
#18
A camino guide book. You don't need it and it's heavy. I eventually took a picture of every page I thought might be useful and left it in an albergue for someone else to drag across Spain.

Wish I'd brought more shoelaces. Don't know what it is but I'm a shoelace killer and having to cobble something together when you snap one is a pain. And they weigh next to nothing and can be used for other things so no problem there.

Totally agree with those saying pen knife, got myself a very handylight Opinel. Just make sure you don't fall foul of any airline blade length rules.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#19
Two questions:

1. What did you bring on the Camino that you wound up not using?

2. What did you wish you had taken with you?
hmmmm ...

1) Let's see ... 1993, nothing ; 1994, nothing ; 2000 (Rome), nothing ; 2005, nothing ; 2014, one of my three blocks of savon de Marseilles that I ended up giving to a hospitalera sill wrapped in plastic (I only needed 2), and some (certainly NOT all) of my painkillers that were thrown away after several weeks -- so basically just some safety net extras to the basics that I certainly did need

2) I only wish I'd started using my big black woollen heavy pilgrim cape several years before I actually did
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#21
A camino guide book. You don't need it and it's heavy.
Only ever took one in 1993, was helpful in respects at the start, though "useful" ? hmmmmm ... LOL ; anyway, someone else ended up carrying it instead, so all good.

If I can add a third question ?

3. What's the craziest thing you both carried and used and would recommend to others NOT to take ?

3) For me, it's hands down my multi-volume edition of Prousts's A la recherche du temps perdu that I lugged about with me through France and Spain in '94. (well except for volume 1 that I'd already finished before starting) Extremely happy to have had it, especially in those long & solitary days in France ; was personally very useful indeed ; but heck NO WAY would I recommend to ANYONE ELSE to carry such a thing on the Camino !!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago to Finisterre to Muxia 2013
Camino Frances May 2015
Camino Frances July 2017
#22
3. What's the craziest thing you both carried and used and would recommend to others NOT to take ?
Last year I took over 120 pairs of ear plugs to give away and try to make up for my occasinally terrible snoring. That was perhaps overkill, I was giving them away to albergue owners by the end. At least they were light, but pretty bulky.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones 2016
Frances 2016
Fisstere and Muxia 2016
#23
I would leave out the clothesline. I walked in October and would bring a 2nd long sleeve Tshirt instead of a 3rd short sleeve. Bought a pocket knife in France and used it quite often. Just remember you can always buy anything you forgot but really need.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2015 Vol Pilgrim office
'16 Spt-Oct SJpP-Muxia
'17 Pamplona-Finisterra
'18 Vol Pilgrim House
#24
In July 2015 I was a volunteer at the Pilgrim Office in Santiago. Since my writing is not something you would want on your Compostela I was outside directing peregrinos into the office when there was an available clerk. I asked those same two questions in order to collect information for my first Camino in 2016. I learned a lot that was very helpful. The best answer to the question: what did you bring that you wish you had not brought along? was "Kidney stones." Seems the pilgrim spent a painful week in hospital in the middle of his Camino.
In 2017 I took a lightweight sleeping bag/blanket and a rain top that I never used. I used the Swiss Army knife everyday for cheese and sausage. I didn't mind the weight of the Camino guide books, Frances and Finisterre, as there was so much useful information and interesting history. I made lots of notes in the books too.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Primitivo September 2017
#25
Two questions:

1. What did you bring on the Camino that you wound up not using?

2. What did you wish you had taken with you?
1.Walking poles not used. Also didn't use clothesline. And sleeping bag wasn't used as i decided to stay in pensiones half way through.
2. I did wish I had brought vaseline for my feet. Decided while packing not to take it--bad decision. Wish I had downloaded the "Buen Camino" app on my phone earlier. Great for distances and lodging.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014) Via de la Plata (2018)
#26
In July 2015 I was a volunteer at the Pilgrim Office in Santiago. Since my writing is not something you would want on your Compostela I was outside directing peregrinos into the office when there was an available clerk. I asked those same two questions in order to collect information for my first Camino in 2016. I learned a lot that was very helpful. The best answer to the question: what did you bring that you wish you had not brought along? was "Kidney stones." Seems the pilgrim spent a painful week in hospital in the middle of his Camino.
In 2017 I took a lightweight sleeping bag/blanket and a rain top that I never used. I used the Swiss Army knife everyday for cheese and sausage. I didn't mind the weight of the Camino guide books, Frances and Finisterre, as there was so much useful information and interesting history. I made lots of notes in the books too.
I agree, :) although "Kidney Stones" are small and very light, thet are best left at home!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#27
Never used my Swiss Army knife, bathing suit, or extra plastic bag to be used for transporting my pack on the plane.
Wished for a fitted sheet for the beds so I could unzip my sleeping bag and use it as a blanket.
I love my fitted sheet from the Dollar store and it weighs almost nothing. I take the pillowcase, too.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-SdC (2017)
SdC-Muxia-Fisterra-SdC (2017)
Lisboa-SdC (2018)
Ferrol-SdC (2018)
#30
I also, after the first few days, never used my costly, heavy Camino Frances (CF) guidebook, and soon mailed it home. The almost-ubiquitous wayside yellow arrows together with an electronic map (I used the Android version of OsmAnd+ with downloaded maps and with hiking trails enabled), in combination with Google Maps, and various on-line services for reserving lodgings, finding the essential laundromats, & etc., were sufficient for my needs.

Bear in mind that the CF is very very well-marked and well-serviced. A guidebook might be worthwhile for lesser-travelled pilgrimage routes.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-SdC (2017)
SdC-Muxia-Fisterra-SdC (2017)
Lisboa-SdC (2018)
Ferrol-SdC (2018)
#32
I should have taken a stiff brush to clean my unsightly dust-covered leather hiking boots and black pant-legs just before entering town.

I did buy a brush and some boot polish after a week or so. I kept the brush tied to the outside bottom of my pack. Used brush and boot polish everyday afterwards.

Dust-coloured pants might be an idea for next time.
 
Camino(s) past & future
First one begins August 13 2017!
#33
Two questions:

1. What did you bring on the Camino that you wound up not using?

2. What did you wish you had taken with you?
I would not bring my kobo reader...I didn't read anything.
I also wouldn't bring any meds except polysporin (Canada). You can buy everything there.
I also wouldn't bring any feminine incontinence pads. Again they are available there.
Next time I will buy in SJPP a long poncho raincoat and gaiters.
Plus I will bring a real towel but hand towel size instead of ineffective paper thin quick dry towel that left me still wet.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 13
VdlP 14
LePuy 15
Invierno DosFaros CP 16
The 88, Japan 17
Sicily. Arles-Santiago Fall 18
#34
2. I did wish I had brought vaseline for my feet. Decided while packing not to take it--bad decision.
Perhaps you discovered that you can get vaseline in the farmacias? I had fun figuring out how to find it on my first camino until I learned that it's pronounced vacelino:cool: They have small and large tubes.

Over time I have learned to reduce my gear to a happy place. No sleeping bag after previously carrying it across the Frances and up the Plata. I'll carry a light down blanket with a silk liner in October and November this year. Usually I just carry the silk liner.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances:
2013; 2014; 2015; 2017; 2018 (October)
#35
Two questions:

1. What did you bring on the Camino that you wound up not using?

2. What did you wish you had taken with you?
1. After four Caminos, I pretty much use everything I pack now, but there are still refinements to be made... For #5 in October:
- I’ll ditch the silk pillowcase and convert my double silk liner to a 3/4 size and a matching long pillowcase.
- Also ditching the battery powered headlamp for a beanie with USB powered LED headlamp built in.
- Skipping a full size journal for a 48 page one I’ve custom designed from a website online.
- Probably skipping rain pants. - my autumn Caminos have been very largely dry - but not bathers (i’ve swum in Belorado, Leon, Astorga, Barbadelo and Ourense and will likely add Urbaniz, El Acebo and Santiago this time. Plus which, with the towel (see below) useful attire on laundry day.)
2. Wishes...
- On #4, I didn’t take cold and flu tablets and should have. Got a bad cold in Paris and never quite got the right thing from the local farmacias.
- I often wish I had a pocket-knife but can never carry it on the plane; this time I’ll cave and buy one in SJPP..
- this year I might splurge with a lightweight mini hair brush rather than just a comb.
3: best learnings:
- I wish I’d heard about Turkish towels earlier: 150-odd grams for a full sized bath towel (sarong/scarf/privacy curtain for bunk/picnic blanket) is weight worth carrying.
- small, super light toiletry bag with inbuilt hook suitable for hanging over railing or door...dry things stay dry
- theraband / spiky ball: both are great for stretching and releasing muscle soreness, and take up very little weight.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Santiago 2017
#37
I brought a “selfie stick” and never used it.
I wish I had brought insect repellent with Deet instead of the non-deet type that did not work on the big flies.
Mark reminds me about the FLIES. In all my preparation, nobody talked about the flies. They did not bite but they swarmed your head as you walked. I used my buff to keep them off but they were annoying. I would take some kind of bug repellent next time.
 

Anamiri

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
#38
Mark reminds me about the FLIES. In all my preparation, nobody talked about the flies. They did not bite but they swarmed your head as you walked. I used my buff to keep them off but they were annoying. I would take some kind of bug repellent next time.
I never experienced the flies, what months are they around.?
 

Sailor

Donante Vitalicio
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Infinito
#39
Thanks Mister Tim for mentioning those F L I E S, they were part of "the welcoming committee" during our stay in Hontanas [during the month of October 2017]. To all caminantes, buena suerte, y que la luz de Dios alumbre su camino.
 
#41
Two questions:

1. What did you bring on the Camino that you wound up not using?

2. What did you wish you had taken with you?
1. Small flashlight for albergues. I found a head lamp that I could adjust down and up as the need arose. One light for all uses. . Oh and forget that 10 euro bubble pack like sleeping pad.

2. A large helium balloon. One way to lighten the load.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Northern Way (2017)
#42
I took some soap leaves for shampoo and laundry-didn’t work for me. I took two face cloths. Only needed one.

There were things I did use but still mailed on because of weight: DSLR and assorted accoutrements; kindle; watercolour pencil crayons. Wish my feet were stronger.

I bought cheap knives and spoons. Lost and replaced twice.

I bought a walking staff to help deal with mud. Lost it near the end.

I gave up a cotton tshirt and replaced it with a synthetic one.

Apparently I only needed two pairs of knickers- I lost replaced and lost again the third pair.

I didn’t use my blister kits. I wouldn’t leave without them.

I would like to bring small things to give As gifts- maybe colourful ribbon :).

I would also ask my community to write out their wishes and burdens and I would carry them with me-to release at the right time.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014)
Via Francigena - Lucca to Rome (2017)
Kumano Kodo (October/November 2018)
#43
Two questions:

1. What did you bring on the Camino that you wound up not using?

2. What did you wish you had taken with you?
1. I went to a Camino workshop here in Sydney where I was advised to take a trowel for burying my poop if I needed to go in a field or something. I never needed to do this; I didn’t need the trowel. It makes me laugh when I think about this!

2. All the tops I took were merino wool tops - they were fine, but sometimes I had problems drying them. I would have taken a few synthetic material tops with me for quicker drying.
 

Maybee

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk Camino del Norte in May
#44
Wish I'd taken a better quality poncho. Bought an umbrella in Figeac - invaluable against rain and sun.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times, but soon again I hope....
#45
I never experienced the flies, what months are they around.?
All the times I've walked the Camino I experienced annoying very small flies or what some call gnats once. For a short section while walking. May or may not be worth carrying insect repellent with you for 800 kilometers as you may never encounter them. I encountered them in August, but don't even remember what section of the Camino it was on.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Aug-Sept(2016) SJPDP-Finisterre, July-Aug(2017) SJPDP-Muxia-Finisterre, July-Aug(2018) El Norte
#46
On my first Camino I brought my Kindle Fire tablet, and maybe used it a couple of times. My only cutting tool was a pair of nail clippers that year. Last year I added a small pair of scissors, and skipped the Kindle, as my phone could be used for reading, maps, etc.
I never needed to use my poncho last year, but that was just the luck of the weather. Otherwise, I used everything in my backpack.
 

Houlet

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014
Via de la Plata 2015
Camino Sanabres 2015
Camino Norde 2017
#47
1, I ALWAYS take a survival bag on every walk and luckily have never had to use it. It doubles as a dry sak so no extra weight really.

2. I wish I had packed a corkscrew, Spanish wine bottles rarely have screw tops.
 

Jodean

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
22 Sept. to 21 Oct. 2015, Pamplona to Santiago
6-23.04 Porto to Santiago (2018)
17.09-31.10 CF (2018
#49
Well, never had a picnic lunch and since I don't drink, the cork screw wasn't needed.

The flies were awful in Sept. and Oct.
I did buy a little thing called a Bite Away that you can use for all kinds of bites and stings. It uses heat. Planning on bringing that this time. Had a number of mosquito bites.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); February/March (2019)
#50
Two questions:

1. What did you bring on the Camino that you wound up not using?

2. What did you wish you had taken with you?
1. A compass. Next time it will stay home. A second water bottle. I only needed it for a couple stretches. Next time I will get an extra bottled water for those longer stretches. Sunglasses. Since I was walking west, I rarely had the sun in my eyes.

2. A lightweight Smartwool sweater. I bought a second fleece in Burgos. I also wish I had brought a second set of legs for my convertible pants. I only brought one set of legs for the two pair of shorts. When it got cold, I really could have used the second set of legs while my first pair were in the washing machine.
 

JudiJay

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues (coastal) 2016
#53
Wish I'd brought a broad spectrum antibiotic as 7 days of rain on the Portuguese coastal led to bronchtis. With a high temp I knew I needed to nip the infection as soon as possible. I was unable to purchase any over the counter in Vigo and was directed to a teaching hospital quite some distance away. A question about a closer doctor's surgery was met with incomprehension. 'Of course' I had to go to the hospital, where else would a sick person go? Pfft. The hospital was new and great and *extremely* thorough. After several hours of tests, x-rays etc and a siesta break for most staff the conclusion was that I needed ... antibiotics. I still smile over my lost day - time fine tunes these 'disaster' stories into travellers' tales.
 
Camino(s) past & future
June (2015) & June/July (2018)
#56
1. After four Caminos, I pretty much use everything I pack now, but there are still refinements to be made... For #5 in October:
- I’ll ditch the silk pillowcase and convert my double silk liner to a 3/4 size and a matching long pillowcase.
- Also ditching the battery powered headlamp for a beanie with USB powered LED headlamp built in.
- Skipping a full size journal for a 48 page one I’ve custom designed from a website online.
- Probably skipping rain pants. - my autumn Caminos have been very largely dry - but not bathers (i’ve swum in Belorado, Leon, Astorga, Barbadelo and Ourense and will likely add Urbaniz, El Acebo and Santiago this time. Plus which, with the towel (see below) useful attire on laundry day.)
2. Wishes...
- On #4, I didn’t take cold and flu tablets and should have. Got a bad cold in Paris and never quite got the right thing from the local farmacias.
- I often wish I had a pocket-knife but can never carry it on the plane; this time I’ll cave and buy one in SJPP..
- this year I might splurge with a lightweight mini hair brush rather than just a comb.
3: best learnings:
- I wish I’d heard about Turkish towels earlier: 150-odd grams for a full sized bath towel (sarong/scarf/privacy curtain for bunk/picnic blanket) is weight worth carrying.
- small, super light toiletry bag with inbuilt hook suitable for hanging over railing or door...dry things stay dry
- theraband / spiky ball: both are great for stretching and releasing muscle soreness, and take up very little weight.

What is a turkish towel? I think I know what it is, but I might call it something else.
 

Lucy Keenan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Northern Route - 2016
Santiago to Finestiere and Muxia - 2017
Frances Route - May 2018
Camino Ingles
#57
Two questions:

1. What did you bring on the Camino that you wound up not using?

2. What did you wish you had taken with you?
Silk sleeping bag liner. Used it once and got all tangled up!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago (2018)
#58
Mark reminds me about the FLIES. In all my preparation, nobody talked about the flies. They did not bite but they swarmed your head as you walked. I used my buff to keep them off but they were annoying. I would take some kind of bug repellent next time.
I use a head net to put over my head and sits on shoulders. $6.99 Amazon. I love mine, weighs nothing.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (SJPdP-Burgos, 2015)
Camino Frances (Burgos-Sarria, 2018)
Sarria-Santiago (fall 2018)
#64
What is a turkish towel? I think I know what it is, but I might call it something else.
It's a flat-woven cotton towel. Sorry I'm techno-challenged and can't link, but check Amazon, or whatever, and loads of hits will come up.

After reading rave reviews on another site about a specific Turkish towel, I bought it. Gorgeous, soft, dries me well and itself quickly, can also use it as a sheet, sarong, privacy curtain on a lower bunk.....

BUT! The darn thing weighs 12 ounces and takes up way too much room in my pack. I haven't even left yet and I'm already regretting it. I may just cut it in half...
 
Camino(s) past & future
June (2015) & June/July (2018)
#65
It's a flat-woven cotton towel. Sorry I'm techno-challenged and can't link, but check Amazon, or whatever, and loads of hits will come up.

After reading rave reviews on another site about a specific Turkish towel, I bought it. Gorgeous, soft, dries me well and itself quickly, can also use it as a sheet, sarong, privacy curtain on a lower bunk.....

BUT! The darn thing weighs 12 ounces and takes up way too much room in my pack. I haven't even left yet and I'm already regretting it. I may just cut it in half...
I did a quick Amazon search and everyone I came across said they only weighed about 3.5 oz. For one that was the size of a beach towel. Are those measurement wrong?

I used one of the original pack towels that I got off Amazon about 9 years ago on my first Camino. It worked well. The XL weighs 4.8 oz, or there about. Long enough to wrap around me after I shower. Still use it at the gym.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" camino
Porto to SdC May 2019
#66
I should have taken a stiff brush to clean my unsightly dust-covered leather hiking boots and black pant-legs just before entering town.

I did buy a brush and some boot polish after a week or so. I kept the brush tied to the outside bottom of my pack. Used brush and boot polish everyday afterwards.

Dust-coloured pants might be an idea for next time.
What the British Army call "Khaki" ;)
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" camino
Porto to SdC May 2019
#67
First camino - proper, hard wearing British Army bivvi bag; never used it once

Second camino - didn't take bivvi bag. Decided not to stop at Zubiri (filthy in those days), Larrasoaña was closed, La Trinidad de Arre was full up so ended up walking from Roncesvalles into Pamplona; over 40km on the second day is NOT to be recommended :(
 
Camino(s) past & future
Aug-Sept(2016) SJPDP-Finisterre, July-Aug(2017) SJPDP-Muxia-Finisterre, July-Aug(2018) El Norte
#68
After reading rave reviews on another site about a specific Turkish towel, I bought it. Gorgeous, soft, dries me well and itself quickly, can also use it as a sheet, sarong, privacy curtain on a lower bunk.....

BUT! The darn thing weighs 12 ounces and takes up way too much room in my pack
did a quick Amazon search and everyone I came across said they only weighed about 3.5 oz. For one that was the size of a beach towel. Are those measurement wrong?
I've seen those listings on Amazon too. And have read about 4 or 5 ounce Turkish towels. I'll bet that the people who bought them never actually weighed them and just accepted the vendor's listed weight. I bought one, and it weighed at least 8 ounces. I use a Packtowl, which at a standard bath size towel actually does weigh 3.4 ounces.
https://www.packtowl.com/ultralite
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to SdC May/June (2016)
#69
Didn't use last time - walking tights/leggings (hated lack of pockets), head torch, knife and Spork, washing line, sink plug and safety pins for laundry. Also only used blister kit once, but gave items to others and would definitely take again. Love, love love my sleeping bag and sometimes use it at home for a treat so it will always go with me. Also bought a warmer long sleeve top and wished I'd taken a second pair of long pants. This was all for April/May on Frances. I feel the cold!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances:
2013; 2014; 2015; 2017; 2018 (October)
#70
Mark reminds me about the FLIES. In all my preparation, nobody talked about the flies. They did not bite but they swarmed your head as you walked. I used my buff to keep them off but they were annoying. I would take some kind of bug repellent next time.
That’s what I forgot to add to my earlier post! I take sunscreen with built-in bug repellant. Great stuff!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances:
2013; 2014; 2015; 2017; 2018 (October)
#71
What is a turkish towel? I think I know what it is, but I might call it something else.
It’s a fine cotton/linen style towel, full size but very light and absorbent. Dries very quickly. I wouldn’t travel without mine now, and in fact I use them all the time at home now too. Easily found online.
 
Camino(s) past & future
June (2015) & June/July (2018)
#73
I've seen those listings on Amazon too. And have read about 4 or 5 ounce Turkish towels. I'll bet that the people who bought them never actually weighed them and just accepted the vendor's listed weight. I bought one, and it weighed at least 8 ounces. I use a Packtowl, which at a standard bath size towel actually does weigh 3.4 ounces.
https://www.packtowl.com/ultralite
Ive had my packtowl xl for about 10 years and use it about once or twice a week. I love that thing. Will probably be using it again, but was curious if the mentioned Turkish towel was a better option for the Camino. I guess all the rave reviews are from people who aren't walking but using an oversized suitcase.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Aug-Sept(2016) SJPDP-Finisterre, July-Aug(2017) SJPDP-Muxia-Finisterre, July-Aug(2018) El Norte
#75
These packtowels are sounding better and better. At 3.5 oz., I may just learn to like microfiber!!
For my first Camino I had a Sea to Summit microfiber towel,which weighed more, and I didn't like it as well as the Packtowl. I actually found a "beach" size Packtowl on sale and cut it down to bath towel size. I use a scrap of the towel to wrap my bar of soap.
 
Camino(s) past & future
June (2015) & June/July (2018)
#76
For my first Camino I had a Sea to Summit microfiber towel,which weighed more, and I didn't like it as well as the Packtowl. I actually found a "beach" size Packtowl on sale and cut it down to bath towel size. I use a scrap of the towel to wrap my bar of soap.
was their any fraying on the cut edges? I wanted to do something similar but was uncertain about the the edges fraying.
 
Camino(s) past & future
June (2015) & June/July (2018)
#77
The second water bottle. Water is so easily obtainable, the one 32 oz Nalgene served me for the entire Camino.
I'm thinking of bringing a camping cup. Then just buying a couple of bottles (like smartwater) of water over there, and when the bottles get unusable just get new ones.
 
Camino(s) past & future
June (2015) & June/July (2018)
#78
These packtowels are sounding better and better. At 3.5 oz., I may just learn to like microfiber!!
I don't think the original one is microfiber. It feels more like felt. I've also experimented with a pice of silk and a pice of other material that I don't recall, but I think it is a fine think and light cotton that does work well. I always keep coming back to the original packtowl for its ease (I don't have to do any sewing.).
 
Camino(s) past & future
Aug-Sept(2016) SJPDP-Finisterre, July-Aug(2017) SJPDP-Muxia-Finisterre, July-Aug(2018) El Norte
#79
was their any fraying on the cut edges? I wanted to do something similar but was uncertain about the the edges fraying.
It's a non woven fabric, and none of the edges are hemmed, so it doesn't matter if you cut it. It's not the type that feels like felt - I hate those.
 

Jo Jo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, July 2014
Via di Francesco (Italy), July 2015
Frances, Sept-Oct 2016
Portugues Oct. 2017
#80
Took that did not need:
Convertible pants (left the legs on the whole time because of the sun, July 2014). Two Caminos since then I've always brought just long pants (lighter) (RailRiders Cool Khakis)

Waterproof sealskinz gloves (July 2014). Would be useful in cooler weather, but not July.

Item I see most often taken and never used
Sleeping pads. I've had one experience in a total of about 80 nights walking Caminos where this would have been useful. Just not worth the weight.

Had to/Needed to Buy Along the Way
Pepto-Bismol tablets--cannot find in Spain for love or money. And pilgrim menus will occasionally require.

Linen Shirt (Sept-Oct 2016)--it was just too hot to be walking in quick-dry nylon for my wife, so she had to buy a linen shirt. The prohibition on cotton is only for mountains. Cotton is perfect for the desert (for the same reason: cotton traps moisture), and the stretch after Pamplona until Galicia often feels like a desert.

Wide shoes--Could not find in Spain. If you have wide feet, make sure you get your footwear right in the U.S. (hint--boots in the summer are a really bad idea. In other seasons (especially mud in the Spring) maybe not).

Items that others found useless that I used all the time
Headlamp (Petzle e-lite with red lense for using in the dorm rooms after lights out). I used this every night for getting into bed, getting up in the middle of the night (males of a certain age will understand), getting out before sunrise. Plus sometimes the regular white light for walking out of town before sunrise (when it is still cool--on a summer Camino, I do not want to walk past about 1pm, so we preferred walking before sunrise).

Clothes line: Yes, most alburgues have one. Which is sometimes full. Or sometimes not there. I get some very light chord used for ultralight backpacking (http://www.zpacks.com/accessories/spectra_cord.shtml#hardware). A few grams, and used enough that I always carry.

Safety pins for clothes: Usually there are clothes pins. But not always. And often they are already in use. I'd say half of the days I use the safety pins.

Silk sleeping bag liner. Invaluable on Oct. Camino (and only 4oz--Expedition ripstop silk--very innovative). Take if the weather is cool. In the summer I use a cotton one (twice as heavy). Both from Cocoon (best designed liners I've found). Sprayed with permethrin for bed bugs (only time my wife got bitten was one night when she slept outside of her liner).

Kindle. I don't take a cell phone (to disconnect), so my guidebooks are copied and loaded on it as .pdf files. Plus various books that I want to read along the way (yes, I read for an hour or so before going to bed).

Final Word
Everyone's experience is different, often because we walk in different seasons and different weather. So I check the dates for their walks on posters profiles--it gives me a better idea if their experience will be useful to me or not.

Buen Camino,
Jo Jo
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); February/March (2019)
#82
1. A compass. Next time it will stay home. A second water bottle. I only needed it for a couple stretches. Next time I will get an extra bottled water for those longer stretches. Sunglasses. Since I was walking west, I rarely had the sun in my eyes.

2. A lightweight Smartwool sweater. I bought a second fleece in Burgos. I also wish I had brought a second set of legs for my convertible pants. I only brought one set of legs for the two pair of shorts. When it got cold, I really could have used the second set of legs while my first pair were in the washing machine.
Oh, I remembered one more thing I plan to bring next time. A collapsible cup. I was amazed at how hard it is to find cups. I bought a decent one from REI and plan to bring it next time I walk.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2016 Ponferrada to Muuxia . returning to SJPD to Finisterra Sept to Nov 2018 with n2 friends
#84
1. After four Caminos, I pretty much use everything I pack now, but there are still refinements to be made... For #5 in October:
- I’ll ditch the silk pillowcase and convert my double silk liner to a 3/4 size and a matching long pillowcase.
- Also ditching the battery powered headlamp for a beanie with USB powered LED headlamp built in.
- Skipping a full size journal for a 48 page one I’ve custom designed from a website online.
- Probably skipping rain pants. - my autumn Caminos have been very largely dry - but not bathers (i’ve swum in Belorado, Leon, Astorga, Barbadelo and Ourense and will likely add Urbaniz, El Acebo and Santiago this time. Plus which, with the towel (see below) useful attire on laundry day.)
2. Wishes...
- On #4, I didn’t take cold and flu tablets and should have. Got a bad cold in Paris and never quite got the right thing from the local farmacias.
- I often wish I had a pocket-knife but can never carry it on the plane; this time I’ll cave and buy one in SJPP..
- this year I might splurge with a lightweight mini hair brush rather than just a comb.
3: best learnings:
- I wish I’d heard about Turkish towels earlier: 150-odd grams for a full sized bath towel (sarong/scarf/privacy curtain for bunk/picnic blanket) is weight worth carrying.
- small, super light toiletry bag with inbuilt hook suitable for hanging over railing or door...dry things stay dry
- theraband / spiky ball: both are great for stretching and releasing muscle soreness, and take up very little weight.
HI I'm interested in the website to record your journey as I don't want to take extra weight - a diary to record. appreciate if you can direct me where to find this please? thank you
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino French Way (2012 - 2014)
SJPDP - Sahagun (June 2015)
Sahagun - Muxia (June 2016)
#85
Two questions:

1. What did you bring on the Camino that you wound up not using?

2. What did you wish you had taken with you?
On my first Camino I bought a coffee flask, a foil survival blanket, poncho, whistle with rescue code and energy bars to tackle the Napolean Mountain but didn't need them but I'd still take them as the Mountains are unpredictable. However the English poncho has been returned for a lighter version which I then purchased in Spain. I wished I'd taken some items to leave as a thank you to people who earned so little but did so subsequently. In France I had no problems with flies but in Portugal in September it almost ruined my walks. Thank you for the useful information, I will now buy the head net as I'm doing a section of the Camino del Norte this year and the bug spray made no difference to the flies.
 
Camino(s) past & future
June (2015) & June/July (2018)
#86
Took that did not need:
Convertible pants (left the legs on the whole time because of the sun, July 2014). Two Caminos since then I've always brought just long pants (lighter) (RailRiders Cool Khakis)

Waterproof sealskinz gloves (July 2014). Would be useful in cooler weather, but not July.

Item I see most often taken and never used
Sleeping pads. I've had one experience in a total of about 80 nights walking Caminos where this would have been useful. Just not worth the weight.

Had to/Needed to Buy Along the Way
Pepto-Bismol tablets--cannot find in Spain for love or money. And pilgrim menus will occasionally require.

Linen Shirt (Sept-Oct 2016)--it was just too hot to be walking in quick-dry nylon for my wife, so she had to buy a linen shirt. The prohibition on cotton is only for mountains. Cotton is perfect for the desert (for the same reason: cotton traps moisture), and the stretch after Pamplona until Galicia often feels like a desert.

Wide shoes--Could not find in Spain. If you have wide feet, make sure you get your footwear right in the U.S. (hint--boots in the summer are a really bad idea. In other seasons (especially mud in the Spring) maybe not).

Items that others found useless that I used all the time
Headlamp (Petzle e-lite with red lense for using in the dorm rooms after lights out). I used this every night for getting into bed, getting up in the middle of the night (males of a certain age will understand), getting out before sunrise. Plus sometimes the regular white light for walking out of town before sunrise (when it is still cool--on a summer Camino, I do not want to walk past about 1pm, so we preferred walking before sunrise).

Clothes line: Yes, most alburgues have one. Which is sometimes full. Or sometimes not there. I get some very light chord used for ultralight backpacking (http://www.zpacks.com/accessories/spectra_cord.shtml#hardware). A few grams, and used enough that I always carry.

Safety pins for clothes: Usually there are clothes pins. But not always. And often they are already in use. I'd say half of the days I use the safety pins.

Silk sleeping bag liner. Invaluable on Oct. Camino (and only 4oz--Expedition ripstop silk--very innovative). Take if the weather is cool. In the summer I use a cotton one (twice as heavy). Both from Cocoon (best designed liners I've found). Sprayed with permethrin for bed bugs (only time my wife got bitten was one night when she slept outside of her liner).

Kindle. I don't take a cell phone (to disconnect), so my guidebooks are copied and loaded on it as .pdf files. Plus various books that I want to read along the way (yes, I read for an hour or so before going to bed).

Final Word
Everyone's experience is different, often because we walk in different seasons and different weather. So I check the dates for their walks on posters profiles--it gives me a better idea if their experience will be useful to me or not.

Buen Camino,
Jo Jo
That zpack cord looks awesome. I might get some. I wonder if it will work for a 205lb person as strps for a hamock.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2011 Camino Portugues
2018 plans for Camino del Invierno/Camino Primitivo
#89
Two questions:

1. What did you bring on the Camino that you wound up not using?

2. What did you wish you had taken with you?
I never used my trekking poles on Camino Portugues. So many kms on a side of a road :(
I wish I packed a buff - a simple thing that I missed a lot and ended up buying on the way.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (SJPdP-Burgos, 2015)
Camino Frances (Burgos-Sarria, 2018)
Sarria-Santiago (fall 2018)
#92
I wore it every night on my first Camino, great to change into, eent to mass almost nightly, big, zippered pockets fir all my Stuff, as well as on the plane over and back. But I'm thinking convertable pants and a light sarong will do the same job. And more.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago (2018)
#93
Sent my solar charger home. Used my iPhone flashlight for the one time we were in the dark. I wore a neck pack with phone pocket and the light was perfect. Brought camping wine glasses and used them every day - good for brushing teeth and a road side nip along the way. Who’d have thought they would be important!
Can you give me some information on the neck pack? Thanks.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-SdC (2017)
SdC-Muxia-Fisterra-SdC (2017)
Lisboa-SdC (2018)
Ferrol-SdC (2018)
#94
A technique I quickly adopted en-route but should have practiced at home before starting (for rainy regions/seasons):

Pre-install my poncho on the outside top front of my pack, so that I can instantly deploy it in a sudden rain shower without needing to open my pack, root around for the poncho, pull it out of its stuff sack, unroll it, fight the wind, install the poncho, etc. I keep the rolled-up poncho’s centre loops semi-permanently secured to the top front of the pack, and have cords pre-tied to the poncho’s remaining loops so that I can quickly secure the bottom rear of the poncho to the bottom of the pack so that it stays in place, covers all of the pack, and does not billow up over my head.
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Sahagún to Santiago (2018).
#95
Two questions:

1. What did you bring on the Camino that you wound up not using?

2. What did you wish you had taken with you?
It was unavoidable at the time, but I had w pounds worth of epi-pens and asthma meds. Now I get a monthly shot of Xolair. I won’t carry those meds next time.

I wish I had remembered safety-pins for pinning damp stuff to my pack during the day. And wish I’d not forgotten in each town to get some! I did buy a little pair of nail scissors for cutting kin-tape, and would not leave without them now!

Ultreia!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x3), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham.
2018? CF, again :-)
#96
I wore it every night on my first Camino, great to change into, eent to mass almost nightly, big, zippered pockets fir all my Stuff, as well as on the plane over and back. But I'm thinking convertable pants and a light sarong will do the same job. And more.
Oh I see. I wear mine for walking only that's why I didn't understand :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances:
2013; 2014; 2015; 2017; 2018 (October)
#98
HI I'm interested in the website to record your journey as I don't want to take extra weight - a diary to record. appreciate if you can direct me where to find this please? thank you
Hi, I used http://boundforanything.com/
It doesn’t custom print text, but you can select layout and page types, which will work for me. Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014, VDLP planned for April May 2018
#99
Took that did not need:
Convertible pants (left the legs on the whole time because of the sun, July 2014). Two Caminos since then I've always brought just long pants (lighter) (RailRiders Cool Khakis)

Waterproof sealskinz gloves (July 2014). Would be useful in cooler weather, but not July.

Item I see most often taken and never used
Sleeping pads. I've had one experience in a total of about 80 nights walking Caminos where this would have been useful. Just not worth the weight.

Had to/Needed to Buy Along the Way
Pepto-Bismol tablets--cannot find in Spain for love or money. And pilgrim menus will occasionally require.

Linen Shirt (Sept-Oct 2016)--it was just too hot to be walking in quick-dry nylon for my wife, so she had to buy a linen shirt. The prohibition on cotton is only for mountains. Cotton is perfect for the desert (for the same reason: cotton traps moisture), and the stretch after Pamplona until Galicia often feels like a desert.

Wide shoes--Could not find in Spain. If you have wide feet, make sure you get your footwear right in the U.S. (hint--boots in the summer are a really bad idea. In other seasons (especially mud in the Spring) maybe not).

Items that others found useless that I used all the time
Headlamp (Petzle e-lite with red lense for using in the dorm rooms after lights out). I used this every night for getting into bed, getting up in the middle of the night (males of a certain age will understand), getting out before sunrise. Plus sometimes the regular white light for walking out of town before sunrise (when it is still cool--on a summer Camino, I do not want to walk past about 1pm, so we preferred walking before sunrise).

Clothes line: Yes, most alburgues have one. Which is sometimes full. Or sometimes not there. I get some very light chord used for ultralight backpacking (http://www.zpacks.com/accessories/spectra_cord.shtml#hardware). A few grams, and used enough that I always carry.

Safety pins for clothes: Usually there are clothes pins. But not always. And often they are already in use. I'd say half of the days I use the safety pins.

Silk sleeping bag liner. Invaluable on Oct. Camino (and only 4oz--Expedition ripstop silk--very innovative). Take if the weather is cool. In the summer I use a cotton one (twice as heavy). Both from Cocoon (best designed liners I've found). Sprayed with permethrin for bed bugs (only time my wife got bitten was one night when she slept outside of her liner).

Kindle. I don't take a cell phone (to disconnect), so my guidebooks are copied and loaded on it as .pdf files. Plus various books that I want to read along the way (yes, I read for an hour or so before going to bed).

Final Word
Everyone's experience is different, often because we walk in different seasons and different weather. So I check the dates for their walks on posters profiles--it gives me a better idea if their experience will be useful to me or not.

Buen Camino,
Jo Jo
Well done JoJo - I completely agree about the Petzl e-lite, clothes line (I used the elastic version because it was easier to rig on a bunk bed to finish off drying socks etc overnight), safety pins and silk liner. I didn't take clothes pegs, I took a collection of those clips from 'delegate name tags' which hooped over the clothes line and pinch onto clothes - at least half the bulk and weight of normal clothes pegs.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Northern Way (2017)
I wore it every night on my first Camino, great to change into, eent to mass almost nightly, big, zippered pockets fir all my Stuff, as well as on the plane over and back. But I'm thinking convertable pants and a light sarong will do the same job. And more.
That's the direction I'm leaning in now. Then I could leave both the heavy(ish) towel AND my Macabi skirt behind....

Noooo not the Macabi ;)

That was easily my favourite item of clothing, and I wore it constantly. Quick dry, comfy, quicker to convert to something shorter than pants. Could hitch it up while wading and use it as a change room.

I brought a light weight thin scarf as well, roughly 3 feet wide and 6 feet long. Synthetic and floral patterned. I used it in combination with the Macabi for all kinds of things, not least of which was something prettish to wear at the end of the day, for privacy or a wrap, it got lent out as a skirt, and used it as a pillow case on occasion too.
 

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