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What did you take?


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I would be interested in a complete list of what someone took on their trip. I have so many random questions. Do I take deoderant, or will I end up being so smelly it just won't matter? How many pairs of underwear did you take? Socks? A good things *not* to take seems to be books.

I would be appreciative if someone listed the full contents of their backpack.

Hike 30 miles on California’s Santa Catalina Island as part of the Catalina Camino
Well I won't list the FULL contents of my backpack, but I found some handy things were:

1. Morillo-wool socks with coolmesh lining. I payed CDN 12 per pair, but they were worth it.

2. Clothespins. The clothes I brought (very few, for less weight, so i washed them often) were often not dry in the morning from their evening wash, so clothespins were very handy for attaching them to the back of my pack to dry.

3. Colour-correcting sunglasses. Its amazing how good, reasonably bright sunglasses can take a type of stress off the body when you're staring at a bright white-ish road all day.

4. Walking stick. I started in Le Puy in France, and bought a very light wooden walking stick with a metal tip for 7 euros from the front of a produce store on the road from the train station (they're more expensive in the tourist knick-knack shops i think). It served me very well, gave me confidence when confronting threatening dogs, and helped me in the ascents/descents. And when my left foot or knee was aching, I used it to support my left side (by using it with my right hand), and when my right leg or knee was hurting, vice versa. Its like having a friend along, I can't be sure, but I suspect i got a more friendly reception from locals because of my wooden stick and big floppy hat...showed i was more of a pilgrim than hiker. Just a suspicion, though.

5. Big, wide-brimmed hat. I hate using sunscreen (b/c of the oily sensation on my skin), so i found if i wore this hat, I'd be fine to not use any on my forehead or around my eyes. But even if you do use sunscrean, its nice to keep your face in shade all day.

6. Compass. This is more handy for the lesser-known routes, say in France, but it was incredibly useful to me from Le Puy to Aumont-Aubrac, in the more hilly areas.

7. And yes, deoderant. I bought a really small deoderant stick (you may want to buy small everything, by the way...drug stores often have traveller-size things) and was very grateful for it...its only a few ounces, and keeps you smelling ok. If you stay where there are showers, and shower every day or second day, and wash your clothes occasionally, you shouldn't smell TOO bad.

Hope these suggestions help. Anybody else have any?
Don't forget the most important............earplugs!!!!! :D
You'll be happy to have them in the refugios at night!

We took nothing unusual, but we learned that we had taken rather too much. This time we will travel lighter and do more overnight washing.

But here is one detail which may be helpful for others. We went in the autumn, so I took a thick long-arm fleece jacket, but then I never used it, I sent it home quickly. Because, I also had a fleece vest or waistcoat, thin fleece inside, poplin outside. That became my favourite item and I can warmly recommend it to anyone. The vest keeps the body torso warm in the mornings, cushions the backpack straps on the shoulders, and the outer poplin repels most of the frequent short drizzles we had, so no constant on-off of raingear necessary.
All the while, the bare arms can radiate off a lot of body heat to keep the sweating at bay.
Plus, the vest had several pockets, for the usual stuff you rather want at hand and not on your back, and it also looked nice when going out dining in the cool evenings.
IŽll take it again this autumn, a perfect item for the camino.

Kerryman Claus

Oh yes, I almost forgot: I wanted to second what DerekW has said above, all of it, especially about the benefits of a walking stick. Never go without one.
Hike 30 miles on California’s Santa Catalina Island as part of the Catalina Camino

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