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What not to take? And what to not forget?

Past OR future Camino
Future
As it is my first and very spontaneous camino (I’m off to Europe in few days), I am trying to do it as wisely as I can within my own time and research/planning limitations. I’m definitely thinking about traveling very light, but I am afraid of going too barebones… so here are some questions that may help tons.

Note: doing the Primitivo route and it is supposed to rain every day next week.

1. Walking sticks- yes or no? Should I bring them from home or get them in Oviedo? (Making my amazon shopping list now)

2. Sleeping bag- is it absolutely necessary to have one?

3. Hiking pants - never owned a pair and I usually use running leggings for all of my one day hikes (when they happen)

4. Towel!!! - I’d never think of brining one, but I just read somewhere I should not forget one.

5. Bottle - is a liter one okay? I read there is no water on some stretches and it makes me think if that is enough (don’t want to overpack if I don’t have to.

6. Sandals - so many people mention I take sandals in addition to my hiking shoes - hiking sandals? Trying to figure out what they mean and if it just relevant for the summer. I’m assuming I should take sandals for showers etc

7. Locks - Yes? No? I don’t know what they are are for, but I see them mentioned.

8. Hair and body products - do I need my own shampoo and body wash, etc?

9. Socks and underwear- I’m thinking of 3-4 each assuming I can wash them as I go. Where do you usually dry them? Do they dry fast? What is the best type to take? I hear smart wool, but does it dry overnight?

10. Medical supplies- someone I know mentioned I should take some painkillers, bandage tape, baby powder, cooling lotions for feet. Any thoughts? If there is something absolutely unwise to not take - what is it?

11. Head light (flashlight) - yes no? Necessary?

12. Waterproof backpack vs backpack rain cover?

ANYTHING ELSE?

I’m probably overthinking, but I’m worried to end up being underprepared since the little voice in my head says - keep it as light as possible and I’m questioning EVERYTHING.


Thank you to all of you who will take time to read this.
 
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Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
As it is my first and very spontaneous camino (I’m off to Europe in few days), I am trying to do it as wisely as I can within my own time and research/planning limitations. I’m definitely thinking about traveling very light, but I am afraid of going too barebones… so here are some questions that may help tons.

Note: doing the Primitivo route and it is supposed to rain every day next week.

1. Walking sticks- yes or no? Should I bring them from home or get them in Oviedo? (Making my amazon shopping list now)

2. Sleeping bag- is it absolutely necessary to have one?

3. Hiking pants - never owned a pair and I usually use running leggings for all of my one day hikes (when they happen)

4. Towel!!! - I’d never think of brining one, but I just read somewhere I should not forget one.

5. Bottle - is a liter one okay? I read there is no water on some stretches and it makes me think if that is enough (don’t want to overpack if I don’t have to.

6. Sandals - so many people mention I take sandals in addition to my hiking shoes - hiking sandals? Trying to figure out what they mean and if it just relevant for the summer. I’m assuming I should take sandals for showers etc

7. Locks - Yes? No? I don’t know what they are are for, but I see them mentioned.

8. Hair and body products - do I need my own shampoo and body wash, etc?

9. Socks and underwear- I’m thinking of 3-4 each assuming I can wash them as I go. Where do you usually dry them? Do they dry fast? What is the best type to take? I hear smart wool, but does it dry overnight?

10. Medical supplies- someone I know mentioned I should take some painkillers, bandage tape, baby powder, cooling lotions for feet. Any thoughts? If there is something absolutely unwise to not take - what is it?

11. Head light (flashlight) - yes no? Necessary?

12. Waterproof backpack vs backpack rain cover?

ANYTHING ELSE?

I’m probably overthinking, but I’m worried to end up being underprepared since the little voice in my head says - keep it as light as possible and I’m questioning EVERYTHING.


Thank you to all of you who will take time to read this.
1. If you are not flying direct, then I suggest you get your poles in Oviedo. Regulations (regardless of rumors) won’t allow the poles in carry-on bags. But get poles. Yes.

2. If you are concerned about bulk and weight and the expense of a sleeping bag, I suggest that for this time of year you take a silk liner and a down camping quilt that you can stuff inside it. These are available on Amazon. I love my Sea-to-Summit sack because it has stretchy side-panels for a less restrictive sleep.

3. I did really like my Prana convertible hiking pants for the autumn 2019 walk I was on. I wore running tights underneath, unzipped the bottoms by mid-day, dropped to the running tights on the one day that it was warm enough, and whenever it rained I had a water resistant shell in the pants. And they are tidy enough for cultural sites and restaurant.

4. Towel. YES! For quick-drying without the life-regret, get a peshtow/Pashtow/foutah off Amazon — they are cotton, can double as a shawl, are light-weight, and they actually work.

5. If you are a water drinker, yes, take your own bottles. For light-weight ease of use many hikers like the “Smartwater” bottles. They slide in and out of pockets easily and have flip tops. I don’t use them because I buy new bottles of milk each day.

6. On an autumn Camino I took Keen Mary-Janes for walking around town and dinner at day’s end. I do not take flip flops for showers because I do not want to break my neck. After showering and drying off, I put a little Clomotrizole cream on my feet to ward off any fungus from communal showers. In my estimation that’s less dangerous and more effective at the intended job of “shower sandals”

7. I’d not take a lock. Get a dry sack and take your valuables with you to the shower/restaurant etc. I have a tiny collapsible Osprey pack that becomes the size of a donut in my pocket and can carry a full grocery load if needed. Dry sack inside that, and off you go.

8. Yes, you need your own personal washing products. Shampoo bars and conditioner bars are available online. Lots of people like “LUSH”, but if you have scent allergies or skin allergies, I’d stay away. LUSH products give me headaches and hives, as well as the sneezes and watering eyes.

9. There are more and more dryers available, so you can get lucky that way, or put undies over radiators, hang off pack if they aren’t totally dry, use hair-dryer if you are in a hotel, etc. And yes to Smartwool (more comfortable than Icebreaker) or to Patagonia athletic undies (synthetic, but I still really like them for being quick drying, non-creeping, and somehow, not prone to picking up odors from being put through paces).

10. I think only you can decide that, but I take hiker’s wool to prevent blisters, and I use chafing prevention stick (from Compeed is my favourit) on my feet. I find tape makes things worse for me rather than better as far as blister prevention goes. - it‘s just uncomfortable. The one time I had a blister and it needed care, I bought things as recommended and *applied by* the pharmacist in their little first-aid room. Ibuprofen is much more expensive in the EU, and way more powerful. Take your own If you use it.

11. I found a headlamp necessary for both autumn caminos because it stays dark until pretty late in the morning. Black diamond makes a USB-C rechargeable one that is lightweight. Do not use in shared sleeping quarters.

12. If you don’t have your pack yet, get one with the rain-cover included, and still get yourself some collapsible dry sacks to separate laundry, medical and tech supplies.

As much as possible, I try to keep my Camino stuff as re-useable in regular life as possible. My backpacks are my primary grocery carts now… I gave up using car or transit to get to work, so my boots are my primary transit now… which means socks that are put to the task, and trousers that can go from walking through snow to having office meetings (check out the Lolë company, and MEC brand if you are in Canada). Merino shirts, sweaters… and good layers for weather.

I do always take a poncho and rain-skirt combination for rain. I gave up on rain-pants… one just gets sweaty legs…
 
Last edited:

Wmonk2071

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (Sarria to SdC)
Camino Portugues
Hi,

I did my first Camino in September via CF ( 5 days from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela) and sharing my own experience:

1. Walking sticks - you can opt to bring your own or you can also buy in any pilgrim shops which you´ll usually find in each town. Useful for ascents and descents along the route.

2. Sleeping bag - no, I dont think it is required. I reckon you´ll be staying in hostels or albergues. I am not familiar with Primitivo so im not sure if you need to pre book beforehand. In CF i had to book because it is very popular and so to avoid running out, I prebooked all my accomodations 3 days before my arrival.

3. Hiking pants - optional in my view. I prefer it because of the many pockets where i can put my other stuff.

4. towels - yes, buy the fiber quick dry type which you can find in hiking and trekking shops. They are lighter and dry faster compared to regular towels.

5. 1 liter bottle should suffice. Also, you can always do regular pitstops along the way to take a break during your hike in a cafe or restaurant and buy water bottles.

6. Sandals for shower and also to slide in after the hike is over for the day. I recommend use hiking sandals or Crocs should be fine for walking around town. Dont bring flip flops because they can be uncomfortable if you plan to walk around town for dinner or lunch with other pilgrims.

7. locks??? - > I never brought or used one.

8. Soap only for me (never brought shampoo) -> I brought hard type (not liquid soap). For shampoo you can probably buy sachet types in order not to add more weight to your pack.

9. Medical supplies - bring anti blister prevention like Compeed or 3M Omniplast, vaseline lubricant for your feet. Paracetamol painkillers just in case.

10. Headlight or small flashlight is a must as you´ll be starting out early dawn (Say 6.30 or 7) when its still dark. In Spain sunrise doesnt appear until 8 or 8.30am.

11. Back pack rain cover or you can buy what they call in Spanish called "poncho". Poncho is a raincoat that also can serve as backpack cover. You can buy it in any trekking or hiking shop in any of towns you pass by in the Camino.

Good luck and my best advice is pack light, should be less or equal to 10% of your weight.

Buen Camino!
 
Past OR future Camino
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
As it is my first and very spontaneous camino (I’m off to Europe in few days), I am trying to do it as wisely as I can within my own time and research/planning limitations. I’m definitely thinking about traveling very light, but I am afraid of going too barebones… so here are some questions that may help tons.

Note: doing the Primitivo route and it is supposed to rain every day next week.

1. Walking sticks- yes or no? Should I bring them from home or get them in Oviedo? (Making my amazon shopping list now)

2. Sleeping bag- is it absolutely necessary to have one?

3. Hiking pants - never owned a pair and I usually use running leggings for all of my one day hikes (when they happen)

4. Towel!!! - I’d never think of brining one, but I just read somewhere I should not forget one.

5. Bottle - is a liter one okay? I read there is no water on some stretches and it makes me think if that is enough (don’t want to overpack if I don’t have to.

6. Sandals - so many people mention I take sandals in addition to my hiking shoes - hiking sandals? Trying to figure out what they mean and if it just relevant for the summer. I’m assuming I should take sandals for showers etc

7. Locks - Yes? No? I don’t know what they are are for, but I see them mentioned.

8. Hair and body products - do I need my own shampoo and body wash, etc?

9. Socks and underwear- I’m thinking of 3-4 each assuming I can wash them as I go. Where do you usually dry them? Do they dry fast? What is the best type to take? I hear smart wool, but does it dry overnight?

10. Medical supplies- someone I know mentioned I should take some painkillers, bandage tape, baby powder, cooling lotions for feet. Any thoughts? If there is something absolutely unwise to not take - what is it?

11. Head light (flashlight) - yes no? Necessary?

12. Waterproof backpack vs backpack rain cover?

ANYTHING ELSE?

I’m probably overthinking, but I’m worried to end up being underprepared since the little voice in my head says - keep it as light as possible and I’m questioning EVERYTHING.


Thank you to all of you who will take time to read this.
take good manners and an open heart. Forget not the mistakes you will make: if they don't kill you they will teach you :)

samarkand.
 
Hi @U20C_Katherine - my thoughts based on my past experience.

1. Walking sticks- yes or no? Should I bring them from home or get them in Oviedo?
-I am a confirmed walking stick person. On the Primitivo I found them essential for good support on the ascents and descents. On some of the descents (at the end of the Hospitales route in particular) the poles kept me from slipping and falling a couple of times). I find they help with good alignment while walking and are good for arm strengthening along the way :)
I've had the same walking poles for every camino and bring them from home. I usually check my pack and the poles collapse so it's not an issue with air travel for me. But if you prefer to carry your pack on, you can easily purchase some in Oviedo.


2. Sleeping bag- is it absolutely necessary to have one?
-This depends on your accommodation choices. If you are staying in albergues, then yes, a sleeping bag at this time of year on the Primitivo is necessary. I always take a very light weight sleeping bag when walking in the later fall and early spring. If you are staying exclusively in pensions, hostals or hotels, a bag is not so important.

3. Hiking pants - never owned a pair and I usually use running leggings.
-Personal choice but if rain is in the forecast, you may want something a little more protective. Some light weight hiking pants that dry quickly are a good choice.

4. Towel!!!
-Again, this depends on your accommodation choices. Albergues will not have towels.

5. Bottle - is a liter one okay? I read there is no water on some stretches
-I walked the Primitivo in the summer and made the bad mistake of not having enough water on the Hospitales route. There are no water sources on this stretch, and if I walked it again, I would make sure I had at least 2 litres, split into two bottles. Of course it was very hot, when I walked - you may not need as much water when it's cooler. On the rest of the Primitivo, starting out with 1 litre should be fine. Keep in mind though that at this time of year, not as many places (bars / cafes) may be open - especially early in the morning. Make sure you fill up your bottle(s) at your accommodation the night before.

6. Sandals - so many people mention I take sandals in addition to my hiking shoes - hiking sandals?
-For all my caminos, I've had my hiking shoes and a pair of light weight (Teva) sandals for the evening.

7. Locks - Yes? No? I don’t know what they are are for, but I see them mentioned.
-I've never taken a lock but I never leave my valuables. Ever. They come into the shower with me in a waterproof bag and stay with me in my sleeping bag at night.

8. Hair and body products - do I need my own shampoo and body wash, etc?
-Yes, you will need your own hair and body products as well as something to wash your clothes at the end of the day. Your choice on how you can keep things light by combining the use of the products you use. ie: body soap that can double as a clothes wash.

9. Socks and underwear- I’m thinking of 3-4 each assuming I can wash them as I go. Where do you usually dry them? Do they dry fast? What is the best type to take? I hear smart wool, but does it dry overnight?
-I take 3 of each. In the albergues, there are usually areas to hang your washed clothes. Drying time depends on the weather and if you can hang them inside or outside. Some places will have washers and dryers but many won't. I don't use smart wool items so can't comment on that.

10. Medical supplies- someone I know mentioned I should take some painkillers, bandage tape, baby powder, cooling lotions for feet. Any thoughts? If there is something absolutely unwise to not take - what is it?
-I take a small tube of antibiotic cream, a few blister bandages, painkillers. You don't need to overthink it. Keep in mind you can purchase anything you need along the way.

11. Head light (flashlight) - yes no? Necessary?
-I don't take a head light. I do have a small flashlight that has been handy on the few occasions I began a morning walking in the dark.

12. Waterproof backpack vs backpack rain cover?
-I have both a rain cover for my backpack if it's a light rain and add a light weight poncho if it's a heavier rain.

ANYTHING ELSE?
-Light weight layers are good. At this time of year it will be cool in the mornings, evenings and during the day if it's raining. It's a good idea to have a lightweight fleece, cap and gloves. I also bring a very light water resistant shell, which when worn over the fleece, keeps me warm.

I’m probably overthinking, but I’m worried to end up being underprepared since the little voice in my head says - keep it as light as possible and I’m questioning EVERYTHING.
-Try to focus on the basics. As you start walking, you'll be surprised at how little you need for your day. Always remember that you will be able to find anything you need along the way. In addition to water, always start the day with a bit of food in your pack - at this time of year, you may have to walk a bit before finding a place open for breakfast. A piece of fruit, some nuts or bread and cheese, purchased the night before is important.

Wishing you a wonderful camino!
 
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Past OR future Camino
April / May (2016) CF
All the responses above have pretty much covered everything. With regard to your water bottles, if you are concerned about weight you might want to bring a couple of collapsable Vapur water bottles. They weigh almost nothing empty, and full they can be clipped onto your backpack or sit in the water battle spot. I carried 2 on the CF, but only needed to fill 1 each day as it is very easy to refill along the way. Not only that, I still use them all the time when I go out for walks or hikes or day trips as they easily fold up in my purse or backpack.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
All the responses above have pretty much covered everything.
Yes, although I have to laugh that the answers were not unanimous!

About the clothing, remember that with light layers, you can pile them all on to stay warm, so don't take any "heavy" items or dedicated cold-weather clothes. Having a hat and/or buff and gloves also gives flexible warmth and they are easily removed as you warm up during the day. Your rain gear on top of several layers also will insulate you. However, you should be sure to keep one warm layer dry in the day, so that you can use it in the evening.
 
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Past OR future Camino
Future
Hi @U20C_Katherine - my thoughts based on my past experience.

1. Walking sticks- yes or no? Should I bring them from home or get them in Oviedo?
-I am a confirmed walking stick person. On the Primitivo I found them essential for good support on the ascents and descents. On some of the descents (at the end of the Hospitales route in particular) the poles kept me from slipping and falling a couple of times). I find they help with good alignment while walking and are good for arm strengthening along the way :)
I've had the same walking poles for every camino and bring them from home. I usually check my pack and the poles collapse so it's not an issue with air travel for me. But if you prefer to carry your pack on, you can easily purchase some in Oviedo.


2. Sleeping bag- is it absolutely necessary to have one?
-This depends on your accommodation choices. If you are staying in albergues, then yes, a sleeping bag at this time of year on the Primitivo is necessary. I always take a very light weight sleeping bag when walking in the later fall and early spring. If you are staying exclusively in pensions, hostals or hotels, a bag is not so important.

3. Hiking pants - never owned a pair and I usually use running leggings.
-Personal choice but if rain is in the forecast, you may want something a little more protective. Some light weight hiking pants that dry quickly are a good choice.

4. Towel!!!
-Again, this depends on your accommodation choices. Albergues will not have towels.

5. Bottle - is a liter one okay? I read there is no water on some stretches
-I walked the Primitivo in the summer and made the bad mistake of not having enough water on the Hospitales route. There are no water sources on this stretch, and if I walked it again, I would make sure I had at least 2 litres, split into two bottles. Of course it was very hot, when I walked - you may not need as much water when it's cooler. On the rest of the Primitivo, starting out with 1 litre should be fine. Keep in mind though that at this time of year, not as many places (bars / cafes) may be open - especially early in the morning. Make sure you fill up your bottle(s) at your accommodation the night before.

6. Sandals - so many people mention I take sandals in addition to my hiking shoes - hiking sandals?
-For all my caminos, I've had my hiking shoes and a pair of light weight (Teva) sandals for the evening.

7. Locks - Yes? No? I don’t know what they are are for, but I see them mentioned.
-I've never taken a lock but I never leave my valuables. Ever. They come into the shower with me in a waterproof bag and stay with me in my sleeping bag at night.

8. Hair and body products - do I need my own shampoo and body wash, etc?
-Yes, you will need your own hair and body products as well as something to wash your clothes at the end of the day. Your choice on how you can keep things light by combining the use of the products you use. ie: body soap that can double as a clothes wash.

9. Socks and underwear- I’m thinking of 3-4 each assuming I can wash them as I go. Where do you usually dry them? Do they dry fast? What is the best type to take? I hear smart wool, but does it dry overnight?
-I take 3 of each. In the albergues, there are usually areas to hang your washed clothes. Drying time depends on the weather and if you can hang them inside or outside. Some places will have washers and dryers but many won't. I don't use smart wool items so can't comment on that.

10. Medical supplies- someone I know mentioned I should take some painkillers, bandage tape, baby powder, cooling lotions for feet. Any thoughts? If there is something absolutely unwise to not take - what is it?
-I take a small tube of antibiotic cream, a few blister bandages, painkillers. You don't need to overthink it. Keep in mind you can purchase anything you need along the way.

11. Head light (flashlight) - yes no? Necessary?
-I don't take a head light. I do have a small flashlight that has been handy on the few occasions I began a morning walking in the dark.

12. Waterproof backpack vs backpack rain cover?
-I have both a rain cover for my backpack if it's a light rain and add a light weight poncho if it's a heavier rain.

ANYTHING ELSE?
-Light weight layers are good. At this time of year it will be cool in the mornings, evenings and during the day if it's raining. It's a good idea to have a lightweight fleece, cap and gloves. I also bring a very light water resistant shell, which when worn over the fleece, keeps me warm.

I’m probably overthinking, but I’m worried to end up being underprepared since the little voice in my head says - keep it as light as possible and I’m questioning EVERYTHING.
-Try to focus on the basics. As you start walking, you'll be surprised at how little you need for your day. Always remember that you will be able to find anything you need along the way. In addition to water, always start the day with a bit of food in your pack - at this time of year, you may have to walk a bit before finding a place open for breakfast. A piece of fruit, some nuts or bread and cheese, purchased the night before is important.

Wishing you a wonderful camino!
Thank you! I find all these advices extremely helpful!!! I appreciate it so much!
 
Past OR future Camino
Future
Yes, although I have to laugh that the answers were not unanimous!

About the clothing, remember that with light layers, you can pile them all on to stay warm, so don't take any "heavy" items or dedicated cold-weather clothes. Having a hat and/or buff and gloves also gives flexible warmth and they are easily removed as you warm up during the day. Your rain gear on top of several layers also will insulate you. However, you should be sure to keep one warm layer dry in the day, so that you can use in in the evening.
I am loving all the tips - taking notes of all and deciding which are more suitable of many… it’s great to get so many perspectives from seasoned pilgrims. I appreciate each and everyone of you. I may, one day, have an opinion of my own to add to the pile … and smile along with you :)
 
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NadineK

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2014)
Norte/Primitivo (2015)
San Salvador (2016)
Le Puy-Cahors (2017)
Aragonés (2019)
I know this is repeating some advice already given, but I walked the Primitivo at the end of July this year, and I NEEDED my sleeping bag! And this was in July! It was unseasonably cool but I would have had some very cold nights if I didn't have it with me- not all albergues have blankets.

And even though it will cooler when you walk and you won't have to drink as much water as in the summer, I would recommended bringing more than 1 liter of water for the Hospitales route (like someone above posted, 2 would probably be best). I know water gets heavy, but this is something I don't compromise on, even if I tend to carry more than I need.

I hope you have a great time, this is such a wonderful route! (If you can swing it, try to stay at the albergue in Samblismo, just before Hospitales, it's one of my favorites!)
 

Barbara

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
Water. You don't need to bring bottles. On day one just buy a couple of half litre bottles of water. That's your water for the day and when they are empty you refill them. You can take a life straw if you want, and then you can also fill from streams as well as taps. When the bottles are looking a bit tired then buy a couple more.
 

Richard Smith

Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2016
Kumano Kodo 2014
Another answer (opinion!) so hopefully not adding to your confusion :-

1. Walking sticks
Me=no, my wife=yes. If you havn't used them before on hikes then .... no

2. Sleeping bag- is it absolutely necessary to have one?
Me=yes, my wife=sometimes. I sleep cold, she sleeps hot

3. Hiking pants
Take two or three sets of whatever you wear on your legs

4. Towel!!!
Yes, one of those microfibre ones that dry fast and are light.

5. Bottle
Yes, 1 litre water bottle. You can buy an extra bottle of water and refill if this is not enough but we did not need to

6. Sandals
Yes. Flip flops (thongs) for us, hiking sandals too heavy and I shipped them ahead. Use in the hostels and walk around the villages. Note: In australia we wear these all summer, I have even used them on a multi day bush walk if I had problems with my boots.

7. Locks
No but note previous replies about security of valuables when you take a shower

8. Hair and body products
Yes but small containers

9. Socks and underwear
In my opinion, 3 sets sox, 3 sets underwear, nylon, wash everyday so one set is spare, if they do not dry overnight then attach to backpack with nappy pins and dry next day walk

10. Medical supplies
Cloth tape for blisters, scissors to cut this tape, plus whatever you would take on a one day walk in your home town. The rest you can buy if you need it.

11. Head light (flashlight)
Yes

12. Waterproof backpack vs backpack rain cover?
Yes. I find backpack rain covers useless in heavy rain, we take dry bags for essential stuff and a poncho to cover you and the pack.

ANYTHING ELSE?
Have a great Camino!
 

Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances(2020)
Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
My two cents:

Walking sticks- yes or no? Buy them there. Support the local economy and don't worry about losing expensive ones or getting them back home.

2. Sleeping bag- This time of year, absolutely

3. Hiking pants -leggings are fine if you don't get cold

4. Towel!!! - If you do not take one, you will drip dry in cold weather. Your decision.

5. Bottle - is a liter one okay? Yes, or pick up a plastic one and refill it when you find fountains.

6. Sandals - Just pick up flip flops or croc knock offs for showers if you want to avoid foot fungus.

7. Locks - no

8. Hair and body products - I suggest a shampoo bar

9. Socks and underwear- I wear one pair and take 2. I use sock liners in winter so only have those to wash. I wash the wool ones only about once a week.

10. Medical supplies- I don't take all that. There are pharmacies all along the way. A couple of bandaids, a needle, some alcohol wipes. That's about all I take.

11. Head light: That or a small flashlight. Preferably one with a red light and please take care not to shine it in people's eyes in the albergue.

12. Waterproof backpack vs backpack rain cover? I use an ALTUS poncho which covers my pack. Otherwise you will need a pack cover this season.

What not to take: Expectations. Be willing to ride the wave of the Camino and change plans on a dime.
Buen Camino!
 
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Adelina

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
Agree with many of the above - I did not use a lock either - just took a collapsible day pack to carry valuables at the end of the day to shower, etc. and it went into my big pack during the day.

What I don't see is a poncho and as a one of my favorite posts on this forum went when asked what should be left behind:
one year the poncho was the least used item in the pack
the next year, the poncho was the most used item in the pack!

Moral of the story, be prepared! But remember, you are not going to Antarctica, anything you forgot can be purchased there.
 

Jamos

New Member
Past OR future Camino
plan (sept/oct 2016)
As it is my first and very spontaneous camino (I’m off to Europe in few days), I am trying to do it as wisely as I can within my own time and research/planning limitations. I’m definitely thinking about traveling very light, but I am afraid of going too barebones… so here are some questions that may help tons.

Note: doing the Primitivo route and it is supposed to rain every day next week.

1. Walking sticks- yes or no? Should I bring them from home or get them in Oviedo? (Making my amazon shopping list now)

2. Sleeping bag- is it absolutely necessary to have one?

3. Hiking pants - never owned a pair and I usually use running leggings for all of my one day hikes (when they happen)

4. Towel!!! - I’d never think of brining one, but I just read somewhere I should not forget one.

5. Bottle - is a liter one okay? I read there is no water on some stretches and it makes me think if that is enough (don’t want to overpack if I don’t have to.

6. Sandals - so many people mention I take sandals in addition to my hiking shoes - hiking sandals? Trying to figure out what they mean and if it just relevant for the summer. I’m assuming I should take sandals for showers etc

7. Locks - Yes? No? I don’t know what they are are for, but I see them mentioned.

8. Hair and body products - do I need my own shampoo and body wash, etc?

9. Socks and underwear- I’m thinking of 3-4 each assuming I can wash them as I go. Where do you usually dry them? Do they dry fast? What is the best type to take? I hear smart wool, but does it dry overnight?

10. Medical supplies- someone I know mentioned I should take some painkillers, bandage tape, baby powder, cooling lotions for feet. Any thoughts? If there is something absolutely unwise to not take - what is it?

11. Head light (flashlight) - yes no? Necessary?

12. Waterproof backpack vs backpack rain cover?

ANYTHING ELSE?

I’m probably overthinking, but I’m worried to end up being underprepared since the little voice in my head says - keep it as light as possible and I’m questioning EVERYTHING.


Thank you to all of you who will take time to read this.
Lots to think about. One of the best things I took and which I hesitated taking was a rain poncho! it was the ugliest thing I ever saw but was a life saver on the couple of days it rained and rained hard! I could hear my Dad who is in Heaven whispering in my ear words he used to tell me as a teen…”it is NOT a fashion show!” Another saving grace was…carrying sandals and wearing hiking shoes! I had some issues with shin splints and one day I would have had to walk many miles had I not had those sandals to change into which somehow gave relief to the pain! Keep it simple!
 

Geodoc

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2018 (across Pyrenees, then Sarria to SdC), CF 2019 (SJPdP to Finisterra & Muxia), CI 2019
I found Croc sandals to be perfect at the end of the day - useful for both showers and walking about town, and incredibly lightweight (due to the fact that I've got Sasquatch sized feet, I would strap mine to my pack). I used the men's swiftwater sandals (here's the women's version)
 

motero99

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2019
Camino Norte (2020)
11. Headlamp works much better than a flashlight as it keeps both hands free. A friend finished the Frances today and almost everyone of his daily blogs mentioned starting out with a headlamp. If you are staying in shared housing (albergue) then get a headlamp that has red lights in addition to the normal white ones. The white lights wake everyone up in the room no matter how careful you are. The red ones are easy on sleepers eyes. When I did my Camino, the first few days I was one of the last ones to get up as I wanted light to pack my things to make sure nothing was left behind. Later I discovered I could pack in comfort with the red lights on and nobody was disturbed.
 
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Past OR future Camino
Frances (2016), Norte (2017), Portuges (2018), Mozarabe (2019), Primitivo (2019), Via de La Plata (2
As it is my first and very spontaneous camino (I’m off to Europe in few days), I am trying to do it as wisely as I can within my own time and research/planning limitations. I’m definitely thinking about traveling very light, but I am afraid of going too barebones… so here are some questions that may help tons.

Note: doing the Primitivo route and it is supposed to rain every day next week.

1. Walking sticks- yes or no? Should I bring them from home or get them in Oviedo? (Making my amazon shopping list now)

2. Sleeping bag- is it absolutely necessary to have one?

3. Hiking pants - never owned a pair and I usually use running leggings for all of my one day hikes (when they happen)

4. Towel!!! - I’d never think of brining one, but I just read somewhere I should not forget one.

5. Bottle - is a liter one okay? I read there is no water on some stretches and it makes me think if that is enough (don’t want to overpack if I don’t have to.

6. Sandals - so many people mention I take sandals in addition to my hiking shoes - hiking sandals? Trying to figure out what they mean and if it just relevant for the summer. I’m assuming I should take sandals for showers etc

7. Locks - Yes? No? I don’t know what they are are for, but I see them mentioned.

8. Hair and body products - do I need my own shampoo and body wash, etc?

9. Socks and underwear- I’m thinking of 3-4 each assuming I can wash them as I go. Where do you usually dry them? Do they dry fast? What is the best type to take? I hear smart wool, but does it dry overnight?

10. Medical supplies- someone I know mentioned I should take some painkillers, bandage tape, baby powder, cooling lotions for feet. Any thoughts? If there is something absolutely unwise to not take - what is it?

11. Head light (flashlight) - yes no? Necessary?

12. Waterproof backpack vs backpack rain cover?

ANYTHING ELSE?

I’m probably overthinking, but I’m worried to end up being underprepared since the little voice in my head says - keep it as light as possible and I’m questioning EVERYTHING.


Thank you to all of you who will take time to read this.
!. You will be glad that you have them (if they are aluminium or it if you are old school like me and just have your wooden Baston, it). The Primitivo was the most physically demanding of the Caminos which I have done. El Norte was hell because of the mud in the first week but the disnivel of the Primitivo was hard.
2. Always.
3. Hiking trousers. In wet weather your leggings will rub and not retain warmth.
4. Definitely. Take one of the quick drying medium sized ones available from Decathlon or an outdoor specialist whereever you are coming from.
5. A litre is enough. There are plenty of places on the Camino to top up.
6. Flip flops for albergues and showers. They weigh nothing.
7. Don't think that you need them but it's a personal thing if it helps you mentally.
8. Yes you do. Take your favourite or even something that is more expensive or luxurious than you would usually use. I take Paul Smith shower gel with me. You would not believe the psychological boost that you get using it in your shower after a tough day on the Camino.
9. 4 pairs of each should be enough. You must have been training in socks. If you are happy with them use them. On the Primitivo the albergues are almost all up to date, so there will be places to dry your socks.
10. Take basic stuff. Ibuprofen, Compeed patches, talcum powder........I have seen the cooling lotion stuff on the Camino blogs and it seems to be recommended. The most important thing is that you are happy with your shoes and that you have worn them a lot during your training.
11. Only needed if you are planning on doing any really early starts.
12. Either.
13. I found that between 5 or 6 kg is an optimum weight.

Buen Camino.
 

RRat

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Planning 2017
As it is my first and very spontaneous camino (I’m off to Europe in few days), I am trying to do it as wisely as I can within my own time and research/planning limitations. I’m definitely thinking about traveling very light, but I am afraid of going too barebones… so here are some questions that may help tons.

Note: doing the Primitivo route and it is supposed to rain every day next week.

1. Walking sticks- yes or no? Should I bring them from home or get them in Oviedo? (Making my amazon shopping list now)

2. Sleeping bag- is it absolutely necessary to have one?

3. Hiking pants - never owned a pair and I usually use running leggings for all of my one day hikes (when they happen)

4. Towel!!! - I’d never think of brining one, but I just read somewhere I should not forget one.

5. Bottle - is a liter one okay? I read there is no water on some stretches and it makes me think if that is enough (don’t want to overpack if I don’t have to.

6. Sandals - so many people mention I take sandals in addition to my hiking shoes - hiking sandals? Trying to figure out what they mean and if it just relevant for the summer. I’m assuming I should take sandals for showers etc

7. Locks - Yes? No? I don’t know what they are are for, but I see them mentioned.

8. Hair and body products - do I need my own shampoo and body wash, etc?

9. Socks and underwear- I’m thinking of 3-4 each assuming I can wash them as I go. Where do you usually dry them? Do they dry fast? What is the best type to take? I hear smart wool, but does it dry overnight?

10. Medical supplies- someone I know mentioned I should take some painkillers, bandage tape, baby powder, cooling lotions for feet. Any thoughts? If there is something absolutely unwise to not take - what is it?

11. Head light (flashlight) - yes no? Necessary?

12. Waterproof backpack vs backpack rain cover?

ANYTHING ELSE?

I’m probably overthinking, but I’m worried to end up being underprepared since the little voice in my head says - keep it as light as possible and I’m questioning EVERYTHING.


Thank you to all of you who will take time to read this.
Thin socks stand a better chance of drying than thick socks. Don't always have a sunny place on the clothesline.
 
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Wmonk2071

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (Sarria to SdC)
Camino Portugues
For those of you who say no sleeping bag - what bedding do you bring/use?
the ones i stayed in had disposable beddings provided by hostels or albergues. I did bring a light cover just in case, but never used it because of previous.
 

lovetoread3

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances Abril 2018; Primitivo May 2018
When I did the Primitivo (late May, 2018), it rained about every other day. It was cloudy almost all the time. It was chilly or cold except for a few late afternoons. It’s not fun to walk in wet clothes so prepare for that. Also, when it rains, your clothes will NOT dry. It’s just too humid. I took several gallon size ziplock bags to keep my clothes from getting wet/damp while walking in the rain and also to store the wet clothes in when they didn’t dry overnight. Hung them out at the next albuergue inside so they would hopefully dry. I had smart wool/darn tough/lorpen(Spanish brand) socks. Minimally 3prs(I wished I had a 4th). Yes, it’s true you can buy stuff at pharmacies but it’s the Primitivo and shops etc are far and few between. Also, they close early on Sat and are closed on Sundays. You go through a few cities but I recommend carrying 1st aid for blisters (hopefully you know what you need for your feet - it’s different for everyone) and enough Tylenol or ibuprofen as you might need for a week. Make reservations, there are fewer albergues open now than earlier in the season. Also, not every place where you stay will have a cafe, sometimes you need to reserve a meal or you won’t get to eat. Ask when you reserve the bed if there is a place to eat. In cities this doesn’t matter. ALWAYS have some food with you, the cafes close when they run out of food. I cannot emphasize this enough, have some food with you. Yes bring a sleeping bag (I had a 400g down bag I used every night). I agree with a previous comment you should bring a beanie, gloves, buff. It can be very windy, blowing your hood off. The buff can be placed over the hood to keep it covering your head. It will get wet but if wool, will dry overnight. Keep your passport, credit card, credential etc in a ziplock bag somewhere on your body or in a bag you don’t remove from your body every time you put down your bkpk. You’ll need to present your passport when you checkin at an albergue but that’s about the only place you need it when walking. Keep it safe. You will need cash if you haven’t paid online in advance for albergue. They prefer cash so be aware of how much you have on you and how much you may need and where the next ATM is. Absolutely need poles. Many of the paths are also the same paths used to herd cattle and sheep so they’re VERY mucky and deep. You will definitely need the poles to help get through/around those parts. I had waterproof low top shoes. Wished I had boots. And the only place you might need a lock is in a hostal either before or after your Camino. I donated mine immediately as it was deadweight. If you wear eyeglasses, bring a baseball cap or visor to wear under your hood to hold the hood up (they usually fall forward over your eyes.) The brim of the hat also keeps your glasses dry. Basically my advice is try not to get cold and wet at the same time. Don’t get too hungry between food breaks. Fill your water bottle up every time you can. Address foot pain immediately. And have a great time. It’s gorgeous up there. 😘😘
 
Past OR future Camino
2018
My two cents:

Walking sticks- yes or no? Buy them there. Support the local economy and don't worry about losing expensive ones or getting them back home.

2. Sleeping bag- This time of year, absolutely

3. Hiking pants -leggings are fine if you don't get cold

4. Towel!!! - If you do not take one, you will drip dry in cold weather. Your decision.

5. Bottle - is a liter one okay? Yes, or pick up a plastic one and refill it when you find fountains.

6. Sandals - Just pick up flip flops or croc knock offs for showers if you want to avoid foot fungus.

7. Locks - no

8. Hair and body products - I suggest a shampoo bar

9. Socks and underwear- I wear one pair and take 2. I use sock liners in winter so only have those to wash. I wash the wool ones only about once a week.

10. Medical supplies- I don't take all that. There are pharmacies all along the way. A couple of bandaids, a needle, some alcohol wipes. That's about all I take.

11. Head light: That or a small flashlight. Preferably one with a red light and please take care not to shine it in people's eyes in the albergue.

12. Waterproof backpack vs backpack rain cover? I use an ALTUS poncho which covers my pack. Otherwise you will need a pack cover this season.

What not to take: Expectations. Be willing to ride the wave of the Camino and change plans on a dime.
Buen Camino!
Thanks for the comment about not shining headlight in people’s eyes! So easy to forget when getting engrossed in what one is doing and can be annoying to dangerous to catch someone off guard and momentarily blind them.
 

Paladina

old woman of the roads
Past OR future Camino
CF, primitivo & del norte (2017); VdlP/Sanabres, ingles etc (2018), Mozarabe etc (2019), tbc (2020)
9. Re underwear: synthetic materials get very smelly very quickly, if not from bodily secretions then from not having dried fully overnight. I only ever wear merino for hiking/cycling trips; in case of dire necessity merino underpants can last 2 or 3 days before they really need changing. I prefer Icebreaker to Smartwool because, apart from the waistband, they're 100 per cent wool, are cool in warm weather and warm in cool weather. Hand wash them in the evening, wring well, and if they are still slightly damp the following morning they'll dry on you without discomfort.

Even in foul weather, the Primitivo is glorious; I hope you'll love it as much as I do.
 

Roland49

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF2019, CP2022?
1. Walking sticks- yes or no? Should I bring them from home or get them in Oviedo? (Making my amazon shopping list now)
I was 49 at my CF and did not use Sticks. I crossed the Alps this year and was very pleased that I had sticks available. If your knees are totally ok, you don't need sticks.
2. Sleeping bag- is it absolutely necessary to have one?
Yes, as far as I am informed you need your personal sleeping bag. I ordered a NatureHike super-light sleeping bag from Amazon for the Alps.
3. Hiking pants - never owned a pair and I usually use running leggings for all of my one day hikes (when they happen)
Yes, a long one and/or a convertible. It can be cold and leggins don't offer the amount of insulating air. If it is hot, just use the leggins or shorten the Hiking Pant.
4. Towel!!! - I’d never think of brining one, but I just read somewhere I should not forget one.
Yes. I did order some microfiber barber-terry-towel. Cheap, dry fast and very easy in handling.
5. Bottle - is a liter one okay? I read there is no water on some stretches and it makes me think if that is enough (don’t want to overpack if I don’t have to.
I walked in July on the CF and had 2 0.5l-bottles and never needed to fill up while walking. But I am known as "the camel of the family" and don't fall thirsty very easy.
6. Sandals - so many people mention I take sandals in addition to my hiking shoes - hiking sandals? Trying to figure out what they mean and if it just relevant for the summer. I’m assuming I should take sandals for showers etc
In fall I recommend to use hiking-boots made of tech-fibre. You can bring lightweight sandals to walk on the afternoons or in the albergues.
7. Locks - Yes? No? I don’t know what they are are for, but I see them mentioned.
Your valuables belong near your body. Anytime! Bring an double-s-hook.
8. Hair and body products - do I need my own shampoo and body wash, etc?
I used a half of an Aleppo-Soap-Bar for all cleaning-needs. Dry products are less in weight. You don't need Shampoo, etc.
9. Socks and underwear- I’m thinking of 3-4 each assuming I can wash them as I go. Where do you usually dry them? Do they dry fast? What is the best type to take? I hear smart wool, but does it dry overnight?
2 sets are ok, 3 sets are luxury. Merino-wool (or a mix) for underlayer. I used microfibre-underwear, dry fast, seamless. Anti-blister-Socks (Wrightsocks or similar)
10. Medical supplies- someone I know mentioned I should take some painkillers, bandage tape, baby powder, cooling lotions for feet. Any thoughts? If there is something absolutely unwise to not take - what is it?
Tape, band-aid and aspirin. You are not mid of a jungle, it's mid of Europe. You can buy more, if you need it. Bring magnesium-powder-pouches for the electrolytes. It works!

11. Head light (flashlight) - yes no? Necessary?
Yes, you will need it! Don't use it inside dorms. Or use red light if available.
12. Waterproof backpack vs backpack rain cover?
Rain-cover!
ANYTHING ELSE?
Scarf / bandana / buff and hat. Sunblocker. Lightweight Rain-Jacket. Poncho: nope

Buen Camino!
Have fun walking.
 
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Original artwork based on your pilgrimage or other travel photos.

Lhollo

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF pt2, Belorado to Sarria, May 21 – June 12, 2022
My thoughts may be a little late but for what they’re worth…

1. Walking sticks — I thought I might pick these up when I arrived in SJPDP because the first day out from there on the Frances is a long, steep climb. I then didn’t bother buying any because a) being conscious of the weight of my pack, they seemed heavy items to carry when not in use, and b) I felt they might actually hinder me, because I wouldn’t easily be able to reach for things as I walked (camera every few minutes, phone for maps, water, etc). Most of the other pilgrims I saw on the first sections had poles—my partner and I were unusual—but after that they seemed slowly to disappear. I am VERY glad I didn’t bother with them. I say this as someone who sometimes uses poles at home because I have a health condition which gives me dislocations, and they provide an upper body workout. You’d think that poles would be a good idea for me. It was freeing to not have them. But that’s just me. For other people, and for me in the past, they were essential.

2. Sleeping bag — I stayed in private rooms so sheets and quilts were provided, but was aware that albergues had rules about everyone bringing their own sleeping bag. You’ll need something, as others have said.

3. Hiking pants — If the running pants work for you, stick with what you know? Do you have a pair for colder weather as well as for in the heat?

4. Towel — I guess you could shake yourself dry after showers. A small travel towel might be a better plan.

5. Bottle — I LOVE my current system which comprises two of these 1 litre platypus water bottles https://www.platy.com/ie/bottles/softbottle-1.0l/softbottle.html, (the ones with the push-pull-cap). (Edit… just to add that on hot days I often drank most of my two litres and then filled up again. With the two bottles, I sometimes only part-filled each, then refilled along the way. I also added Nuun electrolytes because I dehydrate easily (they’re an extra weight but essential for me). By having two bottles, you can make sure they’re well balanced on either side of you). They roll down, so no problem with carrying them on a plane. They weigh almost nothing. My backpack is an ultralight Gossamer Gear G4-20, which has brilliant, large side pockets that are easy to reach whilst wearing the pack. So, I just put the two bottles there and sip from them alternately. They’re lighter than a water bladder and I can regulate their weight. They’re very easy to fill and you can see how much water you have left, which isn’t the case with bladders. They’re tough so can be used in theory for years (I use mine for hikes from home all the time) so you’re cutting down on plastic usage by not regularly buying new bottles. I know other people swear by bladder systems though, and used to use one myself. As a side note, I originally planned to use Smart Water bottles but then talked with Spanish friends who’ve never heard of Smart Water. I never saw it in shops along the Camino. Where are other forum members finding their Smart Water bottles?!

6. Sandals - I swear by my EVA Birkenstocks. They’re super light, and comfortable enough to wear around town as well as around showers and albergues etc. I wear them when my walking shoes need to air out/dry off, and also to give my feet some air. My partner took some too, but didn’t like them because his were a little too large. You have to make sure they fit really well, to your feet as they are now (my partner ‘sized up’ as you would for walking shoes, thinking his feet would be larger at the end of the day. I didn’t do this because I already owned my sandals and use them around the house).

7. Locks - I stayed in private rooms so others know best about this.

8. Hair and body products - nowhere will provide these. I resented carrying some of them so sometimes bought them in supermarkets, used what I needed that day, then left them with the hotel/albergue, either for other pilgrims to use, or as a gift for the owners/cleaners. I did squirt half a tube of toothpaste down a toilet because I refused to carry the extra weight of it! 😂 That felt horribly wasteful but… I’m too petite to carry extra weight which isn’t needed, and it adds up.

9. Socks and underwear — 3 or 4 pairs of merino socks, 2 pairs of pants. Wash and hang to dry. Extra socks are helpful so you can change them as soon as you need to and keep your feet fresh.

10. Medical supplies — take a basic kit. Make sure you have safety pins, a needle and thread (depending on your approach to blisters), lint/gauze padding, medical tape, sticking plasters/band aid, alcohol wipes. You may want an anti-chafing stick. Definitely paracetamol and ibuprofen.

11. Head light (flashlight). I took a super light Petzl Bindi, even though we stayed in private rooms. I only used it once. I liked knowing that if I had to walk in an unlit area at night, I wouldn’t be dependant on my phone battery. Others will have better advice regarding albergues and whats needed/etiquette, etc.

12. Waterproof backpack vs backpack rain cover. The problems with a backpack rain cover are that once it’s on, you can’t access your stuff, and that they can blow off in high winds (I once lost my Osprey one on the Cairngorms plateau in Scotland. Not ideal!). A poncho will cover both you and your backpack. I use waterproof/resistant bags inside my backpack so don’t really worry about it getting wet, plus the poncho also sorts that out. I was originally on the fence about waterproof bags/dry sacks, thinking ‘just use freezer bags’, or ‘but they weigh an extra x/y amount!’. But I gushed about how much I loved them each day on my camino! I had Granite Gear ‘air zipditty’ bags, but now also have Exped fully waterproof ones. The benefits of them are that you can easily unpack your backpack at the end of the day without taking out each item individually—it’s a case of, for example: the blue bag for larger items of clothing; the purple one for electronics; the green one for underwear; the little blue one for medical and bathroom stuff… etc—; that they’re tough, whereas my freezer bags ripped, but also very smooth so they’ll slide out of your backpack easily, no tugging; they’re quick to pack away in the mornings; and you know your stuff will be dry inside them.

Anything else…

Have you thought about things like a lightweight insulating layer? A down jacket, or something similar, might be useful for this season’s cool/cold evenings when at altitude, for example. I wore a summer cap and took sunglasses. I bought a buff along the way because even in August, mornings were cool. You may need more warmth (beanie, gloves, etc).

Electronics… chargers, socket adapters, a long cable in case the power point isn’t near your bed…

A couple of pegs or pins to attach your clothes to a communal rack or line while they dry. (I didn’t need these because I had private rooms and plenty of afternoon sun, but know that they can be essential).

I’m with you on being minimal! For the most part, anything you struggle for, you can pick up along the route. Layers for warmth are a possible exception to this given that by the time you’re up a mountain, it’s too late to buy extras (I’ve learned this the hard way 😂).
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I ordered a NatureHike super-light sleeping bag from Amazon
I also use a NatureHike light sleeping bag for my Caminos and it serves me well. They are possibly a bit small for some men, but perfect for me. Worth a look as the dimensions are shown. This is the model I have which is totally suitable for indoor use.

Naturehike Ultralight Envelope Sleeping Bag, Backpack Portable Compact Lightweight Warm Weather Sleeping Bag for Adults Kids, Backpacking, Camping, Hiking with Compression Sack https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08BLB59V2/ref=cm_sw_r_awdo_navT_g_JG6PY7TK4VRAS77JSKMG
 

Roland49

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF2019, CP2022?

Lhollo

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF pt2, Belorado to Sarria, May 21 – June 12, 2022
I read through all of your notes. #thankful! But this is something no one mentioned before and I think it’s a brilliant idea! Thank you
This is a little like the electrolyte tablets I used, but mine have more than just magnesium. I used these Nuun ones because they’re all natural and I’m a bit funny about artificial sweeteners etc. They taste nice, were great in the heat, and helped because I have various difficulties with muscles and keeping hydrated. I now swear by them.
 
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Pipmahoe

Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances June 2018
Central Portuguese April 2019 8 weeks post hip replacement!
How exciting, your first Camino 😄💞
I remember exactly how that feels, I think I read up so much, and took all the advice I could. Here goes……
1. Walking sticks- definitely! You do see pilgrims walking without them, but the majority use them as it takes a lot of strain off your legs. The first time I bought mine in Spain, after several days of walking, and had NO problem taking them on the plan with me as I needed to use them due to a trapped nerve in my posterior! However, and I know everyone says you cannot take them in your hand luggage, flying from Scotland to & from France/Spain & Portugal, I have had absolutely NO problem carrying my poles IN my backpack, with rubber stoppers on the tips, as hand luggage.

2. Sleeping bag- I suppose it depends where you plan on staying, if you stay in hotels/guest houses etc you won’t need one. If you are in Alberques then yes you would need a liner &/or a bag. We bought a nice light sb from decathlon, if it was too warm we just slept on top of it.

3. Hiking pants - not necessary- go with what you are comfortable in.

4. Towel!!! - same as sb depends where you are staying.

5. Bottle - i would say a litre is definitely NOT enough, you DO NOT want to run out of water. The first time I went with a bladder, I found this a hassle when it came to refilling it. Now I carry 3 x 1/2 litre soft shell foldable ‘little bladders’, they are light and don’t take up any room, when full I carry them in my side pockets. I supplement this with Aquaes (?) a rehydrating drink you can buy in Spain.

6. Sandals - You definitely need an alternative footwear to what you are wearing during the day. I take flip flops or sandals.

7. Locks - brought them first time to tie our boots together as had read about people accidentally taking the wrong boots, only used it a couple of times, never brought it again.

8. Hair and body products - Unless staying in a hotel that provides it then YES. My son and I walked The Frances, it took approximately 31 days, we brought a bar of Lush soap in a lush tin. We used it for our hair, body and washing- one bar lasted the whole trip for us both.

9. Socks and underwear- we took 3 of each, we did washing most days. Again it’s a very personal decision, some people use Marino wool, my niece prefers cotton sports socks, some wear liners under their socks. Go with what you know, the Camino is not the place to experiment. Depends on the weather, the material and the facilities wether or not your washing dries over night, if it doesn’t just pin it to you pack.

10. Medical supplies- micropore tape is good for taping blisters or sore bits. We used to tape our sore bits then rub vicks on our feet every morning before putting our socks on. The vicks really helps prevent friction, makes your feet feel refreshed and smells nice, especially when you are in a dorm. You can buy everything you need there, the pharmacies are well stocked and are used to dealing with pilgrims. I would suggest drinking rehydration treatment like dioralyte especially if it’s very hot and you sweat a lot.

11. Head light (flashlight) - we brought wee torches but ended up just using our phones.

12. Waterproof backpack vs backpack rain cover? Both, especially if you are expecting rain. We also used waterproof stuff bags, which also had the extra bonus of segregating all your stuff ie: clean/dirty clothes, toiletries, bedding.

ANYTHING ELSE? I was very lucky that my sister and her family had been on several Camino’s before us. So they were a font of knowledge. A bed bug mattress protector- I wouldn’t go without it, it’s means if there are bugs they don’t transfer to your sb. Also I would spray my sb, backpack and stuff bags with bed bug spray. If you are unlucky enough to happen upon an Alberque that has bugs and you then have visible bites other albergues have been known to refuse you enter. Do NOT bring anything “Just in case”, you don’t need it, and if there is something that you do need but didn’t bring them you can buy it there.
A buff is very useful, chapstick. I bought myself a tiny brush and a wee shoulder bag for when not walking. I brought a swimsuit and one microfibres towel which is very light and I used for showers and swimming.
I carried a washing line -never used it!
Torch -never used it
Guide book- too heavy, I photographed it with my phone and left it behind. The clothes I travelled in where my evening clothes.
The lighter your pack the more pleasant your Camino will be. We keep ours to no more than 6kgs before water and energy/emergency snacks.

Wishing you the very best experience on your first Camino 👣💞
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
If your knees are totally ok, you don't need sticks.
My knees are totally okay, but I use sticks almost every step of the way. The only time that I stow them on my pack is when I'm going through a busy city.
When I'm using a backpack my center of gravity is altered, and poles help with my posture, and keep my back from getting sore.
They also have saved me from a couple of tumbles, and keep my arms toned.
 

Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances(2020)
these Nuun ones because they’re all natural and I’m a bit funny about artificial sweeteners etc. They taste nice, were great in the heat, and helped because I have various difficulties with muscles and keeping hydrated. I now swear by them.
If you're not worried about having something all natural, are electrolyte packages easily available in farmacias in Spain?
 

Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances(2020)
I also use a NatureHike light sleeping bag for my Caminos and it serves me well. They are possibly a bit small for some men, but perfect for me. Worth a look as the dimensions are shown. This is the model I have which is totally suitable for indoor use.

Naturehike Ultralight Envelope Sleeping Bag, Backpack Portable Compact Lightweight Warm Weather Sleeping Bag for Adults Kids, Backpacking, Camping, Hiking with Compression Sack https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08BLB59V2/ref=cm_sw_r_awdo_navT_g_JG6PY7TK4VRAS77JSKMG
It's odd, the bag you linked to claims to be goose down. $22 seems awfully cheap for down. The other colors talk about polyester or silk-like cotton. Their description is a bit confusing. And they hint at an XL version that might be good for a larger male, but don't list it. Do you think this bag is warm enough for a March albergue camino france?
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
Here are some links to two packing lists I thought were helpful. In October I think you'll need a sleeping bag unless you always staying in hotels.
The weights cited in the latter do rely on you being a petite female!
 
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Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
If you're not worried about having something all natural, are electrolyte packages easily available in farmacias in Spain?
Yes. Most well known sports brands are to be found. If not, ask for ‘dioralyte’ - often used to promote rehydration when suffering from severe digestive issues. (I can’t spell diarrhoea - but happily my phone can!)
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
7. Locks - brought them first time to tie our boots together as had read about people accidentally taking the wrong boots, only used it a couple of times, never brought it again.
If it concerns you, tie one of your boots to an obviously different sized boot of a friend or colleague and vice-versa. Often done to make skis less prone to being stolen. You might be very unlucky and encounter a boot-less thief with odd sized feet, but it’s unlikely.
 
Last edited:

Barbara

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
I will give you a small story about headlights in dorms. I'm not an early riser and sleep rather lightly, especially when surrounded by other people. On one occasion, the SAME person managed not only to shine her light in my eyes twice (and it was a very bright one) but trod on my head on her second climb up to her bunk. This was around 04:00. Now, I know people sometimes need to get up in the night, I do myself on occasion, especially if there was plenty of wine within reach of my greedy paws, but at least I shut the bathroom door before turning on the light, and leave it shut until I have turned the light off again. Not this one.

So, I haven't slept much, but have just drifted off when the rustling and bumping starts. And the light in my eyes. Think Eddystone Light without the flashing. I was not a polite pilgrim. I reminded the culprit that I was entirely capable of ripping said light off her head and jumping up and down on it, if it shone on me once more. I may have omitted the ripping it off her head part, but it was early in the morning. It is certain that I also offered to make her eat the pieces.

Later that week we once again found ourselves in the same room. Such a change. No blinding light, just a wee glimmer in a cupped hand. No more did she tread on my head (or, I suppose, on anybody else's head). So you see, the moral of the tale is that a polite reminder works wonders in modifying behaviour. Although sometimes you may need to channel your inner Godzilla.

Happy Camino, OP, and remember what to say if you are awakened by a totally unnecessary light.
 

Roland49

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF2019, CP2022?
I read through all of your notes. #thankful! But this is something no one mentioned before and I think it’s a brilliant idea! Thank you
As I walked on my fifth day from Puente de la Reina to Los Arcos the Magnesium saved my day!
It was 38°C and the distance was 43km. Had drunk more water than usual.
I had cramps in my hands and pinching muscles in my calves due to shift in electrolytes. Do know this from long tournament-days in table-tennis.

After consuming two pouches (total of 800mg) Magnesium and a rest of 1,5h in the albergue I was ok again.
You can use multi-mineral-pouches, too. As far as I'm informed the Magnesium alone should help.
 
Pilgrim Pouch carry bags with different designs
A lightweight carry bag handy for walking, biking, traveling, & Caminos
Create your own ad
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Past OR future Camino
2018
My thoughts may be a little late but for what they’re worth…

1. Walking sticks — I thought I might pick these up when I arrived in SJPDP because the first day out from there on the Frances is a long, steep climb. I then didn’t bother buying any because a) being conscious of the weight of my pack, they seemed heavy items to carry when not in use, and b) I felt they might actually hinder me, because I wouldn’t easily be able to reach for things as I walked (camera every few minutes, phone for maps, water, etc). Most of the other pilgrims I saw on the first sections had poles—my partner and I were unusual—but after that they seemed slowly to disappear. I am VERY glad I didn’t bother with them. I say this as someone who sometimes uses poles at home because I have a health condition which gives me dislocations, and they provide an upper body workout. You’d think that poles would be a good idea for me. It was freeing to not have them. But that’s just me. For other people, and for me in the past, they were essential.

2. Sleeping bag — I stayed in private rooms so sheets and quilts were provided, but was aware that albergues had rules about everyone bringing their own sleeping bag. You’ll need something, as others have said.

3. Hiking pants — If the running pants work for you, stick with what you know? Do you have a pair for colder weather as well as for in the heat?

4. Towel — I guess you could shake yourself dry after showers. A small travel towel might be a better plan.

5. Bottle — I LOVE my current system which comprises two of these 1 litre platypus water bottles https://www.platy.com/ie/bottles/softbottle-1.0l/softbottle.html, (the ones with the push-pull-cap). (Edit… just to add that on hot days I often drank most of my two litres and then filled up again. With the two bottles, I sometimes only part-filled each, then refilled along the way. I also added Nuun electrolytes because I dehydrate easily (they’re an extra weight but essential for me). By having two bottles, you can make sure they’re well balanced on either side of you). They roll down, so no problem with carrying them on a plane. They weigh almost nothing. My backpack is an ultralight Gossamer Gear G4-20, which has brilliant, large side pockets that are easy to reach whilst wearing the pack. So, I just put the two bottles there and sip from them alternately. They’re lighter than a water bladder and I can regulate their weight. They’re very easy to fill and you can see how much water you have left, which isn’t the case with bladders. They’re tough so can be used in theory for years (I use mine for hikes from home all the time) so you’re cutting down on plastic usage by not regularly buying new bottles. I know other people swear by bladder systems though, and used to use one myself. As a side note, I originally planned to use Smart Water bottles but then talked with Spanish friends who’ve never heard of Smart Water. I never saw it in shops along the Camino. Where are other forum members finding their Smart Water bottles?!

6. Sandals - I swear by my EVA Birkenstocks. They’re super light, and comfortable enough to wear around town as well as around showers and albergues etc. I wear them when my walking shoes need to air out/dry off, and also to give my feet some air. My partner took some too, but didn’t like them because his were a little too large. You have to make sure they fit really well, to your feet as they are now (my partner ‘sized up’ as you would for walking shoes, thinking his feet would be larger at the end of the day. I didn’t do this because I already owned my sandals and use them around the house).

7. Locks - I stayed in private rooms so others know best about this.

8. Hair and body products - nowhere will provide these. I resented carrying some of them so sometimes bought them in supermarkets, used what I needed that day, then left them with the hotel/albergue, either for other pilgrims to use, or as a gift for the owners/cleaners. I did squirt half a tube of toothpaste down a toilet because I refused to carry the extra weight of it! 😂 That felt horribly wasteful but… I’m too petite to carry extra weight which isn’t needed, and it adds up.

9. Socks and underwear — 3 or 4 pairs of merino socks, 2 pairs of pants. Wash and hang to dry. Extra socks are helpful so you can change them as soon as you need to and keep your feet fresh.

10. Medical supplies — take a basic kit. Make sure you have safety pins, a needle and thread (depending on your approach to blisters), lint/gauze padding, medical tape, sticking plasters/band aid, alcohol wipes. You may want an anti-chafing stick. Definitely paracetamol and ibuprofen.

11. Head light (flashlight). I took a super light Petzl Bindi, even though we stayed in private rooms. I only used it once. I liked knowing that if I had to walk in an unlit area at night, I wouldn’t be dependant on my phone battery. Others will have better advice regarding albergues and whats needed/etiquette, etc.

12. Waterproof backpack vs backpack rain cover. The problems with a backpack rain cover are that once it’s on, you can’t access your stuff, and that they can blow off in high winds (I once lost my Osprey one on the Cairngorms plateau in Scotland. Not ideal!). A poncho will cover both you and your backpack. I use waterproof/resistant bags inside my backpack so don’t really worry about it getting wet, plus the poncho also sorts that out. I was originally on the fence about waterproof bags/dry sacks, thinking ‘just use freezer bags’, or ‘but they weigh an extra x/y amount!’. But I gushed about how much I loved them each day on my camino! I had Granite Gear ‘air zipditty’ bags, but now also have Exped fully waterproof ones. The benefits of them are that you can easily unpack your backpack at the end of the day without taking out each item individually—it’s a case of, for example: the blue bag for larger items of clothing; the purple one for electronics; the green one for underwear; the little blue one for medical and bathroom stuff… etc—; that they’re tough, whereas my freezer bags ripped, but also very smooth so they’ll slide out of your backpack easily, no tugging; they’re quick to pack away in the mornings; and you know your stuff will be dry inside them.

Anything else…

Have you thought about things like a lightweight insulating layer? A down jacket, or something similar, might be useful for this season’s cool/cold evenings when at altitude, for example. I wore a summer cap and took sunglasses. I bought a buff along the way because even in August, mornings were cool. You may need more warmth (beanie, gloves, etc).

Electronics… chargers, socket adapters, a long cable in case the power point isn’t near your bed…

A couple of pegs or pins to attach your clothes to a communal rack or line while they dry. (I didn’t need these because I had private rooms and plenty of afternoon sun, but know that they can be essential).

I’m with you on being minimal! For the most part, anything you struggle for, you can pick up along the route. Layers for warmth are a possible exception to this given that by the time you’re up a mountain, it’s too late to buy extras (I’ve learned this the hard way 😂).
One thing I've not seen anyone else mention; I had silk longjohns for May and October trips. Loved them. Light, dry easily. kept me warm without extra weight out on top. I feel chilly when others may not and this works for me at home here in the Pacific Northwest also.
 

Richard Smith

Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2016
Kumano Kodo 2014
So you see, the moral of the tale is that a polite reminder works wonders in modifying behaviour. Although sometimes you may need to channel your inner Godzilla.

Happy Camino, OP, and remember what to say if you are awakened by a totally unnecessary light.
Agreed!
I find natural, unplanned anger works well and passes much more quickly than pent-up resentment. I think it is 'cleaner' for both parties. There should be no physical threat involved, just one biological unit talking to another.
I am happy to apologise if needed, but would not in the example you gave. Sometimes my apology lasts longer than my bite.
And yes, the walker in an upper bunk in NZ who turned on their head-light so they could have a nice read before sleep, shining the light in everyones eyes below, still rankles a bit. I just turned over that time and pulled the bag over my head.
 

Paul J W

Paul J
Past OR future Camino
Miscellaneous camino routes since 2000.
Wow!! What a sackful of responses, Katherine!
Anything to add from me? Little, maybe, but based on some 20 years Camino experience.
Essentially be guided by personal experience and common sense. For instance, do you usually walk with sticks?

Me? I tend to minimalism but never compromise on H and S. Key principles:
* Re water bottle: buy a bottle of water when in Spain and use that.
* Re clothing: layers not thickness - additional/replacement gear invariably can be purchased en route.
*Re sleeping bag - essential, but one that packs to the size of a bag of sugar!

Essentials for me:
* Small back pack (for gear) AND bum bag (for essential papers)
* V small umbrella - for shade awa dryness.
* Peaked cap - again, shade and keeping poncho back from dropping on my face!
* Universal sink plug - yes!
* Small plastic bottle to top up at public facilities with liquid soap.

Finally - ensure on you and/or in your bag you have details of who you are, any medical conditions and emergency contact details.

Whatever!
Go for it!
And good luck!

Paul
 

EL LECHERO

Friends no Strangers
Past OR future Camino
2008
If walking with someone, make copies of or your ID, Passport Insurance and give to them and vise versa. Just incase your lose yours or your back pack is stolen. If walking alone I would still make copies and put the copies in another place other than my originals....
 
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Pipmahoe

Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances June 2018
Central Portuguese April 2019 8 weeks post hip replacement!
If walking with someone, make copies of or your ID, Passport Insurance and give to them and vise versa. Just incase your lose yours or your back pack is stolen. If walking alone I would still make copies and put the copies in another place other than my originals....
Good idea, we photograph everything important and email copies to ourselves, this way we don’t have to carry anything extra, but copies are at hand. 😀👣
 

Paul J W

Paul J
Past OR future Camino
Miscellaneous camino routes since 2000.
If walking with someone, make copies of or your ID, Passport Insurance and give to them and vise versa. Just incase your lose yours or your back pack is stolen. If walking alone I would still make copies and put the copies in another place other than my originals....
A practice of mine is to have all key personal documents, having been scanned, accessible in a file online. I walk (and travel) a lot on my own and should I, perchance, become separated from my passport, for instance, I can, at a police station, say, pull up a copy.
 
Past OR future Camino
2019
Just my opinion, not any kind of truth.

1. Walking sticks. Yes, and go to YouTube to learn how to use them correctly. If you buy them before you leave you will have a wider selection.

2. Sleeping bag. Not unless you're camping.

3. Hiking pants. No. Whatever is comfortable.

4. Towel. Maybe a small thin one, light, that you can easily wring out. I didn't bring one and didn't miss it.

5. Bottle. A liter is fine. I was worried about the meseta but found the warnings to be exaggerated, unless perhaps you are walking it In the heat of summer.

6. Sandals. I'm intrigued by sandals but don't know much about them. I'm curious too.

7. Locks. No.

8. Hair and body products. If you stay in albergues, yes. Hostals/pensións, generally no, but not always.

9. Socks and underwear. I brought 3 pairs of each, which was adequate. Sometimes didn't dry overnight - depended on how early I finished for the day, and whether the sun was out. But two days to dry wasn't a problem, since I had three pairs. It would definitely have been better to have something that dried more quickly instead of the cotton underwear I had. I wish I had brought a few clothespins,

10. Medical supplies. I didn't bring any. The only thing I wished I had was Band-Aids, to wrap toes and prevent blisters. Another Pilgrim gave me some.

11. Head light (flashlight). Yes. The sun doesn't rise until 8:15 or so. If you leave after 8:00, you don't need one.

12. Waterproof backpack vs backpack rain cover? Don't know.
Yeah, you may be overthinking it, which I suspect will lead to overpacking. I've done the Camino twice (French, not primitivo), and both times I wish I had brought less.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Wow, such an outpouring! I have skimmed through these responses and only saw one other recommendation of a headlamp, so let me add my agreement with that suggestion. Tomorrow, sunrise in Oviedo will be at 8:39. If you are using poles, the phone flashlight will be cumbersome. And it is not as good a light as what you will get in a nice Petzl headlamp.

I hesitate to suggest MORE rather than LESS in your packing list, but I would make up for it by taking out the locks, 2 pair of the underwear (2 is plenty IMO) and 1 pair of the socks (three is plenty IMO).

Buen camino, Laurie
 

JEsler

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
My thoughts may be a little late but for what they’re worth…
1. Walking sticks — I thought I might pick these up when I arrived in SJPDP because the first day out from there on the Frances is a long, steep climb. I then didn’t bother buying any because a) being conscious of the weight of my pack, they seemed heavy items to carry when not in use, and b) I felt they might actually hinder me, because I wouldn’t easily be able to reach for things as I walked (camera every few minutes, phone for maps, water, etc). Most of the other pilgrims I saw on the first sections had poles—my partner and I were unusual—but after that they seemed slowly to disappear. I am VERY glad I didn’t bother with them. I say this as someone who sometimes uses poles at home because I have a health condition which gives me dislocations, and they provide an upper body workout. You’d think that poles would be a good idea for me. It was freeing to not have them. But that’s just me. For other people, and for me in the past, they were essential.

2. Sleeping bag — I stayed in private rooms so sheets and quilts were provided, but was aware that albergues had rules about everyone bringing their own sleeping bag. You’ll need something, as others have said.

3. Hiking pants — If the running pants work for you, stick with what you know? Do you have a pair for colder weather as well as for in the heat?

4. Towel — I guess you could shake yourself dry after showers. A small travel towel might be a better plan.

5. Bottle — I LOVE my current system which comprises two of these 1 litre platypus water bottles https://www.platy.com/ie/bottles/softbottle-1.0l/softbottle.html, (the ones with the push-pull-cap). (Edit… just to add that on hot days I often drank most of my two litres and then filled up again. With the two bottles, I sometimes only part-filled each, then refilled along the way. I also added Nuun electrolytes because I dehydrate easily (they’re an extra weight but essential for me). By having two bottles, you can make sure they’re well balanced on either side of you). They roll down, so no problem with carrying them on a plane. They weigh almost nothing. My backpack is an ultralight Gossamer Gear G4-20, which has brilliant, large side pockets that are easy to reach whilst wearing the pack. So, I just put the two bottles there and sip from them alternately. They’re lighter than a water bladder and I can regulate their weight. They’re very easy to fill and you can see how much water you have left, which isn’t the case with bladders. They’re tough so can be used in theory for years (I use mine for hikes from home all the time) so you’re cutting down on plastic usage by not regularly buying new bottles. I know other people swear by bladder systems though, and used to use one myself. As a side note, I originally planned to use Smart Water bottles but then talked with Spanish friends who’ve never heard of Smart Water. I never saw it in shops along the Camino. Where are other forum members finding their Smart Water bottles?!

6. Sandals - I swear by my EVA Birkenstocks. They’re super light, and comfortable enough to wear around town as well as around showers and albergues etc. I wear them when my walking shoes need to air out/dry off, and also to give my feet some air. My partner took some too, but didn’t like them because his were a little too large. You have to make sure they fit really well, to your feet as they are now (my partner ‘sized up’ as you would for walking shoes, thinking his feet would be larger at the end of the day. I didn’t do this because I already owned my sandals and use them around the house).

7. Locks - I stayed in private rooms so others know best about this.

8. Hair and body products - nowhere will provide these. I resented carrying some of them so sometimes bought them in supermarkets, used what I needed that day, then left them with the hotel/albergue, either for other pilgrims to use, or as a gift for the owners/cleaners. I did squirt half a tube of toothpaste down a toilet because I refused to carry the extra weight of it! 😂 That felt horribly wasteful but… I’m too petite to carry extra weight which isn’t needed, and it adds up.

9. Socks and underwear — 3 or 4 pairs of merino socks, 2 pairs of pants. Wash and hang to dry. Extra socks are helpful so you can change them as soon as you need to and keep your feet fresh.

10. Medical supplies — take a basic kit. Make sure you have safety pins, a needle and thread (depending on your approach to blisters), lint/gauze padding, medical tape, sticking plasters/band aid, alcohol wipes. You may want an anti-chafing stick. Definitely paracetamol and ibuprofen.

11. Head light (flashlight). I took a super light Petzl Bindi, even though we stayed in private rooms. I only used it once. I liked knowing that if I had to walk in an unlit area at night, I wouldn’t be dependant on my phone battery. Others will have better advice regarding albergues and whats needed/etiquette, etc.

12. Waterproof backpack vs backpack rain cover. The problems with a backpack rain cover are that once it’s on, you can’t access your stuff, and that they can blow off in high winds (I once lost my Osprey one on the Cairngorms plateau in Scotland. Not ideal!). A poncho will cover both you and your backpack. I use waterproof/resistant bags inside my backpack so don’t really worry about it getting wet, plus the poncho also sorts that out. I was originally on the fence about waterproof bags/dry sacks, thinking ‘just use freezer bags’, or ‘but they weigh an extra x/y amount!’. But I gushed about how much I loved them each day on my camino! I had Granite Gear ‘air zipditty’ bags, but now also have Exped fully waterproof ones. The benefits of them are that you can easily unpack your backpack at the end of the day without taking out each item individually—it’s a case of, for example: the blue bag for larger items of clothing; the purple one for electronics; the green one for underwear; the little blue one for medical and bathroom stuff… etc—; that they’re tough, whereas my freezer bags ripped, but also very smooth so they’ll slide out of your backpack easily, no tugging; they’re quick to pack away in the mornings; and you know your stuff will be dry inside them.

Anything else…

Have you thought about things like a lightweight insulating layer? A down jacket, or something similar, might be useful for this season’s cool/cold evenings when at altitude, for example. I wore a summer cap and took sunglasses. I bought a buff along the way because even in August, mornings were cool. You may need more warmth (beanie, gloves, etc).

Electronics… chargers, socket adapters, a long cable in case the power point isn’t near your bed…

A couple of pegs or pins to attach your clothes to a communal rack or line while they dry. (I didn’t need these because I had private rooms and plenty of afternoon sun, but know that they can be essential).

I’m with you on being minimal! For the most part, anything you struggle for, you can pick up along the route. Layers for warmth are a possible exception to this given that by the time you’re up a mountain, it’s too late to buy extras (I’ve learned this the hard way 😂).
Hi Lhollo, what a hugely informative and helpful thread this is and thank you for your detailed contribution.
I am interested in your choice of the Gossamer Gear G4-20 as your backpack. I have bought the G4-20 for my CF starting mid April’22. Most of my multi-day hikes in Australia have necessarily involved a framed pack to support the weight of all food and shelter.
I am particularly interested if you have any advice or anecdotes specific to your pack and also what you found to be the most convenient packing order.
 
Last edited:

Steven Dwyer

Member
Past OR future Camino
2000,2001,2004 Camino Frances from St. Jean
2005 Camino Argonese from Oloron to Puente de la Reina, Camino Frances from St. Jean,
2013 Camino Portugese from Porto, Camino Ingles from Ferrol, Camino Finisterre
(2016) Camino Portugese from Braga
1. Walking sticks- I find them helpful. Usually buy them once I am off the plane since I have run into problems bringing them as carry-on. I usually arrive I; Europe a few days early so I have time to shop. If you are thinking of buying hem in Oviedo, have you though about where to buy them? The Oviedo Decathlon looks like a small one so they might not stock them. An alternative might be the sporting goods section at El Corte Ingles which I have used before.

3. Hiking pants - can be helpful if you anticipate cold mornings and hot days.

4. Towel!!! - After several caminos, I switched to using a bandana in place of a towel. Lighter weight, washes easily and drys quick.

5. Bottle - I have used the same aluminum water bottle for all my caminos. I saw lots of comments suggestion buying bottled water, I have seen even more empty bottles littering the Camino.

6. Sandals - nice to have something to switch into at the end of the day to give your shoes time to dry out.

7. Locks - Never needed one.

8. Hair and body products - I use a bar of soap for body, hair and laundry.

9. Socks and underwear- I carry two pair of each. Rarely use the second pair but good to have. Trying hand washing what you plan to bring to see what the drying time is like.

11. Head light (flashlight) - nice to have if you set out before sunrise. Be mindful of others in shared rooms. If you pay attention to where you put things the night before, it is possible to dress and pack in the dim lighting. Everything you have should be identifiable by touch. If you are using a headlamp on the trail, don’t suddenly turn and blind someone with your light.

12. Waterproof backpack vs backpack rain cover? I use a poncho instead of either one.

ANYTHING ELSE?

A printed list of important phone numbers. Useful if you lose your phone. I can’t remember anyone’s phone number since they are stored in my phone.

Insurance information and important medical information, list of medications, preferably on your phone and in written form. For the prescriptions, try to carry the generic and not the brand name. If you have to seek medical care, having a form with you to be filled out greatly improves your odds of filing a claim. Spanish health care is not used to dealing with insurance forms, so you will need to file a claim in most cases. Good luck on getting someone to fill out a form after you have returned home. In some cases, you may be asked to pay up front before service is rendered.

An extra credit card carried separately. If you are walking with someone, have them carry the extra card for added security. Also, helpful to carry a non 800 phone number for any cards you have with you.

Some safety pins come in handy to use for clothes drying. They work better with a breeze and don’t get “borrowed” by other pilgrims as often as clothes pins (pegs). Also great for attaching socks that haven’t dried to your backpack.

I find a knife useful. I used to carry a good Swiss army version, but now I do only carry on, so I pick up a cheap kitchen knife in Spain. Great for chorizo and cheese. Also handy for oblivious idiots in headlamps. A spoon can be handy if you like a morning yogurt. A corkscrew can be a lifesaver.

A lightweight reusable grocery bag for those afternoon runs to the bakery or grocery store. Great also to carry items if you want to check your pack on the plane.

If you are carrying electronics that need to be recharged, an adaptor might be required. I’ve bought several in Spanish hardware stores for 1€. Try to find one that can charge multiple devices.

An extra pair of glasses if you are blind without them.

Hope this helps with your planning.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Past OR future Camino
2018
1. If you are not flying direct, then I suggest you get your poles in Oviedo. Regulations (regardless of rumors) won’t allow the poles in carry-on bags. But get poles. Yes.

2. If you are concerned about bulk and weight and the expense of a sleeping bag, I suggest that for this time of year you take a silk liner and a down camping quilt that you can stuff inside it. These are available on Amazon. I love my Sea-to-Summit sack because it has stretchy side-panels for a less restrictive sleep.

3. I did really like my Prana convertible hiking pants for the autumn 2019 walk I was on. I wore running tights underneath, unzipped the bottoms by mid-day, dropped to the running tights on the one day that it was warm enough, and whenever it rained I had a water resistant shell in the pants. And they are tidy enough for cultural sites and restaurant.

4. Towel. YES! For quick-drying without the life-regret, get a peshtow/Pashtow/foutah off Amazon — they are cotton, can double as a shawl, are light-weight, and they actually work.

5. If you are a water drinker, yes, take your own bottles. For light-weight ease of use many hikers like the “Smartwater” bottles. They slide in and out of pockets easily and have flip tops. I don’t use them because I buy new bottles of milk each day.

6. On an autumn Camino I took Keen Mary-Janes for walking around town and dinner at day’s end. I do not take flip flops for showers because I do not want to break my neck. After showering and drying off, I put a little Clomotrizole cream on my feet to ward off any fungus from communal showers. In my estimation that’s less dangerous and more effective at the intended job of “shower sandals”

7. I’d not take a lock. Get a dry sack and take your valuables with you to the shower/restaurant etc. I have a tiny collapsible Osprey pack that becomes the size of a donut in my pocket and can carry a full grocery load if needed. Dry sack inside that, and off you go.

8. Yes, you need your own personal washing products. Shampoo bars and conditioner bars are available online. Lots of people like “LUSH”, but if you have scent allergies or skin allergies, I’d stay away. LUSH products give me headaches and hives, as well as the sneezes and watering eyes.

9. There are more and more dryers available, so you can get lucky that way, or put undies over radiators, hang off pack if they aren’t totally dry, use hair-dryer if you are in a hotel, etc. And yes to Smartwool (more comfortable than Icebreaker) or to Patagonia athletic undies (synthetic, but I still really like them for being quick drying, non-creeping, and somehow, not prone to picking up odors from being put through paces).

10. I think only you can decide that, but I take hiker’s wool to prevent blisters, and I use chafing prevention stick (from Compeed is my favourit) on my feet. I find tape makes things worse for me rather than better as far as blister prevention goes. - it‘s just uncomfortable. The one time I had a blister and it needed care, I bought things as recommended and *applied by* the pharmacist in their little first-aid room. Ibuprofen is much more expensive in the EU, and way more powerful. Take your own If you use it.

11. I found a headlamp necessary for both autumn caminos because it stays dark until pretty late in the morning. Black diamond makes a USB-C rechargeable one that is lightweight. Do not use in shared sleeping quarters.

12. If you don’t have your pack yet, get one with the rain-cover included, and still get yourself some collapsible dry sacks to separate laundry, medical and tech supplies.

As much as possible, I try to keep my Camino stuff as re-useable in regular life as possible. My backpacks are my primary grocery carts now… I gave up using car or transit to get to work, so my boots are my primary transit now… which means socks that are put to the task, and trousers that can go from walking through snow to having office meetings (check out the Lolë company, and MEC brand if you are in Canada). Merino shirts, sweaters… and good layers for weather.

I do always take a poncho and rain-skirt combination for rain. I gave up on rain-pants… one just gets sweaty legs…
Nice, comprehensive answer. You carry milk instead of water? I never heard of anyone doing that before.
 
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Bill905

Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
2019
I walked the CF in March and April 2019. It was cool. Weather will be a determining factor on a few items, but here are some pragmatic thoughts.

1. Walking sticks - I am not a walking stick fan. I prefer having my hands free.

2. Sleeping bag - As all sleeping was done indoors, I found that a light sleeping bag was more than adequate. I also brought a sleeping bag liner that I used but once!

3. Hiking pants - I brought 2 pair of long hiking pants whose lower sections could zip off to leave me with shorts. Fantastic. But be aware of potential sunburn because the sun is almost always behind you. On a similar note, I also threw away my tuque over there and bought a ball-cap style hat that had a section that also protected the back of my neck against sunburn. I also had a pair of gloves for the cold days which were many!

4. Towel!!! - A towel is a necessity, as is a facecloth. Some plastic freezer-bags will keep the dampness from spreading to other items. Dry them well however,

5. Bottle - I used a collapsible 1 liter water bottle and it was adequate. Restaurants very politely filled them for me on several occasions.

6. Sandals - You really need something to protect your feet in the public showers and toilets of albergues ... especially if you are treating blisters!! Secondly, I stayed in a few albergues where to get to the toilets required a walk outside, so some light sandals were handy.

7. Locks - Never saw the need for one personally. I kept my few valuables in a waterproof pouch around my neck and under my shirt, and it went into the shower with me.

8. Hair and body products - I found the dry leaves of these items very useful. Laundromats always had laundry soap for sale.

9. Socks and underwear- Spend some time to choose socks and good fitting footwear. If your socks do not dry overnight, bring a few safety pins and pin your wet socks on the outside of your pack. There were a few times that was necessary. But I would not hang my underwear there! :rolleyes:

10. Medical supplies- Definitely take a few analgesics of your choice, and at least a starter pack of blister treatment material. Educate yourself on blister treatment, there are several good YouTube videos. Other than that, Spain actually has a lot of convenient pharmacies! Many times these are located right on the Camino! Look for the Green Cross.

11. Head light (flashlight) - I found a headlight is better than a handheld, and can be used as a handheld.

12. Waterproof backpack vs backpack rain cover? - The most useless piece of equipment that I brought was a poncho. I eventually discarded it in favour of a waterproof rain cover for the backpack and a rain jacket. The jacket was much more flexible. Next time I will also bring rain pants. Consider also a small fannypack or pouch for those small oft-used items. It will save you a lot of backpack removal.

  • Remember charging cables and possibly a European style plug or adaptor if you come from North America and have a cellphone etc.
  • Upload copies of your documentation (passport, ID, plane tickets, important contacts and phone numbers, etc. etc.) onto an accessible cloud-based repository such as Google drive.
  • Keep a diary or blog and upload it and your photos frequently. Wifi (pronounced weefee) is widely available at albergues and restaurants.
  • Learn a bit of Spanish. The locals really appreciate it and will go the extra mile for you if they see and hear you trying. I also found that wearing something that identifies you as a pilgrim, and that you purchase over there, is much appreciated. A lot of the small towns have suffered terribly during the Covid pandemic. Be generous in your support.
  • As frequently as possible, eat your meals in local restaurants with fellow pilgrims. You will be amazed at the tips and knowledge you will acquire.
  • One of the lessons I learned early on my Camino was to be flexible and and open minded ... be ready to make decisions and take action quickly.

There are no distance rules, by the way ... and it's not a race or a competition. A Camino is a walk to remember ... a walk to remember who you are ... a walk to remember why you are ... and a walk to remember your purpose for being on this earth.
 

VikingWarrior

Wannabe Beach Bum
Past OR future Camino
2021
You've gotten plenty of answers already, but let me throw a couple cents in the pot ... I noticed AFTER buying my carry-on only ticket that they didn't allow trekking poles in a carry-on bag so left them behind. As luck would have it I ended up checking the bag for free at the boarding gate.

I'd heard I could buy them anywhere and didn't worry about them until I got to a point where I really needed them and as they say, "The Camino will provide" ... I bought a cheap pair, used them every day and disassembled them before putting them in my bag to test the theory that they're okay that way ... ended up checking my bag at the check-in counter and now have a second pair of poles though they're nowhere even close to the quality of the pair I didn't want to risk losing.

Another lesson learned the hard way ... I listened to someone that said if I had a rucksack liner I didn't need the rain cover ... kinda sorta true since my clothes stayed dry in the bag, BUT the bag got wet and it felt like I was carrying a Buick up a hill.

I didn't have a single blister using lamb's wool to pad hotspots before they became blisters. I probably gave away more than I used, but in all seriousness it made everything I'd learned about blister first-aid during a couple decades of military service obsolete ... I didn't need any of the things I normally carry with me.

Have fun, you're about to get yourself an entirely new kind of family!!!
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
(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
1. Walking sticks- I find them helpful. Usually buy them once I am off the plane since I have run into problems bringing them as carry-on. I usually arrive I; Europe a few days early so I have time to shop. If you are thinking of buying hem in Oviedo, have you though about where to buy them? The Oviedo Decathlon looks like a small one so they might not stock them. An alternative might be the sporting goods section at El Corte Ingles which I have used before.

3. Hiking pants - can be helpful if you anticipate cold mornings and hot days.

4. Towel!!! - After several caminos, I switched to using a bandana in place of a towel. Lighter weight, washes easily and drys quick.

5. Bottle - I have used the same aluminum water bottle for all my caminos. I saw lots of comments suggestion buying bottled water, I have seen even more empty bottles littering the Camino.

6. Sandals - nice to have something to switch into at the end of the day to give your shoes time to dry out.

7. Locks - Never needed one.

8. Hair and body products - I use a bar of soap for body, hair and laundry.

9. Socks and underwear- I carry two pair of each. Rarely use the second pair but good to have. Trying hand washing what you plan to bring to see what the drying time is like.

11. Head light (flashlight) - nice to have if you set out before sunrise. Be mindful of others in shared rooms. If you pay attention to where you put things the night before, it is possible to dress and pack in the dim lighting. Everything you have should be identifiable by touch. If you are using a headlamp on the trail, don’t suddenly turn and blind someone with your light.

12. Waterproof backpack vs backpack rain cover? I use a poncho instead of either one.

ANYTHING ELSE?

A printed list of important phone numbers. Useful if you lose your phone. I can’t remember anyone’s phone number since they are stored in my phone.

Insurance information and important medical information, list of medications, preferably on your phone and in written form. For the prescriptions, try to carry the generic and not the brand name. If you have to seek medical care, having a form with you to be filled out greatly improves your odds of filing a claim. Spanish health care is not used to dealing with insurance forms, so you will need to file a claim in most cases. Good luck on getting someone to fill out a form after you have returned home. In some cases, you may be asked to pay up front before service is rendered.

An extra credit card carried separately. If you are walking with someone, have them carry the extra card for added security. Also, helpful to carry a non 800 phone number for any cards you have with you.

Some safety pins come in handy to use for clothes drying. They work better with a breeze and don’t get “borrowed” by other pilgrims as often as clothes pins (pegs). Also great for attaching socks that haven’t dried to your backpack.

I find a knife useful. I used to carry a good Swiss army version, but now I do only carry on, so I pick up a cheap kitchen knife in Spain. Great for chorizo and cheese. Also handy for oblivious idiots in headlamps. A spoon can be handy if you like a morning yogurt. A corkscrew can be a lifesaver.

A lightweight reusable grocery bag for those afternoon runs to the bakery or grocery store. Great also to carry items if you want to check your pack on the plane.

If you are carrying electronics that need to be recharged, an adaptor might be required. I’ve bought several in Spanish hardware stores for 1€. Try to find one that can charge multiple devices.

An extra pair of glasses if you are blind without them.

Hope this helps with your planning.
Your post is perfect. Couldn't have said it better myself. Your experience is shining through.

Will also salute @Bill905 's post.
 

VikingWarrior

Wannabe Beach Bum
Past OR future Camino
2021
1. Walking sticks- I find them helpful. Usually buy them once I am off the plane since I have run into problems bringing them as carry-on. I usually arrive I; Europe a few days early so I have time to shop. If you are thinking of buying hem in Oviedo, have you though about where to buy them? The Oviedo Decathlon looks like a small one so they might not stock them. An alternative might be the sporting goods section at El Corte Ingles which I have used before.

3. Hiking pants - can be helpful if you anticipate cold mornings and hot days.

4. Towel!!! - After several caminos, I switched to using a bandana in place of a towel. Lighter weight, washes easily and drys quick.

5. Bottle - I have used the same aluminum water bottle for all my caminos. I saw lots of comments suggestion buying bottled water, I have seen even more empty bottles littering the Camino.

6. Sandals - nice to have something to switch into at the end of the day to give your shoes time to dry out.

7. Locks - Never needed one.

8. Hair and body products - I use a bar of soap for body, hair and laundry.

9. Socks and underwear- I carry two pair of each. Rarely use the second pair but good to have. Trying hand washing what you plan to bring to see what the drying time is like.

11. Head light (flashlight) - nice to have if you set out before sunrise. Be mindful of others in shared rooms. If you pay attention to where you put things the night before, it is possible to dress and pack in the dim lighting. Everything you have should be identifiable by touch. If you are using a headlamp on the trail, don’t suddenly turn and blind someone with your light.

12. Waterproof backpack vs backpack rain cover? I use a poncho instead of either one.

ANYTHING ELSE?

A printed list of important phone numbers. Useful if you lose your phone. I can’t remember anyone’s phone number since they are stored in my phone.

Insurance information and important medical information, list of medications, preferably on your phone and in written form. For the prescriptions, try to carry the generic and not the brand name. If you have to seek medical care, having a form with you to be filled out greatly improves your odds of filing a claim. Spanish health care is not used to dealing with insurance forms, so you will need to file a claim in most cases. Good luck on getting someone to fill out a form after you have returned home. In some cases, you may be asked to pay up front before service is rendered.

An extra credit card carried separately. If you are walking with someone, have them carry the extra card for added security. Also, helpful to carry a non 800 phone number for any cards you have with you.

Some safety pins come in handy to use for clothes drying. They work better with a breeze and don’t get “borrowed” by other pilgrims as often as clothes pins (pegs). Also great for attaching socks that haven’t dried to your backpack.

I find a knife useful. I used to carry a good Swiss army version, but now I do only carry on, so I pick up a cheap kitchen knife in Spain. Great for chorizo and cheese. Also handy for oblivious idiots in headlamps. A spoon can be handy if you like a morning yogurt. A corkscrew can be a lifesaver.

A lightweight reusable grocery bag for those afternoon runs to the bakery or grocery store. Great also to carry items if you want to check your pack on the plane.

If you are carrying electronics that need to be recharged, an adaptor might be required. I’ve bought several in Spanish hardware stores for 1€. Try to find one that can charge multiple devices.

An extra pair of glasses if you are blind without them.

Hope this helps with your planning.
The second card is an absolute must in my world. I'm American, but live in Europe and have a ton of difficulty with being flagged for fraud even while at home. Thinking I'd get ahead of the problem I called both banks and filled out the forms on my online banking accounts notifying them I was going to be walking the Camino in Portugal and Spain. First attempt to withdraw cash got my ATM locked for the rest of the trip ... thankfully I had an unusually large amount of money in my checking account so I was able to use my debit card ... held my breathe each and every time I used it though. LOL
 

woody66

This is my boy !
Past OR future Camino
2021
Hi U20C_Katherine!

Late to the thread and your probs already walking; but here's my mumblings i agree with much that is said above and all advice is given in the great spirit of this forum it helped me loads.

Just finished my first Camino Portuguese Coastal and Variente Espiritual (plus some of the Senda Litoral as my sat nav crossed over without me realising)!
I stayed in private rooms.

I thought i had got the gear i needed and no more.
However i carried things i never used;or after one use thought no don't need/like.

POLES for me were life savers in the literal sense; without them i would have hit the deck a thousand times. Four points of contact is better than two.
I also found it easier to maintain my pace.

HEADLIGHT Again for me a life saver on the Espiritual; so dark at 10 am under trees deep shade had 400 lumin head torch on to follow path and still lost it. I stayed in a hotel in Vigo no lights whatsoever in hallways my examples; but hey take one it might be the thing that gets you out of a fix(carried mine in my pocket the whole Camino!

HIKING SANDALS took Ecco lite hiking sandals comfy(wore them all day at home) but after 12 days in my pack i thought just carrying a brick to Santiago so donated them.

FOOT CARE AND MEDS well i took vit d ,ibuprofen, paracetamol and a large selection for my feet.
After my one and only blister (caused i think by slowly cooking my feet in gloop and two pairs of socks) i reverted to my norm one pair merino! and a bit of leukotape no more probs even on 20 mile days.

WATER i carried 5 x 330ml water bottles everyday temps about 23 degrees.
From Redondela it poured with rain all day along this stage. Didn't feel hot just wet because of my vision i missed fuentes and ended up dehydrated;i felt fine not weak or faint but my pee was a non transparent brown liquid very bl**dy scary water is worth its weight in gold!!
MONEY had secret pocket sown into my shorts for cash /cards.Only carried 40 euros in my wallet!

CLOTHES After my light bulb moment i carried two of each all quick dry t shirts, shorts,micro fibre briefs, and 3 pairs merino socks,1 pair waterproof socks, lightweight zipped fleece, houdini wind jacket (brilliant) rain jacket (200 grms) rain kilt!!

(I got rid of montane long sleeve t-shirt, long sleeve hiking /sun shirt,two pairs boxers,three pairs liner socks,trowel,sandals,micro fibre towel(staying in private rooms so took as a just in case),sea to summit wilderness wash,and lots of little essentials that weren't essential)
Have the most wonderful time,the memories will last a lifetime ENJOY!!!!
All the best Woody
 
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