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When you walk the Camino, and suddenly a pandemic appears

What's the one thing in your pack, that you absolutely CANNOT do without...and why?

We speak about keeping our pack light, eliminating the "nice to haves" and then, the night before departure, unpacking and again removing the "might needs." All that said, I am sure there is one item: a keepsake, picture or going away gift you must accept and in your pack it goes. On my first Camino, I carried a number of prayer cards for my recently deceased cousin killed in a terrible accident. I placed them in Churches, at many of the shrines along the Way and behind a confessional in the Cathedral of Santiago. What did you just have to carry?
I saw one pilgrim carrying one of those ceramic Nordic Elves determined to leave it at the Cruz de Ferro. Alas, he grew so attached to the Elf he took it back home.
Now, open your pack and your mind and reveal that special item carried deep inside your pack and possible your soul.
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
On my first camino for sentimental reasons I carried a beloved stuffed moose!!

Not full size but as bulky as a sleeping bag! The moose, known as Mo, shortened from Mousse au chocolat, was a large toy which long ago I gave to my father for his 90th birthday. After my father’s death Mo came back to me. In 2004 he traveled in a stuff sack deep within the pack. Although disguised as a ‘pillow’ he was in truth my silent confidante during that first challenging camino.

We both made it to Santiago but once with a moose is enough! Ever since Mo stayed on his shelf at home and we mentally 'tweeted' as I walked.

During the later 9 caminos I always carried an electric coil which when needed during winter walks was VERY useful!

For example November 2012 at 7 am in El Acebo it was lonely and VERY COLD while waiting for the safety of dawn to continue walking. No other pilgrims had shared the Meson albergue. The day before after a good and copious mountain meal in the bar/restaurant downstairs I had taken a welcome hot shower. The water pressure seemed okay but plunked in the middle of the loo floor a large full water bucket with dipper was a surprise. Was this a new decoration in the Japanese bath-house style? I should have known.

By 7 am there was no running, only dipped, water available in the dorm. Thus a very welcome HOT early morning tea was boiled with the invaluable electric coil (the only 'luxury' in my kit); that single cup tasted especially splendid waiting in the cold for the sunrise!
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I am afraid that I have outgrown sentiment when it comes to what I feel I must carry on camino. As I was reading the original post, my first thought about essentials was,"But I need both my passport and a credit card. That's two things. Then I decided that those two things were undoubtedly taken for granted by the poster. He must mean something physical, not a document. So I settled on my rain gear. But, like Margaret, I am very fond of my electric coil.
 
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Anhalter

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2019 CF
My pack is on the lighter side of things, being around 4kg dry. However, in it are 2 things i would not leave without.
1. Button down shirt. Because sometimes i want to feel a little "better dressed". And its good when the sun is shining a lot.
2. My little swiss army knive with a corkscrew. Because sometimes you need to cut that cheese and open the bottle of wine.

They are 156g (1) and 35g (2).

edit: now that i read the OP in full: no, they are not located deep within my soul. They are just practical items i carry. Sorry for beeing german on you guys ;)
 

Tassie Kaz

Sempre Avanti
Past OR future Camino
2019
What did you just have to carry?
Now, open your pack and your mind and reveal that special item carried deep inside your pack and possible your soul.
I carry blue goldstone which I bought on a Greek island (can't remember which one) in 2010. I don't really know what it is about this piece (which is actually man-made; copper flecks in glass)...maybe the smooth feel, the changing glitter patterns as you move it in the light...but there is something about this stone which compels me to carry it!
Looking up gemstone websites, it is said to eminate various properties including healing. Although I don't really go in for that sort of thing, I did buy it at a difficult time in my life & holding it evokes a calming affect. I certainly have no intention of leaving it anywhere on any trail.
20210216_092740_copy_1632x1224.jpg
And if all that sounds a bit D&M, I also have 'Hello Kitty' dangling from my hiking pole! 😆
20210216_094858.jpg
👣 🌏
 
My pack is on the lighter side of things, being around 4kg dry. However, in it are 2 things i would not leave without.
1. Button down shirt. Because sometimes i want to feel a little "better dressed". And its good when the sun is shining a lot.
2. My little swiss army knive with a corkscrew. Because sometimes you need to cut that cheese and open the bottle of wine.

They are 156g (1) and 35g (2).

edit: now that i read the OP in full: no, they are not located deep within my soul. They are just practical items i carry. Sorry for beeing german on you guys ;)
In your pack, or your soul, that you choose to carry it is the key 😁
 

DuaneS

Member
Past OR future Camino
April 4th from SJPDP - May 5, 2017 - Complete!
First time I walked I left my SLR camera at home. I was happy I did, because my feet were a mess for most of the journey and my backpack felt super heavy at the beginning. I recently printed out a lot of my photos from the camino frances and put them on the wall, and was a bit sad that the iPhone shots really didn't do them justice. So if I were to walk it again (more like *when* I walk it again), I'd bring my real camera this time. Now that I've done it once, I don't mind going a bit slower with a slightly heavier pack (and it may not be heavier, since I now know what is essential on the trail), and stopping a bit more to take photos deliberately to enjoy in the future. If it means losing 1.5 lbs of weight before I start so I can carry 1.5 lbs of camera, so be it.
 
When you walk the Camino, and suddenly a pandemic appears
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First time I walked I left my SLR camera at home. I was happy I did, because my feet were a mess for most of the journey and my backpack felt super heavy at the beginning. I recently printed out a lot of my photos from the camino frances and put them on the wall, and was a bit sad that the iPhone shots really didn't do them justice. So if I were to walk it again (more like *when* I walk it again), I'd bring my real camera this time. Now that I've done it once, I don't mind going a bit slower with a slightly heavier pack (and it may not be heavier, since I now know what is essential on the trail), and stopping a bit more to take photos deliberately to enjoy in the future. If it means losing 1.5 lbs of weight before I start so I can carry 1.5 lbs of camera, so be it.
@DuaneS...as you have found out...if you really want to carry something “extra” in your pack...you can eliminate something in your pack, or drop personal weight to accommodate that article.
 

Murgyman

New Member
Past OR future Camino
None yet
Indeed I am going over and over my packing list and weighing and re-weighing.

Though there is one 85 g load that seems to make it onto the front of my pack every time......

Mr Bean always joins me on Camino.

Mr. Bean made me smile (though he doesn't look a jot like Rowan Atkinson...) but what I really admired was your backpack. It was right at the top of my wish list though, now that I've inherited @David's trailer, I think I'll have to make do with my old Talon.
Thanks for the piccie.
Mary
 

Gumba

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Nothing of sentiment as I am blessed enough to walk with my family. Having said that, we have walked Easter, Christmas and our son's birthday so I shlepped small presents for the children across the CF. Twice!!! And they something for All Kings Day because it was a novelty. Not sure who I did it for, me or them lol.

Practically - foot cream. And corkscrew.

I love the idea of having something personal dangling from the walking poles (Hello Kitty!!!) Great way to personalise them.
 
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Robo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Mr. Bean made me smile (though he doesn't look a jot like Rowan Atkinson...) but what I really admired was your backpack. It was right at the top of my wish list though, now that I've inherited @David's trailer, I think I'll have to make do with my old Talon.
Thanks for the piccie.
Mary

If you are a Mr Bean fan............
You will know............
that Mr Bean..........
has a Teddy Bear ;)

My latest version of my packing list is down to 6.5 kg.
It could probably be under 6.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
@DuaneS...as you have found out...if you really want to carry something “extra” in your pack...you can eliminate something in your pack, or drop personal weight to accommodate that article.

As I've already 'dropped' 16 kg in body weight.........
Can I put an extra 16 kgs in my pack? :cool:
 
Last edited:

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
As I've already 'dropped' 18 kg in body weight.........
Can I put an extra 16 kgs in my pack? :cool:
Congratulations. I’ve shed 12kg of blubber during lockdown so far - my initial target was to negate my extravagant pack-weight of 9kg. You must feel much better ever day, never mind whilst on Camino.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Congratulations. I’ve shed 12kg of blubber during lockdown so far - my initial target was to negate my extravagant pack-weight of 9kg. You must feel much better ever day, never mind whilst on Camino.

I'll be taking up ballet soon :cool:
 
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DuaneS

Member
Past OR future Camino
April 4th from SJPDP - May 5, 2017 - Complete!
Congratulations. I’ve shed 12kg of blubber during lockdown so far - my initial target was to negate my extravagant pack-weight of 9kg. You must feel much better ever day, never mind whilst on Camino.
Good work everyone - I'm on pseudo-lockdown in Spain and also working on shedding some pre=summer weight. Currently down about 15 lbs, hoping to drop another 15 lbs before the summer.
 

Jo King

Old Dorset Tortoise
Past OR future Camino
2023
On my first camino for sentimental reasons I carried a beloved stuffed moose!!

Not full size but as bulky as a sleeping bag! The moose, known as Mo, shortened from Mousse au chocolat, was a large toy which long ago I gave to my father for his 90th birthday. After my father’s death Mo came back to me. In 2004 he traveled in a stuff sack deep within the pack. Although disguised as a ‘pillow’ he was in truth my silent confidante during that first challenging camino.

We both made it to Santiago but once with a moose is enough! Ever since Mo stayed on his shelf at home and we mentally 'tweeted' as I walked.

During the later 9 caminos I always carried an electric coil which when needed during winter walks was VERY useful!

For example November 2012 at 7 am in El Acebo it was lonely and VERY COLD while waiting for the safety of dawn to continue walking. No other pilgrims had shared the Meson albergue. The day before after a good and copious mountain meal in the bar/restaurant downstairs I had taken a welcome hot shower. The water pressure seemed okay but plunked in the middle of the loo floor a large full water bucket with dipper was a surprise. Was this a new decoration in the Japanese bath-house style? I should have known.

By 7 am there was no running, only dipped, water available in the dorm. Thus a very welcome HOT early morning tea was boiled with the invaluable electric coil (the only 'luxury' in my kit); that single cup tasted especially splendid waiting in the cold for the sunrise!
Yes - I can go 100 kms on a cup of early morning coffee ! The electric coil was truly great!!!
 
Past OR future Camino
Walked Frances in 2017 including to Fisterre and Muxia. Planning for 2019 beginning in Lourdes.
First time I walked I left my SLR camera at home. I was happy I did, because my feet were a mess for most of the journey and my backpack felt super heavy at the beginning. I recently printed out a lot of my photos from the camino frances and put them on the wall, and was a bit sad that the iPhone shots really didn't do them justice. So if I were to walk it again (more like *when* I walk it again), I'd bring my real camera this time. Now that I've done it once, I don't mind going a bit slower with a slightly heavier pack (and it may not be heavier, since I now know what is essential on the trail), and stopping a bit more to take photos deliberately to enjoy in the future. If it means losing 1.5 lbs of weight before I start so I can carry 1.5 lbs of camera, so be it.
I have walked my two Caminos with camera in my hand for the entire distance. Never once did I regret it. The joy of seeing things, stopping to take the photo, going through said photos each afternoon, and now enjoying the memories during this time, all make me know my camera will travel in my hand on my next Camino.
 
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MarkyD

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francés 31/08/2018 - 20/10/2018
We speak about keeping our pack light, eliminating the "nice to haves" and then, the night before departure, unpacking and again removing the "might needs." All that said, I am sure there is one item: a keepsake, picture or going away gift you must accept and in your pack it goes. On my first Camino, I carried a number of prayer cards for my recently deceased cousin killed in a terrible accident. I placed them in Churches, at many of the shrines along the Way and behind a confessional in the Cathedral of Santiago. What did you just have to carry?
I saw one pilgrim carrying one of those ceramic Nordic Elves determined to leave it at the Cruz de Ferro. Alas, he grew so attached to the Elf he took it back home.
Now, open your pack and your mind and reveal that special item carried deep inside your pack and possible your soul.
I've always found a small/travel size sewing kit combined with mini-essentials first aid kit came in very handy for impromptu repairs of buttons, pockets, seams; plus the needle could be sterilised to burst a blister if necessary. (I can hear some howls of disapproval of that last application). My mini first aid kit was basically silk tape for feet and toes, a couple of plasters and a small container of vaseline. I had included Compeed initially, but didn't find it particularly useful, so that was eventually subsituted for a small container of talcum powder by the time I reached Astorga.
I know you can get/buy these things in most towns and villages, but I usually needed it out on the trail or when in an albergue, or helping another pilgrim who didn't have those items to hand when they most needed them.
 

Jacey

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2017 May The French Way
We speak about keeping our pack light, eliminating the "nice to haves" and then, the night before departure, unpacking and again removing the "might needs." All that said, I am sure there is one item: a keepsake, picture or going away gift you must accept and in your pack it goes. On my first Camino, I carried a number of prayer cards for my recently deceased cousin killed in a terrible accident. I placed them in Churches, at many of the shrines along the Way and behind a confessional in the Cathedral of Santiago. What did you just have to carry?
I saw one pilgrim carrying one of those ceramic Nordic Elves determined to leave it at the Cruz de Ferro. Alas, he grew so attached to the Elf he took it back home.
Now, open your pack and your mind and reveal that special item carried deep inside your pack and possible your soul.
My 2 light weight cotton sarongs. They were table clothes and something to sit on when picnicking along The Way, draped over head and shoulders for the scorcher days, wraps for getting out of shower, and most importantly privacy curtains on the bunk at night. If you choose the right fabric they can be easily hand washed and hung to dry. Wouldn’t leave home without them.
 
Past OR future Camino
Frances (14), Portuguese (15), Le Puy (17), Ingles (17), VDLP (18), Lana (18), Madrid (19) + more
I always take an umbrella!

I use a big reflective model for sun protection on hot, exposed Caminos.
First photo taken on the Camino Mozarabe from Almeria in Jan 2020.

Or a lighter-weight model if only used for occasional countryside rain.
Second photo taken on the Vezelay Camino in Oct 2020.

umbrella.jpg umbrella2.jpg
 
My tiny watercolor kit and sketchbook. View attachment 93676
I think this is really well done! Although, I have done some pencil and ink drawings, but not to your standard, I have taken to collecting rubbings as I travel unique places. Most recent rubbings being during my visit to the Holy Land in 2019. You have given me an idea for another Thread.
 
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When you walk the Camino, and suddenly a pandemic appears
Past OR future Camino
CF- Finisterre-Muxia 03/17; Camino SK 10/17; Norte 03/18; Ingles 11/18; Augusta 03/19
We speak about keeping our pack light, eliminating the "nice to haves" and then, the night before departure, unpacking and again removing the "might needs." All that said, I am sure there is one item: a keepsake, picture or going away gift you must accept and in your pack it goes. On my first Camino, I carried a number of prayer cards for my recently deceased cousin killed in a terrible accident. I placed them in Churches, at many of the shrines along the Way and behind a confessional in the Cathedral of Santiago. What did you just have to carry?
I saw one pilgrim carrying one of those ceramic Nordic Elves determined to leave it at the Cruz de Ferro. Alas, he grew so attached to the Elf he took it back home.
Now, open your pack and your mind and reveal that special item carried deep inside your pack and possible your soul.
Wonderful, I carry tiny hearts and leave along the Camino path or give them to locals or pilgrims when I feel it’s right. 💕
 

GailGwyn

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
part Camino Frances (2013), Part Camino Norte (2014)Camino Frances (2019)Camino Portuguese (2020)
We speak about keeping our pack light, eliminating the "nice to haves" and then, the night before departure, unpacking and again removing the "might needs." All that said, I am sure there is one item: a keepsake, picture or going away gift you must accept and in your pack it goes. On my first Camino, I carried a number of prayer cards for my recently deceased cousin killed in a terrible accident. I placed them in Churches, at many of the shrines along the Way and behind a confessional in the Cathedral of Santiago. What did you just have to carry?
I saw one pilgrim carrying one of those ceramic Nordic Elves determined to leave it at the Cruz de Ferro. Alas, he grew so attached to the Elf he took it back home.
Now, open your pack and your mind and reveal that special item carried deep inside your pack and possible your soul.
My previous partner (deceased) was a Catholic priest- yes, really. I carried his rosary beads with me.
 
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Håkan Wiik

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Plan to walk in September this year
We speak about keeping our pack light, eliminating the "nice to haves" and then, the night before departure, unpacking and again removing the "might needs." All that said, I am sure there is one item: a keepsake, picture or going away gift you must accept and in your pack it goes. On my first Camino, I carried a number of prayer cards for my recently deceased cousin killed in a terrible accident. I placed them in Churches, at many of the shrines along the Way and behind a confessional in the Cathedral of Santiago. What did you just have to carry?
I saw one pilgrim carrying one of those ceramic Nordic Elves determined to leave it at the Cruz de Ferro. Alas, he grew so attached to the Elf he took it back home.
Now, open your pack and your mind and reveal that special item carried deep inside your pack and possible your soul.
My Flip Flops
 
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Kiwi-d

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Sep/Oct 2014
Odd that no-one has mentioned books. Reading to me is as necessary as food, water, even breathing. As a very fast reader, I can start a new book around 10pm, and finish it before going to sleep and sometimes read two books in a day. Reading is my 'winding down', so walking the Camino without books was unthinkable. Although I don't like reading online, I ended up loading a heap of books onto my phone, and this solved the problem. Once home, it was back to the real thing.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I always take an umbrella!

I use a big reflective model for sun protection on hot, exposed Caminos.
First photo taken on the Camino Mozarabe from Almeria in Jan 2020.

Or a lighter-weight model if only used for occasional countryside rain.
Second photo taken on the Vezelay Camino in Oct 2020.

View attachment 93704 View attachment 93705
How do you like your Montbell umbrella? Which model is it?
 
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When you walk the Camino, and suddenly a pandemic appears

Scott54

New Member
Past OR future Camino
May/June 2018
I took an 8 ft long charging cable and a charger with multiple USB ports. Plugging into an outlet to charge and share the other ports was very handy. And the long cable meant I didn't have to leave my phone charging out of sight in a cafe or albergue.
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
Practical things: small power bank - I leave that on charge whenever my ‘phone is not. Ortleib phone case and another for credential and hard-copy ‘plane ticket; pre-tied loop of strong string (secures room key to me).

If it all goes wrong: two painkillers, two Imodium; a krugerrand and a tiny USB memory stick with contact numbers, ID, driving licence, insurance details, glasses prescription etc all as .pdf somewhere where only my wife would ever find them - will get me home from anywhere I’m likely to find myself these days.
 
Past OR future Camino
Frances (14), Portuguese (15), Le Puy (17), Ingles (17), VDLP (18), Lana (18), Madrid (19) + more
How do you like your Montbell umbrella? Which model is it?

I have the Montbell Travel umbrella. Yes, it is expensive, but I have been using it for over four years. The fabric is delicate so I can't use it in high winds. It weighs only 3oz. and is super tiny in my backpack. For sun coverage and more sturdy wind protection, I'll bring along my 6.8oz Six Moons Designs reflective umbrella instead.
 

Elle Bieling

Elle Bieling, PilgrimageTraveler
Past OR future Camino
Too many to count!
I take a bunch of little talismans, a Celtic cross, a little meditating Buddha, a snake goddess from the Minoan culture of Crete (in ancient cultures the snake symbolizes rebirth) and Our Mother of Guadalupe from Mexico. They are so small they fit into the little pouch of my backpack's waistband on one side. I usually have lots of good luck when I carry them and it is comforting to know that I have good energy with me at all times! I may add some crystals, going forward! Ha ha!
 
Rent a house in Santiago (1 month minimum)
300m from the cathedral and around the corner from the fresh food market in Santiago. Perfect place to tele commute from (1GB symmetrical connection).
Original artwork based on your pilgrimage or other travel photos.
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Past OR future Camino
2019
I always carry a full sized cotton towel on my caminos. I'm a large person and really appreciate being able to dry off properly after a shower. I tried one of those fancy micro towels once but hated it! I love the feel of the cotton and it can act as a blanket in the colder caminos. I also use it as a privacy curtain in the refuges.
 

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 always carry a full sized cotton towel on my caminos.
I dislike microfiber towels and and so always take a flannel cotton infant towel recommended by @Anniesantiago. They are very lightweight, super absorbent for their size, and perfect for me.
 
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Enhance your Camino experience by learning about the Spanish language and culture.
Past OR future Camino
V. Fran (2019) in progress
C. Primitivo (2019)
C. Frances - (2019) in progress
C. Finnisterre (2015)
Without a doubt it's my Pacer Poles (hiking poles). They're essential for safety (e.g., uneven terrain, downhill, slippery conditions), a boost for uphill challenges, support for the upper body when carrying a heavy pack, and, lastly, assisting or reminding me to stand tall when I'm feeling fatigued. Me encantan mucho!
 

Juno

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino French Way (2012 - 2014)
SJPDP - Sahagun (June 2015)
Sahagun - Muxia (June 2016)
A small shoe horn for putting shoes on and off so as to rest the feet and teabags as in Spain and Portugal they tend only to drink tea for medicinal reasons. I buy the tea and then add an extra teabag.
 
Past OR future Camino
September 2017
A diary. It has become a treasured reminder of our journey. We were crushed that we had to cancel our plans to return to the Camino this year. So, this past September and October on the corresponding dates of our prior Camino Frances we read that day's diary entry and looked at our photos. For 30 some days we were transported back to the Camino.
 

Harland2019

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances April/May "2019"
Whilst they aren't deep inside my rucksack and regrettably, they don't last all the way to the end "Maynard's wine gums"! They keep me going when the times get tough. The rest of my pack is just the normal requirements although my money is deep inside my rucksack apart from a few euros for my daily tortilla de patatas.
 
When you walk the Camino, and suddenly a pandemic appears
Original artwork based on your pilgrimage or other travel photos.

Cliff175

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
April / May Camino Frances 2013
Portuguese Camino May of 2014
St. jean to pomplona, - Santander to Oviedo, SAN Salvador to Leon , to Santiago in 2015
2017 March -- VDLP Seville to Santiago
The largest Chocolate Bar I can carry and an Emergency Wine Bottle Opener, and rather boring but essential..water
 
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (March 2016)
Camino Portuguese (April/May 2017)
Camino Frances 2021
I bring woolen yarn and wooden (soundless) knitting needles... to knit a self designed sweater in lots of shades of nice colors while walking. I knit when I walk, when rather flat and no rain/snow, during breakfast, lunch and in the evenings. So relaxing and nice - (and for those of you who think I miss lots of the scenery while knitting; I actually even more focused while knitting - as I knit without looking at it) - and it is also a fantastic door-opener to chat with elder local women on the camino.
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
We speak about keeping our pack light, eliminating the "nice to haves" and then, the night before departure, unpacking and again removing the "might needs." All that said, I am sure there is one item: a keepsake, picture or going away gift you must accept and in your pack it goes. On my first Camino, I carried a number of prayer cards for my recently deceased cousin killed in a terrible accident. I placed them in Churches, at many of the shrines along the Way and behind a confessional in the Cathedral of Santiago. What did you just have to carry?
I saw one pilgrim carrying one of those ceramic Nordic Elves determined to leave it at the Cruz de Ferro. Alas, he grew so attached to the Elf he took it back home.
Now, open your pack and your mind and reveal that special item carried deep inside your pack and possible your soul.

VASELINE, do I need to explain?
 
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Lydia Gillen

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2007/8/9, 2011 , 2012/13/14. C.F 2015
Camino Portugues 2017,2018,2019
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On my first camino for sentimental reasons I carried a beloved stuffed moose!!

Not full size but as bulky as a sleeping bag! The moose, known as Mo, shortened from Mousse au chocolat, was a large toy which long ago I gave to my father for his 90th birthday. After my father’s death Mo came back to me. In 2004 he traveled in a stuff sack deep within the pack. Although disguised as a ‘pillow’ he was in truth my silent confidante during that first challenging camino.

We both made it to Santiago but once with a moose is enough! Ever since Mo stayed on his shelf at home and we mentally 'tweeted' as I walked.

During the later 9 caminos I always carried an electric coil which when needed during winter walks was VERY useful!

For example November 2012 at 7 am in El Acebo it was lonely and VERY COLD while waiting for the safety of dawn to continue walking. No other pilgrims had shared the Meson albergue. The day before after a good and copious mountain meal in the bar/restaurant downstairs I had taken a welcome hot shower. The water pressure seemed okay but plunked in the middle of the loo floor a large full water bucket with dipper was a surprise. Was this a new decoration in the Japanese bath-house style? I should have known.

By 7 am there was no running, only dipped, water available in the dorm. Thus a very welcome HOT early morning tea was boiled with the invaluable electric coil (the only 'luxury' in my kit); that single cup tasted especially splendid waiting in the cold for the sunrise!
Margaret I also had a little electrical coil. I had purchased it in Rome when there in the holy year of 1975 as a gift for my mother and she used it every morning for her first cuppa up in her bedroom to save her having to go downstairs. After her death in 1991 it returned to me and I loved it and used it on Caminos. It was only about 10cms long, but finally some wire came loose, and no one will solder it for me because it no longer meets the standards required today. Any ones I see for sale now are about three times as big and 4 times as heavy.
 

JamesGeier

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF Spring 2016
CF Autumn 2017
VdlP Spring 2021
Until the pandemic, I spent the last eight winters in Chiang Mai, Thailand, from Christmas to early February where I practice yoga daily, work part-time (I am a computer system admin), and enjoy the food and the culture. A friend gave me a little stone to carry with me as a reminder to stay grounded, ask permission of the great spirit to be where I am, and be grateful for being there. It is just a pretty little agate. That stone traveled with me across the ocean and back several times. Later I got a companion, a small bloodstone, and I carried the two with me to Spain for my first Camino Francès pilgrimage. Just before the town of Circueña, we came upon two young men with a donativo refreshment table, and I spotted a pressed glass Camino shell souvenir. Another companion for my two stones. All three are with me always, on subsequent trips to Thailand and the Camino, and do remind me to stay grounded and be grateful for being in wonderful places.

Second to that, I also always carry a moleskin notebook, and I just cannot walk a Camino without my Pacer Poles.

Buen Camino!

--james--
 

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Past OR future Camino
2021
We speak about keeping our pack light, eliminating the "nice to haves" and then, the night before departure, unpacking and again removing the "might needs." All that said, I am sure there is one item: a keepsake, picture or going away gift you must accept and in your pack it goes. On my first Camino, I carried a number of prayer cards for my recently deceased cousin killed in a terrible accident. I placed them in Churches, at many of the shrines along the Way and behind a confessional in the Cathedral of Santiago. What did you just have to carry?
I saw one pilgrim carrying one of those ceramic Nordic Elves determined to leave it at the Cruz de Ferro. Alas, he grew so attached to the Elf he took it back home.
Now, open your pack and your mind and reveal that special item carried deep inside your pack and possible your soul.
Although I haven't walked the Camino yet as my 2020 plans were cancelled I plan on carrying a small cross that a young girl whittled and made along with a prayer she wrote for me 30 years ago. I don't remember much about the little girl other than she was very sweet, caring, loving, and unselfish.
 
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leichecerca

Can’t stay away
Past OR future Camino
Camino Finisterre: May 2018
Camino Frances: April-May 2018
Camino Frances: April-May 2017
I bring woolen yarn and wooden (soundless) knitting needles... to knit a self designed sweater in lots of shades of nice colors while walking. I knit when I walk, when rather flat and no rain/snow, during breakfast, lunch and in the evenings. So relaxing and nice - (and for those of you who think I miss lots of the scenery while knitting; I actually even more focused while knitting - as I knit without looking at it) - and it is also a fantastic door-opener to chat with elder local women on the camino.
Got pictures?
 
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Whilst they aren't deep inside my rucksack and regrettably, they don't last all the way to the end "Maynard's wine gums"! They keep me going when the times get tough. The rest of my pack is just the normal requirements although my money is deep inside my rucksack apart from a few euros for my daily tortilla de patatas.
A suggestion, there are folks on the Camino that realize valuables are in packs. Maybe you should consider keeping valuables on your person.
In my case, earlier in the Camino, when I weigh considerably more, it's harder to steal away with me. I must remain vigilant after about Sarria. I'm much lighter and have more euros in change.
Buen “now where is that credit card?” Camino
Arn
 
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domigee

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I always carry a full sized cotton towel on my caminos. I'm a large person and really appreciate being able to dry off properly after a shower. I tried one of those fancy micro towels once but hated it! I love the feel of the cotton and it can act as a blanket in the colder caminos. I also use it as a privacy curtain in the refuges.
Oh you brought back memories 😂 I walked with a lovely pilgrim who carried very little (no rain gear! 😱) in a tiny backpack.... But he did have a VERY large bathsize fluffy towel - white! Still makes me chuckle.
Yes, I did suffer from ‘towel envy’ 😉
 
Priorities...priorities! No rain gear is reckless. A big fluffy towel senseless.
Should he use it to block the rain, it's added weight is detrimental to his ability to move along. Also, it will likely not dry any time soon. May I humbly suggest you find something else to envy.
Oh you brought back memories 😂 I walked with a lovely pilgrim who carried very little (no rain gear! 😱) in a tiny backpack.... But he did have a VERY large bathsize fluffy towel - white! Still makes me chuckle.
Yes, I did suffer from ‘towel envy’ 😉
in
 
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domigee

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Priorities...priorities! No rain gear is reckless. A big fluffy towel senseless.
Should he use it to block the rain, it's added weight is detrimental to his ability to move along. Also, it will likely not dry any time soon. May I humbly suggest you find something else to envy.

in
I am not stupid, it didn’t last long! 😁
 

Geodoc

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2018 (across Pyrenees, then Sarria to SdC), CF 2019 (SJPdP to Finisterra & Muxia), CI 2019
View attachment 94033
Now, open your pack and your mind and reveal that special item carried deep inside your pack and possible your soul.

The one thing I carried that was special to me was a stack of laminated Thin Blue Line flags. On each line was the name of a law enforcement officer who had died in the line of duty. Several were known to me, others were requested by former law enforcement colleagues of mine. I also carried a laminated flag attached to my pack, explaining "la linea delgada azul" to those who asked.

When I arrived at the Cathedral of St. James, I made a beeline for the candles, lighting one for each of the 15 officers named on the flag. As I lit each candle, I would name the officer for whom it was for, and lay the laminated flag down on the candle stand behind the candles.. Soon I had 15 lit candles and 15 flags.

I kept track of which flag went with which candle, so when I returned to the US, I wrote on the back of the flag for whom it was in honor of, with a snippet of the journey. I then sent these flags to the survivors of the officers (or in a couple of cases, to the departments).

The flags were carried both deep in my pack and deep in my soul.
 
View attachment 94033


The one thing I carried that was special to me was a stack of laminated Thin Blue Line flags. On each line was the name of a law enforcement officer who had died in the line of duty. Several were known to me, others were requested by former law enforcement colleagues of mine. I also carried a laminated flag attached to my pack, explaining "la linea delgada azul" to those who asked.

When I arrived at the Cathedral of St. James, I made a beeline for the candles, lighting one for each of the 15 officers named on the flag. As I lit each candle, I would name the officer for whom it was for, and lay the laminated flag down on the candle stand behind the candles.. Soon I had 15 lit candles and 15 flags.

I kept track of which flag went with which candle, so when I returned to the US, I wrote on the back of the flag for whom it was in honor of, with a snippet of the journey. I then sent these flags to the survivors of the officers (or in a couple of cases, to the departments).

The flags were carried both deep in my pack and deep in my soul.
As a now pensioned Special Police Officer (Environmental Crimes Task Force) and Director of the largest Multi-Jurisdictional SWATEX in the mid-Atlantic states, my heart is with and goes out to all in the thin blue line.
God Bless you for your dedication to them all.
 
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henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
One of my god-daughters, quite amazingly now at Harvard (two generations from a slum in northern England) was allowed to pack her own bag for her holidays at the age of seven.

On arrival in Greece her bag was found to contain a very large teddy bear. And nothing else. Nothing caught fire, nobody died: her mum just took the ‘bus to the nearest supermarket laughing all the way.
 
Ah ... I’m not the only one who’s wondered about this? 😉
The 10% rule isn't a rule at all. When in the Marines, slim, muscled and trim, I weighted in at 175 lbs/79kg. My field pack, without ammo and rifle was about 70 lbs/31kg. Yet, by the “rule” I should carry a 17 lb/7.9kg pack. The ideal weight is always going to be determined by the requirements of the trip, not by some magical ratio to your body weight, no matter how you measure it. Going into combat where you carry everything you “may need” is different from the Camino where the “may needs” are removed. All else being equal, the least weight you can get away with is best.
If you start your Camino weighing 200lbs/97kg and you lose 10lbs/4.5kg of body fat your muscles are strengthened and although you started with a pack weighing under 20lbs/9kg the only thing you should add to your pack is a six-pack of cerveza. As you walk you remain refreshed and urinate away the extra weight.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
The 10% rule isn't a rule at all. When in the Marines, slim, muscled and trim, I weighted in at 175 lbs/79kg. My field pack, without ammo and rifle was about 70 lbs/31kg. Yet, by the “rule” I should carry a 17 lb/7.9kg pack. The ideal weight is always going to be determined by the requirements of the trip, not by some magical ratio to your body weight, no matter how you measure it. Going into combat where you carry everything you “may need” is different from the Camino where the “may needs” are removed. All else being equal, the least weight you can get away with is best.
If you start your Camino weighing 200lbs/97kg and you lose 10lbs/4.5kg of body fat your muscles are strengthened and although you started with a pack weighing under 20lbs/9kg the only thing you should add to your pack is a six-pack of cerveza. As you walk you remain refreshed and urinate away the extra weight.
I agree. A fit 120 pound woman can probably carry more weight than an unfit 150 pound woman of the same height.
 
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