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Where do you carry your valuables?

michal.don

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
hopefully 2022 Camino del Norte
Hi all,
I'm wondering what system do you use to carry your valuables (passport, cash, credit cards etc)? Do you reccomend carrying them outside the backpack in some sort of a fanny pack? In your pocket, so they are on you at all times? I'm thinking about situations like going to the bathroom in a café, where I don't suppose I'll be wearing my main backpack :)
Any insight and tips much appreciated,
Michal.don
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
2012
As if I'm going to tell the Internet where I stash my stuff!!!!!!!

:) In my pockets. In a dry bag in the showers. In a body belt in any Pickpocket Central. Never separated from me, ever. And you may be my best new Camino buddy ever but, no thanks, you don't get to look after my stuff.

Just remember that for a predator waist belt bag means worthwhile target
 

TMcA

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Pamplona to Santiago (2013)
Le Puy to Pamplona in segments (2013 - 2016)
Pamplona to León
While walking I usually wear an old travel shirt. These have deep chest pockets with a zipper closure for one of the pockets. So I carry my passport, cash, credit cards, and phone in these pockets.

I also have hiking pants and shorts with similar deep pockets but they don't have the added protection of a zipper.

Of course, a pickpocket could cut the fabric of any of these garments, but I think the risk of being pickpocketed on the Camino routes is pretty low.

I'll leave it to others to advise about protection within an albergue.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Try to keep them on your person and take them with you when going to the shower in a waterproof bag (money, phone, passport, etc.) unless you are walking with another person that you trust (for me, my husband). I chose clothing with deep zippered pockets on the front of the pants for walking.
 

Jodean

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
22 Sept. to 21 Oct. 2015, Pamplona to Santiago
6-23.04 Porto to Santiago 2018
17.09-30.09 CF 2018
I wear a silk money belt that has my bank cards and big money in it. I also wear a hip pack that has my phone, glasses, pilgrim pass and passport, small money, phone cord and mints. Money belt and hip pack are with me all the time, either on me, or they go into a plastic bag when I am showering. Money belt is so comfy that I can wear it while sleeping. Hip pack is next to my head while in bed.
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Like many other pilgrims I slept with any valuables within my sleeping bag in a pouch beneath me and NEVER told anyone where and what they were!! Years ago in Trinidad de Arre an actor from LA who was bunked next to me asked anxiously "Where do you have your money?" As if on cue I rolled my eyes and answered "Why in the bank! And you?"

For further advice read this earlier thread with still useful tips on camino security
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
Hi all,
I'm wondering what system do you use to carry your valuables (passport, cash, credit cards etc)? Do you reccomend carrying them outside the backpack in some sort of a fanny pack? In your pocket, so they are on you at all times? I'm thinking about situations like going to the bathroom in a café, where I don't suppose I'll be wearing my main backpack :)
Any insight and tips much appreciated,
Michal.don
I have a large nylon travel wallet designed to even carry a passport. I keep my passport and all my credit cards and big cash in there. It has grommets on it for a cord and can be worn around the neck, but I loop the cord around a belt loop and put the wallet in my front right pocket. It is with/on me 24/7 on the Camino. Even when I sleep. My daily spending cash, less than $50 I carry in a small, standard wallet. It stays in my back pocket and easily accessible. If it got stolen it would suck but would not ruin my trip.
 

Antonius Vaessen

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte (to Sobrado)
2019 Norte again
I have deep pockets with zippers in my trekking pants. In it I keep my camera, my purse and my phone in fixed places. My biggest worry is not that my valuables might be stolen but that I leave them behind in the albergue or cafe or that they fall out of my pockets when I sit down for a lunch break. When I get up to go I do a quick cheque up if everything is in its place. Most of the times I don't take my things with me in the shower.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances: Spring 2022, Ingless or Norte: Fall 2022
I suppose the answer is different for women and men. I carry a cross-body bag (or waist pack slung across my body). I put that on first and then my backpack so the cross-body bag stays with me all the time. Drop the backpack and keep the cross-body bag. It contains passport and wallet and whatever else I need handy, like tissues, reading glasses, etc. I also take that bag with me into the shower (in a dry bag with my clean clothes) and usually stuff it in the bottom of my sleeping bag when I sleep.
 

K_Lynn

Buen Camino!
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2021
I had a light cross body bag for my passport/credential/wallet etc. Kept it in my pack but when I stopped at a cafe or bar I'd pull it out to pay for my coffee and use the facilities. I saw some people with neck pouches and others with fanny packs and some just used their pockets.
 
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trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
I suppose the answer is different for women and men. I carry a cross-body bag (or waist pack slung across my body). I put that on first and then my backpack so the cross-body bag stays with me all the time. Drop the backpack and keep the cross-body bag. It contains passport and wallet and whatever else I need handy, like tissues, reading glasses, etc. I also take that bag with me into the shower (in a dry bag with my clean clothes) and usually stuff it in the bottom of my sleeping bag when I sleep.
I do the same.
Other people prefer to use pockets. You need to work out what works best for you.
 

markie6

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2018, 2019 2022
Never all in the same place. Passport separate to debit card and phone somewhere different too. Nobody will run too far with my backpack and smelly clothes and some toiletries won't be what they are atfer
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
I wear a nylon pouch similar to this one stuffed under my pants (but with no RFID protection):

I suppose that is what people here are calling a money belt but that brings to my mind something like this leather belt:
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
I have deep pockets with zippers in my trekking pants. In it I keep my camera, my purse and my phone in fixed places. My biggest worry is not that my valuables might be stolen but that I leave them behind in the albergue or cafe or that they fall out of my pockets when I sit down for a lunch break. When I get up to go I do a quick cheque up if everything is in its place. Most of the times I don't take my things with me in the shower.
Having been at an albergue where a thief or thieves stole money and valuables out of several backpacks I don't recommend leaving money and valuables unattended in an albergue while showering.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
I wear a nylon pouch similar to this one stuffed under my pants (but with no RFID protection):
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B010U13F50/
I decided that I would, after all, embarrass myself. Here's a warning about using one of these pouches. In Barcelona I loosen my trousers, get access to my ATM card and use it to get 300€. I put 50 into my wallet, fold up the remainder in a wad and slide it and the ATM card into the pouch and zip it up. Now Peg and I walk a short way to the beach. After some time there we head back to the hotel but quickly discover ourselves in a somewhat industrial area so we turn around. Peg sees a card on the sidewalk. Orally told the story is better but, in short, it is mine. A quick check shows no money in the pouch either. I had missed getting things into the pouch. We head back to the beach in search of cash but none is found. I figured I learned an expensive lesson but as we get back onto the (correct) street I felt something strange by one of my ankles. Fortunately it was the entire wad of money just ready to escape.

Be careful out there.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
I wear a nylon pouch similar to this one stuffed under my pants (but with no RFID protection):

I suppose that is what people here are calling a money belt but that brings to my mind something like this leather belt:
I have the one like you from Amazon, although rarely use it, as I much prefer my waist pack as it holds lots of items.
That leather money belt does not appeal to me. It would retain sweat and I'd rather lose a hundred+ euros than my passport.
 

henrythedog

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
X
Hi all,
I'm wondering what system do you use to carry your valuables (passport, cash, credit cards etc)? Do you reccomend carrying them outside the backpack in some sort of a fanny pack? In your pocket, so they are on you at all times? I'm thinking about situations like going to the bathroom in a café, where I don't suppose I'll be wearing my main backpack :)
Any insight and tips much appreciated,
Michal.don

I often repeat myself.

However you choose to carry your valuables; and that’s just passport, money, cards, tickets and ‘phone for most people - adopt the practice a few weeks before you travel. It needs to feel natural and normal then you stand a chance of noticing immediately if something’s ‘not right’.

Along with many of the above, my stuff’s touching skin 24/7.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
swissgear-wj6077bk-rfid-protection-travel-wallet-black-front_1.jpg
Mine looks similar to this one. It will hold a passport. Like I said that cord is to put around your neck but works good looped around a belt loop and the wallet in a pocket. If someone pulled it out of my pocket I'm along for the ride lol.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2023
In addition to doing many things that others have mentioned, I carry a sacrificial wallet. It is a cheap $3 one that I put old expired plastic cards and some folded paper in to bulk it out and up to €5 in change. I keep this in an obvious and prominent pocket and use the change for small items.

The idea is to direct the thief's attention away from my actual wallet that I have taken everything possible out of.

I do this because from experience if a professional thief wants to get my wallet then it is almost impossible to stop them.

I have previously told the story on the forum about how my heavily pregnant wife and I were on a very crowded bus heading to a market. She had her valuables in a thick leather purse held tightly under her elbow and touching her body at all times.

We were packed body to body, standing room only on the bus. I was standing right behind her. I saw a guy pushing his way through the sea of bodies, heading for us. He was carrying a rolled up newspaper.

I did my best to head him off but he still briefly brushed past my wife and kept going. After that I relaxed thinking that maybe I was just paranoid.

We got off the bus at the market and I found her a chair and table so that she could sit down after the long journey and have a cup of tea. She went to open her purse and exclaimed "my money purse has gone".

She then lifted her purse up so she could have a better look and everything fell out.

There was a hand sized slit in the leather at the end of her purse. The guy with the rolled up newspaper had an extremely sharp knife hidden within the roll. He was so expert that he had slit the purse and extracted her valuables, just avoiding my wife's arm and pregnant belly that were millimeters away while on a crowded, bouncing bus and continued on his way without her noticing anything.

We were unhappy to lose her monetary valuables that day but thankful that she and our unborn son were safe. One more chalked up to experience.
 
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Time of 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
I'm wondering what system do you use to carry your valuables (passport, cash, credit cards etc)? Do you reccomend carrying them outside the backpack in some sort of a fanny pack?
Never in your backpack or fanny pack.
ALWAYS on your person in a money belt under your clothes.
 

FourSeasons

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2013, 2016, 2019 ---- the next is a mystery.
Hi all,
I'm wondering what system do you use to carry your valuables (passport, cash, credit cards etc)? Do you reccomend carrying them outside the backpack in some sort of a fanny pack? In your pocket, so they are on you at all times? I'm thinking about situations like going to the bathroom in a café, where I don't suppose I'll be wearing my main backpack :)
Any insight and tips much appreciated,
Michal.don
Money belt under clothes hold majority of my cash, credit card/debit card, passport. A copy of government issued passport, a copy of credit card front and back, emergency phone numbers, etc…I place it in a ziplock bag in the shower. That’s the only time it’s off my body.
Waist pack holds chapstick, gum, small monies, portable charger, ear phones, snack,etc… At night I will pull the straps around the bed railing at the head of the bed and attach it. Then it usually goes under my pillow or right at the top/head of the bed. 😊
 

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Ourense to Santiago (2019), CF: (2014, 2004, 2002, 2001). On to Fisterra, (2002, 4, 14).
Always take valuables with you to shower.

In 2002, one morning a German pilgrim left his fanny pack with all his ID, all his money, cards, tickets, and pilgrim’s credential hanging on bunk bed post then headed to shower.

Needless to say upon return it was gone. As were most pilgrims. Anyone could have been robber.

He could not even prove his identity.

The parish priest in charge of albergue provided necessary assistance to him.

It took hours before he could head back home.
 

Anhalter

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019 CF
As a european i don't have to carry a passport, but that would likely be in the same bag as my credential in my backpack.
The rest of the stuff goes into my wallet in the back of my trousers, which means that in 99,9% of the time it is with me. One ATM card goes into hiding somewhere else for the eventual, yet to come, dire emergency.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
One person or another has covered the options that I use. What I would add is that I put my passport into a small ziploc bag to give it some protection. I carry a small sil-nylon backpack that goes empty into my regular pack during the daytime, which I then use during the evenings to carry stuff to the shower, etc.

It is never a discussion to have when you are on the Camino. That should be obvious, but still doesn't seem to stop the unwary from disclosing where there precious belongings are at places where the discussion can be overheard.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Yearly and Various 2014-2019
Via Monastica 2022
I'm amazed that so many people are answering this question in explicit detail.
What are you kidding? No way am I going to post that in a public forum.
Figure out your best system to keep valuables close, where someone can't reach or slash to get them - and refrain from letting anyone know what that system is.
 

michal.don

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
hopefully 2022 Camino del Norte
Thanks everybody for your answers! And I completely understand everybody not willing to share their methods. I hope that my autumn camino will not be that crowded, which should probably lower the risk of stuff getting stolen, but better to be safe then sorry :)
 

Stephanie Martin

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino in Sept/Oct/Nov 2022 (via the French route)
Hi all,
I'm wondering what system do you use to carry your valuables (passport, cash, credit cards etc)? Do you reccomend carrying them outside the backpack in some sort of a fanny pack? In your pocket, so they are on you at all times? I'm thinking about situations like going to the bathroom in a café, where I don't suppose I'll be wearing my main backpack :)
Any insight and tips much appreciated,
Michal.don
Great question, I'm wondering the same. I have lots of pockets and am thinking of just stashing them here and there cos I don't want to have to fumble with a fanny pack around the belt, the bag pack feels enough of something to carry around. But we'll see :)
 

peregrin peregrina

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
april 2022
i sewed a pocket from some old cargo pants to the inside of the convertible pants i wore on the camino, behind the exterior cargo pants pocket on each of the shorts i was alternating wearing. it worked perfectly and thus i never needed a money belt. the hidden picket was not visible and totally secure. i always was wearing one or the other pairs of shorts snd slept in them.
 
Last edited:
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
Hi all,
I'm wondering what system do you use to carry your valuables (passport, cash, credit cards etc)? Do you reccomend carrying them outside the backpack in some sort of a fanny pack? In your pocket, so they are on you at all times? I'm thinking about situations like going to the bathroom in a café, where I don't suppose I'll be wearing my main backpack :)
Any insight and tips much appreciated,
Michal.don
I carry a waterproof waist pack (not a "bum bag" or "fanny pack"). It is adjustable around my waist and has zipped compartments for my passport, pilgrim's credential. wallet and loose change. It fits to the front under the waist strap of my back pack so is easily accessible. I wear it all the time, take it into the shower room with me and put it under my pillow at night. To be on the safe side I also put my wallet, passport and credential into zip lock freezer bags for extra protection. Buen Camino, Vince.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
2021
A money belt is the way I go. I go to Peru South America quite often. I always use one under my pants or shorts. If I know I will need cash I just put some in my pocket before I go out.
 

CarolamS

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
Just a question to add to this discussion. What is the greatest risk to our valuables whilst walking a Camino? I have heard of things getting stolen in albergues at night or if left unattended. I've not yet heard of problems with pickpockets on any Camino. How great a risk are they? Have there been incidents of fanny packs being cut? I assume in bigger towns one could get mugged...any known incidents?
 

Hiking Traveler

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Porto Camino
I bought this shoulder bag in 2016 and have been so happy with it. I keep my passport, cash, phone, earbuds, charger, chapstick, toothpicks, charge card, pen & notecards in it. Love it.

Fits inside my pack and easy to pull out while leaving pack in hostel. It hangs on a hook. Easy to keep under your pillow at night.
 

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Pilgrim1960

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Madrid/Frances 2021
Future- del Norte 2022
Try and plan for a theft!

I have a debit card for a bank account that has little money- leaving other cards at home. I have a credit card with low limit but enough for trip. I keep cash but cash can be replaced. The real issue is just my phone - take a cheapo with a tourist sim card. I keep cards and passport well out of the way on a inside waist band and keep my wallet with cash in my pants zippered. If the phone gets stolen, I am out a bit of money but nothing really. If my cards get stolen I have a piece of paper that lists who I call to cancel them. If my passport gets stolen I become a refugee in my own country when I return- ok will need a passport replacement through counsellor services.

PLAN for a complete theft and it won't seem so bad if it happens.

Then my friend you will have a true pilgrim experience living off the kindness of others.

Buen camino
 

xin loi

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Walked May 14, 2014 from St Jean France

starting to walk again August 25, 2016 --SJPDP to Finisterre
Having been at an albergue where a thief or thieves stole money and valuables out of several backpacks I don't recommend leaving money and valuables unattended in an albergue while showering.
Same here! At one albergue EVERY item of clothes hanging on lines was missing in the morning. Early risers sometimes "BORROW" ALL of the food and drinks in the common refrigerator. I wear the "pick pocket proof" shorts with both buttons and zippers on each pocket. For shower I put valuables in a plastic bag and take with me.
 
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xin loi

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Walked May 14, 2014 from St Jean France

starting to walk again August 25, 2016 --SJPDP to Finisterre
A money belt is the way I go. I go to Peru South America quite often. I always use one under my pants or shorts. If I know I will need cash I just put some in my pocket before I go out.
I also go to Peru a lot. In Cusco I always buy some of the big safety pins that local women sell to seal your pockets and for keeping other hands out of your pockets while walking around town. And like you, a money belt.
 

norfolk-keith

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
Hi all,
I'm wondering what system do you use to carry your valuables (passport, cash, credit cards etc)? Do you reccomend carrying them outside the backpack in some sort of a fanny pack? In your pocket, so they are on you at all times? I'm thinking about situations like going to the bathroom in a café, where I don't suppose I'll be wearing my main backpack :)
Any insight and tips much appreciated,
Michal.don
Hi Michal a word of warning never underestimate anyone with your valuables. Last year on my fourth Camino I had my money, credit card and bank card stolen whilst I was taking a shower, yes a shower with other pilgrims in the room approximately eight and the worst of it was I didn’t find out until I stopped for breakfast the following morning about ten kms leaving Pamplona I felt sick and so angry that someone could do that yo anyone let alone another pilgrim. As it was only day three I still had a lot of euros and sterling about five hundred in total so you can understand what it must have been like. It was only through the help of my friend in England who wired me money through western Union is the only way I could have finished my Camino.
Having spoke to many pilgrims at the time and on here two things you never leave in your rucksack when you shower or go to the toilet, your passport and your money/wallet/purse. Find a zipper heavy plastic wallet and keep it with you at all times I would not like that to happen to anyone, it’s a dreadful experience, so be careful be safe. Keith from Norfolk England. Buen Camino
 

ClaireJJ

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
French Way (2017); Hope for French Way again (2019)
Hi all,
I'm wondering what system do you use to carry your valuables (passport, cash, credit cards etc)? Do you reccomend carrying them outside the backpack in some sort of a fanny pack? In your pocket, so they are on you at all times? I'm thinking about situations like going to the bathroom in a café, where I don't suppose I'll be wearing my main backpack :)
Any insight and tips much appreciated,
Michal.don
I use a 'neck wallet' which I wear under my shirt. It makes for a somewhat unusual bosom profile at times, but 1) that's not really a concern I have on the Camino, and 2) it's pretty slim & light-weight (only contains passports, credit card, & a few euros) and 3) I can easily keep it with me at all times (even when sleeping if for some reason I'm feeling paranoid).
 

RussB

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Still planning
Hi all,
I'm wondering what system do you use to carry your valuables (passport, cash, credit cards etc)? Do you reccomend carrying them outside the backpack in some sort of a fanny pack? In your pocket, so they are on you at all times? I'm thinking about situations like going to the bathroom in a café, where I don't suppose I'll be wearing my main backpack :)
Any insight and tips much appreciated,
Michal.don
Exactly that , passport/ cards/ credential in waist pack
 
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dreaming

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF, LE PUY
Like many of you have said. I have backpacked for years. I always wear a money belt for the passport, credit cards etc. under my long pants. I take it off in the shower and put it straight back on afterwards. The only time I might leave it is when I go for a swim where I try and get a locker. I also wear a fanny pack with money for the day, phone etc
I wear long pants hiking and have to get them a bit bigger to make room for my money belt.
It is lovely to take it off in the plane on the way home but whilst I am away feel reassured that it is next to me.
I wear the money belt to bed inside my sleeping sheet and place my fanny pack inside as well. I travelled Africa and South America with this method and no problems.
 

isobelmtl

New Member
Hi all,
I'm wondering what system do you use to carry your valuables (passport, cash, credit cards etc)? Do you reccomend carrying them outside the backpack in some sort of a fanny pack? In your pocket, so they are on you at all times? I'm thinking about situations like going to the bathroom in a café, where I don't suppose I'll be wearing my main backpack :)
Any insight and tips much appreciated,
Michal.don
I wore an unobtrusive waist pack at all times day and night except in the shower when I hung it in a plastic bag and still kept it with me. In it was cash, credit card health insurance card, credential, national passport and phone. At night I put my hearing aids in there too. I kept bank notes and change in two different little change purses so I didn’t have to fumble for inexpensive items and show my cash. I am notorious for losing things but did not misplace anything with this system.
 

Jami Gray

Camino <3
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
Hi all,
I'm wondering what system do you use to carry your valuables (passport, cash, credit cards etc)? Do you reccomend carrying them outside the backpack in some sort of a fanny pack? In your pocket, so they are on you at all times? I'm thinking about situations like going to the bathroom in a café, where I don't suppose I'll be wearing my main backpack :)
Any insight and tips much appreciated,
Michal.don
I too wear a bag around my waist (and I’ll definitely call it that from now on). Makes it so much easier to grab passports, phone, coins for a quick cafe con leche…never have to rummage through my pack that way. I just found that easier for me. I also took it with me everywhere - restrooms, cafes, in my bunk as I slept, even the showers where I hung it on a hook that I could see at all times. Somewhat paranoid about looking my IDs.
 

lisagb

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
Hi all,
I'm wondering what system do you use to carry your valuables (passport, cash, credit cards etc)? Do you reccomend carrying them outside the backpack in some sort of a fanny pack? In your pocket, so they are on you at all times? I'm thinking about situations like going to the bathroom in a café, where I don't suppose I'll be wearing my main backpack :)
Any insight and tips much appreciated,
Michal.don
On my body and I never leave it anywhere.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Lots of different approaches suggested here, so I just want to add a couple of thoughts about how I chose my system, which is now second nature for me on the camino.

I agree that whatever the system, you should use it at home for a while to get used to it.

Think about what you are trying to protect yourself from — on the Camino the odds that someone will pickpocket you or slice off the strap of your purse or your waist pack are extremely low. The odds are much greater that the opportunity to take your stuff will present itself to someone. For me, that means that the most important thing is to have everything in one place with me at all times. I understand the rationale about having different things in different places, but I would only use that system if you have got it down pat and can gather all your valuables quickly and without hassle. After all these years, I can trust myself to never leave my waist bag anywhere, so the odds that it will get stolen are very low (I do have a list and some pictures of phone numbers and ID numbers like passport on a sheet in my pack and on my phone just in case).

I have seen people who carried a few valuables in their packs and some in other places, but that requires moving and repacking things when, for instance, you have to leave your pack outside to go into a café, or go the shower, etc. It may work for you, but for me it is unnecessarily confusing.

Things change off camino — if I am on the metro (especially in Madrid or Barcelona), I have absolutely everything valuable under my clothes. I learned long ago that I will never develop the sixth sense or pickpocket radar that my Spanish friends have and that my attention and alertness will invariably lapse. So the easy solution is to get it all under my clothes and not worry.

The most important thing IMHO is to adopt a system that removes the worry and anxiety, and that will be different for different people. Buen camino, Laurie
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
I too wear a bag around my waist (and I’ll definitely call it that from now on). Makes it so much easier to grab passports, phone, coins for a quick cafe con leche…never have to rummage through my pack that way. I just found that easier for me. I also took it with me everywhere - restrooms, cafes, in my bunk as I slept, even the showers where I hung it on a hook that I could see at all times. Somewhat paranoid about looking my IDs.
Exactly my strategy, too. It's secure and hands-free at all times with concealed zippers inside and at the back. I much prefer them to crossover bags potentially banging on your upper thigh as you walk and with a long strap for thieves to get at to slash and grab in airports and the like.
I own two different concealed security belts, but they only hold a few thin items and get sweaty.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
See signature. Too many to list here.
So I'll avoid some details, but nowadays nearly ALL transactions for me take place using my iPhone and ApplePay. My phone is kept in my pocket, so I can take pictures, look up places to see, monitor GPS directions, etc. I pay for nearly everything with my phone. Passport/credential kept in special pocket in brain of backpack and pulled once a day and immediately put back where they belong once used each night. Cash, never more than 200 euro carried and usually less, carried discretely.
 

kelleymac

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017, April 2019.
Hi all,
I'm wondering what system do you use to carry your valuables (passport, cash, credit cards etc)? Do you reccomend carrying them outside the backpack in some sort of a fanny pack? In your pocket, so they are on you at all times? I'm thinking about situations like going to the bathroom in a café, where I don't suppose I'll be wearing my main backpack :)
Any insight and tips much appreciated,
Michal.don
I usually walk with my son, and we share carrying our valuables. I have stuff stashed in my travel vest -- it has a number of pockets. (I walk when it's cool). I use an inside pocket that is zipped. I have an extra credit card and cash stashed in my pack, in a couple places. My hat also has a little pocket, so i put some emergency cc and cash there too. At night when I sleep, everything is in the sleeping bag, way down at my feet. When it's hot, I carry a small lightweight pack or cross bodybag. When I sit down at a cafe, my valuables are on my lap, or a leg of my chair is through the strap of the pack-- not just sitting next to my chair. Zip ties are a good way to secure a main pack outside a cafe so it's not simply picked up by someone else. I learned all this living in Paris and Rome, not on the camino. I've never had anything stolen on the camino.
 
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AndreaCT

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016 CF
2017 CF and Finnisterre
2019 CP and Muxia
The only thing that I can add to this conversation is that I use a mnemonic to ensure that I have my valuables with me. Every time I leave a place where I have gone into my secured bag, I use the mnemonic "please prepare my cozy bed". The PPCT stands for Passports, Phone, Charger and tiny Book that I use for personal info. I touch everything and/or put away each item. It is a quick and simple way to make sure that you have not left anything behind.
 
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Schamber

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May and June 2022
Hi all,
I'm wondering what system do you use to carry your valuables (passport, cash, credit cards etc)? Do you reccomend carrying them outside the backpack in some sort of a fanny pack? In your pocket, so they are on you at all times? I'm thinking about situations like going to the bathroom in a café, where I don't suppose I'll be wearing my main backpack :)
Any insight and tips much appreciated,
Michal.don
I used my Fanny pack. Worked great. I took it everywhere!
 
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pjacobi

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015, St. Jean Pied de Port to Burgos
2016, Burgos to Ponferrada
2017, Ponferrada to Atlantic Ocean
Money belts/ Fanny packs are old school, imo.

Old school, yes, but they work! Put them on with your underwear and you'll never loose either.

Pickpockets *love* fanny packs. Thank you for identifying yourself as dumb American tourist, an easy mark!

Apologies to UK readers who have a different definition of the term "fanny".


-Paul
 

Vanozza

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
I have walked part of the Camino Frances one and a half times. I ended in Sahagun in April 2019.
Hi all,
I'm wondering what system do you use to carry your valuables (passport, cash, credit cards etc)? Do you reccomend carrying them outside the backpack in some sort of a fanny pack? In your pocket, so they are on you at all times? I'm thinking about situations like going to the bathroom in a café, where I don't suppose I'll be wearing my main backpack :)
Any insight and tips much appreciated,
Michal.don
I carry valuables in zipped cargo pockets and a small front- facing waist pack with shoulder straps. I also stash a small amount of cash in my day pack just in case.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
See signature. Too many to list here.
Old school, yes, but they work! Put them on with your underwear and you'll never loose either.

Pickpockets *love* fanny packs. Thank you for identifying yourself as dumb American tourist, an easy mark!

Apologies to UK readers who have a different definition of the term "fanny".


-Paul
Yeah, sure, they work for keeping physical pieces of wealth near your person. I'd rather have a digital form, that requires my face (or code) to use.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
My front waist bag is used in conjunction with my backpack's thick waist strap which covers the other; plus I am totally hands free. I don't see how a pickpocket would *love* to choose me with my "Fort Knox" set up over easier targets. Also, my valuables are hidden in extra zippered areas within and behind the bag...I guess though, never say never.
 
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Rita Flower

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 Via del la Plata
So I'll avoid some details, but nowadays nearly ALL transactions for me take place using my iPhone and ApplePay. My phone is kept in my pocket, so I can take pictures, look up places to see, monitor GPS directions, etc. I pay for nearly everything with my phone. Passport/credential kept in special pocket in brain of backpack and pulled once a day and immediately put back where they belong once used each night. Cash, never more than 200 euro carried and usually less, carried discretely.
Agree Damien. Really no need to carry lots of cash these days.
 

Rita Flower

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 Via del la Plata
I have used this type of money belt for years. Mine is pretty heavy duty with a reinforced strap that is knife-proof. I found it too hot and sweaty to wear under my clothes so now it sits outside my clothes right in front in plain sight. It never leaves my side. I prefer it to anything over my shoulder - backpack is enough - although I know that works really well for others. I also bring two types of methods to pay (travel card and credit card) and stash the backup card separately.
If I am going to be in close quarters (public transport etc) the money belt goes under my clothes.
Love everyone but trust noone and no situation.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
I do like the idea of the decoy wallet in the pack. Filled with various BS business cards, scraps of paper and perhaps even a photo of total strangers lol. Put about ten dollars in the currency part of it and a few coins. Wretched thief finds it and his work is done. He's not going to examine it until later anyway.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
Same here! At one albergue EVERY item of clothes hanging on lines was missing in the morning. Early risers sometimes "BORROW" ALL of the food and drinks in the common refrigerator. I wear the "pick pocket proof" shorts with both buttons and zippers on each pocket. For shower I put valuables in a plastic bag and take with me.
I still vividly recall a lot of crying pilgrims the next morning as I was getting ready. I was wondering what had happened and wasn't until I was walking and talking to one of the victims did I find out. It really bothered me that some creep or creeps had done that. I'm sure they examined my pack as well.
 

cbacino

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte - Primitivo (2018)
Via Francigena (2017)
Appalachian Trail (2016)
Hi all,
I'm wondering what system do you use to carry your valuables (passport, cash, credit cards etc)? Do you reccomend carrying them outside the backpack in some sort of a fanny pack? In your pocket, so they are on you at all times? I'm thinking about situations like going to the bathroom in a café, where I don't suppose I'll be wearing my main backpack :)
Any insight and tips much appreciated,
Michal.don
Valuables are on me or with me 24/7, never in my backpack. My go-to wallet with daily cash and half of my bank cards are clipped (via a grommet) in a deep, pants pocket. The other cash and bank cards and US passport go in a travel pocket that loops through the belt and hangs inside the pants by the pants pocket. Showering, valuables are always within sight. You would be amazed how skilled pickpockets can be.
 
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sarahchicago

Trail snail
Time of past OR future Camino
May 2022
Hi all,
I'm wondering what system do you use to carry your valuables (passport, cash, credit cards etc)? Do you reccomend carrying them outside the backpack in some sort of a fanny pack? In your pocket, so they are on you at all times? I'm thinking about situations like going to the bathroom in a café, where I don't suppose I'll be wearing my main backpack :)
Any insight and tips much appreciated,
Michal.don
Moreso even than passport and credit cards, my daily medication Is my most crucial valuable. It stays on my person at all times. A fabric Neck pouch with a few different zippered pockets is my jam. Meds are in ziploc to avoid the bulk and rattling noise of a pill bottle.
 

dreaming

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF, LE PUY
I love old school money belt and fanny pack. I also wrap my passport in a solid plastic bag as years ago I fell in the Mekong river with a full backpack on whilst walking a plank. Fortunately, my passport didn't get wet as I floated like a cork.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
I've not yet heard of problems with pickpockets on any Camino.
Pickpockets flourish in crowded places. While it IS getting "crowded", even the Camino Frances hasn't reached that point! Pickpockets are not likely to be found very often "on" the Camino.

I try to take significant care of any valuables I carry in my own city, and I would not leave my valuables sitting unattended anywhere.

You need to be aware that Madrid and Barcelona are notorious for pickpockets, along with several other major tourist cities in Europe (as well as the rest of the world).
 

michal.don

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
hopefully 2022 Camino del Norte
Thanks for the second batch of replies and tips :) To make myself more clear, pickpockets are not my main concern - I live in a quite large city, so I'm quite confident that pickpockets will be less risk than when I'm at home for the most time. I'm more nervous about losing something od something being stolen when I leave it unattended.
I think I'll probably just carry the most important stuff (passport, two credit cards, phone, a bit of cash) in zip-locked pockets, and have a copy of my passport and an emergency fund at the bottom of my backpack (for the hopefeully unlikely scenario where someone would steal my pants while I'm wearing them :) )
 
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Maureen McGovern

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future, September 2016
Hi all,
I'm wondering what system do you use to carry your valuables (passport, cash, credit cards etc)? Do you reccomend carrying them outside the backpack in some sort of a fanny pack? In your pocket, so they are on you at all times? I'm thinking about situations like going to the bathroom in a café, where I don't suppose I'll be wearing my main backpack :)
Any insight and tips much appreciated,
Michal.don
I wear a sling bag under my clothing fits all important things in it. Google ‘sling cross body travel bag. C1A6FDE1-51A1-4918-B0F4-25F17F93FFD9.jpeg
 

steve 217

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino frances planning via del la plata
Passport credit card and emergency money in waterproof wallet on a cord around my neck , keep a dummy wallet with expired credit card and daily money in my pocket just in case pickpocketed /mugged always wear cheap watch .
buen camino
 

gargar

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portgues
Thanks everybody for your answers! And I completely understand everybody not willing to share their methods. I hope that my autumn camino will not be that crowded, which should probably lower the risk of stuff getting stolen, but better to be safe then sorry :)
Personally, I don't mind sharing my security and safety tips. I mean for it to be any benefit to anyone to steal from me. They would need to know where and when I am.
 

tjb1013

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2017)
Portugués (2019)
Focusing on eliminating “Opportunity” or “Temptation” thefts was my goal. I had a wallet for passport, credit/debit cards and cash (many albergues required that in my last Camino in 2019), and kept it in a zippered pocket (and slept in shorts with it in a zippered pocket), and I took it to the shower with me. Simply put, it was with me at all times, and zippered in a pocket whenever possible.

Phone re-charge was an exception - I often left it out in the open (along with many others’) at an outlet sometimes far away from my bunk.

Much as it would annoy me, I could get back home without the phone.

I never felt worried about theft in either of my two Caminos, but a little precaution reduces a ton of risk.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Phone re-charge was an exception - I often left it out in the open (along with many others’) at an outlet sometimes far away from my bunk.
Another way is to recharge a powerbank in public and then use that to recharge the phone when it is with you.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
Another way is to recharge a powerbank in public and then use that to recharge the phone when it is with you.
In addition to a small powerbank I carry a 10 ft/3 meter charging cable. I have almost always been able to reach an outlet from my bunk with it. On the other occasion I used my powerbank.
 

RolfMagener

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
F 19, Norte 21, Primitivo 21, Portugues 21, VLP 22
I keep my passport and extra cc in a hidden pocket from Eagle Creek that attaches to my belt and tuck it into my pants. For the nighttime or when going to the shower I have a small Pacsafe safe-pouch that I can attach to the frame of the bed where I can put all my valuables in.
https://www.eaglecreek.com/
https://pacsafe.com/
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2023
Phone re-charge was an exception - I often left it out in the open (along with many others’) at an outlet sometimes far away from my bunk.
I carry a powerpack for exactly this reason. With my Internet banking on my phone I do not want to lose it. It is the item that I protect the most.

At night I recharge the powerpack at whatever outlet I can find but I keep my phone on me at all times. During the day as I walk along I plug my phone into the powerpack and charge my phone as I walk.

If I lose a powerpack, no big deal. If I lose my phone then that is a definite big deal.
 
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OriCamino

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances
I used a Patagonia waist pack and a sea to summit RFID card wallet. The waist pack was small enough that it wasn't a pain to wear but still able to hold my passport, credential, phone, cards and cash easily. It's very good to know you can drop your backpack outside a bar and not worry about anything valuable being taken. I would also take it all into the shower with me in a sea to summit shopping bag - one of the most useful things I bought for showers & shopping.

 

WGroleau

Wandering Weirdo
Time of past OR future Camino
2015 & 2016 (partial)
Having been at an albergue where a thief or thieves stole money and valuables out of several backpacks I don't recommend leaving money and valuables unattended in an albergue while showering.
We had a backdoor to another street labeled "emergency only." More than once, someone unlocked it and left it that way. One of those times, a lot of pilgrim's things disappeared during the night. Had to have been staff or pilgrim—quite difficult for anyone else to get in the front door unnoticed. Probably someone who wanted to stay at the bar after the time we posted that we lock the front door.
 

Ronald Boivin

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
Hi all,
I'm wondering what system do you use to carry your valuables (passport, cash, credit cards etc)? Do you reccomend carrying them outside the backpack in some sort of a fanny pack? In your pocket, so they are on you at all times? I'm thinking about situations like going to the bathroom in a café, where I don't suppose I'll be wearing my main backpack :)
Any insight and tips much appreciated,
Michal.don
I just faced this question AGAIN last week. Warning: I complicate everything but it works for me. Large denomination bills (100 Euros) go inside the zipper of a belt I bought on Amazon. Using a large safety pin I inconspicuously tie into the back seam of my shirt a 15 cm 4 cm bag (50 Euro bills). When I walk, that bag Jonah’s in the crook of my back between scapulas and is imperceptible. I do the same bag-with-safety bag technique onto each pant leg ( tied to a seam). I walk with pants legs tucked in socks-Yes dorky. I carry a belt bag for passport and credential with miney for the albergue. I carry a dummy wallet in my Fanny pack with fake credit cards and enough cash for restaurants. My other credit cards are tucked Into socks ( from Amazon ) which contain little zip pockets above the ankles. So when I get to an Albergue, I deposit my bag and claim my bed space then head off to the shower where all my money-laden clothes are dumped in a dry bag which I hang inside the shower stall. So you will have to shower with me if you want to access my money. Hope this helps.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I carry two ATM cards
Never in your backpack or fanny pack.
One is in a fanny pack with my passport and one credit card. My sister carries the duplicate. The small pack is almost always in front of me. The minute someone come within arms reach my both hands go on it. Another small bag has copies of our passports and an additional credit card. Regarding cash, we use less and less cash because almost everywhere we are staying in a private lodging and all of them take credit cards. We also use a CC in supermercados as well…and only used cash for coffee and, etc.

We stay in private rooms in a variety of accommodations. I never leave valuables in the room unless there is a safe. I never take a shower without my sister being n the room.

Sometimes, when we leave very early in the dark, I put the small pack under my shirt…especially exiting larger towns/ cities.
 
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Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2022
An observation:
The thieves already know all the hiding places. By stashing it you’re just making it more difficult for them to get at it. Which is what you want to do, but I find it a little bit humorous that people are worried that by posting their hiding places on an online forum they’re heightening their security risk! haha!


What I’ve always done because I find money-belts uncomfortable and finicky is to create an inside pocket in all the pants I’m wearing when I travel.

I.E.: using a pocket from an old pair or thrift store pants that I cut out, I sew it inside my pants approximately behind my right front pocket. I’ve put Velcro at the top of the pocket a few times, but it’s not really necessary.

Stashing things in different places? So when you get mugged they can’t find it? Sounds like overkill.

And I have a small moneybag where I put my passport money and credit cards into at night when I’m sleeping, either my pillow case or a bag filled with clothes that serves as my pillow. When I go to the shower or bathroom I take it with me.

I never leave the money or passport or credit cards anywhere. Not even in a hotel room. What if the hotel burns down?

On my most recent Camino I had some pants with thigh zip pockets, and I use those for the day to day money and valuables.
 
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henrythedog

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
X
I just faced this question AGAIN last week. Warning: I complicate everything but it works for me. Large denomination bills (100 Euros) go inside the zipper of a belt I bought on Amazon. Using a large safety pin I inconspicuously tie into the back seam of my shirt a 15 cm 4 cm bag (50 Euro bills). When I walk, that bag Jonah’s in the crook of my back between scapulas and is imperceptible. I do the same bag-with-safety bag technique onto each pant leg ( tied to a seam). I walk with pants legs tucked in socks-Yes dorky. I carry a belt bag for passport and credential with miney for the albergue. I carry a dummy wallet in my Fanny pack with fake credit cards and enough cash for restaurants. My other credit cards are tucked Into socks ( from Amazon ) which contain little zip pockets above the ankles. So when I get to an Albergue, I deposit my bag and claim my bed space then head off to the shower where all my money-laden clothes are dumped in a dry bag which I hang inside the shower stall. So you will have to shower with me if you want to access my money. Hope this helps.
I don’t mean to be unkind, but I think you’re utterly mad.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
I just faced this question AGAIN last week. Warning: I complicate everything but it works for me.
I came upon this product online some time ago but didn't remember it until now. Hidden zippered pockets within zippered pockets with buttoned tabs keeping the pocket closed and more. Also lots of secured pockets of different types to add to pickpocket confusion. See at least the two and a half minute video on this page.

 

henrythedog

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
X
I came upon this product online some time ago but didn't remember it until now. Hidden zippered pockets within zippered pockets with buttoned tabs keeping the pocket closed and more. Also lots of secured pockets of different types to add to pickpocket confusion. See at least the two and a half minute video on this page.

I’ve ordered a pair just out of interest. They don’t seem to have thought of the scenario where someone shoves a knife up your nose and asks for your phone and wallet. No amount of velcro and intricate tailoring’s going to prevent that. Not all street crime is sophisticated sleight of hand. Thankfully; at least on the Camino routes; it’s rare.
 

woody66

This is my boy !
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese Coastal 2021 Frances 2023
What I’ve always done because I find money-belts uncomfortable and finicky is to create an inside pocket in all the pants I’m wearing when I travel.
Hi!
Last year walked first Camino; but the keep it all with you attitude i learned travelling solo on a motorcycle for many years; similar sort of lack of security.
The closer it is to you the lower the chance of losing it. (got a good kicking once at the Paul Ricard circuit in France but my cash roll was in my shreddies; cant keep it closer than that.)

Brought two zippered pockets off amazon; got my ex wife to sew them inside my hiking shorts!(cards, cash could access them fairly easily; suck it up hold my breath and enough room just!)
Credential ,passport in a zipped leg pocket with button and loop as well (she was a seamstress for a few years so new what was wanted.)
Phone in other side pocket same set up.
Wallet in front pocket with button fastening kept 30 euros in it for the day one old card B and Q pensioner discount card.

So if you see a tall tattooed beardy guy wearing a backpack;; in his shreddies!
I've been robbed :) !
Woody

I've just posted this and you guys must have posted while i was doing it!!!!
 
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trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
Think about what you are trying to protect yourself from — on the Camino the odds that someone will pickpocket you or slice off the strap of your purse or your waist pack are extremely low. The odds are much greater that the opportunity to take your stuff will present itself to someone. For me, that means that the most important thing is to have everything in one place with me at all times. I understand the rationale about having different things in different places, but I would only use that system if you have got it down pat and can gather all your valuables quickly and without hassle. After all these years, I can trust myself to never leave my waist bag anywhere, so the odds that it will get stolen are very low (I do have a list and some pictures of phone numbers and ID numbers like passport on a sheet in my pack and on my phone just in case).

I agree. On the Camino I'm at greater risk of forgetting where I put something if I'm constantly moving it from pockets of one garment to another. I do keep back up CC and debit card separate and hidden, along with some cash. I use different strategies when traveling in large cities.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
De La Plata, Norte, de la Lana, Madrid, Terisiana
Try to keep them on your person and take them with you when going to the shower in a waterproof bag (money, phone, passport, etc.) unless you are walking with another person that you trust (for me, my husband). I chose clothing with deep zippered pockets on the front of the pants for walking.
Hi all,
I'm wondering what system do you use to carry your valuables (passport, cash, credit cards etc)? Do you reccomend carrying them outside the backpack in some sort of a fanny pack? In your pocket, so they are on you at all times? I'm thinking about situations like going to the bathroom in a café, where I don't suppose I'll be wearing my main backpack :)
Any insight and tips much appreciated,
Michal.don

Where you carry depends of where you are. In towns and when stopped or in Albergue always round my neck or inner pocket. Out on the "open" road for comfort at bottom of backpack sometimes or in front pocket ( I have an AARN pack that you can see in my pic). I think the more important thing is to check whenever you move. Our routine is always to check after any stop, tienda, bar, Albergue, or any place that you have to remove said items from their normal storage place. Passport pat pat, check! Wallet pat pat, check! Phone pat pat, check!
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
2023
100 Euros
You will have great difficulty using those €100 notes. They were almost removed from circulation recently as pretty much the only people who use them are drug dealers and other criminals.

There is another thread on the forum somewhere where a woman took €100 notes with her and was unable to use them anywhere and returned them to her home bank.
 

henrythedog

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
X
The €100 and €200 notes are still legal tender. The €500s were withdrawn as; apparantly; the vast majority tested positive for cocaine which suggested that their primary use was in the alternative economy.

I had a considerable quantity of €100s which - snatching some small victory from the jaws of disaster - I bought on Brexit night when sterling spiked briefly against the euro and USD. They were a pain to use - doubly so when the first generation notes were replaced by second generation a couple of years ago.

I found a supermarket in France which used an automatic till. Several times per day for a couple of weeks I bought a pack of gum and inserted my €100 note. 😉
 
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Molly Cassidy

Travelling light
Time of past OR future Camino
Starting May 2023 from St Jean Pied de Port
I've had €100 notes when working in Dublin (I was given them as part of a cash allowance from my company) and never had any problems with them. Dublin is expensive, though!
 

Lowtide

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Fall 2022
My opinion is to take precautions to safeguard your valuables, make your precautions a firm habit, and then don't become paranoid about valuables security.
I carry a photocopy of my passport and credit card, id's etc, in a separate hidden place with contact info for my embassy should I need to get a temporary passport, and contact numbers to cancel my cards.
I always carry cash in my pockets, not all I the same pocket, so I don't flash a large amount ever. I put the money I need for the up coming Day in my pockets before I leave the accommodations. Again make this a habit and enjoy.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
LePuy07, CF 08, Arles17, Via Regia '18,
I had read about pack snatching before our first Camino. I made a 12 gauge loop of piano wire with a very small tricky latch from fishing equipment. It weighed nothing and seemed like it was a perfect solution to a problem that I later decided wasn't. However, when our daughter-in-law's father embarked on his first Camino, he eagerly accepted my offer to use the device. An experienced traveler, by temperament he is a master of dire predictions, and caution is his constant companion. He left loaded with our enthusiasm about pilgrimages, the usual admonitions about not carrying excess weight, advice about securing valuables, as described in this forum, and the piano wire. While going through a turnstile in the Paris subway with his heavy pack, he was easily targeted and jossled by a group of young men. When he checked for his wallet, which he kept inside his jacket, it was gone. After an excruciating delay of about 5 days in SJPDP while he got replacement credit cards and lived off the kindness of strangers, he set off in foul weather, suffered a near disaterous fall, and had challenges getting a bed. By Pamplona, he turned to his final destination, Norway. I haven't asked if he used the piano wire. Advice given is not advice received.
 
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