This is my third camino and you would think that I had my pack and it’s contents sorted by now. Sadly experience just seems to bring more choice and more confusion and as a result I have made a number of adjustments to my pack this year.
France is a nation of walkers so it it should be easy to buy equipment… but it’s not. I’m tall for a girl (176cm) and I have a size 41/42 foot which is very wide (3E). I find that shoes for women stop at 41 so I buy most of my shoes online. Wide fitting is also not a normal option so for walking shoes I have no choice than to buy online; and I generally buy men’s. It’s an expensive and frustrating process!
If I want long length trousers then I also need to buy online although tops and t-shirts are easily and cheaply available. I love my adopted home; France is a beautiful, fabulous place to live but shopping for the camino isn’t so easy (or should I say I haven’t found it easy).
Anyway, here’s what I think I’m taking to Spain… it all weights 7.7kg
I’ve stuck with Osprey and chosen to drop down to the 40L Tempest.
I’ve used Osprey on my last 2 caminos; although the larger Kestrel 48L. I’m familiar with how they work and I like the adjustable back panel.
The Kestrel is a little heavier so I thought that I’d downsize and save the weight… I hope I made the right choice!
The Tempest is the womans fit version of the Talon and feels more comfortable on the hips
I have worn Craghoppers trousers on all my caminos and I really like them. I was sold on Skins compression tights but they were pricey.. and then I found some on sale and decided to go for it.
Previously I’ve worn t-shirts but I decided this year that shirts are better… I also suffered a second degree burn on half of my arm last year so I’ve needed to consider how I keep this area covered whilst walking (and protected from the sun).
I walk ‘warm’ so I decided I would prefer a lightweight wind shell to a fleece… the Berghaus was another huge sale bargain.
I um-ed and ah-ed over wet weather gear and in the end opted for the Vaude poncho that I wore in year one. I bought a smaller size but it served me well and I should stick with what I know. The same goes for underwear… and I like a choice of socks so I can mix and match depending on the weather.
- 1 pair of Craghoppers Kiwi Pro-stretch walking trousers
- 2 pairs of Skins A200 compression tights
- 1 Craghoppers long sleeve treking shirt
- 1 Craghoppers short sleeve treking shirt
- 1 ultralight decathlon tech t-shirt
- 1 ultralight decathlon tech vests
- 1 ultralight Berghaus wind jacket
- 1 Vaude trekking rain poncho
- 3 pairs of Wrightsocks liner socks
- 2 pairs of Wrightsocks Merino Coolmesh II socks
- 1 pair thick wool Bridgedale socks
- 3 Marks and Spencer non-wired, non-padded bras
- 3 Marks and Spencer NVP highleg briefs
- I lightweight decathlon swimsuit
- 1 chiffon scarf
- UV sleeves
I have tried a few different shoes but have decided to stick with what I wore to Santiago before; Salomons! The Teva sandals are new. I admired these from a distance many times when walking previously. I bought a pair 6 months ago and I love them… they are heavy for a second shoe but I am hoping to get a lot of use from them.
- Salomon’s X ULTRA II GTX hiking shoe
- Teva Terra Fi hiking sandal
Wash Kit and Toiletries
I keep all my wash kit in a very lightweight Eagle Creek toiletries bag. I am taking a few luxuries and just a little makeup. It weights next to nothing and allows me to feel a little more human on days when I feel worn out 🙂
- Lush shampoo bar in a tin x 2 (I use this for soap and shampoo and clothes washing)
- Roll on deoderant
- Very small (half used) bottle of spray/leave-in conditioner
- Large quick dry towel
- Toothbrush (it’s a free one I had in a hotel and it’s very light!)
- Comb (another hotel freebie)
- sensodyne toothpaste (travel size)
- home-made hook that hangs over doors or rails so I dont have to put my things in a wet floor
- very small roll-on perfume
- Eye liner
- Lush UV lip tint/balm
I tend to sleep in a t-shirt and the clean undies that I’d wear the next day. For my first camino I took just a silk liner but I was cold… a lot! Then I bought a sleeping bag but it’s a mummy style and I hate the feet restrictions. This year I have a quilt and liner… I hope this is a good combination.
They will be sprayed with Sawyers Permethrin bed bug spray before I leave.
- Enlightened Equipment Quilt (custom colours of purple and gold)
- Nod Pod Large silk liner (green)
- Medipac Cool pouch – I keep my prescription medication in here as it keeps it cool
- Prescription medication (I also have a photograph and scanned pdf copy of my prescriptions just in case I need to replace meds en route.
- 7 weeks supply of Nunns mineral replacement supplements – I suffered badly with cramp on my first camino and these were an instant remedy. They are heavy but essential for me
- Gel Tubes and Gel Toe caps. I found this great when I had blisters and hotspots on my first camino. They are cheaper to purchase in advance and have just in case
- Selection of plasters
- Omni-fix fabric dressing
- Selection of first aid… paracetemol, ibruprofen, gaviscon etc
- Betadine spray
- Safety pins
- Needle and thread
- Small scissors… I found them in a tiny travel sewing kit
- Sea to Summit Clothes line
- 4 cloths pegs
- Laundry bag – useful for your ‘smalls’ if you’re sharing a washing machine
- Engo Blister Patches… these are stuck inside your shoe to help reduce friction and thus prevent blisters
- All my gear is sorted into bags… clothes, sleep, wash, underwear and stuff… the bags are sea to summit ultrasil drysacks
- Light Trek Automatic Umbrella… thinking about the few hundred kilometres without shade
- Small lightweight waterproof handbag… I keep my Pilgrim Passport, my Passport, my purse and my medication here… and when I’m not walking my phone and camera too. I can easily take this out of my pack and keep it with me at all times
- Headtorch… I cant remember the brand! Will have to find it and repost
- Vicks – great for soothing tired feet and helps prevent blisters
- Sunscreen for face
- Insect repellent
- Stingeze… if the above doesn’t work
- Arnica cream…for bumps and aches
- Small pack of paper tissues
On many forums there is much discussion about the pros and cons of walking with or without technology. I am firmly in the ‘with’ camp. I get a bit cross with the suggestion that folks that have a smartphone must be on social media and not interacting with others… pah is what I say to this 🙂
My phone was my camera, contact with home, my guide books, my reading book, my music, my blog, my map, my phone, my camino app, my way of keeping in touch with fellow pilgrims, my spanish dictionary, a digital record of important documents and was simply generally fabulous (and for me it wasn’t for social media)
This year I want to track my walk on GPS… for my own refelction. So I’ve decided to take a camera too… to ensure I dont drain the battery on the camera… more weight I know but I think it’s worth it.
- Samsung Note 3 – Smartphone with Universal USB charger and protective cover
- Lumix waterproof/shockproof camera and charger
My final dilema.. do I take my Pacer Poles? I’m undecided. I didn’t take them the first time but I did the second… and now I just can’t decide!