La mochila es mi casa.
Quote from the base of a bed in an albergue in a village on the Camino
The backpack is my house. If you’re about to walk on Camino de Santiago, then you probably know that your backpack would be your house, i.e. you would have put everything you need for your journey in it. At the same time, you probably don’t want to carry much all the time, so planning and packing are of great importance for the Camino.
As we did our first Camino with lighter luggage (that really amazed most of our fellow-pilgrims), it is now time to share some packing tips with you and help you with your packing process. This packing list could easily be applied to other walking/hiking trails, pilgrim routes, etc. It fits perfectly Camino Francés for the months of April/May.
So here we go, starting the list of different groups of stuff you need for the Camino. Remember, if you manage to make your backpack no heavier than 10% of your own weight, than you’re a hero! And your back will be grateful to you, too!
- Don’t bring stuff you value too much, or expensive items – it’s very easy to lose something, to ruin it, tear it, etc. I had to throw out two pairs of socks – good I didn’t take my favorite lucky socks with me.
- Additional small purse for quick access to daily essentials – like credentials, passports, money, cell phone, lip balm, wipes, etc. comes in very handy.
- We did laundry every three days so we don’t have to carry much clothes. (Almost every albergue has a washing machine and a dryer that you can use for few euros.)
- Sweatshirt and a light jacket – this year we’d add another blouse / sweatshirt for colder nights/mornings/albergues
- 3-4 lightweight shirts that cover upper arms and shoulders (the backpack straps could be painful to uncovered areas)
- 1-2 long sleeved shirts
- 2 pairs of leggings/yoga pants for Bistra and Petya, lightweight pants for Nace
- 1-2 shorts for the “nights out” or to put over the pants to keep you warmer (optional)
- 4-pairs of socks
- 4 days’ worth of undies (laundry every three days 😃)
- 2-4 sport bras
- Pajamas – preferably with long sleeves in case you are sleeping at a cold place
- Sandals or flip flops (used for showers and afternoon walks after settling in an albergue BUT also in case you need to wear them for a while to take a break from the walking shoes)
- Hiking boots/walking shoes/sneakers – they will be on your feet most of the time. Bistra and Nace used running sneakers, Petya was with hiking sneakers. This is the most important thing, so choose them wisely!
- Sunhat/hair band – the sun could be scorching
- Buff – it could serve as a scarf, a hair band, a hat, a fashionable accessory
- Gloves – for the cold mornings or for a better contact with the walking sticks
Other essentials: Toiletries, Gear and medicines
- Soap, shampoo, body lotion, razors, lip balm, deodorant roll-on, toothpaste and toothbrush, face cleaning wet wipes, concealer and mascara
- Sunscreen – a MUST
- Mosquito repellent – we didn’t use it but theoretically it’s possible to need it as it’s kind of rainy in those parts of Spain
- Tissues, wet wipes, maybe some toilet paper – for natural calls and sanitary purposes
- 35-40 L backpack
- Light sleeping bag – ours are with temperature range 15-20 degrees Celsius as we still sleep indoors with sheets and blankets provided
- Body bag that ties around your waist (one bag was enough for the three of us)
- Headlight – as we didn’t use it much last year (not early birds, obviously), we’ll go for a simple flashlight next time
- Sunglasses – optional but very useful
- Bottle for water – with or without filter – the water along the Camino is very drinkable and sometimes even tasty
- Towel that dries up quickly – we used microfiber towels
- Raincoat – we plan to replace them with waterproof light jackets this year
- Camera, GoPro, power bank, chargers, cables – don’t take too much of them
- Notebook for keeping notes and writing down amazing newborn ideas 💡
- Band aids – you’ll need them for blisters and calluses
- Homeopathic Arnica – to prevent inflammations
- Arnica gel for painful places
- Ibuprofen to keep going and not feel pain – can be bought everywhere along the Camino
- Magnesium – better start taking it two weeks before you start the Camino, very good for the muscles
- Ethyl alcohol, small scissors, cotton for the calluses
We used this list to pack for our Camino vol.2. It passed the test!
And that’s it! Our Camino de Santiago packing list! Feel free to leave us comments if you feel we need to add or remove something from it! Buen Camino! 🚶
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