One Day to Go — Time to Pack

Here’s what I’m bringing this year (plus my backpack)

Even after three caminos I’m finding myself debating exactly what gear to bring on this year’s walk. I leave tomorrow — just 25 hours from now — so decision time is at hand.

There are a few things I know are handy, but they add extra weight — and weight is the bane of pilgrims and long-distance trekkers. Some items I know I can buy if and when I need them.

Here what I’ve settled on for my Camino del Norte (2012):

  1. Hiking towel — lightweight, dries very quickly. I’ve used this one on pilgrimages for years.
  2. Liquids — these will ultimately go in my toiletry bag, but for airport purposes they’re in a transparent, plastic sack. They include liquid soap, toothpaste, eye drops and sun block lotion
  3. Toiletry bag and toiletries — this has my dry toiletries, and ultimately my liquid ones once I arrive. Toothbrush, nail clipper, dental floss.
  4. Airline tickets, directions, other papers — these stay in an outer compartment in my pack for each access.
  5. Guidebook — also in an outer compartment.
  6. Camelbak water bladder — 2 liter size. Dry until I arrive, then I fill it with trustworthy tap or bottled water
  7. Gloves — Sometimes I only need these once or twice, but when I do, they’re nice to have. Super lightweight.
  8. Toilet paper — goes in an outer compartment in the pack for when nature calls and no indoor plumbing is available.
  9. Rain cover for backpack — into an outer compartment.
  10. Rain jacket — I find it easier to use a Gore-Tex style rain jacket than to have a bulky poncho that is hard to get over my pack and catches the wind.
  11. Warm fleece — I’ll wear this onto the airplane. For cool days and mornings.
  12. Hiking boots — my trusty Treksta Assault GTX boots
  13. Passport and credential — these two important items stay in a waterproof bag in an external pocket for easy access.
  14. Sleeping bag liner — treated with Permethrin. Keeps the random bed bug away.
  15. Camp shoes — super lightweight North Face shoes with comfy, padded soles. For a break from boots after hours.
  16. Blister kit — includes small scissors, needles, thread, band-aids, Compeed, moleskins
  17. Sleeping bag and inflatable pillow in stuff sack — very lightweight, down bag good to 40F and super lightweight inflatable pillow. I also have a tiny LED flashlight attached to the zipper of my sleeping bag in case I need it.
  18. Clothes bag — Having a light “cube” bag allows my clothes to stay together in my pack. Clothes include 3 pair hiking socks, 3 pair sock liners, 2 hiking shorts, 3 technical t-shirts
  19. Airline clothes — my long, lightweight hiking pants, collar shirt, 1 pair undershorts, belt. These items ultimately go into the pack, but the long pants (along with my fleece) help me stay warm in cool airplanes and airports.
  20. Tech bag — charger, plug adaptor, charging cord for phone, charging cord for camera, extra camera battery, telephone, waterproof bag for telephone.
  21. Mylar foil emergency blanket — won’t ever hike without this. A survival blanket that I can use if weather requires or in case of injury where help might not arrive for hours.
  22. Sleeping pad — this is a luxury item. I take it out for when I’m enjoying my afternoon siesta. Also there for the odd time in which I might need to sleep outdoors — it happened once.
  23. Not shown: writing pad and pen, magazines for on the plane (thrown away when done), credit card, debit card (for ATMs), baseball cap, sun hat.

Total weight: 16.2 pounds. Well within the 20 lbs (or 10% of bodyweight) recommended. Ooops, almost forgot my scallop shell.

OK. I think I’m ready!

5 thoughts on “One Day to Go — Time to Pack

  1. Buen Camino
    I see you changed your mind re only the apps guia, which guide book are you carrying?. The german one is the best, the free one the tourist offices can give you is well worth the carry, but we often had to read MY CSJ book to see actual choices! also tourist/Bilbao give you a 2012 accom guia, very useful/light. Try stay in Luarca on Wed, great market. Again the Convent in Laredo if you can.
    Are you only bringing 1 pair of undershorts! I only brought 1 shorts and they did fine.
    Hope the weather is kind to you.

    • Depends on the time of year. Many people walk in the summertime with just a liner, but in spring or fall (in my opinion) it’s nice to have a sleeping bag. Also, even in the summer, it can be cool overnight at higher altitudes.

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